Suddenly Single… Minded

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Archive for the tag “first dates”

Do Nice Guys Finish First?

The Game of Love – Keeping Score

hipster-358479__180Everyone knows a so-called nerd.

He is your brother, cousin, uncle, neighbor, or best friend. Generally, he is very smart and perhaps lacking social graces (i.e. the Old Joke: When they were giving out personality traits in Heaven St Peter said, “Who wants a good Personality?” All the nerds heard “Who wants Periodontal disease?” and all said, “Not me!”)

My pal, George is the nicest nerd you ever met:  he is smart off the charts, very patient and kind. He is an inventor – he loves gizmos and gadgets and spread sheets. And, he has always been pretty  shy around girls.

He says he tried Online Dating once: he met one women. She wasnt his “style.”

Undaunted, he did some analysis. It appeared his taller, Lacrosse playing, tall, blonde, slim friends got more action than he did. In no time, he created four different profiles on Match, two on OKCupid and one on Plenty of Fish.

It didn’t take a genius (although he is one) to determine what captured a woman’s attention.George will tell you he went from being a short, scientist to a being a taller, more interesting, creative writer, overnight.Bam!

OK Cupid has a blog that explains the most popular buzzwords for men to attract female attention. Plenty of Fish also offers free advice on attention-getting devices.

Research over Drinks

While quaffing a beer at Perry’s, his old pal, Biff  (prepped at Exeter/Yale) told George what to look for in a woman.

Biff generously provided his Perfect Woman /Top Five /Must Have List

 Must Have:

  1. A healthy and fit body which delights
  2. She must be financially solvent.
  3. Must be emotionally warm, generous, and accessible
  4. She must come from a happy home life, with parents who were happy and loved her.
  5. She must love children; and will meet the challenges of parenting with empathy, humor, and wisdom

Now, George knew braggadacio Biff didn’t have a fraction of the things on his My Ideal Woman List…Biff was twice divorced, his parents were lushes who vacationed separately; each had flings and trysts and affairs all their married lives. Biff didn’t have a real job and the trust fund was dwindling.

George went back to drawing board- every day -and tweaked, improved, and enhanced the truth.

In a short while, George (aka Rodney, Ted, Billy) actively tested the dating waters.  And slowly and clearly he discovered what women want. In time, he tossed his façade profiles – research completed.

George was on Match for one month before he met Megan.Their first phone call lasted 40 minutes – smart guy (“Leave them wanting more”) and he begged off.

Their first date lasted four hours and they have been exclusive ever since.


“The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions.” Nietzsche



Dating 101: Are all the good ones are taken?


He says, All the good ones are taken.

Steve went to brunch at a friend’s home on Sunday. He knew he was being ”fixed up” yet, again. All of his married friends wanted him to be “As happy as they were.”

For years, he had observed the happy couples -the snipes, the snips, the eye-rolling and wondered just how happy they actually were.

Then again, who was he to wonder? He had been on six different dating sites the last eight years, and was still “Just looking.”

Truth be told, hundreds of dates later, he concluded, it was a jungle out there. More often than not, he fell in love. And it was rarely reciprocated. Women that this age and stage (50/60) were tough. Either they had a “My Man Must Have List,” or they were “Just The Sex, Please,” one-night-stand-women.

He tried Tinder and met a beautiful redhead, his age, height, and education who just wanted someone “To hold her once a week,” that’s all. Next!

This time, his “fix up” was Veronique. She was short, perky, with a head of curly, gray hair and a perpetually surprised expression. Having been around the block a few times, he knew Veronique was 60, if a day, and she had some work done. No one look surprised all the time.

Nevertheless, she was lively and interesting. She been to Thailand (Red flag-he had seen 60 Minutes about Thailand being the plastic surgery capital.)

When she spoke passionately about “the twins,” he assumed she was talking about her kids. No. She had two Siamese cats, that were highly intelligent and she knew they spoke to her in Cat Language.

That was it.

Steve did his Perfect Guest Act, he helped clear the table, helped the hostess with dessert routine, and, then  “Oh, my! Look at the time.” He had to go and pick up a friend at the airport. Floods of apologies.

He had this exit down to a science. Hasta la vista, baby.

Steve swore he would never get fixed up again.Until it happened again…



Waking up Suddenly Single at 47? It happens


Jimmy Jack was married- then divorced – and woke up single at 47 years old.

He had lived with his parents, college roommates, his wife and bam! All of a sudden he was relegated to a “Man Cave by IKEA.’”

At first, he was pumped. He was thrilled to have a “Room of his own” with cool Budweiser mirrors. He bought a 45” 4K Ultra HD TV.  He started drinking out of Mason jars. To decorate, he bought framed, black and white posters of Ann Margaret and Ursula Andress and red Maserati’s. He placed them strategically around his cave. He was now feeling very cool. Hip.

He told his buddies it was fun living alone; he could fill his freezer with ice cream and vodka and TV Dinners. Ta da!

He walked around shirtless, in old sweatpants, seven nights a week and no one criticized him or critiqued his au courant fashion statement.


Three months later, the novelty evaporated and he was bored and lonely. He buried himself at work and avoided going home to his lonely cave each night. He had no purpose.


His sister flew in for a day to check on him. She was in shock at her big brother’s new place. She had assumed he would replicate the family home- never in 100 years did she imagine he was revert to his high school persona. She guided him into a new wardrobe. The sweat pants disappeared.

Flash forward

It took a year, some therapy, and Jimmy Jack slowly got his act together. His sister encouraged him to try online dating. She helped him get up and running on two sites. Turns out he was pretty good at first dates. Second dates were tricky – requiring more thought and candor.board-39864__180

Jimmy Jack dated 12 women before he met Rose. And she was different.

Ironically, they both attended the local university, and had taken the same Introduction to Engineering class, decades earlier. They vaguely knew one another – from afar.

Their first date he suggested going to North Beach. They walked and talked all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and took a cab to Sausalito. After dinner, they took the last ferry back to San Francisco and kissed one another good night after a 10-hour day of mutual admiration.


They saw each other the next day and, again, fell into easy rapport and camaraderie. Their lunch date turned into walking for hours and dinner at Le Soliel on Clement Street and time spent wandering around Green Apple Books. At 9 pm, he took her home; they made plans for dinner and a movie later that week.

Jimmy Jack – Rose preferred to call him ‘Jim,” was over the moon and it was obvious Rose was smitten. And so it begins…


Kismet, serendipity, fate – call it what you will. Romance happens. First you have to show up and get in the game. Are you willing to give it a try?


Contact me

And we can talk about being Suddenly Single and Dating in 2016



Such a thing as a Perfect First Date? Yeah, baby.

lUUnN7VGSoWZ3noefeH7_Baker Beach-12

What does a Perfect Date look like?

Here’s a report from Janice of Diamond Heights: San Francisco-Clement Street-Late afternoon

They agreed to meet at the Spruce Goose on Clement Street. He arrived a few minutes early to score a table, and stood when she approached the table. He said, “Janice? Your photograph doesn’t do you justice. I’m William. ” They shake hands. Warmly. (She blushes and thinks, “Big points.”)

After they were seated and settled, he turns off his cell phone with flourish and says with a smile, “I’m all yours.” Next, he says, “May I get you coffee, tea, something? Would you share a chocolate chip cookie with me? I think they’re the best in the City.” She is impressed and happy.

Over Coffee

In conversation, he asked her where she grew up, where she went to school, and various polite questions about her job and family. He listened to her answers. (Huge points – and, she had pretty much stopped counting.)

After 30 minutes of easy conversation, he said, “I’m really enjoying myself. You are unique and lovely. I want to spend time with you. Do you have time for a walk, and/or would you like to get together again?”

At this point, she reports she was so dazzled by William, she didn’t want the date to end. However, she had a meeting with a new client and suggested they meet at Crissy Field  for a walk – later that week.

The Second Date 

Janice reports she and William met for The Second Date; they walked, talked and laughed- for four hours- kissed and have been “an item” for two years.

That’s what one Perfect First Date (and Second Date) looks like.

Note: The Yoga Babes and The lively Date Watchers think William is a Shooting Star in

the Dating Stratosphere.decoration-21871__180

A letter to Page Larkin: Air Kisses – a waste of air?

553Dear Page,

Help! I am failing at dating.

Stewart was the perfect gentleman. He brought me flowers, held the door open for me; he stood up when I returned to the table at a restaurant. We had six dates: dinners, movies, and lunches. At the end of each date, we merely brushed one another’s cheek, the proverbial air kiss, and that was it.

You wanna know the truth? I am used to a goodnight kiss and have been known to do more than “kiss air” after six dates. Not Stewart. Ciao, baby!  I’m half Italian and my family is famous for bear hugs, pinching cheeks, and kissing every person we see a second time. My Aunt Caroline kissed grocery store clerks, the gardener, the mailman, but, hey, that’s a different story.

I Do: Kiss and Tell

My three best girl friends live vicariously through my dating exploits. Some days, I think they are keeping a scorecard. Maria is the first to call the day after a date and opens with, “Well?”  She is as subtle as she is incisive. And each time I reply, “Air kiss.” She is incredulous that any man could resist my come hither-ness.

 Through the years, she has heard most of my dating success stories and is my biggest fan. A dedicated friend, she assumes that any man who doesn’t kiss me on the lips must be gay. Maria is very black-and-white kind of thinker.

Next, Donna e-mails me after each date and always wants the “Scoops du jour.” She is a total foodie and first wants the 4-1-1 on where we dined and what we ate and drank. Naturally, she then inquires about dessert…which is not code for panne cotta – but, she wants details: like what happened after dinner: hugs, holding hands, any action?

Last to contact me is my quirky cousin, Carmella, who has been 39 for the last 10 years. Cynical only begins to describe her.  She thinks that any man who never married and still single after 50 is “damaged goods” and she won’t even grace them with the time of day. A classic Italian Princess, she is a ‘piece of work’ and we tolerate her, mostly. The bumper sticker on her ancient BMW reads: “Behind every great man stands a woman rolling her eyes.”

Girls: The Peninsula

Recently, we had a “Cosmopolitans and Come to Jesus Meeting.” We get together once a month to eat, drink, and be merry. No hidden agendas/no agenda. We “tawk” which is to say, we tell all.

Encouraged by My Girls, I’ve tried speed dating, which slowed me down to a screeching halt. I’ve tried EHarmony with their cute commercials and their glacially slow process of finding a date – it’s more like finding a pen pal. Hey, who needs a pen pal?

Once I went on and found it’s crawling with men and women who will never match or be millionaires…it should be called

Page, last night, My Girls  had an epiphany. We all love your blog, and we want to invite you to be our guest speaker – if you can get a word in edgewise. RSVP!

Noreen in Burlingame

Dear Noreen in Burlingame,                                                                                                                              You are on! Can’t wait to talk you and the Girls. We will get your dating Mojo Moving and have fun doing it! Cheers,

Page Larkin


Dating 101: pay attention to those Red Flags

Snow covered road closed sign

 See the Stop Signs and the big red flags -waving in the wind?  Pay attention to ‘The Clues”

Henry and Crystal met online. She sent a quick note saying how entertaining she found his profile. He wrote back a very complimentary note- citing a couple of things the two had in common- and suggested she call him or send an e-mail.

Crystal was attracted to him because of his interest in jazz and Cuban music, his travels, his love of poetry, and they both liked to the same movies.

He was a recent widow, which gave her pause. She knew no one gets over the death of a spouse in a year.  He might be fragile and maybe not ready for dating. She decided to talk to him on the phone and check him out.

The phone call– easy and comfortable and lasted a half an hour. He seemed pleased to hear from her – and she wondered if he knew exactly which woman she was. His was gracious and easy to talk to. Up front, he mentioned his wife’s death and some illnesses he had experienced. He asked her if she’d like to go to lunch.

Coffee Date

Crystal decided a noncommittal coffee date would be better start. They agreed to meet two days later at the coffee shop downtown.

Henry’s picture online was vibrant and happy. The man who came to the coffee shop was a little hunched over and had a slight limp. He had sparkling blue eyes, was a little shy and polite.

After very the routine, small talk he asked her about her health. Really? She said she’d twisted her ankle on the hike a week ago, it was finally better. How was he? He then lapsed into a lengthy recap of recent maladies. The list was long. Boringly long. Buzz kill long. (red flag)

In the course of the conversation, he shared he had a bit of a mood disorder- he was sometimes depressed. (red flag) Little miss sunshine, Crystal asked if he tried any prescriptions to rectify the problem. He had tried one, it didn’t work and so he had given up. (red flag)Exit Sign

It didn’t take long for Crystal realized this was a dead end.

Her wise mother had once warned her about men who were looking for one of two things: a nurse or purse.  Initially, Crystal had scoffed the idea. And, that day she embraced it. She knew the energy level she was attracted to…and,this was not it.

She graciously thanked Henry for meeting her, and wished him all the luck in the world in finding “a perfect match.”


TIP: Ask more questions on that initial phone call.


A warning sign for the public







How to: the first date – call the whole thing off?


The First Date: Dreamy or a Nightmare?

You arrive – butterflies in tow- excited and curious to meet Danville Don Juan. The two of you have emailed a few times and spoke on the phone. You both heartily agree texting is for sissies and a dead end form of initial communication.

There is consensus to meet in a clean, well-lighted place. Starbucks lacks imagination and serves a purpose.

Are we there yet?

He suggests going to Happy Hour at the Saloon. You suggest coffee at Cafe Trieste. He nixes that and offers to buy your ticket to the Tom Cruise blockbuster replete with robots, guns, and stupendous special effects. You suggest walking in Golden Gate Park – end up at the Cliff House. Nah, truth be told, he is not much of a walker, how about a drink?

dead-end-777__180You begin to see the multitude of huge red flags flapping – danger, darling, dead end ahead. He likes happy hour, you prefer coffee houses – you like the great outdoors
And he isn’t that great – outdoors. You have less in common than you thought.

Cut bait and call it off:

Now is the time to say, “It looks like we are not a match. It was nice meeting you, good luck and good bye.”

Lesson learned: Calm down, ask lots of questions on those first few phone calls to see if you really have anything in common.

Simply living in the same town is not enough. Dead end first dates are a waste – on so many levels – avoid at all costs.



Are you brave enough for a first date?

photo_856_20060117two coffeeYou’ve seen them at the Boulange, Peet’s and Starbucks. You can tell:  A First Date.

She walks in, looking around for a complete stranger. She glances at the face 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.

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! They look 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!”

alarm clockAt worst, you wasted 30 minutes…try, try, again.

Next time: ask more questions; exchange a couple more emails; talk on the phone. Spend some time talking before you commit to meeting for a first date.

To Text or Not to Text: Yes, skip texting – speak to the person before actually meeting. There is no obligation to meet anyone. Anytime. You are in charge.

It’s a Dance

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

Are you Writing Profiles-  in Courage?

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, surfing the web 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 Medals all around for the brave and the few. It’s a brave new world?

Why not put your single big toe into the Dating Game?

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

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


Hey! Get Your Now is the Time: Dating Mojo Moving: Contact me:

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