And I Dated Him WHY?!

No Name is back (ish).  He reappears every now and then and tries to make plans and sometimes I blow him off and sometimes I meet up with him.  Last week I met up with him, and here’s why – and by here’s why, I mean, he asked why I hang out with him and I told him:
  1. Because I want to find out why he keeps coming back randomly and wanting to hang out with me.
  2. Because it gets me out of the house.
  3. Because it will give me a good story for my blog.
  4. Because maybe when he goes to the bathroom, a cute guy will come hit on me.
  5. Because now I have something to tell my dad when he asks me who I dated this week.
  6. Because when I have an answer to that question, my parents get a glimmer of hope that their younger daughter isn’t going to die alone, and by alone, I mean surrounded by cats.
  7. Because I like sushi.
  8. Because it gives me legit plans so I don’t feel bad turning other men I don’t want to hang out with down.
 And the unspoken:
  1. Because he pays for the sushi.
  2. Because I can be abrasive and say what I think (mostly) and talk about my love life, but still flirt with him and he sticks around for all of that.
  3. Because I wanted to see if he’s grown a pair and/or if he’s learned how to kiss in a way other than that which can only be described as “my aunt smells like mothballs but I have to kiss her anyway.”

He never told me why he randomly wants to hang out.  The obvious answer would be because he gets a little something-something, but as per unspoken #3, he doesn’t.  It got me out of the house, but didn’t keep me away too long.  I’m obviously currently writing about it.  I didn’t get hit on while he wasn’t at the table.  No name was in real estate as was my dad, so it’s love already.  My parents did glimmer a bit.  The sushi was delish.  And I probably would have preferred the other guy who asked, but you never know which rando is going to ask you out for which day.

No Name did pay for the sushi, he did stick around during the MJ show and no he didn’t grow a pair and I’m assuming he hasn’t improved his technique.
Now, three has always been my favorite number, so let’s focus on that one – the first #3 that is.  He didn’t question it, so I’m not sure if he thinks I was joking, but I’ve noticed a trend in single lady bloggers lately – we are awesome and are not afraid to embrace a bad date for the sake of sharing it all over the internet. 
It wasn’t bad, wasn’t good, probably won’t do it again anytime soon.  And while nothing really blog worthy happened on that sushi date, stay tuned for other blog worthy tales.   
As a mini-update, this weekend, I went out with Bachelors #6, 7 and 8.  So, yeah, thanks to Match I’m back at it.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

So….I signed up for Match over the weekend.  Just created a profile, really. 

But, the functionality of the site as well as the seeming quality of men on there – seriously, and we all KNOW my standards are actually getting higher, which makes no sense – got to me.  That plus the 29 emails I had received, but was unable to read or even see who they were from, had me reaching for my credit card. 

Yes, after bitching about money all weekend, I gave in and signed up.  For SIX months, which assuming failure, gives me another six for free.  Match Guarantee, they call it.  Match is actually guaranteeing me love.  And I’m sitting back like a surly teenager, arms crossed, showing them what a challenge they have on their hands.  I should probably read the fine print because I’m not sure what exactly counts.

The 29 emails quickly pared down to 15, but that’s still not terrible. 

I came up with these new rules for this new adventure:

This is about keeping my options open and I’m going to make it fit my life however I want. 

No younger men.

No out of area men, which may even include no west-siders.  Although I may or may not have already emailed a sexy lumberjack from Boise because that’s where I’m currently dreaming of living.

No lame jobs.

Be nice about height.  (Something new I’m trying after realizing how silly these people look.)

Deleting emails without responding is perfectly acceptable.  It’s a freaking smorgasboard, after all.

The emails are pinged to my email address attached to this blog, which is – gasp – a fake email address (well, real, but fake, but, well whatever) that I don’t check too often and that is not sent directly to my phone so I won’t be dealing with constant overload.

Skipping days between logging on is completely acceptable.  If I’m going to be at this for a year and spend an hour or two every time I log in, I could do it once a week and still kill 100+ hours of my life.  Ugh.

There are no dates per week or even month minimum.  And I’m not changing any plans for first or second dates.

Per Patti Stanger, online dating is just 1/3 of my dating search.  I’m still trying to be approachable IRL and asking to be set up – although I never actually have been.  The guys who it didn’t work out with don’t seem too keen on introducing me to their friends.  And the normal people who tell me they have someone for me never close the deal.  I’m not kidding here, folks, I’ll try anything!

No responding to men who lack originality.

No Cowboys fans.  This is not a new rule.  This is a non-negotiable.

Kissing Frogs

Sometimes I say things and people look at me as if I have two heads.  Apparently things I think are “sayings” are not actually sayings.  Or sometimes they are just not sayings that young people these days have heard.  What can I say?  I’m an old soul.

And then there are times when I just make shit up (mostly acronyms and I use them like they’re a thing), but we’re not talking about those times right now.

We’re talking about my recent overuse of the phrase “kissing frogs.”  To me, that means dating guys who aren’t right for me, with the implication that it’s in my search to find my prince. 

Maybe people my age just didn’t read fairy tales when they were younger? 

Anyway, I told a girlfriend my theory at happy hour and she suggested I just walk up to strangers and kiss them to knock out the numbers.  Missing the point.

I told my bestie my theory and he asked, “and by kiss, you mean sleep with?”  Missing the point so very much, but thanks for the vote of confidence about my whore-ish ways.  I let him know I have not slept with 12 men in my life, let alone in between the last two guys I actually liked, nor do I plan on sleeping with 12 in the next five months.

A third, when he assumed I literally meant kiss and I asked him about why no one got it said it was less about not knowing what “kissing frogs” meant and more about knowing what “kissing” meant.  Touche.

My good friend, Peaches, inadvertently taught me a technique to use in these situations.  He – yes, Peaches is a boy – tells this awesome story – all his stories are awesome, you should meet him and just listen to him talk – that involves his playboy father, his playboy father’s lady friend, a dead bird and the phrase, “it’s a well-known fact.” 

So now, anytime someone questions my stories or my phrases that may be from different centuries, I simply say, “it’s a well-known fact that…” and then they can’t argue because obviously they are the stupid one.  It actually kinda worked on bestie.

Am I that far off?  Is “kissing frogs” not actually a thing?

Mayim Bialik

Reverb11’s April prompt was so short, I scanned the email and thought I missed it!  It’s April, spring is in the air, and they want to know:

What’s blossoming?

Friendships!  I went to happy hour last night with a Meetup group (one I’ve been out with a handful of times) and as awkward as the concept is and as random as the group is, I found myself looking around and thinking, “these are the women I would have picked.” 

A desire for a ripple effect.  For Winter Wonderland Warriors, I wanted to volunteer.  For the Spring Fever Challenge, I am going to volunteer four times.  First of all, it’s addicting.  Second of all, it’s a hell of a lot better way to spend my time than watching Jersey Shore.

My new approach to dating.  This is continuously changing and detouring and rerouting, but always blossoming!

Self love. My strength and my desire to be 100% ME.  I thought I grew into myself in my early-20s, but I’m amazed how much more like myself I become every day.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin, via Bicoastally

I would like it to be known that I spelled Mayim’s name right on the first try without looking it up.  Where was this brain power when I was studying things of actual consequence?!

The Meet Market: The Gym

In my quest to prove you CAN find a nice guy to date organically, I set out to meet a man at the gym this month.

I’ve had a crush on/flirted with/been asked out by/dated five gym staff members in my gym-going career. But since those men are paid to make me feel good about myself and flirt a bit to get the sale, I tried to focus this month on meeting other members.  Male members.  Wait, ew.  Well, I mean, maybe eventually, but, well, let’s just move on.

See, here’s the probelm…I was a member of a gym for approximately 18 days this month (my lawsuit-membership ran out early on and I did a five-day trial at another gym…yes, mostly for the purpose of extending the opportunity to meet a guy) and I went to a gym maybe six of those days.  Oops. 

I didn’t meet any men, I mostly just drooled over their muscles. 

Mistakes I made:

1.  Not going during peak times.  I am an early morning / early afternoon during the week type and early morning on the weekend type.  Hunky men are sleeping or working at those times.  I ended up working out with old people and housewives.

2.  Being the girl who doesn’t care what she looks like at the gym.  Like at all.  There’s a fine line and I realized one day while watching my form on some strength exercises that I was on the wrong side.

3.  Listening to my iPod.  I don’t like not having music!  I don’t want to listen to the gorilla juice heads grunting or the old men singing to THEIR music.

4.  Being unapproachable.  This is a compilation of the above AND the story of my life.

Mistakes I didn’t make:

1.  Thinking I can meet a suitable guy at the gym.  There are a lot of attractive men there and fitness is important to me, so if he’s there, I already know we have that in common.

2.  Forcing myself back to the big box gyms (instead of relying on my little gym at my apartment complex) because I remembered how much I love it and it helped me switch up my routine. 

So, yeah, no success this month, but I might join another gym and keep this as an option!  If nothing else, I’ll be cut!

The Meet Market: Bars

The idea of meeting people to date in bars is quite polarizing.  There are a lot of single people in a small place, but intentions and quality of those people are questionable.

I have met someone who became a boyfriend in a bar and know a handful of people who also have/have had successful relationships with someone they met in a bar, so it really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Attempting to meet someone in a bar this month was a little tricky because I came up with the plan not too long ago plus I have kinda cooled it on the drinking, well, since November, but more so since mid-month, pretty much becoming a teetotaler in the two weeks before my race.

But, I did make it to a few bars and did meet a guy, not much to report on him, but following is my checklist on meeting men in bars:

1.  Go to places that you like to go.  I’m not a club person and the men in clubs are not for me, so I stick to dives and sports bars.  Also, I’m no spring chicken anymore (future MJ will probably kill me for saying that), so to avoid looking around and realizing I’m the cougar at a bar, I have to be a little pickier about where I go.  I live right by a huge college town and like to go out there, but for men, I’ve found other areas that are better.

Maybe I'll meet my (non-cheating) Don Draper.

2.  Okay, this might be awful, but Rebel took me to a swanky resort lounge recently and it was crawling with age-appropriate business men.  Granted, they likely were not locals and I’m not looking for a long distance relationship with a traveling businessman who picks up women at hotel bars, BUT I think it’s good practice and probably would be a flirting confidence booster and I might go back sans date sometime.

3.  This is super cheesy, but I used to give myself a pep talk before I went into a bar.  Something along the lines of, “you’re cute and the men in here would be lucky to talk to you.”  Confidence is sexy and comes from within!  I try to send out a good vibe.

4.  Similarly, I used to go out with my roommate and if a guy didn’t talk to her within a few minutes of walking in, she’d get pissed off and she ended up giving off a very negative vibe and no one wanted to talk to her (or the unfortunate girls she was with – me!) all night.  She’d sit and play with her phone.  Ugh, it was awful.

5.  Move around.  I don’t like sitting at the same table or standing in the same spot all night.  I don’t order drinks from a server, I walk over to the bar by myself (being alone makes a woman much more approachable) and find a spot next to a cute guy to belly up.

6.  I’m not huge on approaching.  I have no good lines, so usually I just rely on placement + eye contact + smiling to get a guy to talk to me.  I have yet to find the happy medium between “hi/what’s up?” and “do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?”

7.  Sad to say that Mystery is right, having an accessory as a conversation piece does make it easier to talk to a guy.  I probably wouldn’t talk to one wearing a large fuzzy hat and goggles, but I’d comment on a sports team shirt or something.  Same goes for women.  “I like your black tank top, jeans and sexy heels that are like every other woman’s here,” is not something you hear often, so I embrace my own style instead of trying to look like everyone else.

8.  The guy I met at the bar this month approached me when I was sitting at the bar by myself waiting for my friends to arrive.  It’s definitely hard to go to a bar by yourself, but knowing you have people meeting you later makes it easier.  I’m a late person, but I might consider changing that to scope out that scene, pick a good spot and maybe chat up a guy before my group arrives.

Overall, I’d give my experiences this month with meeting men in bars a D.  Not good, but like I said, the mission wasn’t given the full attention it deserved.  In general, I’d say meeting men in bars gets a B- and if it works out, it’s nice to be the exception to the “you can’t meet men in bars” rule!

Why the hell am I trying to meet a guy in a bar?  It’s part of my great dating challenge of 2011.  Check it out here. 

Have you met a man at a bar?  Do you have any tips for zeroing in on the good ones, approaching a man or being approachable in a nightlife environment?

A Facebook Boyfriend?

The last time I was “In a Relationship” with someone on Facebook was in college. I was 21 and you still had to have a college or corporate email address to join and the basic features were cool, not stalkerish or relationship-destroying.

We were Romeo and Juliet.  Well, okay, not exactly, but definitely from different groups. As one of my friends delicately put it, “isn’t he, like, popular?” Why, yes, yes he is and he’s MY boyfriend. On Facebook nonetheless.

This morning – five years later – I woke up and like 28% of 18-34-year-olds, I checked Facebook on my Crackberry before even getting out of bed and had a request. “Rebel has requested you to add him as your boyfriend.”

Well, crap.

I wasn’t too shocked, so I suppose I should rewind to explain how we got here.  Spoiler alert:  This es no bueno.

It took a week after our fight for him to break the ice and attempt to put things back together and another week to find time to hang out.  Monday was the first time I saw him since the walk out and I meant to “break up” with him.  I say “break up” because I don’t feel like we were ever together, least of all now. 

But, he came over with a nice bottle of wine and a plan for a great date, so yeah, I didn’t break up with him and instead accepted his invite of another date on Wednesday.  Last night, Rebel and I stayed in and finally had the talk I attempted two weeks ago, but that I didn’t really care about having anymore.

He said lovely things, but they just can’t change how I feel about him or the things I’m looking for or the fact that, at least for now, he’s not those things and I kinda told him that, but he still thought it a good idea to end the conversation with, “and I’d like you to be my girlfriend.” And I kept very quiet.  It wasn’t actually a question after all.

Ugh.  So now what?  The request is just hanging there.  And yes, he already has friends “liking” and commenting on his update. 

I could have avoided this all together if I had cut it off back in December when I knew that’s where it was heading.  I’m so bad at being the dumper.  And after having jerks in my boyfriend spot for so long, it’s nice to have someone, well, nice, which makes me feel very UN-NICE for wanting to tow him out, especially now in such a public way.

I’m Too Old For This, Dating Edition

Sadly, most of these have happened, but as I’m jumping into my new approach to dating, I’m realizing this is shit I’m too old for!

Being asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” on a first date.

Going on a pre-relationship date to a casual chain – Chili’s, Olive Garden, CPK.  I love all these places.  When I’m in sweats and going out with a girlfriend for a post-breakup breakdown.

Training a man to be a boyfriend.  This usually results in handing a well-mannered, wonderfully-smelling, considerate man over to the next girl.

Dating a man who lives with his parents.  This one is not completely black and white since now I’m actually heading into dating territory where the man might actually be caring for his aging parents, but it’s mostly black and white.

Listening to a man talk about high school during the first few dates.  Where he went? If he played sports?  That’s plenty.  If he hasn’t realized that high school sucked and was not actually the best time of his life, he is not far enough removed from it yet and, while he’s probably pretty hot, has all of his hair and is in his sexual prime, he’s just a baby and most likely living with his parents.

Dating a server (which I am currently doing, ugh).

Spending a date listening to a man quote movie lines. 

Dating a man who spends more time playing video games than I spend blogging.  I’d say plays video games on a regular basis at all, but if he can accept this quirk of mine, I’ll give him an hour a day (hopefully not taken all at once every Saturday afternoon).

Jumping into a cozy relationship.  I’m a woman who appreciates the art of dating and this isn’t college.

Dating a man who thinks condoms during the dating stage are optional.  Or going out with a man who tells me on the first date that he has one.

Sleeping with a man before I’m ready in an effort to keep him around.  Some things are worth the wait.

Paying on a first date (except in the very rare case that I asked him out) and not paying by the fourth.

Dating a man without SOME kind of savings.

Dating a man who hasn’t had one constant in his life for at least a year…job, car, dog, location, SOMETHING to show he has some kind of stick-to-it-tiveness in him.

Not being open-minded when it comes to dating.  A blind date?  Meeting a man online?  Meeting a man at the grocery store?  A short guy?  An east coaster?  Sign me up.

NOT asking to be set up by friends.

Being set up by friends who think that the only necessary criteria is “well, you’re both single.”

Wasting more than one date on a bad prospect.  I will repeat this until it’s second nature.

Settling for a man who doesn’t possess my three must-haves OR being too quick to cross a man off if he’s not everything on THE LIST.

Getting trashed on a first date.

Dating a man who ONLY texts, like ONLY, like will see my call and text back two seconds later, “What’s up?”

Dating a man who uses too many text abbreviations, but again, older men think this is cool or something, so it’s a little gray. 

Stringing a man along or otherwise taking advantage if I’m not interested.

Long distance relationships.

Dating a man who thinks “I have my own car and place” is a pick up line.

Being in relationships that are best described by songs like Love the Way You Lie or My Life Would Suck Without You.

Being in a relationship that doesn’t allow me to fully be me.

What other immature dating bullshit have I missed?

Lessons Lessen the Heartbreak

Reverb 10, Day 17 Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I’ve been avoiding writing about this guy, although I do still think about him more than I want to.  He even resurfaced over the weekend, with an innocent, friendly text that turned into a short, “this is SO completely normal” conversation, in which I got to be the one who left the last text unanswered. 

Could he see through that?  Did he know that meant it’s still so painful to talk to him, even via satellites (or whatever technology makes cell phones work that I obviously don’t understand)? Did he know that his text landed exactly one month post-breakup?  It almost seemed too timed, like he decided to give me a month and then raise his little white flag to feel it out, but I’m pretty sure guys don’t actually think about that kind of stuff.  But, if he was feeling it out, I hope he got his answer.  TOO SOON.  Which might always be the answer.

Anyway, that’s not REALLY what my response to today’s prompt is about.  It’s about what I learned about myself from the whole experience.  Ironically, I almost wrote about it yesterday, about how he changed my perspective on dating, but I didn’t want to write about him because I’d been doing so well.  And now here we are.

This year, I learned that I can go all in.  I thought that was for fools, but, this time, this fool rushed in.  And it was fun. I learned that anything BUT something that gets me excited enough to act like that kind of a fool early on is not worth it. 

I learned that being true to myself in relationships works out best and leaves no what ifs (yes, perhaps I’m a little stunted, but better late than never).  I learned that awesome me attracts the quality of guy that I deserve better than half-awesome-trying-to-be-myself-only-in-a-smaller-box me anyway. 

I learned that there are some things I won’t sacrifice and that I can’t change my values any more than a man can change his. 

Finally, I regained my belief that eventually everything I’ve been looking for will find his way into my life and when the time is right, I will be everything to him as well.

I’m definitely ready to take these lessons, which have formed my new outlook on dating, into the new year with me.

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.