Monday, July 26, 2010

Deal or No Deal?

New Self Help Book: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
By: Lori Gottlieb

The author of this book is a 41 year-old, never been married, single mom who reflects on her dating past and what she wishes she would have known if she were 26 again. Well lucky for me she finished this book while I was on the cusp of 26 and wanting to learn from her mistakes and avoid making any more of my own….well at least in the relationship department.

As I read her book there were so many instances where I saw myself making the same classic mistakes that would only get me NOWHERE! First we have to ask our 26 plus single did we get here?

Well here I am, 27 years old, still single, and I am thinking to myself, “Well I’ve waited this long...I am not going to settle now.” We (other 26+ singles and I ) are surrounded by all our married friends and family who continually praise us and tell us what a great catch we are and how they just can’t believe we have not been snatched up! I find myself starting to believe that I am the total catch. I mean my code name is Tiffany A. Catch afterall…a name I chose for myself before I ever read this book, which shows how much I was buying into myself being a total prize, leaving me with an inflated sense that I would make an ideal mate. Not only that, but I also find myself looking for a long LIST of qualities. I want to find someone who is handsome, a good dresser but not gay, smart but not nerdy smart, witty-funny smart, ambitious, interesting and edgy but not too edgy, normal but not boring guy. This idealistic list has been causing me to dismiss good quality guys for frivolous non-deal breaking reasons.

I think everyone can look back at their dating past and think of at least one good guy they let get away because of a SILLY deal breaker! For me, it was John, a high school crush and friend. Years later his mother decided that we should date and marry. John was an obedient son, so we went out. He was a good, funny guy, and we had always been close. In fact I had liked him before he ever liked me, but I ended things with him because I wanted him to want me because HE wanted me, not because his mother had told him to. Now he is happily married with three kids and is a great husband and father. Although I do not have regrets, I admit my dismissal was frivolous. Was I expecting a song and dance declaring his undying love? Truth of the matter is that he was a kind and humble man, looking for a commitment, and willing to put up with ME! A read deal breaker would be a dishonest man, an unreligious man, or a mean man.

My married girlfriends’ husbands are nice guys, and they have a lot of the qualities that we wrote down on our lists but not ALL of them. A woman in the book “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” did just that - she married whom she called Mr. Predictable. This is what she had to say, “I think the difference between women who get married and women who don’t is that women who don’t get married never give up the idea that they’re gong to marry Brad Pitt. It doesn’t occur to you that maybe it’s okay if THE ONE doesn’t look like Brad Pitt and earn a gazillion dollars and make you go weak in the knees every time you’re together”. Instead we are holding on to our unrealistic LIST.

At this point the LIST hasn’t become a list of qualities we are searching out, but instead it has turned into a fault finding list. Well guess what...if we are looking for faults we are bound to find them because no one is perfect. In fact they say the predictor for happier marriages for people who so call “settle,” and by settle I mean they choose to marry someone who doesn’t meet all the criteria of their LIST, is that they have a more realistic expectation of their mate to not be perfect. The people who end up unhappily married are those who think they have found the perfect person, but become disappointed when they do not measure up.

Rachel Greenwald, a dating coach, describes what she too often sees happen, “I was in this failed relationship for a year, another for five years. Or, I kept getting back with my ex-boyfriend. Or, I knew after six months or a year that it wasn’t going anywhere, but I stayed hoping it would change.” Greenwald continues, “The men they’ve been attracted to have generally offered the exact opposite of what they actually wanted in the long run (key word) - stability, responsibility, compassion, groundedness, maturity, the desire for kids. Remember you don’t have time to waste on a guy because you are infatuated with him”. Uh Oh here I am...GUILTY!
It is about time I realize that I have been dating all wrong! This book isn’t even about lowering my standards. It is about maturing and recognizing what is really most important and having REASONABLE standards for a mate. Understanding what makes the difference between a good boyfriend and what makes for a good husband or wife. In the long haul of a marriage the qualities of someone who is stable and dependable are far more important than gorgeous and exciting. So from now on, I will stop ruling out guys for non-deal breaking reasons.

Bon Voyage

The Last entry that I left, Sparky and I were back together, all the game playing seemed to be in the past, and our time to be together had finally come. Since I had been burned by him in the past I took a back seat and let him pursue me...which he did. He initiated conversation everyday, he told me what a great team we made, he told me he wanted me to move out to be close to him, told me that marriage and family were most important to him in life now, and he invited me out to visit him. I never once brought up these topics since in the past I had told him that I was looking for a committed relationship, and if that wasn’t what he was looking for to leave me alone.
Sparky had invited me out to spend a long weekend with him and I was thrilled! Since I had told him my position and he was the one telling me all these things, was I to believe that after traveling thousands of miles our relationship would move forward? His sister had come over to visit and even told me that it was likely we would get married…..not that I was expecting a proposal by any means but at least a conversation about us and the real possibility of our future.

Prior to my departure Sparky took a trip to New York two weeks before my arrival and could not stop raving about how much fun he had and how he could not wait to go back. By the time I arrived for my visit it was too late. The window of opportunity was closed, and he was no longer talking about white picket fences and kids in the yard. Instead he was allured by the bright city lights of New York and contemplating putting in a transfer there. While he raved about all the new people you can meet and the ability to sit down to have pizza at 4 a.m. in the heart sunk. Why did I think this time would be different? Hadn’t he done this to me before? So close to being together and taking that next step when instead he sees what appears to be greener pastures.

Here I was all by myself, thousands of miles away from home, and still a long weekend to spend with Sparky. Luckily my phone didn’t work because had I been able to call anyone the tears would have started flowing and who knows if they would have been able to stop. The worst part is that we had SO much fun together! We had great conversation, comfortable silence, laughter, and that feeling of just being with someone who gets you.

The second I got off the plane and called my mom the tears just started flowing. Why had he invited me out? Why had he led me on? Why did it hurt worse this time? He had done it twice before, but this time I really let myself fall. Well one thing was for sure...we would NEVER be together. Now I will never wonder what if.

I should have learned from the first time that he would only repeat this pattern. The lesson learned through this is that guys do not change and the third time is NOT the charm. BON VOYAGE Sparky.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sparky and the Wedding Date

Well since I introduced Sparky to the blog 7 months ago I neglected to update the interactions between us. I apologize because I vowed to disclose the good, the bad, and the ugly. So here it is...Sparky's October visit had so much build up and anticipation for there to be a great change in our relationship, but it just did not happen. Whenever we were together we were always with his family and NEVER alone! How can the relationship progress if we don't actually date? I was just mad that he was all talk and no action. Why wouldn't he give ME or US just a chance??! We still talked casually but I had a feeling that he was starting to talk with his ex-girlfriend.

When Sparky came to visit in December we had not spoken in a month. My friend picked me up to go out and before hand texted me that he was coming with us. I thanked her for the heads up and we were completely cordial during our outing. Then to confirm what I was thinking he announced that he his EX would be taking him home. Later that week we were both at church and 30 minutes into the service I received a text from him, "I have been looking for you. I thought you were ditching church but I just saw you!" Why??!!! Why is he looking for me? Why is he texting me? I told him to work on his detective skills and he said, "We need to hang out." "Fat Chance!!" I thought still a bit angry.

Fast forward to February, Sparky and I haven't talked since December and I get a message from him, "I heard this...I heard that." Why does he check up on me? Why does he care? Two days later he messages again and we talk for an hour. Before I know what has happened I am doing it again...I am falling. I try to deny it and say that we are just good friends and it is good to catch up. He announces that he will be in town in a few weeks and that we should get together. Only this time I don't get my hopes up because I know better. When he messages me again the next day I begin to wonder what is going on??! We casually talk and then he says, "So there was something I wanted to ask you...would you be my date to my brother's wedding?"...I am SHOCKED!...flattered, excited, but still SHOCKED! Why does he need a date? It's a family wedding and he is the best man, so why does he need a date? With a million questions running through my mind I say Yes.

It's the weekend of the wedding, Sparky is back in town and wants to see me Thursday but, I am too tired. Then Friday night he invites me over and I cancel because of previous engagements and he says, "Just don't bail on me tomorrow!" The wedding was the first time that I saw him. I had bought the perfect flirty little black dress. When he spotted me across the field he did a double take and said he didn't recognize me because I looked so sexy -- Mission Accomplished!! The wedding was beautiful and romantic. He gave a moving best man speech, we visited with friends and his family, ate cake and danced the night away! As we slow danced the photographer came to take our picture and he held me even closer!! It was as if we were a couple once again. His Dad turned to me and said, "Will you just snatch him up already??!" I just looked at him and he said, "I know! I know! I am going to smack that boy upside his head!" We spent the rest of his time that he was in town together until it was time for him to leave for the airport. Another long embrace, another goodbye. When he landed back at home he messaged me to thank me and tell me what a great time he had with me at the wedding. Could things work out for me like the movie Made of Honor? Where the guy keeps asking her to be his date to all of his father's weddings and eventually realizes she is perfect for him!!

So here we are again...Are we really going to try for a round three? Is the third time really a charm??

Monday, March 22, 2010

Do Dream Guys Exsist in the Virtual World?

Contributor: Tiffany A. Catch
Dating Advice: Dr. Neil Clark Warren the creator of

A few years ago my cousin came up to me and told me that she had a dream that I married her ex-boyfriend. My first question; Is he cute? Second question; Are you ok with that?
Well since that dream I have signed up for a few online dating services. I have scoped out the guys and even emailed back and forth with a few. Which was all in good fun and confidence boosting but when it came to meeting someone I would always chicken out and just let things fade out.

When I was contacted by my Dream Guy; a handsome guy, my age, my state, a career in the same field, and an ex-boyfriend of my cousin! I thought, if I am ever going to go through with meeting someone I have a good feeling about this Dream Guy. We exchanged a few emails getting to know each other and than I extended the invite for a group get together. He responded with," Oh my gosh was that an official invite? I think I just hyperventilated, see I had really just joined this online dating for some funny stories....but you don't live too far away and seem pretty yeah I'd like to get together." Then I responded with letting him know that this was the first time I had ever planned to meet someone from an online dating. He said, "I don't know if you're some Internet creeper but I should warn you that me and my friends are pretty ripped...just saying, but if you are a beautiful girl named Tiffany then I am excited to meet you!" I responded by saying, " Ok I'll make some treats you bring the six packs...of soda of course ;)"

Of course meeting my Dream Guy was a total success! He was cuter in person and a ton of fun! I had a great time and he even showed up with six packs of sodas! After the date he updated on his Facebook that he had a really great time and positive experience with online dating :) We emailed a few more times, but NO second date. :( It's alright because going out with him reminded me about how I use to get excited about dating, Dream Guy reminded me that was how dating was supposed to feel like since I was feeling discouraged by the lack of excitement I have been feeling about dates...I guess I'll keep Dreaming and cyber stalking haha!


Contributor: Tiffany A. Catch
Advice Reference: Gwen Stefani said it best in No Doubt's Spiderwebs!

I had been asked out by Iron Bored, he saw me at a party and wanted to talk to me but my time was being monopolized by Tonka and Iron Bored never worked up the courage to interrupt. Instead he emailed me the next day expressing his regrets to introduce himself and asking for a chance to make it up. Forgiving the fact that he didn't have the courage to talk to me the first time I agreed to a date. In emails and on the date Iron Bored would volunteer information so that I may be able to get to know him better. Two facts he kept repeating was that he was a twist the top off the toothpaste kind of guy because he thought it was neater and that he has to run six miles a day. He also carried a laminated card of his family member's birthdays. He than cut our date early so that he could go home to get to bed because he had to wake up to iron his shirts because he could not wear a shirt which had been ironed the night before. This little bit of information was enough for me to know that Mikey was not for me. Although, I do enjoy a clean home, I am more relaxed in my efforts to achieve it so that life doesn't become to routine and boring.

A week later when the phone rang and it was him, I actually ANSWERED! Apparently answering a phone call is unheard of because he said, " Oh you answered... What I had to say was really more for voicemail....but I guess I'll just say it anyways. ( I quickly suggested I hang up and he could call back because what could he possibly prefer to say on Voicemail?? I'll admit I was secretly hoping that he would say I think you're great but I am just not feeling a connection) Instead I hear, " Hey I am just calling to see how your week is going. Hope it's going well and I wanted to tell you I think you are funny and I would like to take you out again."......
I think I uttered something like that was nice...ok I'll call you later.

So in the words of Gwen Stefani, "You think that we connect, that the chemistry's correct....Don't have the courage inside me to tell you please let me be....and it's all your fault, I screen my phone leave a message and I'll call you back!" Moral of the story...if you don't feel comfortable saying it straight to the person DON'T SAY IT!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tiffany and Sparky : The Saga

Blog Author: Tiffany

Now as the count down to Sparky's visit ensues it is time to give you the history of our relationship. We meet a year and a half ago, through a mutual friend. We ended up going on a short friends trip where we found that we had a lot in common, and where I began to really enjoy his company. We would go on casual lunch dates, group activities and watch TV together. We acted like a couple in social situations but we NEVER expressed that we liked each other and left things in the FRIEND ZONE for TOO long! My frustration FINALLY peaked after a long FIVE months of this and I cowardly emailed him to find out how he felt towards me. He responded that I had all the qualities that he was looking for and that he had been sending mixed signals because he was having mixed feelings and for him the "spark" just wasn't there. To add to my dismay the very next day to receiving this email he was in a RELATIONSHIP with a girl he had known 3 days!!!!! Needless to say I stopped talking to him immediately and he even moved away for work. Out of sight out of mind....except for Facebook and his pesky new girlfriends need for OVER the TOP PDA pictures and TMI status updates ( I miss you...NO I Miss you MORE... you get the idea). I owe a lot of thanks to the handy blocking feature on Facebook during this time.

Well thanks to the blocking feature I hadn't even noticed when they broke up...except that I received an email from him two days after they had broken up. I politely responded because after all we had been friends...but it was brief. Than unexpectedly to me Sparky was back in town and we ended up at the beach together with friends. He pulled his towel right up next to mine and we talked as if nothing had happened and things were as they were before. As we walked down to feel the water I saw him turn back to look at me THREE TIMES! We spent the rest of the day together and his eyes said it ALL! I could immediately tell that he was wishing he had given US a real chance! We spent the rest of the week together with friends and family and than he was off Moving again! And still we were "JUST FRIENDS" and in May as we said goodbye he said I'll be back in December......DECEMBER???!!!! but that's 8 months away! So we continued to talk and flirt and he would say things like why don't you get a job out here...that would be so fun. I would laugh it off and joke back but hoping there was some truth behind the jokes. The third time he began to joke about me moving out to be closer to him I NEEDED to know how he felt about me AGAIN! So I asked straight out...How do you feel about me? and he said to be honest I didn't even want to move away for work because he wanted to see where things between us would go. It's not fair for me to say this being so far away. Ah ha! at last the response I was hoping for!...well kinda. See now that we finally established that we wanted to be together we were so far apart! He said that he couldn't give me the committed relationship I deserved right now but that hopefully things would change in the future and I said I was looking for a relationship and couldn't just sit around and wait for him. So I continued dating and Sparky and I casually kept in touch.

So Now its October and he has been scheduled for an unexpected Job training in California and is coming to visit! Although its only for three days its still so much better than December! He has expressed his excitement to spend a lot of time with me. Now remember this has been a year and a half and we haven't so much as held hands but my hopes and expectations are so much higher compared to my date with DJ or Tonka. In this situation I have so much more to gain or so much more to loose because of all the time and emotions invested. For some reason he is the one that makes my heart skip a beat each time I receive a text message or email from him and he is the one I compare all other guys to. Can they make me laugh as much as he does? Are they as smart as he is? Do they have as much in common as we do? and so far No, No, No.

Check back to hear how the weekend visit goes.

Do I like you or did I like the Date?

Blog Author: Tiffany A. Catch
Current book reading: Finding the Love of your LIfe by: Neil Clark Warren PH.D (Creator of eHarmony and by far my favorite book for the dating population)

This past week "Tonka" asked me out for a date, to accompany him to a sporting event. My uneventful weekday night just became a lot more exciting! Now I am going to blow dry my hair and put on make up that makes me feel pretty. Next, I will pick out the perfect sporting event appropriate date outfit!

The sporting event was extremely entertaining with rowdy fans, players fighting and a neck to neck scoring game. I got to order out food that I wouldn't normally eat. Not to mention I had someones full attention for four hours! Asking are you hungry? Can I get you candy? Would you like my jacket to keep you warm?
I have the I like to be LIKED on a date I mainly focus on trying to make everyone like me. Instead I should be figuring out do I like them?? or do I just like the dates and attention?

Needless to say I had a great time on the date with Tonka but part of me was thinking how much fun this would be with Sparky. Not to mention that Sparky is coming into town THIS WEEKEND and we have plans to spend a lot of time together. So to be fair to Tonka I need to spend more time with him to know if I could like him but right now I can't fully give him a chance until I spend time with Sparky and find out where things stand between us.