Crowdsourcing For A Date?

Sometimes dating online is just too frustrating for words. I know it works, I had an over-two-year long relationship with someone I never would have met had it not been for the internet. So…I know I will meet someone again. One would assume, because of past success, that I might have a magic formula or “tricks of the trade” for finding just the right person. I don’t – it’s still frustrating enough to send me to the couch, there to spend Saturday night with a video rental and my tasty fall-back boyfriends, Ben & Jerry.

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I think that it would be easier if it wasn’t so time-consuming. An evening of reading profile after profile makes my eyes water and my head spin. I find then that my dreams are filled with a never-ending loop of profile-speak: — ”I’mhandsomeandstableandlikemoonlightwalksandholdinghandswithyoumyspecial
someoneandyoumustlikedogsandchildrenandhaveasteadyjoband……”

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There has to be a more efficient way to find a date. Maybe Crowdsourcing is the answer! Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call. Hmmm, now this concept could very well be tweaked a bit and used as an online dating call. It could go like this:

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The Opportunity: Take Sharon on a date.

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Job Requirements: Must be male with 20+ years of solid experience as an adult. Fluent in small talk as well as deep conversation. Computer skills not required but ability to write full English sentences in an email is a plus. Experience in the sourcing and purchasing of flowers and the occasional box of candy is required. Polite management of wait staff, valets, bartenders to ensure a pleasant evening is expected of the candidate. Extra consideration will be given to candidates with past successes in researching and choosing the correct wine for the meal. Full disclosure regarding the details of past breakups is also required. References from former partners WILL be checked.

Compensation:
negotiable – based on qualifications.

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I’m betting that men, being the competitive darlings that they are, will leap at the chance to join in the job…er date…hunt. I can then search through the list of pre-qualified candidates to find my Saturday night date. Hey, how does this sound: CrowdSourceMatch.com!! Wouldn’t you just LOVE to crowdsource for your own date too? Admit it, you’re reading this and mentally compiling your own list of “qualifications”….:)

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Reconnecting with your intuition

This week we have a guest post by our friend, relationship expert Maryanne Comaroto!

Have you ever met someone for the first time, and within a few seconds of meeting them, you got a gut feeling about them and felt your body either opening up to them, or closing off? That “belly brain,” or intuition, is a powerful information filtering system that uses your senses to make judgements about new people and new situations. It measures all kinds of data, and tunes you in to everything you need to know about a person. It can tell you if this person is dangerous or safe, angry or kind, aggressive or shy. It measures things like a person’s walk, their conversation style, their body language, and their movements in order to make assessments. It all happens very quickly – if you are paying attention, you can know within about 30 seconds whether you are in a good or bad situation, and whether you should continue or get the heck out of there. The body makes this judgement call based on empirical data, and it never lies about its findings.

However, within milliseconds the information then gets passed on to the brain, where it undergoes a second, less accurate filtering process. This time around, the incoming data from the other person gets compared to your brain’s internal database of past experiences. You have a huge amount of information in your mind regarding speech patterns, behavior recognition, common references, and a whole host of other ways in which you can categorize this new person. Once the brain finds some labels to stick on this person based on your historical data, your body will respond by expanding or contracting. This is where we can start to have problems, because the brain is not always as honest or accurate as the intuition when it comes to making an assessment.

Our brains are not only full of past experiences, but also with learned and acquired beliefs that have built up over time into knee-jerk defense mechanisms that work like safety barriers to try to protect us. Men who drive up in an old, rusty car are losers; women with bleached hair and fake boobs are uneducated and shallow; men in Italian suits are successful and ambitious; quiet women who wear glasses are intelligent and trustworthy. While this second phase of filtering can provide you with some useful information, it can also be misleading, particularly if the true intuition disagrees with the assessment, and the brain chooses to override the intuition regardless.

You might think it silly that the brain’s fallible decision-making process would override the intuition’s flawless one, but it happens all the time. Think back to your last breakup. Can’t you look back now and say, “well yeah, I kind of knew in my gut that things weren’t right, even when we were still together”? That’s your intuition at work. The belly brain always knows. But your mind, in an effort to avoid pain in the short term, overrides the intuition and tells you what it wants you to hear, whatever will smooth things over so that it doesn’t have to feel pain right at this moment. In order to get past this tendency to believe the brain over the belly, you have to relearn how not to rely solely on the brain’s second-hand information. I’m sure you can think of many instances when you brain has told you things that have ultimately led to heartache, when your intuition had been right all along, but you just didn’t listen. As it turns out, the brain is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Your intuition needs to be in the driving seat with the brain riding shotgun, not the other way around.

So why do we so often get it wrong, and let our flawless intuition be bullied by the rationalizations of our brains? This, my darlings, is the cry of the divine feminine, and this is why it is so essential that we wake up and find this larger universal truth within each one of us! So much writing has been devoted to explaining the death of intuition, but for now I’ll just say that we will continue to make harmful decisions until we learn to wake up and pay attention to it.

If you sit and look back at all your old body-versus-brain situations, you’ll quickly see who is smarter. Next week in Part Two, we’ll talk about how to reconnect with the belly brain, and how to recover the ability to be heart-smart!

Maryanne will be teaching a live video webinar on how to “inner-view” potential dates or mates BEFORE you agree to a date or relationship. She’ll be featuring a very eligible bachelor and showing participants the best questions to ask and how to respond, live, on the fly, in real time! Sign up here: http://bit.ly/cvsc90

Translation please.

I had to share this video with you, it had me laughing out loud. I think I may have experienced some of these “interpretations” myself…more funny in retrospect than at the time though!

My apologies to the men out there who are wondering where the “how to interpret women’s profiles video is. Honestly guys, if I had found one I would have posted it here in the interest of equality…:)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtVfRC6loco]

Now I know why I never get to eat the olives myself…HAHAHAHA

Sharon

Huh???

I was contacted by someone on PlentyOfFish.com (I hate the name of that site…it sounds so smarmy — Plenty Of Fish, please change your name :) ) early last week. He just wrote a short little note asking me to take a look at his profile and to email if I had any interest. I read. I was interested.

I like sincere profiles that say something about the inner person, not just what he’s accomplished or owns or what his hobbies are and this profile was just as sincere as could be. So I emailed back with my cell number and email address. He called the next day. Wow.

We had one of those easy conversations that didn’t sound like the typical online dating “interview”. We laughed a lot too…always a big plus for me. He was a divorced dad, adored his kids, liked to work out, go hiking and Scuba diving. I don’t dive but my dad used to so I was at least able to converse intelligently on that subject. Diver Dan and I decided to make plans to meet the next weekend, when he was sans-children.

I always get a little stage fright when I walk into a coffee shop or bar and this night was no exception. I was a little jittery as I stood in the local pub where we’d decided to meet. My back was turned when Diver Dan tapped me on the shoulder, I turned….looked….smiled…nice looking guy….warm eyes….great smile…stage fright gone. It was one of those first meetings that didn’t really feel like a first meeting – it was just easy and comfortable. We shared a great conversation, had a drink and some pizza. At one point in the evening we played darts and then we talked some more.

I am usually more likely than not to accept a second date with an online match. I really believe that it takes more than a phone call and a quick meeting to see if there’s any possibility of chemistry and this time was no exception. I was truly anticipating a possible second date. I was pretty sure he was too…he made a paper rose for me out of a cocktail napkin (don’t laugh…I thought it was cute!) It had been snowing that day and when we left the pub he cleaned my car off for me. Chivalry, you gotta love it.

Now, the other thing that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing is to call or email a date the next day to let them know either A) I had a lovely time, but I didn’t think we were compatible, or B) I had a REALLY lovely time and would be open to seeing him again. Diver Dan was a “B”. I called and left a message on his cell. He never called back…HUH???

Why? Who knows. Maybe I wasn’t tall enough for him, or maybe he really, really wanted to meet a fellow scuba diver. Maybe he met someone else the next day and decided that she was more to his liking. Maybe I threw my darts in a dorky way. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe….as the book says: He Was Just Not That Into Me.

This is one of the more challenging aspects of online dating. You really do have to develop a thick skin, particularly since there seems to be no discernable type of etiquette to dating online. It’s probably why I make it a point to offer a verdict after a first date….just my way of rebelling against the status quo of non-response…hey, it’s how I roll, rebel that I am…LOL. But my way is apparently not the way of the overall dating community so I just move on, no tears, no wondering, just movin’ on. And anyway I found this adorable guy on Match.com, cute, sincere, meaningful profile…I’ll email and then…..

Sharon

Aren’t all those people online like, Killers or something?

Although it sometimes seems as if the entire single universe is now dating online, there’s still a big group who haven’t taken the plunge into this particular pool yet. I’ve shared dating stories with friends who are single and haven’t yet tried the online thing. They have different reasons for this but safety seems to be a big concern with the majority. I get a lot of wide-eyed looks and comments.

Aren’t all the people online like Killers or something?
Why are you doing that? All the guys are married and cheating!
What if someone you meet drugs you and kidnaps you and …
.

While scary things can happen, you’re not necessarily setting yourself up for a starring role on “48 Hours Mystery” when you date online. If I’ve learned one thing over my time in the online dating world it’s this: Keep common sense in first gear and drive slowly.

There are a few points I like to keep in mind when “shopping” at an online dating site. First, you can write anything you want in a posted profile. Always wanted to be a World-Class skier? You can say that in a profile…it doesn’t make it true any where except in your imagination. Second, you can say anything you want on a first date. Yes, I’ve skied down Dead Man’s Curve. Never mentioning of course that Dead Man’s Curve is what you named the little hill behind your house when you were seven. Talking on the phone tells you more about a date than a profile, in meeting you learn more than you did in the phone call and many, many dates, over time, will give you the whole picture about this person who just may be ‘the one’. Common sense tells us to take our time…good advice.

When you’re ready to meet an online match, do it in a public place. Somewhere that you feel comfortable and safe – and ask questions! One friend told me that he hates to do that, especially on a first date, because it feels like he’s conducting an interview. Well, guess what, it IS an interview! I’m not saying you and your date should come armed with a questionnaire but this is the time to probe and question and learn about one another. An online match once told me that he met a woman who he fell for rather quickly, the first date as a matter of fact. It wasn’t until the third date that he finally got around to asking how long she’d been divorced. She wasn’t, she was still very much married. Ouch! Would sure have hurt less finding this out on the first date, or better yet the first phone call. So go ahead, be nosy you’ll be happier.

Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable having a new person come to your home to pick you up then arrange to meet them somewhere. A decent person will understand this because they’re using common sense and taking their time too. One of my girl friends told me that she does background searches on anyone she’s seen more than five times. Personally, I think that may be a bit extreme at that point but, hey, if that’s what she needs to do for her own personal comfort level, then that’s what she should do. Although I do have to relate one personal story to you here: I was home on a rainy, boring Saturday and, just on a whim, I plugged the name and profession of an online match into Google (we hadn’t met yet). What I found made my blood run cold, he’d been convicted about eight years previous for sexually molesting his six-year-old daughter! I immediately went onto the dating site and blocked him from communicating with me. THAT, by the way, is what you do when someone turns out to be far less than savory. You don’t confront them with this information, you don’t call them, email them or communicate again in any way…you WALK AWAY…period.

Call me Pollyanna, but I do believe that most singles are sincere and basically good people, however we all need to find our ways of weeding out the bad apples. Taking your time in getting to know someone allows us the space to do just that. No need to rush, after all if the person you’re with is that elusive Soul Mate that we’re all looking for then you’ll have a long beautiful lifetime together… and you can find out a lot about a person in that amount of time.

Sharon

Girl Talk

I recently found a great site for finding and reading blogs. It’s called AlphaInventions and it’s a great place for blog-addicts. Basically random blogs pop up on screen for a minute or two and you “stop” the scroll when you find something you like..loads of fun! I found a few about friends and girl talk in general…which got me to thinkin’…

Women talk, this is what I love the most about all my girlfriends. We chat, we question, we explain, we probe, we get to the heart of whatever is on the table be it politics, our kids, shoes or our love lives. Take a note guys…this is why we live longer than you on average, we wouldn’t dream of dying in the middle of a great GF conversation and we’re almost always in the midst of one of those! I will also offer a warning to our friends of the masculine persuasion….we talk about our internet dates…a lot.

A while back I was out for coffee with my friend Jill. She was also dating online at the time, on the same site that I was on and, since she and I were the same age, was running across a lot of the same profiles that I was finding. Jill was complaining about a less than successful date she’d had the night before.

“I sort of had my doubts about meeting him and I really should have listened to myself. His profile said he wanted to be friends first but later it went on to talk about sex and how he loved to give foot massages. He really went on about the foot thing too.”

“So why did you go out with him,” I asked.

Jill thought for a second. “Well, he sent this really beautiful email and he included a poem that he wrote. It was something about comparing a woman to a peach blossom. I thought he might be the sensitive, poetic type.”

I sipped my coffee and wondered why what she was saying seemed naggingly familiar. “Apparently he wasn’t”.

“Oh God no! He was sort of creepy. He kept staring at my feet. He asked me twice what my shoe size was and I swear, once I’m sure I caught him licking his lips while he was looking down at my toes.”

Feet, poem, beautiful email…suddenly it all clicked into place. “Uh, Jill did his email start out with This morning while sipping a Mocha Latte I read your profile and as I did I felt the simmering warmth of connection. and did the poem start out with She opens like a soft dew kissed peach blossom on a spring morn?”

Jill gaped at me…”YES”.

“Oh my God Jill, you actually went out and MET Bad Poetry Guy?!”

This wasn’t the first time that Jill and I had been contacted by the same person. More often than not I was the one to pass on meeting him based on profiles and emails. Poor Jill though would meet him first before realizing that this was so not a good match.

“Sadly…yes. Sha, how is it that you peg these guys from what they write and I have to suffer through a sit-down with them?”

We then did our girl-thing. We talked, we probed, we analyzed, we came to the grand conclusion. You see, Jill had a job that required her to do a lot of hiring, basically she interviewed people all day. I, on the other hand, have a long background in local theater. To create a role on stage I have to read the script, find the sub-text and figure out what makes this character tick from nothing more than the written word. Jill had to “interview” her dates to find out if they were a match. I was better at reading the sub-text in what they wrote. Case solved.

So now I’m curious as to whether you are an “interviewer” or a sub-text “interpreter”. Or do you fit into another category altogether? Are you a guy who does a “cut and paste” of the same email to everyone you connect with online? If you do, you should think twice about that in the future….girls talk you know.

Sha