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dating

Wanna date a celebrity? Apparently, you might be able to do so now – without going through the process of becoming famous yourself and somehow getting into their social circle – via Fox’s upcoming show The Choice, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Similar to the NBC hit The Voice, contestants will be interviewed by the celebrity panelists for their date-worthiness, physical appearance at first unknown. Contestants will describe themselves to the panel before revealing their appearance, and then the quest for a date continues with additional questions from the celebs and the celebs potentially squaring off to win the date.

We’ll see if beauty really IS just skin deep! That is, until the reveal – and then, well, it’s every pretty face for itself.

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Do you play pranks on April Fool’s Day? (Or, do you get unwittingly tricked by someone every year, like I tend to be?)

Speaking of being really foolish…I can never let this ‘holiday’ go by without thinking back to one of the, um, strangest relationships I was ever in. (That’s putting it nicely.) Let’s just say that the guy was someone I could not have been MORE incompatible with, even in a non-serious dating sense.  Were I to meet him today, I doubt he’d even make it into the “acquaintances” category.

It’s not just that there were red flags waving all over from the day I met him–he WAS one big, gigantic red flag! If you’re familiar with Neil Strauss’s The Game, suffice it to say that the book was this guy’s bible, but NOT in a good way. I really should have known better! And when did I meet this guy? April 1st. It was like the universe screaming (and me not listening, obviously): “HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S TO YOU, PAM! The joke is on you, big time!” And indeed it was.

At least I can say that it was one of my earliest relationships. Still, every April Fool’s Day, I cringe. We all do really silly, stupid, FOOLISH things in the search for love, don’t we?

I hope you all had a great first weekend of April! Did you meet someone on the 1st? Might wanna be extra careful with that one! 😉

Have you ever wondered what kind of first impression you give? And, are you good and quick at reading others right away? I mean, you know the old saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, blah blah blah. We all grew up with that somewhat depressing adage, more as it relates to landing a job than anything else, but obviously it applies to dating, too.

According to a survey by Match.com, more than half of all singles can tell within 15 MINUTES if a date isn’t going well.

Yikes. That’s fast. You know what I’m thinking within the first 15 minutes of meeting someone new?

Hmm, this is a nice place. (Or not.)

What am I ordering? I’m STARVING!

Should I go with appetizers and a meal? Or just one big meal? I’m hungry. (Did I mention I like eating?)

Am I asking enough questions?

Wow, whatever he ordered sounded good. Hmm…should I change my order?

Was that a pop culture reference? Crap, it sounds familiar. Do I pretend I got it or ask what that meant?

Now, granted I’ve mentioned before that I suck at conventional dating…the meet-today, date-tomorrow type of thing. So, if I only get 15 minutes, I’d better work on my first approach. (Or, my non-approach?)

Obviously everyone is looking for different things, not just in a potential mate but also the type of relationship they’re seeking at any given time. But with over 50% of singles saying they can tell where the date is headed within just a quarter of an hour (which isn’t even enough time for the appetizers to come out!), it begs the question: what does 15 minutes really tell you? Is that really all it takes? Maybe I should stop focusing so much on the food…

I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently Wednesday and Thursday are the perfect days to set your weekend plans, whether making reservations, confirming a date, etc. And that makes total sense–I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had all these great ideas for the weekend that never happened because I failed to turn them into concrete plans. I’m trying to be more proactive these days. So, what are YOU planning??

There are some great things happening in or near the Hampton Roads area–and all of them would make really awesome dates, if you’re searching for ideas!

  • Busch Gardens! The Williamsburg theme park is kicking off its 36th season this Saturday!And who doesn’t love a theme park?  This is definitely on my list of upcoming to-do’s. I haven’t been since 2002. I’m really interested to see if the 9 years will have made me terrified to go on roller coasters–I used to LOVE them!
  • Picasso is in Richmond till May 15th. Go pay him a visit! That is, his art. You know what I mean. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond is the only stop on the East Coast (and one of only THREE in the U.S.!) for the worldwide tour of the exhibit “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris”. Apparently ticket sales have been breaking records in Richmond for this rare chance to see the nearly 200 pieces of artwork. Trust me, I don’t plan on missing it!
  • Visit a local farmer’s market. The 5 Points Community Farm Market always has tons of seasonal produce for all your fresh-food desires. Plus, this Sunday is the deadline if you’re interested in subscribing to their Community Supported Agriculture program to get fresh produce every week.
  • Catch a show. There are tons of musicals and theatrical productions playing right now – great if you’re looking for something indoorsy and classy!

I know it’s only Thursday, but it sure feels like Friday to me.  Reason enough to plan my Saturday/Sunday. Happy almost weekend!!

P.S. It’s SPRING! Can I just say how happy I am to see this warmer weather after our dreary/unpredictable winter?! Even if you decide to totally be lazy, at least be lazy OUTDOORS!

Forget about whether or not giving your girlfriends or guy friends the scoop on your latest relationship or date is actually helpful. I’m still undecided if that’s ever a good idea, because let’s face it–many married folks can’t remember what it’s like to be single, and single people are, well, SINGLE. So we won’t delve into going to friends for actually useful advice-getting.

Nope, I’m just curious about how much people divulge to their friends and family–leave nothing out or totally withhold (or a safe in-between)? Are your friends in the loop on the down and dirty of what’s going on in your love life? How much detail are you comfortable giving, and when does it cross the line? I read a book recently (see my post from yesterday) that I’m guessing is a pretty accurate account of what goes on a lot between friends when it comes to their romantic relationships and how they figure things out (or just vent). But frankly, I doubt I’d EVER forward a girlfriend an email I got from a guy, asking her to give me her take on it. It’s not just the inanity of girls-interpreting-guys either–it’s too personal a thing for me! (And maybe not so nice to the guy.)

So, how much detail do you give, and how much do you prefer to hear? I like to think I’m in the less-is-more camp when I’m on the listening side, but I’m the first to admit that when it comes down to it, I’ll never turn down some juicy gossip!

Do you ever take a step back and think about how far you’ve come in your dealings with the opposite sex and relationships since, say, high school? Heck, since college even? Er, since the last year? You should! You might be surprised.

Right now I’m in the middle of a very painful and the-end-is-nowhere-in-sight project: cleaning out my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. There’s so much crap that I don’t know what to do with it! I’ve been selling stuff on Amazon for the last month like crazy. (The people at the post office recognize me now.) Still, I feel like I’ve barely made a dent. What stays, what goes?

In the process, I stumbled upon about two dozen journals that unabashedly chronicle (with the obvious angst and embarrassing detail) my journey from age 11 to 22. Middle school to college grad. Only a few will I keep, but before I shred (burn, destroy, ANNIHILATE) the ones that are just too loathsomely silly to make the cut, I’ve taken the time to peruse them. I’m glad I did. Because even though I’ve had to readjust myself from the perpetual cringe I found myself in, I’ve determined that there are definitely some gems of lessons I’ve learned since I was that self-conscious adolescent:

1. You Really CAN’T Hurry Love
Diana Ross, and then Phil Collins, were spot on.  I spent my high school and college years trying to start things that were never meant to be. I over-romanticized what was in front of me so I wasn’t looking at reality correctly. I rushed because–what? At 16, 19, 22, I thought I knew what love was? And I might as well pin down “The One” as soon as possible? Love comes on its own timing. And you know what? Getting to know someone, and taking things at a painstakingly slow pace really eliminates all that getting carried away with idealized fantasies thing.

2. Having the Last Word is Highly Overrated!
You do have to choose your battles. And if you’re gonna be any good at healthy relationships, you always need to look for the high road. Besides, the one who gets the last word is usually the one who gets eaten up inside waiting for a comeback…

3. Love Isn’t a System You Can “Hack” Into
A strong, lasting relationship is hard work. There will be plenty of non-communication, miscommunication, and totally wrong timing. You just have to deal with it. No matter how many relationship books I read or compatibility quizzes I fill out, I know now that you can’t take those things too seriously. Love is not a game you can win by reading some tricks and tips. You get better at it as you become a more real, authentic individual. Men and women might be quite different, but you eventually have to stop relying on the public wisdom and move beyond male/female stereotypes. Learn to read the other individual. (This goes for everyone in your life, not just romantic partners). Don’t rely on generalizations and never underestimate your gut!

4. Boys Will Be Boys
OK, so I just said not to generalize, but until I meet any guy who doesn’t fit this bill, here goes. A guy will try to get away with whatever you let him get away with. Sometimes he’s being a jerk, and sometimes he’s testing you to see how you take it. It might be intentional, or it might be just for fun. Learn to tell the difference and put your foot down (nicely) in either case–it will help you separate the bad ones from the keepers.

5. _____ Isn’t Everything
Looks, money, religious views, political alliance, whatever. One thing shouldn’t break an otherwise really awesome deal. You really have to be willing to be broad-minded and dig a little deeper. Chemistry, knowing how to manage whatever amount is on your paycheck, how he treats and speaks of others, whether he knows how to go vote–those things are much stronger indicators of romancibility and compatibility.

6. The Biggest Time Wasters? Asking Questions When You Already Know What Answers You Want AND Worrying About Things Out of Your Control
Never ask anyone for “brutal honesty”. They, especially guys, will give it to you.  The rule of thumb: unless it’s a facts-only question, anything with potential responses that you’ve already categorized as “acceptable” or “best answer” in your mind is a NO GO.
And as for worrying, well, if you can limit that to things you can reasonably put on a to-do list and NOT on the what-ifs, you’ll do yourself a huge favor.

It might not be pleasant, but your past can really be an eye opener. I think I’m finally getting into that more comfortable, wizened stage of knowing who I am and what I want. The who and the when and the how might still be grey and hazy, but that’s OK. One thing at a time!

Do you keep an eye on a certain someone’s relationship status on Facebook? Well, a new app cuts out the time consuming aspect (while upping the obsessiveness ante a bit perhaps?). Yep, a 24-year-old guy named Dan Loewenherz invented the Breakup Notifier app for Facebook a few weeks ago. The gist of the app is this: you select the Facebook friend whose love life you’ve been, er, regularly checking and instead of having to click on their profiles constantly, voilà! Now you get an email alert when their status changes.

Creepy, right?! Since the Breakup Notifier launch (and in response to a temporary block on the app by Facebook due to negative feedback), Loewenherz created the “Crush Notifier” app, which allows users to select Facebook friends they have a crush on. If the guy or girl becomes single, they’re alerted that one of their friends has a crush on them, and if they in turn ‘select’ one of these someones as their own crush, both parties will get be alerted with the other’s identify. Romantic, huh?

Both apps now cost a few dollars for use, so at least there’s a barrier present to keep the REALLY creepy ones away. Right? Or maybe just the super cheap or lazy ones.

Just an FYI, my dear readers! No judgment, and what a great story to tell the kids someday!

Would you sign up for one of these apps? Does it strike you as cute or just creepy?