Monday, January 27, 2014

Emily Dates Boulder: The First Date

So, I've been on two first dates since my last post. Two in one week, that's a new record for me! Both with really nice guys, who I hope to have a second date with one of these days. But honestly, no matter how sweet and kind the date is, there's something SO uncomfortable about the first date. Here are a few of the most uncomfortable moments from MY first date experiences:

-The Meet: I always find myself full of anxiety right before I get to the designated location of said date. Will I recognize him? Will HE recognize ME? Will he look like his profile picture? Will he even be there? What if he's a midget and just lied about how tall he is? I'm always overwhelmed with the possible disaster this first meet could potentially turn into.

-The Conversation: After the initial meet, I tend to over-think the conversation, which leads to me either 1. Over-sharing or 2. Talking WAY too much about something WAY off-topic. I do this because of that painfully uncomfortable lull in conversation. Awkward silence is bad enough when you're talking with someone you've met before, but when it's a complete stranger, it's just terrible. Ugh, the worst. Seriously. I would rather give step-by-step instructions on how to make instant oatmeal than let a conversation die with a stranger who I'm on a first date with. It's like a phobia of mine. I wonder if there's a 12-step program out there for me...

-The Check: Now, there are certain expectations about The-Paying-Of-The-Bill. I kind of expect the dude to pay! I may be old fashion in this way, but hey, I'm a lady! But it's terribly uncomfortable and presumptuous to just assume he'll pick up the bill. It seems I always get to the point in the night when I'm done (and I mean DONE) with the date. These two dates happened to fall on days when I had had an unusually long and exhausting day at work, so come 8:00, I was toast. I wanted to be home, in my pajamas, reading my book or (judge away judgers) crocheting something cozy. I didn't want to be over-thinking and over-complicating conversation with a stranger. But what am I supposed to do? Reach for the bill, and hope he picks it up? Hint for the 12th time that I'm super tired and ready for bed (hoping that THIS time he'll pick up on my painfully obvious hint-dropping)? What I usually do is just wait it out, and try to not fall asleep in the process.

-The Good-Bye: This part is equally as uncomfortable as The Meet. Do we hug? Do we shake hands? Do we high-five? What do I say? By this point in the night I'm past the point of exhaustion, so I can't be held accountable for my actions. Do I tell him I hope to hear from him soon? And then, when I'm in the car, I start reliving the goodbye. Did I thank him for driving 45 minutes just to buy me dinner? Did I even thank him for dinner? 

There's just no two ways about it; the first date is uncomfortable and full of painfully tense moments. However, I've been REALLY fortunate to have had my past few first dates with some seriously stand-up men.

I'm confident that at least a few of you reading this have your own "Awkward First Date" stories. I'd LOVE to hear them. I know I'm not alone in feeling the tension of meeting and conversing with total strangers!

Check out more of the story behind the dating stories here.

Be sure to follow my journey! #EmilyDatesBoulder

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dating Etiquette: Part One

Here's a little tip on dating etiquette: Don't change the time and location of a first date THREE times and then cancel last minute. It's super rude. And kid of makes you look like a jerk. And no, I will not "hit you up" next week to "figure something else out." Thanks, but no thanks. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be busy washing my hair. All week long. Also, inviting me to watch a soccer scrimage with you and your 11-year-old team and their parents is NOT my idea of a proper second date. Nope, sorry, just sounds SUPER awkward and full of weird, uncomfortable moments. I'll pass. Sorry, not sorry.

Call me picky, or say that my standards are too high, I don't care. I've waited a long time to find love, and I refuse to just settle for whatever is thrown my way. I know, I know, I said I would say yes to every date I was asked on, but SERIOUSLY? What is up with these guys? Ask me out on a proper date, even if that means just having coffee together! That's fine with me! Drinks at a local bar? Totally fine! Soccer game with your youth team? NOPE. Not going to happen. I would rather wait for a man who can treat me like the lady I am. One who will pursue me, even if it's only just to figure out if he wants to actually pursue me! I'm not one of the dudes, don't treat me like it. I'm not your sister, don't treat me like that, either. I deserve more, and maybe my expectations are too high, but that's okay with me. I know my worth and value and won't settle for less. And please, don't hear me wrong- I appreciate that maybe these guys are just trying to figure it out. Maybe I should have more grace, but it just gets frustrating because, as a woman, we're not supposed to be too aggressive or pushy. We're supposed to let the man lead, right? At least that's what I WANT. I want a man who can ask me out on a real date! Not some last-minute-pseudo-kind-sorta date. I want him to be direct! It doesn't have to be dinner at a five-star restaurant or some romantic evening that he's spent hours planning. I just appreciate directness. But, at the same time, I apprecaite all of this juicey material to blog about, so I suppose it's a win-win! 

Follow along with my journey! #EmilyDatesBoulder

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Real Talk Tuesday: Emily Dates Boulder edition

My friend Dan started something amazing: Real Talk Tuesday. 
It's basically creating space to be real and share our hurts, pain and disappointments. Dan has also created a #dontdeletethat movement- waging war against the perfect selfie. Go check out his blog. You're welcome.
When I heard Dan's idea for Real Talk Tuesday, I was pumped. If you know me, you know I'm pretty honest with the junk I'm going through. God has called me into a life of vulnerability, and I'm embracing it; good, bad and ugly. So I appreciated Dan's idea to create a rhythm of being real and raw with people, because that's what I'm about.
I've got a lot of material for #realtalktuesday. This year has been chalked full of pain, hurt and disappointment. I've suffered a ton of loss, and I'm just now on the road to getting healthy. However, this week I knew I needed to be real about my singleness. If you've been reading any of my blogs, you've probably heard all about my challenge for this year: #EmilyDatesBoulder, where I've committed to fully embracing two online dating websites for one full year. And while most of my blogs are brimming with funny stories and witty comments, at the core of this challenge is a ton of hurt. I'm 29. I just celebrated my birthday on Christmas eve. I've been single for the last 8 years. I can't tell you the last time I was asked out on a date. No man has EVER pursued me. I've celebrated the last 8 New Years Eves, Valentines Days, Christmases, birthdays and every other holiday alone. And while, yes, I have amazing friends and incredible family, there is this void in my heart that longs for a man to fill. 

I've been to more weddings that I can count, and while I'm always incredibly excited and happy for the couple, the question is always in the back of my mind
"When will it be my turn?"
"Has God forgotten about me?"
"What's wrong with me?"
"What am I doing wrong?" 

And before you try to answer one or more of those questions with some cliche "As soon as you stop looking, you'll find the man of your dreams" kind of answer, please stop. With all due respect, I don't want to hear it. Unless you're one of my very closest friends, you don't really know and understand my heart behind all of this hurt. You don't get to slap a band-aid on this 9 year old wound. I'm allowed to hurt and be angry and be confused. It's not fair! I have faced EVERY mountain God has placed in front of me, and rarely questioned his goodness. I have worked so FREAKING hard to live a healthy life. I have put tons of time into healing, and growing, and I'm still stuck here, with this one HUGE longing left unfulfilled. It just isn't fair. And I'm just being real, those are the questions I find myself thinking about all the time.
When do I get the fairy tale wedding?
When do I get the man of my dreams?
When is it my FREAKING turn?
I can't help but think that God really HAS forgotten me. Because it's been a long time. And there's been a lot of hurt and pain along the way.
And I know that all of you out there who want to tell me "Just make a list of all the things you want in a husband, and God will give you them!" or "Maybe you're just not looking hard enough" I know you mean well, but honestly, it doesn't help. Want to help? Just listen. And let me be sad or frustrated or angry. Cry with me. Laugh with me. Just let me feel whatever I want to feel. And support me. That's all you can do. Because your trite answers really suck. (Sorry, but they do.)
So there you have it, the real talk behind #EmilyDatesBoulder
I encourage you to join this movement. Get real. Be honest. Get raw. Maybe your outlet isn't blogging (mine seems to be), but whatever it may be, let it all out. It feels a lot better once you're done :)

Follow #dontdeletethat, #emilydatesboulder and #realtalktuesday on various forms of social media. Lots of good stuff. Don't be THAT guy, who misses out on all of the good stuff.

Monday, January 13, 2014

#EmilyDatesBoulder: First dates and lessons learned

So, just a few short weeks ago, I took on a challenge: #EmilyDatesBoulder. I'm committing to two online dating sites for six months to one year. I'm all in: browsing matches, sending "smiles" to those matches and returning the emails from promising/quality matches. I've also committed to say yes to any date I'm asked on this year (within reason... no total crazies) and I'm going to use my lovely blog as a place to disclose the good, bad and ugly of all of my experience.

SO, here I am, a few weeks in with my VERY FIRST DATE to report back on.
The details:
After chatting back and forth online, my date (who I'll call Jerry) asked me out to watch a soccer game. After finding out the unGODLY hour of this original date (10pm on a TUESDAY!!! I'm too old for that...), Jerry asked me out for drinks on a Saturday evening at a local restaurant/bar, Oskar Blues. Up until walking into the bar, I was SO incredibly nervous. What if he's crazy? What if he's not REALLY 6'1, but really like 5'2? What if it's super awkward? What if I walk up to the wrong guy at the bar? What if he doesn't show up? I haven't been on a date in a while, okay? I was nervous!! Well, to make a long story short, the date went better than I could have ever expected. Conversation was easy, he was actually closer to 6'2" (hooray!), and he wasn't a weirdo at all. Sure, there were a few awkward points in the conversation and we both might have said really random and strange things at one point or another, but all in all it was a great first online dating experience! I feel like it really broke the ice! I've got another date lined up with a DIFFERENT guy tomorrow night, and I don't feel nervous in the least. Which is a nice feeling.

It's funny, because I decided to do this #EmilyDatesBoulder challenge to take a chance and to submerge myself into a season of adventure and risk. And while I've already experienced some incredible benefits from taking the risks, more than anything I'm learning a ton about myself.
I enjoy comfort (which I knew). I don't like the unknown (also knew). As much as I like to meet new people, I value people who know me and understand me more (didn't really know this). Taking risks in a totally unknown environment with people who don't know me is really difficult (also didn't know this)! It's no easy task! But what I'm finding is that it's allowing God the opportunity to remind me of who I am and the promises he has for me regardless of what these strangers might think of me. God has something amazing for me. Maybe I'll meet him online, maybe I won't! In any case, God has not brought me through the wreckage and destruction that he has just to leave me here, with these huge desires left unfulfilled. I'm confident that God knows exactly what he's doing, and that #EmilyDatesBoulder is part of that plan... and maybe to teach me a few things about trust.

A few funny things from my inbox this week:
-A guy with the username "onegoodbadboy" is inappropriately obsessed with my eyebrows.
-For some reason, I tend to attract men who are amputees. Nothing against the limb-less brothers, it's just a reoccurring theme in my online dating life. True (and strange!) story.
-More HORRIBLE tribal tattoos. This one accompanied by a GIANT Texas-shaped Texas flag tattoo. Double yikes.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Emily Dates Boulder

(Just a little someecards goodness)

It's been a little less than a week now since I decided to take on my #EmilydatesBoulder challenge. You can check out my last blog for a bit more about this exhilarating challenge. I think I've finally decided on the two dating websites I will be using:
1. Ok Cupid: it's free, easy to navigate and allows you to communicate with your matches. Some of the "free" sites make you pay to do anything but just look at pictures. Lame.
2. Christian Mingle: This one isn't free, but I've weighed my options and decided that paying a bit to have a bigger selection of men who love Jesus is worth it! I've had to do a GREAT deal of sorting through some really sketchy dudes... and the majority of them don't love Jesus at all. And, at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

As promised, I've got the good, the bad and the ugly of online dating for you. This time it's allllll about terrible pick up lines.

Emily Dates Boulder: Entry #2 - Awful and hilarious pick up lines

This is just a little note to all the fellas out there who are trying to meet women: Don't use terrible, awful, painfully awkward and just plain BAD pick up lines. Give a woman a genuine compliment. Ask to take her out for coffee. Tell her your name. ANYTHING but a juicy pick up line. Trust me, I speak for (I think) all women when I say we don't like or appreciate tacky one-liners. It makes us laugh at you on the inside and awkwardly smile on the outside. Don't be weird.

These are just a few of my favorites that have been flooding my inbox the past couple of days...

"You MUST have a fever, you're too hot...!"
"I lost my number, can I have yours...?"
And my PERSONAL favorite: "When I saw you, I fainted and hit my head. I need your name and number for insurance reasons..."

These are no joke you guys. And these are just a few of my faves, meaning there are WAY more that I won't make you read. It's so comical, yet kind of frustrating. If I'm being honest, I just want to meet a respectable, kind, genuine man who knows how to treat a woman. So far I'm striking out. However, I refuse to give up. I'm sticking with this, even if it means I only report back with all of the terrible pick up lines I encounter. 

Keep up with my journey on Instagram #emilydatesboulder

Images by Freepik