Kathryn's Blog: Singles Only!

Not truth, not a lie, but something inbetween

A few weeks ago, there was a short article in the New York Times’ Style section called “I’m not real, but neither are you.”  It was about a new dating site (sort of) called cloudgirlfriend.com The site helps you build a fantasy profile, complete with photos they provide (which were rather spooky— the women’s ones were all gorgeous, young, and with huge unworldly photo shopped eyes), then matches you with other fantasy profiles. I joined (not without trepidation) and was immediately sent matches to scroll through. In the first ten, three of the photos were exactly the same, though the written material was different, which was pretty eerie.

Anyway, the premise is to allow someone to build a fantasy self, similar to people joining Second Life, then meet others in cyberspace doing the exact same thing. It’s a fabulous idea, melding dating sites with fantasy, having the fantasy be open and above board . Interestingly, quite a number of folks who have met on Second Life have met up in real life and gone on to form real relationships and even marriages. In the documentary I was a consultant for “When Strangers Click,” the last story was about such a couple. Click here to see a film clip.

This kind of site has a blatant acknowledgement that the individual presentations are not “real.” There is an up-front agreement between members that nothing in the profiles should be taken as “true.” The fantasy characters (as in Second Life) do have some aspects of “truth” to them, though: fantasy allows members to express parts of themselves that otherwise are hidden or negated by “true circumstances” like physical appearances.

I’d like to see this idea taken a step beyond. I regularly work with singles who really worry about being recognized on dating sites. Usually these folks are not married, not worrying about being found out. They tend to be prominent people in their communities who would be easily recognized. They feel both exposed in a private matter, and are concerned that it would seem rather unseemly for someone in their position to be on a dating site.

A dating site built on the premise of fantasy profiles, that everyone going in KNOWS that the picture is not “real,” but that there would be a blend of reality from the written words, could be of real service to these folks. As well, a fantasy photo that is “me, though better,” would cut through the 90% of us who are not the 10’s getting all the attention.


Target rich environments for women and men: Meetup

I’ve talked about Meetup.com before, but have you checked it out yet? Tallahassee, a medium-small city, has 67 Meetup groups listed, with four that bear looking into, specifically listed for singles. See here:

Tallahassee Chapter - American Singles Golf Association-ASGA (16 members), member of American Singles Golf Association
Tallahassee Singles Mingle Meetup Group (182 members)
Mature Singles (3 members, bad name)
LGBT Singles (36 members)

There are also groups for movie lovers, belly dancers (hey, guys, would that be target rich or what?), bee keepers (85 members, and I’ll be most are guys), nerds and geeks (58 members, guys again), backyard poultry (86 members - guys or ladies? What do you think?), sushi and beyond dinner group, tango (guys, women LOVE tango!), a group that gets together to fix up cars (guess what gender?), and knitters (did you know that Rosie Greer the football player knits?)


The case for getting out on the dance floor

My client Leslie has been working her way through my book “Find a Sweetheart Soon!  Your Love Trip Planner for Women” and also my ecourse “Ten Days to Get Lucky at Love.”  She’s a great student and taking to it all like “a fish to water.”  After President Obama’s Inauguration, she emailed me the following – I liked her views so much that I asked if I could preprint it here so you could enjoy it too:

On page 16 of “Get Lucky at Love,” you write:

“BTW, women find men who can dance VERY attractive.  And a man willing to get out on the dance floor, despite not being perfect, can ask any woman there to dance.  And she will probably say ‘Yes.’”

Analytical student-type that I am, I’m looking everywhere for Love Luck and Bright Spots, and I found one in the coverage of the inaugural festivities.  What I saw really proves what you say about guys learning to dance—or even trying to dance.  Just a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have seen this myself, so thanks a lot for that, too!

Everyone—absolutely everyone—is talking about the new President and First Lady and their first dance.  The recap on ABC opened and closed with footage from it.  They do look terrific; I think it’s the first time I’ve thought any of our American presidents actually looked romantic.  But here’s the thing.  President Obama isn’t doing anything all that complicated.  People are saying that they “glided” through a “slow, dignified two-step,” but it’s the same left-LEFT, right-RIGHT, three-two-one-spinnn that I remember from high school.

So lesson A: You do not have to know how to move like a professional to look awfully good.  You just have to look comfortable and into your partner.  People will think you’re attractive even if you’re the President.

Fewer people are talking about the new Vice President’s first dance, but he’s happy to say why.  He says he can’t dance.  He’ll tell anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. He freely admits stalling so that he won’t have to dance as long.  But here’s the thing.  The new VP DID dance in front of the assembled company, even if he didn’t think he was good at it.  And for double bonus points, he said he might not care much for dancing but he loved being close to his wife.

So lesson B: Willingness will get you almost as far as ability.  In some cases, it will get you even farther.

Now, there were doubtless tons of guys at the inaugural balls who couldn’t dance, told their dates they couldn’t dance and then punished themselves and their dates by refusing to dance.  I can’t say for sure because no one at all is talking about them.

Which leads us to lesson C: You only lose if you don’t play.

Dance-shy people take notice!

Talk to you Friday,


Meetup to meet up

When I was dating online back in 1998, I met a guy who not only was doing online dating, but also “It’s Just Lunch” and several other organized activities.  When I asked him why he was doing all those things as well as Match.com, he said his philosophy was to start up as many avenues as possible that might lead to love, the more, the better.  While I think that Internet dating is the best thing since sliced bread for singles, I agree that Match.com and the like are not the only shows in town when it comes to finding love.  This fellow was right: The more options that you create for finding a partner, the more likely it is that you will find one.

I’ve been interested in the Meetup Group phenomenon for awhile, and last week I met with a woman who is active here in Tallahassee Meetup groups.  We actually met because she wants a Romance Coach, but come to find out, she coordinates several Meetup Groups here and has had dates and relationships with men she has met through the Meetup Groups.  For those of you who don’t know, here’s the definition of Meetup for Wikipedia:

Meetup.com (also called Meetup) is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies. Users enter their ZIP code (or their city outside the United States) and the topic they want to meet about, and the website helps them arrange a place and time to meet. Topic listings are also available for users who only enter a location.

Meetup has only been around a few years now, really taking off after 2002.  Meetup’s became part of the political action in Howard Dean’s campaign, then John Kerry and John Edwards.  The grass roots efforts that were so important in getting Barack Obama elected have a strong Meetup flavor.

But Meetup is far more than a political movement.  Meetup groups spring up for all kinds of reasons, but basically, they are a way for people to with similar, perhaps obscure, interests to meet when they otherwise would not. 



If you have been single awhile: 2, 5, 10 or more years

The longer you have been single, the more used to the single state you are and the more likely it is that you will stay that way.

I don’t have any research to back me up on that, but frankly I am pretty sure that is so.  Particularly if you have never been coupled (living together for a year or more) or married before at all. 

It’s pretty hard in our culture to have managed not to marry at least once by the time you are 35 or 40, if you are heterosexual.  The pressures to couple and marry are fierce.  In fact, you probably worked a bit to stay uncoupled, either avoiding dating at all, or getting out of developing relationships before committing.

Being and staying single is what you know how to do.  Your thoughts and behaviors keep you that way.  And you will probably stay single without putting in enormous effort to get different results.

Interestingly, singles are often unaware of what they do that keeps them single. 

Most folks have some ambivalence about looking for love.  Ambivalence means having thoughts, feelings, or actions that are in contradiction to each other, like love and hate.  Because it is hard for us to keep two conflicting thoughts or emotions conscious and in focus, we are often aware of only one side of the ambivalence.  Therefore, you may think and believe that you want to find a partner, that you are willing to do anything in order to get one, but you may also be equally unsure or not wanting to give up your single privileges, and you act unconsciously to undermine your best efforts to get what you think you want.

What might you be doing that undermines your finding love? 

If you are stumped, take a hop over to my readers’ “50 Ways to BLEEP Your Lover” for a funny take on the question.  But I’ve got some serious suggestions that might be indications of ambivalence:

You do nothing that will move you towards finding love. 
You think that love should “just happen” with no effort on your part.
You are always “too busy” in the present and vow to start sometime in the future when you have time.  But that time never comes.
Perhaps you are listed on a dating site, but you do not post a photo.  Or your profile essay is negative or otherwise poorly written.
You never make the first contact to potential partners.
You are critical of those who contact you.
You do not answer first or later emails promptly, waiting days or weeks to respond.
You complain about how much time Internet dating takes and the poor quality of people on your dating site.
You have long lists of “must have’s” and “deal breakers” that eliminate just about everyone.
Your schedule is so full that it is next to impossible to arrange even a coffee date.
You don’t show up at the first meeting, or you get lost, or you are late, or you change plans multiple times and then complain when your date backs out.
You are negative and critical at you first meeting, complaining about other dates or your ex.
You focus on some small detail that totally turns you off to your date, like he is balding or she is a little heavier than her pictures indicated, or he doesn’t talk easily, or she can’t spell.
You do not express positive interest, even if you are interested, and leave getting in contact again after that meeting to your date.
You consistently are not interested in people who are attracted to you, are reasonably healthy emotionally, and are truly available for a relationship.
You are interested in complicated, artistic, wealthy, elusive, moody, or eccentric people who perhaps are married or otherwise paired, or never married, alcoholic or drug-addicted, unemployed or deviant. 
You expect your partner to make your life exciting.  But exciting may really be a synonym for scary.

Well, as you probably can guess, I could go on and on.  But I am sure you get the picture. 

Now, if you keep reading, fair warning:  I’m going to spoil it for you.  You won’t be able to use your old excuses as reasons why you are single.

You are the reason.  The consistent factor in your staying single is you.

And it’s not because you are fat or short or bald or use a cane to get around.  Plenty of short, fat, bald, lame people are in relationships or married.  The fact that you aren’t one of them is you.

Ugh.  That’s the bad news, hard to hear and not easy to deliver, believe me.  But there’s good news, too, because if you are the reason you are single, then you can do something about it. 


Travel resources for singles

Just about anything you want can be found on the net, even love, right?  Here’s a resource for singles with a yen to find both love and adventure:

Travel Briefs
Travel dating pairs couples on the road

Single and like meeting people on vacation and business trips? Or simply want to put the downtime spent in the airplane, on layovers and between business meetings to better use? Matchmaking travel agencies can help you connect with like-minded singles who share your flight or itinerary.

TripLife, at http://www.triplife.com, lets you create a personal profile including photo, occupation, favorite sport, alma mater or any appropriate information, enter your travel plans, then instantly see profiles of other people on your flight or already at your destination. You can e-mail invites to prospective golfing partners or dinner companions and remain in the network for later notification whenever you and other TripLife members are in the same city.

Then there’s speed dating aboard a 737. SkyDate, http://www.skydate.eu/v1.0/eu/home/home.php, offers travelers to Europe this opportunity to enjoy brief encounters with several people on an airline flight. Women remain seated, and men make the rounds. Participants are discouraged from asking each other out and instead rate their speed dates by vote. Those who voted to meet each other again are then given contact information.

Other travel dating services include O Solo Mio, http://www.osolomio.com; and MatchTravel, http://www.matchtravel.com.


Under 35, Single, and Like to Travel?

If you’d like a subtle way to meet and get to know other singles over an extended period of time while traveling to interesting places AND affordably, check out Contiki. Read this article by Sheila Flynn which describes the experience of a Contiki tour. While not specifically billed as a singles’ tour (those in relationships can also sign up and travel), singles can identify themselves as available for dates with a red or green light designation. Romances can bloom while all are traveling in the company of like-minded others (well, travel-lovers, anyway). And I would think that the arrangement would be both safe for otherwise solo travelers, and potentially more fun with soon-to-be friends.

The tour options are world-wide, and better-known in Europe. But how about expanding to older age groups? Lots of us are over 35, ya know.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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