I want you

The image of you as you left this morning is one I won’t forget.

As I lay sleepily under the warm doona you leant over me, gave me your beautiful smile and kissed me goodbye. After not kissing me one morning you now know I will always prefer to be woken and kissed by you than not at all. You kissed me with contentment.

You gathered your bags then stood in the doorway to the bedroom, leaning with your head and shoulder against one side. The morning sun was behind you. Your smile was beaming and warmer than that sun. I can’t describe the way you looked at me but it felt peaceful, happy and content.

It was that moment I wanted you more.

I wanted that moment and that feeling to last a lifetime.

I never expected this, you. I am losing myself in you. I am dizzy and floating around you like the fluffy fairy floss that caresses the stick as it winds around and around. I melt in your mouth.

I want you.

 

Men – how to stop your online profile being over before it begins

This advice is only for those who are genuinely seeking assistance with developing winning online dating profiles.

I consider myself a bit of an expert in the area of creating online dating profiles. I’ve created many for myself, each with a different purpose and on various types of online dating sites. I have even created some for friends and provided advice for other women who are not as experienced in this (I have probably mentioned this previously). Currently I am deeply involved in email-chat with a man who wants feedback on his approach to women so that he can get more sex (I may be paraphrasing a lot but you get the idea).

For women a profile seems much easier to create. We are naturally more adept at communication in any form. And lets face it – men are an easy catch (that doesn’t mean we’re not going to throw them back). However, men need help. For me many mens profiles create a sense of ‘fumbling in the dark to get my bra off while putting on a condom’. It’s over before it begins.

The overarching tip is – create a profile like a woman would. What do women have in their profiles? Re-create yours based on general characteristics that women use to attract the specific type of relationship you are looking for. For example, if you want a long-term committed relationship look at the characteristics of profiles where women are looking for something similar and mirror these. These characteristics are the types of photos, the style of writing, the length of about-me’s, the aspects that are important (communication, looks, chemistry, romance, money, career etc). To be clear – I don’t mean you should lie. You still need to be you. Think of this as another style of writing. The theory is that women will then recognise in your profile the qualities they appreciate, the same ones they have taken care to include in their own. 

I created a profile for a friend one evening to prove to her that if you create profiles based on the sort of relationship you want then you are likely to have more success. So I took some simple characteristics of profiles of men who basically wanted sex only and created her profile to mirror these.

  • First she had to have a username with ’69’ in it. Making some sort of sexual reference was obviously dominant in mens profiles and if this profile was going to catch a man for casual sex it had to have some clear sexual innuendo.
  • Her profile had two photos – one further away, with a friend (with a caption pointing her out), with her skin showing, and the other was a closer image from her waist up – again showing the boobs – but not looking straight at the camera.
  • Her stats were pretty straight forward with minimal detail other than physical appearance and general reference to employment/education etc. We made no mention of her children.
  • Then the about me section was kept to a maximum of 4 very short sentences of up to 7 words each. This met the minimum criteria of the dating site … and men looking for casual sex don’t want to read a lot – as was evidence when looking at their profiles.

Within 5 minutes of this profile going live we had 10 men messaging! 

So men – you can do the same. However, regardless I still have some simple tips for creating a genuine profile to represent who you are and attract women.

Tip 1. Photos

We all like to see who we’re talking to. I know some people are shy for various reasons but at least have some there even if they’re set to private. At least then a woman knows that you are willing to be trusting and therefore trustworthy. 

DO NOT have photos of:

  • you with sunglasses,
  • you drunk with a smoke hanging out of the corner of your mouth and a beer in one hand while flipping the bird with the other,
  • a photo so far away from you where you might as well be an ant,
  • heaps of photos of you with a group of mates at a footy grand final with no indication of which one you are,
  • you more than five years ago.

Women want to see a nice face, nice smile, and yes a general idea of your whole body.

Tip 2. About you or interests sections

Say something that shows how you are different from every other man. DO NOT write “I like footy – go mighty pies!, hanging with mates and family, and keeping fit”. BORING! If these are genuine and important interests then yes include them but say them in a way that explains what it is about these activities you appreciate or value. For example, “I like footy” can be turned into “Since I was five I have been playing, watching or umpiring in my local football club. This has been a great outlet for dealing with work stress and have a great group of guys that I know I can rely on. I am passionate about the mighty pies but don’t mind if you are not”. Ok ok, it’s not likely you would say that but you get the idea. But don’t use these sorts of typical male aussie interests to fall back on because you are too lazy to think about who you are beyond these. 

Having said that it’s best to try to remain true to who you are than to create a persona that may not be there when you meet. You don’t need to be someone you’re not – I find it hard to believe everyone is as extroverted and as hyperactive as many profiles lead me to believe. 

Tip 3. Care about your writing

It’s a well known fact that many people online do not write well. Please at least try to use sentences finished with a full stop, rules of capitalisation, and full words rather than abbreviations that are hard to read. I got a message today, as follows:

hi how are you you are beautifull i love communication and to give a lot of affection ive been single for eighteen months and am missing lots of kissing and affection hope your having a good day and hope to talk soon xo

In no way does this inspire me to think this is someone I want to begin a relationship of any sort with. I checked his profile – he has no photo, no real profession (see below), his interests are ‘life’, and his about me was ‘NNN’. No wonder he is lonely.

Tip 4. Employment, profession, education, and the ‘prefer not to say’ option

Don’t be illusive. If you have a job then at a minimum put in which field it is in (eg. healthcare, marketing, retail). If you don’t have a job put in the field you are seeking work in. Please stop putting in stupid responses like ‘relaxing’, ‘living life’ and ‘keeping it real’. 

This is the same with education. Don’t select an education type if you don’t know what it is. I come across so many who have selected ‘university’ or ‘Bachelor Degree’ but actually studied at TAFE or did an apprenticeship.

The prefer not to say option is often used when answering questions on kids, cars, religion, drinker, smoker, etc. Be honest and open. You can always explain these answer in your about you section.

Tip 5. Holding on to past issues

Many many many mens profiles I read show some sort of serious resentment/anger/frustration towards cheaters, trustworthiness, time-wasters, and women in general. If you have this then please step away from dating until you work through this. Until you are in a good place you will bring this with you into any new interaction and ultimately prove yourself right instead of being open to see and experience something different and wonderful.

Tip 6. Making contact

When you have found someone you are interested in message them with something more than a “Hi, how are you?” Include something, a question or comment, on an element of their profile that caught your attention. Also put a small bit in about why you think you might get along well. No need to write paragraphs and paragraphs in an attempt to impress. Also, please don’t cut and paste the same introductory message to every woman you contact. I have had many repeat first messages from men who clearly have forgotten who they have attempted talking with. 

Please DO NOT immediately try to take the contact outside of the site. Lately I am being asked to do this all the time. It’s rude and defeats the purpose of the safety and anonymity of dating sites. To me it resembles kidnappers who move their victims to the second location – Danger! Danger! 

Also, if a woman says ‘No‘ she means it. This ‘no’ may be direct or indirect. There is no need to attack her for not being interested. Again, if you feel the need to do this then step away from dating and re-evaluate your perception and feelings towards women. I understand the frustration of not getting a reply at all but it is likely she is avoiding having to enter into a conversation where you try and convince her you should have a chance. While you might not do that, many before you will have and she is probably just as frustrated. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ring

See that ring? That’s mine. At least in theory. But now it is at an auction house, waiting to be sold for a ridiculously low price. Are diminishing jewellery values a sign of the value of what they represent?

Such grand gestures seem to have become so-so when symbols so valuable (not just financially) are given without the same personal embodiment. I wanted the personal but got the ring.

My separation from the ring is my final gesture of letting go… It feels like the day I received it. Confusing, anxious, tense, unknown, sad. Part of me hopes it will come back. That that will in some way be my sign that all is not finished. Part of me wants my memories to vanish with it.

I find myself looking for him. I don’t know what I would do if I did see him. Cry? Explode? Keep moving. Blah!

When is hope not enough?

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Today I am consumed with thoughts of the future family I am not likely to have. I am reminded constantly that I do not have what absolutely feels a part of my identity even though it isn’t real. There are beautiful pregnant tummies everywhere, gorgeous newborns, prams, families, sweet little clothes, events for families, family gatherings, oo’ing and ahh’ing over friends and family’s children, … you get the picture. I feel as though I have lost this, possibly even lost a child. If it wasn’t enough my sister is pregnant again.

Yesterday my sister said “when I finish having children I’m going to have a breast reduction”. I had to wonder what she meant by when she finishes – “hasn’t she already finished?” Hang on…

In that moment I looked at her and asked what do you mean “when”? She just looked at me while I looked at her and realised she is pregnant!! We both had to laugh at the ridiculousness of this in the unhappy circumstance she is in.** I couldn’t have thought of a better way to make the situation worse for her if I tried!

I just cant help but be envious. I try so hard to be supportive but simply can not stop thinking and wishing it was me, surely it is my turn?! Why is it that she can get pregnant so easily and I can not? Why is she pregnant and in crappy circumstances when I could be pregnant and in less crappy circumstances? I want the oo’ing and ah’ing over my children. I want to buy clothes for my children. I want to watch my children learn to draw, dance, talk, walk, kiss, hug, pull funny faces, fall off beds, have conversations with cats, … you get the picture.

It’s so hard to be happy for her or to be supportive of whatever she will decide to do when I want that for myself sooo badly. I did suggest we could go away for a year and create a story about me being pregnant and returning with a child, i.e.. that I could have this child. Clearly this isn’t actually going to happen though. She will work it out.

Then tonight I was watching a sad tale of a couple who have been trying for ten years to have children. Mary is an Australian actress, being famous for her hilarious role in an 80s satire ‘Acropolis Now’. She and her husband were interviewed on 60 Minutes about their heartache and experience of multiple failed IVF rounds, but particularly about the still birth of their daughter. I cried with them and for them. In a strange way their experience emanated my own sense of grief. I’ve never lost a child but I do experience the same grief of not having a child I have been in love with for a lifetime.

Towards the end of the interview Mary talks about hope. In their hope they did more IVF and are pregnant again and this time it seems more positive. But she is sad, I can see that in her eyes and body despite her presenting as confident and happy. Her eyes say that she is already grieving for what may be another lost child. Perhaps I am projecting my own sense of lost hope? Perhaps I am projecting a need to know whether it is over yet, a need to know for sure when enough is enough. When do I give up? Will I ever give up?

**For many this would be a happy occasion but for my sister this is an unknown, potentially fraught with angst. Almost exactly two years ago she was announcing the same news. It was slightly happier but still fraught with angst. Like many relationships hers has come to an end…it hasn’t and continues to not be a clean break up. He cheated (not just once, but long term, after she knew and then discovered she was pregnant), addicted to dope, drinks heavily, is addicted to porn, is manipulative of others emotions… he is basically extremely immature and selfish in that same way. He now plays on my sisters guilt of wanting her daughter to have a loving and involved father but not being able to provide that. He also has started putting his own insecurities and guilt on to their little girl… I want to smack him sometimes!

Online Dating – How to find Mr or Ms Right

Online Dating – How to find Mr. Right.

Last night was my occasional attempt at a trivia night with work colleagues and friends. We all admit we only go to trivia to catch up with each other and have lots of laughs – for a bunch of academics we are terrible at trivia. Without fail our conversation ends up on the topic of sex, online dating and a bit of vulgar banter. Often this conversation focuses on me and a male colleague as we are having such difficulty finding someone. Our gender makes our experiences quite different to the other, and we know that if he was gay he would have much better luck. Anyone who has been dating online for a while knows this but for him it is new territory. He seems so nervous and doesn’t know what to say to a girl online…because of course there must be some magical thing to say that ‘works’. He is also so lovely and I am amazed he has any difficulty. His biggest issue is which site to go on. Having used most of them I have an idea of the general type of person or purpose for each site and now adjust accordingly. So it was good to come across this article today ‘How to find Mr Right’. The post gives such easy pointers about where to start with online dating. Although it refers to “Mr” I feel the ideas apply to anyone so will pass it along to him.

My break-down of sites often used in Australia:

RSVP – good general site for anyone, there are enough questions that have to be answered to at least do some of the weeding out of the really gross people for you. The small fee for tokens to be able to email someone can also act to indicate genuineness and interest. There does seem to be a bit of debate about who actually does the token buying – mostly men are expected to do this it seems.

Blendr – can be confusing as many believe the site/app is about hooking up (aka the gay equivalent of Grindr), so be up front and get to the point about what you want. Attracts ANYONE. Beware of scammers.

POF (Plenty of Fish) – it’s free, it has an option to say upfront what you are looking for although it isn’t necessarily clear enough sometimes…as people have a variety of wants and needs. If someone has actually completed their profile it gives a reasonably good indication of who they are.

Oasis – completely about hooking up, one night stands, a bit of home video action, and exchanging dirty talk.

Craigslist – if you have a specific request (ie. for the weird, dirty, fetish, kink etc), or even just to advertise yourself and what you want, and want to remain totally anonymous until a point where you are comfortable this is the one for you. This site is used very differently in Aus than it is often is in the US etc. Beware the scammers and trols.

OkCupid – not bad, but I didn’t find there were enough people on this to provide ongoing use…especially outside of metropolitan areas (eg. Melbourne,Sydney).

eHarmony – I think this is the best with regards to the quality of people, although it is expensive. Once you are signed up though it is all included – no buying tokens. There are A LOT of sign-up questions but they are worth answering. The process is also good as you don’t have to communicate directly with the person first, instead requesting to see some of their core values etc.

 

 

The Paper Bag Princess or time waster?

Today I found myself finally getting back to a man I have had some casual online chat with. Over the last two or three weeks other aspects of my life have required my energy, indeed I have preferred to give my energy to those areas rather than the online game of dating. I could see this man – let’s call him S – had been attempting to contact me and so responded politely with an apology for my online absence.

At this point I need to say that S really had not done much in the way of attempting to get to know me through asking questions and engaging in an ongoing online dialogue. In doing so I had wondered if he would be like that in person but applied benefit of the doubt and continued to occasionally chat with a view to one day meeting and finding out. Maybe S was shy? Maybe he didn’t like typing? Maybe… who knows!

It wasn’t long before S replied to me today. He suggested we meet up tonight. I couldn’t meet up and let him know just as you would with anyone. His reply back to me was “You don’t seem too keen…to change your life”.

There it was. There was that mystical concept that people in the dating world talk about, hope for, believe in. I like to refer to this as the cinderella or prince charming effect, whereby meeting ‘the one’ will in some way rescue you from what must be a terrible life. This was also my ‘aha’ moment of this person definitely isn’t for me. Nevertheless, I was curious to know how S thought he would change my life.

S didn’t like me asking. His intolerance for the question suggested I was supposed to want my life changed, and that I wanted for him to be the one to change it.

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Obviously I pointed out that I quite liked my life and wasn’t looking for someone to change it, rather I am looking for someone to add to my life. I also added that I wasn’t looking for whatever it is right now, that I wasn’t needing today to be the day as I was/am extremely tired. Clearly my sense of non-urgency was not good enough as S proceeded to call me a ‘time waster’.

Being a ‘time waster’ is an odd thing. I don’t define myself as a time waster, especially as I don’t intend to do that and am quite upfront about my intentions and feelings in any moment. Being a time waster and having your time wasted are two different things which require different responses. Being a time waster suggests intent on wasting someone else’s time, intentionally misleading them. Having your time wasted is part of both or either being mislead and/or making decisions for yourself contrary to what you want.

I don’t intend to waste people’s time, I don’t mislead people using false and alluding statements or comments. I am laid back –for non-Australian’s this refers to having a relaxed nature, or going with the flow– and I am open and honest.

The term ‘time waster’ seems to get used a lot in online dating. I’m not overly sure what this looks like from the mens perspective but I have some understanding based on my own experience. I had my time wasted for seven years by someone that I was deeply in love with. We both kept ourselves available for the other in various ways across that time so I take ownership over my part. However, I particularly was dragged through emotional torment by this person being unable to be honest with themselves and thus continually pushing and pulling me while I was broken and tearing to pieces, of which he spoke of knowingly doing this. My time was wasted as my best reproduction years have past, the opening for meeting someone else has become smaller, my trust in other men/lovers/partners has been eroded, and my enthusiasm to give effort to others has drained. That’s time wasting, that’s having my time wasted. So how can so much anger be thrown around online for what are mostly strangers in wasting others’ time?

A few brief online chats, superficial at best, surely doesn’t take up so much of your mind and body that your time is wasted? Did S really invest himself in me so much that he believed I would change his life after just a few online chats and potentially one date over a coffee?

This got me thinking, “have we been conditioned by fairy tales that until we find ‘the one’ we are all helpless and hopeless?”

These thoughts have been evolving in my mind for a week since a fairy tale experience. My gorgeous niece loves books. She toddled off and got some books and returned to sit in my lap and handed me Cinderella. Being the realist that I am I didn’t actually read the words from the page, opting instead to tell her about how she doesn’t need a man to be complete and that prince charming is not the perfect picture made out in the story. It was this moment that I realised why so many men (sorry I can only speak of men as I am a hetero woman) feel that they will change my life. They too have been lead to believe they should, will, must save a woman who will then forever gaze at his brilliance and offer her thanks by being his princess who smiles and laughs while twirling her hair. I didn’t do the best job of telling a better story but have since found a book that might.

Instead of reading your children stories like Cinderella and setting them up for dating failure, consider alternatives such as ‘The Paper Bag Princess‘. Maybe I’ll send this to S.

What will 60 look like?

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Such a cute and sad pic – Titled: All Alone 

Procrastinating by hanging out with my mum in her kitchen the other day raised something I have not really given much thought to. Who would come to my 60th birthday if I don’t have children?

Like so many of our conversations I am not sure how we got to the topic. Perhaps we had commented on it being nearly a year since her 60th celebration, that it will most likely be her last big birthday celebration (by choice, not death), that as she gets older she doesn’t have as many people in her life but is happy with just a few important family members and a friend or two to talk with. Primarily she has me and my sister, her sister and her children, her ex husband (my dad), and one or two close friends she confides in regularly. I’m not sure if it was her or me that first stopped and realised that I am likely to not have the same network/family at her age.

There was an awkward pause, where each of us sort of ‘umm-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ for a moment. With a considered choice of words mum said “I suppose…despite our situation [being divorced]…well, I guess I’m lucky to have that”. We both knew what she meant – that it is quite likely that I won’t have a husband and children, or even children without the man, or maybe not even a long-term companion; my experience of turning 60 will be quite different to hers. For the first time I could see she realised the grief I could experience…have experienced…do experience when faced with the potential of not fulfilling my need for a partner and children. 

Of course my response was to deflect and use humour, “I like to remind myself while others’ seem so happy now their relationships wont be as glorious as it seems and they are 50% likely to be divorced and bitterly unhappy within five years”. It only helps a little.

Who will come to my birthday?? C’est la vie!

 

 

More profiles people should be ashamed of

So… I got on here to write another type of entry but thought I would first share this one. I am so amazed at what people consider effort/care/openness,… oh sorry, he said long winded….oh then that must be what it is. If the fella in Stupid Cupid’s post thought her simple, elegant and open profile was long winded then I wonder what his little mind would make of mine???

After a few years of on again/off again online dating and continually attracting idiots I decided to write a profile that was REALLY me but also had the added benefit of doing the ‘sorting’ for me. I just got sick of having to read either stupid or boring attempts at conversation online with men that I just would NEVER be interested in. So what I wrote is below. By the time you finish reading this you can imagine that I have significantly cut down the stream of contacts who waste my time.

“”So I am just going to put this out there! Most people on dating sites are looking for something that is missing, whether that be a companion or a potential partner for having a family. I propose that in a western system we have it backwards and instead should be adopting some sensible and practical strategies from other nations. I am suggesting something far from traditional dating but more like an arrangement, a coming together of two people to discuss and plan and consider all the difficult and tough issues that so often are not discussed during the mating game. This then provides a basis by which to truly form a bond based on shared and agreed values. Of course for this to work I understand that we would still need to be able to even get to a point of robust discussion, so for those who are still reading what follows is a glimpse into who I am.

The good, the bad and the absolute ugly…

The Good:
Looking much younger than I am has lots of advantages
I am crafty and can create many things for myself and others
I am confident with reasonably good self-esteem
I have a close yet small family
Soon I will be a full-time PhD student – so I am intelligent, analytical, & inquiring
I adore affection – giving and receiving it
I love animals
I have a great smile
I can park a car better than most
Laughter is the key to fun no matter what the situation is (but clearly I can be serious too)
Work is secure and mostly rewarding
Staying active is important to me, as is spending time being still
I can dance and keep a beat well
Spelling is VERY important, but I can forgive errors in exchange for other qualities 🙂
I don’t believe in seeing other people while ‘seeing’ someone else
I am very open and honest

The Bad (well this depends who you are):
I am passionate so have an opinion
Being introverted means work or excessive demands leaves me quite tired
Sometimes it takes me time to think about my feelings and make decisions
You may catch me staring at people…I love people-watching
I like watching gross infection/wound/cyst videos
Being an air-head is not my style
I have small hands
I am sensitive and would be less hurt by the truth than a lie…so if you lie you are intentionally hurting me which would make you not a nice guy (people lie to protect themselves not the other person)

The Ugly:
I have carry-on baggage…it’s not so heavy that it needs to be stowed, but enough which has given me some real life changing experiences.
I have cried at work – the ugly cry where you can’t even talk through the sobs
Don’t give me coffee – I become hyperactive and my heart tries to jump through my chest
Work takes up a lot of my time and energy, but this is soon to change
Unfortunately I am addicted to sugar…but trying hard to kick the habit.
I get a lot of headaches… I have finally given in to the value of pain meds for being able to keep going sometimes.

You are:
Confident
Happy with you
Independent
Romantic
Employed & not intimidated by my job
Open & deeply honest
Willing to explore …things “”

Stupid Cupid

It’s been too long since I shared…

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Gee thanks! I love that you think my… Let’s be liberal and say 200 word description of myself was long winded. I can see you are really interested in me.

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I don’t think our grammar skills are of the same level. It just seems like he could have tried a bit harder. I’m just saying…

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When life gives you quinces…

I thought I posted this early last week. As it turns out I left it as a draft and didn’t get to posting … so here it is.

As the old adage goes, ‘If life gives you lemons make lemonade’. Basically if you experience something horrible and sour then turn it into a positive and sweet experience.

So here I was last night feeling sorry for myself and unable to think clearly enough to make any sense of complex PhD content. I just happened to have quinces thanks to a neighbour of the house I am housesitting (just another part of my life) so I did what I could do – cook.

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When I moved into this house a few weeks ago the instruction note I was left included “…and do something with the quinces”. My first thought was “what on earth would I do with quinces!”. Last night was the night I decided to work that out.

On to Google I went and simply searched ‘quinces’. I had thought about jam or jelly/paste but figured I wouldn’t have enough for that. Ha! Boy was I wrong. Only 4-5 is needed for a jar or two of jam and a heap of jelly. Clearly I have never done anything with quinces before but I knew quince jelly was a sweet taste sensation that goes wonderfully with crackers and cheese.

After a quick glance at various quince recipes I decided on a blog post recipe for quince jelly from the ever sweet and delightful Julie Goodwin.

This managed to take my mind off my self-pity, at least when I was chopping, stirring, and stirring some more. I also didn’t think too far ahead with regards to the time I was starting this process. Needless to say I decided not to stay up until after midnight and instead took the sticky mixture off the heat after about 3 hours (instead of the recommended 5 hours) and poured it into a dish for it to sit overnight.

After a big sleep in I checked my jelly – you can see the little corner I cut out to taste test. The mixture was still too much like jam and not set like a jelly should be so into a very low oven for a few hours it went.

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Now it is nice and firm and ready for tipping out and dividing into pieces for sharing. Only those who are familiar with jams and jellies will realise that I actually burnt the mixture on the stove. Otherwise it is absolutely sweet and delicious!

Back to PhD agony today.