Sunday, 30 October 2011

deal breakers and lists

So it seems that everyone I talk to has a list.  Some are vague, more of an idea of ideals, others are specific (hair colour? really...control issues;)).

But to have some bottom lines, that's important I reckon.

Most of the uncoupled people I know say that in retrospect they can see that in compromising a deal breaker, they knew they were risking the success of their relationship.  Usually related to a core value than a personal preference, it must be said.

They compromised on having children, not having children.  On religious and spiritual issues.  On matters financial (more about that in a previous blog).  The big life issues that need to be negotiated and approached with mutual agreeance.

One could argue that opposites attract and that some conflict and disagreement is healthy - and whilst I can agree with this to a point, I think when it comes to the really 'big questions'' of life, it's probably wise to be at least on the same page as your potential partner.  Relationships, are tricky enough to negotiate without throwing life sized obstacles in the path right at the start.

I guess if I'm honest I have a bit of both.  A few ideals, one or two deal breakers, and a loose list of preferables.  There are a few things I don't want to compromise, and some I'm open to discussions on.

What are your deal breakers?  Have you ever compromised one? what happened?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

it's not me, it's you

There is an art to being let down gently.  Or so I'm told.

For your further entertainment a selection of excellent rejection lines I - and others like me - have been given...

The good

- I'm just not ready for a relationships (yes really truly I have lost count of how many times that particular chestnut has been handed to me)
- I need to work through some stuff with my ex
- I need more time to think about this, can you give me that?

The bad

- I really like you but only as a friend
- You're not really my type...but my friend really likes you
- I don't want a relationship but a little fun might be good

The ugly
- sorry you're too old for me
- if I were a different person in a different place I'd marry you
- i'm just not attracted to redheads
- I want to be with someone I am proud to be seen with (tacit: and that's not you...)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

just like buses

Ok people i admit it.  the cynics were right and so were the optimists.
You wait and you wait and you wait and then 4 come along at once....

So, about the fleet...

A couple are on fairly new routes.  One would appear to be on a detour.  One is a special charter which doesn't make this journey often and may not come this way again for a long time.  One appears to be unsure of it's destination.  Some have started in this direction and been diverted.  One has been out of service for a number of years and only recently back in commission.

As I stand at the station there's an odd sense of anticipation but also of wariness.  

Some of them are well maintained, others could use a little attention.  One or two are carrying far too much luggage and even the odd extra passenger.  Some are built for speed, others for safety and comfort.  Most have been transporting for a while and have good reviews.

Most buses travel the same routes over and over again.  They are supposed to be on a timetable aren't they!?.

So how come a handful are turning up at the bus stop all at once....

Monday, 24 October 2011

the age of chivalry is not dead!

I know...I can prove it!
For all those world weary women out there who think that the man with manners is a dying breed I would like to brag about the one I have recently met who
- irons regularly
- is always on time
- phones when he says he will
- apologising for using bad language (bloody is bad language right...?)

A little beacon of hope in the dark world of dating...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Clearing out and moving on

I heard about the demise of three different relationships this week.  That's a lot of people I know going through significant life changes.

I commented to one that I was sad to hear about it but could offer the consolation of them not being the only one I knew of.  What was going on that so many people were going through this right now I asked? "Spring cleaning" was the slightly wry response.

Actually I think there's probably a fair bit of truth in there. It's tough but it also kind of makes sense to me. Possibly even more than the New Year New You things we read about.    Maybe as we systematically clean houses, or wardrobes, or gardens, there's internal stuff being sorted through as well - which just might lead to making a clean sweep of our relationships as well as our physical space.

The positive way to look at it would be consider the ending as a fresh start.  There's a cliche that says something like that - in order to begin something new, one has to end something first.   Pretty sucky if you're the one being swept out but exhilarating and exciting (and maybe a little scary) if you're the one holding the broom.

Have you ever taken time to ''spring clean'' a relationship?  Or chosen this time of year to make a fresh start?

Monday, 10 October 2011

stop looking

Don't you love how this is advice is nearly always handed out by the coupled?  They say ''if you stop looking you'll meet someone great".

Well that's terrific advice. THANK you coupled people for sharing your wisdom:(
I nod and smile each time I hear it, and wonder if they met their someone great by not looking?

Why do people say that?  And why is the assumption made that all single people are trying to hunt down a new partner?  It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if you're single and you're friends are too, that there's a chance that some of them will couple up? And it's logical that single people are probably not going to make a habit of just hanging out with couples - even if they are happily single.

I meet a lot of single people in my work and social life.  Some of whom are open to meeting a partner and some who are not.  Some I am interested in getting to know better, some I am not.  Some who seem to be interested in me, and most who don't.  (usually the ones who like me are in the category of ones I'm not excited about getting  to know better but that's another story...).

Does that mean I am looking?  Well, only by default.   I am not actively dating.  I'm not on any online dating sites.  I'm not handing out my relationship CV for appraisal.  Sure, I'm open to the idea of meeting potential partners, but I'm putting my energy right now into making  new friends.

Maybe if it's the right person I might be keen on seeing where that may lead.     But I am not analysing every single man that crosses my path that's for sure. I figure that means I'm not really looking.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

you to me are everything...

...and other love songs of it's ilk all proclaim that in one person all we need, all we want, and all we seek can be found.  wow, what a responsibility - not sure that I want to be someones everything!

I wouldn't mind, however, being a most-things, an almost-everything, or a just-about perfect.

So, if this person is the one we choose over all others, does that by default mean that they (for want of a better expression) "tick most of the boxes"?  That raises the question of which MOST things should our partners be.   I get that they might not like the same sport...the same food...the same house design as us.  I get that some of the things they are passionate about might not be the same too.

But what about the BIG things...?  If say, one of my fundamental requirements (needs, wants) in a partnership is that the other person has the same spiritual beliefs as me, then I am doing myself (and them) a disservice by choosing to ignore that for the sake of other qualities.  Similarly, if I am really really crazy about a particular hobby that takes up a lot of time, is it fair to seek others to share this if my potential partner doesn't?

I don't think it's realistic to expect a partner to be all things to us.  I think there are aspects of our lives that we need to separate away from our romantic/emotional entanglements.  I think we can get different needs met, and offer different things, to other people. But by my reckoning, the primary relationship should meet the primary needs.  That's why we choose to partner with that person. Isn't it?

What needs to you want met by your future partner?  Which don't matter?

Friday, 7 October 2011

it's JUST a date

I read it, I paid attention to some of it, and now I've just put a piece of advice into practise.

Somewhere in the depths of that book, the author tells us that it's the man that's supposed to do all the work (see yesterdays blog for more on this...).  But he also offers some creative ways to get the guy to do the work, without having to do the asking.  It goes like this:
Instead of the girl asking for a date, you say something like ''so when are you going to ask me out", which supposedly gives the guy a clue that you are interested but still gives him the chance to feel like he's in control.  Well it all sounds a bit convoluted to me, but I'm prepared to give it a go.

So today, after waiting patiently for a week, I rang ''call me call me guy'' (who, it should be noted, has given me his phone number several times...'just so i can ring if i want to'') and left a message:
Hi it's me.  Sorry I missed you...but if you would like to ring me back and ask me out, I'd be glad to say yes.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

call me call me call me (why won't he call me...?)

The past four months of blogs have been fairly general - I've been happy (more than happy!) to share my opinion on the life of the uncoupled, and the trials and tribulations therein.  And now perhaps the time has come to share a little more of myself. So let's start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start...).

I have bleated on rather a lot about the importance of standards, hinted at some deal breakers, and impressed upon my readers my beliefs about due diligence and listening to the opinions of others.

And so, it is with some trepidation that I share this morsel with you...yet smug in the knowledge that I have followed my own advice (yes truly I have!).  But there it is, I met a man....

He comes with great references, he's gainfully employed, he shares some of my interests, he's the right age, the right height, the right marital status.  Our values match.  We have a similar sense of humour and get each others.  Conversation is easy.  I feel no angst or nerves (well...maybe a little...).

So what to do about this?  The dating books all tell me I should be playing hard to get...making him work a little...not being the one making the first move.   Read one blog written by a young guy and he'll tell you this is rubbish, that it's all equal these days.  Read one written by a woman and she'll agree.   Read another and get the opposite opinion.  So which is it?  Are there rules any more?  I thought it was supposed to be the man who was the pursuer?  Who put in all the hard yards at the beginning to get his girl?

Does doing nothing make me feminine or passive?  Which is better?  Is he shy, nervous, completely unaware...or are you going to be the first person to say...he's just not that into you....

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

it's a date!

There are literally dozens of websites/blogs/forums dedicated to the pitfalls and perils of dating.  There's just as many with a focus on dating nightmares.  People love to share those stories...don't I know it;)

But apart from cheesy ''10 ideas for an awesome first date" type lists, usually found on internet dating websites (well, duh...), I haven't found a whole lot of great-date stories from REAL people.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are some of the good experiences I've had in the past 3 years.  Not all dates by the true sense of the word, but they all involve a girl (that would be me) and a guy at the same place, at the same time, on purpose.

- A kayaking trip down a river, barbeque on the shore, and then back in the dark in the kayak as the glow-worms came out
- A long drive, a walk on the beach at dusk, a picnic of coffee and chocolate as the sun went down
- Home cooked dinner on a stormy night, a power cut and hours of conversation by candlelight watching the storm
- A walk through a forest in the pouring rain, sheltered by a gigantic umbrella
- A shared trip to a deli, to buy rich and delicious ingredients to take home and cook - and eat - together
- A late night dancing date that didn't start till 10 pm but went on til nearly dusk
- A phone date from two different parts of the country...that lasted all night

What about you?  Have you had an AMAZING date recently?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

breaking bad habits

Ok I'll admit it...I have always been a bit hopeless when it comes to bad boys.  Well, more accurately, reformed bad boys.  The really bad ones don't hold much appeal - the values and lifestyle are not exactly compatible with the life of a responsible single mother...

A (single male) friend told me, somewhat smugly and with  seemingly great authority,  that the bad boys always get the girl.  And those same ratbags are apparently also rather attracted to the 'good girls''.

So why is it  that women are so often attracted to the ratbags?  Is it the element of danger, the lure of being able to reform them into ''good guys", the fact that maybe they get life more than the conservative nice ones?  If you're a woman reading this, can you shed light on it?

And why do they like the nice girls?  The idea that the niceness is just a front? The appeal of something they don't possess themselves?  Guys...can you enlighten me?

For sure, opposites attract.  It's certainly not uncommon to find a downright naughty boy with a super sweet and conservative girlfriend (although I haven't yet found the converse).

I even went out of my way to avoid that particular group of singles, but somehow they kept finding me...Call me a slow learner but it even took me a while to work out that just as women can have a veneer of nice, so can men.  No matter how conservative the dress, or how 'reformed'' he appears, a bad boy at heart is still a bad boy at heart.

So what's this girl to do?  Well, first of all I realised (yes I know, I'm a slow learner...) that the red flags that pop up are actually there to be taken notice of.   I'm more than happy to be friends with a ratbag, but it's never going to go further than that.   I added a couple of deal breakers to the (short but concise) list.  I've enlisted a couple of trusted friends in the evaluation process.

I've defined what characteristics those ''bad habits' all shared.  And I'm avoiding them.

I guess you could say I've set some standards for myself.

And next time, it will be the nice guy that get's the girl.