Sunday, January 26, 2014

Keeping Facebook Photos of Your Ex -- Just Documenting the Past or Harming Your Future?

Once upon a time, divorcees could just throw photo albums in the trash or rip photos into a million satisfying pieces.

Now, thanks to digital pictures and social media, the pictures of you and your ex will exist forever and ever and ever. As I get back into dating, I think about my relationship's footprint on Facebook. (By the way, I have a strict "no Facebook friending" rule with dating. You don't get to be my Facebook friend until... I'm not sure when. I haven't gotten there yet.) am I a jerk if I don't delete pictures?
When I joined Facebook in 2007, Max and I already lived together. I never had to question what my relationship status should be. For five years, I shared photos of my life, which obviously meant tons of photos of Max – our first Christmas tree together, our pet hamster, the many weddings we attended (and we traveled everywhere for weddings, from Seattle to Munich), the day he proposed, wedding photos, baby pictures of our first (now just my) nephew, the day we closed on our condo. All of those wonderful moments were captured and shared with the Facebook world.

So what happens to all of those Facebook photos when the curtain drops on your relationship or marriage?

Here’s how I see it. Much as I do have a love/hate relationship with Facebook (why can’t I quit you?!), Facebook does show my personal history since 2007. Max was a huge part of my life during most of my time of Facebook. It just seems silly and false to delete pictures of us. (And, by the way, Max and I are still Facebook friends.)

When I was in Cancun for a girlfriends trip, my friend Dee, who’s engaged, debated this Facebook photo topic with me. 

Over cocktails and nachos at breakfast, Dee asked what if I start dating someone and I am actually willing to friend him on Facebook and all that, and then Boyfriend sees literally hundreds of photos from years ago of Max and me. How would that make Boyfriend feel?

“It shouldn’t really make him feel like anything. I was married. Now I’m not,” I said, always the practical one. “I mean, it’s not like I’m taking down pictures of friends who I lost touch with – they’re also part of my personal history. Boyfriend should be secure enough in our relationship today that photos from the past shouldn’t matter.”

Dee came back with a tough scenario. It's getting more serious with Boyfriend. Maybe now you've started friending each other's Facebook friends. What if Boyfriend now asks me to take down photos of Max and me?

My knee-jerk response is no, because that’s dumb. Digital photos from years ago are just documenting my past. What’s the big deal?

That said, I’ve never had feelings for someone who was once married. How would it make me feel to see photos of Boyfriend looking blissfully happy with a woman who is not me? I’m not the jealous type so I’d like to think I could shrug it off.

But, as Dee said, “As someone who used to date a divorced guy, it’s hard to know that the guy you love already promised someone else forever. And then, thanks to Facebook, you can torture yourself and look at those photos of your guy on his wedding day with some other woman.”

I started to answer when Dee cut me off.

“And don’t even tell me that you wouldn’t look at your guy’s wedding photos. You totally would.”

No arguments there. Of course I would look!

Again, Dee, good points for this newly divorced woman who’s trying to date.

What did you do about social media photos of you and your ex after your breakup?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GUEST POST: Hey Baby, Your Jugs Look Awesome: Top 3 Habits to Break With Your Ex

I recently discovered DivorcedDadof2 on Twitter. This guy is quite a character, so I thought you would like to meet him too.

I got a kick out of this post because I remember a few times when my ex slipped and called me "Bear." I loved that pet name, but after the divorce was final, it was a cross between a comfort and a punch in the stomach to hear him say it. Here's what DivorcedDadof2 had to say about it.

My ex sucks and I still think she's hot.
You date someone long enough, and you’re bound to have at least one conversation while the other one is taking a dump.

I’ve applied hemorrhoid cream on my ex-wife. I’ve held her head back as she hurled in the toilet. I’ve seen snot dripping out of her noise when she was sick. Snoring. Farting.  Heavy “monthly visitors.” And let’s not forget child birth, which isn’t a pretty sight.

Then again, I shudder to think about her list of my own not-so-sexy moments.

Unfortunately, history isn’t something that goes away.

But the same is true with old habits. Even after the divorce, my ex and I would continue to have pretty private conversations about work and our personal lives. We’d also still text and/or call each other pretty often.

Those habits eventually wore off, of course, as we continued to piss each other off. In fact, things didn’t start to become civil again until we limited our interactions with one another.

But some old, bad habits are harder to break than others.

My buddy stopped by yesterday to pick up his dolly. It’s one of those heavy-duty, 80 lb dollies that professional movers use. I needed it when I first moved out of the house. Since that time, the dolly somehow wound up at my ex-wife’s storage unit.

She asked me about it the other day when dropping off the kids. She wanted me to pick it up.

“Sure,” I said, “I just have to work something out with my buddy.”

I called him that night, and he rearranged his schedule so that he could come by the next day – yesterday – to pick up the dolly.

He arrived about 10 minutes before my ex-wife stopped by with some of my stuff that was still in her storage.  We then took separate cars to the storage unit. I drove with her and made small talk along the way: How’s work? How are your parents? That sort of thing.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the storage unit that I paid attention to what my ex was wearing: black, see-through tights.

Several thoughts immediately entered my mind: Did she wear those on purpose to put on a show? Did she realize her tights were see-through? Why the fuck is a grown-ass woman wearing tights in the middle of the day?

And, of course, I stared at her ass.

This went on for several minutes. Finally, I woke up from my haze and turned around to help my buddy load up the heavy-duty dolly. By that time, though, he had already loaded it up.
“Done,” he said, shooting me a disapproving look.


So, yeah, shoot me. I was staring at my ex-wife’s ass. It’s not like I was seeking it out. Furthermore, if I was wearing a pair of shorts that clearly showed off my package, I guarantee that she’d be staring, too.
It’s human nature.

There are several bad habits I’ve had to break since the separation and divorce. Among my seedier, now-broken habits:

  1. Hundred Dollar Baby: One of the first things couples do is come up with dumbass nicknames for one another. This was partially true with my ex. I think she may have called me “sweetie” for the first half-year or so, but she quickly ditched the nicknames (unless you consider “asshole” a term of endearment). I, on the other hand, continued to call her “baby,” even through the divorce. It wasn’t intentional, mind you. Just one of those old habits. I finally broke the habit one night after letting a “sure, baby” slip out in front of her new, much-bigger-than-me, husband. (Speaking of nicknames, I’ve got news for my kids: I fully intend on calling them my “little stinkers” for the rest of their lives, whether they like it or not.)
  2. These Days, a Slap on the Ass Will Get Me Arrested: Another bad habit of mine: slapping the woman I’m with on the ass. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not some maniac, going around slapping random women on the ass. And I don’t do that with someone I just started dating. But as soon as things get serious, the ass-slapping starts. I think the last time this happened with my ex was over a year ago, when she was leaving my place after dropping off the kids. We joked around for a few minutes, she turned to leave, and … I smacked her on the butt. Embarrassed, I immediately said “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” “It’s OK,” she said, clearly not upset by it. “But that’s probably something you should stop doing.” Yes, indeed.
  3. Your Tits Look Awesome Today: Women love romance and chivalry, and they want to be treated like a queen. But, regardless of what you’ve been told, they also like the occasional vulgar, over-the-top compliment. “You look absolutely stunning in that dress” may lead to a night of passion, but say “Your tits look awesome” enough times, and you’ll fuck like porn stars. Even if you get scolded for saying, “I can’t stop staring at your ass,” secretly, they’re thinking to themselves, “Still got it.” This, of course, needs to stop when you’re going through a breakup.

I was thinking about that last bad habit yesterday as my ex was bending over for the 50th fucking time while wearing her skin-tight, see-through tights. I waited for her to drive off before finally saying to my buddy, “Sorry dude. I didn’t mean to ignore you while you were loading up the dolly.”

“That’s OK,” he said. “I was staring at her ass, too.”

Sometimes offensive, always hilarious, DivorcedDadof2 chronicles the life of a recently divorced father living in Dallas with his two young daughters. Visit his blog:

What habit with your ex did you have to break?
elleroy was here

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

7 Steps to Getting Dumped While Still Looking Like a Grownup

In the past year, I’ve been the one to walk away from the guys I’ve met. Truth be told, I always felt like, really, you need me to tell you that we’re not a good match? But, okay, I will tell you thanks but no thanks.

So, to maintain balance in the dating universe, it was high time that my ass got dumped.

A Few Great Dates Go Nowhere

John and I had a great non-date that was followed by three great real dates over the course of the following week. He called or texted me everyday last week. He made references to things he wanted to do with me when the weather got warm. We made out and smooched a ton. It was all going swimmingly! I was starting to crush on this guy. Yay, dating is fun!

Friday night, we went out to dinner (I paid this time) and then we hung out at my apartment. We made out (at my insistence, we kept it very high school), and then he kept me company while I baked chocolate chip cookies. We talked about a ton of stuff very openly... maybe too openly…

It was almost midnight. Earlier, we’d kicked around having him sleep over, and then he didn’t. You guys, even though I’ve been out of the dating scene a long time, I know how this shit works. This wasn’t a good sign. But what the heck happened? Didn’t we just have a nice night?

I didn’t hear from John at all on Saturday, which was inconsistent with his behavior the previous week. We had plans for Sunday. Dammit. I knew what was coming, though I had no idea why. My ass was going to get dumped. But I decided I wanted to have some say in my dumping.

7 Steps to Getting Dumped While Still Looking Like a Grownup

1.      See the signs. If he usually texts you back within minutes and it’s now taking an hour (and with no apology), that’s a sign. If you usually don’t part ways without discussing the next time you’ll see each other and tonight he scurried out the door, that’s a sign. If your stomach is dropping but not in a fun way, that’s a sign.

2. Admit what the signs mean. Start to emotionally prepare yourself for what’s probably going to happen. I think being prepared helped take the sting out of the inevitable for me.

3. Don’t wait around for him to dump you. If I were going to get dumped, I wanted to get dumped when I was ready for it. I called John on Sunday (after he was being slow to responding to my texts) and said, “I am sensing that something about the way you feel about me has changed. Can we talk about that?”

4. Calmly respond to his reason (if given)... The gist of it was this: John said that he realized that the fact I’m allergic to dogs is a deal breaker (by the way, that information was in my OKCupid profile, so why did he ask me out?!) and that he was concerned that he was “too square” for me. (Ironic word choice, given that "square" is how I describe my ex-husband.) I responded that I thought it was a shame to stop seeing each other this soon when we were having fun getting to know each other, etc. No begging, just responding with my perspective.

5. …then stop talking. We started talking in circles. That’s annoying and no one comes out looking or sounding good. So break the cycle and stop talking.

6. Conclude the conversation in a grownup way. I said if he was sure that he didn’t want to continue seeing each other then I respect his decision. He responded that he wasn’t sure, but he knew that wasn’t fair to me. I said, “Listen, like I told you the other night, I never want to be with a guy who needs to be convinced that he wants to be with me. So, hold on to my number, and if you come around, give me a call and if I’m still single we can see what happens. And otherwise I wish you well and I hope you find the right person for you.”
Classy (in a "I'm still kinda hoping you come to your senses" kind of way), right?

7. Be an idiot. Once you have ended the call with your head held high, you don’t have to act like a grownup anymore. Cry. Whine to your friends. Go to a bar and smooch that cute guy who's way too old/young for you. Put on your flannel pajamas and eat a pile of nachos while watching reruns of "Full House." Do whatever you have to do. (Just don't contact the person who just dumped you. That's not the kind of idiocy to strive for in this situation.)

(Or just booty call a reliable option.)
After the call, I moped a little and text-whined to my friends. I pondered the ridiculousness that he was too square for me – I mean, come on, I work in Corporate America, shop at Banana Republic, read for book club – I’m plenty square myself! But not the night of my dumping. Obviously, I texted Jason for some Incredible Sex. He came over, we smoked up, and then got frisky. Ah, it was good to be an idiot the night of my dumping. The next day, I shook it off. I ran six miles and fired off some messages on OKCupid and Match.

But in all seriousness, here’s the most important thing. You rarely know the real reason why someone dumps you, nor do you always share the details of why you don’t want to see someone anymore. All that matters is that it doesn’t matter.

As my brother recently said to me, I should be with someone who wants to be with me, plain and simple. No considering it, no having to think about it. 

Even though my marriage ended in divorce, I can tell you that Max never didn’t want me. Since our first date, he thought he’d hit the jackpot. I can find that again.

In the meantime, I’ll have to let some guys go, and some guys will let me go. I’m holding out for the guy who wants to be with me because I’m me, allergies and all.

What is your advice for the one getting dumped?

Epic Mommy Adventures

Monday, January 20, 2014

Welcome to Bloody Marys Count as a Salad Linkup

Welcome to Bloody Marys Count as a Salad # 27

Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

What's with the name?  We named it Bloody Mary’s Count as a Salad, because anything goes in this hop! Need to vent? Go for it! Need to say something snarky? DO IT!  Or do you just want to share your blog and/or a specific post?  We'd love to read it!  Anything you want to share, we want to see it!

And introducing a social aspect of the hop!  Each week we will feature a different social media linkup.  This week is Google Plus!  Link up your blog in the first linkup and your Google Plus URL in the second linkup!  

Of course, there are a few rules, we aren't going for hop chaos here!

  1. Follow your hosts and each weeks special guest co-host.
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               A Girl                                                                           Erin                                                                        Kara
A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corps                 Unconventional Mommy Tails                             Ramblings of  Marine Wife

Special Guest Host: Kat from Divorced Kat

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Dump Someone You Aren’t Really Dating

In the last nine days, I have had seven dates/non-dates, and five of them were with guys I didn’t want to see again. (Thank you, OKCupid and Match!) What does that tell me? Online dating comes with a lot rejection. Yuck!

Sometimes you know immediately you’re not going to be into the person. They say you have seven seconds to make a good first impression. After my past nine days, I totally believe it. For example, I had a terrible coffee date on Saturday – the guy was painfully awkward  -- and I knew within about four seconds that it was going to be a bust. 

In other cases, the person might make a good impression – he’s cute! he’s got a good job! he’s geographically desirable! – but over your coffee/beer/Malbec, you realize there’s just zero chemistry. I went out with that guy last Thursday. We had a very nice time over two glasses of wine but it just wasn’t there. You can’t force it. Trust me, you can’t. (I've tried.)

Or maybe he was such a maniac on the first meeting that you kissed him so you decide to just go out with him again for the hell of it. (Wait, other people don’t do that? Whoops. Cut me some slack, I’m new to dating!) But at dinner you’re sure – this guy is a total d-bag. Yeah, I'm talking about Vic.

One way or the other, a person who is dating is looking for something – maybe true love, maybe just a lay. (Who am I to judge?) Regardless, don’t waste anyone’s time if you know you’re not feeling it.

Here’s how I dumped four guys in one week.

The Totally Boring, Nothing to Talk About, Get Me Out of Here Date

If it’s the end of the date and you know you don’t want to see him again, don’t say you want to see him again. You don't want to see him again, and that's OK! Smile and then say nicely – but firmly – “It was nice meeting you. Have a good weekend!” and then walk away. This *should* work. If not, see below...

The Potential But No Chemistry Date

Sometimes you just don’t know at the end of the date if you’re interested in going out a second time (which, by the way, means you don’t and you don’t want to admit it to yourself). That’s OK. Think about it. Talk to your friends about him. Or do what I do – blog and tweet about him.

When you come to your senses, do what I do and hope you don’t hear from him. When you inevitably do, text him back with “Thank you for asking me out again, but I don’t think we’re a good match for dating. Good luck with your search!” (This line is inspired by Back On Top, a fun book that I highly recommend for divorced women, and this Huffington Post article.) After just one or three dates, dumping via text or email is fine. The responses I’ve gotten have been either silence or just “OK.” Worked for me!

Now let’s say you really, really hoped the cute, smart, geographically desirable guy would eventually light your fire so you’ve gone out with him several times and/or you've seen each other in some state of undress. Once you get real about how you don't feel, you should probably make a phone call to dump him (I did this with David in August). I know, you want to hide behind your iMessage, but come on. Be nice and do the right thing.

Call him when you think he might be free because dumping over voicemail is as bad or worse as dumping over text. Quickly tell him the same line – you are not a good match for dating. Put a period at the end of your sentence because it's not a question, it's a statement. The call will probably take about two minutes if you are succinct and don’t talk too much. Wish him well and hang up. Done!

The key is to be direct and firm
but also polite when you deliver the news. 

Wouldn’t you want the same courtesy?

What are your breakup tips, either as the dumper or the dumpee?

Now a quick update on John, the Just Right Date you heard about last week… we hung out on Saturday and it was great. I haven’t hung out with a guy where the conversation just flowed and I didn’t have any nagging “what about that huge red flag you’re pretending isn’t there” voices in my head since… my first date with Max, which was nine years ago this month. Yikes! John and I have dinner plans on Thursday. I’m looking forward to it!
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Monday, January 6, 2014

My Return to Online Dating -- Too Dull, Too Exciting, and Just Right

Well, like pretty much all of the other single people on the planet, I decided that with the New Year I’m ready to look for luv or love or whatever. In other words, I’m ready to date and I actually mean it this time. I think I’m ready for a boyfriend, you guys. (And I should probably stop having Incredible Sex with Jason, especially since he asked me New Year's Day to reconsider dating him. I said no.) My divorce has been final for almost a year and my relationship with Max has been over for 18 months. 
That's me with my three non-dates.

So, like all those other singles I decided it’s time to dive back into online dating. (I dabbled with OKCupid for a few weeks in July-August.)

In the final days of 2013, I reactivated my OKCupid account and, thanks to a Groupon, I joined Match for one month for $15. Sweet.

I’ve been chatting with plenty of guys, but it hasn’t been too overwhelming yet. I don’t feel a need to message back and forth indefinitely because, let’s be serious, we are not going to know if there’s a connection until we’re face to face.  I start to get bored with too much emailing.

With this in mind, I stacked my weekend with three non-dates, as I call them. The encounters had me feeling like Goldilocks – one was too dull, the other was too manic, and one seemed just right.

Non-date #1 – Too Dull

On Saturday, I met Ed for coffee at 6pm. (Who suggests coffee at 6pm?) We were both punctual and shook hands to say hello. He paid for our cappuccinos and churros. The conversation flowed for an hour, then the shop was closing. On the sidewalk, he told me to let him know if I wanted to get together again sometime. Here’s the thing with me – yes, I’m a very independent woman blah blah, but I want my man to be a man. Tell me you want to see me! Ask me out! OWN IT. So that was not hot. In fact, it confirmed that the coffee date was just… dull. Not bad, not good – just, who cares? Neither of us, apparently.

Non-date #2 – Too Manic

Two hours after I said goodbye to Eddie, I met Vic. For the next 90 minutes, Vic utterly overwhelmed and amused and appalled me.

I got the bar a few minutes before him. Vic frantically texted me his location – “leaving the restaurant now” “looking for parking” “omw”. He also called and told me to order a bottle of champagne while I waited, to which I politely said no, I was happy to wait for him.

He blew into the restaurant, barely said hello to me, but put down his iPhone and a WAD of cash on the bar then placed his hat on top of the wad. He mumbles something about the bathroom and bolts away. What? This was his first time seeing me!

This set the tone for the wackiest non-date ever. Highlights included:

My telling him that smoking is a dealbreaker, and him telling me that that’s stupid.
Me: “Well, I dated a guy who smoked and it confirmed that I really hate it. Plus there’s cancer in my family.”
Him: “So? My dad had cancer and he smokes. What’s your point?!”
…um, OK.

Discussing past relationships:
Me: “The last guy I dated was my Mr. Right Now. I knew there wasn’t a future, but that was fine. He was good to me and a good guy, but he’s a tattooed guy who works at a restaurant. We were just mismatched.”
Him: “Oh god, why did you even bother?!” [dismissively flicking his hand] 

Discussing his love [obsession] with tennis, which he plays frequently:
Him: “You have to watch me play tennis.”
Me: “I know nothing about tennis.” [Code for: I find this rich people sport so dull that I’d rather watch paint dry.]
Him: “I'm playing on Tuesday. You have to come. You’ll love it.”
Me: “You don’t even know what I like, so how would you know what I’d love?”

Discussing wanting kids:
Him: “I saw on your profile that you don’t want kids.”
Me: “Well, I might, I just don’t know. There’s no one I want kids with right now, so no, I don’t want kids.”
Him: “Hey, just because I want kids doesn’t mean I’m desperate. I’m not going to have them with just anyone!”
Me: “Why are you being defensive? I didn’t say you were desperate. It’s just the way my heart and mind are that—”
Him: “Because I’m not desperate. I am who I am. Do you know what kind of people are on dating websites? Because they’re desperate!”
Me: “You do remember that we are here because of OKCupid, right?”

Him wanting another drink but the bartender was busy closing up:
Him: “Don’t worry man, I’ll get my own gin!” [reaching over the bar to pretend to grab the gin]
Me: “Oh my god! You are so rude!”
Him: “I was trying to be funny.”
Me: “You failed. You are so rude!”

The list continues, but I’ll cut it short and tell you how I summed up the date right to his face:
“I can’t decide if I completely can’t stand you
or if I find you entertaining.”

Since I was a ballbuster, he obviously thought I was just fantastic, so he kissed me. More than once. And I allowed it because I knew he’d be a good kisser (I was right). Why did I let this wacko kiss me? I’m so weird. I already have a rather unhealthy and potentially toxic "relationship" thingy with Jason. I don’t need another! 

(Did I mention that I told Vic not to bother adding me on Facebook because I am not mixing social media with dating? So, logically, he added me when he got home. I asked him how I was unclear about this. Decline!)

(Oh and did I mention that Vic tried to correct MY GRAMMAR? How fucking rude is that to correct anyone’s grammar? I’ve been called the Grammar Police and a wordsmith, both of which I take as huge compliments, and I would never correct someone’s grammar [out loud].)

I was kind of bamboozled into having dinner with Vic today. It was better than Saturday (he was more sober), but he is way too self-centered and needy for attention. He hardly asked me anything about me, and when he did, he interrupted to either talk about himself or to answer his phone. As my dad would say, Vic is taken with his own importance.

Logically, he is dying to see me again. Why?! So now I need to tell him thanks but no thanks.

Non-date #3 – Just Right

This was the one I was most looking forward to. John had sent me really good messages on OKCupid and then we'd texted a little. He seemed normal and promising. 

Sunday night, I met John for a drink. (January 5 happens to be the best day for online dating. Coincidence?) Pretty early on, I told him that I’m divorced since I didn’t think I put that in my OKCupid profile. I said, “I certainly hope you wouldn’t pass judgment on all divorced people, but I know some people do. So, I’m putting it out there right now.” He was completely fine with it. Whew!

Moving along, we chatted a little about past relationships, movies, and his likeness to John Cusack. He asked me a great question – what did I feel I learned from my relationship with my ex-husband? I answered that the reason we got divorced existed before we got married – hell, it existed before we got engaged. I knew in my gut that it would tear us apart, but I didn’t want to believe it because we loved each other. My lesson is to trust my gut with matters of the heart. My gut is never wrong.

Instead of getting a second round of drinks, we both got water and proceeded to chat for another hour about international travel, our agreement that gay marriage should be legal, and having sisters that live in the same town as our parents. Next thing we knew, two hours had passed. He walked me to my car, and I could tell he wondered if he should kiss me. We hugged instead – and that was just right.

John texted me as soon he got home. Here’s the exchange:
I liked his recovery. And, yes, we have plans for Saturday night.

So, thankfully this Goldilocks wrapped up a big dating weekend with a very nice non-date. And I must admit… I’m cautiously excited to see John again! I will keep you posted, of course. Don't I always?

My fellow divorcees, how long did it take you to feel ready to have a relationship again? Do you have any crazy stories from your early days re-entering dating?
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