Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Online Dating Tips or My Dating Cheat Sheet

I had a great date last night. If every date was this great, I wouldn’t have much to write about. I won’t go into details because he is my treasured memory for now but I will say I am willing to see him again and I’m even willing to spend some time on the freeway to do so.I’ve been a bit jaded and before last night I was seriously thinking a hiatus would be necessary because I was starting to believe men are horrible at being human beings when it comes to dating and mating rituals. This is my cheat sheet. This is my easy access list that will help secure a first date and keep you from getting ignored.

Hey! I see you. You should see me too, because I like you so far.

1. Winks

A wink from me means there was something in your profile I liked. It might have been your eyes or the line of your jaw. Maybe it was the fact that you are well written and witty. It’s also likely that I feel your workout routines are God’s gift to me. I can appreciate appropriate male aggression but I’ve winked, opening the door. Be bold and brave and take that to mean yes, I would like to get to know you better.

2. Messages

If I’ve messaged you, I see enough potential in you that I’m not willing to be passive with my aggression. I’ve very intentionally placed the ball in your hands and I’m willing to wait a bit. A very little bit.

If you’ve messaged me and I took the time to write back, I’ve given an opportunity for you to shine. If you really don’t care that my first few introductory lines are that I don’t date men too far from my home or age, you have already irritated me and only have a message or two to redeem yourself.

3.  Your Profile Picture

I like slightly snug jeans and a t-shirt. I also love a man in a crisp and fitted button down. I want to see your eyes and a genuine smile. I want to see a clean shaved face and a 5 o'clock shadow.

We’re messaging on the website that doesn’t allow pictures.

1. What I want to know

I like to take this time to share a bit about what we are looking for. Are you looking for a travelling buddy? White picket fence and a house full of kids? A drinking buddy? Do we have things in common? Are you 420 friendly, because I really am not.

2. What I don’t want to hear.

Please don’t call me a “good girl” or “bad girl.” I’m not a girl. I’m a grown woman and I know you can’t determine my worth because I already have. These phrases tell me you are probably into spanking and probably need to spend some time in a therapy session or twelve with your parents. I’m the average bear when it comes to dating. I don’t want to dominate you or be dominated. I’m looking for a partnership. Those of us that have walked away from a marriage have probably had our fill of a spouse telling us what to do. Personally I really dig my independence. Deep down I would love to follow the leadership of a good man. You just have to work on proving you are him first.

I’ve given you my number. Use it now. Not next week or in a few days when I get to guess who you are.

1. Here’s my number.

At this point, I would like you to give me a ring. I mean, yes, we can text, but you could do that from the website as well. It’s not like traditional dating where you should wait 3 days to not seem too anxious. We met on a dating site. That means I’m matched with someone that will look better than you every single day, and when bored, I will spend free time swiping left or right. Assume you might lose me because chances are that at this stage, you probably will. You have my number. That gives you an edge. Use it before it gets dull.

2. Texting Etiquette

As for pictures, I post most of the good ones and you’ve probably already seen them. I get that you are probably asking for a special private show, but do you realize you haven’t earned that yet?

I really am not interested in a picture of your penis. I have probably seen enough of these unsolicited pictures to know I will never choose to study urology.

It’s also not a good time to tell me you want to play proctologist and that I can be your patient.

While a good morning, good night and 4 am text may look endearing on the surface, if those are the only times I hear from you, I will assume you are horny or lonely and not really interested in getting to know me.

At the same time, it’s not wise to wait a week. If I’m into you, I will reach out whenever you cross my mind. If you don’t hear from me, I may have already forgotten about you, deleted our texts and moved on. A week later and I am scrambling to remember who you are and it’s a fun challenge for me, but I have already given you a hard pass. I try to keep it simple but it’s not lost on me that I can go for part of the day without hearing from anyone and go through a rush hour of navigating 7 texting conversations at once. I will assume you’re doing the same.

You’re calling me. Oh my goodness. 

1. Sensory Outcomes

I love hearing the sound of your voice. It’ll cover up your poor grammar and punctuation and I’ll have a better chance at getting your jokes because you can’t time that in a text. It’s also a good time to get me used to hearing your voice and looking forward to hearing it. Meeting you should be a sensory fulfillment. This is the time to tell me about yourself and what motivates and moves you.

2. Sex Talk? No. Not yet.

This is still not the time to talk sex. I’m sure you are excited. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t want me to tell you about my wedding dress and where we are getting hitched. Don’t put the cart before the horse when I’m still deciding if your juice is worth my squeeze.

3. Shop Talk

I’m curious about your work. It’s not an interview. I’m not going to offer you a promotion or raise. It lets me know if you are a gambler, or frugal, or if you have no sense of responsibly taking care of yourself, or if I may have to bail you out from time to time. It’s not necessary to lie about what you do.

1. Lying

I won’t be honest about how many people I’m talking to. I don’t expect you to be. I expect both of our numbers are high because that’s the beauty of hiding behind a keyboard. I am being picky because my time is valued. I may have exchanged numbers with about 30 men in the past month, but I’ve only met four. Hiding the competition is a kindness. Take it as such.

At the same time, don’t lie about what you do or who you are. If you have to lie to keep someone, they can never really appreciate and value you. If you have to lie because you aren’t worthy of who you want to be, then change who you are until you can look in the mirror without needing approval.

I have been cat fished enough times that it irritates me, but since I’m passive aggressive, I will continue to let them flirt and think they have another chance at my wallet, even though I will never graduate past texting and email.

2. Tips

Assume you aren’t the only one I’m interested in and assume I’m letting you tell me how interested you are in me before I move on. I will not go where I’m not wanted, but I may look at your profile a few times because I have a thing for beautiful things and I'm not above objectifying you.

If you gravitate toward talking about sex, your car, your wealth or your board room domination, I will see it as insecurity and that is unattractive. I get it, men are visual and they want to see that I can enjoy what they do. It’s a thing. What you should learn is that women tend to be aroused when their emotional needs are met. It doesn’t mean I care about how much you are spending. I care that I was listened to, and engaged with, and I don’t like the feeling that there is a deposit limit of affection and attention before you make your sex withdrawal. I will offer more than you need when I feel ready and it won’t be over the phone.

I want to know more about you as a person and that has nothing to do with what you can do or what you have. I’m already into you. Believe it or not, your rock collection and what makes you choose a rock is actually interesting to me. Maybe I'm exaggerating but hopefully you get my point.

If you’re still asking for multiple pictures, I will assume you are rubbing one out while imagining my voice. If you keep talking about your needs, I might suggest you find a prostitute. I don’t charge, but I also won’t offer what she would.

If I mention I'm kid free at the moment, do your best to join me. I can be spontaneous and that was your opening.

The First Date

1. Where to?

I don’t mind if you pick a place. I prefer that but I will overanalyze your choice. It’s who I am. If you want late night drinks close to my home or yours, I will assume you hope that’s where we end up on the first date.

If you choose a well populated venue for nonalcoholic drinks or a meal, you’ve gotten past apple points and there are now brownie points involved.

2. Wait for me.

I'm usually early or punctual. On the off chance you arrive before me, please order yourself a drink, but wait for me to order mine. I will assume a drink waiting for me has been drugged.

3. Don’t order for me.

I know what I’m interested in eating. I may have eaten earlier and have a smaller appetite. I may be on a special diet. I'm casing the menu for gluten free options.

4. Body language.

There is a certain amount of skill in not creeping me out.

So totally kidding. 

Keep the conversation going, but do try to mimic your mate. If you are staring at me, but my glances at you are fleeting, I will be creeped out.

If you sit next to me, and I don’t pull my leg away when we graze each other, then it might not be a bad time to brush my hair out of my face, or go for a light pat on my thigh so I can feel the warmth of your hand, but not so I feel felt up. See if I reach for your hand when you reach for mine. If I pull away, maybe we can change subjects and see if I’ll warm up. A warm hand on my upper back that is brief is always worth an attempt, but make sure to watch for a reaction before going further.

While we have an audience, it’s best not to try to feel out my tonsillectomy scars. I don’t mind a chaste kiss on the lips if I have not denied your other advances first.

I like being walked to my car, and it’s nice when I have a chance to put my purse inside of it before you go for that goodnight kiss. Keep it calm. If I’m into it, I will move in closer and there’s no need to guide my hands to your high and low points. You’ll know where you are invited and where access is being denied. I may grant access and then never intend to see you again. If I feel you are looking at my smile and body but aren’t interested in my large brain or engaging personality, you will get a hard pass on any future shenanigans or debauchery.

5. Goodbyes

Parting is such sweet sorrow . . . But I’m an early bird wearing contact lenses and I will need to get going. If you are interested nail down a date. We can talk specific locations and times later, but the less we nail down, the more my attention will drift to the other men that have been texting me all night.

Beautiful Sunsets 

Cat fishing