Tag Archives: dating

Let’s NOT get Catty!

As verified by my friend Liz – who by the way owns a cat – men with cats are not to be trusted! Especially if you’re someone whom cats don’t like in general. Enter Dean…

Dean, China / US / Greece (#2 in my quest for “18 dates around the world“)

I go into all blind dates with a mix of healthy realism (translation: pessimism based on previous experiences) and a secret hope that he will be THE one. When I met Dean, I did a happy little dance inside my head. Not only is he gorgeous and funny, Dean is also one of those intriguing people you want to keep talking to (and did I mention, he is gorgeous??) Half-American-half-Chinese, Dean was brought up in Greece; speaks several languages; has traveled all over; owns a business and is environmentally conscious. And delightfully-surprising, the chemistry between us was electric! We were talking and laughing and flirting for over an hour – including mentions of subsequent dates and only-half-jokingly joint travels – when SHE entered the coversation…

SHE being Athena, Dean’s cherished cat (yes, cat’s name was changed too to protect the not-so-innocent creature!) I froze, trying to figure out how to handle this situation. Inside my head, the little happy dance was replaced with the dreadful crash scene along with the SPLAT sound a date makes when you stumble on a deal breaker! I’ll spare you stories of ex-cats leaping at me in the middle of the night, death stares and frightening sounds each time I was kissed by their staff member (I mean owner), and devilish-looking claws reaching under intentionally-closed doors in freaky attempts to open them! It was always them or me and judging by the fact that I am still single, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about who won! So keeping in mind that each of my cat experiences was more traumatic than the last, I’ve become convinced that the only thing worse than dating man with a cat is dating a man who lives with his ex-wife or mom (along with a cat!)

Before I could even admonish myself for being so catist, Dean’s description of Athena confirmed my worst fears. She was a temperamental, unpredictable, jealous creature who scared the living bejeazus out of his friends and neighbors. Except he said it in a way that clearly implied he thought it was cute and funny. Unfortunately, this was the moment I stopped thinking that Dean is cute or funny. To be fair, I believe the feeling was mutual, because he suddenly stopped flirting and planning our joint trip around the world. Our chemistry evaporated as magically and mysteriously as it materialized – POOF! As you might imagine, the date ended abruptly and awkwardly right then and there.

How strange that something seemingly innocuous like a – granted, evil – cat could destroy chemistry that instantaneously! Has that ever happened to you? You are getting along with your date, perhaps you’re practicing writing your names together on wedding invitations, and all of the sudden it’s GONE! More importantly, have you ever had a pet ruin your relationship? I’d love to hear your stories, as always!

As for me, I am still feeling confident that my globe-trotting, dog-loving, non-fruit-fly-obsessed ONE is out there! Off I go to find him!

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Around the World in 80 Dates!

I am a self-admitted travel junkie. And I am (clearly) single. So when I came across a book entitled Around the World in 80 Dates, it definitely had my attention. Former Lonely Planet editor Jennifer Cox realizes she meets more interesting men when she travels than in her home town of London and decides to go on 80 dates while traveling around the world. The book probably won’t win any Pulitzers but it’s cute and most importantly, I was totally intrigued by the concept!

I figured I could date cross-culturally without devoting six months of my life and remaining savings to the process. I’d much rather go on the trip around the world with my future partner, rather than in search of him (although I’m making great headway in covering territory in the meanwhile!) The awesome thing about DC is that you can just walk down a street and meet people from 18 different countries (yes, eighteen rather than eighty because you know, there is no way I’m putting myself through 80 dates, not even for your entertainment). And honestly, I am hoping that like the 5th date will be the last, at least for a while!

So what does a girl do to quickly wrangle up some “qualified” international dates? Enter Craig’s List. I swear, if CL sold stock, I’d be the first in line to buy it. Not only is CL great for selling and buying pre-owned furniture and cars, it has quite an active personals section. Best part? It’s free and you don’t have to create one of those 100-question profiles or post your picture to get responses. If you’re a girl or claim to be one – apparently CL is the hot bed, no pun intended, for all kinds of weird money-making schemers posing as normal single women – you get countless responses in just minutes. Of course weeding through those to find 1 or 2 men you might want to date is the challenge. No matter, I am a woman on a mission – to find my globe-trotting soul mate and/or entertain YOU in the meanwhile!

So I crossed my fingers and toes and posted my ad entitled “Around the World in 18 dates” on Craig’s List. After a briefly explaining my literary inspiration, I got right down to what I’m looking for:

“I’d love to meet you if you are 1) a curious, whip-smart, funny, caring, successful (however you define that), self-assured single man 2) from or have lived in another country or culture 3) looking for a committed relationship with a smart, spunky, humorous travel addict.

Small print:
You are: late 20s to early 4os, single and emotionally available, non smoker and live a healthy life style. Please include your picture and I’ll reply in kind.”

What I got in response – so far – has been a mix of responses mostly in following categories 1) Dude, whaz up – call me! 2) I am a single white accountant who lives with mom 3) Are you real or trying to take all my money like my last date 4) Obscene / hostile / emotionally disturbed 5) Potentially interesting / amusing / good story for this blog and 6) my ex boyfriend!!! Oh my gosh, was that weird, particularly since he specifically mentioned “emotionally healthy and mature” in his response. Clearly someone needs to write back and ask, “Have you met you??” And clearly, that someone won’t be me. Brrrrr, moving on!

trojan-tent (the original caption!)

I’ll be sure to keep you updated but for now, I just had to share this one response with a corresponding photo from someone let’s call Billy Bob.

“hi, here is my pic. Let me know if you want to chat.”

What can I say, I am an optimist – it must get better from here, right?!?!?

Dear John (no pun intended)

I just went on a date with John. Whereas I might normally try to protect his identity with a made up name, it would be with something like “John” anyway. No offense to anyone named John because it really is a great name, but with so many of them around… Although if he sounds like your match, I’d be thrilled to introduce you. He is still very single and at least one of my friends loves it when I – what SHE calls – recycle my former dates. I am into being a good friend AND environmentally friendly!

Anyway, John is one of those super nice, CUTE, considerate, thoughtful, well-traveled, educated, generous, smart guys that you WISH you were into but you’re just not. At least I was not. He was obviously nervous and asked quite obvious questions (and not even that many of those). I just want an inquisitive man who asks soul searching questions and tries to unravel the mystery of who I am. YES, on the first date! At least I need to see a glimmer of hope that he has the “unraveling” potential! I could tell he was kinda into me because he frequently exclamed “Wow, you’re really interesting!” or “Amazing how much we have in common!”. I can see how “on paper” we’d SEEM perfectly compatible, I knew there wouldn’t be a date 2.

I believe in being perfectly clear with people, particularly when I have no intention of dating them. Why keep them in suspense or worse yet, wait until they send you a glowing email enumerating everything you had in common and how wonderful they think you are. I mean the last part is not so bad, but SO awkward and unnecessary. I try to do all I can to help them save face and maintain a sense of dignity as I “let them down gently”. In fact, I must confess, I feel this incredible responsiblity – umm, potentially bordering on unhealthy – to protect their self esteem / ego. To this end, my “I am not interested, but you’re fabulous” email to John (let’s call it “form letter A”) read:

“Dear John (no pun intended)

It was great meeting you last night. You’re one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I’ve ever met. Thank you so much for dinner! I definitely sensed more of a friend vibe so should you ever want a museum buddy, just let me know – I’d love to be friends. Have a great week!”

I was perfectly satisfied with my Form Letter A. I had clearly stated my intentions, I was nice AND I gave him an “out” ! I certainly was not expecting the reply:

“I am confused. Did you get the friend vibe from ME? Because I am definitely interested…” It went on downhill from there. Sigh! I don’t get it! Dude, I throw you a rope – grab on and play along! Why set yourself up for further awkwardness or a blunt(er) rejection? Embarrassing and oh SO uncomfortable for both of us!

I was so confused, I had to run this by my friends. Almost unanimously women agreed that I was nice, clear and he SHOULD have let it go (apparently, most women have a version of Form Letter A and sometimes get the same response I did.) I was shocked that several male friends told me I was too subtle and left a “door open” in my email. HA?

I don’t know. What do you think? Was I unclear / too subtle? Did I leave an “open door”? What does your “form letter A” say and have you had better luck with it? What would you like to hear / read post date 1 if someone’s not interested? Would LOVE to hear your feedback and experiences!

“I’ll call you” – the famous LAST words

I probably don’t even have to ask, but has someone ever promised to call you and then disappeared? If you haven’t experienced this, I’d like to interview you EXTENSIVELY and see if we can bottle up whatever you’ve got and sell it for a lot of money! Come on, we can make a great business out of this and retire soon! Alas, I suspect we might have to work for a while longer because I’ve never met anyone, male or female, who hasn’t fallen for some version of “I’ll call you”.

This JUST happened to my friend Katie and I am completely disappointed on her behalf! Katie has been single for a while and was excited about this guy she met online. They clicked on email and on the phone, he seemed really interested, brought flowers to her first date, offered to drive her home (an hour out of his way), suggested they do it again sometime and said he’ll call… Well, you know where this is going. It’s been over a week and no phone call. Now I understand, meeting people online is so tricky – you get excited about someone you adore “on paper”, then you meet in person and maybe there’s no chemistry (can’t tell you how many times it’s happened to me). Even if you meet in person and don’t want to continue seeing someone after the first date…

Why bother saying you’ll call? Why not simply say “I had a nice time, thank you for a lovely evening”? Or ok, you “knee jerk” react and blurt it out but then realize “oh no, I don’t want to call” Why not send ’em at least a nice email and say thanks, but you’re not interested?

So when was the last time someone gave you the “I’ll call you” line and then didn’t? Or maybe you were the “perpetrator” – did you do it by accident or is that your standard “good bye” line? Do you feel uncomfortable ending things in another way or what’s on your mind when you make that statement? I’m sure all of us would love to hear what happens on both sides of the “call” equation. Maybe it will make all of us a little more conscientious about making promises we don’t intend or forget to keep!

Nooo! Not the married guy again!

You won’t believe this – even I didn’t quite believe it and I was the one it was happening to! As if the last interaction with Matthew-the-cheater wasn’t bad enough, I was just trapped into another super awkward IM session with Mr. Creepy. What follows is the actual transcript of our “conversation” (might want to BYOGB – Bring Your Own Gag Bag).

M: Hey, how you? Long time no talk!
L: (not long enough!) fine, thanks.

M: I thought you didn’t like me anymore
L: Oh, why? (Really? ANYMORE?)

M: kidding, when I told you I was married I thought you didn’t like me or maybe I’m more desirable now (Oh my GOD, seriously??)
L: I didn’t like that you lied about NOT being married (pretend you didn’t see the last atrocious bit)

M: I know that was dumb of me and a very stupid move
L: but that’s just a sign that you two probably need a bit of external support

M: exactly, great idea! I like the term “external support”. How about a night on the town?
L: (Ha??) Sorry, feeling of de ja vu – didn’t we just conclude you and your wife are getting external support? (who is not ME, you jerk!)

M: what does external support mean?
L: you said it was a good idea – what did you think was a good idea?

M: I thought you meant support as in seeking something outside the marriage (See why I suggested you get a gag bag??)
L: Right, external support (last time I try to be diplomatic!) – a marriage counselor

M: we’ve done that. it isn’t easy
L: well, easy is not exactly what I associate with relationships, especially long ones that involve kids

M: lol yes you are correct… and then I meet someone like you who’s smart and pretty and makes it challenging
just being honest with you (I SO wish you weren’t, that’s just pathetic!!!)
L: And someone completely unattainable who is totally not into flirting with married men

M: shit i’m sorry… do you not find me desirable at all since i’m married? (I am starting to wonder if this guy has a learning disability of some sort and yet I am still horrified!)
L: Matthew, I am now officially uncomfortable

M: ok no more talk like this, i should have never started it and I’m sorry. let’s clear the slate. i appreciate your honesty. and sorry for being a flirt
L: ok, I have to go work now (and gag)

Enough said, no? I am off to take another looong shower in attempts to forget this conversation ever happened. I’d appreciate any insights into the learning disability / mental handicap this man might possibly be afflicted with. Because that’s the only possible explanation I can come to. No one can be that stupid / dense / creepy, right?!

Beware! Married Man on the Prowl!

Yewww! I am completely appalled and traumatized! I was just hit on AGAIN by the creepy married man!

It all started last week. I was at a professional conference and a group of us went out afterwards. A very intoxicated man – let’s call him Matthew – proceeded to hang on my every word (and that’s not all he tried to hang on, trust me!) He said he was divorced, like it was supposed to allure me. Among all the people in this group – possibly including women – Matthew would be the last one I’d be interested in. He just had this creepy, needy vibe about him that sends me galloping in the opposite direction. But as if his pesky personality weren’t bad enough, his friend told me that Matthew is actually MARRIED. I was shocked, horrified, disgusted…. You get the gist.

Call me naive – no really, go ahead, my other friends already have – but it just shocks the hell out of me when married guys hit on single women. Worse yet, it down right infuriates me when they LIE about their marital status. Worse yet, when they lie to ME about being single and hit on ME. Yes, I’ve seen all those movies, sitcoms, reality TV shows and even played Dear Abby to friends who’ve been caught in the married man’s web. Yet I am still shocked and appalled and indignant. I try not to judge other people’s life choices but frankly when it comes to cheating I not only accept, I fully EMBRACE my judgementality!

I walked away, plotting my appeal to the Supreme Court to legally require married people from ever taking off their wedding rings (tattoo them on, if necessary!) Next day, Matthew invited to friend me on Facebook with a note apologizing for his drunken behavior the other night. Being the forgiving (and did I mention naive?) person that I am (and considering our small professional circle) I decided to be cordial, replying that I am willing to start fresh, but that I wish he was truthful about being married. Incidentally, his profile included a picture with his wife and several kids!!! What follows is a summary transcript of what happened when he IM’ed me on Facebook (M is for Matthew and L is of course for Lillie):

M: I am sorry, I messed up. It’s just that my marriage is so rocky. I apologize I went over the line. I am such an idiot
L: I am sorry you’re having marital problems. I hope it works out

M: Thanks. I guess I am just a hopeless flirt (did you say flirt or JERK? Before I could think of an appropriate response…)
M: So, do you like married men?
L: (ARGGG, seriously??) In what sense do you mean? As in “I have a tragically-low self esteem and feel the need to intentionally pursue married men” or “I liked handing out with everyone, married and single, at the conference”? I fall in category 2.

M: Funny, do you mind that I flirt? (are you freakin’ kidding me?? Which part of the above response confused you?? Must keep composure – we have professional associates in common. Be nice.)
L: I prefer to keep clear boundaries between my friendships (with single and married people) and those I date. Thanks for asking.

M: I am sorry! I promise not to flirt anymore.
L: (for God’s sake, I hope so!) Ok Matthew, have to go work now. Have a nice day. (I go take a shower to wash off the creepiness off my mind, body, and spirit!)

What a jerk! I mean, how dense can he be! If I didn’t make it clear enough in person (by recoiling any time he approached) how did you miss it in WRITING?? I am just flabbergasted! I need another shower!

I’ve heard the ugly urban legend that some married men think the wedding band actually makes them MORE attractive to single women. I know there are people – women and men – who would be open to (and maybe even prefer) a relationship with someone married. I just can’t imagine how or WHY! Someone please explain to me why an attractive, successful, smart woman would intentionally pursue a married guy ? I mean I get fear of intimacy and all, but really! Am I missing something?