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January 14, 2010

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ND

Only you could write a post about dating and drop a reference to Truman's counsel of Wife Men. Have you ever read Walter Isaacson's book about them? Fascinating read. I think you'd like it.

Mama Nabi

So, what I'm hearing is that you want a woman who's smart but easily entertained, who can see that you don't, in fact, have a weird sense of humour, who has a healthy and intellectual taste in music, art, and film but isn't trying hard to be pretentious about it unless the occasion calls for it... and you really don't want to be that Greek dude who had a flower named after him after he died by a pond.

There's no such thing as a relationship advice. Only people who project their own romantic successes and follies onto your situation.

My 2 cents, therefore, will have to be: Don't ever settle. It's better to be lonely alone than be miserable with a moron.

Josh

As I've gotten older, I've gotten used to the fact that I'm not going to share everything with my mate. But we agree on the big things: parenting, money, in-laws, religion and we get each other's sense of humor. She likes John Denver. In my younger days that would have been a dealbreaker. I love Superchunk. She, to say the least does not. But that seems to matter less as I am more comfortable in the fact that I don't need anyone else at all to like Superchunk. I like them for me. Same goes for a lot of the other stuff.

You'll figure it out.

James

I am married with children. I have been with many women before my marriage. Having said that I know almost nothing. There are no rules, no road less traveled book laying it all out as guide book. For any individual that individual is on thier own road. I have tried to fit many women and people into my life and sometimes in the end there are no values shared. It can't work. Whether you share intellectualism or great vapid sex. It really boils down to values. I love time alone. It's not easy to find in a marriage but if a woman values that you will fiind a way to make it work.
Dr. Evil said: "Mini-me, you complete me."
It would take a clone to be completed by another individual. We are alone but can share ourselves with another if we work at it and share values and compromise.
Other than that I know nothing.

Carla

I am always struck when I read a post and the comments that go along with them by how cool it is we are all so different. If we were all the same, life would be so dull. Like our choice of words, we have so many amazing choices in life. Your description of who you are makes you sound interesting, observational, loyal and funny. I know a lot of women that would find that quite fetching.

wn

1) Glad to see you back

2) No answers...Christ, how I wish I DID have answers to some of these questions...

3) Have been in relatively successful relationship for 12 years (with periods of difficulty, granted)...our record collections AND film collections would HATE one another at a party...however, in these past 12 years, I have grown to love foods that I never thought I'd try, travel to places I never thought I'd see and gain insight into issues and politics that I couldn't imagine previously caring about. Relationships are funny that way....life is funny that way.

4) A question I've often asked myself...in those difficult periods...am I still happier WITH him than I'd be WITHOUT him...So far, the answer has dictated that I stay...although this MIGHT change at some point. It's a benchmark I've used for most of my relationships...and so far, it's served me quite well.

the weirdgirl

Personally, I think life if way more fun when you're facetious. As I age I'm trying to hold back less, not more. There are plenty of moments when you just have to deal with bad things happening... why muddle up the good times with being too serious?

I hope, since it's in New York this year, that you'll be coming to BlogHer. Just think... all those chicks and at least half of them are smartasses!

Kristin

You may be discerning and selective but I get the feeling you won't be single for very long.

Don't listen to your friend Sarah. Sure, you're a great-looking guy but your wit, charm and intelligence are what make you even sexier.

Brooklyn Boy

I met my current girlfriend a year before we started dating. We are both bloggers and she discovered my blog. She is/was a very good writer and I after reading her entries, I found her to be a bit immature and naive, but also very sharp and sometimes witty.

I'm from Brooklyn and she's from Boston. We were nothing alike. We became friends online and eventually talked on the phone about various things. Actually, she used to only call me when she needed to talk about something--usually about her relationships. The more I got to know her, the more I thought she was definitely not my type. Besides loving to read and write, we have nothing in common. I liked to free-write, going onto a long soliloquy while she preferred to write, edit, write, edit some more and then post her entries.

We both love Malcolm Gladwell, but we like him for different reasons. Aside from Gladwell, Jane Austen would sadly be the only other author we both liked. Both of us have read immensely, but I think to date, we only like about 5 of the same books.

While we both listen to music, she is more about classical piano and Chopin, while I am a huge Aerosmith and Guns N Roses fan.

And then after lots of alcohol one night, we hooked up and then decided to give a relationship a try. For the past, 9 months, we have argued about 10 times and not ONE time had anything to do with our relationship. We would fight about how to understand music, whether the first day of the week is Sunday or Monday, copyright laws, etc.

As you can see, we're extremely different and we are both very strong personalities. We both believe we are right about everything. And yet, we are compatible. I love her and I can't imagine spending my life with someone else. I mean, she supports the RED SOX! Being a Yankees fan, I am literally sleeping with the enemy, but you know what? Life has been great despite our many disputes. What we both agree on is that our differences make our relationship interesting.

Those are my thoughts and I hope that it can provide you some insight. Honestly, I'm young and I probably can't tell you anything you didn't already know. I think in finding love, you just have to always be yourself. The hardest thing is not finding someone to love, but to find someone who feels the same way about you.

Goodluck MD.
Brooklyn Boy

june

Yeah, you think too damn much.

That said, I think (speaking as a mid-30s Asian woman who has been married for 5 years) that marriage is less about compatibility than about willingness to compromise by both parties, equally. All that other stuff, compatibility and acceptance of each others' quirks, kind of fall by the wayside after a while.

margalit

Sometimes when you write I think we must have been separated at birth because we see the world so similarly. This is one of those times. As an even older single mother, well beyond my mid-life crisis, I do like being alone much of the time, and I do think about what I'd do if a relationship came about. I don't know because I don't look. I gave up after I realized I was smarter, funnier, and more independent than the men I met. They talked sports, I talked Robertson Davies. They talked sports, I talked about ad hoc and the French Laundry. They talked sports and I talked about whether or not Hamlet was a weenie or just young and immature. And worst of all, they didn't get my biting sarcasm and thought I was mean. Harumph.

I think when you're smarter and funnier than most, you do end up spending more than enough time alone. Very few people love a sarcastic smartass, especially one that has real intellect behind them. I am continually astounded by how people think it's OK to stop learning, because I can't imagine a time when I don't want to challenge myself intellectually.

Last book read: Two Lives by Vikram Seth.
Currently reading: The Given Day by Dennis Lehane.
Next book up: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chim Amanda Mgozi Adichie

Keep your chin up, Pierre. You're such a valuable and interesting person. Someone will come along. It might be a chubby 57 year old single mom from the north. It might be someone else. :-)

Kate (Bee In The Bonnet)

My husband is a naturally thin German dude who smokes, drinks, loves Rock and Roll, hates hip-hop and/or electronic music of any kind, prefers "thinky" movies (international, arthouse and the like), is perpetually tidy, tight-fisted, a linguist by training, a meat-und-kartoffeln-eater and is kind and patient, sometimes to a fault.

I am a naturally fat Texas girl who hates smoking, no longer drinks, a runner who digs running to electronica and hip-hop, *hates* pretentious "thinky" arthouse cinema crap, is perpetually messy, a spendthrift, a programmer by training, mostly vegetarian, and impatient to the point of major fault.

So what do we have in common? We both hate Rush. And we love each other ridiculously, and love to tell each other so.

What I love about him is that I am always confused by his behavior-- I don't get him, at least not immediately, and I love that-- keeps me on my toes. He's really funny and smart and he's really great to me. What I hate about him is that I am always confused by his behavior. I hate that I don't always understand why he does the things that he does, or that he isn't always instantly on board with whatever great new scheme I have in my head. It's frustrating for someone as impatient as me.

I have dated those who are *vastly* different from me, whose values are so at odds with mine (discovered after two months that I had been dating a Republican-- how the hell did that happen?) that it could never work. And I have dated those much more similar to me, and we inevitably drove each other crazy (the indecisive among us know the awful debate that happens when you and your partner share that trait-- "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't know. Where do YOU want to eat?" "I don't know. I want to eat wherever YOU want to eat." "Well, I don't know. What sounds good to you?" "I don't know...", etc., etc., ad nauseum).

So where does that leave a person? I guess my advice is to find a person whose differences are intriguing to you, or whose differences lie in areas that are not as important to you. I love music, was a music major for three years, have love for most every type of music on the planet, but it's not important to me that my partner share my specific interests. It would bother me if he didn't like music at all, but that he prefers the Rolling Stones whereas I could take or leave them isn't really important (that we both hate Rush *is* important, though, because we are virtually alone in that conclusion. It's unifying in the face of our many Rush Fan friends.). And since I like to cook and he likes to eat, it doesn't bother him that I don't often cook the heavier food that he likes because I just make lighter food taste good, period.

So yeah. Choose your lines that must not be crossed (if an addiction to crappy teen vampire literature is among them, so be it), but also consider a little flexibility (Twilight is so horrible, but is embarrassingly addictive that even total book snobs have succumbed to it's siren song). And just generally give people a chance. If you can find something attractive about them, and the unattractive points are slim, then it might be worth a shot.

nonlineargirl

Well, I have found that the less you say, the smarter people think you are. (and better conversationalist - since it lets the other person do all the talking, which most people love!)

That said, I don't see you holding your tongue too much. Better to be without a partner than with one who doesn't get you, I think. (easy for me to say, right?)

Mrs Soup

Be yourself. So silly, but true. You can't keep up a facade but also aren't being true to yourself until you can truly be yourself. Those conversations you had, to me, are all hilarious. Especially the third one. If I had a discussion like that before I was married, I totally would have been intrigued.

That just means you haven't found the right woman yet. Don't sell yourself short because you think you shouldn't be single. That will make NO ONE happy.

Good luck. And remember, love yourself first.

Angelica S.

As you said, there are many other aspects besides compatibility that are important to any healthy relationship.

But I found this the most interesting part of your post:

"maybe the healthiest long-term relationships accept that, even between the closest people, infinite distances exist and the key to happiness is to not only wholly love someone but also to be comfortable with the great expanse that inherently lies between you."

My husband and I are very independent people who lead very independent lives. We're very similar in that regard. From the outside, it may seem that we're unhappy with one another and are seeking comfort from outside interests.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We love each other dearly but both know that in order to be healthy together, we need to be healthy alone.

It took me a long time to understand this by about myself. It took me even longer to find someone who felt the same way.

Jen

I read you in part BECAUSE of that precise sense of humor and intelligence. Pretend to be something you are not to get into a relationship? Then won't you be somewhere you are just dying to get out of every minute?

You need to find someone who will love the sense of humor you have and has enough backbone and independence to value your critical thinking ability but not be crushed or offended when it clashes with her opinions.

I think it definitely helps to have one or two of the things you LOVE in life also in common with the person you love. But other things are things we allow space in a relationship for because we love our partner and that's enough.

Kellyology

I don't know who these humorless women you're meeting are, but I found all of the conversations listed quite funny. Of course I'm an almost 40yo woman who tends to offend my late 30-early 40 year old girlfriends with my biting sense of humor on a regular basis. So yeah, now that I think about it, you're probably screwed. I'd go with Derek's comment, "Stop thinking so much and go find yourself a hot Swedish model. Trust me. You'll be compatible."

Papa Bradstein

Those conversations are hilarious. Unfortunately, I'm not available and neither of us is gay.

Michelle Lee

pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground...

welcome back. glad you are out there lookin' and happy new year.

Alice

See, I was all itchy to comment, then I read the second-from-last paragraph. The whole merging of souls thing is an amazingly appealling idea, but I personally think that it's not the best basis for a long term relationship. Unless you luck out and both evolve and develop yourselves in very similar ways, you'll end up feeling separated and distant as you grow as individuals, because you won't be in that totally synchronous space any more.

Figuring out what your 'essentials' are and making sure they're compatible seems to be the only approach to me, though it's infinitely easier to say that than it is to find it.

LME

Like the old saying goes---"Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one."

It's interesting reading people's comments here. Especially from the young ones who haven't experienced the joys or pressures of marriage and parenthood.

We all value unique things from a relationships and place them in different pecking orders in a way that we think suits us. In the end, we're never really sure about any of it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

But whether you're single or in a relationship, the most important thing is that you just gotta keep trying.

Nobody ever truly figures it out completely.

Kal

The whole point about dating is to learn about each other. There's no point to hold yourself back. Just be yourself

Chris

The last paragraph of your post was so insightful. I think its something my husband and I have just figured out after 4 years of marriage (starting at the age of 41 I might add and following 10 years of being single prior to that for both of us). We have our similarities and things we love together but its in understanding and appreciating our differences that we have truly learned to appreciate and love who we truly are as individuals and not just what we thought we wanted in a partner. Its in filling the in between with love and letting the individual flourish that the couple has grown stronger.

Brent

You're fucking hilarious. Nice to have you back. Write more please!!!

alice, uptown

MD,
Happy to hear your voice. Life is short, and no point in wasting your time on people who can't make you laugh as much as you entertain people like me. Did we take sarcasm at HM, or were we just born to it?

charity

Pfft, theories shmeories...
My opinion is that you can rationalize everything and construct your theories (which may be pretty accurate) but at the end of the day, when you meet someone you connect with, all of it goes flying out the window.
Your friend is right, you definitely think too much. Meet people, enjoy yourself and when you meet someone special, trust me, you will know it.

Stella

Oh Metrodad... it's good to have you back.

papa2hapa

If you're asking if you think too much, you've posed a rhetorical question.

Amy

Glad to see you're back! Happy New Year to MD and Peanut! May this year bring promise, health and hope!

About the age thing, DH is younger than me slightly. He says women might as well go out with younger men because they never grow up anyways... Good luck in the romance department, if that's what you're focusing on these days.

Zann

If you have to think so much, you are either not ready or have not met the right one. Just be yourself.

Kila

I say just be yourself, humor and all. The right person will appreciate you for who you are. And don't try to hard at looking for that person. It usually just happens when one isn't looking.

Sorry about the divorce. Was shocked by your news. I haven't been by here in a long time for the same reason--I'm also going through a divorce. Am now getting back into blogging and catching up.

Naomi

Keep the faith... some one will get it eventually. You're probably right to avoid the Twilight mommies, though. Yikes.

teufelkindsvater

Fuck it dude, let's go bowling.

Sometimes you just need to, unfortunately, go bowling. Too much self introspection = mental-masturbation.

You're single, straight, and a dad. Which is the most important..? 2nd? and then 3rd?

I spent, as a single straight, fit (although anti-social and mildly OCD) relatively attractive guy (girls always told me I looked like Christian Slater from 'Pump Up The Volume'), lots of time alone. I slept with a lot of girls, but I was still almost totally alone.

My wife was the accident I didn't mean to do. She was my boss's sister, which was awkward, didn't take any shit, which I was full of, and I didn't like her family (which is important to me, as I have nobody else). We've been togeher 10.5yrs and together for 13.75.

Love is the traffic accident you didn't see coming. The one person, however grating, you can't exorcise from your brain. Love ain't perfect, that's for sure, but for all it's pain, you can't beat it.

As for the 'Twiilight mommies' better to set your own boat on fire and push it out into the fjord... die like a man, bro.

teufelkindsvater

sorry for the editing errors... too much wine.
married for 10.5 and together for 13.75

Asha Dornfest

What says me is that thousands of women all over the world just read those three conversations and were instantly smitten.

Great to see you here again, Pierre.

usha

'....infinite distances exist and the key to happiness is ... to be comfortable with the great expanse that inherently lies between yo

that to me is a very perceptive observation and the hardest to do ..with a couple of riders! a. Both parties involved have to realize this and b. both have to not just acknowledge the difference but also appreciate it..

and bring in a lot of fun to marriage..be able to laugh about things together!

Holly

Don't lose the sense of humor and don't change for a woman/relationship. You remind me a lot of my husband and we work wonderfully well together. We both have a twisted sense of humor and it makes for great laughter and outlooks on life. Who else could you travel cross country with and make fun of people with while bantering back and forth? It makes for a good life and you'll find someone that you fit with. But stick to your ideals. You read and quote many of the same authors that my husband does. While I read some of the same, I also have read tons of books he would never read and I'm not talking about Twilight-vomit! But if we weren't a little different we would hate each other. We both enjoy our time alone and he too confesses that he's great by himself. It's important to carve that out in any relationship. Hang in there, you're doing a great job. In the mean time, post more. You make me laugh!

Leanne K

I'm reading this book for Christians (I know you aren't religious) "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." It tells us to embrace and enjoy your "singleness," because once you're in a relationship/marriage you'll be wondering where all your time went and why you didn't take that time to put it to good use. Enjoy the time that you have now, especially with Peanut.

munimma

Quite profound for an "immature" 41 year old! No man is an island, but he could be a peninsula.

The thing about your blog is that, I never know what I am going to get. I come here for a good laugh and then you make me think.
Get back to the mundane, will ya!

But while we are on the subj, my formula is - are the silences comfortable, is the chemistry still alive, can you enjoy a silly movie together, and can you still respect the differences? The last one is a little tough, but we get by.

rebecca

When my hubby and I got married 16 years ago we included a quote that I think is from Rilke about being the guardian to another person's solitude. That kinda says it all for me.

I've never thought two people merge into one, or that that could in any way make a good union. A union is merely that, a merging of two unique forces. It is trust, or the ability to grow into trust, that makes for a good relationship.

That said, I think reading Harville Hendrix's book "Getting the Love you Want" is right about up your alley right now.

Motherhood Uncensored

I stopped at "public flossing."

Seriously?

We all know the only acceptable public flossing is of the ass persuasion.

Where you finding these girls, MD? Staten Island?

R2 Dad

Glad you're back--lots of pent-up MD love I'm reading. But you're killin' me. You cannot filter your heart. People talk about magnetism and chemistry because love is irrational, as several posters here have detailed in their own personal experiences. You'll know, when you can't wait for Peanut to meet her. But be prepared for a few thumbs-down.
So yeah, you think too much.

Ms.V

Is it possible to fall in love with someone just from their blog post?

Because. Because I just did.

Petunia

Man, I've missed you. Welcome back.

Katie D.

Been a long-time reader here for many years and I just wanted to say that I've always been impressed by how you think about things.

I've learned a lot and gained a lot of perspective from reading your blog. Thanks for your writing. You're a special guy.

Grandmother

How about an older woman, with adult sons and grandchildren the same age as The Peanut.
Glad to have you back, I have missed you.

tiarajoe

i would recommend a book, "Being in love" by Osho. Its quite a good book for a lonely heart. Dont worry, its not some chick flick or a kids book. A light philosophy book.

Haley

You should send in an application to Millionaire Matchmaker for fun. I don't think Patti's featured an Asian man on the show yet. A BIG guilty pleasure of mine. Most of the first dates are painful to watch but Patti has some gems/pearls of wisdom once in a while like "Morals and values are dealbreakers but habits are not." in response to a woman who said she can't date men who drink out of a straw. Does this mean I have to accept guys who don't know the difference between their/there/they're?

daddybookins

Glad to see you back MD! Single or not, it's your choice. Have fun and take care of Peanut! BTW Sarcastic witty humor is always a good front in those circumstances! Cheers!

Peas Out!
~daddy b.

Rosie

I say call "conversation #3" and ask her out again. She sounds like a good match.

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