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Top 5 really rude date mistakes

photo_21523_20120317There are too many horror stories about rude online dating behavior

Feeling clueless? Need to brush up on your dating etiquette? Take a hint:

 Page Larkin’s Top 5  Online Dating Etiquette Tips:

1.) Respond, sil vous plait or, You talkin to me?   The biggest complaint heard from online daters is about the lack of response. Hey kids, here’s the rule: if somebody takes the time to drop you a polite email of interest – you have a responsibility to answer back.   (Note: If the message is wacky, bizarre or peculiar- or the person sending it appears to be all of the above, you need not reply- simply delete and move on.)

However, new dater, if you receive an email from someone – okay, maybe not your ideal mate – maybe not even close – but he or she took the time to write.  Your job? Write back. Not a tome – not a poem – a simple message along the lines of, “Thanks, we are not a match – good luck in your pursuits.”  That’s all. Simple and sweet.

who is lyin?

2.) BehaveCan You Please Say Thank You?   The men have spoken and complain loudly and frequently that some women barely utter a “Thanks” after a date. Hello, ladies? Are you Ms Manners or missed manners?

3.) Hit-and-Run   Knowing full well that online dating is truly a numbers game, (See Catch and Release in the Coy pond) there are some who send out a dozen “winks” every day.

What is a wink? A wink is the lowest form of online social connection. It requires little time or effort.  It involves the wannabe dater to click a tiny icon, which sends a message to the recipient, indicating absolutely no effort made. How popular is a wink? Many online dating profiles start with, “No winks, please.”  Translated: “Come on, and make the effort to write at least one cogent sentence.”

4.) Talk, Talk, Talk-  The Biggest Buzz-kill   Okay, so you are fascinating and you don’t mind telling everyone. The non-stop talker is the biggest buzz kill on a first date? Yes, it is okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be chatty. It’s a mortal sin to blather on and neglect asking questions. Save the monologue for a Stand-Up Routine.

5.) The Houdini Disappearing Act: Pouf!  They are gone.   So you‘ve exchanged a half-dozen emails – you share many of the same “likes,” and  seem to have a little chemistry- and boom! They are gone. Not a word: text-email-note-nada.

What’s up with that? Did their spouse find them playing on the computer – with you?  You wonder if the other person is a  player?  Or just plain rude. If, at any juncture, the chemistry isn’t there – politely bow out of the conversation with a well meaning, “Thanks for the conversation, enjoyed it and wish you all the best.”

Can’t we all just get along? Be nice. According to Greater Good in Berkeley – being kind –(polite) – will make you happy.

“Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.”  Otto Von Bismarck

Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column- double click-click  the Subscribe button page.larkin@gmail.com

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What is the best online dating company?

Today’s column is all about “The Best.” 

Is there one single dating site that is better than another? Depends- are you Christian, a cowboy or a playboy, a Geek, an Apple fan boy, a gold miner or a gold digger? There is a site for everyone.

Best Advice: Buyer Beware.

Dear Page,
Help! I just looked. There are dozens of on line dating companies to choose from. In your research, what is the best online dating site?
Paulie boy

Dear Paulie boy,
The best dating site? My opinion changes like the weather in San Francisco – constantly. Let’s see, today I would say the best online dating site is JDate Why?  Because yesterday, Maureen, a devout Irish Catholic, told me she had the very best success and romance on the famed Jewish dating site.  Maureen reminds me that JDate has a very pro-active marketing team ( read: pushy) who are forever sending their clientele suggestions, updates, and pointers on succeeding at dating.

Granted, JDate is like those kids at the high school dances that kept pushing  you on the dance floor. A little awkward in the beginning – and then, voila, you’re dancing.

Anyway, Maureen (“Be Gentile with me”) revealed that she met the love of her life on Jdate –  as fate would have it, her new beau, Sean, is also Catholic (claims he is a “collapsed Catholic”) and yes, they met on the Jewish dating site.

Perfect Match is a lot like flypaper – express an interest in them once and they swarm you with emails. Tread lightly.

Chemistry.com is Match.com’s more expensive stepsister. Exactly the same as Match with a twist and a turn here and there it makes for a good change of pace. If you get bored by Match – quit. Dabble in a new site. You can always go back to Match.

MillionaireMatch – Be careful out there- if it is too good to be true – (See: Two Worst Dating Sites)

Is EHarmony a waste of time and money?

There are some (read: thousands) who are totally seduced by the wonderful television campaign ads touting the magic of EHarmony.  Others will tell you it takes forever to fill out the 50-plus pages of mind-numbing questions and that the results are glacially slow. Really, really slow. And, other people say they been extremely happy with the pace and the product of EHarmony. Your call.  See EHarmony: like the titanic or a kayak?

Double Dipping: Try Two Dating Sites at Once?

Dr Diane Kirschner, the lively and popular author of Love in 90 Days suggests signing up on two different sites – concurrently. You might want to try a free site and sign up for a “reputable” site.

Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid are  famous, fast, and free – and, it has been said, you get what you pay for. It is a fun and easy way to test the waters. Take a look. (See:  Say OK to OK Cupid)

Got Class?

Another reader is a total cheerleader for Classmates.com – she re-connected with a high school acquaintance and they are now in the happily-ever-after chapter of their lives.

Meetup.com is a veritable gold mine of opportunities for meeting people with interests that match yours- hiking, biking, wine tasting, art, spelunking – there are groups for every taste.  Take the  time to plug in your zip code and interests. Every day, there are dozens of events  in the the Bay Area to choose from.

Go out and have some fun!What About Craigslist?  See: New to Online Dating

See: http://suddenlysingleminded.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/new-to-online-dating-sample-free-sites-craigslist/

Summer Reading: Marry whom? Him? Why not Settle?

Settle down.

The red-hot book,

Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

has been flying out of bookstores since it was published – causing a stir and consternation.

Author Lori Gottlieb is a controversial marketing genius.        

First, there was the well-timed flurry of Valentine’s Day book promotions, appearances on myriad television talk shows, guest column slots, and a drag- out marketing campaign, which catapulted the author into the SEO stratosphere.

Called “wise and daring” and “brutally honest,” Marry Him is a surefire bestseller because of the controversy it leaves in its wake. It all started in February 2008, when Gottlieb wrote ‘the article’ for The Atlantic.

The scathing piece, the basis for the book, was considered by many as caustic, heartless and derisive. Nothing like an effective literary attention getting device to garner great ratings.

Best Marketing Ploy for Book Sales: Controversy. Granted, women have strong and heartfelt beliefs about:

1) Marriage

2) Marrying beneath oneself (what does that  even mean?) and

3) Perhaps – choosing to remain single.

The topics are very personal and scalding hot. Does Marry Him instruct us to discard our standards, ideals, and our precious Top 10 Qualities List?

Do we merely ‘settle’ for the next guy, with a pulse, who darkens our doorstep?  I think not. But, men and women need to be open –  way open – 24 -hours a day open.

photo_7840_20081106(1)love small

I Could Have Been a Contender

Bo Derek was a “10” in the 1970’s…  Perhaps you were, too… in the 70’s.

You do the math- numbers change…bodies change and attitudes do, too. Now we are more mature, evolved, and we evaluate people less superficially- don’t we? No, Binkie, you cannot know in the first  3-minutes of a coffee date if the guy is “a keeper,” slow down and smell the coffee.

Gottlieb makes a sobering point in the  magazine article about women and all the various “dating things” we do wrong.

Many of us were raised on stories about Cinderella, Prince Charming, Wolf Ranges, white picket fences and Volvos. Some of us bought into the fairy tale and elevated ourselves high atop lofty (lonely)  princess pedestals.

Sky high, self esteem puts one just beyond the reach of really great guys. Whoops! Time to climb down, sister,  Get real, and be open.

Marry Him is smart summer reading. You want to get attention on the beach or by the pool? Walk around with this  book – see what happens.

You’ll see: the book is rife with very cogent points; chances are you’ll open your eyes, blink, and shake your head in disbelief. And, in total agreement.

All I know: Life is all about compromise, and at this stage of the game (50-something) we know that compromise is the panacea of life.

The best relationships are all about give and take. Right?

Remember: Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. And he knows it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/happy woman

Have Mistletoe: will kiss – Time to flirt and be merry

Play hard and work soft.

Yes, Virginia, tis the season

to be flirting.

In my small rural hometown, most people say ‘hello,’ and ‘good morning,’ and ‘hey’ as they get to work and play in the morning. Eye contact is involved.

People wave and nod to one another. Men and women both hold the door for one another. You hear the word “thanks” a lot.

I think there’s more hand-holding in that small town, per capita, than there is in all of San Francisco. They say in San Francisco there’s more emphasis placed on career success, than (sit down, drink optional) relationship success. What’s up with that?

No, Virginia, this more convivial behavior is not Amish, Quaker or Mormon. It’s just another mindset. Maybe it’s a throwback to the 1950’s.

It is very Mid West.

San  Francisco needs more smiling, flirting, and mistletoe

Why do you suppose merely “being friendly” is so foreign in San Francisco?

After a week of this time-travel-world, I recently returned to the City. As my luggage came off the carousel, I was forced back onto the merry-go-round of San Francisco, where we go so fast, we miss meeting one another.

Slow down, put that down and smile at someone, Now.

We’re texting, Twittering, we’re Linkedin and were on Face book, and on variation of matchme.com. We belong to social clubs, gyms, book clubs, bike clubs, chess clubs or teams of some sort. And still, it is like two ships passing in the aisle at Bryan’s, Safeway or Trader Joe’s.

Did you ever think that just as you’re going out the side door of the store- with exactly the same carefully selected food items in your recyclable bag –  that your doppelganger is about to buy the same carefully selected items? And, she or he, too, will walk out, alone, with their recyclable bags?

Did we both just work out, see the same film, and go out to dinner with single friends? What are the chances we run, hike, ride, walk, stroll, or spelunk in the exact same location, at different times?

The Playground of Life

Whether you are on a merry-go-round, a slide, or a teeter-totter, you have to admit: it a bizarre time to be at the Singles Playground. I’ll go out on a limb- unless the ground rules change to involve more people saying ‘hey’ ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’, we will all be living single, solitary, parallel lives.

So close and yet, so far away.

photo_66_20050928redNow is the Time to Flirt and Have Happy Holidays

If ever there was a time to be jolly and bright – now is the time.

Starting today: smile and say “hey” to five people (read: persons of the opposite sex sans wedding ring). Repeat. Daily. Speak to people in line at the store, on MUNI, in a cafe.

Resolve to have fun this holiday season, start today.

Get mistletoe – wear it on your lapel, on your hat- and hang it over every door you can …

I say play hard and work soft. Flirt often and carry a big smile.

Say hey at: Page.Larkin@gmail.com

Dating at 50 – Book of the Month selection- quick step to love

Moon.. spoon …June

Instant gratification and romance in 90 days? Yes!

On your mark, get your calendar out, get set for your autumn romance.

The best selling book, “Love in 90 Days,says 13 lucky weeks is all you need to meet the man of your dreams.

The much talked about, how- to- book, continues to fly off the shelves of bookstores …and a copy seems to be on the coffee tables and reference material for many of my friends.

Author Dr.Diana Kirschner, a true calendar girl, urges you to block out the next 90 days to successfully find your soul mate and true North. Her book is filled with myriad goal setting exercises, affirmations, techniques and tips for women to attract their heart mate.

Are you a Studfinder?

The author gives a whole new meaning to a ‘stud finder’ as she advises looking for “Studs” (seriously terrifically utterly desirable dudes) and avoiding ‘Duds’ (definitely unworkable dudes).

Since Adam and Eve and that pesky snake,  there have been romantic and seductive schemes, plots and plans levied by both sexes. It has to be challenging to come up with new ideas. Enter Dr Diane. Some may take special umbrage at a few of the exercises, like the novel suggestion to date three different men at one time.

Three men at once?  Seriously? I call this a ‘manage a trois.’    Managing to date three men, concurrently, sounds vaguely like juggling babies: you must be very discreet, delicate and focused. Then you say, “What was I thinking?”

Advice: Take it all with a grain of salt…and a shot to Tequila?

Be forewarned: this compendium of counseling has more buzzwords than a month of Dr Phil shows. However, Dr. Diana is no Dr. Phil, thank heaven she is not another Dr. Laura.

Kirshner is a lot more fun, creative and  “Love in 90 Days” is replete with pages of heart-filled ideas and exercises. Hey, you’ve got 90 days – go for it!

“Women desire men’s desire of them.” Freud


Part two: Top ten places to meet men in San Francisco

guys-i-datesd 

Looking for a few good men…

Mae West said: “It is better to be looked over than overlooked.”

It is harvest time. Odds are, Mae West would tell you to push away from the computer, get off the couch and out of the house in order to meet your playmate, soul mate or new best friend.

The Top 10 Places to Meet Men in the City – Part Two

6. California Academy of Sciences Thursday Nights at the Academy –No other place on Earth has a planetarium, an amazing natural history museum, an incredible aquarium and a 4-story rain forest under one roof. The Academy is breathtaking, dazzling and awe-inspiring. For a mere $12 on Thursday nights from 6pm -10pm, come join in on the music, activities and one of the best events anywhere in the City. ( The DeYoung Museum has Friday night events, too)

7. Join a Club that is of interest to you, and they will follow. Suggestions? Sierra Club, a biking clubs, a writer’s group,  a hiking group, book clubs, film groups. Check out Urban Diversion. Go to Meetup.com, which has vast, long lists of social groups to join from: Arts and Entertainment to Zydeco.

Bronze buddah in the park

8.Volunteer at Special Events- There is no dearth of opportunities to volunteer in and around the City. For instance: the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival. Don’t miss Litquake, San Francisco’s most literary party -an October happening. Lend a hand at  St. Anthony’s, or any number of Wine Tasting Events, Sierra Club hikes, the Human Race, various Writer’s Conferences. The big bonus here is that when you volunteer you get to attend the venue for free and mingle with the attendees. More altruistic? One Brick has myriad volunteer opportunities and ‘provides support to local non-profit and community organizations by creating a unique, social and flexible volunteer environment.”

9. To Gym or Not Gym – that is the question. A casual poll among friends, and a few strangers leaving 24 Hour Fitness, indicates no one admits to going to a gym to meet someone. My friend, Shawn, says the Universal Sign for ‘do not talk to me’ is ears stuffed with earphones. She says she takes the high road (or the Hi road) and says ‘hey’ to every man in the gym wearing earphones. She candidly reports, that despite the noisy naysayers, the gym is the best place to meet men.

10. Hardware Stores- Some men are real ‘Week End Warriors’ and they frequently go to worship at the altars of Home Depot, Lowe’s and Brownie’s Hardware. Men love saws, drills, bits, tool belts and workbenches. This is the very best place to start your home improvement project and to ask questions. If you want a guy to carry a ‘torch’ for you or get a ‘quick grip’ and be a ‘fan’, hit a hardware store.polar_0612

San Francisco Party boy quits the dating game?

Mitch, the famed Party Boy, of six parties a week,

would glide into a room to a sea of handshakes and a cyclone of air kisses.  If you looked up the word bon vivant in the dictionary, Mitch’s picture would be there: a tall, dark, handsome party boy.

Divorced for a dozen years he was on the party circuit.  He was the party circuit. Jealously, his friends dubbed him, ‘Scout.’  In jest, women called him Casanova. Yes, there’s an ounce of truth in all jest. At one time in his life, Mitch was famously flirting or hot to trot; now, the only thing haute he was after was cuisine.

Give Up the Chase?

After years of the hunt – catch and release -and after one too many first dates – Mitch decided to throw in the towel. Not only did he throw in the towel, but also he laundered, folded, and put the towel away.


He did something none of his friends had done before: he gave up the chase. He reconciled to be a bachelor – forever.

He was lucky to have a plethora of female friends. There were women he went to movies with, women he hiked with, and a couple other women he went with to shows and dinner. In the grand scheme, there wasn’t one single woman to whom he was attracted.

Along Comes Sally

And then Mitch met met Sally. They noticed one another in line at a weekday matinee. Both were going to see “Of Gods and Men”There were only a handful people in the theater – and its the kind of movie you just have to talk about afterwards. After the movie credits, they walked out together and started talking.

They walked next door to Starbucks and discussed the movie, world politics, other favorite movies, books and life – for two hours. Mitch suggested they move their discussion few blocks away to Pesce on Polk Street And that was the beginning – a chance meeting – a year ago.

After a lousy experience on Perfectmatch.com,  Eharmony and Craigslist, Sally had sworn off men. She had no intention of ever again playing the dating game. Then, when she least expected it, she met her date for life. It happens. 

Remember: Be open to new experiences. Talk to strangers- flirt early and flirt often.

Page Larkin, San Francisco author, dating coach and dating docent offers a 3-hour Inspired Dating Workshop

“Online Dating: Get Your Mojo Moving” in San Francisco

San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at page.larkin@gmail.com.

Red flags or green lights? First date guidelines

photo_13872_20090831Page Larkin’s Top 5 Things to Take on a First Date:

1. Identification
2. Cell phone
3. Money for a taxi
4. Keys
5. The speed-dial phone number of your “contact’ person” – the friend who knows exactly where you are going – with whom (Name, Rank, Serial Number) and, at what time…

Get Smart: Trust your gut

Always trust your intuition. There are certain logical guidelines for an initial meeting.  You know when something is not right. Don’t bring or wear  valuables. It’s a coffee date – not show and tell. (Leave the bling and the credit cards at home.)

If you are feeling strangely uncomfortable with the person –not just nervous- excuse yourself. It happens. If you feel compelled to provide an explanation, say you have to make a phone call, have to move your car, or meet a friend or get to work.

The Great Escape

Men and women both need ‘an escape hatch’ in a truly uncomfortable situation. Let’s say you finally meet the ‘great date’ and you notice the ‘Mr.non-smoker’ reeks of smoke and has cigarettes peeking out of their pocket. Time  to go.

Deal breaker?

What if  photo you saw online is of a petite brunette and the stout,  much older person sitting across the table has totally white hair? 

Evidently, the photograph supplied is over 10 years old. Call them Integrity issues or Deal breakers?

Or perhaps, within minutes, your note your date’s behavior (Top Ten Way to Ruin a First Date)   is reprehensible. (You expected Jack from “Lost” and Benjamin Linus showed up). Time to go.

Trust your instinct

Rather than just saying ‘Get Lost,’ the polite thing to do is: thank the person you’ve met, excuse yourself, leave money for your half of the bill, and walk away. Call your ‘contact person’ and update them.

Police suggest having a good clean escape plan: tell at least one person where you’re going- whom you are meeting, at what time. You might suggest that person call you after a pre determined time to check in on you. No, this is not silly.

First Date Tips:
1. Always meet in a public, well-lighted place. Never meet in your home.
2. Let a friend know where you’re going; also give the other persons name. No, you can’t be too careful.
3. Have the friend call you 15 minutes into the date. This can also be an ‘escape’ if the date if isn’t going well.

4. Meeting for a glass of wine? One should be your limit. No, I am not kidding. Be sober and smart.

5. Always:  ‘Google’ the guy or gal. Check Facebook and Linkedin.

Note: Click here: Washington D.C.’s police department recommends the following tips.

That being said, get out there and explore your options.

Have fun. Chances are: all is well – Just be careful out there.photo_1ben918_20060901
 
 Page.Larkin@Gmail.com     

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