Monthly Archives: July 2012

A new attempt at writing a personal ad

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If you have been following Dating By Committee you are probably familiar with my  match.com experiences (and have a full understanding why I am not on any online dating sites).

BUT…

Steve Harvey’s advice on setting standards up front to weed out the throw back men from the keepers has inspired me to maybe, just maybe, try it again.

This time instead of writing some lovely romantic narrative on what I like and how fabulous I am, I will write up something much more frank.

It could look like an Audition notice and read something like this:

AUDITION NOTICE

Seeking adult male  to take on the permanent role of  SUPERMAN  in a long running improvisational production entitled, RESPECT THE GODDESS.

Men seeking this once-in-a-lifetime, plumb role should be 40 + years of age (or  really mature if under 40) , enjoy children, have established careers that they enjoy, positive attitudes, a clear life plan, comfortable with improvisation and  be in good mental and physical health.

Auditionees should be able to jump into an established ongoing production with one adult actress who plays multiple roles (Writer/Mother/ Lover/Goddess),one adult male (college aged son who drops in occasionally) and one young female (tween-aged girl) with the rare visit from Stella the hilarious yet aging Bull Terrier.  Other cast members include: Family who live out-of-town, a parcel of fun/interesting Friends from varying nationalities and backgrounds,  the school fundraising committee, writing colleagues, the Quaker Friends a host of artists of varying mediums, some yogis/yoginis and 2 former actors who lost the privilege of playing this role.

The actor cast will be required to provide some cast meals so you should be able to cook or pay for healthy take-out or restaurants and be able to clean or afford to hire a cleaning service.

Dancing is a plus.

WARNING: Nudity will be required IF you are cast (The Director reserves the right to review serious candidates at her discretion).

The lucky actor cast  will receive the following benefits:

  • love
  • loyalty
  • support
  • intelligent conversation
  • a well managed home
  • a willing traveling partner
  • tickets to cultural events
  • lots of laughs mixed in with the regular stuff
  • an amusing insider’s view of the creative process
  • special attention from a sought after goddess
If interested: send a resume and a brief description of why you think you should be considered for this role.
So what do you think? Anything I should add, delete or otherwise?

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Men Cheat

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Four in the last 10 days.  If you have been following this blog you know what the number 4 means in relationship to the number of married men that I feel are crossing boundaries (three described in a recent post and now one more).  No details needed.  The point is that I have, up until now, been absolutely perplexed by this phenomenon of married or otherwise attached men approaching other women.

Enter Comedian and Author, Steve Harvey and his book, ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. His chapter, aptly titled, Why Men Cheat, explains in simple terms the answer (drum roll)- Because They Can.  He goes in to the reasons why and the various roles in the cheating scenario.  That plus hearing what feels like  100 men relate their tales of marital woe,  rebuffing what feels like an equal number of would be cheaters and listening to dozens of women’s stories who have either  been cheated on, cheated on someone or both, I think I get it now.

If you are waiting for me to share my revelations in this post, you will be disappointed. Perhaps another day.

But I will say this:

I have changed my perspective from disgust or flattery (depending on my mood) to mild amusement when married men approach me after reading this book.  Men are just programmed   to populate the planet and mix up as many gene pools as possible in doing so and sex is not necessarily an emotional experience.  That is just plain different than how women are programmed.  They don’t mean to be smarmy or rude.  They simply want to see what they can get.

Granted, I speak in general terms.  I understand that there are different kinds of cheaters and varying circumstances.  What Harvey’s book has taught me is that most men (single or attached)  start out with the idea of just getting sex from a woman and that if I look at all males from that perspective I can control the outcome.  If I can accept that it is just what they do, I can defuse the importance of it and take it for what it is- not a compliment or a slight- just what is.

I have also discovered that if I calmly call a man on the carpet rather than getting all uptight and offended or scared that his mate will hate me for standing there when the man made his advance, he will just laugh about it and brush it off as nothing- which is exactly what it is to him- NOTHING- a try at his luck.

All I have to do to be appropriate is rebuff his advances.

Please know, ladies, that these guys will L-I-E their faces off to get what they want so you have to be very careful.  Harvey offers up a 90 day rule for “giving up the cookie” – excellent advice that I totally support.

That way you can avoid situations like the one Delanie Moore, Author of I am Divorced Not Dead

 

, found herself in when she made out with a man she had just met and then discovered  a few days later he was married.  Harvey’s 90 day rule gives you the chance to discover whether or not a man is interested in you as long term potential or just sex.  (There is more to it than just waiting 90 days but it is a good guideline with which to start.)

Click here to read Delanie’s story – it is a really good example of the lengths a man will go to lure an unsuspecting woman into having sex.

Remember also that this advice is geared towards women seeking a long term committed relationship rather than  simply some fun.There is a place for that too but I strongly suggest that you stick with single men for that as well. It makes everyone’s life far less complicated.

Anyone have any good stories to tell along these topics?

The 80/20 rule- dating advice

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Pareto’s principle or the 80/20 rule is often used in business and economics to determine efficiency and to make decisions.  You have probably heard or read it used in terms of wealth distribution ( 20% of the population owns 80% or the wealth or 20% or the population pays 80% of collected taxes – not the same 20% by the way) . But Christian Carter has finally written something that makes sense to me.  He is using Pareto’s principle to describe the ratio of good available men to all men.  (To learn a little about Pareto’s rule click here)

In a recent email he writes:

Out of a random sample of 100 handsome guys, you’d probably find that only 20 of them (or so) are:

– Single

– Emotionally stable and at least semi-mature

– Able to carry on an interesting conversation

– Open to a relationship, should the right woman come along

– Not a player, or looking for just “fun”

This is just an estimate from my own personal experience, but I think you get the point.

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HOOORAAAAHH!  Now I get  why there are seemingly so few great men out there.  I have been frustrated, as I am sure many single women in their “middle-age”are also, because I failed to realize I was looking for something so rare.

I love that Christian includes “able to carry on an interesting conversation” on his list of qualities.  I have found this especially to be true (with the exception of a very interesting and eloquent man I have been communicating with lately.)   What I love about the “conversation” attribute is that if a man fails to intrigue me with words he hasn’t got a chance regardless of his status or qualities. I know the misery of being with someone who has a limited capacity for thinking and expression.  You know what I mean,  A person with this issue might repeat themselves, the same stories, the same jokes, phrases and responses to adnauseum as if they are in a mental and lingual holding pattern for ever.  Like the man who made a funny comment about the way I said the word, “phone”. (Occasionally, my native Southern accent makes its way into my word pronunciation.  Sometime I pronounce the word phone with a very long “O” sound so that PhOne becomes Phowne. It is very cute when it happens, I am sure.) It was funny the first time he said it.  I showed  that he was paying attention to me and what I was saying, that he found something  charming about me.  The second through fifth time he said it, it was sort of an inside joke- an attempt at creating intimacy, perhaps.  By the 20th time it was annoying and I asked him to stop.  By the 30th time it was a demonstration of mental calcification on his part, a lack of creativity (couldn’t he move on from that joke and create another?) and a lack of respect for my wishes. Or they simply lack a decent command of the language.  I thought, “Good god, am I going to have to hear this for the rest of my life?” and I decided, “Nope.” and ended the relationship. Of course that was not all that was problematic in the relationship. The “phone” thing was merely a symbol of some bigger issues. OR there is the man who uses too many slang and/or curse words in his speech.  I mean, just get a little more creative, will you? But I digress.

In my experience it is not that there is a dirth of single men that is the problem but meeting all of Christian’s criteria that is the main issue. But Christian also says that it is not  the quality of men out there that is important.  He claims it is how women interact with them that counts.

Here is where Christian sort of offers some useful advice for once.  Read what he writes later in the same email quoted above:

THE POWER OF BELIEF IN YOUR LOVE LIFE

So what do you think could happen if you yourself suspended your disbelief that there weren’t many great men out there…

And instead you lived your life with the generosity that only comes from an open heart who’s willing to seek out the best in people?

How do you think men would respond if you were that woman who believed that every man you start talking to could be interesting, SINGLE, and that he’s probably a great guy?

And how do you think men would FEEL around you if they didn’t see that you looked at them suspiciously as though they might be like some of the other men who weren’t acting so great?

There’s an old principle that stands true in the world of advertising…

It basically says that out of 100 people reading your ad or seeing your commercial, maybe ONE of them is that someone who would buy your product. The rest will tune your message out even if it’s a great message.

Which means, if you try and talk to the 100 people in your ad, you’ll fail to grab that 1 real genuine buyers attention.

To put it another way: “Don’t worry about the DOGS, concentrate on selling the FOXES.”

It’s great metaphor I borrowed from a smart writer I know named Gary Halbert.

The point is…talk to the men you meet AS IF they’re single, open, interesting, and wonderful.

And then don’t worry about the ones who don’t turn out to actually BE single, open, interesting, available, and wonderful.

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I really like that Christian says to just go out there with your good attitude, your heart open and chat up every man you meet with reckless abandon. I think I have been doing this all my life . But what Christian fails to mention here is that when you put yourself wholeheartedly out there and treat every man like he’s wonderful and available you may attract the attention of some serious psychos who can be difficult to shake (I will be starting my “stalker” novel this month) or enjoy the wrath of an insecure girlfriend or jealous wife or two (not a fun experience to be reamed up the butt by a woman who feels you are a threat because you treated “her man”  (I hate this term because it Implies ownership – might indicate the real problem right there) like he was single.)

I agree with Christian that you should be comfortable, open and confident when talking to men – all men, single or otherwise.  But I invite you to keep that radar of intuition up while you are enjoying some good conversations.

A fun book to read regarding weeding out the looser/player/undeserving guys from the keepers is Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man“.  His 5 questions are super smart and his writing style is spritely and clear.

So Sistahs get on out there, put on your confidence, raise that radar and chat up some guys.

Let me know what happens.

 

Boys of Summer: How I Met H2 continued some more…

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(This is the continuation of a story begun a few blogs back.  Click here for the beginning and here for part 2).

A couple of days later I went to pick up J to go somewhere or other and before we got out of her apartment door she stopped suddenly, remembering something important.

She handed me a scrap of notebook paper with Cute Dancing Artist Man’s name and a phone number on it.

“He made me promise to give this to you. Now I have.  You may now do whatever you want with it.”

Now normally I would toss a number I didn’t want right away.  And I almost did. Several times.  But something stopped me each time, some nagging, nameless “what if” in the back of my mind, a tug at my heart strings.   I put that paper scrap in my planner where it stayed un-used for six months.

By then I was dating the perfect man. A beautiful, humble man I had met in grad school.  He had just inherited a tidy sum and would never have to be gainfully employed- he could do whatever he wanted with his life.  He had chosen to go to grad school so he could work with at risk youth.  (Collective Awwww.) He was also a model and drop- dead -head -turning good looking.

But I still had that stupid piece of scrap paper that I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) make myself toss out.

What was it about this man that so intrigued me?  I had to find out.

On a cold January afternoon I called him and a few days later we met for lunch.  Four dates later and I dropped Mr. Perfect.  A year, three marriage proposals and a few months later, I married Cute Dancing Artist Man and he became H2.

We had a lot of fun together, in the beginning he was a fantastic step-father to my son,  we many good times and we produced a beautiful person in the form of our daughter.  The passion between us never died but H2 was a teacher of some harsh necessary lessons and after 12 years of marriage we had to call it quits.

I thank the Universe for our time together, our daughter and the growth that our relationship inspired in me which has introduced me to love of myself and prepared me to be a better mate for someone else in the future.

PS: after writing this I went online to do some research for a story and discovered psychologist Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of interpersonal relationships.  I will be exploring this more in an upcoming post.

Can you guess where I went wrong in my decision to date the man who became H2?

Boys of Summer: How I Met H2 continued…

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Later that summer on an obnoxiously hot and humid August night I met some friends at a charity function.  That sounds fairly hoity toity, right?  But actually it was a beer and barbecue brew ha ha in the parking lot of a car dealership with a live band and about 500 people.  The night time temp was about 84 degrees with 96% humidity where sweat sticks to ones body like glue.

A very popular local band was performing that night and approximately 150 of the party guests were sweltering out on the dance floor by 11:00pm. Taking a break from the melee, my female friend J and I were taking in the scene of  undulating  bodies when halfway across the dance floor I spotted a gorgeous man.  He was dancing in amidst a group, his short-sleeved shirt buttons undone exposing sculptured pecs and a six pack of abs.  I thought : “Hot dancing guy with shirt undone = gay.”  I pointed him out to J who OOOOhhhed with approval.  “He’s got to be gay,” I said. “Maybe,” she retorted.  “Dance with him and find out then come back and tell me,” I said.  She did.  He wasn’t. I danced with him next.

We had a blast dancing and chatting.  He was so funny and interesting and HOT.  An irresistible  combination.  Then at one point while I was talking with other friends and he had gone to get a beer or something, our mutual friend, H (the guy who had wanted to set me up with his unemployed recently dejected artist friend) pulled me aside.  “I see you’ve met my artist friend.  They guy I wanted to set you up with,” he said.  “What do you think?”  UGH! My better judgement had already told me this guy was not going to work for me.  And I had been right, I knew I would like him a lot if I met him.

“You must promise me NOT to give him my number.”

I asked all my friends there not to give him my number as well.  They all agreed.

Cute Dancing Artist Man and I danced and chatted some more and when it came time for me to leave he asked for my number and I refused to give it.

“I have to go now,” I said.  “It was nice meeting you.  Have a great life.”

I turned and walked away but after about ten steps I looked back.  The look on his face was so forlorn like a kid whose security blanket had been taken away.  I felt a tug on my heart like the kind when you walk away from that adorable puppy in the window at the pet store.

Thinking that I would never see him again, having had a beer or two and seeing that I had nothing to lose, I strode back and kissed him.  Thinking it would be the only kiss I ever gave him I made sure it was the kiss to end all kisses – a long passion filled wet sensual kiss.

I left him standing on the pavement – utterly stunned.

to be continued…

My Rules Concerning Attached Men

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Yep, I am on my soap box again.  Last night’s incident has set me off and here is where my head is today…

Someone recently suggested that I was “making a play” for a man who was already in a relationship.  I found that comment to be hurtful and insulting.  It is my  belief that there are plenty of suitable un-attached men in the world to date without getting entangled in a drama involving another woman and life has certainly re-enforced that concept for me ten fold.

I think that behaving ethically is important not so much for anyone else but because I have to live with myself. By my definition, “making a play” implies initiating connection with someone with the intention of starting a romantic relationship. I have never “made a play” for an attached man in my life.  “Making a play” for someone already in a relationship  is like starting a war- a good outcome is impossible. I have heard stories of women being successful at this sort of thing, meaning they end up with the man in question. But do they really want to be with someone who so easily breaks commitments?

 When an attached person approaches someone outside of their attachment it is absurd to blame the third party. Last night’s incident is a prime example of what pisses me off.  At a party a married man came on to me.  Wedding ring off his finger.  No indication in his conversation that he was attached.  Paying me compliments.  Hinting at potential future meetings.  Just like any single man who was interested would do.  I listened and having been jaded by recent events, I was a bit guarded but mildly open to his attentions. He seemed nice enough as a “single” guy after all. At the END of the evening I asked him if he is married and he hesitates to answer.

Turns out that at several points throughout the evening his wife was within earshot of our conversation – at one point she was sitting about three feet away.  He didn’t bother to introduce me.  He told me how much he  enjoyed my company while she is right there!  I have no idea what was going on. Perhaps I read him all wrong?  Perhaps they enjoy this type of game and go home and have wild sex afterwards?  Not one person at that party bothered to clue me in.  But guess who will be gossiped about as being loose and inappropriate?  Not the man!  Guess who his wife will be pissed off with if she is not a party to this activity?  Maybe him but definitely me.

The dynamic of this situation is what irritates me.

Person A misrepresents themselves to person B. Person B acts on the information provided and Person B gets blamed for wrongdoing. IT IS SO UNFAIR!!!

Why do attached women get so angry at women who get involved with their liar mates?

And not just that…

There is, perhaps worse, the woman who encourages a “friendship” with her husband/boyfriend then gets angry when he makes an advance.

Here is an event in my life that has bothered me for years:

When I was in college, I worked as a hostess in a restaurant.  When I started working there one of the waitresses had just broken up with her boyfriend, a very handsome man who took my breath away upon our first meeting.  She approached me and gave me his telephone number suggesting I call him and ask him out. Despite the intense attraction, I threw his number in the trash and tried to avoid him as much as possible.  Weeks later I ran into him at a party where he made it a point to talk to me.  We stayed out together all night and  though we had a great time and his ex was already involved with someone else, I was uncomfortable with his recent break up status and intended on not seeing him again.  He was persistent in his pursuit, after a few weeks, I caved and his ex-girlfriend became furious with ME. Although her anger was, in my opinion, completely misdirected, it was still awful to think that I had a part in causing her pain. The extra drama around it all was also irritating.

I dated that man for the better part of a year and his ex went on to marry the guy she met post break up but to this day I am sure she would be happy to tell you what a bitch I am.

My standard response when  a(n) married/attached men proposition me I tell them plainly that I hear that they are unhappy  in their current situation and that makes me sad. Then I suggest they might  go see a therapist and work on themselves.

I mean really, Who wants to be in a relationship with a man who would put on such a drama (lie and sneak around) rather than take responsibility for his initial relationship and communicate his feelings, or do the work on himself to satisfy whatever need he has that he goes to such lengths?

As a single mom trying to make a living as a writer, I prefer to keep my life as simple and trouble free as possible.

What are your thoughts or experiences on/with relationship status and dating?

Is it Marriage Open Season?

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Um.  Did I miss some major announcement/memo/newsflash about an open season on marriage this week?

Tonight marks the third married man who has acted in an inappropriate manner towards me THIS WEEK!  Enough is enough for Krisakes.

The other two were much more subtle: one a little too flirty via email, another too often and too closely in my space at a social event (at one point this guy’s wife stepped in between us much to my relief).  But tonight!  Ugh!

I was sitting in a circle of people chatting together at a party.  Mr. Married Man joins the circle and sits next to me.  After a while he is just talking to me.  I noticed he lacked a wedding ring and any girlfriend type was absent from his side.  So I chatted with him for a while then left the circle.  He followed and wanted to talk some more and after a while he said, “I like you and I am really enjoying talking to you.”  Which was nice at the time because I thought he was single.  He sought me out a few times during the evening and when he was leaving he wanted to give me his card.

As he reached out his hand with the card he said, “Would it be OK if we had a discreet relationship?”

Suspicious, I said, “Why?  Are you married?”

He began to hem and haw.

I said, ” You ARE married, aren’t you?”

and

he said, “Well….Yes.”

“No,” I said and turned to see a woman who I suppose was his wife, walking towards us.

An hour and a half of flirting with his wife only  a few feet away!  The NERVE!  I swear I was not coming on to this guy.

What kind of game is this?  Do these men just want to see how far they can go with this?  What is the deal?  Am I just supposed to be OK with this because it is so common?

Comments?