Top 10 Dating Obstacles

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If you follow Olympics-related news, you likely read that obstacle course racing may become an Olympic sport.

Coincidentally – and despite having some romance possibilities — I have recently been thinking about dating obstacles.

Let’s ponder this issue while indulging in a lunch fit for an athlete or dater in training.

To appreciate the variety of dating obstacles, it’s worth a quick review of obstacle course racing (OCR).

According to Wikipedia, OCR is “a sport in which a competitor, traveling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges that are in the form of obstacles. Mud and trail runs are combined and the races are designed to result in mental and physical collapse.”

Note the reference to mental and physical collapse, which I bolded. I find this is a good analogy for the mental burnout that can result from the trials of modern dating.

Listed below, for your reading pleasure, sympathy, and empathy are the top 10 online and app dating obstacles:

*Finding someone you like and are attracted to

To do so, you must wade through a series of profiles with awful photos, poor to nonexistent writing skills, and such descriptors as “married” and “God-fearing.”

*Finding someone who also likes you

Hopefully your retooled, now excellent profile and carefully chosen photos serve you well.

*Connecting

Perhaps you view Mr. Z’s profile. Mr. Z then views your profile and photos. Does he write to you? Do you write to him? If neither one of you reaches out – even if someone has “favorited” or “winked” at the other person, call it a lost cause.

*Moving beyond the emails and texts

If you start corresponding with someone, will you get beyond this form of communication? Will you speak on the phone or arrange to meet? Or, will he or you just stop writing?

*Having a phone call

If you end up having a phone conversation, will it be good and balanced or will one of you indulge in a monologue?

*Moving beyond the phone call

Assuming you have a phone conversation, does he initiate an in-person meeting? Do you want to meet him or did he say something that turned you off?

*Scheduling

If an in-person meeting/date is proposed, can you find a day and time to meet? Does he live an hour away? Can you both find a convenient time and location?

*Follow-through and waiting

Perhaps you have a tentative date scheduled but lately he’s been online quite a bit and you start to wonder if the date will be finalized. You worry that he’s window-shopping for his best option (as he sees it).

Do you hang in, keep busy, and keep looking (the old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” cliché)? This is a particularly challenging obstacle. With any luck, your date will be confirmed and finalized.

*In-person meeting

If you are finally on an in-person meeting/date, is there chemistry and connection? Does he look like his photos? Do you? Is there give and take during the conversation? Flirting? Real listening?

What’s his body language like? Does he dive into inappropriate topics such as the terms of his divorce, previous relationships, or recent surgeries?

Do you want to kiss him? Is he a decent kisser?

*Second date

Was there enough good in the first date to consider a second one? Does he text you after date #1? When/if will he ask you out? Will you go out with him again?

If everything fizzles at this point, and there is no second date, sit down and rest. You may be exhausted from running and leaping over obstacles. But don’t give up. Keep at it.

Eventually (and it might be a long eventually), you’ll ace this almost Olympic event and go on that second, third, fourth, and fifth date….

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Resolutions

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No, I’m not confusing my holidays. My resolutions ARE for Valentine’s Day, in hopes that I will have a Valentine or at least a promising Valentine’s Day date in another month. This doesn’t give me much time for implementing my resolutions and certainly no time to cook – so let’s lunch on this quick pasta dish.

There are people who say that vocalizing your intentions and believing they will come true ensures they will become reality. So, I’m going out on a limb – possibly a whim – to say the following actions will bring me what I’m visualizing (6’4” of the sweetest man possible).

I hope you will come up with your own Valentine’s Day Resolutions. Feel free to take mine and modify them to suit you as needed.

Some of these resolutions are based on altering my everyday schedule. As someone who doesn’t work in an office anymore, I often take advantage of my flexibility and do things during off-peak hours. The problem with this strategy is that I’m less likely to encounter single men who might still be on a traditional work schedule. I do my grocery shopping on a weekday morning, go to the gym mid-morning or mid-afternoon, swim at lunchtime, write in my pleasant home office, etc.

Here’s how I plan to change things up a bit:

*Pick up a couple of grocery items in the evening. I will still do my “big shopping” during the week but this special and quick trip allows me to strike a compromise between my relaxed schedule and the time when working/teleworking single men might be shopping.

*Go to different grocery stores for these quick trips, particularly those that have “social” reputations.

*Go to wine stores in the evening, particularly when they are offering a free tasting.

*Go to the gym one evening a week. Since I belong to a gym with many branches throughout the area, I can also try different locations.

*Have dinner at a bar one night a week. See my post on meeting men in bars.

*Attend three events sponsored by a single meet-up in an effort to have repeated exposure.

*Once a week, write in a coffee shop.

*Once a week, run a random errand in the evening. Possibilities: A hardware store, a bookstore, a car wash.

*Take a new class. I’m considering a free introduction to improv class.

*Make a schedule of these resolutions. If I have a set schedule, I’m more likely to follow through on these actions.

Whatever your circumstance – retired, teleworking, flexible schedule – ask yourself how you can change your activities and your schedule to expand your circle of daily encounters. The goal: Meet new people in new venues. And try to lose the resting bitch face while you’re out and about.

Tell me about your Valentine’s Day resolutions!

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

What Happens at the Monthly Meeting of the Dating Bots?

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THE CLOUD, SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE OVER ROMANCE, AR –

“Good morning fellow dating bots. TGIF. I’ve got a busy day at OurTime so I’m going to quickly move to roll call for our monthly meeting.

“POFbot?”

“Here.”

“Matchbot?”

“Yeah.”

“Tinderbot?”

“Hey!”

“Bumblebot?”

“Hi OurTime. #You’re cute.”

“OkCupidbot?”

“Yo OT.”

“JSwipebot?”

“Gut margn!”

“CoffeeMeetsBagelbot?”

“Greetings – I brought you a cappuccino.”

“Thanks CMB. Hingebot?”

“How’s it going?”

“Thanks all. I’ll make sure everyone’s recorded in the minutes. Today’s first item of business is Nadia Alegria Amore.

“She’s been on one or all of our sites for several years now and despite four 90-day relationships, she hasn’t had much luck. She’s picky but then I can’t fault her for rejecting weirdos, losers, and creeps. The good ones she likes can’t seem to stop window-shopping or they’re after a younger woman.

“I know her membership fees are paying for our baby bots’ future college education, but I think we should help her out and send her the one.

“You know, it’s in our power to override the algorithm and play old fashioned matchmaker.”

“Is she really trying that hard?” asked OkCupidbot.

“You’re biased,” said POFbot, “you know she just dropped the OKC site because of scammer overload. Cut her some slack.”

“Speaking of scammers. I’d like to hold off on sending her the one until she’s evaluated one of our questionable clients,” said Tinderbot. “She’s one of the best at outing scammers and there’s someone I’d like her to investigate.”

“I don’t think that’s fair. She has to be getting discouraged. We’ve sent her the ‘we cannot find users near you’ message 100 times,” said Hingebot, “but she is older than most of our users.”

“Good point. She’s one of the best at avoiding burnout but she was near tears last night when one of our OurTime clients asked about her weekend plans but then didn’t respond to her answer. She questioned what she wrote him but I think her response was fine. She said she had some weekend plans but could make time to meet him — and she said it in a flirty way.”

“ I agree with you, OurTimebot. I think we should send her the one. I have a strong contender,” said POFbot.

“Great. Who do you have?”

“It someone she’s been communicating with on and off for a couple of months. The “block” as he says is that they live 400 miles apart…but definitely within an easily arranged train ride. They’re attracted to each other – as much as you can be from a picture – and he just asked for her phone number. At that point, she ran his photos through Google image search and everything seemed kosher.”

“Let’s do it,” said Bumblebot. “You know, I’m a romantic.”

“I’m undecided,” said Matchbot. “She just paid to attend a dating webinar and I want to see if it helps her game.”

“I’m for giving her the one. He’s Jewish and likes that she’s Jewish. It might encourage her to be slightly observant,” said JSwipebot.

“Okay everyone. Let’s bring this to a formal vote. All those in favor of giving Nadia the one, in this case, one from POF, raise your hand.

“Looks like it’s almost unani….wait Matchbot is bowing to the pressure. It’s unanimous. Nadia gets the one.

“POFbot, since you have the only contender, work your magic. We’re going to take a break in January, so report back at our Valentine’s Day meeting.

“Have a good weekend everyone.”

Until next week, happy dating or not dating and happy cooking this recipe for seared tofu with miso sauce.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

My Holiday Letter

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Ahh…. the holidays: an often-dreaded time for singletons. One of the offending hallmarks (no pun intended) of the season is, of course, the holiday letter. When a single person receives a family holiday letter, it can serve as a reminder of her or his not-intact family. A recent Washington Post Solo-ish article titled I love your family but I dread your joyous holiday letters captures the emotions a divorced or widowed person might feel upon reading this well meaning but accidentally hurtful correspondence.

Turnabout is fair play. So, enjoy my singles version of a holiday letter while slurping Nadia’s Cod, Coconut Milk, and Cilantro Soup (recipe below).

Play some appropriately themed music while you’re cooking.

Note that, unlike other “family” letters, you don’t have to read about the exploits of multiple related people.

December 2016

Dear Friends,

I hope this holiday season finds you well and that you and your loved ones are sheltering in place – and by the fire – after the storm of the election. We need all the love we can get during this time of national emotional upheaval.

It’s been a wild ride for me this past year as well. Oh, no, I don’t mean that literally I’ve found a wild ride…though I have been searching for one.

Let me share with you some of the highlights from 2016:

  1. Four hundred first dates! Yes, in fact, I may have reached that milestone after four years of divorce. But who’s counting?
  2. A banner year for bad breath! Why is it that so many men fail in the oral hygiene department? This year I learned to stock 10 varieties of mints and gum in my purse and car – just in case I encounter a case of Mr. Frisky with Halitosis.
  3. Athletic accomplishments: No swim team for me…but I did overcome my fear of deep water. Now I can hang out at the community pool after my laps and try to meet men.
  4. Dance competitions: Even better than a middle school dance competition, I completed a basic introductory hip-hop class without requiring orthopedic surgery or acupuncture. Then there was the tango class I took with a short, heavily accented instructor. I couldn’t hear him over the loud music so I invented my personal version of the tango, which looks more like a bull stamping its foot before charging.
  5. Academic achievements: There are no grades or tests for adult education classes at community college so I can’t humble brag about being on the Dean’s List. On the positive side, my Spanish and writing classes revealed the added benefit of making new friends and possibly meeting men. A win-win amigos.
  6. Travel highlights: Spain and Ireland. For the single woman, Spain wins. See: Tinder in España.
  7. Something new, something borrowed, something blue. No wedding for me, fellow partygoers. As a single woman, new refers to new dating photos and a revised profile. I borrowed my daughter’s jeans to wear on a date and the blue for this non-bride refers to Miles’ classic Kind of Blue album, great music for contemplating your single life.
  8. Local field trips: I expanded my repertoire of solo outings, enjoying “just me” excursions to happy hours, museums, and concerts.
  9. Breaking down barriers: I ignored any perceived age and race barriers and went out with men of various ethnicities from age 50 to 69.
  10. Benefits of non-Mindfulness: I learned to relax into the cycle of the dating life and look to the future: Dry spells are followed by false bounty but eventually you date a guy – though he might have bad breath (see #2).
  11. Plans for 2017: I bought 3 red dresses in 2016 so I’m starting my Valentine’s Day dating search now!

 

2016 Bonus: Nadia’s Cod, Coconut Milk, and Cilantro Soup

Ingredients:

2 pounds cod

Olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white parts only).

1 large red pepper, chopped

2 fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped (optional)

2 cans light coconut milk

1-cup vegetable broth

1-pound package frozen yellow corn

½ cup minced cilantro

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Cilantro and fresh sliced avocado for garnish

Heat olive oil in large pasta or soup pot. Add leeks and and sauté until translucent. Add chopped red pepper and continue sautéing a couple more minutes. Add tomato if using. Cut cod into 2” pieces (not too small because they will break up anyway) and add to mixture. Sautee a couple of minutes and then add coconut milk and vegetable broth. Cook 5 minutes and then add corn. Cook on medium (low bubbling of mixture) for another 8 minutes.  Check cod to make sure it’s cooked through (opaque not translucent). Add salt to taste. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Heat for another minute.

Serve over jasmine rice. Garnish soup with sliced avocado and minced cilantro.

Note: If you don’t have leeks, you can substitute Vidalia onions (1/2 to 1 large chopped onion depending on your preference).  Quantity of leeks or onions, peppers, and tomatoes  can be varied depending on your preference and any food allergies.

Frozen defrosted cod works well in this recipe. You can even use partially defrosted cod. Just make sure you thoroughly cook it in the broth/coconut milk mixture.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating…and happy cooking!

XXXOOO

Nadia

Fairytale Lessons for the Dating Life

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Hopeful romantics often daydream about a fairytale ending to their dating story: marrying that prince who finally found you – the woman who lost one Ugg boot in the mall or being awakened with a great kiss from that other prince whose lip mastery breaks the unfortunate spell of the bad kissers.

Aside from the happy endings, are there lessons from fairytales and fables that apply to the beginning, middle, and endings (not always happy) of dating and relationship stories?

Let’s ponder this while enjoying a light arugula salad in expectation of overindulging at Thanksgiving.

Little Red Riding Hood: You might think the dating moral of this story is – don’t ever talk to or interact with strangers. Not a realistic goal for someone trying to meet their “one.”

Consider this updated moral for dating purposes: be smart when encountering strangers: pay attention to visual or other signs that you might be interacting with a scammer. Rely liberally on Google image search or veracity, an image search app for your cell phone. Use all available security tactics.

The Fisher and the Little Fish: A small gain is more valuable than a large promise. Another way to say this: be satisfied with what you have.

This is a perfect tale for the online dater who meets someone he or she really likes but can’t stop window-shopping for a possibly hotter/better/thinner, etc. match. I’m not talking about early in a relationship when it’s prudent to keep your options open. The moral applies when someone in an exclusive relationship that is working goes online to see if there’s someone “better” out there. 

The Two Goats: It is better to compromise than to come to misfortune through stubbornness. This is a perfect fable for relationships and no updating of the moral is needed

The Little Mermaid: Try new things and activities outside of your comfort zone. Getting outside of your comfort zone may be needed when you are creating a new life after a divorce or the death of a spouse. You’ll find yourself in new social situations and trying new activities or hobbies. Regardless of whether your goal is to meet people or to enhance your creative life and sense of accomplishment, sometimes you may need to take a leap even if it’s scary.

Brave: Be brave. See The Little Mermaid. Bravery, of course, is a close cousin of stepping outside of your comfort zone. 

The Salt Peddler and the Donkey: Two can play the same game.

Let’s say you like a guy but he’s an erratic communicator with long gaps between texts or calls, invitations on short notice, and an occasional date cancellation. You could certainly ghost him – and be justified – but sometimes, guys need a dose of their own medicine.

This “revenge” scenario calls for you to be strong and have a few other male possibilities keeping you busy.  If Mr. Poor Communicator texts you after a week’s silence, don’t reply for a week. If he cancels on you, reschedule and cancel on him. You get my drift. This may seem petty, not worth your time, etc. True. And, although, you’d rather Mr. PC be a better communicator and boyfriend, this tactic may be surprisingly satisfying.

The Mice in Council: Many things are easier said than done. Finding the one – or one of the ones – certainly seems to fall into this category. 

The Three Wishes: Think carefully about what you really want in life and plan ahead. Make a list of must have qualities in a partner and check your profile to make sure you reflect (or have) those qualities. Evaluate each new man you go out with and ask whether he possesses those qualities. If not, move on.

The Hare and the Tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t give up! It may take awhile but keep on working the dating life. Take breaks as needed, try new sites, discontinue sites that aren’t working, and try new activities to meet men in real life.

Oh, and you don’t have to be a princess to have a happy ending.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating. And Happy Thanksgiving!

XXXOOO

Nadia

Strength in Solitude

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A few years ago – soon after my divorce, my daughter and I took a beach vacation. As we walked along the soft white sugar sand of the Gulf Coast, I saw a woman of about 80 strolling purposefully with her dog.

“I wonder if that will be me some day – walking alone, not with a partner,” I wondered aloud, thinking how sad that would be.

My daughter, responding to my words and mood, said, “What’s wrong with that? She looks happy. It would be o.k.”

At that moment, I couldn’t believe such a scenario would be okay. But I could now.

Let’s chew on that while devouring some of Jamie Oliver’s potato cakes with smoked salmon.

The beach memory was triggered by a temporary change in my current living situation. A couple of years ago, my son, like so many adult children, returned to his parental home (or half of it given the divorce) to pursue a second college degree as an entre to a new career.

There’s more to his story just as there’s more to the story of what happens when adult children live with their parents, but that’s not on today’s blog menu. I will say that, for the most part, the arrangement works well.

But the situation prevents me from truly living alone, something I wanted and needed to do after my divorce. Other than a random week or two here or there, one or both of my children have lived with me except when they were in college. And during that period, I was married so the house was not empty. Going back in years, I went from living with my parents, to living with college roommates, to living with the man who would become my husband.

So, I skipped that whole part of life called “being single and living alone.” And I was both eager to experience it and a little nervous as well. How would I navigate living alone and would I be lonely? Fast forward to a couple of days ago when my son left for a week’s vacation to visit a friend.

Finally, I could invite some friends over for dinner while having the house truly to myself. And I could see what it would be like to live alone while in a pretty good place – healed from my divorce, stronger, and more centered than ever before.

This temporary break in shared housing got me thinking about solitude, being alone, loneliness, and all variations of that theme.

I’ve always been someone who enjoyed a certain amount of time spent alone – whether reading, writing, taking a walk, or going for a drive with music blasting. But it’s not something I want to do 24/7. At a certain point in my day, I start to feel lonely and need to be around people.

For more on the balance between solitude and company, see the wonderful Brain Pickings blog post on experiencing at least one prolonged period of solitude in life.

After I divorced, I needed to learn not only how to be without a partner but also how to be independent – to rely on myself for everything from adding oil to the car to tightening a loose toilet seat (thanks You Tube). A solo road trip no longer seemed liked a scary impossibility. Solitude helped build strength. Strength begot resilience.

All of this doesn’t mean I want to be alone.

There is nothing more important to me than finding one of the ones, a partner to love and share life with.  The crucial thing is to live well and to be happy while searching for that special person and to never stop searching – even if you’re the oldest person on Match, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Resources:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/22/desert-solitaire-edward-abbey/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/what-is-solitude

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199801/the-call-solitude

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/10/27/suggestions-for-savoring-solitude/

 

Goldilocks Searches for the Right Guy with Help from the Grammar Police

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I often feel like Goldilocks (with roots showing) as I try to find just the right chair (er…. man) and bowl of porridge.

The problem is that it’s not so easy to know when the chair is perfect – or if there are more ergonomic chairs in another bear family’s house.

Let’s discuss “the right fit” of man over lunch. It’s a politically themed season so join me in some White House Kale Salad.

Whether or not you have a list of “must haves” in a man or “must not haves” you probably recall times when a man has made you cringe.

This happened to me recently with Mr. K (see my last two posts ). To answer your question, yes, I decided to take action and inquire about a 3rd date. But before the date took place, we had a long phone call that clarified how I felt about him. And it wasn’t good.

During the rather unusual phone call (precipitated by my pointing out to him that texting was an inadequate form of communication), we covered everything from a sex-themed truth or dare Q and A to the election and presidential debate.

I’ll spare you the details of the Q and A (other than saying that sometimes if you talk about something too much, it loses its allure).

Regarding the second topic, Mr. K’s political leanings skewed too far to the right. And although I try to keep politics out of this blog, I was shocked at his thoughts about a recently released tape featuring a candidate. “Who’s to say the tape wasn’t doctored in some way, bits and pieces spliced together?” he asked. My mouth dropped open as I listened to his conspiracy theorizing. “And it WAS just locker room talk,” he said.

Mr. K mansplained several other points and topics, cementing my view that “this isn’t going anywhere.” I knew at that point we’d never see each other again.

But the worst thing:  A couple of grammatical errors left his never-to-be-kissed by me-again lips. Can you say subject verb disagreement and pronoun usage error? We’re talking deal breakers.

That’s just me. Other women might not think that’s so bad. Point of clarification: I recognize that I’m not 100% grammatically perfect and, in turn, I ignore certain minor slip-ups in others. However, some errors, when verbalized, make me cringe. Example: Me and her are going to the game.

After the call, I texted Mr. K to let him know I didn’t think we as a couple would work out.

The next day, despite general annoyance and frustration with dating, I spent some time swiping on Bumble. Luck or serendipity was with me: I matched with a better prospect than Mr. K.

Take home messages:

*When you let someone who’s not right go, there’s an open space that will hopefully be filled by someone who is at least “more right” and I don’t mean politically.

*Provided there is strong evidence that a guy is interested, it’s okay to nudge him a little toward that next date. This way you can find out for sure whether YOU like HIM.

*If you’re on the fence about someone, you may only be a phone call or next date away from being certain you do or don’t want to date him.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

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

Tinder in España

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My Tinder app exploded in Spain.

Despite a half-hearted promise to myself to take a break from online dating while on vacation in Spain and Ireland. I was curious about my “match-ability” in another country. So I spent some time swiping while waiting in museum lines and hanging out in tapas restaurants and pubs.

I almost laughed when just about everyone I swiped right on in Barcelona and Madrid was a match…and many of them were a decade or more younger than me. This was a great ego boost for a woman celebrating a “ semi-big” birthday. Have a slice of birthday cake with me.

Unfortunately, hablo un poco de Español, so my travelling partner daughter and volunteer wing woman agreed with me that I shouldn’t meet anyone who didn’t speak English.

Thanks to my Google translate app, I was able to communicate to a certain extent with all of my matches, including one seeking a late-night hook-up and the guy who wanted to know where I was at that exact moment. No, gracias.

As bad luck would have it, my two most promising English-speaking prospects matched with me just as I was about to leave Barcelona. After a couple of texts, one offered to drive me to the airport. No, gracias. Still, I exchanged email addresses with both of them. Mr. J plans to travel to the US later this year and like me, Mr. F believes in serendipity. Anything can happen.

Spain: 2; Ireland: 0. For various reasons, I didn’t want to correspond with any of my Irish matches.

In the meantime, I’m back on U.S. soil, suffering from jet lag and reconnecting with my pre-trip matches.

One guy – #2 from my rule of three post, revisited his earlier “he’s just not that into you” behavior. First, Mr. B missed an opportunity to send me a happy birthday text while I was away (no excuses since we share the same birthday).

Second, before I left for Europe, he asked me to let him know when I was back in the states. Since I had given him my return date, I was on the fence about proactively sending a text to say, “I’m back.” However, I had a planned date with someone and wanted to try my best to follow the rule of dating three. So I sent a short “back in the U.S.” text on Friday afternoon. Mr. B asked about my trip but didn’t reply to the short summary I sent him: lots of walking, eating, art, and architecture.

Then, at 9:29 p.m., 5 hours after I offered my 140-character trip summary, he sent a text. He acknowledged the short notice and asked if I’d like to get together the next day.

My immediate take on his “late” request: he invited me out after returning from a bad Friday night first date. Plus he failed to comment on my beautifully crafted 140-word trip summary. So, yes, “he’s just not that into me” and “No, gracias” to the invite.

How does someone show he is “into you?” Case in point: Mr. K. We matched before my trip. I texted him to say I was headed out of the country. He said he’d wait for me. He texted me the day I returned. We texted, talked by phone, and had lunch yesterday. After our date, he texted me and I see that he has texted me good morning.

Now, men, that’s how you do it. The object of your affection should feel like she is on your mind just before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up.

It’s a simple implementation of the psychology of love and dating. Whether you are stateside or in Europe.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

The Rule of Three?

blog-three-guys

There’s a psychologist and relationship expert who advises women to embark on a Dating Program of Three. This program, as described by Diana Kirschner in her book Love in 90 Days, counters what she calls the “three-date” rule, an urban legend in which women should decide by the third date if a guy is a keeper and have sex or lose him forever.

Kirschner’s alternate approach encourages women to date three men simultaneously without having sex with any of them. “By not seeing any one man too often, you find the men who are really into you and who will stay the course,” she writes.

The program protects you against what Kirschner calls the dangers of “love addiction.” Since you will see each guy less often, you won’t zero in on any one – a possible emotional risk.

Although kissing and canoodling are okay, says Kirschner, she stresses that by not having sex you avoid “premature infatuation, dependency, and a kind of pseudo-intimacy that almost always backfires.” You’ll also get to compare the guys – and their positive and negative differences will be more apparent.  Another benefit, according to Kirschner: You’ll be naturally less available so men will get to enjoy “the chase.”

The kicker: women are advised to keep dating three men for a couple of months after they have found someone who seems to be the “one.”

Although this is an intriguing program and theory, when I read this chapter of her book, I almost laughed. Such a bounty of men seemed like an impossible dream not to mention a Herculean juggling feat and libido challenge.

It’s hard finding one guy I like enough to date — and it’s not because I’m too picky. I’m not knocking this program. I think the book has a lot of valuable advice – but, since I haven’t tried this triad approach, I’m not convinced I could do it.

However, at this very moment, despite my protests, I stand on the cusp of possibly dating three guys simultaneously. As you well know, that moment could change quickly and may even have changed during the course of writing today’s post.

Stay awhile longer and share some of this farro with roasted mushrooms.

I’m convinced that my dating universe has at least temporarily expanded thanks to the new and fresh professional profile photos that I loaded onto all my dating sites and apps. I used Online Profile Pros to find a photographer near me. The site subcontracts with local photographers. Prospective clients can view sample photos, prices, and locations of the photographers near them.

Back to the contenders for my program of three (in order of contact, not preference):

#1- A Bumble match who does not match my ideal location and height but is interesting, intelligent, and shares my interest in a healthy lifestyle. We’re both travelling in the next couple of weeks but agreed to meet halfway between our cities when we return.

#2 – A Tinder match I first connected with on Bumble several months ago. After chatting on the app for a short time and setting up a date, he cancelled on me with a lame excuse two days before our planned meeting. I wrote him off and had a lot of doubts about him. I considered our second match on Tinder a curiosity, worth exploring primarily to see if my earlier reservations were unfounded. Pre-date, I was not that enthusiastic. Mid- and post-date, I was pleasantly surprised and felt some chemistry happening. There’s a good chance of a second date.

#3 – A Match.com match I first noticed on a Match event page for a happy hour I was unable to attend. When he later popped up on my Match home page, I decided to send him a wink, a tactic that has worked for me in the past. He responded and we chatted frequently for a couple of days with a tentative plan to meet this weekend. I was pretty excited about him even though he’s 10 years younger but then all of these contenders are younger than me.

However, during our first (and only) phone call I learned he has a 9-year-old daughter. This is close to being a deal breaker for me. My kids are adults and I feel I’ve been there, done that. I’m now less excited about #3 but still want to meet him. Given that I haven’t heard from him in 24 hours, however, our interlude of interest may be over.

Upon review, I see this list is pretty fragile. I’ll be happy if just one guy is a keeper. I’d love to try a full program of three but I’m not sure these contenders will remain in the game.

It’s all part of the dating single life in your 60s — or any age for that matter. Contenders come and go, fade in, and then out with a boom or a ghost-like whisper.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia