Online Dating – Depressing or Not?

Is Online Dating hard?

Completely; yes; very much are the answers from 95% of the people, when you ask them about online dating.

Some of the people drop online dating and choose to go organically. I have to admit that this always makes me smile… Sounds like going Vegan. I tell them that at home I’m Vegan but outside of the house I eat whatever I want – food is not a religion for me. Why can’t it be the same in dating? Online dating is just another way, option, to get to what you want – you can have it all. If it is a life partner, a causal relationship or you name your combination, there is more than one way to get there.

I agree online dating can be very hard, but I also think that many people take it too seriously too soon in the game. It is all about your attitude.

What do I mean?

Beth is looking to start a family. She is in her late twenties and every date is a promise for a future husband and a father for her dream kids. Yep, very high expectations and she is just texing. Beth, before every date, gets anxious and loses her cool vibe. Beth is online dating for the last three years and doesn’t understand why it is not working for her.

There are a few ways to make online dating a fun experience without getting upset or depressed.

You started texting and then it is a fun conversation? The person on the other side seems interesting and you would like to know more? There is nothing like a face to face meeting to see where it goes – and it should happen quickly. For those who are looking for rules: three to four days of texting are more than enough. Go out and meet – what’s the worst thing that can happen?

I mentioned “Too Seriously” – for example, somebody ghosted you after a few days of great texting. It hurts a little, but… wait! They don’t really know you and you don’t really know them. So don’t take it so seriously and go and listen to “Thank you next.“

Shopping lists vs. Values. Open your mind and your dating profile to different people. You can never know who will you meet. At the same time, make sure your values are clear. Values are specific beliefs about what is important and unimportant, good and bad, right and wrong

 Example, I believe that it is wrong for a man, in his early fifties, not to have a steady job and live in his parents’ mother in law unit, while saving money for his next tattoo. I know, my values are weird.

Once I allowed myself to open my mind, identify and stick to my values but not to my shopping list, I met some interesting people. The truth, first glance in their online profile picture did not spark much of an interest and they didn’t look visually “my type,” but meeting them face to face and walking around Greenlane together, suddenly presented them in a different light. I enjoyed a lovely time and with a few of them also an LTR.

Give a brownie point to someone who took the time and filled out their profile information and their pictures are up to date. A blank profile says something about the person behind it – serious it is not.

And last but not least – if you open up your app and what comes to your mind is: “Oy Vey” you might need some time off from online dating. Go do things you love, new things you never did before, join a meetup of fun people that share the same interests that you do – try go organically, put yourself out there physically. One thing to remember – online dating is like a bazaar. Things change all the time and people come and go from different reasons. Make sure you find the app that works for you and you feel comfortable with – Tinder vs. Bumble for example. Some apps do not let you write a long profile and others do. My favorite app, OK Cupid, also asks you a ton of questions. Try and see what works better for you and remember all the time: don’t take it seriously. Go out and have fun first of all.

Dating Organically

Last week, after one of the storytelling shows I performed in, I stood next to a table presenting Around Seattle in 80 Dates, when a woman approached me. The name of the show by the way was: Bad Date Storytelling.

I never met this woman before but she was very determined to let me know what she thought about my performance, “You are Amazing, but this is not for me,” Kate said.

“What exactly is not for you,” I asked her. Kate was in her late 40’s – the smart type, never married. She had a nice smile and round glasses. Kate explained to me, that she wants to find her life partner organically. Why did I think about a carrot right away? I don’t know.

By Dating Organically Kate meant that she wants to be lucky and find her prince by accident. I asked her if fender bender counts. She didn’t smile. Kate loves to read books and her organic story sounded like that: Kate used to visit a local book store next to her rented room in downtown Seattle. One day, this handsomest dark man will walk into the store. He will see her and immediately approach her. They will start talking about books and will find out they have the same taste in books, music and so much more.

Kate kept talking for a few more minutes, but my mind was already in a different place – Dating Organically? I heard about it but it never happened to me. Every time I meet a couple, I ask them how they met. When I meet couples that met organically, not online and not a set date, I hug them and say: You are Soooooo Lucky. And by luck, I mean: you were in the right place on the right time with the same needs. And then I think to myself: how rare is that!?

Reading the post AU NATURALE: WHY MEETING SOMEONE ORGANICALLY IS THE BEST WAY made me want to do the same to the writer of the post – hug the author. By the way, the person that wrote the post does not sound very lucky or reports any success with their decision to date organically.

There are options out there, one that I love is meetup.com. Find a group that you are interested in their meetings and join. This handsomest guy/amazing woman just might be there as well, or not.

Going organically sounds great and very romantic but not a practical solution in my eyes. It is for sure an option, but I would still use the online options that are in place.

 

True, many first dates are not followed by second dates and I think that this is just fine. The idea that your prince is the next date and both of you will figure it out in an hour is a beautiful and romantic idea, which I remember I had when I was in my early twenties. But hey, I am not anymore and there are some benefits in being in your early 50’s. I feel wiser.

 

If you are an English speaker, I bet you heard the phrase “Mazal Tov” – which literally means, good luck. Mazal Tov is a greeting used by Jews all over the world and became part of the English language. The phrase is in Hebrew, The word “MAZAL” in Hebrew means “Luck” in English.

The Kabballah talks about the fact that MAZAL is an acronym for:

M = In Hebrew – Makom; In English = Place   

Z = In Hebrew – Zman; In English = Time

L = In Hebrew stands for Limud; In English = Study, experience, what you have learned and made you who you are today.

 So, to be lucky in life, according to the Kabballah, you have to be in the Right Place, in the Right Time with the Real you – that is who you are in life today thanks to everything you went through, college, relationships, life – you are a total of your experience. You need to be out there so you can get lucky. You know what I mean.

 Organically meeting people is nice, but might be a complete waste of time. Also – limitation people!!! Not at work and not with your best friend’s ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, unless you want an ex-best boyfriend/ girlfriend. Just saying.

 Go build a great profile, take a few good pictures WITHOUT A FILTER, and write 15 lines about yourself and what interests you in life. KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetheart.

Leave something to talk about and just enjoy the ride! It might not be your next partner but you just might meet a fun person and discover the best martini in town! Attitude, attitude, attitude.

 

Cheers, and I hope you do choose to enjoy the ride. All the rest comes organically.

Dedicated to B… you know who you are.

 Renata

Mike #80 – his voice

To all of you who were expecting Renata’s blog this week- this is Mike#80! Yes, I am the lucky guy, who eventually won her heart. Renata asked me to fill in for her this time and write our lives from my perspective, to show a male perspective and come up with a subject I want to share with her readers. Well, at our book tour there is always this question I am being asked…

    The readers of “Around Seattle in 80 Dates” want to know how does a man and husband feel when reading or hearing stories about his wife’s former boyfriends…

    It is a very good question- how do I actually feel about it? As a regular red-blooded American man, my first reaction is of jealousy. It is not easy to imagine my wife with someone else and of course my mind is running in overdrive imagining all the details, comparing myself to all those interesting guys. After all I’m not in charge of some major security, nor am I a former Marine general… And yes, there were also sexy details in the book, hot dates. Difficult to measure up when a daily life takes its toll and I am 55+! Even this + is slowly turning into ++… So yes, it is not easy to be married to a gorgeous woman who was and still is very popular, outgoing, sexy, who does have an impact on many men we run into.  It is a familiar occurrence, when we go out, that guys stop, talk to her, hug her. Once, we were at a popular Seattle club, a guy approached us, kneed in front of me and commenced to kiss my hand congratulating me for being married to this extraordinary woman! Mixed feelings to say at least…

    How do I handle it as a man and husband? Well I have two choices: I can succumb to my jealousy, be insecure about it and suggest to Renata to step back. Knowing her she would. Our marriage and I are very important to her and she would not have a problem to oblige me. But then, what is my role as a husband, man and lover? Is it just the protection of my feelings or is it also to make sure that the woman of my life is happy and fulfilled and what is the emotional cost of such an action? I believe what it really boils down to is how comfortable are you in your marriage and also, how comfortable are you in your own skin…  If you are comfortable and trustful enough, then, I suggest, you step back and enjoy the ride and let the woman of your life be herself.

    It is important for me to realize, that it is me Renata choose from her 80 dates and it is me she wants to share her life with.  Such realization really changed a lot in my life. Now I really can have a lot of fun going out and seeing her popularity with people! I can also see how happy she is being able to be herself, to go out and just have fun. This threat of her character was, after all, one of the main reasons I choose her over other women. There is also an additional benefit to letting Renata be Renata- after a fun night out with friends we go home together…

Ghosting When Dating

The first thing I learned in the dating world was that people can disappear. And then I learned it has a name: Ghosting.

It is easy to connect and meet new people these days, but it is also very easy to disappear and avoid any further communication. Ghosting became a norm and is being used very freely. It is just easy to swipe left after a few days of chat when you think that the other person said something that you don’t like and you cannot live with it. Instead of clarifying of what just happened, as a text can sometimes go wrong, or just saying: “Thank you, but I don’t think there is a match.” Left swipe and you are done – no need to type an apology or an explanation.

Yes, there must be something good in it as well, right? There is something good in everything. Let’s try this: the fact that you don’t need to explain makes you powerful and invisible – maybe less vulnerable one would say? This all might be somehow true when you are still on the online dating site and no face to face connection was made yet.

What happens if you have seen each other a few times already and she does not answer your text messages – you already sent two and left a voice message? “Maybe something happened to him,” you think to yourself, and keep waiting for him to answer a week later.

I find it very not mature and as a person insulting. If you don’t think that this is a match, why won’t you say so? We are all adults and as such should be able to communicate clearly. This, by the way, can bring both sides to a great discussion. I once said to a man after a date, that I don’t think it will work out. He was intelligent and confident enough to turn around to me and ask: Why? He really wanted to know. I explained to him that I don’t think that we have much to talk about as he was a very quiet person. What he said at that moment got me to take a step back – it was his first date after he lost his wife a year ago and he was nervous. He didn’t share this info before and a real discussion started from that moment.

If this was not bad enough, we now have Ghosting 2.0 – someone who ghosted you for a long time, suddenly appears in your life again. A text, a Like on FB, as you are still friends there, right? The amazing thing in all of that? The ghosting person acts like nothing ever happened. No apologies, no explanations for all that time they vanished – they are just back into your life.

All of this, of course, happens not only in the dating scene – but when it comes to dating it touches different nerves.

“What did I say wrong? Did I do something wrong? Why does it always happen to me?”

Well, let’s start by saying that it does not happen only to you, the dating world and especially the online dating part of it adopted these awful not mature or respectful behaviors and when dating in a wiser age, after a long relationship, it is very confusing and disheartening.

The millennials identify few more behaviors as the Toxic New Dating Trends of 2019. I found it interesting and can relate to some new trends mentioned there.

So, how to deal with it?

Here is how I feel about it: it is not ok to play with your mind, time and feelings and the best thing will be to identify it and stop it asap.

I had very strict rules when it came to ghosting. I made sure to give the other side a grace period, there might be a good reason for why you didn’t answer my text messages, FB message and voice mail that I left to make sure you are ok.

At this point I would unfriend the person from my FB account and if needed also block the number on my phone. I had no interest to have people like these in my life.

Make sure that the people in your life are there for you as you are there for them. It is a relationship and not a highway ride.

Cheers, I hope you are having a great day,

Renata

Climbing my own mountain

I will never forget Sunday, 4-28-2019.

It all started a little more than a year ago, Feb 2018 when Around Seattle in 80 Dates was published and my story became public.

A lot of people around me were involved in my life when I was living the stories. When I finally published the book many of them were surprised. I met a lot of people that had good stories and many of them declared on a regular basis, that “one day they will write a book”. They just “have to” and they are planning to. But it is hard to start – and finish.

When I was laid off from a company that I was employed with for fifteen years Mike #80 said: “That’s it, the universe is telling you something.” I had a bitter smile on my face when he said it. A lot of dreams were crashed the day I was laid off.

At that point in time, I was about to relocate to India for three years and Mike #80 agreed to join me. This meant that he had to quit a job that he loved very much and take the risk of relocating to a country that his professional future is not clear. India is not the best place for a blood bank technologist. But we were in love, living in India was a dream that we both had before we met and we decided that this is our chance. What will be will be – we are doing it.

Being laid off and losing the relocation dream was not an easy pill to swallow. The universe could have been nicer to me and my bank account. I still had to pay a mortgage.

“The universe is giving you the time to finish your book,” said Mike #80. Mike loved the stories I told him and kept saying that I should share them with more people – “so they can learn” he said. Everybody around us was online dating and we were a couple that ‘made it!’ We met online and our life changed.

Mike is a smart man, so I decided he is right – this is my chance to finish the book that I’m talking about for a year now.

Between job hunts, which is a full job by itself, I managed to sit down and write. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. The writing was natural and kept flowing. Mike used to come home, sit down and read what I wrote that day – he was and is the first person to read anything that I write and I take his feedback very seriously.

February 2018 – we were on a cruise to Havana when the book was finally published – which means it was available on Amazon. And then things started to happen. Standup comedy shows, storytelling events, meetups for singles all over Great Seattle, authors’ events, interviews, articles, and podcasts.

Do you think it was tough to write the book? You are right. It was hard, stimulating and emotionally challenging. I wanted to get through with a clear message to the people out there about dating: “You can do things differently and enjoy them. It works!” I also wanted to share stories with my own voice and have people enjoy reading a good book. And the feedbacks were amazing.

When I was approached by Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island I could not believe my good luck. I was offered a time slot, as part of the amazing and diverse shows that JCC is hosting.

Me? My own show? Where people pay money to see me? That was a crazy and tempting idea. I love challenges and this was a huge one – plan and execute a one-woman show all by myself. Oh, and then make sure that enough people are interested to come to see it and pay for a ticket.

Last Sunday – April 28th – is where a new achievement was made.

The show was SOLD OUT almost a week in advance!

I took the One Woman show and created a family show. My daughter and her soon to be wife started the event by playing and singing their own version to: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” I continued with a short standup act that I wrote and from there we followed with an interview led by Paul Currington. Paul is a dear friend and also one of the major contributors to the storytelling world in Seattle. We met when I told my first story – 5 years ago – in his very successful storytelling meetup, Fresh Ground Stories – not less than a hundred people in each event, amazing crowd and all true stories. Love this man.

The fact that Mike #80 joined the final discussion and shared his own experience with the audience was the best way to end the show – I could not ask for more. Nobody wanted to go home, and two hours later we were kicked out of the room. Sigh. It was a wonderful event.

 As I said – I will never forget April 28th, 2019. I shared one of my best moments in life on the same stage with the people who are my family and friends. They all provided their voice and together created a unique and interesting show that everybody in the room was fascinated and involved. I loved it!

I know, what’s next you are asking… what’s the next mountain you are going to climb?

I can only promise you that I’m working on a few new ideas and the most important one is a Screen Play! Around Seattle in 80 Dates should be on TV – this is how I feel.

The next Sex and the City/The Golden Girls/Thelma and Louise and… how can we forget Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – all mixed up together with Online Dating around Seattle.

Thoughts? Connections? Ideas you have? Do share 😊

Cheers, and wishing us all lots of peaks in life.