Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why do stores hate my body?

This isn't directly related to virginity or singledom. However, it is about the plight of the modern American woman and has been on my mind the past 24 hours. :-P So I wanted to blog about it.

I was doing some after-Christmas shopping with my fellow virgin friend, Amy. After a couple hours of finding nothing, I whipped out my phone and put on my facebook status, "I don't understand why stores don't like my body. I'm not the only one with curves in this city!"

Oh the slew of comments that followed! I don't think I've ever had such an active discussion on my status. Basically, everyone agreed that shopping sucks and it's hard to find anything that flatters your body. The crazy thing is, it's hard for everyone. EVERYONE. Well, at least everyone who responded to or "liked" my status. Not all of them were curvy. One girl was short and lamented that she can't find anything either. She has to get clothes altered. Even one guy said he can't find any clothes.

I don't HATE my body. I like having curves, though I do wish the butt was a little smaller! It's not fun shopping for pants or skirts when your hips are two sizes bigger than your waist (according to the clothing makers). I just get frustrated when clothes that suit my frame are not "in style."

I know what looks good on me. I'm not a poor grad student anymore or a broke teenager who doesn't know any better about what clothes to get. I hate having to "settle" for second-best (or third-best) clothes even though I now can afford to pay more for nicer stuff. It used to be I had to settle for not-as-flattering stuff because it was the cheapest thing that could get over my hips. I can pay $50 for a flattering skirt now (which I did, by the way, on this shopping trip because I couldn't find one like it anywhere else).

I think about "What Not to Wear," that TLC show where the hosts make people throw away their old wardrobes, give them lessons on what to buy for their body, and send them off to stores with a credit card to buy new clothes. Some people would break down and cry when they put on clothes that actually flattered them. "Wow, I have gorgeous legs!" "Hey, I do have a nice rack!" "I never thought I could look like this." It's so true! When you finally put on a pair of jeans that are actually cut for you, when you put on a dress that shows off your best assets, oh my goodness. It can drive you to tears, especially after years of walking into stores that have nothing, of seeing "beautiful" people on TV who look nothing like you. No matter how highly you think of yourself, it can be discouraging. And you settle. You settle for the "best you can find," instead of the best.

And how often do women settle in their lives? The clothing shopping experience becomes a metaphor for women's (perhaps everyone's) lives. You know what you want out of life, you know exactly what will make you happy, but you can't find it and don't know where to look for it or how to attain it, so you "settle." You settle for good enough. The good enough jeans, the good enough dress, the good enough dinner, the good enough car, the good enough job, the good enough boyfriend. Sometimes good enough is all you need (like a "good enough" tomato), but when everything in your life is "good enough," especially if you're a dreamer, you want to pull out your hair in frustration. Life is too exciting, there's too much for you to experience, yet you're stuck in the ordinary, the "good enough."

So my friend with the generous thighs and I buy low-rise jeans that we constantly pull up every time we sit down, because even though the waist is too big, we need to get jeans that fit over our big butts. We need mid-rise or high-rise, but guess what? Mid-rise jeans that are relaxed in the thighs are not "in style." Instead, all the mid-rise jeans are tight through the thighs right now. We have a hard time finding jeans that are tight in the waist and loose in the hips.

The glimmer of light in my facebook comment string was by the end, I put together everyone's recommendations for curvy-friendly stores. It shows how necessary it is for women to get together, share our stories, share our wisdom, even if the wisdom is about something as "unimportant" as where to buy cute jeans. Individually, we have little clue how to go about our lives, but together, we can do this!

By the way, here's our list in case you need some ideas:

"Seven" at Lane Bryant
"St. John's Bay" at J.C. Penney
Fashion Bug
Old Navy (sometimes)
the maternity department at any store

I also typically have good luck at New York and Company and H&M.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's it like to be a "spinster?"

Apparently, a ton of fun!

Last Saturday, I went to a party hosted by someone in the Book Club. A friend of hers, Rosie, also attended the party. I mostly hung out with other Book Clubbers but Rosie made the rounds and eventually stopped by our little cluster.

Rosie is in her late forties, unmarried with no kids. She is also a seasoned partier! She lives in a suburb that's about two hours away by the suburban train. She decided not to take her car into the city because the forecast called for a heavy snowstorm. So that night, she had packed a bag with a change of shoes (she was in stilettos), money for taxis, and was on her way to another party where she was going to crash for the night. This party I attended was mostly middle aged people by the way. I think I was the youngest one there, and I'm in my late twenties. So this wasn't drunkfest. People drank wine and just a couple bottles of beer brewed at local breweries or in people's homes. No tequila shots and Beer Pong.

Anyway, Rosie talked a little about some of her travels. She also discussed her annoyance with people who just wanted to talk about their kids. She liked to talk about ideas. She mentioned a book club she used to attend where the women would talk about the book for five minutes and then start talking about babies and all things child-related. Torture! If I spend a few weeks reading a book, I don't want to talk about it as a group for five minutes!

So I related to her love of travel and love for intelligent conversation. She was also gorgeous! She looked ten years younger, slim, few wrinkles, big eyes, shoulder-length straight hair with a slight curl, tanned skin. She said she had no regrets and believed in living life to the fullest, taking chances. I told her I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She said she knew senior citizens whom she hoped to be like when she "grew up!" She said that it was important for us women to have role models, older women to look up to.

Listening to her, I envisioned the possibilities for me if I remained single. Rosie lives a full, exciting life. She has the energy and zest for life of someone in her twenties, yet speaks middle-age wisdom.

I won't soon forget Rosie. Single, middle aged woman today are redefining "spinster." They aren't sad old maids, knitting home alone, lamenting their lack of husband and children. They are being "fully single," doing everything possible that a single person can do. If that's the life that awaits me, singlehood won't be such a bad thing after all.

Oh and Mark, my most recent crush, was there by the way, and we barely spoke to each other. Such is what happens at parties. He spent an hour talking to a new girl, who we clubbers suspected was a new love interest. I was even able to sincerely ask if he got her number. But he stated that she was with someone else. Rarely do I witness a straight guy talking so much, so intensely with girls in whom he has no romantic interest! He and I talked about a book (of course) later in the evening, but not much more than that. Just further confirmation of his lack of interest in me. My crush came back for a second when he revealed that he can play the guitar. I am a complete sucker for guitar players! Ability to play the guitar is a much bigger turn-on for me than ability to bench-press 100 pounds. But after talking to Rosie, I wasn't lamenting my single status quite so much anyway.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

adventures on plenty of fish

I'm trying to be active on, but now I'm remembering why I didn't go on that site for several months.

There are no "catches" on plentyoffish. :-P

Seriously, do all guys just click on girls they think look pretty and send them a "wink" (or whatever it's called on pof). Do any guys read the profiles of the women they find attractive?

Once again, I'm receiving a couple messages per day that say, "Hey gorgeous, wanna chat," or something similar. There is no indication that they read my profile at all! No, "Hey, you like dancing. What kinds of dance?" It's like they all just copy and paste a stock message into every message (if they bother to send a message).

One man earlier in the week actually read my profile. But here was the issue. On my profile, I say that I tend to be more outgoing online than in "real life" (though I am less reserved once I get to know someone). I also said that I am not afraid of the "Where do we stand" conversation, so feel free to ask. Dude messaged me and said, "Both of those are red flags, but I'm still interested." The message also stated that basically I would have to prove to him why he should consider me. I don't have the exact message, but that was the gist. He also said I suffer from "online balls." I don't want to try and figure out what that means.

I wrote him back saying, "If introversion and open communication are red flags for you, we don't need to communicate." I then blocked him. Harsh? Perhaps, but telling a woman that two things in her profile are "red flags" is not the way to win her over! I already did my "proving" in the profile. I'm not going to chase any man online.

Another man was not interested in reading my profile, even after I responded to him. He had sent me a "wink" on Sunday. I checked out his profile and he actually looked kind of cute. Most of the guys who message me, I don't find attractive. However, we had nothing in common other that we were both Catholic and liked animals. He was undecided about kids. So I messaged him and asked what it was in my profile he found interesting. He admitted that the wink was really based on appearance. He asked me to instead say 3 "must know things" about myself, but not funny, nice, honest etc. Again, I already wrote my profile. I said, "Well, if you read my profile, you'll see I have a lot going on. I really can't summarize myself in 3 sentences. What are three things you want to know about?"

Haven't heard from him since Tuesday. Don't think I will.

I actually take time to write my profile. I actually spend one-two minutes reading profiles of guys I find interesting. I expect the same courtesy. Read my profile before you message me. Is that really so much to ask?

I've messaged a few guys, but haven't heard back. Such is the game I guess.

Now I'm really starting to think that the guys on pof are just looking for sex. They don't even want to spend the effort reading a couple paragraphs about someone.

I tried the paid websites and got nothing. I refuse to pay any more than I already am for that stupid elove. Other people find "love" for free. Why can't I?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why choose virginity?

I usually avoid two posts in a day, but today I was reading about stay-at-home daughters and Purity Balls. I thought, "These people are nuts!"

But when I said, as a teenager, "I'm going to be a virgin until marriage," it put me in solidarity with these crazies.

When I think back on why I chose virginity in adolescence, though, I realize that despite being connected with these loons, I wasn't exactly like them. Firstly, I was able to choose it. Stay-at-home daughters don't choose their destiny or how to explore their sexuality. They go straight from home to husband, with no time on their own to even think about getting their cherries popped.

I thought about conversations I had with my mother. Of course, she encouraged me to wait until marriage (she only had one partner before my father, her husband), but she still said, "If you do have sex before marriage, use protection!" So there was never pressure from my mom to stay a virgin "or else." It wasn't so much about being pure because God says that's what purity is (even though that became part of it for me). It was more about protection of my body, heart and soul. Protection of the body from pregnancy and STD's, protection of the heart and soul from the heartbreak of breaking up with someone to whom you lost your virginity. Meanwhile, my dad said, "No dating until you're 16!" I was a little too obedient to that! But he said it was because teenage boys were immature and only interested in sex. I went to an all-girls high school so I don't know if that was true for every teenage boy, but the junior high boys sure seemed that way...

I think there's a difference between telling your daughter to be a virgin to please God and telling your daughter to be a virgin to protect herself. I guess both can be problematic, but at least in the latter it's more about your daughter, not rules. My parents taught me that I shouldn't give it up to a guy that didn't deserve me. My mom told me over and over, "your body is a temple, and was only designed for a king." That statement can be problematic too. I think my body is not just designed for a man's pleasure. But again, that statement is taken out of the context of a discussion of how wonderful a person I am, how precious my body is, and how I shouldn't just throw it around at any guy who flirts with me.

And I never thought for a second that abstinence-only education should be taught in public schools! I went to public schools through junior high. In the late 90's, we learned about abstinence and contraception. I liked that the best protection against pregnancy and STD's was just to not have sex. Obvious, straightforward, and you don't have to worry about taking pills or fiddling with condoms or getting tested...protected sex seemed like such a hassle. Get to the fun already!

Again, my stance is in transition. I don't want to have an oppressive definition of femininity or female sexuality. As a teenager, I didn't feel like I was missing out or that virginity was holding me back from living a full life. My early twenties were quite full and amazing, even without a boyfriend!

But now I do feel like I'm missing out. Now, I feel it's a lie to say being a virgin is still liberating or empowering me, helping me live a full life. Now, something's missing...

And I definitely don't want to be mistaken for the SAHD's or Purity Ball people! But if people still talk to me like someone who's had sex, I guess I'm not as loony as the fundamentalists.

Going...going ...gone!

No, not the virginity.

I am currently crush-less, or perhaps in-between crushes.

I finally found out indirectly that Mark actually plans on having kids someday, or at least assumes it. I never knew for sure. I don't often bring up my childfreedom in casual conversation, especially with people I only see once per month. The crush was waning, but this kills it. Those blinders have fallen off and now I'm seeing all the ways we aren't compatible anyway. If only I knew he wanted kids earlier!

It's always a mix of liberation, boredom and disappointment when a crush terminates. Who can I daydream about in idle moments? Who can I fantasize about when my thoughts wander before bed? I guess I can just daydream about celebrities, but it's not the same.

Yet I also feel “normal” again. When I listen to a love song, I won't imagine a crush singing it to me. When I watch a romantic comedy, I won't imagine myself and the crush in the leading roles.

And my searches on online dating sites, which I've resumed, won't be so half-hearted. I changed to a better picture and already got a few winks and messages, but if it doesn't look like the guy actually read my profile, I ignore the message and block the guy. Cruel? Perhaps, but I actually put a lot of effort in writing my intros. So, if a guy is actually interested, would it kill him to spend a couple minutes reading my spiel? How do I know a guy isn't just winking at everyone and copying and pasting the same message (for example, “Hey, ur beautiful. I like your smile. Let's chat”)? I take time to read profiles. Take time to read mine! It's especially annoying when guys who want kids (or worse, guys who have kids) message me. That further makes me think they didn't even read the basic stuff!

I'm slowly starting to get excited again. In my “real” journal, I've started mapping out a plan for “putting myself out there.” Yes, I'm planning. Yes, I'm being strategic about it. Not just letting it happen or “waiting” for Mr. Right to come to me. When I didn't try, nothing happened. Now I'm trying. Still no relationship, but at least I've dated now. If I didn't do online dating, I'd have no dates at all.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Am I dateable?

For awhile, I've been seeing myself as undateable. I guess it's normal to go through periods of high and low self-image. I wouldn't exactly call it self-hate or a total lack of self-love, more like some sort of acceptance. "Well, I'm not anyone's type, I guess." I have felt like giving up on dating, or at least on trying. I have felt like just "waiting" and "letting it happen" as opposed to being more proactive, like it's a waste of time for me to try dating because no one wants me anyway. I have been feeling like so many of my qualities are unwanted in a date.

Thoughts running through my head: "I'm vegan. Who would want to date someone who can't eat everywhere? Where would we go on dates?" "I don't want kids, ever, and most guys out there want kids. And the ones who don't want kids are all Atheist or non-religious." "I'm sexually inexperienced and won't put out on the third date or whatever that rule is, and every other girl will." "I'm a practicing Catholic, and nobody wants someone religious because he'll think I'm some brainwashed Jesus freak." "I can't tell a guy I have taken bellydance because he'll either think I'm a whore or flighty. How many people think, 'intelligent' when they hear someone is a bellydancer?" "I like reading, but not all kinds of books. A reader won't think I'm intellectual enough." "I like pop music, but an intellectual guy will think I'm mindless and unsophisticated if I say I like pop music." And on and on and on.

But then I remembered that there are millions of guys out there. Millions. And if a guy is my Mr. Right, being vegan, Catholic, a bellydancer, reader, choosy with the cherry, a lover of pop music and childfree won't be a turn-off.

So for the past few days, I've been changing my self-image back to something more positive! True, I'm not every guy's Ms. Right. However, that doesn't mean I'm NOBODY'S Ms. Right. My Mr. Right will have no problem with going to restaurants that have something for me besides a house salad (I don't need to go to an all-veg restaurant, but I don't want only a salad, I mean I didn't get these womanly curves by eating salad my whole life). He won't think less of me if I like pop music and bellydancing. What straight guy wouldn't be turned on by bellydancing? He won't think I'm a total prude if I don't put-out after a few dates. He'll be willing to wait longer. He won't care if I don't like every piece of high literature out there. I like reading classics, but not all of them. He'll respect my religious practices and won't think I'm a mindless sheep, drunk on the opiate of the masses. And perhaps most importantly of all, he'll either be undecided about or totally against having kids someday.

So I'm at least trying to be active again on the dating websites and trying to stay alert, awake for "sightings." I can't just sit around and "wait." That didn't work. Most of my dates have been with men I met online. So I need to be proactive. And I need to remember that though I may not turn every guy on, I'm SOMEONE'S wet dream.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hit and miss

Over the weekend, I had what J.M. Kearns, author of Why Mr. Right Can't Find You, would call a "sighting."

Sort of.

I'm trying to be better about keeping my eyes open for potential matches. Taking off the headphones, putting down the novel on the train, etc. This weekend, I went to my favorite coffee shop to do paperwork. A trio of young people, two girls and a guy, arrived. I was working at a couch and facing the wall opposite. They sat at a table on the wall opposite me, to my left. One girl had her back to me, while the guy and other girl sat beside each other, facing my wall. I continued my work.

While working, my peripheral noticed the male head turned in my direction. I took off my headphones, remembering my mission to stay alert for sightings. I pretended to look at the artwork on the opposite wall. He turned away. I glanced at him when his head was turned. I hadn't checked him out when he first arrived. He was a somewhat attractive (to me). Just needed a shave. He looked like all the other young, White, hipsterish men in my neighborhood: black, thick, square frame glasses; ear-length, wavy brownish hair; blue knit skull cap; khakis; green hooded sweatshirt.

I also noticed, though, that the girl beside him (whose attention was mainly directed at her girlfriend and whatever they were looking at on the laptop) was leaning on him, snuggly.

Great. A guy who looks like my type, at my favorite coffee shop, who is checking me taken.

I thought perhaps I was imagining his glances, but my peripherals saw his head turn my direction at least three times. I actually did make eye contact with him once while he was sipping his mug, confirming my suspicion. Honestly, I was flattered, though I made no expression as such when I looked at him. I was facebook-chatting with my one of my friends during this episode, and asked her if I should smile back anyway. My friend said, "YES! U GO GIRL!" But just when I decided to be "bad" for once and wink at a cute guy who was clearly taken, he stopped looking my direction. He turned his head all the way to his girlfriend and covered his face with his left arm.

I like to think he covered and turned his head because my beauty was so striking, he wouldn't have been able to resist looking at me otherwise. :-P

Once the buddy left, the young man and girl beside him kissed each other, and her attention was finally totally on her man. They did look like a match. She also had a knit skull cap, fingerless knit gloves, denim frayed mini skirt with leggings, thick black square framed glasses. Two young, White, hipsterish people in love, or lust, whatever.

Better luck next time I suppose. At least I had a burst of hope. It is possible for the attraction to be mutual someday. Now where to find the single boys?...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why would a virgin need lube?

Because I've been having issues with the girly bits lately.

I'll try not to be too specific (though any women reading this might figure out what it is anyway). What's strange about the issue is that, upon googling it, I discovered that it is typical of menopausal women, as lack of estrogen causes it. However, I'm not menopausal. For other women, causes of the issue include childbirth, sex without adequate foreplay, new detergent, and stress. I figured it must be stress as I was stressed out last month. I had the issue during my PMS week last month but now again during PMS week this month. Could it be hormonal? Is it an infection? I got some feminine wipes last month, but those didn't really help.

You're probably thinking, “Just go to the gyno, flamencokitty.” You're right, but here's the thing. Firstly, I don't know when I'll have time this week. If the pattern from last month continues, the issue will go away before I make it to the doctor. Secondly, upon further reading about my issue, it sounds like all I might need is...lubricant. I don't have any of the other related symptoms. I don't want to panic and run to the doctor when I don't need a prescription.

So today, I returned to the girly-bit-medicine shelf. Now, I strive for all-natural and animal byproduct-free ingredients when I'm in the health aisle. What bugs me about the feminine products, though, is most of the medicine, cleansers, creams, douches etcetera are loaded with ingredients I can't pronounce. They also have parabens, animal-based Vitamin D, and other things I try to avoid. I am not concerned if I, one time, put parabens or whatever on my arms or legs (like in lotion), but I don't want to rub these chemicals all over the girly area! Plus, the wipes I got last month had all that mess and still didn't help.

In addition to the annoyance with all the un-hippie chemicals, I did feel a little uncomfortable looking for a lubricant. Yes, I'm an adult. Yes, most adults are sexually active. Yes, the cashiers don't care what I buy. Still, it was weird. I'm a virgin and still need these things for the girly area, though the main purpose of the lube is to “enhance sexual pleasure!”

Fortunately, the only products that had “all natural,” paraben-free ingredients were the lubricants. It actually is helping more than the wipes. Plus, I don't have to worry about using it only a few times a day or week. I can use it as needed. Don't worry, if the issue arises again next month, I will go to the gyno.

My nosy mother is coming by to the visit next week. I just hope she doesn't go poking around my bathroom cabinets! She will confront me if she finds the lube.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Do you regret being single and a virgin?

Not when I listen to the radio.

En route to work, I switch between the Steve Harvey Morning Show and some local pop radio stations. Every morning, with rare exceptions, the radio shows talk about relationships. The pop radio stations in particular, talk about sex (while Steve Harvey's Strawberry Letters tend to focus more on long term relationships…well, usually one party thinks it's long term while the other thinks it's a fling). When people call and discuss their love, sex, or other relationship issues, I don't think I'm missing much.

“I slept with a married man and got pregnant but he doesn't want to leave his wife for me.”

“I had a great date with this woman but when I tried to call her, she never returns my calls and I don't know what I did wrong.”

“Should I stay in school or go move in overseas with my long distance boyfriend?”

“I was married to a man for 15 years and had two kids with him and he cheated on me.”

“My man's in jail, but he says he's a changed man, and when he gets out he still wants to be together and we have a kid together but I don't know if I should get back with him.”

“I found out my girlfriend has had several dozen sex partners and now I don't know if I want to be with her anymore.”

“I'm a woman and my man won't marry me until I have sex with my best girl friend, and he wants to video it.”

“I don't want to be friends with benefits any more. I want a real relationship with him.”

“I think my boyfriend sexually assaulted my son. I don't know what to do.”

And on and on and on.

Frankly, the drama frightens me. There's a lot of drama out there too. A lot. Some I could never imagine. I'd like to think I'm smart enough and wise enough and have set my standards high enough to avoid the most dramatic drama, but who knows? Who's to say I wouldn't end up in such messes? In some of these situations, the solution of “break up with him/her” seems obvious to me, but I'm an outsider. Do I really understand what's at stake if the couples break up?

I'm hoping that because I am older and my pool of men is older, my future partner and I will be mature and wise enough to not end up like some of the people on the radio. If we do break up, hopefully it won't be as messy, as traumatic as some of these other couples. Breakups are seldom smooth and easy, but if I choose right, at least authorities will not be involved.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Look out world, here I come!

Recently, I posted a facebook status saying, "[flamencokitty] needs to learn to go for it." A couple of my friends "liked" it, including a friend who I always saw as assertive, outspoken, someone who already "goes for it." I asked, "How can people as awesome as us be so not proactive?" She responded that she spent a good chunk of her life undermining herself and her abilities, but once she reached her mid-twenties, she began to get over it. So now, she is on her own Project-Get-Out-of-My-Way. She's not perfect at it, but progressing.

I thought that was a fantastic idea!

My facebook status was mainly related to my shyness regarding guys. I don't consider myself shy, except with my crushes. However, I tend to be attracted to the quieter, shier sort. Perhaps instead of sitting around waiting to see if Mr. Shy will ask me out, because I can be assertive, I might need to be the pursuer. I can't worry about whether or not he'll reject me. Isn't knowing for sure that he is not attracted better than being in the gray? I need to get over my self-consciousness (“No, I’m not pretty enough. I’m not his type. I’m not smart enough. He probably doesn’t like me. I’ll look foolish for chasing him…”). At the very least, I need to fight the hesitation more and make my attraction to the guy more obvious. The guy remains Mark right now. That crush waxes and wanes. In idle moments, I run through things he has said or done that make me wonder if the attraction is mutual. However, when a crush hits the "maybe, maybe not," gray area, I obsess and read every little thing as attraction. I don't want this crush to go from fun mental diversion to infatuation.

Upon further reflection, though, I realized that I am also guilty of undermining myself in other situations too. This is my fifth year working in my career, and I'm now starting to feel like less of a beginner. I am actually pretty good at my job. I've even informally begun to mentor others, and the advice I'm giving now is solid (though I of course still turn to more experienced people when I'm stuck too). Also, in dance class, I changed to a class that has more beginners (due to schedule conflicts). I see how far I've come. I'm starting to challenge myself more in class.

It's amazing how it all connects.

I want to do my own version of Project-Get-Out-Of-My-Way, starting in the New Year (a resolution). I'm playing around with different ideas. Doing a new thing every month? Talking to one new guy a month? I don't know yet. But I need to do it. As my young adult group leader told me in Spring, my star is rising. I didn’t believe her until last month. I can't hold my star back. I can't!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

peer pressure and virginity

Lately, I've been going back and forth between whether or not to stay a virgin until marriage, or even engagement. It didn't seem so naive when I was 18. However, I'm approaching my late twenties this month. It's making less sense now. Recent conversations continue to challenge me.

Very few of my friends and acquaintances know I'm still a virgin. So they speak to me as if I'm sexually active. Last week, a friend of mine posted a facebook status saying, "No sex for you haha." I think that was aimed at a former lover of hers. In a moment of sexual frustration, I replied, "You just had to bring that up," to which she responded, "You better get some!"

Today, while knocking on doors and encouraging people to vote, my partner, a 21 year old man (and a new dad, who is not with the baby mama), said, "You need to get some penis!" I laughed and said, "Maybe." I didn't reveal my virginity to him, but I did reveal that I never had a boyfriend. During our conversation about all things dating-related, he asked if I ever did booty calls or one night stands. I said that I didn't, and he said, "Oh, you're very careful with your partners." I replied, "Yeah, I am." It's true, I am careful, hence my lack of partners!

In high school, I had no problem ignoring media messages about sex. I didn't feel pressure from many peers, but the little I did encounter I brushed off, no problem. I didn't really have a sex drive back then. Even when I crushed on a guy, I didn't consider swaying from my position. Now, when I look around at my friends, I can't help but think, "Am I the stupid one?" Even most of my good, unmarried Christian friends are sexually active. I don't think they're bigger "sinners" or "less pure" than me. In fact, in another conversation with the 21 year old about religion, I said, "If you don't smoke, drink or cuss but are mean to others, that doesn't make you a good Christian. It’s about how you treat other people. It's not about trying to be pure or follow some set of rules. It's about being whole."

After I said that, though, I (internally) put the mirror on myself. Am I also trying to fit some warped idea of purity? Does being a virgin really make me "whole?" Does that really make me a better Christian? I did agree with the young man when he said, “You women have biological needs, right?”

I'm just glad this is all hypothetical thinking. Even if I don't stick to the virgin-til-engagement thing, though, today's conversations with the 21 year old showed me that I won't just give it up to anyone. I will choose a quality man. Even if we don't stay together, I won't regret it...well, unless he's even worse than me in bed!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rethinking "He's Just Not That Into You"

I googled the question, "How to tell if a guy isn't into you," and book reviews for Greg and Liz's book emerged. I have read that book and previously sung its praises, but user reviews on Amazon challenged my thoughts on He's Just Not that Into You.

I must admit, the book really is pop psychology, and can't be considered a scholarly source on dating. It's anecdotal, although Greg does indirectly admit that it's not scientific. I suppose it really is just The Rules revamped for modern, young readers. The book, in a nutshell, says that if a guy likes you, he will go above and beyond to show it. If he's too "shy" to ask you out, he's lazy and not worth your time. The book says women shouldn't have to chase men, call or text men after a date, because a man will come after you.

Now, it is true that some men are shy, some are too busy to think about dating (even if they like you), and some men just don't want to risk rejection by asking a woman out, no matter how much they are crushing on her.

Still though, my problem is that guys in the past were giving me clear signs that they didn't like me, but because I thought they were shy, or secretly crushing on me but insecure or unsure of my feelings, I pursued them anyway. I was the one initiating contact. I was the one asking when to hang out. From age 19 until now, two guys have made it obvious that they liked me (though I didn't like them as more than friends): emailing me a lot, calling me regularly, asking to hang out one-on-one (which I suppose is a date). The obvious ones did like me, the not-obvious, mixed signal guys didn't like me. So for me, there was a lot of truth in Greg's book.

Just the same, after reading the reviews, I am taking HJNTIY a little less seriously. It reminded me that sitting and waiting for the guys to come to you is not always a fun place to be. Also, the guys who are very assertive and very obvious in their attraction might be the wrong kind of guy for you. I don't really want a very extroverted guy, no matter how charming he seems at first. They could be very demanding, possessive, and traditional in their gender roles.

So I'm still in a conundrum. The HJNTIY type is really not my type, but my type would probably never tell me that he's into me. That means I have to initiate. But how do I distinguish Shy Guy from a man who isn't into me?...

Maybe I should just stay single. This relationship stuff is too complicated!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do virgins shop at Victoria's Secret?

Yes, well, Amy and I do anyway.

This Sweetest Day weekend, I spent one day with my girl, Amy, shopping. Amy is my fellow "virgin until marriage" friend. We walked into Victoria's Secret and neither one of us found what we wanted. While she tried on her unmentionables, though, I looked around at all the sexy duds and reflected. I've been to Victoria's Secret before and have bought bras and panties from there, yet I still feel out of place, like the store is not for me. I know the associates couldn't care less if I "belonged" there or not, if I was a virgin or not, if I was single or not. They just want me to buy crap. Yet my inner, egocentric teenager thought, "Everyone knows I'm a virgin and thinks I shouldn't be here!" Still, I continue to be amazed at all the different ways women can move, shift and tuck their flesh using the goodies at VS: "Can my girls really look like that?" "Could I get away with ruffles on my panties?"

Apparently Amy was thinking some of the same thoughts I was, because upon leaving, she said something along the lines of, "Too bad we aren't going on a honeymoon." I replied, "I know. What's the point of buying lacy, sequined, sexy bras when no one's gonna see it but me?" She said, "It's not gonna stay on very long anyway on your honeymoon!" I agreed, and said that the hubby probably couldn't care less if it all matched.

I admit, I do have one matching lace panty-bra set and some other cute, colored lingerie. This was per the suggestion of a college friend. Even though no one sees the duds, it does help you feel feminine, especially in winter. Underneath my layers of sweaters, cardigans and long johns, I wear lace to remind myself that I'm still female! I do walk with a little more "style" I guess, when I wear girly drawers instead of granny panties.

Still, it would be nice if someone besides me saw the cuteness.

And during my conversation, I might have admitted more than I wanted to admit, though perhaps Amy didn't notice. We discussed our dating woes and how it sometimes sucks not having a boyfriend. I said that I recognize that being single isn't a bad thing and that I have a good life. But it would be nice to share that life with someone, and just once, not sleep alone.

Be aware that I have said multiple times to her that I will NOT have sex before marriage. I said that I refuse, and if I do, the world is coming to an end! Now, though, as I continue to re-examine my stance, I'm starting to think that unless Amy marries first, she won't be the first of us to be deflowered. :/ When I consider whether or not to wait, sometimes it seems so silly to wait. So naive. So limiting. So backward. It made sense as a teenager, but now that I'm in my late twenties, I can't help but question my stance.

But it's hard to know what choice I would make because I've never had to say, "yes" or "no." I've never even been kissed!

Perhaps one day I will go into VS and buy something besides basic black or white, or perfume. Maybe one day I will walk in with a man and ask him which set he thinks would be sexier on me. And perhaps he will whisper the right response, "I don't care which you wear. It ain't staying on..."

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Am I over him?"

I had a little crush on the moderator of the book club I attend, Mark. I wasn't in hot pursuit because I was getting nothing beyond friendliness from him. Still, I secretly admired him.

Last month, though, Angie came to the meeting. She's also getting her doctorate and just as well-read as him. After the meeting, they got into conversation that spilled into our "after party." They basically talked to each other the whole time at the bar. Lowered voices, constant eye contact, exchange of phone numbers. They didn't even notice when we were leaving. I was playing some bar games with other book clubbers, and one whispered, "Good. He needs to get laid!" We all thought something more than friendship was blooming.

Was I a bit heartbroken? Sure. But I went to another party afterward and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We just aren't compatible beyond acquaintances. Oh well.

Yesterday was another meeting. I took the bus on the way and was journaling when I looked up and noticed someone at a stop that resembled Mark. I put my head down, kept writing. "If it's him, let him come to me," I thought. Very teenager-y, I know. Well, it was him and he did sit next to me and we had harmless chat the whole way. As further proof of his disinterest though, I discovered that he's actually been living less than a mile from me (temporarily) and, btw, hasn't told me. :/ It's difficult conversing on buses on trains, especially on the subway when it gets loud and creaky. There were lapses in conversation and I missed flirting opportunities. So I figured I must be mostly "over him." I still got a little nervous and was again freezing in his presence. I did manage to fit in a couple compliments, though.

At the meeting, someone joked to him "So, where's your girlfriend, Angie?" He replied that she was out of town but he did not know she was his girlfriend.

...What? It was classic "interested" body language! He isn’t into Angie? She seemed like a good match for him. In all honesty, I had a spurt of hope, and regretted that I wasn't more flirtatious when I had him all to myself!

Well, after the "after party," I went with him and two other members home on the same bus. He sat by the man and I sat by the young woman. But as Mark left the bus, he shook our hands, and my voice’s pitch rose as I said goodbye. I also finally looked up and waved at him out the window when he looked back at the bus. I'm horrible about remembering to look back, like they do in the movies.

So I added to my flirting repetoire last night. My crush isn't quite as gone as I'd like it to be, but I think I'm in an overall healthy place. I know there are others out there. I just need to keep an eye open.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What should I do with my life?

I've recently joined a Catholic leadership group of sorts, and we've been talking about this question a lot. We've been talking a little about discernment and how we can start to figure out what it is we're supposed to do with our lives. Of course, in addition to thinking about career, or vocation goals of mine, I also wondered about this whole single thing.

On the outside, it might look like I've failed in my dating mission this year. I rarely make it to a date #2 with a guy, and all my "crushes" over the past year have fallen through. Have I really succeeded at all if I'm still single? Yet I feel like I've learned so much about how to date, how men's brains work. I have not obsessed over anyone since December 2009 as I have learned how to tell that a guy does NOT like you. That's a big step for me. I no longer blame a guy not calling me back on him being "too shy." I've stopped fooling myself.

Discernment, by the way, is also about choosing between two goods. I truly don't think to be forever single means one is "doomed." I've never been in a relationship, so I've always kept my plate full. I have great friends, a career, two cats that I adore, my own space, hobbies, travel opportunities... One of speakers said while discerning, pay attention to your affect. When I think about being single or married, how do I "feel?" The thought of being in a longterm relationship, honestly, sometimes frightens me more than being single forever. But although I've seen friends struggle in relationships, I have also seen the beauty and richness of longterm relationships that work.

I don't want to close myself to the possibility of being in a longterm relationship, but not because I think my life will be incomplete if I never find romantic love. It won't. I'm going to be "fully single," and take on all the opportunities I can as a young, single woman.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How to find a nerdy guy

I've been googling this during times when I have nothing better to do, as I am keeping my eyes open for such a man. Although I have never been in a relationship, I think a somewhat dorky or nerdy guy would probably match well with me. I wanted to share some of the tips I found on my searches. Though I plan to try a few out, note that some of the advice was more humorous than helpful.

1) Go to restaurants, the same ones, regularly.
Nerdy guys don't and cannot cook, so they eat out a lot. Also, because they like routine, they tend to frequent the same restaurants.

2) Hang out at "cons."
Comic/Anime cons, Star Trek conventions, video game cons as well as other such sci-fi, technology-ish conventions attract nerdy guys, apparently.

3) Do online dating.
They don't get out much, you know.

4) Try to catch one's eye at the library or bookstore.
I don't know. The library attracts non-nerds too. Students and people who just don't want to pay for books go there.

5) Approach him.
They're too shy and nervous to approach any women, especially one as attractive as you! Well, I'm not one to just go up to guys I find cute. We'll be stuck admiring each other from afar!

6) Join online forums, especially relating to nerdy things.
Again, they seem to have no social skills and do their best communicating online.

7) Go to a technical college.
Too late. I graduated already.

8) Or go to a lecture that's open to the public or take a continuing education adult course at a college.
Nerds are lifelong learners.

9) Hang out at a comic book shop.
Do those still exist? The big chains have manga and comic sections now. I thought they put the comic stores out of business.

10) Hang out at the record shop for a music geek.
One that hasn't closed down, that is.

11) Hang out in the technology section of a store, or even better, a computer store.
If you're into computers and technology, do it. Don't fake being interested in technology.

12) Go to a nice bar.
Nerds like to drink too, but they won't be at the meatmarket.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Should I stay a virgin until marriage?"

The other night, some non-virgins (who were unaware of my virginity) and I conversed about our love issues, and this question has been front and center for me ever since.

Two of the women were in their forties, one of whom divorced her husband of sixteen years a while back. They mentioned that for them, sexual compatibility was the most important part of relationships. If compatibility were a “pie chart” (as one of them said, and I think the pun was intended), sex took up at least 60% of the pie. The other woman said close to 75%. Now, these are just two women. It made me wonder, though, is this true for most people? They said that from sex comes all else in the relationship, it’s the foundation and glue.

Then where does that leave me? I plan to eliminate the “most important” part of the relationship until marriage (or at least engagement). Is it ridiculous to expect a man to decide to marry me before he sleeps with me? What about me? What if I’m stuck with a man who doesn’t turn me on in bed, until death do us part?

My inner feminist also wondered about the logic behind virginity. Am I just feeding into some idea that for a woman to be “virtuous,” she has to suppress her sexuality? Sexuality, in many ways, gives women a power over men they might not otherwise have. Our sexuality can liberate us. Is virginity really just another way of holding us back?

I don’t feel totally suppressed, at least not always. I took bellydance after all (and might again as my New Year’s Resolution). I’m seldom uncomfortable in conversations about sex. I’ve gone to a sex toy party. I’m not afraid to show some skin. I also know that if I were to have premarital sex, God would forgive me because God is all-forgiving. However, could I forgive myself?

My friend Amy and I have both decided to wait on sex until marriage. We’re like each other’s role models, and if I have premarital sex, I feel like I’ll be letting her down. This is something we’ve been struggling together with since high school. It’s one of the things we bond over. Amy might have no virgin friends left if I leave the V-club. I think that’s one of the main things keeping me a virgin. I don’t want to abandon Amy.

But that night, amongst those women, I felt like a naive little girl. I don’t want a puppy love, kid relationship. I want to be treated like a woman, and that might mean sex.

I’m still not giving the “cookie” to just anyone. If a man and I are in a committed relationship, if it might be going somewhere, maybe I’ll loosen up my stance. I have a right to be picky, but I also have a right to ecstasy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saving Money While Single: Food

I decided to take a break from dating posts for a bit and talk about another issue that plagues singles: money. I know married people have money problems too, but at least many married couples are living on two incomes. This summer, due to my part time status, I've had to revert back to the uber-budgeter I was when I lived on a volunteer stipend. Also, because I'm a Vegan, I need to get all the nutrients possible out of everything I eat. So I decided to share some of the ways I save on food and get my vitamins.

1) Eat out less.

2) Embrace the "throw everything in a pot" technique.
-This is especially helpful if you have a lot of things in small quantities to finish: 1/4 head of lettuce, 1/2 cup of rice, 1/2 a tomato, you get the idea. Throw it all together as a stew, casserole, salad, stir fry, or soup.

3) Don't toss marinade liquid.
-Add it to the cooking or use it as a dipping sauce (depending on what you're making).

4) Save water from steaming.
-After you steam veggies, save the water and add it to something else later. There are vitamins in there! Use it for boiling rice, add it to sauce, pour it on whatever you're cooking, etc.

5) Blanch and freeze veggies (instead of letting them rot in the fridge).
-Blanching means “placing in boiling hot water briefly.” You can google how long to blanch each kind of vegetable. Throw the veggies in ice cold water, then throw them in the freezer (in a freezer bag of course).

6) Invest in a crock pot.
-Goes along with the "throw everything in a pot" technique, and I found mine at a thrift store (new!). This is especially good for cooking beans. They are also useful for busy people in general. Throw everything in the pot in the morning and when you return from work, dinner!

7) Save water from soaking nuts.
-I soak nuts for making "cheese" and vegan pesto mainly, but then I use the water in something else (like baked goods or oatmeal).

8) Use the last slices of bread
-I used to hate those last two slices of bread that were the ends of the loaf. But now I know you can soak them, blend them and add them to soup to make a creamy sop (that's what they did in the Middle Ages, sans blender). Also, they can be used as breadcrumbs.

9) Whole Foods' bulk foods
-Whole Foods sells lots of stuff in bulk: beans, teas, flours, nuts, granola, spices, etc. You can just buy what you need, which is especially useful for spices.

10) Don't toss brown bananas!
-Put them in the freezer to eat later as a healthy frozen treat. You could also use them instead of eggs in baked goods (and not just banana bread).

Essentially, “waste not, want not” is what I try to follow with food.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: "Why Mr. Right Can't Find You" by JM Kearns

While searching for dating books online, this title kept popping up. I wanted to read this just because of the title. Overall, I love it!

The section that especially grabbed my attention is Kearns' section on compatibility. One of my issues is I'm not so sure what I want. Does it matter if he likes stand-up comedy and pop music like me? Do I really need to look for someone who is my intellectual match? Should I skip over online profiles if I don't find him physically attractive? Well, yes. Kearns specifies what things to pay attention to when figuring out compatibility. One question I love: Can you go on a road trip with this person? Good point. If we have very dissimilar taste in music, what will we listen to on an eight hour road trip?

After reading this book, I did some journaling about my ideal man, with new insights. Before I started dating, I was picky about the wrong things. Once I tried to date, I became un-picky about the wrong things. Now, I feel like I have a better picture of my Mr. Right.

I also have a better idea of how to help Mr. Right find me. Like many other dating sites and books, Kearns says women should be outgoing and we should give a man a signal that it's okay for him to come talk to us (like by smiling). He also challenged my plan to avoid bars, but made a valid argument. Lots of men go to bars, and they aren't all dogs. Seek out more grownup bars or even the bar in a nice restaurant.

What I love most of all, though, is the overarching philosophy of the book. There are lots of guys who will like you just as you are. Also, he challenges us to get rid of the whole "Destiny," thing, as in, "There is only ONE Mr. Right for me and I just need to sit and wait for my prince to come." Although I believe in monogamy and that God has a role to play in matching us up, at the same time, the "there is only ONE man for me" belief is problematic. Billions of people live on this planet, millions in my city. There are probably many men who would match with me. I believe in free will, not fate. God lets us choose which direction we wish to take with our life. I don't believe God plays games like this with us: "Let's see if you can find the ONE man I made for you. I won't tell you who he is or how to find him, but if you don't choose him, you're screwed! Muahaha!" Instead, I think that God already has plenty of good choices for me. Even if I decide not to pair with any, I don't believe God will doom me to an incomplete, meaningless life. What's the point of free will, after all?

Anyway, yes, I recommend it. Yes you must read this if you're single. This will be my new dating manual.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"So why don't I have a boyfriend?" Improve thyself first

After my blah date with Lou yesterday, I decided to google that question, just to see what "advice" comes up. Several search results featured teenagers asking that question, which further added to my feeling of being "behind" everyone else! There were some recurring themes in the answers. Some included the usual, "be more outgoing," "be more flirty," "be less shy," "get out and meet people." However, another tip that kept appearing was basically, "Focus on YOU and your life."

I like to think I am an introspective person, aware of my strengths and weaknesses, always trying to improve myself. Here's the thing, though. Learning about oneself and improving oneself is a lifelong process. You never finish figuring out who you are and what you're about. Many people don't even come close to figuring that out before their middle years, 40-years-old and older. I know plenty of people in relationships who haven't begun trying to figure out "who they are" or are currently struggling with that question. If I waited until I "knew myself" before I sought a relationship, well, I would never seek a relationship! I have been "working on me" my whole life, but no man seems to want to jump on board with my life. So that advice isn't helpful for me.

However, one other piece of advice that I do think is helpful is "go out and meet people," but perhaps not through the typical means. Watching Tyra's show on Friday (hey, sometimes I like trash TV), further confirmed my belief that going to bars is a bad way for an introverted or shy person to find love. They interviewed a 23-year-old woman who never had a boyfriend and sent her off to a bar with a professional "wingwoman." It was clear that the girl was nervous when the wingwoman went away. The girl was not at her best in a bar. SO WHY PUT HER IN A BAR? Put her in a situation where she is comfortable, where she can shine. She totally seemed like a sweet girl, like she'd make a good girlfriend (and she was pretty).

I think I'm on the right track in terms of joining classes and clubs that I like in order to meet more people (especially guys). That way, the focus is not on socializing but on the task. You don't feel like you're "on stage," but you'll probably be showing off some of your best qualities. I'm already an amazing person, but I can't be an amazing person in a bar or "singles event." Perhaps I can't be amazing on a completely blind date either, where I don't know how not to turn the conversation into a job interview. I need to put myself in situations where I can show off my awesomeness, and therefore attract a guy who just might be compatible with me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

getting their act together

I got a phone call tonight for yet another elove referral. Rats. Now they are actually sending me dates. The guy is named Lou. He already got a letter about me in the mail but I haven`t received one for him, so the phone call was a surprise. He sounds a bit old. And he`s out in the burbs, but at least he will drive into the city for me. I still am on a high from Mark too, though l know he is probably not into me. Still, I just can`t trust elove. Hopefully the hour date won`t be totally dull. Let`s see how well they responded to my feedback.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini triumphs in flirting

My inner flirt got to spread her wings a bit this weekend. In all honesty, it looked nothing like the picture, but anyway.

Saturday, my friend asked me to be an extra in an independent short film that her friend was directing. I was assigned, last minute, to do something front and center, so I needed makeup. While the makeup girl was powdering and eye-shadowing me, Mr. Director walked by and asked how it was going. The makeup lady said "Just making her gorgeous," and he replied, "Well I don`t see any difference at all!" I replied, "You are just too kind!" That's me, flirt-mode. He was probably gay, FYI.

On Sunday, during the Sign of Peace at Mass, Rick (who has some sort of special needs) once again said, "Ooh, you still have big muscles." I don`t, btw, but that's become the thing he likes to say to me every weekend, after which he proceeds to pat the bit of fat on my upper arm. I told him, "Oh, you are just too sweet!" My inner flirt was now very attentive to any potential flirting opportunities.

All this came to a sort of climax on Sunday afternoon after the book club meeting. As you may know, I have a little crush on Mark, the club moderator. Still don't know if he's gay (I have reasons to suspect he is, on which I won't elaborate now), or interested, or childfree, but I got a little thing for him anyway until I know otherwise.
Let me quickly explain that to get to the meeting via public transit, I have two options: 1) Take the train to the nearest station and walk about fifteen minutes, or 2) Take the train to a station that's further and take the bus, which brings me right to the door of the meeting site. Option 1 is often the quicker route, but if it's bad weather (or I don't feel like walking), I take the bus. After the meeting, I wait for the bus because when Mark leaves, he usually walks past the bus stop to get to his car. Silly me, I know, but whatev. He usually walks right past me without so much as a nod. However, my goofy self still waits for the bus in hopes that maybe he'll at least wave as he passes one day.
Sunday, he was talking (ahem, debating) with a new book club member outside after the meeting. They couldn't come to a resolution in their discussion during the meeting. I started thinking, "Well I guess he's into her, not me," because that's what I do, jump to conclusions, find reasons to stop crushing on guys. I waited (and waited and waited...) for the bus. I stopped glancing over to see if he was walking my way and just read my book.
Lo and behold, Mark stops and says, "The bus is late, huh?" And we preceeded to converse, much to my delight! Nothing sexy in the conversation, just talked about walking, the city, traveling.
It was very cliche, how I was feeling: not fully listening, unable to speak as coherently as usual, lotsa smiling, giddy. I didn't care what he was saying. I just wanted him to talk to me. He actually stayed with me until my bus arrived. I expected just a quick goodbye, which would have made my day! I'd like to think he just wanted to spend time with me because he's totally into me, but I know, I know. It may mean nothing.
Anyway, when the buses arrived (yes two arrived at the same time, typical), he made a comment about their tardiness and I replied, "Well I guess it's a good thing the bus wasn't on time. Otherwise, I wouldn't have got to talk to you!"

Hey, for me, that's flirting. That's as good as I get.

Anyway, my mania and glee and fantasizing has died down, though I still like to run through the conversation in idle moments. Also, now I remember what "attraction" or "chemistry" is supposed to feel like. The conversation should just flow, the "flirting" should be automatic. I remembered that happy nervousness, the desire to be sexy just for him, which I haven't felt since Nate, back in December. No date has tickled my fancy this year. None, yet I wondered after each date if I should give the guys another chance (I usually didn't). Maybe the spark would be delayed? I don't know if Mark was feeling the tension too. With my luck, probably not, but I friended him on facebook anyway a couple days ago, and he accepted. I guess I should be happy that he sees me as a friend at least.

And now I can facebook-stalk him and keep in touch between meetings. ;-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I try to avoid doing 2 blog posts in a day, but I'm frustrated, and am so close to abandoning this whole dating resolution!

I decided to try the online dating thing again, per the urging of a friend of mine. She recently found a man on okcupid and told me that there are so many nice guys out there! I have to give it another shot!

So the last week or so, I've been on okcupid, mingle2, you and me pure (the virgin website),, and I've come up with a whole lot of nothing. It's the same problem I had before. I can't find good guys who don't want kids. The guys who don't want kids either a) are Atheist/Agnostic or b) really want sex (some moreso than others). Some are even sexual deviants! What's annoying about okcupid is you can't put "doesn't want kids" as a search preference. So I have to read the entire profile and weed through a bunch of answered questions to figure out if they want kids. I guess I could just ask them, but then I'd be messaging dozens of guys daily and they'd all be incompatible anyway. Only 5 virgins are in my state on the virgin site, and the one who really appealed to me wants kids. Mingle2 is a wasteland. They all look shady. I know, don't judge a book by its cover, but that's what you have to do with online dating. Some of the guys on mingle2 even have very suggestive headlines ("looking for someone to go downstairs")

I can't win!

I read quite a few childfree blogs, and a lot of childfree are married. They found someone, why can't I? Is it because I won't put out? Is that what it is? Sometimes I think so. Perhaps it really is too late. Perhaps this whole effort is fruitless.

I didn't try to date and got no boyfriend. Now I have gone on dates with about 6 guys, still no boyfriend. I started making more of an effort at this a year ago. Am I being impatient? I know, if God has a man for me, God will send him (or lead me to him) when the time is right. Despite this ranting, I really do like my current life. I'm just seeing if there's a worthy young man I can share my life with.

Maybe not. Maybe I really am meant to be single. I can live with that, really. I just wish I knew for sure if I am wasting my time "trying."

August date: check!

So elove did send me a referral after all. Rats. I hoped Shea was bs'ing me 100% so I could go forward with my plan: send a complaint to the BBB and block further transactions. I don't think I'm justified in doing that right now since they aren't really in breach of contract. However, I won't call them anymore. If another 3 or 4 months go by without a referral, I'll just continue with my plan to complain and block transactions.

My date with "Juan" was last Friday. I'm trying to document as best I can any contact with elove and what happened/was said on the date, so if they send me a referral that was not what I requested, I have grounds to complain. The date was so-so. He was Mexican (mestizo, to be more precise), so he was definitely one of the more attractive of the guys I've dated! Tan skin, dark short hair that was a bit spiky, a little over six feet tall and five years older than me. Thin, but fit. I saw him walking toward the cafe out the corner of my eye and I didn't think it was him. I thought he was too cute to be my date. It's not that I don't think I deserve an attractive date. I just thought they'd match me with someone somewhat nerdy, like me. Attractive guys never want a second date with me. It's the nerdy ones who are more interested. Anyway, he also was gentlemanly: held the door and paid for my meal.

However, like the last date, he was kinda dull. He's a mechanic (way to be stereotypical Mexican) and that's pretty much all he does. Fix cars and hang out with friends. Yawn. I told elove I want a guy with varied interests, who does more than go to work. The conversation started to slip into car repair and I (sort of abruptly) changed the subject. I tried to keep questions open-ended and do more listening this time. I asked him about Mexico, but we started to slip into a conversation about immigration. It wasn't heated, but I know NOT to talk politics on a first date, so I changed that too. I set the limit of one hour for the date and that was the right time to leave. There wasn't more to talk about, really. Or rather, I couldn't think of any more interesting topics to discuss (that would be appropo for a first date).

There were two main objections I had to him. Juan owns a house (good), but it's in a suburb of my city. His mom lives with him too. Boo. He likes living in the burbs and that won't work for me in the longterm. I'm a city girl. Living with mom is also a turn-off for me. The main drawback, though, is that he wants kids someday. I know I told elove that I don't want kids! So my feedback will focus mainly on those objections. I hate to admit it, but they did send me two guys who were among the cuter of the men I've dated, but the personalities are wrong. I can't be that boring! I can't!

It's BS with elove, this feedback. They screw you over. My interviewer told me to be specific, but if you are specific, you don't get referrals, because you're too specific. What in the world? You can't win. I'm so not paying for a matchmaker again once I'm done with elove!

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Introvert Power" review

This book isn't specifically about dating, but I imagine a lot of singles have to deal with the "extrovert bias," as the author calls it.

This book is going to become one of the books that changes my life.

When "friends" of mine explain to me why they think I'm single, they often are speaking from an "extrovert bias," meaning extroversion=good/healthy while introversion=flawed/unhealthy. For example, "you need to put yourself out there more," "you need to meet more people," "you need to be more outgoing," "you need to talk more," "you need someone who'll pull you into the conversation." These criticisms go to the core of my being, and refer to qualities which I now realize I can't change.

I'm in dance class, a book club, a young adult group, a leadership group and I have been attending Theology on Tap sessions. I don't have a problem putting myself "out there." I have 200 facebook friends so it's not like I don't know people. I do talk in certain contexts. I don't need someone who'll pull me into a conversation I don't want to get into. How cruel is that? If I felt the need to speak, I would speak. What's wrong with observing, wanting to be left to your own thoughts and reflections?

After reading this, I now have answers to these criticisms. I don't know how many times I wrote "YES" on the margins while reading. I related to so much of what Helgoe was saying. And although I tend to have high self-esteem and love myself, I realized that many of the parts of myself that I thought I needed to "fix," don't need fixing. It's not that I think I'm perfect and flawless. However, I was internally beating myself up about some things, things which I couldn't change. I still bought into the extroverted bias, though I thought I was more independent and free-thinking than that.

Amongst other things, this book confirmed my desire to NOT use "singles events" for dating. I was right. Those sort of dating "network" events where you drink and mingle are NOT good for me, though some well-meaning friends might say that's just what I need. Why put myself in a position that makes me uncomfortable, that shuts me down, where I can't shine? Do I really want a super-outgoing, extroverted guy who knows how to function at those events anyway? Opposites do not always attract.

The funny thing is that many people don't believe it when I say I'm an introverted. According to Helgoe, I'm actually a "socially accessible introvert." I've learned to play the extrovert role, to fake it. Really, though, mingling, idle chat and meeting new people drain me. Big crowds overwhelm me. External busyness wears me out. Although my job requires me to work with people, I'm actually not energized by working with people. More often than not, sitting at home watching movies is more desirable to me than going to a big party.

So EVERY introvert needs to read this, even if you think you're "okay" with yourself. I'm sure you'll get something out of it. Although now I continue to wonder how I'm going to meet a guy who's compatible with my personality. Where do introverts go to socialize?...

Monday, July 26, 2010

elove: the continuing saga

And so begins my mission to get out of my elove membership (legally).

Well, as you may recall, I signed a contract binding me to elove's services against my better judgment. What was I thinking? Why didn't I listen to instinct, the little voice telling me something is up? I agreed to a $2000 plan which I would pay off over two years. This included 12 referrals (dates). My first (and so far only) referral called me the week of Cinco de Mayo before I got his info. We went on a mediocre date that weekend and I gave my feedback immediately. I have heard NOTHING from elove. Not a thing.

I also have been googling "elove scams" and continue to find complaints and info on their shady practices. One particularly interesting page was The Right One Blows Chunks. The Right One is (one of) their former aliases. I basically had all the same "warning signs" he had, which now leads me to believe that my interviewee was totally feeding me scripted, practiced lines. I also read a story where a woman said TRO hired someone to go on a date with her. Yes, they hire stooges (or at least her branch did)!

Given that, I did a google search and facebook search on my old referral wondering if he was a stooge too. He's not on any social networking site, but I found out that his first name given on the referral sheet was a diminutive. Entering his full name, still no social networks, but now I know he worked at ----Bank in 2008 and gave money to the Obama campaign. I called his number again and it's still him (his voice mail answered, I didn't leave a message). Perhaps he was an actual member and not a stooge, but now I'm skeptical.

Before I give them any more of my money, I decided to try and cancel today.

I called membership services saying I wanted to cancel because I was dissatisfied with the service. Shouldn't have said my reason for calling. Of course, my local matchmaker (or whoever she is), Shay, was "on another call." So I left my name and number and was told she would call back. Three hours later, I called back saying I wanted to cancel because I'm not pleased with the service, that I hadn't had a referral since the first one, and that I wanted no more money withdrawn from my bank account. She said even if I cancelled the membership, I would still have to pay. If I didn't cancel within the 3 days after I signed, I'm obligated to pay. Even if I get married. She constantly answered, "No," as in no I can't get out of it.

But coincidentally enough, she was working on a referral for me today and was just waiting on him to call back before sending it to me. Uh huh. I had to call them to get them looking for a referral (or stooge) for me. She said sometimes things are slow over summer because people are on vacation and that sometimes it takes awhile to match people based on the criteria given. I said that I told Kimberly that it was okay if they were lenient on some criteria to get me "out there" and dating. The criteria I gave was already pretty open to begin with! She asked if it was necessary for the man to never have been married and I said that "Divorced is fine," though I honestly don't want anyone with an ex-wife, especially when they are so young. The only non-negotiable was that he can't want or have kids. So I had to loosen up the criteria though I am the one paying the $2000.

I am determined, though, to find some way out of this. I'm tempted to file a complaint to the BBB and just tell the bank to have the payments stopped. The two things I'm wondering about is there's a portion of the contract missing and the business address given does not show up on any google search. I'm trying to see if either makes the contract null and void.

Monday, July 19, 2010

green eyed monster

My single life has been going rather well. I have a new job that I love more than the previous one. I've spent about a month and a half in my new apartment and am loving it more and more every day. I was recently accepted into a Catholic leadership program, which I am excited to begin (though I'm not so pleased about being the darkest one on this year's cohort, once again I'm a token :-P ). I have a great, supportive circle of friends. Finally, I have a variety of road trips and other fun outings coming up this summer. Minus being broke until September (one of the downsides of singledom is living on one paycheck), life is overall satisfying.

Yet recent events amongst my friends are making me, well, a bit jealous. One friend is newly engaged. Another friend-of-a-friend is beginning pre-Cana classes with her fiance. Another friend is two months into a relationship with a man she adores. Another friend has yet another boyfriend. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. And I haven't been on a date since April.

Yes, it's partially my own fault as I've once again neglected my plan to have one new date per month, but it's also partially because of all the changes happening in my life over the past few months! I also need to pester elove to send me another referral. I have 11 more over the next two years. That's about one every other month!

So with several friends in romantic bliss, I can't help but feel like I'm "missing out." Although I love chilling on the couch, falling asleep with one of my kitties on my lap while listening to the smooth jazz radio station, I sometimes think, "It'd be nice to snuggle with a man instead of a cat for once!" I'm an introvert, so I can usually be alone without feeling lonely. Lately though, I am feeling a bit like a "loser." I'm in my mid-twenties and have never even been kissed! I'm sitting at home on a Friday night petting my cats? Have I set myself up for spinsterhood?

It's easy to think there's something "wrong" with me. There are women who are less attractive, less friendly, less intelligent and definitely higher maintenance than me who nonetheless found their match. Am I really too picky? Am I really not putting myself "out there?" Have I "doomed" myself to perpetual singledom because I won't put out until marriage (and what man wants to date a virgin in her mid twenties anyway)?

I know that God's will for my life is better than any plan I might have or society might have for me. I just sometimes wish I knew for sure if God does have a guy for me or if I really am meant to be single.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking back our dignity...really?

One of the nun blogs to which I subscribe linked to a website called, "Demand Your Dignity," in honor of today's feast day, which is the feast day of a virgin martyr. FYI, in the Catholic Church, a feast day is the anniversary of the date a saint died.

On the one hand, I think it's totally cool for a nun to link to a somewhat edgy site like this. That ups her coolness and realness to me. I do appreciate that it's a site created by "real men," trying to get the message out there that not all men care about how a woman looks or whether or not she is sexually desirable. They encourage women to demand respect and equality from men in relationships. I have only read a couple articles on the site, but I did enjoyr the "Pressure Against Virgins" article, which argues against the idea that virgins should "downplay their virginity" in relationships. They also link to unknown clothing designers who donate part of their profits to needy organizations and design cute, modest clothes, such as Christa Taylor.

The modesty argument doesn't sit well with me 100% however. I agree that how you dress affects how people see you. Everyone should think about how they dress and what image they want to present to the world. If I'm on a job interview, I shouldn't wear jeans, a t-shirt and gym shoes. If I go to a formal party, I probably shouldn't wear jeans to that either. Different situations call for different "uniforms." I also agree that if you don't want men to look at your large chest, your probably shouldn't wear tight, low-cut clothes. If you don't want men to stare at your butt all night, don't wear tight pants.

However, men need to get their acts together too and learn to control their eyes. I shouldn't have to walk around in a burka all day just because some man can't help staring at me. I've gone to the laundromat in jogging pants and a t-shirt and STILL had men try to flirt with me. No joke. I've been completely covered in a winter coat and men have still said, "Hey baby," to me. It's not just that women are being "too revealing" in their clothing choices. Really, either way, whether I'm dressing like a hoochie to get male attention or dressing like a missionary to avoid their attention, I'm worrying about what men think. So the problem still remains.

It's also one of the things people say to women girls to help them avoid getting raped, i.e. "If you dress like a ho, you have a higher chance of being raped."

Perhaps these men who created demand your dignity dot com also need to make a website for their fellow men telling them, "It doesn't matter what a woman is wearing. You have NO right to stare at her."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Falling in love...with Paris

Paris, the city, that is.

I returned from a quick trip to one of my favorite cities, Paris, France, about a week ago, and I still miss it, almost like a homesickness. Some might wonder why a single person would go on a trip to the City of Love for a vacay. Indeed, I saw many a couple engaging in PDA while there.

Yet I wasn't jealous of them. Rarely did I wish I had a boyfriend on my arm as I roamed aimlessly the rues of Paris. I was just so happy to be back after nine years!

Because I never have had a boyfriend, I don't know what it's like to travel with one. I've only traveled with groups and alone. I must say, travel can be quite fun and satisfying while single. I can go wherever I want, however I want. If I want to walk or take the metro everywhere, I don't have to worry about a fussy travel companion who wants to take expensive taxis. I can stay in a cheap, "real" French hotel (which means just a twin size bed, desk and sink, if I'm lucky...). I do not have to negotiate with a travel buddy who wants more "American" accommodations and therefore end up paying beaucoup euros. I can linger, or leave quickly. I can be serendipitous. I can sit down and have thé au soymilk at a café or just grab falafel "take away." I can be as scheduled or unscheduled as I wish.

Don't eat take-away falafel in Paris, btw. Or take-away Chinese food, for that matter. Really, don't eat anything take-away there...

Upon returning from France, a friend of mine loaned me the movie, "Paris, Je T'aime." I immediately watched it the night she gave me the movie (this was just three days after returning from Paris, by the way). Of course, I loved it, though it was a little painful to see the places I just visited days before.

The short that hit me the most was actually the last one, which was narrated in French by a middle aged woman who had a very American accent. She was a mail carrier and imagined herself delivering letters on the streets of Paris as she strolled about. I admit, as soon as I returned, I wondered what it would take to move to Paris, and get a little job and a little apartment there. It's hard not to imagine dropping everything and moving to Paris after visiting! She described how there were a few times she wished she had someone to say, "Isn't this beautiful?" to. However, overall, she was happy, and cried tears of joy and sadness, but mostly joy. She said that she fell in love with Paris, and believed that Paris also fell in love with her.

Word. That is exactly how I felt. That Paris loved me. I felt surprisingly normal there. I think it was partially because I'm conversational in French and also because I purposely didn't dress like a tourist. No backpack, bandanna and gym shoes this trip! I upped my style a bit. Indeed, I was mistaken for a local a few times while there! The private, introverted nature of Parisians was also very appealing. If Parisians DO hate Americans so much, I can understand why when I think of a stereotypical boisterous, fussy American. Everyone was friendly with me, however.

So no regrets for traveling alone, not even to Paris. The city is beautiful, magnificent, enchanting enough to distract you from whatever tribulations await you back, your other home, rather.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Review: "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man"

I know the book is over a year old, but I finally bought a copy and read it in two evenings.

I'm a huge fan of Steve Harvey's morning show, particularly the Strawberry Letters. So I couldn't wait to read the book, thinking Steve would be just as funny and insightful in the book as he is on his show.

Although some parts of the book made me LOL and he did say a few enlightening things (which I'll discuss later), overall, I was a little underwhelmed and wished I hadn't paid full price for the hardcover book. :-P In ALALTLAM, Steve's goal is to shed light on how men really function and think, what motivates them.

As someone who grew up in post-feminist America, some of what he said seemed a little too traditional-gender-roley for me. Steve is from my parent's generation, who generally courted during the 70's. Women's lives have changed a lot over the past 40 years. He talks a lot about "real men" being providers, basically restating the idea that men are supposed to "take care of" women and their families. As other feminists have pointed out, the idea of "men taking care of women" can lead to misogynism and keeps women in a dependent, vulnerable role. SAHM's are no longer the norm. Moms and dads work now. In many ways, especially in such an uncertain economy, the idea of one parent staying at home and not working (by choice) is frankly dangerous. Steve's statement that most men don't mind being the sole provider might have been true for his generation. However, I wonder how many men my age would be 100% okay with mom staying at home full time while he works.

However, although it's true that women's roles are slowly changing, I think boys today are still raised to believe that they will need to be the "provider" and "protector" of their future family. In my line of work, I constantly see parents, particularly parents of African-American boys, telling their boys to "man up," "stop crying like a little girl." Boys are still being socialized to hold in their feelings (which Steve mentions in his book, though he claims it's wired into men's DNA) and be "men." So when he talks about men not being ready for a long term relationship until they have defined "who they are, what they do, and how much money they make," I think that still holds true. I see it amongst my single male friends in their twenties. I've had male friends who were in long term relationships (relationships without sex, by the way), but didn't marry the girl. I wondered why, and reading Steve's book help me see a possible reason why.

He did have some useful tips too, such as 5 questions every woman should ask a man, particularly before she sleeps with him. He also says women should wait "90 days" before they have sex with a guy, to give enough time to figure out if he's worth being intimate with. I have a couple friends who should definitely take that advice! They jump in bed with their guys very quickly. He also tells women to have standards and reminds us that we are really in charge in relationships. We define which way the relationship goes. When a man is really "into" a woman, when he wants more than sex from her, he will follow her terms in a relationship.

So I guess it's not all so revolutionary or new, and definitely not as funny as the Strawberry Letters segment. However, I think it's worth a read if you can excuse his more traditional statements. After all, he's a product of his generation.

I just wouldn't pay $24 for it if I were you.

Shortest crush ever

Last Thursday, I went for some drinks with a few old friends from college. One young man who attended was “Eric.” He is a year older than me, and we were in a few student groups in college together. Therefore, we have many mutual friends and hung out (in groups, never one-on-one) regularly in college, but seldom see each other since he graduated. We exchange small talk at parties and when I used to take public transit, I ran into him on the train a few times. I also saw him at a protest that I passed while riding my bike. So we still run into each other, actually. :-P He’s very sweet, a bit introverted (which is a turn-on for me), very passionate about his political beliefs, but not self-righteous. His political activism is fueled by his religious convictions. We’re both practicing Catholics, FYI.

In college, I had no romantic interest in Eric. Although he is “in my league” in terms of looks (we’re both nerdy), I never found him particularly attractive on the outside. Plus, a friend of mine had the hots for him during freshman year, and I have this policy of not chasing after guys that my friends like. I hesitate to even do it eight years after she supposedly got over her crush on him. I say “supposedly” because I think she still likes him a little. What kind of friend am I if I pursue a guy who I know one of my best friends likes?

However, Thursday, I was in the mood for a little flirting. Sadly, I’m not particularly good at it. I was happy to see Eric, genuinely, platonically happy. But then it morphed into a more romantic interest. He appeals to me more now than he did in college, and in all honesty, I have toyed with the idea of us together. I sat next to him at the bar, but of course, didn’t talk much to him. A boisterous young man at the table held more of my attention. Bars are too loud for meaningful conversation as far as I’m concerned anyway. Also, in a group of about half a dozen, I become more of a listener and daydreamer. “Eve” had to bring me into her conversation.

So I missed my opportunity to flirt with Eric, but because he was attending a party after our bar outing that wasn’t too far, I offered to give him a ride. I was driving Eve home too, so what did an extra five minutes matter? The three of us exchanged small talk and a few jokes in the car. As he left, my goodbye was extended, and my voice jumped to a higher, more girly pitch. Eve caught my higher pitch and said, “You like Eric, don’t you?”

If it’s possible to blush on the inside, that’s exactly what I did. I’m a contradiction. I want to flirt, but don’t want anyone else to know that I’m flirting. :-P I was caught! I stumbled over my words and told Eve I have thought about it, but I was just playing, having a little fun. But that observation of hers started a whole weekend of me daydreaming, fantasizing and wondering, “What if?” I looked through old photo albums on facebook and on my bookshelf, trying to piece together a story, trying to see if there was ever any hint of something brewing between us. I hate when I obsess over a guy, so I made a deal with myself: “One weekend. I’ll give myself the whole weekend to daydream and fantasize to my heart’s content, that’s it.”

I’m happy to say that the crush that had been sizzling all weekend has fizzled. Although typing this blog entry has got me daydreaming a little again, I’m definitely not where I was this weekend. Plus, I had a bad week at work, and I think I needed a couple days of daydreaming about a boy. So I thank Eric for giving me a needed distraction. Although I certainly wouldn’t turn him down if he ever asked me on a date, I recognize that the likelihood of that is low to nil. We’ve known each other eight years and not once has he asked me even to get coffee with him. Clearly, he’s pegged me as a friend and has no romantic interest in me.

But that’s okay. It really is.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Partying: Catholic style

A new free magazine aimed at Catholic singles, Tobias, recently began distribution. As a single person who frequently feels invisible at family-centered Masses, I jumped on the opportunity to subscribe to a free magazine that focused on people like me. Some articles are uber-Catholic (i.e. an article that basically said the best sex is sex within marriage), but others have insight that is useful to all single Catholics, traditional and non-traditional.

One article this month, I suppose, was based on the assumption/stereotype that singles love to partay. It was called something like, "Catholics throw the best parties," and said how "Catholic" it is to throw big celebrations. Also, it mentioned that the Catholic church has built in days of celebration throughout the liturgical year and to have a boring party is to be very un-Catholic.

Although the author made some good points, one might argue that it was trying too hard to appeal to singles and perhaps missed the mark on what Catholic singles, particularly the ones who would read Tobias, actually care about. I don't know if the drunken, party-hard Catholics (or former Catholics) would pick up that magazine.

One point in that article I took issue with was when the author said weddings are supposed to be big. He used the wedding at Cana as an example. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine. According to the authour, Jesus' first miracle was about keeping the party going and celebrating. Firstly, I question if Jesus' intent really was to keep everyone partying and drunk or if turning water into wine had more to do with the Eucharist and the sacrifice he would be making later. Also, the author used the example of a "typical Southern Baptist" wedding as being un-Christian. According to him, in Southern Baptist weddings, the ceremony lasts only 20 minutes and then everyone goes to the church hall to have non-alcoholic beverages. The author felt that was totally "yawn." OK, that wasn't the author's wording, but that was the connotation.

I never went to a Southern Baptist wedding, but actually, that wedding description sounded way more Christian than some of the other weddings, Catholic or not, that people throw. The wedding at Cana might have been a big deal where everyone in Cana came, sure (I mean, what else was there to do?). But that was 33 A.D. There was no multi-million (perhaps multi-billion) dollar wedding industry telling brides they need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for their wedding to be special, to be perfect. Brides didn't have to go multiple times to the bridal shop to have their wedding dress fitted. Banquet halls and DJs didn't have to be rented. Brides in 33 A.D. didn't spend hours agonizing over what color the centerpieces on their table should be, how high heels to wear, what year of wine to serve. Today, couples get so wrapped up in all that pomp and circumstance of weddings that the actual sacrament gets forgotten, not to mention corporations eating up a couple's hard-earned money.

I agree that some Christians need to learn to "party more." However, first and foremost, a wedding is about a couple coming together in God's name, asking the community to bless their union. Many couples today are opting for smaller, cheaper, more intimate affairs (heavily influenced by today's economy), trying to spend under $10,000 on their wedding. That already sounds like too much to me, but anyway. We are supposed to celebrate seasons of the Church and seasons of our lives, but not at the expense of the original message, the original intent of the celebration.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hard Truths

Recently, I attended a baseball game with my young adult group. Within our section were other groups affiliated with the diocese. In front of me were two gentlemen near my age I never met. I paid no mind to them, but the young adult group leader, who was sitting next to me, said that she sold a ticket to one of them, "Al." She was comparing the two men and said that Al was cuter. I agreed, but I honestly hadn't checked them out before she commented. Al was sort of a cross between Chace Crawford and David Cook. Moreso Chace. Then she mentioned that he and I had the same occupation. I gave some sort of reply, and thought "Oh boy, now she's playing matchmaker." Another young man sat with Al and his friend. My young adult leader again whispered that she thought Al was the still cutest of the three. I agreed and she added, "Those other two look like nerds." I responded, "Well if they're nerds, those are probably my choices!" One resembled this guy, but with brownish black hair.

From there, the conversation basically continued with her saying that I shouldn't settle for one of the nerds and I replied that in adolescence, you figure out who your choices are, and guys as cute as Al don't go for women like me. She asked, "Well, haven't you moved on from adolescence?" I said that I have, but others haven't.

A recent show on Discovery Channel talked about attraction and how humans select mates. People generally go for people equal in attractiveness as themselves. Also, in adolescence, you learn by trial and error where you rank in terms of attractiveness. Guys as cute as Al have never been interested in me. The only guys who have been were, well, me...

It's a hard truth to face: I know some guys are out of my league. Yes, sometimes oogly guys marry beautiful girls, but I never see men date women less attractive than them. It's not that I don't think I deserve an attractive man, but I'm not naive. I know a little bit about how men function despite never being in a relationship! I know I'm not a "ten." I know I'm the nerdy "girl next door." I know that it's a waste of time going after Chace Crawford-looking boys. They won't date me, and why would they when they figured out they could get someone prettier? Nevermind my great personality traits, nevermind the qualities I have that are important for good girlfriends. If there is no sexual attraction, then I'm just a friend.

Some (meaning a couple coworkers of mine) might argue that maybe I should work harder, girl-ify myself more. Dress sexier, wear makeup, dye and perm my hair, flirt more, get contacts, show off more skin, and then maybe I would get more attractive guys (or more guys period). I'm not good at pretending to be someone I'm not, and what's the point of putting on an act? It'll be a hard reality check when I reveal that I'm actually a makeup-less, four-eyed, khaki and cardigan nerd girl. By the way, I understand I need to dress nice on dates (and have some revealing clothes), and I do own some makeup and high heels for special occasions! But that's not daily.

My young adult leader did go on to say that sometimes people are all looks, no substance. We really didn't know anything about any of the three guys. I concurred that that's usually true :-P . She said she still would try to invite him to a young adult meeting. I'm not holding my breath.