Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dating 7-24-11

Remember that land mine I was talking about? Well, I stepped on it, so it's back to famine again. L and I had a kind of mini-fight in her car after she picked me up for lunch at work Monday and I told her that I didn't really want to see her as often as she wanted to see me. I had been thinking we'd just spend part of every weekend together, and she was apparently thinking we'd be seeing each other many weeknights as well. She apologized for being mean later, and then the next email was the dreaded "Do you just want to be friends?" I thought she had given it some thought, and of course I knew I had, so I answered yes, and now I don't have a girl friend again. I'm not very upset about it, and I wasn't upset about the thing she apologized for either. One should be honest about feelings, right?

We're still exchanging emails and we met at Calypso's this weekend for dinner. We talked about our next dating opportunities and plans.... She's on Match and Cupid, and of course I'm only on Cupid. I have a Match profile, but it's hidden. I haven't bothered to hide my Cupid account because I get so few contacts. Of course, that was before L, so maybe I'll have to revise that opinion? I had always thought that the "serious" people were all on the pay sites like Match. Apparently not.

I wish her well in her search, and I plan to help her if she asks me for advice or whatever. Not that I expect her to ask me for anything, but who knows?

One thing I did notice was that she was less willing to compromise on her beliefs and plans at Calypso than she had been before the "let's be friends" email. No surprise, right? Another thing was that we had been talking about going to the Star Trek convention next weekend, but now that's not going to happen. She had apparently thought it was something I wanted and I had thought it was something SHE wanted... So, anyway, that was either a communications breakdown or some other problem right there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dating 7-12-11

Well, this is neither feast nor famine. This is success.... I didn't expect it, and I wasn't ready for it. I've had 4 or 5 dates with L [or the one with the bug] and I expect our first two day date this weekend. So far, all the dates have been on either Friday or Saturday, and they're usually more than 4 hours. I think one of them was 10 hours, but I'm not sure.

We always have plenty of things to talk about, and we have a great many things in common. That kind of worries me in that I can't quite convince myself that she's not merely telling me what I want to hear. It's an easy thing to do, and I do it with some people [ex: bosses and supervisors]. As for what I'm telling her, I'm trying to be as open and honest as possible in the hopes that I'll cover everything and therefore avoid [or trigger] any landmines.

I figure if I'm going to trigger a landmine eventually anyway, I want to do it as soon as possible and get it out of the way before anyone gets their feelings hurt too much. That's something I learned from the previous relationship. I don't like to hurt people's feelings, but more honest seems to go hand in hand with more hurt feelings. It's a direct relationship.

One thing we don't seem to have in common is that I would rather take things slow in our relationship, and she seems to want to go faster. This reminds me of the way I thought when I was in my late teens and twenties, but now I'm much more interested in consequences, and therefore much more careful.

I wish I could just be honest about my concerns and somewhat uncertain feelings. Actually, I tried that with L last night on the phone, and I may have caused more trouble than I wanted. I admitted that traveling is not something I really like, and that I don't travel unless I'm with someone. I went to England with my ex and to Barcelona with N right before THAT breakup. I dated N before starting this blog, so I don't think I've mentioned her before.

I'm also still emailing D [golf ball], but less often lately. We only met the one time and I'm thinking we're running out of things to talk about.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dating 6-16-11

Now it's probably famine again. I have probably lost contact with Chattanooga because she hasn't responded to my phone message or email, M didn't want to talk to me outside of eHarmony, and S gave me the generic disappearing excuse #1: "I'll call you next week sometime." Take note. That seems to be the best way to end a relationship if you've only had the one date. I don't know why S ended things.... I kind of wish I did. Maybe she could give me some good advice like "next time, don't talk about how fine the waitress' butt is during the date" or similar. Not that I did THAT, but maybe I am making one of what I think of as the "easy to avoid" mistakes like that.

Now that I've mentioned easy to avoid, I'd like to go into some harder ones. I think a few second dates have been missed because I didn't hold hands. I think of that sort of thing as intimate, so I usually wouldn't try on the first date, but it appears that I should try harder in that area. Golf asked me about that one, and of course many of the eHarm questions I received focused on things like holding hands as a public display of affection. Women wouldn't be asking about it if it's not important.

I had a date with L last Saturday, and then she let me know that she's going out of town. I wasn't sure if it was disappearing excuse #2: "I'll call you next week because..." in this case, because she's going out of town. I don't think it was an excuse because we talked on the phone a couple of times while she was out of town and we're still emailing nearly every day. Or anyway, I THINK we're emailing every day. I don't have one from today as yet, but of course we talked about how she got in late last night [or this morning] and so she's probably not feeling very social right now.

Some details about the date with L. I gave her a plastic bug because she had a summer internship collecting bugs. It turns out that I probably got the wrong KIND of bug [she said "cockroach?" and I meant "aphid"], but she put it in her purse rather than forgetting it on the table or in her seat, for example. She paid for half the meal and got a to-go box. I never do the to-go box on a date unless my date specifically mentions it in an approving way because I don't want to look cheap. Same goes for coupons, but I've never used on of those on a first date. The problem with the box became apparent after I walked her to her car. It's in the way of either hugging or kissing [unless you want to put in on the car], but I thought I was getting the right other signals and didn't let the box stop me.

I hope for a second date with L. We'll see. I mentioned it in an email a few days ago, but she delayed making a decision because she was out of town. I have not, of course, brought it up again because I don't want to look like I'm pressuring her. She has told me that she's busy on Sunday, but apparently not Saturday, and I'm not sure if that was some sort of signal, so I was careful to let her know I was also not busy on Saturday. I think I should mention getting together again in the next email even if she doesn't. Women like to be pursued, right?

Yeah, I know, it depends on the woman. Everything is like that. There are so many different signals, and maybe she doesn't think they mean the same things I think they do, or maybe she just has no clue about the signals thing....

Well, that's probably enough for now... I do hate to go on and on.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dating 6-5-11

I think I'm back in famine again, or anyway, I seem to be only exchanging emails with one woman ["L"] that may want to go on a date. I actually emailing several regularly, but all but one have made their non-dating interests clear. I'm still trading emails with Golf and she told me the name of her boyfriend in a recent email so I'm sure now that her "I'm dating someone closer to where I live" email was not merely an excuse.

I let my subscription to eHarmony lapse. I was going to renew it when I found out that I would get a better rate [about $15 per month instead of $30], but then I found out that there were several hidden conditions. I contacted the eHarmony help desk and they were.... less than helpful.

L contacted me from OK Cupid. I would normally not recommend this site because it's free and I tend to think serious people would logically prefer the pays and non-serious people [for example, married people] would naturally gravitate to the free sites, but I've had a few prospects from Cupid. I normally don't like it when women contact me. They are often not very good matches. Some are obviously looking for some sort of sugar daddy. That's not what I want.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dating 5-27-11

Let me see.... I was going to remember to not use real names and try to give more details. Right...

Well, it's feast again. That means I have 3 or 4 emailing me now, and I might be meeting one of them for a second date on Sunday. I'll call this one "S" and note that we spoke on the phone yesterday or the day before. She's a scientist and I respect that. In fact, I'm not one of those guys that like them ditzy. I'd feel silly dating a woman with a low IQ. What would we talk about? I mean, seriously, my friends would HAVE to meet her and what do you suppose they would say? Sorry if that sounds shallow, but shouldn't a ditzy woman look for either a rich man that wants arm candy or a fellow ditz?

Relocating is always an issue, and I have experience with this from my last serious relationship. Neither of us wanted to move, so we broke up after about six months. The distance wasn't a big deal at first, but one or the other of us had to drive 8 hours or we both had to drive 4 hours and meet in the middle. I got tired of doing that, and I think she did also. She actually tried to break up with me after two months, but I thought things were going OK and talked her out of it.

I'm still in contact with Chattanooga. We haven't met again, and our phone conversations are usually short, but I think I could talk her into seeing me again. The problem I have is that I can't always understand what she's saying. She did warn me that this might happen, and of course I didn't believe her because I've lived overseas and thought I was ready for English other than American. She speaks British English, not American [or even southern] English, and I have to pay careful attention to know what we're talking about. Hmmm. I think I should update my Rules blog.... If something is a problem early in the relationship, it won't go away. Be aware that it could get worse as the newness wears off. Is that already on there?

There's another one that is also of some scientific background ["M"], but we've only exchanged a few emails and nothing yet outside of Harmony. She said her favorite book was about primates and I thought "she must be a thinker like me." Also, she lives closer than Chattanooga.

I'm still emailing golf balls. That doesn't sound right, so I'll just say "golf." She's dating someone else and apparently preparing to sell her house. We talk about dating, home repair, medical technology, and that sort of thing. I know some other people in the medical profession as well so I have no trouble with that. I'm kind of hoping she'll introduce me to one of her eligible friends if M, S, or Chattanooga don't work out. I've had 26 first dates after my divorce and only one led to a relationship lasting more than a month, so the odds are not great. That being said, I think I'm learing [slowly] what I'm doing [and have done] wrong. That's most of what causes the list of rules. I break one of them and then realize: "Oh yeah, that was dumb," and then go write it down.

That reminds me. I have to go back and edit the rules blog again....   

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dating 5-9-11

And I'm back to feast. Well, kind of a feast. I'm emailing 4 or 5 women from the internet and the one from Chattanooga calls me occasionally. Unfortuately, there are problems with each of them. Why can't one be perfect?  Also, I say 4 or 5 because I really only hear from three of them regularly and two of them are uncertain. I'm thinking two maybes might be one yes?

Anyway, the three regulars are from Kentucky, Atlanta, and Nashville. The one from Nashville has kids younger than I'd like, the one from Atlanta is nice, but we have NOTHING in common as far as I can tell, and the one from Kentucky... well, to be blunt, she reminds me too much of my mom. The other two... One is from Alabama and I met her once. In fact, she's the golf ball girl if you've been reading my previous posts. She's dating someone closer to home, but has agreed to keep corresponding with me, and I find that I like this arrangement. I don't hope for more, but I wouldn't say no either, if you know what I mean.

Oh, yeah, there's another one from Murfreesboro that kind of off again on again emails me. She might have called me today on my cell, but if that was her, she didn't leave a message. I'm always getting calls and texts for the previous owner of that number, so I don't automatically answer when I get a call. Also, I leave the phone on vibrate when I'm at work [that's the rule, after all], and then often forget to put it back on ring later. Now that I think about it, I'm on vibrate now and the phone is in the other room. I gave her my number, but asked her to leave a message if I didn't pick up.

I want perfect. Or anway, perfect for me. I don't want to settle for Ms. Right Now. I want someone with a similar background to me so we can communicate. Someone that I can respect, but not someone that does not respect me. THAT can be tricky... I dated a PhD last year, and we had issues, so I'm thinking I'd rather date someone that has, at most, a graduate degree maybe?

Also, I don't want someone that is more social than I am. She'd be dragging me to parties and I'd just want to shoot myself. THAT can't be good for a relationship. I've seen that sort of thing in others.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dating Rules 4-25-11

Yes, I'm still talking about dating. It's what I spend an hour or two working on every day. I've had 25 first dates, somewhat less second dates [probably half a dozen], and one relationship lasting more than a month since my divorce in mid-2009. My ex and I were separated a little more than a year before that, so sometimes the exact date of signing papers is uncertain.

Some rules and guidelines for on-line dating:
1) It's OK not to know what you want, but better if you do know. I didn't know, and am only now realizing what I want based on repeatedly running into the things I don't want.
2) Do not argue with them. There's no point, and I've found that any early disagreement poisons the well and so you should seriously consider terminating the connection and moving on to the next profile.
3) Don't take it personnally if you don't get replies on holidays. Remember that the person you're looking for has a life that does not involve you and they're currently busy living it. Also, some people may like their routine and may not want to deviate from it too much.
4) Don't smother, stalk, or ignore the person you're trying to date. My preference for emails is respond, receive reply, respond, receive reply, repeat. Don't respond, respond, respond, and try to avoid people that make you receive receive receive. Getting two messages in a row is OK once or twice, especially if they're short [30 words or so]. Be aware that if you're doing 90% of the emailng, this person is probably NOT interested in you. Don't send long emails [more than 4 paragraphs] without a reply between.
5) Don't take it personnally if the first meeting doesn't work out for some reason, especially if it's a long distance thing. I had a long distance relationship for half a year, but we were unable to meet the first time due to weather issues. I always contact her after the first date and I usually say I'd like to see her again even if the first date didn't go well. In that case, I just don't try very hard to have a second date.
6) Don't talk only about yourself. Show genuine interest in the person you're talking to. Ask questions. Remember important dates. Look for ways to impress her with your attentiveness. I've met several biologists and I've been learing about biology. It's actually fairly interesting....
7) Bring her a gift on the first date. Nothing too large that she won't be able to carry, and nothing too expensive. Treat it like a gift and remove the price tag. Ideally, it's something small that can be fit in a purse. It must be of something that doesn't require too much explanation and must be something she'll remember talking about. One time I used gold fish animal crackers, another time I used golf balls, and another time it was a plastic bug.
8) Be complimentary when you first see her, but don't sound insincere. I have some trouble with this because I often forget that a pretty woman needs to know if you think that.
9) Vague on-line profiles generate more replies than providing specific details about likes and dislikes. I see the women with motorcycles and just pass them by. I don't have a motorcycle, so how could I relate? Also, remember that anything specific can be misunderstood. With that in mind, don't include that picture of you in a Stat Trek uniform from that one visit to a convention. Readers will assume that you're learning Klingon and non-Trekkies may feel they don't have enough in common with you.
10) Use correct grammar and spelling. Double check this and have a friend look it over before posting. I know better, but I do still tend to lower my expectations or just move on when I'm reading a profile with obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. If you don't know the difference between "your" and "you're," please go ahead and ask someone. :-)
11) Some notes on safety. Be prepared to share personal data a little at a time, but remember that you will be expected to share the same kind of information he or she shares. I keep a tracfone for the first phone call so she never has to know what my home number [or address] is if things go badly. Tracfones are $25 with 60 minutes of use built in. Obviously, first meetings should always be in public places and well lit. I like coffee shops or restaurants for that first date, but I've done the park thing as well and I met at least one at a museum.
12) Birds of a feather flock together. This kind of goes along with #9. My "feather" thing is actually learning, and I look for women that are college professors or researchers. Also, I'm not a very paternal person and I've found that science oriented women tend to share my views on children. Whatever your feather thing is, put it on your profile and see how prospective matches approach it. Ideally, you'll get at least a few that say things like "I'm the same way!"  
13) Do your home work on your date after you get his or her last name. Ideally, their last name will be something unique and therefore you will find it easy to track down relevant information. You may even get some blog posts! Be careful how [or how much] you let your date know that you know. They may be impressed by your interest, or they may decide that you must be a stalker.