Tag Archives: Relationships

Context: Dates 31.6-8, 35.1-2, and 14.4

Before I get to telling you about Date 37, who deserves a solo entry, just a quick update on where I was at in the dating arena. As you might recall, Date 31 was the sadistic nice Jewish boy who loves country music (and the way I give head). He would be so appalled if he knew I was writing this! Hehe. Anyway, he and I fall into the friends-with-benefits category since we love having sex but know we’re not right for each other based on where each of us is in life (i.e., he wants kids/I *don’t* want any more kids).That said, like me and Date 5 (whom you might recall has porn-star-worthy anatomy), Date 31 and I have an understanding that if we find someone we think is a serious contender, the benefits part of our friendship will be put on hold (hopefully indefinitely, but, you know…this isn’t our first rodeo).

Anyway, here’s the sequence of my dates just prior to meeting Date 37:

Date 31.6–He comes over to my place in his work clothes because he has client meetings afterward. All I can say is, yum! I love seeing a hot man (especially one I know is going to give it to me and hard) in a suit. Have I mentioned that Date 31 is a financial adviser? Well, he is. He works for a nationally known investment-banking conglomerate, so we always chat about the market and such. So there we are, on the clock, at my place. He’s hot, I’m hot for him, and he spanks the living daylights out of me until my ass is various shades of black, blue, and red. Which means I’m out of commission for at least a week with anyone else if I don’t want them to know what a slutty freak I am.

Date 35.1–Coffee date with a guy I met online. Even though I’d sworn off dating Hispanic men, since my many friends who are married to them consistently deal with all sorts of jealousy and possessiveness issues, Date 35 was super hot, over six feet tall, already had kids (boys–which are my theoretical stepkids of choice), and worked in lucrative field (yet another guy from the profession that must not be named, actually), so I made an exception. After meeting him in person, however, I was on the fence. I detected an angry undertone to Date 35’s words–especially regarding his ex-wife–but he was definitely hot and I couldn’t help wondering how the sex would be with him. Being that I was still all bruised up from Date 31.6, though, I knew I’d have to take things slow with this guy if they were going to go there, giving my ass time to look innocent. But what do I do? Instead of taking my vitamins and laying low, the next day…

Date 31.7–On my way to meet a romance-writer friend (of the sweet, chaste variety–yes, there is such a thing!) to attend a literary event, there was just enough time to meet Date 31 for a quickie. Right beforehand, he sent me this text: I’ll leave the door unlocked. Please lock it behind you. I’ll be naked in bed waiting when you arrive at 4:45. Please don’t say a word. Simply take off your clothes and start sucking my dick. After sucking it GOOD for a little while, ask me nicely if I am ready to fuck you. If I say yes, just turn over in the doggie-style position and wait for me to whip and fuck you. See you soon!

Oy. What can I say? I think Date 31 liked the idea of resetting my clock on getting close to anyone else. But that didn’t stop me from going out on a second date with Date 35, since I figured I’d be waiting until at least the third date with him anyway, but…

Date 35.2–When Date 35 showed up in his luxury SUV at my place to pick me up to go out for a sushi dinner, I was wearing a skirt, high-heeled sandals, a dressy top, and a very pretty cardigan (no, guys aren’t that far off base when they say I’ve got a “librarian thing” going on). Date 35, however, was wearing nylon gym shorts, shower shoes, and a grungy T-shirt. I almost didn’t get in the car. “Oh, sorry!” he exclaimed upon seeing me all dolled up. “I should have told you–because I have to wear a suit all week for work, I don’t dress up on weekends. At all.” No shit, I wanted to say, since he’d looked really nice when we’d met for coffee. “Want to go up and change?” he asked. I hesitated, wondering if I should just call the whole thing off, but honestly, I hadn’t had sushi in a long time, and I was super craving it. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll just be five minutes.”

Mistake!!! To make a long story short, the sushi was great, but the conversation was questionable. Date 35’s deep-seated anger became more and more apparent as the night wore on, but at the same time, he kept ordering drinks for us and touching me in ways that were turning me on, despite my better judgment. After dinner, he said he needed to sit in the car for awhile before he felt like he could drive responsibly. Now, the right thing to do would have been to tell him to walk me home, since the sushi restaurant was reasonably close to my place. Instead, I said okay and hung out with him in his car, where he proceeded to maul me like a sex-starved teenager. No, I didn’t have sex with him, but he got way too up close and personal with my business. Luckily, it was dark, though, so he didn’t see why I was fighting so hard not to remove my clothes. In the days afterward, he texted me incessantly, wanting to take me out again. Because of his angry attitude, I hesitated to say no right away, kind of giving him the run around, but within a week, I manned up and told him sorry, I just wasn’t feeling it, and he left me alone.

Date 31.8–Knowing I was about to have oral surgery and my dick-sucking prowess would be impaired for at least a few weeks, Date 31 made a special late-night visit to my place mere hours before I was slated to show up at the periodontist’s office. It was the third time I had seen him in ten days, and I have to say, even though we were clear on not being serious with each other, it felt way too comfortable, like if we did ever decide to take things to the next level, we’d actually be pretty happy together. We talked about pre-nups, my kids, the stock market, after-hours trading, and whatnot. He ate my leftover Chinese food, then devoured a bunch of my homemade oatmeal-craisin cookies, exclaiming how fat he’d be if we were married. But what can I say? Different goals. At any rate, we parted on a good note.

Date 14.4–Have I mentioned that I’m a sucker for men in golf clothes? Not sure what it is, but I can’t help it–I get totally wet when I see hot guys in polo shirts, visors, and golf shorts or pants. Date 14, who was still 27 at the time, works for a major golf-equipment manufacturer and golfs a lot as part of his job. I was probably way too loopy from the painkillers I was on after my surgery, but for whatever reason, when he texted asking if he could stop by for a little while, I said okay, sure. When he showed up still wearing his golf clothes, however, I was like, right on!!!

What a mess. So, all that to say, I’m somewhat lacking in the self-control department. Both Date 31 and Date 5 had been telling me forever that if I liked a guy, I needed to NOT sleep with him right away, instead making him wait a bit. With that bit of wisdom in my pocket and my recent experiences–which proved I was going nowhere fast in the relationship department with how I was behaving–a couple days later, I went on a first date with a new guy: Date 37.

Where I’ve Been Lately

March-April: Bought a condo. Loan application was an exercise in futility given the new mortgage laws that took effect in January. Despite having an 800+ credit score and owning real property in my home state of California since early 1994, when I was 23, I was summarily rejected everywhere I applied, necessitating a tax-unsavvy raid of my IRA in order to pay cash for said condo. Because my divorce wasn’t yet final, I couldn’t even qualify for a home equity loan in order to repay the kitty (even though I owned the property outright and it appraised for $10K over my purchase price!). Ridiculous amounts of time were spent emailing financial documents all over the place, all to no avail. But whatever–I love my new place and it’s already gone up $50K in value, so suck it, mortgage industry.

April-October: Remodeled my condo’s kitchen and bathroom. I should have a Ph.D. in complaining by now. Very tempted to say some horrible things about a certain large home-improvement store and a pricey cabinet maker also known for manufacturing furniture. What I will say, however, is that next time I do any remodeling, I’ll check out Ikea, instead, or explore having a guy from Mexico custom-make my cabinetry.

July: The indie bookstore I was working at (of five part-time jobs, my main gig) was in danger (even more than usual) of closing their doors. The store owners warned me I should look for other employment, since August might be their final month. Taking them very seriously, since it appeared that the property manager was attempting to force them out with strong-arm tactics, I decided to give applying for flight-attendant jobs another shot. Yes, this might sound random since I’m an author who worked in the publishing industry for years, but I grew up in an airline family. Don’t laugh, but my dad and stepmom worked for PSA back in the day. As a kid, I used to wonder, Why don’t all airplanes have smiles on them? But even as a child, I knew those PSA uniforms were something else with their bright-orange go-go boots and mega-short skirts. Anyway, every time my dad went to work for a long trip, my mom was like, “Come on, girls–let’s go!” and we’d be off to Northern and Central California to visit her friends. That said, I’ve flown a lot, and I always loved it, so the thought of working as a flight attendant myself sounded kind of cool.

This time around (I had applied at various airlines when I first left my ex, but with no luck), I decided to list my various volunteer leadership positions on my job history when I applied. Not to sully anyone’s organizational name, but I’ve been a prominent member in all three scouting communities (laugh all you want, but after 15+ collective years as a scout leader, I know how to politely boss around unruly kids–and their parents). And guess what? It worked! I got multiple interviews and job offers!!! I chose the airline with the base easiest to commute to and from my home town (since no way I’m giving up my sweet condo I fought so hard to get/improve), which also happened to be based where my mother and stepfather currently live.

Now, I’m not going to say which airline, since I love the job and don’t want to risk being fired, but I’ll give you two clues, since these won’t come up in search engines: (1) like PSA’s, our planes are “fun,” with unique pictures on them; and (2) we were recently in national news for a certain worldwide-panic-level-virus-infected passenger we transported.

August-present: Training/working/commuting. I’m down to four jobs now, the airline one being full-time, but that hasn’t left much time for blogging (or writing, truth be told). Also, I cleaned up my act a bit on the dating front (yes–that’s a relative qualification, because I’m still scandalously dirty with my love life) and went through a series of more serious romantic prospects. But, oh! The more serious, the worse the heartache! I’ve learned a lot this year about trust and human nature. I was going to say “unfortunately,” but it’s better to know and watch out, moving forward, than be naive, right? At least that’s how I’m spinning it in my mind.

So here we go again!

Dates 31.3-31.5: The Sweet Spot

From the beginning, it was pretty clear that Date 31 and I had it bad for each other in terms of sex. Starting with Date 31.3, however, I realized it was more than that, which was a problem. Basically, Date 31 wants to have kids, while I don’t. He also wants someone ten years younger than him, but I’m two years older than he is. Add to these two dealbreakers the fact that I’ll never be as perfect as his dead 29-year-old former fiancee and that I have both an ex-husband and three kids from my prior marriage, while Date 31 wants a girl with a clean slate, and you can imagine how my being so taken with him is more of a liability than an asset.

ANYWAY, Date 31.3 was the first time I went over to Date 31’s place. Granted, his best friend from Long Island was about to arrive from the airport, so I’m sure Date 31 had worked hard to clean up, but here were the first things I noticed: (1) a shoe rack by the front door, meaning he cares about keeping his place tidy; (2) real (as opposed to particle-board) furniture, showing me he either appreciates living amongst comfort and beauty or his dead fiancee had great taste and he still has the same stuff; and (3) a mix of tasteful (again, dead GF’s picks?) and comics-oriented kitschy artwork (most likely his), showing me that he truly does have a golly-gee sense of humor that’s surprisingly squeaky clean, despite his mad sadistic streak and penchant for dirty talk in the bedroom.

The other thing I couldn’t help noticing was that his apartment was directly above the complex’s pool. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon (Santa Ana condition, making it in the 80s in January), and Date 31 lives in the same suburb as I do (which is known for its schools), so it sounded like there were about forty kids in the pool, all screaming and splashing and generally having a great time. I complimented Date 31 on his place as he showed me around, noting how nice the floor plan was and such. He thanked me, then said (in total seriousness), “Yeah, the other thing I love about this place is how quiet it is.”

I started laughing. “Really?” I asked.

“It’s like there’s never anyone around,” he said. “Always so quiet.”

I pointed toward the balcony overlooking the pool. “You don’t hear that?”

A chorus of shouting pre-pubescent voices wafted upward: “Marco!” “Polo!” “Mom! Jaden’s splashing me!” Etc.

He shrugged.

“Seems like there might be a lot of kids in this complex,” I said.

Date 31 laughed, conceding I had a point. “That’s funny,” he said. “I never really noticed.”

I could tell he was being honest–he truly hadn’t noticed. Basically, I chalked up his acceptance of kid noise to the fact that he wanted kids of his own so badly, which made me doubly nervous. Because what if I got super attached to him? What if he talked me into giving a shot, having one for the road. Even though I’ve had a hysterectomy, I have eggs. Lots of couples in their forties are using surrogates these days, so it wasn’t like it was beyond the realm of possibility–but it wasn’t a future I envisioned for myself when I left my ex-husband.

Before we headed to the bedroom, the last stop on my tour of his place was the kitchen, where there were five piles of goodies laid out on the counter, with a nice variety of all the junk-food groups represented: salty, sweet, gooey, greasy, and crunchy.

“I bought snacks for the game for each of my buddies,” he explained.

I know it may sound silly, but I was almost moved to tears. Because, what a sweet guy!!! From his thank-you texts, I had suspected he was a considerate man, but now I had proof.

[Side note: Have I mentioned The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman? If not, it’s a book that describes how each of us has a way we most often express love and enjoy having love expressed back to us. The five “languages” are Physical Touch, Gift Giving, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. All these are great, but the one that really gets my heart racing is Acts of Service. Like, want to *really* impress me? Wash my car, or fix the little piece that fell off the valance to the living-room blinds. Load the dishwasher, or bring in the trash cans (without being asked!). Diamonds, flowers, and massages are awesome, but it’s these little day-to-day efforts that truly make me feel loved and cared for.]

All that said, I knew I had found an amazing guy. Was he perfect? No. Over the course of Dates 31.3, 31.4, and 31.5, I learned that he enjoys country music–the pop kind–because “it’s just so happy.” Also, the TV in Date 31’s bedroom is taller than I am (and I’m 5’6″). Yeah, I’m sure it’s cool to watch movies on, but he likes to leave it going (with the volume silenced) while we’re having sex. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the flashing lights from having a TV on are kind of distracting. Also, isn’t that kind of a waste of electricity? If the sex hadn’t been so consistently stellar, I’d suspect him of watching TV while we were going at it, but he wasn’t, so I was left wondering, Why???

No matter, though–I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of Date 31, and he seemed to be pretty taken with me, as well. We texted each other on a daily basis, constantly on the lookout for opportunities to steal a few moments from our respective busy schedules to spend together. Our first five dates spanned eleven days, if that gives you an idea of how caught up in each other we were.

And the sex? Good Lord!!! Date 31 loved to do all the nasty things I fantasize about but am too shy to voice. He used his belt, I used my mouth, and the things he said to me? Makes me blush just to think about it! So incredible, I found myself thinking, Yeah, I’d have another kid (and enjoy raising him/her) if it meant making this guy happy!

Which was right about when I realized, Oh, shit. Right after I almost blurted the words I love you.

In a last-ditch attempt at self-preservation, I didn’t tell Date 31 about my near slip-up in person, but I did admit to it via text a couple days later. The result? We didn’t see each other again for a week and a half. Could have been longer, but I’ll get to that in a later post. At any rate, the damage was done: I was supposed to be playing it casually, but I liked Date 31 too much to lie to him about the nature of my feelings. For better or worse, I knew I had to tell him the truth–even if it wound up costing me.

 

Turning over a New Leaf (and Then Quickly Blowing It): Dates 31.1 & 31.2

Okay. Now I know why I’ve been avoiding writing about my dates. Looking at where I left off, a guy I (still) *really* like is first on the list. Also, to truly explain why I like this particular fellow so much, I’m going to have to get a little explicit. But whatever, right? It’s anonymous, and you’ve been warned.

So anyway, I was the one who initiated contact with Date 31. We were both on a certain (very large, quasi-expensive) dating website, and I saw that he had visited my profile. Something about him struck me as extremely familiar-looking, so I clicked on his photo to view his bio. Turned out, he lived in my area, so I messaged him, saying I knew he was too young for me but asking where I knew him from (my cousins? the grocery store? the gym?). He immediately wrote back and we struck up a conversation that transitioned to texting.

Now, Date 31 isn’t that much younger than me–only one year. Because he’s never been married or had kids, though, I kind of dismissed him as being someone I couldn’t take seriously. And as you might recall, I started off the year on a vegan-no sugar-no alcohol-no caffeine-no sex fast. Yeah, I was probably being a little too ambitious, but I was super determined to see it through. I had resolved not to have any more meaningless sex, wanting to save myself for a real relationship. And that first week of the year, I was very chaste!

By January 6, however, I agreed to meet Date 31 in person. He took me out to lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant. Going into the date, I told myself I was going to be good, that this guy was kind of a goofball, and no way, no how was I going to have sex with him. And then he showed up.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I seem to have a thing for Jewish boys from New York. It’s getting to the point where I suspect I can tell the difference between accents from Queens, Yonkers, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island. So when Date 31 walked in, reminding me (in a positive way) of the Beastie Boys? I could barely talk I was so nervous and taken with him. And he seemed to like me, as well, since at the end of the date, he asked if he could see me again.

Before I get to the juicy parts, however (i.e., Date 31.2 and beyond), which will tend to highlight how sexually compatible Date 31 and I are, here’s Problem Issue No. 1: Date 31, while never married, has been engaged. Two years ago, at age 39, his 29-year-old fiancee, a gorgeous, blonde fitness enthusiast (no joke–I’ve seen pictures), was killed in an auto accident. Now, I feel super bad for him, because that’s a horrible tragedy no one should have to endure, but as a potential girlfriend, I could see some difficulties inherent in the whole setup. As in, no one would ever be as perfect as this guy’s dead 29-year-old fiancee.

Since her death, he had settled into a friends-with-benefits relationship that lasted a year, but now he was ready (he said) to find a new relationship, anxious to get married, settle down, and have children. Perhaps I should have ended things right then and there with that admission, since I can’t have children (at least not without the help of a surrogate), but I figured it was too early to jump to any rash conclusions. And besides, he was so cute!

It’s been a few months, so I’m foggy on the details of how it happened, but Date 31 immediately started texting me after our lunch date, saying he wanted to see me again. Eventually, I said okay, come over, so he did.

Things started out vanilla enough, but there’s a certain energy that starts combusting when you match someone dominant with someone submissive in the bedroom. It didn’t take long for him to give my ass a playful slap and discover that the harder he did it, the wetter I got. Add to that the hair pulling, the firm grip he placed around my neck, and the bevy of dirty talk he laid on me, and I couldn’t get enough.

And we got along! Both before and after sex, conversation was lots of fun. Basically, the more I got to know Date 31, the more I knew he was a sincerely nice guy. So nice, in fact, that he said he understood if I wanted to still date other people, but that he’d like me to only have sex with him if we were going to see each other again. This puzzled me at first, but then I was like, Okay! Because if I was getting my sexual needs met, I wouldn’t be tempted to jump into the sack with guys I barely knew or knew there was no future with.

After Date 31 left that night, I looked in the mirror and discovered just how enthusiastic a spanker Date 31 was–my ass was covered in splotchy red and purplish bruises. Um, no problem staying away from other guys, I concluded, since I didn’t want anyone to see me that way!!! I knew he was strong (he’s played sports all his life), but I’d never had someone mark me up like that, and I’ve been with some pretty rough folk!

The next day, I got a series of texts from Date 31 that made me think he’s either been in extensive counseling or has an incredible mother who brought him up right. Yeah, it’s kind of dorky to get a text that says something like, Thank you for having sex with me last night. I really appreciated how wet you got for me and how hard you were able to take it. But after all the callous guys I had dated in the last year, Date 31’s little thank-you texts made me smile, my heart becoming increasingly tender toward him.

I knew we were both still dating other people, but I was anxious to see where things between me and Date 31 were going.

Where I’ve Been

As I think about all the dates I’ve been on since the year started, yes, there have been some funny moments–lots to smile about, but even more to groan over. Right now, however, I’m in a state of confusion. I thought I had met THE ONE, but he hasn’t really called or texted all week, so I’m thinking our relationship might be over before it ever even got a chance to get started. I suppose time will tell, but at this point, I’m feeling pretty defeated. I was seeing another guy for a month before this latest, and ending that liaison left me in a state of befuddlement as well, since he acted like I was no big deal but then got all moody and maudlin on facebook after I dumped him.

Is it so wrong to want to know the truth about what guys are thinking? I’m not a game player–never have been–so maybe I’m not destined to win, but I’m clinging to hope anyway. In the mean time, though, I’ve been beating myself up over what might be wrong with me. Is the new guy avoiding me because I want too much sex? My divorce and kid situations are too high maintenance? I snore? I walk around the house naked? Who knows??? All I can say is, this latest guy, the things he says are almost spooky they’re so precisely in line with what I want and have been hoping for. No, he’s not perfect, but none of us are, and his imperfections add to his strength and character, making me all the more googly-eyed for him. And the fact that he’s hot and very well endowed doesn’t hurt, either.

*sigh*

I just hope he calls soon.

Not So Happily Ever After

I miss writing about my dates. I was hoping an end to this journey was in sight, but now I’m seeing that it is indeed a numbers game, and I haven’t quite logged in enough hours to find that proverbial diamond in the rough. I’m still in communication (albeit sporadic, in some cases) with Dates 0, 5, 13, 14, 16, and 27, which is largely a problem, but I’ve been dating new guys as well. And that one particular new guy I was head over heels for? Still crazy about him, but I’m afraid he’s not as taken with me. Although he did call (not text!) me last night, so now I’m totally confused.

Anyway, I joined some different dating websites, so I’m enjoying the flood of dates that comes with being the new girl in school, and I think it’d be fun to keep chronicling the saga. Also went to church last night and had my ass handed to me by the Holy Spirit. Funny how that works…

Blogwise, this thing was getting pretty bulky so I trimmed down what’s available online, since readers can buy on Amazon for cheap if they want more of my stories. That said, any feedback is welcome here! I’d love to know if there’s an audience for my sordid tales of dating highs and lows. Stats have been encouraging, even if people aren’t always commenting, and I’ve truly enjoyed the writing, but part of me wonders, Should I really be doing this? Because if I find THE ONE, and I’m scared he won’t like what he reads here, I have a feeling this will all go poof! without so much as a backward glance.

Believe it or not, I actually am a nice girl with a good reputation–one who hopes and prays that she’ll still find the love of her life.

Dates 29.0, 29.1 & Beyond: Here’s to the Future

As the year and this blog come to a close, I’ve been making some resolutions. Not resolutions, really, more like decisions. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, I opened the year with a 21-day “Daniel fast” (eating primarily fruits and vegetables), during which I also refrained from masturbation. Given that my ex and I only had sex three times the last five years of our marriage, believe me–not playing with myself for three weeks was way more difficult than going vegan and avoiding sugar and white flour. But I did it, and I felt like God blessed me for the effort. [Side note: if you want to know more about the rationale behind faith-based fasting, there’s a pastor named Jentezen Franklin who’s written some great books on the subject.]

Last January (2013), I was in a really rough place. I had left my husband three months earlier and was clinically depressed, the result of which being that I wasn’t sleeping well and had dropped 30 pounds. Honestly, I was dreading the annual fast and a little worried about my health given the circumstances. And then the pastor at my church made an announcement: for the opening of 2013, he felt like God was leading him to skip the corporate fast, calling for feasting, instead.

Anyway, this year, the fast is on again, and I know this one’s going to be an important turning point for me. In short, here’s the deal: vegan diet, no sugar, no flour, no caffeine, no alcohol, no sex (since I’m not married), and no masturbation. And this time, I’m feeling called to do it for 40 days instead of 21. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m doing my best to set myself up for success–I canceled all my online dating subscriptions and I already stopped drinking coffee a week ago.

Of course, as I’ve been typing this, trying to resolve to be good, Date 14 (the 27-year-old with the tattoo on his back, the guy who probably has sleep apnea) texted me out of the blue. I know I should ignore him, but I wrote him back, carrying on a totally inappropriate conversation [secondary side note: Date 14 mentioned how much he liked it when I gave him head, which is tawdry enough as it is, but here’s the really bad thing–I don’t remember sucking his dick! I was so drunk both times I was with him, I was inwardly all like, Hunh??? when he texted me his compliments just now.]

Okay–seems like the texting has tapered off for the time being, so maybe I’m not going to slip up before I ever get started being chaste (although, I have to say, there is the temptation to say, Well, January hasn’t started yet…), but let’s talk about Date 29, the guy from my church, shall we? Here’s the deal with him: we’re from the same small group (a home-based Bible study group designed to enable people to connect on a more personal level, even though our church is super big), so it’s kind of awkward to be dating, but that didn’t stop him from asking me out. First, he just asked if I was going to attend one of the Christmas production performances, saying he’d be there the same night and that we should sit together (Date 29.0). When I showed up, he’d gotten a serious haircut (big improvement) and was all dressed up. We wound up talking for an hour after the show, leading to his asking me out on an actual date.

We went on that date this week (Date 29.1). I wish I could say he was the one, but he’s not, and now I’ve got to face him (and our mutual friends, who know we went out) in church and at small group. We connected on a friendship level, and there was some degree of attraction on my part, but there were a few dealbreakers I just couldn’t get past, the biggest of which was the casual mention of a homophobic attitude. As I might have mentioned before, I have gay friends and family, and I believe that, whether gay or straight, God made us the way we are, and it’s not our place to cast judgment on others. And lest anyone out there start quoting the Bible to me, I’ve read through Leviticus enough times, I happen to know that we’re all in trouble for piercing our ears, having tats, and wearing mixed-fabric clothing if you want to get legalistic about it.

Anyhow, I don’t want to point any fingers, since I still consider Date 29 a friend (though one I hope to influence to have a more loving attitude), but here’s some general advice to the guys of the world about some key first impression stuff women are taking a careful look at when we date:

1. Haircut. As in, has he had one recently? And if so, is it decent? Beyond that, is it professional? For example, one guy I dated kept his hair buzzed short. The length was good, but I could tell from the way his neckline followed his hairline, he buzzed it himself, rather than paying a stylist or barber to do it. Know what this says about a guy? CHEAP!!! And if the haircut is bad or nonexistent, the messages we gals read are LAZY, CLUELESS, and/or OBLIVIOUS. Don’t be that guy.

2. Shoes. Call me crazy, but shoes say a lot about a person. You style mavens out there already know this, but I think this is a point that the rest of us just sort of internalize. Ugly shoes again point to cluelessness. Alternately, unfortunate footwear can also be an indication of someone having a really bad sense of style (extrapolate this to their wardrobe and what their residence looks like, both inside and out, and you get the idea about how this isn’t just about shoes). Down the road in a relationship, you’ll have to make a decision: will you put up with his bad taste or try to change it by offering more stylish suggestions? If you choose the latter path, there’s a good chance that you’ll ultimately be accused of being controlling and/or micromanaging your significant other, an argument to which no one wants to be a party.

3. Car. Now, this is a really tricky one–having too nice of a car might say the guy is a spendthrift, or that he has self-image issues, but having an absolutely awful car says he doesn’t really care about looking good or being comfortable (again, this translates to other realms of the guy’s life). On top of what kind of car he drives is the issue of its condition. My ex, for example, drove an expensive sedan, but he kept so much trash in it, I used to say he should open the windows, then have a garbage truck come scoop it up and shake it clean periodically. Yeah, I can be a bitch, but you probably get my point–it was unconscionable how he treated that fine, luxury automobile (which truly was the ultimate driving machine!).

Looking forward, I know God has someone in mind for me. I don’t know who it’s going to be, but three times in a row now, He’s demonstrated His power in delivering guys literally to my doorstep. The first time was with Date 17, the guy from high school who emailed me out of nowhere. The second time was when Date 29 was late to pick me up the other night–while I was walking my dog, a tall, super good-looking, single, age-appropriate neighbor stopped his car in the middle of the road, cut off his cell phone conversation, and jumped out of the car to talk to me. I was like, Wow!!! Not that I think this guy and I have any sort of future potential, but I took it for a message from above, kind of like God was saying to me, This date who’s late? He’s not the one, but I’ve got someone better lined up for you, and he’ll be along shortly, when the time is right. Third, I got a text from a now-divorced mom friend of mine while at church today: she’s dating a wealthy, good-looking guy who has a wealthy, good-looking (and tall!) friend who wants to meet me.

Of course, and then there’s Date 14, as well, texting me out of nowhere. Not sure if he was sent by God or the devil, but I’ll leave you with one guess as to what might happen with him later this afternoon, given that it’s still December and my perfect guy has yet to come along.

Like I’ve said, we all need Jesus.