Category Archives: #firstdate

D8 with Another Accidental Single Guy

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.

There's nothing more lonely than a track with no agenda.  Try a new agenda and get your train rolling with Retro-Dating!
There’s nothing more lonely than a track with no agenda. Try a new agenda and get your train rolling with Retro-Dating!

1Gr8Lesson

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!

D8 with Dr. Kavorkian

I confess… one standout in Paul’s JDate profile was that he owned a shoe company. Besides being cute, he was involved in something I love almost as much as shirts. And I also confess that besides his work in an industry where I would gladly accept samples or a substantial discount, he seemed like a perfect date for me. I sent him a message of interest, and he responded immediately. Plans for a drink were promptly made.

Now that I was going on a date with the Shoe Guy, what shoes should I wear?

I agreed to meet at a cute bar in the West Village. Paul was very handsome; his pictures didn’t do him one bit of justice. We ordered a couple beers and started a very fun conversation. In a short amount of time, we discussed our high school years (he was totally Blaine in Pretty in Pink), our college years (he was totally Pinto in Animal House) and what our overall New York experience has been (and mine was by far much more interesting). Of course, we talked about shoes. He liked my Cole-Haan loafers.

We were laughing and never missing a beat in the conversation except to order another round of beers. About an hour into our date, Paul asked me about travel. He said that he loves visiting Europe and Asia for work, but he’d rather be on a beach. Just one more thing we had in common.

“So where was your last vacation?” Paul asked. “Wow… I guess it was last month when loaded the boys in the car and drove to visit my parents in Pinehurst.” I responded.

With that, our conversation missed a beat… actually two heartbeats.

“You have kids?” asked a puzzled Paul. I was even more puzzled at the question, as my profile says I have no kids, but I do have two dachshunds.

“Only of the furry variety. I have two dachshunds”

“Oh… I had no idea you had dogs.”

“I mention them in my profile. Didn’t you see that?”

“Hmmm…. guessed I missed that.”

And with that, the shoe dropped. It was the first silent moment of our date. I took a really big sip of my beer, before I eliminated the silence and asked the next question. “I take it you don’t like dogs?” There was nothing that could prepare me for his answer.

“How old are yours, and what is the life expectancy of a dachshund?”

I think at that moment I might have had a mini stroke, not that I need any neurological reason or excuse to explain my lack of censorship in my speech.

“You didn’t just fucking ask me that.”

At this point the shoe man was shaking in his boots. “Well…. I’m not a fan of dogs,” he said. Not everyone likes dogs, and that’s ok, but to bring up life expectancy to one who does is a fatal error when that one is your date.

“Well I’m not a fan of planning their cremation. I did that once in the last year already, and I’m hopefully done for a while.”

“You had THREE?” he asked, seemingly in shock that some people do own more than one dog. At that point I was done with answers, done with questions, and done with Paul.

“You know, Paul, I’m really glad you liked my pictures, but I’m a little sad that you didn’t really read my profile… or at least comprehend what you read.”

And with that, I walked out of the cute West Village bar. I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how I would be soon greeted with wagging tails, licks and barks by my two little guys who aren’t really into shoes.

We were here first, and we're not going anywhere!
We were here first, and we’re not going anywhere!

1Gr8Lesson

Dachshunds are short, and so it the lesson of this not so fine date…

If you’re using an online dating site as a tool to meet people, read their profile. If you like them, make like Santa Claus and check out the profile twice!

It’s staggering to me that people would go on a date sourced online and not fully read that person’s profile. Sure, we can be in a hurry and miss a few facts, but I believe (thanks to my bestie from College who’s a third grade NYC School Teacher whose responsibilities include teaching reading comprehension to children) that reading comprehension is not an impossible task… if you REALLY want to learn about someone.

Think of reading your online date’s profile as a prelude to the novel that is your date. The date is where you listen, ask and share, and based on that you’ll decide if you want to keep on reading.

Besides being an absolute jerk regarding the future demise of my furry beasts, what Paul really said was that he didn’t care enough to really learn about me. That’s pretty much a deal breaker in itself. Questioning the lifespan of a dachshund was simply icing on the deal breaker cake.

***Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@CraigRogersNYC) and please take a moment to like the 1FineD8 Facebook page (www.facebook.com/1FineD8)!***

1FineArticle- SW Experts

Here’s a link to my latest article on SW Experts!

We all want to lose weight fast, but what about losing date fast?  Here are five things to avoid before and during your first date that will reduce the chances of you losing date fast!

Pay attention to Point Three… you’ll be reading more about that one… stay tuned!

And as always, please let me know what your think!  And please take a moment and like the 1FineD8 Facebook page (www.facebook.com/1FineD8) and follow on Twitter- @CraigRogersNYC

http://www.theswexperts.com/how-to-lose-a-date-fast/

LoseDateFast

D8 with the Fitting Room Guy

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.

We all want that perfect fit when it comes to 1FineD8
We all want that perfect fit when it comes to 1FineD8

1Gr8Lesson

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.

D8 with the Wet Firecracker

Warm weather has finally arrived in New York, and as New Yorkers enjoy trading their winter coats for shorts, they begin filling their calendars with outdoor activities. “What are you doing for Memorial Day” and “Big Fourth of July plans?” are questions already being asked, and by some easily answered.

Marvin elected to ask me on a date first before asking if I was booked on July 4th. I met him via JDate, and Marvin was your typical big Jewish bear. 6’2”, football player build with a hairy chest that went for days, Marvin was totally bearlicious. Like many other potential dates, we enjoyed several fun conversations and flirty text messages. Seeing that he was handsome, smart and funny, I was very optimistic that our first date would be like the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, but a couple months early.

When the online profile and pre-date communication are hot, what could possibly put out the fire?

Marvin and I agreed to grab a coffee and go for a walk on the High Line. When I met him, he was even cuter in person. He was even a little goofy, which really made him quite adorable. We grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and started our walk.

We were maybe 50 feet away from Starbucks when we heard the bing of his phone. It was one of his “girlfriends”, and it required an immediate answer. A few seconds later brought another bing, followed by necessity for an immediate answer. And it repeated… four more times. By this point, we had barely walked a block, and barely spoke 20 words to each other since Starbucks.

I held back on judgment, seeing that his friend could be having an issue and needed help. As he finished what was to be the last text, he told me that his friend was having a hard time figuring out what swimsuit to pack for a trip.

At that point, I felt the first few raindrops hit the metaphorical Grucci Brother’s fireworks barge.  We arrived on the High Line, and started to dive into a conversation.

“So, Marvin, tell me about you!” I playfully asked.

“Well, I have serious abandonment issues. It stems from childhood.” he seriously responded.

And with that, the few raindrops turned into a nice sprinkle over the fireworks barge. As the conversation continued, the sprinkles turned into a full-fledged downpour. Marvin told a tale of woe that would rival any statement made by Debbie Downer. There were many stops on his Trail of Tears tour, including “I went to the wrong college”, “I hate cooked fruit- HATE!” and “I married a woman just to have a kid but she couldn’t get pregnant”. My personal favorite stop on his Diatribe of Despair was “Mental illness runs in my family- but I’m OK!”

The Grucci Brothers would have called it a rainout twenty minutes before I did.   The date couldn’t be over soon enough for me, but somehow like a train wreck I just couldn’t look away. I was amazed at the amount of negativity one man could carry. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the funny man I chatted with during the week.

Twenty-five minutes after the date, I received a text from Marvin.

So… did you feel a spark?

What I wanted to say was that I feel grateful for the 99 problems I’ve got, because none involve fruit, mental illness or my alma mater. What I wanted to ask was what happened to the groovy firecracker I texted with earlier in the week. But my reply was actually worse… because I wimped out.

Well… I really don’t know.

As soon as I sent the text I hit myself for not being the direct guy that I have been previously on this whole dating mission of mine. Perhaps I was trying to spare him? His answer put that question to bed…

I cannot tell you how incredibly sad it makes me that you say that. I totally felt a spark, and I’m so, so sad you didn’t.

Just like the fizz of a firework that didn’t quite explode with its intended grandeur, Marvin was over and out.

Not all dates end in fireworks- don't be discouraged.  Keep up your quest for 1FineD8!
Not all dates end in fireworks- don’t be discouraged. Keep up your quest for 1FineD8!

1Gr8Lesson

I’ve used the analogy of dating and a toaster oven before in a video with my good pal and “work wife”, Dateologist Tracey Steinberg. My date with Marvin forces me to repeat that message.

When you think of the last time you took home a toaster oven to begin a hot relationship, the toaster oven’s first impression on you was most likely the features and benefits listed on the label. The initial message from your initial meeting was one of positivity, functionality and overall improvement of your life by bringing the toaster oven into it. Nowhere on the box does it say “I may burn your bread” or “Don’t even try melting cheese because I will scorch your countertop”. The toaster oven label lists the positives, and on a first date so should you.

Ask yourself… am I putting my best foot forward on this date or do I sound like I escaped from a Lifetime Made for Television Movie?

Let’s face it- nobody wants to date Debbie Downer. Nobody wants to be exclusive with her and certainly nobody wants to take Debbie Downer home to meet Mom and Dad. That said, we all have our baggage. We all have some sad things in our history and sometimes in our current. There’s a time and place to address those with your date if necessary. You ultimately determine the time that happens, however it’s a safe bet that the first date is not the time.

The first date is the time to spotlight your positives, not to hold a flashlight on any potential negatives.

As Tracey Steinberg would say, keep the conversation fun and flirty. Ask questions, give answers and truly allow your date to get to know your positivity as you get to know theirs.

And don’t forget to put your phone on Mute! Geesh!

D8 with Dolly the Sheep

My four-year college experience included setting my class schedule around the NBC soap Another World. I was hooked on the happenings of Bay City with its glamorous citizens like Felicia Gallant, Donna Love and Iris Cory Carrington Delaney Bancroft Wheeler. In one plot twist, it turned out that Donna Love’s sister Marley was actually her daughter, and that her daughter had a long lost twin named Vicki! Talk about a scandal rocking the Bay City Country Club- it was as if Marley had been cloned, just like Dolly the Sheep.

I received a Match.com notification that a New Yorker named Alan was interested in me. When I opened up his profile and saw his picture, I couldn’t help but think of Marley and Vicki. Looking into Alan’s blue eyes, the red hair with flecks of white… it was like discovering that my favorite Ex had a long lost twin, or had been cloned, just like Dolly the Sheep.

What is it saying if I date a man that’s a dead ringer for my Ex?

Alan had a really entertaining and well-written profile. On paper, he was definitely someone I’d be interested in meeting, but those pictures! The similarity was uncanny. I decided to verify that my suspicions were correct by forwarding his picture to my two best friends… and my mom. 100% confirmation was received. Knowing that the likeness wasn’t in my head, I had a choice to make- to date or not to date Dolly the Sheep.

I decided to give Alan a go, a decision from which there was no turning baaaa-ck.

We met at a cute Italian place in the Village. He was unbelievably friendly. Funny and smart too. So far, this look-alike had a lot in common with my Ex. As the conversation continued I discovered the myriad of differences that somehow infused Alan during the cloning process. Alan was a Type-A workaholic and very intense. The quiet strength that my Ex possesses was replaced by Alan’s loud and boisterous dialogue. This was evident when we discussed our favorite Broadway shows. Alan was very quick to say “Loved it!” or “Hated it!” whereas my Ex has the skill sets to explain why the production was a hit or a miss, and can do so with accuracy, precision and fact. Much like Vicki and Marley, and probably likely Dolly the Goat and her “parent”, the two individuals were just that- totally individual.

The bottom line- Alan may have a similar look, but the differences between he and my Ex were numerous. In all, my date with Alan was a good one. There was a spark that warranted a second date, which in fact happened.   And that has led to a third, and I’m sure the dates will continue. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I’m sure of one thing. If I allowed myself to discount Alan based on his looks, I would have missed out on meeting a great guy.

Would you date someone that looks a lot like your Ex?  Join the discussion on Twitter!  @CraigRogersNYC
Would you date someone that looks a lot like your Ex? Join the discussion on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC

1Gr8Lesson

When we have the opportunity to date someone that looks a lot like our Ex, I believe the trepidation we face is that people will think we’re simply in re-casting mode. We’re afraid that people may think that we haven’t gotten over the original so we simply found a stunt double. In some cases that may be the reality, but oftentimes it isn’t. Perhaps the similarity in look is just a total coincidence, like my situation with Alan.

The book covers may look similar, but the story content will be drastically different.

Getting to know Alan was a lot of fun, and the more I learned about him the more I realized that he was so not my Ex. Two very different personalities and two very different backgrounds; the clone may have similar physical attributes but once you dug beneath the surface, the differences were obvious. So much so in fact that the more I continued looking at Alan, the more he looked like Alan and less like my Ex. Sure, the hair was the same, the face was similar, but the sparkle in Alan’s eye was quite different than that of my Ex (and believe me, my Ex’s eyes sparkle!).

I should have had my library card revoked if I turned down the opportunity to check out this new book.

If you find yourself in this position, I suggest giving Dolly the Goat a chance. The sooner you get past the look, the sooner you can dive in to learning about the person. Who knows- it could lead to creating a whole new chapter!

D8 with Sizzle Mafizzle

When I was a kid, Sunday morning always started with the smell of bacon frying. I was propelled from my to bed to the kitchen by that beautiful scent. My mother would greet me as she made our breakfast, but the real sight to behold was the bacon in the pan, sizzling with a goodness that was soon to grace my palate.

If anything, my love for bacon increased as I became an adult. So has my love for all things that sizzle. One such recent sizzle I encountered was courtesy of Match.com in the form of NJSteve63.

One of the first lessons learned from online dating is that there’s a systematic protocol regarding communication with a potential date. For example, on Tinder, conversation only begins if both parties agree to a mutual interest. On Match.com, conversation may begin with a “wink”, or an email may be sent to someone that may or may not be interested in you.

On Match.com, I noticed NJSteve63’s profile, a very intriguing one belonging to a very handsome guy. NJSteve63 had both a way with words and a home base that was geographically desirable. I could have waited to see if NJSteve63 would reach out to me, but I decided the profile was too good, warranting a first attempt on my part. I opted to skip the wink and go straight to the email…

Hey Steve- nice profile, great pictures, and I’d certainly like to learn more about you! If you like my profile, drop me a line!

Sure enough, Steve quickly replied.

   Hi Craig! Thanks for emailing- I really like your profile, and you’ve got great legs!

And with that, I was in an email correspondence with NJSteve63. I quickly learned that he was originally from Manhattan, a graduate of Horace Mann, and worked in publishing. He also had a sense of humor that was stellar. The conversations were light, fun, funny and even sometimes serious. Emails were exchanged throughout the day, and the next day… and the next.

As the witty banter continued with Steve, I knew the next step in communication must be taken…

   You’re definitely a fun guy to chat with- want to take it offline and on-phone?

I gave Steve my number, and he responded by giving me his, telling me that he’d call later in the day. He did, and our first conversation lasted an hour, followed by another the next evening that matched in duration. I was really enjoying getting to know Steve. I also knew that I really, really wanted to seal the deal on a first date.

Starting with the emails on Match, followed by a phone conversation and texting, the next step in communication was to set the first date- that’s the whole point of this online dating thing, right?

I sent Steve a text, asking for the date…

I was thinking we should meet for drink after work- does Wednesday or Thursday work for you?

…and he quickly responded,

   Damn- both nights are booked with work. How about Friday?

This is good… he’s definitely interested in meeting! We planned on a Friday Happy Hour at Gym Bar, a fun little place in Chelsea that was a perfect backdrop for meeting my Sizzle.

My Sizzle went to Fizzle when I received a 5pm text from Steve saying that he couldn’t make it. He said that he was held up at his office, and that we could maybe reschedule for another time. Maybe, he said. He added that he was going on a two-week business trip next week and would be really busy when he returned.

“No worries” was my response. I told him to hit me up when he’s available. As soon as I typed the message, I knew I’d never hear from him again.

I was right.

Sometimes a sizzle can last, and other times the sizzle is short-lived.
Sometimes a dating sizzle fizzles out.  Don’t let it stop you from getting back into the pan- your sizzle is out there!

1Gr8Lesson

Perhaps like you, when I entered into the online dating arena, I did with pure intention and pure heart. My endgame was to find the one, and online dating is simply a tool to achieve the goal. Luckily, most online daters are of the same mindset, but sometimes you encounter a few with intentions that might not be the same.

This is simply a hazard of the game.

Considering that Steve and I had a great rapport, I was the one that pushed for the face-to-face date. I really believe that if I didn’t, we’d still be in that stage of just an online chat. Steve may have eventually asked for a real date, but my gut tells me that he was happy with just the online chatting.

Maybe Steve wasn’t honest in his presentation about being available for a relationship? Maybe Steve wanted nothing more than a chat? How can a Sizzle turn into a Fizzle?

Maybe there’s just not an answer.

There is no point in wasting time wondering about the “why” or the “how” or the “if”. It is what it is, and you have better things to do.

It’s very easy to let one dating mishap derail your dating train. Please don’t fall into that trap. Don’t let one bad egg keep you from eating breakfast. Get out that pan, heat it up, and before you know it you’ll be enjoying a new and wonderful sizzle!

D8 with the 76th Trombone

Since the dawn of tabloid time, we’ve read and sometimes witnessed celebrity May/December relationships. Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant paved the Age-Difference Highway so others like Alec Baldwin, Calvin Klein and Mary Kate Olsen could navigate freely with their partners in spite of decades of age differentiation.

Lately, a lot of press has been given to actor Stephen Fry and his engagement to Elliott Spencer. We have no idea where they are registered or who is catering the reception. What we do know is that there’s a 30-year age difference. What we also know is that some perceive Fry as a creepy old man and Spencer as a gold digging opportunist. The Age Difference Highway may give these couples a passage, however it’s one that’s paved in questioning, doubt and speculation by others.

I admit, I would be guilty of holding the same perception about couples with an extreme age difference, if it weren’t for the 76th Trombone.

When I met Albert for coffee, my first reaction was that he looked a bit older than he did in his pictures from Match.com. Out of the gate, he told me that he was 76 years old. Of course, I quickly did the math- a 27-year age difference. I smiled, took a sip of my Venti, and said, “Not a problem, Albert.” This of course was a true statement for coffee… perhaps not so much for a potential boyfriend.

As we conversed, I learned a lot about this man. With 76 years under his belt, he had a lot to say. A retired Naval officer, he has lived all over the world, giving him a very interesting perspective on a variety of topics. Albert had a great laugh and a sparkle in his eyes. What made Albert most charming was that he was really interested in what I had to say. He listened, was very quick with a comeback (which is an attribute that always holds my attention) and he had the gift of remembering things I said and bringing them up later.

As far as first dates go, I had a splendid time with Albert. As I drove home, I thought about his laugh. If you closed your eyes and just listened, his laugh didn’t come with an age. It was a sound that could come from any trombone, be is the 45th or the 55th. If you remove the number 76 and judge Albert for Albert, there was no question that he scored high on the first date rating scale.

I then thought about the age difference- 27 years. Granted, our age gap was barely less than that of Stephen Fry and Elliott Spencer, but it was more than anyone I’ve ever dated. Is that something I could handle? I thought about other couples driving on the Age-Difference Highway, like Stephen Sondheim and Jeff Goldblum. Their cars seem to be fully operational, and their journeys appear to be happy ones. Perhaps I too should not be so wrapped on the model year and just place my focus on the ride.

By the time I reached home, I had received a text from him asking for a second date. Two hours later, I received an email from Albert saying that he could really see us in a relationship. The next day, I received another email inviting me to meet his friends over dinner and to spend the night at his place.

The 76th Trombone was playing a song I’ve heard before… same as the 48th and the 53rd Trombones… he wanted an instant relationship.

Albert was definitely rushing things, which was a really big turn-off and typically a deal breaker for me. It was at that point I realized that it wasn’t just the laugh that was ageless. The need for an instant relationship also knows no age. Albert at 76 or 46 or even 86 most likely wasn’t the guy for me. I did enjoy a second date with him, and I’m happy to say that I definitely gained a new friend.

Don't let the parade pass you by, be it with any of the trombones.
Don’t let the parade pass you by, be it with any of the trombones.

1Gr8Lesson

The 76th Trombone opened my eyes to my own judgment about couples with significant age difference.

If you question the validity of a relationship just because of an age difference, you might be alone in questioning. The participants in the relationship aren’t questioning- they’re too busy living.

There are certain aspects of our daily that need to be judged by dates, like dairy products. If milk is past it’s prime, it’s easy to discard. People aren’t dairy, and judging them by an implied shelf life may just cost you a great experience. It may even cost you the opportunity of a great love. In the end, I just didn’t have enough things in common with Albert to make a go of it as boyfriends. But if we did, I can guarantee I would have veered onto the Age Difference Highway with the abandon of a warm summer’s drive.

In The Music Man, Marian the Librarian most likely never thought she would end up with someone like Professor Hill. She opened her eyes and her heart to someone way outside of her dating box. Be it age, background, or demographic, if you close your eyes and just listen to the laugh, the sound may lead to birds singing and bells ringing. You just have to take the blinders off, get rid of the “what will others think” and be open to what YOU think and feel!

If you do, you might just find love all around.

D8 with the Man Who Slew too Much

One of the features Tinder provides users is the tie-in to Facebook. When you match with someone, you can review mutual friends and get the 411 from them about your potential date. This is exactly what I did prior to my date with Edgar.

The general consensus from our four mutual friends was that I should go out with him, however it didn’t go unnoticed that their level of enthusiasm wasn’t exactly high. In spite of that, I agreed to meet Edgar for a drink.

He arrived before me, and grabbed us a great table. Edgar was a good-looking man with a very welcoming smile. Our conversation got off to a great start; we discussed current events, hobbies, and a mutual love of antiquing. We ordered a second drink, and continued to have a really great time… until he mentioned our mutual Facebook friends as outed by Tinder. His descriptions of our mutual friends kind of took me by surprise. I was given a chorus of negativity, including the following lyrics:

“Oh yeah, I know them. They run in a fast crowd, do drugs and are rather slutty.”
“He’s an idiot. Seriously, a fucking idiot.”
“Like that one has a personality? Please!”

If Edgar described his “friends” in this manner, I couldn’t imagine how he described his enemies. Unfortunately, I soon found out.

“If you know (this one) then you must know (that one)” was the next conversation Edgar initiated. Each time I answered with a yes, he explained how this person or that person was a loser. In less than 30 minutes, Edgar managed to verbally slay about every mutual contact we shared.

We’ve all had red flags on a date, but this red flag was waiving bigger and brighter than anything Betsy Ross could imagine.

As the red flag waived proudly in the Westfield, New Jersey sky, Edgar continued his verbal assassination of more friends:

“That one comes from a real messed up family”
“That bitch hasn’t worked in years!”
“I thought about dating him, but I don’t want to catch something.”

At that point, I officially caught something… an airborne disease of disgust with Edgar as the Ground Zero source. I didn’t need the help of a doctor to cure this malaise, for the antidote was simple and easily administered to any self-respecting Leo…

“Well Edgar, (this one) is actually quite smart, (that one) is one of the most charming people I know, and as for (those two), if they choose to have an open relationship and enjoy a little weed once in a while it’s their business just as it’s my business not to judge it nor participate in it. And for the record, Edgar, (that one’s) family is a pretty groovy one, and her aunt and my cousin’s father-in-law have a business history of successful collaboration.”

Edgar just stared at me, and for the first time on our date was at a total loss for words. As we said our brief goodbye, I wondered what words of venom Edgar would use to describe me… and I just didn’t care. No matter what, I would be in good company with my Facebook friends as opposed to my not-so-fine date.

And as for Tinder, I’m thinking the less shared Facebook friends the better!

Don't let words be the weapons that sabotage your first date!
Don’t let words be the weapons that sabotage your first date!

Continue reading D8 with the Man Who Slew too Much

D8 with Someone Else’s Someone

The song that’s repeating in my head is from Bette Midler’s album, Thighs and Whispers. It’s called Married Men.

    The world is filled with married men,
    with wives that never understand.
    They do it. Do it. Do it.

The married men of 1978 differ somewhat from their 2015 counterparts. With the 1978 version, you kind of know what you’re getting, whereas the 2015 version has diversified his brand, covering a variety of scenarios requiring explanation to today’s dater. Does today’s married man have a wife? A husband? Maybe he has an open marriage? Perhaps he’s separated, living under the same roof as his ex, and the divorce hasn’t been settled yet. Possibly he’s a retro 1978 version- his spouse has no clue he’s seeking extra-curricular activities with a new someone.

The one commonality between married men of 1978 and 2015 is that they’re looking for action, and the decision whether or not to play is yours.

Thanks to a Tinder match, I met Jackson. He was very tall, very Texan and exceptionally charming. Meeting Jackson for a coffee was a no-brainer, and we set a coffee date in the first fifteen minutes of our online chat.

I was very excited to meet him at Starbucks, and when he stood up to greet me from the table he secured, he lived up to every stereotype of Texas- Jackson was larger than life. At 6’4” with hands the size of a west Texas ranch and a smile brighter than the Dallas skyline at noon, his handshake was one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced.

Our conversation got off to a great start. Jackson’s charm online converted to real time in spades. We had lots of laughs right out of the gate. After the typical first date questions of “How was your day?” and “How long have you lived in Manhattan?”, I asked Jackson what he likes to do in his spare time. I wasn’t quite prepared for his answer…

“Well, I’m married,” said Jackson. “My wife knows, and I told her that I will leave her once I find the man I want to build a life with. All I have to do is find a man who will be committed to me and is willing to wait until I end my marriage and explain to my kids that I’m gay.”

In his spare time he was married? The only thing going through my head was Bette Midler taking me back to 1978 with her beautiful smile, trademark boobs and perfectly written lyrics …

    He promises to marry you
    Yeah, just as soon as his divorce comes through.
    Whoa, it’s not just a fling
    He swears, it’s the real thing

I quickly returned to 2015 to respond to Jackson. “I never thought of marriage as a spare time activity. Interesting. So you’re looking for a man to commit to you, when you’re not in the position to commit to them?”

“That’s right, until I can get a divorce. Then we can be together, but I have to be convinced that he will be there for me once I’m out of my marriage.”

At that point, I remembered some advice from The Devine Miss M…

    Now listen, they’re hungry.
    Don’t trust a married man,
    Oh, the world is full of them.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and it seems that with this date, the only thing bigger than the Texas-sized disappointment was the Texas-sized line of bullshit that was served up next to my Venti Mocha Latte. I stood up, grabbed my coat with my left hand and my Venti with my right and was out of there faster than an approaching dust storm in Lubbock.

I wasn’t going to play.

Ringer

1Gr8Lesson

If you’re deciding whether or not you want to pursue a relationship with someone else’s someone, you need to be aware of the following:

1. Be ready to spend New Year’s Eve alone and Valentine’s Day on February 13th. You will never get custody of him for major holidays because his social calendar is booked with the one that wears his ring.

2. The odds aren’t in your favor regarding the building of a future with this person because he’s already painted in someone else’s picture.

3. Be on the ready for a confrontation by someone from the spouse’s camp or from the spouse themselves- the potential from going from “secret” to “target” are quite high.

4. If things actually work out with your married date and he does get that divorce and begins a life with you, there’s a very good chance that he’ll stay with you until he finds someone else that he wants to build a life with. He successfully did it once before; he might just try it again and you will always wonder…

If your goal is a monogamous relationship, you need to remember that when pursuing someone else’s someone, you’re positioning yourself to always be in second place.

When it comes to my next relationship, I’m not interested in scoring a Silver Medal. My eye is on the top tier of the podium, and there’s only enough room in that golden spot for two. Getting involved with someone else’s someone isn’t going to get me to where I want to be, which is why I choose not to entertain the idea of dating a married guy.

But for some, perhaps they don’t want what is perceived by most as a conventional relationship. There are lots of people that are quite happy with an “arrangement” or open relationship or even a polyamorous relationship. If that’s the case, pursue away.

If that’s what you want, then you should have no worries finding a married man. The world is full of them.