To Pursue or Be Pursued

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the games of pursuit that men and women play as they meet, date, and connect.

Is a man most interested in a woman when he is the pursuer? Does this hold true for all men in all situations? Is the chase paramount?

Will a woman “ruin it” if she is too proactive in the beginning of a relationship by asking a man out for the first or third date, initiating calls or texts, etc.? Is she somehow “less desirable” because she is demonstrating her desire and availability? Or is she merely reassuring a man who may wonder about her interest?

Let’s ruminate on this while we have some strozzapreti with mushrooms and ricotta.

As usual, there’s a man causing me to obsess over this topic.

It’s Mr. K from last week’s post. To date (no pun intended), we have had two (fairly long) dates, one phone call, and many texts. He has initiated all of these invitations and actions and I am an enthusiastic recipient and participant. He texts me most mornings and sometimes again in the afternoon or evening.

Mr. K took off work for our second (lunch) date. So, I feel that I’m on his mind. And yet, because I obsess, as many women do, I wonder why he hasn’t mentioned getting together again. Is it because he’s currently working on a side job after his regular job? In fact, he worked Saturday. But he said he’s free today and Monday.

I considered being direct about when we might next see each other. Instead I dropped subtle hints during our texting banter. The hints were so subtle or our banter so considered that we were able to glide right over them. In fact, we could beat around the bush indefinitely – completely sustained on innuendo and flirting.

The problem is I’m too impatient. I want to know if he’s one of the ones. I’m not sure yet. How could I be after two dates?

Perhaps it is this uncertainty about Mr. K that keeps me from being more proactive. Or it could be the advice I have gotten or read about over the years that cautions women from being the pursuer too early in a relationship or encounter. Not that I haven’t been proactive or been the pursuer a number of times. But these relationships have been short lived and now I wonder if the “right” guy is the one who is so interested in you that he pursues you.

Can you say obsessive rumination?

So I’d like to crowd source, dear readers, whether I should directly ask him out at this point and whether it is a good idea in general for women to pursue men at the beginning of a possible relationship.

What has been your experience or the experience of your friends? I’d really like to know.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

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.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

How to Handle the Top 11 Dating Types

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Have your single friends ever sighed, downed that last sip of wine, and asked in frustration, “Where are all the God-Fearing men?” Unlikely? I can tell you these men are camped out by my dating profile, in line behind all the other distinctive online dating types. (Side note: I may be easing off the online dating life but I haven’t given this tactic up.)

It may be related to my current jaded perspective but within 5 seconds I can easily characterize a prospective love interest’s “type.” It’s not genomics science. Will you join me in some potato pizza with kale pesto while I share my guide to online dating types and suggested approaches for handling them? These men are scarily similar to real life dating types.

Mr. Hot ‘n Cold

Mr. Hot ‘n Cold can’t seem to decide whether he wants to date. One date never progresses to two. And yet, he keeps viewing you. Or Mr. HNC may have reached out to say he likes you but “you live too far away to date.” Despite this, he keeps looking at your profile. Approach: Ignore.

The Perfect Man

Ivy League Schools. World Traveler. Trophied athlete. Hobnobs with celebrities. Charity events. Grade A physique. Too perfect to be real. You guessed it. Scammer. Approach: If you have proof of scamming/catfishing – report and block.

Short Man in Vegas

These men are half or all the way across the country and do not match you on anything. They write a sweet note and comment appropriately on your profile but there’s no hope of a future here. Approach: Write a nice email saying thanks but no thanks.

OMG: The God-Fearing Man

Nothing in your profile screams religion is an overriding force in your life and yet you may attract men who call themselves God-Fearing, are searching for eternal love, and list the Bible first on a list of things they can’t do without. Perhaps you are just “blessed” with a devout smile. Approach: Ignore.

The Eliterit Eeleterate Illiterate Man

He means well but if your inner editor surfaces every time he writes or says something, this is not the guy for you. Approach: Ignore. 

The Hot Rodding Fisherman

Ten photos, 5 of his 1968 Plymouth Road Runner with 426 Street hemi, 5 of him holding a prize Marlin, and one blurry main photo of 6 guys. Approach: Respond if you like cars and fish; ask for another picture.

Baby Bear

He’s two scores younger, confident, and hunky. His philosophy: age is not a barrier. Approach: with caution; consider his older brother.

The Depressed Loner

His screen name is Lonelyboy911, he’s shy, and he hasn’t dated in 10 years. Home is a small rural town. Approach: Be kind and thank him for his note but move on.

The Player

He’s always online, lets you know right away that sex is very important to him, and even specifies his fetishes. Approach: Avoid, avoid, avoid.

The Picky Man

His profile is 90% about his bad dating experiences, what he doesn’t want, and a list of attributes/interests that are essential to him. Approach: Delete and block.

The Questioner

This one can’t wait to ask how long you have been on a particular dating site. It’s often his first or second question, which is followed by, what has been your experience with dating online, and are you having any luck? Is he worried you are past your shelf life? Or is he suffering from a lack of imagination and these are the only questions he can come up with? Approach: Call him on it. Ask why he is interested in your dating memberships and point out that the important point is that you are online now.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

A Change in Dating Tactics

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Online dating and dating apps are not working well for me. In the spirit of “I’m not giving up yet,” I decided to change my approach to meeting men.

Have some cheesy rice with asparagus and I’ll explain my reasoning.

I am frustrated with the caliber of the men who reach out to me. With apologies to Lady Liberty, don’t give me your tired, your poor, your uneducated, unkempt, and uninformed. Do give me an age appropriate educated man with a sense of humor. Age appropriate is difficult to find.

I believe – and my single friends will back me up on this – that the men about my age who are online are reaching out to much younger women. Some of them try to get away with this by lying about their age. I have caught men in an age lie (e.g., a reference to a 50-year-old son by a man who is supposedly 60). Sometimes all it takes is a close look at the guy’s photo to know the age on the profile is inaccurate.

My profile has my real age and perhaps that is the problem. If most of the men are lying, I sometimes wonder if I need to shed some years to be competitive with the younger women they are pursuing.

I recently met with a matchmaker who confirmed the ageism reality of online dating. When a man plugs in his search criteria – or just browses online – he may disregard women in their 60s, even though these women may be in great shape and able to pass for women a decade younger.

If that same man met an attractive 60+-year-old woman in person, he might ask her out without even knowing her age. I believe age discrimination may also explain why a man who matches me on Tinder immediately unmatches me. My guess is that he selected me based on my – recent – photo but balked when he saw my age.

We all know that people age at different rates.   Appearances aside, many “baby boomers” have a young outlook on life, are active, social, interested, and interesting.   Jumping down now (despite my aging knees) from the soapbox.

My new approach involves a combination of stepping back from online dating, embracing in-person opportunities, and, in a case of turnabout is fair play, seeking out younger (not crazy young) men who appreciate a woman of a certain age. Like many of my about-faces, this approach may not last long.

How will I put this strategy into action? Here’s my plan:

Online Dating Pullback:

I’m on a lot of sites and apps. I won’t be checking these sites as often and I’m considering hiding my profile on a couple of them. I also will stop going to the online dating sites on weekends. Some dating coaches recommend a temporary total break from online dating and I may try that at some point.

For my no online on weekends experiment, the traditional dating sites (Match, OkCupid, etc.) will be off limits between Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday about 5:00 p.m. Not only will this give the impression that I am dating up a storm all weekend but it will also give me a break from the tedium of the online experience. To feel like I’m doing something proactive, I will still swipe on the Tinder and Bumble apps. These apps require less work and no one can tell when you were last on them.

Meeting Men in Real Life: 

In recent months, I’ve been gravitating toward meeting men in the wild – going to a Match happy hour for example. The matchmaker I recently met thinks meeting men in real life is my best tactic. It’s a work- around men who search for younger women and won’t consider someone their own age. Pros: I will know if there is in-person chemistry and what the person really looks like. Cons: I’m shy in certain social situations so this will be tough for me.

To implement this approach, I signed up for memberships in the Smithsonian (classes, films, concerts, and trips) and the Phillips museum (events, concerts). I also joined The Writer’s Center (classes and events).

I’m already in a number of Meetups and have met some great women friends. I plan to seek out new groups that offer more potential for a romantic connection.

Younger Men: 

Let me start by saying I hate the word cougar. I think one of the male equivalents – manther – is just as bad. Let’s just call it what it is – dating younger.

On the dating sites, I see 60-year-old men seeking women 30 to 45. I’m not that unrealistic and that would be too much of an age gap for me. However, I’m o.k. with a 10-year-difference give or take a few months.

Apparently, there are a number of women who don’t mind a substantial age gap. I’m currently reading Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously by a 60-year-old woman who has a wild time with men several decades her junior.

The Raven’s experience aside, I doubt I will have the same success as 60 something men who wish to date 50 something women. But if I strike a 54-year-old’s fancy, I’m open to dating him.

Wish me luck dear readers and let me know how your dating life is going.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia