Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cameo - Single Life

I heard this song awhile ago on the R&B station and it's been in my head lately (the chorus anyway). OK, the song is definitely better than the cheeseball video, but hey...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Submission for One Single Life

Here is the essay I'm submitting to Beth Knobbe. She's looking for essays on the single life.


It’s funny when people assume that singles live selfish, indulgent, Epicurean lives. We blow money on luxuries like lavish vacations, spa treatments, fancy cars, expensive drinks, memberships at yuppie gyms and condo lofts. We also don’t give to charity and date tons of people.

Yes, my life is just fraught with material luxuries. Now that I am middle income, I do take vacations. When I get to my destination, I stay in hostels, but they’re just four stars away from those fancy five star hotels. I get a massage twice per year, if I have a discount coupon. I get a pedicure at the nail shop in Chinatown once a year. I do have a car now. It’s a used, four door coupe, but still. Sometimes I go out to eat with friends, and I buy one entire drink (maybe) as well as blow $10 on my meal. I do work out at home with my two exercise DVD’s sometimes. I have my own place too. It’s in an un-hip part of town surrounded by factories, but, hey, no roommates! That’s glamorous, right? I guess I am a bit of a Scrooge as I’ve only donated money to lupus research, animal shelters, Vincentian priests and nuns as well as natural disaster relief. Before the group folded, I also volunteered once a month with a group all over my city, but I should have found somewhere else to volunteer once that group ended! Selfish me! Oh, I give to church too, but you’re supposed to do that. In terms of dating, I have dated four guys total. I didn’t go beyond date two with any of them and have never been in a relationship, but four sure is promiscuous!

I live this “extravagant” life without the $3000+ tax return parents receive, by the way.

If single people are selfish and indulgent, I must be an outlier. I guess I live more extravagantly than a homeless person, but I listen to Gandhi’s quote: “Live simply so that others may simply live.” My Catholic upbringing ingrained in me the idea of living simply and giving your extra to the poor. In fact, in Luke 21:1-4, Jesus praises the widow who gave all she had to the collection plate rather than ones who gave out of their surplus.

I was taught (and believe) that all the money and material possessions of the world mean nothing if you don’t have the love of God. We are supposed to store up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. True joy and fulfillment comes from living the life God called you to live. Perhaps that life for me is perpetual singlehood, but that’s okay. If that’s the life God has for me, I have faith that it’ll be perfect for me, even if it’s lacking in some material comforts.

I do want to move away from these factories, however.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Matchmaking scam?

Uh oh.

OK, if you use eLove, definitely do not take price at face value. There is no reason to pay more than you have to for this.

I did some perusing online, which I should have done before going to the interview (lesson learned). I googled matchmaking scams as well as e Love. Many of the matchmaking scams are pretty obvious. Russian bride scams, scams from small mom and pop organizations, matchmaking services that cost upwards of $100,000.

In terms of eLove, it seems to be a mixed bag. They were one of the top three rated companies at the Internet Dating & Matchmaking Conference. Also, upon looking it up at, it's listed as a Better Business Bureau accredited business under its old name, The Right One.

But upon looking up The Right One on Ripoff Report, it is not without complaints. Many of the complaints are a few years old, though, and only one is for the office in my state. I guess the fact that the company has changed it's name over the years is a cause of concern, but it has bought out other companies. So that might be the reason for the name changes, not because they had so many complaints and therefore were changing their business name to cover their ass.

When I read the complaints though, many expressed disappointment at the matches. One man said the women were ugly.

Now I understand that if you give negative feedback about a date and the company sends you another match with the same qualities, you should complain. The woman I spoke to told me to be picky so they could pinpoint what I want. So if they don't take my feedback into account, then yes they have violated the agreement. One person said the match had a criminal record which is definitely grounds for complaint because eLove claims to do background checks.

But complaining because they gave you "ugly" people? You just didn't like the matches? Well, that's a risk you take with any matchmaking service. They can't guarantee chemistry.

But the potential loss is greater with a traditional maker.

I'll be explicit: they're charging me about $2000, which I'm paying off over the course of 24 months. So it comes out to about $70 a month. Hey, there are matchmaking services that cost over $10,000 and they originally were going to charge me $5000 to join. When I told her what I could afford per month, she was able to knock off more than half the price. True, there's a chance that they won't find me anyone within their pool, but that's a risk I'm taking. So I can't really be mad at them if nothing comes of it, as long as they're doing everything they claimed they would do on their end.

The company has 1000's of members and a few dozen complaints (many of the older ones listed on were resolved, by the way). Any company is going to make mistakes now and then, and it's clear that certain offices are more guilty than others. As I said, my office only had one complaint. I have to give the benefit of the doubt that the majority of members are satisfied. I also found a story where they took on people who were rejected by Also, Online Dating Insider visited in November and said nothing along the lines of the complaints on Ripoff Report.

So if it's ok'ed by the Better Business Bureau, if other people in the matchmaking biz are taking it seriously, I guess I can calm down. And anyway, if they try to take away more money from me past the 24 months, I have another checking account I can transfer all my money to so they can't get me (until I can get them out of my hair).

It's gotta be legit. But I'll keep a critical eye open.

A lid for every pot

Alright. I've done it. I joined a matchmaking service.

The service is called elove. It's beaucoup bucks, but they negotiated with me. I'm not at liberty to discuss the agreement, but if you try it out, don't be turned off by the price.

I'm feeling really positive about it! They called me up for a phone interview last week and I went in for my face-to-face interview today. The woman was very genuine, friendly, professional and approachable. She's been matchmaking for 10 years too.

Their process really is fascinating. It's not computerized matchmaking a la eharmony. I did fill out two surveys, but mainly it was about the interview. It was nice to talk to someone about what I wanted in a possible long term relationship. She said that the matchmakers come together with the applicants and literally fight over who should match with who. I heard that RA's are chosen in a similar way. It must be fun living vicariously through their clients, playing matchmaker.

What was a confidence booster for me however, was her reaction when I told her I'd never been in a long term relationship. She said, "but you're so bubbly and friendly." It was nice to have someone who didn't analyze my lack of a boyfriend as due to something wrong with me. She also said I was cute and looked "different" in a good way, like men should be drawn to me when I enter a room. I know that might sound fishy, like she was just feeding me a line, but she really seemed impressed with me and sincere. It's hard to describe. Anyway, she understood the struggles I've been having and reassured me that my experience was normal, that there are lots of people in my boat.

Also, I was so grateful that they cut me a deal. She must have really sold me to her boss. She even said, "I don't want money to keep you from finding love." Again, I know that when you read that online, it might sound like she was just feeding me a line, but I think she really was sincere. My disappointment upon seeing the price must have choked her as it choked me. It was heartbreak, really. Just as I was feeling good that maybe I can be matched, that I'm not such an oddball, that someone can find me a quality man, that there is a lid for the pot that is me, I turned hopeless.

I usually don't feel dejected about my single status and don't become hopeless at the idea that there might be no match for me. However after the stressful two weeks, I've had, after the bad news I've received in the past 24 hours, this was just...I don't know. It was a Murphy's Law moment. "Even a matchmaker can't help me? I really do need to just get this dating stuff out my head."

But now, in 7-10 days, I can expect a call, just in time for my trip to Memphis next weekend :-P. Great. It's expensive, yes, more than eharmony or or any online dating site. However, I think this investment will bring a better return than the money I've wasted on trial online dating memberships. It's clear that after 8 months of doing this on my own, I need help. Online dating just isn't yielding anything serious. I can't find quality men online for free.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Three boys? Which to choose?

So after nothing (really) since January, I can potentially have 3 boys to choose from.

I still have an almost-crush on Mark from the Book Club. He's starting to smile and look at me more, which is better than bad, though still neutral. Whenever I speak at the Book Club, he's a captive listener and always responds to me...well okay he responds to everyone. Whenever he talks about a previous meeting, though, he looks at me, though I'm not the only member of the group who went to the previous meeting. Look at me! I'm acting like Anne in Persuasion. Any little gesture or movement makes me go, "Maybe he likes me!" He hasn't asked for my number, made small talk with me after a meeting or facebooked me. He has my first and last name, so if he wanted to track me down, it wouldn't be difficult. I guess he really isn't that into me.

Then there's Kyle, the boring guy from the virgin website. His contact is infrequent and his profile pic is a little unsettling. Not warm and smiley. Very cold and hard. However, he said he'll be in town soon and would like to meet up, and I just can't get the nerve to say, "Uh, I don't want to meet you anymore because you're boring and look kinda scary." I might do the trick of having someone give me an "emergency" call part way into the date. "Sorry Kyle. My best friend is having a boy problems big time. I can't get into details but I need to cut it short and give her a call back." Something like that. He's not on any social network, which makes cyber-stalking difficult. On my google search, I found him on some car forums, that's it. I just want to make sure he isn't a psycho.

Finally, I'm going to try out elove, a local matchmaking service. They called me one night for a phone consultation (I left my contact info at Speed Dating) and I was too tired to just hang up on them and say, "No thanks." However, it sounds like a really thorough company. I set up an appointment for a face-to-face interview, which is supposed to take about 90 minutes. Yeah, hardcore. They do background checks on everyone too. Well, if it's less than $100, I'll try out the service. They claim to have a good success rate. Considering I have made little progress online dating of late, it's worth a shot I suppose. My money might actually go somewhere, unlike the $30 each I wasted on eharmony and

Be careful what you wish for. I'm most excited about elove. Even if I don't go with the service, it'll be nice to just talk to a "Relationship Specialist" anyway.

A call for essays: The joys of being single

Beth Knobbe, a friend of a friend of mine, is working for a book by St. Anthony's press about Single Life. She's looking for 500 word essays that address the joys and struggles (but emphasis on joy) of being single. If you're interested in submitting your own anecdote, you can find information at One Single Life. I plan on submitting an essay either regarding single stereotypes or about the idea that you're not an adult until marriage. Hurry though. The deadline is APRIL 30, 2010.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

you go Offbeat Bride!

I like the wedding blog, Offbeat Bride, although I am no where near planning a wedding. I'm still working on finding dates! It's just inspirational seeing people do what THEY want to do, regardless of what society (and the wedding industry) says a wedding should be.

Recently, they had a post about losing your virginity on your wedding night. Some of the advice goes against what Catholics are "supposed" to do (or rather, not do :-P), but I still thought the advice as well as the comments that followed made good points. I particularly liked how they said you shouldn't leave your pleasure completely in the hands of your partner. Communicate!

Personally, although I used to say I would wait until "the wedding night," I'm not so sure about that now. Firstly, not all virgins feel like sex after all the craziness of the wedding day, so I might be exhausted too. Also, I don't know if I want to be bumbling and fumbling so much on the wedding night or the honeymoon. I might amend that goal of mine to "wait until we move in together." No, I'm not saying I want to cohabitate pre-engagement. But seriously, if we move in together a week or so before the wedding day, does it really matter if we wait until the proverbial wedding night? Now we're supposed to wait one or two weeks AFTER we move in to hook up? I mean, really. Is that a reasonable expectation?

I don't know, but it looks like I have quite a while before I have to worry about that anyway!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

violently in love

In Pride and Prejudice, Austen describes Mr. Darcy as violently in love with Elizabeth...I think. Well, I'm not 100% sure, but that fits my attitude lately. Or at least, it fits where I want to be.

Let me be more specific. I'm in the mood for someone to be violently in love with me. I want a secret admirer. Recently, I've been watching more lovey-dovey types of shows in movies. In particular, I'm eagerly awaiting the series finale of one of my favorite shows, "Ugly Betty." No, I'm not a "Detty" per se. I don't want Betty to fall for Daniel in the final episode and for them to run off in each other's arms. That would be a cheesey way to end the series. However, after Hilda's marriage and Daniel looking so lovingly at Betty, I do want him to confess.

Hey, when you're a single virgin, sometimes you live vicariously through fictional characters!

Add to that nicer Spring weather plus recently finishing Persuasion and now I want some guy to be madly, violently in love with me. I want to be adored. Honestly, I do want some (worthy) man to stumble and falter from violent love in my presence. I want to give a man butterflies. I want a guy to be enchanted by me. Needless to say, I'm more eager to get more serious about online dating, at least compared to the apathy I've been feeling since February.

The moderator of the book club I joined, Mark, might be my next crush pending further investigation. ;-P I know little about him other than he's single, likes books and is a phD student. He's at a pretty smarty-pants school and an immigrant. I don't know his sexuality nor do I know if he's "into" someone else. For a moment, I suspected if he was into me, but no major signs are there. Plus, because I "almost" am in pursuit of him, I might be misinterpreting neutral singles for romantic interest. I do that a lot. Anyway, I tried to get there early, to the book club meeting I mean, to try and attempt some small talk, but it wasn't early enough. One other man was there, and I had a burst of nervousness. If I'm not comfortable around him, that might not be a good sign.

In any case, I am determined not to chase after guys or lust after guys who don't like me. That has been my pattern since....always. No more! I know a little imagining doesn't hurt, but I can't let this almost-crush keep me from remaining active in online dating.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why am I still single?...

Every now and then I revisit this question, "Why am I single?" in an attempt to be honest with myself and try to logically analyze something that's emotional. How can you rationalize feelings or attraction?

I identified several reasons why I was single prior to online dating and then after beginning this journey. Today, though, I re-realized something else about myself that could be a hindrance.

Something nearly disastrous happened at work today. I won't go into details, but to give something a little concrete, I took charge of a project of sorts. I wasn't the only leader, but I really was the main one. Due to miscommunication, a big mistake happened. I rightfully assumed everything was okay and that the worst didn't happen. However, because I was in charge, I felt like the near-catastrophe was my fault. If the worst had happened, I could have lost my job. Also, the miscommunication could have been avoided had I taken certain preventative measures, which I forgot to take in all the hustle and bustle of the day. After four years in this sort of job, I felt like I should have known better, but made rookie mistakes. I just hope word of this doesn't get to the new boss (we had a regime change at work recently), as everything was supposedly settled with all parties involved. I did apologize to those most affected by my error. I just don't want the first thing the new boss hears about me to be something like this, when typically, I'm very organized, thoughtful and conscientious.

As you may have noticed, when something bad happens to me or people under my "watch," I blame myself. I have this tendency to take on too much responsibility for bad things that happen in my life. "X happened because I don't have control." "It's my fault that Y happened." "If Mr. B had been in charge instead of me, Q wouldn't have happened." "Z because happened because I didn't do X and Y." Then I start ruminating and ruminating. However, I've found ways to process and release the ruminations in my introverted way. After leaving work and running some errands, I have a clearer head now and can reflect in a more forgiving way on my actions today.

Nevertheless, this "it's my fault" mentality, my tendency to take things personally, leaks into my reflections about why I'm single. I too often think, "I'm single because of something I'M doing wrong." "I'm not trying hard enough." "I'm not putting myself out there." "I'm not making myself look attractive." "I'm not willing to put out." It's a classic scenario of brain vs. emotion for me. In my brain, I know that the reason I'm perpetually single might not have much to do with me at all. Maybe I just haven't met the right man. Or, to put it in a religious context, maybe God does have a man for me, but we're not ready to meet yet. But then my emotions, I guess, kick in, and I start thinking my singledom is all my fault.

It's something I need to work on, this taking things too personally. This could be a real problem should I get into a long-term relationship. I just hope my INTJ tendencies keep me in the logic zone, and that I maintain an ability to look at things objectively.