Category Archives: Dating
>As you know, I don’t spend an awful lot of time talking about my children. I’m not a mommy-blogger and I don’t really think I would ever want to be. This blog post will be a little different because it is about Annie.
Annika just turned 7 on Valentine’s Day. She’s absolutely adorable, but beyond that she’s very much an individual. She likes to be different. She likes to dress like a girl, but she wants to hang out with the boys. She worries about bullies, but she swears she won’t let them push around her friends. She’s decided that she is a werewolf and she’s not kidding.
Annie recently had a “boyfriend.” My mother completely freaked out. I didn’t. I really don’t think that it’s a big deal. I don’t see any point in decreeing that she not have a boyfriend. At this point, they just play together on the playground anyway. I think it’s normal and healthy for children to express curiosity in the opposite sex and I think it gives us an opportunity to help her develop a pattern of positive behavior and choices.
Children see adults and they are aware that some of us date. They are curious about it and they want to be like us, so they imagine what it’s like to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. They pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend or moms and dads, but they also pretend to be doctors, cashiers, and cowboys. It’s a natural part of growing up.
Do I want Annie to start planning her wedding? No, not at all. Annika isn’t planning anything either. She looked at me sadly at told me they broke up. It seems he didn’t like Michael Jackson, so it never could have worked out.
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The dating series, obviously, is on hold. I got to a point that I realized I really wanted to think about it a little more.
Clearly, I am not an expert. I’m more of an adventurer. You try to figure things out as you go along and hope for the best. You learn to trust your instincts. Sometimes, you take a wrong turn, but eventually you get somewhere. It’s not always the place you thought you were headed, but you learn from it and it adds to your experience.
Do you think that sometimes it’s really all about meeting the right people?
>Dating is a hard thing. You are expected to not only fulfill whatever whacked out physical needs the other person requires, such as nice hands, but also you must provide some sort of verbal stimulation. This is in addition to any chemical attraction you might have to each other.
I have a hard time. I am not known as an exceptionally shy person, but dates are different. They feel like a social test to me. I already have a speech impediment. Nothing is more attractive than a person who is so nervous that speaking becomes MORE difficult than normal. Who wants to be Elmer Fudd? (Here’s a clue: NOT ME!) In addition to getting the words to come out of my mouth, I also have to think of something to say. Let’s start with the basics.
The first thing you will probably say to a person will be a greeting of some sort. “What up, Dog” is not going to fly here, gentleman. I’m not saying that I don’t say that to my little brother to drive him crazy, but I leave the G-Talk at home. If that’s the way you speak to everyone at all times, including your boss, you have my permission to keep on keeping on. I find that a hello and hi are a good starting point.
The greeting is kind of the gunshot start to the relay that is the pre-date-conversation. At this point, the opportunities are endless. I try for what I consider intelligent conversation. Intelligent conversation does not include:
- Fart jokes. (No matter how funny they are, just hold them in.)
- Lengthy explorations of past relationships.
- Sex talk.
- Personal finances
Look, I like fart jokes as much as the next person, but I like to save those nuggets of delight for a time when I know a person better. Some people, as shocking as it may seem, do not like fart jokes or talk of bodily fluids at all. It may gross them out.
Your past relationships need to stay in the past. If you spend twenty minutes lamenting the fact that you were dumped by prince charming, who you hope dies screaming and on fire, I seriously doubt that you are ready to be dating. Even if you only have wonderful things to say about your exes, keep the ex-chat to a minimum. You are here to build a new relationship, not to wade through the swamp of relationships past.
The main reason I think sex talk should be avoided is because during a pre-date-conversation or date you are trying to get to know each other better. I know I spoke of relationship goals being different for each person, but for most people the tag and bag approach is not what you are going for. Talking about sex can be a distraction from more important topics.
Personal finances should not be discussed. You are not applying for a loan or buying a house. You are trying to get to know a person. A person is not defined by their wealth or the lack thereof and talking about that seems very coarse to me.
I am interested in getting to know a person. Dates and pre-date-conversations should be about two people trying to figure each other out. When I have a pre-date-conversation or go on a date, I am trying to get into your head. I want to know the real you.
Before I go off into the night, I’ll give you a couple subject that are always safe and fun to talk about:
- The Arts (Theater, museums, whatever.)
- Where you grew up.
- TV Shows & movies.
- Cars (Not necessarily yours, but the kind you like.)
- Dream Vacations
I like to listen and ask leading questions. Not every pre-date-conversation or date will be wonderful, but they can be enjoyable. For our next installment, unless my attention is diverted, we will discuss “If successful during the intelligent conversation stage progress to the “Planning an actual date” stage.” (Hopefully, we can shorten the name up.)
>Dating is a difficult time for many folks, myself included. The nervousness associated with dating may cause you to make decisions which, when you look back, will be cringe worthy. Today, I’ll share some of the things that make me slightly crazy.
1. Flattery – One can assume that if we are going on a date that you probably think I am attractive. You have probably mentioned it during the courting/wooing/snagging process. It is not necessary for you to tell me how beautiful I am every 5 seconds. I like to hear it every once in a while, but that should not be the meat of our conversation. In addition to being incredibly beautiful (/Facepalm), I am intelligent, thoughtful, and funny. You should try to explore those other qualities.
2. Being fake – I am a real person. When I go on a date, I try to be as authentic as possible. This doesn’t mean I have to spill my guts and present you with a storyboard of how I think our relationship should go. It does mean that when you are asked a question you should answer it honestly. It might not be the best time to go full strength with truth, but try to give some insight. Don’t be who I want you to be. Try being you.
3. Being weird – No matter how hot my friends are, we are not both going home with you. It is not going to happen. This is not the time to disclose your darkest fantasy. This not the time to admit that you slept in your parents bed until you were twelve. This is not the time to admit that you aspire to become the next Papa Dugger. This is not the time to ask if you can rub or lick my feet.
4. Flirting with other people – I shouldn’t have to mention this, but apparently I do. When you go on a date with a person you are giving them your time. If you can’t hold the mack back for an hour, maybe you should reconsider your game plan and head back to the club.
Now that we have discussed what drives me crazy, let’s talk about what I like.
1. Sincerity – I love this. I recall meeting someone on a first date who brought me flowers. As I approached I thought it was so corny, but the look on his face when he gave them to me was honestly precious. He was really excited about our date and was so happy to have something to give me. Honestly, I don’t even recall what kind of flowers they were, but I will never forget his face as he handed them to me. Sincerity cannot be faked or imitated.
2. Honesty – I may not like the truth, but I’ll respect it. When you tell me the truth it says that you respect me.
3. Table manners – You don’t have to be fit for the Queen but, for the love of everything holy, chew with your mouth closed.
4. Your attention – Nothing says I want to get to know you better than a person who is focused and involved in the conversation.
At the end of the date the only thing that matters is that you gave a clear representation of yourself and that you attempted to have a good time. I find that the latter is usually my biggest challenge.
>In my last post, I gave an outline of how I view the dating process. The first step, and the one we’ll discuss today, is: Select person (or be selected by a person.)
Selecting a person is harder for some people than for others. Some people see a person that is visually appealing and that can be enough to warrant asking a person on a date. Some people need to actually speak to a person to become interested.
In the first case, everyone has things they like. We have men who like butts or boobs. We have women who like butts or swear the first thing they notice are eyes. Personally, I am a hand person. I cannot date a person with the wrong kind of hands. What kind are the right kind? Um… the right kind. There isn’t any one thing about the hands. They just have to be right. I have to be able to envision the hands touching me and not feel gross about it. I know it’s wrong. There are so many more things to a person than hands, but they have to be right. The only clear sign I have of bad hands are the hands of nail biters. I don’t mind a little nail biting or even nail peeling, but nails that are bitten down into the quick are just not acceptable.
Now that we know that I am a freak, I mean, that I like hands we move on to the next step. The acquisition of the date. This generally requires person A to have a dialogue with person B. Here is a general idea of how this has worked in my case:
Person A: Greeting
Person B: Return greeting
Person A: Small talk
Person B: Small talk (laughing at jokes is also acceptable.)
Person A: Exhibit, explain, or imply attraction.
Person B: Reciprocate or Reject.
Person A: If attraction is mutual suggest a meeting at a future date. (If rejected move on and continue the hunt.)
Person B: Accept or Reject.
Person A: If the future meeting is accepted exchange information (phone numbers are best, but email works too.) If the future meeting is rejected attempt to exchange information anyway. Express gratitude.
The above is only for finding a person in person, obviously. Internet dating looks something like this:
Person A: View profiles until you find someone that you could potentially achieve your relationship goals with. Wink, give roses to, or message said person.
Person B: Ignore, respond, wink, or give roses back.
Person A: Send a message saying “What do you like to do for fun?” THIS IS MANDATORY!
Person B: Respond leaving out the weird crap or ignore.
Person A: Comment on whatever it is they like to do for fun. Include one emoticon minimum.
Person B: Respond to the response or ignore.
Person A: Suggest meeting in real life.
Person B: Approve or reject.
Now that we have figured out how selecting a person works we will attempt to explore being selected. Don’t worry, I’ll be brief(ish.)
I would say that the best way to get a person to select you is to gently convince the other person that they are attracted to you and that they want to ask you out. This is not always a planned event, though it certainly has been planned in the past. Conveying interest is a way to ease the concerns of the other party should they be interested in you. They will be more confident in asking you on a date because you have implied interest first.
Next time, we will explore Attempting to have intelligent conversation. I can hardly wait.
>It is no secret that I recently became single. It is also no secret that I am not fond of dating. I am a very happy person and I am fine with a boyfriend or without. Having a boyfriend has obvious perks, but I can be alone without too much trouble.
Dating has showed up like that long lost frenemy that you thought you were free of once and for all. Now, she wants to be friends again and I’m not completely sure I am ready.
Dating seems to work like this in most cases (for me):
- Select person (or be selected by a person.)
- Attempt to have intelligent conversation.
- If successful during the intelligent conversation stage progress to the “Planning an actual date” stage.
- Completely freak out about what to wear on the date. (AKA the “Suddenly, dressing like a 12 year old boy doesn’t sound like such a good idea” stage.)
- Enlist the help of real girls to make sure I look alright.
- Arrive at date.
- Revisit the “Attempt to have intelligent conversation” stage.
- If successful and the intelligent conversation is enjoyable proceed with further dates.
This basically continuues on until you decided to commit to each other or you decide the other person is not for you (or in the words of my girlfriends “a total loser.” I’ll be honest, I have dated a lot of what my friends consider total losers. Some folks would say that I look for them. I’d like to think that my last boyfriend broke that cycle since he was gainfully employed, living on his own, and the proud parent of one really smart dog.)
The next blog will be an exploration of step one – person selection. Sit back and relax. You’re cheaper than a therapist.
>I haven’t posted much this week. I was trying to think of a way to say what I need to say.
As my loyal blog readers know, I have been dating a really amazing person named Bob. He gets mentioned from time to time because he is part of my life, but I try to limit your interaction with people who may not want to be the subject of my blog. This is, afterall, http://www.courtneyschoenfeld.com/ and not whoiscourtneydating now.com. (That could be a fabulous idea for another site, but it seems like a little more of me than I’m willing to give.)
Bob has been dissatisfied with Florida for some time and over the past month he has made the decision to leave. He says the decision has very little to do with me and that he wants to be closer to his non-Courtney friends and family. I understand that because my family is here. I cannot move away and I adore Florida. I don’t want to move. Unfortunately, that means that our only course of action is to see other people. It is not what I wanted, but I knew he had been on the fence about staying for at least a year. It was not really a shock, especially since I knew he had been pulling away from me since he returned from his cruise.
Please Note: I am not at home wailing on the floor, eating Bon Bons, and cursing his name. He’s not a jerk. He’s just honest with himself about his needs and I respect that.
Also, Bob would prefer we not use the term “dumped.” He says that garbage gets dumped and that I am not garbage. He’s asked to be my agent for the career in comedy that only he thinks is possible. I said that was acceptable. You should only allow people who truly believe in you to represent you.