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

Roller Coaster Not Dating Life: Men, learn some manners

Embed from Getty Images

It’s time for some updates on my strange singles week. Let’s chat and enjoy an Arugula Greek Salad.

As you may recall, when we last connected I was riding the roller coaster world of dating – or not-dating — and had ended the week with a mixed message from one man and a rejection from the other.

Mr. A, a man I had spoken to by phone, ignored an email I sent after our first phone conversation. Then, several days later and against dating protocol, he called me on a Saturday night. I didn’t recognize the number and didn’t answer the call. Mr. A is the man whose real age, according to my sleuthing, is 5 years older than his profile indicates. Mr. B came into my life via a Facebook introduction from a mutual friend. However, he messaged me to say his life is too crazy busy to consider starting something.

Here are the updates and a new dilemma. I never returned Mr. A’s Saturday night call but he messaged me the next day to say he was in Florida visiting his daughter. So I decided to reply and we had a good conversation. Mr. A said we obviously had phone chemistry and should meet after he returned from Florida. He suggested dinner on Saturday night and I said o.k., even though I don’t always agree to dinner on a first meeting – especially on a Saturday. I agreed since he would be driving quite a distance. (Note to inquiring minds: he planned to stay overnight with his sister who lives nearby).

By Saturday morning, I still had not heard from Mr. A to confirm our plans. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I texted him to say I wasn’t sure our date was solid and that regardless I was not feeling up to going out. No response. So, another “fade away” as I like to call the matches who disappear without a trace.

Now for an update on Mr. B, the Facebook friend. I had written Mr. B off after he messaged me to say he was too busy to consider starting something. My reply was “As you wish” and a comment that this is my favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Unexpectedly, the next day, Mr. B wrote back to suggest we meet for coffee when things calm down in a week.   My only thought is that my reference to The Princess Bride must have captured his imagination because he included a photo from the movie in his text. Hope sprang (yes, it’s a real word) eternal!

Then, yesterday, over a week later, I see a Facebook photo update of Mr. B taken by a woman on what is obviously a hike in the woods. So, perhaps Mr. B is already seeing someone. And given my luck lately (yes, an obnoxious reminder of the dating dry spell another one has likely bitten the dust.

Before I leave my update on the strange singles week, a new match possibility emerged that presents a problem related to Mr. A’s age contradiction.

The problem guy, Mr. C, is on OkCupid, a site that seems to be increasingly attractive to romance scammers. Mr. C’s profile says he is single, which can mean never married, divorced, widowed, or separated. However, when I ran a security check on him, I found mention of a possible former or current wife but no reference to a divorce (divorce records are often online and included in an identity service’s report).

In a phone conversation, I asked Mr. C if he was never married, separated, widowed or divorced (trying to sound neutral). He started to say, “sep….and then switched to “divorced.” Freudian slip? True indication of his status?

When I sleuthed some more, I found another dating profile of his – on Plenty of Fish (POF) — with no picture and his marital status listed as separated.

I contemplated creating a fake identity on POF – just like the scammers – so I could email Mr. C to verify his status. (Yes, you can call me determined if nothing else.) I signed up using this new identity but have not taken the time to find and load a photo.

So, while I pondered whether I had gone overboard in my sleuthing, Mr. C and I had another good phone conversation. He asked if I was ready to meet. I said yes, despite my questions about his marital status. Why? I liked him and hoped my findings could be explained – e.g., old free profile he never took down. I planned to politely ask him about his marital status in person. My thought was that, if nothing else, it would be good copy for Dating, Sex, and Life in your 60s.

Side note about an interesting phenomenon: the writing of this blog compels me to pursue various situations as a learning experience for my readers and me. I plan to write more about this – how writing a blog can empower you — in a future post.

Back to the update: The last phone call I had with Mr. C, the possibly divorced guy, was Monday night while he was driving. (Pet peeve: does anyone NOT multitask when talking on the phone?)

Five days later, on Friday night at 10:00 p.m., Mr. C sent me a text to see if I could meet for coffee the next morning. He acknowledged the last minute aspect. Ha! Plus he spelled my name wrong. And the kicker? When I checked his profile, his photo was down. The profile was still visible but no photo. I texted him back to say my dance card was filled and asked about the photo. He said he didn’t like the photo and would be putting up a new one. When? After his divorce? A profile without a photo is always suspicious.

This was too much. I don’t think I can meet him – even for the sake of good copy.   If I add up the lack of divorce confirmation in the identify report, the extra POF profile, the Freudian slip when I asked him his marital status, and the disappearing photo on OkCupid, I am left with too many negatives.

These recent interactions have prompted a big question: what do you do when you find out information about a prospect that doesn’t match his profile?

Do you ask the guy about the discrepancy before you meet and risk looking “creepy,” particularly when the information you unearthed may not be accurate? Or do you ask him about it during your first coffee date? Or do you just “fade away” like so many men do?

Has anyone experienced this situation? What did you do?

All of these interactions also illustrate the epic lack of manners that is pervasive in the dating world. It’s too easy to be rude. You can hide behind text messages, false profiles, and geography. You’re not likely to run into someone you’ve met online so you can just fade away without embarrassing in-person run-ins. I would love to hear examples of rude dating behavior. Send a comment or tweet to #rudedates.

I’m hoping scientific research can uncover ways to engage in mass brainwashing to instill good manners.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating! XXXOOO Nadia