We have strong values and beliefs and seek companions with the same. This drastically narrows the dating options, leaving us to wonder, is their any chance of finding a match?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Brain Dribble and Bad Boys...Same thing really.

So girls like to talk. It is one of those things burned into our DNA that has us communicating about everything. We are the queens of discussing everything we like and dislike - usually boys. And that is why I have jumped on the the bandwagon and exclaimed "giddy up" because truthfully, it fascinates me (and I can pretend someone actually reads the dribble that comes from the grey matter that is my brain).

It is a truth universally acknowledged that girls like to 'improve' things- usually things that are impossible to change. WHY oh why? Why do I get giddy over men that aren't good for me?

Last week as my female sensibilities demand, I was due for a Jane Austenish film viewing. Because I am a girl it must be so and anything in period pieces that involves a chaperone is a winner. Becoming Jane it is. So there is this character, Tom Lefroy who becomes Austen's lover (in the 1800s sense). He is cocky, a womaniser and pretty much a rude dude! Yet he still has a little sumfin sumfin that makes my heart give a little leap and pirouette in my ribcage. Our heroine Jane wins the bad boy's heart and he is a changed man, and his heart is hers. He would readily lose everything to be with her. Swoon.

So I was thinking this Lefroy, imagined or no is a character we all dream of. The one who changes his ways and sees the light because of one individual...that happens to be me. I ask myself is this ever a reality? Does this ever happen? Usually not, in fact it usually ends in low self esteem and puffy eyes. Time and time again I am blinded by the hope that his attention will last longer than how long it takes to corrupt me or get bored by my 'immovable' morals. I KNOW better! Yet Lefroy won my vote again.

Brain dribble complete.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Am I a Cougar?

Can you be called a cougar if you are the one being pursued?

For several years now I have been saying that I prefer dating younger men. I find that men my age are often single for a reason. Large generalization I realize, but go ahead and prove me wrong.

Lately a young man has started showing interest in me, and when I say young, I mean young. We have almost a decade between us, but he isn't at all bothered by this and continues to do all he can to see me. The attention is great, and I admire his confidence and at times it even brings out the shy little girl in me, feeling less like his older sister.

See, the thing that is so great about young men chasing older women is that they do so because they think we know what we want, and that we are emotionally mature. They find the younger girls to be unstable and have too many "issues". In contrast, the older fellas tend to label any woman over the age of 25 as "bitter, set in her ways, independent (not sure why that is a bad thing), full of issues, etc." They tend to like the younger lassies who will think everything they say is brilliant and not talk back.

Do we have a problem here? Why are the two genders at war with their own age bracket? It just doesn't seem right that a man and a woman in their early 30s aren't finding compatibility with one another. At that age we most likely have finished our schooling, no longer live with our parents, have perhaps done some travel, are working in a stable career. Why are we not wanting to be with our equal in life experiences?

I have some ideas about this, mainly that a lot of women get more confident with age, whereas men seem to lose some of this. Men may be confident in many aspects of their lives, but I think the stigma of being single makes them feel less accomplished. Guys seem to measure success by specific achievements; good job, nice car, cute girl. When they don't have all those things they feel like failures to some degree, and lose confidence as they continue in the struggle to tackle all three. This lack of confidence makes it harder for them to feel secure in who they are, especially when trying to represent themselves to accomplished and intelligent ladies.

Women seem to have the opposite response to age. Sure, we struggle with wondering why we are still single, but we often channel that focus towards improving ourselves to become happier and more desirable. We keep getting better with age, and then the confidence increases because we know we are quality catches. This in turn attracts the young lads, making us stand out from all the silly girls chasing after them and texting them 24/7.

So is there an answer to all of this? Are older women better off dating younger men, and older men better off dating the younger ladies? I'm not sure, because despite everything I have just written, dating is not black and white and at the end of the day it is not about age, but about finding your most compatible match and someone who makes you want to be a better person.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Capitalist Dating

One day my friend BB and I were chatting about the frustrations of Mormon dating and she so perfectly summed it up:

LDS dating is always a soap opera

it is like capitalism
all about supply and demand
winners and losers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

He's just not that into me - again?!

Is that always the answer? Lately I have been conducting a lot of research on dating and have been reading some great books, such as Why He Didn't Call You Back, and You Lost Him at Hello, and of course the ever so famous one, He's Just Not That Into You. The message is pretty clear: if he wants to call you, he will.

Okay, I understand that, and it makes perfect sense. I have believed and preached it myself, however are there ever exceptions to this? For instance, a few months ago I met this guy we'll call Gob. We met through friends at a gathering and spent the night chatting. The next day he asked our mutual friend (MF) to arrange a double date. It was a fantastic date and I got home thinking he would for sure call me. He didn't.

About a week or so later I heard that he had been talking about me to one of my girl friends, mentioning how cool I am. He brought me up and had nothing but positive things to say. Still, he didn't call.

A few weeks later I decided to do the junior high thing and ask MF what Gob was up to, and mentioned that I had a good time with him, but wasn't sure if there was any point in holding interest. MF told me that Gob had a lot of fun with me and thinks I'm really cool, but he's really slow and doesn't really ask girls out. This is where I should be recognizing alarm bells, but instead I take this as hope.

The next night I see MF and he tells me that he had talked to Gob earlier saying he would be seeing me that night, and Gob said he wanted to come along but couldn't, so he asked for my number. Still, he didn't call.

One week later he's talking to mutual girl friend and brings me up to her and asks if I have a cell phone yet. Seriously, do boys really think that the info doesn't come back to us?? She doesn't know about him already having my number from MF, so she gives it to him. Still, he didn't call.

I am perplexed by all of this. If he just isn't that into me, why does he bother bringing me up and asking for my phone number - from two different people? It's amazing what one date can leave you feeling, but I liked this guy, and I wanted to see him again. I decided as a last effort I would email him and ask what he has been up to. He immediately wrote back and asked me - get this - if I have a cell phone yet. There we have 3 separate requests from 3 different people for one simple little number. What does this mean? Either he's super flaky and keeps forgetting, or he is shy and wants to have the number directly from me, or he's just a doofus. Whatever the reason, he still didn't call.

I know you are thinking I should have given up in paragraph 2, but it's hard enough to find a guy in the Mormon world of dating that I actually want to see again, so when he gives a small glimmer of hope, I hold on like a kid to a helium balloon. If you let go, you fall hard onto the pavement, watching that balloon float away, with no sign of another one coming along anytime soon.

Two weeks after he got my number from me, I ran into Gob at a church event and we chatted. It was slightly awkward, mostly because I was feeling a bit shy, having built up my idea of this guy over the 2 month period of waiting for him to call. We talked about tennis* because he plays quite frequently, and I tell him I'm jealous that he can play and has a summer hobby. I wasn't looking for anything in this innocent comment, but he then says he'll teach me. I tell him that would be a bad idea because I have zero experience, but he insists. Of course now I'm thinking, sweet, he wants to go out again! Later in the evening he spots me and again says that he'll call me and we'll go play tennis. I'm ecstatic! He does like me! He asked me out! Wrong.

One week later, and no call. Tonight I was talking to my brother and mentioned that Gob still hadn't called. He turns to me and says, "Sis, he's not going to call. I'm sorry." Ouch! How does he know that? He doesn't even know Gob. Why does he know this? Because he's a boy, and he knows that if he wants to call a girl, he will. Otherwise, he's just not that into her.

*sport has been changed to protect the boy's true identity

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Come on, jump in

Dealing with the emotions of dating relationships is tricky stuff. As soon as we develop an interest in someone we immediately become emotionally vulnerable. It's hard to control those feelings, and the more the other person gives you, the more you want him. Before you know it the boy is consuming all your thoughts and suddenly your other interests and goals seem less significant in the great scheme of things.

Why is it then, that when we are dealing with such delicate feelings, ones that can be so easily crushed and destroy all our hopes and dreams, that we dive in head first? It's risky, dangerous, could leave us with a serious head injury, but we dismiss all that and take the risk, often crashing and causing a concussion of the heart.

Several months ago I got back in touch with a male friend whom I've known for a few years. We were living on separate continents while I was overseas studying, but we flirted via email and then we started Skyping. He got serious very quickly, wanting to know how often we would talk, and asked me to be his girlfriend. Keep in mind we had never been on a date, so I declined the offer, however we discussed having interest in one another and no one else, and wanted to develop things until we could see each other in person. We started talking every day and this went on for about a month and a half. As this was happening, my feelings started to catch up with his as he started using pet names and telling me all his plans for our future. He even made a joke about our future grand kids - gasp! I liked him. He was exactly my type, and I was falling, but not as quickly as he was.

Things seemed great during that time, but then he suddenly started to pull back, and made comments about us just being friends and how he was trying to find someone locally. I'm sorry, but are you planning dates with all your girl friends, calling them "Sweetie" and signing off with love hearts? If so, you've got more to deal with than a slew of angry girls. After that, things started to die. By the time we were on the same continent again there was nothing from him. He had sure been keen on labeling the relationship, but not on ending it. I'll never get my closure, or the grand kids.

It was a tough time for me, but I saw a pattern I've seen many times before. He got really excited about the idea of me. I could check off his boxes and he thought he wanted me. He made that decision as soon as I gave some mild reciprocation, and then off he goes planning our wedding. Just as I start to catch up, he's already submitted the divorce papers and back into the singles scene. Why do guys do this? Why can't they just simmer down, get to know the girl, and then gradually increase the contact and the dating in order to truly build a relationship?

Tonight I was talking to a dear friend of mine who has sadly just experienced a cliff jumper of her own.
  1. They made meaningful eye contact in a social gathering
  2. He got her number
  3. He started asking her out and sending cute text messages
  4. He held her hand
  5. He sent a text message saying that he didn't want to lead her on and that they should just be friends.
What the what?! It's a little too late to not "lead her on". What does that even mean? He already showed he liked her, but somewhere between a few dates and hand holding he changed his mind for whatever reason. Instead of manning up and saying why, he pretends nothing was ever there.

It's a common story for the gals, and we are always left bewildered, feeling the lingering sting of the slap to the face that came from nowhere. There is no point in trying to slap back; he's already gone.