In Online Dating, It’s a Small World After All

src: justaboutthedetails.com

One of my favorite aspects of online dating has been the opportunity to broaden my horizons and open up the doors to a more diverse pool of potential mates. Through online dating, I have had love affairs with two Canadians and dated British and Polish expats. I’ve had a fling with a pilot, dated two sexy cops and a few men involved with the military in some form. I’ve been involved with a Christian rocker, a chef, a world-class track athlete, a videographer, a psychotherapist, a neuroscientist, a pathologist—and a pathological liar.

I’ve also found myself in relationships with men I’d previously considered to be swimming outside of my dating pool due to their “status”—while not taboo, they were not exactly most desirable to me either. These have included young divorcees, significantly older men with a lot of emotional cargo and fathers of young children or grown kids.

This mixed bag of men doesn’t even include the long cast of colorful characters I’ve simply had multiple conversations with through phone, text and emails. It’s definitely been a wild trip, and for the most part an adventure from which I’ve learned a lot.

Yet one of the most surprising things I’ve learned about online dating is how small a world it really is. Whether I find friends of friends, matches from other online dating sites, friends’ exes, my own exes or other faces from the real world, it can feel either like kismet or damn bad luck when my next match rolls around.

Find out just how small the online dating world can be over on The Singles Warehouse in my latest post:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2012/05/in-online-dating-its-a-small-world-after-all/

How About We…Forget About Age for A Moment

src: brokelivin.com

Everyone is the age of their heart.  ~Guatemalan Proverb

My regular readers know that I haven’t been too shy about trying out various dating sites with varying degrees of success. Though I’ve had my share of horror stories and hilarity, I also met the V-Man and Mr. Etiquette through Match.com, and more recently, my heart and mind became entangled with The European off OkCupid, which prior to I had mostly referred to fondly as OkStupid.

Then I started hearing some fellow dating bloggers talk about this site HowAboutWe. What set this site apart from the rest, as far as I could tell, was that its aim seemed to really be focused on getting people right off their computers and meeting in real life. One could suggest a date:

How about we….check out a Poetry Slam on Great Poetry Reading Day

or

How about we…pack a lunch and hike to the peak of Talcott Mountain

or

How about we…grab a beer and watch the NCAA Basketball Finals together

Whatever floats your boat, you can throw it out there, and see if anyone else is intrigued enough by your date proposal or your profile alone, and you can go from there. It seemed like a pretty interesting idea, so I put up a profile but refused to pay money for a membership.

A few weeks ago, I received an email for a 72-hour free access to the site, meaning I could exchange emails and do all the things a regular member could do. Honestly, there were only about three or four people who were even vaguely interesting, but one profile in particular caught my attention. One guy, whose proposed date was a fun and active one, had done a mountain bike race through EMS in Nepal, of all places!

Nepal—the country that had mystified and bewitched me more than 10 years earlier when I accompanied my college boyfriend on an organized study trek there at nearly the last minute. With the breathtaking sights, the myriad of sounds, the vibrant colors, the tantalizing smells, the warm and friendly people, the completely unfamiliar yet intriguing culture, the spectacular geography, it was love at first sight.

The couple of times I had met someone who had also been to Nepal, it was as if we immediately became members of a society with our own secret language and shorthand. So here was another person from Connecticut who had actually been to the country in an intense way. I didn’t even care if there was a romantic connection, but I knew I wanted to meet him.

We exchanged an email or two on the site before he disappeared for a couple of weeks. In my email back to him, I told him I only had free access for the weekend so gave him my personal email address. Not hearing from him, I was a bit disappointed, but life goes on.

Then I got an email from an unfamiliar address, and it was the man of Nepal, telling me he had been in a work bootcamp for the last couple weeks. He didn’t pull any punches, asking for my number if I was willing and suggesting that maybe we could meet sometime. How about we, indeed?

To abbreviate, we had a nice phone conversation and quickly set up a date for a few days later. The plan was to go this restaurant in the city, where we’d grab dinner before heading downstairs to their comedy club. I arrived to the place a little late, fortunately at the same time as he was coming in, and I was surprised by his appearance. He seems quite a bit older-looking than I thought he’d be, I thought to myself, but I returned his very warm smile and we went in to dinner.

We had great conversation over our meal, finding out that we shared many things in common. Not only did we have very similar impressions and spiritual takeaways from our respective trips to Nepal, but we shared a lust for travel in general, a passion for health and wellness, music, foreign and independent film and, more importantly, we seemed to have similar philosophies on many aspects of life.

In the course of our talking, he also told me how he had previously been married for 26 years, that he had met his wife as a late teen. He had a son and daughter, the latter graduating with a five-year degree this year, and I sat there me trying to do the math in my head. Okay, technically he could still be 45 or so, right? Not that it mattered.

The night progressed to the comedy club, where we were fortunate enough to actually see three humorous comedians. None of them made me want to cringe or throw tomatoes from my seat. Renaissance Man, as I have dubbed him for having a plethora of talents and interests in an array of fields, who laughed at all the appropriate times too, told me, “You have the greatest laugh!”

With his hand on my back, we made our way back up to the restaurant where a two-man band was playing. Again, fortune was on our side as these guys made up a phenomenal act. In addition to enjoying the music and our conversation with each other, I was also noticing how personable Renaissance Man was with everyone—male or female, young or old, waitress or performer, it didn’t matter. He praised them, asked them interested questions and you could tell made them feel good about themselves.

I told him I noticed this later in the car, after he’d paused in the middle of a surprisingly heated kissing session to say, “You are incredibly beautiful. Here,” pointing to the bare skin at my neckline, indicating my heart. “Here,” tenderly caressing my face. “And here,” he said pointing to the side of my head, making reference to my mind.

So, it seemed, was he.

After he dropped me off at home, with ideas percolating for future dates, curiosity got the better of me, and I logged into the site to see if I could still see his profile. That milestone birthday he recently celebrated certainly was a big one, I thought, laughing with surprise. But other than a few signs of enjoying the weather on his handsome face, one would hardly guess.

Ironically, I had just had a long conversation that week with a classmate of mine who was married to a man 20 years older than she (there’s less of an age difference between me and Renaissance Man, btw). “He looks so much better than a lot of men 10 years younger than he is,” she told me. “He is so full of energy, and we don’t even notice the age difference. He takes such great care of me, and we just are a great team.”

That, I thought, is what really matters.

I remembered how once Mr. Etiquette was around his kids, the 10 years of age difference between us that sometimes became apparent in his old-fashioned thoughts and occasional parental way of behaving, melted away instantly. While he was more mature than all the previous guys I’d dated before, he was also one of the most playful, and we had so much fun in the happy periods of our relationship together.

So I look forward to my second date with Renaissance Man tomorrow, and our third date on Saturday, and we’ll just take it day by day. If there’s one thing my years of dating has taught me, romance can sometimes come in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected forms.

Age is a question of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  ~Leroy “Satchel” Paige

Profile of the Week: Brother From Another…Dimension

After yesterday’s excitement of the earthquake along the East Coast…that I didn’t feel—don’t cry for me, D.C., I used to live in California—I was feeling drained. I had recently finished an article that required a lot of research from multiple sources and listened to several painfully long lectures from my online school, as well as worked my body hard enough to feel the muscle burn. So when my phone beeped, alerting me that I had received a new email from, you guessed it, OkCupid, I was hesitant to look at a message from a guy calling himself “Call Me Sincere”:

I feel immensely attracted towards the way you look…after reading about what you’ve decided to enter about yourself I am glad that my brain’s heart is as pleased as my mind’s eyes…think it’s probable we could get to know one another and stay connected…we both don’t know where we may be in the future, but I’d like to know you

I wish I could share with you his entire profile for sheer entertainment value alone. Reading his metaphysical—read: cryptic to the point of unintelligible at times—and rambling treatise, you could add an extra laugh (or dozen) to your day. However, I’ll try to limit it to some of the highlights:

Although my pictures should speak a thousand words I will translate for those that have already misread me.

One photo is all tripped-out, psychedelic. The other photo just shows a relatively pleasant looking young guy; definitely nothing to blow me away. And seriously, dude, anyone with photo editing software can “speak” a thousand words.

I’ve mingled with different races & love Women in all shapes & sizes

I know he’s trying to show he embraces diversity, but “mingled with” just rubs me…in all the wrong ways.

I’m ecstatically eclectic yet stoic

What?? ‘Nuff said.

-apod.nasa.gov

This native of Trinidad likes: writing poetry, practicing Kundalini yoga, debating political issues, viewing sunrises and… observing unidentified flying objects in meteor showers.

For those who put weight to such things, he states his personality type, ENFJ, on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. He’s Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging. Immediately following this, he says how he’s inspired by atoms and colors.

Sincere is modest about what he’s good at:

(everything I touch, hmmm similar to King Midas)

Seriously I succeed at anything I wholeheartedly put my mind-power towards. Remaining in touch with my spirit/inner child+ using both hemispheres of my brain = acting as a free spirit transcending all dimensions.

A high school graduate, Sincere is fascinated by the field of psychology (surprise) and presumably is in college now, as he has aspirations to get his PhD. Besides, being a psychologist, he’s “set on creating the next children’s educational-entertainment-empire such as Spongebob Squarepants, Sesame St & Dora the Explorer.”

I wonder if he’s also considered work in guided imagery because he says all the right things. On a typical Friday night, when not with loved ones, he’s meditating, “knowing ALL is perfect as the present unravels our bright future.”  AND…

I can feel my heartbeat in the tips of my fingers & throughout the entirety of my body I feel the streams of my life flowing.

Like many enterprising young people, he wants to start and run a business. Admirably, he also wants to start schools in impoverished areas (though quoting GI Joe: “knowing is half the battle”) and open up orphanages and community centers. But I found some of things he foresees in his future rather unusual: breed racing horses to be champions and sturgeons to harvest caviar…and designing a home with an indoor garden to, wait for it, “breed butterflies & sugar gliders.” Hey, you have to love someone who dreams big.

-www.vstyleblog.com/

Sadly, Sincere knows people first probably view him as “mediocre street-thug,” but he smiles big when inspired, and he behaves “gentlemanly like an aristocrat with my heart on my sleeve & my brain on my heart which I equally treat like medals of honor.”

One private thing he was willing to admit that I found slightly humorous (it was better than his story about getting pinched on the butt by giggling girls while he was working as a janitor):

I’ve recently been told I resemble Steve Urkel;

I’ve recently been told I resemble Tiger Woods;

Another thing he reveals, perhaps to establish some street-cred:

I’ve been a gang-member as a teen! Sold community altering drugs later on when I legally became an adult! Been to jail, a few times!

However, again admirably, he’s learned from his past:

I use my brain more than my fists! I have fully realized that a life of crime can only lead to two places (jail or dead) & only after experiencing it first hand have I learned the error of my ways.

And there is a happy ending to the story:

Therefore my decision to become a psychologist to help people who may have a chance to be saved before they turn into the zombies of the street.

So, if you’re still reading, check Sincere out if he possesses qualities you like: “tall, dark, amazing” or you:

wanna make some memories to last forever.

(Don’t say no just because you don’t know, find out for yourself)

Sorry, Sincere. I’m saying no. But I sincerely wish you the best. And I’m out.

Adventures in Babysitting–Er, Dating

The Queen of Cougars, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher

As I said before, I was hesitant to go on a date with The Kid, the 28-year-old guy who happens to live rather close to me. Although it seemed we had quite a bit in common, I was afraid he and I wouldn’t be at similar stages in our lives.

I remember 28. I thought I knew who I was, but I really had only scratched the surface of growing into that person. And I’ve dated so many men in their mid- to late-30s these days who still have no clue how to navigate an adult, long-term relationship.

Still, I decided to go for it.

I found out the Kid was taking college courses as a freshman in high school. He has been working professionally since he was 16. He dropped out so that he could get his GED and move on more quickly in his chosen path, and doors kept opening up to him. He easily makes more than double what I make, he’s brilliant and incredibly driven, but he’s such a laidback guy…the opposite of intimidating. We share many similar passions and interests, including music, technology, nutrition and health.

Our conversations are like Double Dutch jump rope—weaving in and out at different spots, requiring attention and thought, while also being playful and fun. He sincerely wants to know what I think about a particular topic, and he listens to what I’m saying, asking follow up questions or looking into books or documentaries I bring up.

We’ve gone out twice now, and he’s on his way to Texas for a 10-day vacation. I don’t feel the crazy zing of knock-you-off-your-feet romance with him. But that seems besides the point. Whether it’s a low simmer to boil relationship or we continue to build a friendship, I’m really happy that the Kid and I are getting a chance to get to know each other. He’s good people. And I think it’s hilarious when he says to me, “You ready to go, kid?

Rocking the Cradle Part II

After things went so well with The Kid, I stepped into my date with BBoy, only a few years younger than I, with less hesitancy. We had chosen to go on a hike for our first date. Considering that most of my recent long walks ended up with me on the floor, this was a rather bold and risky move, particularly on one of the hottest days of the year to date. However, I figured I was up for the challenge.

After the excruciating hike—both of us were covered with sweat, I was relieved to see—we wound up by the waterside, where we sat and talked for hours. We covered all those taboo first date topics—past relationships, religion, politics, money. BBoy is a great storyteller, and he had me laughing much of our time together.

The hours flew by, so much so that when we finally decided it was time to leave, we were astonished to discover it was after 8 p.m., more than four hours after we first set out. The sky deceptively gave no indication we had moved beyond the evening.

One concern? He hasn’t been in a relationship in five years. He claimed it was because he’s choosy. His last two relationships, and really only significant ones, ended in fidelity. He said openly that he’s looking for a wife at this stage in his life. I almost fainted hearing that come out of his mouth; it’s unusual to hear this sincerely from guys of a certain generation these days.

Another concern is the heavy sarcasm. I can handle a rather large dose of it, but if that’s the only way you’re relating to people, it gets old after a while, even when it’s not pointed condescendingly at you. Also, we disagreed on one of the taboo topics, but again, that’s not something new, though ideally I’d like someone more open-minded than BBoy on that front.

I actually found BBoy a little more immature than The Kid, but that had nothing to do with age and all to do with attitude. No shocker there.

Sometimes It Really Is Too Good To Be True

So, one day the following week I receive the OkCupid alert that HE is checking me out.  He happens to be a very attractive musician who lives the next town over, so I shoot him an email. Before too long, this guy, let’s call him The Player, replies, “Yours is certainly the most interesting and intriguing emails I have ever received on a dating site before!” He recently moved here from out West, loves to hike, writes and plays his own music and suggested we get together to do all these things.

The Player and I somehow became Facebook friends (I know, I know!) I saw pictures of his adorable daughters—one of them an adopted girl from Asia with special needs; another thing to connect on as I had worked in special education for a couple years. I saw that he had a gazillion “friends,” many of them probably fans of his music. And then I read one of his Notes.

You know those passive-aggressive notes—addressed to someone in particular but because it’s under the heading of ‘Note,’ and written with enough ambiguity, every “friend” can read it and try to guess what it’s all about.

I knew he was divorced, but this note made mention of another recent divorce after a brief marriage. When I asked him about this, he said he’d been married for 15 years to one woman, and then was married for one year, saying that had been really poor judgment.

He invites me to a show his band is playing in a couple days. In our exchanges he teases about how men must be chasing after me. I tell him he must have the same problem with the ladies. He replied that once they find out he’s a Christian, that sends most of them running.

Looking at some of his photos and comments he shares with his friends, I get a feeling…call it a case of déjà vu from the Christian Rocker. I ask him if he’s a Sunday Only Christian or an Every-Day-of-the-Week Christian.

Born Again "Bad Boy" Stephen Baldwin

Those of you with any experience with self-proclaimed religious folk, especially born-again Christians, know what I’m talking about. There are people who are go to church on Sunday, but throw out all the lessons learned all the rest of the days of the week and totally live it up until the next Sunday when they are back for the next sermon. And then there are Christians who live and breathe their faith every moment of every day.

Most Christians I have met who are around my age have been of the former persuasion. Especially in my generation, there are people who shout about their faith from the mountaintops but are bigger hypocrites, more judgmental, more promiscuous, party harder, etc than the average non-religious person.

I jokingly asked The Player which persuasion he was. He honestly said he was a Sunday-only Christian, trying to get back to an every day one. This wasn’t really a big deal to me either way, but since he said being religious affected his dating life, I really wanted to see if he would be straight with me.

Anyway, he asked me to see his band play that weekend. I took a day to get back to him because I found out we were watching my niece and nephew while my brother and his wife were out of state. So Saturday evening, the Player writes back saying, “I hadn’t heard from you, but I wanted to let you know I am meeting up with someone before the show. I didn’t want it to be awkward for you if you were planning on coming.”

After days of this guy teasing me how I must have zillions of guys chasing after me, I had to roll my eyes. A true player.

Supposedly, he and that woman instantly fell for each other, spent the rest of the weekend together. This past weekend, she and her kids spent the weekend with him and his daughters, “pretending they were the Brady Bunch,” he told me in a text. He had the nerve to ask me if it bothered me to hear about this. I said absolutely not; I was glad he found someone he was happy with.

Frankly, I was incredibly relieved to have escaped without being the next stop on his fickle women world tour.

Being Willing to Take The Leap

The Sunday before last, I was supposed to go on the second date with The Kid. We were going to go for a hike and grab lunch in one of my favorite areas in Massachusetts. I wasn’t overly excited for another day of punishing my limbs in a hike, but I was looking forward to the view and another day of great company and conversation. Yet before we could there, something, or rather someone, got in the way.

The Scot is someone who emailed me many weeks earlier. He lived in Long Island, yet I had popped up in his matches. He said he lost that email, but remembered my nickname, so kept searching the site until he found me. Anyway, it was a sweet email. We exchanged a few, IMed a bit, and then he disappeared.

Well, that week, the Scot reappeared. He apologized for going MIA, asking if I wanted to know why. I said sure, was it that he had met someone else? He said no, no, totally wrong line of thought. Apparently, he was thinking so far ahead, according to him, that he was imagining us liking each other so much that we’d wind up in some tortured long-distance relationship.

I teased, “Maybe we should try a phone call before we worry about all that.”

Love is Taking That Leap -redbubble.net

So we did. Five or six hours later, we had established that yes, we had a really nice connection that was worth taking to the next step. In fact, we were going to go crazy and meet sort of halfway the next day. He would take the ferry to Connecticut, and I would take the train down to the town where his ferry let him off

It was spontaneous, reeked of the wildly romantic side of me I’d pretended was no longer a part of me (and he’s 40) and yet it sounded like great fun. I took a raincheck with The Kid, and made my way to meet the Scot.

We had a full day of getting lost in a part of the state I had never really spent time in. We found a tasty Indian restaurant, then made our way to a park by the Sound, where there was a hopping cover band playing and the beach was lined with sunbathers. We grabbed some ice cream and found a spot on the boardwalk to do more chatting, then moved our way under the trees.

The Scot was as sweet and kind, while also being funny and having a little wild side. He was up for adventures, is close to his family and has a strong group of friends. He is a great listener and I felt like we really enjoyed hearing what the other had to say. It was truly disappointing that the day had to end; we really had enjoyed ourselves, and yet the geographic distance between us was still acutely there.

Was it worth it? Totally. Sometimes you just have to take the leap, no matter how unrealistic the chances are. I got a text from him the other day as he was on his way to D.C. for work saying he should’ve asked me to come along. Next time, maybe.

There’s no rush. I had a lovely second date with The Kid before he went to Texas for 10 days. I’m totally caught up in this new, year-long program I’m studying online now, and I love the people I’ve been meeting through it and the things we’re studying. I’m focused on a new direction in my own wellness plan. There are still many other areas of my life needing care and attention.

So no, there’s no rush at all. Right now, I’m just enjoying the adventures that come my way.

It’s the Eye of the Cougar

I haven’t written here since the amusing goodbye to Mr. BFD, he who is obsessed with Brazilian women. My absence is not because of Mr BFD because he is long out of sight, out of mind. It’s just that my dating life had become rather stale, taking a back-burner to a new one-year program I’ve recently begun, writing about topics not involving relationships and dating, and enjoying the fact that my body is behaving better than it has been in a long time.

Source: Damian Dovarganes/ AP

This does not mean I have stopped looking at my online dating options. I’ve been ready to take down my profile on Match for a couple weeks now. The only person of interest who has emailed me lately is a divorced man with five children, three of whom are adopted, with the two biological children under the age of 5. I say he’s of interest because I’m wondering how the heck a couple ends a marriage after investing so much into their relationship as to adopt three kids. He’s not the first divorced man I know who has young children, but the writer in me also is curious how a couple divorces when they have a 2-year-old child.

These are things an inquiring mind really wants to know—I might want to write a fictional piece that includes a similar scenario one day, after all. But other than that, there are guys who email me who don’t particularly interest me, guys I’m interested in who never respond, or guys I’m interested in who respond enthusiastically for a while before one of us drops the ball.

But then two guys from OkCupid surfaced. In one corner: The Kid. Five years my junior, The Kid is a fellow musician and composer, loves be in the outdoors, travel, does volunteer work, is a self-described nerd, has a very successful career in computers, and he independently found my health and wellness blog and sincerely enjoyed reading it, as he also has an interest in nutrition and related stuff, which earned him brownie points.

In the other corner, we have BBoy, who is only a year or two younger than me, but still I’ll throw him in the “Younger Guy” category since, with one exception, the men I’ve been in relationships with in the last 10 years have all been at least five years older than me. BBoy works in IT from home, is very athletic (softball, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and yes, break-dancing.) He has a garden and apparent makes killer cheesecake and fudge (yes!)

Apparently some time ago, I initially contacted BBoy on Match, but due to some credit card mishap, he no longer had an account, and he found me on OkCupid. He was very pleased to because he was eager to write me back and get to know me. Honestly, I didn’t even remember the guy, but earlier that same day, I had found his profile and thought to myself, I should write this guy sometime..

So I am going out with The Kid tonight to some “casual” restaurant in the middle of a rose garden that serves fancy food, but I was told to wear jeans. Not likely, but we’ll see. Tomorrow, BBoy and I are meeting at a park on the water, where he had break-dancing practice this past week.

BBoy and I had a really nice, easy conversation yesterday. The Kid and I talked on the phone a couple days ago, and I found myself going on too long and he had to go to sleep, so he kept saying, “We can talk more about it when we see each other on Friday.”

One of my closest friends predicts The Kid will be a better match, but who knows? It might very well turn out that neither of them makes it to a second date.

My German friend, T, will be coming back to the U.S. in early September to visit her friend in Maryland who is having a baby, and she wants all of her favorite people (minus those in Germany) to be there for her birthday party. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is bringing his girlfriend. I refuse to go if I don’t have someone to go with, even if it’s just a friend. There’s only so much humiliation a girl can take.

I haven’t seen Berkeley PhD in a while because we both have been very busy. I think we’ve settled into the “friends” category, which is fine as I always welcome new, interesting friends.

Is Dating A Battlefield?

Pat Benatar sang about how love is a battlefield, but dating shouldn’t be too, right?

Have you ever been on a date that feels like a competition? I’m not talking about friendly ribbing over a game of pool or seeing who can better jam Rock Band on the Wii.

I’m talking about competition where every experience and detail about your life that you share for the purpose of revealing more about yourself instead feels more like a rap battle scene with Eminem straight out of 8 Mile.  The person with the wittiest, most dynamic tale comes out the victor. Well, that’s how my date on Friday night felt.

Christian Rocker knew I had lived in a few different places in my life. I had told him what it was like living in Las Vegas (yes, folks—there is much more to living in that city than The Strip.) But the place for which I had most fondness and enthusiasm was California.

On the night of our date, after I vaguely told him I went to college in the Bay Area of California, he told me that instead of going to college, he decided to pursue his big dream instead—taking odd jobs here, making sacrifices there before he finally made it with his music some seven years later. I think he wanted to be admired for taking the braver, nobler path. While I agreed it took courage to doggedly follow a big dream, living at home until the age of 25 also made things a heck of a lot easier, didn’t it?

I wanted to tell him that I went to college also as a path to pursue one of my dreams. Immediately after college, I found myself working in a dream job in some fashion, though it wasn’t exactly how I imagined it. I shortly left that job and went through a couple more slightly related jobs, while struggling with health. Eventually, I changed career paths while soul searching and pretending I no longer had that particular dream because I couldn’t get a foothold back into it again for more than 10 years. After living a completely different life for so long, my dream dropped right into my lap last year.

If he hadn’t been too busy setting up his next line of questions and stories, I would’ve shared that story with him. I’d had a number of setbacks and sacrifices as well.

Then he told me about his travels, his amazing trip to Iceland and the ancient architecture of Amsterdam. He asked me about my own trips to Europe, but I felt like he was waiting for his next time to talk. I could’ve told him about the ice cave I visited in Chamonix, France, with furniture carved of ice and the cave lit up in pretty colors. I could have told him about the enchanting fairy tale village of Oberammergau, Germany, with scenes of Little Red Riding Hood decorating one home and other frescoes.

I began to tell him about my trip to Nepal. Most people have a million questions about what it’s like and what I saw there. I started to tell him about the Dashain festival where animals are sacrificed in the village square and about a young girl who is chosen as the “living goddess.”

I started to speak of the young children hungry to learn about us, but he was already telling me about his week and half mission trip to Haiti, where he taught music to children in an orphanage. He told me how wealthy-looking white men were apprehended, stripped of their wallets and, in some cases, hog-tied. It was a fascinating tale, but I couldn’t help feeling like he was trying to one-up me, so I stopped talking.

I had the same feeling when we talked about favorite music concerts, the best music gig we’d performed and just about every topic that came up. I didn’t feel at ease with a back-and-flow conversation. I didn’t feel like I was on an enjoyable date with a interesting guy with fascinating stories. I felt like I was taking a test, and failing.

Dating shouldn’t be this hard. And I’ve done enough of it to know it usually isn’t.

But I wasn’t overly disappointed. Toward the end of the night, he told me about his desire to get a sleeve of tattoos down one arm. While he has several already, the other day, he was on the fence about getting another tattoo or getting a new musical instrument. Sounded like a no-brainer to me, but…

Not that there is anything wrong with tattoos; I’ve dated plenty of men with them. Yet I wonder what Christian Rocker is going to look and feel like when he’s 60, and he’s staring down at his wrinkly arm of tattoos while playing with his grandkids. Will he still find them as cool when he’s 80?

At least it’s not as bad as a friend of a friend who is my age and just got a tattoo on his face. Um, yeah. His best friends didn’t even know what to say about that one.

Before our date, Christian Rocker told me he’s ready to start settling down, find a life partner and have some kids. But I have a feeling he still has a few years of growing up to do first. That’s one cradle I won’t be rocking.

I don’t need to be impressed by stories. Woo me with the man behind the stories.

Email of the Day: Now Women Are My Drug

Earlier this week, I received the following email on OkStCupid that put me on Cloud…well, .023

I,m new in this coputer thing period. I’m just loofing to meet some friends. I;m very busy most of the time. you look very sexy and sound very interrested. Ill I have some more and better picktures of me on this site by next week. I f you want call my cell number any time (xxx-990-xxxx) you pronounce the name I-knowledge. I hope you respond back or call. PEACE!!

Less you think I am meanly mocking someone whose first language isn’t English, this fellow was “born, lived and from New York city.” Thus, I can presume in the 20 seconds he took to write this email, he didn’t take the time to use spell check or even just glance over what he wrote to see if it all even made sense to himself…one would hope he knew how to spell the machine he was using to type this message, and that he knew the difference between loofing and looking.

Okay, onto his profile. As if I wasn’t already thinking this guy was a winner, the second sentence of his profile said: “Been in legal trouble(I use to hustle drugs(I’m off that now).” Well, there is something to be said of honesty. Now that he’s turned over a new leaf, he practices yoga, plays chess…and “loves to have sex.”

Just in case that last thing slipped by you, he includes in his list of things he’s really good at “some private bed things.” Wink wink.

And if you didn’t miss those two things, the most private thing he’s willing to admit is, you guessed it, “I love sex a-lot!”

Not that he’s all about sex. He’s also a good listener and problem solver who makes people laugh. He has focus, balance and is “complex.” He likes The Alchmist [sic] and The Twilight series. Jay-Z, Creed and Taylor Swift.

He also aspires to own a fast food franchise “within the next 15 years.”  Fifteen years as opposed to 8 or 10? Well, I suppose that gives him plenty of time to work toward his dream.

Not sure if he thought this was one more thing to win over the ladies, but under the first things people usually notice about you, he put “I’m quiet but look sneaky.” Great, going out in public with you must be a dream if you look like you’re about to bolt because you’ve just done something shady, or better still, illegal.

Really, I don’t mean to take the piss out of the guy so much. I’m sure he means well. And it does take courage and strength to change your direction in life toward the positive. But sorry, “I-knowledge,”  I just don’t think cupid meant for us to be a match.

Email of the Day: The Married Man

The latest from OkStCupid:

HE SAID: Hi! Would you ever consider getting together with a married man?

SHE SAID: Never. Please don’t insult my integrity, morals and intelligence

HE SAID (immediately): Umm…all I can say is you have a LOT to learn. Good luck to you.

BACKGROUND (Taken from The Married Man’s Profile):

I’ve been married for [more than 10] years, and the past five or six years have been void of any passion. If you haven’t experienced that kind of thing, you cannot comprehend the frustration and loneliness that carries, especially when you’re the only one feeling that way. I’ve done everything I can to help the situation, but it’s a one-way street, and I’m just exhausted. It’s time to me to start moving on…she already has. For now, I just want to have a little fun again and remind myself why exactly it’s time for me to make that huge step.

I’m looking for:

  • For new friends, casual sex

SHE SAID: A lot to learn? Definitely from life, am not sure what positive I could learn from “casual sex” with you. If your marriage is so devoid of something that is so crucial to you, and in your profile you imply your wife has “moved on” in that area anyway, what is keeping you married? Kids? Convenience? Inertia?

I honesty really don’t want to know, but it seems like you would be a hell of a lot happier if you addressed what is really making your marriage unhappy (divorce if you need to) rather than just hitting on a woman who is specifically looking for a real relationship, not “casual sex” outside of a marriage like you are. Truly, good luck to you!

* * *

Surprisingly there has been no reply after that. Seriously, I don’t know what guys are thinking half the time. Apparently it would appear these guys in a relationship do get some takers on dating sites, which is the saddest thing.

What are some of the more outrageous propositions you’ve experienced or heard from the online dating world?