Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dating Beettlejuice: A Metaphor for a Past Relationship

Written by Lindsay K. Love Kudos
Edited by Lauren K.

We all start out with the best intentions when we start to date someone.  It is the process of getting to know someone and deciding if you want them in your life or not. Sometimes we continue to date a person, even though the little guy in the back of our head keeps telling us, "This isn't right." This happened to me recently. My friends all agreed and frequently told me he wasn't for me and to move on.  Surprisingly, he moved on before I did, because he met someone else.

As I reflect on this failed relationship, I feel that G-d or fate put this new girl in front of him, so he would be distracted from contacting me.  This distraction would allow me to move on emotionally and be open when the right person came along.  I felt I had seen a similar plot, but couldn't remember which movie it came from or if this same scenario happened to another friend.  It took me a couple of days to realize.  I had dated Beetlejuice and lived to tell the story.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dating: How to Handle Rejection with Dignity and Integrity


Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos
with Commentary by Lindsay K.

All of us have faced rejection at some point in our lives. Rejection comes with taking risks, and without taking risks in life, you are seldom going to achieve success in dating, friendships, or work. How do we define rejection? The dictionary says, “dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste.” No one likes to feel dismissed, inadequate or inappropriate.

However, we do not all live in Disney Land. Even Tenley Molzahn from the Bachelor had to experience rejection from Jake Pavelka before she rode up to her Castle (The Bachelor Pad) to find love with Kiptyn Locke. She is so lucky that Jake rejected her to find true love.
I admit that I have experienced and dealt out my fair share of rejections this past year in dating. I am proud of the way I have handled my dismissals and want to share some best practices with you men and women out there. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed with and taken aback by the immature behavior I have witnessed from guys lately that I have rejected.

This is not a break up guide. Different topic and different protocol accompanies breaking up. This is about how to handle rejection with dignity and integrity. Although it may not appear that women experience rejection at the beginning of dating, because we are not usually the hunters, we do. When a crush is not reciprocated or a guy asks out our friend over us, we feel dejected and REJECTED. How should we handle this?

Rejection: Don't be a Sore Loser

Written by Lauren of Love Kudos

At the beginning of online dating, everyone is just trying to get to know each other and all behaviors are magnified and scrutinized. We make judgment calls with very little data and sometimes decide prematurely that we "like" someone. Well, this happened to me recently with someone that lived a couple of hours away. Our first conversation was over an hour and a half and by the end of it, I had already figured out a plan in my mind how we could make the long distance work and how our dogs would become lovers. He has a beige shih-tzu and I have a black and white one. As soon as we said good bye, the texts of endearment began, as well as pictures of his family. I was extremely excited that he was so into me after just a phone conversation. Within the first couple of conversations, we had already covered serious matters such as religion, having children, and marriage. I learned that he was divorced, but had a very amicable break up.

I am not big on letting too much time lapse before the first date, so I definitely pressed to have an in person meeting sooner rather than later. He agreed and we met that following Sunday in Austin. Let me preface that I had a cold and almost cancelled the date, but did not want to delay our first encounter. He took me to Uchi and surprisingly, we actually did not have to wait that long for a table. I was smitten with his looks right off the bat and I could tell he was pleased with my appearance as well. I think he said that my pictures did not do me justice. Conversation flowed, but something felt off for me. It was like talking to Ryan, the too happy go lucky guy, from the bachelor. It seemed there was a lack of sincerity or perhaps I am just more cynical than most. Without divulging details of our conversation, I felt that our personalities were opposite in spite of  sharing so many things in common: religion, family pedigree, love for travel, the outdoors, and children. I really wanted to make this work and offered to buy him dessert at Amy's ice cream afterwards. During dinner and at Amy's, I never felt the urge to touch him, which puzzled me.

I desperately wanted him to meet Chloe to see if she would be a perfect match for his dog so I invited him to meet her at my place. It was a quick meeting and they got along really well. We said good bye with a stilted embrace and I apologized that I could not kiss him due to my cold. I should not have acted contrite, especially since I really did not want to kiss him. After he left, I felt sad and began to second guess my dating instincts. Perhaps, I was being too brash and should give him another chance. We arranged a second date in his city for the following Monday. I wanted to meet Chloe's potential boyfriend and see his digs. I thought perhaps the chemistry would develop in time. The texts of endearment increased in frequency that week and the daily affirmation messages started to feel generic.

Caribou left Chloe at the Altar
Our second date was a bit doomed from the start. I was under personal distress and really wanted to get back to Austin as soon as possible. When I got to his place, he welcomed me with open arms and brought up Chloe to meet Aldo*.  Aldo was more interested in Chloe's green monkey than playing with her. I guess they did not have instant chemistry either. In his defense, he is much older than Chloe. Don't worry, Chloe still has Caribou, but I thought it would be a good idea to expand her dating pool. (He is not the marrying kind). We left the two shih tzu's at home and went to dinner.

He picked out an Italian restaurant in a strip shopping center that was closed on Monday's. He did not call for reservations. This surprised me given his tenacious nature in other aspects of his life. We ended up at a locally owned restaurant a few minutes from his place. It was during dinner when I realized I was 99% sure he was not going to be my husband. Too much of our conversation was anchored to past relationships and talking about our family dynamics.  He did not seem interested in talking about my career plans or about current events. When it comes down to it, there was not shared laughter at the table and I would say dinner could be graded as a B

When we got back to his place, I wanted to leave, but I also felt a little tipsy from the alcohol at dinner and needed to sober up. We went through his DVD collection and finally arrived at a mutual interest to see Snatch. Great flick that created some good banter between us. He subtly tried to show affection towards me, but was not overtly trying to go in for a kiss or cop a feel. Chloe exiled herself to under his desk and then eventually returned to the couch next to me. Finally at about 10:30PM, I announced that I really needed to leave and stood up to see that my poor dog had just thrown up on his couch. I was mortified. So much for a clean getaway. I immediately cleaned it up and partly out of pity and more out of curiosity, I pecked him on the lips, which he reciprocated. I felt nothing. He was somewhat perceptive and asked me if my sweet, little kiss was an I am sorry kiss.

He later indicated that he had a good time that night and continued writing the morning text affirmation messages. "Have an awesome day, have fun tonight, etc." Although I was no longer initiating any correspondence, only responding to his. A week after my second date, I decided to just be straight up and end what had such a promising start. I called him and conveyed in the message that I wanted to talk about things and catch up. He did not rush to return that message. A day later, he texted me confirming receipt of my message and I responded telling him I would call him that night. "Sounds good" was his response.

The small talk / weekend in review conversation went well and then when I eased into the relationship talk, everything went south. I said, "I just wanted you to know that I don't see this blossoming into a relationship. I see this as more as a foundation for a friendship. I feel like something is missing." I was proud of my words and had carefully crafted what I was going to say before the call.  I expected to hear in response, "I am sorry you feel that way. I could sense you were pulling away and I wish you felt differently," or "Are you sure?"

However, what he actually said was, "Yeah, the chemistry is just not there for me. I see you more as a friend too." I was in shock. I guess no one likes to accept rejection. I knew that he was more into me, but he did not want to admit it. I responded, "I am surprised that you would say that given your level of correspondence with me." Then he said the biggest defense response in a harsh tone, "No love lost here on my end." With that, the potenial love connections for Chloe and me were done.

If he had reacted differently, I think we really could have had a friendship and I would have even set him up with another girlfriend. However, given his reaction, I can just imagine what he would be like if we actually had a real relationship, and that is not a pretty sight.

How you end a potential relationship is crucial if you run in the same circles.

Back to article on how to deal with rejection with dignity and integrity.

Rejection: Friends with Benefits (Must be Mutual)

Written  by Lauren of Love Kudos


I have quite a few guy friends, some of which are former flings or x-boyfriends. This particular guy did not fall into either of these categories. I really consider him just a platonic friend. Jasper* and I have been friends for a few months and is a few years younger than me.  When we first met, I was in a relationship, so he was not given the opportunity to pursue me. In recent months, with my official single status, he has hinted that he finds me attractive and would be open to hooking up. Although, I do find him attractive, I do not want to ever cross that line. On occasion, we go out in group outings for happy hours and engage in athletic activities one-on-one. We share dating disaster stories and also romantic conquests.

By pure coincidence, I happened to have a Saturday night with nothing scheduled and neither did Jasper. We decided to go to see a movie and maybe go to my pool afterwards. He asked me via text what I liked for dessert. Normally, I would say chocolate, but I am trying to reduce my chocolate intake and so I texted back, "Strawberries." The movie theater was just a few blocks from my place. Even though it was in close proximity, he insisted on picking me up from my place and then bought my movie ticket (even after I offered twice). In the theater, he said a few things in my ear to indicate this was not the typical friends sharing popcorn and watching a movie night. My body tensed up and told him that I really just thought of him as a friend. It was very awkward for a little while, but eventually I started to relax. I was certain that I would not have to repeat the "We are just friends" speech again after that. I was wrong of course.

By: da.exblog.biz
When we got back to my place after the movie, it was really too late to go to the pool and I realized that might have been why he thought movie night out was code for "Let's get it on." I told him I no longer wanted to go for a swim. I said, "You can come up for a few minutes to walk Chloe (my dog), it is up to you." He accepts and then asks about dessert. It kind of had slipped my mind, but I was definitely up for some luscious strawberries. He goes to his car and returns with a little cooler containing a bottle of champagne, strawberries, and you probably guessed it, whipped cream. Well, if this was a date, that would have been a nice gesture, and definitely created a romantic mood. However, this just created an extremely uncomfortable situation. He told me how he had experienced some disappointments with women that week and relayed a story to me which showed me he was not keen on picking up disinterest from women. Persistence is a great trait in business and can be with love. You have to be perceptive. It was at this point that he asked me to make out with him. Normally, I might have been flattered, but after I thought I had already set the boundaries previously, I was annoyed. I told him clearly that there would be no making out or anything involving getting naked. He did not take this verbal rejection well. He made attempts to leave, but I convinced him to stay and offered to be a good friend to listen to his plight and try to help him. We ended up watching the last half of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and conversing through most of it.

Jasper was not interested in having a relationship with me, but still wanted more than I was willing to give. He did not handle the rejection with dignity and reacted in haste. Eventually, he accepted the friendship and gave up his desire for "Friends with Benefits." 

How could Jasper have handled the situation better?

Choice 1) He could have indicated prior to meeting for the movies that he wanted this to be a date and there could have been a discussion about expectations for the night. This could have completely avoided the entire awkward scene at my place.

Choice 2) When I indicated at the movie that I wanted to be just friends and he wanted more, he could have accepted it and not come up to my place after the movie.

I do feel fortunate that we were able to get past that incident and move forward with a platonic friendship. Many male / female friendships have to overcome sexual tension hurdles before they reach common ground.

 Back to article on how to handle rejection in dating with dignity and integrity.

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