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I read an interesting story about how there's not an equivalent word to "guy" for females.

 

"Girl" can sound young, as would the word "boy". So, for males, there's "guy", which can really refer to any age over puberty. But the word "gal", its counterpart, is outdated.

 

The word "woman" sounds old. The word "lady" sounds too.....prissy.

 

So, we use the word "girl", to refer to women as we would a "guy".

 

Interesting discussion. I don't care what word people use.

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Thought I'd quickly update this. Nothing going on much in terms of dating. Georgie was wishy washy when it came to actually arranging to meet, so I left that. I met another woman, Rachael, off Bu

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I don't get the impression that you're behaving drastically differently, for the record. Perhaps just that there is Ian Ian and Ian On Dates Ian, if that makes sense. The latter version might be just a tad more caught up in how you're being perceived than the former, at the expense of communicating to another that you're just interested in getting to know people in general and this person in particular. That you are thinking about what rewards your behavior may get you—be it a kiss, a held hand, a second or third date—at a slightly higher than needed frequency. When our internal monologue is dominated by thoughts of if and when we should kiss or touch there is simply a very high chance that we're only hearing a small percentage of what someone is saying from across the table.

 

One thing I'll bring up—mainly, I admit, because I'm curious to hear women weigh in—is the bit about Emily and hand holding. This seems for you to be a kind of way of feeling things out, broaching intimacy, as if you're kind of waiting for the right moment to touch hands and assess how that goes down. All good. Reading that I realized how I, personally, find hand holding to be super intimate, something I do with girlfriends, can't imagine "trying" on an early date, and would be a little thrown were it to happen.

 

Not probably. I remember once going on a date with someone that ended in a hot make out session. Great. The next date we met for lunch—she picked me up. In the car she reached across and held my hand. It was kind of "too much, too soon" for me. We were going to a vegan restaurant, and, while holding my hand, she said, "Am I the first vegan you dated?" To my mind she was jumping from "dating" to "being together." Felt forced. Instead of "reading the room" we were in together, she had her own room, her own little story, and was working to will it into reality, or so I felt.

 

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I'd be interested to hear from women about how they feel about a man they don't know thinking about hand holding as a good "first step." It's probably something I'm overly sensitive about, connected to a larger sensitivity—that place where I personally start feeling slotted into a role, or that place where dating an romance feels like role playing: if we pretend to be bf and gf then maybe, in time, we will become actual bf and gf. My threshold for that has always been quite low.

 

Anyhow, sounds like you've got some fertile days on the horizon. Looking forward to hearing about them, at least until you figure out the live streaming biz.

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I read an interesting story about how there's not an equivalent word to "guy" for females.

 

"Girl" can sound young, as would the word "boy". So, for males, there's "guy", which can really refer to any age over puberty. But the word "gal", its counterpart, is outdated.

 

The word "woman" sounds old. The word "lady" sounds too.....prissy.

 

So, we use the word "girl", to refer to women as we would a "guy".

 

Interesting discussion. I don't care what word people use.

 

To me guys and gals are different from boys and girls. I do care what term is used in certain situations - I would not want to be referred to as "girl" by a male colleague and it would not be acceptable in my work place. "Girls night out" -sure. But a man referring to me as "you seem like a nice girl!" (when I was in my 20s or older -totally got that I looked really young, like a teenager back then so if it was that sort of mistake sure) unless he was my grandfather's age or otherwise a generational issue -not ok.

 

Certainly if it's acceptable in the UK then of course it's fine!

 

I've heard gal around here and lady and woman and all sound good to me. And I typically use "good person" instead of woman or man unless the gender is needed for context.

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Interesting discussion. I don't care what word people use.

 

I'd kinda guessed that 'girl' wasn't going to bother you too much, given that you've got the word in your username! You'd have to change it to 'LHWoman', 'LHFemale' or possibly a more gender neutral 'LHGoodPerson' :tongue::tongue:

 

hand holding. This seems for you to be a kind of way of feeling things out, broaching intimacy, as if you're kind of waiting for the right moment to touch hands and assess how that goes down

 

Yeah I'd say you're right with that. I do like holding hands if I like someone, it feels nice and I suppose that yes, it also tests the waters a bit - if she takes my hand, I know that there's an attraction there on her part. If she rebuffs me, then I tend to think that she isn't attracted.

 

I find it interesting to hear that you find hand-holding to be more intimate than a hot make-out session though. I've always regarded hand-holding as a 'first step' as you put it in terms of physical contact, that tends to come before kissing / making out. As you said though, be interested to hear others' perspectives.

 

Updates (Sunday 1st September)

 

Laura cancelled the drink we had planned this evening, texting about 3 hours beforehand to say 'really sorry, can no longer make it, can we reschedule'. I'm struggling with availability this week though with work, dates and social things so all I've been able to counter-offer are a couple of evenings when I can meet at 9:30pm for a quick late drink. Will see if she accepts.

 

Slightly annoyed at this cancellation as I'd already turned down Rachel, who'd asked me if I could do this evening, because I had the drink arranged with Laura. I was having doubts about Laura's reliability - when I texted her yesterday to say 'we still good for tomorrow?', she'd actually forgotten. I know that there's guys out there who will double book in this kind of situation (and then cancel one of them a couple of hours beforehand if neither of the girls / women have cancelled themselves) but to be honest, I hate messing people about and I have too much of a conscience to play that sort of game.

 

Anyway, Rachel's said she's good for Wednesday night, so that's cool.

 

In other 'news', I'm seeing Emily again Friday night. She's coming to the comedy night at my local with me and a few of the guys from my local Meetup group. Sarah (who I was dating in May / June) was originally going to be at this too but dropped out of the event a couple of days ago. I was a tad disappointed about this as I was looking forward to seeing her, however it does avoid any complications.

 

I also decided not to follow up with Sara. We'd messaged about arranging a 2nd date and she messaged me (about 3 or 4 days ago) saying 'loads on this week but we could maybe sort something for next week'. I'd replied 'no worries, we'll arrange nearer the time. How's your week going anyway?' to which I've had no response. I was going to follow up on this but I've decided not to. We got on well on the date but I wouldn't say I'm into her to the extent that I'm going to start following up unanswered questions with a 2nd message.

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I had a lot of that juggling act too with cancellations, etc. Frustrating at times! For me -if someone actually forgot we were supposed to meet for a first meet I definitely would not reschedule, I'd be polite and move on. I had one forget many years ago before email or voicemail (yes, probably in the 1980s) and I was stood up and no I did not reschedule. And with technology and our phones and reminders etc there is no excuse and you can assume she simply didn't care enough about meeting you. So if she didn't, buh bye. And sure the cancellation 3 hours in advance might be legit on its own but since she already forgot and given your schedule and all please don't bother.

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For me -if someone actually forgot we were supposed to meet for a first meet I definitely would not reschedule, I'd be polite and move on

 

Probably should have. The message I sent her last night of 'I can do a quick drink around 9:30pm either tomorrow night or Thursday night if either works for you?' hadn't been responded to by tonight (by which point, obviously the first evening I'd suggested had already passed) and so at this point, I deleted her from Whatsapp. I went to also unmatch her from Tinder only to find that she'd already unmatched me. So, yeah, a total waste of time.

This is the sort of online dating behaviour that I really don't like. It's not that I was super invested into her, it's just the lack of manners and common courtesy.

 

Having said the above, I think I have improved a lot at not allowing this sort of behaviour to make me become too negative about the dating process. In the past, this would have made me really bl**dy angry (I'd possibly have sent her a message calling her out on her behaviour) but now, although yes I am annoyed, it's more of a minor annoyance and it's just a case of delete, block, move on.

 

Another way in which I feel I've improved my online dating approach is that I've learned to cut to the chase and not to get embroiled in an ongoing text buddy situation. It's a few messages, then suggest a meet, whereas in the past, I would try to build up a great deal of rapport / e-connection before suggesting a meet. I do seem to lose quite a few girls when I suggest the meet but to be honest, I don't view this as any loss as I think these are probably the text-buddy / swiping for fun types anyway.

 

Dates for the next couple of days:

 

Tomorrow (Tuesday) night: 1st date with Casey

Wednesday night: supposedly 1st date with Rachel, although she hasn't actually responded to a message I sent her over 24 hours ago. Will see if she comes back to me tomorrow

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Agree with Batya—great attitude. I wouldn't even call all that a "waste of time." More like: a thing that happens. Reduce it to its essence and it's just a moment of disappointment. Given the stakes at this juncture—never met, no real connection—it's also a pinch of disappointment that should be pretty manageable.

 

Batya has spoken a lot on this site about the importance of a thick skin. I agree, and think of moments like this as "thickening" lessons. A thick skin doesn't mean being cynical, of course. It just means having a solid protective system so the heart can stay open, the mind clear. Comes in really handy once real feelings start developing, and especially once a real relationship happens, when you don't want to be (over)reacting to every moment of disappointment.

 

Glad you unmatched on the app and on WhatsApp. Given some of the women that have gotten under your skin in the past, I think that's a pretty great step. Means you're not even letting in that kind of disruptive energy, not letting someone's flakiness increase your interest rather than the opposite. Good stuff, all that.

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I love your progress and especially how you feel about it! IMpressive and inspiring.

 

Thankyou!

 

Given some of the women that have gotten under your skin in the past, I think that's a pretty great step. Means you're not even letting in that kind of disruptive energy, not letting someone's flakiness increase your interest rather than the opposite. Good stuff, all that.

 

Thanks, I agree with you. It was slightly different though with the girls (J and Sarah) who I've dated in the past in that the issues / flakiness only became apparent once we'd been dating a little while. Even back then, I wouldn't have kept pursuing them if there'd been issues before we'd ever met.

 

Updates (Tuesday 3rd September)

 

Had a couple of drinks with Casey (first date). It was a really good date, we got on really well, I felt we had quite a similar outlook on life, we had a good debate about whether she's a girl or a woman (I'm finding it interesting to hear in-person opinions on this) and, on top of that, she was stunningly attractive.

Unfortunately though, I don't think she's going to be a go-er for me for a couple of reasons:

 

The main one - she's got 4 kids, including 2 very young. I knew she had kids as it said so on her profile, but I never asked how many or what age.

My views on dating women with children has changed a bit. A year ago, I always had my filters set to 'no children'. I don't mind kids but my opinion back then was that they would make it too difficult to see someone 2 or 3 times a week. However, I changed my opinion when I dated Sarah in May and June. Sarah's got an 8 year old son but we were still able to see each other regularly. She had a good custody arrangement with the dad and even if she had her son, I would still go round to hers after 8pm after he'd gone to bed. So this made me think 'ah maybe it's not as bad as I thought dating someone with kids' so now my filters on Tinder include women with children. However, for me personally, 4 is too many, particularly given how young 2 of them are.

 

Couple of other things too - she mentioned that in the past, she'd made very poor choices in men and that both her ex's (2 kids by each) were 'problems'. Again, I want to be able to date someone without a load of ex drama. Finally, a female friend actually warned me off Casey the other day. I was showing her photos of my upcoming Tinder dates and, when she saw Casey, she said 'oh I think I know her. Yes I do. You don't want to go out with her Ian' but didn't say any more than that. This friend is a nurse in a children's hospital close to where Casey lives and I got the impression that she probably knew stuff about Casey through her work, which obviously she wouldn't be able to disclose to me out of confidentiality.

 

So all in all, much as I really enjoyed the date with Casey and was very attracted to her, I'm probably not going to go any further with her even if she wants to (she might not anyway).

 

In other news, Rachel has cancelled the date we had planned for this evening saying that she's 'really sorry, won't go into detail but I'll be in touch'. Obviously this might well just be a flake or could actually be a genuine problem - either way, I'm not dwelling on it. I just sent her a message saying 'no problem, I won't ask any questions. I'll leave it up to you to get in touch if you'd like to reschedule for another time'

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Four kids, co-parented with two guys she calls "problems"—yeah, that would be too much for most. Best to let her keep searching for the right person for that situation, knowing it's not you.

 

But generally I hear you on the changing attitude about kids, dating someone with a kid. Could go on and on, but suffice to say I've found it to be incredible—much easier and chill, in so many ways, than other dynamics, and richer in ways I wasn't capable of imagining until I gave it a shot.

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I dated someone for three months whose ex girlfriend gave birth to their daughter two months in (he told me about the situation on the first date). After that I quickly realized it was not for me. I also went on a few dates with a guy who had joint custody of his two kids and I knew it wasn't for me since he anticipated having me stay over in his small apartment when the kids were there(no he was not trying to pressure me into intimacy, just discussing the future hypotheticals). I would not have been ok with that. In general I preferred to date never married people with no kids.

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I agree about the 4 kids -she needs someone who is totally comfortable with that and that person is not you.

Sorry about Rachel!

 

Yeah I'm not. It's a shame as I liked her, but one of my aims in dating at the mo is not to let attraction override reasoning / logic and I know that realistically I don't want to date someone in those circumstances.

And thankyou.

 

But generally I hear you on the changing attitude about kids, dating someone with a kid. Could go on and on, but suffice to say I've found it to be incredible—much easier and chill, in so many ways, than other dynamics, and richer in ways I wasn't capable of imagining until I gave it a shot.

 

That's good! How do you find it better? Sarah was the first single mum I'd dated in many years so I'm not very experienced in this area!

 

Updates (Wed 4th & Thu 5th Sept)

 

No dates these past few days.

 

Seeing Emily for a 3rd 'date' tomorrow night. I use the inverted commas as it's not a date as such, there's a big group of us going to a comedy night in my local. I'm not planning to introduce her to everyone as someone I'm dating (way too early for that) but it's with the Meetup group I'm involved in and new people come along all the time so I'll just tell her to say she's new to the group.

 

Then Sunday night, got a 1st date with a girl called Lisa (39, very attractive, 2 kids) I've been chatting to from Tinder.

 

I was planning on having several 1st dates this coming weekend but I've found that several girls who'd said 'yeah I'm up for meeting, should be good for next weekend' are bailing / not replying now it's time to actually make plans. So I've had a bit of a deleting sesh and I've also started sending out a few first messages again - I had about 10 girls sat in my matches list but without conversations started. A week ago, I was overwhelmed with messages (and was finding it tough to maintain all these chats, never mind start new ones) but these have started to thin out quite a bit, so I've this evening been through my matches list and got some new convos going.

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I agree about the 4 kids -she needs someone who is totally comfortable with that and that person is not you.

Sorry about Rachel!

 

Yeah I'm not. It's a shame as I liked her, but one of my aims in dating at the mo is not to let attraction override reasoning / logic and I know that realistically I don't want to date someone in those circumstances.

And thankyou.

 

But generally I hear you on the changing attitude about kids, dating someone with a kid. Could go on and on, but suffice to say I've found it to be incredible—much easier and chill, in so many ways, than other dynamics, and richer in ways I wasn't capable of imagining until I gave it a shot.

 

That's good! How do you find it better? Sarah was the first single mum I'd dated in many years so I'm not very experienced in this area!

 

Updates (Wed 4th & Thu 5th Sept)

 

No dates these past few days.

 

Seeing Emily for a 3rd 'date' tomorrow night. I use the inverted commas as it's not a date as such, there's a big group of us going to a comedy night in my local. I'm not planning to introduce her to everyone as someone I'm dating (way too early for that) but it's with the Meetup group I'm involved in and new people come along all the time so I'll just tell her to say she's new to the group.

 

Then Sunday night, got a 1st date with a girl called Lisa (39, very attractive, 2 kids) I've been chatting to from Tinder.

 

I was planning on having several 1st dates this coming weekend but I've found that several girls who'd said 'yeah I'm up for meeting, should be good for next weekend' are bailing / not replying now it's time to actually make plans. So I've had a bit of a deleting sesh and I've also started sending out a few first messages again - I had about 10 girls sat in my matches list but without conversations started. A week ago, I was overwhelmed with messages (and was finding it tough to maintain all these chats, never mind start new ones) but these have started to thin out quite a bit, so I've this evening been through my matches list and got some new convos going.

 

Please do not tell Emily to just say she's new to the group. That makes it sound like you don't want anyone to know you're dating her, like you're embarrassed by her.

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To clarify, I don't mean we're going to pretend we don't know each other or anything daft like that. I'm just going to introduce her as 'this is my friend Emily. I've persuaded her to come along and give the group a go for the first time' rather than 'this is Emily. We met on Tinder and we're dating'. We've only met twice - it's far too early to say 'we're dating' and she wouldn't want me to say that either.

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That's good! How do you find it better?

 

A number of reasons.

 

It sounds funny, but the whole thing is just more chill, more fun, while also having much more depth. I like that the foundation of our meeting, courtship, and now early months of being together in partnership-building mode wasn't all built around the big, abstract, often pressurized questions of whether or not we'd get married and have kids. Those questions have never been so important to me, but they are for many, understandably, especially when you get into my/your age group.

 

Her focus, much like mine, has been on the depth of a connection, letting it develop and expand naturally without some hard rule of where it all needs to go by date x. If we were meant to just be lovers, that's how it would have gone. Ditto if we were just meant to be friends. There was/is a kind of openness to letting the true story become the story, rather than each of us jockeying to make our story the story. Weirdly it reminds me a bit of dating when I was much younger, when everything was about the present tense, but with the added level of maturity, ease, and intentionality that comes with being in your mid and late 30s.

 

The kid component also invariably acts as a kind of pacemaker. That wouldn't work for a lot of people, but really worked, and works, for us. Together and as individuals. We didn't even have the option of doing that thing people do when the butterflies and flapping and hormones raging, where you kind of jump into a hole together, spend nearly every day together, and emerge from that phase a little dizzy, a little overwhelmed. Given the chemistry between us, there's a good chance we could have gone there, possibly overloading the ship just as it was setting off. But alas, not possible.

 

Don't get me wrong. We saw, and see, each other a lot. She has an awesome relationship with her ex: no drama, split custody; won't go into details, but you couldn't ask for a better situation in my shoes. There were just hard boundaries right from the start, and boundaries, I think, breed respect. They also allow things to develop at a pace more constructive to sustainability.

 

And, of course, there is an amazing human being—her child—who I'm also now getting to know. I am flat-out adoring that part of things in ways that surprise me daily, allowing me to discover parts of myself I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. I'm a child of a powerhouse single mom, so I have a built-in respect for the whole thing—good instincts all around, according to my girlfriend. It's very natural, which isn't to say I'm thirsty to establish myself as some towering role in her child's life. Probably the opposite. I know the rules in my bones. I was that kid.

 

There are a lot of ways in which I could see it not working for a lot of people, especially with a tense co-parenting relationship or, well, a handful of a kid. An infant/toddler could be tricky, as could a teenager, in terms of there being room for the fireworks to go off without a hitch. If you need a lot of attention—well, not for you. If you need to feel like someone is obsessed with you, and you only, 24/7—ditto. But if you are turned on, impressed, and inspired by someone who has taken on maybe the most emotionally complex responsibility in life, and who cherishes her place in the world on her own—well, it just brings some serious magic to the table.

 

My few cents.

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That's interesting and does sound like a good arrangement. I think there's a world of difference between what your girlfriend has (one child and a good custody arrangement with a sane ex) than what Casey has (4 kids, 2 of them babies, with 2 'problem' exes). The thing is, the apps' search functions don't distinguish between the 2 situations, it's simply 'kids' or 'no kids'!

 

Those questions have never been so important to me, but they are for many, understandably, especially when you get into my/your age group.

 

Same, I don't have a strong opinion either way on marriage and kids. If I was with someone long-term to whom these things were important, I could do them. But equally, if my partner was of the 'marriage is a waste of money and I can't stand kids' mindset, I'd have no problem with that either. I know it might seem strange to be sat on the fence on such big issues but that is just how I am.

 

Updates (Friday 6th & Saturday 7th September)

 

Went out with Emily Friday night with a few others to the comedy night at my local (3rd date). Afterwards, me and her went to another venue nearby where we started making out. She then came back to mine for 10 minutes while she waited for her taxi and things became quite physical. She's now away for a week but she's been texting me quite provocatively and has told me straight up that she wants to have sex when she gets back.

 

At the moment, I'm kind of unsure where I want it to go with Emily. She's good fun, we have good banter and I definitely want to sleep with her. But I've got a tendency to compare how I felt about other women after x dates. So for example, after 3 dates with J, I felt head over heels, I was walking around on Cloud 9. Same with another girl, Carrie, who I dated a decade ago. These are the 2 girls I felt I was in love with at the time and, with both of them, I was looking at nobody else after 3 dates, I had no interest in anyone else at all. With Emily at the moment, I'm looking forward to the next date with her. But at the same time, I'm not walking around on Cloud 9 and I am still looking at other women (I have a 1st date with a girl, Lisa, this evening, for example). The question on my mind is 'does not feeling really strongly about someone after 3 dates mean I'm never going to feel that way? Or with some people, do they develop more slowly over time?' I'm not 100% sure of this myself at the moment.

 

Anyway, upcoming dating: as mentioned above, drink scheduled with Lisa this evening, although she's texted me this morning saying she's a bit delicate. I've asked her to let me know as soon as she can whether she'll be ok to meet. Nothing scheduled until next weekend after tonight although to be fair, I'm working til 9pm each night, which will limit my options anyway.

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Fun night!

 

I have mixed feelings on the Cloud 9 stuff. It's not really a state I get to quickly, at least not since my late teens. I don't think that's a bad thing. To me it's a sign of becoming more secure in your own skin, in your own life, and more cozy in the reality of living and more interested in a certain kind of sincerity in connection rather than needing the drug of fantasies to get through the day. So ideally, you could say, the assent to Cloud 9 is a bit slower with maturity, with the major bonus that your ascending to is not some state of hormonal intoxication but something realer, more sustainable. I feel more on Cloud 9 today with my girlfriend than I did yesterday, certainly more than I did after three dates, exciting as that time was. It's like our ground is the clouds, that the sense of groundedness produces the butterflies, if that makes sense.

 

That said, you of course want to be thrilled, compelled, intrigued. So it's a balance. My advice would be to try not to think about it all too much, trusting these answers will reveal themselves in time. If the right synapses aren't being lit, if you're kind of forcing it or going with it more for primal reasons than the full spectrum, time will tell you. Will tell her too, of course. That you're still swiping, meeting up, not closing those doors is...well, it's just that. Not really a verdict on anything, but simply how you're going about dating and living at this juncture. That can be very healthy. Where it can get a little questionable, in my opinion, is if you're swiping/exploring because you're just hooked on the buzz of all that or using it to avoid a certain state of vulnerability—within—that is essential for deep connecting. But time reveals all that as well.

 

Sounds like we have basically the exact same attitude about marriage and kids. My emphasis has always been on an idea of partnership—a certain feeling of connection that is built as much from emotional and pheromonal juju as it is a shared value system and approach to living. Someone I could imagine living alongside while feeling a certain way inside myself and about her, about us. If that state of being evolved into marriage and kids, great. If not, equally great. Always found that hard to express without sounding like a non-committal Peter Pan. Alas, found someone on the same page. Ironically, in finding that things that often gave me hiccups—those questions of marriage and kids and cohabitation—are now very easy and fun for me to contemplate, down the line, knowing they wouldn't come in order to give it all a serious stamp of validation but would be products of a very serious connection.

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My personal litmus test -I kept dating the person as long as by the 4th date I had the desire to kiss him and/or had kissed him and felt a spark. I did not need to feel on cloud 9. I know of many happy couples very much in love who were not on cloud 9 at first, plus many who were, plus many who crashed and burned.

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the ascent to Cloud 9 is a bit slower with maturity, with the major bonus that your ascending to is not some state of hormonal intoxication but something realer, more sustainable

 

Yeah that's something I was considering myself - am I now less inclined to feel that mad infatuation very quickly because I'm learning to slow myself down rather than diving in head first, like I have in the past. I think you're right, it is a case of just see how things go over a period of a bit longer than 3 dates.

 

Where it can get a little questionable, in my opinion, is if you're swiping/exploring because you're just hooked on the buzz of all that

 

To be honest, I'm definitely not feeling any kind of swiping buzz. I'm actually lacking quite a bit of swiping motivation and have barely swiped or started any new conversations over the past couple of days. I might do tomorrow though - I've got some free time this weekend I feel that exchanging a few quick messages around Wednesday time works well for setting up a quick weekend meet. Leaving it later means weekend plans have already been made, much earlier and it kind of feels too far in advance (I've found that the dates arranged over a week in advance are the most likely ones to cancel).

 

My personal litmus test -I kept dating the person as long as by the 4th date I had the desire to kiss

 

If that was my litmus test, almost everyone (who I've been on dates with) would pass! :p:p

 

Being totally honest here, I'll happily kiss (and more) with someone purely based on physical attraction even if we don't have a great connection and little in common. I think maybe men and women are wired a little bit differently in this way. When it comes to actually dating though, my standards are quite different, the connection definitely has to be there.

 

I know of many happy couples very much in love who were not on cloud 9 at first, plus many who were, plus many who crashed and burned.

 

That's good. It's good to know that the overwhelming immediate cloud 9 feeling isn't necessarily essential. I think that because, I've never had that slow ascent to being 'in love' (the 2 times I have felt 'in love', I felt that way almost immediately), this has clouded my judgement a little bit in the past and made me think 'if I don't feel that way about someone immediately, I never will'.

 

Updates (Sunday 8th Sept - Tuesday 10th Sept)

 

Had a drink with Lisa Sunday night. It was a lot of fun and we were laughing a lot but she texted me this evening with a 'really enjoyed your company but there was no chemistry for me' message. I would've seen her again myself but hey ho.

Other than that, not a lot to report! Emily's away, I've been working til 9pm and barely been swiping / messaging! Exchanging messages and thinking of things to message to a new person feels like quite a lot of effort at the mo! I probably will make a bit of an effort tomorrow though!

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Of course- your standards are your standards and if you believe that only the cloud nine from the beginning people have potential to be the one then limit your dating in that way - you can limit it in any way you wish! What I meant by desire to kiss was that if I liked the person but I didn't feel attracted enough to kiss him by the 4th date I didn't keep dating even though I liked him as a person. If I didn't like him as a person I didn't see him again even if I felt a physical attraction because my only purpose in dating was to find a husband.

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if you believe that only the cloud nine from the beginning people have potential to be the one then limit your dating in that way

 

For clarity, that's how I've felt in the past, not what I believe now. Maybe I didn't explain that quite well enough.

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if you believe that only the cloud nine from the beginning people have potential to be the one then limit your dating in that way

 

For clarity, that's how I've felt in the past, not what I believe now. Maybe I didn't explain that quite well enough.

 

I understand -it wasn't clear to me that you're thinking of reevaluating your approach. Sounds like you want to!

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Some more Cloud 9 thoughts:

 

Thinking about my own life, I'm not even sure, as I said, that with maturity comes a slower ascension to the clouds. My two healthiest relationships, starting at 23 and 31, were with women I knew for a good bit before we even got romantic. One worked in my office for a bit, another was friend of a friend. So there were a lot of non-romantic, non-pressurized hangs—months—before that "click" happened. I found them both captivating and attractive, in the abstract, but neither were occupying much hormonal and emotional real estate in my mind—until, of course, they were. And then it was with a sonic boom.

 

This is where dating apps are tricky. People are thirsty for the boom. Thirsty to find a husband or wife, thirsty for a casual fling, thirsty of attention. Different intentions, but a high level of thirst. Nature of the beast, just like people on LinkedIn are thirsty for a new job. There is a subtle "results driven" mindset that pervades, with everyone kind of gauging things from minute one: Is this my husband? Are we going to kiss? Speaking in broad brushstrokes, dates that provide some vision of a "yes" to these questions, ideally within an hour, are "good dates." Those that don't are "so-so" or even "bad."

 

Very confusing. Very limiting.

 

Guess my point is to say that I don't think becoming "mature" is learning to call a more muted color spectrum Technicolor; at the end of the day, my best relationships, including the one I'm in now, have triggered that high-voltage, adolescent-like sensation. I think that should be valued, never written off as "immaturity."

 

I also think patience comes in handy and can be cultivated by channeling that thirst, whatever it is, a bit differently. Rather than thinking along the lines of kisses and partnership, maybe start with an excitement to get to know new people. Makes those 3rd and 5th dates when you're still a little uncertain pretty exciting, you know? Gives room for breathing, rather than assessing and analyzing, and I think the Cloud 9 stuff can come out of that room.

 

Maybe it's just me. I don't have a history of "crushing hard" on people, of chasing that drug, and I'm generally very comfortable sitting with some uncertainty. I don't need answers to "where is this going" for a good long time, regardless of whether I'm being physically intimate, which is generally pretty quick, or not, which is also fine. The main question I'm asking is "Do I want to see this person one more time?" and if the answer is yes that's more than enough. It is, if you think about it, kind of everything—when, of course, the other person is also thinking "yes."

 

Anyhow, just something to think about.

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Yeah, there's some very good points in there. I definitely agree about the dating apps making you gauge and judge things much quicker and I do like the 'do I want to see this person one more time?' as a good question for keeping you in the present rather than thinking too far in the future.

 

Updates (Wed 11th - Sat 14th September)

 

Stayed at Emily's Thursday night and we had sex a few times. She got back from being away early evening and invited me round after I'd finished work. I won't write much about the act itself as, even though it's anonymous on here, I do still see the details as a private matter.

 

In terms of dating, not much else to report. I'd had a date arranged with a girl, Steph, last night but she bailed the day before with a 'poorly family member' and so 'not got the time to invest right now in messaging people and meeting up'.

I did send out a few messages on Tinder on Wednesday but most didn't reply and the ones that did haven't come to much. I also got chatting to a girl while out walking my dog on Thursday. She was lovely and we had a really good chat for about 5 minutes - I regretted afterwards not asking for her number or her Facebook - I felt a bit too awkward to make that shift from 'pleasant daytime interaction', which was within my comfort zone, to actually asking for some contact details, which was definitely outside of that zone!

 

In general, over the past few days, I've been feeling a little bit downbeat in general. Not really for any specific reason, just feeling a bit generally negative. My focus at the moment is trying to get a smile on my face. I find that when I'm in a good place, the dating stuff follows a bit easier - I enjoy the messaging and the interactions etc, whereas when I'm in not quite such a good place, it feels like a huge effort. Even writing this journal feels like an effort when I'm a bit downbeat, hence why I've not updated it for a few days. Not feeling quite so bad this evening though.

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