Archive for September, 2010

Personal Bugbears

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

I really don’t like the term ‘pet peeve’.  That’s a big pet peeve of mine.  According to dictionary.com, another term for ‘pet peeve’ is ‘personal bugbear.’  Now that is awesome!  Seriously, how did pet peeve win over personal bugbear?  I guess it was a personal bugbear of someone when people refer to a pet peeve as a personal bugbear.

Anyway, I don’t have very many personal bugbears, but I do have a few.  And one is that I feel very uncomfortable around people whose pets are larger than they are.  This is just a smack in the face to the history and evolution of the human race.  Humans are the dominant species on this planet.  We are smarter, more evolved, and, let’s face it, larger than many other carbon-based life forms that we have trained as our docile pets.  Do you know why, for example, that elephants don’t make good pets?  It’s because they’re enormous.  Baby elephants could eat children if they wanted to.  Perhaps some do.

So by the time I finally found her apartment, her giant bulldog greeted me at the door before I could even see her.  She had to yell at the dog, make the dog go into the other room, and then close the door to that room before I could shake her hand.  Yeah, I feel weird about hugging someone that I meet for the first time because maybe that’s not their thing.  So I shook her tiny hand.  The date was nice, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the fact that her dog was bigger than she was out of my head.  I could not go out with her again.  Wait, why am I still single?


Don’t Worry Because Everyone Has Issues

by RollingStone9862 under Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Over the past year or so that I have been single, when I have been faced with seemingly simple dating situations, such as first dates with people I met online or friends setting me up with women they think I have a lot in common with, I inevitably complicate my approach and subsequent decisions regarding said situations by factoring in my fluid work situation as a college basketball coach.

You see, I can’t just date any girl that I find interesting and attractive; she also has to be willing/able to deal with the fact that my work schedule is very unpredictable. What this ultimately means is that I need to find someone who not only knows I am going to put her first in every situation I have control over, but also understands and accepts that I won’t necessarily always have the luxury of that control the way other guys with more conventional jobs would.

Recently, I went out on a first date with a woman, and I had to push the start time of the date back by over an hour because I got stuck late at work. Essentially, I was trapped in a meeting up until the time we were supposed to meet without being able to inform her of my situation. Fortunately, when I finally got back to my office and talked to her, she was very understanding and suggested an alternative plan for us.

While most people might be appreciative of her gesture to me it meant something more because of the fact that I need someone who doesn’t take those types of situations personally, and is willing to help ease the pressure of my crazy schedule by adjusting on the fly. For some, her understanding wouldn’t have meant that much, but given my situation I found it quite endearing.

Ultimately, we all have things going on in our lives that can potentially complicate our relationships, which is why it’s important that we think about the characteristics we would like someone we are dating to possess. In the end, everyone has their issues, so it is important that we surround ourselves with and date people that don’t mind dealing with those issues because that is one of the ways we determine who is ultimately “right” for us.


TMI Clarify

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Hi Tamar,

In your August 23rd column entitled “What’s TMI?” you advocate withholding information – such as being divorced – from one’s profile or introductory email, as it is “too much information” (TMI) and you seem to suggest waiting until you’re already making plans to meet to mention it for the first time.

While I think I understand your rationale and agree that it is unnecessary to ‘tell all’ at the outset, it nonetheless smacks distinctly of being dishonest, or at least less than candid – which is hardly the right way to kick off a potential relationship. I’m specifically speaking to divorce. Can you clarify?

Dear TMI Clarify,

I appreciate your response. I’m not telling anyone to lie. In fact, people who lie in their JDate profiles abhor me because they’re going to be found out eventually. In the specific letter you are referring to, the woman was recovering from a major surgery and in that specific case I didn’t feel it was necessary for her to use her “About Me” paragraph to talk about it, though I did advise her to tell her dates on the phone prior to meeting.

As for divorcees: If you’re divorced, separated or widowed, you most definitely need to be honest and check the appropriate box. My advice is simply not to get into all the gory details about your previous marriage — or even about previous relationships if you’ve never been married — in your “About Me” paragraph until after having been on a few dates. And as I said in “What’s TMI?” this rule goes for anything pertaining to drama in your life. For those previously married you should absolutely not lie as it is a part of your life and forever will be. But spending two hours talking about your divorce and how the children are handling it is simply not romantic nor does it allow your date to get to know YOU. I hope I’ve cleared things up!


I’m Not Scared of Commitment, I’m Scared of Crazy People

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life,Success Stories

It is very common for women to dismiss all men as being afraid of commitment.  It seems they use this reasoning whenever they want to diagnose any problem they see in men.  If a guy doesn’t want to take a morning jog at seven a.m., he’s afraid of commitment. If a guy doesn’t want to go department store shopping for the better part of a weekend, he’s afraid of commitment.  If a guy has been dating a women for ten years, and still won’t propose, he’s afraid of commitment.  Okay, I concede on that one.

I may not speak for all men.  I may not be speaking for many men.  I may be speaking only for myself.  I don’t see anything wrong or scary with spending the rest of your life with the woman that you love.  I don’t even see anything wrong with spending the rest of your life with the woman that you tolerate.  Seriously, dating is hard.  The constant fear of rejection and the relentless pursuit of self-perfection gets tiring.  They can wear on you until you become irrationally afraid of weekends and of any restaurants that have valet parking.  Sometimes, we just want it to be over.  I am very much looking forward to becoming fat and apathetic about life.  Complacency is my ultimate life goal.

Though I don’t think I am afraid of commitment, I know for sure that I am scared of crazy women.  I think that if a woman becomes so sure that any man she dates is scared of settling down, she may work herself up so much that she can come off as insane.  If I’m on a date, for example, and the woman starts asking me how many kids I want before our bread arrives, I get scared.  This is not because I don’t eventually want kids.  This is because we have literally known each other for five minutes and I spent all week obsessively getting ready for this dinner.  Right now, I am completely committed to making this dinner as pleasurable as possible for the both of us.  You can’t just skip to us having kids.  Right now, I’m too focused on trying to figure out how to fill the next two hours with inane small talk to produce another life with you.


What Are You Looking For?

by RollingStone9862 under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Every person who is active on a dating website is looking for something different. Some individuals are looking to just have fun and date a bunch of people, while others are looking for marriage. However, whether you have joined a dating website to help you find an activity partner, go out on a ton of first dates or find your soul mate, there is a group of people out there who are trying to find something similar.

What I have learned recently by talking with a number of different women, and going out on a few first dates, is that I fit into another category in terms of what I’m looking for. Essentially, what I have discovered about myself is that while I am open to meeting new people and going out on dates, ultimately I am looking for someone who I connect with well enough to date exclusively. I guess you could say that I am looking for a girlfriend. However, this realization didn’t come as a shock to any of my close friends who apparently knew this all along based on my personality and past dating history.

You see, I am not the type of guy who has ever really enjoyed the “single life” or cared much for the idea of “playing the field.” Ever since I had my first girlfriend, I’ve really enjoyed the security of dating someone exclusively and the emotional connection that can be forged from that type of situation. Furthermore, in the past, when I have gone out on multiple dates with the same woman, I have tended to cease trying to pursue meeting other women and instead opted to try to let that situation run its own course.

While I understand why other people would view these circumstances differently, and why some of my close male friends have suggested that I continue to try to meet other women in spite of my burgeoning relationships, this honestly doesn’t appeal to me. In the end, when it comes to dating, I have realized from my past experiences that having a solid understanding of what you are looking to get out of the dating scene is a pretty important step toward ultimately finding it.


Middle Aged Meltdown

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I met someone a few days after he ended a long term relationship. This man is in his 50s, has been divorced for a decade and has had several long term relationships.  We met and there was an instant click…the likes I never had before. He also did not expect to meet someone he liked so quickly. We go on a few dates a week, have daily communication and intimacy. Now he is slowing down and creating space because he says he’s not ready. He says he likes me very much, doesn’t want to cut off communication and wants to see me. I won’t be intimate if I know he is dating and may possibly be intimate with someone else. Should I just say goodbye and have no contact with him? I feel like I am a contestant on “The Bachelorette.” I have been married, had long term relationships and have dated a great deal. This is the first man I truly connected with. That is why it is so difficult. It’s hard to believe I am middle aged and dealing with this. It’s frustrating because this man clearly doesn’t know what he wants…or is scared of it.  Thanks for reading.

Dear Middle Aged Meltdown,

It seems that men never change, right? Middle aged and as you said, he still “clearly doesn’t know what he wants or is scared of it” and you’re suffering because of it, just like you probably did in your teens and twenties! I hate to advise someone to play games, but I think this is a case of a man not knowing what he’s got ‘til it’s gone. Let him know you need to move on since he can’t make up his mind and cut off communication. Either he’ll come running in a few weeks (which I’d put money on) or you’ll unfortunately have to face the reality that you really do need to move on because he’s not ready, doesn’t know what he wants, or possibly doesn’t feel the same way you do. Good Luck!


Rules Shmules

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

You made a few mentions of when it’s OK to break “The Rules” and give someone “a pass.” Here’s my problem. I’m 66 and was married for 43 of those years. My wife died a year ago. I haven’t dated since we got engaged, a year before we were married. Frankly, I’m not even sure I was aware of all “the rules” even back then, and I’m positive that I don’t know what they are now. So where can I find a brief summary of “the rules”?

Dear Rules Shmules,

I’m sorry for your loss and I do hope you find someone special to spend the rest of your life with; I’m happy you’re on JDate looking. But, I’m glad you don’t know what “the rules” are! “The Rules” was a bestselling book telling women how to date in order to get married. It told women not to accept a phone call after 2 days, not to accept a date for the weekend after Wednesday, and so forth. I met my husband at a bar and moved halfway around the world to be with him a week later, so obviously I didn’t follow ”the rules”, nor do I recommend that women (or men) should. That said, the idea behind them isn’t bad. For the most part, the book told women to hold tight to their standards, but most men find a strict rules Woman to be obnoxious. Count yourself to be among the lucky ones that your dating demographic doesn’t know about, or follow, the rules. If you like a woman, call her. And if you want to see a woman, ask her out immediately.  If a woman is following the rules by the book, you probably don’t want to date her anyways. Good luck!


What Do Women Think Of All This?

by RollingStone9862 under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Earlier today, during my morning workout,  a thought popped into my head pertaining to what it felt like to be a woman who was active on an online dating site. As a 26-year old guy, I am inclined to believe that my online experience has been relatively typical to that of most men my age who have tried it for any extended period of time. I send out some flirts, a few emails and might even instant message a woman once or twice a week if I’m in the mood, but the point is that the interactions are primarily dictated by me. I occasionally receive messages from women, but I think that this is primarily due to the fact that I have a unique job as a college basketball coach, which serves as an easy conversation starter.

In spite of this experience I believe, for the most part, that it is fair to assume that the online dating community mirrors other traditional environments where men generally approach women they are interested in and see what happens from there. However, this assumption led me to consider the idea, and resulting question, that since men can “approach” far more women online in an evening then they could in a bar, does this mean that women on online dating sites are overwhelmed with guys trying to get their attention and start a conversation?

Unfortunately, since I’ve only contemplated this question for the past few hours, and therefore haven’t had the time to survey any women on the subject, I am left in the interim to pose a possible answer myself. After considering the above question all morning, the only reasonable conclusion I could come to was that women who are active on online dating sites are bombarded with messages. I mean, it makes sense that with guys all trying to increase their chances of meeting women by sending out as many messages as possible, in the process we are going to blow up the inboxes of the fairer sex.

Unlike being in a crowded bar and seeing  an attractive woman that you’d like to approach, who happens to be talking to another guy, online  men send out emails to women without knowing who else in the community is also trying to engage them. However, as a result of this conclusion, while I believe it to be accurate, two other questions can be raised that I unfortunately don’t have the answers to at this point in time. They are:  What does it feel like for women to have their inboxes saturated with our messages, and should my consideration of this circumstance lead me to adjust my casual approach to contacting women?

To be further researched, dissected and ultimately continued…


Declining Instant Messages and its Psychological Ramifications

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Whenever I log in to JDate, I immediately go to see what girls in my area are online at the same time.  At first, seeing six girls online at a time makes me excited.  “I can just choose whomever I want to talk to and I don’t have to get off of this awesome couch!”  This is likely something I would say out loud to either my roommate or my roommate’s cat.  “That’s great!/Meow!” she would respond, respective of species.

In the early days (last week), I would just blitz the site and message every girl that was online.  About one third of my messages were rejected.  I know, for a fact, that they were rejected, and not ignored, because the IM box would say, “The current user has declined your instant message request.”  That hurts.  That hurts a lot.  There are so many interesting things that I was going to tell you!  We could have established a wonderful rapport!   Another third of the girls I messaged simply didn’t respond.  This is either because they didn’t want to chat but were too polite to click “Reject IM”, or because they just weren’t there.  The last third of the girls responded.  This is why, if there are less than three people online at any given time, it is not worth it to send out an instant message.  This is a basic statistical tactic.

Of the girls that do respond to my IM, I end up having more than one conversation with about half of them.  Of that half, I end up meeting about one third of them.  Therefore, according to basic mathematics, I go on dates with one out of every eighteen girls I initiate conversations with.  Hey, it beats zero.


Appearances Aren’t Everything

by RollingStone9862 under Date Night,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Like many people in our society, I put a lot of time and effort into my appearance, particularly when I am meeting new people and trying to make a good first impression. A couple of months ago I went out on a first date with a woman that I had met on JDate, and put a lot of time and care into my appearance since I was nervous and excited about meeting her.

From her pictures I could see that she was attractive so I wanted to present myself in the most appealing light. I fussed with my hair to the point where each strand was exactly how I wanted it and took great care in selecting my outfit. Even though I am someone who is generally very hard on myself, I had been so meticulous in getting ready for the date that even I had to internally admit that I looked good. As a result of my extensive preparation I showed up for the date that night feeling very composed, which helped me remain confident and relaxed throughout the evening.

Recently I have been planning dates for during the week, and therefore have been going straight from the office to the date; I haven’t had the time or opportunity to make myself look as pretty as I did for the date I discussed above. This being said, last week I made a plan to have a first date with another woman that I had met on JDate and was very excited about meeting her and going to dinner. My plan was to schedule dinner for a time that was not only reasonable to eat at, but would also allow me enough time after work to change and freshen up.

Regrettably, this plan went to you-know-where when work ran late and I ended up throwing on some clothes and racing out of the office. Even though I had pushed back our meeting time by over an hour, and had shown up looking tired and disheveled, she was very understanding of the situation and didn’t appear to hold it against me. Since, by the time I arrived, it was too late for even a “late dinner,” we decided to just walk around her neighborhood and grab some frozen yogurt, which ended up being really nice.

It’s funny because, as I was driving to meet her, I was very aware of the fact that I didn’t look and feel my best. Even so, I kept telling myself that I needed to relax and just be myself in spite of my appearance. By the time I met her I had calmed myself down and actually felt much more relaxed than I had on previous dates, probably because I hadn’t spent so much time preparing and building it up in my head.

Even though I probably didn’t look as out of sorts as I felt, the way I perceive myself in a given situation is ultimately half the battle in my being confident. Fortunately, for me, I was able to relax during our date and make a good enough impression to schedule another date for this upcoming week. I suppose in a lot of ways it feels good that even though I didn’t look or feel my best we still had a nice time and she wanted to go out again. Hopefully, this situation will have taught me to put a little less emphasis on deriving self-esteem from my appearance and more from how I am able to project myself and my best qualities.