You Better Work.

Sunday, January 30, 2011
Despite the fun and randomness of OK Cupid I thought I would give a more structured (read: payment required) dating website a try this year. Just for three months. Just to see, if maybe the personality matching might yield better compatibility.

In the first few weeks of membership, I’ve received approximately 6 matches per day, totaling over a hundred to date. Only one of two things is happening. I am either the kind of girl that every single guy is looking for, making me the most compatible person ever, or there are six million guys on eHarmony.

I tend to go with the latter option, and not just because it means there are way more singles in Chicagoland than I had thought. I’m a pretty popular gal, but if I’m a fit for hundreds of men wanting long term relationships then there is something seriously wrong with me or my proclaimed interest in said long term relationship.

I’d rather not dwell on that, and it doesn’t matter, because either way there are simply too many matches to wade through. I’ve decided to take the “respond only” approach. Besides saving me gads of time, I actually think this might set me up for more success.

I WANT TO BE PURSUED. Not because I have a terrible track record when I initiate contact, which I do, by the way, and not because I’m following traditional dating rules. No, I want to be pursued because I think I’m worth it. I want someone who reads my profile to think I'm worth it, too. And then I want to DO something about it.

I’d hardly call initiating the communication process on eHarmony putting in an effort, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction.

Come About?

Thursday, January 27, 2011
Based on the comments I received to Unrecoverable and also the personal follow up from some real life friends, it seems I left out some useful details.

In addition to not having clarified that I met the Drunken Sailor through friends of mine that were not friends of his, rather folks he had met that morning over bloody marys, I also failed to include that our one night only encounter happened awhile ago, like in early November.

I had meant to write about it earlier, but had been holding out hope that I might hear back from him, in which case I could have written a very different blog about the situation (like, say, that having met my future husband I would be retiring this blog so as not to write about him). Then I remembered I had forgotten to write about it at all, so by the time I did I was resigned to not hearing back from him.

Even with this additional information two of my friends thought I should reach back out to him, just one more time, just in case something crazy had happened, like if he’d dropped his phone, in a puddle, and then it broke, and he had never gotten my “I’m interested” voicemail. Or maybe he’d had some other life situation, like a girlfriend he wasn’t quite over with, that made him unavailable to start something new with me at the time. Maybe he couldn’t get in touch with me now, maybe he felt stupid doing so after all this time… you get the idea.

They actually both presented this thought to me independent of each other and one of them with endorsement from her husband. I personally think his actions spoke for themselves, but with nothing left to lose I went ahead and sent him another text message inviting him out to meet me and his new sailboating pals.

He has not responded, and it’s been over a week.

To me, the Drunken Sailor’s behavior makes no sense purely from a manners perspective. Why ask for someone’s full name and number, and then use it only to apologize for one’s previously apologized for behavior? Surely someone that courteous would have the decency to respond to my subsequent text message to let me know he wasn’t interested.

But his silence speaks for him. I think we can officially close the books on this one. All of us.

Look Before You Leap

Monday, January 24, 2011
Before I went on the date with the ND Hater, I looked up the neighborhood pizza joint I had suggested as an option should he want to come to my neighborhood, so I could give him the correct cross street. I clicked onto Yelp, for no particular reason since I’d already been there and knew I liked the place, and happened across a review for a guy I thought was pretty attractive.

The top of his review read that he was a junkie of the place, and when I clicked onto his Yelp profile I noticed he said he slummed around the city neighborhood that I actually lived in. He had written a number of reviews, and while I myself am not the kind of person who (a) provides public reviews or (b) would include a picture along with said reviews, he had reviewed some places I would definitely enjoy. And he seemed local. I totally wanted to email him. But I didn’t, mostly since I couldn’t think of anything relevant to email him about.

And then the craziest thing happened. I got to the pizza joint before the ND Hater, and as I was sitting in the bar overflow area scanning the actual bar to see if two stools were about to open up, I saw him. The Yelp guy! In the bar! I didn’t go over there to confirm, mostly because I assumed my actual date would be walking in at any moment, but clearly this was a sign!

I didn’t want to be a stalker, so I ran my plan to reach out to a full blown stranger by N the next day. As we emailed about the options I forwarded the link to his Yelp profile.

My excitement was all for naught, it seems, because N had the foresight to actually READ some of his reviews, and smack dab in the middle of the one was the statement that “his wife loved the hummus”.

What would I do without her? Not only had I not read through his reviews very carefully, I had missed the reference to his spouse in the one for the joint I had originally looked up. I am a lot of things, dear readers, but a thorough researcher has never been one of them.

Fortunately for me, I wasn't a stalker girl hitting on a married guy, either.

Failed First Dates: Don't be a Hater!

Friday, January 21, 2011
Last night I went on a first date with someone who hates Notre Dame even more than I do. You would think that such a similarity might be a good bonding moment for a new couple, but such was not the case here.

You see I have to admit, dear readers, that while I do have a deep seated dislike of all things Ohio and fans of Notre Dame, I don’t actually hate them. Certainly not to the extent that I would let it keep me from supporting my family or friends. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty sure my future mate will be one of the things I profess to hate. The Universe is like that.

The irony for this guy is that his brother played basketball on a scholarship to Notre Dame and married his Notre Dame cheerleader girlfriend (what did I tell you about The Universe?). He’s having nothing to do with it, going so far as to not go to any games in South Bend to watch his own brother play back when they were both in undergrad. He said he did go to a few away games, sitting with the home team and wearing an “I hate ND” shirt. He’s not planning to let his future nephews call him Uncle since they’re ND spawn. And he says if his future kids even think about going to school there…

He said all of this in a relatively upbeat tone, and it wasn’t the dominant segment of our conversation, but I couldn’t help but notice how unattractive I thought holding such a strong negative opinion of something was. And how ridiculous when it's college loyalty. I like to think I present my "hatred" more as a good natured rivalry, but listening to this guy makes me think twice about the impression I might be giving others.

He said he hoped to hear from me, and he will, but just to let him know I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship. Not because he’s fighting the Irish, but because I was fighting to find any level of attraction to him from the moment he had walked in.

Where Are They Now?

Monday, January 17, 2011
Over the weekend I received a text message from a guy I haven’t spoken to in at least three years. We hadn’t parted on bad terms, we just parted because we weren’t going anywhere and it was time. We had rotated between being friends of friends, actual friends and friend with benefits for years, and then we just… stopped.

He still crosses my mind from time to time, he and a few others I’ve dated and parted with in years past. It’s the ones that I really felt I could have had something with, but timing, career or geography got in the way. I wonder whether they’re still single, what would happen if our paths crossed again, whether things would work out with us now that circumstances might be more favorable. I wonder whether this is normal, thinking about the “might have beens”. I wonder whether it’s just because I’m single, and that if I was in a relationship whether I’d even care what they were up to.

I do this mostly when I end up with extra time on my hands and no boys to play with. The kind of time one would find, say, if she made a resolution to stop wasting time chatting with dead-end guys. The kind of time this gal is finding herself with right about now, since she actually did stop wasting time.

Also apparently the kind of time I had last July, which is when I sent this particular man a text message that he was just now returning. Where are we now? From the handful of messages we exchanged it seems like we’re both pretty much where we were when we stopped talking, at least in terms of geography. It’s unlikely our paths are going to cross paths anytime in the near (or distant) future, although we continue to wish each other the best.

The fact that he replied, months and months later to what was clearly a random one-time text message, makes me wonder whether he doesn’t, on the very few occasions when he has some extra time on his hands, think of me in the same way I sometimes think of him. Maybe I’m not the only one wondering about what might have been.

It could just be wistful thinking, this idea that romance could blossom as it once did should two folks find themselves single and standing in front of each other. Then again, maybe it’s not.


Friday, January 14, 2011
Is there such a thing as an unrecoverable first date? Sure, if the other person finds your behavior SO unacceptable or your personality SO incompatible with yours that they in no way would consider giving you a second chance to make a first impression. I have been on many dates like that. But what if you find your own behavior so unacceptable that you don’t think you deserve a second chance?

Awhile back I met up with some pals who had come across this great guy that they thought I simply must meet. Now most previously suggestions of theirs have been dismissed immediately since they fell into the “he could be my father” category. This new suggestion came with a slew of positive sounding traits, including an appropriate age of 34, so I agreed to put on lip gloss and meet them out.

We’ll call him the Drunken Sailor, but really that’s what they all were. They had been sailing boats back down the Chicago river to be stored for the winter and drinking since 9a so they were all three sheets to the wind when I got there. Drunk or not, this guy was fantastic. He was exactly the kind of guy I could see myself dating. And marrying. And moving to Colorado with.

Because we continued drinking and the Drunken Sailor lived in the burbs it was abundantly clear that he would be staying in the city that night. As his future wife I obviously won the toss up.

On the walk back to my place there was adorable hand holding and kissing. And snuggling, since he’d foolishly left his jacket in his parked car. At my place he was one of the best behaved completely wasted guys I’d ever kept watch over. The following morning I drove him back to his car, gave him my number when he asked for it, and really hoped he would call.

I did hear from him, just once, a few days later. He apologized (again) for his behavior and thanked me for putting up with him. I said he was no trouble, because he wasn’t, and tried unsuccessfully to draw him out into meeting up again with a follow up call to clearly express my interest.

I wish I knew what happened. I mean, it’s possible that his attraction to me was based entirely on his BAC, but it’s also likely that he has no useful memories of the night (please see aforementioned BAC) and thinks worse of himself and what happened than what actually happened. At least that would explain all the apologizing he had done the night before.

I’m simply left to wonder. Whether there was something I could have done differently, if there’s still something I could do to get a do-over or if there are simply some situations that cannot be undone.

Always a Bridesmaid

Sunday, January 9, 2011
Over the holiday I was playing around on OKC and decided to take some tests instead of apply some much needed revisions to my profile. I happen to LOVE tests that analyze personality, mostly because they usually are dead on for me. (Sidenote: I think some people align with quizzes and their horoscopes and numerology and all that, and some people just don’t. I don’t take it too seriously, but every time I do one its spot on for me, so I like to use them in lieu of a professional’s opinion.)

I took the “Online Dating Persona” test and here’s what it said about me:

Appreciated for your kindness and envied for all your experience, you are The Maid of Honor.

Charismatic, affectionate, and terrific in relationships, you are what many guys would call a “perfect catch”—and you probably have many admirers, each wishing to capture your long-term love. You’re careful, extra careful, because the last thing you want is to hurt anyone. Especially some poor boy whose only crime was liking you.

We’ve deduced you’re fully capable of a dirty fling, but you do feel that post-coital attachment after hooking up. So, conscientious person that you are, you do your best to reserve physical affection for those you you can respect yourself.

Your biggest negative is the byproduct of your careful nature: indecision. You’re just as slow rejecting someone as you are accepting them.

With a few edits, it’s kind of right on. I’m terribly careful, although mostly to protect myself, and I’m terribly indecisive, often sitting on the fence indefinitely hoping the guy will decide things for me. We all know my ability to have a casual relationship without developing feelings only goes so far, and I have developed a bit of an admirer following, albeit a lame-guy one. Even the title’s appropriate; MOH #2 is coming up this summer.

My most compatible match type was “The Gentleman”, my male opposite; who I have to admit is the guy I tend to shy away from. Despite having grown up with men that treat women as I believe they should be treated, men who open doors and let women sit, order dinner and get on the elevator first, for some reason I'm instantly distrustful of a male suitor who displays these traits. I shouldn’t be, though, despite it being easy for a guy to pretend he's chivalrous if I want to end up with a respectful guy I'll have to date someone who at least acts like one.

Since I’ve already got the bridesmaid dress, I guess I should start looking for an escort. Preferably one with a tux.

Falling Off the Wagon

Thursday, January 6, 2011
I meant what I said about my resolution this year to stop wasting my time on lame-o dudes, but I have to admit that I’m already struggling to stick to it.

I did start off strong, earlier this week I did some OKC chatting with a guy who seemed decent in his profile with the exception of that fact that he only had photos with close-lipped smiles just like The Conductor did (which I obviously only realized after I went back and checked). The chatting was pretty lame, like the part about him having been recently been employed by PetSmart (seriously, it is really too much to ask that someone in their mid-30s be stable in their career?) and the part where he “asked me out”. I don’t usually quote word for word, but this one requires it.

so if you want i can give you my number and we can text or something and meet up sometime if you like?

I hesitated only moments before flat out declining.

I felt pretty good about myself, including the next day when The Conductor surprised me with an email vaguely asking about getting together on Friday. I declined citing prior (read: nonexistent) plans since I thought for sure he was one of those lackadaisical guys who doesn’t bother to put in any real effort.

It came as a surprise, then, when he came back to the table with a fully formed date suggestion for a different night.

I was impressed with his persistence, and actually considered whether to accept. As D pointed out, I'm always wishing guys would plan dates. Now here one had! Maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Literally, since we still don't know what the deal is with those missing teeth.

Anyway, I brought it up at lunch table to mixed reviews and then I spent about half an hour looking up the band he wanted to see and listening to their music to see if I liked it. I didn't.

I was still on the fence at the end of the work day, when I relayed the situation for another gal pal. And then it hit me. I was wasting all this time just deciding whether to go on a 2nd date! What was the matter with me?

Obviously I struggle with where the line is, between being too quick to toss a guy you barely know and giving him way too many chances. I want everyone to like me. But I only want guys I want to date to want to date me. That's never going to happen, so I'm going to need some rules if I'm going to keep to my resolution.

Here's the first one: If my response isn't YES!, then it’s No. After all I’m not trying to be the most popular single gal out there; I'm trying to get un-single.

"I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning"

Monday, January 3, 2011
"Smells like, victory." Kilgore

It’s a new year, dear readers, and I’ve got a new attitude to go with it. A friend asked me today whether this year was going to be “my year”, and you know what? I just decided it is. Maybe not the year I find true love, but this year is the year where I finally stop wasting time searching for it.

I’ll still be on the lookout, of course, I’m still hoping to come across it, and I understand that will take time and effort. No, what I’m talking about is not wasting any of my time and effort on anyone who isn’t amazing, who isn’t someone I can’t wait to talk to and spend time with.

That’s right, this year I stop wasting time on all those losers. Like Surf Dude. Remember him? After an entire year of silence he popped back up right before the New Year. A year to the day. He said he missed talking to me and hanging out. I bet he did. You know why? Because I am awesome to talk to and hang out with. And Surf Dude? He’s a lazy, shady douche bag who just wants to send millions of text messages to me. And several other women. At the same time. I can’t believe I wasted all that time thinking things *might* go somewhere with him. I can’t believe he thinks he can waltz back into my life after all this time and resume some semblance of a relationship (friendship or otherwise).

Of course I did try to get the scoop on Surf Dude’s shadiness, see I Did Not See This Coming, but basically he denied that the timelines were all overlapped. Said he’d been dating and breaking up in a cycle. Said he was sorry – not for being sketchy – but for having not reached out in all this time. I told him he didn’t have to answer to me, but several of those lady friends of his felt lied to. And since he wasn’t interested in giving me any gossip, I kicked his sorry ass back to the curb. Where it belongs.

ENOUGH, I say, of men who like me enough to use all their message minutes texting me but not any of their face time. ENOUGH, I say, of men who want me to do all the work in relationships. ENOUGH, I say, to the third and fourth and fifth chances, and to not wanting to be the bad guy and to not holding out for what I deserve.

Enough is Enough. Viva la 2011!