Sunday, June 17, 2018

Personal: Dating Again

I've discovered an interesting website, Date Like A Grownup, written by Bobbi Palmer. It's written as a dating guide for women.

In the 1980s, between marriages, I would occasionally pick up a woman's magazine to read the advice the magazines offered on "how to meet men." Then I'd make it a point to be there!

Here's an article Bobbi wrote titled "26 Things To Do To Meet Single Men."

Now, nearly 40 years later (and hopefully wiser) I'm in the singles market again. Here's my take on Bobbi's 26 ideas:

1. Ask a (woman) to help you do something.
This is difficult for me. I'm a guy, and guys fix things. But I'd hesitate to ask for help with something I should be capable of doing or figuring out how to do. Finally, I'm afraid of sounding condescending if it's something that I already know how to do.

2. Find a singles’ event in your neighborhood or go online and sign up
Done, and still looking. I have found is a great resource because it is not limited to activities for singles. I've not been successful with or POF, but I have tried!

3. Do something nice for a (woman) you just met. Bobbi suggests a compliment or attentive listening. I try to do this, anyway.

4. Look straight into the eyes of a (woman) you consider attractive...for five full seconds…and then give a slight smile! I have my doubts about a guy doing this. Sounds like it could be creepy.

5. Tell three people that you are looking for a fantastic (woman) to be in your life. Hmm...

6. Get girlie; buy a new pretty dress and bra that shows off your fabulous girls.
7. Wear lipstick and shave your legs.
I'm not sure what the male equivalent is... How do I "man up?" Perhaps I could/should pay more attention to my wardrobe and personal appearance (beard) before I go out the door for any reason, and especially when I am headed for a mixed-gender social setting.

8. Ask the (girl) behind you in line any insignificant question.
This is a way to break out of a shell and start a conversation. I'm not shy about engaging anyone in conversation. The only "line" I wait in, by myself, is at the local grocery store. It's actually difficult for me to wait quietly! For example, if I sense impatience in the person in front me then I'll speak up to say "If this (wait) is the worst thing we have to put up with today, then we're in pretty good shape."

9. Ask another stylish (man) for a referral to her salon.
Guys - or at least not me - do not spend time in "salons."

10. Ask two (women) you trust to tell you something about (women)  they think every (man) should know. I like this question! But I rarely, really really rarely, have sit-down conversations with a woman where she could answer with any substance.

11. Get out of your house and do anything. Yep! Done that. Before I gave up alcohol a few weeks ago, I was comfortable with hitting "happy hours" in local establishments. A draft beer was quick to order and appropriate for the setting. I don't drink carbonated beverages, and ordering my preferred beverage (orange juice w/25% pineapple) only draws attention me drinking something really different from everyone else..

12. Don’t travel in packs. Not a problem. Don't do enough "traveling" as it is (see "get out of your house," the previous item).

13. Ask your closest friends to list the things they like and admire most about you. I'm not sure whether this is for my own self-esteem or to build bonds with (same-gender?) friends.

14. After any substantial phone conversation or date, take a few minutes to write down what you’ve learned about the (woman), yourself, or dating in general. Aha: a personal journal! That's actually one purpose of Rix Distillery.

15. Ask your (female) friends to tell you what they think (men) don’t know about single (women), but should. I'm trying to see how this suggestion is different from #10, above, or #16, below. Actually, all three of these topics (#10, #15, #16) lend themselves to "small talk."

Here's how: Currently, most of my social interactions are dinners arranged through, frequently "singles" dinners. These mixed-gender groups vary in size from 10-30 people in environments with different background noise. That means conversations may be limited to the closest 3-4 people or include the whole table. I think I'll try floating those questions to see where they go....

16. Ask your (female) friends to list the five things (men) do when they meet (women), online, or on the phone that drive them away (and that attract them). (See #15, above.)

17. Be willing to date (women) who are different than your usual “type.” 

Rix Story Time: I attended a singles seminar where the speaker talked about three categories of people to date:

  1. Who you want. He named actors/celebrities of the day to illustrate his point.(Marilyn, Robert, etc.) The audience agreed, with smiles and heads nodding up and down.
  2. Who you need. This may not be someone from your "want" list, and probably isn't. Part of Bobbi Palmer's game plan is for women to separate ~ and explore ~ this category.
  3. Who you can get. (Gasps from the audience!) This may be someone you neither want nor need.
That was 30 years ago, and the lesson has stayed with me. I do not remember the nuanced paragraphs he added, but I remember those three points.

Today, I try to live in category 2. Who (I) need. What I like about Bobbi Palmer's approach is that she is trying to teach that to her visitors and students.

18. At least once a week tell someone new that you are trying to find your dream (woman). This is only slightly different from 5. "Tell three people that you are looking for a fantastic (woman) to be in your life." I didn't have an answer for that then, either.

19. Call a (woman) who “got away” or that you have thought about seeing again. Nope. Painful when it happened. BTW: the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

20. For every (woman) you meet, practice kindness and self-awareness as you get to know (her). I believe that's already built into me. I'm perfectly capable of acting like an a**hole, but never intentionally.

21. If you like (her), but you don’t feel chemistry, go on a second, even third date. There two things that prevent a 2nd or 3rd date. First, she didn't immediately feel any chemistry and doesn't want to be bothered at what she sees as a waste of time. Second is purely on me: distance. I'm not willing to drive 30-45 minutes one way for a 2nd purely social, one-on-one "date." (I'm actually at the point where I don't want to drive over 30 minutes to meet for a cup of coffee.)

22. Learn more about how (women) think and feel differently. Already doing this. Fortunately the opportunities learning never stop!

23. Do the things you’ve been putting off that are good for you: seek out spiritual leaders, coaching, self-improvement opportunities, or charitable organizations. OK.

24. Create a vision board that represents your wishes and desires around dating and finding a mate. Is it a bad thing that I'm not that focused on "finding a mate" right now?

25. Take items from your lists of what you love about yourself and what you are looking for, put them on sticky notes, and then put them around your house. See #24.

26. Talk to the happily married couples that you know about their courtship and the development of their relationship. OK. But I refer you again to #24.

Rix Story Time: (again)

When I was 10 years old I was a chess player. I was actually pretty good at it. By that age I was  already an inveterate  reader, too. And chess was one of the subjects I read about.

Chess was/is divided into 3 phases: the opening game, the closing game, and the middle game. Entire books have been written about all three.

In the opening game, the goal is to quickly develop your pieces into power positions. (Chess players are nodding their heads at this point in my story.)

The end game is exactly that: focus is solely on winning. All nuance, niceties, and pleasantries go out the window. (Heads continue up and down...)

The middle game is no less focused, but it has a different perspective. The opening moves have been made, and there is not a clear path to winning. I found this sentence is one book: "Not every move of the middle game has to mean something. Sometimes it just a good move." (The author then went on give specific examples of specific good moves.)

"Not every move of the middle game has to mean something. Sometimes it just a good move."

And that's where I am in my dating life right now. My opening game was pretty solid. I have intellectual, social, cultural, and worldly education.  I have time, an income, some cash and a home. I have the experience to sustain and nurture a relationship.

So, again, I'm in the middle game of dating. I consider a "good move" is to continue to learn about myself, m'Ladies, and dating. I need to be in places where social/dating opportunities exist, and keep my eyes/ears open everywhere else.

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