Is it wrong to ask for Christmas ideas?

This time last year, I was entering my dating moratorium for the Holidays. If I’m single, my vow is to not start a new relationship between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It makes for awkward moments. Like what do you do on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, do you spend it together or will someone get upset if you don’t spend it together? Do you get them a Christmas gift? Is it OK not to get them a Christmas gift? What on earth do you get them for Christmas? And the same goes for my most dreaded holiday – Valentine’s Day.

But since it has been a year since Olive and I first started talking, and almost a year that we’ve been officially dating, I’m in a similar yet completely different predicament.

I’ve been trying to tell you women readers, and any women I talk to about dating, that men are really simple and not that hard to figure out. We like to keep things simple. Problems need solutions. Emotions only cloud things up. Regular sex and attention will keep a man happy and faithful. Simple stuff like that.

So when it comes time for Christmas, men are very simple. If you need an idea for a Christmas gift for someone, ask them. So that’s what I did. I asked Olive for some ideas for Christmas. She gave me this puzzled look, like I asked her her weight or if it was ‘that time of the month.’

She said she shouldn’t have to tell me what she would like, that I should “know” what she would like. That’s all fine and good, and under normal circumstances, that’s how I would operate. But I already tried that. I went over all the possibilities in my head and struck out. Nothing seemed to fit or work. So, Plan B is to just ask. In my opinion, I would much rather get a good gift, with some help, than guess and get it totally wrong. But, that might just be me.

Then she asked me to name some of her favorite things, and I nailed them. She’s a health and fitness nut, she’s addicted to Netflix, and she loves horses. She agreed that I pretty much hit the top 3. But there’s nothing in my price range this year that would work in the health & fitness department this year (and I’m not getting her a gift card to the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC). She’s already got the Netflix thing covered (obviously) and she doesn’t want anything horse related because she tries to avoid being associated as a cowgirl. So … I just had to ask.

It wasn’t until she talked to her coworkers that she finally came around to the idea. The guys at her work echoed what I had already said. They ask their wives and girlfriends because it’s better to ask and get it right then not ask and get it wrong. She she finally acquiesced and gave me some ideas.

By some, I mean two. Way to keep the element of surprise alive. It was pretty much the same scent products from either The Body Shop or Bath & Body Works. Real original. I really like gifts to be something special and meaningful. Maybe it will really mean something to her and she will love using it every day. Or maybe I shouldn’t have asked.

What are your thoughts? Not just on asking for ideas, but giving gifts in a rather new relationship.

‘Til next time … Have a great weekend and stay warm!

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Another Dating First: Running into a past date

Hello all! I know my posts have been rare lately, but I promise things will pick up a bit more. Not because I’m expecting a lot of action or anything, because things with Olive are going very well. I’ll just be updating you on all sorts of things going on with me, Olive and everything else. But on with the show …

Saturday night, Olive and I were out on one of our rare “adult-only” dates. Her son was spending the night at a friend’s house and mine was out of town visiting his mother. We went to a Japanese steakhouse we’ve been wanting to go to for a while. We sat down around the hibachi with the other people waiting for the “dinner show” to start. While waiting, Olive noticed that directly on the other side of the table from us was someone she went to high school with. This is a lot more common than you’d think. She runs into people she knows all over the place. The guy was with his wife and kids and they never actually said anything to each other.

After our drinks arrived (sake and beers) and they took our order, Olive departed to the restroom. As I watched her walk away, I noticed someone I thought looked very familiar sitting at the table. After I did a double-take, I notice it was Constance and her kids sitting right next me. Actually, her daughter was sitting right next to me and Constance was next to her.

I don’t know if she recognized me, but neither one of us said anything to the other. It was just odd, because it has been like a year since I dated her and this is the first time I have run into any of the other girls I have dated here.

As you have probably noticed, I just posted the update of when Constance and I first dated. That’s because I’ve had it written and sitting in the draft folder for a while and since I wanted to share this story, I figured I’d better post it to give you all a little background on her.

I hope you’re all staying warm (preferably with someone special).

Come back again, and see me sometime.

Constance: Started so well, then POOF it was over (Rewind)

This Rewind post will be more of a relationship synopsis instead of just a date review.

Constance, as the C name would suggest, is the third attempt at dating this year as I start this single-dad dating thing.

Clearly, since we went out, things on Match worked out well enough for us to see each other in person. So we set up a date a local Mongolian barbecue place that I love. When she showed up, she looked pretty much as advertised in her profile pictures, except she was wearing glasses, but that was nothing to dwell on. She was real tall for girls that I date, she was 5’10” without shoes, so with shoes she was really close to my height (6’2″). But she was dressed very very casual, wearing jeans, tennis shoes and the female equivalent of a t-shirt. It wasn’t as bad as Hermione, but still, I was dressed well for the occasion.

The date went really well, conversation was good, we shared some good stories and then went to a bar for some drinks after dinner. She told me about the time she went on a date with a guy from Match who looked nothing like his profile picture, and when she asked him about it he said “you wouldn’t have gone out with me if you knew what I really looked like.” Duh, but falsifying yourself is so much better, right? After that date he went in for the kiss and she dodged the bullet, but then he asked for a ride home because someone dropped him off for the date. She said no and went to her car. Waiting to see what the guy did before she tried to leave, she noticed him cross the parking lot and get into a car and drive off. Creepy!!

Anyways .. moving on. Things went really well and we saw each other a few more times. There really seemed to be a strong connection developing.

Then it all fell apart in (literally) an instant.

I was hanging out at her house after she made me dinner and we were sitting around the kitchen table drinking beers and chatting. That’s when I mentioned – in passing as part of the conversation – that early on after my divorce when I wasn’t seeing anyone I would let me ex-wife stay at the house when she was in town visiting our son. She slept in his room every time and nothing ever happened between us. I was, and still am, NOT attracted to her anymore. She is such an ugly person inside that it doesn’t matter to me what she looks like, I’ll never be able to sleep with her again. Too much baggage and drama with her.

That’s when Constance flipped. She literally snapped. She got all upset and went on about if that was her ex, she wouldn’t be able to resist sleeping with him and that it wasn’t ok for her to be staying there. Keep in mind this all happened long before I met Constance, and there was no chance she would be staying at my house anytime soon. I kept trying to assure her that if she didn’t like it, it wouldn’t happen if we were still dating the next time my ex-wife came into town. That didn’t matter.

The “argument” spilled over into the next day over text messages. I repeatedly tried to make her see that it happened long before her and I knew each other and wouldn’t happen if we were still together the next time she was in town. She kept on going on about how I was obviously choosing my ex-wife over her. What?? How is that? How is something I did months previous, and NOT actively doing, translated into me choosing my ex over her? I said I would totally understand, that if my ex came into town and I let her stay at my house while Constance and I were still dating, her getting all mad at me for that . That would be understandable.

I kept trying to make her realize that she was making a big deal about something that wasn’t real, something that hasn’t actually happened, hoping she would see she was overreacting and let it go. But after about 20 minutes of texting all of this back and forth, she finally said “Don’t ever text me again!”

OK. Done. And I haven’t heard from since.

Things started off so well and then, BAM, she flipped and it was over. It was the strangest “relationship” I’ve had in a long while.

Sorry this update isn’t as detailed as the others. But it has been so long since this all took place, I didn’t want to bog down the story. If I wanted to grade the first date, like I’ve been doing, I would’ve given it an A-/B+, but after things ended it would totally skew my opinion of the whole thing.

Back to your regular programming, citizens.

Olive Update: So much for being on a break

So much for being on a break, huh?

I can’t believe it has been more than a month since my last post on Christmas Eve. I apologize for that, but things have been 50 shades of busy and crazy. The Spring semester of college has started (only one more semester left after this), I’ve started looking for a job to get me through the Summer, my son and I are getting ready for baseball season, and things with Olive have been going very well.

I guess that’s what I should probably update you all on, since that’s pretty much the only reason you read this.

This update won’t be as much of a date night play-by-play as the others, but more of a encapsulated overview. And I’ll try to make it short and sweet since a lot has happened since my last post.

Olive and I met literally on New Year’s Day, after more than a month of emailing and talking. The Holidays really got in the way of us finding time to meet. My Match subscription ended at the end of December, and as I stated previously, I was done dating for a while and was going to take a break.

Maybe I should have quit and given up sooner, because once I did, Olive entered the picture and totally blew me away. She had to in order for me to forego my Holiday Hiatus.

She’s a sweet, blonde, country girl with a rock-hard body because she is crazy into fitness and works out every day. She may look small but she’s all muscle which makes her surprisingly heavier than you’d expect. She has a son about the same age as my little guy, and they get along famously. Yes, at this point, we’ve met each others’ kids and they’ve met each other.

Things started off real slow and easy, due in part to scheduling issues, but once we started seeing each other, it became more and more regular and with greater frequency. At this point, she’s over every Wednesday when her son is spending time with his father, and pretty much all weekend whether she has her son or not.

Things were going so well with her, I was more cautious trying not to mess things up. It took several visits together before we actually kissed and then much longer before we actually slept together. Then again, my schedule with my son probably played a big part in that because I don’t have a lot of free nights with him around and we’re not having “adult sleepovers” with him in the house.

For the first time since starting this dating journey, I’m actually willing to call someone my girlfriend and start to make plans for things more than just a week or two out. Like my son is very excited to go to her parent’s farm where all of her horses are, which we are putting on hold until the weather gets better. Freezing temps and snow don’t make horseback riding very enjoyable. We’ve also signed up for some running road races together. So, that’s a good sign she’s willing to do that and I’m not freaking out about it.

And yes, we have plans for next weekend, but NOT on Valentine’s Day – per se. We might be together, but not making any plans or going out. Go figure, the one holiday I was most trying to avoid with a new girlfriend, and here I am, caught in the trap.

This weekend I’ll post the update about the conversation with my ex-wife when I told her about Olive. Just reinforces why I’m glad I’m not with her anymore.

I hope you’re all staying warm and not buried in too much snow.

Til later!

Christmas Eve ramblings and updates

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Since I’m sitting at my parent’s house (totally bored) alone with my sons are with their mothers this year, I figured I’d catch you all up on how things are going.

I told you I pretty much put dating on hold over the Holidays, so … of course, what happens? Yep, multiple interests come seeking me out. Never fails.

I seriously contemplate just forgetting about actively dating because when I ignore the “dating game” prospects just come to me (somehow).

I’ve had two serious prospects over the last week or so. Both contacted me on Match and I’ve been talking with both since. Naomi, is a petite, 40-something CPA, mother of 3; and Olive is my age, a classic country girl with a son about the same age as my youngest son.

Things with Naomi were a little too aggressive and moved a bit too fast. We’d been taking for about a week when I took my son to his mom’s. She was very aggressive in saying how much she was thinking about me and talking about plans and stuff already. This is all before we’ve even met yet. So on my way back from dropping my son off, she called and we talked almost the entire 4-hour trip back. Then she basically invited herself over to meet me at my house when I got home (about 1 a.m.).

We both had to work the next day, but I figured “what the hell, why not?” She met me near my house and followed me home. Honestly, once we got to my place, I figured we’d chat for a while and she’d go home. I was wrong. I grabbed us both some water in the kitchen when she came in and grabbed me and started making out with me. She dragged me to the couch for some more making out, then suggested we go upstairs to the bedroom.

Ok. This was moving a bot way too fast for something that would have any chance of being a serious relationship. But I’m a guy, it’s not like I’m gonna really say NO and stop things. My chances at this are too far and few between.

After a vigorous round of bedroom aerobics, she stayed and cuddled til we both fell asleep. She stayed until about 5 a.m., when she got up to leave and get ready for work. All the next day she texted and called repeatedly. Over the next few days, the conversations trailed because she was becoming too clingy and we hadn’t even really gone a date yet. I was getting highly annoyed, and just couldn’t take it much more. So I told her I wasn’t sure things were working out, maybe we should slow it down a bit and see what happens. It’s been a few days and I haven’t heard from her since.

I haven’t met Olive yet, in person, but we talk every day. She’s very sweet and we have so much in common and our little boys seem almost identical. So far, if there’s a problem of any kind, it’s that our schedules have been seriously conflicting so we haven’t been able it meet yet. It’s not a serious issue since we’ve only been trying for about a week to find a time. But she had her son when I was free and now that he’s visiting his father’s, I’m visiting my family out of town.

But as I’ve been writing this, Olive has been texting me the whole time because she’s bored bad wants me to keep her company.

I am a little paranoid about dragging this out about another week or so, because the last time this happened, coincidentally over the Christmas break, the girl I was into moved on (back to her ex-husband) before I really even had a chance.

But I guess, as they say, “things happen for a reason.” Maybe this one will work out better than that one.

I’m going to sign off for now. “It’s A Wonderful Life” and a 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” are on.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all, and thanks again for reading.

Holiday Season means I’m on a Break

ImageIt’s the season for giving, family, friends and loved ones. Not new girlfriends.

Once the Holiday season rolls around, if I am not already involved with a woman, I shut things down for a while, kind of like a cab driver who turns off the “In Service” light to prevent new riders from hailing his cab.

Yes, it is great to share the holidays with that someone special, but it is totally awkward when it is with someone new. You have to worry about gifts, holiday plans, and so much more.

The Holidays are the worst time to have a new flame, because you have too many questions that need to be answered:

– Have we been dating long enough to get her a gift? Or should I just get her one anyway, even though she might not get me one?

– How much do I spend? I don’t want to spend too much or get something like a ring that makes me look desperate or like I’m rushing things. What do I get her? A DVD, CD, flowers, clothes, jewelry, a puppy … what???

– How much time do we spend together over the holidays? Do I bring her to my parents’ house? Do I go to her parents’ house?

– Do we spend Christmas Day together?

Ugh. Too much to deal with.

So, instead of going through all of this, I just choose to enjoy myself with my friends and family, and take a break between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. After Valentine’s Day, I’ll put the “In Service” light back on and actually put effort into dating.

Though, I will admit that it is always nice to have a date for New Year’s Eve. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make it work. I’ve done just fine going out solo (or with friends) on New Year’s Eve.

But this doesn’t mean if a good opportunity presents itself in the next month or so, I won’t pursue it. I will. I am just not actively seeking it right now.

That also doesn’t mean I won’t be posting anything, because I will. We still have a lot to talk about, and who knows what might happen over the Holidays.

Fastest Way to a Woman’s Heart: Another Woman

Jealous much?I know I have a lot of women who read this blog, but I’m here to not only share my experiences and entertain, I’m also here to help my fellow men and single fathers through this mess we call dating. So, ladies, if I’m giving away any deep, dark secrets, I hope you understand.

I know this topic seems a little confusing and cryptic, but by the time I’m done explaining, I’m sure it will make sense.

If you’re trying to get a woman, why do you need another woman? If you have one woman, why would you need another woman? Are you trying to pick up women while you’re with your wife or girlfriend? How can another woman help you get a woman?

All good questions, but you’re missing the point. The “second” woman I am referring to is nothing more than a friend. And by that, I mean someone you know, who is female, who has no interest in you sexually and you have no interest in them sexually. You two can hang out and never have to worry about any sexual tension or awkwardness.

Why?

It’s easy; women are very jealous, catty, competitive creatures.

If a woman has ANY feelings for you at all, seeing you having a good time with another woman (regardless of her connection to you) will bring those feelings to the surface and amplify them. And – almost every time – she will end up acting on those feelings – sooner rather than later.

For some reason, women have this automatic “that’s MY man!” defensive reaction when they see a guy they have feelings for with another woman, even if that guy is an ex-boyfriend, ex-husband or even just a guy at work who has caught her eye. It triggers that mechanism in them that makes them think “he must have something going for him if she likes being with him.” The next response depends on the relationship status. If you are exes, her next response will be along the lines of a “I saw him first” type of reaction, but if you haven’t dated yet, it is more of a “I want whatever she’s having” type of reaction. Either way, she will start paying a lot more attention to you, and may even get aggressive about it by inserting herself into your conversation with this “other woman”. Regardless, she will be very flirty with you. Enjoy it!

Not only have I had numerous women confirm this to me, it was recently demonstrated with my ex high school girlfriend. Plus I have another very interesting story to share that will clearly demonstrate what I mean.

A few years ago, before I met and married my son’s mother, I was living in the Washington, D.C. area. I met this girl, Jeni, on Yahoo! Personals (still my #1 choice of dating sites of all-time). Jeni was a tall, beautiful blonde girl originally from Finland. Ok, not quite Sweden but still Scandinavian, close enough.

We had been on a few dates when she invited me out to double date with her and her roommate because her (roommate’s) boyfriend, Chad, was in town (he lived in Ohio). I know that description may have seemed obvious to most of you, some of you might have been confused. I met them at their house and we headed to one of the popular college hangout areas near D.C.

In the car, Chad and I sat in the backseat while the girls rode in the front. Things were pretty cool but not real affectionate. It seemed like four friends heading out instead of boyfriends and girlfriends, or any dating type of vibe. When we got to the bar, it was packed but we managed to find a 4-seat high-top table. When we got to the table, as gentlemen do, we waited for the women to take their seats, and the fact that the girls chose to sit on the same side of the table kind of set the tone for the evening. So Chad sat directly across from Chrissy, and I sat directly across from Jeni.

Something just didn’t feel right the whole night. Chad and I talked about it during their trips to the bathroom together (yes, multiple trips). We figured either they were (A) not really interested in us, but that wasn’t really what we thought was going on, or (B) they were playing hard to get or some other game. So I suggested we raise the ante on the night and make things more interesting. Chad agreed.

So, the next time the girls went to the bathroom, I found the closest waitress at the bar. I gave her $40 – money for two drinks and the rest was tip for her if she played along with my plan. She agreed. The plan was when the two girls returned, wait a few minutes, bring two drinks over to the table and say they “are compliments of the girls down there” pointing across the room to the other end of the bar. There were so many people there, it would be impossible to figure out who she was pointing at.

After the girls returned, a few minutes passed before the waitress came to the table. Just as we discussed, she dropped off two drinks and said they were “from the girls over there” pointing to the other end of the bar. Both Jeni and Chrissy raised up out of their seats to see if they could find them. Chrissy then asked her “which girls?” Playing along perfectly, without missing a beat, the waitress said “Two blondes right there … wait … I don’t see them any more,” and walked away.

You could feel the heat coming from the other side of the table. They asked what that was all about. I told them these two girls were walking by and bumped into me almost spilling their drinks. I apologized and the next thing we knew we were just talking. They asked if we were there with anybody and we told them yes. Then they left.

Almost immediately, within a matter of one or two minutes, the entire mood at the table changed. The girls started reaching over and touching our arms and hands. A little while longer, the girls switched things up to where Jeni and I were on the same side together, as were Chad and Chrissy, and holding hands, snuggling and even light kissing was soon to follow. On the way home, I sat in the back with Jeni, as Chad and Chrissy sat in the front.

Once we got back to their house, the girls went upstairs to change while us boys sat downstairs watching SportsCenter. After the girls were completely upstairs out of earshot, Chad turns to me and says “that was the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself. I’m gonna tell all the guys at the firehouse this story when I get back home.” Chad and I still keep in touch, to this day, after that.

The girls came back downstairs in short boy shorts and camisoles – like they coordinated it or something – and mixed some drinks for us all. And the next morning they made breakfast for us all – if you follow me.

So again, my advice; always have a girl or two in your group (but not too many) when you go out looking for women. It will stack the deck in your favor, and if you have any game at all, it will usually work very well. More times than not, if there is a girl at the bar who digs you, she will seek out your female companion and ask her questions about you before she makes her move, or she will tell your female friend to have you go over and talk to her.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, just ask. I’m an open book. And as always, thanks for reading.