Kindly check out my latest article on SW Experts! I’m sure you’ve had a friend or seen a celebrity that looks amazing after their break-up. Do you think their transformation was based on revenge? Or do you think their appearance is the result of the hard work they put into getting their life back? Take a look and see my perspective!
Did a break-up lead you to a new look or new fitness routine? Let me know!
And for updates, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC And I’ll follow you back because I want to know all about your 1FineD8!
Mickey Roark and Kim Basinger showed us that you can really jam a lot into 9½ Weeks. I recently learned firsthand how possible it is to fit quite a bit into that time frame, however I can safely say that Mickey (as John) and Kim (as Elizabeth) had a much better time.
It’s always a good thing to have a summer boyfriend, and Gregory entered my picture in late April- precisely the right time to make that goal happen. He was unlike anyone I’ve ever dated… the stereotype of the jaded New Yorker. A little on the quiet side, a lot on the grumpy side, but when he smiled he lit up the room. I really enjoyed spending time with Gregory because under the hard exterior was a soft creamy center that was wanting to see the light of day.
About two weeks into dating, Gregory suggested we be exclusive. I was totally down with that, seeing that I know my shortcomings and juggling isn’t one of my strong suits. With two weeks down and exclusivity on the table, I figured I accomplished the impossible… I scored a summer boyfriend!
With time comes knowledge, and as the days turned into weeks, I learned a lot about Gregory. Some great things, and some not so great things about this funny grumpster came to light.
When it comes to learning about the not so great things about your date, how do you handle it when the bad outweighs the good?
As three weeks turned into seven, Gregory started to be a little more grumpy and a lot less funny. He became more of a homebody and less interested in exploring the fun offerings of a New York summer. As seven weeks turned into nine, he was barely interested in doing anything, and conversational topics were always with a negative slant. Be it the news or his career, nothing seemed to make Gregory smile that winning smile that one me over weeks before.
Let’s be honest, in nine weeks Gregory learned things about me he didn’t like either. He hated my work schedule, and the fact I was a dedicated workaholic that enjoys being busy. He didn’t like my perkiness in the morning, and that my perkiness tended to increase with each cup of Starbucks I enjoyed during the day. He really disliked my desire to enjoy a cigarette or ten, even though I never smoked in front of him.
And let’s be honest about one more thing… I knew it was time to pull the trigger and part ways with Gregory. The “how” was the tedious part.
Thankfully Gregory pulled the trigger first. Over a beer in a bar, he said that we shouldn’t see each other. Granted, I was rather surprised he pulled the trigger first because taking initiative wasn’t one of his strong suits since week two of our relationship. I wished him the best of luck and bolted.
As I walked away I knew he wasn’t like John in 9½ Weeks in many ways, but specifically in wanting me to turn around in 50 seconds. The only person that wanted me to keep walking more than Gregory was actually me.
I was definitely not Elizabeth. Not a tear was shed as I walked on that lively Manhattan street. I smiled to myself, knowing that I had what it takes to invest in a new relationship, but also had the smarts not to settle for a someone that’s the wrong one.
Kenny Rogers said it best… “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
As we begin a relationship journey with a prospective “forever partner”, the learning process is one that’s longer than just ten dates. It may even be longer than ten months. The process of discovering the intricacies and building a bond with someone is an important one that shouldn’t be shortchanged. It’s not like test driving a car or trying on a shirt. This process is one that you’re entering into with lifetime intentions.
As we learn more and more about a prospective life mate, it’s without question that we’ll discover aspects that don’t thrill us. We will see them grumpy, sad and even sometimes under the weather- things typically not experienced on the first few dates. We will see how they handle stress, celebrate joy, and if they leave the toothpaste cap open or closed. We will learn how they interact with their friends and family, and we’ll get to hear how they interact with strangers as they meet your friends and family.
Here’s the challenge… how many of those “not so great aspects” does it take to create a “not so great partner”?
This is where I have no concrete answer for you because it’s an answer that only you can determine. There will always be things about our partners that irritate us, but at the end of the day, their body of work supersedes the handful of things we don’t like. But if those not so great things outweigh the positives, then you have no choice to make like the Gambler and walk away.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that walking away is a defeat.
You gave it your all, and if you didn’t invest the time in the person you would never know if they were or were not the one. I don’t look at my 9½-week investment in Gregory as time poorly spent or a colossal mistake. It was a necessary thing to see if he was someone with which I could build a future. He wasn’t, and pulling the trigger is the ticket to finding a new someone that will make my heart go “bang”!
We all have takeaways from our previous relationships. If you think about it, I’m confident you can find at least one positive thing your Ex has given you. For me, my first Ex facilitated my having the best brownie recipe known to man. My second taught me a love for dachshunds so intense that I would most likely never own any other breed. My last Ex gave me something a little less personal, but oh, so important. He taught me the necessity to load every single news App to my iPhone, and allow them to send me breaking news updates.
One such update came across while I was teaching a Spin class on a Friday night. After class, I looked at the message- all NJ Transit Trains are subject to 90-minute delays.
I could either spend at least 90-minutes in Penn Station… or I could go for a drink…
I opted for a drink, and took the subway uptown to the perfect after work hangout. Upon ordering a beer, I immediately became part of a conversation about dogs and back surgery (been there/done that with my dachshund, Thalheimer). Seems one of the guys at the bar has a dog that had surgery the day before. As we discussed everything from post-op care to the necessity of liver treats, a third man joined the conversation.
Enter the Accidental Single Guy… and hot dog, he was cute!
We continued the conversation, and a couple more men entered the dialogue. At that point, this newfound man and I splintered off the dachshund talk and began our own conversation. He said that he was in the neighborhood for a meeting that cancelled, which was the only reason he popped in for a drink. One topic led to another, and then to another… and then to “What do you say we get out of here and grab dinner?”
It was over dinner that I had to keep reminding myself one important thing about this accidental date… it’s a guy I met in real time.
My accidental date has never seen my online dating profile, and I’ve never seen his (if he even has one). The base line of common knowledge was at zero, so we had to start from scratch. It was fun and rather “retro” to be learning about someone in person as opposed to online. In doing so, I realized that old school dating was totally refreshing. Not knowing anything about my date and learning things about him was exciting, almost like Columbus discovering the New World.
After dinner, my accidental date and I exchanged numbers and email addresses. We used them, and my accidental date morphed into an intentional one. Who knows what will develop; at this stage in the game it’s too early to tell.
But it’s not too soon to know that some accidents have the most pleasurable outcome.
Sometimes we get caught up with being online. How can we not? It’s super easy, and there’s a fun rush you get with each “beep” notification that someone on Match or JDate is interested. The ease and the rush can take over, and you find yourself attached to your iPhone and detached from the world around you. Perhaps it’s time to give your texting fingers a break and put your voice to work in the real world.
My Accidental Date motivated me to take an unexpected summer holiday. I’m taking a vacation from online dating.
Vacations are all about experiencing something new, something fresh, and in this case something a bit retro. Taking a summer sojourn from online dating will take me out of the comfort zone and force me to cultivate dates the old fashioned way.
Cancelling my online subscriptions was painless, and the best part is that if I decide to go back online, my profiles are saved and ready for any tweaking before reactivation. Now for the not so easy part… how to cultivate those prospective dates.
Here’s a short list of ideas to pursue to get your retro dating vacation started:
Tell your friends that you’re available for a fun fix-up. They know you, and they know other singles or people that do. Who knows? Not every friend is a good matchmaker, but you may just strike it lucky.
Put your smart phone on mute and go out! Don’t even think of touching your phone while you’re in that bar, lounge or restaurant!
Take a look at some activities in your community that you enjoy doing. From concerts to art exhibits to baseball games, you’ll have fun doing something you like while putting yourself in a place where you might meet someone single with similar interests.
Come on! Join me on my vacation!
There’s nothing to lose by taking a break from online dating. Like all vacations, Retro-Dating may give you a day that is sunny and perfect and another where it’s a little overcast and drizzly. But can’t you say the same for online dating? Giving your online profile a break and your real-time personality a time to shine might just get you the best vacation souvenir yet… you might just score 1FineD8!
Using online dating websites as a source for meeting eligible singles is, in theory, one of the best conveniences of modern time. Shopping for a potential date can now occur in the convenience of your home, or perhaps on the train as you commute into Manhattan. Online dating websites allow us to flirt while in our pajamas or in between meetings during the workday. Looking at profiles is really no different than looking at what color shorts are the must have summer fashion item from Lordandtaylor.com.
Online dating is as easy as buying a pair of shorts from Lordandtaylor.com, but what exactly is on the shopping list of the other online shoppers?
According to Match.com, Joel and I were a 100% match. After reading his profile, Joel reading mine, and the three-day marathon of texting and phone conversations we totally agreed. We really had only one difference- our favorite cardio activity. Joel was a runner. He runs almost daily, and participates in four marathons yearly. Whereas I, the man who saves running for train catching, am much more of a Spin Class guy. Joel would rather die than take a Spin Class. We agreed that our gym habits and physical training initiatives were not a deal breaker (and we each were grateful that we both saw importance in staying fit).
We met in Manhattan on a warm spring Saturday evening for dinner. So warm that when offered an outdoor table at one of my favorite French bistros, we jumped at it. Being with Joel was very refreshing. There was a level of excitement in the air because we were finally meeting, but overall the vibe was calm. The conversation flowed perfectly, much like the flow of people that turn off their computers opting to flow through the doors of Lord and Taylor on a Shopper’s Day sale.
From my favorite gougeres (cheesy poofs, but French!) to the perfectly cooked filet burger, the date was fantastic. As the date came to an end, there seemed to be a strange uneasiness that came over Joel. It was almost like he was laughing and having fun one moment, and then it was as if the gun fired to signal the beginning of a marathon and he was ready to hit the pavement. The end was abrupt, and not one bit reflective of the date. I was totally baffled by my goodbye with Joel- did I do something off-putting? Say something offensive?
The next morning I checked email, and there was a message from Joel…
Craig- I really had a great time with you last night. You’re everything I though you’d be and more. I haven’t been honest with you. I’m not available to be in a relationship because I’m already in one. I thought I was ready to leave, but I’m not. You’re going to make some very lucky man a fantastic partner- Joel
At least I know it wasn’t my breath.
I’ve given a lot of thought to what dating really is. Dating is part discovery, part fun and all interview. We’re spending time with someone to see if it’s a mutual fit that could have the durability to last a lifetime, like a good pair of Wellies. We use online dating as a tool because it’s easy, but there are many risks that come with it.
Your intention may be to see if you can find the one that’s a perfect fit. Their intention may be something totally different.
Joel wasn’t trying me on for a potential relationship. Joel was trying on what it would be like to be single again. From our conversations, he talked about his “Ex” in a rather unflattering way, providing many examples from chemical dependency to lack of affection. The descriptions alone were definitely reasons to end a relationship, which is what I thought Joel did quite some time ago. Unfortunately, Joel had not reached that point where he wanted to sever the cord that ties him to his partner.
On paper and in theory, Joel was a pretty perfect fit for me, but to him I was an experiment to see if being on the dating scene would be a fit.
Before the Joel-Bashing begins, we need to acknowledge that he did have the courage to come clean regarding the deception. It would have been nice if he would have done that prior to sharing a basket of gougeres, but at least he explained why he acted the way he did at the end of the date. He could have simply said that he didn’t feel a connection or that he downright didn’t like me. In the end, he chose the truth and I respect that. Knowing the truth certainly doesn’t diminish the sad feeling of “damn… and he was a good one too!”.
It does serve as a reminder to those of us that partake in online dating. Sure it’s easy, but sometimes what we order online doesn’t arrive on our doorstep in the right style, the right cut or the right fit. If those shorts from LordandTaylor.com don’t work for us, we simply return them, look online until we find something we like as much or better, and take our chances and click “pay”. We don’t take it personally; we just keep shopping.
We need to remember that the same rule applies to online dating.
I’m so happy to announce that I’m contributing to a FANTASTIC website, swEXPERTS! This UK-based site is a one-stop resource for all things relationship. From processing a break-up to dating to sex, swEXPERTS is a fantastic place to learn some points of view that may just speak to you!
Here are links to my first three articles for swEXPERTS- please check them out and let me know what you think! For updates, please follow me on Twitter (@craigrogersNYC) and swEXPERTS (@SWEXPERTS)!