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Two Online Daters Talk and Kathryn Comments

In an article from the Examiner.com we find two nice folks talking about their online dating experiences.  The article is in red, my comments in black.

BALTIMORE - This week, the intrepid Joan Allen has braved the wilds of online dating and returns from her dangerous expedition to tell the tale.

Joan: I went on my first Match.com date last week and would like to share some red-flag signals. First of all, the man asked very personal questions, such as “Why have you never gotten married? You’re beautiful and intelligent,” and “What red-flag signals have you observed about me?” This was our first date, and I felt like he was interviewing me. I decided I had nothing to lose, so I answered him honestly. I said, “The first red-flag signal is you’ve just had two double martinis, and I would be concerned about your drinking.” His answer? “My sister is an alcoholic, but I’m not. And I’m not going to change.” Needless to say, I never heard from him again.

Dan: Sounds like the date worked out perfectly. For me, a first date IS an interview situation: who are you, what are you about, now stand up and give us a spin. I don’t think his questions, or yours, were out of line, as you both learned what you needed to know — and isn’t it better to do that right off the bat rather than down the road after you’ve been dating this person five or six months?

I’d agree with Don about this.  The first meeting/coffee date should not really be seen as a date, but as a screening to see if you WOULD want to date this person.  It is a time for gathering facts and impressions, just like the email and phone contacts before the meeting.

Joan: When I told my friend Carol about my date, she offered a few of her favorite red-flag signs about Internet dating: men who’ve never been married, men who don’t call when they say they will, men who are very critical, men who say negative things about their former spouses, and best for last — after a third or fourth date with the same man, when you get home from that date and check your e-mails and find that he’s already online chatting with other women.

Beware, both men and women: It is very common practice for online daters to check on the dating site to see if their date is active on the site.  Of course, checking makes you active too, so your date may be doing the same thing: checking on you.  But until you have had the “Let’s be exclusive” discussion, do not assume that your date is being exclusive, even if you are.  In fact, dating more than one at a time may be a very good idea.  Having sex with more than one at a time may not.

Now ladies, sing it to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” “When he’s negative, when he’s sneaky, when he won’t call back, just let your account expire from Match, and then it won’t seem so bad.”

Dan: Then I’m a walking red flag, as I’m 44 and never been married ... and neither have YOU! Actually, all of these apply to women as well. And here’s a few more: women who write, express interest and then disappear off the face of the earth. Women who take you for granted. Women who can’t deal with a man’s female friends. Women who say you’re great but then start dropping comments about your clothes, hair, home — ladies, men may be lumpy, but we’re not lumps of clay for you to mold; take us as we are or take yourself elsewhere. Women who see perceived slights in every word or gesture and demand apologies, free dinners and pedicures, but have no problems dropping atom bomb-sized insults about aforementioned clothes, hair, home, and if WE demand apologies, are informed we’re being wimpy.

And I don’t think to never have been married counts as a red flag. This is usually espoused by people who HAVE been married, realized they made a dumb mistake, got divorced and now embrace that “misery loves company” concept, encouraging everyone else around them to do the same dumb thing. I think, my dear Joanie, that you and I are too intelligent to marry just for the sake of being married. We want that person who is best for us on all levels, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, so that if and when we do marry, it is once and for all!

Joan: Amen!

The suspiciousness about never marrieds is really about never having had and maintained a long term relationship.  A person learns skills in a long term relationship that they cannot learn anywhere else.  And if you have had long term relationship experience, you should be wary about someone who had not.  Particularly if they are 40 or older.  How does one live that long and NOT have a long term relationship?  In our culture that values and pushes relationships so, not getting involved takes real work.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



I think if people want to find things wrong with a person, they are asking to NEVER find anyone. There are some that are legitimate red flags. The notion that there is something wrong with someone that has never been married is ridiculous. Even if you are divorced, everybody has made some kind of mistakes in life. Why should you hold it against them? I disagree with the comment that you should be wary of a person that hasn’t had a long term relationship at 40 or older. It’s not really my concern and I don’t feel I need to figure out why. It’s how they treat me now. Now, if you find out they beat their former spouse, that’s a whole different story. How about somebody that has had a real long term relationship and wasn’t happy, so decided to get out? I am finding out that people are way too judgmental in dating. I recently showed a picture of a really handsome firefighter on Yahoo Personals. He had a nice smile with the BRIGHTEST WHITE pearly white teeth you would ever want to see. You know what she said? She said, “Oh, he’s cocky, don’t get a firefighter.” I said, “How do you know?” Here she’s never even met the guy or as much as even emailed him and he’s already “cocky” to her. All I thought by looking at his photo is he is really handsome and you almost needed sunglasses to look at him because his teeth were so incredibly white. Now, if he didn’t smile, I’m sure they would still have crap to say about him. It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. I would rather find out about him than assume. I would rather just find out for sure than just assume something about someone. You could miss out on a really good person.

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