Day eighty-seven

The co-worker date

The Epicure drinking fine wine from a yoghurt container in the park

According to a 2010 Monster.com survey, 53% of participants admitted to having a crush on a co-worker, 36% had acted on that crush and had a relationship in the workplace, and 12% had married someone they had dated at work.  And why not?  You spend more time at your job than you do in most other places (except home, but then you are sleeping for a chunk of that time).  My personal statistics are pretty high: of the relationships I’ve been in, 83% of them I met at work (although in most of those we weren’t working together when we became a serious relationship).

Of course there are problems with dating a co-worker.  In the same Monster.com survey as above, 75% of respondents thought that workplace relationships lead to workplace conflicts and 73% thought that it could jeopardize job security and advancement opportunities.  But it’s do-able, with discreet behaviour and respect for each other’s privacy during the relationship and the break-up.  OnlineDating.com has a list of seven rules for dating a co-worker, including: know company policy; weigh the consequences; be discreet and professional; stay within your hierarchy; don’t talk shop; plan ahead; and recover quietly.  The always credible Cosmopolitan.com even has some rules for workplace romance, including testing the waters and avoid getting busted.

I knew that part of dating month would have to touch on me dating a co-worker, and The Epicure was the perfect man for the job.  The Epicure and I have always flirted with each other at work. We used to joke that we were married (or we were going to marry, I forget), but when he started dating another co-worker, that seemed a little weird, so we stopped.  He is single again, though, so back to the teasing each other for fun – and he gives really good hugs that crack my back!

The Epicure planned a lovely picnic in the park yesterday afternoon, with cheeses (including a crazy caramel stilton that had raisins in it – was sort of weird, but sort of good), berries, baguette, smoked salmon, olives, and his dad’s homemade wine that we drank out of plastic yoghurt containers (my only addition to the picnic – I know, classy).

I wasn’t nervous going into the date, but I was a bit worried about what we would talk about.  We’ve never really had a conversation that wasn’t at work, joking around, or at a party with lots of other co-workers joining in.  It ended up being really fun to talk about our lives.  I learned more about his family (which he’s really close with) and his upcoming trip to Africa that sounds amazing (he leaves in the fall for an undetermined length of time).

I’m really glad we got this chance to connect.  He was complaining that he doesn’t have enough girl friends to chill with, and as he’s leaving for Africa soon, he’s not going to get into a relationship, but would still like the female companionship.  I told him I would love to be his girl friend (not girlfriend, but friend who is a girl – mom and nana, stop getting your hopes up).

Even though I’ve dated lots of co-workers before, getting involved with one whose ex still works at the same place and who is admittedly unattached because of his upcoming trip, is not a good idea.  But being his friend is!

Tonight

The guy I met online who had such a hard time with the fact that I’m doing this project, yet decided he wanted to go on a date with me anyways!

Day eighty-six

The ex-boyfriend date

The Ex-Boyfriend

Was it a bad idea or a good idea?   Will old feelings come up?  Are those old feelings bad or good?  Every time I meet up with my most current ex-boyfriend, I always ask myself these questions.  But then I remind myself why we broke up in the first place.

Luckily The Ex-Boyfriend and I have made peace with a lot of those issues and are very honest with each other about everything we are feeling.  We are also really comfortable around each other, so it makes for a good evening regardless of the situation.

Outside the El Mocambo after the concert

Tonight was no exception.  First, some really bad theatre (it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a negative reaction to a piece of theatre – at one point I was pinching myself so I could concentrate on the pain of my hand instead of the pain of watching the atrocious acting on stage – it’s why theatre has a bad name, but the design was awesome and the only redeemable factor).  Next, a fantastic concert: Sea of Bees as the opening act (just discovered her and bought her album – check her out here) and Stornoway headlining at the El Mocambo.  One of the best concerts I’ve seen in awhile.  Finally to my friend’s going away party to catch last call (my work-mates have now met five of my dates this month – it’s almost a running gag at work of who I’ll show up with next!)

I tend to be friends with my exes.  I feel like they were important enough for me to date, so they’re important enough that I want to keep them in my life.  Sometimes this adds complications.  And sometimes I feel like this might be a bad idea.  But mostly I’m just happy to have them around.

Here’s a Stornoway video for your viewing pleasure:

Today

The co-worker date – a picnic in the park!

Day eighty-five

The ‘finally’ date

The Philosopher

Sometimes there are people who you keep trying to meet up with, but life gets in the way.  Then you finally have your date.  This is what happened with The Philosopher and I.  Last month, at a friend’s birthday party, a bunch of us were talking about my upcoming month of dating.  The Philosopher (my friend’s best friend) told me that he would love to be one of my dates, even though we had barely spoken to each other.  He picked the 7th and the 17th as our two date times (or at least one of them).  Well, I had to work the 7th and he had to work then played baseball on the 17th.  Fate was keeping us apart, but amazingly enough we were both free yesterday afternoon for lunch and a chat and it actually happened.

Even though we hadn’t spoken that much at the party last month, we had made it through the initial meeting, so getting together this time was very comfortable.  He picked me up in his car (he’s my friend’s friend, so I trust him), got out to open my door, held the restaurant door open for me, insisted on paying the bill.

We talked about lots of taboo topics.  I love this.  I feel like we should talk about religion (he’s Jewish, so it was a totally appropriate topic of conversation, considering I’m not), ex-partners, his date the day before, my dates the days before, philosophy (not sure if this is really a taboo topic, but we did talk about it as he went to school for philosophy before changing into finance and philosophy was the only class in university I really didn’t understand), real estate.  I’m all about being open and I like a date who isn’t uncomfortable with speaking about all sorts of things.

We also talked about cool traveling we’ve done, which is always a favourite topic of mine.  He was born in South Africa, so it was interesting to hear about his childhood there.  He also did an awesome back-country ski trip that sounded amazing!

I had a really nice lunch with him, despite the fact that he really only asked me out for the blog.  I have no idea if he thought I was cute and wanted to take me out, or because he was doing me a favour, but either way, I had a great time.  I’m sure the religion factor (his mom wants him to marry a nice Jewish girl) will keep us from another date (unfortunately – but religion is one of those deal breaking factors that usually can’t be compromised around), but it’ll be great to chat again at the next party we’re at together.

Your Target Market 

Speaking of being Jewish, there are a many dating websites that are specific to a demographic (and not my demographic), that I want to mention:

And there are many more, if there’s a specific demographic you’re into that I didn’t mention.

Tonight

Another concert!  With the ex-boyfriend…


Day eighty-four

Another OKCupid date

Me through the app designed by Shiny Shoes

He’s been sky diving a couple of times, white water rafting, hiking with black bears, and exploring Alaska.  He can’t wait to visit New Zealand to bungee jump.  He was born in India, lived in New York for years, but loves Toronto.  And he didn’t read the blog before coming on the date with me!  Shiny Shoes is an adventurous man.

I love inside jokes.  They instantly make a first date comfortable.  It’s an easy thing to bring up to remember the banter (online, over the phone or by text) that made you excited about the date in the first place.  We had a running gag involving him shining his shoes to get ready for the date, and sure enough he showed up with shiny shoes!  I loved it!

Brunch together was fun, although it turns out I didn’t explain my year as much as I thought I had online, so I spent a lot of time explaining what I’m doing.

He was really great and I loved hearing about his adventures.  So, I’m not sure whether it was the tired thing (from my day of dates the day before), or chemistry, but I didn’t feel a romantic match.  That happens – a lot, I’ve found out.  Even if you like the person on paper, the conversation is good, they are an attractive person with good manners, and you have things in common, doesn’t make for a romantic spark.  It’s as much about timing and a feeling you get that makes them someone you want to date further.

More in online dating…

There are a few things happening in the online dating world that I haven’t talked about yet and thought I’d touch on, as I’m not sure they will turn into dates.  I’ve met a couple of great people who I thought I had a connection with, but once I mentioned the blog, they backed right off.  Even one who dates bloggers on a regular basis (although he said to call him for home-made perogies next month, if I didn’t find a love match).  I’ve had a few who seem keen to go on a date with me, but then keep putting it off because they are busy or away.  I’m not sure whether they are getting cold feet, lost interest or are actually busy, but I do hear this happens a lot in the dating world (although now I’m close to being booked up for the rest of the month).

I’ve also met one really interesting man who is in a 10-year open relationship with his wife and mother of his children.  I’ve told him that I couldn’t be “the other woman”, even if his wife is into it, but I am fascinated by the concept and he agreed to answer a bunch of my questions about the lifestyle.  If I can get his permission, I will post some of his answers by the end of the month.  He did steer me towards a couple of swingers websites, though, so if anyone is interested (I’m warning you, these are rated-r websites): Fling in the City (hosted by Wicked, Toronto’s first hedonistic on-premise club) and Ontario Couples.  This is a huge section of dating that I probably won’t get the chance to explore this month, but I thought should be mentioned.

Today

Lunch with a friend of a friend I met at a party last month who volunteered to be one of my dates without hearing much about the project.  I’m looking forward to this one, as this is our third attempt to get together.

Day eighty-three

The full day of dates

My day told through five photos, going backwards:

#1 How I felt at the end of the day

I was so tired at the end of the evening, I felt like it was a blur.  As the Arctic Monkeys finished their set and I tried my best to keep dancing, despite how out of focus the world was to me at the time, I was so ready to call it a night and crash.

#2 The Masseur

Luckily I had The Masseur who held my purse the whole concert, and massaged the huge knot in my shoulder during the breaks between songs.  If he hadn’t of been there, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the evening.  Our first concert together, despite the fact that I’ve known him for a couple of years.

#3 The Red Bull Factor

How I’ve made it through a few of the dates this week.  And I never used to drink Red Bull!  That and a nap in the afternoon helped.

#4 Youth Theatre in the middle of the day

Youth Theatre in the middle of the day.  I was supposed to bring a date, but couldn’t find anyone to come with me.  It would have been a great story, too, because we had planned to make them go up on stage as a contestant in the Spelling Bee!

#5 The Circus Show

I began my day with The Director at the Circus Show at the Harbourfront.  It was pretty lame (except the lady above on the ring), so we left to have a beer and some food.  I knew the manager and he ended up buying us an extra round of pints.  Starting a day (after closing the night before at the pub and only having a few hours sleep) with sunshine, beer, and only salad to eat = me ending up feeling like photo #1 by the end of the day!  And still feeling blurry the next morning, so I have to do a photo essay as my blog post for the day!

Today

Another OkCupid date with a handsome stranger.