Monday, February 22, 2010

Communicating 101

I will not go down in history as The Great Communicator. I know myself well enough to know that this is an area of which I can use improvement. I communicate just fine when it's work related, actually I'm pretty darn good at expressing exactly what I need to get my job done to the best of my ability but when it comes to one-on-one "let me tell you how I feel", I lack significant skills to be politely understood.

Often, I try not to care what someone thinks about how I feel because frankly, most people don't. Sometimes, I feel bad for saying exactly what I think and others I feel bad for holding back. Of course, I'm not known for holding back too much nor for feeling bad too much.

In the dating world, one must approach victims (I mean potential dates) with a certain kind of finesse to ease into email chains that may lead to an invite for a drink or dinner or doom... At first, I thought I was doing well, wooed into emailing with a young gentlemen well before the organized online dating site recommended, we exchanged words that were polite, interesting and gentle.

Here is the gist:
Example 1 (I'm the italics)
What do you do? Oh, I'm in film. Oh how cool, I'm studying law. Oh how boring, but I'm sure you like it, what kind?
How are you enjoying the weather? Love the snow, hate the cold. Yeah, me too.
How do you feel about Universal Healthcare?
I think I'm for it. Yeah, me too.
Oh, We have something else in common! Yeah, how exciting.
So do you want to get a drink sometime? Yeah, why not.
Cool. Did you facebook or google me yet? No, didn't even cross my mind.
Oh, well text me sometime.

That's it. And he expected me to text him to set a time for a drink. Is there some unwritten rule that I have to facebook or google a guy I'm interested in? Needless to say I didn't text him and half expected him to contact me about that drink - no word. Have I been rejected because I didn't care enough to google him? Seriously? And I was SO polite in all my emails.

After that I thought a change of strategy was warranted. I'll just be more myself right upfront.

Example 2: (I'm still the italics)

So, Hey girl. I saw your pic and you're super cute! This dating service says we should be matched! Wanna chat more? Tell me what your instant messenger service of choice is and I'll hit you up. You're in Brooklyn right? Cool. PS - I looked up what your name means, oh Joy!

Joy or Joyous but it should have been Oy. Seriously? How can you tell if I'm cute from my single tiny picture? And do you put all your faith into Dating sites selecting appropriate matches or do you prefer to judge for yourself? And, "instant messenger service of choice" is this 1999!? Do people IM still?
Just kidding. Dating sites makes me get fresh. I've been faking use of the service for 3 weeks and it's proving more work than I had hoped.
Yeah, I live in Brooklyn and I don't really IM or gchat or whatever because it's too distracting for work. I respond well to emails though. What is it that has struck you about my profile (other than my super cute pic) that has sparked you to risk communication?
Hope you're having a lovely Monday and a good start to the week.

So, really, what am I doing so wrong? This second guy hasn't responded to my email yet but I have high hopes that I've sparked his interest in being more my sassy self. But if I believed in doubt, now would be a good time to start doubting those communication skills of mine...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sucked into Sites

So here we go, spiraling into another online dating service site. I haven't quite failed with the first one but I'm already at the end of week 22 and haven't made a match! No pressure, no stress, it's just an obscene goal to go on 27 dates in 21 weeks!!!

Yes, I haven't been on a date yet (obviously), so I'm upping my opportunities and signed up for a second site, expanding my horizons further. This new one was so well advertised during the Valentines day weekend that I just have to check it out. On page one they show you a pretty beach and ask you to select a comment from multiple choice - is this picture a) pretty b) ugly c) stupid d) make you want to see more?

The personality test was fun, sure it had your usual multiple choice questions but it had some crazy out of left field questions like - on a scale of 1 to 5, how stupid do you think dating sites are? That just made me want to see more! Then I was give pictures and asked to select a title, and then play brainteaser games like is this hexagon the same size as that one? If not, change them so they are both the same size... What that has to do with my personality is beyond me but it made answering all the dumb questions like "what's your favorite hobby", less lame.

This site also categorizes you and your matches, based on your selections you become a Tiger, an Elephant, a Giraffe, a Monkey (these aren't the actual group names but close enough...) and these "groups" or "categories" make matching you up easier and well, more fun. Do I want to meet a Tiger like me or do I want to meet a Giraffe whom I might prey on... Each group is a personality type which isn't too hard to figure out.

Of course once you get matched with some interesting possibilities, then they tell you how much it costs... and then you question if it's worth your first paycheck on a new job to meet someone (or 27 someones) for the sake of a blog...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Rejection is something I'm pretty skilled at doing. It might have to do with the fact that my favorite word is "No", not for the reasons you might think either. I love the word "No" because it has so much power, to me it's not an ending to anything but an opportunity to try new tactics. When someone says "Yes", it's like giving in, an acceptance and there is no where else to go, sure it feels good if a guy says "yes, I like you" or "yes, you can have a million dollars" but where is the excitement of trial and error? I like that when someone says "No" or "Not interested", it forces me to rethink my approach, to rethink my motives and find another way to succeed because I'm not a giver-upper.

However, in the world of online dating, rejection goes far beyond the word "No" or "I'm not interested". When I'm faced with a match that I feel isn't a match I of course have the option to reject him - it's actually my first instinct simply because I reject the idea of meeting people online in the first place...

But when faced with rejecting a perspective match, I go through a whole array of emotions about turning away this poor guy I've never met. I think about my reasons for instinctively deciding "this guy isn't right for me" - am I rejecting him because his photos make him look fat? Maybe. Am I rejecting him because he likes sports? Probably. Is he a bad match because he can't live without his dog? These aren't really things you reject people for, are they? I actually feel bad that this guy doesn't know what's hit him.

I'm not sure if I feel guilty because I'm judgmental or if I pity the guys for putting themselves out there when there is no way (in my mind) we could possibly be a good match. On average it's taking me 3 days to get the courage to actually delete the guys I know I don't want.

The entire process of rejecting them entails sending a message and selecting my reasons from a huge list - "I think the distance between us is too great", "I do not find this match attractive", "Something this match said in their profile is a turn off" or "Other". These responses actually get sent to the guy and he's left to wonder "What was in my profile that she didn't like?" or
"why didn't she even give me a chance?" It's stressful enough for me to select an appropriate response that I can't imagine what it's like to receive a rejection from a person you don't even know.

Oh, wait, yes I can!

Believe it or not, I've been rejected. Most of the guys I probably would have rejected myself but just seeing that message: "So and So has declined your match siting the reason as: OTHER". What the F does that mean!? Was it something I said??

It's so much easier to reject people face to face, you just say "take a hike" or "get out of my face" or "I'm married with 3 kids - go away". But rejecting people and being rejected by persons unknown - a whole different ball game.

Good thing I take rejection so well... otherwise I might become a nutcase just sitting around wondering what it is about my picture, my profile, my likes and dislikes, my online personality, my whatever that made this other online phony profile reject me... I mean, don't they know how AMAZING I am??

And in this instance, a rejection is a "No" I can't challenge, I can't see the possibilities to change because, well, there are none.

However, there are still 70 more matches to go through....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

27 Matches

In the first 48 hours of my world of online dating I have received 27 matches and I keeping getting more. There can't possibly be that many men in the tri-state area that have things in common with me.

I'll admit, it's overwhelming. I should be looking at this with excitement and hope and all I think when I get an alert is "not another one!" Mind you it's only been about 2 days...

First, it's the match. Then I have to review the profile, before I'm even finished reading the "what's most important to me" section, the guy is making contact and asking me a bunch of questions I don't feel ready to what is your ideal date? Oy.

I need to find a way to narrow them down. So... all the guys from Jersey are OUT. I'm not discriminating due to location, I'm just being honest with myself in that - I'm discriminating if you live in Jersey. I'm not going to Jersey, not for a visit, not for a date, not to check out your awesome place or meet your dog - you're out. That's almost half.

Progress! Notice how I first thing I cut wasn't looks - I'm trying to be open minded. But speaking of that, if you profile picture is you with:
a) another woman
b) your shirt off
c) your mother
d) you, drunk, at a sporting event with your arm around another drunk dude and your tongue hanging out of your head -

Come On! You'd think the men submitting themselves to the horrid world of online dating would know better. Don't you want your photo to represent the best side of you? You should know I'm judging you on your looks!!

Then we get to the profile, if I read another heading that says "I'm passionate about passion and living life to it's fullest" - I'm going to puke! All of these men are looking for a "kind, loving, passionate woman who wants to enjoy living life to its fullest" blah blah blah.

I'm not trying to be negative but seriously? Is that all you got? How come we can't be honest and say I'm looking for someone who's going to argue with me over the best ice cream flavor, or make a scene in a museum and run away laughing with me or jump into a puddle and splash an old lady for no reason at all?

And one more thing about profile matches - when asked what the top 5 most important things are to you, do NOT answer: air, food, water, sports, my dog Pookie. (Of course I said movies and chocolate which aren't much better... maybe I can still change that).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The World of OnLine Dating

Ahhhh.... my first foray into online dating! How terribly unexciting, yet terrifying. I think it might be worse than actually having to look at the drunkards who try to pick me up in bars...

I have signed up for one online dating service to start. My goal is 3 but we'll see how far I get. For the sake of this blog, we'll call this service "Everlasting Love". Not only does it cost a small fortune, it has a 10-volume questionnaire to assist in matching you with the perfect mate. It took me an hour on the phone with my mother to get halfway through.

Its funny how seldom we have to define ourselves and justify our life choices once we're out in the world and the proof of our existence is in our monthly rent checks. To start, other than your first name, Everlasting Love requires you define yourself using a multitude of SAT words and rate them on a scale of one to ten.

Are you:
Kind? 7 (depends on the day)
Energetic? 7 (when I get sleep and have at least 2 cups of coffee)
Motivated? 10 (sometimes too...)
Defensive? 5 (some of you would give me a 10, I don't know what you're talking about!)
Direct? 5 (never! if nothing but the most direct!)

Do you consider yourself: Loving? 7 (depends on who)
Passionate? 9 (about what? what I do? you?...)
Sexy? (why would I give myself anything less than a 10!)
Jealous? 5 (I don't think so...but I usually get rid of the competition ahead of time)
Mean-Spirited? 5 (not me!)
Easily Angered? 5 (never! I'm the most even tempered person I know)

Do you get my drift? Imagine having to rate yourself on 50 adjectives! Thank goodness my mother kept me from being too honest! (Yeah, Honesty was a describing word to rate too - I gave myself an 8).

After all the words, there are questions - another 50 or so asking me to rate how important certain values and traits are to me and to a potential mate. Rate 1-10: Religious Beliefs, Humor, Engaging Conversation, Emotional Development, Cleanliness, Sociability... on and on... if I get one match, I'll be surprised.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

G*Star Goes Dating - 101

The title of this blog is true!
To set the record straight in case you had any doubts about me dating or blogging about dating. Goodness knows it seems out of character, but consider this a social experiment, the funny, sarcastic and exciting kind.

Here's my pitch: in light of recent events (or lack there of) I have decided to try my hand in the world of dating to a) practice my dormant social skills, b) meet some new people (particularly the male-have-lots-o-money-want-to-take-me-to-dinner kind) And c)have something to do with myself on Saturday nights when all my friends are out with their significant others and I'm home drinking wine alone plotting world domination.

So, the pitch: I'm going to go on 27 dates before I turn 27 this July 20th 2010.

Reasoning: First, I picked 27 not to be like the film 27 Dresses (though we all know I'm a sucker for a crappy romantic comedy) but because I'm turning 27 and I've realized that with all of the adventures and experiences I've had in my 26.5 years, dating hasn't really been one of them. Sure, I had the college romance, I had the Italian in Paris but in my close to four years in New York, I think I've had 3 dates. And really, the last official date I had was Valentines day 2009, yeah a terrible day for a first date - almost as bad as a wedding date. This year I'll be spending the Hallmark holiday at a wedding with a bucket to puke my unromantic sentiments into during the ceremony. (Not dissing you directly cousin, sorry and congrats!)

Now don't think I'm doing this to find myself a husband, I'm not. I'm more interested in seeing if there is a man (or multiple) in the world (or New York City area) who can stand a controlling-power hungry-motivated-beautiful-sarcastic and intelligent woman like myself. I'm interested in trying a few on for size, like shoes, walking around in different sized heels to see what makes me comfortable, what I want - color, shape, size, feel... Comparing men to shoes probably isn't appropriate, shoes you can return if they don't love you back and men - well some you have to hand cuff to you to keep or run over with a tractor to get rid of. It depends.

Motivation: I've noticed that since my time in New York, I have a terrible pattern to turn away just about every single guy that shows an interest in me and only go after the ones who can't stand me (imagine that!). There is some deep psychological explanation there that maybe I'll figure out or maybe I won't but if nothing else, by "blogging" about my dating adventures, I'll be forcing myself to write which I don't do enough of and thus if all else fails at least there will be a romantic comedy to produce in my future!

Plan: So how, you ask, am I going to go on 27 dates in the next 23 weeks...

I'm going to start by being a hypocrite and signing up for a few online dating services which I neither like nor believe in - thus ensuring that any date I go on will start with a lie... sealing the deal that this whole mission to find a soul mate will no doubt, fail.

I'm going to ask all of my friends to subject their single friends to me and my writing adventures - how could that go wrong?

And I'm going to take every opportunity offered me to go out and meet people in social settings (oh joy! me in a bar full of nasty, sweaty drunks).

Expectations: I am going to try and throw my expectations and obscenely high standards out the window (or at least lower to eye sight) and I am going to expect my readers to do the same. I encourage you to have no expectations for me, my mission or what you may read here within.

You should count on the fact that my sarcasm, my judgementalness, my unpolitical correctness, and my insecurities will all come out. I will write exactly what I think and feel - changing ALL names to protect the poor schmucks (and myself) - and those of you who know me personally know there's not much I hold back from saying. I won't here. If you can't take it - you probably shouldn't date me.

Consider this mission officially launched.