January 30, 2014

Dating: What I Have Learned So Far

Well, it hasn't been long, but it's been long enough. I have been out on the scene, and I have found out a thing or two about how it works.

Let me tell you, it is interesting out there in Dating World. I've met some terrific people - some even more than once. And I have learned some lessons; lessons about what it's like to be dating in your forties, and lessons about what it's like to be dating at all.

  • Texting and emails are not the same as face to face communication. You can have a wonderful connection with someone in messages, and none at all in person, and unless you're planning to conduct your relationship via smart phone from separate rooms you need to find that out. Meet sooner rather than later. 
  • You will know within 30 seconds of meeting someone face to face if you are attracted to them. I know that attraction can grow over time. I also know that it has very little to do with 'objective' good looks. But trust me. You can look at photos, you can exchange emails, but once you walk into that room and meet that person you will know immediately if the chemistry is there or not. And if it's not there, it's not there, and it's never going to be.
  • Be yourself from the very first meeting. There is no point feigning hobbies or interests, or trying not to swear when you usually do, or not mentioning your kids, or pretending you don't eat much. It doesn't matter how 'perfect' he seems. If he doesn't like you for you then he is not perfect and it would never work. And besides, trying to be someone else is exhausting. It's hard enough just being ourselves.
  • Men can and do have as much relationship baggage as women, if not more. The difference is that women, generally speaking, will give themselves time before they start dating again. Men often rush out onto the dating scene almost immediately after a break up because they are loathe to be alone. And so you can find yourself dating a man who still has unresolved feelings for his ex. Beware. Ask questions. Listen carefully. And if he still seems to be pining for Kylie from two months ago, run very quickly back to RSVP. Because she isn't going away any time soon.
  • A man who does not return your emails or texts is either dead or not interested in you. Retain your dignity and do not chase. But by the same token, be polite and respectful to the men you are not interested in and let them know so that they don't have to sit around waiting. A simple 'I'm sorry, I don't think it's going to work out' is sufficient and is basic human courtesy. (And to the very nice man who deserved better, I apologise. I'm just figuring this all out myself.)
  • A small penis will always be a small penis, no matter how much time and love you give it. I mean this metaphorically, of course. A small penis isn't necessarily an issue. But if there is a is an issue at the beginning of a relationship - a characteristic, an attitude, unfinished business, a flaw - chances are it's not going to change. 
  • Have fun. A few coffees, a few drinkies, meeting new people, having a chance to go out in the world... it's all good. And when it's not all good, have a break. Because, after all, there is nothing wrong with being alone.
    It's quite nice, actually.


  1. This is really great advice Kerri. I can think of a few people I could send this to! :)

  2. These are all SO TRUE Kerri. Particularly the second about how if the chemistry ain't there, it's not going to magically appear like a puff of smoke three weeks down the line. You're far better off being honest about these things and saving yourself some time.

    Hope you're enjoying yourself and meeting some okay dudes. I used to have a 6 date limit on RSVP and deactivate my profile - I always needed a break around the 6-date mark :)

  3. Love your penis metaphor because I'm immature like that, but glad you're getting out there. Enjoy it!

  4. All true! Excellent advice! xx

  5. Damn right! Kylie is here to stay!

    Great blog. Keep getting back on the horse. You'll find the right mount eventually. xxxxx

  6. If only I was single ;)

    But seriously, this is all really great advice... I have no idea how I would cope if I was ever single again... after almost 21 years with Rhonnifer, I would imagine being single would be a very strange experience...

    Hope you have lots of fun adventures in your new world of dating! :)

  7. Spot on!! There's something both terrifying and exhilarating about being in Dating World as a single, 41-yr old Mom. The best is you're more mature now (*cough splutter*) so you can try out all sorts of different options instead of following peer-pressured, youthful-dating expectations. Friday night tonight... :)

  8. Another point I'll add (as a 40 something male dating), when you are chatting with someone online, the goal is to get to know them, and them you. The point isn't to reflect on the process and your experience as if you are writing a blog post, and spend the whole time discussing the process instead of asking the gentleman in question anything about himself. Or that's how I would approach it anyway.

  9. Are you someone I chatted to?
    If so I apologise - I would have been trying to break the ice.
    As for writing as if I'm writing a blog post...well, that's not exactly the case. The reality is that I write blog posts (and online messages, and letters, and texts) as if I'm speaking. So they all read pretty much the same because that is the only way I know how to write. The bad news is that there's nothing I can do about that. The good news is that if you ever did meet me, you would have seen that I speak exactly as I write, so no nasty surprises.
    But thanks so much for that feedback. Really helpful.

  10. We are all very jealous of the lovely Rhonnifer....

  11. You will note I chose that name for a reason x

  12. Thanks love. Glad you liked the penis. So to speak.

  13. That's actually a really interesting concept. I like it a lot. Thanks x

  14. GOOD. We all need all the advice we can get!

  15. Yep I am. Don't get me wrong, no bitterness or anything. I enjoy your blog, and you seem interesting but probably not my type (and me probably not yours). Just in the online encounter you had no interest in me, or in me getting to know you beyond your persona - which you did, to your credit, admit it was. Fairly atypical of my experiences online, and seems to be defeating the purpose of the exercise in my eyes at least. Hopefully the in person experience isn't exactly like that. But I wish you the best and hope you find someone great.

  16. Interesting. Several men used the whole 'how are you finding this?' line to get started and I liked it! I like a chat before getting into probing questions. Sorry it didn't resonate with you. If you'd like to chat about it I'm on k.sack@live.com but probably this isn't the best forum!

  17. I'm not sure she thinks so sometimes ;)

    But thanks! :)

  18. If only I was single. Or a dude x

  19. Good on you Kerri, great advice. I don't know how I'd go out there, I think I'd be quite content to be single! And I'm sure there's a book in this ongoing experience - can't wait to read it ;)

  20. Mature, but obviously missing a few marbles: Today is Thursday... :/

  21. K - you *obviously* have never had a date with me.
    Witty, entertaining, knowledgeable, sporty, incredibly good-looking, very sweary and full of sarcastic remarks to keep you engaged. I have absolutely NO faults whatsoever, the one exception being modesty (which someone once questioned but they are no longer able to verify this as we had an, uhmm, altercation of sorts). I am also the perfect partner for all indoor (concerts, formal dinners, meet-the-parents-confrontations) and outdoor (bungy-jumping, white-water rafting, tai chi, free-climbing) pursuits.
    I pay my own way, book trips without asking whether you a) are free to come, b) can take time out to join me, or c) are actually interested, and know how to operate a washing machine (much to my regret). I cook a weekly repertoire of dishes that vary (slightly) on an annual basis.
    I have no baggage aside from one long-suffering husband, three children and a road bike that still needs the back wheel re-attaching (this is because I actually fixed the puncture but cannot figure our how to get the damn thing back on the frame).
    Do you 'do' long-distance platonic relationships? If so, I'm game.
    But no sex please. That would just be embarrassing.

    LCM x

  22. I've been internet dating for almost a year. I wish I'd met some terrific people. Maybe men 40 years and over are decent. The ones in their 30s sure aren't. I never realised how common cheating on your partner is. I've had three men fall for me, then decide they're really not ready for a relationship. One guy got caught out cheating on his girlfriend.. we were supposed to meet up the next day. Another was married and told me he was divorced.. I believed him until his wife messaged me and told me they were still very much together.
    It seems the guys that are attracted to me are crazy. I don't want to be alone but I'm seriously considering giving up. I hope you find someone amazing Kerri! Oh and if they have a brother, and him my way lol. Xx

  23. Handled with style Kerri!

  24. Have just read your fascinating piece and it made me muse on my own experiences. After divorcing one husband, I remarried and was widowed quite young (horrible as he was the one). Apart from some set-ups from well-meaning friends and a hot Italian lover, I've stayed single. Too picky, too independent...

    You'll be snapped up Kerri, the point is do you want to be?! :)

  25. RSVP anecdote warning. A friend first noticed her partner (now married) on RSVP because they shared similar tastes in slightly off-centre music likes. Apparently there was a moment where they both thought, oh this is interesting. And then they discovered they both liked reading, had kids the same age, shared similar values. There were a lot of boxes being ticked before they met. There was a lot of 'talking'. They made friends. They met and clicked. But I suspect if they hadn't clicked immediately they would have pursued the friendship. Who knows when attraction kicks in? Or why? Just as long as you aren't looking for last year's dog dressed up as this year's dog. Good luck :-)

  26. LCM: Seriously. I think I'm in love with you. When can we start????

  27. That's a lovely story. Apparently there are quite a lot of marriages from RSVP. The new way of the world!

  28. I didn't know you'd been widowed. I'm SO sorry. The hot Italian lover sounds pretty fab, though!
    And yes... I think I'm happy to be snapped up.... by the right man. Is your hot Italian lover still free??? xxxxxxxxxx

  29. Honey. See point 4 above. I hear you.
    I really, really hope you (we!) meet some nice, non crazy men. With brothers! Or male cousins! xxxxxxxxxx

  30. Ah yes. Taking notes as we speak! xx

  31. Ha - I laughed at the Kylie reference too!

    Really interesting points, and hopefully what you learned will lead to meeting someone you are really happy with. Only thing I would say is re. attraction - sometimes it CAN take more than 30 seconds. Lots of discussions with friends re. 'I'm not sure, he isn't really someone I'd be attracted too' (because of looks, sometimes, approach, or viewpoints, etc). In my case, on meeting my husband to be, I thought he was fairly rude (pushed past me to get to someone more 'important' - how dare he?). He then changed his approach next time we met, but I wasn't convinced. I finally agreed to a date after several months, at which we had a big debate re. pre-nuptual agreements (perfect first date topic), to the point that we were not talking on the drive home - but 19 years, and 15 years of marriage, later, we've moved on, and generally very happy (and pre-nups discussions are well in the past - many other disagreements since then!) So don't dismiss someone too quickly (unless there are more issues than 'chemistry') - they could be the diamond in the rough!

  32. I thought we already had? Tsk.
    You just can't get the vibes nowadays...
    Bloody internet.

  33. Hot Italian lover was only ever a temporary (and effective) diversion... :)

  34. Try dating in the country ...

  35. Good on you for getting out there lovely! I hope it all goes well and somehow SImon Baker joins RSVP ;)

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