See ya, eHarmony!

Thanks, eHarmony, for reminding me how much fun it is to be in love EVERY TIME I log into your stupid site that has given me NOTHING.

I love the older couples featured on the site too, but I still think Kate and Justin are my favorite.

Perhaps the key to success on eHarmony is having a name that is some derivative of Katherine.

When I started on this wonderful journey, I thought one month was too short.  I thought three months was a sure thing.  Three months later, I realize I was wrong. 

I spent the last few weeks really trying too, even talking to men not in my area, which originally I was quite opposed to.  Blame it on the lovely tales of long-distance love that are floating around the blogsphere.  No such luck for MJ.  Long-distance or otherwise.

I went on sixish dates with fourish guys.  Three were nice, but there was no connection.  One was not nice, but I did find him probably the most attractive.  Oops. 

Even since him, which is when I gave up on the dating thing, I was still trucking away with my matches, but despite what appearances may suggest, I have NOT been declining dates left and right. It’s just not happening.

So, eH, it’s been real, but I’m totally over you. 

Overall, I didn’t like the structure of the site and the matching.  You don’t get to pick for yourself, which just denies the fact that attraction is actually important because apparently you’re not supposed to say that.  Then you have to exchange canned messages for a week.

What works for some, completely bombs for others, which really just reinforces my belief in destiny and fate and what not.  I believe my sister was destined to meet her guy and they were on the site at the same time and it was a good time in their lives and they fell in love. 

My fate awaits me elsewhere.

Bachelor #2

So, Thursday was #1, I went out with someone on Friday, but was unsure of if he counted or not because I’d been out with him before, so although tonight’s was third in three days (ugh), we’re going to call him #2. 

eHarmony.  Cute, fun, flirty, moved at a good pace for setting up the first meeting.  I was really looking forward to this date. 

We settled on Mexican, but he surprised me with the suggestion of a really nice Latin restaurant.  And also with the offer to pick me up, which of course I declined.

Without having too much in common, we had plenty to talk about and I felt at ease right away.  Actually, before right away.  He invited me to come over and walk his dog with him the night before and I thought that would be totally fine, but I decided to wait until an actual first date. 

So tonight we went out and he kept me laughing (although I’m beginning to think I just pretty much laugh at anything).

As a believer in short, one-phase first dates, I had the feeling I could keep hanging out with him, so we did.  We heard live country music coming from a total dive and had to go in.  Turns out we do have a bit in common.  We both like country music, whiskey and people watching/judging. 

Then it was actually time to call it a night, as my usual plan is to keep them wanting more.

There was a kiss.  It was slightly awkward, but I don’t think I’ve had a first date kiss in quite a while.

So, why is he a frog?

He told me he got there early to get his name in for a table and was at the bar.  It was kind of crowded, but he was looking for me around the time I was supposed to arrive, so when I walked in, he saw me from the bar and gave me an awkward rocker hand signal. 

I always hate trying to pick out my online date in a restaurant.  I think I look a lot like my pictures and have the tell-tale curly hair to set me apart, but you never know about the guys you’re meeting.  Either way, the rocker signal was weird.

According to eH, we’re the same age.  At this point, I’m four months from my birthday, so it’s more miss than hit for finding someone my “age” but older.  I asked his astrological sign and sure enough, he’s younger (seven months). 

Also, I was approximately his height in my heels and I wasn’t a fan of his shirt.  Reaching?  Maybe.  Seeing frog/bachelor #2 again?  Yeah, sure.

Bachelor #1

I joke a lot.  I make repeated jokes a lot.  I get this from my dad; his current favorite joke is that, now that he’s retired, he doesn’t do anything all day and he doesn’t start that until noon.  Yep, my dad’s got jokes. 

But, I am not at all joking about the fact that I believe I have to date 12 men to find one worth my while.  And now the official tracking begins.

Allow me to introduce Bachelor #1.

We met on eHarmony.  Through talking, I found out I went to school with his younger sister.  I went to a small, religious school in a different state, so this is a little more unusual than if I had gone to, say ASU.  I actually lived down the hall from his sis and across the hall from her boyfriend during different years.

Poor Bachelor #1.  We had a date scheduled.  Then Non-Mush happened.  I debated cancelling since I was so excited about this other kid.  I asked people’s opinions until I heard what I wanted to hear and then I cancelled. 

Sort of.  I felt bad and the cancel ended up being a postpone.  To the next week.  Non-Mush was still happening, more so at that point.  I cancelled again, but was finally honest about why, telling him I was going to see where things went with this other guy.

They went nowhere good. 

I took a little time, but then, tail between my legs, asked him if he’d still be interested in meeting up.  We made the same plans I had cancelled twice, happy hour at a popular bar in a central location. 

It’s literally been a month since we talked.  I really don’t remember what we talked about, but I kind of had his base information in line.  Honestly, I don’t know how people keep this shit straight without flow charts.  He at least stood out from the pack because of his sis-college connection.  Either way, I was actually kind of excited about the date.

Two beers each.  Three and a half hours.  Good conversation.  Smiles.  Laughs.  Lots in common. 

We didn’t talk too much about his sis, which is an easy trap to fall into when you have a person in common, but inhibits you from getting to know the other person, and he didn’t awkwardly ask about Non-Mush.  Points.

So, why is he a frog?  Well, is he a frog?

I spent the whole time trying to make myself forget that his shirt was tucked into his shorts.  He and my dad would get along like gangbusters.  They could talk about doing nothing before noon.

Sex and Red Flags

For those not familiar, eHarmony claims to be amazing not just because they match you with people based on compatibility, but also because they have a three-step guided communication process to get to know your matches (this is one of the reasons I find them to be actually just kind of annoying). 

The first step after viewing your match’s pictures thoughtfully written profile (that doesn’t actually contain very much, or very relevent, information) is to send five multiple-choice questions you pick from a list of about 25.

One of these questions is something to the effect of “how soon are you going to let me bang you after we meet?” Well, okay, it might be more along the lines of “what are your thoughts on premarital sex?” But, you KNOW what’s being asked.

And this is what kind of skeeves me out about online dating because sometimes it feels like, when it comes down to it, people like to touch other people’s naughty bits and now they’ve taken to the web to find someone who will allow them to do so.

Anyway, it’s kind of rare to get this question, but every now and then a guy will throw it in there and it always raises a suspiciously red-colored flag.  Like, really?  That’s the FIRST thing you need to know about me?  I’m sorry to have wasted your time reading the answers to my previous four questions.  You should have done the “skip to eHarmony mail” option and just asked me to send you a money shot. 

Anyway, one guy with a name fit for a four-year-old sent me this Q.  He was tall and I played along.  Plus, he was a pro golfer, and as Miley would say, “that’s pretty cool.”

Yes, the questions are multiple-choice, but there’s a “write your own” option and I usually write something like, “I don’t think it’s something that needs to be brought up at such an early stage.”

That apparently wasn’t a wrong answer and we continued through the comm stages and finally got to exchanging numbers and, like many lazy, lazy men in their 20s on dating sites, Toddler Name wanted to text endlessly.

We got into what we were looking for in a person and he said, among other things, “affectionate and likes to cuddle.” 

So I called him out.  “Ah, yes, you’re the one who awkwardly asked about sex right away.”

He said he went out with a girl who went off about how sex is a sin and realized he might as well find out early because it’s important to him.  For the record, I think it’s important, but I don’t think it’s a deal breaker and I don’t think it should affect your decision to at least start to get to know someone. 

As I told him and other people I’ve had this discussion with, if it’s the right person, waiting shouldn’t be an issue because you’ll have the rest of your lives to fuck.  You’re not going to walk away from your soul mate because he or she won’t give it up before getting married. 

And yes, on the flip side, if it’s the right person, do it now or do it on your wedding day, who cares?  This is the person you love.  But, everyone has different beliefs and values and to each his or her own.

Toddler Name again asked how I felt and I again said, it doesn’t need to be discussed early on.  We had a bit of a strained conversation after that.

This whole sex thing was literally one of five red flags this guy waved in the text conversation, which only went on for an afternoon. 

So now the question is, since I’ve determined I have to kiss 12 frogs, since I don’t want to wait five months again (because five months takes us to September, just one month before weddingpalooza and I need something firmer than that…TWSS) do I go out with him just based on the fact that I know he’s gonna be a frog and he can help me kick off this aggravating process?

Now, I know the answer.  Put NO after his name in my phone and ignore, ignore, ignore, but I at least considered it.  I’m pretty sure going in with poor intentions will somehow throw off the system and I’ll end up having to do double duty or something – 24 frogs and 10 months! Oy vey.

I also realize I’m totally overthinking this, which I’ve discovered I do in the in-between.  Yes, I’ve been a dating maniac, going out with a lot of guys, wondering when I would walk away from the dating smorgasboard because I met nice guys but maybe I was BBDing* them just because I could? 

But when I found a guy who actually held my interest, the thinking disappeared.  I wanted to stand still with these guys (the two five-month bookends).  I wasn’t wondering when I would feel like NOT going on other dates, I was feeling it.

I’m too romantic and fragile for this.  So, until I find the next guy I want to stand still with and release my bated breath when he tells me he wants to stand still too, I’ll be over here overthinking.  And going out with tall d-bags who think inviting a woman over for a “movie” on not just a first date, but a first meeting, is appropriate (yeah, that was another of his red flags).

*BBDing = Bigger Better Dealing them (thanks, Patty Stanger)…liking what I had, but figuring if I could get that, I could get something even better, so constantly looking for that next, better thing.  It kinda sucks when you realize you weren’t BBDing, just seeking out something you deserve, but that you got BBDed in the process.

Confessions of the Sleep-Deprived

Well, heeey March.  I was so darn excited for your arrival that I stayed up past my bedtime to usher you in at midnight.  Then I wanted to hang out with you more, so I woke up at 1 and 2 and finally at 2:30 for good. 

I think I’m onto something here.  If I only sleep for a few hours a night, I could get a lot done in the month of March.

Por ejemplo, this morning, since I was up four hours before it was acceptable to go to work, I…

…caught up on the uber funny Monday night shows I missed because I had a date (we went to a coffee shop and I had a so-called “decaf” Americano…lies) because, you know, I’m awesome and men want to date me. 

…cyberstalked said date from last night. Mostly I was interested in what he put as his height, because you KNOW men lie about this, which is why I won’t normally go for anything under 5’8″ because if they admit to being 5’7″ or shorter, they’re probably more like 5’3″ like my date (who “says” he’s 5’6″), which was the only thing that I might have changed!  Way to go eHarmony!

…cyberflirted with more men to find more dates and increase my “number” (not THAT number though, I’m being a good girl).

…RSVPed to some Meetups because I had a lot of fun at one of the events I went to over the weekend.

…caught up on some email.

…tweeted at ungodly hours.

…ran at the gym at 4am.

…watched Sex and the City while running at the gym at 4am.  Oh how I’ve missed those ladies.  I caught parts of two episodes around the time Charlotte was marrying Harry, who was totes not what she thought her dream man would be, but ended up being wonderful.  Hmm.

…did some laundry.

…caught up on Jersey Shore.  Well, one episode.  I’m still behind.

…made weekend breakfast!

…didn’t go as gourmet on my packed snacks + lunch for the day.  It’s a meal fit for an 8-year-old – PB and honey on a tortilla, an apple and a granola bar.

…painted my nails.

…finally went to work.

I’m so already looking forward to going to bed early + sleeping in + naps this weekend!

WWW5

Mini-update on my half:  Since I starting talking about it here, I wanted to include the results here as well.  I ran my first half-marathon on Saturday.  I finished officially at 2:09:06 (my first goal was 2:34 and my second was 2:10) and loved the experience!  Now, on to WWW!

Life's Journey with a SmileMy 10 goals are:

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

This week’s questions:

1.  What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?

I found out I actually have an account at eHarmony and went in and updated some of my profile (made during one of those free communication weekends way back in 2009, reminding me just how long I’ve been relationship-challenged).  I also looked into the cost of it so I can budget it into February.  Yeah, it’s expensive.  I’m so hesitant to spend money AND my online adventures have not been great (but I know it’s because of the sites I’m on, thus the upgrade), so I confused myself over if I actually want to do it.  I think I’d probably pay for three months but thinking I’m going to find someone online in three months conflicts with my desire to take on my great dating challenge of 2011!

After two nights of heavy dinners out (man, dating is tough), I needed something light and made a modified version of The Runner’s Kitchen’s Creamy Winter Veggie Pasta.  The (tease alert) simple sauce made with just goat cheese and starchy water was perfect, I got my veggies in AND it was carbolicious for a race week dinner.

I opened an actual rollover account (all these rules I didn’t know!) and found my funds from my old retirement plans and got the forms that will allow me to transfer them.  I’m inching closer and closer on this one.

2.  January is coming to an end! How do you think you did in the month of January? Review time!

Well, I kinda failed at the January part of my first goal.  Now it’s my goal to lose it by the end of the challenge.  Five little pounds suck!  I did well at keeping up with my weekly dinner goal and I’m beyond on-track for my time with friends goal.  With the bits and pieces I’ve done of the others, I’d say I’m about one-third of the way there, but I’d like to have some more completed. 

3.  Do you feel like your motivation is tapering off now that a month has passed, or are you just as motivated as the beginning of the challenge?

I think my motivated tapered a bit, but I like that the end of the month is a check point that will get my butt back in gear!

4.  Who/what inspires you to keep going?

I usually inspire myself, as I’ve said, I don’t like letting myself down.  I’m also big on rewards.  I’ve been wanting a bike for a while, so when I set out to do my half, I set my goal time and told myself the bike was mine if I hit it.  Thinking about that helped me keep up my pace throughout the race and I hit not only my first goal, but by second goal as well!  Some of my WWW goals are rewards in themselves, but perhaps I will set up rewards for the ones that have proven to be a bit more of a struggle.  A massage after completing seven hikes in seven days, a weekly guilty pleasure night-in for jumping into the serious online dating world, a shopping splurge for being responsible and rolling over my 401(k) funds!

5.  Fun Question of the Week:  What is the first thing you think of/do in the morning?

Lately it’s been talking myself out of an A.M. workout!  Oops!  Usually I rationalize that I can do it after work (and I do, but I just really prefer to do it in the morning).  On days when I can’t get out of it or actually have the motivation and enough sleep to get to the gym, the first thing I do when my alarm goes off at 4:30 is lace up and head out the door!  

When I’m feeling a little lazier, I’ve already outed myself as a first-thing Facebook checker and so, yeah, that’s what I do before hitting the shower and getting ready for work.  On these days, I reset my alarm to 6, which gives me just 20 minutes to be out the door!

On weekends, I usually try to force myself to sleep longer (because waking up by 6 during the week means waking up by 7 without an alarm on the weekends, ugh!) and then get up and run or, if it’s going to be a long run, eat breakfast, wait for it to settle and head out.

Positive Picture:

Kind of a weird selection this week, I know.  The race on Saturday was to benefit a kids’ cancer charity and they had pictures of kids fighting cancer along the route.  It was very inspirational and kept me going.  If these little guys can take on this totally unfair hand that’s been dealt to them, I can surely get over whatever excuses I might be using and achieve my goals!  {from}

A Cat Lady, But a Wise and Sexy One

Reverb 10, Day 10 Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Recently, I made the decision to change my approach to dating.  I haven’t quite been able to put it into words – although now I kind of have the urge to spend the weekend mind mapping it out, savant style.  Yes, yes, I’m going to need one of those sticky poster pads and lots and lots of Sharpies, SB Double Shots and mac and cheese (but only the kind in the blue box).

Anyway, last night on a date (#2) with a man whose nickname is in the works, I realized I had revised it again.  It’s an evolving idea, but basically, it’s about being true to myself – who I am and what I want.  Seeking out what works for me and not wasting time on something that doesn’t.  And not apologizing either way. 

Sometimes it makes me feel like a crazy cat lady who spends her weekends reading bridal magazines (and has the event basically planned with just one little, last piece TBD), taking at-home fertility tests (just to make sure) and trolling eHarmony – checklist in hand – for THE ONE. 

Sometimes it makes me feel like a confident, sexy bad-ass who has fun, gets what she wants and doesn’t understand the meaning of the word settle.  These mixed feelings are why it’s ever-changing.

I’m proud that I paused, stepped back, saw something that wasn’t working and attempted to change it.  I’m excited for the adventures this wise decision will undoubtedly bring me in 2011 and beyond.