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Merry Flirting Christmas – get with the program, Binkie

Flirting is the gentle art of making two people happy- start with sharing a smile.

Start a happy holiday season by flirting now. Here are a handful of romantic role models to emulate:

Before breakfast, Calvin buys two copies of the San Francisco Chronicle. He reads one and offers a second copy to an attractive, single woman in one of the three cafés he frequents each week. He’s famous for this.

Coffee, tea, or me? After a month, three times a week, of handing a double espresso, to her “Favorite Cute Customer with no wedding ring and a ready smile”- Barista Kelly wrote her phone number on the sleeve of “his” coffee cup. Romance is brewing.

photo_1186_20060227ace hearts

Pat M. in Concord is famous for flirting and for the  “I thought you two were sisters,” comment to the mothers of the women he dates. Believe it or not, mothers-of -an-age- love this.

Frank X. buys bags of Hershey Kisses and says he drops one or two off on tables of interesting women at the library, Peet’s or cafes- when he is strolling through. Jeremy – the flirt-  is famous for giving away free kisses and smiles.

Patsy S in the Medford  writes that she looks at man, catches his eye and turns away. She looks back and smiles. She says it works every time.

Oh, la, la  Remember: eye contact is an icebreaker and a romantic catalyst. Go for it.

George, the dapper crossing guard on Geary Boulevard, tells every woman he sees she looks “Lovely this morning, ma’am.” Women actually cross the street just to talk to George. Think about it. That’s so cool.

Henry, the flirting waiter at Rigolo in Laurel Village, greets and kids around with every female customer who comes to the small cafe. He is always ready with a compliment and a smile. Needless to say, he’s a very popular guy.

Lynne R, the tall redhead at the checkout clerk at the Masonic Trader Joe’s, a polyglot, greets customers in their respective homeland lingo. People love this and make a bee-line to her and ‘check’ her out.  To say she is popular – only begins to describe her.

A simple “hello” – a great beginning. Try it.

Love Story at 80

Most mornings you can see Hank and Joanne, holding hands, walking up and down the streets in Presidio Heights. He wears a Cal baseball cap and she wears a red Stanford hat. The two octogenarians talk and laugh and Hank frequently picks up newspapers and tosses them up to neighbor’s front doors. The two exude an affection and attraction that most aspire. Some think it’s good luck to see this darling devoted couple.

Now is the time to throw off “shy and subdued” and get out and flirt.

Love is in the air and everywhere.

Not Just for Christmas

Seek out bouquets of mistletoe, wear some on your lapel, and flirt frequently.

“All women are flirts, but some are restrained by shyness, and others by sense.”     Rochefoucauld


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Happy New YEAR!


You MAE go WEST, young man

The Best: Mae West Quotes

Mae West was witty, ribald, risque and naughty. She was also very smart.

A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.

  • A hard man is good to find.
  • A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that’s subtraction.
  • A man in the house is worth two in the street.

A man’s kiss is his signature.

A woman in love can’t be reasonable – or she probably wouldn’t be in love.

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance,   but with somebody else.

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.

Any time you got nothing to do – and lots of time to do it – come on up.

Any time you’ve got nothing to do and lots of time to do it come on up.

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

Cultivate your curves – they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.

Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else.

Don’t marry a man to reform him – that’s what reform schools are for.

Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t figure out what from.

  • Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.

  • He who hesitates… is a damned fool.

I always say, keep a diary and someday it’ll keep you.

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

I believe that it’s better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.

I didn’t discover curves; I only uncovered them.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.

I like a man who’s good, but not too good – for the good die young, and I hate a dead one.

I like restraint, if it doesn’t go too far.


What’s the eHarmony in trying this dating site?

Been around the ‘Dating Block’ enough times to be an Official Survivor Storyteller?

After years of being married to Mr. or Mrs. Wrong and the ensuing divorce, many of us quickly sign up for Internet dating.

Inspired by those romantic eHarmony ads on TV, we bite.

They say every day 15,000 people fill out the infamous questionnaire.

It can take in excess of 90 minutes to complete the extremely long questionnaire: comprised of 426 seemingly inane questions covering 29 dimensions.

Who knew there was life after the Fifth Dimension?

Finally, you pay hefty $70 for a one month membership. Harmony claims the quality of the service and that “sophisticated matching algorithm” and personality analysis, are so worth it…really?

Good News- Bad News

Shortly thereafter, you receive an analysis of your personality and a description of your “Perfect mate”       Okay. Most of us are seduced by flattery and eHarmony will send quirky pages of prose extolling your virtues. You may be honest, loyal, and steadfast like a Boy Scout. Or Dull and Eclectic, eccentric and exceptionally unusual. To say eHarmony paints with a broad brush only begins to describe the way they analyze your attributes.

Be Prepared: People in the know, claim “EH employees” like “Don in Delhi and Mark in Mumbi are cranking out pretty bizarre Personality Reports – broken English, outlandish claims (i.e. your carry sunshine in a bag; you are walking the streets of Hollywood. What?)

Bottom line? Skip the out-sourced Indian gibberish report.

Everyone wants to see a long list of perfect matches -Prince or Princess Charmings. In the TV ads, couples evidently connected at breakneck speed. There seemed to be a lot of happily- ever- after- going on, right?

Hurry Up and Wait

Then, much to your chagrin, you learn what the term ‘Glacially slow’ means. A glacier moves one tiny fraction of a millimeter of an inch every several thousand days – just like eHarmony. Okay, so my exact glacier mass measurements are fiction — but the fact that eHarmony is slow is pure fact. Be prepared to wait, for a very long time.

Expect singles from The A States ( Arkansas, Alamaba, Arizona, and Alaska) to contact you. It happens.

hollyJust like Christmas Morning

Anne, an eHarmony escapee and one of the Yoga Babes said this about her so-called perfect matches:

“One man lived 95 miles away and was three inches shorter than I am in my stocking feet. Lauren, a cattle rancher near Reno liked chess and NASCAR. Me? Not so much. He was ten years older than I am. Next, Frank of Santa Rosa (doesn’t anybody live in San Francisco?) was a pilot, a triathlete and made his own tofu. Granted, I have a preconceived notion about triathlons and I won’t try an athlete who trains 20 hours a week.

I want a guy who likes to walk on the beach, not swims to Alcatraz; I like taking a leisurely ride through Golden Gate Park; not at breakneck speed.

The final ‘exact match’, or so they claimed, was Roland from Fresno. He liked cigars, port, his Bible and his six greyhounds- dogs, not buses. My allergies kicked in, just reading his profile. We didn’t have a thing in common. So, what I hoped would be like ‘Christmas morning’ was more like three lumps of coal. I quit after one month of disappointment. I’m now on and happier with the results.”

Worth a Try?

One size does not fit all and there are tens of thousands of very happy members on eHarmony. The website is a treasure trove of opportunities. You can order flowers, Fandango tickets, buy insurance, and, yes even  prescription drugs and there are pages and pages of pretty mild dating  advice. Seriously. It may be a perfect fit for your lifestyle and expectations.

You don’t know until you’ve done some research. Have fun on the quest.


What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Vincent van Gogh

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Divorce: a long and winding road….or a rocky road?

Rocky Road…
not just an ice cream flavor…

Remember ~Every divorce is like a snowflake – no two are alike…

 If 50% of us are going to divorce or are in the midst of a divorce or are divorced….
What do you do to get through  the day?

 So, how does a Suddenly Single person in SAN FRANCISCO cope?

  • Attend Church?
  • Attend to exploring all forms of Chocolate?
  • Withdrawing?
  • Scouring the FunCheap for Singles Events?
  • Attending movie matinees?
  • Shopping for a hearty round of Retail Therapy?
  • Investing in and using reams of Kleenex?
  • Quick Shots of Paleo Friendly Patron Tequila?
  • Reading Best Sellers? Or mindlessly reading Danielle Steele?
  • Sitting mindlessly in front of TV wondering, “What the heck am I doing?”
  • Creating elaborate voodoo dolls of Ex and reveling in acupuncture on same.
  • Jogging around and around the Marina or Lake Merced?
  • Attending every CITY ARTS AND LECTURES event?
  • Hanging out at The HaRa or Spruce nursing mojitos? Not what you mint…
  • Cruising the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market buying bushes of basil?
  • Whining At Wine Bars? Yielding at Yield?
  • Booking way too many appointments with your therapist?
  • Attending mass, services, synagogue daily?
  • Do you find yourself pining for”The Twins” on Nob Hill?
  • Are you walking around the Grace Cathedral labyrinth multiple times?
  • Do you find yourself staring at a Thomas Kincaide painting for extended time?
  • Are you glued to CSPAN?
  • Have you tried ALL 31 Flavors?
  • Have you read Divorce for Dummies at the library, a chapter at a time,  – too embarrassed to bring it home?
  • Do you dream of meeting Michael Krasney, Charlie Rose,  Brian Lamb of CSPAN? and consider volunteering at KQED?
  • Have you “suited up” and tried jogging and remembered you hate exercise?
  • Does the Haight now seem charming?
  • Does Union Street all of a sudden seem less appealing – and much less like it was in the good old days? Where are the Henry Africa’s?  Thomas Lords? The Cooperage?

It is sobering to realize those ” kids” you see at the bar at Perry’s –  those kids may be the same age as YOUR kids… and, my dear, they have bumped you off your pedestal…it’s musical chairs and, now,  it’s their turn.

It is time: You simply need to find a new vehicle,  a fresh point of view and understanding of what the dating game looks like now. Pay no attention  to the man  behind the curtain.

Take it from me- the next chapter of your life – ACT II can be much more fulfilling…exciting…rewarding.

All it takes is vision- and stamina – some creativity and a dollop of reality.

Sure, easier said than done.  Push yourself away from the computer, the TV,   at the  fish tank and  Get up.  Put your shoes on. Get out of the house.  Go for a walk…

(That was Step One  – repeat daily)

It’s a Brand New World. Be Brave.san-francisco-733508__180-2

Dating a bombe, a souffle…or a duff? Prefer sweet things?

Date Watchers’ is a local, dynamic, new group with a lot to say. Look out.

They get together once a week at the Champagne Bakery and weigh in on dating.

The women discuss dating decorum and delusions as well as romance rites and wrongs. Lofty subjects include: how many calories in a sweet nothing? Are there twice as many calories in a double entendre? Who pays on the second date? Is it polite to refer a date, who didn’t quite work out-  to a friend? Do you tweet, text or talk?


Talking in Code?

The sumptuous atmosphere of the bakery has inspired a shorthand to describe dating bombes, trifles and the much sought after: angel food. A ‘napoleon’ is someone who is sweet, yet has shortcomings; a ‘sponge cake’, is one who tries to borrow money, a ‘pound cake’ is someone who is dull and heavy. A person who is ‘a soufflé has no substance. Crullers and duffs and fools are not in their sweet dating repertoire.

Required reading this month is Greg Behrendt’s “He’s Just Not That Into You” a hard-hitting, no-nonsense book they regard as their ‘bible’.

As far as Role models, the group subscribes to the sage observations of  Mother Teresa. And, naturally, Mae West.

Mother Teresa said: “If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”

Mae West said: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

Date Watchers appear default to a more ‘West-ern’ philosophy.

All Rise to the Occasion

There are about a dozen women, at any given meeting, and it appears they fall into three distinct categories. Roughly one third of the women have put their big toe into the Internet dating pool.They report they are happy with just a short, sweet introduction.

The others have dived into the deep end of dating: hearts first.  They are the true storytellers. And, boy, do they tell stories!

Thr third faction is made up of true date-watchers… they live vicariously through the stories – of their daring dating sisters.

Next week, four of the women have agreed to do Canon Balls into the deep end of the sparkling dating pool and sign up on

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

They don’t have CCR’s – however, they have a dating code of ethics based on the Golden Rule.

Some of their beliefs are predicated on the philosophy of Socrates and Camus: happiness is fleeting kind of an idea. Meanwhile, the Date Watchers sit amidst glass cases filled with divinity and ambrosia and debate the choice of upside down cake versus wedding cake.

How sweet it is.

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Check out: Women talk about dating, mating, men, shoes…

pumps-15Can we Talk? Oh, yes we can!

Women can reach a level of instant communication in line at Safeway or crossing the street at Union Square.

Needs no Introductions:

For many women – all it takes is four little words, like “I love your shoes.” These four little words from one woman to another can open a fleeting, 60-second, heart-to-heart conversation and then, bam! We’re on to the next totally, sincere, succinct conversation with another total stranger. It’s what we do.

Granted, conversations can be as deep as “Who does your hair?” or, “Your purse is open.”

Or we ask directions. As needed, all day long, we stop strangers for directions. On the Spanish Steps, across from St Peters, on Lombard Street or Rodeo Drive – we talk.

We ask questions, chat, exchange very personal information and we ask for help. (Sara D, lost and driving a rental car in Washington DC, asked a taxi driver to lead her out of our nation’s capital. She didn’t want to waste time on using silly old GPS or MapQuest. She simply paid the cabbie – no fuss no muss. Done!

Our motto is, “When in doubt, ask questions.” It is part of the Female DNA.

Are We Dating the Same Man?

While volunteering at the San Francisco Film Festival, I had a coffee break with Janie. Five minutes into our break, we discovered we had dated the same Lothario. (Note to Men: dozens of single women volunteer at film festivals, Litquake, special events. We talk.)

She said, she said

It turned out, last year we had both been on She started to warn me about Philip-the-millionaire-chef. I told her I, too, had dated “Chef,” for two months before he announced to he was off to Kenya for safari and would be back in awhile. Never heard from him again. No loss, no magic.

After their first five dates, Chef called Janie to say he was going helicopter skiing in Gstadd and would be back in two months. She never heard from him again. Curious, she Googled the guy.

The truth will set you fretting

She discovered the flamboyant, San Francisco native, a true social butterfly, left not-a-trace- despite elaborate stories about his famous family. Not a clue could be found. She spent hours Googling, researching, attempting to track down Chef – he had disappeared into the Ethernet.

The Chef disappeared – until he didn’t and he was back on

Janie, of too-much-time-on-her-hands, unlimited funds and insatiable curiosity, actually hired a private detective to find “Chef.” She was stunned to learn “Chef “was a Tenderloin tenant, not a Nob Hill resident; more of a transient than a chef extraordinaire and he was a weaver of web lies.

I had moved on and was in a delightful romance with a ‘Tango Dancer, English Major, Plein Air Painter’ from Albany who earned his keep ghostwriting biographies for jilted politician’s wives. He was making a killing.

Janie felt it was her duty to warn other women about “Chef, the weaver of lies.” It’s what we do.

Women talk. And the world is a better place for it.feminism-295245__180 Tal, talk ltalk___180

Finale? Roger gets a dating coach – truth flies out the window

photo_9876_20090327His neighbor and new buddy, Tim, agreed to take a look at Roger’s profile and “Cool it up a bit.”

Tim (36, divorced after a “practice marriage,” was an Emeryville condo rat and Pixar savant) offered to be Roger’s “Dating coach.” His advice: “Throw caution to the wind and lie about everything.”

 A rose by any other name…

Roger thought his name would be a huge attraction- all of his heroes were named Roger: Roger Maris, Roger Daltrey, Roger Ebert, and Roger Moore…However, he was getting as much attention from young, hot, sexy women as Mr. Rogers.

Tim suggested Roger come off more like a rogue or a rascal. He knew for a fact, women prefer “bad boys. Roger- a babe magnet and a Playboy? It could happen…

As he read Roger’s” Online Bio” Tim’s reaction was “Whoa, my friend, this stuff has got a true ‘Dead cat bounce.’ No wonder you’re not going anywhere with the ladies.”

Tim’s mantra was, “If it first you don’t succeed: lie, lie, lie.

The guys went out for a couple of beers at the Missouri Lounge –Roger cringed- a seedy bar and rough-and-tumble guys lined up at the bar– he should have suggested Trader Vic’s. In no time, his coach came up with “Roger’s Rules of Dating”

  1. Choose “Spiritual not religious.” Despite the fact that Roger had taught Sunday school for 10 years – Tim said “Ix-nay on the bible stuff.”
  2. No walks on the beach allowed. Even though Roger had a strong affinity for walking on the beaches of Hawaii, Tahiti, Lake Tahoe- Tim advised him it was way too cliché.
  3. Reading material? Go Cliff Notes. The Dating Coach Advice: Go to the New York Times bestseller list and pick a book- any book-and list under “Last Book Read.” Bonus: the bestseller, “Gone Girl” had just been made into a movie – Roger didn’t even have to read the book!
  4. Must Love San Francisco Giants: Erase and delete any affinity for the Oakland A’s. It is mandatory that you are a San Francisco Giants fan.
  5. Tell them what they want to hear: Tim had watched his own mother (67) as she explored online dating. His last “tip” was: “You’re playing to an audience. Women your age avoid any couch potato who admits to like watching sports on TV, (including tennis, golf, football, baseball, basketball) all their ex-husbands did that and they generally loathe and detest TV sports. They would rather go for a run, see a movie, work out, take a class, and teach a class or read a book. Roger was advised: Those are all “the new things” you like to do, too.

“I am single, hip, cool – hear me roar”

 Roger updated, enhanced and improved his profile. No more “Walks on the beach” for this Romantic Rascal with a penchant for the San Francisco Giants and, his new favorite book, “Gone Girl.”

Refining his results – He studied his new assortment of “mutual matches”, and “reverse matches. ” He did a few keyword searches. He was cooking with fire. Look out!


Roger’s Next Three Fortune Cookies Read:

  •  Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha
  •  It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. Mark Twain
  •  Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.” Shel Silverstein



No L-o-v-e? Facebook says Christmas is break up time

Tis the season to be jolly  HOWEVER, According to Facebook, it’s the War of the Roses time and breaking up is de rigueur.

Research done by the elves at Facebook reveals that Christmastime can be called ‘Merry EX-miss.’

Single and Afraid of Another Silent Night?

Finding yourself suddenly single can make the Christmas holiday a totally new, sometimes unsettling experience. These can be the times that try men’s and women’s souls, stamina, and spirit. 

Business Insider reveals that David McCandless did the due diligence on ‘Yuletide dating and breaking up’ by examining trends on Facebook. Research indicates breaking up at the holiday season is a so-called tradition.

Blue Christmas, indeed. And, you don’t even want to know about Mondays.  Is there really such a thing as Empirical evidence from Facebook? Who says if it’s from Facebook, it’s got to be true?

If your December dilemma

Once you were  half-of-a-couple, now you find yourself flying solo – what do you do? Get off the couch, push away from the computer and go out and play. Wear red. Listen to Christmas carols. Invest in mistletoe and wear a sprig on your lapel or on your hat.  

Scour the San Francisco Chronicle for events, read Marin’s Pacific Sun  for fun events; read Johnny Fun Cheap.

 Say ‘yes’ to every invitation to go out; go dancing; see the beautiful decorations on Union Square; master the art of making latkes; learn the words to ‘Mele Kalikimaka‘; throw a Christmas party – at home, with friends, in a small café or a pub.

Got Dates?

A passel of people (see movie Love Actually) who find themselves in the dreaded  ‘kiss-free mistletoe zone’  actively seek out sweethearts for the season. These pro-active romantics re-up on, Craigslist, Eharmony, or Plenty of Fish.

Follow suit: they smile and say, “Merry Christmas” to everyone – especially at Trader Joe’s, Bryan’s, Safeway and default to jolly and bright.

Some say ‘lose the Santa hat’ and lead with a hearty “Merry Christmas.”

(Don’t waste one minute debating the PC-ness of wishing everybody a “MC”)

And, don’t let a Facebook statistic get in the way of having a holly-jolly holiday.

Your mother was right: Go outside and play!

San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin,welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at

I need a date, Coach!


It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy…

 Matt, 47, lives in San Francisco, was married for 20 yrs – now divorced – is new to the dating whirl. Although he is divorced for almost a year, he is still in that quasi-reclusive stage. Some say all that time dealing with judges and lawyers took the joie de vivre and the starch out of him.

Friends have  encouraged him to “get out there and date.”  They have regaled him with dating success stories and yet, he is hesitant to go beyond a second date.

Serendipity happens when you least expect it

Matt recently attended a Medical Equipment  sales conference at the downtown Hilton.  He said the  hotel was teeming with conventioneers.  On the first day he noticed dozens of women, and a handful of men,  flocking to a particular ballroom near his meeting room. He said there were  a ton of pink balloons and multiple  giant vases with red roses at the entrance to the room where all the women seemed to be heading.

Impulsively, he joined  a “swarm” of fast talking, fast moving women, and entered the lively room with them. He deftly removed his  name tag and folded his suit jacket over his arm and sat down.

He said the attractive woman next to him started chatting him up -not realizing she was sitting next to the King of Small Talk.  In no time  he realized the hot pink signs reading “WRD/LCC” was for the:

Western Region Dating / Life Coach Convention.

His first impulse was to dash – an obvious impostor, he might be discovered. He paused. Why Not? Matt sat back, relaxed and waited.

Matt is  an interesting guy – he  enjoyed great success in his career, is a total Mid West -Never Met a Stranger- kind of a guy.

His 20 year marriage evaporated when his wife ran away with the pool boy – actually, it was with the guy who owned the Tri-State Pool Installation mega corporation.

As the opening statements continued, Matt became the totally intrigued interloper. He tells of  being fascinated by what he learned from the panel 0f Dating Coaches ( i.e. be open, talk to strangers, dating is a numbers game- get off the couch and into life – start now.)

It took one morning

Within two hours – a crash course: Matt was launched  into the: I can do this –  dating stratosphere. He stayed for the morning presentations and was dazzled by the flood of information about on-line dating.

He noticed the room was filled with happy, smiling faces. He was one of them. 

Let the Flirting Begin.


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