I love this song by Painted Face. It’s so perfectly girly and synthy — a wistful breeze of nostalgia.
I love this song by Painted Face. It’s so perfectly girly and synthy — a wistful breeze of nostalgia.
Well. I’m over Gym Crush. Yep. Just like that. I went to the gym last night after a 2-month hiatus and, as usual, I saw him just as I was stretching my last stretch and ambling to the locker room ready to go home and eat everything in my fridge even though the calories I burned off didn’t warrant that type of binge.
There he was. On the treadmill. Running a steady pace. I looked at him. He looked ahead, running into nowhere. I kept looking, thinking that this time, I will smile at him. And then I realized that those feelings of excitement and anticipation that used to motivate me to get back on the treadmill (even though I was completely done with my workout) with the hope that I would get up the guts to smile/he would say hi – gone. Just like that. pffft
Our break up reminds me of an article about Vipassana romances. It’s common to fall in love in the meditation room. You won’t say a word to the person you project your feelings onto, but their mere presence makes the back of your neck burn. You daydream about their gentle hands and hunky biceps — wait, that’s for gym crushes. Anyway, you get the picture. This fantasy keeps you going through the difficult task of clearing your mind/becoming a hard body. And then when you don’t need the fantasy anymore, the feelings fade.
For some reason, I don’t need Gym Crush anymore. I didn’t exactly reach hard-body status. But maybe I’m tired of
leering at pining for someone who has absolutely no clue I exist. Maybe I have enough going on in my life that there’s just no room for him anymore.
The gym was already losing it’s luster and now the one motivation that lured me there and made me run at a 6.3 pace rather than 5.8 pace is no longer. So I’m canceling tomorrow.
I like my yoga crush better anyway. I mean, I can’t not have a crush.
How do girls like to be approached in public? Say, I see a pretty girl in the post office. How would I approach her? Make jokes about the slow service?
G in North Carolina
YES! I love it. I think finding a situation-appropriate conversation opener is perfect. Not every woman will take to that – though I feel like the Citizens of the South tend to talk to each other quite a bit, so it wouldn’t be that far out of left field. (In DC, on the other hand, strangers talking to each other usually means someone’s getting mugged. I kid. I kid.)
I think the key with the approach is to get in, say what you need to say, and get out. You want to be intriguing, not creepy, which can be a fine balance with women. Not that you’re creepy – but some women are guarded. Also, gauge her response. If she’s overtly flirting back, continue. If she’s shy and unsure, find a way to get in touch with her later and say goodbye. Don’t overstay your welcome.
A guy at my gym picked me up in a very strategic way. He stopped me one day as I plowed through my workout, asked my name and chatted with me for a couple minutes. Found out just enough about me so that when we ran into each other again a week or two later, he remembered my name, what we talked about and had an idea for a date that was not threatening (he invited me to his book club). We ended up going to Barnes & Noble and bought each other our favorite books. He was quiet, patient and thoughtful in his approach and that made me feel comfortable.
Maybe you crash and burn a couple times before you get it right. But that’s ok. Good practice because dating is a numbers game.
Personally, I love the funny approach and creative pick up lines are hilarious and such a good ice breaker. Not all women feel this way which is such a shame. Sigh. Good luck out there!
I’ll be there signing books (BYOBook or buy one of mine), and having cocktails with local artist Dana Ellyn, who creating paintings inspired by my book! Her show will be up at Tryst through Feb. 8. More info and to RSVP.
I met E. through eHarm in October and we saw each other a few times and had a good time. He was also seeing someone else and stopped seeing me, but there were no hard feelings at all. It was kind of weird because he had been texting me often and I hadn’t heard from him for about five days when he told me he was going to see where this other relationship went. I was kind of irritated that he told me via text, but still, no hard feelings–barely knew the guy.
Fast forward a couple months and E. starts texting me again and asks if he can take me to dinner. I go, we have a nice time, he texts me all through the weekend saying what a great time he had and we make plans do something the following week. We text a little more and then when the day of our date comes up, I never hear from him! I was not going to budge because I had just read “the Rules” (which I hate btw) but later in the evening I sent him a text seeing if we still have plans…nothing.
I actually do like this person, and am afraid that “the rules” may have made it appear that I wasn’t interested and that I should let him know that I would like to see him, the other part of me thinks, if he wanted to see me he would call. I just don’t know what to do! I do know that I hate “the rules” and I HATE texting.
Dear West Coast,
Why do you like someone who made plans with you and didn’t follow through? You didn’t imagine it. He texted you to ask you out. And then you texted him that night and he didn’t text you back? Girl, we know he had his phone on him. Because he’s always texting. He’s texting to go out. He’s texting to break up. He’s texting to flirt. And you HATE texting. (Another reason to walk away without looking back.) Do you know why you hate texting so much? Probably the same reason I do. It’s non committal when it’s not combined with real contact like a phone call or a DATE YOU PLANNED.
Also, people that text that much don’t just spontaneously stop texting one evening. Unless perhaps a family emergency comes up. But if it did, and he cared about your feelings and wanted to see you again, he would have texted or called to let you know he had to break your plans. This person is dating around (which is okay) and dicking you around (not okay).
So here’s this guy who seems lukewarm about going out with you. So lukewarm that he didn’t bother to tell you the date was off. Doesn’t matter how much fun your other dates with him were. Do you really want to be treated like that? I think you deserve more and that it’s more productive for you to leave yourself open to someone who is worth your time.
If E. does text or call and is sorry and wants to go out again, and you really want to give it a shot, ask him why you didn’t hear from him. See how you feel when you hear the reason. If it feels legit: go. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re not losing face if you want to see what happens. But see if there’s a pattern. If there is, you’ll know better for next time. I’ve learned my lesson with this business through exactly this kind of trial and error. And sometimes you just have to feel the burn a few times to know it’s just not worth that extra dinner.
However, I guarantee the texting pattern isn’t going anywhere. It’s like dating someone with bad breath. It just doesn’t go away. You have been warned!
[I’m not addressing The Rules thing on purpose because I don’t see how it’s a factor. You said yes to a date and followed up the night of the date even when you never heard from him. A Rules Girl would never follow up. She’s too busy washing her hair or some shit like that.]
I had someone describe dating as purgatory to me recently. It was kind of a bummer the way he said it. I’ve also had people email me recently who are just really down about dating and meeting people and themselves in general. I feel for everyone. I’ve been to that place many a time. And sometimes I feel my way back to it because, for some reason, hating dating is safe and warm and cozy. (And it rhymes, which is catchy.)
But man, it’s just not healthy. It’s the same reason someone told me once that you can’t hate men if you want to date them. (I used to exclaim “Guys suck” a lot.) Same thing with dating. When you feed on that negative energy, you project it — and all those potential dates can smell the stench of sour grapes a mile away. And they will keep their distance. No one wants to be around that.
BUT what if you could embrace the “enemy” and learn to love it for what it is? What would happen? Would we then all of a sudden have too much fun and not have anything to complain about anymore?
I sound like a goddamn cheerleader, but the more I hear these Debbie Downer strains that used to be so familiar to me, the more I want to jump around in proverbial faces and turn frowns upside down. Dating might suck sometimes, but you can bet on the fact that it will not get better when you complain bitterly about it and feel mad or dissmissive about it. So the first logical step is to smile at the enemy. Befriend it. Learn to love it. Dance with it. See what happens.
Alright, alright. Yes. YES. Dating in DC is hard. But I just can’t cop to it being harder than anywhere else. (I’ve been getting asked this a lot.) The reason I say this is quite simple: In every place I visited when I was dating in other cities for my book experiment, there were always at least two women (and sometimes 10) who told me how hard it was to date in Charlotte, Denver, NYC, LA. (Not Chicago. I don’t have data for that. I’d love to hear from anyone who has a hard time dating there.) Also, if dating in DC really is that hard, then I’d have to move and I really don’t feel like doing that.
The women I talked to all had varying reasons for why they had a hard time, though it often revolved around the complaint of “no quality men.” Nine times out of ten, the men in all of these cities did not think dating was hard and most of them really liked it.
So what’s the deal? Are all men everywhere dolts and duds and just not raised right? Are women just too fucking picky? Is it a more fundamental problem of Mars and Venus? I seriously can’t subscribe to the first idea because I have girlfriends who meet and date awesome guys. I don’t know that women are too picky, either. I think it’s the Mars and Venus thing, sort of. I have an evolving theory:
Expectations change our perspective on dating and whether it feels fun or it feels hard. Perhaps women have higher expectations because they feel like more is riding on the dating process (biological clock ticking etc), and, with men, most of them are of the mindset that it’s just a fun night out with no thought beyond that, which is refreshing and infuriating all at once. For me, dating isn’t as hard as I thought it was 3 years ago because I have mostly reeled in my expectations. Like: A date is just a date until it’s more. This realization took 35 years to settle in. So…yeah, it’s all about setting expectations. (Like I said, the theory is evolving.)