can’t wait to get me some Chi-guy (part 4)

About 8 months ago…

All this flirting with Chi-guy was beginning to show some promise. I had finally made up my mind on the sex question and the answer was Yes! I was definitely excited by the thought of getting physical with him, and I was beginning to think that he might actually be ready to go there, too.

Thus, my texts, emails and conversations with him, while entirely genuine and from my heart, were definitely directional in nature. I wanted to feel confident, when I next traveled to Chicago, that we were on the same page. I was leading the conversation, looking for proof positive that he was thinking the same thing.

Meanwhile, the work I was doing this trip would require a day of running around, doing errands. I asked Chi-guy to spend the day with me; I needed a local with a car to assist, I argued. He would be compensated, and it would be a win-win, costing less than the car rental, parking and lost time if I were doing it all myself. I would take him out that night — off the clock, of course — to celebrate his upcoming birthday over dinner. He agreed.

I made flight arrangements, thinking ahead to fly in early Friday and fly out mid-day Monday, so that I (we) would have the opportunity sleep in that final morning.

Things were going well. I was feeling confident. He texted things like:  “Good morning, Goddess. What are you up to?”

And I:  “Oh, the usual Goddess stuff…listening to a little Kate Bush, dancing in the kitchen, saving the world, etc…”

We had even exchanged some suggestive (though less risqué than prime time television) photos, which is how I know the specific brand of boxer briefs he wears.

The week before my trip, I took a road-trip with my children. As we drove through the countryside, I saw an exit sign for a town with Chi-guy’s last name on it. I texted him a photo.

He shot back:  “Oh, yeah, I’m also the Mayor there in my spare time.”

I texted:  “Well, your Honor, what do I have to do to get into your CKs?”

Him:  “Nothing. You don’t even have to say ‘please.'”

Even writing about it today, I can feel the joy flood through my body. I was immediately relaxed, happy and confident that things were going my way. As a matter of fact, when my girlfriends asked about my prospects in Chicago, I smiled coyly and used the words “locked and loaded.”

The few days before my trip, I coasted on this confident knowing. Chi-guy was silent. Finally, two days before I flew, I texted him:  “SO EXCITED to see you this Friday!”

He texted:  “Oh, sorry, change of plans. Can’t make it.”

After an initial moment of shock, I thought it must be a joke…still, I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t know him that well…

Me:  “Bummer!”

Him:  “Just kidding. Looking forward to seeing you, too.”

This is what I call douchebag humor. Douchebag humor is when a man has a perfectly decent opportunity to pay an amazing compliment and, instead, chooses to try to be funny because it’s more satisfying to his own ego. In other words, if you are the woman on the receiving end of douchebag humor, you know how un-funny it is!

And, even though he had paid me a half-assed compliment in the end, “looking forward to seeing you” was stiff and formal compared to my “SO EXCITED” gushiness. He was running hot and cold, sending mixed messages…something was going on with him…

I decided to stay positive. After all, what single guy — after more than a decade of married sex — would turn down the opportunity to go to bed with a long-time crush?!


the divorce playlist, part 4

phase four:  freedom / victory / celebration

So maybe you’re not ready to date yet, but you’re feeling better about yourself and the direction you’re headed. You’re happy more often than not, maybe even triumphant that you’ve come this far, and you’ve found the kind of songs that make you feel like dancing in the kitchen:

my myth-busting mania

After another stupid example of how I waste my time (e.g. last Friday’s “date“), let me acknowledge that I am in regular struggle with two aspects of myself:

  • There is the side that knows, with confidence, who I am and with whom I connect. I was pretty sure that date was going nowhere before I even got to the restaurant. It was as though the eager fellow got me to say yes and then self-sabotaged every step to follow.
  • And then there’s the side of me that argues that I need break out of my comfort zone, explore people, places and situations I might not have before and give others a chance.

This struggle, it’s fair to say, is something I’ve been conscious of since college. There was a guy who was so determined to date me that I allowed him to talk me in to it, even though I knew he was not my intellectual equal. It was flattering to have someone work so hard to win me over, I suppose. I must have learned something from the experience…like…hmmm…I don’t know, I guess maybe I learned how great it can feel to break up with someone, how powerful to reclaim the self, when one realizes that their initial impression was correct.

Nearly 20 years on, I suppose I believe I should be beyond all this. I’m stronger in many ways, and I know myself better. Yet divorce has shaken my self-esteem to the ground and broken my heart wide open. And the prevailing advice is that I should keep an open mind and allow myself to receive attention from all kinds of men to hone in on what really feels good to me.

And then I hear tidbits like this:  a friend told me a few days ago that I shouldn’t be wasting my time with anyone whose net worth is less than a million dollars. This sort of standard feels a bit arbitrary, but I think there’s an important point behind it. Who do I believe to be my equal, my match? And why am I attracting anything less?

As I pondered all this, I realized I’m not sure how to balance all the conflicting messages that come my way. And, on some level, I must be putting out some energy that’s not quite resolved within myself. So I set myself to the task of identifying my beliefs and misconceptions about men and dating, so that I might begin to release or clear those that no longer serve me.

To give you an example of the type of junk I’ve found in my mind, I can specifically recall a time last year when I was thinking about Max:  I was driving a familiar road near my home, on my way to run an errand and I remember thinking what a great, genuine, kind man he is. And then, that back-talk voice in my head (the one I sometimes describe as “rational”) argued, “I wonder what’s wrong with him? No man is that nice!” Luckily, I noticed myself thinking this — that he must have an internet porn addiction or shoot up or beat his stepchildren or some other hideous hidden flaw — because I believed that he simply could not be the kind, thoughtful, gentle, sexy soul he was. So I challenged this notion. There is also inside me a perpetual optimist, someone who believes in the good in all of us. This voice queried, “What if that’s all and he’s just a decent guy? What if he is kind and faithful and committed and flirtatious and sporty — and what if he does have flaws like the rest of us, but he’s not bad at all?”

And so I embarked on a more conscious, programmatic approach to challenging the kind of beliefs that might hinder me in attracting my ideal mate and relationship. Here is some of the “junk” I found I was hanging onto:

  • I’ll never find my perfect mate.
  • It’s hard to meet men in this city.
  • I’m too overweight / frumpy / motherly to be attractive.
  • If a man loves me, there must be something wrong with him.
  • Attractive men my age want someone skinny, blond and 20 years younger.
  • No one wants a woman who already has children.
  • No man will fully and completely love the real me.
  • I always choose the wrong man.
  • I have to be careful about letting anyone see the real me.
  • I don’t know how to communicate my needs in a relationship.
  • I am fundamentally unlovable (flawed).
  • I fail at love.
  • My perfect mate is not here.
  • I’ve already met my perfect mate and he doesn’t know it or doesn’t want me.
  • Quality men are hard to find.
  • All the good men are taken or gay.

Some of this garbage has been in my head probably since my first crush in grade school; thus the contradictions. Who even knows where a lot of it comes from, as it’s certainly not all from direct experience. And these old, worn-out beliefs are not serving any positive purpose in my life, so I’m going to challenge them by over-writing them with some new ones:

  • The right kind of men find me attractive for all the right reasons.
  • I know myself well enough to choose a perfect mate.
  • My heart is open to the abundance in the universe.
  • I am fully and completely lovable just as I am.
  • I am able to share myself fully and authentically in relationships.
  • There are many wonderful, attractive, intelligent, kind and thoughtful men looking for a genuine emotional connection right now.
  • My perfect mate is seeking me right now.

So now I’m going to commit to being a little more open and willing to take risks. I will put myself out there, meet new men and, in the process, test these new beliefs to see if I can come up with some even better ones!

Chi-guy, part 3

About eight months ago…

One Friday I went to dinner with a colleague. He has a great mind and we always have fun talking together, and that evening was no exception. After dinner, I asked him, “what next?”

“You’re inviting me to your place,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. I wasn’t 100% sure where this was going, but I had a pretty good idea, as this fellow had been a little suggestive on occasion. I was still well within the time frame I’d designated for having casual encounters, so I figured, “why not?!” I won’t bore you with the details just now (you can find them here), but…I looked at the clock after he left; it wasn’t even 10pm.

I texted Chi-guy: “Just sent my date home. Ugh. U up?”

Him:  “For what?”

Me:  “Chat?”

Him:  “Oh, sweet! I’m out tonight. Tomorrow?”

Me:  “Sounds good. Enjoy!”

The next day, well after noon, I received this:  “I definitely had more fun than u last night! Call u after I get the little one to sleep.”

Me:  “If your fun night just left, I don’t want to hear about it. Talk later.”

Was I jealous of the thought that Chi-guy might have had better sex than I had the previous night? Or was a I jealous about the thought of him with another woman? Then it occurred to me:  I wanted to be the girl to recharge his mojo, dammit!

Chi-guy called at 11:15pm and we talked about relationships, marriage, divorce, children and more. He confessed that, leading up to the dissolution of his relationship, he’d begun to drink too much, maybe been a little depressed and other admissions that eerily paralleled the demise of my own marriage. At one point, he told me how the end had begun:  his wife asked him to see a counselor with her, a safe venue in which she could ask him to move out. The counselor advised him to respect her wishes, move out, cooperate and “make things easy on her,” because she would ultimately realize that he was not the problem.

“Dude, your counselor sucks!” I teased. “Mine told me to go out and get laid before my ex had even moved out!”

“I want your counselor!” he joked.

We confided and shared, comforted and laughed for more than two hours. His voice had grown more resonant than I’d remembered from years before and, while still not terribly masculine, there was something kind of sexy about it. I had always felt some sort of energetic connection with Chi-guy, but now a genuine emotional warmth was beginning to blossom.

Late the next morning I texted him:  “Can’t remember the last time I talked on the phone for more than 2 hrs and enjoyed it!”

Him:  “I know, so high school. Now I just need to hang your picture in my locker and give you a hickey.”

I immediately updated my Facebook status:  “Was just offered a hickey…tempted, but it’s not quite turtleneck weather.” Within moments, my bawdier girlfriends had commented, “Who says it has to be on your neck?” and the like.

“Going to wear your Letterman’s jacket everywhere. p.s. ck my fb status,” I texted.

Him:  “Now I see where u get your inspiration. If you out me, I will give you a hickey next time I see you! p.s. you’re going to have to give more than a hickey for my letter jacket.”

We bantered in high school terms for the day, until I wrote: “Why, I do believe you’re flirting with me!”

“I like flirting with you,” he wrote back.

And so my crush blossomed, and I began to believe in the possibility that Chi-guy could be back in action by Labor Day.

Meanwhile, my girlfriends were asking about the men in my life. I was still texting with Max, Anthony and Brendon, who were unavailable for various reasons, but gave my ego a little boost. Add Chi-guy — who was not a match geographically or astrologically. And I had dated a guy in college with the same given name, which sullied even that. Whatever this might be, it was going nowhere…but it might be a fun romp (and just what the doctor ordered).


conjuring the cougar #fail

Yesterday I went on a date with a man I’d met online. I use the term “man” here loosely; he was 26.

We’d been emailing back and forth and texting for a couple of weeks. When I told him he’d have to pay my sitter if he wanted to see me on the days when I have my children, he asked when they weren’t with me. I should have known better then. We talked for a few minutes the other night, and I didn’t find his voice particularly pleasant. I should have known better then. He asked if we could change the agreed-upon venue to someplace more convenient for him — and then chose a bland, American restaurant over something more adventurous. I should have known better then.

But he has his pilot’s license, is wrapping up an independent film that he co-wrote and produced, and is working while finishing an engineering degree, so I thought I’d give him some credit for having the maturity to achieve some goals. And the prevailing advice about how to meet men seems to suggest I should step out of my comfort zone. (Never mind that the prevailing advice about marriage suggests that I should lower my standards…)

As I was driving, probably half a mile from our intended meeting space and precisely one minute before we were to meet, he texted me, “Are you still coming?” I should have turned around then.

My misgivings proved true. He talked a pretty good game for a while but, in the end, he had come from the gym wearing workout attire — I mean the kind that looked sloppy, rather than the kind that highlighted a buff bod. Conversation was forced, until we got to the topic of flying. He seemed like a little boy in hoping to win the Sugar Mama lottery. He still had acne. He actually asked me how I wanted to handle the check at the restaurant. This baby was neither hot enough to coax out my inner cougar nor mature enough to hold his own with an intelligent, cultured woman. No wonder all of his photos were of him inside the cockpit of an airplane wearing a headset — he was insecure even about his looks.

Clearly, the perspective from which I write suggests that I have some expectations. Youngsters — aw, heck, men of all ages — if you want to conjure the inner wild cat (or even get a second date), take note of a few of them:

  • Dress to impress. I may wear jeans on a first date to keep it casual, but my clothes will be clean and well-chosen (i.e. you’re likely to see a little cleavage), I will have showered and put on make-up, etc. At 26, this baby should have known to put on some flattering jeans and a nice shirt rather than show up in sweats.
  • Come my way.  If you’re asking me out and we’ve already agreed on a location or neighborhood, don’t change the venue with the express purpose of making it more convenient for yourself. Demonstrate that you want to spend time with me through your willingness to meet on my turf.
  • Be accommodating. If I tell you sushi is my favorite food, either be willing to try something new to please or impress me, or offer an appealing alternative. I get that not everyone likes raw fish, but any urbanite who’s left their home in the past decade knows that sushi restaurants offer a lot more than fish, raw or otherwise — and rest assured, I can point out several options on a menu for carnivores. If that’s still scary, there’s a lot of ground to cover between Japanese and an American burger joint.
  • If you asked me out, you’re picking up the tab. Duh!

So, after all this, what’s my takeaway? Well, there are two:

First, lesson learned:  follow my gut and say no early and often. Date no one who I could not possibly imagine being my equal or an example to my children.

Second, re-examine and clear whatever energy I’m putting out there to attract men who are not in my league. This will take some real work (and may merit a post of its own).

the not-so-many splendors of man sex

About 8 – 11 months ago…

As mentioned previously, my counselor had recommended I allow myself to get out and have sex like a man. That is, sex unencumbered by any form of emotional attachment. After all, I was a libidinous nearly forty-year-old, and counting months between any sort of physical satisfaction was an awfully long time.

A mother of two, I no longer felt the need to preserve some sense of innocence — I clearly had no virginity to protect. And I didn’t have to “hold out,” as I wasn’t seeking any sort of relationship. Thus, I had given myself permission, within a certain window of time, to pick up men and sleep with them — safely, with protection — but without conscience. Not all of them were memorable, so I’m going to summarize a few here, rather than give each his own entry.

Okay, deep breath, this could get graphic:

Anthony:  My first post-marriage encounter (which I already wrote about here) was with a creative, attentive and sweet man who wanted to cuddle and talk. He was a great kisser. Our few hours together busted my myth that casual sex was impersonal, cold or awkward. He was genuinely interested in whether I was enjoying myself, took the time to prop pillows in the right places and incorporated a playful variety of techniques. Sure, there was plenty of room for improvement (after all, practice makes perfect). Yet the experience left me hopeful about new experiences to come…

Ze chef: I know a guy who cooks at a restaurant out East. We have a little history. So I felt confident that something would happen on my next trip there. He had text-book anatomy — straight, hard shaft, perfect mushroom top, and what I can only assume (based on my limited experience) was slightly above average length and girth. After minimal foreplay, he pulled me on top of him, and I was quickly satisfied. We rolled over, and he proceeded to move rhythmically, as though on a treadmill, until his eventual conclusion.

This approach is notable only because it was so surprising to me:  perhaps because my ex had always maintained such enthusiasm for it, I assumed men loved to go down and warm a girl up with a little oral action. I also assumed men loved boobs. I am generously endowed in this department, so I anticipated a little more attention to them. And then there’s the repetitious thing, as though he was on a stair climber — how about a little variety in thrust and tempo to keep it interesting? A girl is never going to achieve multiples that way! This guy had always carried a torch for me — why on earth wouldn’t he work at littler harder to impress? Ultimately, I have to say I was disappointed.

The entrepreneur:  However entrepreneurial my dinner date was in his daily work and in our fabulous conversations, he was a dud in bed. The second we were inside my door, his hands were all over me, his tongue was in my mouth and he was saying, “More tongue, more tongue…” We made it to my bed, our clothes falling piece by piece to the floor. Without further ado, he was on top of me trying to insert himself, his repeated mantra having changed to “stroke my balls, stroke my balls…” I tried to suggest, to guide, to see that my pleasure was also brought to the fore, but I was essentially a masturbatory aid. Clearly, he was most accustomed to his own handiwork (pun intended).

Thankfully, I was alone in my home by 10pm. Again, this was a guy who’d been interested for some time, so I definitely expected more from him…yet he will go down in my personal history for one thing only:  Worst. Lay. Ever. Even worse than any awkward high school or college first.

My casual experiences had only gone downhill. By this time, I couldn’t really decide whether I was more motivated than ever to seek out a great, hot younger lay or abandon the notion of casual sex altogether. At any rate, one path was clear:  I made a beeline to a boutique specializing in high-end adult toys for women and found surefire satisfaction.

reconnecting with Chi-guy, part 2

About 9 months ago…

I was back in the office at my big, corporate job, where each and every day was rife with irony, inconsistency and hilarious examples of English gone awry. Knowing Chi-guy was well-educated and literary (as well as baffled to find me in a buttoned-up corporate environment), I found regular inspiration for messages to him — e.g. “New word heard in meeting today:  ‘choiceful.’ Used as synonym for discriminating or discerning, as in ‘we need to be more choiceful about…'” and another day, “talking Kathy Griffin here — new word ‘vajazzle.'”

Chi-guy played along:  “You’ve got to be choiceful about who you let vajazzle you.”

Meanwhile, I thought about how excited I’d been to learn that he was single and what Suzanne had said. Chi-guy and I, it seemed, had nursed a mutual crush for more than seven years. We were miraculously single at the same time. He looked better than ever. And I was going to be traveling to Chicago three more times in the autumn, a short six weeks away.

We bantered via text and email for a few weeks. One day I texted, “Listening to Bob Schneider & thought of u:  ‘It’s not the end of everything, it’s just the end of everything you know.'”

Him:  “Wait, is that supposed to make me feel better?”

Me:  “I take great comfort in the possibility that what I don’t know might be better than what I do know. Besides, maybe it’s the part about the single girl thinking of u that makes u feel better?”

Him:  “Oh, yeah, that does make me feel better.”

I had a few Chicago contacts and offered to connect him for an informational interview, so we set up a time to talk on the phone. He thanked me for the regular messages and told me they were a bright spot in his day. It seemed we joked and laughed from the moment I picked up the phone to the time I hung up 30 minutes later. Whatever was between us was adding an unexpected and pleasant dimension to my work and single-parenting routine.

That’s when it came to me:  I could try to be for Chi-guy what Max had been to me — I would help him move on, remind him of his positive qualities and, though six weeks was an aggressive timeline, I made it my mission to help him get his mojo back. I wasn’t yet sure whether I would sleep with him, but I opened myself to the possibility of a romp. Neither of us were in a position to consider any sort of a relationship, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy each other in the moment.

I shared my plans with Suzanne. “You’re so altruistic!,” she mocked, rolling her eyes and laughing with me. “Sounds like fun!”

Chi-guy had seemed pretty devastated about the demise of his marriage when I’d met him for coffee. But I was determined to do what I could to resurrect his confidence, swagger and smile…and I would enjoy every minute of it!

My next text to Chi-guy:  “U r so smart & funny; I could talk to you 4ever!”


reconnecting with Chi-guy, part 1

About 9 months ago…

As I was planning a work trip itinerary to Chicago, I realized that I was entirely free until 10am one day. Normally my work trips were back-to-back, fully scheduled, non-stop action so, when I had an opening, I always tried to fill it with something just for me. I thought about the people I knew in Chicago and who I hadn’t connected with in a long time:  Chi-guy.

I messaged him through Facebook to ask if he was free for coffee. He was, and we agreed to meet in my hotel lobby in the morning.

The day before I flew, intuition told me to look at his Facebook profile to see if there was something I might use for a conversation starter — after all, it had been months since we’d communicated in any form. Oddly, though I knew he was married, his relationship status was not listed. I scrolled through his friends. I had a vague recollection of what his wife’s name was and what she looked like, and I didn’t see her.

When Chi-guy bounded up the stairs toward me the next morning, we kicked off with a hug and the usual pleasantries. He had lost weight and looked better than I’d remembered. I was in a short, cap sleeve dress, just on the verge of inappropriate for business, and had been reading the Wall Street Journal. He was dressed casually, and I learned that he’d been through a layoff and was getting by on freelance projects.

Meanwhile, curiosity was killing me. I looked for an opening and then exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, your daughter must be…how old now?!”

He told me she was nearly five, and showed me a photo on his phone.

“She’s darling! Are you having more? It’s about time to get cracking!”

His expression became glum and I learned that he had moved out in March (the same month my ex had moved out), that his wife had asked for a divorce only days ago and that he was struggling with all of this. Knowing how painful the dissolution of one’s primary relationship is, I felt — and expressed — deep and genuine empathy. Yet (again) something in the back of my mind was jumping up ecstatically shouting “YES!” and it was all I could do to contain myself. What luck to find that a long-time mutual crush was becoming single! Imagine the potential!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Chi-guy accompanied me to my room and carried my luggage downstairs. He asked respectfully if he should leave before my colleagues showed up. I insisted he stay to meet Suzanne, “She has a place in your hometown — you have something in common.” Back at the front desk, I introduced them and they chatted while I checked out.

Chi-guy and I hugged good-bye, promised to keep in touch and I set about my day of work with Suzanne, who waited approximately .25 seconds before launching into, “So…tell me about this guy…I mean, he’s great looking, he bikes, no ring, he’s obviously smart and articulate, seems like a really nice guy…”

“…who lives in a different city from me, is going through a divorce and doesn’t have a steady job, despite his MBA,” I countered.

“Think about it,” she encouraged, “we’ll be back in a few months. Maybe that’ll be enough time for him to get over it. Did I mention he’s incredibly handsome?”

Suzanne loves my taste in men. Physically, at least. She thought my ex was gorgeous, too. I liked the validation that he had impressed her and that, this time, it was more than just his looks.

While we were cabbing from one appointment to the next, I posted a note on Chi-guy’s Facebook wall:  “SOOO great to see you this morning! Keep in touch!”

He later texted, “You’re quick with the fb.”

“Just trying to keep the other girls guessing,” I flirted.

Later, as I was about to fly back home, I bid farewell to Suzanne and went to catch a train to the airport. Overhead announcements indicated my train was delayed. I text Chi-guy, “What does it mean that my train is delayed? 5 min? or am I going to miss my flight?”

He replied, “Usually 5 min, but if you miss your flight, call me. I’ll come pick you up.”

As I boarded my plane I texted back, “Bad news…caught my flight. Back to reality.”

“That is too bad. LMK next time you’re in town.”

But I knew I wouldn’t wait that long to be in touch with Chi-guy

about that guy I did like a man

About eleven months ago…

A few days after returning from my trip, as I was reflecting on how thoughtful my one-night lover had been, I decided to send him a note.

“Anthony, it was lovely,” I emailed. Short and sweet.

“It’s been a week, and I’m still smiling,” he replied. Thus began another long-distance flirtation. We emailed or texted a few times a week, and even spoke on the phone.

I enjoyed the attention, and I loved crafting 140 or fewer character flirtations.

“Your messages are like haikus,” he texted.

“More like Zen koans,” I corrected.

One night, while out for drinks with girlfriends, I confessed to him that I barely remembered his name, much less what he looked like. He wrote, “I was your first kiss, the first lover’s poem to grace your ears, the first flutter of breath on your neck, the first touch of your breast… Lover, you know me!” The girls and I swooned.

I’d previously held a belief that casual sex was cold, awkward and impersonal. Anthony, with his musical accent and charming banter, had taught me that it could be warm and playful.

A few months after our meeting, at the end of one of our conversations, he asked me if we might meet in another city for a weekend. And that’s when I realized we were on completely different pages in our lives. I was living a flirtation, and it was enough for me. He was thinking of seeing me again. My daily life felt like a struggle to pay the mortgage and parent my children with almost no support from their father (who was, at the time, still trying to be difficult). This was no time to think about jetting off to see a lover, particularly one with whom I could envision no future. The only way I could have made this work at that time was if he were in a position to be a sugar daddy. Does is make me a whore to think that way — that I might have considered it if he were picking up the tab? Looking back, I think I really needed an escape, so I won’t judge myself too harshly.

Anthony and I continue to be in touch occasionally. I think he likes my coolness (cruelty?) or views me as a challenge. Perhaps, given its effectiveness, this is an approach I should adopt towards men I really like…

a few lessons in online dating

I’ve had an online profile for a little over a month now, and I’ve learned some things along the way that surprise me:

First, I was surprised at the quality of men I was seeing, largely because many of them were really quite unattractive. Still, I found someone nerdy cute enough to correspond with and decided to keep an open mind.

When an opportunity popped up for me to learn which of my profile photos was most attractive, I took it and was, in turn, asked to compare profile photos from men across the site. I learned which photo was recommended for me to use as my primary profile photo and, later, received some surprising news:  I had been deemed — based on men across the site comparing my profile photo against others — more attractive than average, and would now be shown more attractive matches. Really?!? The surprise was not my own relative appeal, but that this blasted online site had been holding out on me, leading me to believe that most single guys were unappealing as hell! Thankfully, I’m now finding there are some men who are both single and good-looking!

Second:  People are flaky. I mentioned before that I’d had a date and a second one planned, but nothing further has panned out with that fellow. His life seemed to be getting complicated before communication dropped off altogether.

I’ve been targeted by some guys who simply stop writing after a few messages or can’t hold a conversation, one guy who “needs” a woman, and a few who are all about whether my photos are current. And there are men who haven’t invested the time to fill out their profile or answer compatibility questions, meanwhile expecting me to give them the time for coffee. Some haven’t even uploaded a photo — and I tend to assume there’s a reason for that!

Third:  You’ve got to roll with the positive feedback. It’s nice to hear that I have a beautiful smile, whether or not I’m interested — I’ll take it! There is a really cute guy I’d love to meet because he seems like a fun conversationalist and a good flirt. And now I’m being chased by a 20-something. I am mildly amused and flattered by this, and he seems young and eager and willing to do all the work.