Tripping Up on Dating

So, imagine it’s the night you finally decide to go out and you’ve put on your most flattering cocktail dress– the one that makes you feel good even with those extra 10Ibs. You check yourself out in the mirror one last time and notice your hair and makeup is beat. You step out in your best pumps and walk up to the doors of the nicest lounge/bar in the city. Making your way inside, you notice eyes watching you and surprisingly it gives you a boast of confidence. Like maybe you can still bring the boys to yard lol. Sauntering to the nearest table, the tiny point of your heel catches on the invisible string in the carpet and you take a dramatic tumble to the ground. Welllllllllll…that instance is far from what my entrance into dating looked like. It was more like wearing my favorite comfy jeans, a cute shirt, and some cute flats to a large gathering filled with eligible men. Moving through the cluster of bodies ready to socialize with the first hottie, and somehow still ending up tripping on air.

I’m not sure which situation is more embarrassing, but I know they equally catch you off guard and are down right embarrassing. And that is precisely what my first attempt at dating felt like.

I finally decided I was ready to get out there and test the waters.  I was feeling every bit of the catch phrase “single and ready to mingle.” So, I did what any normal woman would do– I downloaded a dating app. Right?! Enlisting my handy HTC One, I typed in “dating apps” and began reading countless ratings for each app. Perusing through the different types of dating apps made me feel out of touch with the world or at least outdated. And with every flick of my thumb revealing more options I wondered if it would ever come to an end. I realized that dating was more than two people meeting up, but now you were able to choose the exact kind of person you want to date. Girl, boy, white, black, brown, undecided, nearby, overseas, you name it they had it. Like a international flee market filled with eligible bachelors, basket-cases, and down right rude boys. I wasn’t sure how good of a bargain these free apps were serving up.

Browsing all these different apps, I kept in mind my four must haves: high ratings, diverse group of men, easy setup, and FREE! I was going to treat this dating app adventure like I treated my online shopping, but my patience was wearing thin and so was my desire to even try this type of dating.
After looking at apps like OKCupid, Tinder, Zoosk, and POF, I settled with MiuMeet (yup spelled exactly like that). At that point I was feeling like these apps were more like job applications with their thousands of tedious questions, and no one likes filling out lengthy job applications. So I settled, sue me. MuiMeet was a simple app. All I needed was an email, basic information, my name (not my real one, of course), and pictures. Once I filled out the necessary info and placed my most current and flattering pics of me in my profile, I clicked submit and let the magic or subsequent chaos begin.

Satisfied with my accomplishment, I set my phone down content with waiting. I felt a load lift from my shoulders as I imagined a decent looking guy messaging me. My thoughts drifting to images of my week ending off with us sharing thoughtful conversation at the local pastry shop. A girl can have dreams, but within minutes I received messages from all kinds of guys blowing up my once silent phone. My first reaction was excitement. I could even feel my heart pick up at the thought of who was awaiting me. Then, I began to feel a tad overwhelmed, as I was not expecting instant responses — the magic. Picking up my phone I had to remind myself this was just a step in my dating journey and not the end. And like the naive person I am I begun to read every message I received, from the simple salutations to lengthy rap sheets.

The quick messages were cute at first but soon became annoying once I realized they were shifting the initial conversation on to me. And the “your beautiful” or “your cute” was nice (and incorrect) but left nothing much for me to work with. While the biographies were entertaining and painfully unnecessary because I wasn’t interested in reading a rough draft of an autobiography. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the picture messages that ranged from interesting to downright disgusting. I either wanted to gasp in horror or laugh out loud at the sender’s confidence.

Coming to my last pop up message, I closed out of the app and realized this was more than I bargained for. I didn’t expect a sea of men try to sang my attention, no matter how fleeting. Believe me ladies…the “ocean” of future husbands was more than plentiful. Having said that, I wasn’t going to back down, so I put in place an Action Plan:

  1. Respond to guys I’m attracted to
  2. Respond if messages are clever
  3. Ignore the rest

Done…and, done. If anything developed with one of these guys, I decided I would feel my way through the rest. Little did I know, I should have named it “The Disaster Plan”, because what was to follow, was far from action.

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“Be Your Own Matchmaker” 30 Day Dating Detox

If you haven’t followed the debacle known as my dating life, then you aren’t aware of my history. I’ve been in the dating pool longer than I expected and it has drained me of my humanity. Therefore, I would encourage you to check out “Single & Single” so you can get a better feel of why I believe my way of dating has gotten me nowhere, literally. But before I continue I really don’t mind waiting so you can catch up HERE! 😀

So now that you’re all caught up (seriously check it out HERE) I wrote “Single & Single” in 2015 and ever since I’ve been jogging light circles around the dating track. Recently, as in January 2017, I started binge watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Netflix (no judgments) and I thought Patti Stanger had some pretty solid points. Engrossed in the 6th season my curiosity of whether or not her rules could really land me a mate was getting the best of me. I couldn’t help searching the web for her book and some reliable reviews.Of course the first place I began my search was Google where I was linked to Amazon’s 2009 copy of Patti Stanger’s “Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate” with over 200 reviews. NO. I did not read all 200 and something reviews but I did try to read a few from each star level to get opinions from all sides. And like with any product reviews people complained. They protested that her methods were unconventional and outdated. But she also had a lot of good feed back too. The good reviews praised her different methods of getting yourself out there and what a person should do to attract a mate.  Reading the last review I thought, “Why not? It couldn’t be any worse than what I’ve gotten into,” and with one click I purchased my paperback copy.

And here we are at my 30 Day Dating Detox, day number 24 (because I started on the 1st of February).

My detox is 30 days because I haven’t been in a serious relationship lasting over a year in…too long.

Take 60 days if your last relationship lasted for 2 years

Detox for 90 days if your last relationship was a marriage or lasted 3 or more years

Breakdown:

The purpose of the “Dating Detox.”
FOCUS: Yourself
GOAL: Get Happy. Get Active. Get involved. Get an idea. I’ll be touching bases on the first goal because that is actively where I am. 

Get happy.  “First figure out why you aren’t happy”

This seems like a no brainier, and when I read it my immediate reaction was, “I am happy!” I’m sure it was your response too, right?! But as I read further I realized sometimes the obvious is the first thing overlooked. And I was overlooking the baggage I was carrying form my past relationships. I wasn’t a complete Bitter Betty, but she would creep in at any thing that reminded me of my exes. Like a girlfriend telling me about a guy’s bad habit, or a picture of an ex circulating in the endless space know as the ‘cloud’. It was clear I needed to detox my heart and my home, and Patti outlined how I could accomplish that once and for all.

Forgive

That’s right. You have to forgive. Forgive them ALL. No matter how terrible, gross or jerky. They are the past that can not be changed, so “Get overt it & forgive!” And I’ve had my fair share of unbelievably difficult boyfriends, but Patti was right. I needed to let the past go and let my heart be free. Along with my mind from replaying all the ways I was done wrong. From that moment on I needed to focus my thoughts on the awesome one to come.

Forgive. BUT do not. I repeat, do not go back. Wrong direction sweetie. I would know.

Get Happy Quick

A happy person is an attractive person. To get a jump start on being happier in Patti’s book she suggests writing down 12 things that instantly make you happy. At first I had no idea what those things would be until Patti gave an example of her’s. So instead of you having to rack your brains I’ve included my 12 below.

Purge

This solution may not apply to women who believe that once a man leaves all his shiiii…stuff has to go. I on the other hand have been a bit of a collector of ex things. Wait wait wait before you scold me let me explain. I’m not the collector who keeps everything so I can pull it out later to reminisce about old times, but more for practicality. For instance the iHome given as a present. WHAAAAAAAT?! I knew I wasn’t going to buy me another one. But I hadn’t realized that even things like that could be holding me back from allowing Mr. Rightforme into my life. And let’s face it I’m sure he’d rather I found a new home for those things now, instead of later.

So here at day number 24 that is what I am currently doing. Forgiving. Getting happy. And purging the mess out of my pictures, clothes, jewelry, & electronics so I can be one step closer to my match. 

Single & Single

So here it begins… or at least the parts where I’m totally transparent about my fears and growth of dating at a stage where I’ve thrust myself into the unknown. The unknown being, sought after by other men after my own failed attempt at a family. Then the fear of functioning in a society that has the ability to perceive me as the stereotypical single mother. And finally the unknown of how I am going to balance my life as a new mother and a woman who still has needs. All in all what could be more frightening? Before I outline present pressures and issues, let’s press rewind (and no I didn’t mean scene selection) on the chain of events leading up to this point.

-We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. -T.S. Eliot

The quote that popped into my editors head after reading my last statement lol pure genius!

I’m closing in on the latter part of my 20’s, and for the last two and a half years of my life I have “technically” been single. What I mean by technically is I ended an official engagement of less than a week to my boyfriend who finally did a proper proposal, instead of it being implied for the last two years of our ongoing relationship. Not only were we engaged, but he was the father of my son who I was undoubtedly 8 months pregnant with at the time. And just like that, what we had built was over and I fell into a state of– I might as well say it … desperation.  Here I was, embarrassed by a broken engagement and a mom at 26 with the father of her baby MIA. The title of that chapter would fittingly be “The Days of Our Lives.”

Once my emotional rollercoaster of feelings began to level out I was left desolate in a sea of numbness. Wanting to feel the tingling sensation of my heart again, and coaxed by the loneliness of my situation I was tempted to unearth my past. Pulling the dusty chest from the attic of my brain filled with my exes (and their numbers) I reached deep down into its belly looking for comfort. What I found was familiarity and stagnation. Even with the time that had passed between each ex I managed to put myself back in the same unfavorable situations, but this time my tolerance was far less attainable. I no longer tolerated the continuous weeks of disappearances from men who said they wanted to rekindle a past relationship or the blurry lines of our involvement.

 

Side note Editor Was it all love if it was in the past to call it that? Do women find it all to be love even when it doesn’t work out?

To answer my awesome male editors questions: no it wasnt all love but there was love there and it doesnt just go away because it didnt work out, but you have to respect when it doesnt and love from afar.

This time around I was no longer a young girl worrying about herself, but a young woman and mother looking after her child. So instead of my desired outcome of rekindling a lasting love –and keeping that number count down jk, or not. I discovered myself never committing to a single one of my exes and gaining a healthy reminder of why my exes, were my exes. In that time, I learned some pretty valuable lessons.

  • No you can’t change him; he is who he says he is.
  • No not everyone deserves a second chance or third or fourth.
  • Yes leave your past in the past.

For me, I learned I would be better off leaving the nostalgic memories of dating before baby era in a tiny box labeled open if you dare.

So here we are, back to the present, where I’m no longer heartbroken or disillusioned about what could possibly happen with another man. I’m at a point where having a companion is wanted but not necessary. Dont get me wrong I miss being with someone who appreciates me and I want to have a bond, but I refuse to force or go chasing after an idea that I can make any old thing  work.

Yet I can’t just sit around the house and wait for someone to come knocking at my door announcing, “I Am the One”—even though that would be pretty convenient. I know I have to make an earnest effort to meet and get to know someone new, although it has been scarier than I imagined and a bit hilarious too. The scary part is the idea of creating new bonds that may or may not last. Since my last real relationship was formed from a chance meeting at a Walmart, I don’t really have practice in the countless areas you can now meet someone. I’m finding myself at a place where I want to meet men in a public setting, but still having to resort to online dating because of …hmmm Time? Scheduling? Places? Nope, because of the plain failure to launch circumstances. I’ve decided what better way to get through the neglected city streets of my life known as, ‘Dating in my Late 20’s’ and ‘Dating as a Single Mom’, than to share my experience with women having to go through the same thing.

Oh, and, by the way… you’re welcome. Lol.