Dating After 35

Dating in NYC: How to use the Internet to Catch your Partner Cheating

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A few of my friends have criticized me for what they view as “creepy” cyber sleuthing habits.  Well, as I often say on stage, “My fairy tale is dead, my heart is black”, so yeah I’m not the most trusting person. For the purposes of this article, I won’t get into the specifics of my divorce but as the not so eloquent former President George W. Bush tried to say:

Here’s the actual phrase he was going for:
“Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice shame on me.” 

The truth is painful, and can hurt temporarily, but ultimately we are better off.  The key to catching a cheater was almost always technology: phone, email, twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media.  Since I’ve been divorced I’ve learned to find out as much as possible about a person BEFORE I get seriously involved with them.  The problem of course is that you can go too far, and misinterpret completely innocent things.

CAUTION:  I don’t recommend using any of these tactics unless you’re in a serious committed relationship, AND you suspect your partner is cheating.  Doing any of this for someone you are casually dating is total overkill and will just make you a neurotic mess. Cyber sleuthing is the nuclear option.  DO NOT do this with every guy or gal you go on a date with, if you do, you’ve entered a place called CRAZYTOWN.

GOOGLE

Google is your best friend.  You can find all sorts of stuff about a person with this search engine.  Of course you should search for his or her name, but then you can go further with it.  Search for blogs, images, videos, even news articles.  You’d be surprised what shows up.  I once found a blog that was in some ways a love letter to a guy I was dating at the time.  In his case, it was a ex-girlfriend who was still completely obsessed with him.  She lived in another city, but the way he reacted to my discovery made me completely certain that he wasn’t worth my time.  He was clearly still infatuated with her, and it explained a lot of his non-committal behavior.  There are other search engines such as Bing, or Yahoo, which are also helpful.

FACEBOOK

It’s an invaluable resource, as many users post an incredible amount of personal information on their profile.  But again proceed with caution.  If you have just started dating, then none of the following is a reason to worry, but if you’ve been exclusive for more than six months or so, consider any of these a red flag.

  • Does he/she post photos of you as a couple? – If he or she posts other personal information and photos with friends, it’s strange if they aren’t posting photos of you together.  Why are they hiding you?
  • Have they changed their relationship status or is it blank? – Again, not everyone is public about these things, but if it’s a serious relationship that has gone on for a extended period of time and there is ZERO mention of you…that’s highly unusual.
  • Do they have tons of photos of themselves with an ex on their profile? – Of course there are mitigating circumstances with this one.  If they share children with their ex, you should expect to see photos of them on their profile, especially if the kids are in the photo.  If it’s a former spouse, that’s also more understandable.  But if it’s a virtual shrine to some woman or man who is supposedly no longer intimately involved with them, that’s troubling behavior.
  • Are you ever mentioned in a status update?  Do they make any public declarations about you? – It depends on how often they post, and how public your partner typically is on social media.  If your partner is constantly posting, yet you’ve never been seen or spoken about…that’s cause for concern.
  • Do they have a separate album dedicated to a former partner?  – This is just the height of tackiness.  Now if you have just started dating, it’s no big deal.  But if you’re at a point where you’re exclusive and you’ve been dating for an extended period of time, it’s just disrespectful to keep that on social media.

Backdoor tips when using Facebook – If you type a person’s name in the part where you search for something and just hold it, you will get a pulldown menu below, one of the options is simply called Photos of (Person’s Name)  I’m going to use my own account to demonstrate this:

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If you select that, then you can search for photos the person has “liked” in the past year.


I won’t include any actual photos as to protect the privacy others.  But trust me, Facebook will show you quite a bit.

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Another option in the same pull down menu is “Photos Commented on by (Person’s Name)”

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Now of course, if your significant other is just liking another person’s photos that doesn’t mean much.  BUT if all of their likes are gorgeous, women or hot guys….you might want to keep digging.  The comments they make are even more revealing.  Again, one comment, or one photo is no big deal, but if you find an overwhelming pattern or hundreds of examples, that’s a reason to worry.  The handy thing about Facebook is that it dates nearly everything.  So an excuse about correspondence being ancient history, is easily debunked.

What I don’t recommend – making fake profiles and trying to friend people under false pretenses to find more dirt.  If you’re doing that, then you’re almost as bad as the cheater.  You shouldn’t lie and use other people to get information about your partner. You never know how you could unintentionally hurt someone else, and honestly you probably won’t have to go to such extremes.  Most people aren’t that skilled at hiding their philandering.

 

INSTAGRAM

Do a hashtag search of your partner’s full name.  Trust me, you’d be surprised what you might find.  I did this once with a man who was trying to hook up with me.  When I did the hashtag search I found a photo of him with another woman. They looked very much like a couple.  I clicked on the photo and then it was even more obvious that not only was this his girlfriend, but they had been dating for a fairly long time.  On his account, he didn’t have a single photo of her.  He had also neglected to feature her anywhere on his Facebook, or even mention her once.  I felt sorry for her, as half of her account seemed dedicated to this relationship.  When I confronted him about it, he admitted everything.

You could also hashtag nicknames, or search for the name of a person you think might be involved with your partner.  Some more savvy users could block you from their account, but they’re only going to do that if they suspect your looking for information.  In most cases, if your partner is cheating on you, the person he or she is sleeping with might not even know you exist.

TWITTER

Most people wouldn’t be this stupid, but former Congressman Anthony Weiner thought absolutely nothing of sending obscene photos to a user on twitter. You can scan through your partners tweets to find conversations he or she might have had with other users.  Twitter isn’t even remotely private, so most skilled cheaters wouldn’t think of having incriminating discussions on that platform, but it’s worth the look.  If you see the same user constantly engaging your partner, and you already suspect that person, it could just add to your pile of evidence.  Yes, Anthony Weiner was this stupid…he thought sending this photo via twitter was a good idea.

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EMAIL

Nowadays most people have passwords on their computers and other devices.  But the passwords usually take a few minutes to click in, if your partner just used his or her email you might be able to search it with no problem.  I don’t recommend doing this unless absolutely necessary.  Hacking into another person’s email is highly unethical but if you are 99% sure that there is infidelity going on, and you need solid proof, there might not be any other way.

INTERNET HISTORY

A more savvy cheater knows to hide their viewing history when surfing the net.  However, people get lazy and forget to do this all the time.  I’ve met countless men and women who found out their spouse was cheating simply by checking their internet history online.  Visits to dating or hook-up sites are especially difficult to explain, you might even find their profile.

*Anything online leaves a trail, all written correspondence is subject to screen shots and photographs.  So email, text messages, twitter, blogs, etc. are all proof your partner is not being honest with you.

Always when in doubt use common sense and logic when dealing with a possible cheater.  There’s another old saying:

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s a duck” 

  • Your partner is not being forthcoming about your relationship – they never mention you on social media
  • You haven’t met their friends or family
  • They are overly secretive in general, they tell you very little about their background or personal life
  • They are constantly breaking dates at the last-minute
  • You never go out in public
  • They always have strange elaborate excuses for some of their behavior
  • They are hyper secretive about their phone, email use, or internet searches
  • They accuse you of cheating, or need to know your whereabouts at all times – cheaters often suspect their partners.
  • They have relationships with opposite or same-sex partners that seem too intense or obsessive for a normal friendship

These are all huge red flags, that you’re dealing with a cheating partner.  DON’T LIVE IN DENIAL!  Use the cognitive part of your brain to drown out the fluttery, irrational, romantic emotions and learn the truth.  Everything you love and cherish could be a stake, don’t let someone treat you like a fool.  From my own personal experience with this, I have no regrets about finding out the truth in my marriage.  Both my former spouse and I are better off, and now we can both live our lives authentically.

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Dating Online – Why a Young Cub is not always that attractive to a Cougar

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The day I turned 40, something completely surprised me on my online dating profile.  I thought that once I reached my midlife milestone birthday, the amount of email would slow down. I was surprised when I saw more traffic than ever.  The bulk of interest came from much younger men. Suddenly 19 and 20-year-olds were sending me things like,

“What’s up? U R Hot. Do U like younger guys?” – Always hysterical to me, since the young ones often use text speech and insane word substitutions that drive me crazy.

“I really love older women.  We should hang out sometime.  Let’s get a drink” – I’ve gotten these from men who aren’t old enough to legally drink alcohol.  So either he’s got a fake ID, or we’re drinking coffee.  I guess I could take the risk of being arrested for giving alcohol to a minor, that would be living life on the edge!  Maybe they are asking me out BECAUSE I can buy them liquor.  Who knows?

“I know you’re a lot older, but I’m really looking for a serious relationship” – I’m not kidding, I’ve gotten several emails like that one.  Are they serious?  I have no idea.  Do they have Mommy issues?  Probably.

“I’m going to start college in the Fall. I love to go snowboarding, and play video games.  Let’s hang out!” – I assumed he lived with his parents and was still in high school.  So technically he’s legal, but honestly who in their right mind would think that’s a good idea? Someone must have written a self-help book that advises young men to search for women 40 or older on dating sites.  After 40 we’re more desperate, we’ll pounce on a young eager kid.  When I’ve complained about this deluge of barely legal would be suitors, some of my male friends get extremely upset with me.  I hear things like,

  • Well I would dream of getting hot 19 year olds in my inbox
  • Score! You have teenagers hitting on you.  I’d tap that!
  • How could you complain about young guys?

Again I know this might sound shocking to some, but men and women are extremely different creatures.  Most women in their 40’s don’t want to date men over 20 years younger.  Of course there are exceptions and age and maturity don’t always go together.  If two people can find love in this world and they have a twenty year age difference, then more power to them!   But usually most of those 19 year olds I get in my inbox aren’t exactly “hot young studs”.  The really good-looking younger men, probably have a surplus of attractive, hot young women.  And I’m not talking about a 30-year-old with a 45-year-old.  At that point both parties are adults, and although the age difference is great, it’s not the same as a 19-year-old man hitting up a woman who could be his mother. Even though a 19-year-old is legally an adult, most are basically children.  I have theories about why I keep getting these requests, the younger men think an older woman could:

Teach them about Sex – Some women might get off on this, or think this could be a lot of fun.  Personally I don’t want to train anyone. The thought of having awkward or bad sex with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing is not exactly my idea of a good time.

Take care of them Financially – Some don’t even hide this, and will say it openly.  My favorite was from a 29-year-old.  He somehow just assumed I would was rolling in it because I was a whopping 11 years older than him.  If only being 40 magically brought financially stability. In his case we discovered he was better off than I was.

Take care of them Emotionally – Mommy issues.  Some guys really do feel more comfortable dating someone who takes on a more maternal role in their lives.  To each his own on this one, but not every woman is going to WANT that arrangement.

Need to be Dominated – This is true of men at any age, but the power dynamic does get a bit skewed with a large age gap.  An older woman is probably going to have more life experience and more relationships under her belt.

Drawbacks to younger men

  • Aren’t financially secure
  • Immature
  • MIght live at home or with multiple roommates
  • Have totally different interests and lifestyles
  • He might not get along with your friends, you might not get along with his
  • Probably won’t want kids right away
  • Less likely to stick around long-term
  • Text speak, totally different communication skills – The younger ones don’t call, they text, tweet, IM and Skype.  It’s a whole new world of abbreviated speech that can be a bit unnerving to women who write in full sentences.
  • Porn educated – Sorry boys but this one is so true.  I’ve found with men closer to my age that sex is far less influenced by pornography.  Younger men don’t seem to understand that porn is a FANTASY and that most people don’t try to reenact porn scenes every time they have sex.
  • Lack of sexual experience

Of course age is just a number and emotional maturity and numerical age do not always go together.  I’ve met plenty of immature men in their 50’s and 60’s.  Some May December romances work out beautifully and there are no hard rules to what makes a relationship work.  I have several female friends who are older than their partners. The older two partners get the less an age difference matters.  A 30-year-old with a 45-year-old is something else entirely than a 19-year-old with a 34-year-old.  Once a person is well into adulthood, they know who they are, what they want and have a reasonable level of maturity.  A kid who is 19 or 20 however is just trying to figure these things out, they could be so easily manipulated and crushed by an older partner of any gender. I wish my male friend’s fantasies were true, and the hot young 21-year-old men were lining up in my inbox, but that’s just not the case. Regardless, I want a partner who is an equal, and it’s difficult to see a kid in college as a peer.  So until then, much to the disappointment of my male counterparts, I’ll continue to turn down the young ones who hit me up.  I would rather not be the cougar who devours willing cubs.

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Don’t make your Crazy Boyfriend your Job.

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We all want to receive and give love.  It’s a universal human need.  As social creatures we seek out acceptance and affection.  Some of us will do nearly anything to get it.  I’ve held onto relationships far too long, overly romanticized partners, and dedicated far too much of my energy into my romantic endeavors. We will go against all common sense and logic and cling to completely hopeless situations.

I’m writing this from a woman’s perspective, women tend to fall into this pattern more than men.  We’re simply conditioned to view men as projects to fix, or as people to save. Our culture encourages women to put the needs of their partner ahead of their own.  We mistakenly view a relationship, as a more noble cause than our own happiness and well-being.  Some men will fall into these bad patterns too, but it seems more culturally acceptable when a women subjugates her own needs for the sake of a relationship.  I’ve been incredibly guilty of this in the past, but being on the wrong side of a bad marriage has given me tremendous perspective.  Recently, I turned to a friend and said simply:

If you were in college, your major would be your crazy boyfriend.  Just think what you could accomplish if you put all of this energy into yourself.

Although it briefly upset my friend when I said this, she eventually agreed with me.  She was spending all of her waking hours devoted to a totally lost cause.

It was the classic story of boy meets girl, only to have the boy blow up at the girl in a controlling rage.  Then the girl breaks it off, only to have the boy beg her back.  The same inane cycle became stuck on repeat ad nauseam.  She pretty much was breaking up with him, the minute they started dating.  Three then four months went by with no change.  Small details of possible infidelity, a ray of hope of changing behavior, maybe a brief vacation from the madness, but the chaos would return.  Another knockdown, drag-out fight complete with name calling, insults, slurs, and it would all start over again.

My friend stopped everything in her life.  She stopped working, because her boyfriend didn’t like her job.  He paid her bills and her rent and she became completely dependent on him.  He resented her for being so needy and she blamed him for putting her in a dependent situation.  She felt like she couldn’t completely break it off with him since was financially dependent.  It was a simply ridiculous situation. Becoming financially dependent on a partner completely throws off the entire power structure.  It literally makes it next to impossible for the dependent partner to leave.  Some partnerships work well in this dynamic but it’s generally a bad idea to give up everything for the sake of a man.

Some of use fall in love with an idea or a romanticized notion of another person and despite EVERY red flag blowing in the wind we refuse to see reality.  Sometimes what we think of as love is just a form of narcissism.  A person looks so good on paper, we think they should work out.  Or we like some superficial quality about them, and it gets us hooked.   They might have a great job, a wonderful apartment, or drop dead gorgeous but they are still completely wrong for us and we won’t let go.

As a person who has been there and back, I can tell you that if you aren’t living with a person, you’re not married and you don’t have kids, then absolutely nothing should keep you in a bad relationship.  Living on top of one another can create all sorts of problems and tensions, marriage puts an enormous pressure on a relationship, and children are like miniature nuclear weapons of chaos wrapped in high-octane emotions.  You probably won’t agree on how to handle every conflict or situation your kid present, and despite loving them with all your heart, those little ones will push you to your limits.  So, if you’re just dating and it’s taking all of your energy to simply function – BREAK UP NOW!  If you haven’t been together long, and you are working so hard at keeping it together you’re simply incompatible.   Of course relationships take work, and they aren’t always easy but they shouldn’t take over your life.

When I look back at the sacrifices I made for my doomed marriage I want to grab myself by both shoulders and shake some sense into my head.  No one is perfect and we’ve all made these mistakes, but after losing everything in a brutal divorce I will never go back there again.

We all want and deserve love in our lives, but that love should not come with such a great cost.  Ultimately we can only rely on ourselves and if another person is creating such havoc and grief, they aren’t worth it. No one should dictate what we do for a living, where we go, or how we spend our time.  No matter how beautiful they might be, or how much we want them as a partner, no one is worth giving up our own hopes and dreams.  Jettison a toxic partner and move forward, the perfect match could be waiting for you, and you won’t have to go through hell to have them in your life.

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Dating in NYC: Dating in the Land of Zero Effort

 

Online dating profiles reduce humans to commodities.  Instead of nuanced individuals with provoking personalities, we transform into a collection of photos and vital stats such as: height, age, body type, diet preferences, religion, political views and our favorite books and movies.  In New York City online dating profiles should just include a few photos and a zip code, because honestly that’s all that really matters for so many singles.  If you live in Brooklyn, trying to date a person in Queens could be considered a long-distance relationship. Staten Island and the Bronx might as well be in other states, and New Jersey is the vortex.  It seems much easier to get into the Garden State then it does to get back.  Even though over 19 million people live in the New York City metro area, commuting via subways, buses and cramped highways is challenging.  Even when I meet men offline, most conversations start like this:

Guy: “Where do you live?”

Me: “Brooklyn”

Guy: “What neighborhood?”

Me: “Flatbush”

And then I see the facial expression that says everything I need to know.  Their eyes will squint, their brow will cease and it looks like they just smelled some week old Indian food.  No one has ever lit up and smiled after hearing it.  Some men have actually broken off the conversation after the word ‘Flatbush’ and walked away.  They’re hardly subtle about their complete disdain for my section of NYC.  On online dating services, things are much worse.  One man went so far as to indicate on his profile, he was only willing to consider ladies who lived on the “L” train, or within a short biking distance.

According to the latest census estimates here is how the city breaks down

  • Brooklyn     2,565,635
  • Queens       2,272,771
  • Manhattan   1,619,090
  • Bronx           1,408,473
  • Staten Island   470,728

Given the odds, I should have the easiest time of it.  The problem is Brooklyn is huge and the subway system doesn’t easily connect every neighborhood.  So to get to Mr. L train, I would have to jump on the Q train, take it into Manhattan, then transfer to the L train and take it back into Brooklyn.  My journey would last an hour maybe 45 minutes, which is just too long for most folks in this metropolis.  The Bronx and Staten Island are like different countries to me, and my commute to some parts of Queens could take over two hours.  When a guy hits me up and lives in New Jersey, he’d better live in Hoboken, Jersey City or another part of NJ that is easily accessible via public transportation.

I’m not a huge fan of my neighborhood as it has a higher crime rate than others and is a bit farther out from Manhattan, but my rent is much cheaper and my apartment is larger than most.  By most Manhattanite standards, my ‘hood is the middle of nowhere.   From what I’ve found the most ideal location is Manhattan, as its central location makes it easier for anyone in the outer boroughs.  Although anywhere above 125th Street is the mysterious hidden borough called ‘Northern Manhattan’.  Just as it’s more difficult to get furniture delivered to neighborhoods like Washington Heights, Inwood and Spanish Harlem, it’s also harder to get anyone to travel to the far reaches of the Island.

I guess I just magically need to make more money so I can afford to live in one of the most expensive places on earth.  I’m not expecting much, I just get sick of always being stuck at home with my cats watching “House of Cards” on Netflix.   In my neighborhood I’m mostly hit on by teenage drug dealers.  I’m not speculating on their illegal activity, I’ve seen them openly sell drugs right in front of me.  The average age of the guys who yell “Hey Baby” at me is about 16.  Since Flatbush is hardly hip, most of the age appropriate men who live here are very much married or living with someone.  I just don’t find a lot of single men age 35-45 anywhere, but I especially don’t run into them in my part of Brooklyn.

I think this is why those hook-up apps like tinder are so popular.  They really do take away all effort completely.  Want free sex from a somewhat attractive female who is easily accessible, in more ways than one?  Just swipe right and hope she does the same.  I still refuse to get that desperate, until then I will remain in Flatbush and hope that somehow a guy might want to ride the train for more than 20 minutes to see me.  Or maybe I’ll get a job managing a hedge fund tomorrow and move to a mansion in the Hamptons. When I live in my sprawling estate I can pick up guys at the local tennis court, or while riding the ponies in a co-ed polo match.  Anything is possible I guess.

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Dating After Divorce: Becoming Comfortably Numb

 

I wondered when it would happen, then a few months ago, it hit me.  After countless bad dates and a dating scene that feels like a wasteland, I’ve finally become comfortably numb.  It’s not what I expected.  I thought I would be more negative and more jaded, but it’s honestly somewhat comfortable.  My expectations have just hit rock bottom.

When I first left my marriage I was completely unprotected.  My heart was overly sensitive, my mind ravaged with depression and my instincts set at high alert. I needed to calm the beast, or I never would have survived. I used to cry after bad dates, usually on the subway home.  As soon as I would just sit down, I’d mildly lose it.  I don’t think I had unrealistic expectations.  Multiple bad dates had trained me not to think beyond the first encounter.  Then on the rare occasions I had a second date, I taught myself not to get too excited.  I’ve only made it to three dates with one man.  We had hardly gotten serious, we hadn’t had sex yet when he had a slight meltdown.  In his case, I don’t think it had anything to do with me.  From what he told me, he had some seriously unresolved issues with his ex.  Unresolved issues with exes is just a reality for people over 35.

Some guys would rather remain virtual.  I sort of “dated”  a guy who just wanted to email.  He claimed he wanted to see me, but then created countless obstacles.  I lived in Brooklyn and he lived in Manhattan, so it shouldn’t have been that difficult.  He also wasn’t over his ex, and I suspect was still trying to get back together with her.  I’ll never understand why I kept talking to him, or what was going on in his head.  I found out months after I gave up, he found a good match and they are inseparable.

I’ve had a few casual flings.  I forced every jealous atom inside of me to stay cool.  Hooking up with guys when I knew they had other women in their lives, wasn’t easy.  It really took Herculean strength to not react, to tell myself that it didn’t matter, we weren’t serious, this won’t lead to anything. I managed to stay calm, but inside I was miserable.

They haven’t all been bad.  I had a strong connection with one guy.  We found out on the date we were both straight spouses.  His wife left him for a woman, and I thought that maybe our shared experience might work to our advantage.  Despite obvious warning signs that he was clearly not over his ex-wife, we made out in his car for over an hour.  It was highly unusual for me, as I usually don’t even kiss a guy on a first date. Then he completely blew me off.   I guess the situation was too much for him, I don’t know.  I can’t remember his name or face.

Now I still have a few men who hover but do little else. They might send a dick pic, or a request for sexting that will lead absolutely nowhere.  I’ve learned I’m not the only recipient for their x-rated self-portraits.   If I say I’m interested in something more, they tend to bolt.  Of course I still get harassed on the street by any number of men of all ages.  I guess that might end when I have to use a walker or cane to get around.

The worst was my rebound relationship, something I never should have gotten myself into.  It was completely exhilarating, but ultimately soul crushing.  I had so many conflicted feelings towards him, at least two years after the fact.  Now I don’t see him.  I have no idea what’s going on in his life, and I have no desire to find out.  I harbor no ill will, but I also don’t want any contact with him.

I’ve become someone I would have never recognized five years ago.  But in a way it’s not completely awful.  It’s not what I thought it would be.  I’m not angry or bitter, just numb.   I take everything men say and do with a grain of salt.  So what if the guy sent me several texts in a row – It doesn’t mean anything until he backs it up with actions.  I rarely text anyone because I can’t stand being blanked back.  I would rather just have nothing than the feeling of being ignored.

I just stopped caring.  So what if the guy from OKCupid sends me eight emails only to cancel the same night as our date.  I don’t even blink if some man rants about his “bitch ex-wife” for half the date.  It no longer surprises me, if he insults what I do for a living, or complains about my crappy neighborhood. This is dating after 35 in a city where only the strong survive, and you’ll be judged on everything your job, neighborhood, past relationships, pets, hobbies even your hometown.

Some of my dates have been so rude and so horrible that if I recreated them in a movie, I would be accused of being too fantastical.  I try to keep an open mind, stay positive and keep moving forward.  My horrible experiences have given me armor.  I rarely have crying fits on the subway anymore.  I’ve just learned to block the disappointments out.   Most divorced people never think they are going to end up like this.  Few of us expect this as our future.  If we learn more from our failures, I’ll be a genius by the time I finally meet a compatible match.  🙂

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Dear Stranger from out of town, I’m not an unpaid prostitute.

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Online dating is the social experiment that keeps on giving.  I’m always amazed at hidden agendas it reveals.  If I select that I’m looking for casual sex in my profile, I will literally get over 100 emails in a 24 hour period.  Men are looking for no strings attached sex, but few will be completely open about their intentions.  One of the strangest phenomena are men from out-of-town who seek sex with New York City women.  My inbox overflows requests like these, yet nothing on my profile indicates that I’m looking for hook-ups.  A typical email goes like this:

I think you’re hot. I’m going to be in New York City next week and I’d love to hook-up if you’re game for that sort of thing. If you aren’t, then my apologizes.

The straight forward approach is a bit unnerving, but they are easy enough to dismiss.   I always admire anyone who has the courage to ask for what they want.  As I’ve said many times on this blog, I wish more men were open and honest.  For every email like that one, I get about 10 of these:

I really think we have a connection. Even though we haven’t met, I can tell from your profile that you’re a caring and loving woman. Something about your eyes, and smile are so inviting to me.  I also think we have a lot in common, and we’d have a great time together.  I’ll only be in town for a week, and I really need someone to show me around the city. I know I could just sit in my hotel room in between my work, but I’d rather spend it with someone special like you.

Those make me want to vomit. It’s also an obvious cut and paste.  A guy will send the same email to dozens of women hoping one will bite.  My profile is mostly random movie quotes.  A savvier man will comment on the films I’ve quoted, or at least acknowledge that my profile is slightly unconventional.  Talking about my eyes, smile or the many things we have in common is intentionally vague.  Every woman has eyes, and most are smiling in at least one photo – so I guess a few might fall for complete drivel like that.  Others might realize the guy is a total phony but they think he’s attractive enough for a one-night stand.

Then we have the truly slime inducing ones:

Look, I’m going to be in New York City next week.  I’m going to be extremely busy.  Maybe if you’re hot enough in person, I’ll make some time for you.  You won’t regret it but you’d better be hot, or forget it.  I’ve got nine inches of pure manhood and I love to make hot chicks moan.

Luckily men like this are rare.  When I’ve gotten emails like these I’ve responded, “Why aren’t you on tinder” or “Hire a prostitute” or “I don’t need an out-of-town STD.”

Usually the men who proposition me for such liaisons aren’t exactly drop dead gorgeous, but a few have been.  I’ve still never taken the bait.  I’m not comfortable with these situations for a number of reasons.

  • Are these men married? Who knows?
  • Safety issues – Theft, sexual assault or worse
  • Drugs – Will I be slipped something that will knock me out?  Will the man be blazed out of his mind?
  • Privacy – Photographs, video, webcams – technology has gotten so small anything is possible
  • Unusual requests, unexpected kinky sex, inappropriate boundaries
  • BAD SEX

The last one is in all caps for a reason.  Sex with strangers is like rolling the dice, you really have no idea if you are going to have a steamy, hot night of passion or an awkward, uncomfortable evening of disappointment.  Simply put sex with a total stranger, is sometimes not just mediocre but downright scaring.  Most of the time when men have sex, they’ll at least have an orgasm.  Any woman knows we aren’t always as lucky.  A selfish or unskilled lover can make the entire enterprise one long night we wish we could forget forever.

Women also get hit up for free sex all the time.  If I want no strings attached sex I can probably get that from someone I already know and trust a bit.  I also don’t need a girlfriend or wife tracking me down weeks or months later when they’ve discovered an “affair” which was really just a random hook-up.

Overall these requests make me feel like I have no value.  A sex worker might put up with strange sexual requests, a selfish one-sided lover or an uncomfortable experience.  A prostitute at least gets paid, and usually quite well for their services.  Of course some women love the turn on of having sex with a total stranger who they will never see again.  However most women who want hot sex from out-of-town men are on hook-up sites like Adult Friend Finder and Tinder.  It’s a bit of a leap for any man to assume all women want this type of sexual experience.

Basically. if you want to buy shoes, don’t go to a hat store.  Plenty of women are waiting for your emails you just need to look for them on sites specific to your search.  Sex workers are also always available, they might be pricy but there’s nothing wrong with an agreed upon transaction between consenting adults.  Never assume the average gal on OKCupid or Match.com is waiting for your “Nine inches manhood.”  We know it’s probably closer to six inches anyway. 🙂

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Dating in NYC: The Honest Sinner vs. The Phony Saint

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Disclaimer: To protect the identity of the men involved in this article – I am leaving out some specifics about them and these events. I will not disclose anything more about them publicly.  I don’t really want to get sued, or have anyone accuse me of slander…I didn’t write this to attack anyone – just as a cautionary tale.

Why do so many people deceive others when it comes to dating? I’ve heard countless stories about men and women who lie about their age, job, marital status, a previous divorce, a live-in partner, even children. People also hide their true intentions. They might act like they are looking for a serious relationship when they are really wanting no-strings attached sex. A man or woman might also pretend they want a casual relationship when he or she is secretly hoping for a committed one. I’m a huge advocate for truth. Honesty will get a person father than secrets and lies. I have two examples in my own personal life that illustrate this perfectly.

The Honest Sinner – An absolutely beautiful man who was over a decade younger than myself and someone I knew casually. When he approached me he was upfront.  He was looking for a casual sexual encounter, no strings, no expectations. Before our hook-up, he even sent me a text with the rules of engagement. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but I knew he wouldn’t try to coerce me into anything I didn’t want to do. I weighed my options, and considered I would take him up on his offer. It wasn’t just that I found him incredibly handsome, I also genuinely appreciated his candor. We ended up meeting, more than once, and the sex was great. I didn’t care if he was hooking up with anyone else, as I never really saw him as much of boyfriend material due to our age difference. I also knew he didn’t have a serious girlfriend so he wasn’t cheating on anyone. There was never any pretense. We didn’t go on dates, and neither one of us indicated that we wanted more out of the situation. I decided to cut it off when it wasn’t working for me anymore, but I actually grew to like him as a person. Sometimes these arrangements can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings and misery but in this example it worked out. His looks were definitely a factor of why I had a casual relationship with him, but his honesty is what sold it. Had he been sleazy or deceptive I wouldn’t have gone near him.

The Phony Saint – A moderately good-looking guy who I thought I might want to date seriously. He was closer to my age, had a good job and was extremely well-educated. He overall was a much better match for me on paper, and I was physically attracted to him. We seemed to get along well, but I barely knew him, so I honestly didn’t have strong feelings either way.

Things went South on our second date when I made the mistake of going back to his apartment. Within minutes he got extremely physical and I felt uncomfortable. His sexual energy made me feel like some sort of live action porn doll – and I just wanted it to stop. My instincts were correct when right before he actually tried to have sex with me, he called me Gillian instead of Juliet. As soon as I saw the condom, I shut everything down. Then I completely humiliated myself and burst into tears. It honestly was the first time I can remember, since maybe college, when I have had a total meltdown while on a date. I was mad at myself for letting things get this far, and I felt like a total idiot for crying. Deep down I knew something was incredibly inauthentic about him so I asked, “Do you do this all the time? Is this what you do with women?” He looked at me sheepishly and said, “Well yeah. I’m basically a child, I can’t have a serious relationship.”

This man had a professional job and was in his mid-thirties. He had also asked me out on a date, he wasn’t upfront about wanting just a hook-up. Unlike the Honest Sinner who kept all his correspondence sexual and to the point, The Phony Saint laid it on thick with multiple emails and texts as if he had some real interest in me. He even claimed to have looked me up online. When I point-blank asked him, “Which videos did you watch of me?” he responded, “Um, two. One of you getting interviewed on television and another one – I don’t remember.”  Now I don’t know how he couldn’t recall a short video he claimed to have watched just the day before, but I really didn’t care.  I knew he really didn’t really give a damn about me when he called me by the wrong name, and treated me like some sort of masturbation toy.

For the next extremely awkward hour, or so I apologized for crying while he begged me for various sex acts.  Even at the time I was unsure why I didn’t just walk out.  I got repeated inquiries from him to “jizz on my ass, stomach or tits”. He actually used the term “jizz” and seemed shocked that I had no interest. I might have honored his requests if I actually liked him, or if we had sex, but at that point it was just pathetic. I was just in shock that things had gone so badly so quickly and I wasn’t really sure what to do.  During all of this he danced around the room naked while speaking to me in a sing-song jokey way. I guess he was trying to cheer me up, but it just made him lose any remaining dignity. He then offered me leftover take out from his fridge.  When I say leftover takeout, I mean takeout that was at least a day old if not older.  I told him I didn’t want his “used food” and I refused to drink anything.   Any spark of sexual attraction I had towards him vanished, but I also calmed down and realized I was in no danger.  Things got even stranger when I realized he seemed to enjoy being chewed out by me. The Phony Saint just became a test subject to me of sorts. Thankfully I was completely sober, but my sobriety just meant I would remember every horrible detail of what was now, the worst date of my life.

So which man got what he wanted? The Honest Sinner got free sex from a consensual enthusiastic partner. The Phony Saint experienced an extremely embarrassing and sexually humiliating evening. If I could scrape that night from my brain I would, and yes it will make great material for my stand-up, but I have SO MUCH material already. HA!!!!!! I would have much rather had a lovely evening than another horror story to share onstage. Had he been honest from the beginning, I probably would have turned him down for sex as I get offers for that from total strangers all the time. The Honest Sinner was someone I knew already and that factored into my decision to hook-up with him. But even though I would have turned down the The Phony Saint, plenty of other women would have taken him up on the offer. He was good-looking, had a nice build, a great job and his own apartment – he had plenty of qualities that would get him laid in New York City.

The moral of this story: When in doubt, just tell the truth – everyone will be much happier for it, and no one will end up dancing around the room naked begging a women to let him – jizz on her butt.  Also, never call a woman by the wrong name when you’re trying to seduce her – it’s just bad form.
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Dating in NYC: Top 10 Tips for Dating Multiple People

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Before I even tackle this subject I will openly admit I’m a solidly monogamous person.  As I’ve written before the whole idea of multiple lovers, hookups and sexual relationships with near strangers baffles me.  I can’t keep several plates spinning while I’m trying to write this blog, work on my memoir, get stage time in New York City and pay my rent.   I’m writing this though because this issue comes up all the time, and I’m annoyed that most of the articles I’ve found about this topic are written only for men.  I’ve based these tips on experiences I’ve had and what a lot of my friends have gone through.  I not advocating for any style of dating, nor would I say this would work for every person.

There are many variations on dating multiple people, too many to list here really.  The key to having multiple partners should NOT be about lying, sneaking around and deception.  Lies are evil.  As I have said before:

I would rather have an honest sinner than a phony saint.

The following are just guidelines.  It’s really about what any two people are comfortable with in any partnership.  If you only have sex with a person once, they really don’t need to know much.  But if you are seeing more than one person on a regular basis, communication is key to keeping everyone happy.

1. Let a new partner know early on that you are not looking for a sexually exclusive relationship: Of course this can change as the relationship develops.  Neither partner should assume though that a casual open relationship will turn into a committed monogamous one. When in doubt – communicate.

2. Avoid getting involved with people who aren’t also honest with their primary partners – A friend who has been polyamorous for years put it to me this way.  “I avoid being the ‘other’ woman.  If a man tells me he is in an open marriage, I tell him I will have to speak to your wife about this, just to make sure”  It might sound crazy, but if the couple is in an open marriage, this sort of request probably happens to them all the time.  It’s better to make sure everything is above-board, before you find some woman calling you a home-wrecker or threatening to kill you for sleeping with her husband.

3. Don’t assume one lover wants to hear details about any others – Some partners honestly may not mind this, but not everyone is different.  One woman might not want to know that another regular partner is younger, thinner, lives closer to you or has a cat.  If these relationships truly are separate, then there is no reason to share this sort of information.  Simply establishing that you are not exclusive is usually enough.  If you want a change in your relationship, then let your partner know.  NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING! 

4. Always use protection – If you are having sex with multiple people – DON’T BE AN IDIOT.  Use condoms and practice safe sex.  Other than the usual STDs we all fear, there is a strain of antibiotic resistant Gonorrhea going around New York City that is all sorts of awful. Spreading STD’s is irresponsible and reckless.  If you want to have condom free sex, then maybe you might want to find one primary partner and at least use condoms outside of the main relationship.

5. Beware of Social Media – If you tweet naughty messages to one woman know that anyone can see it. You don’t know who knows each other or which partner might be a regular cyber sleuth.  Facebook profiles are even more transparent – comments, likes, even old conversations with partners are there for life unless you remove them.  A simple comment like, “You are so beautiful” could get you in trouble if you post it where another, more neglected lover, could see it. Basically you have to treat all comments on social media as if you are standing on top of a mountain declaring them for the universe.  The internet holds no secrets.

6. Don’t treat you casual lovers like girlfriends/boyfriends – Again there are no hard rules to this, as some polyamorous relationships are anything but casual.   This is the number one complaint I get from both men and women about casual relationships.  You can’t expect someone who you see only for sex on occasion to get that emotionally invested in you.  They aren’t going to necessarily want to meet your friends, go to social functions with you, listen to your neurotic ramblings or bring you chicken soup when you get a nasty cold.  When these lines get blurred, people are more likely to get their feelings hurt.  Anyone can have a primary relationship and still have multiple lovers on the side, but not without some boundaries first.  You should never assume a regular hook-up is a girlfriend, or even wants that role.

7. Treat everyone with respect – This should go without saying in every dating situation.  I’ve seen a lot of alarming language on dating sites, where a man or woman will go on and on about their primary partner and then send an email that is just rude and inappropriate to a total stranger.

8. Don’t make anyone feel like they are last on your list – This might be OK with some partners, but overall you don’t want to make a person feel like you literally called up three or four people before you decided to settle on them.

9. Don’t complain about other lovers – This is just rude behavior.  If a woman complains to a partner about another man she is seeing, he is likely to assume she will turn around and do the same thing to him.

10. When in doubt communicate – Of course you can lie and sneak around, but there is a good likelihood that you’ll get caught.  When you get caught a betrayed lover might slash your tires, show up at your workplace and scream “Whore” as you walk down the street, stalk you or one of your other partners, text you incessantly for hours, post naked photos of you online, write Facebook statuses trashing your name, or even threaten you with physical violence.  Deception brings out the worst in people.  Some people are emotionally unstable, mentally ill, cruel, narcissistic or have deeply entrenched personality disorders.  No amount of open communication can prevent a person from reacting in a completely irrational or psychotic way.  However a string of lies is more likely to make a perfectly well-adjusted human being buy a ticket to a place called crazytown.

It’s really up to you and your partners – Other than practicing safe-sex and respect, it’s really up to each person.  When in doubt be open and COMMUNICATE. Some of the biggest problems in any relationship come from not understanding what both partners want.

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Dating Online: Advice for Men – How to completely mess up the First Date

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

English: stamp with the words “Fail” and “attention to detail” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve written about this before in my article What Men should NOT to do on a First or Second Date, but I decided I needed a shorthand version – a cheat sheet if you will.  Also ladies, consider this shorthand for extremely negative behavior.  If some guy is doing several of the things on this list…RUN!!!!!   I’m making this specific to online dating because I think it’s a fairly unique way to meet people, and fraught with peril.  If you totally want to sabotage a date early, here are a few sure-fire ways to do it:

Say any one or more of the following phrases:

  • My bitch, crazy, psycho, ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – I get it, you had a bad breakup.  This is not the time for a festival of bitching.
  • I’m still in love with my ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – This has happened to me more than once…no joke.
  • I have to pay way too much child support – Well maybe you think you do, but would you rather have your kids live in a box on the street?
  • How many guys have you slept with? – Are you kidding me?

The following will make you look like a liar, even if that wasn’t your intention. 

  • I lied about my age on my dating profile
  • Oh by the way, I have a girlfriend – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I have kids – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I’m married – This happens more than you would think…and of course…this should have been on your profile

How to look rude

  • Make frequent text messages
  • Receive phone calls or make calls
  • Constantly check your phone in front of your date
  • Never ask your date any questions about herself, just give her a non-stop biography
  • Take your date to an expensive restaurant and then ask her to split the bill – If you are on a budget do coffee or drinks
  • Insult your date – You would be surprised how often this happens
  • Discuss politics or religion – Unless of course you know 100% it’s OK to go there, it’s not exactly romantic
  • Show up late or cancel at the last-minute – things happen but if some catastrophe occurs, contact your date immediately and BEG for forgiveness.

How to freak out your date

  • Assume it’s time to start making out, when your date has given you no indication that it’s cool do go there
  • Drink to the point that you’re a drunken sloppy mess
  • Assume your date does drugs, and then tell her it’s a deal breaker if she doesn’t
  • Force your date into a social situation with a ton of people she doesn’t know
  • Have an emotional breakdown and then treat your date like a therapist
  • Focus the conversation on sex, and ask intimate sexual questions right off the bat – The only exception to this is if you both agreed ahead of time it’s a casual sex type of encounter, or you met your date on a hook-up site.
  • Get angry when it’s obvious your date doesn’t want to have sex with you – Even if you met her on a hook-up site or with the expectation that you would have sex.  You might have freaked her out, she might have changed her mind.  No always means no, so chill out and let it go.
  • Send your date a dick pic – Although I love making fun of these in my act, dick pics are rude, goofy, and way too forward.  Your date could cancel completely, scream at you or threaten to call the police.  The only exception is if your date has asked to see your business…otherwise DO NOT DO THIS!

My personal #1 Pet Peeves

  • I’ve always thought I was funny, I bet I could do stand-up.  Could you help me get started in comedy? – If you want to get started in comedy then go to an open mic or take an improv or stand-up class…and never ask me that question again.  🙂
  • Get competitive with me about comedy.  Insist your are funnier or try to one-up me with jokes – Unless you really are a comedian…please just stop…no really just stop
  • Never laugh once during the date
  • Demand I tell you jokes, or want to see my act, right there out of context, while on a date – I basically hate you now.
  • Proclaim that you can’t stand cats – When then say that I know 100% that it isn’t going to work out.

An Open Letter to Married Men Looking to Cheat – From a Divorced Woman

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Married Men,

You are extremely fortunate to have found a woman to love and take care of you.  Hopefully she’ll live with you until your last days on earth.  The boredom and tedium of being with the same partner every day might be getting to you.  Maybe you don’t have sex as often as you’d like, or you think other married couples are getting it on more than you and your wife.  You might get nostalgic about your youthful encounters with women. New partners may have been in and out of your bed on a regular basis.

The younger, attractive women on the subway, down the hall, or in the elevator at work seem almost within reach.  You think to yourself – if only I was single.  You have delusions of gorgeous women falling for you like they did when you were in college.  Only now you’re not in college, you’re a married father, or at least a husband.

So you go out after work and leave your wedding band in your pocket. You walk just to the edge of doing something inappropriate and then pull back.  I know you do this, because I’ve been that woman you’ve talked to in the bar, on the subway, or at the party.  A few times I’ve even seen you slip the ring off the finger, or keep your left hand mysteriously hidden in a pocket, for most of the evening.

Being single past a certain age, say 35 or 40, is not the party it was in your twenties. You’ll find a lot of younger people don’t want to date you, unless you are incredibly charming, extremely good looking, or have some power, influence or money.  The older you get, the less likely anyone will want to stick around for the long haul.  You are also competing with young perfect bodies of men half your age. They might not have the wisdom and experience but they have stamina and washboard abs.  The young ones can also stay up until 4 am with ease and don’t have aching joints, bad eyes and sensitive stomachs. They might not have your sexual prowess, but they are like energizer bunnies in the sack.

When you get invited to parties you’ll find yourself surrounded by couples and married friends.  The dating pool is half-dried up with potential age-appropriate prospects, and what is available is largely damaged goods. Women who have been through brutal divorces or breakups.  Finding time to date will also be tricky.  Your job is more demanding, with longer hours and higher stakes.  Most potential partners are also extremely busy with their own kids, epic work schedules and other obligations.

So before you decide to cheat on your wife, please take this as a word of warning.  If you get along with your spouse, and things are generally pleasant at home, do everything you can to make that work.  The alternative is a lot of lonely nights eating greasy Chinese takeout by yourself, and wondering how you got there.  You might also lose most of what you have worked so hard to get your entire life, your apartment or home, time with your children, investments and security.

If you’re miserable in your marriage and you’ve tried everything to fix it, then get out. Walk away without causing more pain by cheating.  I’ve had more than a few friends use infidelity to end their marriages.  Cheating was a means to an end.  But infidelity will just cause more damage and wreak havoc in everyone’s lives.

I’ve known more than a few couples who decided to transform their marriage into an open one, where both partners have affairs outside of the marriage, or at least multiple sexual partners.  The key to making these marriages work is lots of communication, honesty and equitable treatment.  If you want extra partners, expect your wife will want some too.  It’s not for everyone, but it might be the perfect option if you want to stay together but are finding yourself stifled by traditional monogamy.

Who’s going to take care of you when you are in your seventies, eighties and beyond? You might get lucky and meet the perfect partner and have a wonderful second marriage, or you could end up alone and more frustrated.  Never assume that divorced women are going to find you that compelling, or have sympathy for your divorce sob story.  Our spouses may have cheated on or betrayed us, and we are the last ones who want to hear a biased account of marital turmoil.  You don’t want to end up stuck on a pity treadmill going nowhere. Single woman might not want to date a guy with a wife, and any woman who is so selfish as to lack empathy for your spouse, will probably lack empathy for you in the long run.

Love is a precious and rare commodity.  Think long and hard before you throw it away. Before you decide to betray the trust of your spouse remember, there is a reason you got married.  Try everything in your power to make it work, and please stop hitting on me, as lonely as I get sometimes, I’ll never get THAT lonely.

Sincerely,

The Not So Bitter Divorcee

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