THE DATING PROJECT #12. ACTION!
The Dating Project follows the adventures of three women Lou Lou ( 30s), Astrid (40s) and Eloise (50s) as they navigate the tricky online dating scene. Along the way they have the support and advice of renowned sex therapist Bettina Arndt and relationship counsellor Rob Tiller.
From Here to Eternity… maybe?
Wow, sexy week with both Lou Lou and Eloise getting some action. More about that later…
But also plenty of excitement all around with the team chatting on radio programs across Australia about their adventures. It was great fun – go here if you’d like to hear their voices.
The big thrill was that after a very lively talk-back program with James Valentine on Sydney’s ABC 702 involving Lou Lou, Astrid and me, all three of us attracted potential suitors keen to get in touch!
Lou Lou’s admirer was particularly enterprising, wooing her through last week’s comments section in The Dating Project. We’ll keep you posted on how this all develops but sadly my suitor was 52 and 5’7” – not quite what I have in mind.
It was interesting to see the reaction of the various interviewers to the girls’ progress. One woman was most surprised to hear how long it was taking to actually go out on dates. Obviously she didn’t understand that internet dating, particularly for many in the older age groups, is more of a marathon than a sprint. An ultra-marathon, adds Astrid.
But that’s how it should be… taking time to make contact, to start chatting or emailing, and then gradually leading up to phone contact and perhaps the coffee date. This gradual approach works well – with the various stages helping people find their feet step by step.
And besides… we all have very busy lives alongside the world of dating. This means the whole process has to be squeezed in, with snatched kisses late at night, emailing at lunchtime, checking mail on iPhones on the run.
So we feel the team is making good progress and we’re far too worldly-wise to expect the business of finding Mr Maybe to be a pushover.
As for my new Dating Advice Service, there’s been plenty of interest but do get in touch if you’d like some help in getting started with internet dating or revamping your profile.
But now, here’s Lou Lou and the Boy:
Man #6, in truth is probably Boy #1 – seven years younger than me and looking every bit of it. Yet he has something many men my age or older don’t seem to have, and that’s the art of banter. God, he is good! And I met him through a friend of a friend. Even better!
But let me show you where Boy #1 separates himself from the men. It goes like this: A boy texts, a man calls. And after getting naked with this boy, you would think that I deserve more than a text!
STOP THE PRESS PEOPLE – I GOT SOME ACTION!!
Oh yes, I got jiggy with it. I actually got a real kiss… and then some! I’m not going to lie, it was grrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaattttttttt. He was an awesome kisser. In fact, I would put him in the Top 5. And I don’t say that lightly.
But before we go on… allow me to vent about modern technology and its ability to draw out the coward in all of us. It’s particularly painful when in the ‘something’ phase with ‘someone’. It’s not a relationship, it’s not seeing someone… it’s just ‘something’.
Texting is rife in this tenuous stage. I find it as dangerous as an Afghan safety zone, yet it can also be strangely safe – because you hide behind emoticons and the lag of mobile networks.
Here’s an example…
Man/boy #6 sends a text message 3 days after spending the night with me – standard practice, so no alarm bells are ringing.
I respond 10 minutes later (I don’t believe in playing games).
After 32 hours and counting, I am yet to receive a text from him (I dive into a mild panic and convince myself that Man/Boy #6 has retrospectively found me, and my body, horrendously offensive and undeserving of a text response).
We are now 48 hours and counting – there is still no response. (I have had a small teary while washing my hair).
It is 3pm and I am late to an advertising seminar on the future. I snake my way through rows and rows of seated people with their knobbly knees to find a spare seat. Who do I sit next to? OH YES IT IS MAN/BOY #6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think: How funny. He must also be interested in the future. Not ours. But the future. Clearly not ours. Because I can see he is holding a fully functioning mobile phone which will have received my text.
This is one of those moments where my plotline is bigger than any rom-com with Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Aniston. If I am being truly honest, I just want to evaporate. My ego feels bruised and in shock. I can see that Man/Boy#6 is also stunned. He is doing some rapid pen tapping and a lot of fidgeting. He tries to talk to me while very important people are discussing the future of advertising.
BIG DEEP BREATH. I take a moment and realise I have two choices: I can soak in the awkwardness or I can stop and actually listen to my instinct. My instinct tells me I singlehandedly created this tumultuous pool of panic that now surrounds me. I could have texted him, or heaven forbid – called him!
My instinct tells me I would have called him, if I really wanted to. My instinct also tells me: Let him go. As nice and as lovely as he is – he’s just not meant for me. Most importantly my instinct reminds me that I want a man who I find inspiring and loves to be inspired by me.
Oh, can I put a request in that this dream man have a bit of banter and do the occasional phone call rather than text, pretty please?
Rob says: Ooh la la to the sexy rendezvous, Lou Lou. It’s good to rock and roll that mojo before it hijacks your ability to navigate dates with men who possess a bit more partner potential. And after spending years learning to ‘relax my jaw and soften my mouth’ I can appreciate the acquired skill of an accomplished kisser.
I’m enjoying your new sense of playfulness. It seems you’re effectively rolling with the punches as your instincts challenge your unhelpful thoughts even when you’re emotionally hot under the collar. When we’re feeling rejected, it can be such a temptation to click into ‘poor me’ mode but I really like you shushing the victim voice and reclaiming your backbone. And as your dating confidence continues to take root, you’ll appreciate how each date, regardless of the outcome, will ultimately be orienting you to the qualities that you’re looking for in a future long-term man.
Bettina says: And Lou, Lou, you are so right – texting isn’t the language of love. I think the move away from long, heavy-breathing phone calls has been disastrous for romantic relationships… but maybe I am just showing my age.
And now, one HUGE Step for Astrid…
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