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Archive for the tag “quitting dating”

Have Time for a Two-Hour Quickie in the Marina?

I’ve had a love affair with the Marina since the late 1970’s.

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I’ve always loved the darling shops; the wide variety of pubs and unique bars and great restaurants. The Palace of Fine Arts is, undoubtedly, one of  The City’s  finest treasures…. Chestnut Street is bustling and dynamic. You have to love the  Mediterranean style architecture – dazzling; Fort Mason and the two  Yacht Clubs are lively and busy.

Single women – we move to the City and like a magnetic pull, end up in the Marina. I love the Marina.


Sadly, the Marina doesn’t love me. Or my friends. Or you. It’s a one-sided love affair.


To paraphrase the Bard,  ‘The rejection comes not in single soldiers, but in battalions of two hour-only parking signs lining the streets.’  There are veritable forests of two-hour parking meters and towering signs are as far as the eye can see.

Friday, I fed an insatiable parking meter handfuls of quarters.  As the cold, silver, machine gobbled the money, it registered little of anything. Twenty-five cents buys you five minutes of time.  Time is money was never truer.

And you can forget Dinner and a Movie... Unless fast food and a dash to feed the meter during the movie are on your Bucket ListJohnny Rocket,  home of Quicksilver hamburger service, will meet your two-hour time restraint. Been there? Done that?

I love the Marina. I hate the two-hour parking meters that inhale quarters like a Hoover.

Bridge and Tunnelers, take note: San Francisco parking tickets are now $64.00.

A small army of Meter Men and Maids troll the streets like trigger-happy cowboys poised to shoot a parking ticket your way.

Need A Lift ?Bring a credit card, a roll of quarters, set your timer, and your running shoes, if you plan to spend any time and money in the Marina.  Or, seriously, take  Lyft. 

Bon Chance.

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Party boy quits the SF Party Scene

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The San Francisco Bon Bon vivant

Ron, 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, Ron’s picture would be there.

Divorced for well over 12 years he was on the party circuit.  He was the party circuit. Jealously his friends dubbed him ‘Scout.’   In jest, women called him Casanova, in a semi good-humored kind of way.  Remember, there’s an ounce of truth to all jest. At one time in his life, he was hot to trot now, the only thing haute he was after was cuisine.

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

He did something none of his friends had done before.

He gave up the chase.

He reconciled to be a bachelor for the rest of his life.

He had a plethora of female friends. There were women he went to movies with – women he hiked with, other women he went to shows and dinner with…there wasn’t one Single woman he was drawn to anymore.

Everyone knew about his best friend, Pearl – his Black Lab.

Ron had waxed rhapsodic about the perfect relationship he and Pearl enjoyed. She was the perfect companion. 

And then,  Ron met met Sally.

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To Be Continued…

Are you divorced, but not dead? Dating again at 50


solo_benchTricia had not been on a date in 24 years.

She met her now-former husband in college-married – no kids.

Twenty years flew by before he decided the younger, blonder, BMW sales gal was more his style. Bam! Tricia woke up divorced -after being confounded by the nefarious San Francisco judge, Marjorie Slabach. That’s another nightmare.

When he moved out, he took the best of everything: the best art, the best wine, the best sheets (Frette) towels, silver (Georg Jensen.) Thinking, “He’ll be back,” Tricia was compliant, numb and pretty much brain dead – for a time.

Dazed and stricken dumb, (anger had not reared her ugly little head, yet) Tricia cocooned and watched a lot of Netflix. She saw all of Madmen, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Wallender/Swedish version, Luther, and The Wire.

Then, for some reason, she was drawn to “Say, Yes to the Dress.” She wanted Randy, the star of the show – slightly sarcastic, enormously calm, the wedding dress ‘Divo,’ to be her new best friend. When she shared this last bit with her therapist, Dr Q – he strongly urged her to turn off the TV, get out of the house, and return the calls to her friends – it was time.

Friends and family had been calling, showing up and having mini- interventions, to no avail. Eventually, Tricia went back to book club, started hiking with her pals Linda and Julie, and was slowly getting back to her old self. Her patient and loyal clients re-surfaced and she eased back to work full-time.

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Beginners Luck? On the second anniversary of her divorce, Tricia was up and running on Match.com. Months before, in a pique of boredom, she had taken a look at Craigslist singles, OKCupid, and Plenty of Fish. She picked up the rope and decided to join the fun. Slowly. Edward, (San Mateo, 59, medical researcher, newly single) had been on Match.com for less than 30 minutes before Tricia sent him a quick note. He was flattered and intrigued – and wrote back. After a spate of e-mails- they spoke on the phone. For an hour. They spoke again, that night – for 90-minutes. It turns out they had mutual friends in Los Angeles, had much in common and the rest is history. They have been “an item” ever since. It happens.

It could happen to you.

Reality check No glass slippers, no magic apples or mirrors and smoke. It takes a little verve, a little nerve and a desire to “meet someone.” So you kiss a frog, get over it.

Now is the time – get social – be social – and have fun out here. Try a 7-Day Free Trial on the dating site that resonates with you. Good luck and have fun out there.

image001Drop me a line….page.larkin@gmail.com

Tell me your anonymous story….

What would Dear Abby say? Go out and play.

Back away from the mouse.

That was the clever way my therapist told me Iimages2 wasted too much time pursuing and perusing men on the Internet.

She said the two hours I spent every day scouring on-line dating sites could be better spent.  And if I removed all the karmic energy I was wasting on not loving myself first, the right man would follow.

So, I did it.

I felt like a reformed alcoholic emptying bottles of booze, one after another, as I clicked away and quit the three Internet dating sites I had subscribed to for six months.

Goodbye to Ivy.com guaranteed to meet a fellow Ivy Leaguer. My ill fated claim to fame- I didn’t meet one man from Penn State, but did meet one from the state pen.    I said ov vey, good-bye and mazel tov to my stable of dead-end flirtations at JDate, the Jewish dating service.

Finally, I disassociated myself with my very favorite site: datesRus.com

I’d met Paul, Rick, Ron, Mike 1 and Mike 2 and Clive on datesRus. It had been a veritable gold mine for first dates and first kisses. However, after the first six dates – it was generally a dead end. I’d gotten really good at first dates. I’d honed the necessary skills to appear fascinated and have developed great eye contact. My friends tease me that I’ve perfected the affected Nancy Reagan stare.

I’ll  admit I’ve become a little cynical.

What is this manic experience?  I call it Dating World. It’s a lot like a theme-park ride- a place you choose to go, a virtual roller coaster~ with a spiritual decline? However, I believe the highs generally outweigh the lows… the volley of flirty e-mails, the phone calls, coffee dates – I called it dessert.

My opinionated and very negative therapist calls the experience the desert.

Why?

Mainly because after six dates they deserted.

Actually, not always on the 6th date- but, around or about.  Why?  Is this the norm? That’s what I wanted to know.

So I organized a convivial focus group of eight women – all around the same age (perpetually 39). In keeping with a theme:  Sex in the City – for Girls Over 50

I served pretty pink Cosmopolitans. I’m sure Mark Twain has a great quote about opinions ~ all I know is, give a Single woman in San Francisco two Cosmos and you had better be ready to take notes – there was a tsunami of thoughts and beliefs about being suddenly single in SF.

Merry said On line dating is “the buffet of life”…People  push their trays down the dating buffet line and randomly pick and choose each other. Sometimes too much dessert (sweet- yet, empty).  Sometimes too much ‘fowl’..

Lynn chimed in with she thought people in San Francisco appreciate a Career more than a relationship.

That was fodder for an uproar of conversation.

Lynn continued to say in Suddenly Single world – where tiny cable cars climb halfway to the stars – that there is such an emphasis placed on what do you do not who you are.

(This coming from a woman who attended Hastings  while working as a CPA)

In true form we covered myriad topics.

What we did agree upon was that, above all, what are important are your passions, your loves, what makes you smile and light up.

We  all need to define who we are – what we like.  The two words bandied about were fun and passion.

I love dessert – loathe buffets- I like to have fun – and certainly am not merely defined by my career- but who I choose to spend time with…

Love,

Suddenly Single in San Francisco

 

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I can’t quit you – oh, yes I can

photo_11785_20090615peacockHe was charming, but not a Prince.

He borrowed the dog, the car, and the book. He wore a fake Rolex and carried a broken Mont Blanc pen. The only thing that belonged to him was the toupee.

Charles must’ve been a prop master in the theater in another lifetime. He had accumulated enough stuff to have it appear that he was successful. He heartily acted the part and began to believe it himself.

His neighbor agreed to allow him to walk her “chick bait” chocolate Labrador retriever, Bella. Around 11 AM each day, Charles strolls down Union Street with Bella- the world’s friendliest dog.

Although he is not a prolific reader, he knows enough about cause and effect and to always carry a New York Times bestseller with him. The library book (never read, always carried) is strategically placed, on the table, bar, or counter for all to see- next to his iPhone and his Mont Blanc pen. His Rolex in full view.

Prey For Success

The sky blue cashmere sweater tied around his shoulders – appearing rakish – perfectly planned, as well as the deferred maintenance look of old money: tasseled loafers with no socks. On the foggiest days he has a Burberry raincoat – two sizes too small- over his arm. He does ‘forget’ his wallet – on occasion. His meager pension and Social Security coupled with the money he gets for writing fake Yelp reviews covers his tight budget. He often jokes that he forgot his wallet and  “depended on the kindness of strangers.”

The con man with je ne se quois

The self-elected mayor of Union Street, he goes ‘out to dinner’ out five nights a week. Somewhere in his dating career he had set a goal of having three dates a week. At one time, he rotated between Perry’s, Brazenhead and the Blue Light.  When money got very tight, he developed a penchant for any Happy Hour and grazing at the free hors’d oeuvres trough.

By mistake, I went out with the very charming Charles three times and gradually put the pieces of the faux puzzle together.

Easy way out, I told Charlie I was going to quit the dating scene and he actually said, “You can’t quit me!” and I smiled, and walked away.

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Top 10 tips on getting along with single men

Spelling Game tiles spell out Help MeDo Suddenly Single women really need a  

“Getting Along with Guys Guidebook?” Absolutely!

Fact: Most Dating, Mating, How-to-flirting rulebooks are written by women.

Finally,  Mr. Anon, a Manly Man,  has taken the time to create “Top 10 Tips: Getting Along with Men:  the Manly Man Point of View.”

The original manuscript, written in pencil on a piece of binder paper had few real scholarly pretensions. Through time, various readers felt compelled to enhance and embellish the edicts. Now we know: what men are really thinking.

The Top Ten Rules for Getting Along with Guys:

1. ESPN not ESP: Men are not mind readers. We are rugged, brawny, handsome and handy – we just don’t have the ESP gene – spell it out, sweetheart.

2. Sunday Sports are of the highest importance. They’re like the full moon, the stars and the sky – our True North. It’s not the day to drag us to mall and make us hold your suitcase-sized purse as you try on 15 pair of identical black slacks. We crave Sunday Sports – be a sport – and just hand us the remote control.

3. Don’t Mall Me: Shopping is not a sport. No amount of cajoling, kidding, or kissing is going to make us think of it that way.

4. Ask for what you want: Let us be clear on this one: subtle hints do not work. Strong, loud, hints don’t work. Call us primitive– it is obvious your soft, whimsical and cute little hints are not effective. Do us both a favor, and clearly state what you want.

5. Final Answer: ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. We are succinct…especially during TV commercials.

6. Talk to the Girls: Come to us with a problem only if you really want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy, gossip, chatting – are what your wonderful girlfriends are for, right?

7. Memories: Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and Void after seven days.

8. Weighty Issues: If you think you’re fat, you might be – or you are looking for a compliment… and reassurance…first check a mirror, and then come to us…and, never on a Sunday.

9. Lost in Translation: If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we really meant the other one. Honest.

10. Commercial Value: Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during the TV commercials. Big points for you!

And, for the record: About us Following our Bliss?  Look, Christopher Columbus didn’t ask for directions and pride prevents us from breaking the mold. Work with us—that’s why God invented maps and GPS.

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San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at Page.Larkin@gmail.com. Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column — click the Subscribe button.

Girls tell all about their online dates

image0It’s a fact: girls talk a lot.

Women share, converse, chat, dialogue, exchange… Especially women, 50+ who have started dating again. Their single friends want to know what online dating is really like.  Single friends who are also dabbling in online dating want to compare notes.  And so it goes.

A certain character in Marin County- 58, lives with his 3 cats in room he rents in Corte Madera thought he was so clever when he Photo-shopped his head on the body of a buff 30-year-old. Oh, yeah,  he got a lot of attention.

Consistently, women were quite taken aback by his true Ichabod Crane self. He wondered why his first dates were so brief. Note to clever guy: The truth will set you free.

We share dating stories – at the drop of a hat.

Yes, we discuss the good, the bad and the boring, the great and really good.

It is not uncommon for two women -meeting for the first time- to divulge pretty relevant secrets about their dating forays.  Partially, we are excited by the adventure and we feel compelled to warn a sister about a certain clod, Casanova or cretin.  It is what we do.

Sharon and Sally both Match.com dabblers and Sausalito singles, 50-ish, found they both, at one time or another, dated the same three men.  Who says Marin is a small dating pool?

Both women are tall, blond and interesting well-traveled and obviously attracted similar men.

The take away? Women, extend your boundaries beyond the comfort zone of your hometown. Cross a bridge! Be it Golden or San Rafael or Oakland. Try new avenues.

11695761_1027617460584183_145854481130328541_nDead End Dates

Men are more reserved about discussing whom they date. Take Charlie. Please.

Charlie was like a kid in a candy store after his divorce and signed up for Plenty of Fish and Match.com and ‘dated’ as frequently as possible.  His married friends were green with envy- envisioning their  pal with a different bombshell each night. Va, va, boom! Not quite.

The Married  Guys  didn’t understand ol’ Charlie was ill prepared to date again -he was rusty and  was oblivious to the fact that women in 2013 were nothing like the girls he knew in 1983.

After his record-breaking 34 dead end first-dates, we met to talk about what wasn’t working for Charlie.  He is brash, a little off-color, and a lousy listener- who showed up wearing sweatpants and an Aloha shirt. We had a ‘come to Jesus ‘meeting.  He listened.

Pygmalion of sorts…

Charlie was a quick learner;  he was also very  willing to move forward to 2013. He was open to deleting his dated wardrobe. Most important: he was willing to work on his listening skills.  The Big Lesson: he understood that women liked to be asked questions.

With a little coaching he agreed to cleaning up  his obnoxious vocabulary and erase all the off color jokes.

Practice, practice, practice  and a whole lot of coaching- and  Charles has morphed into a much nicer guy.

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Kick start your dating profile today

Pink20140127-2Get Smart! Get off the couch and into the dating game

Fact: an online dating profile with the same old photo, same old write up and dated favorites is dead in the water.

If you want to appear attractive and interesting – add some spark and sparkle to your profile.

Tom, divorced for 15 years, a single father of teenager, has been on Match.com for five years.

He rarely, if ever, looks at the dating website and is thrilled if anybody ever contacts him. A busy executive – virtually chained to his desk, Tom claims he doesn’t have time to “troll” for a date. Really? Five years – a passive dater – and he wonders why no one ever contacts him:  old photo, old headline. Yawn.

Recently, he and his son from returned from a camping trip and he updated his profile and posted new photos of himself. Bingo!  Three women sent him e-mails and he was back in the game- his interest high. Yes, girls, it is a good idea to reach out and connect with guys. (Think: Sadie Hawkins)

Page Larkin’s Mandatory: You Must Do This – To 3 Tips

1. Change your picture – every month or two. Have a friend take your photo at an event or new venue.

2. Get  Updated –  If you have the same opening line,  “I was born at an early age,” “Wow, this is really awkward,” “I’m a love machine looking for my perfect match is that you, honey bun?” Change it. Every 1-2 months, come up with a new and interesting snippet. Skip any and all honey bun  references.

3.  Don’t Get Stale– If you’ve been hanging around the water cooler at any dating site for over a year and striking out, take a break.  It’ll be good for your soul, self-esteem, your brain and your body. Push away from the computer and go outside and play.

New Tactic: It’s time to comb your hair, brush your teeth, and put on great-looking outfit and go sit in a café. Walk around the park, the yacht harbor, the dog park, Crissy Field  the Polo Field, – look at people and smile. Yep, that is part of the deal.

Do you have a really bad  “The Worst First Date?” nightmare or fiasco? Tell me about it.

Page.Larkin@gmail.com-

Ladies Beware: The Great Pretender on Union Street

photo_11785_20090615peacockA flashy, fancy,  fake: caveat emptor

He borrowed the dog, the car, and the book. He wore a fake Rolex and carried a broken Mont Blanc pen. The only thing that belonged to him was the toupee.

Mel must’ve been a prop master in the theater in another lifetime. He had accumulated enough stuff to have it appear that he was successful. He heartily acted the part and began to believe it himself.

His neighbor agreed to allow him to walk her “chick bait” chocolate Labrador Retriever, Bella. Around 11 AM each day, Mel strolls down Union Street with Bella- the world’s friendliest dog.

Although he is not a prolific reader, he knows enough about cause and effect and to always carry a New York Times bestseller with him. The library book (never read, always carried) is strategically placed, on the table, bar, or counter for all to see- next to his i-Phone and his Mont Blanc pen. His Rolex in full view.

Prey For Success

The sky blue cashmere sweater tied around his shoulders – appearing rakish – perfectly planned, as well as the deferred maintenance look of old money: tasseled loafers with no socks. On the foggiest days he has a Burberry raincoat – two sizes too small- over his arm. He does ‘forget’ his wallet – on occasion. His meager pension and Social Security coupled with the money he gets for writing fake Yelp reviews covers his tight budget. He often jokes that he forgot his wallet and  “depended on the kindness of strangers.”

The con man with je ne se quois

The self-elected mayor of Union Street, he goes ‘out to dinner’ out five nights a week. Somewhere in his dating career he had set a goal of having three dates a week. At one time, he rotated between Perry’s, Brazenhead and the Blue Light.  When money got very tight, he developed a penchant for any Happy Hour and grazing at the free hors’d oeuvres trough.

Ramona was the most recent innocent victim. She swooned when she saw the 1967 Jaguar XKE. She didn’t know his friend Ray, parked his car at Mel’s house whenever he traveled. Initially, she fell for the whole package. What’s not to like about a friendly guy with a Jaguar and a smiling chocolate Lab?

Mel was seated outside at  Roses Café a chick magnet if there ever was one- the bestseller book on the tabletop, Bella at his feet. Women, inevitably, lean down to pet the beautiful dog.

 Chat, chat, flirt, flirt turns into “Join me for coffee” with a little bit of notice my book, my Mont Blanc pen, my iPhone. (Not my very expensive toupee.)

 Ramona was a hook, line and sinker smitten until she started asking questions and looking closer. It took  one coffee date and a long walk to penetrate the veneer of this very well rehearsed charlatan. She dodged a hoax.

 Take away lesson – if it looks too good to be true – start asking the tough questions. Yes, it is polite – and very smart-to ask questions.

 

Asking few well-placed questions, “How do you like the book?” What’s it about?” Is she your dog? How long have you had the car? Are you the original owner? Where do you work? For how long?…”

Open up a real dialogue and the truth shall set you free.

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Dating Games people play – Risk or Trivial Pursuit?

Spelling Game tiles spell out Help MeLooking for love in all the wrong sites…

Mike, 48, newly divorced, and Nancy, 40-something, met on his first day on Match.com.   His dating profile was posted for less than one hour before she contacted him.  Intrigued by her write up and photos, he replied, they spoke on the phone, met for a drink that night and were inseparable for 18 months. It happens.

Sorry

Then Mike decided to break up with Nancy. She wanted the ring, the white dress, the white picket fence and a new puppy for their new married lifestyle. She had extravagant ideas about redecorating his home, landscaping, and painting each room a special shade of moss green. They agreed her petite condo in the Marina was claustrophobic so, incrementally, she had moved half her wardrobe, her bike, blender, espresso-maker and drawers of cosmetics to his house.

He wasn’t 100% sure that he and Nancy were meant to be “lifers.”  Their long weekends and the mini-vacations to Aspen, Santa Fe, and New Orleans had met all of his needs. In time, he pulled away – travelling more for work and thinking seriously about “getting single again.”

Twister

After the inevitable, dramatic, breakup, he decided to try EHarmony. He soon met a number of women who shared his passion for the San Francisco opera, the symphony, jazz clubs and sushi.

At one point, he created a spreadsheet to keep track of the six women he was seeing.  He had a habit of going to the same three restaurants (Absinthe, La Folie and Perbacco) with all of this dates and decided it might be wise to expand his boundaries.

Trivial Pursuit

 He’d seen the movie, Blue Jasmine twice, had been to the new jazz club six times, and to the opera and symphony and decided to keep clean and concise Dating Records.   Two of the women he was seeing, Annie and Bonita, seemed to be “multi-daters” like him.  They both alluded to the fact they have been dating quite a bit since their respective divorces. Did they have spread sheets? Never mind, he did and it really helped keeping names and addresses straight.

Helene from Sausalito, flirtatious and bold, admitted to him that, post-divorce, her first stop was to 450 Sutter Street to a renowned plastic surgeon for  “the works.” Mike was too much of a gentleman to ask what she had done. However, he did notice there were no old photographs of her anywhere in her condo. After two month and many dates, Helene gracefully told him she just wanted to be “friends” and she cut him loose.

Another woman, Connie the broker from St Francis Wood stood him up on their date at Gary Danko. No text, no email, no call. No thanks.

Twixt

After eight months of serial dating and wooing, Mike grew tired of the chase.

He decided to call Nancy and see if she was willing to meet – perhaps pick up where they left off – with certain stipulations and caveats (no wedding bells to be included in the deal.)

Nancy answered on the first ring and gushed the exciting news that she was getting married in two weeks and then honeymooning in Bali with the love of her life, Charles. She wished him luck and good-bye and quickly returned to her wedding cake testing.

CLUE

The phone call with Nancy lasted less than two minutes and it took hours for him to process the news – her upcoming marriage – his loss – what had gone wrong – what were her issues? Did he have any issues? Certainly not –he was a perfect date, a perfect gentleman, and a successful businessman with top-drawer credentials. His first marriage lasted five years – it was most certainly her fault. She was demanding.

Mike decided he might try a new path and sign up for Chemistry.com  They claimed “their matches were carefully selected to have the potential to ignite some real chemistry in your life. Chemistry! His favorite game growing up…

Why not give it a try?

Games lubricate the body and the mind.       Benjamin Franklin

 

Do you have a really bad  “The Worst First Date?” nightmare or fiasco? Tell me about it.

Page.Larkin@gmail.com-

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