Category Archives: Oops I Dated Again


Here is something I never considered until I woke up on a recent morning after a dreadful date with a scoundrel.

There never was a Paradise free of charming predators. The devil dwelled in the Garden of Eden, too. It was there, in the world’s first gated community, that he ambushed Eve, seducing her into committing Original Sin.

What occurred to me as I cursed the handsome swindler who had talked me into spending an evening in his suavely misogynistic company was this: Charming blackguards have been beguiling women since the dawn of dawns.

And me in particular.

I want to know why. I want to make it stop. Well, sort of.

There is a sickening sensation when attraction turns to fear or revulsion. This happens when you are entangled with a charismatic cad. I felt it on that recent morning. I felt it on our date.

Yet again and again the bad boy appeals. It’s amazing how many shapes awful can take. Consider all the colorful demons in religions around the world: the Christian Lucifer, Buddhist Mara, Muslim Iblis. So many devils in so many forms. The bad boy’s ranks are enormous.

Why so charismatic? The Evil Guy breaks rules, and respects no taboos, which gives him a kind of liberated libidinous allure. He’s unpredictable and unreliable and therefore never boring. He is open to all addictions and bad habits, which means he is accepting of all faults although completely lacking in empathy. Most alluring of all, he never wants to get close to you, make a commitment, cling to you or actually love you, which means that he is not very demanding and will not threaten your fears of intimacy.

According to some psychology theorists, the bad boy is someone to whom we can hand all our own diabolical qualities and act as if they are his. He expresses the negativity we repress. We can project all of our own evil aspects onto him.

The problem is that while he can be exciting and even convenient psychologically, el diablo has a big down side: he likes to hurt us and he will. Being with him is scary, depressing, deflating, wounding, sickening, and not conducive to good physical and mental health.

How can we banish him? Certain self-help gurus are fond of saying that the more we can accept and own our dark side, the less we need to express it through unpredictable, punishing, crazy or even dangerous relationships. If we can work out some of these nefarious impulses in ourselves, and either recover from them or find harmless ways to express our witchy ways, then perhaps we will feel freer to choose partners who are not so impossibly evil.

Maybe we can aim for a good guy next time. Or at least a pretty good guy. Or, well, maybe just a little bad. A tiny bit devilish. A satanic spark. A bad boy streak. Just a little one, to keep things exciting, stir things up in the neighborhood.


Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Essays, Oops I Dated Again


It Must Be Him

Want to know my lamest dating strategies? I mean, just in case you’d like to try them yourself and see how truly dumb and dumberer they make you feel. This I promise: My foolproof moves will lower your self esteem faster than an asteroid makes a crater.

I will list them in the order in which I bring them into play in a typical dating situation:

1)When saying “Si” to a potential suitor, I purposely and willfully ignore all red flags, advice of friends, previous mistakes and lessons learned. If someone tries to dissuade me, I cover my ears and shout nonsense like I did as a child to annoy my siblings.

2)During the dating process, I refuse to let conventional standards for a decent man get in my way. Bring me your poor, wretched, misogynistic playuhs trollin’ for hoochie hos. I’ll date ’em, love ’em, bring ’em home to meet my peeps. Is he a liar? Womanizer? Screaming souse? He’s no match for my denial.

3)In my hot pursuit of sociopaths, weirdos, ho-mongas and creeps, I say to any and all decent men who may try to intercede: Outta My Way Mr. Boring–don’t you DARE open a door for me. You say you’re sincere? I say ZZZZZ Senor Ambien, you’re a snooze. Like cuddling? Please, gag me, already. You’re not a HOTTIE. Want one partner to love for the rest of your life? Ewwwwwww. Wimp alert. I am like incredibly OVER YOU. What a dweebster.

4)After discerning during one or two dates that my new Prince is most def a psycho, even after fleeing and shrieking in horror, I start spinning the whole thing until it smells like a corsage. For instance, I might remember his really cool collection of coasters from Oktoberfest. Or I might think about the nice way his nose looked from one angle, or the cute smile on his face when he said, “I’m gonna handcuff you to my leather lounger while I watch the game”. I might even reassure myself that when he started hollering it wasn’t anything I did but the fact that the waitress forgot to salt his fries. Her oversight was the reason he screamed, stood on the banquette and pelted me with sugar packets.

5)Finally, the ne plus ultra, my absolute guaranteed lamest move of all: The day after the heinous tryst, I wake up and immediately check my email, texts, voicemail, twitter, face book, front porch, local billboards and skywriting to see if he CONTACTED ME. Almost invariably, the answer is NO. Though I despise him, I am devastated. For hours, I wonder obsessively what he didn’t like. Finally, having listened to Vikki Carr’s grovelling lament, “It Must Be Him”, at least 100 times, I dial his number to ask him why he hasn’t called me. Of course he doesn’t pick up.

Options exhausted, I sink into the couch, sobbing, and turn on Vikki again, really really loud:

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Essays, Oops I Dated Again


Stolen Flowers…And Other Red Flags

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about how to detect a date who’s “Not That Into YOU”.

What about routing out a Romeo whom “YOU Should Not Be Into” ?

We don’t hear as much about that.

Can you decipher the dinging of bad-date warning bells? How about a bunch of red banners flapping wildly before your eyes?

To help you out, here are Ten Toro-genic Flaming Flags from my very own Lousy Love Life archives. I ignored every single one of them. I hope you won’t do the same with your romantic radar.


1)Brought me flowers stolen from my neighbors’ gardens.

2)Said he was “expecting a blonde.”

3)Referred in an email to “tying me up.”

4)Told me lots of interesting stuff about his wife.

5)Walked in carrying a guitar, sat down, closed his eyes and sang horribly to himself.

6)Took me to hear a female rock star and then attempted to put the moves on her.

7)Was always deep in his cups.

8)Was unbearable unless I was deeper in my cups.

9)Frightened me to death with:

A)His Driving

B)His Temper

C)His Drinking

D)His Bad Tempered Drunk Driving

10)Invited me, and his steady girlfriend, to the same club on the same night, while lying to both of us about each other. I wondered why his “colleague” was wearing a hoochie mama dress and why he said he was suffering from a “rare and painful neurological disorder” that made it impossible for us to hold hands or even stand close to one another.

I wondered but I never spotted the flag. Or the bull.

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Posted by on October 16, 2010 in Essays, Oops I Dated Again


Out Of Season?

Ever since I embarked on the bizarre adventure known as Middle Aged Dating I have puzzled over why it is so difficult for people to mate at midlife. I know it is not universally so but judging from an unscientific survey of almost every single woman I know over 45, including myself, and also from seeing the same male faces on Match dot Com year after lonesome year, I have concluded that there is a very powerful force working against us.

I think the problem might be that we are out of season.

Please forgive me, my agnostic friends, while I turn for a moment to the one spiritual tome that all my Jewish, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Catholic ancestors can agree on, which is, of course, the Old Testament, and, specifically, the oft-quoted Book of Ecclesiastes.

Anyone who was a folkie, a hippie, an activist, or simply alive in the late 1960s will recognize the verses from Ecclesiastes earnestly chorused again and again (and again) by folk trio ┬áPeter Paul and Mary: “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Perhaps you, like me, a pre-teen already overflowing with buckets of romantic optimism, sang along.)

So, human mating has a season. You probably already knew that. You probably also know that human mating season comes before you have children not when you are paying for college. To borrow a phrase from Bill Shakespeare, “ripeness is all.”

Clearly middle aged mating is out of season. But does that really interfere with the process?

Plastic surgeons and purveyors of cosmeceuticals will tell you, and they won’t be entirely incorrect, that with the right combination of botox, breast implants, and various other magical advances in skincare and body sculpting, you can become seasonless. These trompe l’oeuil tricks can fool the pheromones of potential mates no matter what your age. Hormone treatments and borrowed ova now allow women in their fifties, even sixties, to bear children.


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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in Essays, Oops I Dated Again