Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: dating (page 1 of 2)

thank u, next

Happy New Year, everyone!

In the spirit of not making resolutions I won’t keep, I’m going to stop promising how often I’ll have a new blog post. I get embarrassed when I don’t live up to my own expectations, so the new rule is, I’ll write when I have something to say. Or a really great outfit to feature.

Also in the spirit of the new year, and of Ariana Grande, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane. Reflecting on the past can sometimes be a great way to head into the future.

Unless you’ve been trapped in a fallout shelter for the past month or two, you’ve probably heard Ariana’s new song, “thank u, next.” It has spawned countless memes and an epic music video that took the social media world by storm for a full 24-48 hours.

The basic premise of the song is Ariana looking back on all of her past relationships and reflecting on the good they brought her and the lessons she learned. She ends by talking about focusing on herself and being grateful for all the ways she’s grown, even through difficulties.

Of course, in true 2019 pop star fashion, the song is full of profanity and teenage slang (I honestly don’t see how it’s possible that she’s over the age of 15). However, I really like the sentiment – the idea of looking for the good in all of our life circumstances, including the painful ones.

Can I really say “I’m so [edited] grateful for my ex” about every guy I’ve dated? I’d have to think pretty hard about that. But, I can at least highlight a few:

Thank u, next:  To my grad school guy – thank you for being the reason I made a lifelong friend. There’s nothing like common relationship drama and young T. Swift music to bring two early-20s girls together and make them inseparable for life. Also, thank you for shoveling my snow.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 23 – you prompted me (quite unknowingly on your part, I’m very sure) to refocus my life and reprioritize my relationship with God. My twenties may have looked a lot different had I not known you.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 26 – thanks to you, I went on a 10 month Man Fast, and it was the single best spiritual undertaking in my life thus far.

Thank u, next: To Hot Trainer. We never actually dated at all, but you showed me what respect looked like at a time when I’d experienced very little of it. And you set an impossible standard for text response time with which no man has ever been able compete.

Thank u, next: To the guy from Ohio. I freaked out a little on you. Sorry about that. Thank you for being nice and letting me get it out of my system on you, so no one else need experience it.

Thank u, next: To my chiropractor. Whenever I want someone to think I’m funny, I tell our story, and they always do. Also, you fixed my back, so I appreciate that.

Thank u, next: To the lawyer. We’ll always have Whytheville.

Thank u, next: To the Navy SEAL I went out with that one time. Thank you for helping me realize that it was possible for a man of your caliber to be interested in a girl like me. I’m also glad I can someday tell my grandchildren that I dated a SEAL (you’ll forgive me if I embellish the story a little).

Thank u, next: To Bradley Cooper. You raised my standards permanently and helped me realize what I’m really looking for. And it snowed in Chattanooga in March, which was pretty magical, if you think about it.

Thank u, next: To all the military men I’ve ever dated – thank you for teaching me about your jobs and war zones and the insiders’ scoop on international relations, and for answering my questions about the 2nd Amendment and whether or not we should even be in said war zones. Also, thank you for serving and looking so good in that uniform (heart eyes emoji x 10).

Thank u, next: To everyone else – to the first dates who I genuinely enjoyed talking to, thank you for good conversation. To the first dates that were a little painful, thank you for taking the risk, anyway. To the ones who didn’t ghost me, thank you for being honest, even when it’s awkward. To the ones who did ghost me, thank you for helping me strengthen my own skills at having difficult conversations.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring me, but if I can keep looking for the good, perhaps it’ll all turn out just fine, no matter what.

I do know that 2019 will certainly bring me new clothes, even as I’ve been watching Tidying Up and throwing out tons of old ones (to be fair, I read the book a few months before the series came out and had already begun the process).

But here are a couple of 2018 outfits that will remain in my closet, as they definitely spark joy:
I’m not 100% sure that this dress wasn’t intended to be an “Ugly Christmas Dress” – it’s pretty loud and velvety… But, I love it and proudly wear it, unironically.

Poinsettas are a Christmas flower, of course, but I may still wear this dress into January, as it doesn’t have any Santas or trees on it – I think I can get away with it. It’s just a shame to only wear something you like so much during one month of the year. The next dress was my New Year’s Eve dress. My expectations for NYE are always way too high, and I’m usually disappointed. But, I love the hope found in a fresh start – and the sparkles, of course.

Lest you think I skipped my sequins this year in favor of a more subtle sparkle, please look more closely at my shoes. Sequins will forever have my heart.
I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are expectant about the new year. Perhaps you might also take a lesson from Ariana (words I would never have expected to come from my mouth) and reflect on some of the past seasons in your life – good and bad – to see how you’ve grown because of them. And, let’s pledge to ourselves to continue to look for that good in every situation we encounter in the new year.

<3,

SB

SB and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Date

I’ve had a suspicion for a long time that my fashion posts really weren’t the most interesting to many of you. Although the original purpose of my blog was to talk about clothing and trends, my audience (aka, you guys. My friends.) seemed to prefer the juicier topics. Based on the fact that about 200 people read my post about weight loss, and only 30 read the following week’s post about casual apparel…I’d say my suspicion was right (shout out to you hard core 30!).

So, in the interest of giving the people what they want, let me tell you about the worst date I have ever been on.

One of the conversation topics that often gets brought up on first dates, particularly if you’ve met the person online, is dating horror stories. And I’ve heard some doozies. Men especially seem prone to being catfished, whether in the more innocent form of a girl using older pictures with good angles, or the more absurd cases where a girl flat-out uses someone else’s pictures.

But I’d always felt a little boring when this topic came up. Either because I’m a pretty good judge of character and weed out the weirdos before I meet them, or because I genuinely enjoy talking to strangers, most of my dates have been pleasant. Pleasant, while not “good”, does not make for an interesting story.

Well, at least until a few months ago…

It started out like any normal Bumble date. We agreed on a specific public location (that I picked, because he was from Bowling Green – an hour and 15 minutes away).

Side note: it seems very flattering when a guy is willing to drive any distance more than 30 minutes to meet me for the first time. But I’ve learned that this should be a warning sign when we’ve only talked for a day or two.

Anyway, we met and I could tell immediately that it wasn’t going anywhere, but we were there, so might as well make the best of it. He told me that I was his first Bumble date, which I was totally fine with. I actually am always kinda happy for guys who have me as their first date from an app – I will be nice to them and I pretty much look like my pictures. If nothing else, it’ll at least be a positive first-date experience. (Side note 2: I told this to another date once, and he said I was the Bumble Mother Theresa, so if you guys want to start calling me that, too, I’m cool with it).

The date was fine. He had two Bud Lights with dinner, and we walked around town for a while after (because dinner ended too quickly for me not to feel guilty sending him all the way back to Bowling Green). At some point, he said that he couldn’t really read me, but I didn’t seem NOT interested. I took great pride in this because, while I was definitely not interested, at least I was nice enough that he didn’t feel like I hated him.

When we finally got back to our cars, he kissed me – and let me assure you guys, hard to read or not, that was NOT the vibe I was giving off. I then got in my car and drove the 15-20 minutes back to my house.

So far, this was a pretty par for the course poor date. Nothing noteworthy, just not good.

And then I got the call.

Literally as I was pulling into my driveway, buddy called me to say that he’d been pulled over and the cop could smell alcohol on his breath.

To save you from scrolling backwards, I’ll remind you of his drink order – two Bud Lights. He was a 34 year old, normal-sized, adult male. Two Bud Lights and somehow the cop could smell them.

Well, spoiler alert, fortunately, he didn’t get a DUI, but the cop wouldn’t let him leave unless someone came to pick him up. But, since he lived in Bowling Green, there weren’t that many people he could call. So, I turned my car back around to get him.

At this point, my niceness was wearing thin, and so was my patience. When I arrived where his truck was parked, he got in my car and said, “I hope you don’t think this was a line.” With no sympathy whatsoever in my voice, I replied, “Of course I don’t think this was a line. It would literally be the worst line in history.”

I wasn’t sure what we could do for an hour while he “sobered up”. He suggested we could just go back to my place, which I FLATLY vetod and suggested instead that we just go walk around some more.

After about an hour of walking, I took him back to his car and he drove back to Kentucky. I drove back to my home and hoped he never texted me again.

But, the next day, he did text me – only to say that while I seemed nice, he just didn’t think it was going to work out.

Y’all – HE dumped ME!

I let him save face, though, because there was no point in making him feel more embarrassed, and I didn’t want to see him again, anyway. So, all’s well that end’s well. And, as the silver lining, I finally have a really good worst-date story to share. Added bonus that it’s at least a safe worst-date story – despite his repeated efforts to kiss me, I really don’t think he was creepy or meant me any harm. He was just really green when it came to dating and had no idea idea what he was doing.

I don’t remember what I wore to meet that guy, but here are a couple outfits I have worn or would wear on dates:

I love this dress for its elegant simplicity. I almost always pair it with gold accessories and makeup and feel like a Greek goddess every time. The perfect summer dinner date outfit.

This one is good for a day date. I actually wore these shorts on one of my favorite dates, but that was in the summer. To make them a little more appropriate for a 90 degree fall day, I swapped my white off the shoulder top for a peach sweater-T (I wish I had had a rust orange top, but you make do with what you’ve got) and my sandals for booties. I think it works.

So there you have it – my worst date story. It’s probably not the craziest story I’ve ever heard, to be honest, but it’s definitely the craziest that has ever happened to me. Do you have any that top that? What’s your worst date – or the worst you’ve heard of? I hope you’ll comment because these stories are my favorites!

<3 ,
SB

Cool Cool

I made a comment on facebook recently that I think I might be losing people’s attention because I haven’t had any good dating stories in a while. So…it’s time to give the people what they want!

One of the reasons there has been a shortage of stories about my love life is that I deleted all of my dating apps. I decided to just give real life a chance again for a while. And real life has treated me pretty well – I can generally weed out the weirdos before I go on a date with them (that doesn’t prohibit me from doing embarrassing things like asking out my chiropractor, but it does limit the awkward interactions), and so my dating experiences are much more pleasant. Perhaps, though, pleasant isn’t as great for my blog readership.

Fortunately for all of you, the other night, a ghost from Tinder past popped up.

For you to understand this story, I need to tell you about a guy I met online back in May. He lived in Knoxville but came to Nashville a lot. We exchanged numbers, and he started texting me. His texts were not exactly stimulating, though… Almost every day, he’d ask me how my day was, I’d answer, and then he’d ask when I got off work. Everyday I’d tell him I got off at 5. Guys, 5:00. Like, that’s not a weird time to remember. But, every day we’d have the same conversation, and I’d tell him the same time. His response was always, “cool, cool.” End of conversation.

Naturally, he became the “cool, cool” guy to my friends. After a week or so of this dead end conversation, I just ghosted. People may disagree with this technique, but when we’ve never met and I’ve shared no more conversation with you then when I get off work and “cool, cool”, I think ghosting is completely appropriate.

Fast forward to last weekend, I went out with some friends for my birthday. A man I’d never seen before came up and started talking to me, and as the conversation progressed, he insisted, repeatedly, that he knew me. I knew I’d never met this guy, and I don’t usually have “one of those faces”, but he insisted. After about 5 minutes, my friends were ready to leave, and I was over the conversation, so I said my goodbyes and the guy asked for my number.

Side note: I almost always give my real number, unless the guy is REALLY creepy. It’s hard to reject someone out right like that, and I don’t like lying by giving a fake number. I figure the worst that can happen is I get a few annoying texts after. Again, you may have a different philosophy on this point than me. That’s fine.

Anyway, the guy texted me while I was standing there so I’d have his number, but I didn’t open the text then. My friends and I went on our way, and it wasn’t until a few hours later that I looked at my phone and saw the unopened text. I opened it, and much to my surprise, there was a text history from that number. And, of course, as you’ve likely guessed by now – it belonged to the “cool cool” guy.

I guess my profile pictures are super memorable, or maybe he just has a photographic memory, because I for sure did not recognize someone whose pictures I’d seen 9 months ago. But, kudos to Cool Cool for being right; technically, we had “met”.

Also, as you might have guessed, I did not ever respond to him. Sorry, buddy. Meeting you in real life had only confirmed what my intuition has previously told me.

So, the morals of the story here are 2-fold. 1) Always listen to your intuition. It will not lead you astray. And 2) never delete your text history.

I was going to show you the outfit I wore that night – it was a very cute romper/choker combo, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, none of those pictures turned out well. So, instead, here is what I wore on my actual birthday. I told you’d I’d probably wear this tulle skirt – and, I did! (Still not my best representation of a cute outfit. I promise it looked good, though. And I was a big fan of this color combo!)

Man Fast 2.0?

Y’all, I think I’m going to go an unofficial Man Fast again. For those of you who don’t know me well or haven’t been following my blog long, a few years ago, I took a 10 month break from dating. At first, I thought it was going to be miserable, but as time went on, it really wasn’t that bad and was a great move for me spiritually.

Fast-forward to now, and I’m kinda over dating at the moment. There are aspects of it that are super fun, of course, and I really enjoy meeting new people, getting dressed up, etc. But, for the most part, it’s a little exhausting and full of varying degrees of disappointment.

So, I’m thinking I may take a break for a while until someone REALLY wows me. Having said that, though, I am willing and available to be a plus one for the CMA Awards…just in case anyone needs one.

But don’t worry, I’ve got enough stories in the bank to keep you entertained, even if I am on a break (and, let’s be realistic. A homeless man threw his lunch at me while I was minding my own business, so break or no break, I will probably have new material.)

One such story happened a few months ago. I’ve been saving this one because I thought maybe this guy and I were going somewhere. We didn’t, so now I can talk about it. I’ve left out his name, but the details are accurate.

Earlier this summer, one of my good friends was in town with her husband. She really wanted to get pancakes at a very popular Nashville tourist destination, and having never been there, I was glad to go. The plan was to go to church, then get lunch. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire that morning and couldn’t go to church, so my friends came to pick me up to eat earlier. However, on the way to my house, they witnessed an accident on the highway and had to stop to give a report to the police.

By the time it was all said and done, we ended up at the restaurant about an hour before we would have been there had the morning gone normally. As we waited in line, baking in the sun, my friend and I decided to leave her husband to hold our place while we shopped at a nearby boutique. We turned around, and two people behind me, looking directly at me, was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. He looked like Bradley Cooper – only better, because he was a real person.

Like the mature 30-somethings that we are, this guy and I made eye-contact about 15 more times that morning but never spoke, despite being 2 feet away from each other for 45 minutes. I chatted with my friends about mundane things, started to drip with sweat, got my heel stuck in a crack and had to take my shoe off to get it out – you know, the kinds of things that really impress a man.

Finally, we sat down, ate, and were ready to pay. My friend and I ran to the bathroom, and while I was in there, I got the brilliant idea to write Mr. Cooper a note (this is not unprecedented for me. But that’s a different story). I grabbed a paper towel and wrote:

“You look like Bradley Cooper. If you live in Nashville, here is my number: xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you don’t, you should move. <3, Sarah Beth.”

My plan was to drop it off at his table as we were walking out. Only, when I left the bathroom, he was walking in. He gave me this huge, heart-stopping smile, and went into the men’s room. I walked over to his table, dropped off the note, and literally ran away as his friend sat there staring at me like I was a crazy person.

It was only as I was running away that I realized his friend better have gotten a good look at me because I left no identifying information.

Fortunately, he did, or Mr. C was smart enough to figure it out on his own, because a few hours later, I got a text, “I hope this number belongs to the cute blonde in line in front of me for pancakes.”

Sigh.

Of course, he was exactly my type. Christian, conservative, smart, fun, military special forces (hence, his remarkable resemblance to American Sniper Bradley Cooper)… Of course, he did not live in Nashville. Nevertheless, we ended up talking for about 2 months before the distance just became too big of a factor. But, that was about 7 weeks longer than I expected to talk to him, so really, I count this as a success.

While I was disappointed it didn’t work out, I think my two-month texting relationship with Mr. C did accomplish something very valuable, which was to revive my hope in serendipity (aka, God’s sovereignty). If I hadn’t had a flat tire and my friends hadn’t witnessed an accident, we wouldn’t have been in line at the same time as this perfect human specimen, and I never would have even seen him, much less had an almost-relationship with him. Everyone always says you can meet “the One” anywhere, and if I can meet someone in line for pancakes, never even speak to him, and then talk regularly for 2 months, I suppose they might be right.

So, to bring this long post full-circle, I’m keeping my options open, but I want something special, like what could-have-been with Mr. C. If that means I’m on a break for a while, so be it. If that means I meet someone at the gas pump next to me tonight and we hit it off, great! But if that means I start hanging out at pancake restaurants regularly, please stage an intervention.

1-neon-shoes-navy-shirtThis is the outfit I was wearing on that blessed day. Mostly, I just love these shoes, even if they do get stuck in cracks.

Have you ever left a note on a napkin for someone? How did it go? For those of you in relationships, what are your “meet-cute” stories? I always enjoy learning what circumstances brought people together, and I’d love to hear yours!

Florals and Stripes

I know you’re all DYING for an update on my dating life (she says dripping with sarcasm…). Well, the highlight right now is the homeless guy who threw his lunch at me the other day. I think it was a unique form of flirting, and in that sense, almost flattering… So, you can see I’m in a bit of a low period. 

I have deleted all my dating apps, though. After all my defending of Tinder, I was finally convinced that there are very few (read: none) people on it with honest intentions. The rest of the apps were just too much work. So, if I don’t meet someone the old fashioned way – in real life – I may just die an old maid. Que sera, sera.

In that spirit, here is a floral blouse that might match the pattern on your grandmother’s couch. Just kidding. I love florals, and I don’t think they look old-lady ish at all, especially when combined with stripes (which, my mom reminded me, was how my grandmother wall-papered her house. So, maybe I stand corrected.)

Seriously, though, florals and stripes are my favorite way to mix patterns – and a pretty simple way to pull off that trend successfully. My pants are a soft pink and white stripe that pairs well with the pink in my blouse. Since neither piece is too bold and both in the same color palette, mixing the patterns was easy. I added a green tank and purple shoes, because, you know, I like to wear as many colors at once as possible, and my Easter egg outfit was complete (self-deprecation aside, I loved this look).

1 - floral and stripesHow do you feel about florals? Old lady or on-trend? Would you pair them with stripes, another pattern, or only solids? Let’s talk!

Nashville Match

So, I’ve started trying to date in Nashville. I say started trying for two reasons:

  1. I had previously been on a few dates, but I wasn’t really looking to actually date then – they were isolated incidents.
  2. Trying is really the key word here. The process is slow.

I joined Match.com again, in hopes of a better pool. I still think Tinder is the most efficient way to meet people, and by and large, Tinder guys are more attractive than on any other dating app/site. However, while I don’t think finding someone who shares my values and actually wants a relationship is impossible on Tinder, I figured my odds were a little better on a paid site. So, because the guys on EHarmony are weird, and the ones on Christian Mingle insist on referencing the Proverbs 31 woman in every profile, Match.com was the obvious choice.

The unfortunate side of Match is that anyone can message you, regardless of how much they do/do not fit within your desired parameters. This leads to a lot of annoying, but sometimes entertaining, messages. Below is an actual transcript of a man who messaged me Easter morning. Since he lives in a different state than me, I didn’t reply…later, I realized the depth of this wisdom, as the following happened around 5:00 Easter afternoon (his comments are noted with a B; mine with an S.)

B: Wow, u are stunning

B: There is zero chance ur single

B: Ur smile is incredible

B: storms are blowing in onto the lake like crazy. So romantic

B: I got the offer of a life time at work tonight

B: so excited. Huge money.

(Next are a series of messages not recorded because apparently Match only stores so many and I hadn’t screenshotted the middle part. It included his number.)

B: Call me

B: I’m a Christian

B: I’m a good man

B: Please take a chance

B: No ?

B: Damn I don’t even know ur name

B: Ur choice

B: Want me to leave u alone ?

B: Good bye pretty girl

B: That’s a yes

B: U never say anything

B: I can’t call?

B: Girl let me treat u like a princess

B: Say something please

B: So completely smitten

B: I don’t think ur interested in being treated like a princess’s

B: Call me

B: Can u please just call me

B: No?

B: I need to hear from u

And that’s where the messages ended. If you noticed an absence of S: comments, that’s because there were none. B was determined, though, and the one-sided conversation continued for about three hours. I kinda felt bad for him in a general sense, but I can’t engage with that. Also, what if I had legitimately been busy? He was assuming I was on my phone reading these messages in my inbox in real time (I was), but what if I’d been at church or for a run – or on a different date?

So, that’s what dating these days is, folks. Wish me luck…

Really, though, I’m (somewhat) optimistic. The pool may not be awesome, but it’s certainly better than in small town, Georgia, and, as my mother always says much to my annoyance/eye rolls, “it only takes one.” Plus, I’m talking to a guy right now who used the word “egregious” correctly in a sentence, so the future is looking bright.

Have you ever been the recipient of these kinds of non-stop (or otherwise troublesome) messages on Match/dating sites? Do you ignore like I do, or do you respond – and if so, how? (I read an article about a girl who messaged guys on Tinder using only Lorelai Gilmore quotes, and I was a little bit jealous of her ingenuity.) Please let me know I’m not alone!

 

It’s a Small World, Afterall

When I moved to Nashville, I made a promise to myself not to use any online dating platforms for the first several months that I lived here. I wanted to get settled, find a job, focus on other things, and ideally, meet someone “organically”, before I gave online another go.  For the most part, I’ve kept that promise…with one notable exception.

To really understand this story, we have to go back a week before Thanksgiving to an occurrence seemingly unrelated…stick with me.

On a random Wednesday night, a couple friends were in town, so we did what you do when friends are in town in Nashville – go to the honky tonks! As we’re dancing, I noticed the band guys (two brothers) were kinda checking me out. I didn’t want to be rude to my dance partner, though, so I just took a picture of their album cover (legitimately, I liked their music), planning to look them up on Instagram. A couple days later, I remembered to do that, followed them, and imagined that they might remember me out of the hundreds of people they saw that night. They did not immediately follow me back, and that was the end of that. I thought.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving, and I look at my phone to see an Instagram notification that one of the brothers had followed me back.  Interesting, I thought – maybe he did remember me?

Shortly thereafter, I got another notification, this time from Tinder.  Naturally, curiosity got the best of me, so I logged in to check and then started scrolling through matches, when I came across a “Super Like” (Tinder has these now.  They’re weird), and low and behold…it was the other brother!

For you to properly understand the irony of this, I think you might need a better understanding of how Tinder works. Tinder is based solely on age and geographic location – so, my parameters are ages 27-40, within 30 miles. In Nashville, that’s an awful lot of men, especially at Thanksgiving when so many people would be around who aren’t regularly.  Additionally, people can pay to change their location so that if they’re out of town, they can still use Tinder in their home city.  This was the case with the band guy – he was actually about 3 hours away, but using Tinder in Nashville.  So, out of the literally thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of men I could have come across on my first Nashville use of Tinder, I came across one that not only I’d seen before, but whose brother had just followed me on Instagram.

I couldn’t resist liking him back, if for no other reason than to see how this drama between the brothers unfolded…  But, in an anticlimactic end to this story, Instagram brother never talked to me after all.  Either they resolved it among themselves (I like to assume they arm wrestled over me), or he was just following me for the sake of the band (the much more likely scenario).

Regardless, I did meet up with Tinder brother (he paid, for those wondering), but that was very short lived for reasons that are unimportant.  However, I couldn’t help but play the words to an old song over in my head before we went out:

Did you ever have to make up your mind? Say yes to one, and leave the other behind. It’s not often easy, it’s not often kind, did you ever have to make up your mind?

Have you ever seen someone on an online dating site that you knew – either by face only, as in my case, or that you really knew in real life?  Which site was it, and how did you respond?  I found a good friend on Match once, and it was interesting to read his profile as I would a potential date’s…he did a good job of representing himself well.  Let’s here your stories, and have a great weekend!

Going Dutch?

Y’all, we need to have a serious discussion.  I’ve noticed an alarming trend in my recent dating life, and I don’t know if I’m the crazy one here, if I’ve lately just found more duds than usual, or if culture changed when I wasn’t looking. But, men have stopped paying on dates.

Here are the facts:

Of the last 6 men I’ve spent time with (excluding a friend who is in a relationship),

  • 2 have not paid at all (in one instance, I had to literally go to the car to get my wallet. In the other, we awkwardly haggled over whose card to use based on who had cash.)
  • 1 paid but only for my two drinks – never offered to buy dinner, even though we were together from 5:30-8:00 pm. You know, dinner time.
  • 1 paid but said I could get it next time.
  • 2 paid for everything.

I’ve tried to analyze this situation.  Of course, none of these were technically “dates”, if you define date by a man saying, “I would like to take you on a date”, vs. “hey, wanna hang out”?  For the sake of the discussion, we can use that excuse, but it doesn’t really hold water since two of these “non-dates” paid.

We could blame it on them not having much money, but 5 of these 6 are very gainfully employed.  All of them knew I was not (not that it’s other people’s responsibility to pay for me because I’m broke – that’s not their fault, and I’m no socialist. But remember, this is a dating situation).

We could say this was just a Northern thing, but one who paid is from Illinois, and one who didn’t, born and bred in Georgia. All live in the South (and are evenly divided between Georgia and Tennessee…so that’s not it, either).

So, the only similarity I can see between those who paid and in contrast to those who didn’t is age.  The two who paid are over 35.  All of the rest are under.

I’m enough of a feminist to feel a little bad that men have to pay all the time and to appreciate that (under usual circumstances), I am perfectly capable of buying my own dinner.  But, that’s not the point.  Society has dictated for centuries(??), that when a man and a woman go out, the man pays – or at least the person who did the asking pays (in this case, the man, of course).  Also, up until two months ago, I don’t think I’ve ever once paid on a date.

So, what’s going on?  Has every millennial man conspired to stop paying for us independent women? And why now – I’ve dated men my age (or younger) before, and this is a new phenomenon. Or, are my expectations just antiquated? If this is the new world, I’ll adjust – but I just want to know if I have to.

(Lest I be misconstrued, I’m always grateful when a man pays.  Yes, experience has taught me to expect it, but I don’t take it for granted and think it’s a very kind gesture.)

What do you think?  If you’re a woman, have you ever paid (on a first date)- does that bother you? Men, what do you think – should guys be expected to pay? Please discuss because I need to know how big of a line item to put in my monthly budget for dates.

The SEAL and I

Yesterday, I was very encouraged to read that J.J. Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the NFL (and whom I disliked until yesterday, because he plays for one of the Colts’ rivals, the Texans), has a hard time finding dates, despite his best efforts.  If a 6’5″, attractive man who makes over $16 million a year has trouble dating, it makes me feel a little less bad about my own failed attempts.  (Sorry, J.J., but misery loves company.  And so do I, btw, should you ever somehow read this.)

Anyway, lest you think I ONLY meet inmates and rehabbers, let me assure you that – well, actually, that is true in the state of Georgia.  Elsewhere, though, I do sometimes meet guys that I genuinely like.  Like, Navy SEALs for instance.  One of my most favorite nights was spent dancing with a SEAL at my beloved honky tonk, the Banque, in Norfolk, VA.  I was determined to ignore him because although he was beautiful, obviously (every SEAL is beautiful), he knew it, and I knew he knew it.  Plus, he had tattoo sleeves and was wearing a shirt with a stupid joke on it, and I was not about to indulge his ego.

But, SEALs aren’t used to rejection, and he persisted until I finally granted him one dance…and spent the rest of the night being twirled around by big Navy SEAL arms.  For the sake of any male readers, I won’t gush further.  But, girls – it was magical.

Of course, he was being sent on a secret mission somewhere two days later, so we were relegated to texting (he somehow still had phone signal, and I’m choosing to believe that he wasn’t just hanging out in Norfolk, pretending to be in the jungle with a nearby Verizon tower). And naturally, when I got my hair done a few days later, going from a dark blonde/light brown to a brighter/more Sarah Beth blonde, I sent him a picture.

His response: “I prefer brunettes.”

So, that was the end of the SEAL.  Sad day, but marriage to the special forces is not for the faint of heart.  Nor is marriage to a blonde, I suppose.

Have you ever had “one enchanted evening” with a stranger?  Did it turn out like a perfect rom com, or more like my life? Let me hear some stories so I know I’m not alone! And have a great weekend, everyone!

1 - bling ring

The Great Dating Site Analysis

I just read an article about Collide – the new Christian Tinder.  It’s hilarious.  Like Tinder, you swipe left or right based on attractiveness; unlike Tinder, though, users also have to give their favorite Bible verse, rather than a brief (or non-existent) description.  So, be thinking about your list of deal breaker verses now, people.  You don’t want to be stuck with that guy who puts down Job 19:17.

Legitimately, I thought the article was written by the Onion at first, but I looked it up, and this thing really does exist.  Unfortunately, though, it’s only on the iPhone, so this Android user will have to wait a while to get started on this probable solution to all of my problems.

In the meantime, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to review all the different dating options I’ve tried; hopefully, my experience can be helpful to someone (or entertaining to all).

In order of worst to best:

POF (Plenty of Fish):

I haven’t been on POF in several years, but the last time I signed up was because I had two friends who were married from the site, and one of them was a super cute blonde in her mid-20s.  So, I figured it had something going for it.

Positives: free.

Negatives: as with all free sites, there are a lot of huge creepers and spammers, and you’re more likely to get catfished (this has never happened to me).  Also, POF has a super sketchy reputation.  You can set your settings to filter out people who have solicited sex.  But, the fact that they needed to give that filter as an option is disturbing to me.

I did, however, go on one of my favorite online dates through POF.  He was very nice, took me to a great restaurant on the boardwalk, prayed over our meal, and looked like a more attractive Manning brother.  We had very little chemistry, so it didn’t go anywhere, but it was a nice date.

Bottom line: skip it.

POF gifChristian Mingle:

One of my besties just got engaged to a man she met on Christian Mingle.  I had tried it many years ago and HATED it – it seemed that every man wrote in his profile about a Proverbs 31 woman (I have nothing against this model of a hard-working, diligent, strong woman, but when a man puts this in his dating profile, he wants a Stepford Wife).  And one guy even thought debating about predestination was good first-chat convo.

But, when my friend got engaged, I thought I’d give it another chance; maybe it had improved over the last 6 years.  Christian Mingle is not free, so I reactivated my profile to look around and see if there was anyone who could entice me to pay.  There was not.

Positives: Most everyone will share the Christian faith.  You can search without paying/committing.

Negatives: A lot of ultra-conservative Christians, not that many attractive people, kind of expensive.

It worked for my friend, but my vote is that it’s not worth it.

Christian Mingle gifE-Harmony:

I’m hesitant to put e-Harmony so far down on my list because I think it’s a very legitimate service that has worked for a lot of people.  But, personally, I do not like it at all.

Positives: Matching system is based on something other than that you both exist (also, I really love taking surveys about myself).  Most people on there are very serious, because that junk is expensive (see negatives).

Negatives: Expensive!  While I have noticed eHarmony doing sales lately (I signed up last year for $7/month for 3 months), they’re generally pretty pricey.  And when they have their free weekends, you can’t see pictures.  Without fail, every guy I’ve ever talked to without seeing pictures has proven, once we become facebook friends, to be unattractive.  I don’t want to be shallow, but c’mon, let’s all be honest here.  Attraction is important – especially when you can’t see someone in real life to know if their personality helps.

Also, even personality wise, I’ve seldom really been into the guys sent to me on eHarmony.  I don’t know if I’m answering questions about myself incorrectly, but they’re sending me guys who I would never be interested in in real life (maybe this is the problem?!).  Unfortunately, you can’t search on your own in eHarmony; you get who you get.  And you can’t speed up the process either – they only release matches to you in batches.  It’s very controlled – and I prefer to browse on my own terms.

Bottom line: try it if you’re rich or can get a good sale.  Skip the free version, as it only promotes false hopes for both of you.

Eharmony gifOk Cupid

Free like POF, Ok Cupid is slightly less sketchy.  I’ve never been able to figure out the madness that is their matching system (I’m certain there is no method to it), but they do at least allow you to filter emails from people not in your search criteria to the junk mail folder.  Predictably, this one stays a lot fuller for me than the one with messages from people I might actually want to talk to.

Positives:  Free and slightly less creepy than POF.   You can search for people, and the matching system does at least help you know who you will definitely NOT be compatible with (aka, the chain smoking atheist in an open relationship).  They also send you super encouraging emails when your profile gets clicked on a few times, like, “You’re one of the hottest members on OkCupid!”

Negatives: still a lot of weirdos because it’s free, and anyone can contact you.

Bottom line: if you are interested in passing some time, or if you have the patience to sift through all the oddballs, and you want a free service, it’s not too terrible.

OKC gifMatch

Match is not cheap.  Less expensive than eHarmony, but also no free weekends or really cheap sales.  However, you can search without paying – and see pictures!  (You just can’t talk to anyone, so…)  The people on there also seem a little more committed than on the free sites, and the pool is pretty wide.

Positives: You can do your own searching, but Match will also send you people they think fit your criteria and are therefore good “matches”.  They also have real life mixer events for Match members.  I’ve never been to one of these, but I like the concept.

Negatives: The matching criteria is weird; often, I get notifications that, “Like you, Johnny doesn’t smoke.”  They also send me a billion emails, most of which I think are lies (I conveniently had 5 new men check me out 4 times this week exactly at 5:00?)

Bottom line: I really think this is the best of the online sites.  It may or may not pay off ultimately, of course, but I think it’s definitely the most widely used by serious-ish people.

Match gifTinder

Last but not least is Tinder.  I WISH Tinder did not have such a bad reputation (many people regard it simply as a hook-up app) because I really love it.  Every time I mention that I use it, I give people almost this verbatim disclaimer:

“I know Tinder has a sketchy reputation, but I really like it because to me, it’s the most like real life.  You see someone you think is cute, you start talking to them, it goes somewhere or it doesn’t.  You don’t analyze all these things they happened to decide to write about themselves.”

And I fully agree with that.  Unfortunately, I am rather in the minority, I think.  But, still, there are a few people who use the app as it was originally intended (when it was designed by Mormons.  True story.) as a way to meet people close to you who are already interested, at least on some basic level.

Positives: Quick, free, easy, efficient, fastest way to a date (you’ll probably not send emails back and forth forever.  It’s messaging to texting to a date in usually less than a week, I’ve found).  Because people have to mutually express interest in order to even talk, it weeds out people not in my search criteria (aka, distance and age range), as well as obvious creepers (gym selfie takers are automatically dismissed).

Negatives: There are a lot of people on there just to hook up.  And, when you discuss it, people may initially judge you (feel free to use my disclaimer).  Also, because there is really little or no description, you don’t have the opportunity to eliminate any very good-looking people with whom you do not share core values, so it can lead to disappointing dead ends (or regrettable compromises).

Bottom line: Use good judgment, but it’s a fun, easy, modern way to get to know people.

Tinder gifOf course, we all still want to meet someone in real life.  That story just seems more romantic, and although the taboo of online dating has certainly diminished, I don’t think kids are yet dreaming of the day they will log on to a computer and meet their future spouse.  But, the reality is that our world is online.  So, if/when you venture into the crazy world that is cyber dating (or re-venture, if you’ve, like me, tried and given up multiple times), hopefully my guide will help you.  But, feel free to completely disregard it, as I’m sure almost all of us can find both a huge success and an utter failure story for each of these sites.

Happy hunting, everyone!  Enjoy your weekend, and leave me some comments if you’ve tried any of these sites.  How do you think my rankings are?  Would you add any others to the list?  Let’s swap stories!

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