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What strange thing is going to happen to me today? February 5, 2010

Posted by jassnight in Change, Dating, Friendship, Relationship, Unemployment.
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2 comments

Some of my graduate colleagues and I in Cincinatti

There was a time in my recent past that I would wake up in the morning and think to myself, “what strange thing is going to happen to me today?” I was in what I call my “transition period” at the time. I had left a good paying secure job for a chance to better myself with an opportunity that I could not say no to – a free education in the form of a graduate assistantship for a prestigious graduate degree. I was living in a small studio apartment by myself and totally immersed in engaging, exciting work with 30 other students on a day-to-day basis. We were a close family. We ate together, we worked together, we drank, danced, laughed, cried, obsessed and even slept together (overnight study sessions – that’s my story and I am stinking to it 😉 ) When people experience an intense part of their lives together, they become very close. Those ties are never broken and I will always consider them my brothers and sisters. Thank God for Facebook since we are now scattered around the globe.

I know. I got off track there but the fact is that I was experiencing an incredible time full of friendship, opportunity, hope and promise.  I miss waking up in the morning and thinking, “what strange thing is going to happen to me today?” It just doesn’t happen anymore.

Today was different.

We would gather after class at a local brew pub

I already knew it was going to be an unusual day. I had a very important meeting this morning and the anticipation brought back that feeling of opportunity, hope, and promise.  With it was also the waking thought of, “what strange thing is going to happen to me today?” – and something strange did happen…

So I am driving to my meeting and my phone vibrates. It is a text from a number I don’t recognize…

“Hi! It’s just me. How is it going? Is the wacko still screwing with you? You ok? Well, let me know.”

Just me?  Who is just me?  When I was in my transition period, I was also in a relationship. It was intense and horrible at the same time. It was a toxic relationship and I was blind to the effects of it and the damage that it eventually did to me. This toxic lover would always start a voicemail or text with “hi, it’s me” and for a minute I stopped breathing thinking that this text was from her. But in this case, the wacko would be her so this text didn’t make sense.

I text back…

“Who is this?”

“Don’t be silly, u know who it is! U r the one that keeps calling me. U think u would forget after these years and all u did to me. I didn’t look u up.”

I am now thinking, ‘oh my God, it is her! What does she want? Wait a minute! I have not been calling her. I have not called this B&%#h in well over a year. This can’t be her.’

I text again…

“I am sorry, none of this sounds familiar. I think you have the wrong person.”

She simultaneously returns…

“Gerry, look at the pic I sent you. You’ll like it ;-)”

Whew!  It is not my previous toxic lover!  I am not Gerry. Wait!  Now I wish I was Gerry. I wouldn’t mind seeing that pic!

She obviously gets my last text and responds…

“Gerald Sr. and Judy you r still nosy fuckers. Why not just put your adult son’s phone down!”

Ok, now that I know I am not Gerry, this is getting very interesting.

She sends a second text…

“And while you r at it tell him not to call me or bother me anymore too! I’ve got my fiancé and my 3 girls and life and don’t need him fucking shit up for me!”

Ouch!  Here is a woman who is trying to respond to some previous lover and she is engaged to be married with three kids? What a tangled web we weave!  Yes, this is getting very interesting indeed.  Now, I could take this conversation into the land of impropriety and irresponsibility pretty quickly but I have had my share of that in my life, so I decide to go the route of the gentleman…

“That is all fine and good but I am not Gerry, Gerry Sr. or Judy. Sorry, I hope things work out for you.”

She comes back with…

“Whatever. He called me from this number. That’s how I got it in the first place and I called it too and Gerry left me a voicemail. So whatever, Teresa”

Well, at least I know her name now. This implies that she now has some doubt about whom she is texting and that I am gaining her trust. I will continue in that manner. After all, I know her. My toxic lover of the past was very similar to her.

“Hi Teresa, this number is 607 244 XY02. I have had this number for many years now. I am not sure how that is possible. Sorry to disappoint you. I hope things go well for you”

She now realizes her mistake…

“Sorry, but someone was screwing with me and it’s YX02, not u. I apologize – Teresa”

“No problem, sorry for your troubles, we all have them. “

We were like family

It was a full day of living in the feeling I had when I was a full-time student working with people I love, learning exciting things and engaged in collaborative work – a day of opportunity, hope and promise. Even with the huge relationship mistake I made during that time I truly miss that feeling. Even though I feel for Teresa and her situation, however warped it may be, she completed my day today; Something strange did happen to me today as well.

Thank you Teresa.

Living Separately – Together January 21, 2010

Posted by jassnight in Dating, Divorce, Life, Relationship, Unemployment.
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2 comments

Nancy Partridge and her ex-husband, David Snyder, pose outside the home that they share in Westminster, Colo., on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008. The pair divorced in January after six years of marriage but when the house failed to sell and Partridge ran out of money to pay for an apartment and her half of the mortgage, she moved back in with Snyder in August. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

In a recent post by Big Little Wolf entitled Living Together – Separately, she points out how the economy has forced some couples to live in different cities in order to maintain jobs and careers. Unfortunately the economy has not only hurt healthy relationships but also relationships on the rocks. With today’s economic challenges, it is  not uncommon for separated or divorced couples to move back in with each other, thus living separately – together.

Economic Suicide for a Family

In normal situations, when couples move toward divorce there is a liquidation of shared assets including not only real estate but also investments. Typically, there are gains in such transactions but since the first quarter of 2007, single-family home values have fallen 20 percent or more in some areas. Many divorced couples who would normally sell are stuck with houses worth less than what they owe their lender. As for investments, any securities in stocks and bonds, including retirement accounts that are tied to the market, have seen significant losses. With the unemployment rate currently at 9.7% (December, 2009) it is likely that many of the separated/divorced are also struggling with job loss.

PDP’s – Purely Domestic Partners

Whether it is a recent loss of income or sinking real estate and investment values, more and more separated/divorced couples are making rational sense of their situation and finding solutions by splitting living space up in jointly owned residences as a way to maintain property investments or living standards for themselves and their children. This is especially true when children are college age. There is no contest when a child’s future is hindered by a separated couple’s selfish actions. In fact, much to the divorce lawyer’s dismay, many are even postponing divorce proceedings in an effort to conserve resources. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers states that 37 percent of attorneys polled reported fewer divorces in a bad economy. Regardless, couples that have left the relationship because of abuse, or infidelities do not make good candidates for PDP’s. More than likely most estranged couples that manage shared living space successfully have had amicable separations in the first place.

Successful PDP housing is dependent upon several factors.  There must be enough living space as well as an appropriate floor plan so that each person is comfortable with the ratio between private space (bedroom, bathroom, closet, etc..) and communal space. Negotiating specific understanding about space, behavior, childcare, assigned duties, socialization and dating must be done beforehand. A time limit or a situation benchmark is also important to stipulate for the termination of the joint housing agreement such as an acceptable purchase offer on the house, employment, or unmanageable living differences. If there are children, keep in mind how they feel about the situation. It is quite possible that this transitional time can be easier for children to process. However, if there is constant arguing and fighting, think twice before moving back in.

PDP Caveats

None-the-less, temporarily postponing one problem can easily create other problems. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of a joint living situation. Keep in mind that this type of agreement is not the social norm. Many couples will find themselves the target for ridicule and disapproval. Mainly an assumption fueled by the divorce lawyer syndicate, society expects horrible financial ruin and emotional strife to be associated with any separation and divorce regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. Dating can also be difficult. Moving on into another relationship while sharing space with a previous relationship can be unorthodox to say the least. PDP’s may find it challenging to find anyone willing to date someone in their situation let alone have a relationship with them. Plus, the opportunities to be intimate with a newfound interest is essentially impossible since it should be a fundamental understanding that neither partner will have overnight guests, especially if there are children in the house.

It is important to remain clear on the reasoning for a joint living arrangement and not be influenced by external dissention. Financial maintenance, preservation of assets, standard of living, child stability and comfort are all good reasons to weigh the benefits of such living arrangements.  If anything, to have a little power of decision in such restrictive economic times is enough to at least think of it as an option.

Resources:

Huffington Post – Couples Staying Together Because of Poor Economy

Recession and Divorce: Living With Your Ex to Make Ends Meet

The Great Divorce Recession of 2009

Is it Time to Make Banana Bread? January 13, 2010

Posted by jassnight in Change, Dating, Job Search, Love, Relationship.
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8 comments

You look at those last few bananas and think, “Should I make banana bread out of those today, or should I wait? Maybe someone will eat them today.”  How long to you wait before you make banana bread?  How far do you let the bananas go before giving in? Do you wait just ‘one more day’ in hopes that someone will still eat them? But what if you wait so long that they aren’t even good for bread anymore? What happens then? They just have to be thrown out and then all is lost. So when do you make that decision? When does the oven get turned on?

We all have hopes and dreams – fresh bananas that we just bought. They are so green. There is so much optimism there. We make the right moves. Do all the right things. Our bunch is set on the table in a cool dry place – preferably propped on the kitchen table where they are displayed well and noticed more often. It feels so great when one is taken, sampled, tasted. Maybe it was that interview for the dream job. Possibly a new romantic interest. A phone call from a prospective client. A banana is taken, but for some reason, you just can’t get anyone to take the whole bunch. They just sit there and turn darker and darker. How long do you wait before you make banana bread and settle for what you have?

Is that a banana in your pocket?

Don’t ever underestimate the power of self-promotion. Sure there are many apples and oranges out there but how many bananas are just like yours? You have unique qualities. It is important to identify them and then display them. It may be great interpersonal communication skills. Possibly you are a talented writer. Maybe you have a flare for creativity. Whatever it is, know it and show it. Some people advocate splitting the bunch up. In this way, the ripening process slows down and you have more time. Get that resume out there! Network! Diversify your job search engines. If it is a romantic connection you seek, networking is just as important. You know people who know people. Mix and mingle. However, unlike posting your resume on job sites, I do not advocate the use of online dating services. They are just meat markets and really do not cater to fruits and vegetables. In any circumstance, your bananas are rich in vitamins and sweet to the taste. They are a nutritious value for the price and somebody is looking for them. All you have to do is display them properly and in a variety of venues.

Ripen first before eating

Many people want to look at their bananas and eat them too. If they are eaten too early, they don’t have the rich taste that people are really looking for. You have time. Aiming for that dream job? Maybe you have to return to school for new training and skills. You might have to work in a position that will give you more experience for a while. Establishing a good friendship with a person before any romantic interests develop is important.  All of this can take time but will make your bananas look better and taste better in the long run.

Yes! We have no bananas

What happens if no one is hungry for bananas today? This is certainly a commonality in today’s economic environment. There is simply no demand for bananas. This is also a cause for how few are actually actively looking for a new relationship as well. With so many financial difficulties, family issues, career bumps – people are putting their bananas in the refrigerator in hopes of preserving them until there is a demand again. This is the absolute worst thing to do. Everyone knows that hiding bananas in a cold dark place will make them rot even quicker. Something about the gas they produce makes them turn brown or worse, never develop the rich sweet taste that is so desired.

What is in your oven?

What is wrong with making bread? Is it settling when you reassess your goals or maybe tweak that dream? Reinventing yourself to fit the current situation is not always about settling or giving up. Maybe it is adaptation. Maybe it is taking what you own and transferring it into a more marketable package. After all, variety is the spice of life. I am not saying that if you can’t sell your bananas that you have to make banana bread. There are so many other possibilities. How about a banana cream pie for those who are sweet and compassionate? Banana muffins are a good choice for those who are more structured and analytical. A banana split may be a good opportunity for someone who is balanced in creativity and critical thinking.

Don’t wait until your bananas go bad. If someone moves your cheese, it is time to coordinate your dish to match what is on the table. And if you do make that banana bread, just add nuts please. Everyone needs a laugh now and then.

For unique banana bread that will surely be eaten, try this recipe

The Toxic Lover January 10, 2010

Posted by jassnight in Change, Dating, Love, Relationship, Sex.
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8 comments

Have you ever had a partner who doesn’t play by the same rules he or she imposes on you?  How about a girlfriend who continuously holds you down in a continuous pit of depression and hurt? Maybe your companion was so possessive of you that you felt imprisoned within an emotional cage. These are all strong indicators of a toxic lover.

There are many abuses that can metastasize in a relationship. It is so hard to comprehend at times that we DO hurt the ones we love. Some abuses are overt, such as physical abuse. Others are not so apparent and can easily be masked by the blinding effects of love and passion.

Scenario #1

The relationship moved quickly in the beginning for Bob and Linda. It was like magic. Before Bob knew it, he was feeling a close bond with Linda and felt she was coming closer to him as well. When he tried to discuss these emotions, Linda would just say, “I feel that way too Bob, but I can’t make any promises right now.” Promises or not, Linda began to display possessive behavior. She insisted on knowing Bob’s whereabouts constantly. She would demand that he return her texts immediately even when he was in meetings or classes. If he evaded her questions or was indisposed, she would blow up at him and accuse him of infidelities that were completely irrational. Worst of all, when Bob wanted to go out with friends, even though he would invite Linda to go with him, she would relentlessly monitor the evening through calling, texting, or showing up unannounced. At first, Bob felt excited and loved. After all, a little jealousy is an alluring thing. But after a while, Bob found himself staying home instead of going out with friends for fear that Linda would get upset. He felt enclosed and restricted. Bob finally realized that Linda wanted a commitment from him without making any promises or commitments to him.

Scenario #2

Karen met Matthew in her accounting class. He was deep and mysterious in his thinking. To her, this was alluring to have a man so connected to his emotion. Their discussions centered around feelings and connection, passion and love, pain and suffering. In the beginning Karen believed that the relationship they were building was itself, deep and passionate. However, when Karen had good news to share, or just wanted to involve Matthew in positive discussions or do something fun with him, he would make her feel guilty about her happiness by dragging her back into the darkness of his life. She began to feel as if the only way they could connect was through his lens of emotions. She began to feel guilty about feeling happy, wanting to do something fun, or sharing good news with him.

Scenario #3

Patrick thought Crissy was beautiful. She was the woman of his dreams. After a few dates, he was quickly finding himself falling for her. She had no problem telling him everything about herself. It seemed so easy for her to share her life with him and he loved every minute of it. As the relationship grew, she began to include him in her life in various ways. He would help her prepare class notes and prepare meals to take to her nutrition class she was teaching. She would ask for his advice about finances, include him in helping her study for an upcoming exam or writing her papers. When she was upset, she would come to him for consolation and advice. At first, this all made Patrick feel needed and wanted by her. Unfortunately, when Patrick wanted Crissy’s help on something, or even to spend time with her, in most cases she was unavailable for him. He started to wonder how Crissy even knew who he was. All they would talk about was her life. All that they would do together, was her projects. He began to feel used.

I am sure if you look back on your past relationships (or even your present one) you will see yourself in one of these situations.  They are more common than you think. All of these scenarios first feel like true love, want, longing, and trust. However, they quickly become a pattern of inequality, emotional abuse and mistrust. Why does someone tolerate a toxic relationship then? Love is blind that is for sure. The overwhelming excitement of a new love can mask many of the early signs that you are getting involved with a toxic lover. The rationalization that you may be partly to blame makes you feel like you have to work on the relationship. The fear of being alone can keep you there. In general, change, whether it is good or bad, is always difficult. Internally we tend to rationalize because it is much easier than changing our behavior (see Cognitive Dissonance) but it is even more difficult when you are under the mental and physical influences of love and sexual desire. External wake-up calls can be useful in this case.

Have you or are you experiencing any of these external indicators?

  • Does your partner expect you to follow certain guidelines in the relationship that she/he does not place on themselves?
  • Do your friends or family tell you that they see problems in your relationship?
  • Are you hesitant to go out with friends or even on your own for fear of upsetting your partner?
  • Do you feel you have to consistently change your plans to satisfy the needs of your partner?
  • Are conversations with your partner consistently one-sided?
  • Are you pulling away from your friends and other activities that you enjoyed before your relationship?
  • Do you feel compelled to consistently satisfy the needs of your partner before your own?

In the end, it is about balance. If you are feeling more like a possession rather than a mutual partner, maybe it is time for a change.

Sex, the Master’s Division December 29, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Dating, Love, Passion, Relationship, Sex, Spirituality.
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8 comments

When I run races, I am placed in the master’s division. The master’s division is the category for men from age 40 and up. Now you would think that this is a derogatory classification for men my age but let me tell you something, the master’s division is consistently the fastest and most competitive division there is. Men my age are wiser than the younger crowd when it comes to training and running strategy. We know that we cannot rely on youth to bang out a personal best or win a race. The younger guys think they can just get up off their couch after a week of binge drinking and chicken wing eating and run successfully. I have to laugh when I see those guys around mile 2.5 on the side of the course throwing up after going out too fast and thinking they can hold that pace.

The same is true when it comes to sex. Yes, the master’s division also has the experience and knowledge to perform better than the younger boys in bed. However right now I would like to explore the attitudinal advantages that the older male lover has.

The Difference

I have several young lady friends dating men between 25 and 35. Being the best man friend a woman could ever have (yes, another blog post will explain that) they all come to me for consolation and advice when things go bad. They continuously find men of this age looking for that ‘hook up’ or the ‘score’ so that they can have one more notch on their bedpost or that locker room chuckle with the buddies. Men of this age are all about the physical dimension of copulation. There seems to be no thought about what it will mean emotionally. It is referred to as “thinking with their penises.” Many times, I find my young lady friends going in thinking the same way, only to see them watch their phone the entire day after, waiting for him to call. Correct me if I am wrong if you are a young female reader, but these women may have a hidden agenda of, maybe-I-can-hook-this-guy-by-my-sexual-prowess. I tend to think that your mothers are more correct when they told you, “why would any man buy the cow if they can get the milk for free.” The bottom line here is that the younger man sees sex as more of a short-term release and less of a relationship builder than women of that age.

For older men, there is more complexity. Again, experience seems to be the variable here. More than likely, men my age have been in several relationships. More than most have been married. There are children, ex’s, careers, friendships – life experiences that they bring to the table (in this case, the bed.)  All of this contributes to ‘cognitive complexity’ and with this brings deeper meaning to intercourse. Don’t get me wrong here. Even though men in the master’s division are less likely to consent to sex purely for sexual pleasure, this pool of participants will still not consider the act as a ritual of immortal promise either. However, it will be part of the equation. Unless you are a hooker, you can at least consider that there is more on a master’s division man’s agenda when he asks you to sleep with him. At the very least, you can bet on him calling you in the morning. More than likely, he will end up in your bed again and most likely he will be combining this form of communication with other signals that will give you a pretty good idea of what his intentions are.

The First Love

A man in the master’s division looks back on his life and reflects. He sees much meaning in what he has done, who he did it with, and why. His first love is very important to him. The woman who brought him through the threshold to manhood is considered a second mother to him. The key here is “first love” that was consummated with his “first act.” He will never forget her and places her in the same category as the Virgin Mary regardless of what transpired after that. I am one of the fortunate men who is still in contact with my first love. She is a complete friend who has helped me get through some difficult times in my recent history. She is usually the first one I come to when there is cause for celebration, need for consoling, or advice about relationship. We have a special bond that will never be broken. Master’s division men project that importance onto every woman he has feelings for. Every relationship is compared to his first love because that is from where he came. When he eventually has sex with a woman, it is considered sharing the same bond with her. This is not unlike the same bond that Robert Heinlein labels “Water Brothers” in his book Stranger in a Strange Land. In this novel, sexual intercourse is the ritualistic act that bonds people together as one – the pinnacle of the act of sharing water together.

This will translate to the bedroom in several ways. In the master’s division category, a man will want to re-create this bond with you. His style in bed will be more of a sharing attitude that will consider the woman’s pleasure before his. He will be conscious and reactive of the signals you display that will steer him toward your needs. He will look you in the eye at the epiphany of your pleasure. He will hold you tightly at your release. He will breathe with you in your calm.

The Mother of his Children

It is more than likely that a man of my age will have had children. Again, like the first love, the mother of his children will also imprint a unique stamp within his soul. Regardless of where the relationship stands today, a man of worth will always understand and respect the bond with this woman (or in some cases women.) This is the woman that impressed in him that the sexual act truly possesses higher purpose. It is the means to carry his seed to the next millennia. Master’s division men find this of great importance at this age of awareness that they are in fact, mortal.

The experience of childbirth gives the master’s division man respect for the female body. He will be aware of the power your body has on him directly and to humanity holistically. This is reflected in the way he will make love to you and in the way he will treat you after. His lovemaking will be slow and with purpose. He will be cognizant of your comfort during and caring in his manner after. He will have thoughts of what it would be like to have children with you. He will entertain the idea of sharing a life with you.

Experience

Be assured, you will not be the first woman a master’s division man will have sex with. You may have some unjustified reason for wanting to know how many partners he has had in the past but what should be more important to you is that this man has experience. He has had his share of bad sex and his share of mind blowing sex and at this age, will have understanding as to what was the cause of each. More importantly, he will have the knowledge that no woman is alike. Every woman has different needs in bed. Most importantly, he will bring a wide variety of techniques with him that he will be able to tap into to satisfy your need. He will not be afraid to ask questions. He will not be hesitant to explore new options nor experiment outside of the box. You are in the hands of a master who will have highly developed communication skills, teamwork skills, and critical thinking skills. Your time with this man will be rich in want, detailed in desire, and in the end totally satisfied in need.

Do’s and Don’t

So how do you go about entertaining the possibility of spending some quality time with a master’s division man? Below is a brief list of “points of entry” to guide you to that end.

  • Don’t ever accuse a master of “just wanting to get into my pants.”  It should be assumed that his agenda is far more complex than that
  • Don’t assume you will sleep with him on the third date. He will not be looking at the quantity of time spent with you as a determinative factor; he will be looking at the quality of time.
  • Forget body image – this man will make love to you because he loves you. At that point, it is about you, not your body.
  • Prepare for the moment – Again, don’t assume it is all about your body. Take care in the clothes you wear, the undergarments he will slowly remove, the scent he will smell, the skin he will taste.
  • Expect him to spend the night – prepare for the entire evening. Some housekeeping may be warranted. Some breakfast items may need to be purchased.
  • Kids are an asset – Maybe not the first night, but consecutive nights and days he will be looking to see if you are willing to bring him into your entire life, including your children’s lives.
  • Speak up – before, during and after. He will listen.
  • It is the entire package not the singular event – He is going to love making love to you when it comes to that point because he has found traits in you that will assure it. This takes more than sexual cues. Show him you are intelligent, fun, caring, respectful, playful, and can hold a conversation. This will all translate in his mind to sexual complexity.
  • Think beyond the bed – He will put meaning to his moment with you. You will become part of his spiritual collective. Are you prepared for that?
  • Say no – If you are just out for a quick release – a one night folly, do him a favor and say no when he asks you to sleep with him. If you feel you are not ready to receive the deepness he is going to share with you, it is best you go find a man in the rookie pool.  After all, you may do your part in bringing the beginner closer to the enlightenment of the master’s division.

The job hunt dating game December 28, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Dating, Job Search, Love, Relationship.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

As of November 2009, the unemployment rate is 9.4%. Even with the announcement that the recession has ended, the nation continues to bleed an average of 188 thousand jobs a month.

These hardcore facts translate into extreme competition for those looking for employment. Recently the average amount of job interviews a job hunter went on before landing a job is 17. That is up from 9 interviews before the recession.

There will always be the financial horrors associated with being unemployed. The worries range from house payments to putting food on the table. That alone makes for a stressful job search. However, there is an additional characteristic that compounds job hunting even more – the emotional aspect.

Emotionally, job searching is much like dating. Think about how this all works.  You write letters of ‘interest’ to a prospective employer, much like posting your bio on an Internet dating service.  You then wait to see if there is interest. There isn’t much emotional energy expended at this stage but when you get that call asking you to interview, the anticipation rises. The interview is much like a date. You exchange information, maybe talk about some personal things, you exchange business cards and then say, “Goodbye, I hope to hear from you soon.”  Then the waiting begins – more anticipation, more anxiety. You wonder if she liked you enough to give you a callback for another interview. Maybe she didn’t like you as much as you liked her and thus you may not get a call.  Or, like the dreaded Dear John letter, you may even get the rejection e-mail, or a phone call wishing you luck on your job search, however, “We have hired someone more fitting to our needs at this time.”

If you have been unemployed for a long time, much like being single for a long time, it is hard to resist saying yes to any job. All you want to do is pimp yourself out to the first taker. There are so many things wrong with doing this, much like pimping yourself sexually. The very least being that you will end up with a job you are not interested in. The very most accepting a job you just are not qualified for (under qualified or over qualified.) This will only necessitate an early separation and a continued search. Much like the stigma of a divorced single dater, this doesn’t look very positive on your resume. Even worse, after being told you are over or under qualified for this position, it is, “Too bad you weren’t around 6 months ago, we had a position open that you would have been perfect for.” Just like dating, sometimes you fall in love with someone who is not ready for a relationship. Or worse yet, found someone just before you showed up on the scene. Bad Timing.

There is another related scenario as well. You may go to an interview for an appropriate position and see that you just could not live with the organization. It could be that the position is way too overwhelming. Maybe the people you meet vaguely remind you of the TV show, “The Office.” Possibly, what was discussed in the interview is nothing like the posted job description. Much like a first date that reveals personal inconsistencies from online discussions or dating site postings, you tuck tail out of there and hope you never hear from them again. Of course, just like a Dear John letter, it is ethical to call or send an e-mail withdrawing from the candidate pool. I have been in this situation twice. Both were a case of false advertisement. The job descriptions were not really what the actual job was. I wrote a polite e-mail thanking them for their time, however I just didn’t see, “us moving on with this relationship.”

Who knows? You may just get that call that asks you for another appointment. Yes! – another date!  The relationship moves on. There is more discussion. You get to know the organization a little better. They get to know you deeper. You hit it off. There is another round of “goodbyes’ and “we will be in touches” and then … more waiting. What happens next?  Another call? No call? “They must like me, they called back, right?” At this stage there is some jealousy involved. “Are they romancing other candidates?” “Who are they seeing today?” “Can’t they see I am the right person for them?” You may have a deeper connection to the organization at this time. “I thought they liked me. I really like them.” Then, like dating, there is the anticipation of the third call. We all know that in today’s dating world, the third date is the date when you will quite possibly sleep with him/her. This translates into a job offer in the job hunt dating game. The third call comes. There is another meeting set up. You think, “This is it!”  You wear clean underwear. You get a haircut. You wear your best suit. You may in fact hear those magical words, “We would like to offer you the position.”  However, you must always be aware that it may just be another phase in the job search dating game. Some organizations like to get to know you better before going to bed with you. In this case, more waiting, more anxiety, more emotions.

With today’s economic environment, it is a very difficult time to be playing the job search dating game. The emotional roller coaster of all of this is exactly the same as dating.  With several rejections, self-esteem suffers to the point that it impedes your performance on the next job interview. You may even start thinking about dropping out of the job search dating game all together. You become depressed. You wonder if you will ever be wanted or needed again. Keep in mind that it is not always about you. More than likely, you were more than qualified for the position. More than likely, the person who they chose over you was an internal candidate (costing them less than hiring externally) or someone they had intended to hire all along. It could also be a case of reevaluating the need of the position in respect to the cost. Many positions are closed without filling them. Also keep in mind that the pool of candidates for many positions has tripled in today’s market. The competition is stiff and you have to be creative in finding ways to stand out among the others. Like dating, you will never know what qualities they are looking for. Because of this, it is important to just be yourself and display the qualities that you feel are your best. The worst thing you could do is pretend to be the person you think they want. Remember you are looking for a long-term commitment here. Not a one night stand.

Like dating, you need to remain positive. Stay in the game. More than likely, like finding the perfect love, you will find that perfect position when you least expect it. It will be true love and when you love what you do, the money will follow.