From Burned out to Somewhat Hopeful

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I was prepared to title this post “fed up with dating” but at this moment I have possibilities and, therefore, a smidgen of hope.

I need to be pampered. Will you cook for me today? I made this recently and loved it: baked cod and potatoes with mustard horseradish sauce.

It’s been a bleak season and by season I mean months and months of going on first and second dates and maybe third dates or no dates and endless sifting, reading emails from non-prospects, cutting off scammers, emailing and messaging prospects, with a few phone calls thrown in.

Over the past year, I changed my tactics, revised my tactics, tweaked my profile, added professional photos to my profile, read articles on dating, started and even finished some books on the dating process, attended dating webinars, met with a matchmaker out of curiosity, and wondered if I would have to change the title of this blog to reflect my current situation and mood: Burned Out and Bitchy.

At various moments, I agonized over my age, my appearance, and the dating pool (seems more like a puddle sometimes).

So, as it sometimes happens, just when I thought I was going to have to change religions and enter a nunnery or Buddhist monastery, there’s action…or at least positive movement.

Could this shift be explained by the universe’s appreciation of the fact that despite my frustration, I haven’t given up? Examples of perseverance:

*I signed up for new activities – to enrich my life, not just to meet men

*After a period of not sending the first email, I decided to be the initiator again. Why the hell not? Personal mantra: Be tough when rejected and remember I am rejecting many too.

*I continue to blog about dating, an emotional challenge when I’m not meeting anyone (send hugs, please)

So now, at this very moment (because all can change in an instant), I am corresponding with two men I e-mailed first: Mr. P, who presents a geographic challenge, but suggested meeting halfway between our houses for lunch and Mr. C. who I contacted on the basis of our similar tastes in music. I also matched with Mr. J on Coffee Meets Bagel and Mr. B on JSwipe. On these last two dating apps, a “match” means you both like each other.

And, as I predicted, Mr. C may no longer be in the picture (a theory based on the 24 hour break I took from writing this post). Sometimes it’s hard to know if a guy is still in the picture or just takes his sweet time responding. So perhaps Mr. C is a slow responder…or not.

I have been in this situation before – enjoying a bonanza of prospects who, for various reasons, are gone within a matter of day or hours.

Back to the hope issue. Other than my possible prospects, two things gave me hope recently:

*I was introduced to a couple that met in their late 50s as a result of the woman initiating contact on OkCupid. They have been an item for several years now and seem very happy. The hope quotient for this example increased because the individuals are “older” and the woman made the first move.

*I attended the first installment of a dating seminar given by online dating coach Damona Hoffman. It wasn’t just her positivity that inspired me. She also had concrete tips and tactics for navigating the modern dating scene and finding love. I’ll visit some of these tips in a future blog post.

Today, in my moment of hope, I’ll leave you with Hoffman’s advice to adopt “an abundance mindset.” Like many of my friends, I am sometimes guilty of having a scarcity worldview, believing that “there are no good men where I live.” Part of the solution, says Hoffman, is changing your criteria – whether it’s height, distance, or something else. She’s not advocating that you ignore your deal breakers or must- haves, but being flexible is important.

As for me, I “widened the pool” by joining many dating sites and apps and going to more real-life activities. My personal homework and challenge is to expand in-person activities and venues even more. This requires a daily B for Bold vitamin.

What’s your challenge?

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.





Favorite Things to Brighten a Gloomy Spring

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It’s a grey, gloomy, and wet spring. In hopes of cheering us all up, I compiled my latest list of favorite things.

Let’s pretend we’re at the beach and the sun is actually shining. And as fantasy candy for all the single ladies, a gorgeous guy is walking toward us.

After you flirt with Mr. Gorgeous, chill out with some artichoke and asparagus lasagna and check out my list of favorites:

  1. The Moth story telling radio show and podcast. I never got over the habit of having a bedtime story. First as a child who liked to have a story read to me, then as an avid young reader, and after that as a parent who made story time a nightly ritual for my two children. Now, my bedtime story is often courtesy of The Moth.  The stories vary in quality and in delivery but a good one will bring you back to “the olden days” of radio.   Listen to the Moth’s Valentine’s Day show for a powerful love story with a twist as told by Aryana Rose.  The Moth is available on iTunes or via Stitcher (see below for details).
  2. Stitcher aggregates and organizes over 40,000 radio shows and podcasts for your listening pleasure on a phone, tablet, or computer. You can create or “stitch together” personal playlists or just browse for whatever you are in the mood for at any given time.
  3. Thomas Edwards, The Professional Wingman, is a dating and lifestyle coach who helps men and women develop their social skills so they can improve their ability to attract the opposite sex, date, and have relationships. If you can’t or don’t want to hire him or his company, you can get some tips by watching his video interviews and television appearances, or reading his blog and print interviews.
  4. Carolyn Hax, syndicated columnist and former Washington Post copy and news editor, dishes out on-target advice on a variety of topics. Not a trained therapist, she relies on common sense. Read a recent column on balancing “me” and “we” time in a relationship.
  5. The Vows column in The New York Times brings you the story of “how couples get from dating to I do.” A good number of the stories are about older, boomer age couples. Reading this column gives me hope, even though I’m not necessarily looking for marriage. Here’s a sample.
  6. The Mindy Project is an award-winning sit-com created by and starring Mindy Kaling. The storyline of the show, according to Hulu: “… a skilled OB/GYN navigating the tricky waters of both her personal and professional life, as she pursues her dreams of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending.” Mindy is a character and some of the dialogue and situations are outrageous but it’s great fun and a good escape from the often-difficult dating life.
  7. A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance. I missed this book when it was published in 2007. Of course at that time I had no idea I would be having my own later-life adventures in romance. I’m not as bold as author and English teacher divorcée Jane Juska who decided at age 66 to place a personals ad in the New York Review of Books: “Before I turn 67—next March—I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”  This memoir chronicles the author’s adventures with the men who answered her ad. I found it entertaining and revealing and often bittersweet.
  8. Humans of New York began as Brandon Stanton’s project “to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street, and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.” He started interviewing his subjects and the project morphed into captivating profiles of thousands of New Yorkers. Many of the stories are about love.
  9. Google Voice is a free phone number you can use from your cell phone and a great option if you don’t want to give out your mobile number to a relative stranger or new match. As someone who had a phone app called Burner a while back, Google Voice is much better – and there’s no cost. You will need a G mail account. Once you set up the number, you’ll also be able to text, use voice mail, and even reply to text messages using your G-mail account (it will appear as if you texted the message).
  10. Melody Gardot, a singer-songwriter with jazz and blues influences, who grew a music career after a horrific car accident. Listen: Baby, I’m a Fool.

What are your favorite things? Write and tell me.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.