Drafting Mr. Right: Can ESPN Rank My Prospective Dates For Me?

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If I spent as much time analyzing my prospective dates as I do the players I draft for my fantasy football team, I’d have the next Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers lined up as my new best beau.

As a fantasy football owner, I know what to look for in a player, but I also have access to his stats, his history, his teammates and what kind of system he is most successful in.

How do you gain that kind of knowledge when looking at prospective dates? And how does one apply it to dating?

Most guys don’t come with stats attached (okay, maybe Uncle Rico does). And besides that, how do you rank warmth? Being genuine? Compassionate? Open? Honest? Passionate? Everyone looks for different characteristics in a significant other.

Online dating profiles give stats on things that don’t really matter to me. I don’t care how much money you make or how tall you are. Pictures next to fast cars, or on beaches, or in distant lands don’t reveal the real history of that person or track record or relationship skills they may possess.

Instead of income, tell me about your sense of humor. Can you laugh at yourself and be silly in public? Are you lighthearted? Can you make me laugh? Can you do all of those things and still have an intelligent conversation?

Now we’re getting somewhere, because that stuff is WAY more useful in the long run.

Yes, physical attraction is important, but as they say, 5 minutes after you meet someone you feel them rather than see them. And, as a fantasy owner, I can look at a player’s stats all day long, but if he doesn’t have a team to back him up then they don’t mean a thing.

Drafting a stud running back on a team that will be playing from behind in every game is a wasted pick, much like dating someone who has no potential to be the next Mr. Right, let alone Mr. Right Now.

Take Tony Romo. His stats say he’s better than Aikman, but give me a break. He panics in the pocket and there’s no chemistry with his team. Even if weren’t already injured again, I still wouldn’t pick him – LIKE EVER (And I LOVE the Dallas Cowboys)! When there’s a connection with someone, you can feel their presence even if you can’t see them. Watch a player long enough and you can tell if he has that with his team. Watch a guy long enough and it’s the same thing.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if ESPN could rank your dating prospects before you ever went on a date with them? You could look at those rankings, check the stats, see if they have any red flags and roll the dice from there.

Oooh, I know! Maybe we could get Dave Campbell to launch a dating magazine ranking single people like they do college football prospects.

They could include a Q&A with each prospect. When it’s 3rd and long, and you have a linebacker coming at you, do you freeze and take the hit, or deke him and make the throw under pressure? In a relationship, if you were feeling like things were getting stale or you had your feelings hurt, would you a) just bury those feelings, b) ghost me, or c) let me know something was bothering you and that you wanted to talk about it? Honestly, I’d rather know what a guy would do in those situations than what his sign is.

Alas, ESPN hasn’t gotten into the dating business. So, for now, I’ll stick with evaluating and drafting the players who have the stats to help me win my fantasy league… because we can all do with some fantasies.

I’m going to change Henry Ford’s quote a bit. “Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is the progress. Working together is success.” Here’s to another great season. Good luck ladies.

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE (Wait can I say that? Is it copyrighted?)

Reconnecting with Kids When Your Battery is Flashing LOW Like T-Pain

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Since school started, I’ve been racing from thing to thing with my kids. I have work, they have school, we have homework, getting organized for the year, dinner, practice, caring for pets, and a sprained ankle (already?!?). Life is back to one big hamster wheel with almost daily trips to the store and stolen conversations and stop-light texts with friends. Happy hour is a distant (although fond) memory for this full-time single mom.

To wind down, we started watching “Scrubs.” I loved the show when it came out and right now I have to confess I’m using it as a passive teaching tool for my kids, a way to wind down and fill my little-to-nonexistent romantic life with that lingering crush I have on Dr. J.D.

I’m not a ‘sit on my behind’ kind of person, so the concept of binging on Netflix has never appealed to me. But I have to say binging on three to four 20-minute episodes has been pretty fulfilling. It gives me a chance to hear my kids’ perspective on the show and the problems the characters face. It’s still quality time without me having to dig deep into my energy reserves to have a deep conversation with them.

I had forgotten how much I liked it, how funny it is and how many personal/social topics they tackle which allows for more quality conversation than “Walking Dead” or “Arrow” (don’t judge). Yes, I’m a girl and yes I like the superhero movies/shows.

I’m also not one to decompress with a glass of wine so this has been an exciting discovery. It actually recharges my batteries too – BONUS!

So here’s to eight more seasons of J.D., Turk, Carla and Elliot with lots of laughter and insight from my teenage boys on life, social skills, friendship and romantic relationships. Look out girls, my youngest has this stuff down!

Saying Goodbye to a Good Guy

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We are all going to die. I know that sounds morbid, but we are. Life is now. Settling for an okay relationship when I know I won’t be happy with someone is not something I’m willing to do. I’d rather be alone.

That doesn’t mean walking away from a good guy is easy. Walking away from a complete jerk would be a lot easier.

After all, that good guy says the right things at the right time. “Good morning, gorgeous” never gets old. He’s the guy who texts you during the day just to hope it’s going well.

He treats you the way you should be treated. He’s the guy that pays attention to the little things you like and remembers them. He remembers when you have something big going on and follows up with you about it.

He’s the guy who helps you do the things around your house that you need to do. He doesn’t do it because it helps him, he does it because it helps you and your children. If you’re going through something stressful, he lends an ear instead of running away.

He’s engaged. He’s present. He knows how to open up and share himself with you. He makes himself vulnerable with you. He listens. He’s funny. He doesn’t avoid the hard things, he works at making the hard things easier. He’s stable. He’s honest. He’s genuinely a good guy.

So, what happens when you reach a point in the relationship where you just know you aren’t going to fall? It doesn’t matter how great he is, you know you’ll just never get there. It would be easy to stay because he’s so great. But is that fair? Is it fair to either of you really?

I chose to end it. I’m not going to lead someone on or let them continue to devote their time to me when I know that my feelings will never grow. It sucks because you’re letting go of something good, of someone good. I believe in being honest and open. He devoted his time and deserves to be treated with respect.

I can’t be selfish and hold on. It’s not fair to him and I want to protect our friendship and him. When you end it and show respect for the other person’s feelings, you protect that relationship. I want to protect our friendship and that mutual respect.

I’ve remained friends with about 90 percent of my past relationships. I think that’s important. There’s something that you saw in them. You got to know them and they got to know you. Just because the relationship didn’t work out, doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. I value those friendships. You learn from those relationships and grow from them. I still keep in touch with some of my old boyfriends. They offer perspective and know me well.

With this guy, he told me that the thing he didn’t like about me is that I waste an incredible amount of water when I’m washing dishes. I confess, I do indeed (and when showering and brushing my teeth). My water bill was $170 last month. I think that had more to do with leaving the sprinkler on for two days (THAT’s what that sound was! smh).

So really, water conservationists should swipe left (left? or is it right? I forget). Anyway, they should probably just keep moving. My water habits are unlikely to change.

Beyond learning I’m horrible at water conservation, I’ve learned more about myself and what I want out of my next relationship. He quit his job to pursue his passion because he said I inspired him to do more and pursue his dreams. So hopefully we both gained more than we lost.

So, I will set this one free and hope he finds someone who falls head over heels for him, because that’s what he deserves. Good luck my friend. Life is now. Go get it!

​Tips on Doing it Gently

10 Tips for Breaking Up

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When you reach that point in a relationship where you know you aren’t going to fall for someone, it’s best to let go. He may be the best guy in the world on paper but not right for you. As they say, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” You can’t make yourself fall in love. I believe it’s best to end it when you know it’s not going to move forward.

  1. Have clarity with why it’s not clicking. It will help you know yourself and help your guy understand.
  2. No ghosting. This is just bad form and causes bad feelings.
  3. Rip off the bandaid. It hurts in the beginning, but leading someone on is a sucky thing to do.
  4. Show compassion. He will have questions. Answer them.
  5. Don’t avoid. Put on your big girl panties and do the right thing. Don’t just pull away and avoid the discussion and person.
  6. Don’t shift the blame. Don’t give them a laundry list of things they should’ve or could’ve done differently. This isn’t fair to them or their feelings.
  7. Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. This is from my grandmother.
  8. Do it in person. Texting or emailing an ending is just hurtful.
  9. Don’t give false hope. Things like, “who knows what the future holds” is not helpful. They need a clean break so they can move on.
  10. Be kind.

Lost in textlation: “I don’t know how to talk to you”

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Rihanna and Drake aren’t the only ones singing about communication issues. There are nuances with the spoken word that don’t come across in the written word. How you say something, the tone you use, your body language makes all of the difference as to how something is perceived. We all know this, but texting is easy so we resort to it anyway – in dating, our friendships, etc.

Awhile back, someone paid me a genuine compliment through text. The way I read it, it seemed more like a corny joke, so I “lol’d.” Oops! (Egg on my face) I would never laugh at someone who is being sincere especially when they’re paying me a compliment.

On a different occasion, a friend, who I’ve known for years, texted me. I read it as I was walking into a meeting and didn’t have time to respond. She texted later hoping that I hadn’t taken offense and wanting to clarify. I hadn’t taken offense at all, because when I read it, I heard her voice and know her well enough to know how that message should come across. Re-reading it, I could see how she thought I might have interpreted it differently.

But, when you’re getting to know someone, either through dating or a new friendship, the meaning in those messages can get lost. It’s easy to get sucked into texting because you can do it when you have time. It allows you to do other things at the same time and also cuts down on moments of silence. But phone calls and face-to-face add those crucial communication layers so that messages are more accurately conveyed and when you’re getting to know someone, those are things that matter (at least to me).

I’m a writer and I have those “oh shit” moments when I draft an email and hit send instead of save (same with text) before I have a chance to reread and see if it conveys what I’m trying to say. It can be hard to write tone especially when you’re in a hurry or emotionally responding to something.

Everyone has different communication styles and I know that writing can also be easier for some (especially guys) when it comes to expressing emotions. But if you can learn to open up and be vulnerable with someone face-to-face, the communication, and your relationship, will be so much richer for it. And you’ll learn to how to talk to the other person. (Yea! You and your message are understood.)

I’ve heard the comment several times that I’m a woman of few words (when texting). That’s because I’ve decided that if you want to get to know me, I’m the old-fashioned type and face-to-face or phone conversations work best. If I get to know someone well enough through those methods first, I’m happy to text more. Otherwise, I think it’s just a waste of time.

And, texting crucial conversations is the worst. When emotions have the potential to run high, meaning can get completely lost through text (or email). Part of that message is just gone, or misinterpreted.  Bye Felicia! Something that started out as a minor difference (and could’ve been easily and quickly resolved) can end up being a BFD. Ugh! No one has time for that.

In the song, “Too Good” their issue is communication. Don’t be like the dude in the DIRECTV commercial. Don’t end up in a communication ditch. Don’t end up Lost in Textlation.

Drake “Too Good

Parenting Through Fiction

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After my children spend time with someone, they come back to me parroting back words of hate targeted to specific groups of people. I know where these words came from and I know that they are not their own words because they are verbatim the words I heard from the person they spend time with.

Words can harm. When planted and continuously fed these same words, they can take root and warp a person’s world view. I’m determined that these words will not be able to take root.

My children are having problems effectively dealing with conflict and each other when they come home. They are quick to anger and quick to call each other names. It’s heartbreaking to watch and to hear the intolerance.

These are not my same sweet children. Like with any other problem, I wanted to find a solution. In typical “me” fashion, I got a book (or two or three).

I’ve read the Harry Potter series to them for years. I bought the newest book and to my surprise, it’s written as a play. So, we all have parts and take turns reading the play at night. Just like the other Potter books, it’s full of great teachable moments about relationships.

This one seems to serve up those teachable moments in almost every scene. It’s been a wonderful example and has provided some great discussion about healthy and unhealthy relationships as well as healthy and unhealthy reactions.

I also turned to a nonfiction book, “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.”

I had them take the assessment tests to figure out their style under stress. The assessment breaks down the categories into silence or violence, which are the typical reactions to stress. Under silence, you have masking, avoiding and withdrawing. Under violence, you have controlling, labeling and attacking. The book is designed around conversations and how even violence looks in dialogue. We’ve been reading the book and discussing the lessons off and on.

When they got into an argument the other night, I stood listening for a bit. Neither were raising their voice, but the things they were saying to each other were so sad. I’d heard enough to get the gist and that they were clearly not going to resolve it themselves, so we all sat down and had a chat. We discussed what they were saying and how what they said fell into the different categories of stress, how people react when they feel disrespected, attacked and so forth. We discussed how their sibling’s words made them feel. I tried to get them to get really specific about their feelings and they did a great job.

Then we circled back to the critical questions in the book:

  • What do I want for me?
  • What do I want for others?
  • What do I want for the relationship?

It made my heart happy that they both wanted each other to be happy and they wanted their relationship to be good. It makes it easier when they both have the same goals.

I know that they will continue to have disagreements with each other and other people. I know that they will continue to be exposed to hateful messages and toxic people. But, I’m hopeful that the lessons they learn will carry them onto the path of improving relationships, empathy and understanding.​

Everybody Just Have a Good Time in Austin

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There is so much to do in and around Austin for a single person. It’s an incredible playground full of fun.

During the month I didn’t have my kids, I explored. I promised myself when I was going through my horrific separation and divorce that I would try new things. I read, I ran, I wrote, I went out with friends, I dated, I shopped, I talked to my kids, I met knew people, I decorated my house and relaxed.

Thank you to all of my friends (and friends of friends) who helped make the summer truly memorable.

Here are some of my favorites:

Go to a concert and meet the band

Twenty One Pilots, Mute Math and Chef’s Special concert was incredible at Circuit of the Americas.

There’s tons of concerts every weekend.

Go to a concert and dance onstage with your friends

​We rented a party bus and went to the 90s concert at the Cedar Park Center. SO MUCH FUN!

Eat delicious food

La Condesa is so very good and they make a great Sangria.

Uchi, Odd Duck, Lick’s Ice Cream, Geraldine’s… There’s so much good food in Austin.

Dance

The Rose Room is my fav right now. But there’s tons of places if that isn’t your thing.

Go to a Grand Opening and Give to Charity

Hanover’s 2.0 hanovers2.com Grand Opening was tons of fun with a special performance by my friend’s children, Suede, yummy food and drinks, great service and hilarious friends.

They offer table service.

Celebrate friends

We celebrate everyone’s birthday and have a large group, so there’s always a party somewhere. Make your friend feel special with a great night or day out: Wine Tour, Wagner’s Backyard, Cover 3, Jack Allen’s, a stay in a downtown hotel, Hanover’s, etc., etc., etc. LOTS of OPTIONS!

Fourth of July weekend celebrations

Rooftop bar (love Geraldine’s)
Round Rock Express (game then fireworks – bonus!)
City of Leander (live music, great people watching, what’s not to love?)

Next year – SUP
​Note: make reservations early

Splash in the Puddles and Walk in the Rain

It finally rained. Downtown was completely deserted and so pretty! Made for a great stroll with the lights reflecting off the water.

Go to a Wedding – Celebrate Love

Friends had their after party at Cedar Street Courtyard! GREAT IDEA! Band was funky and so funny.

Baseball Games

The season is almost over, but there’s still time to catch a game. It’s a great way to relax with friends and family.

Horseshoe Bay

Excellent place for adults! There’s plenty of space to park your rear in the sand (sun and shade) and relax around the lake with lakeside drink service. Horseshoe Bay offers a marina with boat and jet ski rentals (so much fun), tons of pools with music and bars nearby, tennis, mini golf, yummy restaurants, etc. etc.

Up Next:
Trapeze lessons, football games and whatever I can get into. 🙂 Life is an adventure – go get it!

I Need a One Dance

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I read something recently that lamented the laziness of courtship these days. Granted dating post-college is WAY different not just because of the digital communication, social media and online dating sites (or maybe because of them, who knows?) but also because you have so many demands on your time.

The writer complained about how guys text you to ask you out, the hook-up scene and guys lack of trying. Half the songs on the radio are about hooking up and it’s certainly a part of life, but if that is what two consenting adults want, who cares? Focus on what you want.

Granted, dating isn’t the bumping into a guy on campus, chatting between classes, at parties, etc. before finally giving him your number after having vetted him through your mutual friends. But you can still have that. Dating is truly what you make it.

I expect a traditional date. I’m not hooking up with some dude. I’m not doing the hang out date where we hang out at a bar to see if I like you. The article warns you’ll have fewer dating opportunities by raising your standards. However, I have not found that to be the case. The guys I’ve gone out with always want another date, and another and another, and I take things glacially slow.

I’ve learned from mistakenly jumping into something before I got to know someone. I fell head over heels for a tall drink of water. Instead of having my thirst quenched, I got burned (granted, it was partially my fault) when I fell (okay, jumped, okay pole-vaulted☺) with some epically horrendous timing. I’m a lot more cautious now, hence the glacially slow.

I don’t know if the author of the article doesn’t live in our area or just has a different pool to fish from, but guys are very willing to take you out for coffee, dinner, lunch, whatever you want. However, it does make me uncomfortable when a guy drops $200+ for dinner on a first date. I’m still not going home with him, I don’t even know if I want to go on a second date. Is it nice to be pampered? Sure. But I don’t want to feel obligated to a second date just because a guy went overboard on dinner or feel guilty by declining one.

My favorite date thus far included a reasonably priced dinner, dessert at a different location and staying up until 4 a.m. talking. Just talking and laughing.

So don’t be afraid to have high standards. Drake does. I have them for myself and my kids, why wouldn’t I have them for my date? Why wouldn’t you? It doesn’t make you a prude. It just means you have higher standards than a door knob.

One Dance by Drake

7 Reasons Girls Need a Close Guy Friend

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My guy friend gives great advice and I know he has my best interests in mind. We met while working together last year and became great friends. We tried the dating thing but I had a lot going on and my heart was really with someone else so we’ve stayed friends.

Guy friends are solid, good friends. Like any good friend, he’ll pick up no matter what time of the day or night I call or text. His normal line is “well hello pretty lady” or some variation of that.

  1. Having that guy perspective is awesome. I texted late one night because I couldn’t sleep but didn’t want to wake him up by calling. I texted, “Love sucks.” His reply was great. Noticing I was up way past my usual bedtime and knowing my situation, he replied, “Love doesn’t suck. People suck. Love is great.” Spot on. Guy friends point out when a guy is being a douche.
  2. They give it to you straight. When I complained that someone was being an ass, he pointed out that I was being an ass too. Good point. Teachable moment for me. Sometimes you need someone who isn’t “in” the situation to show you what you’re doing and how it looks to a guy.
  3. No drama.
  4. No competition. There are no categories for which we would ever compete. Guy friends just look out for you and your best interests. They can also be your wingman and your body guard.
  5. Hanging out is so low key. There’s no gossip. You can watch (or even play) sports with them. They don’t care if you stop listening to them or shush them during a really good or important play. They get it. You quite literally eat, drink and be merry. Going out is fun and funny. You get to try new “guy” things.
  6. Compare notes from the “other” side. When I’m like WTF? He breaks it down and vice versa.
  7. Respect. It’s really cool to just have that mutual respect from the opposite sex without someone always trying to get in your pants.

This is Love

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I get asked a lot about what I want. So, I started a list to start defining and refining what it is I want, from life, from a partner. The most thought-provoking question was how what I’m looking for now differs from what I was looking for before I married. However, I’m not going to post a road map to my heart.

What I will say is that THIS is what I want.

I want someone who wants to do this adventure with me, who wants to live life with me. Someone to jump off cliffs with, dance with, go to concerts with, sing with, jump with, laugh with, smile with, travel with. Someone who will hold my face in their hands and never want to let me go. Someone who will accept me for me and let me be me. Someone who knows when to give me space and when not to. Someone who sweeps me off my feet and gives me butterflies. Someone who takes my breath away when I see him for the first time and the millionth time. Someone who is warm and genuine and listens. Someone who lights me on fire.

I want him to be the first person I think about when I wake up and the last person I think about when I go to bed. I want to be so head over heels that I think about him throughout the day and can’t wait to see him.

I want someone who feels the same way. I want to be the one who makes him smile. I want to be with someone who thinks about holding me in his arms and making me smile.

So if you’re feeling that love doesn’t exist anymore or are starting to seem bitter. Don’t be bitter, watch this. Yes, it’s a bit long for most videos, but given the story it tells, it goes by quickly and is well worth your time.

And, if you need video for your next project, these guys are the bomb. Congratulations to the happy couple!! I love LOVE.

Iris by Mike Posner
​https://open.spotify.com/track/0Yse4Djyrjru3N6JYlprmk

You’re Love Amazes Me https://open.spotify.com/track/7rVp7JknHf1lmd7ay6n0RR