As many of you know, I have been out of touch the last 10-12 days as I have driven cross country from California to South Florida, just me and Luna, my golden! It gave me much time to think---and of course I thought about you, my clients, dating sites, fireworks, long winding roads where the speed limit changes every 8 minutes, to boredom, beef jerky in exotic flavors, to excitement crossing state lines (never been to Alabama), to 75 mile speed limits (yay, we know that means 88ish, right?), to teepees, bayous, moose crossings, low gas prices UNTIL Florida.
Ok, since my blogs are about online dating, what correlation does my road trip have to your love life? Five things I could think of----feel free to comment at the end if I missed some!
1. On The (wrong) Road
Nope, not a Kerouac counterculture thing. As I headed into Texas from NM, I must have missed a turn as I was dumped on a country road for 180 miles and met could-be-cast- in-a-movie local sheriff too as I cruised too quickly through his intersection. Slow down, I thought. Once we get it in our heads that we are ready to date, I see my clients all gung-ho, let’s roll, I want to meet him/her this month. And I have a certain type. Always. But do you really? As this road (slowly) meandered through Texas, I thought back over the past 5 years about my clients and who they ended up in love, in relationships with. (No, I could not go back over 25 years without my laptop, so my brain took me back to recent clients!)
You all generally give me a list of must haves in a potential online date. But where I learn more is when you talk about characteristics you do not want! We’ve all had relationships---that’s part of the wonder of aging---now, we have the experience to recognize red flags fast that in our 20’s we didn’t know about!
Lina, a 49-year-old pretty, fun client, showed me a match she had been texting with and was all excited about on paper and on texts he was perfect. Fast forward to the 5-minute facetime pre-date call---where he proceeded to interview her and explain his ex-wife’s’ weaknesses. That turned quickly into a 3–4-minute FT call…and luckily, no date, no time wasted!
2. Fireworks: A Sparkler or a Rocket
The best relationships with staying power start slowly---think a candle, a spark, a sparkler. There are common values involved, and after the initial nervousness subsides, a fun conversation. Remember, a first date is an audition for…. a second date!
Case in point: Victor, a 58-year-old investment banker (he lives in the Bay area) was in Detroit on business where he met via a dating app, Lola. She lived on a country club with a big lake, and they took a two-hour stroll around the lake and they fell in love. Yes, huge pyrotechnics. Chemistry exploding. I asked Victor on our weekly check-in call just exactly how this was going to work. Yes, I always root for love---even though I am wary of long distance. They decided to meet up a few weeks later in Chicago for a weekend---and well, that sparkler had burnt out. Both had kids, no one could move, plus as he told me later, it was more of a fantasy date---not logistically possible in the real world.
Now, I am not saying long distance never works. Kyla, a 62-year-old entrepreneur client of mine, spends part of her year in NY, the Hamptons and the Bahamas. Now, in this case, Kyla is dating Jeremy, an IT executive she met in the Bahamas---since she had a home there already and could work from anywhere they had the chance to spend much time together…and now they are engaged!
3. Rest Stops
Yes, I encountered many of these on my journey and they were surprisingly lovely, especially with grassy areas for my pup! And sometimes when you are dating, you need to take a break, a rest, a breath. Kendall, 42, is a client who recently relocated from London to Atlanta after ending an 18-year relationship. As we began her dating journey, she was enthusiastic and full of energy. Might I add she was averaging three new dates per week PLUS keeping up with 1 or 2 other men she had liked from previous weeks? Kendall texted me late one Saturday night a few weeks ago, absolutely freaked out! It turns out she was losing track of these men…and repeating the same stories over and over. She simply could not keep track of them.
Solution? A rest stop. I convinced Kendall to look at no more “new” dates online, but to explore possibilities with the 7-8 men that she was currently dating----we did not need to add more to this chaos! Over the next few weeks, it became apparent to Kendall which two men were truly candidates and she was enjoying.