Vancity Buzz Feature – Love At Ikea

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Laura recently wrote a piece for Vancity Buzz’s ‘Single In Vancouver (Worst Dating Stories)’ column, and her piece was featured on the site today!
Click here to read Laura’s story (Love At Ikea) on Vancity Buzz!

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Attracting Mr. Right Online

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I have been on and off online dating sites since my divorce 6 years ago. The whole concept of dating sites has come a long way since then. Just 6 years ago the thought of signing onto a dating site was foreign and embarrassing. And now, well, I’m only slightly embarrassed.

I got quite a bit of slack from my mother and people in my life. Doesn’t matter how old I am, my mother still talks to me sometimes like I’m 16.  ‘Oh my god Laura, why are you on some lame dating site? You don’t need that!’

Well, apparently I do. How else am I going to meet anyone new? I’ve been set up by family and friends and there’s no one left who is single in my little social circle in this big ol’ world. That’s right, online dating sites. That’s all I have left. That and the possibility of meeting Mr. Right in the grocery store, Chapter’s, Home Depot or possibly in the dog park. But I’m here to say, those suggestions are not working so far. I’m keeping my options open.

I have gone through many stages and opinions regarding online dating. I have constantly changed the way I set up my profile, the types of photos I post, information I share or don’t share about myself. It is critical how you set that shit up. This is portraying you and your personality. This information ultimately determines what type of guy will be attracted to your profile and contact you. You have to keep in mind what kind of guy you’re interested in attracting dependent on the information you share.

I’ve gone from writing way too much information, lots of photos and setting my potential date requirements relatively low to moderate. Then to the opposite extreme, minimal personal information, one head shot and my date requirements set to very high. I’m still unsure what works best.

I just go with the motto, stay true to yourself and what you’re searching for. Be real and be honest.

I’m so tired of people saying I’m being way too picky, he was such a nice guy. Well, I’m a real nice girl. Hell, I’m a damn awesome girl. Don’t I deserve an awesome guy? Shouldn’t I be with someone just as awesome?

Why does it seem there’s this double standard when it comes to dating and meeting one’s potential partner?

As women we’re supposed to be successful, independent, beautiful, intelligent yet settle for the guy who is so nice? I say hell no.

Not this girl. Not ever. I respect myself way too much to settle. And so should all of you single ladies out there.

At one point I had succumb to the overwhelming pressure that I was being way too picky, letting all of the good ones get away, having too high of standards (pffft, is there such a thing?) and not giving the ‘good’ guys out there a chance. So I decided to meet guys that I wasn’t particularly physically attracted to but had personalities and a sense of humour that interested me. I gave it the good ole’ college try. I really did. Sometimes even going on a 2nd date just in an effort to get to know them just a bit more in hopes that I would feel that somethin’ somethin. Nothin. Didn’t work. Now I’m not saying that method never ever works. I’m sure sometimes a person can become more attractive with time because he has that incredible personality. I’m sure it happens. Just hasn’t for me in the way I need it to. That’s just me.

I want to be physically and mentally attracted at the same time for the same guy. I want to miss them like crazy when we’re apart. I want to crave to be with them again. I want to look at him and feel that insatiable feeling of lust and love. If he isn’t doing it for you then you’re just not that into him and that’s okay ladies. Keep trying. Nothing gained, nothing lost right?

Now all of you single ladies, think about what information you’re sharing online and just what kind of man you’re hoping to attract. And please, please ladies for the love of god, do not post any selfie kissie lips pics. They are never gonna look cute or hot. Honest. 

Til next time all of you beautiful single ladies, stay strong and be true to yourself.

Laura xo

30 Minute Love Affair

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I decided that perhaps writing about my dating experiences will somehow help me in some small way. Maybe instill some sort of clarity of what I am doing wrong, need to be doing or help me come to some sort of magical realization on how to meet that perfect guy just for me. Well, there has to be one perfect gem in the 3.5 billion men out there just for me. Right?

It’s like some sort of self discovery as I go along. No one is a true expert in the dating world, it’s like we’re all participating in one big experiment and sharing our outcomes.

Everyone has an opinion, even if not wanted. Frankly, I’m not asking anymore. But thanks anyways. I have now become an expert of sorts. In my own mind.

I have gone through various theories of dating (or lack thereof) during these past years. I have done the online dating sites more then I care to admit so whether my theories have become more cynical because of it, I’m not too sure. But I can say this… online experiences have given me plenty to talk about. (always gotta look at the positive, isn’t that what they say?)

When I first signed onto a dating site I was so cautious, timid and shy about it. When I did come across the rare guy whom I was interested in and we started to communicate, he would ask to meet after 2 messages and I would be all like, “oh my gosh, I need to know your whole life history before that happens silly!”

Yeah, that strategy really doesn’t work I have to warn you! When you finally do meet in person you now have nothing to talk about and it’s super awkward because you are face to face with a stranger first time meeting yet you know everything about them via typed messages.

Not ideal.

I would only meet guys I found attractive regardless of my mother and everyone else saying “Don’t be dating only the good looking model types, you’re being way too picky and letting all of the good ones slip by!”  Okay, firstly, I wasn’t dating only good looking model types. Puh-leease. I was dating guys I found attractive. Hardly model types. Secondly, what is wrong with choosing men who you find attractive? Is that so wrong?

Now, I should insert here that finding an attractive man who doesn’t act like he’s all attractive is a feat. There’s a big difference between being attractive and acting like he knows he’s attractive. You ladies know what I’m talkin about. Now that’s a challenge.

I remember being on a date with (let’s call him Frank), he was oh so handsome. He was the tall, dark handsome type they write about in romance novels. I thought I’d gone and hit the boyfriend, husband potential jack pot. That was until 40 minutes into meeting in person. This was in the beginning of my online dating days where I found out everything I felt was required before meeting face to face. I knew from his posted profile photos that he was very attractive. He was a professional volleyball player, university educated, well established business career, good family background, 2 siblings, never married but long term relationship that lasted 10 years. Check, check, and check. On paper, perfect. Pretty certain at this point I was probably going to marry this one.

When I walked up to meet him for the first time in the lounge of a high end hotel, he literally took my breath away. He said the same of me. Why thank you, I blush. So he’s a very sweet talker. Hmmmm. I’m silently thinking to myself, should we elope tonight or is that too soon?  Wow. Taller then I expected. Always a nice surprise, a bonus. Gorgeous teeth (dental hygiene is a concern for me. Can’t help it.)

Leads me to the table where he has been waiting at. Ahhh, arrives earlier then me, good sign and a bonus point for that. Bottle of red wine awaits. He remembers from our numerous online typed chats that red wine is my favourite. Beautiful. Definitely another point for that.

Pretty certain I’m already in love. Thanking my lucky stars.

It’s difficult not to get too overly excited or to start planning our wedding in my mind as I sit down at the table. I can picture it all now, the images are flashing through my mind. The dress I would wear, nothing extremely fancy as it’s a beach wedding and I don’t want to have anything too extravagant. It is my second wedding after all. ‘Frank’ standing there in front of me holding my hand, all handsome looking. Wind blowing my hair. No, maybe I should wear it up, off of my face. Yes, definitely up.

I’m kind of giddy with nervous excitement as we engage in normal conversation. Did you find the hotel okay? Parking? Normal conversation flowed between us.

But then it was like 30 minutes into it I found myself realizing there probably wasn’t going to be that elopement tonight or ever.

I started to sense he really liked himself a lot more then he liked me. I told myself not to be so hasty or make assumptions about him. Perhaps he’s trying to impress me by telling me how great he is? That’s gotta be it. Oh, his eyes are so blue. I keep getting distracted by his beauty and I can’t concentrate on his constant stories of just how awesome he is.

Then for some reason I suddenly just see past his handsome-ness and can’t stand to listen to his voice any longer.

I agree to have some dinner. I did drive 30 minutes to get here after all and I’m a polite lady. That and I’m a sucker for giving people the benefit of the doubt. I’m hoping he surprises me and is just trying to impress me. He continues to talk about himself and all of his greatness and achievements. He hasn’t asked me anything about myself other then if I would be interested in possibly posing for some photos for him and his new business venture that involved beauty and health products. I’ll have to find out more about it I tell him, but I’m pretty positive at this point I’m never going to see him again after tonight.

His attractiveness disappeared right infront of my eyes like magic. I’ve never experienced that before. One extreme to the next within an hour!

Finding the whole package is like finding a rare gem. I’m searching for that special guy who has it all. Handsome (to me), an amazing personality, great sense of humour, smart and someone who I have chemistry with. That’s the key. Chemistry.

I know good looks is not everything and it’s all relative, but I still believe you have to be attracted to your partner. Obviously looks alone isn’t going to work. It’s the whole package that makes chemistry.

‘Frank’ is a very nice guy and is perfect for someone else out there. Just not for me.

I guess I have time to make those beach wedding plans after all.

Til next time all of you beautiful single ladies,
Laura xo

Love at Home Depot?

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Okay, let’s get right to it.
Dating.
I have been single for the past year. Alright, I dated someone for 2 months in that time but I’m opting to not include that as an actual ‘relationship’. Two months hardly qualifies. I’m allowed to make up my own rules.

I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m actually surprised that I’m still single. Come on! All of you single ladies out there, you know what I’m talkin’ about. You feel the exact same way.
I’ve been told I’m being way too picky. They’re absolutely right and that isn’t about to change either. We should never settle. Ever. That would be pointless.

I have been on and off of the dating scene since my divorce 6 years ago and let me tell you, I could write a whole book on that alone!

Yes, I have been on various online dating sites. Been matched up and set up. I’m completely open minded to trying new ways to meet someone. Trust me, I have done it all including what the magazine articles of ‘Where to Find Love’ suggest, going to grocery stores, hardware stores and the gym. That’s apparently where we need to be ladies.
So I’m there nonchalantly glancing at the only attractive guy shopping, is he single or is he not? Trying to get a glimpse of his ring finger while I’m picking out ripe fruit in the produce section. Or I’m suddenly coming up with home repairs to do and find myself hovering around way longer then normal at the Home Depot picking up new paint brushes or a garden hose. Btw, so many choices. Really, now I can see why guys love that store.

But guess what? Nothing happens. Not one man has ever approached me. Well, that’s not true. A very lovely older man who is a Home Depot employee has. Again, that doesn’t count.
I know what you’re thinking. I have to make the first move and ask that handsome guy shopping to recommend the perfect hammer. Be all like, ‘Since I left my husband I’m having to do all of these home repairs…..’ .
You could possibly have a point. But I still come from a background where ladies get approached and asked out. Well that and the plain awkwardness of it all. Who am I kidding. I’m just too embarrassed to do anything.
Then there’s the gym. Well, I’m not really into the gym muscle type. In shape type, yes. Hercules muscle type, no. I prefer to workout at an all female gym and not share with a bunch of sweaty men. Now when I say it like that, sharing with sweaty men doesn’t sound half bad does it?

They say that you find someone when you least expect it. Let’s just go with that for now. Maybe we will be able to look back and laugh and laugh about our experiences.

Don’t let me forget to tell you about the date with (lets call him Joe) who brought me to Ikea for our first date. Or the one with (lets call him Doug) who on our 2nd date told me he loved me, said his mom wanted to meet me….he’s 35, and between our first date and second date (a few days) he left aproximately 50 messages on my phone. My first and last red flag. To be honest, the second date I agreed to only because I needed to talk to him face to face to end it.
Ahhhhh…..the memories.
Til next time…stay strong all of you beautiful single ladies.

Laura
xo