Category Archives: attraction

The Ex Factor … and why “au revoir” should be “adieu”

People who know me reasonably well will tell you I’m a forgiving sort of girl … eventually. I do a fairly sound job of mentally analysing life events and coming to rational, fair conclusions when disappointment rides into town.

I also know that it’s exceedingly unlikely that my actions, neuroses and hang-ups alone were responsible for the various failures that have strewn my path when it comes to relationships; that said I don’t mind taking it on the chin when I mess up.

So my approach to relationship spillages, crashes and breakdowns is simple … learn from them and move on. Increasingly I find however that men will say they are “friends” with their ex’s, maybe like it’s a testament and honour to the memory? I really don’t know the answer here because the concept is most definitely alien to me. And here’s why.

It’s not that I’m a cold-blooded and heartless bitch; I may like occasionally to portray that image but the reality is I’m nothing like that. My feeling on this topic is that it’s impossible to have a purely platonic and caring friendship with someone you once had feelings for. Let me give you an example.

It must be at least six months since I finished with Mr Distant Cynic .. or maybe that should be “petered out” with. We had gone in the space of ten months from being keen to indifferent for a whole variety of reasons, needless to say for my part the indifference grew to the extent that one day it dawned on me that I hadn’t spoken to him for two weeks. The spark had well and truly gone out. Thank goodness. What was once a flame was now spent ashes in the grate of another seemingly pointless episode.

At the end of our little sojourn I finally made it to the place on the page that everyone around me had been at for some time; Mr Distant Cynic had capitalised on my loneliness when I relocated last year. He spends much time abroad on business so the set-up we had of me being available for him when he was home was efficient to say the least. Once that penny dropped I found it remarkably easy to make all the necessary emotional realignments at lightning-speed.

Now, given that we had spent ten months or so seeing each other on and off (more “off” than “on” towards the end needless to say..) there was a tendency to think we could be “friends”. I believe “staying friends” is taking the finality out of it, a little like a safety cushion to shield you from the blow that it’s all over.

Mr Distant Cynic had boasted on several occasions that he was friends with a number of his ex’s; indeed he once commented that a few of them were now married and that he knew for a fact that the new husbands hated the “arrangement”. I imagine a thoughtful and considerate ex would bow out but no, he found that quite amusing. Can you see where I’m going here?

And so yesterday when after several months of zero communication his message popped up on Skype, I sensed he was on an information gathering exercise. And I was right.

After opening gambit chit-chat he asked “so how are you? How’s business? Family? Is there a new man?”

I deftly answered the first three questions and body-swerved the fourth, knowing that he would come back to it again. And he did.

So this time I answered that yes, I had been seeing someone. I also added that it was early days but that he was probably the most genuine and honest person I’d met in long time. Because that was the right and true answer to his pointless probe.

Out of politeness I then asked “and how about you?”

“Yes am seeing someone …” he answered, “unbelievably she’s even busier than I am…. which suits me fine …. she is a very lovely person …”

So all in all, you might say that’s a great result for both of us, which of course it is but I feel that was a conversation we’d have been better off not having for one simple reason … pride.

We all like to think we left an imprint on the minds and hearts of our ex’s, don’t we? Not to the extent that they can’t move on and find happiness elsewhere, but in the moments when their minds drift off for a moment wouldn’t we like them to think “oh … she really was something else” (in the dreamy and wistful sense …)

You see, when I said I was seeing seeing an honest and genuine man, what I really wanted to tag on the end was “he’s the complete opposite of you”. And I’m sure he’d have wanted to come back with “oh bully for you”

And when he told me his new squeeze was a “very lovely person” I desperately wanted to retort “and I wasn’t, I suppose???”

These thoughts and desires are not conducive with leaving wistful imprints .. just a nasty aftertaste.

In truth I think maybe people have all sorts of other reasons for keeping in touch and for “staying friends”. Maybe they are harbouring a deep-rooted hope that it isn’t really over. Perhaps at some point they think “benefits” could be added to the equation. For me it’s quite straightforward; I’ll nod in acknowledgment if I bump into an ex in Tesco but that’s as far as I need to go.

Once you’ve said your goodbyes it’s better to nurture the memories rather than stir up the residual resentment.

After all … they’re called “ex” for a reason.


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Filed under attraction, dating, internet dating, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, love and the universe, Men, relationships, Women

It has to mean something … otherwise it will be blogged, drawn and quartered.

I really have no idea where time goes … it seems only two days ago I was discussing with a friend how I felt I needed to leave this blog alone for a while due to the fact that I believed it was getting a tad repetitive and that I thought I was starting to sound like I had as much luck with men as the village spinster (although arguably my memoirs might make for better reading). In fact it has been over a month since I last posted.

So in effect I have done just that. I kicked off my heels, cracked open the gin and took a blogging holiday. And that has to all intents and purposes been fine, except for the fact that I’ve felt the urge to blog about a couple of incidents but couldn’t for two rather pertinent facts. The first is that I must now have one of the most public personal lives that doesn’t belong to a celebrity (of my own making, granted) and the second being that a friend informed me recently that my candid approach to recording my take on the opposite sex could have a detrimental effect on my search for a meaningful relationship.

And that, ladies and gentleman, has been the sum total of my month away from these blogging shores. I now know what I’m looking for.

A meaningful relationship. A relationship that means something. Not marriage. Not co-habitation even. It just needs to “mean” something.

People oft think I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet on the one hand and a ruthless user of men on the other. I never worked out how those two married up  but apparently it is possible; after three or four Babychams laughing at ridiculous jokes I can turn into the female Don Corleone of the dating world. I take no prisoners you see. All wrongdoers are exposed with a mere tap-tap-tap on my rather slinky Mac keyboard.

And so they should be! I’m not entirely sure that I’ve been specific about the criteria by which I judge my dating experiences in terms of suitability for “outing” them Debsy-style, but it’s really quite simple. Men that act like arses will have their arses exposed, and to clarify, “act like arses” means at some point they have treated me (and probably many like me) pretty shoddily.

I never use real names, but if they were to read the post, they would know to whom I’m referring. Job done.

My friend (of the candid approach comment) informed me that a man would need to have “balls of steel” to get into a relationship with me, knowing about this blog and my tendency to whip out an exposé quicker than you could say “second date”. For my part I found that a bit harsh ….. but then we always do see onlooker’s views through sterile binoculars don’t we? In essence I found his “balls of steel” comment quite funny … or was I merely pleased with the fact that I was starting to appear formidable in the dating arena? In retrospect I’m not sure either interpretation is desirable.

The unfortunate fact is that recording my experiences in this blog have become my way of laying them to rest. Every time someone has told me how funny they thought a particular entry about a disastrous date was, I’ve jumped up and down on the grave of the memory of said incident, knocked back an imaginary martini, thrown the glass at the wall and screamed “next!”

We all need to review, investigate, understand and conclude. My conclusions just happen to involve sharing my findings with about seven thousand others on Twitter and Facebook. What the heck’s formidable about that?

So. Meaningful. That’s the sum of it. And by meaningful, I mean just that.

Welcome back friend.

I was joking about the Babychams by the way.

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Filed under attraction, blogging, dating, Facebook, internet dating, Life, online dating, relationships, sex, Twitter, Uncategorized, Women

How to write your dating proposal …. it’s all in the pitch.

A friend asked me briefly yesterday for my thoughts on a particular dating site; he stated that he thought it was less of a “cattle market” than the others he had seen. I agreed that it was but went on to add in my usual negative fashion that I reserve for this topic that said site had been a dead loss for me.

I make no bones about it; internet dating and I are not a match made in heaven. I suspect it’s in no small part due to the fact that I like quick results, so after half a dozen dismal attempts at finding the man who will emotionally complete me via my broadband connection I’ve “logged off” the whole idea. But my conversation with my friend did cause me to realise that my impatience is possibly due to my previous career in sales on the battlefield that is the city of London …

This was a job where strategies were not given an infinite amount of “time to work”. If there was no sign that you were making significant progress after deploying all your heavy artillery then you either a) completely re-thought your strategy or b) scrawled it off your prospect list and started hunting elsewhere.

I really was that girl. I was the one in the Armani suit stood on Waterloo concourse huffing and puffing because the train was ten minutes late. I was the girl sat in the American Bar at the Savoy sipping champagne with my girlfriends on a Wednesday evening just because we could.

I was also the girl that brought in £3.5 million worth of new business for my employer eighteen months before they decided to dispense with my services when I tried to return from maternity leave. So you see, it’s not always glitz and glamour … at least not once you’ve had a child.

The taste for all things designer and bubbly soon left me. Having a baby tends to do that to a woman. Priorities not only move, they get completely re-written. But the one thing I’ve never lost is the understanding that to get someones interest, be it in your product, your ideas or even you, you have to whet their appetite first.

To this end I would suggest anyone writing a profile for a dating website look at it in the same way as writing a sales proposal.

What you’re selling is you of course, but what you want to do is stir enough interest in your audience to motivate them to contact you. Don’t worry that you might be contacted by people you’re not interested in, of course you will, but you need options when it comes to internet dating and plenty of them.

The first thing anyone needs to decide is what type of match are you looking for. In the interests of keeping this post sensibly concise let’s suppose it’s someone like me; someone looking for a relationship but not to be engaged by Christmas and married in the spring. Here are a few pointers you might like to consider …

Photograph– Make sure you include one; not posting one looks suspicious (I’ve already talked about that). And make sure you’re smiling on it; in the main it’s only professionally-taken shots that don’t make unsmiling people look like convicts. Another vital point is make sure you’re properly dressed … a man naked from the waist up spells out P-L-A-Y-E-R only. You may be proud of your gym attendance record but keep it in your back pocket for now.

Written profile– Keep it relatively brief, two paragraphs only. Remember this exercise is only about getting people interested in you, they don’t need to know every last detail at this point. Mention any avid and passionate interests you have (that aren’t related to sex) and never, ever, ever mention your ex. Ever. Make sure your spelling and punctuation are correct … trust me, a thinking woman’s crumpet does not start off “well where i start im new to this my mates say i look great for my age i luv a good laff and im looking for that special laydee ….” You get the picture I’m sure.

Follow-up– When people contact you either initiate conversation with them or politely tell them “no thanks”. Don’t ever ignore them. The world is too small these days to risk gaining a reputation for being ignorant for the sake of not typing a quick message.

So, I’m sure there are those of you out there who are thinking “so if she’s so red hot at this, how come she’s single?”

The answer is this … you don’t always have to believe in the product to be able to sell it. You just have to get the buyer salivating at the thought of it.

Job done.

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Filed under attraction, dating, flirting, internet dating, Life, love and the universe, Men, online dating, Women

Physical attraction …. does it have a lot to answer for?

In this heady and dynamic world of social networking, online dating and cyber chat, this question looms large in front of me  …….why and how do we determine the connections we make?

How we make potentially romantic contacts is of course different to those we make for business or other social reasons ….. or is it?

Most online dating sites offer you the choice of either posting a profile photograph or not, but when I tested both options for myself I got around eighty per cent less interest without a snap as opposed to with. It was actually a man who advised me to try removing my photo but the sad truth soon emerged that when a woman is post-forty, men expect the worst. I’m sorry guys, but you do …. So the moral here is …. middle-aged daters need to validate their applications with some sort of evidence that they won’t frighten small children and horses, especially if they are female.

I’ve already talked about how when browsing men’s profiles that don’t have pictures, I’ve been automatically suspicious. No matter how “nice” someone is online, if on meeting them they turn out to look like something that could be towing the British army’s tank division single handedly, I will lose interest pretty quickly. Call me shallow, but there it is…

I’m Debsylee, and I’m an attracto-holic.

When we get a way down the dating line the cracks often begin to appear, of that there is no doubt. Take Mr Bunched Up as my most recent example of this; perfectly presentable (thanks to his relentless gym regime as he was keen to point out … ) but the personality of a giraffe on acid soon negated any good work he had done in the body shop. So whilst attractiveness might get you a second interview, it’s not necessarily going to secure the position of significant other …

In socio-business situations it’s slightly less obvious, but the basic model is the same. As a single girl I’d have to admit to having two types of contacts, those (male and female) who are married/attached and therefore kept well away from any flirtatious activities, and those attractive males who aren’t married or attached …. they go into a mental file labelled “Let’s not rule it out”. That’s not to say I would necessarily start plotting a takeover manoeuvre, but on a good day with a fair wind … Who knows?

Physical attraction, therefore, seems to be the number one motivating factor that determines whether communication is pursued with significant interest initially … or not. If the interest grows with the onset of emotional, spiritual and mental attraction too, then you’re on very fertile ground and you’d better prepare for all possible outcomes. Just in case.

I’ve pursued contact with a couple of men that really should have been parked when an alarm sounded but because I was visually hooked and the mental pairing was progressing well too, I chose to ignore the siren and battle on regardless.

Cat in the Hat is a perfect example. He was a substantial number of years older than me, but very learned, great with words and had a fabulous American accent. I was without doubt in the latter stages of “liking too much”. So when he chose to impart the information that he was going to have a “surgical procedure” that would involve some pumpage in – ahem – intimate moments, I chose to brush it off as unimportant.

Now, sane, rational and clear-thinking Debsy would scream “you what???” at that prospect but no, not the case for the newly mesmerised and smitten Debsy. My one remaining slightly concerned and clear-thinking brain cell chose to discuss it with Mr Distant Cynic, who after composing himself mentioned that a fit and healthy woman in her forties would soon tire of mechanics in the bedroom … I maintained that true love would see us through. How deluded was I? More on Cat in the Hat on another day. Needless to say the relationship was soon a deflated  version of it’s former self (not as the result of any test-drives, I should add …)

One lady commented to me some time ago that being very beautiful can be a curse; it can attract the wrong sort of attention. I can see why that would be … beauty can act like a magnet, attracting people from every direction. If the attractor has a well-honed selection process to eliminate all the ne’er-do-wells and retain the gems, then all well and good. But you can only imagine the number of times you might have to fall flat on your face to get that system operating well, without sentiment or emotion.

When all is said and done we remain a species that acts first on the visual; we might like to think we’ve evolved but the truth is that the progress has been negligible.

We may be phasing out beauty contests, but that just puts the judges back out on the streets ….

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Filed under attraction, dating, Facebook, flirting, Friends Reunited, Life, love and the universe, Men, middle age, relationships, sex, Twitter, Women