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Welcome to the Dating Jungle

datingjungleToday’s guest post is again by Luziana.

It’s crazy, isn’t it? Here you sit with your broken picker wishing for adult connection, still aghast that the same Timid Forest Creature who was so bold to ask someone out while inconveniently married to you is out doing all the fun things while you mah jong along, playing solitaire as a matter of mental health and basic principle.

You should be more evolved, they say. Get out there! The easiest way to get over her is to get onto someone else! Cheating happens! Move on!

But you know it’s scary out there. You kind of look over across town to where ex’s Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus is playing and you feel a little sick. It didn’t feel very evolved when you opened up the phone bill and called the number that was on there 5,000 times to ask the newly-secretly-impregnated-work-friend what the nature of her friendship with husband exactly was.

And it wasn’t very evolved at all for her to not call you back and just say, “Hey lady. I fuck your husband. That’s what I do. Cheating happens. Get out there and date! It’s what I do!”

(A talking primate like that would really impress Esther Perel.)

But I digress. You want my advice how to date without getting hurt? How to find the ONE? I can’t tell you. Because you will be hurt and there will be creeps and you might not find THE ONE. But I guarantee if you approach dating the same way you approach friendships, there will be delicious meals, outings and good times. And some serious WTF stories to share.

Where to start? Always start a few levels out from your immediate circle. Let friends know you are looking to date and what you’re looking for. The beauty of meeting people in real life is that you have some semblance of vetting them out. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate set up. You could just both be conveniently invited to the same barbeque.

Another option is online dating. Yeah, I said it. Match the platform to your level of interest and go. This option will require you to be mentally strong, not easily offended, and able to handle rejection. I know you’re sitting there thinking NOOOOOOOOO. I’m thinking yes. Each and every one us has had the person we loved most reject us for another. Bottom line. And you’re telling me that if a stranger doesn’t dig you life is over? Nope, nope nope. Look at you. You lived through cheating, and that makes you kind of bulletproof.

I venture to say that we should all take note from Dolly Parton and be adorable and not give a fuck. The old story goes that Colonel Tom Parker wanted Dolly to give up songwriting credit to have Elvis Presley cover “I Will Always Love You.” Her songwriting was very important to her, so she told him to piss right off. Whitney Houston asked for no such quarter, just sang the heck out of that song and made Dolly Parton millions. So stick to what you know is true, and give away all the fucks. You are bulletproof.

Make a profile that shows you doing stuff you like to do. And your face without filters or photoshop. And full length shots, even if you’re curvy. Keep your kids out of the photos, but say you have some. Your profile should say what you want in life and a partner, not list all the wrongs and tragedies done you, I would like to think. That’s what I gravitaite to anyway.

Dudes? Nobody cares about photos of your boat, your motorcycle or your fishing lures. Any woman will be delighted with those later, but they want to know you. Chubby? You would be surprised at the fit dudes who like a little curvy. Bald? Quiz your friends’ wives. Bald is cool.

Ladies, you will get hundreds of responses. 80% are creeps who want to get busy with you and never call you again. As Miss Lauryn Hill sings, That Thing, That Thing, That THiiiiiing. Some will be so bold as to describe themselves as “Catholic, and Serious about It!” and greet you by saying how pretty your lips would look on their junk. The correct response is to laugh. The correct response is always to laugh. And delete and block. Rinse and repeat. Hand Sanitizer is optional. On second thought, yes to hand sanitizer.

Friends, you will experience ghosting. This is radio silence after having a date/dates/deep conversation. The correct response is whatever you think fits. Tear the ghost a new one. Text them ghost emojis. Then a week later when they text you, you can ignore it. Or say ‘What the hell are you playing at?” Or tell them you are too busy playing Mousetrap and American Girl Doll Salon, which in my case is often 100% true. And playing with Game of Thrones toys.

Ladies, a dude will ask you what you wear to bed. And the correct response is always a potato sack, orthopaedic clogs and horsehair panties. Always.

Gentlemen, strange women you have not met may want you to pay for a $150.00 dinner with only the distant prospect of seeing them naked. Stop worrying about when you will see them naked. Go out for tea or a cocktail or ice cream instead. Date a feminist who takes her turn paying. Invite her to do things you actually like to do and if she hates them, she’s not gonna like you.

The point is to have fun. My goal is to have fun. Not shallow fun, not getting laid. To be out in the world enjoying activities with someone who has a story, and a heart I might like to know. And okay, I might get laid. If I’m lucky.

Cue Daft Punk. I’l be the one rocking out in the horsehair panties and orthopaedic clogs on!

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  • Luziana – great description of the online experience. Been there, done it. The most important part is to focus on the fun and to not assume that other daters are looking for a carbon copy of one’s own perfect scenario.

    I would say though that there is no underestimating the tough hide it takes to endure some of the shallow characters that trawl those sites. After a long marriage, it was a steep learning curve for me. Setting and sticking to boundaries is so important, being prepared to dump and run when red flags appear – both important, but vitally one should not be in a rush to fulfill any specific goal. And the date-and- disappear act is so common, no one should ever be offended by it, even if it is inconsiderate behaviour.

      • I so needed this today. As I just got done with yet another game player. It’s been 3 years since my divorce. I’m 36 attractive, smart, and have a pretty full life. The guy and I meet in Vegas. Nothing happened in Vegas but damn did he chase me down for the next month. Not in a love bombing way either but a normal hi how are you today way. He invites me to visit him, I agree. I get there and the first 2 days were great. Then I went for an emotional roller coaster ride of push and pull. Anyway, I won’t dwell on details but I walked away feeling less than. Now I am nurturing my bruised ego and gearing up for the next one! It did give me a great story!

  • I’d rather have my toenails pulled out slowly than date. I can’t even imagine going through all the bullshit. Not when I can ALWAYS have a perfectly lovely time alone at home.

    • Right there with you. I spent years in the company of others. I am quite content catching up on my alone time.

    • Agreed, though of course I support anybody who wants to date. Go for it! This was a fun read.

      I feel like I had plenty of dating experiences pre-chump and I’ve fully enjoyed them, so I’m not missing out on any rites of passage or anything. I know I can count on myself and don’t need to inject any more of the inevitable drama that comes with getting other people involved in my life too intimately. Spending time loving my family, friends, and child, and being immersed in the life of my community, home, and workplace keep my heart very full. There’s much love to give and receive. It doesn’t have to be romantic (and for me, that’s a relief).

      • I also admire folks who are brave enough to do the e-dating thing. But I met Little Napoleon online and I’ll never meet a potential mate that way EVER again. Plus I have notoriously thin skin. It’s not for me. I’ll live vicariously through Luz and others who can venture there.

        • Asshole ruined online dating for me. It’s where he found the women he cheated on me with. THAT is what is on

          I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being alone.

    • Me too. Could that change? Sure, but over 2 years out and still have no urge. Had 2 dates in high school and met my ex just after I graduated. Never was into dating, probably never will be. At almost 55, I just don’t feel like I need to find someone, much less date.

  • Went to a big meal, with the help of an online site, not really a dating site, but leisure-oriented. By the way, this is an excellent option. People are there to do fun activities, and although it is not restricted to singles, the great majority of them are living alone or with their children. The age group with the biggest number of attendees is 45-55. Don’t you have such online sites in America ?
    It is much easier to join a group of single people for Hiking / sharing a beer at the pub / eating / dancing / canoeing / diving / dog walking / etc. etc., than to exchange messages online with a stranger who is there solely to find a partner. It’s healthier, more natural. People talk, after a while you may even learn about their breakups, which helps everybody to de-dramatize their own situation, and creates connections. Because we’re not alone, far from it. (Considering the crowd, someone said, this looks like a whole generation has been sacrificed).
    At the big meal event, this cute 50-something lady arrived, and said “I am the one with no friends !”. She said it several times, and no one reacted to the “no friend” part, but we welcomed her. She was sooo embarrassed that she had come on her own. Actually, that’s what most of us do. We come with our best smile, intend to have a good time, know we can return home if anything displeases us, and the key point is, we intend to make other people have a good time too, by telling jokes, by smiling, even if deep down we’re heartbroken. The miracle is that most often than not, with this attitude, we end up having a great time for real, and go home much happier.

    • ChumpfromF – that sounds like in the US/international. I have signed up to some of those groups, but some weird creepy types use it for dating purposes and send me messages unwarranted. I mean, it’s fine for two people to meet while at an activity and hit it off. Actually, I think that’s great. But I signed up to attend a meetup once, and some guys sent weird messages before I even went, saying they were looking forward to meeting me. It was fairly obvious to me that they were sending boilerplate messages to every woman who’d signed up to attend this event. Eek! Needless to say, I didn’t attend the event, and it kind of put me off for the time being.

      • I researched a little, the one I am using is called Urbeez in the US (“Come Back to the Real World”). So far, the people I have met were 100% decent – and no message can be sent to members unless you organize an event. The European culture may make a difference, I don’t know.

        • I did do meetup when I lived in the USA and had some fun times. Now I live in SE Asia and, yeah, it’s…different. I got some weird messages from some Middle Eastern and Indian guys right off the bat. I really just wanted to meet some new people and not feel like I was being “checked out,” so if meetup is really “meet-market” in Bangkok, I don’t want to be a part of it! Urbeez sounds interesting; I’ll check it out. Thanks!

          • I thought Thailand itself was a meat market!

            Ironically at a MeetUp, I met this one lady (married – attending a divorce group??? With no intentions of divorcing?) whose husband worked for a condom company and he made frequent trips to Thailand for the type of material that is used in condoms. Can you imagine?

            • Thailand is a meat market for western men and Thai women! Western women are invisible at best and derided at worst. I just do my best to ignore everyone.

              Thailand does have a lot of rubber plantations. It never occurred to me that they’re supplying condom companies. Ha!

      • Me too with the messages from guys wanting to circumvent the Meetup arrangements! So happy I’m in such good company! Never heard of Urbeez but will definitely check it out.

      • I’ve been a member of dozens of Meetup groups, some geared towards singles, some women’s social groups, some related to an activity or craft. I’ve met some nice people that way (never dated anyone from a group, though), and never had a bad experience. I’m in a large city, so there are hundreds of Meetup groups within a half hour drive. I imagine that’s the same in any reasonably large city.

    • I like the idea of meetups rather than “dating” sites, because a lot less pressure. And having a good time is the goal, not hookups.

      • A couple of years ago, I sought out the local meetup group. Turned out the chief social organizer was a guy I had recently met online and met for coffee. I had politely declined his advances when he early on made it clear he was expecting to indulge in group sex, which included his ex-wife! So creepy to encounter him greeting guests at the meetup meeting. Next!

  • Beware Match, my experience was with at least two scammers. They pretend to be Italian, widowed, have a child and travel to foreign lands for construction. They really live in Africa, you find this out when they have some sort of “emergency” and start asking for money. Number one taught me that lesson, so when I was approached by number two, I knew the drill. Zoosk is a better site, they verify your photo, phone and Facebook (if you have one). I met a “real person.” I’m not saying it’s easy, it sucks advertising yourself (it seems so desperate). But times have changed, in the last thirty years, so I am trying to keep up. Luziana is right, you have to try not to take the slights personally. My take is, I’ve already been rejected by a loved one so how much can it hurt if a stranger rejects me. Believe in your worth and wear it well!

    • Be careful with Zoosk. been there done that and scam artists are ecerywhere

    • Please be careful with online dating sites. I’d like to believe that everyone is honest – but it is truly frightening. AARP had an article this month about a woman on Match who got ripped off after the death of her husband. Her search for love cost her over $300K. Now I don’t have that kind of money to lose but the sophistication of these posers is astonishing.

      Never give any money to anyone from these sites! After my cheaters financial and actual infidelity – no one is allowed in my checkbook. Treat your financial affairs as a business – trust and money are a big problem once a unscrupulous person gets in. Very very very hard to get them out.

      That said, I wouldn’t mind dating but I do not think I’m ready. Good luck Chumps!

  • ChumpFromF.. I need to make new friends and that sounds like a great plan!

    I did the dating thingy few months ago. Met 1 girl, sweet, but after few dates, my red light(s) went crazy. Too many possible issues. Met another one, I had to pay for everything.. EVERYTHING. She did not even offer once (at least fake it). Now my 3rd friend.. she is cool. But I just want friends for now too…

  • Luziana
    You’re awesome. Yep, been trying to get out there for four years since Narcboy pulled his s@#$. As an educated, enviro, organic farming, non TV worshipping, active, older, mixed race chick in a region where same aged men are very much the huntin/fishin/I hate education type (BTW dudes, dead elk and dead fish pics are a serious turn off!), it’s been hard to find anyone even remotely compatible let alone living on the same planet. The latest prospect is being imported from halfway across the continent as he seems to be the only dude who respects my values and life. Meeting IRL seems to net me guys like Narcboy who have hidden wives/gfs and dudes willing to travel from the city because they have no options back home. Have been stalked twice by crazy locals. Must be something in the water. Have spent huge sums on on line sites that match me up with overweight (I am a thin ultramarathoner) high school dropouts two time zones away or Ayn Rand fans heavily into guns. The process has become more frustrating since the very last of family died last year and I am looking at a good 5 years before I am in a place where I can retire and leave. An awful lot of alone time even for someone very self sufficient. I was in a good marriage for 12 years a decade ago so I know what a good rship should look like.
    You’re right though, the only point of dating is to try and have fun, laugh at the crazies, suss out the cheaters, and collect material for humorous stories. I look on the bright side; an awful lot of dudes “out there” know a lot more than they used to about organic farming. Good for the planet and them too. As for the crazies, a large, very protective, dog does wonders.

    • Copper, you sound fun! I just read about Bumble, a new dating app from the female cofounder of Tinder. It’s like Tinder for feminists. Women have to initiate the conversation. It doesn’t sound too widely in use yet, but it might work for you!

  • Luziana, great post. Dating is a jungle indeed. It takes time to heal from the cheaters and take all the time you need to get back into the dating world. I do agree about having good friends fixing you up with someone. Both of our friends told each other how similar we are to each other. That is still true to this day. The most important thing is to take it slow after a divorce. Don’t rush it. Become friends and just enjoy the company. If they are good a good person they will want the same. If they don’t please don’t bother with them. Take it easy on yourself also getting back into the dating world. Treat yourself with kindness and embrace the learning process in the dating world. Also don’t forget to laugh about the dating process especially when you meet other jerks (male and female).

  • I used to be a big fan of online dating, even though my experiences were more negative than positive. (Another story for another time.) But I actually met my cheater on a dating app, and it seems like cheaters are now using online dating in droves because it’s so easy to cheat that way. So I think I’m scared off from online dating/dating apps now. If or when I feel ready to date again, I think I’ll ask people to fix me up. It’s true that they may not know if the person is a raging narc/cheater, but I can spot those red flags myself. But at least they will know if the person is single and available to date!

  • Yes. I grieved my marriage while my husband was still alive and had nothing to prove to anyone so I broke the cardinal “wait a year to date” rule (and got seriously pissed at the people that gave me attitude – “He’s f’ing dead and in the ground – why do you want me to pretend he is on a business trip? which one of us is delusional?”)

    The first guy I decided I wanted to actually date (after meeting him online among other people ) was a texting ghost but refused all normal human contact…I asked him to dinner and he turned me down flat. I never figured out his dysfunction and left him in the dust but it still hurt.

    I was hit on by scammers who I discerned using skills I learned watching “Catfish”

    I was hurt by the whole dating thing badly enough to cry some bitter tears, but I kept trying.

    I dated a really cute guy who I crushed on but he told me straight up that monogamy was not his thing. Tried to change his mind for 2 weeks but glad I didnt waste any more time on that. If people say stuff like that, dont get mad, be glad they were up front..I sent him the nicest “Im not dating you anymore” email you ever read.

    I met 2 guys who were charming and reliable dinner partners and were fun to be around but not partner material.

    I had about 3 active suitors when my father decided to call up an old boyfriend of mine from 30 yrs ago and play matchmaker. My friends thought I should be annoyed but my dad hasn’t had a good idea in 30 yrs, so I wasn’t going to ruin this for him. From our first hug, I never looked back…that was 2 yrs 3 months ago and we were married 3 weeks ago.

    He is my same age (we met as children in school 40 yrs ago) which is amazing since most men date younger women. He is decent, reliable, fun, kind, sweet & financially responsible.

    He only had one girlfriend (very briefly) during his 12 yr stretch of being single…every once in a while he says stuff to me that sounds like it came out of a football player who hadnt had a date in 12 yrs “honey, dont tell your wife she looks like medusa, that never ends well” so he needs a little coaching on finesse but I am glad I returned to dating and I wish fun and adventure to anyone out there ready to put a toe in the dating pond.

    • I think “most men date younger women” is a thing of the past. Look at the couple who died in the desert: she is 10 years older and it doesn’t show. I know a lot of couples where the woman is older.

      • ChumpFromF, that’s encouraging to hear. I usually feel pretty counterculture because I am currently dating a younger guy (who has also been chumped, so he gets it, thankfully), and I personally know very few women who date younger. But this guy is someone I knew in passing before (I know his family), and he is more emotionally mature that anyone else I’ve ever dated. I learned with my ex that maturity is not necessarily connected to age!!

        There were red flags with the others I’ve been interested in or have dated since my ex, so none of those got very far. (That includes one ghosting incident of a guy who later came back from a multi-week absence after regular email exchanges and said he had gone to a cabin the woods for a while. If he wanted to pull a Walden, that would have been fine IF he had told me *in advance* and not just disappeared. Not cool to do to anyone, let alone someone who had already been abandoned by a spouse. But since he did that and his explanation used “I” and “me” a TON throughout, I considered myself lucky to know I should avoid that one, even before we had gone on a date.) The others had red flags too, but this younger guy I’m dating seems to have integrity and truly be a great guy who knows himself and how to talk about emotions and the tough stuff. Time will tell if the age difference (and all the other factors) can work in our case and life places. In any case, it’s nice to know that there are some emotionally mature, good people still out there in the dating pool!

  • unicornomore, I think those people who like to text but never meet up are usually in a relationship already. At least, that’s my assumption. They’re like cheaters “lite,” who are looking for cake via text while still enjoying the real-life cake at home. Obviously, some of them become actual cheaters. Bottom line, if someone doesn’t want to meet me and just wants to text endlessly, F that. I have much more to offer and I demand much more!

    Your dad playing matchmaker sounds so cute. Glad it worked out!

  • Luz, if anyone can rock those horsehair panties, it’s surely you.

    Someday you’re going to meet a fabulous guy who wears coke-bottle lenses and never misses a ren fair where he role-plays a blacksmith, and who dee-jays for the after-Special-Olympics proms each year. Your eyes will sort-of meet across a crowded room. He will blink owlishly at the frenetic ball of energy dancing her heart out in her ortho-clogs, and his life will be changed forever, the lucky sod. And you will spend Saturday mornings eating blintzes and he will bring his own GoT toys and develop Mousetrap strategies that will leave you and your daughters breathless and seeking justice.

    I have a knack for knowing these things. You can put this one in the bank.

        • He is! and a curly mop of hair, auburnish-brown. And he dances, perhaps not well, but with great enthusiasm.

            • That is fabulous, Luziana. Someone is missing out on you and I hope you find each other sooner rather than later. Intelligent, witty, compassionate, and knows how to enjoy the good moments in life. You should let us write your bio.

            • Indeed! It will be seeing you do the panda dance that will send a lightning bolt to his heart and he will be smitten forever. He will dance like a kanga, bouncing up and down a lot, so it would be good if he came in costume also. Or perhaps these are not really costumes?

            • OMG Luz! I want to marry you lol. We can combine our action figure collections. If I was dressed in an animal costume here I might get shot during hunting season though lol. I so wanted to go do the Thriller performance for Halloween in the city I used to live in. Some day I will make it back to civilization. In the meantime I try to do the best I can here. I went as (Gareth) David Bowie from Labyrinth last year and my kid was Toby. I was thinking of Wolverine this year. I don’t know what it is about being a single mom that makes me want to cross dress. 🙂

    • Wow EnoughAlready, that was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes! And I know he will adore Luziana’s Panda Dance.

  • Has anyone else heard the, oh you will need three years to heal before you date? How do we know if a date if the next one is a “rebound” or if we are descent people, does that matter.
    I love Luziana’s advice because if we look for fun and friendship, we will find that and if it grows into love, then “our pickers” will have enough time and experience with the person to feel safe. If we find another NPD type, we won’t even enjoy the friendship because I do not think we have room in our lives for selfishness any more, right?!

    • I have heard the “one month for every year of marriage” line.

      I think that the real issue here isn’t how long you’ve been married, but more what Luziana recommends: fun and friendship. Follow yesterday’s blog advice. Indulge in extreme self care, reclaim yourself, and have fun. If someone else wants to come along for the ride–or part of the ride–then enjoy the fun and friendship. It doesn’t have to be about THE ONE.

    • While crazy extremes are obvious (I recently heard of a man whose wife of many many years died suddenly and he started dating in a week – that is clearly dysfunctional) whether its death or divorce, we need to know ourselves and make good decisions

      People who wanted me to stick to some cookie cutter rule of how long to wait generally 1) had no idea that I had been grieving my marriage intensely for 7 years and 2) they had a warm person at home waiting for them.

      I started dating again when I was 48…I joked that I needed to get out there “while I still have a little bit of cute left”.

      Based on the fact that we both arrived at our new relationship from an extreme end of the continuum (I was only 7 months post spouse death and my man was 12 years post abandonment with very few dates in that time) you would think we would be more messed up, but we turned out to be relatively emotionally healthy.

  • Lots of married people on… beware. My STBX is one of them.

    But I agree, it should be about fun, friendship and not serious relationships for a LONG time. Those of us with little kids should be very careful before jumping in too quick. But for sure you need to push yourself out there an not sit home alone. Make having fun the goal.

  • OtherChump – you are soooo right! See my stbx is a textaholic. He would sext other women and had a Yahoo account to ‘talk’ with other women. I don’t really know if he ever did meet up with another woman because, as you said, HE WAS MARRIED – to ME! He is a cheater – whether he met up with any of them or not – getting a phone line behind his wifes back is ACTUAL cheating.
    So yes – be wary chumps for the ‘texters’ out there… is probably my stbx asshole and trust me – you don’t want him.

    • Mine too. He had profiles on three different sites that I know of. They use code words for what they’re looking for to attract other cheaters. One of his was a married 2nd grade teacher whose youngest kid was going into kindergarten. Her description of her particular set of skills would make a Tijuana prostitute blush.

    • Lady Strange – Oh I agree! Sorry I didn’t say that in my post. Texting behind your partner’s back is definitely cheating and is not okay with me (and probably not to anyone in CN, because we know it’s rarely just texting). But I think a lot of people are okay with it, or justify it to themselves somehow, when their partner is “just texting.”

  • Luziana, such a great article. I’ve been living your humor. Keep it coming, mighty mama!

    My experience with online dating has been interesting and eye opening. Most first dates never turned into a second and there was only once that it turned into 3 dates. First thing I learned is that most men on dating sites don’t even read your profile, just send a copy/paste form letter to anyone they find remotely attractive or think they have a chance with. I never responded to a message that wasn’t thoughtful and ask a question about one of my interests, hobbies, quirks, or whatever. That process weeded out a lot of creeps, but wasn’t full proof.
    Let’s see…one guy was a compulsive liar, his stories weren’t even believable on any level. Been there & done that with the ex, buh-bye. Another seemed really nice and industrious, he was really excited about the business he started buying/fixing/renting houses. It was going so well, he was able to quit his day job. We met for dinner at a very casual restaurant, Mad Mex. When the bill came, he says “I only have a $20, what do you got?”. Im not a gold digger, but kind of old fashioned in that the guy should pay on the first date. Red Flag that he only brought $20 on a date, we weren’t meeting at Burger King! I told him to keep his money, my treat and paid the $35 bill myself. Didn’t respond to him again.
    The next was a divorced dad. He seemed really cool and funny. He said he understood that I’m looking to take thing slow, not looking for a hook up. The day after our date he starts trying to sext me in the middle of the day (complete with dick pic). WTF?! Needless to say, I blocked him.
    The last was a super nice blue collar-truck driving kinda guy, a lot of fun, and we went on three dates. He was respectful, sweet, and such a gentleman. However…he just wasn’t smart or witty enough for me. We were in his truck coming back from dinner and he asks if I like comedy. I say of course! He plays some redneck song that goes “here’s the reasons I ain’t queer”. He’s laughing hysterically and I’m just thinking “um…maybe he didn’t hear me when I said my best friend is a gay man or that my favorite aunt u a lesbian”. Sooo…I cut that off.
    I can say that I have found a wonderful man that is honest, smart, funny, caring, and truly loves me & my children. He was right in front of me the whole time! He works at my company and we have mutual work friends. We’d see eachother at happy hours and talk here & there. He’s not what I usually go for looks wise (always been a sucker for blue eyes & tattoos), kinda nerdy (he has a Delorean & obsessed with Back to The Future lol) with dark hair, dark eyes, and glasses. Also, he’s 7 years younger than me and I’ve always been into older guys. One day I noticed I was actually flirting and kinda had a crush! I thought about it and decided my “type” obviously never worked out (the fuckwit) so I should step outside the box. I gave him a chance and that was all it took:) I’ve been incandescently happy for 10 months.
    So that’s my piece of advice: step outside your comfort zone and take a chance. It just might work out.

    • “He said he understood that I’m looking to take thing slow, not looking for a hook up.”

      In my experience, guys often say this to put women at ease; they know it’s a prerequisite for the women they’re trying to get. But many of these guys indeed are looking for hookups, and fast.

      • LiningUpDucks,
        I agree, a lot of guys on dating sites are the same sort of disordered sex-seeking assholes that we chumps have kicked to the curb.
        I failed to mention the one message I got where apparently it was a couple looking for a third and went into detail of what they’d each like to do to me. Mind you, the site wasn’t Adult Friend Finder or swinger site, but a popular dating site. What’s even creepier is that one of pics (not the main profile pic) was of the man, wife or gf, and their young child.
        Ew, ew, ew on so many levels.

      • I think you’re right LiningUpDucks. My cheater stbxh has taken to telling people most of the actual truth about his cheating behavior. It totally disarms them. He originally wanted to go with the “we grew apart” line, but when I refused to cooperate he found it in his best interest to beat me to the punch. He’s told some people even MORE than I would have.

        It makes sense that cheaters on the prowl would throw out the “I’m taking it slow” line. And thank you Freedom for mentioning that. I probably would’ve been sucked right in.

      • Thanks, Luziana. It’s amazing to see the difference between that crazy, roller coaster “narc” sort of love that I dealt with for sooo many years and what grown up love is.
        Whether this works out “happily ever after” or ends up going down in flames, I KNOW I’ll be ok, I’m a fighter & survivor. This whole experience has taught me what I will demand in relationships going forward and what I will not put up with ever again.

  • My Ex used Zoosk and He even used the fact that he was married on Zoosk and it didn’t seem to bother the pool of women he pursued! I am very reluctant to go to any dating sites! My daughters soon to be Ex used Plenty of Fish and Ashley Madison. He now has a pregnant paramour, but refuses to sign the divorce papers my daughter drew up! I think I’ll just spend a bit of time by myself! If the opportunity to meet someone comes around, I will probably take the offer, but I would prefer it be a person that mutual trusted friends actually know! There are too many stories about strange men who troll those sites for nefarious purposes. Some of these creeps are criminals as one woman found out when the guy cut her throat in a hotel room. She survived, but he had actually murdered several women that he found on a well known dating site! No Thanks!

    • I’m with you Roberta.

      I don’t judge anyone who wants to try online dating, but there’s no way I’m trying it. I saw my friend go through the whole Match thing. If I hadn’t already disliked the idea that sealed it for me.

      Actually, right now I wouldn’t take a cup of coffee from a man due to being emotionally abused by ex over finances and his bullshit that I married him for his money. (I made more money than he did when we got together, had a new car (he had a beater), and was co owner of a house (he rented). I know it’s all crap but no way am I going to be accused of that again, true or not. He used my vulnerable position of only working part time and running my business from home because I was caregiving to abuse me in the devaluation. I realize now it was all about not wanting to pay alimony as he was already planning to head for the hills, but being called lazy and accused of doing nothing all day when it’s not true stays with you. And one is going to walk on my heels through stores while I’m shopping so I can’t buy anything.

      If I happen to meet someone nice while I’m out and about I might consider dating. But no way am I remarrying or co-mingling finances again. Not after being in danger of losing everything because of some ass.

  • I have spent time using and for the most part it’s been a positive experience. I usually request a first and last name before I meet anybody and then look them up in the court system and on Facebook to make sure they are at least half way legit.

    I’m 54 so I’m interested in men in that age range. Kind of funny, but most 55-60 year old men on there describe themselves as “athletic and tone”. Be real people…that ship has probably sailed and most of us are fluffier now. I also found it kind of creepy if a 60 year old was looking for 30-40 year old women. Women that age can atract a 30-40 year old man so why would they have any interest in you. And the 30 year old man has better working parts.

    Guys with pictures of dead animals is a total turn off. Also, pictures of men in the mirror sucking their guts in. Showing up for a 1st day in crocks isn’t going to cut it. And neither is texting me pictues of your junk.

    Like I said, a positive experience. Just takes some time to find the “right one”.

    • I got a message from a 80 year-old on Meetic, who thinks I am charming. There is no way I would go with him, but nevertheless I find this touching and will write a kind answer. I also have a neighbor in his eighties, who complimented me as if he was young. So what. It’s funny, and they are taking a chance. Remember, people, we do not see ourselves in that mirror. We only have a fleeting perception that is likely to change a lot depending on mood. These men view themselves as still young. And athletic, and tone. Haha.

      • Yes, that’s been my experience too on Match. I love it when these 50-65 year olds describe themselves as athletic and toned. They are looking for a woman 25-45 that is slender, or athletic and toned. I turn 45 in exactly two weeks – guess I better get busy not being curvy – I have only one year to catch one of these winners before my expiration date of 46.

        Never understood the guys that post fishing photos or dead animals or photos of their muscle cars (instant turn off as I think, “Now here’s an idiot having a mid-life crisis! Been there, done that!” What’s worse are the guys that post photos of themselves shirtless. Like “Look at these abs ladies – are you lucky enough to get some of this?!” No thanks, I’ll pass on Narc.

        I met a nice guy on Match. 2 dates with him, but he drove me crazy as he’d give me progress reports after each date, or phone call. I’m happy to communicate and it’s healthy, but come on! The reports included: “I think this is going well.” Or, “You don’t seem to be interested enough in me.” How interested am I supposed to be after a cup of coffee or glass of wine? I barely knew him. Maybe I should have used more emojis – I don’t know…

        • Ok- but I am dating a 62 year old man and I am 46.
          I got to know him as an friend first.

          He is fit, has a good sense of humour and we sail together.

          Age is only a number. He is better suited to me than most of the guys my age.

          I think the biggest thing is that he is a gentleman. And he treats me very well.

          And yes, I am attracted to him and we have a good sex life.

          All I am saying is that you don’t want to miss out on meeting Mr Right just because of an age gap 🙂

          • The profiles of men I see are typically looking for younger women – not older. There are many older, attractive men – can’t deny it and they can be fit. Just find it a trend that older men want younger women – for the most part. Lucky, I agree. The biggest thing is how someone treats another person. Age is just a number and beauty is old skin deep.

            • They say they are looking for younger women because of clichés. But if they see an older woman they like, they’re going to click anyway.

    • ElleB I also plan to run online searches of everyone I date through the judicial websites in my state. I have skills to background check people and I intend to use them!

  • So I have a question. DDay was May 2013. Did the ‘pick me’ dance until October 2013 then met with a lawyer. Kept the lawyer, but divorce was on the back-burner until December 2014. Left for the 3rd and last time in May because stbx wouldn’t stop with the ‘sexting’ of other women and yahoo accounts. I moved to another house we own – a very OLD house with bats and mice…. STBX has been prolonging this divorce and is fighting me on everything.
    I need to stay at my job until the end of January and am hoping this divorce will be finalized by then – but with the crap he is pulling it is going to take another year or two – it is craziness the stuff he is coming up with. I plan to move (not completely sure where yet) when I quit my job. There is nothing left for me here and everyone knows stbx and a lot of my friends ditched me anyway.
    So, I’ve been thinking about checking out a dating site. Maybe Match in an area I am thinking about moving to. It is about 4 hours away. I’ve been told not to date until the divorce is over, but who knows how long stbx is going to drag this out! Why should I put my life on complete (it already is in many other aspects) hold because he thinks I deserve nothing out of this divorce? (He is an alcoholic and because I am such a horrible, sexless, evil person – I deserve nothing (sarcasm)).
    He is obviously already (and has been) ‘dating,’ and ‘sexting’ other women – during the marriage. I am alone now. I am a very committed person….’dating’ scares me. I want a relationship. Do you think I should continue to wait or go ahead and get on a dating site? I just don’t know what to do. I get bored. My friends I still have can only listen to me so much and hanging out on the internet gets old too…

    • I’ve heard it before, and read it here…”don’t date until your divorce is final,” but I think each situation is unique, and there’s a lot of grey area. My Dday was 4 years ago. I spent one whole year trying to wrap my head around what was going on. The next whole year was spent trying to figure out what to do about it. We have been separated, and have been discussing the divorce and settlement. I do want a companion, but I don’t think I’m ready for it. I’m not at Meh yet, and I don’t want to drag another person into my messy life. However, if Mr. perfect came along, I certainly wouldn’t let him walk on by!

      Like you LadyStrange, I think many chumps feel like their marriage was over long ago. A divorce decree is just a piece of paper. Where are you mentally? I know people that were divorced 20 years ago, and still haven’t let it go… they’ll never be at Meh. I would look at the underlying reasons for why you’re still married. Is it because you’re afraid to lose your connection with him (maybe on a deep level)? Or is it because he’s a dick and making things as difficult as possible? We’ve both put our lives on hold for years, and we’re not getting any younger. I don’ t think you should wait for the sake of tradition or authority, but look at where you are mentally. (((hugs)))

      • Thanks Itsa. We are still married because he is balking at everything. We are on the 6th opinion of ONE of our houses. He is getting that house and so he wants the number to be as low as possible. He had an appraiser come in and he pointed everything wrong out about the house, yet failed to mention other things about the property, therefore HIS appraisal was low. Mine and the other 2 ‘opinions’ I had done on the houses were much much higher. The house I am living in I want to sell. I’ve talked with stbx about it for months. He just decided the other day that when the appraisal comes in for the other house – will determine whether he wants to sell the one I am living in or not. It is a merry-go-round and every time I talk to my lawyer about some other bullshit move he is trying to make – it takes 2 fucking weeks to get back to me on what the hell is going on. Now mind you – this is just ONE house. We have another house, vehicles, personal property, medical bills, a dissipation claim. I got serious about this divorce 8 months ago and we have literally gotten NOWHERE because asshole wants to make sure he gets as much as possible out of this and I of course get the least amount out of this.
        And I loved my husband tremendously. I didn’t feel my marriage was over until DDay. I was happy in my marriage. And actually – I tried so hard to forgive him after Dday, but he didn’t ever stop the shit – he felt he had the ‘right’ to text other women in front of me. Entitlement issues – YA!

        • 2 things LadyStrange

          1-I am waiting until finalization because I spend every waking moment not dedicated to my kids or my work dealing with my divorce, I am steamrolling this thing through. My Dday was in May. Mediation begins in 2 weeks. We have two houses, cars, 2 businesses (and the dissipation claim he decided not to tell his attorney about) to divide and kids. I get it. I understand how much stuff their is to assign a value to and agree upon.

          2-How well do you like your legal counsel? Is it time to change? I ask because my messages are returned by next day. I requested and received a timeline of what happens when. My attorney and I have the mutual goal of my divorce being finalized by the end of the year for tax purposes. It might be time to look at how your attorney is treating you.

          • Thanks AOOK. I am concerned with my attorney. She doesn’t give much weight to my dissipation claim – that I am extremely dedicated too. I have hundreds of texts from stbx admitting how much money he blew from gambling and alcohol – he even wrote an email to my attorney telling her that! If that isn’t just the smoke that put out the fire? But – she doesn’t seem to give much weight to his emails and texts either. The thing is – I am already $10,000 in. We have gotten nowhere, but how much will I have to spend to get another attorney up to speed?
            It is just very frustrating. Your situation sounds very similar to mine – but I don’t have kids to deal with. My youngest just graduated.

            • From Experience Lady Strange…start fishing for another attorney. We stick with cheaters sometimes for the sunk costs and sticking with a lawyer who doesn’t serve your best interests because of sunk costs is the same folly. I spent nowhere near the amount that you have but what my sunk costs and Spackle with my lawyer cost me to my health, my peace of mind and my financial future was far far higher than the amount I’d already put in. The funny thing is that I kept asking others including other lawyers what I should do and everyone said to “work it out” with my lawyer. They make $200 or whatever an hour to WORK FOR YOU. Just my two cents after a divorce that took a ridiculously long time for no reason, a probable bankruptcy after a perfect credit history, declining health and a parenting plan that is going to traumatize my kid. Doubt anything is going to be that bad for you but if you can get free consultations with some lawyers or have people you respect who’ve actually gone through divorce recommend someone that would be good.

  • Luz, you said: “You lived through cheating, and that makes you kind of bulletproof.” I think this is true in many senses. The one thing that I wanted most in the world (an intact family) was blown to smithereens. After that, I have gained a “what the eff now?” attitude that definitely comes in handy when stuff doesn’t go my way, since I know that I’ve survived dday and beyond already.

    However, I’m still full of triggers, and anger, so dating it out for me, until I work on those things. If I do try a dating site, I’m likely to steer away from Match and instead try something like eHarmony where at least there is some money involved upfront to weed out the opportunities (anyone have experience with that site?). But it’s still a long ways out for me. I need to make sure my triggers are tamed, my picker is perfected, and my heart is open for friendship+.

  • Luiziana,
    “You kind of look over across town to where ex’s Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus is playing and you feel a little sick” may truly be the BEST LINE EVER. Hope you don’t mind but I’m going to tuck that away for use if I ever have reason to speak to my ex again.

    You have a gift, my girl! 🙂

  • Too bad I am on my ipad because I can’t type worth beans on it. The gist is I dated off and on for 7 years after dday and was beyond discouraged. Some of the most outrageous ones are scattered throughout CL’s blog. I’m on my ipad because I am laying here in a motel room bed with the most beautiful man I have ever met. We are in his home state where I am meeting his family. Today I am meeting his 94 year old mother. He wanted me to meet her before he proposes. This man is truly the love of my life. We met on Match.??

  • I LOVE this topic and I laughed so hard about the horse hair panties!!!

    I didn’t wait the one year to start dating either. I wanted companionship. I THOUGHT I wanted a relationship but I realize now as I am about to file for divorce (yay!) that I am quite content these days. My life is full. So if a dude wants to find a place to fit in, great! If not, well, I’m busy. Sounds weirdly cold to my ears to feel that way but I am looking forward to doing stuff on my own. I am 44 and living with my parents right now (with my young son) and I am at peace!!! What the world!!! It’s amazing really. My sister and her family live across the street and I am happy. Just happy.

    I was on I am taking a break right now because of my current circumstances. I had some really great one-dates, some ghosts texters, several SUPER young men looking for an older woman and some OLDER men wanting a 44 yo with some energy but mostly I found a lot of men my age looking for the same thing I am. I found it encouraging even though nothing really panned out. When I am settled in my own home again and ready, I’ll sign up again. Man shopping was fun!! haha

    • I can’t wait the one year either. I was alone in that marriage for so long I don’t want to be alone all the time anymore. Of course I don’t want to be coupled and with some one all the time either.

      • I was so deathly afraid of being alone in the beginning, right after Everything Happened. I was like that for months. I was terrified of not having plans even though dating was NOT what I needed. Now, one year later, I am content and I like the idea of having a man but if he moves too fast, I’ll bolt.

  • Learn about Cluster B’s and how to spot them. When I started dating, I had very strict criteria, regardless of the person’s attractiveness. Any history of infidelity and I was done. If they did not pay for half the dates, I was out of there. Any push/pull. I was gone.
    These types are not hard to spot if you can override all the attraction and the socialization.
    I am sure women have their tells about the guys that approach them, For me, as a guy, if a profile contained any tells, like that the woman expected to be entertained or “makes me laugh” or had height, weight, income requirements, I was not interested.

    • Arnold,

      I’m with you on the height/weight (unless someone is like 4’11″…I get why they may not be comfortable with someone who is 6’5″ lol) and especially income requirements. I think wanting someone who “makes me laugh” isn’t necessarily a demand for constant entertainment. I would probably use that term myself and I would mean simply that I enjoy funny & witty people and that I do love to laugh. It’s all reciprocal though, I love to make people laugh with my snark & humor.

      That’s just my opinion, wouldn’t want you to miss out on someone great just because they used that term:)

      • I struggle over who should pay for dates. I usually let the man pay for the first couple of dates. If you don’t offer to pay, you seem cheap. But some men are offended if you do offer to pay. So, a few dates and then it’s always reciprocal. I also don’t like people who put ht/wt requirements as they sound so shallow. It usually seems like the chubby short guys are looking for the tall, thin hotties.

        • Elle:

          I don’t pay for dates, either. Ever. A large majority of men still earn far more than most well-educated women.

          If they won’t pay they are cheap. If they can’t pay, I don’t want to know them.

          In our society the man is still supposed to pay for a date with a women.

          If you marry, then you can split the bills, PROPORTIONALLY.

          Anyway, even if I remarry, I am prepared to possibly be cheated on again.

          Cheating is a popular thing to do. It’s not going away any times soon.

          I would have forgiven the cheater, but he left me. Oh well, maybe next time. The ex wanted to come back, but after leaving for the affair partner, I was not interested. If he had not left me, and had dumped his whore, I might have worked things out.

          • Why would someone’s ability to pay affect your desire to even know them? I would think you are missing out on some quality people who just do not have significant financial assets. This could be due to the person not emphasizing material wealth, or misfortune or lack of opportunity.
            I would never rule out someone as a friend based on his or her financial holdings. But, that is just me.

            • True. We don’t get paid in personality points. My friend has her PHD and has devoted her career to social work. She can barely make ends meet. My SIL’s brother teaches in the inner city and makes crap money. You’d never travel the world with that guy, but he is one of the nicest guys I know. Smart and funny too. On the other hand, most of the guys I know that make a lot of money are total douchebags. You just don’t know.

            • My STBX is dating a woman who apparently believes the man should pay for everything, even though our finances have yet to be separated and she lives in a very large house in a ritzy part of town, which she got in her own settlement. So I see issues with it from that standpoint, but then again, disordered narcs, especially if they’re men, want to make themselves look like Daddy Warbucks to the new kibble supply.

              • This is actually an interesting subject for me in that I would like the guy to pay for dates. I went halfsies with the guy I dated before my exh despite making a third of the money. With my exh I ended up paying for everything including my stepchildren’s clothing and ex’s clothing and all of our dates, activities etc. He made five to six times what I made. If I had been more selfish with my money I might not be in the very terrible desolate financial situation I’m in. In fact being all modern and independent and paying for half hasn’t served me well in general with dating. I’m not looking for someone rich, but it would be nice to have someone old fashioned enough to buy dinner. Cause my “modern values”, women are equal- guy was a misogynist who did skeevy craigslist booty as much as he did the kids’ laundry. Plus, how can I be out paying for dinner when half the guys around me are telling jokes about why women belong in the kitchen? (It’s totally a location thing.)

                But Arnold I totally get where you are coming from. I know you got screwed. For me, whatever I was doing before didn’t work. So I’m trying something new.

      • JJ have you tried asking about her through the friend channel? I wish you happiness.
        I might steal the idea of organizing a party like this.

    • I take a little offense to the idea than women may have requirements for physical attributes or income are red flags or automatically ruled out. I don’t want a man who reminds me of my STBXH so No stocky dudes. I want a man who earnings MATCH mine. I don’t want to feel that I would have to “carry” him in our relationship. Been there, done that and I got stuck holding the short end of the stick. Not again. And on that note, I DO expect a man to pay. I will be happy to reciprocate by cooking dinner or buying a bottle of wine to share but I am no feminist. If, in the beginning, he EXPECTS me to pay, I’m out.

      • I’d be interested in your rationale for the position that the man should pay( assuming roughly equal abilities in that area). Presumably, you both enjoy each other’s company, yet one person has to fork out financially while the other does not. Seems like an imbalance.

        • In my opinion, if a man asks me on a first date, he should pay. In the rare event I would ask someone out for a first date, I would def offer to pay; however, the guy should offer and I’d probably let him (especially being its the first date…I guess I’m old fashioned). After that, taking turns would be the way to go or if it’s a special occasion…certainly wouldn’t have him pay for his own birthday dinner/drinks! The man I’m seeing finally got used to me picking up the tab sometimes. He’s an old fashioned kinda guy and always tries to pay, but he deserves to be treated too:)

        • Arnold – Speaking personally, I was with a mooching, take-take-take, the-world-owes-me cheater for more than a decade. I always paid….and paid and paid am still paying (since I bred with him). I haven’t totaled the amount that I have paid, but it is in the tens of thousands. He would pay randomly for something, and then talk big talk about he would pay next time, that didn’t arrive. I paid for meals, outings, alcohol, rent, utilities, down payment on a house, the wedding….and the divorce. And since he is paying very little child support, I continue to pay.

          So I’m completely done with anyone who expects me to pay. That may be shallow, but I just can’t do it any longer. No desire. And I definitely believe in equal rights. But after what I’ve been through, it’s just not something I can do. I realize this may be an impediment to me dating, which is why I’m not dating right now 🙂

          • I should add: I don’t mean that I expect someone to pay for me all the time, forever…..but I wouldn’t be cool with them expecting me to pay on the first date….again, it’s a trigger for me, something I realize I may need to work on. After being with a moocher, it’s just one of my ‘things’.

          • You too, LiningUpDucks??????

            LOL, dang maybe The Evil One has a twin!!!

            I may sound materistic or whatever, but after paying for EVERYTHING the last 13 years, I would really love for a man to buy me a nice dinner, take me out dancing, whatever. Hell, even a $1.00 sundae at McDonalds is better than what The Evil One paid for over the years…

        • Arnold, my rationale was included in my comment. I have paid for too long and I am not interested in doing that again. However, I can elaborate a little. Not EVERY date has to be dinner in a restaurant. I can think of many other (free) things that I would enjoy doing with someone that I liked. I don’t expect him to pay for my presence every time we are together. But I want to be cared for and in my mind, the man pays. But I will reciprocate like I said….cooking dinner, sharing a favorite bottle of wine, making an effort by going to see him at his house if we are making plans etc. He would have NO doubt that I liked him or that I was worth the expense.

          Also, as an afterthought, a man who makes roughly the same as me should be able to handle occasional dinners with his special lady friend. It would indicate good money management and/or making sure he has “dinner money” in case a lovely lady comes along.

          • I think a lot of men could say the same thing: “paid far too long.”. And, would not the same rationale apply to women re the paying for her special man being a sign of good money management”? I fail to see the rationale for a distinction between the genders as regards who pays. Presumably, both obtain the same benefit from each other’s company.

            • I don’t see that gender is the issue. As someone else mentioned, the invitor pays; the person who asks the other person out pays. Then the next time, the other person can reciprocate. Similar to good friends taking turns picking up the tab when they go out to lunch. To some people, it’s an old-fashioned thing that the man pays. For me, it’s just a triggery thing (and I might guess it is for you, too, Arnold) about not letting someone mooch, since we’ve dealt with entitled moochers for too long already.

              • Exactly, Liningup. Why anyone expects to be treated differently merely because of gender is beyond me.

              • I agree; you invite, you pay (regardless of gender). Next time, other person pays, with adjustments made for each person’s financial situation.

            • Well that’s where we differ. I am not a feminist and I like traditional gender roles.

  • The lovely man I am seeing now will not let me pay for anything. I will wear him down, but for now it makes me giggle. He’s a manly man and I kind of enjoy that about him.

    I do have a weight requirement. Thin men are not my cup of pants tea.

    A good sense of humor is a requirement for me as I am a giant dork.

    I put this on the “You should message me if…”:

    If you are “poly”, married or otherwise in a committed relationship, I am not the girl for you. This includes if you live with someone you no longer love and it makes you sad. I am not auditioning for the role of side piece, period.

    You are a single stocky dude who likes to be treated with respect, humor and kindness, by all means message me!

    This mostly takes care of the creeps. Not all poly people are creeps, but I think monogamy is my natural state of being.

    Cheaters can be detected by a blank relationship status and very little info. Photos that don’t show the face. Limited availability times, like lunch only.

    Scammers can be detected by only having one picture, or no picture. Weird grammar syntax, Effusive and wordy messages.

    Cluster B’s are enraptured by you. They CANNOT BELIEVE you exist, you exquisite creature!

    It’s not hard to suss the baddies, I learned a lot living with a Narcissist.

    • Your profile message assumes that guys who are looking for a sidepiece are going to be honest about that fact. Personally, I would avoid including anything that hints at a previous status as chump, because that might actually attract more than repel creeps.

      Otherwise, your advice for how to spot cheaters and spammers is spot on!

    • This is all super helpful, Luziana. I really appreciate the details. I’m super scared, but it’s been a year and a half and I’m starting to think it might be fun to date again. I’ve always been afraid of online dating, but reading the responses here, perhaps I could try. Yikes.

      My MFPOS STBX is dragging his feet on signing the final decree so I’m unfortunately not divorced yet. That seems a little weird to mention to potential dates. I know it would make me uncomfortable.

      Also I struggle with anger. Last week STBX texted he was going to see our MC on his own (wtf? –probably a lie) and asked me to join him to “help our communication.” Yesterday he texted that “I was positively radiant” after a kid exchange. We are stuck co-parenting a sweet six year old. These absurd overtures, which I respond to with radio silence, get to me much less than before. I’m able to laugh mostly and I am so thankful for this site for helping me see how common this bullshit behavior is for a narc, but my blood still boils about it sometimes when I think of the cruel way he treated me. Perhaps I’m not ready?

      • He is Hoovering, the creep. I hope your blood ALWAYS boils when you think of how he treated you. When you encounter someone similar it will help you aim when you kick his balls in.

        • Ha! Thank you for validating my anger. I’ve always had trouble expressing anger until this experience, which finally allowed me to feel incredible rage that was altogether appropriate.
          You’ve got a great attitude and I need to keep my sense of humor handy the way you have instead of doubting myself.
          Yes, pathetic Hoovering, indeed. As if a fucking text would reel me back in after the nightmare he put me through. Thanks again for sharing your insights. <3 <3 <3

    • Is he a manly man who likes to do the manly things that men like to do, L? Perhaps he could use a cabin boy, like Miles Copperthwait on the Raging Queen.

      • I mean that unlike my ex he knows how things work, builds things and is not lazy. He is not intimidated by my credentials and by my career. He’s got a badass streak but is responsible and sane.

        I tend to equate feminism with women doing what they damn well please so long as it hurts no one, including embracing random gender specific traditions if they resonate. This could include waist training, heels and lipstick, long hair, men having beards, having a man pay for dates he invites the woman on, or whatever the hell two grown adults find attractive and complementary. I don’t tell anyone where to land on the gender binary and I expect the same of others.

        Next you’ll tell me he’s gotta make half of every pie and I’ll have to just drop the mic and leave a pool of couli in the pan.

          • That’s fine, Arnold.

            But I get what she means. I was raised by a manly man and a feminine woman each of whom adhered to very traditional gender roles. And that’s what I’m most comfortable with–traditional gender roles, with some cross-over. He cooks, I mow the lawn, if that works out. And that’s nice. But if HE mows the lawn, because it needs mowing, and I don’t have to nag him like I did the mincing, passive-aggressive ex? *SWOON!* That’s just one example.

            You don’t have to know what that looks like in my mind, same as you don’t need to know what a manly man looks like in Luzy’s mind.

            You just need to know what YOU like in a woman.

            • No problem with preferences for “manly” ( whatever the hell it is/ means). I just wonder how someone that endorses gender equality performs the mental gymnastics necessary to justify one gender footing the bill for all dates.

              • To me, it’s a red flag of bitterness, or cheapness, or fulla shitness if the guy doesn’t offer to pay for the first date, which, I suppose, would likely be in a coffee shop. Thereafter, I’m not going to chase, if he wants to see me and I want to see him, I think an offer to pay for dinner is a sign of confidence, which I find incredibly attractive in a man.

                That said, I would warn men to be on the alert for women who expect to be pampered and given 5-star treatment, from the get-go (or, at all.) To me, that’s a sign of a gold-digger.

                There should be reciprocity.

              • There is a difference between gender equality and gender sameness. I hate the bullshit about men and women being the same. We are not and should not be shooting for that. However the fact that I am a women or you are a man should not justify a limiting bias. Women can give birth, men cannot. Truth. Men can not be as good a parent as a woman can. Bias. There is a disparity between the physical strength of men and the physical strength of women. That disparity only grows larger after physical training like basic training. Fact. Women can’t be useful in combat. Bias. (Although just to note apparently the difference has more to do with how much muscle each sex is carrying not how strong the muscles can be. In general men carry more muscle because they’re bigger and have less adipose fat. And in general the disparity is upper body strength more so than lower body strength.)

                I also agree that the point of feminism is not to be the same as men. I don’t need to have sex without attachment or emotion during a bunch of one night stands to “fuck like a man”. I shouldn’t need to be a woman who can only prove her professional value by atrophying her ovaries and her emotions to climb the ladder. I shouldn’t need to prove my equality by be measured against the yardstick of “traditional” manly success. True equality comes from recognizing our differences as strengths. And of course also acknowledging that generalizations of those strengths are not always true for everyone either by design or choice and that’s ok.

                The thing is at some point certain biases transition into an issue of preferences. Do I think women belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Oh hell no. But my preference would have been to be a stay at home mom. That was the point of feminism. I get to choose. would’ve had my ex not being a lying sack of shit. There are certainly still some non abusive old fashioned ideas of gender roles depending on age and location and those are ok as long as the people involved agree. Although I certainly can’t understand how any women voluntarily makes herself subservient to her husband. Then again I know some Wiccan families where the women are pretty damn dominant and the men are subservient. I kinda don’t understand that either.

                My point of this long winded post is to say that men still make more money for the same amount of work than women. Fact. Men should be required to pay for everything. Definite Bias. Me appreciating the guy who asked me out paying for the date? Preference. I can be a feminist and still appreciate that. I can still be a feminist and be a stay at home mom. I can still be a feminist and wear high heals. Or expect realistic maternity leave.

                Besides, the whole point is that we all had users right? And the point of relationships and dating is to look for something reciprocal. I gave far far far more in all of my relationships than buying me dinner was ever worth. And if I was a man who’d gone through the same thing I think I would also expect any new dates to start picking up the tab occasionally or go halfsies. After I picked up the tab several times for asking her out at the beginning of course. More importantly I’d be watching out for a any girl with a sense of entitlement and running the other way. Ditto for the dudes. But that usually is more like “hey I bought you dinner, so you owe me something physical.”

              • Standing ovation, Kat!! Your post is so awesome, I’d love to use the first 4 paragraphs as required reading for a class in which I teach sex/gender–credited to your code name, and with your permission? I”m in awe at how well you’ve articulated the key points of feminism and equality vs. sameness.

              • Thanks Tempest and Carmella. There’s nothing like a rant about a complicated subject at 2am lol. Of course Tempest. I would be honored. Um, you also have my permission to edit any grammar issues. I know I’m a comma whore. 😉

  • Online venues are tools. It just matters how you use them. I chose to use eHarmony primarily. Yes, I have some crazy stories and my share of rejection. But I DID successfully utilize this site. Mrs. DM and I met through it. The thing I liked about that site was how it forced you to learn more about yourself with personality tests, etc. Regardless of whether or not you found someone…it helped in growing in understanding oneself…if you’re honest with yourself. Personally, I avoided online venues when I got married the first time. This time around I wanted something with a filter…eHarmony did and did the trick for me. Might not be for everyone. But it was right for me.

    • Good to know, DM. I have been on the fence about using an online site to find potential suitors.

      Zoosk- no, Plenty of Fish, no….I have a profile on, but no picture…I tried OKCupid, but I didn’t get matched really with anyone based on the hundreds of questions I answered, guess I’m too picky, LOL

    • I agree, Kat. That is why I do not feel it is right for one gender to be expected to pay for all dates. It is a mutual respect thing and makes more sense financially for both parties. No question there are differences between the genders. But, expecting one gender to do all the paying is unfair.
      And, I think it would be great if men had similar choices to stay home with the kids and nurture rather than continuing to work. I raised my two sons ( one with Down Syndrome and Autism) , virtually by myself while my XW was out almost 65% of all nights until after midnight, galavanting. I found it tremendously rewarding and we have a bond that is very tight.
      Unfortunately, I also had to get up and go to work each day ( after dressing them , making breakfast, packing lunches and driving them to daycare with no help). After work, I would have to bolt from a deposition or trial to get to daycare on time to avoid the penalties for being late.
      Then, I could start cooking dinner, bathe them, play with them, read to them and sing to them in bed while putting them to sleep. After that , it was dishes and laundry. I did this every day for years and years. I am 6’1″. Weighed about 155, less than when I played college basketball.
      At that time, it was unheard of for a man to have the option to stay at home ( plus, we needed my income to finance my XW’s affairs).

      • Arnold, I recall your story well. The only fitting punishment for your Ex-wife in my mind would be life imprisonment. Your wife would have to choose between solitary confinement wherein she would get one hour of freedom a day OR she could work making license plates but any ‘wages’ would be garnished and paid directly to you. Cutting out on you for an affair partner wherein you had a down syndrome child with autism. She was the lowest of all people.

        May God bless you. God certainly blessed your sons- you are an incredible father.

        • Thank you,Hope. She is alone now without the love and respect of her kids. It came back to bite her in the ass.

          • Arnold, so how did her story end with her AP? How long did it last and what happened. I can’t wait to know more about the karma bus that hit her.

            • Ok, it was not just one specific AP with my first wife. She had been an OW before we met. I knew about this and, quite stupidly, chalked it up to youthful stupidity and the guy being an older predator. Little did I know that she was the predator.
              We got married in law school. Graduated, got decent jobs and then my first son was born. I could see, immediately, that something was different. As I was walking to the hospital parking lot , after he was born and my wife was sleeping. I could see the obstetrics nurses walking ahead of me, looking over their shoulders and whispering.
              Next day, we got the news that they suspected he had Down Syndrome, but needed to confirm it with genetic testing. I was concerned and worried, but my wife freaked. She started wailing “why me? why me?” ( note who she was concerned about).
              Anyway, life was really rough for a while. My son had all types of health issues- heart defect, weak esophageal muscles that caused gastric reflux and he could not gain weight, hypospadias( the hoe in his penis for urinating was at the bottom of his glans. Just a lot of things that had to be addressed , surgically.
              He could not walk until he was three, so I carried him everywhere.
              We got him into Fraser School, here in Minnesota, a really good place with tons of therapy. But, he was slow to progress. Even for a Down’s child , he was very delayed ( I later found out that my wife had drank a lot during her pregnancy. She hid it well.)
              Anyway, right from the start I was the primary caregiver. When my second son was born a year and a half later, I took care of him the majority of time, too.
              I was too busy to notice that, almost right away, she started absenting herself from the home. It got worse and worse.
              At about 3 years into the kids having been born, I tracked her nights out for 6 months ( 112/180 nights until after midnight). I asked her, nicely, why she was gone all the time. Her response: ” Ha. I have more friends than you. Of course I will be out more.”
              So, I just shut up and kept my head down and kept plugging.
              Then , one night I found her writings in a desk when I was looking for our checkbook. I started reading and this jumped out at me: ” I need to stop my destructive habits: Smoking, Drinking, SEX WTIH STRANGER”.
              Even then I did not confront. I did some type of weird mental gymnastics and halfway convinced myself that rather than describing what she was actually doing, she was merely talking about fantasizing this stuff . ( Smart of me , eh? I knew she smoked. I knew she drank. But, somehow, this third aspect she referred to was just fantasy. I was so stupid, but I loved her so much and could not believe this about her.
              Eventually, there was no denying it. She “lost ” her wedding ring while on business to Las Vegas ( made no effort to contact the Hotel where she claimed to have left it in the bathroom). She kept staying out later and later, sometimes coming home as last as 4 in the morning ( locked her keys in her car, doncha know, and it took a locksmith 4 hours to arrive.)
              When she would come in, drunk at night, she would turn on all the bedroom lights and awaken me. One night , the night that the OJ white bronco chase was going on, actually, she came in at around 2 and woke me from a sound sleep.
              She then proceeded to describe how she had met a twenty something pro bike racer in a bar, and had to give him a ride home , after they had talked for hours. She then proceeded to describe his incredible physique to me. At this time, she was also seeing a lounge singer from Brainerd, Minnesota, who she had met while we were on vacation with our kids at Cragun’s.
              She would leave the house on weekends to go see the fall foliage in Brainerd a lot.
              Then, my dad died. Before he died, I visited him and told him what was going on. he was a great lawyer, very smart. Had handled all types of cases from murders to divorce. He grew up on the streets of NYC during the depression. Often he was homeless, living in the subways. But, he graduated from Fordham and , after 5 years in WWII, went to Harvard law school on the GI bill.
              He told me two things. First, he said ” Arnold, your wife is the most insincere person I have ever met.” Then, he told me something I wish I had listened to:” I have represented a lot of guys in your situation. They, often want the pain to just end and they wind up giving up everything in the divorce. Do not do this. Get a tough attorney who will not allow you to do this>”
              Two weeks after he died, my XW came to me and announced that she was going to Chicago for the weekend with a man she had met in AA. They would share a room and visit museums.
              My wife’s sister, Victoria, came to me after spotting her sister in a bar flirting with men. She said ” Arnold, why do you stay married to my sister? She is trying to pick up guys in a bar.” She also told me ” Arnold, when you walked down the aisle with my sister, I turned to my husband, John, and said ” I hope this poor guy knows what he is getting into.”
              Well, that fall, I was still hanging in there. I think i would qualify for the chump of the century award. But, my XW started a full court press for me to get out of the house ( I was already sleeping in the basement at her insistence- what a doormat). I finally gave up and moved out. My dad had just died and I was really weak.
              She told me she was moving with the boys to Brainerd, and wanted me to agree. I said no and she screamed at me, in front of my buys “Fuck You!”.
              For a year, while I was living in a small apartment. I would go over an mow her lawn. I would take the boys to school every morning, even when it was not my turn, as I wanted to see them everyday.
              I guess her affairs burned out. She ended up marrying a guy from AA. It lasted about 8years until he divorced her. I suspect he caught her cheating.
              She approached me , telling me she still loved me , but I would have none of it ( I was recently divorced from my second XW, who I caught cheating. Acted much faster this time ( thanks internet).
              Now, she is alone. My Down syndrome son, Henry , still loves her. he loves everyone.
              My second son , probably, does love her , but he is battling Heroin addiction and is in his 8th treatment now in California ( just relapsed about three weeks ago).
              This is long, but , I wish there was more karma. although what good would it do me. She has a decent job, as a “spiritual advisor” and women’s program director at an upscale treatment center here in MN. She will be rich, shortly, as her dad was a very successful surgeon and made a ton of money ( invented gastric bypass surgery). he mom is 92 and she will inherit a ton when she passes.
              She is very good at fooling folks into believing she is super evolved ( now a Dahli Lama aficionado. Lost of “Namaste” greetings etc.)
              It was an ordeal, but I am glad to be away from her. her picture would be beside NPD in the dictionary.

              • WOW Arnold… Your Narc Ex-wife #1 is definitely at the top of the list for NPD. Your story is just plain awful. How old is your boy now with Downs syndrome/Autism? Does he still live with you? Is he in some sort of a group home? Despite his condition, did he overcome many of his doctor’s expectations etc? I will just bet that your son is just a HUGE comfort to you. What sort of things do you enjoy watching him do with his love and enthusiasm?

                I am SO sorry about your son with the Heroin addiction. I lost my 24 year-old nephew in April to a heroin overdose so I have had a window to my sister and her husbands’ struggle for so long. It was rough for all. I will keep your son in my prayers. Just the fact that he has been through 8 treatment centers is a testament to your and his Herculean efforts in that very tough battle. I’ll pray for strength for him and for you.

                I think the toughest thing for any of us chumps are the lost years and effort we threw into all that we did during our marriages to keep the boat afloat. We feel stupid looking back but there was no one but us to wade through all the shit that we did. In your case, your attention had to be on your boys- and so it was. We all kept praying, hoping that our spouse or partner would come to their senses. Snap out of it, roll up their sleeves and join us in the marriage and get through life’s struggles together. When they didn’t, we didn’t have the time or energy to fight them because we were too busy trying to get through each day. So we held on and on till we could do no more.

                Take good care of yourself Arnold each and every day. I appreciate you sharing all that you did. I am awed but strengthened and encouraged just to hear your story. I am reminded that there are wonderful human beings out there like yourself contributing so much to their children and the world around them. May God bless you and your boys.

              • Ditto what Hope said. Especially this part. “In your case, your attention had to be on your boys- and so it was. We all kept praying, hoping that our spouse or partner would come to their senses.”

                There are chumps and there are those who sacrifice such huge amounts to care for those who can’t care for themselves. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know you would have done it gladly for your boys but I’m sorry you had to do it and do it all alone at such a price. I can barely take care of my one kid some times. I don’t know how you did it with two and one of them being special needs, and worked and did all of the other stuff on top of that.

                I’m afraid lately I’m rather ambivalent about believing in prayers but still I’ve been thinking about St. Jude who is the patron saint of lost causes and Green Tara who overcomes obstacles. A tentative ask to each that you see a return on the love that you so fiercely and steadfastly provided for your boys and your other kids as well. And that all of the sharpness of what you’ve had to endure falls away to leave you with nothing but the beauty. And that you find peace.

  • I don’t date. I’m not divorced yet, but I’m just not interested in it. Looking back, I realize I have very little what I would call dating Experience. My usual relationship has been that I’m spotted by a guy, then he latches onto me. Believe me, this is a recipe for disaster, lol.

    I have pretty much always been in a relationship, hs bf, then 20 years with first husband. I did look at some dating sites before I met the Cheater (2nd husband) but I found it to be pretty degrading and discouraging. That was fifteen years ago. I was 40, 120 pounds, cute, childless, and nobody seemed interested, so I can’t imagine how bad it would be at 56, 190 lbs, with a preteen daughter.
    That said, my best dating advice is “How you get them is how you will lose them.”. By this I mean that whatever they find attractive about you is where their values lie. One thing that freaked me out about the ex’s gf was how similar we looked. Skinny, long blonde hair, glasses. Really eerie. Anyway, if what they like about you is superficial, like appearance, sex, etc. You probably better run, cause it’s a sign of shallowness. There has to be something more.

      • Thank you, Moving Forward! I actually like myself, but I think time in the dating sites wouldn’t be that beneficial, cause it’s all based on superficial qualities. I’m just not good in that environment. Never was.

      • My son, henry, is in a wonderful group home, not far from where I live. He is really loving and everyone likes him. he is a little verbal, echoes a lot, but, somehow, he always gets his message across to me. He is in Special Olympics and has a little job at a sheltered workshop, Hope.
        My son, Michael, has really struggled and I hope he does not die from his addiction. 5 of his close friends have already passed. One. Elliot, lived with me after he was kicked out of his house, for about 6 months. he was found outside, overdosed about 4 winters ago. Zach, who lived with me for a year after he was kicked out of his mom’s house, just went to prison for 6 years for selling. He was out , pending sentencing, with the understanding that he would get 2 years if he remained clean while out. he failed his drug test before sentencing and got 8 years, but can get out in about 6. He and his girlfriend just had a baby.
        Joe, who played Hockey for Shattuck under Zach Paresi’s father, shot himself in the head about a year and a half ago. He had 3 kids at 26.
        Anyway, watching these kids destroy themselves with this stuff is brutal. My son has Hep C. He has stolen all types of things from me, forged checks on my account, stolen my car, my laptop, my good sweaters, one set of golf clubs, my GPS, any cash that he found etc. The pull of this drug is so strong.
        I set him up in an apartment in Portland , Ore. last year, as two drug dealers came to my house with weapons looking for him and he had to leave town. In 8 months , he wanted to come home, claiming he was lonely and not doing well. I had thought he had enrolled in Jr College and had a part time job. I sent him money for his tuition and for food, regularly. Paid his rent.
        He arrived hope 6’1′, 124lbs.
        We got him on Methadone and he did that for about 8 months. It was as bad as heroin. He slept 16 hours and could not function. I got a text from him in April, he had talked to his mom and she helped get him into a treatment Center in Malibu, He had to be there in three days. His mom would not take him and wanted him to get on a plane and get there, somehow.
        So, I cancelled a bunch of work things and got tickets and got him there. Left him for 60 days, but visited twice.
        At the end of 60 days, he was 175lbs. , looked great. More lucid than I had seen him in a long time.
        We set him up in a sober living house and I paid the first two months rent. He enrolled in Barber School and was set to start. his mom sent the first tuition installment. I got his car shipped to him , after consulting with his house director who said he was doing great and could now have a vehicle to get to school and meetings at night.
        He called me three weeks ago and wanted me to come out and see him. I had it set up so I would help him find outpatient and help with a variety of details, like budgeting, bank account etc.
        Got there and he had relapsed. Living in his car for about 4-5 days , shooting meth and Heroin.
        I got him to Hollywood detox and he is now in the residential inpatient program. I hope this works. He has been through The Meadows, in AZA. , Hazelden in MN, the Retreat in MN, Fairview Riverside in MN, Creative Care in Malibu
        and a couple of others.
        Just needed to vent.

        • Arnold, just Wow! I cannot imagine how you get through your days. Are you retired or semi-retired now from practicing law? Were you a sole practitioner or in a firm? I am in awe of how you managed to keep your wits about you and kept practicing law- which is stressful enough! Reading your story, I am ashamed that I am not more successful and pulled together in my legal career. My disappointment and struggles completely pale to what you have been through. As the saying goes, when you feel bad for yourself, just look a couple doors down to someone else’s struggles…

          It sounds like you have a nice girlfriend and she care takes for her mother. That right there tells me you can take comfort knowing that your picker abilities are much improved! That and having a son who is loving and sweet is a reflection of all your efforts. Take comfort in that. Continue to do what you can for your drug addicted son but also step back to protect your health and safety. I worry about those drug dealers who have showed up at your doorstep looking for your son.

          I had a client a few years ago with an Down Syndrome daughter. Now about 22 years of age. The father walked out years ago following her birth. My client’s had 4 other kids. 3 of them had plenty of problems with drugs, prison etc. but her youngest Down Syndrome adult daughter cheered her just with her smiles and accomplishing the smallest of things with her sweet, joyful demeanor. She told me that her daughter still slept in the same bed with her and what a comfort it was just to be able to place her hand on her back when she was sleeping. Her physical presence in her life gave her tremendous comfort. So, I say enjoy that. Dwell in that zone of comfort within your son’s love. It will propel you forward each day.

          • Thank you, Hope. I expect that many of us here are facing similar challenges. My three daughters are great and doing well.
            I am almost 62 and was looking to retire at 66. But, in the last year and a half, I have depleted my 401k to almost nothing with the expenses associated with keeping my son alive.
            So, I will work at least to70, I guess.
            My GF is great and we will live together when her mom passes. We will share overhead and do OK.
            Hope all goes well with your life and career.

  • Great post. Yes. Have fun.

    I would also add — a few things that helped me get over my anxiety when I first started dating.

    1. Broaden your search in a fun way.
    – Go on dates with your single girl friends (if you are a woman). Just get out and have a drink in a bar! Take a course that is interesting to you. Join a sports club or go to the gym.

    2. Do not drink the on-line dating kool-aid. There’s no magic there.
    – Yes try it — but know that it isn’t easy or fast. There is absolutely no science behind it. It is just one more place to find people.
    – Be wary. Be safe. Anyone can have a profile (even if you are paying a membership fee) including married people and scammers, And, people lie to make themselves look better or younger.
    – I could write a whole novel on this one with plenty of WTF moments.

    3. Don’t take it personally.
    – Dating is not like a job interview. There are many complexities to attraction. If they aren’t interested, they aren’t interested.

    4. Remember that “men are from mars & women are from venus”
    – When it comes to dating, remember there are huge differences in how we approach each other.

    5. It is a numbers game.
    – I know another cliche, but it is true. The last time I tried on-line dating I had 100+ messages in 3 weeks. It took time to narrow down to 3 that I actually had coffee with. I choose these 3 because I knew we’d have things in common and they might be a good match.

    6. Take a break.
    – It can be exhausting (especially on-line dating).

    7. Finally, be polite.
    – Rejection is hard — even in the on-line environment.

  • Sociology is my background. What the info says is that we make our opinions in 60 seconds. How we dress, where we live, what car we drive, how we speak, what job we have. Online dating sites are so superficial that trying to find the right person is a crap shoot. My suggestion is to find what you are interested in as a hobby and join a group. Habitat For Humanity, bird watching, politics, etc. Getting to know someone personally is going to trump that pretty face online every time.

  • Protip: Please for the love of god don’t vent your baggage on your dating profile or on the first date. Examples: “Serious guys only,” “NO LIARS!”, “I want a guy who’s committed, not into casual sex.” You might think that you’re repelling creeps, but you’re actually announcing that you’re a chump with a bright, red, neon sign and pointing them in your direction. Decent, well-adjusted guys will think that you’re not over your last relationship and have a lot of issues.

  • I could never understand the thought that the man does not “allow” the woman to pay for dates. What, is he your boss or father? How does he get the power to “allow” anything?
    What possible rationale, absent a big discrepancy in incomes, could there be for having one gender pay for dates , exclusively. that would leave the payer with less discretionary income and affect his or her ability to afford things.
    I had a number of dates where I would pay for the first one, but if there was no offer to alternate, I would be gone. It is a clear sign to me of entitlement and a double standard.
    My girlfriend and I make similar incomes and we share the cost of most everything. We are not rich and , if one of us had to do all the paying, it would break that person, financially.

    • The question of who pays can be a complicated one because it sends so many signals. There are some men who are offended if the woman offers to pay. Some even find it emasculating. But if a woman doesn’t at least offer, does it seem like she’s taking advantage? Will she prove to be a princess down the road? If the woman pays or contributes, is she sending the message that she just wants to be friends? Conversely, does the man expect something if he foots the bill? That would have been the case 20 years ago. I think it’s largely generational. In any case, I feel that if people meet on a dating site, they should go dutch because they don’t know each other and neither “invites” the other in a traditional sense.

      • I think you should run like hell if a guy is offended or emasculated by an offer to pay. it is a sign that he views you as less or a child and that he is really insecure about you being treated as an equal.

        • Stop the presses! Arnold & I agree on a gender-related issue! (Now we just need DAT to weigh in.)

          I suspect many men who want to be the sole payee on dates, either (a) expect a Geisha girl rather than a date, or (b) want the upper hand in the relationship, as financial disparity = power. And if they were offended that I offered to pay half the time, that would be a red flag to me. I already had my share of fighting a Sisyphean battle against a control freak; I’d rather play fetch with my dogs, alone, than go through that again.

          • I am sure our views on the concept of gender equality are very close , if not identical. I think we differ on certain factual issues( which you and Dat could remedy by doing a little more thorough and unbiased research, Tempest.)
            Arnold, you filthy misogynist. Go fuck yourself.
            There, got that out of the way for Dat.

            • I have been on Chump Lady for some time. I have read a lot of Arnold’s posts and I do not think the man is a misogynist at all. I don’t understand why anyone would post this to a guy who was chumped in the way that he was. I know he has a good heart. I think he was so painfully chumped that he his narc radar is very stealth. He doesn’t want to be hurt again.

              A lot of narc women are never wanting to pay their own way. They are very firm about that from the get go on date #1. If I were a guy, I’d be looking for a woman who liked me because I was kind, loyal, intelligent, thoughtful etc. So, if Arnold screens women for their expectations to be wined and dined etc., his method of dating after being chumped makes complete sense to me.

            • I won’t rise to your challenge Arnold; since I am a researcher by trade, rest assured my opinions are based on complete and unbiased research.

  • Arnold, you get worked up quickly over these gender issues. There is no need.

    The host pays. The inviter usually pays. But just like if I have dinner with a friend or client and they move to grab the check (for whatever reason they choose to) I am not going to fight them over their generosity. I’ll reciprocate.

    When I host or invite, I generally pay. And I cook and bake like a demon, so the best restaurant around is my kitchen. Being invited there is a golden ticket.

    I haven’t bankrupted my guy yet.

    I am a feminist, but I enjoy some things about chivalry. I’m glad you and your girlfriend have compatible views!

    • Not worked up, just puzzled. I agree, the asker should pay. But, once things get rolling, assuming both are financially comparable, it makes no sense to me to divide payment based on gender. Guess, I am just old fashioned: I believe in equality for the genders, like Steinem et al.

    • I have a hard time reconciling feminism with chivalry. If we are equal, we are equal. I hold doors etc and try to be courteous without regard to gender.

      • Arnold, please. Courtesy is not equivalent to courtship. Dates, small tokens, gestures of affection are all a part of the gifting that occurs in courtship and flow both ways. Your holding the door for your girlfriend is not equivalent to holding the door for a stranger. I’m okay with a world where men and women may have a different set of tokens of appreciation, and I’m aware that some of that has to do with dowry culture. There are all kinds of cultural norms with their root in dowry culture, that we don’t eschew. It probably goes runs deeper than that, to the need to honor and worship. Men and women are equal, that doesn’t mean they are always he same.

        Again, I’ll wish you well with your mate and you can continue to make the same lame joke over gain. It’s a theme for you, I know. It’s not very manly, though.

        • Well, explain how it makes sense or is fair that one gender does all the paying. Wouldn’t that lead to a financial burden on some men that would interfere with the couple’s ability to go places and enjoy experiences together?
          If one partner shoulders the entire financial responsibility for dates, that partner will be adversely affected financiaally and may have trouble meeting obligations.

          • Hahahhaha. I never said that the man should always pay. I said it was nice to be pampered for a change. I will cook for my partner and take turns. But if he handed me a figure at the end of a meal, my screener for skinflint bitter ol’ cranks would howl. I would be outta there!

            I am trying to envision a world where a dude would the lights be shut off to take a lady bowling. That’s so sad.

            • I meta guy online. We met for coffee (paid for our own) and decided on a follow up dinner another day.
              The dinner was a pub meal, about $20 per oerson including drinks. When he went to the bar to pay, I offered him a $20 bill as he left the table, and he said “it’s OK, I’ve got it”. So, I assumed he was being chivalrous, and the next time, I paid. He got irritated when I did, but we didn’t discuss it.

              About a month later, he made a crack about how he initially thought I was a gold digger ecause I had let him pay on the firt date. I reminded him that I had offered him my share. He said he did not recall this.

              Red flag, but I continued seeing him. Turned into the worst Narc yet; I ended up walking away and going NC, but it took me 9 months of long distance dating to finally see how screwed up his perception of reality was. He was also seeing his ex gf on the side…no wonder he couldn’t recall detail!

              I think the whole subject of paying/equality etc. is ruled simply by who has economic strength. It does upset th power balance in a relationship if one has vastly more than the other.

              I had a boss 40 years ago who used to say “there’s nothing more sexy than a financially independent woman”. Didn’t know what to make of that then, but it made me determined to become financially independent.

      • You don’t have to reconcile anything. You have your list of deal-breakers. Other people have theirs. If someone triggers your deal-breaker you walk on by. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • I agree. To each his own. No need to be rude, Luz. I simply expressed my opinion. It makes no sense to me. Go for the “manly” type, however you define it.

          • You want to determine who is allowed to call oneselt a feminist and who does not. You make it clear you do not “understand” anything other than your definition, so you are really not seeking to understand.

            If your system of asking your mate to pay for everything, based on your past experiences and beliefs is ideal for you, wonderful. It is not ideal for others, and that does not disqualify them from the common ground on equality you share.

            It is also not rude to point out when someone’s “jokes” are wearing thin, especially when the jokes are meant to demean. As my grandma used to say, “Don’t spoon what you can’t swallow.”

              • Luzy, I don’t think you’ve been rude at all. I won’t respond to Arnold because it seems to me that he just wants to argue endlessly and have the last word. The last time I checked, feminism was about making progress in more equality for women, giving women more options. But, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in an undergraduate classroom, so things might have changed in terms of what qualifies as “bonafide” feminism these days. If women choose traditional roles, that’s their (our) option. I think of myself as a feminist who chose to put my career on the back burner to stay home and raise our child while my ex advanced in his. I’d like to say it was a totally mutual choice, but it is still more the case that the woman stays home (for various reasons, including practical as well as lingering gender role expectations). Nonetheless, I had this choice and I think that’s progress for both womankind and mankind.
                Personally, I absolutely appreciate chivalry and consider the man paying for a date to be a part of my definition of chivalry. When I got married, he still paid when we went out (even though it was coming out of the same pot). I won’t open the door for a man unless he’s handicapped or 96 yo and using a walker.
                I’m a feminist who wants equality of the genders, not sameness. If part of my definition of chivalry disqualifies me as a feminist, so be it. I’m with Conniered, then…not a feminist. I don’t care what we label it, just give us equal pay for the same work and equal rights, and we’ll take care of the rest.
                Thank you for your bright and gracious tenure as guest blog, Luzy! Hugs!

              • I expect equal pay for equal work as well. I also open and will hold doors for whoever is behind me. In my mind it is not about feminism. It is the Golden Rule. Treat others how you would want to be treated.

            • No. I do not care who calks him or herself a feminist. I just see the absurdity of doing so, when o e expects the man to pay for all or most of the dates.

  • This has been a great topic. I’ll be checking back in the coming months because it’s so relevant to where I am right now.

    I’m not looking for a date at this point, but for those of you feeling insecure about your physical stature, just know there is someone for everyone; it’s a matter of finding them. I’m not attracted to the super-fit type, or the hairless man-scaped type. I’m partial to the burly guys with lots of body hair… and bald is HOT. First and foremost he would be honest, empathetic, witty, down to earth, hard working, and compassionate… burliness would be a bonus. Just sayin’

    • I agree ItsAJourney. At this point in my life, I’m attracted to brains, kindness and a sense of humor. Integrity is hot. Character is sexy. My stbx husband is 6’3″ tall with gorgeous blue eyes and wavy blonde hair.and look where that got me. I’d take a one-eyed bald jockey who would treat me well over a handsome narc who can’t keep it in his pants any day.

  • Thanks to everyone who is sharing their thoughts and stories here today! Luziana, these posts are talking to me right where I stand, on the cusp of the dating world.

    Best reminder: “The point is to have fun. My goal is to have fun. Not shallow fun, not getting laid. To be out in the world enjoying activities with someone who has a story, and a heart I might like to know.”

  • I have been divorced for a month, one year and a half after last Dday. I was approached by married men but not from online dating (which I am still terrified to try) but one of the lawyers that I first consulted, and two friends! This was at the beginning of my divorce process. It surprised me to see that these guys tried something when I was most vulnerable.

    But it seems that I am attractive in the interesting way, not bad looking, but I have been told by some professional men that because I have a law degree AND a Ph.D.I will turn off most men. I am overeducated for them. I wouldn´t be attracted to anyone who is not very smart, but they don´t have to have a Ph.D. The problem seems to be that I have one. In any case, I decided that for now,the most important thing is to value myself, truly believe that I am awesome (it is hard to do after you have been chumped and changed for a downgrade) and appreciate what I have now, including health, my children a great job, great friends and the better part of the deal in the divorce process,Anyone who comes in to my life now, would have to truly appreciate all that and actually bring out the best in me (and I would reciprocate).

    For now, my motto is to have fun and enjoy friends and not be in the anxious mode of having to find someone. I hate that immediately about online dating. Everyone is looking, scrutinizing, and categorizing. I haven´t been single in decades and I am enjoying it very much at this moment. I eat what I want, get up at the time I want, dress like I want, and most of the time do whatever I want, when I want to. This is an enormous freedom that I hadn´t experienced in a long tme and I don´t want to lose it soon.Going online seems to me very scary and a mostly a waste of time….Maybe I am too old for this stuff…Like this great recent NYt article

    • Great article, Chumonomore. For some reason, it made me think of one of my favorite books. The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French. My college suite mates and I had a book club and all read it in the early 80s. I pulled it out a few years ago, and still enjoyed it now.

    • It is a great screening device to weed out the insecure and the chauvinist assholes: the “intimidated by a degree ” deal. If a guy has this problem, he has a lot of problems with gender equality, in my opinion.
      Sometimes, I wonder if I just do not get out enough. I cannot imagine any of my friends being intimidated by someone’s credentials.
      If a person is comfortable with him or herself, it should not bother him or her.
      Again, stuff like ” not letting” a woman pay, or being intimidated by credentials are exactly the types of red flags that can warn us of impending danger.

    • HA CNM, me too only I have a law degree and I’m a professional librarian and work in a law library. Talk about your over-educated turn off! That’s okay though. Take me as I am or don’t take me. I’ll be fine either way. Somewhere out there my prince is just waiting to discuss books with me. 🙂

      • Tell me about it. 2 doctorates, law degree, and incredible muscularity. Talk about intimidating folks! It ain’t easy being me.

        • Wow Arnold, awesome…but in the end its all about character.

          My cheater Ex had all the degrees and called himself a “feminist” but ended up being a cheater anyway…so there goes another proof that cheaters (and chumps) come in all packages and sizes.

          • Indeed. I do not think feminism precludes cheating. It is all about integrity, as you note.

            • I found when dating that men often said “you’re out of my league”. I am not pretentious, not high maintenance, not even glam, so just because I can eat with a knife and fork, and can discuss most subjects, how does this make men insecure? I guess it’s the no-bs, straight up approach that comes across as the kind of confidence they cant fool with their games. As soon as a guy say this to me, I figure he’s telling me who he really is, and I just say, well I’m not going to argue with you…is this your way of dumping me? Fine, have a nice day!

              I used to initially react by feeling bad about their doubts. Now, I figure, may the best man win.

    • Chumpnomore
      I have a similar issue: three science degrees, well read, outspoken, very athletic and self sufficient. Out earn men here (high school dropouts mainly) by a factor of 5 in most cases. The two times I tried dating locals, they’d go out of their way to cut me down to their level. This is why I really gravitated to Narcboy, who educationally/intellectually, was an actual peer who also took care of himself, unlike most here. Was nice to be able to talk enviro issues, world events, without being called a snob for using “big” words. I totally missed the fact that he always chooses women conventionally beautiful but intellectually below him. I have done so much more since. In addition to the day job (professor), I have expanded my farm, built outbuildings, put on my own conference at work, really push sustainability for our town and campus. I may die alone, which truly sucks, but I will never dim my light for anyone.

  • Great topic. I have to say that cheaters can be found anywhere, not just on dating sites. My ex never used a dating site and had no problem in finding partners to cheat with. The cute/nice guy you meet while waiting online in the grocery store might be a cheater, you never know. Having said that, I did the online dating sites for quite awhile. Never had a dick pick or sext sent to me. Never had many replies at all, actually. Went on a few awkward coffee meets. Then I met Nice Guy (through Plenty of Fish) and we have been dating for nearly two years now, plan on moving in together soon. He is not perfect, but he is right for me. My brother is getting married next month to a woman he met through I know quite a few people, actually, either married or in serious relationships with people they met online. The key is MEET online, not continue to text, email, or talk on the phone. If you connect with someone online and they aren’t interested in meeting in person within a week or so, move on. They are probably either married or just enjoy playing the field. Be prepared for a lot of awkward dates, if you don’t click, then thank them and move on.

    There’s nothing wrong with staying single, either, if that is what you prefer. There are certainly pluses to being single: I will really miss being able to stretch out diagonally across the bed and using the entire drawer in the bathroom for makeup and hair accessories.

  • Boy this is a great topic, but for the man-Chump, it sure is depressing. One take-away might be the application of “meh” to whether or not you find someone. Taking the approach that if you meet someone great! but if you don’t, hey it’s no big deal seems like a good idea. The thing about online dating (I’m not doing it–I’m in the middle of the divorce process and it seems premature for that reason–and to be honest I might or might not) is that it seems super-efficient. You can have online conversations with others from your home, with little invested other than some time; however, as many have pointed out, a lot of men on these sites are just plain creepy. Perhaps the prescription is to just to do things you like and if you meet someone then that is good; if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, because you are doing things you like to do.

    • S3, if it’s any encouragement, I met my current BF on a plane. We sat together on a 13 hour fight, and have not parted since. He and I laughed that day about our online experiences, after divorce, and we agreed that we would give up the online thing in a heartbeat if we could simply find a faithful partner.

      If I were a man-chump, I think I would simply 1. Wait till the divorce is final, since you will bring less drama to the picture if you meet someone nice, and 2. Be courageous about asking interesting women on dates, especially if you encounter them in person.

      The creepy thing about meeting online contacts is the part about it being like a job interview. I hat e sitting across the cafe table from someone I know is sizing up my phwoar potential.

      There are tons of great single women out there just waiting for you. Go to weddings, funerals, classes, sports events, friends’ parties, religious events…whatever. Oh, and book a trip with a singles travel company. Not just for old fogies.

  • Dating can be fun even if it takes place in the jungle! Enter stage left, Tarzan and Jane.
    Navigating the dating world after being tossed aside and lied to is not as daunting a task as it may seem. You know better now. You can tell if the guy’s a cheater just by observing his loafers or covertly observing the way he stands or signs his name. Cheaters always know what to say to win you over, even if they’re saying it through instant messaging. But you’ve got sharp gut-instincts that warn you of potential danger. Use your liar radar skills and just take the free dinner while plotting a way to escape at the end of the night. As for picture profiles – be sure to post one of you without makeup so as to prevent any false pretenses. You want a guy who loves you just the way you are. Above all, have fun! Enjoy your life! You are a beautiful creature (not the Timid Forest kind, mind you) meant to live a life that’s happy and free! Be safe and even if your dates turn out to be disasters – atleast you tried!

  • This is going to sound crazy, but I joined Toastmasters to find my voice and learn to speak my mind. It’s an organization that’s been around forever, but I’m having so much fun. There’s a wide variety of people of different ages and backgrounds. There’s a conference or training session almost every weekend, and several conferences a year. Our group goes out to eat after meetings, and it’s nice to share a meal. They’re the kind of people who enjoy helping others. Check it out, it’s not very expensive and even if you don’t meet that special someone you’ll have a good time. I do know a couple that met in Toastmasters and they’re getting married this weekend.

    • I’ve always wanted to try out Toastmasters! I want to hone my public-speaking and speech skills. Glad to know its proven a healthy outlet for you.

      • Toast masters sound quite manly. As a manly man, perhaps I should look into it. Perhaps I will, right after I finish watching the latest episode of ” The Sons of Hercules”.

        • Hmm…I seem to recall from a post months ago that you have a penchant for wearing fishnet stockings. I haven’t been privy to a manly-man pajama party, but stockings don’t seem to fit the image. Might want to forgo those on manly-man nights.

  • Can someone help me here? I absolutely want to move forward at some point and meet someone but I am just so down about this. This has helped keep me stuck and SO discouraged.

    My husband cheated on me with his office assistant back in ’96 for 6 months. I spackled and stayed with him mainly because we had a one year-old son. Our daughter was born in 1999. I wanted to save and bank her umbilical cord blood in case she or I or my son ever needed stem cells. I felt I was being so responsible. I paid fees to do so during her birth and was so reassured when cord blood was saved and shipped. Within 30 days I get a letter from the Cord blood banking company tell me this: During normal testing of blood, we found that your blood was positive for presence of Hepatitis B antibodies… So the cord blood was destroyed. I was SO devasted. I cried and cried. I was in fear thinking worrying that I had passed something to her breastfeeding. Apparently not an issue- but to this day I can’t even donate blood because the blood banks test it and then destroy the donation. Move ahead to the year 2000.

    I was litigating contingent fee employment cases. Trying to be a mom, wife, etc. and totally stressed out. I was 2nd chairing a case out- of- county and staying in a motel. A small area of my lower back is feeling hot and on fire. What is this? I thought perhaps I had been bitten by a bug from the motel room. As soon as the case is wrapped up, I go see a doctor. Diagnosis- Herpes!

    I never saw my husband with a herpes outbreak but apparently he must have passed the virus to me and it laid dormant in my body and didn’t have an outbreak until 2000? I am betting that his office assistant married slut had it in 96′. Such an incredible gift to me right?

    So here it is 2015. I filed for divorce in 2012. Waffled, feeling all wobbly, dismissed the divorce petition and then went through false reconciliation. Then in June 2015 I realize that husband really chumped me big time financially by secretly buying a condominium out of State when I thought we were reconciling and he’d move back home to finish raising my daughter. I am in good health but I get Herpes outbreaks 4 – 6 times a year on my buttocks. It is a hell of a reminder of the shit sandwich I have endured and will continue to endure being that there is no cure for Herpes.

    Here is my question: I am now 53 years old. What decent guy will want to date me? I know that Herpes is not a death sentence. I also understand that 1 in 5 people have Herpes but how do I deal with this? I want to be honest and up front but I don’t think I should have to put this on a profile when I am ready to date. Am I stuck? Am I forced to just subscribe to an online dating service for people with Herpes? If so, I am totally depressed because I will likely be in a smaller pool with people who were cheaters and got herpes accordingly.

    So, if I meet someone I like do I bring this up on the first date, third date? Do I hand him a copy of my medical tests? If so do I then request a copy of his?

    This whole issue is SO very depressing for me. I REALLY want to get a shot at being happily married someday but the other half of me thinks I’ll be a lady with Cats. A lot of Cats. 🙁

    • Sorry this happened to you. Your husband is a miscreant of the highest order. I think that full disclosure , upfront is in order. This is so unfair.

    • One of my good girlfriends got herpes during her free-wheeling single days. She then met a really good guy and they recently got married. I’m not sure at which stage in the dating process she told him about the herpes, but in any event, it’s not a deal-breaker. She takes meds to keep things under control and they don’t have sex during breakouts. It works for both of them. Oh, and she and him are both very happy.

      • Speaking of Herpes…. The guy that I (allegedly) cheated on my husband with 15 years ago has (and had at the time) herpes. I don’t. Yet somehow my stbx throws it in my face to this day that I cheated on him. Jackass.

        • Good thing you used condoms, eh (eye roll)?

          That story never ceases to amaze me. All the jackasses blame shift, but your X takes it to an Olympic level. I don’t even know him and I hope the Karma bus drags him a city block.

          • oh, the sweet blameshifting. The line I got was: “well, how do I even know that YOU never cheated on me?”
            Years ago, I was defending myself like a damn fool, arguing the baseless accusation with all kinds of arguments like “where’s your proof, asshole?” and “well, let me give you all the reasons why I never would….” but now I cringe at the memory of this. What was I thinking defending my character to a cheater? Seriously, they NEVER get it so why bother?

    • I’d say it needs to be disclosed prior to becoming intimate, but definitely not on the first date (unless that’s when you’ll be first having sex.) Herpes is not a deal breaker for the most part — it’s unfortunately incredibly common, and generally can be managed safely within a relationship.

    • There is no reason to advertise your health status on a dating profile; that is personal information. However, it certainly needs to be disclosed before any intimacy takes place, IMO.

    • Hope you may already know this but about 1 in 3 people ages 40-60 carry herpes. Its anyones guess why some develope the symptoms and others not. And unfortunately regardless of condom use… Herpes can still be spread if there is an open lesion. Shedding the virus is also common without symptoms. Botom line is… Everybodys got it. Yes it involves a conversation and yes it involves some creativity with intimacy…. But would u want to be with anyone who judged you for having a virus?
      Herpes wont kill u. HIV and hepatitis will kill u and both are acquire thru unprotected intercourse. You can use surpressive therapy and keep outbreaks and shedding down. Its an inconvenience but so would having an ostomy or any medical condition. The stigma attached to herpes and other aquire disease is sad. And I will say it again… If someone doesnt think yr worth it… Then they arent.

      • Thanks Clip, I appreciate your feedback. It took me 3 years on this blog to address my ‘biggest’ fear. It’s funny because my fears of landing on my feet and making it financially take a second second place to dating in the here after. That’s probably messed up but I guess that I am still so hurt, angry and fearful that my STBXH would step outside our marriage and give me a reminder from HIS affair that I will always live with. Pisses me off that I never saw him get an outbreak and here I get them when I am stressed. Sad thing is I had more outbreaks when things got tougher financially and watching the impact on my kids. 🙁

        • Hope,
          You have every reason to be angry and more so, hurt. I think its very very hard to foot out the door to date post divorce ( the thought of it makes my stomach flip and brings on intense nausea) I aint ready to date. I have no desire. If you do desire to date I say you should go for it. Take the whole herpes thing out of the equation. Its not who u are and u shouldnt be defined by it and certainly not limited because of it. It shouldnt be the opener nor the deal breaker. Its just something that u live with and its an annoyance. Period.
          There are a lot of online options to meet folk out there in and the good old fashion way of bumping into someone at the coffee shop…. I personally think the tool section at Lowes is a good place to start! Too much emphasis is placed on sex. Sex isnt intimacy nor is it the only way to feel ‘ sexy’ Sexy is in your head…. And intimacy in your heart. Sex… Is is sex. Anybody can have it… Not everybody experiences intimacy.
          I say look at your herpes as a friend who will tell u who is gonna be worth it and who isnt. Would u really want someone in your life who bailed because of it.
          Now if you need to get your freak on…like you are jonesing for a little sompthin sompthin… There are plenty of barrier devices and toys… That can be purchased on line and very discretely. And if you have never explored your own sexuality… Now might be the time… Little self lovin goes a long way!!!! And you dont have to buy you dinner!

          • Thank you Clip! I appreciate you taking time to comment and very much appreciate your support.

  • Having experienced the full circle of chumpdom after a 29 year marriage, divorce, single living, loneliness, pairing up again and being chumped, attacked by a partner I met online, career success along the way, lots of dates with losers and doozers….I am now with a fellow chump who may or may not become a partner. Giving it a long trial period.

    What has become my search, and what I think many single people past the child bearing years want, is simply a sense of community where one has caring friends, fun times, company, some intellectual stimulation, and potential for some adventure. I would love to live in such a community. In the UK, I have tried living in small villages, a large urban centre, and now the countryside. Each has its own positives, but I hope before I get too old that I will establish myself somewhere that has like minded people. Having a partner would be ideal, but at this point I no longer care if that partner is man, woman or beast. “Dating sites”…ugh, have had enough.

  • Great post, Luziana 🙂

    I signed up for online dating this spring, about 6 months after the divorce was final. But it had been 2 years since we sold the house and I moved into my own apartment. 3 years after I stopped checking up on my husband and the OW, and almost 6 years after D-Day. After the winter in Boston, I was oh-so-ready. So freaking ready.

    Someone here recommended the book “It’s Just a F****** Date”, and I followed its advice, since I am pretty clueless about dating in general and needed guidance. It was really helpful for me, if only because – as I said before – I had no idea what I was supposed to do.

    I signed up for Match and OKCupid, and ended up liking OKCupid a lot better. I’m sure experiences will vary depending on what you’re looking for, and where you’re located. Match seemed more limiting: I only received a few recommendations a day, and I didn’t see why they were supposedly matches. OKCupid made it easier to weed people out based on their answers to questions. I knew I didn’t want to bother with someone whose habits, political beliefs, religious beliefs, etc. were not compatible with mine.

    I chatted with a couple of guys. And then one of them led to a phone call, which led to a date. We hit it off immediately and have been dating ever since. Of course, I’m watching myself like a hawk given my past chumpiness, but at the very least he is a kind person and we are pretty darned compatible in a lot of important ways. Even if it just ends up being a summer fling, I’m enjoying myself. 🙂

    I’m on Team Tall/Skinny/Balding myself. Bald guys are hot. I’m not even kidding, here. Give me Patrick Stewart and Bruce Willis any day of the week.

    • I also highly recommend the book “It’s Just a F**king Date.” Excellent for those of us just getting back into the dating pool. I also really liked OKCupid. I found the questions very helpful, though of course not everyone answers them, or answers many. I actually developed a little test to weed out disordered types. If I read a profile, and thought the guy sounded like a narc, I would look through his answered questions. One question is, “How high is your self esteem?” The answers to choose from are “Very high, high, average, low.” I found that the guys who sounded narcissistic in their profiles pretty much always had answered this question, and every time I suspected “Narc,” I found they had indicated their self esteem was very high. Excellent tool for weeding out disordered types. IMHO, normal people will say their self esteem is high or average. Only a narc will say “very high,” because that right there is the centerpiece of their disorder.

      Anyway, I went on a few dates with guys from OKCupid, but found my Nice Guy on Plenty of Fish. Neither site has any shortage of losers, though.

  • Nope, not ready.
    Every guy I see I find myself thinking “cheater, cheater, narc, dysfunctional, cheater…” I’m out for awhile LOL.

    • Ha – I have definitely been in that place myself. I think it was my mind’s way of protecting me from getting into something I couldn’t handle. For the longest time, love seemed kind of gross to me, and everyone seemed like a lying cheater. It gave me time to focus on myself, which was what I needed. Also made me realize that single is actually not a bad way to be. 🙂

  • I was totally taken off-guard. I had no intention of dating, seeing men or even having sex. I’m in Europe a lot and have a good friend who is Swedish. She is single (50) and dating and told me I needed to “take a lover”. I laughed at that. But a week after my divorce was finalized, I attended a going away happy hour for a co-worker. A colleague whom I’ve known for years was in town from Paris, France visiting our local office. Both of us weren’t originally invited to the party but because we happened to be in town (I travel overseas a lot), we were invited. At the party he came up behind me (I didn’t see him) and put his hands on my waist and I about melted. Which is odd because usually I slap men who do that. I decided to just give in and “take a lover” like my friend advised. It is great because I see him once a month for 4-5 days and then I’m back in the US. It’s a very passionate, unique experience because of the culture and all that goes along with that but I’m so happy and having so much fun. I feel sexy again. He calls me at least 5 times a day, sends me text messages all of the time, mails me gifts (lingerie and clothing) and spoils me like no man ever has. Not sure where this will go but I’m not really looking for a husband right now and this is just fine. Life is too short not to take a lover… So my friend says…

    • I got the same advice…and it is especially good that he does not live in the same place as you do, if you want just to have a lover.. The only problem is if, unintentionally, you end up being the OW …

  • There are definitely a lot of douchebags out there, but not all men are like this.

  • Haven’t got through all the comments yet, should we start a thread on the worst intro emails received on a dating site? Like this one?

    Hey hunny, u look soo beutiful, come see big daddy tonight?

    Srsly, that’s just an easy one to remember, what’s the worst dating site email evar?

    • LOL Dat! I hope you srsly made that up! Do people really send emails like that?

      • Oh , Dat & Cheaterssuck, have I got a doozy for you….
        Imagine seeing a message in your inbox from 400+ lb, heavily bearded man (think ZZ Top) with coke bottle glasses wearing a hard hat and construction type jumpsuit with an axe?/sledgehammer? (couldn’t quite tell) slung over one shoulder. I think he was 43 (where I am 31 and clearly put seeking men ages 28 to 35 on my profile).
        The message read: I’d like to hide every chair in the world so you have no choice but to sit in my face.
        My response: I’d rather sit on a rusty nail.

        At that point I blocked him. Who the fuck says shit like that to a complete stranger?! The audacity! Ugh…it was like a much much less attractive version of the ex fuckwit.

      • I did not make that up! And Arnold, he looked like a big daddy, a very large guy with a lot of beard, I don’t really remember any specifics, one pic and pretty much no profile – not that I’d care after that intro, lol

  • I have been loving you for months and months CL, but both Lauryn Hill and Daft Punk in one post. You are my hero. (no offense to Dolly, Elvis and Whitney)

  • Oh crap …. I skipped ahead and didn’t notice it was Luz – light of our lives – well done!!

  • Cant do it. I am so not down with dating. I dont want to share anything right now. I dont wanna have to explain anything. I dont want to bump uglies.
    For the first time in my life I really want to be alone. I am discovering a lot about myself. Learning to like me. Learning what I like. I Dont have the energy or space for anyone right now. I have always been with someone… Since my early teens. I like the break. Imlike not having to explain anything to anybody. I like both sides of the bed and the toilet seat down. I like having the whole closet. I like that I can spend my money on something ridiculous. I enjoy not having to put on a fake smile to make someone else feel good. I love love love that I get uninterrupted time with my child. Even better… I love love love that she sees me be ok without somebody.
    My assumption was that once I started to feel like me again or the best version of myself that the right person will come into my life… Or not. I am ok with that. 12 billion people on the planet… Odds are I will bump into someone.

    • ” I love love love that she sees me be ok without somebody.” Absolutely.

    • I really loved the peace of being alone, Clip. I still live alone and it is great. My kids come over a fair amount and my GF lives with her elderly mom, who she cares for.
      After a relationship with a Narc, living alone seems so great.

  • When I began dating in the early 80s all the young men I went out with paid. Friends, no. Suitors, yes. All of us were raised in middle class homes in Southern California. We chose affordable venues. Nothing too extravagant. We pooled resources too, pot lucks were a fav as was going to the park/beach. We spent loads of time at each other’s houses. My ex and I dated for eight years (long distance at times due to volunteer work, separate colleges, and early jobs, so a little gas money and time away on my part were sometimes all we needed) but for a majority of that he paid. (My son does that. When he wants to spend time with someone special he treats. No expectations, I just raised him that way. The girls initially have their young men treat but share expenses as the relationship progresses.) I contributed when I had money. Paid my part of the expenses when we lived together for a year and were attending nearby colleges. We paid for our wedding though and chose to have children early. We discussed my staying home as paying someone to watch our kids was a financial draw. We had also learned that time was short (four early deaths in our families) and we wanted different than our parents, more time with our children. We deliberately placed his career before mine simply because he made 4/5 times more than I. I was frugal. No makeup –natural beauty like most Chumps. 😉 –no beauty parlors, no designer clothes, no frivolous expenses. Stuff for the kids and the house mainly. We purchased our first home early (25) but didn’t outgrow our college furniture hand me downs until we built our dream home 15+years later. Even vacations were spent visiting and staying with my relatives (never his). My ex grew disengaged over the years though, worked more, played more, away from us, chose to travel without us, never made time for me when he had someone new, purchased expensive sports equipment with the caveat that he worked hard and deserved to have things. While I worried about helping our children afford college (easily done on our income at the time), and was a promise we had made to them growing up. What I didn’t know was that he was Cheating (and dissipating assets at the same time), and carving out a new life with his racquetball partner. He no longer valued me so that should have been my first clue. He basically abandoned us all. The kids. Me. The house and property. So I don’t know what good men do anymore. Do they keep score? I am not against equality and taking turns but it seems unnatural to keep score. Dating?!? Furthest thing from my mind (six years out), I never want to risk relying on another person again. I am also too busy working, putting my kids through college-and helping them out with life’s necessities, food, clothing, shelter, medical, when they need a little help, and focusing on what I want. My hope is that one day I will stumble on a kind man who is spending time doing what he loves too. My thought re dating is that there should be shared expenses but not on the first couple of dates. I am old fashioned but to me this communicates respect. He wants to get to know me. He doesn’t do it because he expects anything more than a good time. It should not be expensive either. Coffee, a soda, hiking, a walk on the beach, a picnic, a homemade meal, I even went thrifting with an old friend and had more fun than if I’d been treated to a fancy restaurant, but I think it speaks to being raised a certain way when a gentleman pays. I don’t want my next relationship to be about power, or an imbalance of, or about keeping track of who “owes” who, or who makes more/less and who can spend and who can’t. I don’t want bitter either. IMHO like anything else money needs to be discussed but when a man treats me to something on a first date it communicates his values, his interest in getting to know me as a person. Money and time are an investment in a relationship and communicating and sharing those same values makes it easier. It doesn’t feel like being taken advantage of. I get that men feel taken advantage of but you have probably chosen the wrong person. With the right one, finances aren’t a big issue. Mine only became an issue when my husband fell out of love so I think that is a red flag to pay attention to. As is the slimy guy who takes you to an expensive dinner only because he expects you to have sex with him.

    I registered, because I want to see the forum where Luziana posted an article.
    I never received an email.
    Can anyone help ?
    Thank you

    • ChumpFromF–when I first registered the registration email went to my spam folder (even though no other emails from CL had ever gone there). Check it; if there is no email, try registration again.

      • Agreeing with Tempest; please check your spam/junk mail folder ChumpFromF.

    • If you still have trouble then create a Wordpress account, then you can just login to the forums with it

  • I just realized who I would want to date. Someone just like me, lol. Fifties. Neat and clean, but not into appearances and fashion. Into animals, nature, the environment. Only tells little white lies to avoid hurting others ( your new hairstyle is cute!). Likes to read. Snarky, but not cruel, sense of humor. Good kisser. Likes sex, and sees it as an expression of closeness and communication, not as a power play or gymnastics exhibition. Most importantly, spends free “alone time” daydreaming, playing Candy Crush Saga, using Facebook to keep up with family and appropriate relationships, watching classic tv, etc.. NOT someone who uses alone time to date Whores, sneaking around to meetups, and communicating by text/calls on a secret WhorePhone.

    • NJ, we would be a perfect match if we were gay! If you find a man like you describe, please ask if he has a brother for me. 😀

  • I’ve been asked to be a sister wife. Would I move into his double wide trailer with he and his wife with my good paying job and pay their bills and have sex with him? I’ve had been give me their phone number and then snatch it away when they saw the picture of my kids on my desk at work. I didn’t play solataire but I did play Zelda and Epic Mickey with my kids. A LOT! I went on one first date where one guy disclosed that he was bipolar, 40, but knocked up the 17 year old bookstore clerk at the college where he worked, had erectile dysfunction, and was living with his mother because his home was being foreclosed upon. But one day I went on a ride along at work with the water department. I am in the electric department. At the end of the day he asked if I might be interested in a dinner date. I gave him by normal answer when anyone asked me out, “I HAVE THREE KIDS under the age of 5. All girls.” And He responded back, “I’m divorced with two girls of my own.” His wife left him for his best friendand he had been divorced for a year at the time of this ride along. Well, know we have a sixth girl. A baby girl turning one next week. An ours baby. That ride along was 5 years ago

    • NoWire, OMG a sister wife? Seriously? I can’t even imagine the nerve it takes for somebody to do this? Were they in a religious sect? Did your jaw hit the table? Where did this loser’s tender proposal take place- Golden Corral Buffet perhaps? I’d love to hear more detail because this is too damn crazy? Where did you meet this gem of a man?

      On a better note, congratulations on finding a real guy who wasn’t phased by your having three kids under the age of 5. Congratulations on your new baby girl- what a lovely blessing!

    • Oh wow NoWire! Congrats. Six girls huh? That is one brave man. But seriously. Congratulations!!!!

  • Luziana – what a great guideline post for, omg, the dating after-life.

    Even though it is the last thing on my mind right now, I do believe (our purpose) we are here to love. The fact that we got deceived in the worst way possible is such a derailment in life. It is a loss coupled with the loss of self confidence for the deceived. (why do I have to understand why I fell for a freaking narcissist to begin with?!?) -Really trying to sort this out – but thankfully, as I search my memory for answers, I do have other loves in my life to compare.

    I am focusing on the “way” past to understand the last 15 years of my life. While baby-stepping out to the dating websites is the very last thing on my agenda, your post and advice is really helpful.

    “I venture to say that we should all take note from Dolly Parton and be adorable and not give a fuck. The old story goes that Colonel Tom Parker wanted Dolly to give up songwriting credit to have Elvis Presley cover “I Will Always Love You.” Her songwriting was very important to her, so she told him to piss right off.”

    And, ^^^ this ^^^ is a 5 star reference on how to be mighty in life, from a talent and sweetheart both inside and out! Dolly is her own person – and to thine own self be true.

    Thank you!

  • 5-Star rating on your post, Luziana!!!

    I am ready to get out there socially, as for meeting a special guy, time will tell and see what happens…

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