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Then there was Roger.  A.K.A. Christian Grey. (Only not as cute)

This was an experience I won’t soon forget.

I matched with this guy on Bumble, and after a few messages, we determined we had a lot in common.

Our birthdays were only a few days apart.

We both loved music, even the same TYPES of music.

We spoke to each other in songs and song lyrics, and he even seem to enjoy having deep, meaningful conversations.  Via text and Facebook messenger at least.

Then we talked on the phone for the first time. 

Within five minutes of speaking with him, he started to scold me about my choices of profile pictures.

Excuse me? What?  

He said that I should not post a photo of myself with my son because it would deter men from swiping on my profile. 

You mean.. Lie, right?

Not be honest about what my life is all about?

His opinion was, don’t lie, but give men a chance to get to know me before letting them know I have a son. 

Um yeah.  Not so much buddy. My life is ABOUT my son, and I date around HIS schedule, not the other way around.  I believe in full disclosure and want the truth to be out there from the beginning.

The second thing he mentioned was the fact that in one of my photos, you could see a little cleavage.  And when I say, “a little,” I mean A LITTLE.  I HAVE no cleavage.  All of my “extra” is in my backside, not my topside.  Not to mention I dress extremely conservative.  The fact that there was any glimpse of anything was a total freak happening.

But regardless of how much or how little, he proceeded to tell me how it would give guys the wrong impression of me, and that it made me come across as “easy.”

I can’t even tell you how passionately I disagreed with this man.  How DARE he lecture me right off the bat?  I could/should have just hung up and left it alone, but my passion for debate took over and I couldn’t drop it.  I AM a Scorpio after all.

It all ended with us just agreeing to disagree. 

After that phone conversation, I pretty much stopped communicating with him, because. Well BECAUSE, see above.

However, he continued texting me with sweet apologies, acknowledged that he came on a little too strong, and asked if we could have a “make-up” call so that he could redeem himself.

So, against my better judgement, I agreed.   

That conversation went great, and he DID redeem himself.

After that, we continued to have really great, deep, meaningful conversations.  Many hours worth.  It felt like we were really getting to know each other.  We laughed a lot and shared a lot.  So I thought.

The timing of our first meeting was a little difficult because I was in the middle of a crazy time when my son was getting married, and had an extremely busy schedule.

It was about six weeks of talking before we actually met in person.

One of the things we had in common was playing Texas Hold ‘em.  I love the game and found out that he did as well.  I was really excited at the prospect of having a new poker partner. 

We decided to meet for dinner and then go play the tournament at the sports bar where I typically play on Saturday night. 

We met at the restaurant, and my first impression was that he didn’t quite look exactly how I expected, but still handsome, smelled good, dressed nicely, hugged me warmly, and held the doors open for me.  So far so good. 

Then……. Well.  To sum it up, the rest went kind of like this……

Found out that he was not truthful in his profile about his age and that he was actually 12 years older than what I thought. Which explains why he looked a “little” different.  “Different” meaning “older.”

Found out that he TRULY believes the Earth is flat.

Yes. You read that correctly.  Let that sink in for a minute.

He asked me if I believed in polyamory, because that’s the type of relationship he wanted.

Excuse me. What? You couldn’t have mentioned that before now?  I always make it clear from the beginning what it is I’m looking for.  Not a hook up. Monogamy.  LTR.

Then came the big topic.  As if the Earth being flat and Polyamory wasn’t enough.

He asked how much I was into BDSM.

I can’t even tell you how badly I wanted to crawl under the table and slither out the front door at that point.   He gave his passionate argument that women should just submit to the control of a man and how they would feel so much less stressed about life if they didn’t have to worry about having any control over it. 

Excuse me?  Am I understanding this correctly? 

Yes.  Yes I was.

He was a Dominant, seeking a Submissive.

I felt like I was in a dream, as if this wasn’t really happening.  I mean, how could I have not known this about this before now?

He even ordered my food for me.  I corrected him and told the waitress that I wanted something different instead. He then corrected me again and told her, “No she will have…..”

Now, I’m not one for conflict, and I was okay eating what he ordered so I let it go, but at this point, I was starting to feel a little anxious.  Interestingly enough though, I never really felt unsafe with him. However, safe or not, as he told me about his past relationships and about how they broke up because the women never really “learned their place,” I knew I just needed to find a way to respectfully get out of this.

As the dinner started winding down, I was starting to feel anxious about the time. I didn’t want to be late for poker.  Priorities right?

Then he says, “What if I told you I would prefer to go somewhere, grab a coffee or a drink and talk, instead of poker, what would you say?”

I said. “I would say, I want to go play poker.”

Then he says in a condescending tone, “So what you are telling me is that this date is NOT about getting to know each other is it?”

And I just timidly said, “I just really want us to do this. It is something that I love and I am looking forward to it.”

What I was really thinking was that I needed to get my courage up to just tell this guy to shove it, but I couldn’t seem to muster it.  The second best option was to continue to be kind, continue to talk to him while being completely honest, and stay in an environment with lots of people.  The fact that our next stop would be a place where everyone knew me was even better.

He gave me an unapproving look, paid the check and we got up to leave.

We then drove to the sports bar where I play poker. 

Then guess what?  DUDE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THE GAME!!

That, in and of itself, is ALMOST as insulting as everything else I found out about the guy.  I mean, don’t insult the institution of Texas Hold ‘Em by telling me you know the game, when you don’t even know how to deal the cards! 

At one point he leaned over, whispered in my ear and said,

Him:      “Is PDA not allowed in here?”

Me:       “What?”

Him:      “PDA.  I mean, I don’t see you trying to hold my hand, or touch my knee.  Hell, you aren’t touching me at all.”

Gulp.  Deep breath.

Me:       “Look.  It’s just that you and I are on different pages. Totally different planets, actually. Looking for totally different things.  I’m sorry.”

Him:      “But I thought things were going so well?!”

Me:       “I’m sorry.” 

But what I THOUGHT was.. “Why, because I didn’t THROAT PUNCH you when you didn’t let me order my own food?”

After that, he looked at me and pushed all of his chips in on the next hand.

He lost, got up from the table, smiled at me and said, “Talk to you later.”

Whew!

Crisis averted. 

At the end of the day he was actually pretty kind.  He never got cross with me even though I was disagreeing with his stance on pretty much everything, and I was never fearful.  Anxious maybe, but not fearful.

We did end up talking a few more times after that.

He asked me politely how things could have been better between us and I just stressed the importance of full disclosure and honesty.

Don’t wait until after you’ve spent countless hours talking with someone and are face-to-face with them, to tell them you are seeking a submissive.  That needs to come up EARLY!!!

He thanked me for the words of wisdom and for being so kind.  Then we were off to live our separate lives.

Looking back on this experience, I’m not sure what I could have done differently.

I asked the right questions.

Shared the right information.

Gave it enough time before meeting in person.

He just wasn’t honest. There is no substitution for genuine, honest, full disclosure.

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After a couple of pretty deep entries, I thought I would take a minute and just highlight some of the comical things I’ve noticed so far in this journey.

Just for fun.

Please feel free to leave comments with your own observations, or stories. We must keep finding humor is all of this or we might just go crazy.

I know I started this blog by mentioning the “fish picture.”  I even named my blog after this oddity.  But I think it’s worth repeating because THERE ARE SO MANY.  I don’t care how big your fish is.  My guess is that men are “hunters and gatherers” by nature so it’s in their DNA.  They need to feel like they are “providing,” and maybe that means bringing home “The big fish!”   Again, can you catch me?  Do you want to catch and release? Or are you looking to bring me home and fry me up? 

On second thought, maybe neither one of those sound very good.

Other profile observations that just make me scratch my head:

Who is taking these pictures of the guys working out at the gym?

When they only have photos with sunglasses on, do they even have eyeballs?

Snapchat filters?  COME ON!

Dogs as the only profile photos?   When I see these, I like to imagine that it IS actually a dog’s profile and always conclude I would probably like the dog much better anyway.

I also find it fairly frustrating when all the photos are group shots, and you have to go frame by frame to figure out who is the same in each picture. Are they challenging our problem solving abilities?

Also, ranking up there with the fish pictures are the photos of the cars, the boats, the gardens, the guns, or the boots.  None of those things will keep me warm at night.

And then there is this……

This guy says he’s an “Ethical Hedonist” I will have to say, I’ve learned new vocabulary throughout this process for sure.

Oh, and I just came across this gem this morning.  How could any woman resist the charm?

Finally, I wanted to share the humor in the randomness of these photos.

If you are familiar at all with Bumble, you know that the profiles line up in your “Beeline” and you can go down the list and either click to open for more info, or you can go ahead and swipe left or right.

On this particular day, these poor guys just happened to line up in the sequence shown below. Made.. My.. Day..

Again, please feel free to leave some comments of funny / interesting / frustrating things you have found along the way.

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Sensitive Soul Swiping by Lanice1972 - 4M ago

After the incidents with the “Mikes,” my cousin recommended that I read a book, written by Steve Harvey, titled, “Act like a lady, think like a man.”

If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do.

It’s even available on audiobook.

Yes, there was a movie about the book, but it’s not the same as reading it.  I learned so much and it quickly became a part of my every day thinking process when it comes to men.

It gives such great insight in the inner workings of a man’s thought process and how he views women and relationships.

I will be honest and admit that a lot of it was really hard to digest.  Our emotional thinking makes us want to project the way we communicate and show love on to men, and they just don’t work that way.

It will give you much needed tools to navigate this dating process.

I wish I would have read it long before meeting either one of the “Mikes.”

I also would have never connected with many of these guys in the first place had I had the knowledge to understand which ones to stay away from in the first place.

We need to empower ourselves to know what we want, and to not settle.  Part of that is upholding our standards, and one of the first principals he lays out in his book, is about not compromising our standards

“Let him treat you like a lady and open the car door for you. If he doesn’t automatically open the door for you, stand by the darn thing and don’t get into the vehicle until he realizes he needs to get his behind out of the driver’s seat and come round and open the car door for you. That’s his job!” 
― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About 

First of all, know this…

Men are fisherman.  ALL of them.

A man will fish for two reasons and two reasons only.

“A man fishes for two reasons: he’s either sport fishing or fishing to eat, which means he’s either going to try to catch the biggest fish he can, take a picture of it, admire it with his buddies and toss it back to sea, or he’s going to take that fish on home, scale it, fillet it, toss it in some cornmeal, fry it up, and put it on his plate. This, I think, is a great analogy for how men seek out women.”― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About 

The sport fisher:

This is the player. 

The one seeking the hookup.

The emotionally unavailable.

The one that will introduce you to his friends as “This is my friend Gigi.” But never, “my girlfriend Gigi.”

This guy wants to show you of to his buddies, but not take you home to meet his mom.

If this is all you are seeking, that’s fine, just know what you are dealing with and base your decisions on knowledge.

The fisherman seeking “The keeper”

This guy is the one that is genuinely looking for a relationship.

He will profess his feelings for you (in his own manly way).

He will introduce you to his friends in a way that lets them know you are his.  “My girlfriend Gigi,” or “My girl.”   

He will talk about the future.

He will share his dreams.

He will open up to you. 

He will want you to meet his mother.

“To us, your power comes from one simple thing: you’re a woman, and we men will do anything humanly possible to impress you so that, ultimately, we can be with you. You’re the driving force behind why we wake up every day. Men go out and get jobs and hustle to make money because of women. We drive fancy cars because of women. We dress nice, put on cologne, get haircuts and try to look all shiny and new for you. We do all of this because the more our game is stepped up, the more of you we get. You’re the ultimate prize to us.” 
― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About 

In his book, he also lays out how the different types of men will show their “love” languages, if you will, and how to tell which ones are legit.

“But if he loves you, he will profess it, he will provide for you, and he will protect you. If he really loves you, the ultimate profession is, “This is my wife.” ― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About 

How they show love: The three Ps.

Profess. Provide. Protect.

Ladies, guys are not going to text you all day, telling you flowery things, thinking of you every minute of the day, like we do.  Their minds are much more simple than that. 

They will show you how they feel (if they really care) in these three ways.

He will profess.

Simple enough.

They will profess it. Like above. “This is my girl. This is my wife.” And yes, they will say, “I love you.” Maybe not as much or as often as we want them to, but they will.

He will provide.

This one is tricky because in today’s society as women, we are having to take care of ourselves. More single moms and dual income houses put that requirement on us.  We become so used to be self-sufficient in so many ways, that it is second nature. 

But ladies.. As much as this may interfere with how you think you should act, or even assault your pride, let them at least feel like they are providing. It is also, not always about money.

So what if you have moved that TV five times in the past all by yourself, ask him to do it for you this time. At least let him think he is providing for you.

If your car needs an oil change, don’t just automatically take it to the dealership and have them do it.  Mention it around him and if he shows interest, and he will if you are his keeper, let him change your oil.

Find any way you can to let him feel needed.  Even if he’s not.  He NEEDS to feel NEEDED.

Be creative.  Find ways.  Think of projects you need done. Hell, even break something so he can fix it. Ok maybe that’s a stretch, but who knows.

Anytime you are in distress, no matter the reason, he’s going to want to fix it. Let him.  Let him at least try.

And then APPRECIATE HIM!  Show him your gratitude.

Put down your pride for a minute, and speak to him in a way that he understands.  Let him provide.

He will protect.

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

He will die protecting you. Protecting your honor, your security, your emotions.  

Let him.

This may look like something as simple as him walking between you and the busy street.  Or putting his arm around you and pulling you close if you are in a sketchy neighborhood.

Again, recognize it when it happens, and know he’s showing that he cares about you.

We are such complex creatures, and they are not. We have to learn to understand how they think and act. Trust me, it will help you sanity in the long run. At least save you some heartache in the mean time.

“I’ve said over and over again jokingly that the only way a woman can truly be completely satisfied is to get herself four different men—an old one, an ugly one, a Mandingo, and a gay guy. Now the four of them combined? They got you covered.” 
― Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

Of course, I’m not an expert on any of this.  I am still single and have yet to find Prince Charming.

However, the knowledge I gained from reading this book, has really helped me navigate this process, and helps identify the players a lot more quickly than when I first started.  I now avoid the sports fishers at all costs.

READ THE BOOK!

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062351567/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_fxCCCbBMAY64P

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Sensitive Soul Swiping by Lanice1972 - 4M ago

Ahhh.. Yes.  Tinder.

Going into this process, I knew about as much about Tinder as I knew about Gindr. Which was very little.

I had heard about it over and over, and even had a close coworker that was on there.

How bad can it be right?

Turns out, it is this magical land of opportunity.  A land where it seems all norms, at least MY norms, are questioned and bent in a manner that just doesn’t seem to make sense.  To me at least.  The land of the “hookup.”

What exactly is a hookup anyway?  Had not ever really thought about it until I started seeing the phrase over and over in profiles.  “Not looking for a hookup.” or “Just looking for a hookup.”    Doesn’t “hookup” mean, just to meet? Go out?  Spend time with someone?  Isn’t that why we are all on the dating app to start with?

 Apparently not.

Now that I know what it means, I know that it is NOT what I’m looking for.  So is everyone on Tinder looking for that thing?  The “hookup?”

As I sifted and swiped, I noticed that a large majority of guys put no information at all on their profiles.  They strictly rely on their photos to get your attention.  How smug is that? They were immediately a “nope.”

I also found many guys that were married. 

Wait…. What?  MARRIED? 

The boldness of that!  Married men looking for a hookup is a HUGE reason why I have trust issues with men to start with.  Is commitment not sacred anymore?  Surely, this is the exception and not the rule.  Right?

Then I came across COUPLES looking for a third person.  Wow! I mean, I have known swingers in my life, but to put it out there so proudly. 

Then there were actually a few profiles that were informative, polite, and even mentioned looking for an LTR, not a hookup.

So those are the ones I swiped on.

What I found was interesting. 

After texting, talking, and learning.  I did have a few dates from Tinder.  And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to blame the app, but looking back on my experiences, I never had a good result from any of the individuals I met from this particular platform.  

Here are a couple of the highlights:

The crazy cat guy:

This was the first guy I really talked and spent time with after the magical Match guy.

Again, the bar was really high.

He was handsome; however, his Tinder profile was a work headshot that was about 15 years old.  So when I did meet him, and he looked MUCH older than his profile, and I was a little taken aback, but I still thought he was handsome. Even WITHOUT hair.  So, I didn’t let it deter me.

The first few times we talked about meeting didn’t happen because of his sick cat.  I am, above anything else an animal lover and I totally understand the devastating nature of losing a beloved animal.  But he seemed to use it as leverage, to gain sympathy and to cancel dates.

When we finally did meet, it was a really sweet sushi dinner.  He sat next to each other, held my hand, and man, did he ever lay it on THICK! 

How beautiful I was. 

How sweet I was.  

How he loved my smile, my touch, my eyes.  ALL OF IT. 

He knew how to woo a woman for sure.

After a couple of dates, I agreed to let him make dinner for me at his apartment.

This was the first time I got a true sense of his bullshit.

I met him at his apartment, which was horribly filthy and smelled even worse.  Then, the night was consumed with him trying to get me in his bed, and we never even ate dinner.

I left that night starving, but with my moral compass intact.

The following conversations with him was consumed by him explaining to me how he was emotionally unavailable, and that he typically connects with someone physically first, then the emotional part comes later. What he really meant to say was that the way to his heart was through his penis.

I did however believe there was a chance to break through his hardened heart.  Don’t we always think that?  Aren’t they ALL just like Christian Grey.  It took the unconditional love of a strong woman to break through his darkness.  I thought I could be this for Mike! 

So, I continued to see him, talk to him, and be there for him. Unconditionally, without ever having any of my own emotional needs met.

He would call after a hard day at work and share his stress.  That’s a good sign right?  He talked about his heartache from his divorce and he shared with me how bad it hurt to lose his cat. That had to mean he was opening up to me and I was breaking though, wearing him down!

I even talked to my therapist about him, sharing with her some of the things he shared with me, and she believed, as I did, that he was showing some vulnerability.  Bingo!  Now we’re getting somewhere.

My magic must be working!

So, I continued getting closer to him, and starting planning the “night.”  You know, “the night.” When it finally happens.  I felt like I was close to him emotionally at this point, to sleep with him.

I planned on him spending the weekend with me and even started putting together an iTunes playlist for that moment. 

Yes, I know.  I understand NOW that a playLIST is unreasonable.  It’s more likely to be a song, if that much.  Maybe two at best.  But hey, as long as those 2 minutes are magical, who cares, right?

Finally, the night came.  Music was playing, candles were lit, sexy nightie was on, everything was great.  Until the actual moment came and he couldn’t follow through.

He made up some bullshit story about having a bad week, was stressed, didn’t feel well, and needed to go home.

So, he left.

Assuming as I always do, that it was me. He was unattracted to me, once the clothes were off, I felt rejected and disgusting.

I cried.

And cried.

And then he ghosted me.

What a chicken shit! 

It took me a while to shake “Mike.”  But I did.  And unfortunately, found more of the same.

The Song guy.  Another “Mike.”

What is it with the name Mike?

This guy seemed really sweet and we spent a lot of time on the phone getting to know each other.

He started sending me really cheesy recordings of himself singing made up songs about me.

He couldn’t carry a tune, but it was so incredibly endearing.

He sent other songs, as well.  COUNTRY songs.  Songs that spoke to my heart.  Telling me he meant every lyric. Music to me is a love language and the way to my heart, is through music. Well, that’s not the ONLY way, but it gets you REALLY far.

We went on several dates, and after each date the flowery offerings increased.

Sweet voicemails.  More songs.  More bad singing.

At the end of one date he looked me in the eyes and said, “I want to do whatever it takes to be your guy.”

How freaking sweet is that?

He asked me on several occasions what it would take for me to be able to take “the next step.” 

COMMITMENT

I told him, just time.  But honestly, I was considering it with him. I was starting to think I could have a future with this guy.

Until one Sunday morning I texted him and got no response. Which was extremely unusual for him.  

I didn’t hear from him until 2 days later, when I got a message that simply said…. “Look Gigi, we’ve had a few dates.  We’ve had fun.  But I’m just not ready to be with one person right now.  It’s been nice getting to know you.  Good luck on your journey.”

At this point, I’m just at a loss.

How do you trust anything that anybody says?  When a guy is laying it on so thick, and then turns it off so quickly, how do you learn to navigate that?

All I can say is…

First, stay away from guys named Mike. and second?

When I figure it out, I will let you know.

For now.  I will continue to seek the male version of “The Unicorn,” A.K.A. “Prince Charming.”

Hot Emotional Unavailability Matrix - A Woman's Guide to Men - YouTube
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Sensitive Soul Swiping by Lanice1972 - 4M ago

It seemed that the first guy I met from Match.com was an anomaly, and even though the pond was stocked with better, quality fish there, they soon stopped biting.  I started seeing the same faces over and over in my feed, and it was beginning to feel like the fish were hibernating for the Summer.

My therapist continued encouraging me by reminding me that with each person I swiped on, each person I chatted with, talked to, or went on a date with, I learned more about myself.

When I first started seeing her, we had many discussions about my past failed relationships, what made them fail, what I really wanted and didn’t want in a partner, and how to avoid more failed relationships in the future.  We made a list of things that were important to me, and things that were deal breakers.  I encourage you to do the same.  Study it.  Read it.  Live by it.

As you go on dates, you will be surprised at the things you add to your “must have” list, and things you add to you “deal breaker” list.  Like manners and hygiene.  I would have never thought that dating adult men would require me to have bad hygiene on my list of deal breakers, but trust me my friends, I do.

And by manners, I mean, don’t ask me in the middle of Taco Cabana, with your voice level on HIGH, if I have fake tits, then put sour cream on your taco with your fingers.  Yes… that happened.

That said, promise yourself, as I did, NOT to settle.  You are worthy of happiness, and you will never find it by compromising who you are, in order to find love.  Don’t let the desire to BE loved, overcome your ability to stay true to yourself.  After all, if you are not being the truest form of you, then you aren’t truly being loved.

But.. as I always tell my therapist, it all looks good on paper. It all makes sense, and sounds reasonable, even logical.  But putting the plan into action is another story.

Being an Empath definitely makes dating hard to navigate at times.  I never want to inflict the sting of rejection onto another human, as I know how deeply hurtful it can be.  However, in order to stay true to myself, I have to be strong enough to be honest, especially when the connection just isn’t there.

I was, and still am, determined to find, “The One,” and I am also as equally determined to not settle. 

So how do I do that?

By learning. Researching. Becoming in tune with what I REALLY want.

BY VOLUME!

For any research project to work, you need data. I wanted to find the perfect match, and I wasn’t going to give up.  Now mind you, I’m not looking for perfection in that sense, I’m looking for what is perfect for me.  I’ve spent the majority of my adult life living for other people, catering to others’ emotions, and settling for relationships that brought more pain than joy.  I needed a definitive answer on what makes me happy, and I sincerely wanted to find it.

I needed to put on my big girl panties (they are ALL big girl panties by the way) and put myself out there.

I needed to stop being so emotionally fearful, let myself date, get my feelings hurt, and learn.  All types of guys, of different races, and with different professions.  I was even willing to date a guy that didn’t like country music.  I know right?!  Yes, unfortunately they do exist.

I never have, and still don’t consider myself a serial dater, but I also don’t consider it “dating” until you’ve gotten past the second date. I knew that in order for find “The One,” I was going to have to weed through, “The many.”

The more data in, the better the knowledge gained.  The answer?

Multiple dating sites.

More options.

More swipes.

More data.

I signed up for Tinder.

I signed up for Bumble.

I never actually cancelled my subscription to BBW People meet.

And I still had my subscription for Match. 

However, despite the name of this entry, and despite the fact that I was fishing in a sea of men, I could not bring myself to join, Plenty of Fish. 

A girl’s gotta have her standards.

I stopped myself short of creating a spreadsheet, but I still have not ruled it out.

A “Lady in the streets, and a freak in the spreadsheets!”

And I wonder why I’m still single.

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Soon after I subscribed I got a like that would change my life.

Now mind you, I am not going to bore you with the details of every guy I’ve talked to, or every date I have been on, but there are certainly a few that are noteworthy, scary, inspirational, funny, or just plain odd.

While this story may be a bit long, I believe it’s one that is very relatable.  I’m sure most of you reading this have had an experience similar to mine, maybe early on in your online dating journey, and I think it’s always a good thing to understand that we’re not alone, and more importantly, not crazy.  If my blog does anything at all, I hope it helps you realize, you (we) are not crazy, even though this experience can oftentimes make us feel that way.

This is about not only the first guy I actually gave my number to, but also the first guy I had a date with, and, let’s just say experienced “other” firsts with as well.

One of the great things about Match.com is the amount of information you can put in your profile.  As little or as much as you want, not limited by character count.  

I find myself drawn more to guys that actually take the time to think about what they say.  I feel that it shows a certain amount of sincerity and seriousness that you don’t get from guys just looking for the “hook-up.”  One of my mantras is, “No info, no swipe.”

As I read this gentleman’s profile, I was drawn by how eloquently he spoke, described who he was, and what he was looking for.

He was creative, talented, very handsome, in close proximity, and we had a lot in common.  Not to mention he is an artist and I was extremely enamored by his work.

I sent him a well composed, thoughtful message, and waited.

And waited…

And waited…

I started to think I probably said way too much, as I have a tendency to do, and I started to think he just wasn’t going to respond.

Then finally about 2 days later, it was there.

The most heart-felt, warm, thought-out response a girl could ask for.

He had taken the time to read my profile, read my note, and respond accordingly.

With but only a few words, I was hooked, and had to know more.

After the 2nd or 3rd message within the app, we exchanged phone numbers and I began texting with him. That led to the first of many phone calls lasting hours at a time, but only felt like mere minutes.  

I was so drawn to him and could tell the feeling was mutual.  Problem was, he was going out of town the very next day, and would be gone for a week.  A WHOLE WEEK!

Not only that, but his travel destination would involve a cabin in the woods, with no cell signal. 

First of all, I couldn’t believe that I just started talking to this dreamy dude, only to have it abruptly come to an end like that.  THE INJUSTICE OF IT ALL! 

But second of all, I thought, “No cell signal?  A cabin in the woods? Who does that?”

Maybe he’s not as smart as I thought he was, or even worse, maybe it wasn’t the truth at all. 

Maybe he was just telling me that because he was done talking with me. Enter in, insecurities and the anxious attachment style. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults

He did however stay in close contact during his travel journey, but I knew that feeling of euphoria was going to end soon, or at least come to a pause.

Then out of the blue, I received an unexpected alert from Facebook messenger.

The cabin had WIFI! 

Unbeknownst to me, FB Messenger allowed you to video chat AND audio chat via any internet connection!

And just that like, once again, all was right with the world.

The week that followed was filled with hours upon hours of talking and video chatting.  We shared some extremely intimate stories about our lives, families, and emotions.  I felt such an intense connection that at times seemed surreal.

I wasn’t sleeping, couldn’t focus at work, and felt like a love-struck teenager.

I couldn’t stop talking about him.

My coworkers knew about him.  My closest cousins knew about him.

The day finally came for him to return home, and for us to finally, FINALLY meet.

The first date.

It felt like so much of my past, my present, and my future, depended on this moment.  Not necessarily my “future” with him, but my romantic future in general.

He was the first man I had been interested in, talked to, and thought about, in years.

How would it feel? Would it be like I imagined?  Would I chicken out?

The anticipation was off the charts and I felt myself forgetting to breathe at times.

On the day of the date, I ended up leaving work early that day so that I could have plenty of time to get ready.  Everything had to be as perfect as it could possibly be.

However, as luck would have it, being the middle of July in Texas, it was the hottest day of the year.

The high reached 106 that day, and was 102 at game time.  Err, I mean “date” time.

Add the heat to my already nervous self, and I was a big ole sweat ball.  SO attractive.

I was shaking.  I was sweating.  I was barely breathing.  Poor guy! 

Of course, he arrived a few minutes early, as I have come to learn is his MO.

Once I was able to lock eyes with him, and actually feel his arms wrapped around me, I could breathe again.  It was a strange, yet familiar feeling of peace.  Not sure how it was familiar, given that I had never met him before, but still felt comfortable.  Maybe it was familiar from the many hours we had spent on video calls leading up to this moment, or perhaps it was familiar because our souls were meant to be with each other.

But whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes…….. DAMNIT!  There I go again. 

We had dinner, talked, and we laughed.  It was as if we had known each other for years.  I felt extremely comfortable, and yet felt a different feeling of anxiety creeping in.  I couldn’t explain it, or understand it, but it was rearing its ugly head.

We went back to my house and just spent time in each other’s space, again, talking and laughing.  I laid my head on his chest, and gain felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I again felt such a sense of belonging, and yet such anxiety at the same time.

You could pretty much cut the air with a knife. 

Then, the kiss happened. The first real kiss I had felt in many years. 

It was magical. 

I would love to tell you that I was able to keep my moral compass on track and DIDN’T actually sleep with someone on the first date….   But… this blog is about brutal honesty. Right?

It had been years since I had been with anyone, and about 12 years since I had been with a guy.

I got lost.

I forgot about my physical insecurities.

I forgot about safety.

I forgot about how I would appear to him as far as being “that type of girl.”

And I most definitely forgot about my moral compass.

It was as if I was having an out-of-body experience.

I found myself intoxicated and completely without my wits. 

I also felt extremely awkward.

I felt like I had shared WAY too much of myself and in a way in which I had no clue what I was doing.  At the risk of sounding like Madonna, I felt, well…

He however, was kind, compassionate, patient, gentle, and loving.  He held me close, cuddled, and treated me with the utmost respect.  He stayed the night, had coffee with me the next morning, talked with me while I got ready for work, and just made me feel special.  He had no idea I was feeling such turmoil inside. 

It is hard for me to find words to describe how I felt in the moments and days immediately after this encounter.

It was almost as if all my fears, insecurities, walls, mistrust, anxiety, lust, love, hope, and memories (good and bad), all came crashing in on me at one time.

I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

So what did I do?  I ran.

Sort of.

I interpreted my fear, anxiety, and awkwardness as a lack of chemistry, and I told him as much.  It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  I felt like I was letting him down, and if you know anything at all about being an empath, you know how hard this is.

I knew once I told him how I was feeling, or not feeling in this instance, I risked losing him, and that wasn’t something I wanted either.  I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted, but as much as I was sure I would sound like a lunatic, I had to be honest with him.  

His reaction?

He thanked me.

He thanked me for my kindness, my thoughtfulness, and my honesty.

He is truly one of the kindest humans I have ever met during my time on this planet.

The moral of my story, and the reason I made you endure the entire thing is this….

This man has become one of my closest friends and confidantes.

I realize now after being on this dating journey for almost a year, just how blessed I am to have had him be my first real experience with a man.

As I endure bad dates and bad conversations, I remind myself of the bar that was set.  The one HE set.

His respectfulness, his kindness, his compassion, and everything that he has meant to me, reminds me on a daily basis that I don’t have to settle.

We still date.  We still kiss. We still value each other greatly. 

Had I had some of my other experiences first, as opposed to this one, I am not sure I would have the strength and faith to continue this journey. 

But thanks to him.  I do.

Blessings come to us in so many forms.  Keep your eyes open.

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Sensitive Soul Swiping by Lanice1972 - 4M ago

Ok, time to reevaluate.

What am I doing? What do I want?

The experience with the first dating site left me bewildered in a way that made me question what I was doing.  How easy it would be at this point to fall back into my past pattern of feeling rejected by men, then running to women for companionship.  This was the easy path.  It always had been.

Women judge less on your appearance, listen more to your emotions, and understand “tragic” week, when all you want to do it eat chocolate, watch sappy movies, and cry.

Problem was, something was always missing.  I knew I wanted to be with a man and even though it had been many years since I had that experience, I knew I wanted to explore that possibly again.  So, I renewed my promise to myself that I would not give up this time!

But.  One thing was for sure.

I needed a new dating site.

After taking a couple of weeks to lick my wounds and get over my disappointment with the BBW site, I did a little research on the other options.  At least the ones I had heard about so far.

What I found was overwhelming.

The ones I knew about were Plenty of Fish, Match.com, and eHarmony.  I also had heard about other various sites through friends and coworkers, called Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble, but I had no idea there were so many options.

I decided to narrow it down to the few I had at least heard of.

Match.com:  Was already familiar with this one.

Bumble: Found this one a little intimidating.  The woman makes the first move?  The opportunities for rejection there seemed endless.

Plenty of Fish: Although I had a close family member find her husband on POF, that was over 10 years ago, and I had heard many horror stories since, so I quickly checked that one off my list.

Grindr:  I know.. I know… It’s a hook-up site for gay men. I know that NOW.. BTW, do not Google this from your work computer. I’m just sayin’.

Tinder:  A possibility.

eHarmony:  Felt like too much work and was a little too serious.

Ultimately, I decided to give Match a try.

I liked the way you are matched based on mutual interests and criteria.  Including body type.

You can click on profiles and see what body type they are looking for, before ever deciding to swipe yourself. 

Not to mention, the selection of men was MUCH more desirable.

Here, I found more professional men, more liberal men, more successful men, and men with more complete profiles that actually had something interesting to say.

I also learned that whenever you join a new site for the first time, your profile rises to the top.  You are fresh meat, and you will get a barrage of messages and likes all at once. It can be quite overwhelming.

But this time I was much wiser.  I was not going to fall for the………

*Answers phone*

“Yes, this is she.”

“Yes.  Yes.  I see.  Yes, I did in fact make a credit card purchase with Match.com.”

“No.  It is not fraudulent.”

“I. I know this is not my normal spending pattern, but……. I understand.  Thank you.”

Great. Now even Capital One is judging me for my love-life inadequacies.

Oh well. They don’t know me! Who are they to criticize my life choices!

Shaking off the call, I was once again ready to start a new adventure.

Only this time around I was smarter and opted for the 6-month value-added subscription.

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If any of you have kids about the same age as I do, you remember this sly little fox from “Dora the Explorer.” 

He was always lurking in the corner trying to steal something.

Maybe Dora’s writers knew something that we didn’t about the art of swiping. 

Once I was a Premium member and was able to view and respond to messages, I was left a little… Let’s just say, bewildered.

At first, I had about 25 likes and a few messages.

And it went kind of like this:

18 of the 25 were in other states, or other countries even.

Two were the dreaded: 

And the remaining five were:

  • A profile name of, ladylicker
  • A profile name of, Animefan
  • A profile name of, bigmaninyou
  • A profile name of, Xitwounds
  • A profile name of, SearchingNDFW

I narrowed it down to only “SearchingNDFW” and clicked to see what he was all about.

His profile photo was of himself, holding a creepy Sci-Fi doll, with a ComiCon VIP pass around his neck. Nothing against Comicon, but just not my thing.

As suspected.. I wasted so much time contemplating the monthly subscription fee, that I missed the opportunity to meet my soul mate. 

I then started to browse the profiles within my location radius.

My thumbs were locked and loaded ready to swipe, swipe, swipe.

After a while, my thumbs began to atrophy from no movement. 

They were not swiping. 

I found plenty of profiles with shirtless men, nerdy men, toothless men, motorcycle gang men, racist men, dominant men, married men and couples (yes that is a thing), but didn’t seem to find anything that seemed even remotely compatible with me.

I was feeling extremely defeated.  Discouraged, and downright blue.

And then there was John.

This blonde haired, blue-eyed, tall, muscular, beautiful species of a man that liked and messaged me.

My first thought was, he must have made a mistake, and then I remembered what site I was on.

Then I saw that his location was New Jersey, and since I’m in Texas, found myself extremely disappointed again.  However, given that this was the first man I had any interest in speaking to whatsoever, I responded to his message and opened up the dialogue.

He told me he was thinking about relocating to Texas, which is why is reached out to me.  He gushed about how beautiful I was, and how he was looking for true love.  Blah Blah Yada Yada.  Everything a girl wants to hear.

After a couple of days of chatting through the app, he asked for my phone number.  Which I happily gave him, because, well, see above.

We exchanged text messages for a couple of days, at which point he told me he was leaving to go out of the country on a construction project and would be gone for a few months.

We continued to text, but oddly, each time I tried to call him, he never picked up.

I started feeling like this guy was a little too good to be true, so I asked him if we could FaceTime so I could see his face.  At which time he responded with a story that he was not allowed to bring a smart phone into this particular area of Africa, due to local government restrictions.

Seriously?

At this point, I stopped responding.  Then he began with his barrage of text messages asking where I was, where did I go, and why was I not responding.

Then it happened.

The request for money.  THE SCAM.

The sad story that he would not be paid until the end of the contract, and he really wanted to watch the World Cup. He requested that I purchase $250 in iTunes gift cards and send to him so he could stream the world cup.

You mean, stream it on the smart phone that you’re not allowed to have with you?

This was the first time I ever learned about this type of scam, and the first time I learned about the BLOCK feature on my phone.

My experiences with this particular website was pretty consistent across the board.

Very disappointing and discouraging.

However, if my purpose was to learn, and pass along info that may help others, I am happy to be that vessel.

Ladies, hear this.

Men will pick sites like these, because unfortunately, if you are a larger woman, society will label you as desperate, weak, or needy. You will be targeted because of that stereotype.

Keep your guard up!

If I have learned anything from this experience, it is this…. Do not..and I repeat, do NOT, settle. 

Do not swipe for the sake of swiping.

Do not respond if the man is anything less than what you KNOW you deserve.

We are strong.. We are beautiful.. We are smart..

And we definitely need a different dating site.

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The wait was not a long one.

The likes and messages started to trickle in fairly quickly.

Now, don’t get excited yet, because if you do, you will be making the same mistake I did.

Upon getting the notification that someone liked and messaged me, I quickly logged into the app and clicked away.  Only to realize that you have to be a paid subscriber to see the messages and likes.

Oh the injustice of it all!

How can this be?  These apps are supposed to be free right?.  There must be something wrong with the technology.

So I promptly deleted the app and reinstalled it.  Logged in, and tried again. 

I mean, that IS the equivalent to rebooting your computer right?

and again….

Meanwhile, my likes and messages had doubled!  My soul mate could be waiting for me, possibly talking to another woman at this very moment, while I’m waving my fist in the air, screaming WHY?!

I very seriously considered writing a complaint to the customer service team, but instead, I did the next best thing..

I clicked on the “Upgrade now” button.

How bad could it be right?

$29.95 for one month, or $49 for 6 months. 

You would think I would go for the 6-month value option, but there was NO way I was going to need this subscription for 6 months!  My soulmate was already waiting just on the other side of the credit card information, a.k.a “The wall.”  All I needed to do, was get access to his email, and the next credit card transaction I would make would be for the wedding flowers. 

The monthly subscriptiom it was!

I yanked out my credit card, started to fill out the info, and suddenly felt a little odd. 

Sort of….. well…

Trashy..

I felt like I was selling my soul. Or was I trying to buy it?

It felt dirty.  And just wrong. 

How did my romantic life end up being defined by how much I paid for access to men’s profiles?

How sad is it, that I’m now considering paying money to swipe or be swiped? 

I had a moment of sadness wash over me as I contemplated all that is the online dating experience.

Then I quickly got over myself and remembered my boyfriend was waiting!! Who I am to cause another human distress.  If not for me, I should do it for him.

Then I started playing mind games with myself like.  Ok G, ordering in pizza one night for you and your son, or going to see a movie would be more than the monthly subscription, it’s not a big deal.

So I decided to do it!  $29.95 was history and I was only a few clicks away from my soulmate.

And that my friends, was 8 months ago

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The profile

Keeping with the Dr. Seuss theme.  I am calling this entry, “The Shape of me and other stuff.”  Given that it seems to be my sticking point. 

I should also point out, that for the purpose of this blog, I’m going to call myself Gigi.  If you’ve ever seen the movie “He’s just not that into you,” you know who Gigi is.  And yes, I actually have an “Alex” in my life as well.  He has been a confidante and has provided very helpful insight into the male psyche throughout this process.  The problem is, I didn’t have Alex in these early days, which probably could have saved me some valuable time I will never get back.  

Anyway, back to the dreaded profile. 

Much like updating my resume, the thought of actually having to sit down and write something about myself that might attract another human made me want to wretch.  I don’t like talking about myself, and I definitely don’t enjoy being the center of attention.  Introverts unite!!

Let’s see…  

Divorced white female. Overweight. Insecure. Extra sensitive. Introvert. Cries easily. Former lesbian.  Closer to 50 than 40. In therapy………

Oh look!  I just got matched with a sloth! 

I could already imagine the men beating down my door.

I had to get creative. I am 100% honest, I believe in full disclosure and wanted to set a realistic expectation of all that is me.

However, I also wanted to actually attract someone at the same time.

Come on Gigi!  I told myself, you’ve got a lot going for you and you just need to accentuate the positives. Alright, let’s do this!

Let’s start with the basics.  

  • Age:  46
  • Height: 5’7
  • Occupation: Secret Agent (that’s really not my job title, but it could qualify)
  • Religion: Spiritual / Not religious
  • Political Affiliation: Very liberal
  • Divorced: 
  • Kids:  Yes, 2
  • Seeking LTR. 

I then highlighted things about me that I felt would be attractive to men.

  • I love to cook.
  • I speak fluent sarcasm.
  • I love football. (I figured the last one would get their attention for sure)

Then the body type question comes along.  I felt the anxiety creeping in. 

I paused. 

Took a deep breath.

And almost deleted my profile.

How could I ever compete with the other women in this world who are better suited for this? 
The ones that identify as “Fit” or “Athletic” or “Slender.”

Society has tortured women with the idea that our bodies need to be perfect in order for us to be worthy.  

It was the one thing about me that has caused me to be rejected more than any other.

From my husband (my oldest son’s father) and other men that I have tried to date between then and now.

But hold up….

I remembered there was a reason I chose this site in particular.  Because men on this site expect women who are bigger than a Barbie.  They are actually attracted to larger women. Thank you Jesus that these men do exist.

So I took a deep breath and tried to answer the question.

But it is not as easy as it sounds. 

I have never understood, nor do I still, the various definitions that describe a “plus sized woman.”

The options were…

  • Curvy
  • A few extra pounds
  • Chubby
  • Full-figured
  • Big and Beautiful
  • SSBBW

What the what?

Again.  Being the overthinker that I am, and wanting to answer each question as honestly as I could, I got stuck on this answer.

I could eliminate SSBBW, but what is the difference between Big and Beautiful, and Full-figured?  And where does “A few extra pounds” stop, and “curvy” begin?

It is so confusing.  I wish there was just a category that was, “Not a freaking Barbie Doll!”

So I selected full figured, added a few details about me, uploaded some photos, and clicked save.

And the waiting game begins…. 

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