Irreconcilable Differences in Dating

blox pix august 6 couple by water

Like many online dating interactions, it started out as promising. We “liked each other” on Zoosk, a site that has given me many possibilities but — so far – has not led to a relationship.

At first match, it was the distance that gave us both pause. I thought geography might be the deal breaker, but it turned out to be something rather obscure and weird.

Intrigued? Stuff your face with a generous portion of black sesame noodle bowl while I dissect the latest online encounter.

Mr. P’s description of his waterside life, his sense of optimism, and his love of family, cooking, physical activity (a senior Olympics competitor), and overall carpe diem philosophy appealed to me. As a bonus, he’s 6’4” and pushes my “attractometer” buttons.

I was worried that his profile did not mention any cultural, musical, or artistic interests but figured I would probe for that. I started fantasizing about living on the river. On the somewhat negative side, he’s 5 years older than me. I focused instead on the fact that he’s in excellent shape and lives a healthy lifestyle.

In his first message to me, Mr. P brought up geography issues. On a good traffic day, we live about 90 minutes away from each other. He said he was willing to correspond and potentially move forward if I was. As mentioned, I was already mentally kayaking in front of his house (he wrote he had 2 kayaks) so I said, “I’m willing to carpe diem if you are.”

We continued corresponding — moving off Zoosk to personal email. I learned we had a work connection (from my pre-retirement life) but his focus was on something I found fairly boring and technical.

Mr. P sent me pictures- of his front “water” yard and some of his 7 grand children (he has 4 children). He promised to send more family photos.

At this very early stage of interaction, I wondered if there was too much about kids and grandkids. I wanted to know more about him. I decided to redirect the focus and asked him what kind of music he listens to when cooking and whether he has any favorite hangouts for live music.

Here’s his response (verbatim with casual punctuation left intact):

“You might find this strange, I forget to listen to music, I never listen to music while driving since it distracts my thinking…I am always thinking about business opportunities, my mind never stops. Being a bit ADHD makes me more of a one track thinker. When I do listen to music I need to focus just on the music….I must admit I like a lot of the current music, but don’t listen since it distracts my thinking. I am not a multi tasker, Whatever I am working on, I must simply concentrate on that, not that and music. It works out to be an advantage, since I can come up with some awesome solutions/conclusions.”

I was concerned about his comment that he is always thinking about business. I could (somewhat) understand what he was saying about not being able to multi-task but I couldn’t imagine a partner who forgets to listen to music since he’s so focused on generating business ideas. Mr. P didn’t answer my question about his favorite live music hangouts, which made me think that wasn’t important to him.

My dream of a waterfront life started to feel like it might be a rural nightmare with limited cultural opportunities (pause for dramatic emphasis).

Then Mr. P asked, “When driving with someone, can you talk to them?” I thought that was an odd question but answered, “Yes, I can. How about you?”

His reply: “Tough question, I can drive and talk, but add music and it gets too much. SO maybe this is a killer…best to know now before we waste too much time…what do you think, I like efficiency.”

I was taken aback. The fact that this was on his mind was almost as strange as the reality of the question.

I replied that, rather than killing this potential relationship, why couldn’t we stay “in limbo.” I suggested we refrain from emailing but one day if he happens to be in my area, we could meet for a glass of wine to discuss this deal breaker.

The notion that driving and talking with music in the background would be a “killer” seemed crazy to me. I had to get on my soapbox. I wrote him: 

“I find online dating such a ‘reverse’ way of getting to know someone compared to the old fashioned in-person way. For example, we end up getting more information than we would if we met at a party. In the online world, both parties make judgements without the benefit of chemistry and body language.”

I wished him well. Later that evening, he replied:

“Happy hunting, we will never know what we might have missed, but then again the unknown is rather sexy me thinks.”

Hmmm, I’d rather have the known. It’s clear that, after a 24-hour flurry of emails, Mr. P is not the one.

I’m going to go multi-task now and listen to music while exercising and reviewing the saga with Mr. P. I won’t be thinking about business. Wait, have I ever thought about business?

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

Resuming what Never Started

blog post pix july 2

They’re coming out of the woodwork…No, not termites – though some of these men are bugging me.

Curious? Taste this Spanish gazpacho while I satisfy your curiosity.

These are not men I was in a relationship with. These are the guys I emailed or messaged for a period of time but never met or met and very briefly dated.

The latest to reappear, Mr. V from a Tinder match, texted me on my Google Voice number this past Tuesday, 4 months after my last text to him. He continued his usual witty banter of “Happy insert day of the week.” Yes, I’m feeling sarcastic at the moment.

Blog text insert July 2

He attached a picture and appeared to have put on weight and a beard. When we matched, he had recently moved to the area and had a new, very busy, job with a crazy schedule. After several texts, I got tired of him not having time to move things forward. I also realized we had very little in common so I was fine when we stopped corresponding.

What’s interesting and kind of creepy is that he sent me the same message on Plenty of Fish (POF) – and we had never been in contact on that site. I wasn’t in a mood to respond to Mr. V and send another “sorry I realized we’re not a match” email so I blocked him on POF and also blocked his phone number.

Had I felt more of a connection with him, I might have renewed the correspondence but I just wasn’t feeling it.

And then there was Mr. R. I had not corresponded with Mr. R but I had a crush on him. I winked at, “favorited” and messaged him on several sites – with no response. Then, unexpectedly, we matched on Tinder. I was surprised and wondered if it was a mistake that he would quickly rectify by unmatching me. He didn’t unmatch me but neither did he make the first move. Feeling fed up, I was tempted to delete him rather than send another possible futile message. My ego is not immune from bruising! A friend advised me to just go forward and send Mr. R a message since there could have been a number of reasons why he had not responded before that had nothing to do with me.

So, I put myself out there once again. Mr. R answered but did not respond in kind to my witty banter. His profile said something about having his shots for rabies and distemper so I made what I thought was a clever comment/question but he ignored that and instead sent a nonsequiter that stopped the flow.

I waited a day and then decided to ignore his reply with a generic “excellent.” He replied with what would be his only question or comment about me: “What do you do for a living?”

Now, my profile says I’m a writer…so he could have commented on that or asked, “what type of writing do you do?”

Also, there’s something about the phrase “do for a living” that bugs me. It’s more crass than asking about someone’s job. I prefer to not ask about a man’s work as my initial query. It puts you on that boring Q and A tract of basic questions. I like to have a little flirty fun at the beginning, before moving on to the following essentials:

*Where do you live? (on Tinder that’s critical)

*Are you divorced?

*Are those YOUR twin 5 year olds?

I answered Mr. R and told him I was retired and now write for myself. I followed up with a specific question about his photography career. His passion for photography consumed the rest of our e-conversation. He never brought it back to me and failed to respond to my last comment. I gave it a couple of days and unmatched him. It felt good and I was totally cured of my crush.

There have been some other “out of the woodwork” examples, including a guy I met for one brief date. I left after one drink. It was clear I wasn’t interested and yet he started viewing me again as if that date never happened. Then there was the guy who messaged me ad nauseum before we finally scheduled an in person meeting, which he then cancelled because of work. Now he’s viewing me again. Sigh.

Online dating is often a feast or famine proposition – whether it’s men from the past coming out of the woodwork, new matches reaching out, or nothing happening at all.

I’m just trying to hang in and keep up hope.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

You Know You’ve Been Dating Online for Too Long When…

blog pix june 24

Whether you’ve been online for 6 months or 6 years, had 10 or 100 first dates, and progressed to assorted numbers of second dates and actual relationships (short or long term), you may reach a point where you are tempted to give it up.

Possible triggers include a heinous ghosting episode, an increasing lack of suitable partners, or the propensity of many men to window shop as a way of life.

Join me in some Turkish chickpea burgers as we review specific signs that you may be at or have already reached your breaking point:

You’ve been online too long when:

*You can remember the early days of Bumble when there was only one worker bee available.

*You have saved and checked enough photos on Google Image Search or Veracity mobile image search to fill an FBI most wanted file.

*You know that when a man says his age is 60 but he’s willing to date women up to age 75, he’s actually 76.

*Similarly, you know when a man says he’s 6’ tall, he’s actually 5’8.”

*Checking the online dating sites every morning and night is as mindless as brushing your teeth but without a guaranteed reward like a healthy mouth.

*You immediately shut down any guy who asks, “How long have you been on this site?”

*Being “favorited” is now one of your least favorite things, because it usually means you have been bookmarked and soon forgotten.

*You know not to take a man at his word when his profile says he likes to listen as much as talk.

*You have a new lexicon of dating terms: breadcrumbing, ghosting benching, swiping, etc.

*Dating terminology starts to affect everyday speech. When someone asks, “Do you have a match?” you don’t search through a drawer, you start to daydream about the guy you reached out to on Match.

*Your main reason for acquiring new Facebook friends is to increase your ‘stable’ of possibilities on Tinder, Bumble, and other Facebook-based apps.

*You immediately know when there’s a new guy on one of the dating sites because you are so familiar with the membership.

*Your inner editor is working overtime to correct such spelling or proofreading gaffes as “love the autdoors.”

*The bartenders at your favorite first date spots know what you’re drinking before you order.

*You’ve been filmed kissing dates goodbye on so many parking lot cams, that attendants are bringing popcorn to the security reviews.

Ranting aside, online dating – despite its many frustrating and time consuming aspects – continues to be a viable way to meet a romantic partner.

Hang in, continue to pursue real life interactions, and take it all with a grain or two of salt on your margarita glass.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @60sdating

Men and the Lost Art of Subtlety

blog pix art of subtlety man with roses

Guys don’t always get the importance of subtlety.  This failing can prevent them from achieving their dating goal – whether it ends in the bedroom or the altar.

Join me in some not subtle but yummy early summer greens goddess salad as we examine this situation.

I started thinking about subtlety after a recent exchange with a guy on POF.  I introduced Mr. X in my recent post about being stuck in a back pocket, the zone where a man’s interest diminishes and you are left hanging, wondering if you’ll hear from him again.

Mr. X lives in New Jersey and I thought I would jump start our 9 month erratic conversation by suggesting that we meet halfway between us – in Philadelphia – for lunch. Somehow I have never visited Philadelphia – other than passing through on my way somewhere else. So I figured if the date went sour, I could be a tourist and not call the whole outing a failure.

Mr. X didn’t respond to my suggestion for a couple of days. I assumed he had back-pocketed me and put me in the “no try zone” of forgotten online matches. So I was surprised when I saw an email from POF saying I had a message from him.   Feeling a bit ignored and annoyed, I waited a day and a half to read his message:

And there lies the crux of the problem. If I was going to Philadelphia for lunch, I would want to know that I was having you for dessert.  

Now you see my point about subtlety. Certainly it is a possibility that we might both order dessert but by putting it out there as a requirement, Mr. X ruined both the romance AND the possibility. He turned a potential romantic encounter into a transaction rather than a natural meeting/date-whatever you want to call it.

How could I give him the promise of dessert when we had never even shared an appetizer, let alone had a phone conversation* or actually met in person?

This type of exchange has happened to me online and on dates on numerous occasions. When a man jumps too quickly and aggressively beyond the chase to the “conquest,” and bypasses the romance, he ruins the chances of what might have been.

Mutual chemistry and true interest might advance things but to treat an encounter (whether still online or in real life) as a transaction ruins the romantic flow.

Mr. X will never know that we might have had a fabulous dessert in the City of Brotherly Love. I never responded to his email. Deliberately not subtle. Sometimes doing nothing is the strongest message you can give.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

*I would not have travelled to Philly without having a phone conversation first.

 

 

Do You Speak Body Language?

blog post body language

Why can’t people come with subtitles that decipher their body language?

These translations could be on an LED light display fixed to a hat or headband. It would be so nice to have a shortcut to the meaning of subtle and not so subtle cues that people exhibit.

But, there’s still a lot we can figure out on our own without a magic chyron. Help yourself to some Japanese vegetable pancakes while we talk about this issue.

I’ve contemplated the importance of body language many times over the years and it’s a useful tool for the dating life. To help my own natural powers of observation, I took a couple of online courses and did some reading on this topic.

There’s a lot of research on body language and what it means. From my reading and online classes, I’ve learned not only about various forms of eye contact such as “deep gazing” but also about the importance of such body language behaviors as smiling (a no-brainer for me), microexpressions – brief facial expressions that reveal emotions, leaning toward someone you like, and mirroring where you imitate someone as a means of communication and approval.

I have added to this knowledge base with real life experiences of body language fails.

Body Language Fails from my Dating Files 

Not Seeing Eye to Eye

One of my more frustrating encounters involved a date with a man who wouldn’t look me in the eye. It was an early fall afternoon — warm enough to sit on an outside lounge sofa (think poolside couch in Miami). Feeling bold, I sat on the couch next to Mr. A and we began to chat. However, instead of turning toward me and holding my gaze, he looked straight ahead while talking. I was having none of that. Eye contact is critical for me. “I need to see your eyes when we talk,” I said and orchestrated our positions so we were opposite each other. I made some clichéd comment about the eyes being the window to your soul but that didn’t help very much.

We continued what turned into an interesting and far ranging conversation. However, although most people hold eye contact between 60 and 70 percent of the time, Mr. A was more in the 10 to 15 percent range. I couldn’t figure out his behavior. He was U.S. born so I didn’t think it was culturally based. He seemed to like me and went in for the goodbye kiss.

After the date, I reviewed our interaction. I did a little Googling and asked some friends and came up with lots of theories explaining Mr. A’s lack of eye contact – everything from being shy, to lying about his marital status to having Asperger’s syndrome. I’ll never know the reason. There was no second date (though he tried at one point to schedule one). But Mr. A’s failed gazing behavior was too big of a deal breaker for me.

An Imperfect Kiss 

Beyond the issue of whether someone is a good kisser, is the message via body language that the kiss sends to you. For example, I went out a couple of times with a man who kissed with his lips only. Okay, you’re thinking well, of course he kissed with his lips. But when a man kisses you and doesn’t put his whole body into it, he’s holding back on emotion for whatever reason. Even when those lips know what to do, if they are isolated from his body, there’s a weird disconnect that says, “I’m not really that into you.”

What you want is a whole body kisser! (Unintentional pun.)

Too Many to Count

And then there was the man who placed his cell phone next to his happy hour glass, crossed his arms, and proceeded to go into overdrive about his incredibly boring job and medical/surgical history. I kid you not. The sad part is he was a good looking, tall, and well-built man. But that couldn’t compensate for his poor body language and pathetic conversation style. My body language said escape with my feet pointing toward the door and escape I did after about 35 minutes.

Self-Awareness

One side benefit of being aware of someone else’s body language is the increased awareness of the signals you are sending out. Pay attention to your body and what it’s doing. It can sometimes provide clues about what you’re feeling before you’re fully aware of the emotion.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201412/the-secrets-eye-contact-revealed

http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2015/02/science-love-2/

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/spycatcher/201112/body-language-vs-micro-expressions

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/learning-the-look-of-love-that-sly-come-hither-stare/

https://www.bustle.com/articles/150983-6-ways-to-tell-if-someone-is-into-you-according-to-science

http://www.signature-reads.com/2017/05/vanessa-van-edwards-how-to-interpret-micro-expressions/

http://www.improveyoursocialskills.com/body-language/comfort-field-guide

http://psychologia.co/mirroring-body-language/

Stuck in the Dating Back Pocket and How to Cope

blog pix man back pocket

There’s little air and not much room in a back pocket. That must be why I’m feeling out of sorts. And it’s not just one back pocket. I’m jumping from one back pocket to another. It’s exhausting – not to mention emotionally draining.

Confused? Who isn’t perplexed by the vagaries of the modern dating world? Let’s try to calm down with some comfort white bean pizza with arugula.

It’s easy to know if you’re in someone’s back pocket. First, there’s a flurry of interest. You might get a wink and all of your pictures are liked or favorited. Or you receive a notice that “he wants to meet you!” If you’re lucky, Mr. X will actually email you, though too often your message is a “canned flirt” written by the dating bots and sometimes by a dating coach. But let’s say your inbox contains a real albeit likely routine message such as “let’s chat.”

I received that exact message yesterday. Here’s the transcript with my comments in bold face.

Mr. X: Let’s Chat… Cheers

Nadia: Hi, when are you moving here? Ciao (Important to me since his profile did not clarify his residence status.)

Mr. X: I have moved. Living in Alexandria.

Nadia: Nice – I love Old Town (though not sure if you’re in Old Town). I’m a DC girl.

(In an effort to stand out from the crowd and avert a potentially boring conversation pattern, I threw him a somewhat out of the box question.)

Nadia: So what would you do if the song September by Earth, Wind, and Fire came on the radio?

(I love this song and based on his age and profile, I thought this tune might resonate with him.)

Mr. X: Sing along, dance and remember September past.

Nadia: That’s correct. 😊

(Comment and digression: Mr. X may not have gotten the humor in my comment unless he is a fan of The Late Late Show with James Corden. In one of the show’s regular features, bandleader Reggie Watts asks the guests an out of the box (often weird and funny) question. No matter what the guests answer; Watts’ reply is always, “That’s correct.”) 

When Mr. X didn’t follow up with a question, comment, or anything – and I saw he was online most of the day — I realized I had likely been back- pocketed. The question is would I stay there (in his mind) for a day, a week, or 2 months?

Of course, I’m not sitting around waiting for him to sift through an overflow of other women’s profiles. But it is disappointing. And because he didn’t respond, I started to question what I wrote to him.

It’s worth remembering that sometimes you make it out of a back pocket but it might be only a brief reprieve.

Case in point: the same day I interacted with Mr. X, Mr. G, a guy who lives in New Jersey and writes me every couple of months, contacted me. I replied to him and said that I wondered if there was a point to such infrequent communication.

Mr. G replied that the geographic distance was an issue. So I suggested that we consider meeting for lunch in Philadelphia-halfway between us. That sparked his interest but only temporarily. Like Mr. X, Mr. G left me hanging and back in the back pocket I went.

That’s when I put down the phone and went for a swim. Exercise, fresh air, friends and family, and music….all are good antidotes to woes from the back pocket problem.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone’s Searching for Something, Chapter 2

blog pix may 28 searching

Are you curious about other readers of this blog and what prompts them to read about dating, sex, and life in your 60s? After all, it’s comforting to know you are not the only person faced with particular concerns.

It has been over a year since I’ve looked at the search terms that bring people here. Let’s catch up over some spring minestrone verde with pistachio pesto and see what’s on readers’ minds (with my comments, of course).

The search terms reflect a global base since you, dear readers, are literally from every country on the globe.  The US leads the pack, followed by the UK and Canada in that order – all the way down to Vanuatu and Oman (where are these places?). I love the fact that Vanuatuians (sp?) are also concerned about the state – or non-state – of their love lives.

The number one search that brought people here in the last year and a half was “dating in your 60s rules” or “breaking up in your 60s.” A tie. Unfortunately one often leads to the other. The only rules I follow are my own, based on what I have learned and found works best for me. And I break them as desired and often on a whim. For example, I used to have a rule about never sending the first message. I soon ignored that rule. However, if a guy is younger than me, I usually let him make the first virtual move.

“Coffee meets Bagel scammers” was the next most popular search and the post on this topic was one of my most viewed. This might be a warning to those of you on this dating site. I gave up CMB and OkCupid due to a preponderance of fake profiles.

What else are people interested in?

How about “taking the stress out of dating in your 60s?” To me, the biggest stress is finding someone I want to date and actually going out on a repeated basis. Of course, there are other stressful aspects of the dating game such as ghosting.

Some are searching for “memories sex life.” I know about this one. During dry spells, I have memories of a sex life. Add this to the stress search noted above.

Other people found me by searching for “Breadcrumber.” Have you experienced this lovely modern dating phenomenon? It’s becoming more common.

“Sex with cougar in 60s.” My question is, who was searching – a woman of a certain age seeking guidance on taking a younger lover or a young cub looking for clues about what older women want? One never knows.

I find the brouhaha over the new French president’s much older wife ironic given the frequency of a similar age difference between older men and younger women.

Whatever you think of such an age gap between partners, it only seems equitable that your view should hold whether the man or the woman is the May or December party. See Julie Weinberg’s guest blog post last December for a look at an older woman/younger man relationship.

“Sex profile photos.” I’m not sure what readers were looking for with this search. Is the interest in sexy photos on a profile? I’ve seen some provocative photos but the sites don’t allow full on nudity. Those infamous dick pix have to be sent via a message. As far as written profiles that mention sex, there are plenty of them. Certainly OkCupid’s questions invite you to bare your soul and reveal your sexual interests and appetite.

“Ian Kerner cliteracy.” To learn about cliteracy, read my interview with noted sex therapist and author Ian Kerner. Kerner coined the term as a way to focus on “the clitoris as the powerhouse of the female orgasm in response to persistent stimulation.”

“OkCupid Ticklish.” Are these people concerned about an OkCupid match who has a tickling fetish? There are profiles of people who announce their fetishes on all of the sites, not just OkCupid.

Despite this interesting intel about your interests, the majority of searches are unknown. You are for the most part a mystery to me. Tell me what you’re searching for and I’ll see if I can help – or at least commiserate.

Until next week, happy searching, dating or not dating.

BONUS: I was recently a guest on a DivorceForce Survival Guide podcast on gray divorce.

Check it out on iTunes to learn more about divorce after 50.  

Note: There are some minor audio technical difficulties at the beginning. 

XXXOOO

Nadia