Monthly Archives: November 2011

match.com date #3 part 1: Looking for Casablanca

Standard

So I’ve had two strikes so far with match.com but I decide to stay in the game and hope for a hit.  Date number three is a real estate broker who likes old movies, performing arts and traveling.  He lives in Northern Virginia and has photos of his dog and a beautiful kitchen that he invites his future match to help cook great food and dance around the kitchen.

I love old movies.  In fact I worked in and managed a classic movie house in the early 1980’s where as a popcorn slinging concessionaire wore a flapper outfit.

This guy is well -off, single and we have some fun things in common.  I am hopeful.

We make a plan to meet for champagne at one of my favorite spots in the world, the bar on the roof at the Hotel Washington.  I only have an hour or so as I have plans with my friend, Danielle for the evening.  We email during the few days before we are supposed to meet and I call him from the car as I am leaving Richmond to head to DC and he says he is at the pool with his son and cannot make it.  Well , what is up with that?  Did he not know he would have his son that day when we made the initial plan?  I strike it up to a misunderstanding and go through with my other plans but put a bit on my guard.  We set a different time to meet the following weekend this time for dinner in Olde Towne.

He emails me how he can’t wait to see me and seems a little too into this but whatever, I promised myself three dates and we are already booked.  As things shake down the day we are supposed to meet, I need to leave my friend’s house a little earlier than planned,  I call Match#3 to let him know I can meet earlier, implying we can spend more time together and he gets upset. “I don’t know about you,” he says.  “You keep changing plans and you are making this sound like you just want a drive-by and go on home.”  I explain that I was still planning to have dinner with him and I thought it would be nice to meet earlier and have more time together and then he calmed down a bit.

He agreed to meet me at 5:00pm at a Tapas place for a glass of Sangria.  When I arrived, a few minutes late due to parking, there was a carafe of Sangria already on the table about half empty.  I have a glass and we are getting along swimmingly.  We talk about movies we like and fun places we’ve been.  He is good looking and charming. It all seems good.

Check back soon for the next installment of match.com date #3:

B#3

Standard

When it rains it pours, right?

I met a very nice man who works in finance and is really into food.  He is intelligent, articulate, appears to have good taste and a nice disposition.  I will find out more about his background

I suggested he join me at the theatre some time if he handled dinner and he enthusiastically agreed!

Look for a first date alert some time in December.

Will keep you posted.

B#2: first date?

Standard

Hello Everyone!

So this afternoon was coffee with B2 and I must say I was delightfully surprised!  I had nice chats with two of my DBT just before meeting this man for the first time in 15 years and admittedly I was a bit mellow about the whole thing.  But as the hour of conversation went on I found myself pleasantly surprised.  I remembered this guys easy manner, how nice he is to talk to and truly enjoyed re-connecting with him.

It was a great way to begin this project because it was very low key, practically no pressure and at the very least I have re-discovered a friend.  I feel comfortable with this person and a pleasant energy.

Plus my confidence with the whole “dating” thing is boosted.  I really can just enjoy meeting people without expectations.  What a relief!

Mr. Right?

Standard

In order to find what you are looking for you must first know what it is.  Makes sense, right?  So part of this exercise is for me to figure out what I want, yet the DBT needs to let me know what they think I need as well.  After all, if I wanted what was right for me in the past, I may not be in the position of needing a Dating Brain Trust now.

So I will do my part and start the conversation going by writing up a little description of what I am looking for in a long-term love relationship.

In order to accomplish this task, I used model provided by Charlotte Kasl (I know, you probably think I read nothing else) which invites one to examine their wants via eight characteristics.  The following list is quoted from her book If the Buddha Dated (p.76):

  1. physical/material: looks, status, age, education money
  2. Intellect: level of intelligence, use of intelligence and wisdom
  3. Interests: hobbies, work, leisure time
  4. Values/lifestyle: religion, number of children, child-rearing beliefs
  5. Psychological/emotional: capacity for intimacy, emotional maturity
  6. Creativity/passion: playfulness, talents, level of energy and joy
  7. Spirituality: commitment to a path of truth, integrity, and service
  8. Essence: the ability to flow from love, truth, goodness and power

 

 

 

Firstly she asks that you review all of the above listed categories and write exactly what you want, your dream mate in great detail.  I will not bore you with my very long essay because Kasl then takes one through the process of melting that down to only a few words, then one word.

I will share some of this with you here:

The Man for Me:

In 50 words

He is handsome and fit. Caring, compassionate, generous, affectionate, creative, honest, seeks to improve himself and the world around him, is a good father and an excellent communicator, believes in Buddhist/ Quaker principles, enjoys the arts, outdoors, and has a matching energy level, a quiet sleeper.

 

10 words

healthy in mind and spirit, articulate, affectionate, lover of life

 

5 words

honest, healthy, articulate, affectionate, adventurous

 

1 word

pilgrim (?)

Your thoughts DBT?  What do you think I need or should want in a man?  Have I missed something incredibly obvious?

match.com date #2

Standard

match.com date #2

So match date #1 was a bust, a nice guy but he was going to find a better mate in someone else.  My coworkers listened to my lunch date story and agreed that ultimately this man would be miserable with me and vise verse but they liked musing about it anyway.

The next date was much more interesting and at first seemed promising.

This man was my age or maybe a year older, close anyway. Never been married but he explained in his well-written profile about how he had dedicated his life thus far to his business and was now searching for love and commitment.  He was into travel and foreign culture, music and yoga. He had traveled all over the world with his work as a founding member and marketer of an internationally known product that had just gone public the previous year.  I checked the IPO and determined with the help of a friend in the investment business that he had made in the neighborhood of 23 million dollars in the deal.  He also played in a band.

Art, travel AND serious money, I thought this was a match made in heaven.

We met for coffee and I knew immediately I had met him before.  It took a couple of days to remember but I did.  More on that later.

We had a lovely time at coffee.  He had a sweet, unassuming demeanor (so refreshing in a man of great wealth) and I enjoyed talking with him about what we like to do and what our goals are for life.  He asked so sheepishly if I would like to have dinner with him, it tugged at my heartstrings.  I happily agreed and we made plans to eat at one of my favorite restaurants the following week.

During the week we settled plans and communicated a little more.  I googled him, of course, and everything checked out just fine.  We decided to meet at his home, the top floor of a duplex in a nice part of town.  He explained he lived in this apartment because he was single, had just come into his money and was waiting to find a more permanent home after he found his love. I also wanted to see his taste and collection of Buddha statues (which I also collect).

I also remembered where I had previously met him.  Fifteen years prior, when I was dating the man who became my second husband, I had met Match #2 in a vintage clothing store.  He was interesting to talk to and told me about his new business venture.  He had liked me then and the woman who owned the shop later told me that he was interested in going out with me but I declined as I was already involved with someone else.  Interesting, huh?

So back to summer of 2010:

The date night came and I excitedly drove to his house. When I arrived he was as sweetly charming as he had been in the coffee shop and thrilled to show me his apartment.  He offered me a glass of champagne – how fabulous is that?- and we walked to the kitchen to prepare it.  When he opened the refrigerator is was packed with bottles of champagne.  There was nothing else.  Just about three cases of good champagne.  Hmmmm.

So he pours me a glass and he proceeds to show me his place.  The decor is a cross between bachelor pad and just out of college.  Box springs and mattresses on the floor, Ikea shelves, modern leather chairs in the den complete with gigantic television and stereo system- very interesting for a man almost fifty years old.  It was all neat, clean and organized, though.  So much so that during the tour I picked up one of the small Buddha statues to look at it and put it back in approximately the same spot. Then he adjusted it.  “Interesting,” I thought.  So I picked up another one and consciously put it back exactly the way I thought it should go and – adjustment.  Hmmmm.

Now I have a child living at home and at the time I had a dog also.  Those two creatures are not always neat, clean and tidy.  I knew immediately that this man would have a problem living in such a chaotic environment but, you know, adjustments can be made and certainly he could afford to arrange to accommodate a compromise like living in a gigantic house in which he could be separated from the mayhem or having a staff on hand to keep the place spotless and picked up.  Not a deal breaker but an obstacle.

Fast forward to dinner.  He drives to the restaurant in his nice but sedate car. He has had two glasses of champagne that I have seen him drink and he starts to order more drinks.  He consumes at least four glasses of wine to my one and a Port.  He started talking to my cleavage after the first glass of wine and made a comment about me covering up when I got chilly and put a wrap over my shoulders.  By desert he was telling stupid jokes and his persona had changed dramatically from really nice to utterly obnoxious.

At the end of the meal I ordered a favorite rare fig port which intrigued him so he ordered one as well. His face screwed up like a child after a spoonful of icky tasting medicine at his first sip. I remarked on his apparent dislike of the wine and said something stupid about how he didn’t have to drink it to which he answered, “I never met an alcohol he didn’t like.” Huge red flag.

When I realized that I had ten minutes to get home at the time the babysitter was expecting me, he was annoyed.  I should have called a cab but was concerned about waiting and being late.  So we hopped in his car after hurrying the bill and headed back to his place where my car was parked.

It was August in the south around 9:20 at night and we are driving through a residential area of the city.  People are out on the streets enjoying the cooler-than-day air.  College kids and families are out walking.  Kids are riding bikes.  There are a lot of people out and about.  Halfway to his house and midway in a block when the traffic light at the end of that same block turned yellow.  Rather than be mindful of the people on the streets, this guy smashes the gas peddle and speeds through the light!  I am horrified and tell him that though I appreciate the gesture of trying to get me back to my car quickly so I can be respectful of the sitter’s time that I would prefer he slow down and get us there without incident.  The next block he does the same thing, guns the car from halfway in the block through a yellow light at the intersection.  Now I am past annoyed.  I am getting to disgusted.  His action simply demonstrated a self-centeredness that is inexcusable.  A lack of consideration for the people around him, most importantly me.

So we do manage to get to arrive at our destination without killing anyone- a relief – and he pulls into the enclosed parking area behind his house.  There are three ways out of this parking area: 1. the automatic gate used by the car, 2. up a flight of stairs to his apartment, a walk through to the front and downstairs to the front door or 3. a gate in the side of the tall fence surrounding the parking area that goes directly to the street.  My car is parked on the street just the other side of that gate.  He starts to go up the stairs to his apartment as I begin to step towards the gate.  He says, “You’ll need to come up so you can get to your car,” meaning I will need to go up to his apartment, walk through to the front and walk down the steps to the front door to get to the street.  Of course, there is no reason on earth for me to go into his apartment if my intention is only to immediately leave.  Remember, I am late to get home to relieve the sitter who for the first time ever has given me a deadline- plus I am paying the sitter which means this disastrous date has cost me significantly not to mention the money spent on coloring my hair and time getting ready.  Anyway, I can only deduce that this guy has some other ideas as to why I should come up to his apartment so I point out to him (with my hand physically on the gate) that I can simply go out this gate and my car is right there and he gets visibly irritated.

I mean, really!  We’ve been to dinner not Paris!

He reluctantly walks me to my car after I specifically ask him to do so, it IS night time in the city after all and good manners should dictate such an action.

We did NOT make another date although he has since asked to be my friend on Facebook.

Two down. One to go and I am a bit disillusioned with match.com at this point.

Bachelor #2

Standard

I’m taking a break from the match.com dating debacle stories to share information about bachelor #2:

The stats for Bachelor #2:

Occupation: marketing and public relations consulting

Age:  48  ( a few months younger, actually)

Relationship status: twice divorced

Children: 3 kids from his second marriage- the youngest close to my daughter’s age.

Physical: Tall, good looking

Geography: 40 miles away,

Pastimes: golf, enjoys cinema and live theatre

Things I like about him:  He is nice, clever, has a good sense of humor, was great with my son who was about 4 at the time and has a way with words (as you might imagine with his kind of work).

Things that could improve: Haven’t met with him in person for 17 years and don’t know if there is any “chemistry”.

Other things to know:  I met him about 17 years ago when he was between wives and dating a friend. His ex-wife and I were friends but have not spoken since shortly before their wedding and I had briefly dated her brother before that.  Attended rival college. We have been Facebook friends for about two years.

What do you think, Braintrust?  He is asking for a lunch date in the near future….

match date #1

Standard

The first man I chose to actually meet from my foray into online dating was a 60 year old doctor, divorced, with grown children who said he liked to travel and was looking for true companionship. I picked him because of his photo, a very nice shot of him in a chic European leather jacket taken in the Swiss Alps.  He sounded very gentleman like on the phone so we made a lunch date.

In real life he was soft-spoken and polite- both good signs but as the conversation went on I realized that he had some very old world, old fashioned ideas about women and their roles in life. The other thing is that he was an OLD 60.  I have a sister in her 60’s who is really cool, active and fun.  She is far from old.  But this guy was old in attitude and oh, looks in that he was dressed very conservatively (but not preppy). What it boiled down to was he was really looking for someone younger, attractive, who would cook and clean and make sure his shirts were done.  He actually rarely travels and well, if you know anything about me then you know the old world, old school concept just isn’t going to work.

He did hold my hand at one point during lunch – which was odd- but his hands were very soft.  Quite different than my ex-husband’s rough, callused carpenter hands.

He was so sweet though when he said he would really like to see me again.  I thought about it and called him to say that would be a bad idea and he was very understanding.

about match

Standard

Here is what happened when I went on match.com:

When I first went to the site, there was an invitation to “browse before buying”.  So I went to browse and in less than two seconds found a picture of a handsome man and clicked on it to read his profile.  It was a though I had made him up in my head.  He was in his mid-fifties, lives in Middleburg, had been in the horse business and loves horses, divorced, his kids were grown (youngest in college), he had traveled all over the world, lived in a foreign country and wanted to travel more, plus he practiced yoga.  There were pictures of him doing out doors things and at a black tie gala – oh, and did I mention he enjoys the performing arts and practices yoga?  I frantically joined Match in order to meet THIS man in particular and set about writing up my profile.  It took several hours to get my profile just right ( I am a writer, I can’t just put anything out there) and when I finally finished and searched for this guy to show him how utterly perfect we would be together, his profile had been removed.  AAAAGGGGHHH!

Frantic, I immediately called Match and asked to be removed.  The explanation I offered was, “I don’t want to meet men, I just want to meet that man.”  Match, of course, would not hear of it.  The understanding customer service rep did upgrade my account for free, however- oh great (she wrote sarcastically).

(If you would like to try match.com for free for 72 hours, click here)

That was late night on a Thursday.

I left my profile up over the weekend and by Monday morning there were 356 responses.

Here is what I learned about match pretty quickly.  This is far from news for anyone who has tried it.

The majority of men lie about their:

  1.  height– they always say they are taller than they are
  2. income– they tell you they make more than they do
  3. activities– they sound much more active than they are (Every man except one I communicated with who put yoga on their activity list had tried yoga only once. The exception really practiced Qui gong.)
  4. physical fitness– they say they are in better physical condition than they really are
  5. commitment level– they say they are interested in love but, well… some might actually be but most seem to be just looking for sex
(Click here for a link to a Huffington Post blurb that shows similar findings.)
I culled the list down to three.  What fun that was!  There were some pretty humorous characters like the marine who basically wanted a subservient sex slave (he actually mentioned lingerie in his profile) whose profile picture had him holding a  big fish (demonstrating his ability to provide food?),  the cowboy who went on about how depressed and broke he was (does that attract women?) and the guy who looked gay who created a “prince charming” platform including mention of a glass slipper. My coworkers and I were entertained for days.  It certainly made the slow time in our office go by much faster! The married women were the most engaged in the process, living vicariously through my date search misery.
The three men I picked were quite different and good “prospects” for varying reasons.  I shall describe each of them and our dates in future posts. Please know now that  the dates spanned a spectrum that went from reasonably normal to bizarre, the first being normal the last being nothing short of scary.

My experience with Match.com

Standard

Online Dating Magazine estimates that more than 20 million people visit at least one online dating service a month. (Online Dating Magazine – 2007) 

I know that many people meet online these days.  Almost every other person I ask about introducing me to nice single men tells me a story about a happy couple that met online.  I know of at least four couples who met online.  There is some statistic going around that claims something like a quarter of marriages in this country result from people meeting online.  I don’t know if that is true, but for more statistics on online dating click here.  
Online dating has certainly proven to be great for some people.  But for me, a person with man choosing disorder, it is nothing short of hell.  During the summer of 2010, my well-meaning coworkers thought I should try online dating because, like so many middle-aged single women, I was having trouble meeting SINGLE middle aged men.  In an effort to humor them, I agreed to sign up for a service and go out on a minimum of three dates.  I will tell you all about my experiences with Match and those three dates in the next few posts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Needless to say, it was an adventure.