Tag Archives: Relationship Advice

D8 with the Man without a Face

Photos play an integral part in online dating success, and the photo of “Ed” left a lot to be desired. I could see a camel, a lot of sand and a little spot of a man riding the camel. It was the only picture “Ed” posted in his very well written profile. Because of his ability with words, I decided I would respond to his email.

“Ed” was a good conversationalist in the online chat, however he seemed to be very guarded and rather nervous. My experience told me that when a man exhibits extreme cautious communication, he’s most likely in a relationship and looking for some side action. “Ed” swore he was single; his challenge is that he is deeply closeted. His guard was up stronger than the Royal Guard on point at Buckingham Palace. In spite of holding his cards closely, I learned that we did have some things in common and he was within the age range of my dating pool.

Is the fact that “Ed” was so deeply in the closet a reason not to go on a date with him?

I agreed to meet him for a drink at the rooftop at the Peninsula, one of my favorite hotel bars in Manhattan. The spot of a man riding a camel turned out to be quite dashing, complete with a winning, welcoming smile. The conversation with “Ed” was very pedestrian- travel, food, and Manhattan neighborhoods. Nothing too deep, until I decided to grab my trusty shovel.

“So “Ed”, you seem to be rather guarded. Witness protection, huh?”

“Oh no… I’m just not out. Nobody knows I’m gay,” he responded with a nervous chuckle.

“You might be surprised. Good looking single man in his 50s can set off the “bet he’s gay” alarm”, I responded. “Besides, it really doesn’t matter because you’re on a gay dating site and it’s 2016 so there’s really no reason to be fearful.”

“I disagree. People think I’m straight, and I like that.”

“I see. And you like that. Is your name really “Ed”?”

He didn’t answer, which I believe was an answer. “Ed” didn’t budge in his resolve; he set up residency in his closet and he wasn’t coming out for me or for anyone.

an illustration of a faceless man in a business suit
Putting your best face forward on a date means allowing your date to see you both inside and out.

I FineLesson

As we wrap up Pride Month, it makes me sad that there are some gay people out there that still can’t publicly own the fact that they’re gay. It makes me sad to acknowledge that there are some people- regardless of sexual orientation- that aren’t fully embracing the magic that is them. It just makes me sad that people don’t embrace their own personal truth, whatever that truth may be.

If we can’t love ourselves, how can we fully expect to find someone to love us?

I know I’m sounding a little like RuPaul, but it’s a message that needs constant repeating. When beginning your journey in the dating scene, you need to do so with a full arsenal. By that, daters need to enter the arena knowing with certainty that they’re already in love with themselves. Daters need to embrace every facet of themselves, from their looks to their career. Self-love leads to confidence, and confidence is key.

Dating is really no different than selling. You’ve got to believe in the product that is you, or you’re going to remain on the shelf.

“Ed” obviously doesn’t fully believe in his product. He doesn’t accept himself on a basic level, and with that he will likely remain alone on the long term. Unless he finds someone identical in mindset, I believe he will likely remain single.

My hope is that all daters believe in the product that is them. Believe it so much that you deeply want to shout it from a rooftop. Trust me, it may take some time, but the perfect customer will hear.

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D8 with the Man (next) Whore

My last couple months have been dedicated to the adventures of moving and setting up a new home. Going on dates was back burnered for the main activities of organizing my new kitchen and painting every room. The only conversations I had with men were those burly straight guys at Home Depot on the ready with advice on paint, flooring and lighting. Granted, they were great guys displaying an exceptional commitment to my purchases but were not likely interested in enjoying the view of my antique chandelier that hangs right above my bed.

As spring temperatures quickly turned to that of summer, I received a notification from OK Cupid that I had a message from an interested suitor. Howard’s profile was very nice- a little different from others I had dated. He wasn’t tall, didn’t work in Manhattan, and owned a cat. He wasn’t the best looking or most stylish, but there was something about Howard that just made him… dare I say… exceptionally sexy. And here’s the kicker… Howard lives within walking distance from my new home.

Seeing that this very well may be the new gay version of Welcome Wagon, how could I not respond?

Howard and I exchanged a few flirty text messages; enough to prove that a date with him was definitely worth the time away from a paintbrush and unpacking boxes. We decided to meet up at my StarOffice- the Starbucks in Westfield.

“You live down the street, I’ll pick you up or you can pick me up,” suggested Howard.

“Great thinking,” I responded. “Happy to pick you up!”

I went to Howard’s at our agreed-upon time. It was an easy drive, seeing that I’ve driven by his house countless times three mornings a week at 5am on my way to spin class. Seeing Howard in person was very interesting. He was still not the most handsome, not the best dresser, and a little chubby. But man, he was pretty damned sexy.

“Where did you park?”

“Right there- on the street.”

“You could have parked in the driveway, silly.”

From doorway to car to Starbucks and back, Howard and I talked nonstop. He was very smart, funny, and didn’t miss a beat in the conversation. One beat in particular stood out as most interesting…

“So Howard, why do you think you’re still single?”

“I’m in no rush to settle down- when it happens, it happens. If it happens.”

“Good answer… but it can be lonely sometimes being single. How do you deal with that?”

“I never get lonely. I have lots of… friends.”

I thought to myself, I have lots of friends too. But based on his tone I think his “friends” may bring a little extra to the table than mine…

After a very pleasant goodnight kiss in his driveway, Howard invited me in. I declined because I knew exactly where that would lead. Howard understood.  I suggested we get together again. Howard totally agreed.

And I totally never heard from Howard again.

Cars-6
Be it oil stains on the driveway or notches on a bedpost, It’s up to you whether you want to be a conquest or a keeper.

I FineLesson

The interesting thing about a first date with the man next door is what happens when you don’t have a second date. You ask yourself, “What happens when I run into him at the local grocery?” or “What happens if we’re at the same neighborhood party?”. It could prove awkward, to say the least. Even without a post-first date run in, I still had to drive by his house three days a week.

What did I see three mornings a week at 5am? A driveway with a different car parked in it every time… sometimes multiple cars.

Seems Howard’s driveway sees more traffic than the exit ramp to Terminal C at Newark Liberty Airport.

Howard was in no hurry to settle down because he was getting more action than a Baldwin Brother in the 90’s. And you know what? Good for him! It was the perfect relationship for Howard, and he was obviously happy. Does Howard’s idea of a relationship mirror mine? Absolutely not, but it doesn’t make Howard a bad person.

When it comes to relationships, everyone has expectations and ideas as to what a relationship means. The key is finding that someone with expectations and ideas that come pretty damned close to yours.

Obviously Howard wasn’t a match, but thanks to the first thing he said on our date and his intention at the end, I know without doubt that I was given an invitation to park my car in his driveway. It was my choice not to park.

I’m more than happy with my resolve to keep driving until I find that parking place that says “Reserved”.

D8 with Mona Lisa Vito’s Brother

Tick… Tick… Tick…

We all have a friend that’s dying to have a baby. Some of those friends are in their mid-30s, and they feel the pressure of time on their shoulders as well as their unoccupied uterus. Married, single, in a committed relationship… it really doesn’t matter these days. What matters is that there’s no baby where a baby should be. This was never expressed so perfectly than by Marisa Tomei playing the role of Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny. If you close your eyes you can still see the image of her violently tapping her foot violently while saying, “My biological clock is TICKING LIKE THIS!”

Here’s a news flash for Mona Lisa Vito… it’s just not women with a ticking biological clock. It happens to men too.

I’ve always had a soft spot for tall, blond and beefy, and Troy answered that description to a tee. We met online, and our fantastic banter led to a lunch date. He was also 50, and like me enjoys daily gym visits and has aged quite well. It was no surprise that we’d choose grabbing a salad at Chopt for our date.

The conversation was a lot of fun. His family, my family; his career, my career; his friends, my friends… it was a seamless exchange and quite fun until… he revealed himself as Mr. Vito, Mona Lisa’s brother…

“I really want children. Soon.”

“Ok,” I said. “Adopting an older child?”

“No, biological. One of mine and one of my husband’s… at least two.”

This was not the time to take a bite of the Chopt pita bread with a swipe of Tex-Mex Ranch Dressing. I almost choked.

“I see. And you want to do this… soon?”

“Absolutely- we’re not getting any younger!”

I quickly changed the subject. It’s not that I don’t like children- I really do. My parental friends know their kids love spending time with me. That enjoyment is quite reciprocal. I know I would have made a kick-ass Pop. I would have excelled in fatherhood, however I never wanted to do it alone. Looking at my past relationships I would have never entertained bringing a kid into the mix. Neither of my Exs were not interested in having a family outside of the two of us, or they would have been absentee on every level to the point that I would be parenting alone.

But in this case with Troy, it wasn’t having a family that made me change the subject. It was the idea of having a date, a boyfriend, a fiancée, a marriage and a baby in the time it takes to prepare a package of Stove Stop Stuffing.

We said our goodbyes, and I never saw Troy again. We texted a couple times, but scheduling a second date just didn’t happen. Who knows… perhaps one day I’ll see him and his gorgeous husband pushing a pram. I just hope they’re happy.

Roll 2
Before you buy the T-shirt, better make sure it’s a perfect fit.

 

I FineLesson

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a major fan of chocolate pudding. My dear friend Alice turned me on to Kozy Shack (it’s pretty darned tasty), and before that I was a big supporter of Jello Instant. It wasn’t until I had chocolate pudding made from scratch that I was rather blown away by the richness and flavor.

If it takes time and stirring to make a perfect pudding, why would you take shortcuts on something as important as your relationship?

Regardless of the motivator, having an instant relationship isn’t a smart move if you want that relationship to have staying power. Building blocks and foundations aren’t created overnight, nor are they created in two weeks or a month. Relationships with the flavor of a homemade chocolate pudding require time and stirring.

There’s no reason to settle for a relationship with a good flavor when you have the tool of time on your side to make that flavor great.

This especially holds true if you’re planning to make pudding for four or more. If not for yourself and your partner, at least consider those building blocks for your future family. Nothing requires deep and sturdy roots more than a family tree- plant that tree and enjoy every moment watching it grow.

D8 with The Man Who Cried Uncle

There’s nothing better than a fix-up date. It’s like going to a potluck dinner in Ohio… you have no idea what you’re going to get but chances are the recipes include bacon and cheddar so it can’t be all that bad. When my friend Tammy introduced me to Thierry, I was intrigued by the accent for sure. His look wasn’t one that I really find attractive (you know… that gaunt “I just escaped a foreign prison” look), but he had a nice smile and was friendly. It did, however, take him a moment to put down his wine glass to shake my hand.

We met at a dinner my friend was hosting, so it was a scenario of “Craig meet Thierry, Thierry meet Craig… and here’s a glass of red and the appetizers are right here.”

Whether I liked it or not, I was going to be spending the next few hours with Thierry.

Appetizers preceded a very tasty soup, which led to an amazingly prepared dinner. I had no idea exactly how much wine Thierry had to drink prior to being presented with a meal that rivaled anything on the cover of Food and Wine. What was noticeable was that he was quite smashed. Of course, what does a smashed guy do? Keep drinking. He was more interested in drinking than contributing to the conversation, which ran the gamut from Manhattan real estate to yea or nay on Manolos for a first interview to the versatility of fruit. I learned that fruit was more versatile than I ever imagined. Thierry had no comments on any of these topics, not even on the fruit.

The dinner conversation was a lot of fun, partly because of the other guests and partly because I purposely didn’t sit next to the red wine infused fix-up. Overall, Thierry was a pleasant enough of a guy. Again, he didn’t contribute much to the conversation, but that all changed when the topic turned to relationships. That’s when Thierry decided to let loose.

“None of you have relationships. You just fuck around. You’re fooling yourselves. I’m done looking for love. DONE!” said Thierry as he poured more red in his glass. “Everybody is fake. Nobody is real. Tell me something… when was the last time one of the men you fuck actually did something romantic for you? Tell me!”

It was one of those moments you wished you were back at a potluck in Ohio, where nobody’s overtly drunk and the most awkward question is “Did you vote for Kasich?”.

At this point, it seemed to be an unspoken consensus between the rest of the table that ignoring Thierry was the new bill of fare. Nobody answered his question. I felt bad for our host and the other guests because this drunken giver-upper on love basically called us all sluts with no substance. I really wanted to ask him when the last time was that he did something romantic for someone else, but we all know that rational communication is impossible for drunks. And I’m willing to bet that in relationships, the only thing Thierry would give his partner was a bottle opener if the partner was lacking.

For the remainder of the night, Thierry kept quiet as he continued to drink. Once in a while he would utter something, but it was impossible to understand. Sloppy, unattractive and a really bad guest were just a few descriptors that came to mind as I watched him sit there on the verge of a full fledged pass-out.

When the evening came to an end, I did my best Edward R. Murrow and said, “Good night… and good luck.” as I walked behind Thierry.

He didn’t respond- he just took another sip of wine.

Uncle
Don’t be so quick to cry Uncle… tomorrow is another day, and another date!

1FineLesson

A reminder of the importance of a two drink maximum while on a date was never better illustrated. Granted, this wasn’t a “date”, but similar rules of decorum apply when in the home of a friend. I have no reason to believe that Thierry and a bottle behave no differently in any social situation.

The real lesson was found in looking straight into the eyes of the agony of defeat. Seeing that look of utter sadness; the expression of being beaten down by the lack of finding love. It was actually quite sad.

Life is all about choice. Even in the worst of situations, a positive person will realize that it’s only for now and will keep walking- if not running- to the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s what strong people do. Choosing to make lemonade when given a bushel of lemons takes work and grit, as opposed to the easier option of staring down the bushel in anger and despair as the lemons rot. Thierry chose the latter- he cried uncle and gave up.

Turning a negative into a positive takes determination. Are you up for the task?

We all have bad dates, good dates that never call for seconds, and other dating disappointments along the road. What we do with them and how we process the experience says volumes about us. If you stay the race and keep your eye on the prize, you’re sure to win.

There will be days you’ll want to throw in the towel and give up. Don’t do it.

Our friends at NASA said it best… failure is not an option. Five simple words to live by in all facets of life, especially while on your quest for 1FineD8.

D8 with the Trigger Finger

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.

Pulling the trigger may end something, but it signifies the beginning of your new search for 1FineD8!
Pulling the trigger may end something, but it signifies the beginning of your new search for 1FineD8!

1FineLesson

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”!

1FineArticle… SW Experts!

Kindly check out my latest article on SW Experts!  Ten must-do things to help you get past the break-up. The sooner you start with the Break-Up Band-Aid, the sooner you’ll heal and be back in the game!

Which of the ten is your favorite that helps the most?  Let me know!

And… be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates and more!  @CraigRogersNYC

the-break-up-band-aid

http://www.theswexperts.com/the-break-up-band-aid/

1FineWebsite- swEXPERTS!

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)!

Enjoy!

10Finger

http://www.theswexperts.com/the-ten-fingered-cheat/

PicImperfect

http://www.theswexperts.com/picture-imperfect/

time-machine

http://www.theswexperts.com/time-machine/

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.