Suddenly Single… Minded

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Archive for the category “midlife dating”

Dating 101: Sex degrees of separation?

Playing Dating Monopoly?

Are you about to jump into the Internet Dating world? Feeling dizzy with the wide variety and vast number of choices of Online Dating services? Are they unique, stand alone entities, or possibly owned by the same Goliath Internet giant?

Dating neophyte, Sally said she envisioned Match.com to be a huge building, filled with employees who were romantics at heart, just like Cupid.

She imagined a sea of matchmakers, glued to the their computers, fatefully creating dates for life. She knew somewhere she had a perfect match, a twin: a non smoking, dog loving, petite, Gemini, middle child, NASCAR fan, rock climbing, New York Times puzzle lover.   

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

However, Sally, there is no such thing as a real computer based Cupid.

Who’s your daddy?

If you were to do a search for top Internet dating companies you might be amazed to learn that dating sites: Match, Chemistry, Singleparentmeet, Blackpeoplemeet, Seniorpeoplemeet, Bbpeoplemeet, Loveandseek, all have the same parent company. They are all integral parts the Internet giant IAC owned by that ‘king of the media world’, IAC CEO Barry Diller.

What the heck is an IAC, you ask? George Orwell’s 1984 pales by comparison.Internet Giant, IAC is in your business and in multiple facets of your life. IAC owns Ask.com, Dictionary, Citysearch, EVite.com, Urbanspoon, Vimeo, Hotwire, Lending Tree, and Excite, Expedia, and Ticketmaster, plus a host of other sites.

No need to go dystopian about this, but, do take note. A lot of notes.

Baddoo and Bad News:The Russians are Meddling: Who owns Tinder? Bumble?

Badoo, founded in 2006 …launched in 2009 (3 years before Tinder), is headquartered in London with an office in Moscow.

Today it employs 300 developers, 80 of whom are women, who run Badoo and also provide support to Huggle, Chappy and Bumble.

The Russian Cupid, Andreev says his  biggest business, flagship Badoo,  launched a facial recognition feature in late 2017.

The feature allows users to upload an image of a person they like and find other Badoo users who look similar. “People really love it,” Andreev said.

Andreev refuses to share revenue figures for Badoo, but said the publicly traded IAC  operates online dating sites including OkCupid and Tinder, was a good comparison.

IAC which has a $12.2 billion market cap, reported $1.3 billion in revenue for 2017.

The Russian states, “We are smaller, but we are still a pretty big player.”

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My love affair with Billy Collins

photo_1074_20060214dotttBilly Collins boarded my plane.

I was seated in 17C. He sat alone in 14C.

If my posture was both correct and very erect, I could see him. I could see his head and fractions of his body.

Two of his all-time very best Poetry books, “Flying Around the Room” and “Nine Horses” were in my carry-on bag. I was just reading the poems in “The Art of Drowning” last week. Did I conjure him up? Was he traveling alone? What was he reading? Could we do lunch?

I saw him dive into his carry-on and pull out massive Bose headphones. No subtle message there. If ever there was an object that screamed, “Do not talk to me,” its the “Big Boys Bose” headphones.

Craning my neck, I saw a small fraction of his head, shoulder and arm. I casually stretched to gain a better vantage and decided my bag could actually live in an overhead bin, for a while, thus providing me an excuse to stand up and move closer to Billy Collins.

Nonchalantly, I rose  – happily discovering that my bin was filled to the max – which would allow me to move, oh, so close, to Billy. A great mental debate ensued, “To hi or not to hi.”

A passionate fan for well over a decade – I owned a copy of every one of his books and gave a copy of Litany to every recent boyfriend. I’d seen Billy, in-person, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Plus, I had his books in my carry-on. Kismet. I was an A-1, authentic devotee. We both wrote poetry. We both used the word “perfervid” fervently. I had once memorized his poem on memory loss and our writing group did a whole session on his poem “Consolation.

While I gathered courage and feigned nonchalance, a voluptuous redhead in black leather pants and high heel boots, swaggered her way down the aisle

and slipped in next to my Billy Collins.

I watched – pretending not to be staring– as he removed his Big Bose and started conversing with the hussy. I could feel myself bristling and slowly turning into Kathy Bates in Misery. I imagine the people sitting next to me thought I  was acting like a pop-up prairie dog.

Hey! If I’d gotten this close to Billy – what would it take to invoke Michael Chabon? I’d both read the book and shopped on Telegraph Avenue; had seen the movie Wonder Boys, I was cavalier and liked clay. Okay, so that was a stretch.

Dejected and rejected, for the next hour I listened to Lyle Lovett and I buried my head in Sun magazine.

Once (okay, twice) I sat very  tall and looked – they were quaffing and chatting.

There was no consolation.

Well, actually,  I did have that lovely book of poems by my new very favorite poet,  David Whyte… Everything is Waiting for You.

Billy

Are you New to “The Not Married Now” Club?

redwoods528_nHold on!

 Every day there are tons of new members in the Not Married Now Club.

We walk out of the courtroom glazed, delighted, defeated, feeling numb or ecstatic and newly appointed: divorced.

Some of us throw a party – replete with champagne and pizza – or darts and beer.

Others take to their beds, and watch a full season Westworld, Billions, Superstore or Nurse Jackie…Unforgotten or  on HBO or Netflix, barely paying attention.

Some are already enmeshed in a new relationship and seek sex, refuge and understanding.

Whatever your state (grace, confusion, ire, relief) take the proper amount of processing time.

When you are ready, gently remove and discard the shroud around your heart.

It may take awhile. Or not.

Next, shred the mountains of documents and go outside.

 IMG_0346Go Outside:

 Watch the sunrise, take a walk,  join humanity in your new identity as Single: Suddenly Single not married now. Free at last.

Feeling odd and out of sorts or splendid?

 

Take your time to return to a social whirlwind or even  to a small gust of activity.

Even though 50% of us have walked through the valley of divorce, like snowflakes, no two are alike.

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My friend once confided that her neighbor was going to the exact same divorce scenario as I had endured. Really?

She pleaded for me to consult with her neighbor. I reluctantly agreed – we spoke on the phone-indeed, there were a striking number of similarities.

Girls, we aim to please  – it is what we do. (Oprah calls it as the disease to please) I agreed to meet Jaquie for coffee.

She had six months of divorce filings, co-parenting and attorney meetings under her belt. Evidently, I was considered “An Expert Witness” with years worth of E-Ticket divorce-land experience.

Snowflakes

She came to the coffee shop with her boyfriend, Clive, whose picture I had just seen on Match.com.

He stayed just a minute, said he was, “Going to pop out and go shopping.” Yes, he did shop around.

Jaquie and I fell into an easy conversation as similar as we were – we were worlds apart.

She’s been married for 9.75 years and her father-in-law was a multi-millionaire. He had invented Post-it notes or glue 0r something very significant.

She reported she had huge financial resources and that she might go back to school and become a pastry chef. She and Clive had been together for three months and she was quite smitten.                

(I checked later that day, Clive was alive and looking on Match.com) Red flag, sweetheart!

The more we spoke, the quicker the similarities evaporated …our differences expanded like those skinny sponges -simply add water and, bingo. You don’t even recognize the original flat concept.

Keep your divorce to yourself

Good friends may inquire about your divorce.  There is no reason to bore them with the details. So, hire a therapist. Level with your therapist.  Take a spinning class –  do all kinds of catharsis, but don’t bore your friends and family. 

Welcome to The Club

  And know: when you walk into the store, the library, or post office, 50% of the people in line are also divorced… and that group at Starbucks, and that class you are taking? Yep, truth be told:  50%.

Carpe  diem, darlin.

image001And learn the ropes of Internet Dating at the next

“Page Larkin- Get Your Dating Mojo Moving” Workship

page.larkin@gmail.com

 

Is San Francisco friendly? City Slickers or slackers?

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Hey, San Francisco! I say: Play Hard and Work Soft

In my small rural hometown, I noticed most people say ‘Hello,’ and ‘Good morning,’ and ‘Hi’, as they get to work and play in the morning.

Eye contact is involved. People wave and nod to one another. Men and women- alike – hold the door for one another. You hear, “thanks” a lot.    I think there’s more hand-holding in that small town, per capita, than there is in all of San Francisco.

This more convivial behavior is not Amish, Quaker or Mormon. It’s just another mindset. Maybe it’s a throwback to the 50’s. Granted, it  is very Mid-West.

I’m told in San Francisco there’s more emphasis placed on Career Success, than (sit down, drink optional)   Relationship Success.* What’s up with that?

 Why is merely “being friendly” 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. Have we forgotten how to say, “Excuse me?”

We’ve all got a blog, we’re Linkedn and were on Facebook, Matchme.com or Eharmony. We belong to social clubs ~ of some sort… and still it is like two ships passing in the aisle at 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 I’m about to buy the same items? And, I too, will walk out, alone, with my recyclable bag?

Revolving doors?

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

Whether it’s a merry-go-round or teeter-totter – it is a bizarre time to be at the Singles Playground.    

I’ll go out on a limb – unless the ground rules change to involve more social interaction-  like simple  “Hey,” Hello,” Hi,”  and “Good morning,”  

we will all be living single solitary parallel lives – so close – and, yet so far away.

     I say play hard – work soft.

*Article  by Dr Tom Lewis – UCSF

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

Mother Teresa

 

Hipsters, Nudies, Puppy Love questions

Hey, Page Larkin,
My first boyfriend watched Portlandia and turned into a wannabe hipster. He got a new knit cap and grew a scruffy beard. He got into beekeeping, knitting, farming on the rooftop of his apartment building and drove all the way to Berkeley to buy a typewriter. He used to be a jock and a fun guy. I ditched him.

My current boyfriend went a workshop on body awareness in Marin and now walks around in the nude. We have windows – lots and lots of windows. What should I do? He is brainwashed and naked alot.
Portero Window Washer

Dear Window /Widow
You can buy Tarzan a robe, PJ bottoms, boxers or a loincloth. Good luck.
Page

Dear Page,
The man I love doesn’t have the greatest table manners. He is soup slurper….rivulsets of soup run down his chin. I once intimated he might want to do ‘elbows off the table’ and he said his mother and first two wives had failed in instructing him and to give up. What shall I do with the guy who slurps everything?
Emily Post

Dear Emily Post.
Choose your battles. There’s plenty of evidence that people with limited social skills and manners excel at life. Set an example. Weigh out the importance – how much do you love him and how much does he bug you? He does have a sloppy track record.
Page

Dear Page,
I fell head over heels with Peggy before I realized her dog, Fluffy, was her #1 love. The dog gets more attention than a candy dish on Halloween.The dog sleeps with her. He rides in her lap in the car! She will not listen to any of my comments regarding the canine. I am ready to call it quits.
Not Feline It

Dear Not Feline it,
Interestingly, you spent more time complaining about the dog than praising your girlfriend. Obviously, the K9 is a big point of contention. Have a serious conversation with her. Tell her how you feel. Decide whether the dog is a dealbreaker. There you go.
Page

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Send your Love and Relationship Questions to page.larkin@gmail.com

Rivulet
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The Simon Cowell of Dating at 50 – Page Larkin

Me?  The Queen of Mean? Whatever do you mean?

Dear Page Larkin,

I think You are the Simon Cowell of Dating Specialists. Why are you so blunt and cold? I’m almost 50, back into dating and confused by Skype dating, speed dating, friends with benefits and calls for booty. It’s hard out there and the so-called Boom-Boom Generation needs to be coddled and cuddled.

American Idle

Dear American Idle,

Sweetie, let me get you a pillow and a blanket – you have enough whine. You are absolutely right; at first- it is uncomfortable on the Internet dating merry-go-round. But wearing those rose-colored glasses can cause myopia and tunnel vision. While I do try to infuse a sense of optimism – realism is a much better coping mechanism.

T.S. Eliot said, “Humankind cannot bear much reality.” Bottom line: get real, have fun and treat your new social life with a sense of adventure. Next!

Love, Page

Hey Page,

Two weeks ago, I met a man on line. His photos were all taken from a distance. He says he is divorced and 49. I’m 44. After a bunch of e-mails, he said, “Let’s get together for coffee,” but he couldn’t meet me if it was raining.  Huh? Everything seemed normal up until that comment. Who doesn’t go out in the rain?                      Wondering in Washington

Hey Wondering in Washington,

Not a hair-brained question. The song: “Raindrops keep dropping on my Toupee comes to mind. A so-called Fair weather friend ~ from Date #1  may be a waste of time. Next!   Love, Page

Hey, Page,

What’s the best book I can buy to understand what men are thinking. I used to know the dating game – now, I am totally confused.

Beginners Luck in Burlingame

Hey, Beginners Luck,

The bible for a lot of women is the best selling: He’s Just Not That Into You. Another favorite self-help-yourself book, with candid, direct insights into what men are thinking is comedian and radio show host, Steve Harvey’s   Act like a Lady – Think like a Man  See my column about this book.     This should be  required reading for women. Seriously.

Online Dating for Dummies is a great Cliff Notes kind of a quick read.

Finally, good luck and to help decipher all this – read my column, That’s Rude! Online Dating  TipLove, Page

 

 

 The bible for a lot of women is the best selling: He’s Just Not That Into You. Another favorite self-help-yourself book, with candid, direct insights into what men are thinking is comedian and radio show host, Steve Harvey’s   Act like a Lady – Think like a Man  See my column about this book.     This should be  required reading for women. Seriously.

Online Dating for Dummies is a great Cliff Notes kind of a quick read. Finally, good luck and to help decipher all this – read my column, That’s Rude! Online Dating  TipLove, Page

hat and glases1

San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at page.larkin@gmail.com  All reposts permitted with copy written notice and link to original article. All other rights reserved.

Gullibles Travels – a hoax by any other name?

Piltdown man is reputed to be the biggest hoax of the century.

PicMonkey Image-43

However, the famous Kurt Vonnegut MIT commencement speech, Wear Sunscreen, has to be right up there with the Top 10 Internet Hoaxes.

Vonnegut is famous for his writing, especially:  Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of ChampionsBoth were mandatory reading in the ‘70’s for members of the Boom Boom Generation.

Vonnegut, an icon and a hero, supposedly delivered The 1997 speech at MIT.

It was a shopping list of life’s lessons filled with glib advice and pithy pointers on living well and coloring outside the lines:

  • Do one thing every day that scares you.
  • Sing.
  • Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
  • Floss.
  • Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
  • Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
  • Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
  • Stretch.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Unlike many commencement speeches, the clever discourse both resonated and inspired.  Myriad copies of the speech flew around the world via e-mail and  bounced off one country and ricocheted back.

i-like-youicon-great

In reality,  the piece was  written by a well known, highly respected, columnist by the name of Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. For a long while, as the hoax simmered and sparked, Schmich received zero credit for her well constructed, witty, life’s lessons. Another life’s lesson: you can’t believe everything you read.

Caveat Emptor
As you meander through a forest of on line dating profiles, remove your rose colored glasses.

Learn the all important skill of reading between the lines. Remember the funny and fowl line: if it looks and quacks like a duck- he is not a prince in shining armor.

Truth is divine. Dance like no one is watching.


The missing email ruins everything?


You may have been have been “Lost in Space”…and didn’t even know it.

It happens.

In the wide, wonderful, world of online dating  e-mails, every once in awhile that very special pivotal electronic message gets lost in “Ether Space.”

It’s the Netherworld, that 10th Ring of Hell where, just like socks, e-mails go missing.

 What? Me, worry?

And, yes, dear- Online Dating Beginner… it has happened to you. You just didn’t realize it. What you considered to be a rejection or a rebuff,

in reality, may have simply been a “Triple E, an Ether Evaporated E-mail”.

Single in Sausalito, Rusty,  wrote Bernadette  a beautifully crafted, romantic poem of epic proportions in response to her invitation for a weekend in the Wine Country. For two days, she patiently perched near her computer waiting for this response. Nada. Zilch. Zero response.

Bernadette sadly concluded Rusty was ‘Not that into her.’

The longer she ruminated- the more she thought – “Heh! Perhaps he was a bit of cur and  the she concluded: “What a jerk. Next.”

Upon return from the weekend of swimming, wine tasting, tennis, chess, and charades with her friends, she checked her emails. There she finally discovered the most eloquent, poetic, e-mail from Rusty accepting her invitation.  Unfortunately, the long awaited e-mail was lost in the far recesses of Ether Space for several days before surfacing. It happens.

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Erin  tells the story of meeting “The most wonderful man from Santa Fe” while waiting for a plane at Denver International. Due to “weather” and delayed flights, they spent 4 hours chatting, having coffee and being totally mesmerized with one another. They exchanged business cards and e-mail addrsses and reluctantly boarded planes to their respective homes.

She  knew she had met her soul mate. And then, she never heard from him again. She garnered  the courage and sent three  e-mails- in three weeks- and never heard a word back from her “potential soul mate.” Chalking it up to a “C’est la vie” event – she went on. Disappointed.

One year to the month later, she was in line at the MOMA and ‘Santa Fe guy’ walked up -looked at Erin and point blank asked “Why didn’t you respond to my e-mails?”  She asked him the same question.

Lost in Space…She is now Married Erin and living a happily ever after life

There is a new saying, “When in doubt: don’t Rescind the invitation, Resend”.

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“We Need to Talk” the four scariest words known to man


Which four little words strike terror in the hearts of men?

The most virile, robust, brawny man can be instantly reduced to a quaking, quivering puddle of ‘uh-oh’ when he hears the infamous, “We need to talk.”

It’s Pavlovian.

Men hear “We need to talk ” and instantly break out in panic and alarm. Peter in Milpitas  said, “Everyman knows those four words are code for “You are in big trouble, buddy”

There are no visions of sugarplums dancing in guy’s heads.

It’s more like visions of: The Breaking-up Talk; “Weapons of Mass Discussion” and the inevitable “The Top 10 things you did wrong, dude”.

Men have said that hearing “The Four Words” is far more intimidating than hearing these four ~

  • · Pull the vehicle over
  • · Your grades came today
  • · Your boss is calling
  • · Test results are here
  • · We’re going Christmas shopping
  • · The kids found your_____

 Even a towering Tony Soprano type can be reduced to a blithering George Costanza upon hearing you say, “We need to talk”.   

So, ladies: use these Four Words with caution and discretion. All the great lovers in history had issues and peace talks.

Think of Bonnie and Clyde, Ozzie and Harriet, Bill and Hillary, Homer and Marge. Be judicious.

Tis the season to be jolly and… talk amongst yourselves.

The First Date: the coffee date “Hey, look me over”


You’ve seen them at coffee shops, restaurants, and Starbucks. You can tell.

 She walks in, looking around for a complete stranger. She glances at the faces of every male in the room – seriously hoping her first date-guy looks like the photo he posted online.

When the ‘closest facsimile’ waves her over to his table, with a broad smile, she cautiously walks over to join him. She is still walking on thin ice and treading lightly. You notice they both have fake and cautious smiles plastered on their faces, half nervous, half curious.

Sticker Shock

Both are quickly adjusting to the “First-Meeting Sticker Shock.” Their minds are racing like a deck of shuffling cards.

Best-case inner dialogue could be: “Phew. Wow. What a relief! Looks exactly like the photo,” or worst-case scenario, both parties -with frozen smiles and minds racing with thoughts like: “What was I thinking? What a mistake. OMG. How can I get out of this? How long do I have to stay? Check please. Please.”

It’s a Dance…

You have to admire people who take the plunge, who get out there and do the dating dance. Somedays it’s like a waltz – other times it’s the Twist…or a jitterbug- fast and frenetic. When two hearts and minds collide and match – that’s the best.

For every couple grimacing through the awkward stages of meeting somebody for coffee for the first time, there are hundreds of us sitting at home pretending to be satisfied with watching TV with a cat, cruising the free dating sites… and all that other single, solitary, alone stuff.


Bravo to the brave of heart
who wear their hearts on their sleeves and get out there and make the effort to meet somebody new. 

Gold Stars and Gold Medals all around for the brave and the few. It’s a New Day – a New Year Why not put your single, big toe into the Dating Game?

 

Remember: Today is the first day of the rest of your social life. Get out there and have fun.

Cheer Up, Binkie. Get inspired Put these on Post-it notes:

” When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” François de la Rochefoucauld

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

“By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.” – Oscar Wilde

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“If you are single there is always one thing you should take out with you on a Saturday night… your friends.” – Sex in the City

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