Monday, July 29, 2013

I Can Take a Hint

Yesterday I received a brief e-mail from the guy I met on He wrote that he "didn't think we were a great match."

Maybe I shouldn't have written back, but I did. I didn't write, "Oh yeah? Well, at least I don't walk AND talk like a robot!" Instead, I wrote that I already knew we weren't a good match since it had been a week since our date and I hadn't heard from him. I also added that he didn't need to e-mail me.

On, people can send "rejection" e-mails to people that they're not interested in. I've received a few myself, and I must admit that I've sent a few to guys who kept winking at me and e-mailing me even after I didn't respond the first time. will write the rejection for you; that is, you can choose responses like, "I just don't think we're a good match," (sounds like that guy plagiarized, but I'm just SAYING) or "I've met someone else and I want to see how it goes." But I've never received a rejection e-mail after I already went on a date with the guy.

I'm not sure why he felt the need to e-mail me in the first place. As I mentioned in my last post, he left a message soon after our date to let me know that he had fun. Based on my past experience, if a guy contacts me right after the date, that means he wants to see me again. So the next day I texted him to say hi, and I suggested that we meet again if he had any more free time. He said he'd let me know, which to me felt like the kiss of death.

I didn't hear from him again after that. Did he think that I spent all week waiting by the phone for him to call? Did I continue to e-mail, text, and call him incessantly? Did I send him pictures of myself in different wedding gowns with a note that said, "Which one do you like best?" Did I send him a copy of the movie Fatal Attraction with a note that said, "This film is so inspiring"? Did I e-mail him to say, "I just happened to be outside your apartment with binoculars last night, and I saw you through the window. Did you get your hair cut?" NO! I didn't do any of those things.

Since he never asked me out again, and since I didn't hear from him all week, I figured that was a not-so-subtle hint that he wasn't interested. I was disappointed, but I wasn't heartbroken. To be honest, during the date I didn't feel that thing you're supposed to feel when you make a connection with someone. On the other hand, I was willing to give him another chance to see if anything more were to develop. He wasn't willing to give me another chance, though, so within a few days of our date, I was back on to see who else was out there. And he would've been able to see when I was online.

I thought he was a nice guy, and I thought the date was nice, too. But now when I look back on this what I'll remember is that last e-mail, and that just ruins it all for me.

(Side note: The guy's name also happens to be the same name as my main character's love interest in one of my manuscripts, though I named that character long before I met that guy. I was tempted to change the name, but I'm not going to let him ruin the character for me too.)

What do you think? Do you think it's necessary to let someone know you're not interested after you've gone on a date? If you do, how have you done it? (I'm curious about this for future reference, in case I ever end up going out with someone who can't take a hint.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dating in Your Thirties

I recently went on a coffee date with a guy from To say that I was nervous about it would be an understatement. When I get really stressed or nervous, I break out into a rash. I was freaking out, thinking that I would have to say to my date, "Want to play connect the red dots on my arms?"

Fortunately, my skin (mostly) cleared up by the time we met for coffee. We talked for a long time. He was definitely nicer than a lot of the other guys I've gone out with, because he a) didn't insult me; b) didn't make up an excuse to leave early; c) didn't flirt with the waitress or keep checking out other girls; d) didn't watch TV while we were talking (this did actually happen on a date with a guy I met a couple years ago; we met in a bar and he kept watching the game on the TVs during our conversation. I felt like asking him, "Do you want me to leave so that you and the Bulls can have some alone time?").

He was pretty easy to talk to, and it seemed like we had a lot in common. There were, however, a few awkward pauses in the conversation, so I kept asking him questions and tried not to talk about work too much. (It's hard not to, though, seeing as how I think about work 95% of the time. The rest of the time I usually just think about books or food. Mostly food.)

There were a few times where guys I met through online dating sites mentioned their previous experiences with the sites, and we laughed about the funny profiles/e-mails we'd read. But this guy actually talked about other women that he'd dated, and he brought up the topic more than once. I've read in more than one article that you should NEVER talk about your exes on the first date, partly because you end up revealing more about yourself than about your exes. But what was I supposed to say? "Do you wish you were out with one of your other dates right now? Because I'm wondering why you're even thinking about them when you're with me."

I received a message from him soon after the date, but he didn't ask me out again. And in that sense, he was like several of the other guys I've dated. I couldn't help wondering how many more first dates I was going to have to go on before I met the right guy, or if I would ever find him.

In my opinion, dating in your thirties is more difficult and complicated than dating in your teens or twenties. When I was younger, I thought I had all the time in the world to find someone. In high school, if I had a crush on someone, I didn't really think about the future. I thought about how cute, funny and nice he was and how it would be cool if we got to go to a school dance together. When I was in my twenties, I thought more about long-term relationships, but I still had a more casual attitude about it. That is, I thought that if it were to lead to something more, great! If not, there were other guys out there.

But now that I'm in my thirties, I can't help viewing dates differently. For example, when I look at a guy's profile, I always check to see if he specifies whether or not he's looking for a serious relationship or if he wants kids someday (on you can write "someday, undecided, definitely, no" in the "wants kids" section). If he isn't looking for any kind of a commitment (and many of the guys on make it clear that they aren't) or if he doesn't want kids, I immediately go on to the next profile.

On the other hand, for some reason a lot of the guys on have several children, as in three or four. I'm not opposed to dating a single dad, but I don't think I'm prepared to date someone with a big family, at least not yet. 

When I go on dates, I don't just think, "Is he going to call? Will I ever see him again?" I also think, "Can I actually see myself with this person? Does he have the same values and beliefs as me? Does he want the same things I do? Is he someone I could introduce to my parents?" (Unfortunately, with almost all the guys that I've met through online dating, the answer is always no.) 

I feel like now that I'm in my thirties, I'm running out of time. I know that a lot of people get married and have children when they're older, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to have children by the time I actually get married, if that ever happens. I could try adoption, but that's not a sure thing and it could take years. Not to mention most of the guys my age have wives or girlfriends, and the ones who are single are usually looking for someone a lot younger, not someone who's closer to their own age.

I've tried not one, not two, but FIVE online dating sites. I've tried blind dates and speed dating. I participated in social events at my church. There were a couple guys who asked me out at my various part-time jobs, but they were significantly younger, which was an issue for me. I don't want to still be going on first dates ten years from now, or even five years from now. I've already been on too many first dates as it is (way more than I thought I would have to go on when I was in my teens and twenties), and I keep ending up disappointed. I don't want to feel that way anymore.

They say that there's one right person out there for each person, but maybe that isn't entirely true. Maybe some people get to fall in love, get married, and have children, and others don't. Maybe one of the reasons I'm such a workaholic is because it'll pay off in the end, and I might get what I want from my work, if not from someone who may not even exist. Maybe the reason I haven't been able to make it work with any of the guys I've gone out with so far is because it wasn't supposed to work with anyone. I might not ever be a wife or a mother, but I could spend the rest of my life as a teacher and a writer. And maybe that's not such a bad thing, seeing as how I do love teaching and writing. I think that I'm pretty good at teaching and writing (though I still have a lot to learn), yet I keep failing at dating.

What about you? Do you think that dating in your thirties is different from dating in your twenties or teens? How do you feel about first dates?

Here's a funny video that compares women in their twenties to women in their thirties (I'm definitely like the thirtysomething women in this video, except substitute the club and the bar they go to with Barnes & Noble and Target.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Wish I Had More Time For...

Twitter. I've written before about how I'm tempted to set up a Twitter page, but I'm afraid that if I do, I'll be one of those annoying people who never looks up from her cell phone and ends up accidentally knocking people over like dominoes every time she goes out.

But I'm thinking that if I get enough work done on my dissertation this summer, maybe I will start Tweeting. Then I can Tweet weird things I've been hearing people say on their cell phones, like, "I don't want you to see my new face until the swelling goes down," (I really did hear this) and "I don't see why he's so mad at me. It's not like he can't wash out the vomit on his couch." (I'm not making that one up either.)

Studying. I feel guilty because I haven't gotten as much work done on my dissertation this summer as I wanted to. But that was partly because a) my website job took up a lot of time; b) I had to block guys who kept winking at me on, like the 75-year old man who wrote in his profile that he only wants to date women in their twenties, thirties and forties (THAT alone is enough to make me want to quit online dating); c) for some reason it seems like food tastes better in the summer, which means I have to spend a lot more time at the gym; d) summer is the one time of year where I don't have to wear five layers of clothes, so I want to spend as much time outside as possible. It's much easier to stay inside and work when it's freezing outside. On the other hand, summer means all the tourists are in Chicago, which means I often end up getting stuck behind a bunch of "slow walkers" and I have to resist the urge to knock them over like dominoes.

But on the other hand, I know that I've been wasting time by reading weird news articles, like the one about the woman who distracted her neighbor by skinny-dipping in his pool while her husband robbed the neighbor's house. I've also been watching reruns of the show Flashpoint and reading gossip columns, which is why I know more about certain celebrities' love lives than I should. Online dating has also taken up a lot of time, and I haven't even gone on any dates yet.

There is one guy who recently started e-mailing me, and he wants to meet me in person. I'm happy because it means I'll finally get to go on a date, but I'm very nervous and scared because I haven't been on a date in a long time. Part of me wants to postpone it, but I know that it's better to meet him sooner rather than later.

My website job has finally slowed down, so I've resolved to devote the rest of the summer to studying. Then I can start Tweeting stuff like, "Is it bad to judge people for wearing clothes that are too revealing? Because I've already done it 237 times this week," and "I know I should eat fruit and oatmeal for breakfast, but I'm going to have this doughnut and chocolate-flavored coffee instead."

What about you? What do you wish you had more time for?

Monday, July 1, 2013

What I'm Looking For

Even though I've only been a member of for about a week, I think I'm going to cancel my membership. I just read a profile where the guy wrote, "I'm looking for a girl who's really hot and has really big boobs."

Another guy sent me an e-mail that creeped me out. He wrote, "I will love you as much as you deserve to be loved." (He doesn't even know my name, and he's already promising to love me? Blech!)

One guy wrote an e-mail that said, "I make a lot of money and will pay for everything. A pretty thing like you shouldn't have to work." (First of all, I really don't like being called a "thing". Second of all, DON'T tell me that I won't have to work! That's like telling the Kardashians that they can't be filmed anymore!)

My lack of success this time around has made me feel more than a little disappointed and bitter. In fact, I'm sitting in Starbucks right now, and there's a young couple sitting next to me who hasn't stopped touching each other, stroking each other's hair, and kissing since they sat down beside me, and it's been a half hour now. I never thought I'd be the type of person to yell, "Get a room!" or throw coffee at annoying public displays of affection, but I really wish these people who won't stop groping each other would GO AWAY right now.

In an online dating profile, you can describe who you are and what you're interested in, but you can also describe what you're looking for. I wrote that it would be nice to find someone to enjoy the city with, and that I was looking for someone who is close to my age and lives in Chicago or the suburbs. But if I was going to be really honest, here's what I would have written:

Recently I bought a small filing cabinet with two drawers for ten dollars from my building's super. Before I opened it, I thought, "Hmm. I hope there aren't any dead animals in there." The guy I'm looking for would not only not think I was weird for thinking that, but would open the cabinet and check it for me.

On, you can list the last book that you read. Some guys wrote, "I really don't like to read. I like magazines, though." Another guy wrote, "I just read my friend's Twitter feed. Good stuff." The guy I'm looking for wouldn't necessarily have to read as much as I do, but he would be someone I could talk about books with.

Although I will admit that most of the guys I've dated have been physically fit, looks aren't necessarily a deal breaker for me. I've e-mailed more than one guy because of what he wrote in his profile, not because of what he looked like. The guy I'm looking for would NEVER specify a weight limit for his dates, tell women not to e-mail him if they are fat, or write that he only wants to date "fit" women. Even though I go to the gym four to five times a week, I will never be a size six, due to my love of all things chocolate-covered. The guy I'm looking for would accept that and would still think that I am beautiful.

The guy I'm looking for also wouldn't be the type to drive around in his car with his music blasting so loud that the doors vibrate. He wouldn't keep his neighbors up all night with his loud parties or television, which means he'd never have to deal with my wrath or dodge the objects that I want to throw at loud people. He wouldn't cut in front of anyone in line, and he'd be polite, considerate, and courteous to everyone.

He would also have a good job (though he doesn't have to make six figures) and be ambitious and hard-working. I read one profile where the guy wrote, "I don't have a job right now, but I am in a band and I'm sure I'll get my big break soon." Another guy wrote, "I live with my parents, which is cool because I don't have to pay rent. So I only have to work part-time, which leaves me more time to play video games." (I'm not making that up. Did I mention this guy is in his thirties?) I want someone who doesn't treat his parents like an ATM and is responsible.

On plentyoffish you can write if you're looking for a relationship or if you're looking for casual dates with no commitment. A lot of the guys my age wrote that they're looking for casual dates. But I'm thirty-two years old. I don't want to keep going on first dates. I want a family of my own. I want someone who wants the same things I do, and who would NEVER ask me to hook up with him AND his friend (yes, that did happen to me) or who would ask to hook up with one of my friends. And he would NEVER want an "open relationship". (What's the point of being in a relationship if you're still dating other people?)

When I did online dating before, I had at least a few leads and had even gone on a date or two by now. But I joined more than a month ago, and...nothing. It's left me feeling very discouraged. has these singles events that they refer to as The Stir. There's a trivia night, a happy hour, and sporting events. Next month there's a speed dating event. I thought about going, but I already tried speed dating a few years ago, and it did not end well for me. I'm not sure if I want to try again. What do you think?

I still want to meet someone. But these past few weeks I've been neglecting my dissertation due to my online dating memberships, and now I've fallen even more behind. I think that I'm going to have to set online dating aside for now, and focus on my studies. I've spent too much time on these sites and ended up with nothing. But at least if I spend enough time on my dissertation, I'll end up with a doctorate.

Sighhh. The couple beside me keep stroking each other's hair, and now the girl is MOANING. I feel like I'm trapped in the middle of a really bad porno.

What about you? If you're single, what do you look for in a potential mate? If you're in a relationship, then what made you fall for that person that you're with?