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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Love stank

Dear readers,

As I mentioned, I've started internet dating again. The difference this time, though, is the fact that I am not looking to get into a relationship. In fact, I am determined not to fall for anyone. Why would I avoid love you ask? Because I'm trying to decide if I want a job in NY, and getting confused about some new guy would only muck up the decision. So I'm dating to kill some time, but I don't expect it to lead anywhere. Can it be a coincidence then that I am doing better than ever with the fellas?

Men can smell desperation. They can smell our hopes and dreams of a white wedding and 2.5 kids as if it's a bad case of B.O. We don't like to admit it, but whether we think we are or not, we are projecting that little fantasy world into the ether, and they, hearkening back to their caveman ways, can sense it. That being said, when we aren't looking, is when the men always seem to come running.

Right now, I don't really care whether any of these internet guys call me back after the first date. And lo and behold, most of them are calling back. And yet, there have been a number of times this year when a guy I really liked didn't bother to call back. I have no doubt that it's my new laissez faire attitude that is keeping these guys interested. I'm in the moment rather than 20 steps ahead. And that "here and now" attitude is clearly more attractive to men than the subtle neediness I unwittingly project to them.

Now if I could just figure out how to keep this attitude once my career is all squared away and I am actually back on the market. Maybe I just have to bear in mind that my heart's been broken before and it'll likely get broken again. But there's always a new guy around the corner to intrigue me all over again, so there's no use getting ahead of myself with the one at hand.



Love, business style

I'm a big fan of making lists. I like to organize things in bullet point fashion - clear, concise and to the point. I suppose that's what an business education will do for you, right? That said, it's not always as simple as making a nice neat list. I recently tried my hand at internet dating again. Not so much because I was looking for love, but I was looking to kill sometime, and a bevy of blind dates are an easy and pleasant way of doing it (free drinks! conversation! the occasional good night kiss!)

Unlike previous attempts at internet dating, I've met not one, not two, but four guys I like in just a couple of weeks. Who knew killing time could be so fruitful? Obviously I can't keep this up for long because it either has to get more serious or end, and even I, a serial dater, can't balance 4 almost boyfriends. So today I tried to make some rank order lists.

The 4 guys are: the Welsh guy, the HR guy, the Annapolis guy and the Atlanta guy. First I did the easiest, rank ordered in descending hotness. Annapolis guy came out on top. Then rank ordered by earning potential, Welsh guy came out on top here. But the most important proved to be the hardest to do - rank ordered by personality. Obviously all the good looks and money in the world don't make for a great relationship if the personality is a total mismatch (I'm certain some of my LA neighbors beg to differ, but I'm a talker, I need someone who I enjoy talking with!) It turns out that right now the guys are in a pretty dead heat. I don't know them well enough yet to know whether or not I really like their personalities or if they were just on good first and second date behavior. As I've said before, even Ted Bundy seemed charming at first, so it takes a little while to really sort the whole personality thing out.

The funniest bit is that despite the fact that he doesn't come out on top of any of the lists yet, HR guy might just be my favorite. I suppose that just proves that unlike nearly everything else I deal with, my love life can't be figured out with some excel equations and a nifty PowerPoint presentation. =sum(looks, earning potential, personality^2)



Saturday, October 08, 2005


Dear readers,

My friend Jerry is a total catch. In fact he's so nice that I kick myself every time we hang out for not liking him liking him. He is kind, attentive, smart and does things like bring a girlfriend a cupcake when she's having a bad day. Given all of that, it's always educational for me when he tells me about his love life.

Last week, Jerry told me a story. He got set up on a Saturday night. The girl was nice enough but he had no interest in seeing her again so he simply never called. She called him on Thursday the following week to see what he was up to. He asked me what on earth he was supposed to do since he didn't want to see her again. Obviously my allegiance is to Jerry in this scenario but I can't help but feel bad for this poor oblivious girl! Of course she likes him, he's great...the sad bit is she has no idea that her call has elicited horror rather than delight from him. Wouldn't you just die to know that's the effect your call had?

So what's it all mean?
  1. Even nice guys sometimes don't like you back. Regardless, it's ok to think he's a jerk for hurting your feelings.
  2. If he doesn't call you, it's not because he lost his phone/got abducted by aliens/got really busy. It's because he didn't want to call you. Take the hint and don't make things worse by calling him. I know this and yet I can still convince myself that it might be ok to call him. Yes, sometimes I too am delusional.
  3. There is no good way to tell someone you hardly know that you don't feel like getting to know them better. Just never calling them again is as good as any option. Some guys opt for the direct route and call to say they never want to see you again. It is nice to get closure rather than just never knowing what happened, but you only really get closure if the guy is willing to give you a post mortem on what went wrong. If they can't give you any specifics that you can use for future reference, then what's the use?
  4. Truly nice guys at least have the decency to blow you off right away rather than sticking around long enough to sleep with you. He hurts your feelings but he doesn't waste your time or use you...not so bad now is it?

One day some lucky girl will snag Jerry, and she'll get treated like a princess. Until then, he's bound to break some hearts!



Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When is it not enough?

Dear readers,

On a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, Meredith broke up with Dr. McDreamy saying, "it's not enough." That got me thinking. I have often found myself in an untenable situation. The guy isn't giving me what I want, and he likely never will. But still I persist. So where do I draw the line? When do I say, "it's not enough?"

It's so hard to know the difference between having unreasonable expectations and having perfectly reasonable ones that aren't being met because the guy is wrong for you. I think at our core, we know when it's not enough. It's sheer willfulness and naivete that leads us to think that it ever will be enough. I once dated a guy who lived in the valley, loved staying in, watching football and eating at chain restaurants. Even more importantly, he didn't intellectually challenge me or put any butterflies in my stomach. I knew that what he was offering me just wasn't enough. But still the relationship lingered on for a couple of months. He's sweet and successful and not dumb and sort of handsome, I told myself. Come on...is that really enough? In hindsight, it's obvious that it's not, but in the moment, I was actually able to reconcile that maybe, just maybe he could be a good guy to date.

At least in that case, he was a nice guy. He wasn't enough, but he wasn't a jerk. A guy my friend dated talked a big game about being crazy about her. She told him she wasn't interested in casual sex and was only interested in moving forward in the relationship if he wanted to be serious. "But of course," he says...until of course she does sleep with him. At which point he tells her that his definition of being a boyfriend doesn't particularly include calling her or seeing her often. So basically he's offering occasional sex and some conversation when and if he feels like it. Gee, great! That sure as hell isn't enough, and yet still she found herself a bit torn. Wouldn't occasional company be better than none at all? Well actually the tough but true answer is that no, it isn't enough and it's a waste of your time to pretend otherwise. That occasional company might make you feel better in the moment, but it's sure to leave you emptier later. And every minute you're with Mr. Not Enough is a moment you're not meeting Mr. More Than You'd Hoped For!

Now if I could just get those words, "it's not enough," to roll off my tongue as easily as they did on TV...



Friday, September 30, 2005

Waiting Game

Dear Biatch,

I met a great guy the other night and now I'm waiting for his call. It's killing me! How do I deal?



Waiting for a call may be one of the worst parts of dating (and believe me I can come up with a lot of bad things about dating!) It's agony wondering will he or won't he. And unfortunately you can't make it happen. First and foremost, forget women's lib, you can't call him. If he wants to talk to you, he'll call. So all you can do is get on with your life and hope for the best. I know, I know...it's next to impossible to do. He seemed so great when you met him, right? So you think to yourself, of course he'll call. But then you remember all the times when you thought that about someone else and he didn't call...so now you're back to wondering if he'll call. Vicious circle, huh?

So here's what you do. Make plans with your girlfriends, read a good book, watch some TiVo...whatever it takes to keep you from obsessing. If he's as great as he seemed, he'll call. If he doesn't, try not to feel too bad, since realistically he didn't know you in the first place. I know that's easier said than done, so it's certainly ok to be pissed off at him for not being as great as you'd hoped.

For now they stay busy and stay hopeful. His time isn't up yet!



Monday, September 26, 2005

Flaccid Willy Syndrome

Dear Biatch,

I love my new boyfriend, I really do. But he has sexual problems and I'm getting a little worried about it. At first I thought it was just nerves, but it's a pretty regular thing. Is there something wrong with me or something I should do?


Dear Miranda,

Yes, there is something you should do...run! Run like the wind, seriously. I'm assuming by sexual problems you mean flaccid willy syndrome and not some predilection for something that's only legal in Amsterdam. Look, if it's the first or second time your man can't get it up, no biggie (literally, ha!) You should be the patient girlfriend and don't make him feel guilty about it. I know it's our inclination to blame it on ourselves, but by doing so we actually just make him feel worse and make the situation even more stressful. You are a naked and willing woman, it's unlikely you're the problem. More likely he's stressed or nervous or tired or something of that variety. These things shouldn't be consistent though...he can't be stressed or nervous or tired all the time, right? So if his dangly bits regularly fail to rise to the occasion, then you have to wonder what's going on. If this is someone you've been with for ages and truly love in a deep abiding way, then talk to him about seeing a doctor and figuring out if it's medically or emotionally driven. If he won't go, be done with him.

But Miranda here said this is a new boyfriend. If you really think he's otherwise wonderful, you can give him the benefit of the doubt and forewarn him that the lack of sex is a problem for you, but I'm sure he would have fixed the problem already if he could have that easily. Life's too short not to get laid, especially by the man you love and are actually dating. Maybe he's on antidepressants? Maybe he has mommy issues. Maybe he can only get it up if you wear a chicken outfit. Who knows, who cares. Once you've given him a fair shot to discuss whatever is going on with you, there's nothing to do but move on.

A girl I know, let's call her Dove Ciatch, has faced this problem before, and let me tell you...no amount of patience or effort was enough to fix a truly sexually dysfunctional man. If it isn't a medical problem that can be addressed with treatment, then it is a psychological one, and that takes a lot of time, effort and a very willing man to fix. Unless he is perfection incarnate (and let's face it, what are the chances that Prince Charming has a limp dick?), then it just isn't worth your while. Tough love indeed.



Sunday, September 11, 2005

The passive aggressive breakup

Dear Biatch,

I am sick of this guy I've been dating. He's a nice guy and all, but he drives me nuts. The thing is, I can't get up the nerve to break up with him. I hate hurting people's feelings, and I think I'm going to really catch him off guard by dumping him. I've been letting it drag on for a couple of weeks now, avoiding him as much as I can. When I do see him I don't even kiss him much anymore. What do I do?


Dear Lexy,

This is what I like to call the passive aggressive breakup. You don't have the nerve to break up with him so you subtly mistreat him for long enough that he eventually gets the picture. Any man with a clue will see that he's about to get dumped, and he may just make it easier on you by just disappearing. In the best of all worlds, we should all grow a pair and break up with someone face to face as soon as we know it's over. Alas, this is not the best of all worlds (if it were I'd be married to Ewan McGregor), so the more assertive breakup doesn't always happen.

I like to think that the average man likes getting dumped even less than the average girl does. Wounded male pride is a bitch ain't it? I'd love to know if men actually prefer to be dumped out right or if they'd rather just get the hint and leave on their own terms. The kindest thing is to pull the band-aid off quickly so he and you can both move on with your lives rather than drag out a bad thing. But I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to be a bit passive aggressive with it. Give him a week or two to get the idea that you aren't so into it anymore so that when you do pull the trigger he isn't totally caught off guard.

If you aren't kissing him anymore, surely he knows something is up. If I were him I'd be asking you what the problem is. If he asks, that's your chance to be honest with him. Don't lie and drag it out further. If he doesn't ask, well then he's being a bit passive himself. Don't let this passive aggressive stage last longer than a couple weeks. Any longer is just cruel and a big waste of time. Also, don't let passive aggressiveness turn into just plain meanness. It's on thing to not seem so interested in more, it's another to actually be rude to him. If you find yourself starting to snap at him or be cruel in hopes of him dumping you, that's not right. The entire purpose of the passive aggressive break up is to prepare him for you doing it later or get him to just mutually end things. It is not to be so awful to him that you push him away.

So Lexy, if you can get up the nerve, go ahead and break up with him ASAP. It sucks to hurt someone's feelings, but having to wonder what's going on is probably pretty painful for him too. It sounds like you've already had your passive aggressive grace period, he likely knows what's coming. So get it over with sooner rather than later!



Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Getting screwed

An excerpt from a comment posted on the site:

I was engaged to a woman who I thought was my princess. She lives in Manila, and I live in Hawaii. I saw her every 2 months for 18 months. Then I quit a very high paying management position and moved to Bangkok to start a business to be closer to her. I gave her everything, but I was not buying her love. I brought her to Bangkok twice and things didn't feel right. I asked her many times if there was a problem and told her she could tell me anything, but she claimed everything was fine.

I went to Manila in July and left to come back to Maui on the 28th. On the 8th of this month, I received an anonymous email telling me about her real life with another guy. It included dates and places, more then I wanted to know. I finally got in touch with her the next day, and she finally admitted the truth. She said we would talk later that night, but I received an email from her wishing me good luck, and that was it. I never found out who where when why. In the end, she took the money I'd given her for our wedding to live with someone else.

Do the words "I love you" really mean anything? We said it till the day I left. She had my trust, freedom, love, understanding, commitment, everything she ever desired. How could this have happened?


Dear Tom,

It sounds like you got taken for a ride. There are jerks and then there are JERKs. The former is your run of the mill person who stomps on your feelings a bit. The latter is the kind of person who is so scummy that she not only lives a double life, but also has the nerve to steal your money to be someone else. Unfortunately, people like this are good at manipulating and lying, so it may be impossible to decipher fact from fiction.

A couple signs you're being screwed over

  1. Is the relationship lopsided? If you're the one putting in all the effort (moving, spending tons of money, changing jobs, etc), something is wrong. Good relationships may not be perfectly balanced, but they don't require you to do all the hard work.
  2. Have you caught her in lies before? Lying gets easier the more you do it. If you catch someone in a lie, bear in mind that they'll only be getting better at it next time around.
  3. If you know something is clearly wrong and your sig-O refuses to admit it, don't feel like you're the crazy one. If you really know in your heart of hearts that something is off, you're probably right. Be very wary if things feel "off" for too long...the ax will fall sooner or later.

Tom, it sounds like you treated her well. This isn't necessarily about whether you did everything perfectly or not. She clearly had ulterior motives and she took advantage of your kindness. Being kind simply can't guarantee you someone's love or even reciprocal kindness.

The words "I love you" can mean something profound. But they are also just words, and sadly people can say them without meaning them. My favorite song when I was a kid was a rock ballad called "More than Words." In that song, the singer talks about saying "I love you" isn't enough, you have to show that you love the person. Now I'm pretty sure he's actually using that as justification to get laid, but the sentiment is right. Love is something you show in your every day behavior. The words alone are not enough because clearly a JERK can say them pretty convincingly if she wants to.

Be strong...I know you feel awful now. It'll take time, but you won't feel this bad forever. Next time, be a bit more careful with your heart (and your money) and make the next woman really earn your trust and love.