Missed Connections

blog pix missed connections

Missed Connections

If you’re a member of Match you may have signed up for the fairly new Missed Connections service, which uses GPS to alert you to matches you have crossed paths with.

Missed Connections seems to be fairly accurate, calculating correctly that I have driven by Street X or Highway Y or walked by Avenue Z. Some of my missed connections are regulars – so much so that I wonder if they’re hiding in my trunk.

This new Match feature has triggered a few “views” of my profile and I have “viewed” some of my connections. I had one email exchange with a guy but I’m eight years older than him, which may be the reason he stopped writing.

If you want to email your Missed Connection, take advantage of a potentially common destination as an easy opener:

“Hey, were you also going to that blues concert in Adams Morgan on Friday?”

You see what I mean.

This Match feature got me thinking about other “missed connection” avenues, especially the popular one on Craigslist. I think there are some lessons to be learned from these “personals.” Let’s take a look at a few while enjoying some tuna spring rolls with pineapple dipping sauce. In the interest of privacy, I changed some minor details in the ads.

7 Summers Ago… Corner Bakery – m4w (Friendship Heights)

As mystic as this seems I must take the long shot and follow the edict of my heart and the celestial wireless…In The Summer of 2010 I met you at Friendship Heights Corner Bakery, was immediately smitten and got you breakfast on the Al-Fresca. I remember having a great time but not being smart as a wild 26 year old…We parted ways with no contact and I’ve never forgotten you. You were such an anomaly…a gorgeous Desi babe in painters overalls…You told me you were adopted. You had a patrician silence that was seemingly super compatible with my fire and locquatious (sic) nature. I have attached my pic if you are out there…I’ll be at Corner Bakery hoping for Destiny on May Day…I can take a chance on the love I’ve felt for 7 years…

Tomorrow is May Day! This reminds me of the movie An Affair to Remember.

Seven years after this man bought a woman breakfast, he’s still thinking about her. Sounds like a real connection – at least on his part. I wonder why they didn’t exchange numbers…definitely one of the lessons learned.

Two nights at home depot – m4w (Gaithersburg)

age: 41

Two nights in a row we saw each other at the checkout. We have some type of flirty connection. 

Let me know what I bought so I know it is you… 

Hard to know whether these two people were in the same line. If not, it would certainly be harder to talk. One of them could have stalled outside the store and started a conversation. Easier said than done but the bottom line is sometimes you have to take a risk and hope the other person is truly interested in you. 

You complimented me on my pocket square – m4w (Red Line)

age: 45

Riding in to DC on the Red Line last week you tapped me on the shoulder and told me you liked my pocket square. You said it made you happy. I believe it was last Thursday. I should have told you I liked your smile. 😉  

Give me some details about what I look like and the pocket square in particular, and I’ll take you to Lunch or for drinks some time…

That’s all it takes – a compliment. Sadly, he blew it …and he knows it. Oh, why didn’t they exchange information?

Uber rider, to Georgetown hotel – m4m)

You and your friend rode with me. You were cute, looked back a few times when I dropped you off. Send me details so I know it’s you 

What could he have done? I think he should have given her his card as she stepped out of the car.

braindead – m4w 

You work for a Congressman and I spoke with you about the tv show Braindead. I thought you were cute. I’d love to chat more with you. 

Not sure where they met or why they didn’t exchange numbers.

Shyness can strike anyone! Present company included.

Starbucks at Rockville Town Center This morning… – m4w (Rockville, MD)

body: athletic

height: 5’11” (180cm)

status: single

age: 45 

We kept looking at each other and I wanted to say something, but I was late and in a rush…I was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans..I hope you read these or live in the Town Center…:)

He could return on the same day of the week and time…just in case she’s a regular there.

Jewish community center in DC- m4w (DC) 

This is a stretch but we passed each other roughly three times in the hallway and I couldn’t help but look every time. You were in black pants and a white with stripes loose top. Never got a chance to connect but if you see this, shoot me a message. I’d be amazed to be able to connect with ya. 

Okay, by the third encounter, he should have made a joke and said “I hear the 4th time is the charm- why don’t we grab a coffee some day?”

Cougar with short silver hair at Ella’s 1:45 p.m. – m4w (Gallery Place)

age: 32

You are absolutely stunning and wore tall nude heels and maybe a pashmina. Only noticed you as you left Ella’s by Gallery Place. Would love to grab a drink with you. How young is too young?

I get a lot of online variations on this theme. My standard response, “I don’t date anyone the same age or younger than my children.”

Take Home Message: You never know what impact you might be having on someone. If it’s clear that you and Mr. or Ms. X are both silently flirting, take a risk and say hi (respectfully). Say anything that might lead to a conversation and eventual phone number exchange because the chances of you connecting again – even with Craigslist—are slim.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

The Letdown

Blog post couple running

I’m in a bit of a letdown mode right now after a much-anticipated first date that fizzled.

Have a slice of chocolate cake with me. Nutrition can be damned today since I need some chocodorphins (endorphins created by chocolate).

It’s not that the date was terrible but the meeting revealed a lack of truth in advertising.

I matched with Mr. J on Tinder. He had zero profile information but a nice face. In one of his pictures, he sat in front of a microphone. It appeared he was a newscaster or radio personality. This was one reason I didn’t feel it was essential to talk to him on the phone before meeting. I assumed he did not have a voice like Truman Capote though there are some annoying “radio voices” out there.

He started our conversation with “Hi.” I had little to go on so I asked him whether he was a radio newscaster or played one on TV. The texting took off from there and didn’t stop until we met 24 hours later. It turns out he is in radio though not in my hometown so I had not heard him on air.

We acquired a brief sense of each other: marital history, Pandora stations we listen to, and what we like to do in our free time. I also learned that this was his first day on Tinder. Many men say, “I just joined.” But I believed Mr. J. He’d been divorced awhile and done online dating but hadn’t joined what he thought was a hook-up APP. I assured him it didn’t have to be and when he asked, “What’s a nice girl like you doing on Tinder?” I pointed out that my profile specified I was not looking for a hookup.

We flirted, one of my favorite aspects of dating. And, there were no dick pix! Plus Mr. J was polite. After the first few texts, he said he was about to sit down to dinner with his son and asked if he could text me later. I almost fainted. Most men just stop mid-text with no warning and no (or a sorry) explanation if they resumed the chat.

After Mr. J’s dinner, he jumped back online and we texted and flirted until my fingers started to cramp up. The interlude ended with a plan to meet for a drink the next evening.

Before we said good night, Mr. J said he felt butterflies as a result of our virtual encounter. I acknowledged having them too. You know the kind of butterflies – good ones that mean you’re excited about someone.

The next day I was an energizer bunny. I decided to take advantage of that electrical buzz that comes from an anticipated first date and clean my house from top to bottom. That’s what awesome texting chemistry can do for you.

I didn’t have time to get a mani-pedi but I dressed carefully and — even though I’m a half-inch taller than Mr. J — decided to wear heels.

I got to the restaurant bar first. I only had a 10-minute drive; he had 60 minutes. I ordered a glass of wine, which did wonders for my first date nerves. There was a cute younger guy sitting at the bar alone but I deliberately did not make eye contact since I was waiting for someone.

Mr. J arrived. Oh. A quick once-over revealed a very unfit, overweight man. Nice face but not my physical type. Hopes dashed. This is a deal breaker for me. I’m fine with a little belly and I don’t seek perfection but when a man has truly let himself go, I just can’t be attracted.

I spend a considerable time working out at the gym, swimming, walking, and eating healthy (aside from the occasional chocolate cake lapse-see above) so I need someone who’s on that same page and whose appearance reflects that.

So, like so many of life’s disappointments, you just have to muddle through. We had a nice hour-long chat but there was no flirting. When I returned from a restroom break, Mr. J said he should probably head back home.

Later that evening, he texted me to say he arrived safely. Then he wrote, “I have this feeling you did not feel a spark.” “Sadly, that is true,” I replied. “I wish it were otherwise because I think you’re a great guy.” He thanked me and wished me luck. Polite to the end!

The next morning I was a used up energizer bunny – woefully in need of a charge. That’s what the rollercoaster dating life can do to you. I made a sign and put it on my desk:

Blog pix Ask for recent full body pix

 

 

It’s been a couple of days and I’m back to my upbeat self – helped by a couple of irons in the fire.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating. Or, as a new friend says, “happy solo honoring time.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Fizzling, Catfishing, and Lessons from a Millennial

blog post mother daughter 1

Fizzling

I was feeling too cocky – thinking I had defied the odds by getting responses to my proactive dating messages. I thought I was finally getting somewhere. But getting a response to your virtual pick-up line is only the first of many hurdles in this online dating sports event.

Let’s review my recent experiences while enjoying some Independence Day appropriate herby picnic potato salad.

One recent afternoon, I dropped my line into the Plenty of Fish pond when I noticed an attractive man had viewed me. His profile appealed and he said he was looking for a relationship. I pondered my opening line to him. I noticed that he had a garden so I decided to incorporate that into my message. “Do you grow basil in your garden?” I asked, “I need a supplier for my pesto.”

A short time later, Gary wrote back. “Basil is awesome,” he replied. “We could discuss this over a drink.”

Pay dirt, I thought.

“That’s possible,” I replied.

“Will you be in DC on Tuesday?” he asked.

“I will be in DC,” I responded, “attending a writing workshop in upper N.W. It ends at 6:15.”

“Is it near 12th & H Streets?” Gary asked.

This question immediately put me on guard. I recently had lunch with a man who drove from West Virginia for our first meeting and Gary appeared to be balking at a distance of under 5 miles.

“No,” I wrote, “I’ll be around upper Connecticut Avenue.” I then suggested a couple of venues in the vicinity of my class and asked if either one of these worked for him.

But Gary never replied. I’m not sure if this counts as ghosting since we had only exchanged a few messages. I’ll refer to it as fizzling. And it’s certainly rude.

Imagine having an in-person conversation with a guy and he walks away mid sentence. It feels almost as bad when this happens online.

Could Gary’s “fizzling” be related to the fact that I am 10 years older than him?

The problem with fizzling or ghosting is that you never know what happened or even if the runaway person’s reaction has anything to do with you.

Catfishing

It was time to move on to other possible targets of my affection. Next, I sent a message to Robert on Tastebuds, a mixed-use (dating, friends, concert buddies) site. We liked some of the same music and he was attractive, tall, and single. His profile contained little information so it was my job to ferret it out. Oh, and he was Bahamian, a “fact,” if true, that would play a key role in the end of our non-relationship.

I emailed Robert and asked about his favorite local music venues. We then corresponded about our jobs (in my case, retirement), marital status, and our children. I learned Robert was single and had a married son who had recently moved out of his house/apartment.

Here’s his verbatim message:

I have a son but his Married and he just moved out of the house that makes me very lonely .. Please can I have you mobile number ? I will be honored

Yes, I know Robert’s English and grammar are questionable but I decided to play along in hopes that (1) he was intelligent but that English was his second language and (2) the keyboard was not his friend.

Give me some slack. I’m in a dating dry spell and willing to entertain false hope.

Still I was suspicious of a declaration of loneliness and his career also had me wondering:

Am into art works importations and sales and I also do artworks interior decorations for homes and offices

I decided to give Robert my Google voice number so we could text. When he sent his number, I searched it and found it to be a Voice over Internet Protocol Washington state number. Strike 3 – almost out.

Once we started texting, it didn’t take long for my suspicions to be confirmed. Ultimately, he did not want to speak on the phone due to his thick accent.  Classic catfishing behavior.

The only thing I’ll share from my second catfishing encounter of the week was a tip I learned to help you search photos of matches on Google image search. If you crop the image closely to cut most of the background, Google is more likely to find the photo’s match. This helped me identify a Coffee Meets Bagel match from Virginia who in realty (no pun intended) was a realtor in Texas. The real guy is single and cute so maybe I should message him via Facebook and tell him someone stole his photo for nefarious dating purposes.

Lessons from a Millennial

I was sharing my frustrating non-dating week with my daughter. A tall, natural beauty in her late 20s, my “baby” hasn’t gone more than few months without a boyfriend since age 15. And this is without Facebook, which she refuses to join.

“I’d never do online dating,” she declared.

Daughter has met men in Starbucks, at various jobs, volunteer experiences, and through friends.

She instinctively knows how to send the right signals to a man she’s interested in.

“I just position myself,” she explained.

“Would you go up to a stranger and start talking?” I ask.

“Yes,” she said. “Men are afraid of rejection too. If I see an attractive man at a bar, I sit next to him. I might wait for him to talk to me. Depends on how I feel. Or I might start talking.”

She’s a natural. I have watched her masterfully look at an attractive man, look away, and return her gaze in the classic flirt maneuver.

It’s surreal when you’re in your 60s to get dating advice from your daughter. But it’s also fun and usually helpful. My plan is to channel my millennial daughter’s attitude and energy the next time I’m in a situation where I might meet men in real life.

If you enjoyed this post or any past ones, subscribe to get regular e-mail delivery. Follow me on social media too: Twitter, Facebook.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Overcoming My Resting Bitch Face: A Work in Progress

It was the last straw and I’ll explain why in a bit. Only an hour previously, I had been commiserating with a single friend about our unhappy looking resting bitch faces or RBF as the defined phenomenon is called. (See I’m not Mad. That’s Just my Resting Bitch Face.)

The dilemma: Women are strolling through life with a non-smiling face. This RBF is often accompanied by a failure to interact with strangers at opportune moments.

“Why is this the case?” I wondered.

Before I get too far on this rant, let’s have an appropriately sourced recipe of grilled trout from the Angry Trout Café in Minnesota.

My theory about the origin of RBF is based on the trials and tribulations of adolescence. As a young teenager, I found RBF an effective defense mechanism against cat calling by obnoxious alpha male teens. As I matured, RBF continued to be my go-to expression in public at a time when unwanted vocal male attention was more the norm. Today you’re more likely to get a sext from a stranger…but that’s another story.

So now that I’m in the 6th decade of life – and as a single woman, seeking male attention – my RBF is unfortunately fully ingrained.

Instead of a resting expression that invites smiling and flirting, I have an expression that says, “What’s your problem?”

Which brings me back to the last straw – see lead paragraph. The Epiphany of the Last Straw happened after attending an outdoor concert with a friend and talking about our mutual affliction of RBF.

After the concert, as I walked back to the parking lot by myself, thinking about RBF and the fact that it was a dateless Friday night, I was vaguely aware of a lone tall male presence carrying his porta-chair to the same lot. We each approached side-by-side parking pay-on-foot machines. For some reason, my normally competent pay-on-foot skills failed and I fought with the machine to accept my money. During this interlude, I felt my face in full RBF. Meanwhile, the dude was processing his ticket.

Did I ask for help? Did I turn off my full RBF and smile fetchingly while asking him for help? NO.

Instead, I kept reinserting my credit card until the parking gods decided to let me win. By then, Mr. Stranger was already walking to his car and my damsel in distress moment had passed.

“Shit,” I said to myself. “Here was a perfect flirt opportunity and I blew it…thanks to an RBF attitude.” Because function follows form or some such thing… basically when your face and body are closed off, your mind is following suit and you are not in flirt ready mode (FRM to coin a term).

So, my epiphany was the realization of my too frequent RBF. This revelation was accompanied by a resolve to bury it through a concerted effort of awareness and motivation.

My pledge: During every waking moment I am in public (wait – I am usually awake in public), I promise to be aware of my facial expression and smile or at least exhibit a pleasant face. Should there be an opportunity to flirt, I will make the most of it and I resolve to always be in flirt ready mode.

Before there can be behavior change, there must be awareness. So I’m definitely aware and working on the behavior change. I went solo to a happy hour at a bar the other night and actually smiled at strangers a couple of times. Like the headline says – a work in progress.

If you have cured your RBF, please write to me and let me know it can be done.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia