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January 14, 2010

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Jenn D.

I think you're hilarious and not at all rude.

Gigi

http://dealbreaker.tumblr.com

I think you'll get a kick out of it.

deb krebs

You have the rare ability to make me laugh and think in every post. Keep up the great writing. It's good to see you back.

Paige Jennifer

I refuse to go on a date with any man who claims Dan Brown is a literary genius. Or a man who notes his favorite book is the bible. Ooh, you like fables - sexy!

Listen, just be yourself. Maintain your standards and hold out for a copilot who embraces your sarcastic wit and challenges you intellectually. Because in fifty years, when you're wearing elastic waistband pants and cataract glasses, she'll be the one you want next to you.

NurseRachett

First off, so happy that you're back! I've been checking every day and you posting really brought a highlight to my day - thank you.
Was it just me or was that a HIMYM reference re: Mendoza line? If so, you've surpassed amazing into awesome.
Cheers M.D. and thanks again for the post, really glad to see you back!
Also - be yourself, you'll be happiest with those who you don't have to pretend around - and they'll be happier too. (I'm a romantic so this works for me)

LeeMarvin

MD,

Glad to see a new post from you. At this point in the comments, you've got tons of well meaning advice. There are a lot of people who love you. That's a great thing. You've simply got to decide whether you're willing to change the things that caused your marriage to fail, or you're going to look for someone that will except you for who you are, warts and all. We're all a work in progress.

One thing I do know is that you ARE too smart for your own good. Many people are.
Haven't you ever noticed that ignorant people are happier? It's because they're ignorant. They don't know that they don't know.

I may be talking out my ass, but my experiences tell me this. Life is really too short to wonder whether you'll find the right person. A big part of life is the search, the journey to that special person. Your three conversations are a testament to that.

Welcome back!!

teresa

You can pretend to be a sarcastic prick all you want but your sincerity and genuineness always shine through. Great post, MD. I have no idea you'll find what you're looking for.

hse

No. 3 sounds like she's got game and keep up with your witty banter. Not an easy task, for sure.

landismom

Re: your friend Sarah's advice--this seems to fall into the category of "trying too hard." If you are supposed to not be yourself in the interest of catching a woman, when do you get to be yourself with her? When she's saying "I do?"

I've obviously never been in the position that I'm in, and am ill-qualified to give you advice. But I think you'll know when you meet the right one. And most likely, she'll be standing in a corner, snarking on the flossing habits of some guy who was just macking on her.

Regina

Jeez, you got enough advice, so I'll be blunt; Who the hell knows? Just go do something. What have you got to lose except time?

The Mad Brit!!!

Funny. You ask for opinions and everyone offers their advice. What is it with Americans that they feel so compelled to proffer their own opinions when none are even asked for them?

As if you would ever change your personality to be with a woman! Do they not know you at all or does their compulsion to give their own opinion trump their reading comprehension?

rd

Relationships that work are not about finding things in common, it's about having your brand of crazy match with someone else's.

Emma

Come to Los Angeles!

I have dozens of gorgeous female friends who would love to go out with you. Intellect, emotion, empathy and character are in short supply out here.

Jenny

I thought you were really funny in all three example conversations. Of course, I'm an acerbic, well-read gal who uses humor to take the sting out of tough situations.

I'm so grateful to have ended up with my husband, a sardonic grammar nerd who laughs at my jokes. My advice is to hold out for the person who gets you and loves you for it. You're too awesome to settle for less!

The Muskrat

Clearly, you need to walk down the street the first weekend of August and join me at BlogHer, where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. BHJ says he's 70% sure he's coming, too. Now you have no choice.

In the interim, look for a nice ass and a revulsion to the use of an apostrophe to pluralize anything but a letter.

dining tables

I am glad that you are back. I was waiting for your next post! It seems that you are getting matured after what you had experienced.

Sophie

I've always thought Khalil Gibran's beautiful poetry on Marriage in 'The Prophet' encapsulates exactly what a relationship between two individuals should be like. If you haven't, read it (:

Katrina

You're hot, sexy, smart and funny. I doubt you'll stay for very single long (unless you want to.) Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Ivory

I think kindness born from respect counts more than anything in a relationship. If the women you are talking to get the sense from your humor that you do not respect them, they won't like you. They won't feel they can trust you to be patient with them when they are less than perfect, or to tolerate their quirks. I think marriages survive at times on our abillity to tolerate the ridiculousness of other people and (paraphrasing David Sedaris) our willingness to ignore the opportunity to hurt our partner, even when it is handed to us on a silver platter.

Dalee Camp

Perhaps it’s more that you like the idea of having a steady relationship but the reality is that other people can be just plain annoying and inconvenient. Sure it’s great to have a guaranteed sex partner, but that also means that you’d have to move the scattering of books from the other side of the bed or clean up the cat puke right away instead of waiting for the dog to eat it and so forth. Truth is, we start looking at our own little pesky nuances when faced with letting someone fully into our lives and psyche. Though there are appealing aspects to someone riding shotgun with you through life, you have to give many allowances when they try to critique your driving or want to babble endlessly while they litter your life with their own little pesky nuances.

HWS

All women are crazy. Pick the hottest one.

Mimi

I haven't read the comments, so hopefully I'm not repeating, but I think so many people get caught up in wanting to find someone that they have things in common with, that they end up missing out on people that might be right in front of their faces. I think the most important thing is that the other person interests you, that you want to talk to them every day and share your life with them. If you have everything in common with someone, what can you learn from them, and they from you? And really, that's what being in a relationship is about, learning and growing, and finding out what you like/dislike. bottom line, you have chemistry or you don't. And that person should laugh at your jokes. And if they are the right one for you, they will. And don't date anyone who reads Twilight!!!!!

1969

Just catching up. Work drama over the last six months has kept me from reading every day. Sorry to hear about the divorce. It happens and things sometimes fall apart.
It sounds like you are both mature individuals who are staying focused on raising a wonderful daughter. Kudos to you both.

J.M. Cook

So glad you're back. Stop worrying. One day, when you least expect it, you'll stumble upon the right woman. Meanwhile, be cool... and quit thinking so much! Do you have a hobby?

HeatherY

Maya should have done a search on Nick Hornby. We will never know what Peanut was for Halloween, will we?

HeatherY

Are you going to hold a contest to rename Boss Lady's chair?

• Twilight Interrogation Area
• Your Name Here
• Time Out
• Panton C1
• Bachelorette #1
• Vacancy
• Kumonosu-jō (Yeah, I know, okay? Work with me here.)

Ariel P

I'd totally date you! :D I think you're hot intelligient and extremely witty! Too bad you don't date someone my age! i'm 23. :)

Susie T.

Posts like this only make me like you even more. I just wish you would write more frequently. For awhile, I was worried that you were done with the blog. Welcome back.

D.W.

I'm 42 and became a widow 18 months ago. Now I'm single mom with 2 daughters, 9 & 5. The thought of dating scares the hell out of me. The thought being alone scares the hell out of me too.
I read the Twilight series (and liked it) so I guess that will kill my chances of dates with anyone that has the same thought process of you! damn! Or I'll just keep quiet about that in the future.
Good luck! And good to see you writing again!

Teri

Too bad you live in NYC. I have a sister in SF who would love your intelligence, kindness and sense of humor. Plus, she's drop-dead gorgeous. Maybe if you ever make it out there, you can look her up?

lamobla

I need to weigh in here on a point no one else has addressed: Conversation #3 is hilarious! Don't waste your time with any woman who doesn't think that's funny, and who doesn't feed you lines to keep it going. If I were on a date with a guy who made jokes like that, I'd want a second date.

Actually, I have pretty much been on that date. And 4 years later we're still living together. My boyfriend and I routinely discuss what we have in common. We think it boils down to two things: we both love Vietnamese bo bun, and we kinda like the Cure. That's it. Otherwise we're Jewish/atheist, White Sox/Cubs, PC/Mac, PhD/belated BA, escapist fiction/big heavy history nonfiction...you name it, we don't share it. What we do share: a sense of humor. He makes me laugh every day. And there have been many days where without him, I probably wouldn't have cracked a smile. And I think that counts for more than all the rest of it.

So if I were you, I'd use conversation #3 as your dating shibboleth. When you find someone who laughs - keep her.

kat

I think differences in couples are great because they open your eyes to how someone else sees the world and drives you to embrace change. I think your values should match, and definitely your sense of humor. Being single, especially a single parent, is always hard. Dating as we get older is just not as 'fun' as it used to be because you're looking for something more substantial, even if not at first, you have to at least have a glimmer of hope that this will lead to something more in the future. The men I meet are definitely not as funny as you seem to be, and it makes me feel like a bitch when I say sarcastic remarks. But, there is a lid to every pot, and eventually you'll meet your match. I don't believe there is a 'perfect' somebody out there, I think it's more of a choice in making it work once you find someone truly compatible.

I do definitely agree that I would rather be alone than with someone who bores the shit out of me or totally does not get me on any level. Why shut your mouth or stifle your personality and passions for someone who has no grasp of what it is that really moves you. Good luck. I'm just starting out on this whole single parent thing and to be honest, I'm kind of scared shitless of the dating pool right now.

irretrievably broken

Eh, I'd do you.

Nikki

I like #3 the best. She sounds like she can hang with the witty banter. And really, is there anything sexier than witty banter? Love it. Great post, MD.

enygma

I have to admit, I read young adult books on occasion. Aside from the Harry Potters and the Twilights, young adult literature has made some great strides since the days of "The Outsiders".
Some day, when you're good and ready, you'll find that person with whom you can share your exciting discoveries and who will be just as excited as you are. You're intelligent, witty, well-read and secure enough that you don't worry about what others may say about you. This is starting to get a bit soppy so I'll stop there. I'm really glad that you're back, though.

Cathy @ Chief Family Officer

Since you asked ... I don't think interests/hobbies and such matter anywhere near as much as sharing the same core values. Is it more important to you that someone be dependable/reliable or fun? Is it more important to save for the future or to experience things now despite the cost? And so on and so forth – you can learn to like each other's hobbies. After more than 10 years together, my husband and I still have to teach other about our cultural references sometimes.

Also, may I suggest a practical exercise? Come up with a list of the 10 most important characteristics you want in a woman. It's supposed to help the right woman "appear" in your life, but I think the mental process of prioritizing brings things into focus at a conscious and unconscious level. Hey, it worked for me :)

joan

Compatibility in a relationship doesn't mean you both have to like the exact same things. According to your analysis of your first conversation, it sounds like you want you and your partmer to think and feel the same way about things. What fun would that be? The big things in life, yes, but everything, that is impossible.

Joy

haha MD, you sure have a lot of supporters here on the Net. those are some long replies there... you should be flattered!

"Is it so wrong that I'd rather be alone than spend time with humorless people lacking in intellect, emotion, empathy or character?"

no.

by the way, i'm glad you updated your blog with this post. nice to know that you're alive and still writing. this may sound lame but it's sincere: i'm a big fan.

Wandering Chopsticks

My friend once suggested I write a list of what I'm looking for so when I run into someone that met a lot of the things I had on the list, it'd already be on my mind. For instance, she wished she and her husband shared similar taste in music.

Really?

If I were to ever make a list, musical compatibility would be so low, it wouldn't matter.

I have three non-negotiables -- family, education, and religion (Or in my case, lack of.). Everything else, I think you can learn to adjust, but you can't argue with someone's core values.

Umm, anyway, that was just my relationship perspective. I would be no use at giving you advice because I'm quite used to being single and puttering around by myself.

But I did want to add that it's never acceptable to floss at the dinner table and Harry Potter rocks. Won't touch the Twilight stuff.

Are you cooking more these days? Bake cookies with the Peanut!

online doctor

start a conversation with hello, don't give a motive with someone else. People might see you as flirt. Just show who you are, it makes sense at all.

Michelle

The problem is not that you are sarcastic, it's that you need to date women with a sense of humor. I thought those exchanges were funny. Some people can't take a joke.

meredyth

I'd totally date you. But as I'm 26 you might feel we aren't in the same age range. Understandable. My boyfriend might be a little pissed as well. As to your recent conversations:
1. I'm reading children's books. Of the Romantic and Victorian variety. For a grad class. Have you read Peter Pan as an adult? Much funnier than I'd thought.

2. Flossing publicly??? That's gross. If you feel you must, isn't there at least a bathroom to use?

3. You raise a good point, sir. I had not considered the fact that Jesus, as a homeboy, would naturally ride in an Escalade, and that an entourage requires it.

You are a funny man. I'm sure there are some equally smart and funny ladies that would love to date you. If not in NYC, I'll let you know when I'm single again in DC. You can take me out. :)

chifalfa

Oh joy, a new post! And better than ever.

I'm curious - why won't you date outside your age range? If marriage is a lifelong adventure shared by two best friends, what matters is finding someone you don't want to stop talking to or spending time with. Would be a pity if you narrow your options on the basis of age, which as you have pointed out is no indicator of maturity.

As for the answers to your rhetorical questions - yes, yes, yes and yes.

Wishing you all the best, Metrodad.

amy sue nathan

I've been single for seven years, and to me, the value of inherent understanding that comes with sameness outweighs the intrigue and adrenaline rush of differences.

I find that a lot of men prefer women who are not like them, so they can teach them, change them, transform them. A lot of men like women different from themselves so they can learn new things, dare I say, step up.

I have two kids and two dogs, I'm done teaching and training.

At 45 it's very hard to find a man in my age group who isn't looking for someone under 35. Granted, those are the same men who were looking for girls in their 20's seven years ago. If I wanted to date someone 60 or 65, I'd have no problem. Problem is, my parents are in their 60's. So, I'll say this as maturely as possible.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.


kittenpie

I think :

#1 - not that I'm applying, but don't rule out someone who reads kids books - some of us do it for a living.

#3 - hey, if you average out 13 people in one large vehicle, that footprint should be tiny, right?

And also, I think if someone can't appreciate your sense of humour, they're not right for you. Tastes don't need to align perfectly, but there should probably be some slight overlap so you can oh, say, go to movies or concerts together now and then. Mrpie and I have very different tastes, but there is some overlap, so it works out anyhow. We're a Venn diagram!

Cheryl

I'm from Singapore...and here, 14-year olds read Twilight... I'm not touching that book with a ten foot pole. As much as I think similar interests are somewhat important (I think you need to have at least ONE similarity...be it music, books, movies, sports, hobbies...), at the end of the day...I realise that a sense of humour that is appreciated is equally essential. If my partner doesn't find me endearing in that sense, then who would? Of course, same values and blah blah blah.

Sometimes, it is the little routines of living together that piss people off most. I know a woman who got divorce after 3 months because she couldn't take it that her husband was wearing socks in the house or something inane like that. Therefore, it is SO important to find someone easygoing if you are too, or else she might shoot you in the balls one day for not using a coaster.

s.i.

While my husband and I have the same taste in music, TV shows, movies, foods, etc., and while we're both lazy and not into sports or outdoorsy stuff and think dinner and a movie and maybe a little shopping are the makings of a good date night for every single date night, we couldn't be more different in personality and temperament. But his goody-two-shoes sunshiny outlook balances out my cynical, heathen ways quite nicely. So in my experience, while I think it's important to have similar tastes in the small stuff, I think it's equally, if not more important to have a yin to your yang.

Marie

First, I have to say that if I was on the other half of any of those three conversations, I would have been laughing hysterically. (Except I could never have participated in the Twilight conversation, bc I don't read children's books, either.)

Second, re: similarities and differences, I think the key is to have enough similarities that you can run up excitedly to each other and share your little joys and have the other person totally get it, but also to have enough differences that you make each other laugh and perplex the other from time to time. In a good way. My hubs has personality quirks that make me laugh. Ex-boyfriends had personality quirks that made me want to leave the room (and I did).

Third, yes, the distance. Distance and independence are good. My husband and I have had two intervals of physical distance in 9 years of marriage (one lasting a year, the other 6 months) and they were GREAT. I mean, they were AWFUL while they lasted, but I swear they've added decades and unmeasurable happiness to our marriage. How awesome is it to be able to love and trust someone so much that you'd let them live on the other side of the world, but never want them to leave again?

I wish I knew someone to set you up with. At the very least, it'd give me an excuse to hang out with you from time to time!

twizzle

The idealist in me thinks that any two people can be happily married, as long as they are kind-hearted, open minded, and honest with each other. As for the realist in me? Even if you find your perfect mate, you will learn to loathe and detest him/her within seven years. However, you will grow to accept that loathing and make the most out of the good parts, even if they are far and few between. Good luck, MD! I wouldn't rule out dating out of your age range if I were you. I'm sure you would have no trouble scoring you some twenty-something trophy trim!

Kristi

Go back to your ex. Don't walk, run.

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