Dating Roundup: Safety, Security, and Truth in Advertising

blog post woman on phone

It’s time to revisit safety, security, and fabricated profiles in online dating. It’s an ever-present topic for me as I sift through profiles and interact with matches. When I started online dating, I spent a lot more time vetting matches. I still vet them but I’ve become pretty good at recognizing the scammers so I often don’t need to go through all of the investigative hoops such as doing Google image searches. Along the way, I found some shortcuts and tips.

Pass the salmon burgers with sweet pickle relish while I discuss the issue and the shortcuts. Warning: parts of today’s chat get a bit geeky.

Coffee Meets Bagel recently sent me a good reminder about online safety with a list of common scammer behaviors and profile characteristics:

-Profession in the military or engineering, works out of the country

-Recently widowed with children

-Overly complimentary with flowery, romantic language right off the bat

-Poor English and grammar, but high level of education (Master’s, Ph.D., etc.)

-Quick to get you off the app and into email/some other messaging app, but not text (they don’t have a working cell phone).

I disagree about the texting. I find scammers will sometimes text but rarely will they speak on the phone to you.

One of my go-to security checks is the Google image search mentioned above. This tool searches the web for photos that match the one you’re checking out. So, for example, you can see if a person in another geographic location has the same photo. Sometimes you will find that the photo is of a celebrity in another country.

I’m often using dating apps on my phone or tablet rather than my laptop. I wondered if there is a way to do an image search on these devices.

Mobile Image Search Tools

Of course, consult Google whenever you have a question. Not only are there reverse image apps, but there are a couple of other tricks. A PC Magazine article about image searching from a cell phone identified one strategy: using CTRLQ, a so-called Google Image search “wrapper.” Created by Amit Agarwal, this website tool can be used to search images on mobile devices.

To search an image from a dating app, you must first save it.

How do you save those Tinder and other app profile pictures? Take a screenshot of the image. On an iPhone or iPad, simultaneously press and hold the sleep/wake button on the top or side of your device while also pressing and holding the home button. You’ll hear the click of the camera. Your saved image will be in the camera roll. You can then select that image when using an image search app (see below), CTRLQ, or the desktop version of Google (another way to do an image search on your phone). Try it; it’s an easy process.

If you have an Android phone, you can use a similar technique to save images. Digital Trends reviewed screen shot techniques for a variety of Android devices.

Image Search Phone Apps

If you have an iPhone, type “image search” in Apps and you’ll encounter a number of tools. I downloaded Veracity and found it to be seamless. I’m not aware of any Android image search apps but CTRLQ should work on these mobile devices.

Non-Geek Tips

Safety is not always the issue with false profiles. Sometimes it’s a matter of misrepresentation. For example, how many men have you dated who have obviously lied about age and height?

One possible clue that a man has lied about his age: he is willing to date women 5 + years older. An older age preference doesn’t necessarily mean a man is 5 years older than he says, but look at his picture and see if that could be the case.

Age fabrication may not bother you. However, some of my friends say, “Well, what else is he lying about?” I tend to be forgiving if there is only a couple of years difference…but a bigger lie is more troubling and a likely deal breaker.

Another quick way to check out a new match is to search his screen name. You may find his alias on other dating, sex, and general sites. You can learn a lot from this easy sleuthing.

An Almost Meet Cute

Enough about online issues! I’m still working on meeting men in real life.

I had a brief almost meet cute Friday night. Walking up a long subway escalator after a night of jazz at Westminster Church, a man was about to pass me on the left. “Wanna race?” he asked. I quickly looked at him (age appropriate, too short but nice face), smiled, and went into high gear escalator racing. He laughed and said, “I didn’t think you would.” “I’m very competitive,” I said as I gave him a run for his money (placing first in the Olympic sport of escalator racing). Several children trailed Mr. Racer. Grandkids? His kids? You never know. And I was with friends, so the exchange ended there.

Just another almost meet cute in DC. I’ve got a million of them…. some day, one has got to fully develop.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

The Olympics of Dating: A Fantasy

Olympics 1 for blog

Are you “Olympic ed” out? The number one Google search question about Rio last Wednesday was “When do the Olympics end?” Move over XXXI – we need a new Olympics of Dating. It’s time for another Nadia fantasy.

Join me in some crostini with tuna tapenade while I share my mildly naughty thoughts with you…and have a glass of champagne to celebrate tonight’s end of that other Olympics.

Qualifying Sports in the Olympics of Love

Meeting Freestyle

The sport of meeting the opposite sex is the basis for all the other games. First, find a partner!

Action, Rules, and Scoring: In this Dating Olympics event, men or women score based on the quantity of phone numbers acquired during a 24-hour interval. Each sportsman/woman is paired with a spotter/bodyguard who records the player’s success and makes sure there is no hanky panky (of the number fudging type).

Competitors are allowed to acquire phone numbers from matches on dating sites and apps and from people they meet in person. Extra points are given for verified meet-cutes.

Extreme Speed Dating  

Action, Rules, and Scoring: This sport, a takeoff of traditional speed dating, is measured in seconds rather than minutes. Competitors rotate “conversational” partners after 15 seconds. Given the limited timeframe allowed to get to know someone, intuition becomes more important than actual rapport. Appearance is everything because there is nothing else. High scorers (in both the men’s and women’s divisions) are those who proactively ask the most people out on a date that is accepted.

Synchronized Texting 

Action, Rules, and Scoring: In this favorite of Millennials, the player’s task is to match the exact word count and response time (down to the second) of texts received from a competitor on the opposing team. Extra points are awarded for creativity and engagement. Fouls are called for use of the salutations “heyyyyy” and “hi gorgeous/handsome, wanna see me naked?”

Synchronized Sexting

Action, Rules, and Scoring: The action and rules are similar to Synchronized Texting but there are no fouls for naked picture offers (as long as there is no coercion). Scoring is, well, you know.

Fence Mending

Action, Rules, and Scoring: Unlike fencing, the goal of Fence Mending is to “unstab” your competitor in a planned verbal battle. Competitors are judged for their sincerity in acknowledging bullheadedness, insensitivity, and stupidity.

Flirting

Action, Rules, and Scoring: Competitors use body and verbal language to charm their partner. Judges evaluate the degree of eye contact, smiling, light arm touching, and open body language. Winners progress to the next level, whatever that might be.

Canoedling 

Action, Rules, and Scoring: In this relatively new Olympic dating sport, competitors are judged on their ability to canoodle while maneuvering a canoe through a difficult obstacle course in shark-infested waters. Points are given for maintaining continuous physical contact with the designated teammate while fighting off a shark with the paddle.

Volley Talk

Action, Rules, and Scoring: Volley Talk, in which competitors are judged on their conversational equipoise, is one of the more popular Olympic Dating games. Extra points are given for intense listening, appropriate questioning, and eye contact. Penalties are given for monologuing, curbed enthusiasm, and cell phone action while one’s partner is talking.

Sex Gymnastics

Action, Rules, and Scoring: This is a Millennial dominated sport although a few valiant Gen Xers and Baby Boomers continue to compete. Competitors are judged on extreme flexibility, inversion, and orthopedic improbability. Fouls are not given for environmental wreckage, ripped clothing, exhibitionism, or adult beverage spilling. In fact, these occurrences incur extra points.

Have I left out any games? Let me know.

Until next week, happy competing — er dating — or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Men in the Wild: Behavioral Science to the Rescue

blog post woman with wine

I’m taking a cue from the behavioral sciences to increase my comfort level with going to bars solo to meet men.

Join me in some slow cooker ratatouille and I’ll fill you in.

From what I have observed, most men are comfortable sitting in a bar solo with the intention of meeting women. Although some women also have a relaxed attitude about this tactic, a fair number of us, including me, are NOT at ease.

I have no problem going to a bar with a friend or two in hope of flirting with and meeting men. But going by myself is another story and since I believe that romantic success in a bar setting is more likely if one is alone, I have challenged myself to get comfortable with this approach.

This is where psychology comes in.

My discomfort as a solo bar goer does not qualify as a phobia and it certainly is not at the level of a panic attack. However, I reasoned that exposure therapy, a demonstrated treatment used to treat phobias, panic disorders, and other conditions, might help with a “softer” issue.

There are various types of exposure therapy. My plan is for “in vivo exposure,” basically forcing my butt out the door and into a nice happy hour venue with an age appropriate (loosely defined) clientele.

Exposure therapy may be combined with relaxation exercises to reduce anxiety and to help the individual associate the targeted activity or situation with relaxation. A nice glass or two of wine works well in the Nadia version of this technique.

Exposure therapy à la Nadia has another element, which I’m calling The Back Story. The Back Story is the story you tell yourself about a situation to help you deal with it. When you play that role, like the award-winning actress that you are, it’s easier to cope.

So if I tell myself that I’m visiting DC and don’t know anyone here, I feel more comfortable doing things solo. It sounds crazy but it seems to work. I am much more at ease going solo when travelling so an inventive Back Story helps me channel that comfort level in my hometown.

To date, I’ve had four solo bar outings (no friends accompanying me, no wing women etc.). And it has pretty much been a bust – other than having a nice glass of wine and delicious appetizers. I’ve talked to the bar wait staff and in one case discussed the food with two married men. But I have either picked a bad time (the bar is deserted or so crowded that strategic seating choices are limited) or a bad bar (in terms of clientele). And I still feel awkward when I go. But practice makes perfect (cliché happiness) and I plan to keep trying.

Maybe one day I’ll actually meet an eligible man at a happy hour.

How’s your search going?

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

 

 

First Dates

blog post high heel sneakers

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about first dates. This is not unexpected because I have a lot of first dates. And I don’t mean I have a lot of dates… just a lot of FIRST dates. Obligatory sigh.

Do you get hungry after reading the lead paragraph of my posts? If you are a faithful reader, you have been conditioned to expect a mouth-watering recipe at this point. So, enjoy a bowl of tortellini with snap peas and pesto (with or without the mint) while we discuss first dates. And, if you’re not a faithful reader, sign up!

There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in a first date and a lot of inner monologue that takes place.

I’ve had a few dreadful first dates, a number of boring/mediocre ones, and some good and great ones. The irony is that a great first date doesn’t necessarily lead to a great second encounter, let alone a dating relationship.

It’s always fun to review the bad first dates…even when they’re not #10 on the horrific scale.

I recall a date with Mr. A, a nice but unbelievably boring man, I met for a drink after work. As a naïve new divorcée, I agreed to meet Mr. A despite our rather lackluster phone call. I should have known that struggling for conversation on the phone is a likely predictor of a painful first date. And painful it was. We ended up in a conversation loop about our kids, his new retirement, my hoped for retirement. No chemistry. No pizazz to the conversation. Only the wine made the brief date tolerable.

At the 45-minute point, I realized I was starving. The smells of pesto were tempting me. Mr. A asked if I wanted to get some food. I couldn’t imagine sitting there for another second. So, despite my grumbling tummy, I said I needed to walk my daughter’s dog. In fact, my canine care services were not needed that day.   I hated resorting to a white lie but could not think of an alternative and kind excuse.

The next day I was surprised when Mr. A emailed me to ask me out again. Was he unaware of the awkwardness and poor connection? This time I was direct and said I didn’t think we were a match.

One other bad date sticks in my mind. I met a Mr. B (I can’t remember his name so B is for Bad) at Politics and Prose for a lunchtime date. When I arrived, Mr. B was at a table drinking a coffee. After I greeted him (oh, disappointment – he was much older and much shorter than his profile and photos indicated), I asked, “Have you eaten?” “Yes,” he said. “Well, I didn’t have lunch so I’m going to grab a light bite,” I replied.

He didn’t offer to get me something or even wait in line with me. Yes, on a first date, I like that (though I always offer to pay half of whatever the joint bill is). So, given his age, height, and lack of chivalry, I didn’t have much hope.

When I returned to the table, we chatted (cocktail party get-to-know-you conversation) but he kept checking out every woman who walked by. Not that I wanted to lock eyes with him but I found it annoying and disrespectful. When I learned during the conversation that he had 7 cars I was even more annoyed that he hadn’t offered to at least pay for my tea. You can call me old fashioned in this regard.

Mr. B and I had nothing in common and after a painful 35 minutes, I said I needed to leave to prepare for a dinner party (a half–truth since I had company coming for dinner but plenty of time to prep).

And then there are the good first dates. He looks good. He looks better than his pictures. He smiles and is engaged. There is obvious, easy chemistry and connection. Conversation flows. He hasn’t yet revealed himself to be a narcissist.

He knows how to kiss – discovered at the end, possibly the middle, and sometimes at the very beginning of the date. He might rub your feet (yes, this happened), you might go to a second venue just to extend the evening (at his request), or you might go for a drink and then a walk.

You might be asked for a second date at the end of date #1 or you might be asked the next day. The date might last 3 hours or it might last 6.

The first date might be the beginning of a relationship or just the beginning of a short dating interval until it is clear that he’s not the right one. Regardless, it’s a good or great first date.

So, dear readers, hope for the best when you’re putting on your high heel sneakers in advance of date #1. Yes, on a scale of 1 to 10, it could end up being a zero but it might be a 20.

Anything can happen.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating Sites & Apps: The New Old and the New New

blog new old andnew new

Some days it’s hard not to be discouraged by online dating. It helps when the old dating sites and apps offer new tweaks to their services – or new products are launched.

Join me in some bone-building rainbow trout with garlicky yogurt and kale while I review the latest updates and inventions.

Match didn’t send me a heads up about their latest App improvement (not available on the computer version). I discovered this refinement accidentally when viewing a profile on my phone.

At the top of the screen, under my match’s picture, was an “activity meter” and message to “View MatchIQ.”

Match activity meter front page

When I clicked on it, I was presented with the percentage match of my target and the age of my competition. Sample: “You’re the same age as the girls he usually talks to.” I like having this information and it gives me incentive to proactively message someone.MATCH ACTIV meter you're same age

The next screen provides additional information on the matches your fellow responds to. See below.

Match activ meter interests of matches

I like this feature as well and I can imagine that if I really liked someone, I might update my profile to include additional interests (as long as they really are my interests).

The activity meter shows how active a match is:

Match how active is he

And how often he responds:

 

Match activ meter response level

The update also suggests ice-breakers (mostly lame: e.g., how do you feel about decaf coffee drinkers?) and tips and tricks to help you.

I’ll share an observation based on my viewing of one man’s activity meter. Mr. M is 60 years old and, according to his activity meter, talks to women in their early 60s. Yet, his profile says he is seeking women age 29 to 45. I don’t know if this means he’s happy to email “boomer age” women but will not consider meeting women in this age group. Perhaps I should write to him and see what happens. I share many of his interests and don’t need to revise my profile. Stay tuned for any worthwhile updates.

Tinder’s latest wrinkle is a feature called Tinder Social. Once you “unlock” Tinder Social, you’ll see Facebook friends who have also unlocked it and they will see you. You can then invite 1, 2, or 3 friends to go out. Your group will then appear as a choice when men are swiping in search of dates. One person from each “going out” group has to say yes to the other multi-person match. Then you can message each other and make plans.

When you unlock the feature, you will see groups even if you haven’t yet formed one yourself. I guess there’s no reason you couldn’t say “yes” to a group and then invite some other non-Tinder friends along.

To date, I have been presented with several groups of friends – some mixed sex and some mixed ages. This reminds me of group dates in high school. Perhaps Tinder management hopes Tinder Social will help to change public perception of the app as a hook-up vehicle. As the Tinder blog says, ”Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way a good night out with your friends becomes something better.”

Coffeemeetsbagel has a new ladies choice way of operating. Women used to receive a “bagel” at noon (provided the CMB gods found you a bagel). You and your bagel then indicated whether you liked each other. If there was a mutual like, you were “connected” and could chat. With ladies choice, women are presented with bagels who already liked them. So, there’s no waiting and wondering. CMB wrote me about the new feature: “This is #LadiesChoice. You’ll only see a curated list of Bagels who already liked you. No more endless swiping. No more dating games. You have the final say on who gets to start a conversation with you.”   Highly doubtful this will be the end of dating games. On a positive note, CMB is morphing into a Bumble-like app where it’s up to women to initiate the conversation.

And now for something completely new: Lovenotes and Bernie A.I.

Lovenotes matches you with people who share similar music preferences and vocal characteristics. As a music lover, I like the idea of a music-themed dating app. I’m on Tastebuds but it’s not just for dating and hasn’t brought me much luck.

Love notes

I decided to sign up for Lovenotes since this blog encourages me to be an early adopter. Like many of the dating apps, Lovenotes draws your basic public information and photos from Facebook. I was asked to pick a song that best describes me and to select 5 other “favorite” songs. My next task was to record several voice notes with my phone. In addition to recording some random phrases, there is a free choice recording. I found the recording process easy technically but otherwise challenging. I felt like I sounded forced and stupid but it’s an awkward situation. Fortunately, you can delete and re-record ad infinitum.

You also write a very short bio and set the usual age and distance filters. Once all this is done, Lovenotes provides a “science-y” algorithm based on musical preferences and vocal characteristics. When you get your matches, it’s up to you to say yes or no. If someone likes you back, then there’s a “connection” and you can start talking.

I’ve been on Lovenotes 24 hours and received one match who is 32 years old. That’s likely a function of the app being new with few members in my age category.

Lovenotes, like Bernie A.I. (see next), is proud of its science base and for the edification of its users, the website offers links to 19 studies on various aspects of voice, music, and attraction.

Bernie A.I. for artificial intelligence is still in a public beta testing mode. Billed by its developers as “your personal matchmaking assistant,” Bernie learns your type and does the work for you. It finds your matches on dating sites and apps you belong to, swipes for you, and even messages your matches with customizable introductions that you write. Once you sign up through Facebook, you make 60 yes/no choices to photos to teach Bernie who you find attractive. There’s also an anti-spam feature, per the Bernie A.I. website, that detects spammers and automatically reports them.

I didn’t sign up for Bernie A.I. yet. I have to think about whether I want big brother Bernie sending introductions for me (even if they’re based on what I write). I know some dating coaches do this but where does the farming out end? I’m certainly not going to farm out the cuddling.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Beach Interlude

blog woman on beach

On a family beach vacation last week, I stayed active on the dating sites and apps. I thought, “Why not meet someone for a drink while I’m here. And if we hit it off, a 3 hour distance is not impossible.”

At this point in my dating journey, I’m open to seeing a special someone primarily on weekends.

Let’s talk over a melted goat cheese with avocado toast concoction I created today. See the end of this post for the recipe.

While perusing the dating sites, Mr. J, a tall aquatic specimen on Plenty of Fish, reached out to me. He commented on my profile and my height. We chatted extensively via text over the next 24 hours. Much of the conversation was about music. We had similar musical tastes and Mr. J sent some artist and song suggestions for me to check out on YouTube. Based on his music favorites, he is definitely a romantic.

You’re probably wondering whether our texting led to an in person meeting. I told Mr. J I would be heading home in a couple of days. At first, I thought he would pick up on that and suggest meeting for a drink. I’m now glad he didn’t ask me out. Let’s back up a bit to discuss this in more detail.

Two reasons I’m glad we never met

The first reason has to do with Mr. J’s attraction factor. In his main picture, he looks somewhat attractive. The photo is rather dark but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought he might look better in person. I have gone out with guys who were more attractive than their photos (the reverse has been true as well).

Mr. J’s supplementary photos were less flattering but I ignored them, focusing on the main one. Why did I do that? I’m trying not to be too picky – to be open to possibilities. And I also know that some very attractive people are just not photogenic. But a bigger reason has to do with my yearning for a relationship.   So, I sometimes flirt online with someone who’s not really my type until I am hit over the head with the fact that the guy is not right for me.

It’s not just men who are visual creatures. And attractiveness (which, fortunately, means something different to everyone or we’d all be fighting over the same fellow) has a lot to do with chemistry. It’s not the only factor in chemistry, but it’s part of the attraction soup.

When I showed Mr. J’s profile to my sister, her reaction was a reality check. I came to my senses. It was unlikely that I would be attracted to Mr. J if we met.

The second reason I’m glad I didn’t meet him is because Mr. J, who had an interest in writing, quickly incorporated sexual themes into his messages. When I said I was interested in his writing, he replied with erotica. It was directed to me, and I’m not saying it didn’t raise my temperature. However, when you haven’t met someone, there’s a fine line between flirting and creepiness. He crossed that line. I faded away.

My family vacation ended without a romantic detour.

To leave you on a hopeful note, there are some interesting new features on some of the dating sites and apps I’d like to explore with you…but I’ll discuss those in another post.

For all of you foodies, here’s Nadia’s Recipe for Melted Goat Cheese and Avocado Toast: 

Ingredients:

2 slices whole grain bread (regular not monster-sized slices)

1 oz. soft goat cheese. If you don’t yet have a digital scale (hint, hint), use your judgment regarding amount

¼ of a ripe avocado

Fresh lime juice

Directions:

Toast bread. Spread goat cheese on one slice and microwave until just melted (about 18 seconds)

Mash avocado and add a couple of squeezes of fresh lime juice.   Spread avocado on the other slice of bread.

Make a sandwich and enjoy with a side of fresh fruit! I had a peach.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Newbies Times Two

blog chick pix

Last weekend I had a double newbie experience. In one case, I was reminded of when I was a newbie. In the second experience, I had a drink with a new old newbie. Confused? I’ll explain while we enjoy some grilled tofu and heirloom tomato salad. This pairs nicely with watermelon mimosas.

Newbie #1 (me)

It was a normal online morning. I was deleting catfishers and young would-be studs four decades younger than me. I logged onto Match, the first dating site I joined a year after my separation. At the time, I thought Match worked fairly well for me – presenting me with daily reasonable partner selections and I heard from a number of them.

Back to present day: someone from those early Match days, Mr. H,  “viewed” me. In fact, this man was my first date in almost 40 years.

Back to the past. I remember flirting online with Mr. H, a tall, athletic divorced man with a solid profile that revealed a romantic and a philosophical side. I pushed the flirt envelope to advance the concept of meeting. He knew I was separated and wanted to be sure I was ready to enter fully into a relationship. I remember thinking he didn’t want to risk getting involved with someone who wasn’t over their ex. “I’m definitely ready for the next chapter,” I wrote. Mr. H lived about an hour away so we decided to meet halfway between our houses at an outdoor restaurant next to a lake. It was summertime.

What a flurry of nerves getting ready for that date! With my daughter advising me on wardrobe, I tried on several outfits – finally settling for a blue jean skirt, heels, and a trendy, sexy but tasteful blouse. Ladies, you can imagine my butterflies.

On the drive to the restaurant, I tried to relax and enjoy the music on the radio.

I arrived on time and walking toward the outdoor tables, I saw him. He looked exactly like his pictures – only better. I felt fluttery with nerves and anticipation. He walked toward me. Surprise — he kissed me hello. Remember, this was date #1 post separation. It was all so strange.

We made our way to a table and began a comfortable conversation. Mr. H had interesting and unusual experiences to share. I don’t remember thinking he was a conversational narcissist but I believe he talked more than me. Given my nerves, that was probably a good thing. Dating rating: A. As he walked to me car, he gave me a hug and said, “Let’s do this again.” I can’t remember what I said given my still nervous state but it was probably something like, “Sure, give me a call.” Today, assuming I liked the guy, I would be more direct.

I think I wrote Mr. H that I enjoyed our lunch. Even if he responded (sorry, dear readers, my memory fails here), we never went out again. In time, I totally forgot about him. Until last week. When I realized Mr. H had viewed me, I felt compelled to write to him. I briefly wondered whether I should see if he would write first. But then I remembered my “newbieness.” I felt I should acknowledge how awkward I must have been on our date. My goal was to say, “hey, I’m not a newbie anymore,” so that he would want to see me again. So, I sent Mr. H a short message: 

Hi,

I had to say hello. I believe we had a lunch date 6 or 7 years ago. Yes, I have a photographic memory🙂 

I was such a newbie! I’m sure you recognized that (if you remember me). I think our “meeting” was my first date while separated – so of course I remember you.  

I’m sure you would agree that this whole divorce experience is quite a journey – and an opportunity for growth! 

I hope life is good.

Cheers,

Nadia

A week has gone by and he hasn’t responded.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have written to him. Perhaps he didn’t feel a connection when we met because I was a nervous mess. As I’ve said before, you never know what the other person is thinking or not thinking about you.

Newbie #2: Him

Newbie #2 was my first in-person, real life meeting with a Tinder Match. A notch on my dating belt. It’s not what you think. In fact, Mr. F is the antithesis of the so-called Tinder experience. Divorced for 18 years, Mr. F explained to me via text that he hadn’t dated at all in that time. Did I believe him? I wasn’t sure. He said his sons convinced him to finally move on with his life and added that he’ll want to go slow (again, throw out or back-burner your Tinder expectations). I responded, “That’s fine. I’ll be gentle with you .”

Unfortunately, I ignored my “rule” to ask for more pictures when a man only has a headshot. In Mr. F’s case, his headshot included sunglasses and a cap so it was hard to tell what he looked like. But I thought his bone structure indicated a good-looking man.

After 24 hours of messaging last Saturday and Sunday morning, we decided to meet for a drink Sunday afternoon. Mr. F had loaned his car to his son for the weekend so we arranged to meet in Georgetown – about halfway between our houses.

You know in the first few seconds of meeting someone whether there’s any attraction and in this case, Mr. F, did not live up to my expectations. He was thoughtful, had me sit at the only empty stool across from the crowded bar, ordered a drink etc. but when we sat down, he monopolized the conversation and it was clear we were not a match. And although that bone structure was in fact quite good, the former athlete and titled boxing champ was woefully out of shape. He had a hard time walking me to my car, a short distance away.

I think he was nervous (this may explain why he monopolized the conversation in person but not on our pre-meeting phone call). And that would go along with his newbieness. After 18 years of divorce, he truly was an old newbie.

There you have it. To paraphrase the closing lines of Naked City, there are eight million dating stories in this naked city. Today’s post has been two of them.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia