RE: Facebook

In the mornings before work, I usually wake up with a cup of coffee and a little internet-surfing. It’s a good time to check my email, facebook, and give a quick glance at the news to make sure the world hasn’t ended while I was asleep (I don’t like watching an entire news program; it doesn’t hold my interest long enough). Yesterday, this is what I saw on my newsfeed:

My daughter's relationship is facebook official.

My daughter's relationship is facebook official.

My oldest daughter is 14, and apparently she’s having a summer romance with a boy she’ll be attending high school with in the fall. They’ve only been out together three times: not dates, but group get-togethers. I’m more than a little freaked out for several reasons (Momma mode is kicking in, lol), but it does rather make me nostalgic for the old days when a boy would call on the phone and ask a simple question: “Will you go with me?” Meaning, will you be my girlfriend or something along those lines.

I guess facebook is this generation’s version of that.

Meanwhile, Garden Guy and I have been out on several dates now. He took me fishing and I caught a small bream that he then used for bait. We’ve gone to dinner a few times. We had one amazing night playing old-school video games at his place. Ninja Gaiden, Kung Fu and Track and Field, not to mention Super Mario Bros 3. (I got to see his garden, too. It was spectacular 😀 ).

I haven’t been out with anyone else since he and I went bowling, though. No one else has really interested me that much, and I was getting annoyed with the constant bombardment of messages from guys who clearly just wanted a hookup. So I’ve hidden my profile for now. Garden Guy and I haven’t had any sort of talk, but he’s not seeing anyone else either, so I guess we’re dating exclusively by default.

I’m okay with that. I don’t think I’m quite ready to go public with it on facebook, especially since we haven’t had any sort of conversation about that sort of thing yet, and there’s no rush. We’re having fun. 🙂



Breaking all the rules…

I have rules for myself. Maybe not rules, exactly.. guidelines. I don’t necessarily think everyone should follow them as well; they’re just what work for me, and even I don’t always follow them to the letter.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a man’s profile. He seemed bitter, but at the same time, I liked his rather upfront approach. He’d taken the time to describe himself and his “This is me – take it or leave it” attitude was appealing in a weird way.  So I broke two of my rules in one go: I contacted him first, and he was a guy with a less-than-upbeat profile. Continue reading

It’s My Birthday!

It’s my birthday, and so I’ve naturally got an exciting date planned for tonight: my oldest kidlet has told me she’ll be baking a cake, and the younger two have been acting very secretive, so I’m certain a surprise will be forthcoming. 😀

Not every “date” must necessarily be filled with romance, after all.

This is not a bar.

It really isn’t. Look, in a bar, once you’re over the whole nervousness thing that prevents you from going over and talking to someone, you can strike up a conversation this way:

You: Hi, how’s it going?

Them: Fine, thanks. You?

You: Fine. I’m _______. Great band playing tonight. Have you heard them before?

Them: Yes, I saw them last month at that new bar downtown….

A dating site is not a bar, however. You cannot strike up a conversation that way, in one-line messages that progress from how are you to the requisite comments about the music and people present.

That being the case, one of the worst things you can do is send a message that simply says, “Hi. How are you?” Because then, they say they’re fine and it’s like you’re standing at the bar casting around for things to say. You’ve got their profile to look at (and hopefully they’ve got a good profile to pick things from), so use it!

Ask questions, mention things you both have in common. Compliments are nice, but can come across as a little bit cheesy, so be careful. After all, you don’t know this person yet, so save the “You’ve got a beautiful smile,” comments for the first date.

Now, get writing those messages! And I’m off to think of ways to be clear to Jerky Guy, since being nice and saying no, thank you to his texts doesn’t seem to be working.

Sometimes it’s steak, but sometimes…

…. you get Jerky guy.

(Isn’t Terry Borders of Bent Objects a genius? I just love his work!)

I recently had a guy write me a message, and he seemed pretty cool. He was articulate, he had similar interests, and he wasn’t bad to look at. He was a few years younger than me, which gave me a slight pause, but I went ahead and answered. We exchanged a few emails, then tried the phone. As that went well (conversation flowed pretty easily, you know), we decided to meet for drinks.

Now, let me say this first. I’m not a complete stickler for old-fashioned manners. If a guy opens doors for me, I notice (and approve), but it’s not a deal-breaker if he doesn’t. Anyhow, I show up at the bar and make my way down to where he’s sitting. He turns slightly, doesn’t stand up, gives me the briefest and limpest handshake imaginable, then turns back to the bar. I sit down.

We order drinks. He tries to convince me to order the drink he’s having, a blue Hurricane. I stick with my Jack and Coke. The next thirty minutes are spent with him telling me in exhaustive detail about the different alcoholic beverages he likes to drink, how often he drinks them, and zany (read: disturbing) things that have happened when he was hosting drinking get-togethers.

After that, I am treated to about forty-five minutes of diatribe about the psycho woman who was texting him while we were sitting there. Apparently she had emotional difficulties, was still hung up on him, and had used something to make a dent in his car door. At this point, he told me, “I just wish she’d comply and say it was her. Own up to it.”

Excuse me, comply?

Never mind the fact that I’ve been tactfully trying to change the topic every five minutes or so when he finally paused for breath so I could get a word in edgewise. Never mind the fact every time I did this, he answered my question then went right back to what he was talking about before. He wanted her to comply. 

Even if what he said about her was true, I’d say it was better to just cut his losses and be done with it, but he was still holding out for some sort of validation from her. Not to mention, what kind of conversation is this to be having with someone you’ve just met?

At the very least, it let me know very quickly that he was not someone I wanted to see again. I thanked him for the drink and hightailed it out of there.

Have  you ever experienced a disaster like this?

Profile Picture Possibilities

So you’ve written your profile and you’re all set but the site wants you to upload a picture. Hopefully you’ve got some files on your computer to choose from, and if not, you can always snap a couple of quick shots with your phone, right?

Well, maybe.

Here’s the thing. You can put up a picture you took in the bathroom mirror if you want to, especially if the site won’t let you go any further unless you have uploaded a picture. I wouldn’t suggest keeping that one up for very long, though. It probably won’t show you at your best, for one thing, and if your bathroom is messy on top of that, it’s going to highlight some things you might not want people to know about right off the bat. So find some decent pictures of yourself.

With your clothes on.

That’s right. Keep your clothes on. Look, if what you’re really looking for is a quick hook-up with someone and then maybe an occasional midnight text, that’s fine. But if you’re looking for people to hang out with, to date and maybe spark a relationship with, then that’s not the picture you want on  your page.

Don’t put up a picture of you from a few years ago, when your hair was a different color (or you still had hair, depending). Don’t put up a picture of you from when you were thirty pounds lighter. Sure, people might agree to meet you, but they’re going to feel deceived when the see you in person, and then they’ll wonder what else you were fudging the truth about. No good can come of that.

What  you want is at least one picture that clearly shows your face, taken as recently as possible. You might have another picture that shows your body, maybe doing something you enjoy like sports. Sometimes people post pictures of themselves with others, but that can be confusing at first glance. (Which person is it?)

One final note: I’ve seen a lot of dating profiles recently with pictures of people’s children on them. Seriously, people, bad idea. It’s creepy. Pedophiles have targeted people that way. So women, don’t do that. Men, don’t do that either. By all means, say you have children on your profile. Just keep the pictures of them on facebook, if you have them on the internet at all.

Profile Problems?

I’ve written my profile but no one is answering any of my mails. The women (or men) on  this site are awful and stuck up and don’t even bother responding. Why are they even on here if they’re not going to talk to anyone?

I know lots of people have written about this before, but I’m gonna go ahead and give you my take on the subject. Look, writing a dating profile isn’t always easy. You’re not sure what to say, it feels weird trying to describe yourself, and the whole thing feels more like trying to write a “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essay than an excellent way to present yourself for meeting new people. Go ahead and put some time and effort into it, though. You don’t have to write a book, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you want good results you should spend more than thirty seconds on it.

Screen name: This should go without saying, but put a little thought into what your screen name conveys. Names that imply you’re well-endowed will get you lots of messages from porn bots, but they’re not going to let you meet great women to date (unless you’re into porn bots, then go ahead).

Headline: This is what you write after your screen name. I often see ones that say something along the lines of “Looking for an honest woman.” Well, of course. I doubt you’re on a dating site looking for liars and con-artists. So, since it’s obvious that you’d want someone honest, why not use that space for something a little more to the point? Something about yourself, for instance, will give potential dates a quick idea of who you are and what you like. “Canoeing down the river” or “Fast Cars and Heavy Metal” give people an instant impression, and that’s what you want. Just pick something that describes you.

About Me: Most sites have an area where you’re supposed to write something about yourself. This is not the place to write about how you hate your ex because she cheated on you. This is not the place to insult people reading your profile by saying that no one ever reads your profile. And for the love of all that’s holy, this is not the place to write something like this:

“Im just regular guy. Messge me if u want to no more.”

Writing the above is a sure-fire way to ensure that almost no one will answer your messages. Why? Because you haven’t given them anything to work with or talk about. Do you like to dance? To fish? Target shooting? Disc golf? Are you an artist or a musician or a computer programmer? Talk about these things. That way, people will know at least a few things about you so that they can spark a conversation.

The other problem with the above is that it’s full of typos. Most internet browsers have a spell-check on them. Pay attention to that. You don’t have to be an English major, but having a profile description that is full of errors just makes you look careless. It’s like going out with your fly unzipped and a big mustard stain on your shirt and not caring.

Your profile pictures will take a whole blog post, so I’ll save that for later.

Alright, so with these tips in mind, go back and look at your profile. Do you need to do some editing? I’ll bet if you do, you’ll start getting a few replies. 🙂