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Dating Online – If it Looks too Good to be True…

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I’ve heard stories of women getting scammed from online dating sites, and I never thought I would be a target.  Most of the stories involved men starting up long-distance, virtual romances with women.  Eventually, the romeos would ask for money, either to come meet their true love in person or to help with a personal tragedy – a dying mother, a sick child, or a cancer diagnosis.

I always thought I was immune to this sort of scam because most of the stories I’ve heard involved older women and I refuse to engage in correspondence with anyone who doesn’t live in my immediate area.  I trust no one.  Then one day I got a message from a profile that looked like a Jaguar in a parking lot full of Hondas.   For the purposes of this article, I’ll call him Mr. Beautiful. He simply wrote,

“Hey.”

It was the classic non-committal male introduction. I probably get 20 messages like that a week, from “Hey” to “Hello” to “What’s up?” Most of them go unanswered but this one peaked my interest because the sender was a full-on pretty boy, light brown hair, striking bone structure and a chiseled hairless torso. Now anyone who knows me well, knows I have a “type.” If you lined up all of my ex-boyfriends and trysts, most of them look like they need a sandwich, or two. I like a lanky man.  A massive chest and chiseled abs have never been my thing.

I’m also overly cautious around men who are drop dead gorgeous. As I’ve said before on this blog,

He who gets the pussy easily, does not treat the pussy well.

Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but most of us know exceptionally good-looking men who go through women like a rottweiler goes through chew toys.  Mr. Beautiful was so attractive, I wouldn’t put him in the top 10% or even 1% of the men I’ve seen.  I would put him in the top one tenth of one percent of absolutely, crazy, perfect men I’ve ever encountered.  It just didn’t make sense to me that he would be on a free dating site.  He had his occupation listed as “model” which made sense, but models come in contact with plenty of attractive women all day long.  A typical beautiful person for hire will meet other models, makeup artists, photographers, art directors, interns, agents, managers, stylists, and even celebrities.

Suspecting fraud, I started analyzing his profile further.  All of his photos were candid. He didn’t post professional modeling shots.  Whomever created his profile tried to make it look casual and believable.  They used well lit snapshots that appeared right out of his daily life.  I still thought though that someone could have downloaded the images from a social media account and the entire thing was a ruse.

As an experiment, I decided to send him a brief email back. He responded by asking a few questions about what I did for a living.  I thought this was odd, as most men ask where I live, they don’t ask what I do.   Questions about my occupation still wasn’t enough to figure out if this man was the real deal or not.  I told him a few superficial things about myself, but didn’t give him my name.

I then read his profile more closely and discovered he was using his actual name on his account, which is extremely unusual for anyone on a dating site.   A quick google search later and I found out the name and images he was the former face of Calvin Klein fragrance.   The information on his profile and Wikipedia page were almost completely identical. It wasn’t an exact cut and paste, but there was absolutely no additional information about him on either source.  It seemed a bit too perfect, but I still wanted a greater smoking gun.  I didn’t want to go out with this man, I just couldn’t help but try to find the evidence I needed to crack the facade.

I kept digging and found two Instagram accounts. One had 32,000 followers, and the other had only 300. The smaller account was made up of a bunch of the same photos at the dating profile. The smaller Instagram account also had some of the exact same information as the dating profile such as his dog’s name, and more bits of personal information.  Both Instragram accounts were public.  It didn’t appear that one was personal and the other used for publicity.  If that were the case, then why not make the smaller profile private?  It seemed like someone created a phony Instagram account to further legitimize the fake dating profile.

I got a second email from Mr. Beautiful.

“You know I hate this site. Why don’t we just chat on this other app.”

My suspicions were completely verified when I realized he wanted me to follow him to some sort of third-party site.  OKCupid has a chat feature so there was no reason we had to go outside of it to talk in real time.  I googled the app and found that it was rife with porn offers and other adult solicitations.

I responded,

“I don’t think your profile is legitimate. I think this is some type of scam. I’m out.”

I tagged his profile as phony but waited before I blocked any future messages.  I wanted to see if he responded.  I located the real model on Facebook and left him a simple message on his fan page that someone was impersonating him on OKCupid.

I got absolutely no response from the Mr. Beautiful profile or the model he was impersonating.  I doubt the real model even noticed my comment.  He probably had someone manage his Facebook page for him.  It was surprising though that whomever created the phony Mr. Beautiful account didn’t even try to plead innocence.  I honestly expected an email like,

“Hey, I’m real. What are you talking about?”

My bet is when I called the scammer out on their deception they just deleted me and moved on. I’m sure they probably emailed dozens of women hoping some of them would take the bait.

When I started talking about this on my Facebook account, most of the comments I got were from men along the lines of

“So this happens to women too?”

My guy friends all had stories to tell of women from other countries seeking green cards, ladies asking for money and prostitutes posing as every day gals just looking for a date.

Of course an International male model could be on a dating site, even a free one, but the two Instagram accounts, the perfect match to his Wikipedia page and the insistence on using an outside application to communicate just screamed FRAUD.

I couldn’t help but think of the classic line regarding New York real estate

If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

Meeting the face of Calvin Klein fragrance on a free dating website is about as likely as finding a one-bedroom in the Upper East Side with a balcony, an eat in kitchen, and jacuzzi tub for $500 a month. I’m sure it could happen in some alternate universe but it’s highly unlikely.

Part of me wonders if Mr. Beautiful really did have a legitimate profile.  Maybe I was just being too suspicious and we would have rode off into the sunset to have our painfully awkward first and only date.  I think instead I dodged a bullet of requests for nude photos, an avalanche of dick picks, pornographic spam, unauthorized charges on my credit card, computer viruses, malware, identity theft or requests for money.  I guess I’ll never know.  HA!  Whomever created the fake account wasn’t an idiot, but one of the many gifts I got from my difficult divorce was – NEVER TRUST ANYONE.  Sure it causes me problems from time to time, but I’m much less likely to fall for a scam artist in an International model’s clothing.  I still prefer a thinner guy with messy hair rather than a pretty boy with rock hard abs anyway.  If someone wanted to dupe me, they would need to use a much more average looking guy who desperately needed to fill out his clothing.  If he had a pair of specs on his face….it could be my undoing.

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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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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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Life After Divorce: The 12 Foot wall of Ice

English: Wall of Ice taken in an ice bar in St...

English: Wall of Ice taken in an ice bar in Stockholm, Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have said many times on this blog, when a person is over 35 and still single they tend to fall into certain general categories

  • Those who never want to settle down – some people really are more content being alone
  • Those who are too immature to have a decent relationship
  • Those who are career driven and do not make dating a priority
  • Those who are broken from a divorce, or major break up – I would put myself in this category.

Of course not everyone fits so nicely into one of those four groups, and some people really just haven’t met the right person and are over 35.

I probably shouldn’t write about this.  This blog is making my dating life hard enough, although I think I have given up on online dating completely now.  Too many men will ask me out only to not follow through, and the dates I have gone on have mostly been miserable.  I have met some nice men, who weren’t exactly compatible with me, but nice men nonetheless.  Overall I have found the process very demoralizing.  I feel reduced to a commodity.  Everything about me placed on a mental check list, and since I have some fairly odd things in my background they all amount to deal breakers.  Which is fine since I haven’t met anyone online yet that has really felt like a good fit.

I joked last night that I have no “game” when it comes to dating, and it’s true I have absolutely no game.  I’ve lost the ability to flirt successfully, volley back and forth, seal the deal, manage advances, let a guy know I am interested….etc. When I was in my twenties I could make every mistake and still find guys who were interested in me.  For most young women, the game of dating is all too easy.  But something else has changed fairly fundamentally since my divorce and subsequent rebound implosions.  My apologizes to any of the men I may have dated since my divorce who might read this, but pretty much all of my relationships have been disasters.   I don’t think any of my former lovers would read this blog, in fact I am pretty sure they don’t.  If any of them are reading this, I blame myself more than anything for those failed attempts.  I was a mess, a complete and utter disaster, and I shouldn’t have dated anyone.

The newest change I have noticed now is I am just so guarded.  I am almost like a horse who has been overworked, it takes very little to spook me and make me bolt.  A misplaced phrase, the hint of a red flag, too many comparisons to an ex, a man mentioning wanting to get re-married, it doesn’t take much…and I kick my legs up and run.  It is as if a numbness has taken over me.  A profound deadness that I can’t seem to shake.  I often feel reduced to the  sum of my many faults: gay ex-husband, clown ex-husband, weird job, low-income, crappy neighborhood, uncertain future,  losing the ability to reproduce, and general emotional damage.  When I go on dates with strangers I can see the troubled look in their eyes as hints of my past invade their own neuroses.  The minute I notice it, I just want to go home.  Thanks to google I can’t hide anything, so I figure it is best to come clean least they discover the skeletons in my closet online.

When I meet someone I actually like I self-sabotage, I make excuses, I avoid actually going out with them, I create obstacles that don’t exist.  Although I am not really happy being alone, it is at least something I can manage and control.  I can also focus on work, which is extremely necessary now as I don’t have a ton of income.   I live with an imaginary 12 foot wall of ice around me.  It really feels like that sometimes, I have had a few glimmers of hope that it might melt but then something happens and it freezes up again.

When I first left my husband it was like stumbling out of a cocoon, I had absolutely no defenses.  Every slight, every injustice, every cruel action was massively compounded in my head.  It all just cut right through me until I was a pile of ribbons on the floor.  So the ice went up, formed slowly over time.  I had no choice but to protect myself.  But ice is transparent, and I can see right through it.  There is hope on the other side, I just have no idea when I’ll be able to cut through it.  I am not kidding myself that a unique person will simply show up with a blow-torch and my life will go back to normal.  I think instead I am going to have to change myself, or at least my outlook.  And as I mend those broken pieces I also have to try to protect what is left of me.  All the while opening enough for someone new to get close to me.  It is not at all easy.

Dating After Divorce – Wife Shoppers & Baby Momma Math

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I always thought I would have kids, my husband and I planned to eventually have a family, but at the age of 36 I discovered my husband was a closeted homosexual.  My marriage immediately ended and I entered the dating pool past my prime reproductive years.   I knew it would eventually take time to have healthy relationships again, and I definitely felt like my biological clock wasn’t just ticking but banging loudly like Quasimodo’s bells through my entire body.

Because I am over 35, some men view me as a lousy match if they want to have kids.  I didn’t think it would be this bad, but in my age range I tend to find hook-up artists who never want to settle down, men messed up from a break-up or divorce, extremely socially awkward men with no dating experience and the men I refer to as wife shoppers.   A wife shopper is usually the following

  • Over 40
  • Never Married – No children
  • At the peak of their professional career
  • About to buy property or has just bought property

Wife shoppers are men searching for the future mother of their children.  They make no bones about wanting to start a family and many won’t consider women over the age of 35.  Women do lose reproductive capacity after 35, and in health terms pregnancies in older mothers are deemed higher risk.  Yet none of my extended or immediate family members have had to use any extraordinary means to get pregnant.  In fact, most got pregnant almost too easily, my aunt and my grandmother both having babies in their forties.  So do I have to print out my medical history and that of my extended family and bring it to dates?  Should I put it on my online dating profiles?  Something tells me that bringing up fertility on a first date would cause most men to bolt.

I have discovered most wife shoppers through online dating websites.  Something about online sites just make it too easy for them.  Men can sort of pick the traits they prefer, height, build, eye color, hair color, age, and if a woman wants children.  On dates, a wife shopper will bring up reproducing almost before they have ordered their first drink.  One of the habits I have noticed is something I call baby momma math.  My date will look at me, ask me my age again, and then I watch them adding up how long we would have to date before trying to start a family, and they aren’t exactly subtle about it.  I have also gotten questions right off the bat such as

  • What neighborhood do you think you would want to live in?
  • Private or Public School?
  • How much debt do you have?
  • How many kids would you want to have?
  • Do you have a good relationship with your family?

I don’t remember this ever happening to me when I was in my twenties.  Maybe it’s something about the personality traits of any man who waits until they are at the peak of their career before getting married and having kids.  In their mind they have a checklist and once they have gone down everything else they want to accomplish in life they move on to starting a family.

Having my marriage end the way it did has given me major trust issues to begin with, so the idea of running down the aisle with a man hell-bent on becoming a father is terrifying.  Divorce is hell on earth and the thought of having another divorce only the second time with children is especially nightmarish.  Rushing into a situation in order to have children with a partner I barely know seems like a recipe for another divorce.

Of course women have been doing this sort of thing for ages.  It is almost a cliché of the single woman over a certain age talking about eggs, biological clocks and running out of time.  When I meet a wife shopper, at first I think it is a good sign because at least this man isn’t like the multitudes who just seem to want to get laid and nothing else.  But then I start to feel like little more than a womb.  Keeping a healthy marriage together especially one with children is extremely difficult.  The union between the two adult partners should be the most important thing, communication, lifestyles, goals, and temperaments must work in harmony before the added stress and pressures of children are added to the mix.  I have accepted that having a biological child may not happen for me, as I would rather not bring children into a haphazard marriage situation.  I just wish I could find something in between the hook-up artists and the men who think nothing of ordering up a wife they way they would a sandwich.

Dating Online – Some of the worst profiles yet!

Trash Cans

Trash Cans (Photo credit: roeyahram)

So because I have so many of you tell me that you like it when I post these things, here I go again.  Online dating, or in my case non-dating is really starting to suck my soul dry.  Everyone I encounter just depresses me further, either by being incredibly creepy, pathetic or lately….wimpy.  And I am not counting anyone I have actually gone out with, these are guys I don’t even bother making the effort.  I keep getting men that ask me out, only to cancel right before the date.  And mind you in every case so far I have had little or nothing to say to them online, so it’s not like after I sent them a crazy rambling email they decided against following through.  No instead it is simply

“When are you free?”

Then I give them my availability, then they act like we are going to met up and then at the last-minute I get another email.

“I can’t, something has come up, but maybe next week”

To which I don’t respond, and then I never hear from them again.  One guy did this to me, and then months later tried to chat me up again.  He never mentioned that the first time he just sort of drifted away and never followed through with his invitation for a date.  I just can’t get excited about this process, I am very busy so to set aside time for someone I don’t know and then have them cancel like that….come on.

But this one really floored me.  I respect his honesty but the whole thing made my skin crawl.  He came up on my daily matches…there wasn’t even a good photo of him, but if I wait until LATE SUMMER, WOW!!!

I am currently in a relationship with an expiration date. My girl’s work visa expires at the end of June and she has to leave the US. I’m not planning on going with her, and she’s not planning on coming back, but for the next few weeks we’re spending every available minute together. I still sign in to okCupid out of habit more than anything else, but I won’t be looking to meet anybody new until later in the summer.

You can hide a profile and restart it up at any time.  So if you are spending every available minute with this lady friend of yours, then hide your profile.   Why rub it in the faces of those of us who are lonely and dateless that you are having this great, albeit short-lived romance while we are just sitting at home.  But maybe when you are available???…I don’t know the whole thing seemed rather sleazy.  I have friends who are poly amorous and have multiple partners, but they are so upfront about these things, and they don’t mention their other lovers in their profiles especially lines like “we spend every waking hour together”.  Just hide your profile then.  Something about the middle ground of this guy, just makes me think that if I dated him…he would still keep that profile up.  He also just changed his relationship status in a matter of hours from “seeing someone” to “available”…I don’t even want to know.  

This next guy emailed me and I could feel the slime coming off the computer screen. Sure I would love to be this blunt about what I DON’T want on my profile but it tends to be off-putting.   I am editing this one down for length and just showing you my favorite quotes…he is in his fifties too, imagine that!  Most of his profile is just him really going on and on about how he is amazing human being…one of his quotes being something like

“I am just as comfortable at a homeless shelter than at a formal event” 

Something makes me think that is a little bullshit.  He also mentioned how he has book deals, and television deals in the works and how he has sky-dived, snow-skied, it just goes on an on and on.  It was one of the most self-aggrandizing profiles I had ever read.  I think he even referred to himself as visionary and humanitarian.   I would reprint it, but its long, and I think it would be somewhat cruel of me to do sobut here are the angry rants, and the capitalization is exactly as he wrote it.

Before you read my profile I want you to think about this: That a lot of the “questions” on this site have no purpose. They are just here to amuse the staff. The amusement comes from asking the questions and the fact that people are taking the questions seriously and answering them at all. MUST HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS AND LIVE IN NYC.  Looking for someone intelligent, kind, and attractive. I tend to be attracted to women who are SLENDER or ATHLETIC in build. I don’t mind dating women who are taller than I am as long as they don’t mind.  If the circumstances were right I’d like to have children, but that is not a deal breaker. NO PHOTO=NO RESPONSE! MUST LIVE IN NYC!!!!!!

So basically no fatties from the suburbs.  As if anything he typed on his profile will stop them, trust me it won’t.  I have tried adding “age appropriate please” and instead of repelling any 60 year olds, it seems to act like a beacon of hope to them.  Being that negative will just make him look like a jerk to just about every other woman on the site.

And my latest trend is men who look like extras from “The Jersey Shore” with biceps flexed in their main photo and multiple posed hairless, steroid pumped shirtless photos all over their profiles once I investigate further.  Now I am trying to be open-minded,  I don’t think I could have even a five-minute conversation with a man like that.  Or maybe I could…maybe I too could learn to love spray tan, hair gel and men with shriveled testicles and wild mood swings…well isn’t that what happens when I guy is on steroids?   Oy Vey!  

 

Dating in NYC – A city of SLUTS

New York City

New York City (Photo credit: kaysha)

 

This is the earlier version of a post that I submitted to the Huffington Post.  So it might seem familiar to you if you read the shorter more streamlined version.  I just wanted to point that out in case anyone was confused.  Basically after I wrote this one, and got overwhelmingly positive feedback from it I was encouraged to submit to HuffPo.  Although I have posted in the comedy section before the divorce editor did not know me from Adam, and I didn’t even know if they would publish me much less feature me.  So to any bloggers out there who want more traffic and a larger audience, just do what I did, and you might get lucky.  I love how the internet has a level of democratization to it.   You don’t have to go to an expensive Ivy league school or know the right people…anyone can self-publish!  So do it!  I had to cut this post in half, as the Huffington Post suggests 500-800 words, this was something like 1600.  🙂

 

It seems since I left my husband I have been unable to do a number of things, I won’t list them all here, but the most frustrating lost skill is the ability to date.  That is, date anyone for any significant length of time.   Admittedly it is a bit of a problem because I am out of practice as I was with my husband for a total of nine years.  And after nine years together in a committed relationship I have extreme difficulty navigating the nuanced dance that is dating.    One can not be too direct, overly eager, needy, desperate, clingy, emotional, commitment pressuring, or baby daddy seeking.  And at the same time not be too cold, aloof, bitchy, mean, shallow, negative or distant.  And never shit talk an ex in front of anyone, or even talk about an ex in any capacity, even if the past nine years of your life was living and working with him!!!!   Then there are the crazy games of when to text, email or call, when not to get back to a person and when to answer immediately, when to act interested and disinterested and when to completely blow them off in the hopes that they will come running back after you have ignored them a while.  The last tactic being one I absolutely loathe as it goes against everything about me.   As a person who is by nature very direct and to the point, dating is a mystery wrapped in an enigma to me.

 

I am also straight edge in that I don’t drink alcohol often and I do absolutely no drugs.  Now mind you I hang out with a bunch of artistic types so this can really make life difficult for me, as the majority of my friends use at least one if not more substances on a regular basis.   I am not judging anyone, and I have no problem with my friends that are regular pot users or heavy drinkers.  I am perfectly comfortable for the most part hanging with my friends, but it can make me a less than attractive partner in some eyes because of my drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.  Add to that my vegetarian diet of over 20 years and my two cats, and for some that is just too many deal breakers to handle for many men.

 

But the most distressing behavior that I really can’t justify or figure out in New York is the casual sex hook up mating habits that I frankly have no desire to engage in.  Yes, I know I get on stage and joke and tell a blue streak of obscenities and adult themed humor, but in my personal life I am a committed relationship type of gal.  I make no illusions to being anything but this, and I do not judge others for their behavior.  If a poly amorous life of multiple lovers works for a person, then I say go for it.   Or if a string of emotionally detached one-night stands with perfect strangers is what makes a person happy then great.  But I know there are others like me that aren’t wired this way, and seek something more substantial and with some level of greater commitment both emotionally and sexually.  I have a myriad of friends who complain all the time

 

“I am not slutty enough for this city”. 

 

And I can relate.

 

I have made failed attempts at living a Sex in the City style life of hooking up with partners for something casual, and every time I have tried it the results have been disastrous.   I either am disgusted by the man, or the man won’t stop calling.  I had one man who kept calling me for months afterward, another who rudely told me about his other women, and yes there is a polite way to handle this, and yet another who had what I would call a mild breakdown in my apartment about how he couldn’t handle the “gray area”.  So I realized, I am not this person, I need to be true to myself so I went back to my serious relationship commitment roots.   But no matter how much I keep trying to go for a traditional path, the hook-up scenario keeps rearing its ugly head.

 

Just the other night an attractive man was coming on to me HARD.  He was so obnoxious and obvious about it that a bunch of my friends noticed and even some of his friends were trying to set us up.  But I had never met this man in my life and to be quite honest his overly aggressive approach was off-putting.  He was also over a decade younger than me and was a bit of a jock.  Not exactly the brainy nerdy guys that I normally find much more compelling.  I like a man who can intellectually stimulate me, plus pretty boy jocks tend to get women easily, and as I always say….

 

He who gets the pussy easily, does not treat the pussy well.

 

And that tends to be true.   So I was mildly deflecting his advances when a much younger and age appropriate woman arrived on the scene.  Eventually Mr. Meathead instantly moved on to her, I had no idea if she knew the show he was putting on in front of me or how aggressive he had been.  Would it have mattered to her?  I doubt it.  She was young, she hadn’t learned some basics about men yet.  That any guy who is that attractive and that aggressive towards women is not what you would call relationship material.  And maybe to her credit that wasn’t what she was looking for anyway.  I couldn’t care less.  I knew I wasn’t going to sleep with him or do anything else with him that evening so if she wanted the pretty boy jock she could have him.  And part of my ego was stroked anyway in that he approached me first, and I was 16 years her senior.  So for bragging rights, at least I have that!  She went up to him.  He went up to me!  I have to take what I can get!  HA!  The same girl was chatting up another male friend of mine earlier in the night.  So much so that I thought they might be dating.  Little did I know, it seemed she may have been looking for whatever was the best option available that evening.  Or maybe she just met her future husband last night.  I don’t really care.   Whatever works for her!!

 

I find this all the time when dating.  It is just sort of expected by many that you start the physical part of the relationship first, and then see if either partner wants to continue after you have had sex.  Sort of a try before you buy situation.  Sex before emotional attachment, sex before any form of relationship, sex before everything.  Or  what I like to call how to be treated like something in between a booty call and a girlfriend.   And as a person who doesn’t like being treated poorly, these setups are not usually to my liking.

 

  • The guy will call or text when he wants to hookup but that is about it.
  • You are supposed to be on call to wait for the opportunity and then run to see him
  • Don’t reveal too much about yourself, but listen to him complain about his trials and tribulations
  • Don’t expect commitment, or exclusivity
  • Don’t expect any emotional bonding
  • Don’t expect much effort on his part to impress you, or make you feel like you are important in his life.

 

Not exactly what I call fun, but again everyone is different and for some people this situation is ideal.   What I find frustrating is that if you really want to get to know a guy first before having sex with him, it seems like there is no end to the women who will jump into bed with them.   And this isn’t to say that only men do this, as women engage in the same behavior.  But I didn’t think that in order to try to have a healthy sustained relationship with a person I am supposed to have sex with them hours or even minutes after meeting them.  It seems more like long-term relationship suicide.   Sure the sexual relationship might be great at first, but sex doesn’t really hold much together as far as compatibility in concerned.  Sex is usually the mortar between the bricks but the bricks have to line up or the whole thing collapses.

 

I know there a plenty of men and women who are frustrated like myself out there.   I hear it all the time from my friends, sometimes they think the fast life of hookups and one-night stands, friends-with-benefits, or fuck-buddies is working for them.  But they soon grow tired of it and want something steady with one person.  But what are we supposed to do when everyone around us seems to be whoring it up?   If a guy can so easily get no-strings attached sex, and then never see the woman again if he chooses, then why would they try for anything else?  And when a man is tired of the hook-ups himself, how does he then make the transition to getting to know a woman when he has been hooking-up for years?  Of course the same goes for women, and people of all sexual orientations and persuasions.    When do you decide to stop and settle down?  And when you do settle down, then what?

 

And in the online dating field, I will occasionally get a man from out-of-town send me an email announcing he will be in New York city in a couple of weeks and would love to “have coffee” with me.  As if “having coffee” has turned into the ultimate euphemism for anonymous sex with a stranger.  Funny how drinking a hot caffeinated beverage is somehow the equivalent of sex with no strings.    Again I am sure some women will go for it, but what kind of women? How likely are they to look like their actual photo? Or not be a total psycho?  Or not be a scam artist?  I bet some men have tried these arrangements only to wake up in a strange hotel room hours later missing their computer, their wallet and anything else of value.

 

Is it survival of the sluttiest?  I have friends that are in committed relationships and seem happy and most of them didn’t meet by having sex with total strangers.   There are no real rules with relationships and sometimes sleeping with a someone you barely know leads to years of coupled bliss.  This city doesn’t make things easy and I have trust issues on top of everything due to my divorce.  I ask myself this question almost daily…

 

Do I have to change who I fundamentally am as a person in order to survive the dating scene in New York city?

 

I keep answering, no, but I am not so sure how much longer I can live like this.

 

 

 

Dating Online – The man with no photos

So this one is as old as online dating itself, the man with no photos on his profile.  I have a firm warning on my profile that I basically don’t take a profile without photos seriously.  Nor should any woman.  The reason?  Well there are many but the main reason is that most men that are on online dating websites that won’t show their face are either married or involved with someone and looking to cheat.   Why wouldn’t they show their face?  It makes little sense.  So many people are on online dating sites now, that if a married man blatantly had a profile seeking another woman, chances are that friends or co-workers  of his wife or girlfriend might stumble upon his profile.  Openly putting yourself out there on a dating website when married is a very dangerous thing to do.  But take the photos off, change a few details about your occupation, change your age,  where you live and bingo, you have no created a new identity.  Maybe a woman who is naive enough to think that some unseen man has nothing to hide will fall for the ruse.   Most men use their occupation as the reason why they can’t show their face.  All of these are specific examples that I have gotten sometimes multiple times…

  • My job is very high-profile, it would be embarrassing for me to be on here –
  • It could potentially hurt my firm’s reputation if I am seen on a dating website – REALLY?  If they only knew how MANY people are on websites like Match.com at this point, there is hardly any shame in it anymore.  Or that somehow a business deal will go south because a potential client saw you on a dating website and decided you were unstable or something?  Well then what are they doing on the site in the first place?
  • I am a psychologist and it could make my relationship with my patients strained. – Do you think your patients are secretly in love with you or something?  What kind of piece of work writes that?

I have been on dates with people who I met online who have VERY high-profile jobs in their fields.  I won’t comment further, to protect others privacy  but the high-profile job excuse is poppycock.

One man tried to send me photos privately.   And I still have no idea what that was supposed to prove?  OK so I see what he looks like, but again he isn’t willing to expose himself on the site itself, so NO DICE!  I sent him a polite, sorry this doesn’t cut it email and he went off on me in an angry tirade full of venom and vitriol.  I know I can come across as too blunt in written form, but I think I dodged a major bullet with that psycho!  Not only was he probably married, but he had some anger issues!

I am sure that there are women doing the exact same thing on dating websites.  Although since men tend to be more visually orientated than women, I wonder how effective the no photo approach would work.  They probably pull the same tactic, of I will send you photos privately.  It is hard to believe that people would fall for that, but loneliness can really pull a person down into despair, after a while any glimmer of hope starts to look promising.

One no-photo man recently contacted me and because I was in a slightly angrier than usual mood, I sent him a blunt reply basically saying that no woman would take him seriously without photos.  He posted photos within the hour of opening my email!  He wasn’t my type, so I didn’t feel like I missed the boat on that one after scolding him for not showing his mug.

And when in doubt, even if you meet someone online with photos and you buy their story about being single or divorced IMMEDIATELY google their full name when you get home, and if they claim they are divorced google their name and the word wife.  You would be surprised how much information is readily available on the internet at no cost whatsoever.  In one case, I googled a man’s name found his ex-wife’s profile on Facebook and found her listed as single.  That made me feel a million times better, but if it had said married, he would have never heard from me again.  You really can never be too careful, the nature of online dating makes it far too easy for men and women who want to cheat.