In Which I am in the Zone–The Friend Zone, That Is

I am often guilty of writing singularly from the perspective of why the men I write about aren’t worthy of my consideration as potential candidates for romance. This might lead a reader to believe that I have an over-inflated view of my own desirability.

Not so. I have experienced my fair share of rejection. And I would be remiss not to share a bit about that.

So today I present: The FRIEND ZONE— a space I have spent a great deal of time in, particularly in the not-too-recent past.

Continue reading “In Which I am in the Zone–The Friend Zone, That Is”

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In Which Timing is EVERYTHING–and mine is not so fast

Everyone has their own pace. Mine? While I trend towards impulsive decisions, my overall pace is generally slow– Especially when it comes to online strangers.

Oh, don’t get me wrong– I’m all for meeting in person as SOON as I have determined that the human behind the screen SEEMs to be a decent sort. (Few things rot more than wasted time–investing energy and effort into getting to know someone through the written word only to discover you do not enjoy their actual presence. So I’m a fan of meetings in public places as early on as possible.)

But that’s about as fast as I tend to move in general.

I’m not one for placing a huge emphasis on the first date. I’m not looking for romance or spark. I’m looking for whether or not I ever want to endure this human’s company again. I’m looking for hanging out. For laughter. For a good experience. There are a million things that are important to know about worldview and ideals and compatibility in general. But none of them matter if I don’t enjoy his presence. So I treat a first date as a casual encounter rather than an event of SIGNIFICANCE.

The first time I met Mr. Moved-Too-Fast, we were both on time. But also equally 40 minutes late. I was waiting inside – He had waited outside. Wisconsin hates cell phone reception, so I had no way to communicate with him; and I was just about to give up when when he saw me through the window– oops!

I don’t really believe in foreshadowing, but if I did, that would probably have been a sign that we just weren’t on the same page.

Continue reading “In Which Timing is EVERYTHING–and mine is not so fast”

The Writer and the Physicist

A high school hockey game

At least a hundred emails

A high school musical

Home made stir-fry

A cheesy movie or four

A night of card games

Drive through Christmas lights on the 10th of January

Vlog brothers and punny jokes

Another high school hockey game

Hot cocoa, toasty fireplaces, long conversations, and subtitled movies (seriously, if you haven’t seen “3 Idiots”, go watch it NOW. You can stream it for free online)

A question

An answer

A new adventure to embark upon

Preparing Your Family for Online Dating

If you have a tight-knit relationship with your family (as I do), or, if one or more of your parental units happens to work in the field of safety (as one of mine does), it would be a good idea to prepare them for the fact that you have decided to explore the world of online dating.

How does online dating look to deeply concerned family members? Let’s just say that a conversation I had with mom/sis on the night I was preparing for my first date went something like this:

Me: I’ve got a date tonight.

Mother/Sister: Oh! You’ve met someone?

Me: I’m meeting him tonight.

Mother/Sister: You don’t even know him? Where are you meeting? Someplace public?

Me: Nah, I asked him to meet me in a poorly lit, deserted alley…. >_<
We’re meeting at Starbucks.

Mother/Sister: What’s his name?

Me: P*******

Mother/Sister: What’s his last name?

Me: I don’t know.

Mother/Sister: You’re meeting with a guy whose full name you don’t even know?

Me:
Well, I didn’t give him my last name. And I figured I would wait until after our first date to ask for his banking information and social security number.

Mother/Sister:
What are you wearing?

Me: Jeans and a sweater with that cute new scarf Laura gave me.

Mother/Sister: Isn’t a scarf dangerous? I mean, what if he tries to strangle you with it?

Me: I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok. The barista at Starbucks will probably call the police if she notices a guy choking me with my scarf.

Mother/Sister: Don’t get into a car with him.

Me: I have my own, so I’m sure that won’t be necessary–

Mother/Sister: –Unless there’s a few other people riding as well.

Me: Yeah, gang-raped is definitely preferable to being kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk….

(Needless to say, that particular bit of snarky humor didn’t go over too well with family members deeply concerned for my well-being and only gave them MORE to worry about.)

Is meeting up with strangers encountered through the internet risky? Sure it is. But it would be equally risky to meet up with someone who hit on me in  grocery store (not that this has ever actually happened–which is one of the many reasons why I have found online dating an acceptable alternative to an ever-deepening relationship with Netflix).

But to the safety-conscious individual, online dating is pretty much equated with CSI/Criminal Minds fodder.

After successfully meeting six strangers (and surviving unharmed) I had thought my family was adjusting remarkably well to the idea. My mom no longer demanded to be texted a picture before each date (to hand to the police in case they ever needed to know what I had last been seen wearing), and my sister no longer evaluated my outfits for choking hazards.

But once a concerned parent, always a concerned parent.

Apparently, they aren’t as comfortable as they attempt to convince me they are.
For Christmas I was gifted with a stun gun.

Potential dates, beware: Going out with me might be a shocking experience!

First Date Fiascoes (Why I Might Just Call it a Day and Buy a Cat)

After almost a month on PoF, I’ve had quite a few close encounters of the stranger-than-fiction kind.

After reading through the Pulitzer-Prize-winning profile I posted, it’s pretty clear that my screening process for actually being willing to meet people in person is rather elaborate.

In order for me to consent to meet, a person must:

-Convince me that he is a male.

-Convince me that he is not someone who might end up stuffing me in the trunk of his car. (These first two are more or less intangibles, judged through nuance and intuition. It would be a serious red flag if someone actually said, “Guess what? I’m REALLY a guy! AND I’m not super creepy!” or something like that.)

-Be well-spoken.

-Have no shirtless pictures on their profile.

-Share at least a few interests that would make reasonable conversation points.

-Respect grammar by using capital letters, demonstrating an understanding of the difference between your/you’re and to/too/two, and attempting punctuation with moderate accuracy.

-Come across in a way that suggests a pleasant (or at least fascinating) personality.

-Be at least tolerable to look at. I try not to put too much emphasis on looks, but I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t consider them at all.

That’s it, though. Basically, present yourself as a non-scary male human with enough personality to be able to sustain at least an hour’s worth of (intelligent) conversation.

Once these prerequisites have been met (and it’s rather disheartening how few users actually meet them), I’m all for meeting up with people as soon as they are willing, because, let’s face it, a written persona is merely that–a persona. (Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who claims that her occupation is a hunter of baby seals. I think the only time I’ve ever seen a seal in real life has been at a zoo–and I don’t think any of them were young enough to qualify as babies. [needless to say, it’s not a very lucrative career when one lives in the middle of Minnesota]).

So I’ve had five dates so far.
And they have done nothing if not reinforce the concept that people might look great on paper, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it carries over into face-to-face interaction

Most (though not all) of these dates have been mild disasters in some form or another. In no particular order (lest any of them happen to be reading this), here’s a rundown of my Plenty of Fish dates thus far:
Continue reading “First Date Fiascoes (Why I Might Just Call it a Day and Buy a Cat)”