Mental Reminder: This is Why I Hate Dating

Ahhhh romance!  Ahhh, the newness of meeting someone you might really like.  Ahh, the lessons you learn when it doesn’t work out!!!!  Why do we not catch on faster to the speedbumps lying in wait to tip over the relationship?  Why do we overthink, overreact,  but never overcome those redlights that are blinking madly at you through your rose colored glasses?  Is it romance?  Is it the courtship?  Is it the budding realization that there really are sincere people in the world and they haven’t all gone attention-greedy mad?

I don’t know.

I’ve had my fair share of romance.  A man once wrote me a song.  Okay, it wasn’t the greatest song, it was more like a song that would have been on the Beverly Hillbillies Soundtrack, but it was written for me.  And the man hired a band to play it and cut a few hundred copies of it for….I guess me.

Another man courted me with quotes from Shakespeare and Greek tragedy and unbelievable sex.  We were electric.  We were in sync.  He begged me to be Penelope to his Odysseus.  Of course, Odysseus had multiple affairs while Penelope waited patiently for him to grow up and come home.  You know the story.  And you can guess how mine ended.

The last romance I had was again, electric.  This man was  (in my mind) an intellectual without a degree.  A man with a large Italian family but no home.  A rebel with many causes.  And he wrote poetry.  Lovely, heartachingly beautiful poetry.  A few he wrote for me.  He was much younger (which bothered me greatly) and had HUGE emotional issues, but I believed that “love would overcome”.  He didn’t.  He believed in Sugar Mammas.  The feminist side of me thought it okay.  I mean come on, there are many women who get involved with older, rich guys so why shouldn’t a man?   The problem was I was older, but not that rich.  Okay, not rich at all.   And the true part of me thought getting involved with another strictly for mercenary reasons quite crass.   And so the story ended.

Here we go again.

I went out last weekend for the second time with a nice gentleman.  Before yesterday, I thought of him as romantic, intelligent and a little spontaneous: all things I truly appreciate.  He filled my emails with thoughts, book excerpts, poetry I should read, interesting stories and he sent me sweet texts throughout the week.  (do you see a pattern here?)  On our first date he drank more wine than I.  On the second date, he moved on to Scotch.  Not that it bothers me, Glenlivet is a dear friend of mine.  But I noticed he was quite, let’s say, dependent on having a drink in front of him before he could converse with me.  Am I that scary?  Does my mere presence push men to drink?   There I go overanalyzing again.  But it’s one of those character flaws (or plusses) I own.  Overanalyzing is my way of making sense of the whole relationship thing, heck, of the world!  So I overanalyzed, then stopped and mentally berated myself for being so neurotic.

Then I got this text:

“Gayle, I heard this today and it made me think of you”

Attached was the the following video.  Listen to the lyrics carefully.

I guess he does have a drinking problem. I guess he does think this is romantic (um….it’s not!) and I guess this is why I hate dating.  I won’t be seeing him again.


Analyzing Emotion in Electronic Text

I so adore love letters. Especially the kinds that seep emotions, feelings and declarations of love. I’m not talking about the “Violets are Red” type letters, I’m talking Henry Miller/Anais Nin letters…..Elizabeth Barret Browning and Robert Browning letters. It seems to me that learning, knowing, expressing to one another through letters is a beautiful way of building a relationship. Why else would there be pen pals? Why else would there be a post office?

As those examples slowly disappear into extinction, another form seems to be following their leads….emails. I find myself texting more than talking on the phone. What’s more worrisome is that my teenagers NEVER use the phone. They have no phone skills at all (I’ll broach this subject another time) And emails? Well, I don’t send them as often as I did before either. Time, Time, Time is always my excuse, but part of it is the frustration of ensuring your point is made without worry of:
1. Being misunderstood
2. Tonality
3. Succinctness
I sometimes think that email is for the technical writer. I think of myself as a creative writer. I want to fill my email with anecdotes, ellipses and smiles. I don’t want to have to revert to using 4 letters words to express my disdain or anger. I want to send emails with emotion streaming from the bytes, but I would rather receive them more. Is there anything better than reading a steamy email from someone who adores you?  Okay honestly?
I just want to be understood.


Doesn’t everyone?


The Experience Project has developed an emotional analysis machine called “The Crane”. This analytical tool takes emails, texts, captions from pictures and more and analyzes the writer’s mood and emotion.

At its base, Crane looks for the potential emotions that could lurk behind every word it encounters, and it uses context to disambiguate and determine the emotional profile of any text. As a result, it is sensitive to the variations in the emotional meanings of words when they’re used in different contexts. Finally– a tool that is sensitive to our emotional complexity, a tool that can understand us as humans.

Yes, our emotions make us who we are.  Through writing, we can understand one another and relate to one another. I am wary of men who don’t want or feel the need to woo me but not email me.  They’re either illiterate, too busy, or worse, lazy; traits that are all detrimental to a long term relationship.