The first six dates are… easy does it?

Men are like the bubbles in champagne: they disappear.

Sylvie, resident Internet Dating Diva, said the men she dated were like bubbles in a glass of champagne. That sounded poetic until she revealed, after six dates most guys evaporated and disappeared. She admitted the ‘disappearing act’ sometimes  happened before the sixth date. 

“Bewitched, bothered and bewildered” aka  the  “Dating at 50 Group”

 Eight, suddenly single, women from various parts of Marin – all about the same age (Perpetually 39) were invited to Sylvie’s home and a convivial focus group was created.

The First Meeting/Party: Keeping with a theme: Sex in the City for Girls Over 50, pretty pink Cosmopolitans were served. Fact: Give a single woman two Cosmos and you had better be ready to take notes.

There was a tsunami of thoughts and beliefs about being Single at 50 and   the fast and fleeting dating in 2015.   

Mae West said, “I only have ‘Yes’ men around me. Who needs ‘No’ men?”

Let them eat cake

Alexis, 39 for a decade, another self-proclaimed dating expert said, “On line dating is like a buffet. Single people push their trays down the buffet line and randomly pick and choose each other.” She continued, “Initially, it’s totally intoxicating. Eventually, you learn what’s healthy for your body and mind. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad, boy”.                                                                        
The group ran with the obvious “Dessert and Desert” metaphors.

let_them_eat cake_7Sylvie concluded with an observation that Match.com, and other costly on-line cupids, perpetuate a ‘Candy store mentality.’ If at first you don’t meet Mr.or Ms Right-Now, wait another day and they will send you twenty-four brand new perfect matches. 

imageschampagenR.I.C.E. – the new staple in dating at 50?

Following the food-chain-of-thought, the women agreed upon the four most important qualities they were looking for  “You’ve got to have RICE! You know: Respect, Integrity, Chemistry, and Energy, that’s the ticket!” After raucous agreement and applause, the women proposed a toast to the New Year, one filled with romance and RICE.

Happy New Year.

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” Bette Davis

fireworks celebration 2

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The top 10 places in Marin County to meet women

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Where do you go to meet women in Marin County? Everywhere…

Demographics, darling… It’s all about demographics. 

Take a look: there are more Single Women – per capita- than single men in Marin County.

The Top 10 Places to Meet Women in Marin:

1. Film Festivals - There are more film festivals, per-capita, in Marin than any other county in California.  Just being at a film festival  is a natural way to encounter a kindred spirit. The Mill Valley Film Festival is the best! In addition to great parties, easy access, stellar movies – there are happy people everywhere…Note: 76% of the volunteers are women.

Best technique: Nonchalantly comment on a genre, director, star, long line, paucity of tickets. It all starts with a smile and a question… “Do you know…”  fill in the blank and start a conversation. Lights, camera, action!

2. Trader Joe’s: on Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m… (and Monday, Tuesday…) Again, engage with a smile and opening line.  Ask a question (i.e. “Excuse me, which do you prefer? Hey, do you know how to select good  apples?”  wine? bread? soap?)

Paradise Market/Tiburon is like a sorority at 5:30 ish. The aisles are crawling with women. Il Fornaio/Corte Madera at 4pm – this where women gather.

(Yes, Virginia, every Whole Foods in Marin falls into same category for great place to pick up…)

3. Lectures – at Book Passages: one of the hottest ticket in Marin County for a parade of amazing authors (Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, Rick Smolan with Marin Cruz Smith were just there was there SRO– outstanding) grace the small stage. Have a glass of wine and check it out.

Free  Special Events  usually attract SRO (Standing Room Only) crowds. SEE ALSO: Marin Arts Center, Marin Osher JCC, the Mill Valley Library, Falkirk, San Domenico, etc

4. Volunteer: at the Big Event: the  Mill Valley Film FestivalLITQUAKE, the Labor Day Sausalito Art Festival, any Wine Tasting events, Sierra Club, the Human Race, Writer’s Conferences. Bonus: you volunteer and get to attend the venue for free and mingle with the attendees. Remember: the Volunteer Party is a “do not miss.”

5. Yoga classes:  Hands down this has to be the best place to meet women, odds are generally 10 women to 1 guy… and women have a soft spot in their hearts (or soles ) for a guy who happens to wander into a yoga class. Do a little research and find Beginner classes and start there.

You’ll thank me. Despite popular Marin Myths- there are not yoga studios on every street corner: Due diligence required.

6. Bookstores – Hey, it’s where we hang out. Note: 76% of all books are sold to Single Women. You do the math. Again: Smile and Ask a Question  (i.e “Is this author any good?)  See: Copperfields in San Rafael.

7. Cupcake stores, sweet bakeries: (think Sprinkles of the famed Oprah Best-Pick genre). Okay, sweetie, so we indulge. Sit down, have a cup of coffee and engage. Best question to ask “Which is your favorite?” or “I want to buy my mom a treat- what you suggest?”unnamed

8.The Book Depot is mecca…or Peet’s at Corte Madera Shopping Center where ‘the elite meet’ before Apple Store Appointments and classes. The Apple Store is teeming with people looking for answers…Join the teem…

9. Wine Shops (VintageWine/Spirits, Marin Bev Outlet, Mill Valley Market, etc ) Aren’t we all looking for the same thing? A decent Pinot noir and a bon soir? Flirt, already.

10. On the Street…at The Rafael Theater- famous for great films, Members Nights, Free Films for the Public. This famous Marin landmark rocks and has a half dozen great Pre-and Post Movie-date cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops within 30 steps…

Shhh…here is a  big secret: Women in Marin Love Men Who Dance

It’s not really a secret: from the lines in the loo, to the buffet, and the midnight dessert run, women all heartily agreed; men who dance are a lot more fun and a lot more interesting.

The Take Away: Gentlemen start your lessons: Take beginner lessons, have fun and practice, practice, practice.

Three Local Hot Spots for dancing

Where else in Marin County?


AT: ICB Sausalito, on the mountain – on the Sunshine Trail – in the elevator, at the Chalk Drawing in San Rafael;  Sausalito’s Seahorse Dance Party with a $5 cover charge…walking into the store, in the well lit, safe, busy, parking lot, on the bus, after the movie, at Muir Beach, at Sports Basement, at church, Steep Ravine, Rulli….at dim sum, at Rancho Nicasio, classes at College of Marin, dog walking… at Safeway, at any one of the numerous farmer’s market, Best Buy…at the library….in the waiting room…

Try Meetup.com for walking~ strolling~hiking, sailing, book club groups, quaffing, photography groups in your zip code.

 

Every single day – there are multiple opportunities to simply say: Hi, Hey, Hello…

And the best line ever:  “Have we met? “ (really – the best line ever scripted).

Here’s a little secret: A lot of  men might be happy with March Madness, Super Bowl, Sunday/Monday Night football  and the myriad sport shows that are on every day, on every channel…

However, girls?  Not so much. 

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Singles:  Get out there and play.  The true, real recipe  for success is to,

Once a day, – say “hi”  to ‘a new person.’

Photograph by FREE RANGE STOCK

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The real secret to Dating at 50+ Success?

happy woman

 What is the current, sexy, top secret to dating success?

Pssst: It doesn’t involve  diamonds, lavish gifts  or Champagne and flirty bon mots at Cavallo Point. Hot cars, high heels, or hefty portfolios are not the piece de’ resistance. Even the sculpted, varnished Barbie or Ken Doll Perfect, nip and tuck, make-over isn’t the key.

The passport to meeting the love of your life, or your newest friend, or your Date for Life is simple: Low Expectations.

couple-437987__180Blinded by fairy tales, unrealistic dreams, gently inflated egos and sky-high hopes for Prince Charming – or a really sexy Cinderella – Single and 50 people cruise by one another all  day long...

Get real.

Delete the:  “My Man Must over 6′, healthy, wealthy and wise” or “She Should Be: athletic, svelte, sexy, and able to change into a little black dress or jeans in the blink of an eye.”

Lower your expectations –  

Smile and  say “hi” to three single people today.

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Dating 101: How to begin a conversation? Ask a question?

red_door11“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Voltaire

Will you please ask me a question?

This week, more Online Dating/Women have commented that men forget to ask questions. Conversation buzz-kill is neglecting to ask a question.

Shirley-u-Jest said she gets 3-4 emails each day from men who write dead-end quips like:

  • Cool profile.
  • I like skiing, too
  • You are beautiful.
  • We both like chocolate.

How would you respond? You are beautiful, too?

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Gentlemen, Start Your Questions

Guys, too much heavy lifting is required to respond to your comment:  “I read that book.” Which book? What did you think? Did you like it? Who is your favorite writer?

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge?

Granted, four words in a note are a hundred times better than a “Wink” or a canned greeting like ”Hello, Beautiful.”

 The Take Away: If you want a woman to talk to you – ask questions. If you have no interest in ever connecting- make a statement and she wont respond. C’est fini.


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There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.     Lord Byron

 

There are four questions of value online: Where did you grow up    Where did you go to school? How long have you lived here?  What’s your favorite fun thing to do on a sunny Saturday?  Page Larkin

 

Check out the Proust Questionnaire and  The Top 20 Questions to Break the Ice

 

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Still Single: is Netflix your BFF?

photo_1650_20060608Are you tired of dinner for one? Are you in love with Netflix?

 Are you bored with hanging out with your pals dreaming about dates, dinner, candlelight and kisses?

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Just do it

That New Year’s Resolution to get “online” and enroll in one of the more esteemed online dating companies might take an hour of your time. Go ahead. (No, Binky, Adult Friend Finder is not the upper echelon.)

 Break the rules

When your profile is posted and you are up and running, you have to really get in the game.

Sitting back and waiting for a “Barbie” or a “Ken” doll to wink, blink, nod, or e-mail you may be painfully slow.   The sit -back -and -watch modus operandi has been known to be a dead-end and a waste of time and money.

Somewhere, someone dictated that it is inappropriate to scour the pictures and profiles at online dating sites on the weekend- evidently this is a red flag that you are not on a date! Shocking! Your presence would indicate you are actually home and on your laptop! Get over it. Break the rules and have fun. Keep it light.

The only rule for online dating

The single most important rule to pay attention to is to be courteous and polite.

Oh, and be sure to use spellcheck- your new best friend.

Oh! The other thing – if another single person contacts you – the burden is on you to respond (unless the individual is a true whack job, if so, simply ‘block’ that individual from your profile)  No lengthy essay is required- a simple one-liner expressing interest or not.

Don’t waste time

If you want just succeed in online dating- break the rules- reach out and touch someone- that is, every day: drop three people a one-line note. This is called “getting your mojo moving.”

Remember: It’s a numbers game and writing a one-sentence note: how hard is that?

Seriously, there are men-and women who believe a man has to be the first one to extend a greeting.

Fuhgeddaboutit.

Any man who is taken aback by woman approaching him first- is a dud. Move on.

Have fun out there, break the rules, make your own rules, and heartily embrace the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.in

Onward and upward!

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Let me know how that works for you:

pagelarkin@gmail.com

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The Oscars: Lady Gaga for Pope!

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The 2015 Oscars Clint Eastwood style: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I loved Birdman – not four Oscars worth.

I adored Grand Budapest Hotel – enough to see it three times – not worth four Oscars.

 Spread the wealth?

Is Selma just off the map? Oh, The Glory of it all…and Boyhood went missing- how did that happen?

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The host, Neil-Pat, (“Look at me! Look at me!”) was a dash of smug, a bit of smarmy, a dollop of self-consumed punster – should stick to the Tony’s. So much drivel and blindingly boring trivia gave pause and  many opportunities to get up and graze.

MOVIE 

The weeping watercolor tribute to the deceased – (no Philip Seymour Hoffman?) was mediocre at best, and who created that lousy photo of Robin Williams? Next!

Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and Lady Gaga, and Common and John Legend stole the show.ossscarrr

 

 

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OurTime: one girl’s story of woe and whoa!

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OurTime.com – a waste of time? One woman’s story of  dead ends and dead beats?

The first 10 men to “wink” at her were from The A-states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska. So very G U (Geographically Unacceptable.)

A bunch of farmers, cowboys, ranchers clicked “I’m interested.”They apparently were from the sister website Farm-match or Western match.com and had neglected to “opt out” to be instant members of Our Time.com. There was nothing on her profile that indicated any interest in cows, cowboys, rodeos, or farm life.

In her profile, Tilley, indicated that she taught English literature at “a school in Palo Alto.”

 A rose by any other name: Then she said, there were the men with bizarre “screen names” like Lonelyandwaiting, Gspot, Ready4 fun, Snugglebunnie, Trumpet Poodle, and Justwannaluv, that were off-putting.

No boundaries?

In the interest of time, she said the flood of pictures of faces hiding behind sunglasses and hats were passed over and anybody from out-of-state – she deleted instantly. She mentioned she would only date people from the San Francisco Bay Area-a 50 mile radius. Why did guys from Texas and Tennessee even bother? Confusing.

Did you even read my profile?

Tilley mentioned her passion for the arts, travels to exotic locations (she had been to Bali, Barcelona and Iceland recently.) She said she loved ballroom dance that she’d once worked at the Smithsonian and  was writing a book on Jane Austen. Paella was her recipe du jour. She admitted to having a penchant for poets.

hats-7In two weeks, she received e-mails from men saying:

  • UR cool
  • Wow, your interesting
  • I like to dance 2
  • wanna meet? I’m buying
  • love your photo – from men posting no photo

 Every day, the fake photo-from-a-catalog, mr agi51, indicated he “Liked” her. She finally located the “Block this user” button hidden far down in the basement of the dating website and blocked the photo.

 The crowning blow was an e-mail from JohnJohn from Fremont- he had long white beard and said he was separated-however, he and his wife shared the house. Would that be a problem? Delete.

dead-44155__180 The plethora of dead ends, and the blinking ads all over the website prompted Tilley to throw the towel in and call it a day.

She didn’t have the time for OurTime.

A warning sign for the public

 

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Try a new dating site? Skip Ourtime.com this time

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The Date Watchers, a group of local, single, women who get together on a monthly basis at La Boulange to talk about online dating: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

 The group’s numbers fluctuatea couple of the ladies have found their “Partner for life,” a couple others are ‘going steady’ with somebody special…a few have thrown in the towel and have given up on dating-again altogether- however, they live vicariously through the exploits of their pals.

 New Year’s Resolution: Try a new dating site?

The women are confidant they have explored every viable online dating site known to man and woman. They have tripped the light fantastic at eHarmony – conclusion: eHarmony doesn’t have any boundaries. (What woman in California-in her right mind- wants to date a guy from Toronto or Saskatoon, Canada? Consensus: None.)

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A couple of the ladies explored JDate. Anne called herself “The sexy shiksa” and got a lot of attention. The cutest guy that she ‘matched’- lived in Seattle- and was an Irish Catholic. Go figure. Amen.

A few tried Craigslist San Francisco “Women looking for Men.” While once a viable resource, now Craigs is bit kinky and skanky. What else would you expect from a totally anonymous/ no photos required/ free site?

No time Like OurTime.comAfter three months around the Match.com compound, friends Janine and Eileen (both divorced, 50-something, empty nesters) quit the site. Each woman had a handful of First Dates, kissed a few frogs, and became very frustrated by the number of men who didn’t respond to their friendly opening lines. Were the men blatantly rude or merely out to lunch?

On a lark, the two friends decided to try OurTime.com  despite warnings it is  the ugly stepsister of Match.com…

NOTE: Chemistry.com, Match.com, Tinder, SpeedDate, Ourtime.com, OKCupid, How About We, Meetic, and a dozen other dating sites are all owned by the same company, IAC  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAC/InterActiveCorp

 Ourtime has a completely different vibe. Seemingly,  flat and lackluster, three quarters of the screen is dedicated to dating and ¼ is obnoxious advertisements. Don’t be surprised by H&R Block, ugly black beetles, life insurance and men’s underwear ads. Yes, all of these are sidebars on the dating site. No, it is not a free site. It will cost you $27 for one month.

Most dating sites allow you to state your preferences…. OurTime – not so much. Chatting is highly promoted and your Chat-Now button is always “on” unless, you turn it off. Frequently. The infamous “wink” from Match.com is replaced with “flirt.”

First brimming with optimism, the two friends were unimpressed by the website. It was clunky, the men’s underwear ads were a true turn off and the postage-stamp sized photos were a buzzkill.

Deja Vu

Of course, they saw many familiar faces from Match and the hustler using the fake, male model photo was all over Janine with flirts, emails, notes the first hour she had joined. They gave the site just under 30 days to avoid being “re-upped” for another month. Next? The ladies are going to take a break…

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How hard is it to slip away (aka: quit) from Ourtime?

 Woe and Whoa is me! OurTime.com – I can’t quit you.

How to Quit OurTime? Here are the byzantine  website directives:

  1. Canceling a subscription does not automatically cancel your membership.
  2. If you are a subscriber and you cancel your subscription but not your membership, unless you elect to delete or hide your profile you will continue to be a Member in the Service and others may view your profile.
  3. If you hide your membership, your profile will be hidden and other Members will not be able to view your profile until you reactivate your membership.

4. If you delete your membership, your profile will be removed and other Members will not be able to view your profile and you will not be able to reactivate your membership.

5.  Members can hide or delete their profile at any time by following the instructions contained on the “My Account” page on the Website.

This is a very telling excerpt from OurTime:

photo_12349_20090723frogCustomer Service. The Company provides assistance and guidance through its customer care representatives. When communicating with our customer care representatives (whether over the telephone, or via email or letter), you may not be abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, sexist, threatening, harassing, racially offensive, or otherwise behave inappropriately.

PicMonkey Collage

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First Date: Always invoke the right to remain silent?

IMG_1208There you are, perched on a bar stool, dressed to impress, meeting Mike B.(56, spiritual-not-religious, sports fan and mystery lover) from Oakland, for the first time.

You met on OKCupid – his photos were okay, his comments were cute and quirky and he had a certain jene se quois. He said he was passionate about sports and cars. You exchanged four flirty emails before he said, “Let’s meet.” You suggested talking on the phone and he disappeared for a couple of days. He re-appeared and sent his phone number with a    “I dare you to call me.”

With more points in the “quirky” than cute column – you act on his dare and call.

Strange Phone Calls are huge red flags

Mike answers the phone, mumbles ‘hello,’ asks how you are then asks for your address. You deftly side-step that one with a laugh, and and he asks where you work, you say, “I’ll tell you when I see you.” You naively think, “A man who asks questions, how refreshing.”

He suggests meeting at The No Name Bar. It sounds novel and mysterious and you agree. (Note: novel and mysterious belong in a bookstore not a bar.)

Do you have right to remain silent? You betcha!

 The first date lesson: When a man starts asking you for your address and where you work and how much money you make, start pulling your purse towards you; when he asks what you are tipping the scales at, reach for your keys; and if he even dares to ask your “True age,” continue with ‘Your right to remain silent’- refuse to dignify the questions and bolt, baby, bolt.

There is no need to remain sweet or charming; Say goodnight, Gracie.

As a Rule: you (Tell a Friend) told a good friend where you were going, who you were meeting and at what time. Upon departure, call your contact person and let them know you are leaving – details later. Leave.

Chalk this one up to “Failed to notice the plethora of red flags,” and next time don’t be in a rush to have a date and accept the fact that “mysterious and quirky” at this age don’t bode well.

You never have answer uncomfortable questions…from a date…or a policeman, Binkie.

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The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Mark Twain

 

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Top three steps to successfully quit a dating site

Quits20060522Carpe Data, darlin.

You are done. Over. C’est Fini. You gave it a month – or three – and decided to cease and desist. Online dating is not for everyone.

Plan on taking the time to erase all traces of you on that online dating site. Simply hitting the “I Quit” button doesn’t do the trick.

#1. Delete all your photos. One by one. You don’t want your photo floating in their ads or hanging around for God and everyone to see…

#2. Copy and Paste everything you have written to a Word Doc. You might, someday, want to sign up for another site and use the pithy prose you produced, again.

#3. Finally, delete every single word you wrote on your profile. If a site, like Match, insists that you have 500 characters in any mini-essay, copy and paste in The Pledge of Allegiance or Dave Barry’s definition of “What Women Want” or the opening to Kafka’s, The Trial and plug that in. As a precautionary measure, change your age, gender, and height; the more ludicrous the better.

three_sites_10Some sites make it very easy to delete and quit the site. Other sites are like sticky flypaper, they don’t want to see you leave and they attempt to stick to you with tiny floods of emails your mailbox.

(PerfectMate [icky/sticky] and Jdate are said to be the stickiest)

Leave No Trace Like any good camper, you will want to follow the “Leave no trace” philosophy. If you hung around the water-cooler chat rooms at Eharmony, and participated in rabid commentary and commented freely, understand there’s no way to erase or delete those comments –always, think before you type/speak.

Finally After you’ve done all this good work: deleted, changed, updated, and quit – go back a day later to ensure that all information has been removed. Rinse, Repeat, Delete.

Carpe Data, darlin.

 “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the                             mind on the present moment.”  

Buddhaa close up shot of the face of a buhhda statue

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