More About Dating To Change Your Life
Making and Choosing Photos
Life is a Costume Ball
Tell the Truth
Really Funny True-Life Profile and Email Excerpts
High School Criteria For Dating
The List of 108 Qualities: A New Criteria
Who Will You Need To Be To Attract This Person?
Study Their Profile
Who Pursues Whom?
Etiquette and Money
Ideas For Handling Uncomfortable Questions You Get Asked
Alcohol and Drugs
How Many Dates Do You Give It?
Having Sex With "Just a Playmate"
But What About a Temp While I'm Waiting For the Right One?
How To Improve Your Dating Intuition From the Safety of Your Own Home
Feel Your Heart
Opposites Attract, But It Rarely Works
Men Don't Always Discriminate, That's The Woman's Job
Pacing the New Relationship: How Much How Fast?
When to Finally Have Sex
Oh…. The Happy Ending to My Story?
Recommended Resources and Additional Support
When I got single at 50, I knew I was not yet ready for another relationship, but I was ready to get back out there and meet people and make new friends. It helps to do new things to take the place of the old things. I immediately signed up for not one, not two, but three internet dating services (one of them founded by my friends Jan Mirkin and Marcia Zwilling - Equestrian Singles.com). That leads to this chapter!
People Who Are Not Ready But Think They Are
I wasn't really ready to date when I first got single and got online. And guess what? 80% of the people out there dating are probably in the "not really ready" category. The other 20% are still not over their ex, trying to make their ex jealous, still having sex with their ex, or are married. I'm joking, but not much.
That's why you might as well not be surprised if a person writes but doesn't call, or calls but doesn't show up, or shows up but doesn't show up again, or shows up again but doesn't commit. They're simply not ready, they're, oh…. looking for validation? Notching their gun barrel with all the responses they can get from hot chicks or guys? ("See, I still have the stuff, baby.") Practicing their charm? Or regaining their confidence from the last lost relationship (smile). Most of you reading this book are not really ready. Know how I know that? Because if you were truly ready, you'd have the relationship you want, right now. Really.
If you had already moved on from your last one, done the personal work on yourself, and were truly ready, you'd be like a beacon, and that relationship would come to you.
And you won't admit you're not ready. You'll only notice you weren't ready in retrospect - once you are really ready. And by then you'll be ready to meet or have met the one. It's OK if you're not ready.
Dating can take you where you want to go, if you use it for the learning experience it is.
I suggest that you stop thinking of dating as simply a search for "the one" and start thinking of it as a journey toward being the person you want to be. A person who can attract the one you really want.
There was something going on with you that had you choose someone who didn't work, or act in ways that didn't work. Dating can help you uncover and change all of that. And look at the positive benefits of online not-really-dating. You can feel like you're active and desirable and out there in the mix, but stay safe in your living room! Internet dating can be the lowest risk way ever to heal from a relationship while safely re-learning how to get out there again. How much safer can you get than never having to meet anyone face to face? Talk about safe sex!
Seriously, it is OK to play until you're ready. Do what feels safe to you. Take your time. You and the other "not ready" ones will be ready, suddenly, one day, and you won't even know what day that will be until it arrives. So just focus on yourself and don't make others wrong for not being ready. Just let reality be.
Reframing Success in Dating
This book applies to any type of dating, and what I'm offering is a new definition for success, or at least a starter for it, and then you can invent your own definition of success. People who get good driver discounts from insurance companies are considered good by virtue of what? Not for hitting a target, but for not hitting anything. They're good by virtue of the accidents they avoided. Being a successful dater is a lot like being a good driver. Celebrate being wise and selective and avoiding wrecks.
When your friends ask, "Does that online stuff work?" You can say, yes, I avoided going out with three wrong persons this week!" What if you stopped thinking of success at dating as being measured by how many dates you get?
Ultimately you only need one person, right? So numbers have little to do with success besides the experience numbers provide. What if success is not getting married soon, or even getting laid soon? What if you broaden the frame, refocus your lens, and see success this week as celebrating not getting into a relationship that is wrong for you?
What if success was defined as whether you grew and evolved this week? Whether you were honest with yourself about the old attitudes you need to work on, and made changes? Whether you were generous, gracious, and the person you aspired to be as you went about your emailing and dating?
What if success this month is working on making yourself the person you need to be to attract the person you want, like laughing more and enjoying your life? And then celebrating when the type of people you are attracting begin to reflect your progress? What if success was moving one step closer each week, each month?
Online Dating Glossary, With Translations (just a few are included here)
OK, folks, enough of changing your life for a minute. Time for a levity break. Dating, like it or not, is a game (and work is a game and play is a game you either play masterfully or not). It's not life and death (although a bad date may feel like it) so lighten up, learn to read between the lines, and get savvy to the lingo and what it really means.
"Want FAITHFUL partner who will put our family first" - Translation: This person had an unfaithful partner who ran around and spent all the money, leaving the kids without shoes. Caps are equal to yelling online, and are like signs taped on someone's back that say, "These are my issues from past relationships".
"NO DRINKING, GAMBLING, CHASING WOMEN, COUCH POTATOES" - Translation: Extreme version of above. You're catching on now. This one is like that wounded raccoon we tried to help on the roadside once - ouch! Will probably attract the same qualities again unless they clear this up within themselves. Law of manifestation: What you focus on is what you create. In your profile, focus on what you DO want, not what you DON'T want.
On the second date he says, "Since you women are equal, let's go 50/50 on our dating tab." - Translation: Cheap. Run!
No photo - Translation: I'm married, my face breaks cameras, or I'm in the witness protection program. See last word above.
"No games" - Translation, male version: "I want to have sex immediately. I won't be elusive or hard to get as long as you hop into bed quickly. After that, there may be some games, but up front, I'm available."
Translation , female version: "I'm wounded from men playing games with me, so I'm offering the promise of no games on my end and I expect you to play fair too. I am naïve."
His email to you just says, "You are one good-looking woman. I love your bedroom eyes." Every email talks exclusively about what he likes about your photos and ignores the other things you've shared about yourself. -Translation: He hasn't read your profile, all he cares about is how you look. Delete.
The profile says, "I have a boat, an airplane, a house in the Caymans, I love to take a woman with great legs shopping, blah, blah, blah…" - Translation: He needs one more toy (you) to decorate his arm while he's playing with all the other toys. You will be replaced with a later model toy next year.
"I'm beyond material things. I value the really important things in life… the smile of a child, the smell of roses, spending time alone with you…(poetry may ensue)…" - Translation: Flip side of above. Broke, not doing anything about it, will give you stellar romantic moments if you'll pick up the check.
They say a lot about things that irritate them. - Translation: They are negative and judgmental and will be irritated by many things about you, your friends, and the world in general once they have you.
The profile says, "Take a chance on love, let's dash off to the beach, and if we feel that special magic spark, let's fall into each other's arms. Can you dance like nobody's watching and love like you've never been hurt?" Translation: I desperately want to rush into a relationship since a) I turned 40, or b) my spouse ran off with the pool guy/maid, or c) my last foolish choice has resulted in disaster and I think if I just try it one more time it will work. Will you throw the dice on blind chemistry with me? Let's go buy a lottery ticket. I'm feeling lucky."
OK, don't get cynical, get smart, and keep laughing. Trust your gut, and go with it. Intuition increases when you listen and follow its guidance. Ignore it and it shuts down. You have a lot of wisdom inside, and listening to it will make you feel really good about yourself. Not to mention making life easier and more fun.
I joke about it in the glossary, but chemistry (animal attraction) causes some train wrecks that just aren't funny. This is the last thing you want to hear but I'm going to tell you anyway. Chemistry is one of nature's bag of tricks to get you hooked, so you'll propagate and insure the survival of the species. While it's great have animal attraction for your partner, check before leaping to see if there is a match on all levels, not just a chemical reaction. Chemistry, like chocolate, is tasty, but it ain't a balanced diet, and you can't live on it alone.
So do have your chemistry, but insist on a more substantial main course to go with the dessert if you want it to stick to your ribs longer. Chemistry is not a mystical or magical sign that he or she is "the one". Sorry, not true. It's an animal function and has nothing to do with happily ever after. Really. Dogs rely on it exclusively for their romantic selections. Chemistry means absolutely nothing about your rightness for each other without all the other levels of connection (mental, spiritual, emotional) to support it. You can have the wildest chemistry with the most unsuitable partner imaginable. I have. And it's great fun - for a while. ................. (more in the book).
And an excerpt from the end of the book:
You've succeeded. You've set your goals, created clear intentions, made your list, developed yourself, selected dates, acted in integrity with your values, met some great people, made some friends, and whether or not you have found the one you want to share your life with, you're a wiser, more well-rounded, and clear person. You've navigated some tricky waters, stayed out of the wrong relationships, made wise choices, built a solid foundation of happiness, and you either have or will soon have a life partner who is well matched with you. Relationships are about growing, so don't think it's all over once you couple. Happily ever after has just begun… but that's another book!
Oh, what are you waiting for?
Just buy the book and get started having fun!