Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead, #5 -- Your Pre-Valentine's Day Advice

In case you haven't been inside a store recently or since Christmas, it's time to buy stuff for Valentine's Day, or as some call it, Singles Awareness Day.

In my humble opinion, Valentine's Day should be a drop-kick for men.  Flowers, dinner, jewelry gift of appropriate seriousness.  What is appropriate seriousness?  Because I just like men and think they are cute and generally fun to be with, here's a chart:

Dating 4 months or less:   Buy stud earrings in her birthstone or some other not-diamond stone
Dating 4 - 8 months:  pearl earrings that are a style that she would wear frequently (notice what she wears, find pearl earrings that copy that general style)
Dating 8 - 12 months:  short pearl necklace or other everyday necklace made out of something real
Dating a year or more:  it's time to fish or cut bait.  Get a ring or move on.

This gift will communicate the level of seriousness of the relationship -- from your perspective, anyway.

Women, since we, The Definitely Not Dead, are pursued and do not pursue men other than to be accessible and friendly, if we find ourselves single on February 14th, it is fortunately NOT the end of the world.  Do you have a date?  Yes, February 14th.  And your date after that will be February 15th.

Don't let one day make or break your whole essence of being.  Don't have a date or are not dating?  That means you can do whatever you want! Have your girls over and eat pizza out of the box while watching Hallmark Channel!  Splurge on a mani/pedi! Babysit for married friends that want to go out!   If you want to buy chocolate, DO IT.  And eat it and DON'T feel guilty, or for that matter, get weepy mid-box because some guy didn't plop down his $12.95 to buy some cheesy, fake velvet, heart-shaped box of chocolate.  You are so much better than that!

Men that find themselves dateless on this holiday:  My experience has taught me that the ends of the Valentine's Day Awareness Spectrum are:  either 1) He only remembers it's Valentine's Day because he finally sees the aisle of chocolate at Walgreen's, or 2)  He spends the night listening to Hall & Oates "Sarah Smile" or some equally terrible romantic/nostalgic song on repeat and drinking something that will end up in a pretty heinous hangover the next morning.

Although there are plenty of guy responses in between, my advice is the same:  Don't let one day bum you out or ruin your whole outlook or make you question how dateworthy you are:  Out of the 16 million hours in your life time, a measly twenty-four is a literal drop in the bucket.

But I leave MEN with this advice:  If you don't like spending this holiday alone, what are you going to do about it?  TRUST ME, there are a bunch of great women that are out there and waiting for you to ask them out.

Make a coffee date!  It's one of the safest and most transitional dating experiences you can have.  If it is not working out, well, it was just for coffee, so thanks and have a great day.  But if you would like to transition it into a meal, the invitation is all that you have to make.  Voila!  Instant date.

Is it too late to ask someone out for Valentine's Day?  No.  However, it will not carry as much romantic fervor as if you have already dated for months, but ask that woman out that you've had your eye on, guys.  However, you are going to have to have flowers or something meaningful to give to your date.

Speaking of meaningful, on one particular Valentine's Day, I had a box of chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to my office.  It was definitely appreciated and made me think about him pretty much ALL DAY LONG.  So how much is it worth to have a woman thinking nice things about you all day if you have a date that night?  Without any disrespect to women, GUYS -- this is like shooting fish in a barrel.  (Not that we are fish or live in a barrel, even though we may like that reclaimed wood look.)

My parting words to WOMEN:  Love yourself and be fabulous!  Don't waste time thinking about someone who is not making you his priority.  You know the saying, if he isn't contacting you, he's just not that into you?  It's true.  Figuratively, why spray a can of hairspray that you know is empty?  Don't look for something to happen when it's just not there. Most single guys just need some assurance they won't get shot down if they ask you to coffee.  Be accessible and friendly, but never easy and definitely not free.

My parting words to MEN:  Love yourself and be amazing!  Not all girls are out to smash your heart.  Get back in the game, swing for the fences, and you'll probably hit a homerun!  Just get out there!

Every single reader that sends me an email to 7terribrown@gmail.com will be entered into a drawing for a box of amazing chocolate covered strawberries!  Drawing is Friday, Feb. 10th.  In your email, list the three top things you look for in a potential date for next week's blog post.  No list, no entry.  You can do it!  And thanks. (Note:  emails for contest purpose only and will be incinerated at 4000 degrees after drawing.)

Get out there and date!  I've got your back.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead #4: Keeping It on the Down Low/When To Go

Hello, all you people out in Blog World!  I would like to take a few words to thank those readers in countries outside the US, namely Israel, Russia, China, Ireland, Ukraine, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Vietnam.  Thanks y'all!  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead is, as a reminder, written for those who are 40+ and find themselves navigating the dating world; some after a long time of not dating, some who date regularly.  Things have changed since you were 20, and some things are exactly the same.  So thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Q:  "I have been dating this guy for awhile and he wants to put our relationship on Facebook, but I would like to keep my private life just that -- private.  How should I tell him I like my privacy without making him feel like I don't want people to know we're dating?"

A:  This is a relationship minefield, because this is super important to some and not so much to others.  Feelings are involved, so you have to tread carefully, keeping in mind how you would feel if you were the other person, without losing yourself.
To begin with, it's likely some very close friends that already know that you are dating, just as a part of friend conversation.  What is more close to your heart than dating? So the relationship is probably not a complete unknown, unless you are sneaking around on the low-down and using fake names.  If this is the case, then maybe you should not even be dating at all!  (Side note:  If you discover that the "perfect" person you are dating is already married, this person is NOT going to leave his or her spouse for you and if he/she is "going to get a divorce," then wait for that event to occur.  I mean, you're dealing with someone that is already deceitful, why would he (or she) be honest with you?  Walk away from this.)

But I digress.  If you want to guard your privacy and NOT tell the world you're dating, you may need to consider that people will want to share in your joy.  It may not be a bad idea to let them!  Here's the thing to do:  Start posting with this person tagged.  Then post some pics of you two together.  People that see your posts in their feed will figure it out without the giant "In A Relationship" status that occurs when you change your relationship status on Facebook.  This is also a good way to placate the person you are dating.

If you are the one wanting to shout it to the world that you have found the one person who makes your life happy:  We celebrate with you, but it's key to respect your person and keep their needs and wants in mind.  Reach an agreement as a couple as to how much social media  you will have in  your lives.  Maybe you will have an Instagram account that documents all your amazing dates and times together, and you can even give it a cute name like "Made4EachOther" or "JoanieLuvsChachi."  As always, communicate and respect.  And if you are the reserved one, give it up a little and let people share in your joy, because relationships are about compromise.

Q:  "How do you know when it's okay to go to each other's homes?"

A:  Great question that is actually multi-faceted.
If you have already known this person as a friend or acquaintance prior to dating, then it's probably pretty safe to enter his or her home alone after you have had time to feel comfortable with them.  Is  that a month?  two days?  It's a tough call. Go with your gut instinct.  If you have no gut instinct, wait and have him or her to your place first.

If you have just met this person, it's probably a good idea to plan or attend a group function in his or her home so you can check it out without compromising your safety. When you go to his or her home, does it look like a normal home with normal home stuff?  Or is there bizarre art hanging in the living room, books about weird topics laying around, and two forks in the silverware drawer?  Are there too many knives in the kitchen for even a professional chef?  Does the bathroom have normal bathroom stuff in it, like shampoo, soap, etc.?  And yes, open up the medicine cabinet.  I know I am going to get flack on this, but you need to know if he or she is taking 14 different meds to control psychotic tendencies!  (And don't act like you have never, ever looked at someone's personal stuff in their bathroom.)

On another level, if you feel comfortable being alone with this person and feel like you can be together and alone without too much physical temptation, then go to this person's house.  But be forewarned that this is not a situation that encourages chastity and purity.   It actually leaves lots of opportunity for exactly the opposite.

Now, if you go to his or her house and you get a surprise, like "Oh, you have a child," or "Oh, I didn't know you cared for your aging parent," or "Oh, I didn't know you had a portrait gallery of Elvis painted on black velvet," then be as cool as possible and take time later to assess the situation and see how this will affect your relationship, if at all.

Get out there and date!  I've got your back.

Love me, hate me, but send me your questions at 7terribrown@gmail.com.