Sunday, February 20, 2011

6. My best remedy for nerves before a first meeting.

I was super nervous on the way to first meetings (or first ‘dates’).  I would get myself so nerved up on the drive, I’d be having trouble breathing normally by the time I got there.  So I started calling friends and talking while I was on the way.  I had a number of friends who were able and willing to distract me so I could arrive at a meeting without hyperventilating.  Lean on your friends.  That's what they're for.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

5. Romance is like soup…

… it needs to simmer to be its best.

Here’s something I have heard many times from friends about a guy they met for the first time:

“He was nice enough.  But I don’t know.  I just didn’t feel that… you know… butterfly thing.  I don’t know if there’s a spark.”

You barely met him.   Of course you don’t know if there’s a spark.  When I think back to the guys I’ve dated where there was that ‘spark’ in the first hour, I realize none of them were good choices for me.  If there is spark in the first hour, it’s not real and it won’t last.  If that’s what you’re looking for, go for it.  Short lived spark is not something I was looking for in a date.  If you’re like I was, then realize this new format of dating means it’s going to take some time to get to know someone.  It’s going to take some time for the chemistry to develop;  some time to simmer, like good soup.

I got some great advice from someone when I started dating that I found really helpful.  Ask yourself if you’d be interested in going on the very next date.  Just one, just for a couple of hours.  Don’t get caught up in worrying about if youre attracted enough to marry him, or even if you're attracted enough to, let’s say, kiss him.  Just worry about if you’d like to go see a movie and get a bite to eat.  If the answer to that is yes,  do it. 

Dating and getting to know someone is a process; take the process one step at a time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

4. The first “first date” is really just a throw away

You’ll want to learn to carefully select the people that you’ll actually take the time to meet.  There’s just not enough time in the day and not enough appropriate people for you out there that you should be going on a coffee meet up every day. 

But to get started, know you’re going to take some mis-steps.  The only alternative is putting it off forever.  So, rip the band-aid off and just pick someone you think you might like.  I suggest coffee for a first meeting. It’s safe, it’s public, it’s inexpensive and it’s quick. 

I remember my first attempt.  I don’t remember the fellow’s name.  I don’t remember having any idea if he would be someone I’d like.  He was age and education appropriate, so I met him at a Starbucks.  I was nervous.  I fussed about what to wear.   As soon as we said hello, I knew he wasn’t for me.  There was nothing wrong with him, we just weren’t destined for friendship or anything else.  I thought I need to put in an hour; that seemed only polite.  As the conversation floundered, I was trying to see what time it was without being obvious, so I looked at his watch.  We had met at 4pm.  Hooray!  It was 4:45!  I had put in 45 minutes and I was almost free.

I was wrong.  When looking at an upside down watch, 4:15 can easily be mistaken for 4:45. 

3. "But how do I start?" you ask.

Pick a site.  I don’t know that it matters that much.  I used  One of the married couples I know met on Yahoo! Personals and one on   I have a friend on eHarmony right now.  Just pick one and try it.  The worst thing that will happen is that you spend $39 and all you’ll have to show for it are some amusing stories.  I’ve paid more for a bad haircut.

If you’re intimidated by writing a profile, don’t be.   It’s really easy.  Just be yourself.  The only really dreadful profiles are the ones that try too hard to say all the “right things.”    Say something that you believe; about dating, about something that amuses you, about yourself, about what you’re hoping to find, about what you’re afraid you’ll find and want to avoid, it doesn’t really matter.  If your personality comes through, the right people will like it.

2. Getting over the stigma

When I was a kid, “personal ads” were the of the day.  They were something we read in the back of the paper and laughed about.  They seemed really silly and I was sure all the people who placed them were entirely weird.  I assumed the same would be true of everyone on, eHarmony and Yahoo! Personals.

It’s not all freaks today.  I met some nice folks through  For instance, I dated a very nice guy who is a respectable lawyer.  He is a great guy and we’re still friends.  We just weren’t the right romantic match.  I ran into some odd ducks as well, I admit, but no one scary or dangerous.  Okay, one guy was scary, but I'll save that story for another post.  I knew he was scary by phone, I never met him.  Use common sense.  If someone seems really weird, move on.  It’s still better than trying to meet someone in a bar, for goodness’ sake.

In the last six years, I have been to two weddings that resulted from on line dating.  Both marriages appear to me be happy, reasonable, long lasting unions.  It’s the wave of the future; get on board.

1. Here's how it happened

 I’ve become a guru of on line dating among my friends.  Here’s how it happened:

Several years ago, when I was 34, I was single and wanting to find a nice guy to date.  It wasn’t easy.  I knew all the people at my company.  I knew all my friends’ friends.  I did not think that I’d meet someone I’d like in a bar.  I might trip over someone here or there, but my dating pond needed to be re-stocked.  In today’s world of connection and community on the internet, it seemed like the only real, proactive alternative. 

I didn’t like the idea and I resisted it.  I did finally start.  I got overwhelmed, I spent too much time, I spent too little time, I drank a lot of coffee.  Over time, I met a few nice guys, a few I wanted to get away from quickly, nothing terrible happened, and most importantly I got proficient at dating.  As much as I don’t like the idea of “dating” it is the necessary social custom to find a romantic relationship at this point in my life.    

Now, at 41, I’m dating a very good guy whom I love and who loves me back.  We are happy and content and have been dating for about a year and a half.  I hope I don’t have to use my dating skills any time soon.  J

I did not meet my very good guy on line.  I met him through work.  But here's what I can tell you with absolute confidence:  if I hadn't practiced and gotten better at daing by dating on line, I wouldn't be in the relationship I'm in now.

I have a number of friends who are trying to get started dating.  I’ve become the go to person among them for advice.  I’m not saying I’m any kind of an expert about finding love.  However, if I had to, I could face dating with some composure and even, on a good day, a little aplomb.  And so, this blog will attempt to confer some tricks and tips I've learned.  If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to tell a few stories that amuse me.  Hopefully they will amuse you, too.

My very good guy and me.