Embracing Butter

Tag Archive for dating

Why Women Should Date Like Men

Hot guy

I work with singles through my budding matchmaking and dating events business. I’ve got loads of single friends. I am also single myself at the moment. Which means I spend more time than I like to admit digging into the topics of dating and relationships. One can learn about breaking up without breaking down, getting the girl, making “any man want you,” and everything in between. While there is a lot of good advice out there for both men and women, I’ve noticed some things that seem to be missing.

For one, men could stand to be taught how to keep a great woman once they manage to attract one. There are all kinds of articles and YouTube videos teaching guys how to attract a woman, how to get her interested, and how to keep her on her toes. But when it comes to actually maintaining and building a healthy relationship that will last, things seem to get a little quiet. So stay tuned for this topic to be covered another day.

I also don’t often see women encouraged to date more like men. Yes, I said that we ladies should date more like the boys when it comes to relationships. And that’s today’s topic. I’m not saying that we should be more masculine. No way. Women should be women. I’m also not saying that men get it all right. They don’t. But men tend to go about the romantic world much more relaxed than we do, and we can learn from them.

There is one simple thing I’ve noticed that men do differently than (most) women when it comes to relationships. They put themselves first. No, it isn’t rocket science. But it’s a simple mindset difference that I believe keeps men more grounded when it comes to dating. Men – and I’m talking about confident, masculine men – will not let the woman in their life completely rule their life. And women – well, some of us get it right and focus on #1 first. However, more often than not I see women put themselves and their lives on the back burner as soon as an eligible and interest bachelor enters the picture. I’ve been guilty of this myself, and it is draining and simply doesn’t work.

This plays out in a couple of different ways. First, guys tend to pursue serious romantic relationships only when the other areas of their lives are in order. And it makes sense. It’s hard to focus on building a relationship with someone if you have major life issues to take care of (again, I’m guilty of this as well). It’s also not as fun getting to know a new person if you’re stressed with other areas of your life being out of whack. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you have any major things – health, family, financial – issues getting in the way, then try to tackle those first before embarking on your mission to finding a partner. Trust me, the results will by far be better.

Secondly, confident men don’t let their woman become the center of the universe. Take notes on this one – it’s even more important than having all your ducks in a row. Think about it – do you think the guy you’re dating, or maybe the last guy you dated – spent anywhere near as much time as you did thinking about, talking, and maybe even crying about you as you did him? I don’t think so! Men keep it cool – partly because it’s their nature, and partly because it just makes sense to not give another person in your life power to control your happiness. We women should do this to, but so often we let our emotions take complete control over us and our love interest takes center stage of our lives.

So my advice is to keep it light, have fun, focus on yourself above the guy. And for God’s sake – if you don’t have your sh** together, get it together! You’ll be more fulfilled, calm, and fun. All of which are qualities that will up your value on the dating market and make you that much more of a catch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating with kids (never a dull moment)

love picture

When I jumped – for better or for worse – back into the world of dating after nearly a decade of marriage, I realized two things quite quickly. One, that the players had changed. A lot. Meaning that the boys I’d dated before becoming a wife in my early twenties were no longer the boys I was used to. Those boys had grown up and were now MEN. Which meant this was an entirely different ballgame than the one I was used to playing. And there were new a few new rules to learn. There was a bit of a learning curve there, but thanks to good dating advice out there, this wasn’t too big a hurdle to jump over.

The second big challenge change in dating after divorce was that this go-around, there were new players who were part of the game. Namely, my three children. That’s right – this once single-no-kids woman had turned into a single-with-kids team of four – myself, my daughter, and my two boys. Meaning that anyone I date not only dates me, but in a way, my three no-so-little tikes as well. That’s right – men who date women with children not only have to woo the woman, but they have to charm the kiddos involved as well. It is not for the faint of heart.

And it goes the other way around. As a woman with children, I not only have to make sure that I bring my best to the table, but I have to make sure that my entire “team” is presentable. No self-respecting man wants to be a part of a chaotic circus act of a family. So essentially, I have to make myself attractive, and since my kids are part of the package – they have to be “attractive” as well. Or at least not repelling to eligible would-be suitors. As one of my sisters once said, “Make sure your children are assets, and not liabilities.” She was right. Your children should make potential suitors want to be part of the picture, not run away in fear.

Sound exhausting? It is. There are babysitters to organise (and pay), and getting yourself ready for a date while getting kids ready for an evening with a sitter can have you harried. At times you may even have to answer to your kids. Trust me, answering to your pre-teen daughter about who you are out with and why you got home so late last night is more difficult than any parental inquiry you had as a teenager! You will also get uncensored opinions on the men in your life from your children, which can be both funny – like the time my daughter posted on Twitter about my ex buying me flowers for my birthday – and insightful. Kids often have a sense for situations and people and wisdom beyond their years. Their vibe radar is good, so do hear them out – they may pick up on things that you are less sensitive to.

Despite the extra work that comes along with dating as a single parent, it is also fun. And believe it or not, there are some perks. For one, having kids tends to weed out the slackers and players (generally, not always!). Remember – guys dating women with kids are also dating the kids in a way. Not everyone can handle this, especially in today’s world of extended adolescence among adults. So men who put in time and effort to get the know your kids and you are worth keeping around. And if you’re dating a guy who not only works to get to know your kids, but puts effort in impressing them as well? As long as it’s genuine, my dear – you may have a keeper on your hands.

Another plus that comes with dating as a parent with young kids is that you’re busy. Maybe even very busy. Which keeps you interesting – you’ve got more going on than the other single ladies, and this can be a factor that for a lot of men makes you stand out. This busy also makes you less likely to obsess over a guy. Of course, we all have our moments of irrational female behavior. But in general, as a parent with kids you have a lot less time to obsess over the man in your life (although let me be real – I have been known to obsess about the love interest in my life at time or two). But between work, children, and taking care of yourself, as a single parent who is dating, it is difficult for a man to become the center of your universe. And that’s a good thing!

 

My little business baby, “Cupcake Dating”

Cupcake Dating

This is my ‘official’ photo for Cupcake Dating. Isn’t this couple the cutest?

Along with cake and coffee, my kids, and a certain Austrian guy I’m crazy about, entrepreneurship is one of my favorite things in this world. As an Aquarius - we’re the crazy social ones with lots of ideas and a desire to change the world, in case you didn’t know – I find it magical that out of an idea, a concrete thing – be it a service, a product, a new food, etc. – can be created and generate income. Awesome, isn’t it? I think so.

My very first experience with entrepreneurship was at a Dallas, Texas gun show at age six. Yes, you read that correctly. My dad and I had made an overload of gingerbread cookies (the ones mentioned here) for Easter, so we decided to pack them up and take them to the local gun show and try to sell them. Can you get more Southern than selling something at a gun show in Texas? Doubtful. But we did take those cookies to that show, set them out on a platter, and sold every last one of them. It didn’t take long.

That, my friends, is when the magic of business hit me. It was an early, clear lesson that if you create something good that people want, package it nicely, slap a price tag on it and make it available, people will pay you for that thing. For chubby six-year-old me, the little girl who lived for sweets and hunted for loose change in Coke machines and pay phones – the fact that you could do something fun (make cookies!) and then sell them (making money!) was amazing.

Let’s fast-forward to adulthood, when after extensive travel, a few odd jobs, and the occasional stint in college, I found myself married with a baby and ready to make my dreams of being a business owner reality. I started a catering company in the gorgeous, massive 1920s yellow house where my little family and I lived in and called it, appropriately - The Yellow House Catering Company. We hosted catered events in the first floor of the house, and lived upstairs. Hard work, but somewhat charming and fun, and living and working in the same home was generally enjoyable, especially as a parent.

The grand plan behind The Yellow House was to start with catering, build up the business the point where I could open up a café, and then expand to different places, dotting its way across the Atlantic and ending up with at least one location on or near the beach in Barcelona. Yes, that was the plan. And as you may have guessed, it did’t work out that way. After about two and a half years of catering for the local community, hosting everything from ladies’ bridge luncheons (deep South!), to corporate Christmas parties and weddings, one day my (then-) husband asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life “selling brownies and lasagna to Dublinites” (aka, the locals). The question hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks, and I had to ask myself if that was what I wanted. It was not.

As much as I loved making people happy with food and supporting my family with it, it was clear that my little small-town catering business was not going to turn into a chain of cafés that would get me to the life on the Med I was dreaming of. So after being jerked back into reality by the brownies and lasagna question, I decided to shut down the business and put the café dream on hold. My ex went back to work and I went back to college. In the end, my degree and a job got me much closer to the Mediterranean, than my littler catering company in Georgia could have.

Fast-forwarding again a few years to the present. I still have a day job (one that I love, but that’s a story for another day), but there is still that desire in me to create and build a business of my own. I work in online marketing doing recruiting for tech companies here in Berlin and elsewhere. I seem to be good at it, I enjoy it, and it’s paying the bills, so I am happy with it and don’t plan to make a change any time soon. But deep down, my heart still beats to drum of a creator/dreamer/business builder.

Which brings me to Cupcake Dating, my singles business I am creating and hoping to build. This is most definitely what you would call a passion project, as it combines a few of the things that I really enjoy – meeting and connecting people, nice events, fun, and – cupcakes. It’s an idea I’d thought about for ages and finally decided to start growing slowly – at the moment we host little singles events – I call them “mixers” at nice, intimate venues – giving people who are looking for other singles to potentially date a place to do so. And yes, we do serve cupcakes – or at least some sort of cake – at all events. Because as Julia Child said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” She was right!

Let’s see where this business goes. Of course I have plans to scale and make Cupcake Dating Events available in the larger western European and US cities, but I am not pinning all future hopes on it. I’ve got a lot going on so this only gets attention on the sidelines of life, but I hope that regular effort and events will eventually pay off.  In the meantime, I’m happy to once again no longer be just an employee. I’m a creator at heart and am happiest when putting energy into bringing my visions to life. And with Cupcake, it’s a vision of bringing great people together to build relationships, because I’m convinced that life is sweeter shared.