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Please to make your acquaintance…again

14 May

Hi there.

peeking-from-behind-the-curtains

Remember me? It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry I’ve been missing. Life…well, life got a bit crazy the last few months.

My dance teacher left. I know, right? He’s off to exciting new things with opening his own studio. But in a different part of the country, so I can’t continue to take lessons with him. Very sad. I’ve told you before what a big influence he’s been in my life. And now he’s gone. Once I found out he was leaving, I had to take some time to grieve the end of the relationship. And grieve what he won’t be here for in the future. And figure out who I was going to take lessons with after he left. That’s all been done…although the grieving might take some more time. Like the end of any relationship, romantic or otherwise, it’ll pop up especially at milestones. I have a plan going forward for my lessons and my dancing. I’ve talked to my new instructors about what I need from my teachers and how they can help me. While I’m sad to see my teacher go, I’m extremely happy for him. And I’m ready to move my dancing forward with different teachers.

There was some potential for some things to change at work recently too. Luckily they’re not, but that would have added to it as well.

And as some of you know, I’ve been working towards some financial goals the last few years. That’s made me live cheaply and on a cash-only basis. But I’ve kept dancing through it all. And now I’m almost at my goals – I will be by July 1 – so I started looking for an apartment. And I found one! In the building I wanted to be in!

So LOTS of transitions going on for me right now. And too many transitions can paralyze me. Or at least make me withdraw into a suburb of the thinky place. So all that is why I’ve been missing from here.

But I’ve missed you! I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed the feeling I get processing things here instead of just in my brain.

But I’ve had the Stanley Cup playoffs to keep me entertained. Silly MN Wild, losing to the Blackhawks like that. SIGH. Oh well, now I can say ‘Go Toews’ with a clear conscience!

Blogging challenge, day 18

18 Aug

August blogging challenge, day 18: The Bucket List – three things that you’ve achieved

Easy, I think…

1. Got married. While it didn’t last forever and it’s no longer a bucket list item for me (meaning I’m fine getting married again and I’m fine not getting married again), at one point it was a big goal. Because that’s what grown-ups do…get married, buy a house, have 2-3 kids, retire…right? At least society says so. I know realize that I don’t have to do what society expects. I can choose to, but it’s OK if I choose to do something else. So I’m not married, renting an apartment, and will retire at some point but probably not at 65. And I’m happy with that.

2. Learned to dance. I’ve written about that again and again. We all know how it’s changed my life.

3. Went to a dance competition. Read about it here and here.

Weekly roundup

11 Mar

So last week, I…

*Ran outside for the first time in a long time to prepare for a 5K. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Except for when the jog interval on the program I used started over halfway through. And I ended up running for 50% longer than I had planned to.

*Babysat for a friend. And learned very interesting things from the oldest child.

*Saw this fantastic picture on the Facebooks and remembered that we’re all awesome in different ways.

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*Gave up on online dating.

*Had great dance lessons. So much progress still being made. Did lots of dance homework too.

*Declared war on the non Gus-Gus mice in my house.

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*Ran a 5K! In 36 minutes – the exact time of the last one. Except that this means I was faster than before, because we lost about 2 minutes traipsing through a snowbank to walk around a ginormous puddle.

*Did a dance group class and a lesson after the 5K. Yep, met my quota of physical activity that day.

*Had brunch with KC. (No sunshine band, though.) We tried a new restaurant that was so good. So yummy. Must go back soon.

*Made these:

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Homemade peanut butter cups. SO GOOD. More on these soon!

*Realized that my body now wants a certain level of physical activity. Whoa, that’s new.

All in all…a very FANTASTIC week!

I’m out of the pool

4 Mar

A while ago, I talked about jumping back into the dating pool. At least more proactively. I went back to online dating, just to see if I could find someone there worth meeting in person.

Short answer? No.

I think it’s me. I need that spark to date someone. And it’s hard to find that spark in an email. Very difficult. Plus I’m terrible at first dates.

But, having said that…guys online do not do themselves any favors. I mentioned this before, and apparently nothing has changed.

One guy opened a conversation with me this way: “Hey sexy princess, what’s happening?” Um, not the way to capture my attention.

“What’s up?” was another opener as was “Hi”. Dude, you have to give me something to respond to. Prove to me you’re a good conversationalist.

One guy was really good at asking questions, and we had a good conversation going. Nothing spectacular, nothing that made me want to meet him in person. But a good conversation especially compared to some of the other ones. But we never got to the point of actually meeting. It just kinda tapered out.

A lot of guys use far too many text shortcuts and emoticons. (Really? You’re in your 30s and you use “ROFL” in an email? Really??)

Most guys want kids, and I know I’m not doing that. I”m open to dating someone who already has them, but I’m not having them. And apparently many guys do not read a girl’s profile all the way through, because I know I was clear in my profile.

So I decided to stop the online thing. Out of courtesy, I messaged each of the guys I had a conversation going with and told them. To save anyone’s feelings, I told each of them that I was dating someone and therefore canceling my profile. One guy wrote me a very angry message back saying that I shouldn’t have wasted his time and I shouldn’t have let him know I was canceling my profile. Dodged a bullet there, huh?

So I’m back to enjoying the single life and leaving it up to fate and the universe. My path will cross someone’s if it’s meant to. Meanwhile, I’ll keep myself open to the possibility of it.

And if you want to follow some really great stories about online dating, check out my friend KG’s blog. They have great stories!

The downside of being single

24 Dec

A majority of the time, I’m happy being single. Having been in a relationship that turned out to be a not-so-happy relationship, I’d much rather be on my own than in a bad relationship. Or the wrong relationship.

(Totally makes me think of “Some Kind of Wonderful” which ps is a great movie. But the line is something like “I’d rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong reasons”.)

I’m a fairly independent person. Even when I need help, I’m not good at asking for it. Which is something I’m working on. I have a great life with super friends. So overall, I don’t mind that I’m single.

Except for the holidays. As much as I love the holidays, there is an expectation in society that you have a special someone to spend them with. But even that, I can deal with.

The downside of being single is the burden. I get tired of having to do everything. I have to pay all the bills, I have to do all the grocery shopping, I have to make all my meals. When I’m sick, I’m the one that has to go out and buy orange juice. And sometimes I just want to be taken care of, even if it means just one meal. It’d be nice to just share the burden with someone sometimes.

But then I look at some of the relationships my friends have, and I realize I’d rather carry the burden myself. Then I see other relationships, and I realize how good it can be when the relationship is strong and healthy. Overall, I think my preference is to be in a relationship, but I’m lucky enough to know that my life is happy and complete without one, too.

Even then, I would still like to be taken care of once in a while.

Psych!

22 Jul

Did you think I was fooling ya? Or stuck in the ’80s? Nope, just need to tell you about my latest discovery…

My roommates and I decided not to get cable TV in our new place and just get cable internet. But, Comcast is so into their whole “bundling” crap that it was actually cheaper to get very basic cable plus internet than just internet. So this has been an adjustment for me; I’ve had cable since I was a kid. And I’m kinda addicted to TV. So this is good for me – to not have 150 channels to flip through. And you know what? I don’t really miss it.

The other day, SR and I were looking for something to watch. Neither of us had Netflix DVDs here, so we started flipping through Netflix streaming to find something. She flipped through “Psych” and asked if I had seen it. I hadn’t, she thought I’d like it, so we watched the pilot episode.

How has this show not been part of my TV-viewing life? It’s a mystery, which I love. And it’s funny, with quick wit that is very reminiscent of 1950s Hollywood movies. And watching James Roday and Dule Hill interact and act together is awesome.

Plus, Shawn Spencer is very much my type of guy. Dark-haired, smart, witty, funny, goofy, but able to be serious when needed, kinda rugged and scruffy…that’s for me.

A friend of mine writes a blog about dating and how she’s looking for her Ted Mosby. It’s a great blog; you should check it out.

For me, though…it’d be all about how I met my Shawn Spencer. We’ve talked about how I’m ready to date again; at least I think I am. So if you know any guys that fit the description, feel free to send them my way.

Weekly roundup

19 Mar

Last week, I…

*Went to a Lia Sophia party at KC’s house. It was surprisingly fun. I did buy a ring, because can you really go to those and not buy something? Plus, I helped KC prep for the party, which was fun hanging out time.

*Saw this on March 15th, which made me laugh out loud.

*Had an interesting dance lesson.

*Learned (thankfully not the hard way) that you can’t leave a cake with cream cheese frosting on the counter for 36 hours.

*Watched some of my friends graduate their level at the Medal Ball at the studio.

*Celebrated St Patrick’s day at home – which was just fine with me. That post has some of my favorite Irish sayings, including “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.” and “May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.” and my favorite, the mouse on the barroom floor.

*Had a 3-day weekend! First one in almost 2 months. (That’s a new record for me. In my old job, I was taking a day off every 3 weeks or so.)

*Got my new smooth dance shoes!

Huh. Didn’t realize my finger was in that picture til just now.

*Met with my fabulous dressmaker to begin designing my new dance dress!! SO FLIPPIN’ EXCITED.

*Had a lovely happy hour with AM. So great to catch up with her.

*Wrote what may have been the lamest blog post ever.

*Got a long overdue haircut. I love my hair stylist – she’s great!

*Brunch with JH. It’s been far too long since we hung out. I miss her, so it was nice to chat.

*Had deja vu all over again and made the fresh ginger cake again. This time I put the frosting in the fridge.

*Worked a bunch at my part-time job. Still saving for Dance-O-Rama, ya know.

*Wondered if the universe was telling me to start dating again and if so, how do you meet people?

*Had a very relaxing Sunday due to the 3-day weekend. Actually took a nap!

Time to date again?

18 Mar

I had two separate friends, unrelated to each other in my life, on two separate occasions ask me this weekend if I was dating anyone.

The answer to that is no, I’m not.

And actually, I’m fine with that. I have learned how to be happy single, and I don’t feel the need to have a relationship to feel like my life is happy. That being said, I do sometimes miss being in a relationship.

My divorce was quite amicable – I think we realized that we were not good at being spouses to each other and couldn’t make each other happy. We tried, and we did counseling, but in the end, we did what was best for each of us and split up.

After my divorce, I was involved with a really wonderful man who had some issues. I call him Mr Big.

(That’s the real Mr Big, not my Mr Big. Just in case you were confused.)

We were great together. We were best friends. But his issues just got in the way, and I reached a point where it wasn’t healthy or good for me to stay. So we ended things. That was almost 3 years ago, and I probably just got over him last fall.

So I tried online dating. It wasn’t spectacular for me. I think it’s really hard for me to get to know people and date them that way. Plus, I kinda suck at first dates anyway, and I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with someone who I wasn’t friends with first. So it’s tough.

But having my friends ask about my dating life this weekend made me think about it. I think I would like to be dating someone. But meeting single normal men in my age range is really difficult. Especially when you spend most of your free time at a ballroom dance studio.

Side note: Guys, wanna meet some great women and have really a good men-to-women ratio? Take ballroom dance lessons.

So I guess my question is how do you meet men if you’re not doing the online thing? Maybe it’s time for me to pay some attention this – at least, it seems like the universe is telling me to do so.

Because I do miss that. The being with someone. The knowing that there is one person out there to whom you mean the world. The love between you and someone.

(Didn’t you LOVE it when Mr Big showed up in Paris? And when he was FINALLY able to tell Carrie she was the one? I cried. I still cry, every time I see it.)

My Mr Big broke my heart, even though it was my decision to leave. And that took a long time to get over. But I think I’m ready to try again and risk it one more time.

Now I just need to figure out where to meet guys my age.

Rules for guys on online dating sites

8 Sep

As you know, I entered the online dating pool a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve viewed enough profiles that I’ve come up with a list of rules. Guys, if you’re looking for a mostly-normal woman like me and countless others, try sticking to these rules. It will help you get dates from these women.

1. Smile in your pictures! Most woman I know do not want to be with an uber-serious guy or a complete hard-ass. Most of us like guys with sense of humor, and a smile in your picture shows us that you have one. And don’t wear a muscle tank in your picture. That looks like you’re overly proud of your body but not proud in a secure way. If you have a good body, we can tell in any picture.

2. Related to #1: don’t use staged pictures to show us you have a sense of humor. Making a silly face in a forced situation just looks awkward.

3. Have your friends take a picture if you don’t have one to use already. The standing-in-my-bathroom-taking-a-picture-with-my-cell-phone picture just looks weird and awkward.

4. Don’t put in your profile that “people say I’m cocky but I’m really not” or “people say I seem stand-offish and egotistical when they meet me but I’m just misunderstood”. If people are telling you that, pay attention. Perception is reality and while you may not think you’re cocky or stand-offish, you apparently come across that way. Most of us aren’t interested in meeting someone who we know will seem cocky at first meeting.

5. The phrase “no offense” in your profile simply highlights what you’re saying is offensive. Saying “no offense but if you’re vegetarian, we can’t date” is just insulting to vegetarians. And how do you know you couldn’t date a vegetarian? You could be missing out on an awesome girl just because she’s a vegetarian.

6. Please do not go on about how you’re looking for THE ONE and you want a long-term relationship and you’re not interested in just dating. Every relationship starts with a first date. It’s too much pressure if I know you’re going into a date wondering if I’m the one you’re going to marry. I go into a first date (well, in theory, I haven’t actually been on a first date in a while) just wondering if I like you enough to have a second date. Slow down there, cowboy – take it one step at a time.

7. Don’t reference Mom in your profile. If the most important person in your life is your mother, we’re probably going to think that a) you’re a momma’s boy (ew) or b) you have an unnatural attachment to your mother (ew). Just say “family is the most important thing in my life”.

8. When listing the things you can’t live without, it’s not funny to say “oxygen and food”. No duh, Sherlock. That tells us nothing about who you are. Listing things like “my family, my friends, my cats, my house and laughter” is good as it tells us something about who you are and what’s important to you.

9. If you’re divorced, to say that your kids are “OK now after the divorce” makes us wonder how messed up they were during the divorce and if it was more than the normal amount. What kind of baggage would we need to deal with if we got into a relationship with you?

10. Spell check and edit! Pay attention to the little red squiggly lines under the words and fix them. And this isn’t a text message…take the time to spell out words and avoid “LOL” and “OMG”. We’re not 14, people. (Er, maybe you are? If so, stop it!)

Having said all that, I do appreciate honesty in a profile. I just think that everyone needs to keep in mind that they’re selling themselves with this profile too.

I know writing a profile is a difficult thing to do, but take the time to do it right – it will make a difference. Have a friend help you write it. They can give you really good feedback on what works in it, what doesn’t, and what makes you seem like a loser. And go back and edit it periodically. When you look at your own profile after seeing many other profiles, you’ll find some things you want to change. I know I did. 🙂

“Dating is primarily a numbers game. People usually go through a lot of people to find good relationships. That’s just the way it is.”

Into the pool!

4 Sep

I think I want to enter the dating pool again.

As both of you readers know, I’ve been divorced about 4 years. I was involved with a guy for about two years after the divorce, and it’s taken me this long to get over that relationship and be ready to move on. (Interesting side note…I started dancing about 2 months after we ended things to try and get out of the house and find something new to do. Who knew what THAT would lead to?)

So now I’m ready to have another relationship. Unfortunately, that means DATING. And here’s a little known secret: I suck at dating. I’ve actually never been involved with a guy that I wasn’t friends with first. I’m so shy with people I don’t know well that first dates are very difficult for me. But I know I won’t get to a relationship without dating and without first dates first. And I do want a relationship. I’m happy with my life but I do miss being part of a partnership. I’m a romantic, as I’ve said before.

OK, now to figure out how to meet guys. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, so last weekend when I was at the condo with AM, I made her help me write a profile for OKCupid. She’s done the online dating thing before, plus she’s good at writing and photos and stuff. Then I signed up for 6 months of eHarmony. I don’t like that eHarmony only allows for hetero relationships. That’s not an issue for me; I just disagree in philosophy. But I do like the communication method of eHarmony, so I figured why not?

I’ve learned over the last week that I’m picky. The photo has to do something for me right away…I’ve been in relationships where the physical attraction wasn’t there at first, and I learned the hard way that for me at least, that instant connection is key. Not that the guy has to be Henry Cavill, but I have to find him a little attractive.

Ah, Henry Cavill. Definitely on my list of five guys.

Anyway, as I was saying…there haven’t been a lot of guys I wanted to send a message to on OKCupid or eHarmony. And most of the ones I have messaged haven’t responded. I think that’s probably because I’m up front about the fact that I don’t want to have kids at this point in my life (I’ll be 40 in a few weeks!), but I am open to someone who has kids already. I think that turns off most guys in my age range – most of them are “maybe” or “yes” about kids. I’ve also ended communication with a few guys who say they always need to be active and outdoors. I’m all for active, but sometimes I like to sit and watch a movie. (We all know that it’s easy for me to get sucked into watching TV aimlessly.)

So step one…see if there are any guys that I get to the point of actually wanting to meet in person. Then comes the big question: how the hell do you do a first date???

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” -Shakespeare

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