Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ready, Aim, Date!

Since Kat and I have found ourselves in happy relationships (gasp!), there hasn't been much to write* about as of late. I've decided to resurrect the blog, taking a slightly different angle.

I have this friend -- we'll call her Amy because, uh, that's her name. Amy is what I refer to as your classic "inexplicably single girl." She's in her mid-30s, smart, successful, attractive, fun, medium-maintenance, low on the drama, high on humor, and an all around catch.

Why is Amy single? Well, aside from the fact that like many of us she spent most of her 20s dating commitmentphobes and douchebags, she's also a dedicated professional, and devoted daughter/sister/friend/aunt/puppy mom, and a disciplined musician -- all things that take a ton of time, effort and energy. And even though I can't figure out why some guy hasn't snapped her up, when I look at the long list of her priorities, it makes perfect sense -- it's a trap that most young women fall into. We get very focused on meeting our own needs (as we should) and suddenly there's not enough time to look for Mr. Right, say nothing of the time to nurture and grow a relationship.

It was en route home from one of our many "sushi and girltalk" nights when I commented on the above, and her response, laughing was, "Well, I don't know, can't you FIX IT?"**

Thus, "Operation Fix It" was born.

For phase 1 of "Fix It," Amy joined E-Harmony... an online dating service that differentiates from the competition by solely offering a "Matching" system, vs. the "boyfriend shopping" that comes with most other dating sites -- you fill out a series of rather intense questionares, and EH claims to use very sophisticated "compatability software" to match you with your soul mate***

BUT -- I am somebody who has really enjoyed the conversational, "strike up random conversation with whomever floats your boat" nature of other dating sites like -- I look at it like a giant cocktail party, where you see somebody that interests you, and randomly strike up conversation. I've been told by numerous sources that those who HATE love EH, and vice versa. I know that Amy didn't enjoy Match the last time she did it, so I figured this would be a good idea for her.

Instantly, there were a few contenders, but one definitely stood out from the crowd: dog owner, philanthropist, career-oriented, home-owner... all things that are important and similar to Amy's lifestyle and desire for a partner. They emailed back and forth a few times, had a few wonderful phone calls, and then set out on Date 1.

Amy is a lot nicer than I am****, but I think I summed up her date in 20 seconds on Saturday at our girls night --

"Nice guy. Asked her lots of questions. Outdated pictures. Unhealthy body weight. Looks like somebody's uncle. And sweated profusely throughout dinner. Wait, he asked you that question already. Could it be that he is so obsessed with the Twins game in the bar that HE CAN'T FULLY FOCUS ON HIS DATE? Next!"

And.......... scene.

So Date 1 of Operation Fix It was a bust -- but here are the positives:

Amy got out there. She identified something about her life she'd like to change -- namely, she wants to find a partner - and made some changes in her life accordingly (dropped a few "extra curriculars"). She stepped outside her comfort zone and tried something new, and gave somebody a chance. And ENJOYED the process, with a fun attitude.

The negatives? I have only two:

They waited too long to meet (this might be why I don't like EH), thus building up way too many expectations. I'm of the "meet 'em and greet 'em and love 'em and leave 'em" attitude, meaning: let's cut to the chase, have a drink, see if there's chemistry, and if not, we both walk away unscathed. It's all about timing -- with EH, you are sort of FORCED to have a long "get to know you period." I don't like that. Becasue then if it doesn't click in person, you actually mourn the loss a bit... like losing a friend, a last call goodnight, or a mini-breakup. Also -- my totally-negative-but-accurate-advice is always "DON'T GET EXCITED!" Look forward to meeting the new guy, but don't build up too many expectations.

Online dating is a numbers game -- much like real estate and busses, there's always another choice right around the corner*****.

Phase 2 of Operation Fix It will most likely include a round of speed dating... where some girlfriends and I sit at the bar, watch, snark, and take notes. Stay tuned!

Sugar and spice.

PS: If any MEN actually read this and want to be set up with my pal, email me at There will be a qualifying process, but I'd love to find a GREAT guy for my fabulous friend!

*read: whine, bitch, complain, snark, and criticize
**apparently I've earned a reputation as somewhat of a match-maker / dating guru among my friends
***I've done EHarmony twice now, and frankly, think this is bullshit -- I don't think that my dream guy is a CPA, programmer, or a born again Christian that doesn't drink, but what do I know...
****And I think I'm nicer than Kat, so I'd love to see what SHE has to say about this.
*****My dad gave me this advice about real estate when I was embarking upon my first home-buying experience -- well, technically, he gave this advice to my BROTHER, who chose not to listen to him like the stubborn youngest-child that he is, but then later, my brother repeated this advice to me on behalf of dear old dad. I'm sure my brother AND father will be thrilled to know that I've recycled their advice in my racy blog on dating, sex, men, and crazy chicks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christmas For Girls

The guy I'm dating right now refers to Valentine's Day as "Christmas for Girls." He seems to buy into the common belief that this day is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge day of major importance for women.

Is it?

I'll tell you what -- the older I get, the less things like this matter to me. Lest I should sound like an old woman, I will tell you that my favorite way to spend New Years Eve is to invite over my closest friends for food, drinks, board games and movies. Sure, I love to entertain... but the REAL reason is because I can wear slipper socks instead of thigh highs, go to bed early, and I don't have to drive anywhere.

I have similar thoughts about Valentine's Day, but to put a finer point on it, I've realized that when you have "the real thing," you don't really need the flimsy veneer of flowers, chocolates, champagne, and jewelry.

By that I mean -- in the relationships of my past (read: insecure, unsatisfying, unstable, and just plain WRONG), the material / symbolic things seemed SO important -- I needed a dozen roses, a little blue box from Tiffany's, and a bottle of champagne over candlelight to tell me "I love you, and you are special."

Last year, I was officially single but still very close with my ex... I'd been in Mexico over the holiday, but he picked me up and brought me home from the airport. And brought me home to a spotlessly clean house, courtesy of him -- and I said "You could have saved so much money over the years if all you'd done was this." And it's true! I didn't need bracelets and earrings and flowers (oh my!) to feel loved, what I needed was to be shown that MY efforts in the relationship were not only appreciated, but duplicated (in prior years, when he was my boyfriend, the day had always consisted of a fancy dinner, champagne, roses, and usually some sort of gift -- it was always nice, and always thoughtful, but NEVER what I really needed, mostly because it was a half-assed attempt at making up for the 100 ways our relationship didn't work, and the other 364 days of the year that he didn't really care to try any harder).

Maybe it's the wisdom that comes with age, or maybe I'm just finally in the right relationship, but this year, I couldn't care less about all the things that Hallmark & Cosmo tell me I should care about.

I've got the guy, and plans to spend the weekend together (albeit in an AmericInn just outside of Fargo, attending a wedding for two people I've never met before), and quite simply, that is all I need.

In a relationship where -- finally, magically, beautifully -- I know EXACTLY where I stand, the rest seems completely insignificant. And I'm pretty sure he feels the same. Knowing that I'm respected, appreciated, admired, and adored... no bouquet of flowers could ever compare.

And that, my friends, is the best gift of all... retail be damned.

I'm interested in hearing from you -- what's important to you on Valentine's Day? In your relationship? What special things do you do to celebrate? Guys, how do YOU feel about celebrating? Women, what do you need/ expect from your guys? And most importantly, why have we allowed ourselves to get to the point where we focus all our energies on ONE "day of love" when we should be caring for each other all year round?

Sugar and spice,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Big O*

Dear Old Fashioned & Obsolete,

Back when I was in 7th Grade Home Ec class**, we had to do this stupid workbook assignent each week that was basically about self esteem and self awareness. The ONLY thing that I remember from this course, other than how to make chicken nuggets in the oven, is a tool discussed in the workbook -- the Three Legged Stool of Self Confidence. I don't have any clue what those three legs were, but the point is that self confidence was like a three legged stool, and if any of those legs was wobbly, unstable, shorter or thinner than the other, the stool wouldn't hold up to weight. Thus, it was important to be a well-rounded individual, made of equal parts of hard wood.

Or something like that.

When it comes right down to it, a relationship isn't that different -- it's a three legged stool,*** comprised of equal parts of physical intimacy, emotional connection, and intellectual stimulation. If any of those pieces are missing or unstable, the whole structure suffers, and ultimately, can't bear weight. NOW, do I think that means you should hop into bed with everybody on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd date? Absolutely not. I mean, if you both WANT to do that, go for it -- but I don't think that's necessary, and frankly, I usually find it refreshing when the guy doesn't ASSUME that's happening. I'm a little old fashioned about such issues -- been known to wait MONTHS before doing the deed with a new boyfriend -- but penetration or no, if I don't feel like this guy WANTS me... I lose interest.

WHY? Because as previously addressed in this blog, I wanna be the girl.

I want to be chased.
I want to be WANTED.

We spend hours dreaming up outfits and picking shoes, say nothing of makeup and gossip and waxing pink parts, all in the hopes that it's not without reason -- so while we're probably ALSO not committed or keyed up about hopping in the sack after 2 dinners and a movie, we've also gone to a LOT of trouble to look and feel sexy and desirable -- and we're not mind readers, and we want to know that you're feelin' it.

And if you're not, I'm pretty sure that makes us... Just... Friends.

As Kat indicated below, the relationship has to be moving forward in ALL directions -- firing on all cylinders, as I like to say -- in order to remain balanced. Some people kiss on the first date. Some people don't. Shrug. I think that's fine either way -- but a warm goodnight hug, after you've walked me to my car and opened the door, goes a really long way. A kiss on the cheek is never a bad idea. Or a hand on my lower back. SOMETHING to let me know that you want to touch me. Date #2 is a great time for some hand holding, maybe a kiss goodnight. And if on Date #3 I'm at your house MAKING YOU DINNER and then curling up to watch some TV after hours of intense conversation / bonding? Maybe I'm an idiot, but isn't that code for, "Let's make out and see if we have physical chemistry?"

Because, uh, I decoded that one in about 9th grade and haven't been wrong since.

All of this, O & O F'd****, hopefully leads up to THE BIG O -- and no, I'm not talking about the Obsolescence of Old fashioned values -- I'm talking about the kind of smokin' connection and ultimate sexual compatability that happens when a woman feels valued, appreciated, and understood on ALL levels-- physical, emotional, intellectual.

We're a little more complicated than you, yaknow, and it takes a little more to make us tick.

When you ignore us sexually, that's a huge part of the equation. Everytime you shut a woman out, you might as well be making kindling out of that three-legged stool. Little by little, the whole structure falls apart.

SO! My advice to you? Grow a pair! Haha! That's SO mean,***** and I'm terribly sorry about that,****** but seriously. You're a grown man. Stop whining. Stop putting a woman off. Make her feel like a desirable, sexy, woman -- she's not just your buddy, she's your DATE. Don't compromise your values, morals, or change WHO you are. But up your game a bit -- I guarantee it'll get you to the playoffs.

Sugar and spice,

*Um, no -- that doesn't stand for Old Fashioned & Obsolete
**Excuse me, Personal and Family Life Sciences, PFLS for short (Prounounced, "Piffles." Gag me).
***Insert obvious joke here about your third leg, ahem, made of wood
****Nope, "F'd" doesn't stand for what you think it does
*****Whoa, did Kat and I switch places here? I thought I was the nice one!
******No I'm not, actually

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nice Guys Finish Last...Or Never Start At All

Dear Chix:

Lately, there's been a recurring theme among the girls I've dated, and that is that a lack of propulsion in the physical relationship has repeatedly sunk my boat. I liked these girls, but I guess there is one thing that I just don't get. People expect sex on the third date. I enjoy sex just as much as the next person but by the third date I hardly even know that person. I just don't grasp what the rush is. I would much rather take my time getting to know someone before I decide if I want to sleep with them and thus make the sex more meaningful. I guess I am old fashioned because I see sex as more that just sex. Am I wrong for thinking that way? Is there no one else out there who thinks like me? Am I obsolete? I am naive in this whole dating rules/expectations game and I am disappointed that the physical aspect of a relationship trumps all else and becomes a deal breaker. I am seeking advice...

Okay, Nice Guy, before I go all sex therapist on your ass, I want to say thanks for giving me something to think about today other than Inaugural Fashions and The Biggest Loser. This has been a long week and giving you some MUCH NEEDED perspective on your "problems" is just what I need today.

So, I just read this and thought to myself "If I were sitting across the table from this guy and he just told me this story, I would set down my beer, purse my lips, furrow my brow and say 'Have you made it to first base yet?'" So, Nice Guy, let's take a step back from "Sex on the 3rd Date" expectations and ask the real question...Have you put your tongue in her mouth/ear/cleavage/pink parts by the 3rd date?

Because if you haven't - if you're using "sex" as a metaphor for any sort of physical activity here, then we have one issue. If you're very consistently getting to first base, then onto hitting doubles, even eeking out a triple here and there - and these girls are still jumping ship due to lack of action - then we have a different issue.

Although I don't know what the answer is here...I like to give most of my female counterparts a fair shake. So that said, I don't think that girls bail on guys who don't want to have sex right away. I think they bail on guys who don't want to have sex (or make out or kiss or anything) at all. So, I'll proceed with the belief that the lack of sex is also a lack of heavy petting and oral olympics. K? K. Cool.

So nice guy, my advice to you is this - stick to your morals! Wait to have sex until you're in a relationship with someone you like/love/adore. BUT - in the course of dating, you MUST also show the girl that you're attracted to her. That you're going to be progressing the relationship both emotionally AND physically. Some people don't like to kiss on the first date, which is perfectly fine. But you have to kiss on the second date. A third date needs to progress - not to sex - but how about some passionate kissing and maybe a tit grab? Don't worry, you're not objectifying us!! We like it! We feel attractive and desired!!!! And do you know what happens when we don't feel desired and attractive? We jump ship. Sex or no sex on the 3rd date.

But we're all big kids here - so if you're thinking about waiting until you're married or some other such nonsense (sorry God) then you owe it to someone to tell them that upfront. Because I can tell you, that would be a deal breaker for me.

Why? Well, its a well known fact that I'm a ridiculous hornball. But also, its been my experience that guys that want to wait usually have some "issue". See: premature load-blowing, teeny weinies, STDs, etc (Let the onslaught begin)

And so Nice Guy, there you go. If you're King Cunnilingulus on Date 3 and Lady Lovely still bolts for the door due to no hot beef injection - you're dating the wrong girls and stop picking up chicks on

Warm regards and bed sheets,

Monday, January 19, 2009


Carrie Bradshaw calls it "Sza Sza Szu," an expression that makes me physically cringe when I hear it. Some people call it "butterflies in the stomach," and others just call it attraction. I call it a "spark," and once you've experienced it with a potential partner, it's virtually impossible to settle for anything less.

That said, sometimes those relationships that start out hot and heavy don't have any staying power -- the slow burn is the one that, in true tortoise-and-hare fashion, wins the race.

I don't know all the answers, but I do know this --

Guys, yeah, we want a nice guy. But when we say "nice guy," we don't mean one that takes 4 dates to kiss us on the cheek, and doesn't have the cajones to make the bold move. We want men of integrity and kindness -- who still know how to pick up the CHECK, and pick up the CHICK.

In other words, don't be an ass, but at the same time, don't confuse "nice guy" with "I won't touch your boobs until the 6th date, and only after you've given me verbal permission."

"Nice guy" is a positive thing.
"Wus" is not.

I've been in the situation a dozen or more times when I've WANTED to like somebody so much -- the anxiety of the relationship isn't even found in whether or not he likes me or whether or not he'll call, but why we're not smokin' physically... the symptoms of which are: not excited to go out. Not excited to see his name on my caller ID. Not excited that the relationship seems to be continuing or that he seems to be interested. Yet I've tried to be excited; tried to stay interested. When I finally admit it isn't working, more often than not, it's because try as I might, my "good on paper" guy was, in real life, as pale and milquetoast as a sheet of 8 X 10 matte ivory finish.

Yet over and over again, I've "tried to feel a spark." Tried to convince myself there was something there, even though there wasn't.

I've also been on the other end -- where the guy feels every little wonderful thing for me in the world... except the spark. I didn't really understand what that meant, until I dated a few sparkless guys. And once again, these were men that were wonderful guys... we just didn't have that intangible, magical chemistry.

On a first date with my current flame, he said to me, "Yeah, you women... you get all wrapped up in that spark. Personally, I think that's overrated."

A month later, he said "Actually, I totally get that now -- I'd never felt it before, until I found it with you."

"See," I smiled at him, "I told you it's not overrated."

The problem, of course, rears it's ugly head when you've never felt it before -- if you only have past assclowns and crazies to compare your current relationship to, EVERYTHING feels like an improvment. If you don't know "the spark," how long to you tough it out before packing it in?

I'm of the belief that you have to be connecting on all levels (physically, emotionally / mentally, intellectually), in order to feel that spark -- I think of it as a three-legged stool, and if any of those legs is short, broken, or otherwise stumpy, the entire stool is adversely affected, and the structure isn't stable -- similarly, if you have amazing conversations, and you're intellectual equals, but can't seem to get things lifted off in the physical department, you're just friends.

Sorry, but that's how it works.

You're. Just. Friends.

Sometimes, you need that the physical element in order to grow the other two -- if you know right away that you spark physically, it makes things more interesting and exciting -- it's the draw that brings you back for more, over and over again. It's the thing you can come back to, even when the going gets tough or the path seems unnavigatable. Getting to know each other physically is FUN -- say nothing of it being just as important, in terms of lasting love, as the intellectual / emotional connection. And each of the three support, enhance, and reinforce each other.

When you don't spark, you're sparkless -- not to be confused with sparkles -- and it shouldn't take more than a couple of dates to figure that out. Try as we might to "make things work," it's a lie you shouldn't want to tell....

...because trust me when I say -- there's SO much better out there. There's somebody out there who will spark for you just as much as you spark for them, and when you connect those two fuses, the outcome is pretty amazing. Rubbing two sticks together, trying to make a spark, only clouds your brain and gets in the way of allowing the RIGHT spark to find it's way to you.

Sugar and spice,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Dreaded Friendzone

Over drinks with a girlfriend the other night, the topic of The Unrelationship came up -- she'd recently ended a "something" with a "someone," but was laughingly trying to explain it to me:

"...At first I was apprehensive, even though he's totally hot. Once I got together with him, it was hot and heavy right from the get go... the physical was like nothing I've ever experienced, but I got sort of swept away in it (see: "sex haze" for details). Then I found out that he was on - at the very least, looking at other women, but maybe dating them too. So I put the freeze on sex.

From then on, we kept seeing each other, but nothing physical. I assumed we were sliding into friendship-land, but every time I'd bring it up and ask "do you just want to be friends? Are we just friends?" he'd protest... "No, we're not just friends!"

But we weren't having sex. And then... then we weren't even KISSING anymore."

Finally, my friend ended her UNrelationship - much to the dismay of her UNboyfriend. They said they'd have a friendship, but haven't seen or spoken to each other since.

Let me ask you, dear reader, where is the line between friend and boyfriend? Personally, as the wise Kat once said to me, I like to let a guy's sex drive move a relationship forward -- if it ain't there, neither is the potential. And if a guy is only interested in nailing me -- without kissing me -- I think that sums it up pretty well.

As another friend of mine quips, "I've been FWAK'ed -- fucked without a kiss."

But if this is the case, why is the guy so hesitant to say "we're just friends"? Is it because being pushed into "The Friendzone," removes all possibilities for future sex? Is it because he's not yet sure how he feels about this woman? Is he trying to let HER steer the course? Is he just so wrapped up in NOT having his manhood insulted by putting in The Friendzone that he's in denial?

I just don't get it.

Usually I can put on the man pants and see things from a different perspective -- but in this case, I"m truly baffled. If there's no love, then why not just be pals?

And once you've been put in that Dreaded Friendzone, is there ever a way out? Do two people go from lovers to friends and back to lovers? Or is the Friendzone the death knell of sex / intimacy?



And while we're on this topic of platonic relations between men and women, I"ll ask the age old favorite:

Is it possible for men and women to truly be "just friends," or does sex always get in the way?

And what about the jealous boyfriend / girlfriend who can't handle it when his/her signifant other goes out with a "just friend" of the opposite sex?

Protective, or posessive?
Concerned, or control freak?
Justified, or jackass?

I have my own thoughts on this, but I'm interested in yours.

Sugar and spice,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Controversy, Discuss

I was recently given the advice that the best relationships are those where the man loves the woman just a little bit more.