Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Reject a Guy

Dating is work, hard work. Especially if you're like me and an introvert. Oh I'm functional in society but I feel drained after being around people. I feel energized after sitting in the archives section and pouring over data. Don't judge me.


Anyhoo, I have been reflecting a bit on what are the best ways to turn down a man's advances in any situation. I think the key is that we really have to thicken our skins a bit. Yes, our best quality is that we're sensitive and we hopefully are compassionate creatures who take people's feelings into consideration. But the downfall is that we too often allow ourselves to be strong-armed into situations where we don't want to be.


For example, have you ever met someone casually and you had a decent enough conversation with them but you had no romantic interest? So when they spring on you that you should meet up for a movie you feel slightly shell-shocked and just agree. You spend the interim mulling this over and how you’re going to set clear boundaries, talk about other men, put out all of these subtle hints (that only a subtle woman would get) and then he’ll lose interest. But something goes wrong- he doesn’t get the subtle hints and now he’s INTO you. It’s now awkward and you either end up submitting to hanging out with him more (making it even more awkward) or you dash out leaving him bewildered.


Yes, this is not good technique and assuming that men are going to get subtle hints is not going to get you very far. I am guilty of the above scenario and it’s after many awkward scenes from both perspectives that I give the following scenarios:


Swarthy Guy
I’m not talking of the chin-stubbled dark and handsome pirate type, I’m talking about the guy who leads in with overt sexual tones. If you haven’t dated in the past 10 years I don’t want to freak you out but these guys run rampant. They’re a norm and you’re going to have to develop a thick skin to deal with them. In social media they will ask you right out, “Do you suck a good…” -I need not finish. Most of the time they’re a BIT more subtle and seem to have an interest in you before they surprise you with an overt sexual question or implication, and this is when you’re caught off-guard.

I used to respond to these with, “That’s a bit too forward for me,” but this only resulted in them trying to convince me, backpeddle, or insult me as a counter to my rejection. Now I don’t engage- I simply delete and block them or if in public I look vomitus and walk away. This display warns other women not to engage with this level of ick. I haven’t mustered up the art of drink throwing yet but I think it should make a comeback on this type.


Nice Guy, No Spark
I’m sure there will be some guy out there that thinks that this is a testament against nice guys and all girls want are the assholes.Untrue (see above). This is to the guy who is being respectful of you but you don’t want to do the dirty with him. This guy often has a lot of insecurity and so he’s become good about being a victim.

 

One thing that’s going around is this feminist phone number:(669) 221-6251. You can give a guy this no. and when he texts it he receives empowering female texts. A woman thought this up but will a man get it? I mean he’s just going to think it’s you but that you can’t answer a damn question without being weird. Instead, I would suggest what my friend, Lindsey does: No, thank you! Whenever asked to do something she doesn’t want to do she’ll say, “No, thank you!” Very cheery and upbeat but to the point. She doesn’t need to explain herself or justify her response and neither do you. There’s no snark or discomfort and it can’t be argued with. Clear. Cut. Boundaries. Love it.  I did that with the old man at Church and he didn’t take it well. Insider alert! Doesn’t respect my boundaries- good to know. I’ve replied this way to normal guys and they shrug and move on. Had I only done this with DC Bachelor 1… that would have been better for sure.


You Dated but Now…

This guy deserves the most consideration. After all you've shared some level of intimacy and it's just not going to go further. A text or email is not going to cut it. This deserves some personal thought and consideration: why is it not going anywhere? Try to ensure that you're clear but have the conversation with little emotion; he will respect and appreciate the effort. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Screw Up a Rejection

When it comes to rejection no one really wants to be on either end. Though I almost prefer being on the rejectee side rather than the rejector side. Being rejected can just motivate one to improve upon one's self. Sometimes it's just in not being interested in as many deadbeats, other times you bunked it up and it's time to learn from that. But with being a rejector, well that just puts you in a damn awkward position. 

In my job I deal with nothing but conflict. Out in the field that's ALL I ever dealt with. But I never ran away or avoided the conflict because it's just part of the job. I've grown a very tough skin and the ability to show zero emotion on my face. It's a talent I've worked very hard at and value highly. 

But I can't do this when it comes to dating. In your career you can separate yourself and the other people from the politics- it's just ego, don't internalize. But with dating you're pretty much telling the other person that they're just not going to ever measure up to your standards. Eek, feeling discomfort. 

I wanted to continue from the DC Bachelor #1 and talk about how I let him go. I would love to tell you we had a mature discussion which resulted in a parting of ways with assurances that there were no hard feelings and it was all mutual. But that's not what happened. Instead I met DC Bachelor 1 at the movies. He had made a statement that since he bought drinks I could buy movie tickets. I didn't agree to this. Normally I would have just allowed myself to be pressured into that but I decided not to this time. So as we stood in line, doing the dance to see who would go in front of the other, he finally sighed and went to buy two tickets. I stopped him saying I'd buy my own. Look I don't want to take him out but I didn't want to use him for a free movie ticket either. 

He's a talker that wants to comment after every preview. He kept turning his body language towards me, leaning in to whisper. I took note of my own body language leaning as far away as possible. At the end we walked out and it was just tense between us (I'll take responsibility for a lot of that). He said we should do this again. I might have snorted ever so slightly. I told him to take care of himself and hastened to my car. 

Terrible way to handle things. He seemed so ready to go in for a kiss and I was thinking how awful that would be to flat out push him away or worse, be blind-sided by him. These were the awkward moments I was trying to avoid and instead created another awkward moment. It was in this instant that I had a whole new level of compassion for those dates that went nowhere. I blamed the boy for his cowardice but here I was no different. What was I to say? Explain how my body language should clearly have told him I repulsed any physical contact, my grunts of acknowledgement at his pithy tirades clearly told him my disdain for his personality, and if he could not interpret that then let me just bluntly castrate him now and verbally verify all of these things?? 

No, I chose the coward's way out. I am in no way proud of these actions (or rather inactions) but I still scratch my head at how I should handle this. What about the guy I met the other day watching Italy vs. England? Interesting enough but I don't want to watch every World Cup match with him. This has prompted me to look into appropriate ways to turn men down in all kinds of scenarios. Will return in a few days with my findings...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Lose My Interest in 7 Days... or Less

Have you ever gone on a fantastic date and you really feel like you connected? You talk or text each other and then he fades out a bit. There's a second date coming up so you're just sure you can win him over with your fabulous personality and eagerness. But it feels off. And then you never hear from him again. I've been there. And I've been on both sides of the coin too. This was the state of things last night as I had my second (and last) date with DC Bachelor #1. Here is a cartoon that keeps playing in my head when I think about him:

 

Our first date went well enough. Nothing spectacular just normal. Yes I found his negative slant on everything tiresome. Yes I found his dramatization of the mundane even more annoying. But some people are just bad daters and so I agreed to a second date to see if there would be more appeal. I go by the philosophy that you continue in relationships until you decide they're not going in a direction that's good for either of you. Does that mean you quit on your family or husband? No. That means that you keep dating until you either decide to make each other family or you decide to part.

After date #1 I could have gone either way. I rarely ever am wowed by a guy and when I am, people usually look at me with raised eyebrow and scornful snort. There's no type per se, just a masculine confidence and ease. Some are hunky (in a mountaineer sort of way) and others are skinny and awkward. I dunno, if I did know how to define it, I wouldn't be writing this last blog post. 

Anyhoo, first date over and he called me that evening to say he had a great time. Nice! I confirmed that it was nice to meet him and sure, I'd like to get together soon. And then the texting began. 

early afternoon: How was your day?... Want to hang out this weekend? 

Normal enough, then the texts increase.

11.29pm (not okay): Hope your weekend went well! [no response from me] 
Calls: I'm at work and bored. Call me back and keep me entertained. [no response] 
8am: How was your ride on the metro?
11.48am: How is your day? [no response]
5.34pm: Movie starts at 7. Should we meet there 6.30? [I was going to be there 10 till]
6.00pm (call): So you said this theatre right? Are these the directions? 
6.30pm: On my way! [no response]
6.45pm: Parking 
6.51pm (call): Where are you? Oh, is that you parking? I'm the guy waving at you.

If you don't see anything desperate and annoying about that then you are guilty of having scared a man or two away. It's neither normal nor attractive to come off too eager with nothing but time available for the other person. Normal people have hobbies and lives. I just moved here but I have meetups, World Cup matches, befriending neighbors, my dog, my hobbies- ahem, a life! Oh yeah and my career. I don't have endless hours available in the day for anyone, let alone someone I just met. I'll tell you, I came in a little excited. After meeting him I was still interested in seeing what was there. By day 3 of this non-stop texting scenario I was over it and him.

Monday, June 9, 2014

21 Months

My 21-month anniversary came and went but I was too busy enjoying life. I arrived in DC three weeks ago and I haven't really stopped running. From unpacking and figuring where everything goes, SPRING CLEANING and getting rid of tons of stuff, dating (seriously what am I thinking? Three first dates in one week?!), and a super busy job. Whew!

So it's no real surprise that my anniversary would come and go without a blink. The thing is I always thought that the 21-month anniversary would be my graduation and I would emerge this fantastically silver muse. But I'm nowhere near graduation and I've sort of just looked upon this as every month and every cut I emerge lighter than the month/cut before.

It think that's a healthy way to view this as it's not a contest. There are so many ways to go through this transition. My color-stripping added more time. The dingbat stylist that burned my hair added on more time. This happens and it's life.

So on my anniversary I had more important things on my mind, such as my good friend, Lindsey's wedding. I've known this girl for several years and I just think the world of her. I was there when she was single, going through heartbreaks together, to when she and her now-husband fell in love. Now I get to be there at their wedding and what a privilege that is!

Lindsey is 10 years my junior and Kevin 15. I knew the age of the guests would include the parents in their 50s-60s and a lot of Millennials. However the only thing I cared about was seeing my friend and looking my best for her. So I wore a new dress bought just for the occasion (thank goodness all this walking slimmed me down enough to put it on), did a rare full blow-out on my hair, straightened it into place, and really worked on getting the perfect upper eyeliner.

Voila! Here are the results. When I walked in I was the only person who didn't know anyone and I certainly wasn't going to try to commandeer the wedding party's time. I also was one of the few silvers with no one in my age group. But you know what? I still felt pretty. I felt my own unique Jilly brand of pretty. I think we should all strive to feel this way about ourselves every day. Not the Jilly brand- aim high to your own brand-- you know what I mean.

It was a beautiful day and I'm not ashamed to admit the number of times I became teary over my friend's happiness. There are few greater joys than witnessing your loved ones' joys and happy moments. So as my friend's wedding was around my 21-month anniversary, this pic will have to do. It may not show off my silver as well as some, but it shows off my happiness even better.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where Do I Stand?

I've had a few hiccups with this whole greying and dating thing. Mostly, it was the transition and I could focus the energy on that and say that once I was fully transitioned, all would be well and right in the world. But is this really the case? Even though I’m months away from full silverdom, the line of demarcation is so blended that no one other than a stylist would know it. Okay, include my obsessing over each ¼ inch grow out and we’ve a complete picture.

Anyhoo… point is I can’t hide my insecurities behind a skunk stripe anymore. When I was a ginger I had a sort of age anonymity, or at least I thought I did, and that gave me a certain level of confidence. Now I am a silver sister in a world where there aren’t many silver sisters my age. It’s kind of kick-ass cool but it’s also kind of intimidating. After all, where do I stand on the desirability index?
Week 1 in DC and I was anything but settled: sleeping on an air mattress until my furniture arrived, figuring out the DASH bus schedule (insert expletive), and hitting the ground running in my job. I went to church that Sunday for much-needed solace. I was just happy to be there and then an elderly man came up to me. At first I thought he was being friendly and welcoming but then, no he was hitting on me. He was in his 60s and doing everything he could think of to get my email. Fail.

That was a bit of a blow to my ego and I wondered if this was going to be the extent of my desirability? Old men, awkward in social settings who feel justified in hitting on me because I’m silver and therefore must be ancient? You can see how this has put me off a bit.

Let’s gain some perspective. What I WANT is this (see left)... What I got that Sunday was this (see right)... Not exactly uplifting to my spirits. I have had some higher points in the dating scene since then which I will divulge in a later post but this is where I was week 1.

This being a journey of greying and dating, I think it only right to be 100% honest. I’m not always confident that grey hair won’t limit my dating options. By saying that it seems like I’m considering dyeing my hair but I’m not. I love my silver and I am willing to keep it regardless of how it impacts my dating life. It’s not out of stubbornness but simply because I went grey for ME and I happily stand by that decision.
I think part of the journey is getting to a point where you walk into that bar and when someone checks you out you KNOW that they’re checking you out, not second-guessing what might be going on in their head. Honestly that’s a journey we all go through regardless of our hair color. Maybe the silver just brings it to a head. So this is an insecure moment but one I feel important to share. Yes I rock the silver and I love it but I also know that not everyone sees it that way. Further dating updates to come...