Freedom!

I never imagined that a little over 6 months after my now-ex husband announced he wanted out of our marriage of 12+ years I’d be celebrating my freedom. He wanted out so he could explore his sexual freedom (aka sleeping with hookers). Ironically, I’m the one who is now enjoying my freedom.

I’ve started dating again. So far I’ve only met people via an online source (a popular site, not Tinder or eHarmony). Several first dates, a few second dates, and have date #3 with one guy planned for this weekend. I’m not ready for anything serious. Nor am I looking for casual hook-ups. I just want to have fun, date lots of guys, and figure out what I want and need next in a relationship. Divorce has a way of helping is figure out what we don’t want. I know the basics of what I want, or rather a basic range, but beyond that? Well, that’s the fun part!

I’ll be sharing my highs and lows of dating and the “interesting” profiles that I come across, along with advice for guys on what not to do – either with your profile/profile pictures or on a date. I don’t pretend to be an expert, just someone with experience!

 

To my ex husband, thank you

Thank you. Thank you for cheating. Thank you for making it easier to walk away after almost 13 years of marriage. Thank you for giving me freedom to find myself again.

I didn’t realize how miserable I’d become. Didn’t realize how much tiptoeing I had to do in our relationship to not set off your anxieties or depressive funks. You weren’t abusive, but you were an emotional drain.

You zapped me of energy. I didn’t realize how being with you was soul-sucking. My physical and emotional health have improved. I’m happier. Other’s have noticed that I’m happier.

I forgave you a while back, my anger has dissipated, and now I’m thankful.

So once again, thank you. Thank you for giving me my life back.

Superficiality (and the biomechanics of dating)

My brother and I are both in our 40s, divorced, single, and use dating apps. Over Thanksgiving weekend, and in the midst of day drinking while binge watching Poldark, we had a convo about our experiences.

We talked about how we’ve (plural on a societal level, ourselves included) quickly become even more superficial in the internet age and how easy it is to make value judgements before we’ve even met someone “in real life”.

For my brother, he knows his car is a turnoff. He said it’s embarrassing to show up for a date in an old, tired-looking vehicle. He knows that even when he gets to the meet in real-life stage, women judge him on his current car. His self-admitted superficiality: he has a definite, narrow physical type.

While my physical type is fairly (caught that qualifier, huh?!) broad and encompasses the full “chocolate spectrum”, if someone only has a high school diploma or works a blue collar job, I’m much more likely to swipe left, before I even check to see what they’ve written. And bad teeth. That’s a turnoff for me. I know I’m judged on my appearance. As someone who doesn’t have clear, smooth skin or the body of an athlete/model/actress (but do have gorgeous eyes and great smile, gotta flaunt my positive physical attributes!) I know that guys are swiping left before they have a chance to read about me in 299/300 characters on Bumble and 497/500 characters on Tinder.

And these apps make it soooooo easy to be superficial. It’s extremely difficult to say anything significant about yourself or what you’re looking for in 500 characters, let alone 300! And as a bit of a grammar snob, I want more than just emojis. How do I know if your use of its/it’s is due to grammar knowledge or character limits?!

It’s hard to meet people in real life, even when living in urban/suburban communities. We still make value judgements, but we do get a sense of someone’s “essence” and they ours. They hear that we have a great laugh. We see how they treat others. Our character starts to come into play. That’s what’s important after all. Physical attributes change with age and disease. Character has staying power.

In the meantime, my brother and I are both stuck with people pimping out their kids in their profile pics (another post for another day), my brother with duck face, and I with guys holding dead animals. Neither one of us are seeking anything serious (or just hook-ups) right now. Good thing we’re both comfortable being single! It’s a jungle out there.

What’s up with all the faces?! And other thoughts on profile pics 

Seriously. Why post a pic of yourself frowning, looking sad, or despondent on a dating site? What’s up with the “Face of Gloom”?

If you look bored in all your pics, I’m going to think you’re blah and boring. We want to date people who are exciting and who we’re excited to be around. No one wants to be with grumpy face.

If you’re not happy with life, a mate isn’t going to cure your unhappiness long-term. Sure, it might be a momentary fix, but this gal doesn’t want to be with someone that needs “fixing” or thinks only a mate will cure their misery.

Other random thoughts and questions after a hiatus from online dating sites:

  • What’s up (no pun intended) with non-selfie erect dick pics. I’m not sure if that should be a question or a statement. Either way, having someone else take a full body pic of you with your erect dick…
  • Please take your sunglasses off for at least one pic. Is that too much to ask?
  • Show your face. Unless you’re looking outside your current relationship, then at least indicate that you’re “looking for some discrete fun” in your profile.
  • No public bathroom pics. Please.
  • I don’t want to look at a picture that includes me looking up your nose. Especially if you have excess nose hair. Gross.
  • Never, when you’re in your 40s, indicate that you live with your parents. Even if it’s true. Let us find that out a bit later.
  • Dump the duck face.
  • Speaking of animals, why are you holding a dead animal other than a fish?
  • Using only group photos? How are we supposed to know who you are?! And if you’re the only guy with groups of random women, we’re going to assume you’re a womanizer or a douche. Or both.
  • You have a urinal in the background of your pic. Seriously? WTF.
  • I might have swiped right ‘cause I think your dog’s cuter than you….

We’ll see how this round of trying the meeting people online in order to date in real life goes (and yes, that sentence is not grammatically correct). If anything, it will be amusing!

Hi there

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. Life got busy. Had a job interview on one of the coasts. Continue to apply for jobs. I got bored of the whole dating thing. Took a fabulous 2 week “bucket list” trip to Italy (Florence, Tuscany, Cinque Terre) with girlfriends and some solo travel (Venice). Had a phone interview while on vacation and am invited back for round two. 

Life’s been good. Starting to get “back out there” whatever that really means. I’m a complete person and don’t need a mate, but one would be nice. But at the same time I’m not ready for anything serious. I am ready for a new job, and want to move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on Tinder and Bumble profiles and pics!

First Date

I’m not ready for a serious relationship. I just want to have fun, enjoy some male attention, and start figuring out what I want in a longer-term relationship. Figure out how to date again. Enjoy the freedom and light-heartedness that comes when you can just have fun, and not care (as much) if things don’t pan out after a first date or two, or a few chats back and forth.

The last time I dated smart phones didn’t exist (heck, most people didn’t have cell phones), George W. was in the White House (I didn’t vote for him), and the online dating phenomenon was still in its infancy. I was an early adopter of online dating, having met my ex on a popular dating site, so when I was ready to start dating again I knew I’d be using online forums as a way to meet guys.

I sent “Aaron” a wink or photo like – don’t remember. Does it matter?! Probably commented that I liked his smile (a line that has provided some success). He winked/liked/commented back. We started messaging via the site and after a few days, exchanged numbers. After he gave me his, I did a directory search to see if I could learn a bit more about him, which I did. Combined with what I knew about his work and his first name, I was able to verify he was who he said he was. LinkedIn’s great for stuff like that. Texted back. We talked on the phone for about an hour one night and decided to meet in person.

We live about an hour apart from one another so we met at a restaurant about half-way between. He was late. He did have the decency to call, but this was after the time in which we were supposed to meet. It sucks being kept waiting, especially when it’s your first date in over 14 years.

“Aaron” finally arrived and we were seated at a table. We made small talk while deciding our drink and food orders. And by small talk I mean little, meager, paltry, miserable, piddling, teeth-pulling chat. I hate being the one to carry the burden of a conversation. My ex and I had a lot of quiet meals together. The last thing I want is to be with someone for whom talking is not a strong suit. I asked questions that required more than a one-word answer with little success. He barely asked me any questions. It was the longest hour of my life.

We finally made it through dinner (the food was divine, the date a dud). “Aaron” walked me to my car, we hugged (which did feel nice, but don’t know if it was a chemical connection, or just the fact it had been ages since I’d had any type of intimate contact). We had a few text exchanges, attempted to talk on the phone (“Aaron” initiated these exchanges) and things just fizzled. Not that there was much fizz to begin with.

But I did it. I broke the ice. I’m dating again. And in spite of a not-so-great first date, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. I’ve emerged from my cocoon. I’m free. Free to spread my wings and fly. 

Oh, and “Aaron”? Sent me a text the other day saying “hi”. I ignored him. 

Bathroom selfies

I get the draw of taking a bathroom selfie. Use the mirror as your canvas and you can easily get a waist-high shot so the guy can show off what he’s got. Or that his self-described “toned and athletic” is more like “a few extra pounds”. In some cases you’re thinking “dang” and in others “my eyes, my eyes!” (and that’s with shirts on).

A bathroom selfie can give one an idea of how a prospective date decorates, be it a tile shower or shower curtain. Wallpaper or paint. More products that we use or a clean counter. But there’s one thing that bothers me to no end: a toilet.

I have seen way too many toilets in profile pictures. As women, we shouldn’t have to see any. And it’s not just bathroom selfies taken at home. I’m sharing my top 5 worst “bathroom toilet selfies” that I’ve seen to date.

5. Unambiguous bathroom location, not at home
Not a crime as far as this type of selfie goes. You can’t see a toilet, but the viewer knows you’re not at home. It’s just…weird. Maybe you’re at the gym or work, think you look fly, and there’s a full-length mirror so you snap a quick one and without thinking, post it as your latest profile pic.

4. Home (seat down)
It’s easy, convenient, and you’ve just spent 20 minutes primping. Lighting is good. You’ve got your “I’m so sexy” look perfected and think you look hot. You might indeed look hot, but that seat in the background is distracting. But it could be worse, so we swipe based on factors such as how you look or what’s in your profile. Or how it’s written (but that’s another topic for another day).

3. Stalls
You can’t hide the fact you’re taking a selfie for a dating profile in a public restroom. It’s not appealing, but it’s pretty tame as far as bathroom toilet selfies go. Maybe you just had an awesome workout at the gym and you’re in the locker room, wanting to show off those incredible arms.

2. Home (seat up)
Please make sure your seats are down before embarking on taking a bathroom selfie. As women, we know that most guys are not good at putting the seat down. It irks us to no end. We might fall in as we stumble in to a dark bathroom for a sleep-interrupting pee. But we don’t need a reminder or need to know your W.C. seat habits before we’ve even met you.

1. Urinals
WTF, man. Seriously. What are you thinking?! It’s not bad enough that you actually take the picture of urinals in the background. No, you have to go and post it as a profile pic on a dating site. Doesn’t matter how hot you are or how well you write, it’s a major turn-off. Makes us question your decision-making abilities, and that is never a good thing.

So guys, please think twice before taking a bathroom selfie. You could be missing out on a great catch. We’re just too grossed out to even give you a chance.