Tag Archives: dating

The Online Dating Chronicles: On second thought …

It only took two posts in for me to realize this chronicling of my online dating adventures may not be as entertaining as I once thought it was.

Don’t get me wrong – I still giggle when I think of how I stopped dating someone for his gawd-awful pronunciation of aficionado (I know my story of his being “an aff-eh-KON-dee-oh” has ruined the word for at least a few friends), and while death is very seldom funny, getting mad at your boyfriend of three months because he suddenly stopped responding to your calls and texts for two weeks – and then feeling like a heel when you’re attending his funeral a week later – is a storyline that might have made for some good “The Mindy Project” fodder.

Those who know me best understand the struggle I’ve faced, sharing conversations like this:

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Some have even offered help in finding “just the right guy,” like sending me profiles like this one:

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So while I still rock the never-ending “you won’t believe THIS” dating stories, I’ll just share them little by little as they’re relevant – and welcome these “helpful tips” from friends.

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November 24, 2019 · 10:40 pm

The Online Dating Chronicles: Welcome to my world

It’s no secret – dating kind of sucks.

OK, that may be a bit strong. Dating itself is kind of fun – going out with someone, having a good time, getting to know them over drinks or dinner or a walk in the park, holding hands, kisses good night (or good morning 😉).

funny-dating-memesGetting to the point of having a date? That part sucks. Especially if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people using online dating sites to get there (and chances are, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 99, single, and looking for a partner, you probably are). Online sites are awful for many of the same reasons they’re great: You can meet lots of people, conversation is a lot easier over the internet, and it’s a lot easier to get out of a conversation if you can just log off rather than trying to back away slowly or hope your “wing man/woman” comes to save you at the right time.

They’re awful because people believe they can be whomever they want to be and say whatever they want to say – and often do. I’ve been thanked for chatting because he was “tired of doing the five-knuckle shuffle”; met a man who said he was single but was in fact ready to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary; and asked out by a man who should have been serving a life sentence in a federal prison but worked a deal with prosecutors for early release by helping to get a murderer to draw a map to where she hid the bodies.

You think I’m kidding. I’m not.

As much as I may hate to admit it I’m more familiar than I should be with dating sites. I tried my first site before my divorce was even final – udate.com in 2002 – just to get back into the swing of talking to men on a social level. I was an awkward dater as a teen, and after 12 years of marriage I wasn’t sure how it would go (turns out I’m a more confident adult dater than I was a teen dater). I met a man on that site and was convinced to move across the state.

The relationship fizzled, but my love for eastern Iowa was immense, so I stayed. And I dated. And dated. And dated.

And have developed quite the collection of crazy dating stories.

My initial intent was to write a book – and I still may – but that will take a while and I’m anxious to share some of these stories. So that’s what I’ll be doing here, on this blog. Some will be recent, some will have occurred sometime in the last 17 years. All – I assure you – will be true. No embellishments, no fictionalizing (other than the names, because, you know, most of them are still out there), no hiding.

I’d love to share some of your stories, too – same rules, no embellishments, yada yada yada. I’ll identify your stories as “from a friend,” so you don’t have to be as public in your self-deprecating humor if you’d rather not. Feel free to send them to me at mollyswhine@gmail.com.

Here we go – this could get interesting.

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Some things get better – right?

50 for molly3

Part of an ongoing-but-irregular countdown to 50.

75. Everyone talks about how things start to get more difficult as you age: losing weight, exercising, reading without glasses, finding your car keys, remembering just why it is you walked into a room or opened a closet door. I get all those – and fully agree with all of them.

But there are a few things I really hope get easier as we age.

  • Budgeting money – I’ve never been a financial whiz, to be sure, but learning to live on a budget – and to say “no” to myself – has become a priority to me since my divorce 15 years ago. Part of it comes from the fact that until three years ago, I didn’t have any credit cards – we gave them up as part of the divorce proceeding (never mind) and I never got another one until recently. Truly living on what you have is an eye-opening experience. I’ll admit to splurging a bit when I finally did break down and get a card, but I’ve tempered that part of my brain with the, “but if we save we can go places!” philosophy (Ireland, here I come!). So far, so good. It’s still tight, I still cut things out of my budget to make room for other things, but, as they say, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
  • Budgeting time – This one comes a bit harder to me. It’s no secret that I tend to spread myself a bit too thin (that came up twice in my performance review at work) and – more times than I’d like – I run late to personal events and outings. I think one of the reasons I don’t go to a lot of movies is because I worry about being late. Mostly because I usually am.
  • Dating – While this will certainly make a best-selling book someday, dating in my 40s was … interesting. There were a few relationships and an awful lot of awful lines from potential suitors (“I’m getting tired of the five-knuckle shuffle” or “Like most redheads I bet your [sic] built like a brick house”) or from those who I actually went out with (remember the gross, “I’d like to put my skin boat in your tuna chute”? Still makes my skin crawl.). I swear I’m hearing more bad come-ons now than I did before I was married.
  • Living – This one definitely gets better with age, at least I think so. I gave up home ownership seven years ago and really, really like renting – the idea of someone else picking up the tab when the water heater dies, or the air conditioning goes out is quite appealing. And right now I’m in the middle of another transition – moving from a building where I’m kind of embarrassed to have first-time guests visit – the smell of marijuana is overpowering, litter in the yard is off-putting, the broken front door and burned-out hall lights slum-looking – to a secure building where, theoretically, “shit gets done.” Living better to me also means enjoying life, being happy – you never know when you won’t get another tomorrow, so enjoy today. That’s what I try to do. Live with no regrets.
  • Finally figuring out why I really did go into that room – Yeah, I doubt I’ll figure that one out, either.

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93 bottles of anti-aging cream on the wall, 93 bottles of cream …

OK, so I don’t really have 93 bottles of anti-aging cream – on my wall, in my vanity, or on a shelf. I have one bottle of a store-brand eye cream that I put where the crows feet are slowly appearing every morning, and I’m not sure it’s working.

But I do have 93 days left before I turn 50, so here’s another nugget I’ve picked up and will use daily in my 50s.

17264942_10154536877053562_8554538634694687862_n93. The older I get, the better I am at laughing at myself. This has been a work in progress for the last 30+ years, starting when my good friends Mike and Kevin proved to me in college that they were going to laugh at me anyway, so I might as well laugh along. I’ve learned over the years not to take myself so seriously – stuff happens, deal with it or laugh it off and move on.

Among the things I’ve learned to laugh about:

  • My clumsiness – I’ve broken the little toe on my left foot probably three or four times, and the one on my right foot just as many. The first break of either of them came in college, dancing on the couch and lip-syncing to, “Welcome to the Jungle” on a hung-over Saturday morning. I also severely sprained my ankle during my bachelorette party while playing darts. Apparently I’d had a bit too much to drink when I won the game and started jumping around to celebrate. (I’m sensing a theme here …)
  • 50 for molly3My love life – This only became a topic of ridicule after my divorce (well, duh, I didn’t date while I was married …) and with the popularity of online dating. I’ve posted about my misadventures in the past, but some of the highlights include the guy who gave me a fake last name because he was married and I found out when as a reporter I covered an event he and his wife were hosting; the guy who showed up for a Friday night date packed for the weekend (he lived 20 minutes away); and one of my favorites, the guy who said, several times, he was an “aff-eh-KON-dee-oh” of weapons. I know he meant “aficionado,” but it was really painful on the ears.
  • My mishaps – I’ve posted about the times I’ve ridden the Cambus the two miles to my parking lot, only to remember as the bus was leaving that I parked in a parking ramp back at the hospital where I work; getting sprayed by a skunk in college, thinking – erroneously – that it was a cat; audibly “passing gas” while working with a physical therapist – and a cute one, at that; and then there was this gem from 2012 – an incident that to this day has me avoiding walking near anyone with a construction vest if I can at all help it.

There really are so, so many more things. Maybe I’ll finish out the rest of my 100 days with reasons I’ve had to laugh at myself …

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Hey, Cupid, back off

It seems somewhat fitting that I would choose today, Valentine’s Day, to end a more than two-month absence from this space. While many of my friends are getting ready to go to dinner, or spend a romantic night at home, I’m sitting in my chair, feet kicked up, ignoring my pouting Newfoundland, who thinks she needs attention and writing a blog.

And I’m perfectly OK with that.

Actually, given the messages Cupid has been sending me lately, I am more than OK with that.

from Cafepress.com

from Cafepress.com

Yes, I’m going to go on another rant about online dating – but before I do, I’ll concede that it’s not all bad. I’ve met some seemingly decent guys online in the past, and I know an awful lot of people who have found and maintained very good relationships online. I think that’s awesome.

But I’ve got to be honest – I think I may have done something once upon a time to really anger Cupid, and he’s just not letting go. At. All. I mean, really, you know it’s bad when you relay a story of Cupid throwing things around on social media and a friend of 20+ years responds by saying if anyone else had told him the story, he’d know they were talking about me.

Yeah. Cupid’s feud has been that long.

First, there’s the activity I’ve been getting on the online dating sites. I’ve actually had quite a few conversations lately – and I know it’s probably partly due to the fact that Valentine’s Day was on the horizon and no one wanted to be alone. Many of the guys have been decent, I’ve not gotten together with anyone yet because none of the conversations have gone that far.

But those aren’t the guys Cupid is trying to derail me with. Oh, no, those are the ones I’m sure snuck past his watchful gaze and managed to get an email out. The ones Cupid has sent my way include:

  • A two-time convicted felon who got out of a life sentence for international drug dealing by turning on another inmate.
  • A two-time convicted felon release just months ago after two sentences for burglary.
  • A man with a foot fetish who is constantly asking for pictures of my feet – with my nails painted – because they’re so large and he loves big feet. (I swear, I’m not making this up.)
  • A guy from one of my chat groups (whom I’ve never met) who wanted to get together for a threesome. I told him I wasn’t even interested in a stranger twosome.
  • A man who was 5’6″ and living in St. Paul, Minn., who got offended when I told him first that he was too far away and then, when he persisted, that he was too short.
  • A man who, when I asked what his idea of relaxing is, said he dreamed about brushing my hair.
  • The guy who asked if I owned Molly’s Cupcakes, because he wanted to taste the frosting from my lips (seriously, dude, get a better line).

And that’s just in the last few weeks.

I know it’s not just the guys – I did a freelance story on the 40+ crowd turning to online dating, and was told by two men, both in their 50s, that women are just as bad. One of them went to pick up a woman for a dinner date, and she invited him in and took off her clothes. The other talked of women who were having a hard time keeping their story straight from day to day – their lives seemed to change with the turning of the calendar page.

Cupid is on a roll.

Then there’s the things that are happening in real life, not on the computer. Running into reminders of old relationships. Still having to tell people – six months later – that we broke up.

And this. This takes the cake, Cupid, and has made me not only draw the line, but begin to prepare for war:

The other day I was walking in to my doctor’s office – just a follow-up from a small procedure I had done over the holidays – and was checking in at the receptionist’s desk. There were four clerks seated for the two clinics located on that floor. As the clerk I was working with was pulling my file up in the computer, I looked down the line.

There, at the end, was an ex-boyfriend. Not just any ex-boyfriend, but the one ex-boyfriend who makes my skin crawl just thinking about him. The one who was writing a book and, I found out later, got together with me because he thought my connections could help him. The one who, when I introduced him to a very good friend of mine who has written more than a dozen books herself, created a fake name and email account to send her messages, flirting and even asking her out. The one who tried to apologize, and then decided he could become a life coach, and asked for my recommendation on LinkedIn. Twice.

OK, Cupid. Game on.

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Online dating: Do I, or don’t I?

Online datingI can’t do it. I just … no.

No, this isn’t me whining about my breakup – I mean, yes, breakups suck, but if you do them right they’re a growing process that doesn’t have to end with bitterness and hate. That’s what I hear, anyway – this is the first one I’ve had that’s following that plan.

What I’m dreading now is entering the whole dating scene again. I’m not looking to jump into another relationship, and who knows if I’m really even looking to date anyone right now. But I have been scoping things out on the digital sites and I’ve gotta tell ya’ – it’s kinda scary out there.

On a whim. when I was mad at my ex-boyfriend (breakups are a huge blow to your ego – there’s going to be some anger, even if it’s fleeting), I filled out a profile for one of the online dating sites I used to be on, added a few pictures and posted it to go live. Then I took a look around at some of the men who were on the site.

The majority of the photos were ones I’d seen before – when I was on the site three years ago. I’m not saying they were the same men – they were the same pictures. One complaint I heard from several men the last time I was “out there” was that women posted old photos, or didn’t look like their photos when doing in-person meetings, so I found it particularly interesting that a lot of men – and I mean a lot of men – are still using the same photos from three or more years ago.

Then came the emails. I swear sometimes there’s a code in something I post – a code even I don’t understand or see – that tells men if they have any kind of odd line or strange way of approaching women, I’m the one they should try it out on, just to see if it works. “You look like you’re nice – we should go out sometime.” “What kinds of things turn you on?” “How do you feel about …?”

Ugh.

I hid my profile, thinking maybe I just wasn’t ready yet – it hasn’t been that long and I’m in no hurry. Then I remembered all the great stories I was able to tell (like this one, and this one, and even this one) and thought, if nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. Maybe I should let the profile be public.

But, wow – I’m really not looking forward to it.

 

 

 

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He’s no Prince Charming …

This guy is no Disney prince, that's for sure.

This guy is no Disney prince, that’s for sure.

It’s amazing what you can learn listening to other people’s conversations.

I don’t mean eavesdropping – that would be rude. But if you’re in a place like, say, a bus, and people around you want to talk loudly about things that may or may not be personal, it’s really kinda hard to tune them out. I know because I do ride a bus and I really have – honestly! – tried to tune out conversations, often to no avail.

I’ve learned about women cheating on their husbands, nurses despising their bosses, which med school courses and professors are easier than others, who has the better burgers. People talk about their babysitters, their children, their spouses, their finances, their vacations – everything is open on the bus.

Today, though, I learned something new. Today I actually stopped trying to tune out the conversation I thought I was hearing to actually listen in, just to see if what I was hearing was really happening.

Two guys, in their early to mid-20s, were talking about the best time of year to get married.

Before you get carried away, or decide you’re not really all that surprised (“Oh, sure, they’re trying to find the ideal time in between the seasons – basketball, baseball and football!”), let me explain. They weren’t talking sports, or weather, or even holidays.

They were looking at the things going on in their lives and trying to decide around that.

The funny part of the conversation was that neither of the guys was even engaged – and that became really the point of their conversation. If they could determine what would be the best time to get married, then they’d have a better idea of when they should get engaged.

The one guy seemed to have it all figured out. He had this set of classes coming up this semester, then another set, then residency – and he wanted to have a ring on her finger before he started residency.

The second guy made me laugh – out loud, so I had to look at my phone and pretend I was seeing something funny. As he was contemplating the best time of year to get married, and thus engaged, he decided that “if we’re still together this time next year, I’ll buy her a ring.”

Ummm … what? If you’re still together, you’ll buy her a ring? Because what, there’s nothing better to do? If you’re that unsure about your relationship lasting another year, why in the world are you thinking you’ll buy a ring with the hope that it lasts forever?

I don’t mean to stereotype, I really don’t – I think it’s wonderful that Guy No. 1 has it all set up and knows how to make the most of his time and enjoy his engagement and wedding. But Guy No. 2 … well, he’s kind of the reason wedding planning magazines are targeted to the brides.

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