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Apologies for being MIA. I’ve been busy and the blog went to the back burner! Anyway, I had an interesting conversation with two friends of mine about dating and winter. If you live in a place with seasons, winter is a time when it’s really difficult to go out. It’s cold, you have to schlep a coat with you, said coat gets beer spilled on it at bars…the television and your couch seem like a much more attractive option most nights. As a result, it’s harder to meet someone until spring. Granted, there will be many holiday parties, but on the whole, while you might go out three nights a week in the summer, you’d be lucky to muster the desire to go out once a week when it’s cold.

Thus, the fall becomes your last chance to meet someone and have the budding relationship stick. You can spend all winter being part of a boring couple, instead of dragging yourself out in heels (in the snow!) to try and meet someone to take to that New Year’s Eve party. Granted, I think that would put a lot of pressure on a new relationship, but people really think this way! At least, two of my own friends do.

I agree that you definitely don’t feel like your hottest self during the winter — you’re bundled up, you’ve put on some weight, you’re pale. But like I said before: holiday parties! If you haven’t managed to find someone before Thanksgiving, there are still a bunch of winter events to squeeze yourself into a dress for. Or you could go to Colorado and meet a hot skiing instructor. Or visit the southern hemisphere, where it’s summer. They have Australians there!

Just a few ideas🙂

If there’s one thing I hate more than all the other things I hate (including goat cheese, dirty snow, and control-top pantyhose), it’s flakiness. Listen, I don’t always show up on time to stuff. I don’t own a car and I’m at the mercy of the whims of public transit. I’m not perfect, either. And there are times when it’s acceptable to flake (like when you get an Evite to some 200-person birthday party at some bar and then the weather sucks so you decide to stay home — odds are no one will miss you). But don’t flake when you’re invited to a dinner party, for example, or you’ve set up a date. When your absence will create a problem, you must give notice if you have to cancel. Period.

L, I hope you don’t mind me telling your story. She and I were talking at a party when, out of nowhere, a pleasant and good-looking fellow introduced himself to us. Sensing he had eyes for L, I did my wingwomanly duty and made up some excuse to back out of the conversation. They talked, they exchanged numbers. After some more texting they both agreed to meet up for lunch over a weekend. They hadn’t set a day, time, or place, so L called on Friday and left a voicemail.

She never heard back from the guy.

Anyway, I know L is all “whatever, his loss” about the ordeal, which is the right attitude, but I feel rage. Rage! Why? Because it is not polite to reach the age of 29 and flake like that just because something better comes along. You agreed to a specific activity (lunch) on a specific weekend, step up and pick a time, or call and politely cancel. You don’t even have to make up a reason. Just, “I’m sorry, something came up, I’m going to have to cancel.” The other person will get the hint when you don’t try to reschedule.

I don’t actually feel rage. I just think it’s stupid that with so many ways to communicate with someone, people don’t bother to cancel plans correctly. Have respect for someone else’s time. They’re setting aside a few hours to meet up with you, at the expense of hanging out with other people. Set them free if you must, but you need to let them know this.

And if you don’t, it’s bad dating karma.

A lot of young parents work in my office. I was talking with one new dad, who I’d say is in his mid-30s, about how sometimes it can be hard to do something life-changing like having a kid when you’re older and more accustomed to your life the way it is.

That got me thinking about my friends in their 20s. For the most part we’re not at the marriage-and-babies phase yet, but the single ones are looking for relationships. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time being single (I’ve never been the serial monogamist), I have to say that when you do meet someone with potential, it’s an adjustment to fit them into your life without leaving your friends feeling neglected. Dating (even casually) is time consuming. You get used to your single routine — gym, dinner with friends, TV shows you watch regularly, happy hours. Suddenly there’s a person you hang out with two or three times a week, someone who gets dibs on at least one of your weekend nights, and the routine goes out the window. It’s what you’ve wanted for a long time, and it’s great, but it’s still a change.

I’ve heard friends say that they want someone who fits into their life, that they aren’t going to chase, that they aren’t going to change for anyone. The thing is, you pretty much have no choice but to change. When you add a boyfriend or girlfriend to your plate, something has to give if it’s going to work. You’re not the only one changing your schedule around, they are too!

I’m a list-maker and calendar-keeper, and I find that helps me juggle my social calendar as best as possible. And I try not to let my schedule get so fixed in place that I can’t make room for a guy. When a guy calls you to make plans and is greeted with a laundry list of all the hobbies you have to pass the time (“Mondays is my knitting class! And on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have yoga! And drinks with the girls on Friday!…Can you do three Wednesdays from now?”), they’ll stop trying and go find some girl who can schedule a date within the week.

In one day, I came upon two different blog postings about the same thing: Women who develop a sense of entitlement when it comes to what kind of man they want and think they deserve.

We tend to describe ourselves in list form. We’re smart, funny, pretty, kind, hard-working (if you’ve ever read cliche online dating profiles, you see a lot of this). We want a man who conforms to a list as well: educated, tall, good-looking, funny, charming, sensitive, etc. We want, we want, we want. But realistically, what’s out there? I’m not saying what’s out there is crap, far from it. But how many people can really fulfill every qualification you have? And take a good look at yourself: Can you really fulfill a long must-have list, too? Check out the above links. Food for thought.

The New York Times ran an article in their real estate section about New York couples who, though they both live within the five boroughs, have a very long trip on the subway (sometimes multiple subways, with a leg on a bus as well) to see each other. It’s like a long distance relationship! In any large city where a decent proportion of the population lives without cars, you’re going to find yourself staying within the confines of a two-mile radius from your apartment. I know this because I have lived in two different large cities with good public transit, and I’ve never owned a car. Most of my good friends live within blocks of me. Unlike many people I know, I get out more because I do a reverse commute to the suburbs. Many of my friends refuse to date anyone outside of very specific geographic boundaries! And single friends who move waaay out into the suburbs have to defend their decisions to those who think they’re committing social suicide. Readers, what are your limits when it comes to how far you’ll travel to date someone?

So, what’s a person to do when it takes an hour to get home from your S.O.’s neighborhood? Today I came upon the perfect solution: the Walk of Shame Kit. (Or I guess you could just meet in the middle.) Either way, the Walk of Shame Kit would make a hilarious gift for your female friends who pick up guys in every bar. We all know someone like that.

Really, I just wanted to work the kit into a blog posting.

I came upon this blog entry about the blogger’s experience at a grocery store, where one female cashier felt it okay to tell another female cashier, loudly and in front of customers, that all men are pigs.

I’ve written before about the bitter single woman. I hate, hate, hate male-bashing. Really! Listen, I’ve dated losers who dumped me by email, did the fade out, or stood me up to watch a baseball game. I’ve gone through excessively long dating droughts. I’ve watched many female friends — intelligent and beautiful and great catches — get their hearts stomped on by unfeeling guys. And you know what? I still love men! They’re cute and tall and somewhat awkward when girls confuse them, and they get that ruggedly handsome 5 o’clock shadow. They can fix broken household appliances. They’ll go out of their way to walk you home at night so you’ll be safe.

Ladies, there is much to love about men. I get that you’ve been hurt, but it’s counterproductive to blame an entire gender for the bad behavior of a small minority. Dating is a journey, and you make mistakes along the way. Haven’t you ever had to cruelly break up with someone? Haven’t you ever avoided a guy’s phone calls and texts so you wouldn’t have to go out with him again? Or maybe you’ve done worse — cheated on a boyfriend, or left him for his best friend. Women are just as guilty! And yes, many men will say that all women are crazy (I hate that too!), but they’re still chasing after us.

Approach dating with a crappy attitude, and you’ll get crappy results. Treat men with respect, and assume their intentions are good. If you’re bitter and angry and have an emotional wall of man-hatred built up, men will catch on. And you’ll be the crazy one they tell their friends about. You want that to happen?

Some time ago, I was cockblocked by a baseball game. Seriously. I was supposed to go out with this guy, who, when trying to pick a night, rattled off which nights might be booked based on when his favorite team was playing and whether or not they were likely to win the night before. Strike one.

We agreed on a night, and my calendar became booked with other things in the days after. He tried to reschedule the day before the date, and I was unable to but was fine with pushing back an hour. I show up at the new time, I get a call. He’s stuck watching the last inning, can I wait a bit or reschedule? Strike two.

Unlike baseball, I wasn’t feeling too generous and never game him the third strike. “Listen, I can’t plan my life around the game schedule of a baseball team,” I said. “I’m going home. Priorities, man!” He emailed the next day to apologize, but by then I was done. Now, I get that sports (or other hobbies) might be very important to a person. But, if you’re looking for your future girlfriend or boyfriend, that takes time and effort. That first impression is key. You don’t want a girl thinking that if she marries you, you’ll skip out on the birth of your first child to watch the baseball game. When your whole life revolves around one thing, I get a little put off. We all have many things on our plate — family, friends, dating, work, hobbies, errands. If you ignore any one of those things for long enough, the results will be unpleasant.

The takeaway? Keep a calendar, don’t double-book, and when you barely know a person, don’t tell them why you’re busy. Just say which days you’re free and leave it at that. I could have been that guy’s next girlfriend, but he had to watch the game. Priorities, man!

(I called my brother to get a guy’s opinion, just to make sure I wasn’t being unreasonable. His reply: “Is that guy fucking crazy?”)

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