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

1FineVideo- When to Introduce Your Date to Your Friends

To introduce or not to introduce… that is the question! Thinking about introducing your 1FineD8 to your friends? You need to watch this video! Dateologist Tracey Steinberg and I tackle this question on this installment of Ready… Set… DATE!

Have you found yourself in this situation? Let us know and please share your experience!

For more information on Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, please visit http://www.traceysteinberg.com!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC

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.

1FineVideo- Dating Someone Overweight

The question for today is a heavy subject… what to do if you think your 1FineD8 needs to lose a few pounds? If you’ve have a problem with your date’s weight, you need to watch this video! Dateologist Tracey Steinberg and I tackle this question on this installment of Ready… Set… DATE!

Have you found yourself in this situation? Let us know and please share your experience!

For more information on Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, please visit http://www.traceysteinberg.com!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC

1FineVideo- When to Ask for a Second Date

We’ve all been there… we have a 1FineD8, and we aren’t sure of the proper time frame to ask for the second date. If you’ve wondered when to ask for that second date, you need to watch this video! Dateologist Tracey Steinberg and I tackle this question on this installment of Ready… Set… DATE!

Who’s advice works best for you… Tracey’s or mine! Let us know and please share your experience!

For more information on Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, please visit http://www.traceysteinberg.com!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC

D8 with a Vanilla Scone

In the immortal almost words of Ke$ha, “It’s going down… I’m now on Tinder!”

I’m no stranger to online dating, and like most I’m no stranger to the potential disappointment that online sourcing of dates may bring. From JDate to Match.com, online dating is a pretty acceptable way to put you out there. When I mentioned Tinder to friends, their reaction was very different to my other online efforts. The general consensus is that Tinder is just a hook-up site. I believe that ANY online dating site can be a hook-up site… if that’s what you’re seeking. My approach to Tinder is the same as my approach on other sites- to find quality people to date.

The bottom line to Tinder or any other online relationship-sourcing site is that although it’s a tool to get into the game, the playing field is an actual date.

One of my Tinder matches was Gerald. His profile pictures were great, and the texting was, in the exact words of my pal Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, “fun and flirty”. We decided to get together after the holidays, seeing that both of us were pretty busy. The Saturday after the New Year was the perfect time to meet for a coffee.

When Gerald arrived, I was very pleased that his profile pictures were obviously current. He was a great looking man with a very nice smile. As we waited in line, Gerald and I inspected the baked goods in the Starbuck’s case.

“Anything look good to you?” I asked.
“I always go for the vanilla scone,” he responded.
“Never tried that before. I’m eying the chocolate covered graham crackers.”
“You should give the vanilla scone a try.”

I ordered the vanilla scone and my usual Venti bold, and we grabbed a table. As we started our conversation, I couldn’t help but notice that Gerald seemed to be a bit reserved. Friendly yes, but definitely on the quiet side. As the conversation continued, I realized that Gerald was extremely introverted. Being introverted is fine, but it’s sort of like a magnifying glass that makes my own extroversion seem even bigger.

As I ate my vanilla scone, I thought that maybe Gerald had a case of the first date nerves. As a potential antidote, I started asking him questions about what he likes to do in his spare time.

Typically, when talking about pets or hobbies or other things that jazz you results in letting go of the conversational trepidation, removing the barrier potentially caused by first date nerves.

The result? It worked. Gerald told me about making smoothies with kale, puppy sitting for a friend, and that he enjoys meditational retreats. The thing that scared me was that his vocal inflection never raised, nor did his level of enthusiasm. Gerald was flatter than a Flat Stanley. Perhaps he thought our date was a meditational retreat is what I thought to myself as I polished off my vanilla scone. Eating the scone kept me awake during an exchange that was dryer than the Sahara.

Ke$ha’s lyric of “One more shot, another round. End of the night, it’s going down” didn’t apply to my date with Gerald. I didn’t want a refill of coffee, and I had my fill of vanilla. The scone was actually tasty, but it didn’t have the melt in your mouth chocolate savor of the graham crackers. Nothing was going down with Gerald. As I said goodbye to him, I thought to myself that my dating life is really no different than my hunger for sweets. I crave something with a bit more of a punch.

Vanilla

1Gr8Lesson

Regardless of your choice of “service provider”, online dating has some pitfalls. As you begin communicating with someone via text, you may feel a connection with the person. However you need to ask yourself… is the connection real?

If you are feeling the groove with an online match, take the communication from texting online to getting on line for a coffee at Starbucks.

The dialogue you share via texting is a great start, however nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. An actual date will allow you to add not only their voice to their words, but also their expressions and level of enthusiasm. You’ll be able to experience your date’s laugh, and the sparkle in their eyes.

Or perhaps not… as in my date with the Vanilla Scone. That’s why it’s important to take if off the computer screen to into a first date venue sooner than later. Don’t lose site of the mission- it’s about making a connection on a date, not on your screen.

D8 with a Glue Stick

Ever have a date that doesn’t say a word, but in the “big picture” says SO much?

I was fortunate to spend some time with Fourth-Generation Psychic Medium and Author Linda Lauren, and she taught me how to make a Relationship Collage. Having experienced a First Grade art class, I know how to make a collage.

The collage that Linda showed me how to make has a greater purpose.

As we participate in the process of dating, we have ideas, hopes and expectations as to the characteristics of our dream date that morphs into a dream relationship. We think about the type of person with which we wish to build a relationship. The purpose of a Relationship Collage is to take those thoughts and ideas and manifest those intentions into a visual. By doing so, we are also placing positive influence on The Law of Attraction, which Linda explains in the video.

As you watch, please remember that the contents of your collage are all up to you. It all depends on the intentions you want to put out there. If you take a close look at mine you’ll see my intentions, such as pictures about cooking and travel and words like “very smart”. You’ll also see some pictures where you might not understand my intention- and that’s ok… it’s my Relationship Collage. An example of this would be a picture of furniture that looks almost identical to my dining room set. This symbolizes my intention of finding someone that has the desire to build a home with me. The possibilities are endless for your Relationship Collage; just remember to include the year and a picture of yourself- Linda explains why in the video.

I hope you decide to grab a pair of scissors, some magazines and a glue stick. If you give this idea a go, you’ll see how making a Relationship Collage really helps you visualize the qualities you want in a new partner. Making a Relationship Collage really helped me to fine tune my intentions. And the BEST part is that you can always add more pictures later as you discover new intentions that are important to you.

Enjoy the video, and grab that glue stick!

To learn more about Linda Lauren, please visit http://www.lindalauren.com and check out her latest novel, Sentimental Journey!

And be sure to like the 1FineD8 page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/1FineD8

1FineVideo- Is Your Date Rude to Others?

Have you found yourself in the situation where your date is not so nice to others? Maybe it’s to a store clerk, or a waiter… or perhaps your friend. If your answer is “yes”, you need to watch this video! Dateologist Tracey Steinberg and I tackle this question on this installment of Ready… Set… DATE!

Have you been in this situation? How did you handle it and what happened? Please share your experience!

For more information on Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, please visit http://www.traceysteinberg.com!