For the life of me I can’t understand what has happened to the dating scene. Do you have a filter? If so, please use it. Etiquette still applies and some of this stuff should be common sense.
After comparing notes and swapping stories, it seems that most of you guys seemed to have picked up on this stuff, but for those of you who missed the memo (this applies to some women too), or were dropped on your heads, we have some tips for you.
1. Don’t send pictures that you wouldn’t post on Facebook.
Please for the love of God do not follow up a “hey how are you doing” with a picture of your junk. I don’t care how high your freak flag may fly, it is not an appropriate follow up to “hi.”
Thankfully this has only happened to me once. The follow up message to the pic was, “do you see anything you like?” No, I see a guy who a.) has no clue how to treat women, or b.) is trying way too hard and has no clue how to treat women. You wouldn’t walk up to me, say hi and undress. It’s a HUGE turn off no matter how well endowed you are. Just no, Delete, Block.
2. Don’t talk about your ex
If all you can talk about on your first date with someone is your ex and what he/she did, then you should find some hobbies and maybe a therapist. Your date is not your therapist. This only leaves your date with an image of your ex, not a good impression of you. It probably also means you aren’t ready to date (and that’s okay, it takes time). Take your time. Please.
3. Don’t write novels on your profile
I’m sorry, when it comes to online dating, it’s a shallow process. You’re picking someone from their picture. I hardly read those profiles. Who has time? If I decide to go out with you, I’ll form my opinions then. It cracks me up when my two sentence profile generates a lot of opinions about my personality and what I want out of life.
4. Don’t write novels instead of introducing yourself
Pretty much see above. I’m not going to spend my precious time reading a novel when you should be introducing yourself. Writing that much instead of just a sentence or two tells me you are WAY more into this than I am. I will most likely not respond.
5. Don’t propose instead of saying hi
Ugh! Seriously, you don’t even know me. Let’s break this down. This tells me you are either desperate or you pledge your love to every pretty lady who comes across your screen, or you just plain need to work on your jokes. NO, this gets old.
6. Don’t go on about how much money you make
This is never attractive. As Shania Twain says, “That don’t impress me much.” Okay, it impresses those girls looking for a sugar daddy. I make my own money. I don’t need yours.
7. Don’t whine
I have a zero whine policy at home. When my kids were little and started whining, I would lovingly look down at them and tell them that I would be happy to talk to them when they could speak to me in a normal voice. I don’t speak whine. Wine is a different story.
8. Don’t assume the worst
If I don’t respond to you, I haven’t necessarily blown you off. I don’t get on those stupid sites very often. After not getting a response from messages that basically say “Hi, you're beautiful, I’d love to meet,” don’t then proposition me. Be respectful. I’m sorry I didn’t get your first three messages, I’ve been busy working, raising my kids and living my life. You might want to try that.
9. Don’t post pictures of yourself from 10 years ago
Seriously? What do you think is going to happen when you actually meet someone and you clearly don’t look like your picture? Nice surprises are good. Bad surprises result in your date walking out on you. Don’t be surprised when this happens. I hear women running afoul of this one fairly often too. A friend met a women who said she had a small tattoo. Sure, if by small you mean it started at your toe and ran up your entire body, then yeah, I guess it’s small. REALLY? Don’t lie.
10. Don’t play games
High school ended a while back. No one has time for this crap. I hear a LOT of stories about this. Be real. Be you. Be open. Be respectful. I like it when guys are direct about what they want or what they’re looking for. I’ll do the same. Most women and men will. It saves everyone time.
I actually respected the guy who said he was looking for a regular hookup. I asked what that meant and he told me. I said no thanks and we both went our separate ways. It was open and honest and I greatly appreciate that.
One of the most frequent questions I get is, “Where do you meet people?”
My answer sounds flip, but it isn’t. I meet people everywhere I go: the grocery store, the gas station, out, shopping, having dinner, etc. It’s mainly guys asking for my number, giving me a compliment, or just striking up a conversation, but I also meet other women who just want to chat.
In a world where so much of our communication is digital, that face-to-face becomes so much more critical. You can have an instant rapport with someone when they see your face, your body language and can hear your voice. I think people crave that and don’t even know it. But, I digress.
I highly recommend just going about your daily life. I love meeting people who are doing the same things I’m doing. Think about what you love doing and go do it. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Is there something you gave up a long time ago and want to get back into?
I like meeting people organically and love getting to know others. Learning about their perspectives broadens mine. Everyday is an opportunity to grow and learn. I believe that the people who are supposed to be in your life will come. Sometimes, they are only meant to pass through, but some are meant to stay awhile.
I know, I know. That really isn’t what you want to hear. You want to go out and meet people now. So, the place I love the most is Rock Rose. It’s really hoppin’ on the weekends and a place I feel comfortable enough to pop in solo after some shopping. The crowd there is more my speed and everyone wants to talk.
If you’re with the girls and y'all want to hang, or you just want a more laid back atmosphere, I still like Kona, the Park and the places on that side of the Domain. It’s a bit a quieter so you can have a good conversation, but still busy enough to meet people.
I also have several girlfriends who love going to Mavericks or Wild West. I’ll go with them occasionally, but it’s really not my scene and I get tired of 20-year-olds hitting on me. With a big group of friends it can be a lot of fun though and you definitely meet a lot of people.
For a group of girls during the summer or nice weather, I like Wagner’s, Uncle Gary’s (both in Pflugerville) and Lone Star Grille in Cedar Park. They all have live music and an outdoor area where it’s nice to chill. People are very friendly there too.
There are also tons of other places I like, but that should get you started.
I say go where you feel comfortable and the most authentic you. People like you will be there too and that’s where you’ll connect. And it’s always easier to connect over common interests. You’ll also get a wider variety of personalities. Shy guys don’t come up to you at a gas station or grocery store, cuz well, they’re shy.
A guys point of view...
Online dating/dating is overwhelming to us gentlemen too. Let's be honest with each other on a couple of out-of-the-gate things I've experienced. Kindness speaks volumes to men.
At 30 or 40 something years of age, I’m looking for a woman with modesty and intelligence who already has her own vision and goals in line. I do not mind helping someone achieve their goals but I do not want to be their only desire or focus.
I like to think that there might be a few out there who might like a friendship or partnership that enhances their daily life. I'm in no rush and not just looking for intimacy right out of the gate. It all starts with kindness and friendship and then if things go great from there, other opportunities present themselves when it's appropriate. Once the important foundation of trust is laid, and there is respect of course, intimacy is very important to a man as I am sure it is to a woman too.
I'm not suggesting that all women should be Alpha or all men should be either. I suggest a compromise somewhere that meets in the middle. I am an involved parent with two wonderful children and when deciding on a woman to date I think long and hard about the kids first.
So, with this being said, I don't introduce someone to my children after a month or even two months. I realize this timeline varies depending on the compatibility of the relationship, and each relationship has different timelines. You know when it’s the right time for each of you to make this leap to meeting each other's children.
At this stage in my life I know I can accomplish my goals and I'm self-confident in what I have to offer and I am handling my business as a father and provider. A self-sufficient woman is important. I'm not looking to go backwards at this point in my life. I know what I want in a friendship and partnership and I am not willing to compromise on what's best for me and my future.
Sometimes when meeting women, it’s best to just become friends. You can determine early on if it’s healthy. It’s ok to let them know you are looking for friendship with them and the next level will not happen. I can always use more friends. Honesty is key and being able to feel like you can be you is important.
Do not pretend to be someone you're not. The most beautiful moments in my life are in those pure moments when people are just being themselves and their true beauty shines through.
With all of this being said, just realize life is short and no one is getting out alive. Be yourself, have fun and the real beauty will shine through to the person who is supposed to see it.
Divorce is stressful. Several people I know took Xanex. I tried that, I ran into walls and had three wrecks in the span of a couple of months. It reduced my stress levels and helped me sleep, but the consequences were too dire.
Sooo, I’m a big advocate of exercise. It doesn’t just help you get physically stronger, it helps you get mentally stronger. Your endorphins soar and it’s much easier to have a positive and global outlook when you feel good. It’s easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel and keep your sanity.
I encourage you to pick something, anything. I ran and worked out, because those were things I normally did. I just started doing them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m in better shape than I’ve been in awhile and I feel fantastic. It made me healthier, fitter, stronger and focused.
So grab your phone, put on some tunes and get your body moving. You’ll feel so much better.
I have a playlist I use to run and workout. I change it up quite a bit, but if your list is in need of a refresher, here’s some ideas. The important thing is just finding something that motivates you and using that energy.
America’s Sweetheart - Elle King
Animals - Maroon 5
Blow - Ke$ha
Cake by the Ocean - DNCE
Can’t Feel my Face - The Weekend
Can’t Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
Can’t Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Cool for the Summer - Demi Lovato
Counting Stars - OneRepublic
Downtown - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Everything About You - Ugly Kid Joe
Ex’s & Oh’s - Elle King
Feelings - Maroon 5
Forget You - CeeLo Green
Freak of the Week - Marvelous 3
Gives You Hell - The All-American Rejects
Goodbye to You - Scandal
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
Hit Me with your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
I’m Free - Soup Dragons
I’m Gonna Be - The Proclaimers
Into Your Arms - Lemonheads
Jenny Says - Cowboy Mouth
Jessie’s Girl - Rick Springfield
Just Give Me a Reason - Pink
Last Friday Night - Katy Perry
Let Me See Ya Girl - Cole Swindle
Let’s Go Crazy - Prince
Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts
Little Red Corvette - Prince
Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
Low - T Pain
Maps - Maroon 5
Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha
Me Too - Meghan Trainor
No - Meghan Trainor
Right Round - Flo Rida
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Shut Up and Dance - Walk the Moon
Single Ladies - Beyonce
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks
Style - Taylor Swift
Sugar - Maroon 5
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
There She Goes - Sixpence None the Richer
Times Like These - Foo Fighters
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson Bruno Mars
Walk This Way - Run DMC
You Don’t Own Me - Grace and G-Eazy
Yes, it’s a thing. So, it's not the trendy South Beach Diet, but yes, it's a thing and it works at dropping those pounds, but not in a good way.
The level of stress you go through during a divorce has horrible effects on your weight, your skin, your hair, your outlook and your ability to make smart decisions.
You will most likely lose weight. Every woman getting a divorce in my neighborhood went through it. I got down to 98 lbs. I haven’t been 98 lbs since my freshman year in high school by the way. It wasn’t a ‘Wow, I look fabulous’ weight. It was my other girlfriends saying, ‘Here, eat a cheeseburger’ weight and maybe some fries and a milkshake to go with that.
Please remember to eat and love yourself (not in the Justin Beiber way).
Eating well is important during this time. Your brain needs fuel to be able to make those decisions your lawyer wants you to make. Find something that’s easy because if you have to make a big meal for just yourself, you probably won’t do it.
I grab a rotisserie chicken from HEB, throw some raw greens and carrots on a plate and call it good (because it's easy and I'm lazy when I don't have my kids). I snack on blueberries and yogurt and end up eating throughout the day. It keeps my energy up, my weight at a healthy level and allows me to splurge on really delicious food when I want to.
They say the way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but honestly I think it works for women too.
Guys, if you want to impress a woman (or maybe this is just me) take her to a place where she has an emotional experience.
The Odd Duck is a great place to do just this. The food is AH-mazing. Each farm-to-market dish was a whole new experience. But when the dessert came, I had to refrain from scraping the plate clean. The only thing that stopped me was that it was a first date. My ingrained impulse to be polite and mannerly (along with my grandmother's voice in my head) was being overridden by an intense desire to eat every single bite. I wanted to pick up that plate and lick it clean. Even though I’d known him for years, I maintained my composure and shared (even though he probably would've just laughed at me if I hadn't).
APPLE. BUTTER. CAKE. Try it if it’s still on the menu (the chef likes to change things up fairly frequently). You’ll thank me later.
So little time, what’s a girl to do?
Online dating is, in a word, overwhelming. But, everyone else is doing it, so I said, sure why not? Besides I need to be able to intelligently write about it.
OH MY GOD! Here’s your tool kit ladies. First, whatever email address you sign up with (I suggest your junk one, you know the one where all of the Neiman Marcus, Dillards and Target emails go?) make sure you set up a filter where your hundreds of emails from the big online dating site will go. Don’t even get me started on “likes” and “winks.” I don’t even have time for that nonsense.
When your girlfriends tell you it can be overwhelming, they are understating. In the first 48 hours, I had 300 emails, not to mention the many hundreds of more likes and winks. (If you need an ego boost my dear, this is your place.) My profile was so minimal, it pretty much said “I don’t care enough to fill this thing out.” In fact, by the time I got to the writing (bio) part, I was over it.
EVERYONE will contact you anyway. I don’t care what age range you put, geographical range, education range, salary range, it doesn’t matter. They come from near and far. Truth be told, I felt a bit like chum in the water.
However ladies, if you get bored, it is a huge source of entertainment. Guys are funny. Opening lines are funny. Questions are interesting.
But let’s try to remember that kindness matters. Guys are putting themselves out there and asking you out. That can’t be easy. Once the original onslaught dies down to a manageable 20 emails a day, I try to send a thanks, but no thanks response, because ignoring people is just rude. If someone politely says hi to you on the street, chances are you aren’t going to keep walking without saying hi back.
Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of girlfriends who have met guys they’ve dated exclusively and some have married. So, depending on what you’re looking for, it isn’t a complete waste of time.
And, I do not, I repeat not, want to meet with some schmo who asks me to marry him in his first message to me. ACK! Run, fast, in the other direction! Welcome to online dating sites…
Who doesn't want more space?
Twitter understands our needs for space and has announced that it will stop counting photos and links in character limits giving us more freedom to express ourselves.
Bloomberg quoted a source saying that the change could come in the next couple of weeks, so hang on to your hats, because good things are worth the wait.
Cheers and Happy Tuesday!
It’s not the happily ever after I imagined as a teenager, but I’m happier at 40 than I was at 30 or even 20.
This past year has been the most difficult year of my life and the most liberating. My family taught me that good things (important things) are worth fighting for, working for. And I finally realized that I’m important, that my needs mean something, that my emotional well being matters. Some people call this selfish, some call it self care, I call it self preservation. I had all but lost the woman I was, my boundaries were gone. My freedom and independence are now highly prized and regarded because I fought so hard to regain them. I have control of my life, my decisions, my finances. And I will never surrender those again.
It’s not that we don’t have scars, but don’t they make you tougher? My boys may be a little more protective of their mother than before, but if they’ve learned to protect rather than tear down, that is something of which I’m extremely proud. That I’ve earned their respect as a woman makes me proud because that was part of my mission too. My boys have learned that you have to work for what you have, and that people will treat you the way you allow them to. They are quicker to pitch in and help, to love and to forgive. Our bond is stronger and they have matured beyond their years.
Standing on this side of the storm, the sun is shining, the rainbows are out. There is still the occasional thunderstorm, but I know, and more importantly, my boys know, that we can weather it together. And that we will not just weather it, we will soak up the rain and grow from it.
So I welcome this decade with open arms, a huge smile on my face and lightness and laughter in my heart. Here’s to 40!
I'm single and loving it. Two kids and a busy job. Life is an adventure. Being single is liberating. Life is short, spread joy.