celibacy, dating site, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The right stages of a relationship

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Is there a right order in relationships? I’m not so sure. Several of my friends had their children before getting married to their significant other. Some are even not married. “Traditional” couples still get married first and have children after.

But this is an evolution of relationships because it has to start from scratch. Every relationship begins with an encounter. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Happn,… favour those encounters. Our professional and private circles can also help to meet someone. There are many ways to find a new relationship. To be fair, my last relationships all started with Tinder.

After the first contact, there is the first date. If you are careful, the first exchanges you made with your date help you to sort those who would make a disastrous first date. The men I met through Tinder exchanged several messages with me before our first date, and I was relieved by what they wrote. I didn’t have much surprises when I met them.

After that, some people decide to lead a particular relationship. An acquaintance started to be sex friends with the man she met thanks to Tinder. Another one started to casual date a man she met through some common friends. Generally, people take their time to evaluate their date. Especially when they have experienced several relationships.  But it can happen that some people want to start right away a long term relationship. Even if only the long run can tell if the relationship is sustainable or not.

With age, people also take their time before having sex with their date. Even with the people who meet through Tinder, which is famous to be a hookup site. This may be true for the young people between 18-24, but above that age, it’s not necessarily the case. Some people wait until they are certain there are feelings involved before having sex. It can take weeks or even months. The key is to take time to know our date. It’s not that simple. But if our date don’t want to spend time with us, that’s a sign he/she doesn’t want to have a relationship.

Some people wait until they meet their date’s friends and family, which is a sign the relationship is going strong. After all, if you don’t pass that step, it’s not a good sign. Our friends and family can also help us to tell if our date is right for us. Usually, our friends and family see when there’s a problem while we’re too blind with love. This step isn’t a problem if you date someone from your private circle, who was introduced to you by common friends. The blessing is already there.

Recently, one of my coworkers told me he’s divorcing. He met his wife at our office five years ago, and people were really surprised how fast their relationship evolved. She got pregnant only four months after they started dating, and got married in a hurry. Had they have waited, he may have known she was a bad influence to him. His career stalled after they started dating. She was really jealous and made him a scene every time he talked to female coworkers.

Yes, we all know some exceptions to this. Two of my friends got pregnant really quickly after they met their significant other. So far, they are still in their relationship. But they met their significant other through common friends.

Only fools rush in, isn’t it?

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Dating by text

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Nowadays, people don’t call each other anymore. I don’t call my friends anymore. We communicate either on WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage,… And we schedule every of our meetings with texts.  I still call people from my professional sphere though. But I’ve noticed people communicate more and more by emails. Even on Linkedin.

But texts are not a real conversation. As Sherry Turkle said in her TED speech, we find a way to be connected, but alone. With texts, we keep people at distance.

Yet, when it comes to dating, texts can be useful. Who has the guts to talk to someone in the street and ask him/her out? The risk of rejection is really high in that case. It’s less of a big deal with texts. Although  with texts there’s a grey area because people can wait to reply to your text, and even not reply at all. And this can be a source of anxiety. On Messenger and iMessage, you can also see the dots indicating your friends (or family or lover) currently typing. It’s frustrating  when  those dots  don’t turn into a text.

When you try to ask out someone over texts, there’s nothing more frustrating to see this.

Aziz Ansari, who wrote “Modern romance” with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, has a theory about what you should write in your text to reach your goal. In short, don’t do endless back and forth. A firm invitation to do something specific at a specific time is a better solution than typing pointless texts about everything and nothing to eventually forget why you started to text. Some humorous texts will also do the trick.

Yes, it can backfire because the other can refuse your invitation or can’t understand your humorous texts. But at least,  you don’t spend time typing pointless texts.

With a text like “Hey”, “what’s up?”, very few people would  write you back. At least, if you don’t know well the person. I don’t mind if my friends text me those, but they don’t do that in general.

Texts are just a mean to meet people. You can feel really alone if you text all of the time and never meet the other person at the receiving end.

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Facebook as a dating site?

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The social media is currently working on a new button which will be available on our smartphone, called “discover people”. It will allow you to find new “friends” based on your common “likes” and interests, a bit like Tinder, the dating app. This new button is already available, but I don’t have access to it yet.

I don’t know if Facebook can be helpful for finding love. I read several stories on the New York Times in their section “wedding” where the spouses met thanks to Facebook, and the section “people you may know, because they were related in the past.

On Tinder, I haven’t found many men who share a lot of common “likes” and interests with me. I swiped right one man who had 15 common “likes” with me (and two common friends). But he never swiped me right. He was the man who had the more common “likes” with me. I’ve never encountered any other man like that ever since.

The only man who swiped me right with a lot of common “likes” (and two common friends) was disappointed when we started dating each other. We discovered many other common points when we were together, but it wasn’t enough. I found the guy on the defensive all of the time, and I felt weak and powerless because of that. One of my friends told me we have the same common point with defensiveness.

His pictures were very revealing about his behaviour, but I didn’t want to consider those. He had his arms closed on the two pictures he put on Tinder. It’s also the case for his Facebook profile picture.

It’s like there’s a catch when we search for a partner with common interests. On Tinder, what would you do if you found a man with many common “likes” with you, but has a profile picture where he’s close to another woman? (little advice for men who read this: never put a picture on Tinder where there’s another woman on it).

On Facebook, it can be even more difficult. It can be odd if a person you don’t know comes out of the blue and asks you to accompany him/her to an event you are both interested on Facebook.

Tinder works best with people aged from 18 to 24. Because at this age, they don’t care for their reputation. When we go older, it becomes more difficult. A friend of mine told me he would never used Tinder because people would recognise him easily.We are also more  defensive because of our past experiences.

I guess this new option on Facebook will also work best with young people.

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celibacy, life, love, men, reflexion, thoughts, women

If there is a will, there is a way

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A long time ago, one reader of this blog wrote me an email ending with this sentence: “A sailor without any destination cannot hope for a favorable wind”. In other words, if we don’t know what we want, we can’t expect to have a positive result.

A will is sometimes not enough, because we can fail at our goal. It’s true for everything we try to accomplish, from our personal goals in life to every challenge we take in our professional life.

But even with failure, we can learn precious lessons from our experience. And eventually succeed. It took me four attempts to win my award in journalism some years ago. I could have dropped the first time I failed, but I didn’t. A friend of mine encouraged me to pursue my attempts. I remember the way I won that award. Before, I didn’t ask people to read my article and to criticise  it before publishing it and sending it to the jury.  The last time, I asked two journalists who were very very difficult to please to read my article, and they advised me to make some small changes in my article before it was published. It was a good advice.

When it comes to love, sometimes, the first attempt is not the right one. One of my friends took years to eventually get back with her ex. They have recently bought a house together and I don’t know why but I hear wedding bells for these two. She met him through mutual friends almost twelve years ago. They started dating shortly after, but he broke up with her after 6 months because he told her he wasn’t ready for a relationship. Yet, they didn’t stop contacting each other. Both dated other people, with not much success, until my friend suddenly had to find another apartment because her two roommates decided to move out of their common apartment as both of them were about to get married. At the time, she had the choice of sharing an apartment with me, or moving in with her ex who had a spare room at his place. She chose that option. She told me she had always wanted to get back with him. It didn’t mean she got back with him right away after she moved in with him. In fact, he kept her at distance at the beginning. But my friend had to be hospitalised  because of her endometriosis. He stood at her side during her hospitalisation. Shortly after, her father passed away. During the funerals, her ex stood at her side all of the time. She winked and smiled at me when I looked at them. That’s how I understood they were back together.

To love someone is to learn how to love him/her, says the philosopher Alain de Botton. It’s not obvious, not at all. But I guess it’s easier when we know what we want.

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celibacy, life, love, men, sex, thoughts, women

The sapiosexual

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A sapiosexual is someone who is only attracted to intelligent people. This definition is very large. I fall into this category since all my ex’s have that common point. But recently, I experienced a strange conversation on Tinder with a guy I matched who told me he was a sapiosexual. He said that after I told him about the books I’m currently reading. I’m a strange reader, because I read several books at the same time. He said I was turning him on with that detail. But then, he asked me to tell him about physics and some obscure concepts. “Seduce me”, he added. I didn’t reply. To be fair, I don’t know anything about physics. I don’t have that scientific sensibility.

The guy has pretty high standards for his potential significant other (or maybe just a hookup, it’s Tinder after all…).

I don’t ask on Tinder to my matchs if they can quote a poem from Baudelaire, some lines from”Economie du bien commun”, a theorem from Mandelbrot,…. Even if the guy can quote any of these, I’m not sure it will turn me on anyway.

I’m not sure any of my ex’s would be able to do so too.

When one of them mocked me because he found “Economie du bien commun” on my coffee table, I didn’t dismiss him because of his ignorance. In fact, I was hurt by his behavior, because he mocked the intellectual who read this book,  he mocked who I am. This is a big deal breaker for me.

If he had asked just why I was reading that book, or asked questions about this book, or even ignored it, I wouldn’t have called it quits with him.

There is more than the intellect, there is emotional intelligence.

What’s the point of dating someone who can discuss with you for hours about literature, but treats you with no respect?

Some years ago, I had a date like that. I met the guy at a conference. He invited me to have a drink with him. We spent the evening discussing about Celine. But when the bill arrived at our table, he asked me if we could go dutch. And he mocked me because I had difficulty to open the door when we went out of the restaurant. He could have helped me gently to open the door.

So, sapiosexuality maybe a horrible dating trend.

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celibacy, life, love, relationships, thoughts

The shared values

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Last year, one of my failed relationships taught me an important thing about my personal values. Your personal values are key to find the right person for you. It is wise to use those as a guideline for your potential dates.

If you place money on top of your values, chances are you will look for a partner who cherish money too. Of course, if you’re very wealthy, you will be suspicious if your partner is after your money instead of pursuing his/her conquest of money.

If you’re into parties, networkings, in other words, a socialite, it’s best if you find another socialite like you.

If you’re into books, news, debates, …, it’s best if you find someone who likes to read books,…

 In the last case, congrats, you’re sapiosexual if you look for a smart partner.

Tinder can be useful to find your perfect match according to your values. Just look at the common interests you have with that person. Sometimes, there are no common likes. But if there is a description on the profile, it’s worth paying attention to those words. Questions are also helpful.

But Tinder has its limit. A real conversation face to face helps you to evaluate your potential partner. And then, there’s Facebook too. Scroll carefully his/her Facebook profile, it’s very useful.

My mistake was to ignore details on his wall on Facebook like a post about how to seduce women (with alcohol).  I also realized we didn’t have that much in common, despite five common interests on Tinder. He probably liked the same things than me a long time ago. But it’s not relevant anymore.

I also realized how important it is for me to know if my significant other has a passion for books like me. At my place, there are books everywhere. When he came here, he just mocked the books I was reading, among which there was “Economie du bien commun”.

So, yes, our values are important. And we should never trade them for love.

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celibacy, life, love, reflexion, thoughts, women

Holidays Greetings

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On the 1st of January, I received a short message on WhatsApp from my ex, with a text as original as the one in the picture above. It’s been weeks since we spoke to each other. I’ve stopped contacting him after seeing no reply from him to several of my messages. So, I didn’t expect a message from him at all.

His message was short, wishing me a happy new year. He didn’t mention my name. He may have sent this message to several people in his contact list. It looks like it. I just replied to his message with the same kind of words. I thought he sent this by accident. After all, why would he do that, after weeks of silence?

We’re not friends. Another ex of mine sent me a message wishing me a happy new year. But we’re friends and he doesn’t let me down when I call him or when I leave him a message. Over the years, we’ve managed to build a solid friendship. So I was just happy to receive his best wishes, and I happily replied to him.

Over the years, we both went through up and downs in our life, and he’s always at my side during those periods, while I’m always here for him. But our friendship didn’t come easily. We went through periods where we wouldn’t contact each other.

Why are the greetings so difficult to accept from certain people?

Well, during the winter holidays, some feelings come back. Every year, a friend of mine goes a little bit neurotic because she told me it’s always a drama when she goes visiting her family. This year, my boss shouted she hated the holidays because she hit a difficult patch with her sister.

And this is for those who still have a family. Some people don’t have a family to celebrate Christmas.

But those dinners with the family can turn sour, between your uncle who asks you why you’re still single, when it’s not your mother or father who asks you that question, and between your in-laws who give you plenty of advices for your life you don’t ask for. For those who have a big family, those dinners can be spread on two, three, four, five days in a row.

Yet, this is just for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Most of us spend the New Year’s Eve with our significant other, our children, and/or friends, and the evening is less difficult.

Despite that, some messages are not very welcomed.

The message we don’t welcome very well come from people who disappoint us. The disappointment can come because those people were silent in our life for months even years. “I received a Happy New Year from my father, who left our family four years ago and didn’t  contact us since then. So it was a shock. But I didn’t want to reply to him” says one of my friends.

I have a friend who didn’t show to my wedding and gave me no excuse for this. He wishes me every year a happy New Year, and a Happy Birthday, but he never asks to see me for a drink or a dinner, or a visit to my home. He doesn’t ask how I am, and how my family is doing. Those messages are really annoying to me because I know I can’t expect anything more from him”  another friend of mine said.

What do you do with those messages? Do you reply a neutral message? Do you ignore the message? Do you call the friend/ family who let you down to say how you feel?

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