5 Ways to Tell He’s a Keeper (and 5 Ways to Tell He’s NOT)

You guys, I think I might be dating someone. I have . . . a man friend.

And it’s not gross rainbows and butterflies and staring longingly into each others’ eyes. No–none of that absurdity. But Manfriend and me? We like, like each other. It’s kind of awesome that he’s actually into my particular brand of crazy and makes me laugh and can carry on an intelligent conversation. And he’s a pretty good kisser, too. ;) Who says you can’t have it all?girlsPaula says I’ll find out what’s wrong with Manfriend if we ever live together, but I’m willing to venture that that’s a ways off. So instead, I give you the reasons I think I’ll let him stick around.

1. We have a lot to talk about

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Sure, we spend a fair amount of time joking around and making fun of the world with basically the same sense of humor–which plays nicely together–but we can also have real conversations. About work and the news and our families and our interests. There are no lags. We’ve always got things to say. Which is good, I think. I mean, in another 50 years or so, I’d like to be hanging out with someone who will still make me laugh and maybe even flirt with me a little even though my face is full of creases and I consider Metamucil a food group. Manfriend also actually listens to the things I say. He wants to know about me. It’s like hanging out with a best friend, which is pretty nice.

2. He shows an interest in the things I like–but he still does his own thing

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OK, so super bonus points for loving my dog. I don’t think I could date someone who didn’t love Roo as much as I do. And those 2? Love at first sight. But Manfriend doesn’t just like my dog. For instance, the other day, he asked me when I might be running again (yes, he sat through that sad story . . . ) not because I’m getting soft from 4 days of laying on the couch and being sick, but because he might want to go with me.

Pause for reaction.

I know those of you in normal relationships might not think much of this, but no guy I’ve ever dated has shown an interest in anything I’m into. By the same token, Manfriend still has his own things and has his own life which is important to me. I have things that are priorities to me, too–things I don’t want to give up just because I’m dating someone. It’s good to do things together, but it’s also pretty great to have your own things.

3. He does things for me even when there’s nothing in it for him. 

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I think this is just what mature dudes do. Maybe. As I mentioned, I’ve been sick this week–laid up on the couch and full of snot and VapoRub. It’s hawt. Manfriend has come by to check on me, delivered citrus fruits full of vitamin C, picked up Roo from Vizsland, made me dinner, brought me movies to watch–I mean, really really nice stuff. So of course, I have to be awkward and thank him profusely because it’s soso nice and no one has ever been this nice to me. His response? “This is what people do.” Like, of course he’s going to be sweet to me and let me lay my head in his lap while I’m full on mouth breathing and coughing up a lung so I don’t get too lonely. Because that’s what normal people do. Apparently, normal people also tell you you’re cute when you’re sick even though you have on no makeup and your rattiest yoga pants and can’t possibly look cute because your sinuses are about to explode.

4. He wants to meet my friends–and actually talks to them. 

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When I mentioned I’d be out on Saturday night celebrating a couple of friends’ birthdays, Manfriend was totally up for it. He wanted to meet my friends. I didn’t even have to ask. Even better, Manfriend showed up with his shirt tucked in and his hair combed like a goddamned grown up. He met and chatted with my friends, asked them intelligent questions about themselves, and listened to what they had to say. I didn’t have to babysit him or stay glued to his side. And while he was personable and came away well-liked by my friends, he didn’t flirt with them. This is key. I’ve been out with that guy. Douche canoe move.

5. He cares about how I feel. 

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Manfriend is kind of a pro at this. I’m definitely a lot more confident in myself than I have been in the past, but I do worry sometimes that I’m being too needy or that I’m asking too much of him. Before I even have a chance to start worrying, though, Manfriend reassures me. Which–in all honesty–is completely fantastic. He’s just so easy to be with. I still have some of the fear . . . like–what if it’s too much too soon?–but he responds in a way that makes me feel reassured. That in itself kind of scares me, but I guess you never get to anything good if you hide behind the fear, so I just need to be brave and let it happen.

Oh, and now that I’ve had a good experience with online dating, I can also share 5 Signs You Should Run the Other Way. Perhaps obvious. Perhaps not.

  1. He calls or texts his mom during your first date–because they need to be in constant communication.
  2. He reschedules your first date at the last minute because he has to work. If he’s doing this on date one, what’s he going to be like on date 15? 77? 482?
  3. He never tells you where he lives or lets you come over. (Because he doesn’t want you to wake up his wife and kids)
  4. He takes an inappropriately long time to respond to texts. If the dude is into you, he’s waiting for you to text and will textrightback.
  5. He talks about his ex the whole time. (duh)

tumblr_inline_mi6ssmfP2D1qz4rgpJust . . . no.

An Embarrassing Dating Story: Feel Free to Judge

Something happened a few weeks ago. I’m not proud, but in the interest of total candor, I’m going to tell you about it anyway. 

I got super drunk.

I didn t text you vodka did

But that’s not the part that causes some shame.

In my drunken state, I met, made out with, and accepted a date with someone who was not at all my type. 

And then I forgot his name and had to ask my friend the next day. I also had to ask him where I left my dignity. 

Yeah.

But at that point, I had already accepted a date with this somewhat unknown person whom I didn’t actually remember, and I’m either incredibly stupid or true to my word, so I went. 

On this date, I didn’t disclose the fact that I had forgotten this person’s name, but I was very honest about the rest of it: which was that I didn’t remember anything else about him. He seemed fine with this. Which seemed odd to me. But, whatever. So we had dinner, and it was relatively painless. He told me about himself and let me know that he was some kind of environmental professional, which is fine for him, but all I could think was, “Oh no. We have nothing in common.” Not that I don’t love the planet or whatever, and I recycle  when it’s convenient for me, but I don’t love the planet, you know???

Also, he had a beard. And rode a bike. And loved camping. And didn’t eat meat. In my mind, these things qualify him to be a hipster. But what do I know? And let me be clear that I don’t have anything against hipsters, per se, but they’re just not generally the type of guy I go for. So.

We had the dinner and that was fine, and as I said, he was super nice. Then a couple days later, I received a follow-up text. So nice, right?! How was my week going and would I like to grab a drink later? Well, I was not available “later,” so the next day was proposed. I agreed. To be honest, I’m not sure why because I knew at this point that he wasn’t for me, but since he was such a nice guy, it seemed like the right thing to do. 

The next day–date #2 day, just 3 days after date #1 day–he texted to propose 2 date ideas. Acoustic show or comedy club. I was mortified. This was like a real date. With plans and times and tickets and pressure. My co-worker had to talk me down. Now, if I had been into the guy, I might have been more into the whole real date thing, but as I said, he wasn’t my type. Still, I didn’t want to be rude and bail, so I agreed to the acoustic show and told myself it would be ok. 

And it was! I had fun with said vegster! But I could tell he was pretty into me, and I . . . as much as I wanted to like such a nice guy . . . just wasn’t feeling it. 

So I went home thinking that was the end of it for me and that I would have to tell him so. But the next day he texted wanting to go out that weekend. We’re going on 3 dates in one week!!! Commence next freak out/talking down cycle. I explained to my wonderful, patient coworker that I wasn’t interested in him, even though he was very nice, and didn’t think I should go. But he said it was fine to go and hang out, I just needed to tell him that he was coming on too strong with the 3 dates in one week, and I wasn’t ready for a relationship (all true facts).

Now, I still question whether or not date #2 or date #3 were a good idea because, really, if you know you’re not interested after date #1, you probably should not go on more dates. But I was trying to give the sweet vegster a chance! However, I realize date #3 was probably a horrible idea. 

Anyway, I went. Date #3 was a long one. There was a very tiny car and a trip to the zoo and a lovely patio dinner and drinks on a rooftop deck. Serious date. Which, if it’s going well, is a great thing. But if it’s only going well for one person, gets somewhat uncomfortable.  To shorten up an already long story, I chickened out and did not tell vegster that I wasn’t into him. 

A week passed. No texts or calls or date invitations. Granted, he knew I was traveling for work, but still. I thought I might be in the clear. But then, a date invitation via text. It was time to shut it down. And, true to form, he was perfectly understanding and nice about it.

So why did I go out with this perfectly nice person several times when I knew I wasn’t interested? Was I just being nice? Avoiding confrontation? Trying to let myself like the nice guy? I’ve no idea. 

That, my friends, concludes this edition of Melissa’s adventures in dating. 

#FML

So Maybe I Won’t Be Single Forever . . .

Oh hey! Yeah, I’m still alive. But to tell you the truth, the last 10 days–the length of my residency here in DC–are kind of a blur. I think the craziness of getting a new job, training for said job, finding a place to live, moving, and settling in to a new city are kind of catching up with me. 

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The good news is, I really like my apartment, I’m learning my way around the city thanks to running, and I’m actually sleeping! That’s right, this insomniac has been beaten down by the chaos of life. I’m not complaining–not one bit! In fact, it’s been nice. The only problem is, I’m kind of exhausted all the time, but whatever. I’ll get caught up on my rest eventually, right?

The other thing that’s going on? Well, I’ve been dating . . . er, going on some dates. Or maybe just hanging out? I have no idea where we cross the line from casually hanging out to actually being on a date. Is it the purchase of food and drink that constitutes a date? Hand holding? Making out? All I know is that several members of my family and many of my married friends are breathing a huge sigh of relief at this news. 

Single forever

There’s hope for her yet! 

Maybe she won’t end up alone after all!

But as you all know, this is a bigger concern to everyone else than it is to me. I’m trying to just have fun and take it as it comes. This, of course, is never easy for me. I tend to get all bajiggity about the tiniest thing at the drop of a hat, so the possibility of a dating-related freak out on the blog in the near future is very real. Be on the lookout.

In the meantime, I will attempt to keep my cool. It should be noted, however, that I have absolutely no game. If you ask me out tonight and I’m free, I’ll say yes. There’s no consulting my calendar or washing my hair. Then again, if I’m not interested, I’m pretty sure I have to go home and feed my dog. 

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She’s laying on the sidewalk hunting birds. I never claimed she was normal.

I also don’t do coy or mysterious. If I like you, you’ll know it. If you’re not sure, that means I’m probably not. I’m really very simple. 

Don’t get me wrong–I’m sure I’m still a huge pain in the ass, but I’ll at least tell you why it’s so. I don’t expect anyone to read my mind or anything. See? Totally reasonable. ;)

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Anywho, I am rambling and probably being somewhat vague, lest one of my dates stalks me online and stumbles across my blog. Or remembers the name of it and finds it rather easily. Yeah, that could happen, too . . . 

Got any dating advice for me? 

I probably won’t take it because, as I said, I am a huge pain in the ass and very set in my ways, but it can’t hurt, right???

On Dating, Texting, and Generally Overanalyzing

{alternately titled Melissa is a Crazy Nutjob}

OK, time to have a really honest talk about dating. To say that I’m actually going on a lot of dates would be generous, but I am dating here and there. I just try to reserve the really disastrous tales for the blog because let’s face it–those are the entertaining ones. Plus, I’m not going to talk about a guy that might actually be a contender, lest he discovers the blog and thinks I’m completely insane. Which could totally happen anyway.

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So here’s my real issue with dating: I’m pretty sure going into it that failure is a foregone conclusion. Not that I’m not open to it or don’t eventually want to be in an actual relationship again at some point. But I’m relatively certain that I’m going to screw it up. I handle this in a variety of ways:

1. Mind-f*ck myself before anything really gets started. As in, well, every other guy I’ve dated has found something wrong with me so there probably IS something wrong with me and if he doesn’t call/text/email/send up smoke signals then I’m sure I’m being rejected and I should probably feel somewhat bad about this and console myself with a pan of brownies and a bottle of wine even though it was never really a thing to begin with so I shouldn’t be upset about it anyway.

Ahem.

2. Assume that the person couldn’t possibly like me, so I should probably let them off the hook. This looks like me telling them they don’t have to keep in touch or it’s fine if they’re not interested because I’m totally ok with that. And then when I don’t hear from them, I feel better. Because I’ve fooled myself into thinking I’m somehow in charge. (Follow this with brownies and wine, too.)

3. Figure that I’ll somehow sabotage it anyway. In this case, I don’t let myself get all that attached because I know I’m going to drive the potential suitor away with my particular brand of crazy. When this actually happens, I’m not so upset because I knew it was going to fail anyway. No biggie. It’s cool.

All of this is very rational, I know. And makes me sound horribly insecure, right? I’m sure there’s some of that going on, but really it’s a protective mechanism. And why shouldn’t I be cautious? My dating history is kind of a train wreck . . . but that’s a long and not all that entertaining story. So.

To my next point of contention: the wonder of modern dating known as texting. Also known as Another Way For Melissa to Overanalyze the Sh*t out of This.

Yeah.

Dating in the age of texting totally blows if you ask me. What happened to the days when a man picked up the phone and used it to, you know, call someone???

But no. Now texting is the name of the game. I have several issues with this as well. For instance, if you text me, I’m going to be efficient about it and text you right back. I don’t have time to wait around all day. When I get a text, I respond. I also happen to know that 85% of people receive a text within 15 minutes of your sending it to them, so waiting around to text back is unacceptable to me. If this is happening, someone is clearly playing games. And I am not a fan of games.

Hunger games

Except these, obviously.

Because then what happens? Texting purgatory, that’s what. I responded to your text and then you’re going to take several hours to respond to mine? Which gives me plenty of time to sit around and think this or that (see #1 above) and get really super annoyed with you. No, sir, no. That will not do. At the risk of sounding like a total psycho, I’m going to go ahead and say it: PAY ATTENTION TO ME. If you don’t, I’m going to assume that you aren’t interested (see #2 above) and let you off the hook.

If you ARE, in fact, interested, respond in a timely manner. Just saying. Or . . .

You could just grow a pair and call me, for God’s sake.

I mean, am I reaching for the stars here? Is it too much to ask that if a guy wants to talk to me, he actually responds in a timely manner or picks up the phone and calls me?

The point is, I’m so inside my head about all of this that I’m basically torturing myself in which case I turn to #3 above and resort back to my former state: not dating.

I was discussing this very thing with my friend Kim last weekend, and she said something rather insightful.

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Can you tell how much we adore each other?

Anyway, Kim said this: you can try to sabotage every potential relationship and drive people away, but the right guy isn’t going to let that happen. No matter how hard you push, he’s going to keep coming back.

Wise.

In the meantime, please share YOUR best dating advice with me.

And am I asking too much with the whole texting thing? To me, lack of a timely response just SCREAMS not interested, you know?

Captain Corvette

Continuing the seasonal breakfasts, I whipped up Chocolate Covered Katie’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin, subbing in butterscotch chips for the chocolate and adding in 1/2 t. of pumpkin pie spice. This was my second attempt at this muffin, and I ended up baking it at 350* for 15 minutes. It came out perfectly! Totally easy and yummy. Definite perk of working at home—I get to make a fun breakfast everyday!

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Alright, alright. I know no one cares about my breakfast this morning.

So, if you follow me on twitter, you may have seen this photo as I was on my way to the “thing.”

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I look excited, no?

As I was driving downtown, I was a little nervous. Not a lot, but a little. And it wasn’t because I was worried the dude wouldn’t like me or something, it was more because, well . . .

What if he has bad teeth?

What if he has a really bad lisp?

What if he backs into the parking space? (Pet peeve!)

What if he’s a munchkin?

What if

What if

What if?!?!

So. I get there right at 5, and the place isn’t open yet. Wha? But I still got there first, which was totally strategic, as I don’t want to have to be the one to find him. Of course, given that we were pretty much the only people there, that narrowed it down. Anyway, I got there first, so win for me!

I ordered wine (which wasn’t that good), and he arrived a few minutes later.

First impressions:

Not bad looking

A little short

A little sweaty

Runny nose

. . . pinky ring?!?!?

I can get over height, sweat and mucus. But a pinky ring? pinky rings

And that’s not all. Oh, no. He also had a bracelet and a necklace. I found them distracting. I was trying to listen to some story he was telling about work, and all I could think was . . .

This man is wearing jewelry.

Distracting indeed.

So we chatted, and that was fine, but it was clear to me that we didn’t spark. He kept hinting that he wanted to order food, but I wasn’t having it. I had committed to one drink with this guy, and that’s all he was getting. Would I entertain the idea of going to dinner with him? Perhaps. But I already know I’m not interested, so I suppose it would kind of be a waste of his time if he actually is interested.

Anyway, he paid, which was nice, and we left the bar. He not at all discreetly popped a piece of gum into his mouth.

Really, dude? You think you might get a kiss???

I mean, it didn’t go badly, but I thought it was obvious that there wasn’t anything there.

We walked to our cars, but I didn’t feel nervous at all. The whole kiss thing was definitely not happening. His car was on the way to mine, and well, it was this:

corvette decals

That’s a Corvette. A blue one. I suppose I should have been impressed by this, but I’m not that girl.

So I said goodbye to Captain Corvette, so aptly named by my friend Justin who I texted as soon as I got home.

Me: He had a pinky ring

Justin: Stylish!

Yes, stylish, indeed, but I am not a fan of dudes who wear more jewelry than I do. And that coupled with the runny nose gave me pause. OK, not really, but kinda.

tony soprano

Second date? Not likely. But I went. Which I guess is good. Life experience and kissing a lot of frogs and all that, right?

What’s your ultimate dating turn off?

The Post in Which I Talk About Dating

I really liked my dinner tonight.

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Oh, wait. That wasn’t dinner.

This

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was

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dinner.

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Yeah, this is the girl who doesn’t even like salmon saying she really liked this dinner. It was fantastic. I’m being 100% spoiled with my dad cooking dinner—Alaskan Coho salmon grilled with brown sugar and soy sauce? Veggies sautéed with red wine and garlic? Clos du Val cabernet? Seriously. They’ve gotta start serving mac ‘n cheese and boxed wine if they ever want me to move out! Winking smile

Yep, it was yummy, my belly is full, and there’s a cozy fire to sit beside on this windy night. Hard to resist . . .


In other news, tonight I’ve decided to talk about something I rarely discuss on the blog.

Dating.

A sort of follow up, if you will, to last week’s mention.

I was supposed to go on a blind date. Long story short, I sort of put it out there that I was looking for a date to the wedding I went to last weekend—you know, the one where I didn’t know anyone??—so I would have someone to hang out with. But then I realized that going with someone I don’t really know might be even more awkward than not knowing anyone, right? So I kind of let that go.

small talk

In the meantime, someone in my life was trying very hard to find me a date—and find she did! (Thanks, Mom!)

So after some technical difficulties, we facebooked and whatnot. But the whole time, I was feeling super hesitant about it. The whole thing just made me uncomfortable. I mean, what did I know about this dude? (<—just typed ‘dud.’ Freudian slip???) And did I really want to be on a first date at a wedding? Nope, not really. The wedding was looming, so I just told him that since I hadn’t heard back from him sooner, I had decided to go alone. Done deal. No biggie, right?

But then there was the suggestion of getting together for drinks. OK, I guess I could do that. Couldn’t hurt, right? Just drinks. I like drinking. I mean, I really like drinking. So I could go for a drink with this guy. And then I could go meet my friends for dinner. And it would be totally ok because there was an end point to the “drinks” and if it was awful, I had an out.

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Alcohol makes everything OK

I agreed to drinks (via email, naturally, because that is oh-so-safe), mentioning that I was meeting friends for dinner later in the evening. To which he came back with something like, “Oh, I didn’t realize you had other plans. I was hoping we could talk without a time crunch. Maybe we should reschedule. Or maybe we could do drinks and then meet up again. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”

Dude.

DUDE.

Too much. Too too too much for this crazy ass chick who isn’t even sure she wants to go out with you to begin with. If I were comfortable with anything but just drinks, I WOULD HAVE SAID SO!!!

Commence total freak out. And feeling overwhelmed. And pressured.

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When it starts feeling anything but fun, it’s time to call it off. I mean, if a date induces that much anxiety, you probably shouldn’t go, right??? RIGHT????

So I called it off. Like a total coward. But I wasn’t feeling it. And then there was pressure. And I really really hate pressure. Pretty much any time someone tells me I have to do something, I’m out. Nope, not gonna do it. Digging in my heels. Zero budge opportunity.

stubborn

Oh HAYLL no!

It’s not that I’m not willing to date. Or that I’m saying I won’t ever again (at least not today . . . ). But I do get to choose. I get to decide if and when I’m comfortable. Who and how if the opportunity presents itself. For now, I’m dating her:

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She’s cute, right? And she likes the same things I do. Like wine. And running. And wine. And frosting. So we’re taking things slow and enjoying each other’s company.

Do I want to be alone when I’m 70? No, not really. But right now, I just want to be. Alone or not, when it’s right, it will come. If I’ve learned anything in my 31 years, it’s that anytime you try to force it, anytime you’re not ready, anytime something feels off, it’s not right.

I like me—finally. Finally. And that’s kind of a fragile thing at the moment. So I’m not going to give anyone the opportunity to upset that until I feel really secure in that.

Are you single? Have you ever been for any extended period of time? How did you handle it?

-OR-

If you’re in a relationship, aren’t you glad you’re not me right now? Winking smile