The Experiment: Making a Little Progress

The Experiment: Making a Little Progress

Our anonymous columnists, Andrew Singleman and Ellen Mazelman, are reading Dr. Janet Page’s “Get Married This Year” and following the steps she details on their dating journey. In this installment, one columnist explores the “M” word, while the other remains a little overwhelmed.

Getting Ready to Take the Next Step


If you’ve been following this column, you might be wondering how Rachel and my adventure weekend went last month. Well, except for having to set up our tent in the rain, it was a great.

Page BookOutside of the few raindrops we encountered when we first arrived late on a Friday afternoon, the weather cooperated all weekend. We had a blast white water rafting on the Ocoee river, going horseback riding, and doing a little hiking. I asked Rachel to trust me and it really paid off.

When I started this project last December, I promised I’d be 100 percent open and honest. I suppose it’s time for a little of that honesty now. Rachel and I have been together for seven month and recently the ‘M’ word has come up in our conversations. What we’re about now is not just casual dating.

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We’ve agreed, though, that while an engagement is not around the corner, there are a few things that need to be addressed before we can take our relationship to the point where it would be.

In an interview with Dr. Page last year, she said, “I chose 12 months because I believe in goal setting. If I said 24 months, no one would be getting started now.”

Well, I’m serious about Rachel, and in order for us to get to a point where we can seriously consider marriage, I’ve got to do some serious goal setting of my own.

The major issues that need to be worked on are related to my job and our kids. Dr. Page has a goal-setting exercise in her book, based on about 16 questions. I’ve selected five that I think are particularly appropriate:

  1. If you could make only three changes, what would they be? The      first would be to have more business, whether that’s more clients or      larger and longer projects with the ones I already do have. Simply put, a      more stable and secure financial position would go a long way in helping      me reach my goals. Second, I’d like to be closer with my kids. I already      have a great relationship with them, but my divorce and my having a      girlfriend is something they’re still adjusting to in life. Third, I’d      like to be closer with Rachel’s kids. If she and I were to marry, it would      only be good, and more than necessary, for her kids and I to have a solid      relationship; so I’d like to start working on that sooner rather than later.
  2. What do you want to achieve professionally? Simple. As a Java      software developer, I want to take and pass two Java Certification tests.      In addition to this, I’m bidding on two long-term projects that will be      awarded by the end of September. I’d really  like to land both of those projects.
  3. If you accomplish only two things, what will they be? Pass the certification tests and      finish reading Dr. Page’s book (hee-hee). Let me try again; I’ll combine      two into one to keep it simple. Become closer with both my children and      Rachel’s.
  4. Overall, how will you be more loving and compassionate? I      think the best thing for me to do in this regard is to become a better      listener for Rachel, the kids, friends, and clients. Being a good listener      – hearing what others have to say and internalizing it – is very      important. I once heard that it’s more important to understand than to be      understood. This isn’t easy for me to do, but it’s so true.
  5. What are three words that define your intention for this year?      Security, stability, and love.

Well, that’s about it folks. That’s my “To Do List” for being in a position for Rachel to take me seriously as a potential, gulp, husband. As Dr. Page recently said to me: “If you want to be her husband in the future, then start acting like it now.” Yeah, well, I could also afford to lose a few pounds, but that’s another story.


The Work and Search Continues


As usual, I have settled into my monthly rainy Sunday night. I found my “Sex in the City” marathon (once again it took a big search; you would think I’d know the channel by now), have a glass of wine in hand and now I’m ready to give you my update!

I’ve followed Dr. Page’s advice and homework – for the most part! I have my match account up and running and have totally been putting myself out there. I will admit that my account still needs some work. But I’m definitely getting responses and Dr. Page is going to review some of these and offer some tips.

So, I’ve been to Pelican Pete’s at Lake Lanier, Miami for the 4th of July, Boca for a weekend, and half a dozen single events. I also spent some time on, most recently for an hour just before starting this column.

Where do I begin?

Well, Miami was fantastic: great friends, beautiful weather, magnificent hotel, two celebrity encounters, one celebrity spotting and a follow-up phone call for a date. The other trips were all of the above without a follow-up call for any dates. That’s okay. I’m good with that. I still had a great time! Meeting a man isn’t the “be all and the end all” of my life.

So let’s talk about my meet-ups / singles events! Specifically, the two I went to this past week.

The first was the best one I have been to yet. Not much competition, spoke to a lot of people, heard the best pick up line I have heard in 30 years, and had drinks bought for me by respectable gentleman.

I even got a note from one; but, alas, no call from the guy with the great pick-up line. That’s okay, I’m good with that. I still had a great time. I did mention earlier that meeting a man isn’t the “be all and the end all,” right?

The second event was all of the above and all the same people we have seen before. I did something that I know Dr. Page would object to. After scouring the room and talking to a few folks, my friends and I ended up at the bar; four women huddled together who hadn’t seen one another in a long time, catching up. Again, that’s okay. I am good with that. I still had a great time! Meeting a man isn’t the “be all and the end all!”

Picking up on a patter here?


And then there is

You could spend days on these sites and still not know where you stand or how to attempt meeting someone. I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate the waters. I haven’t checked my JDate account lately, which I know I need to do.

So I started with the dozen or so emails I got and responded, trying to fnd out if anyone was interested or not? Mostly not, but there were a handful that were interesting and I followed up with them. I even got a phone call and spoke for a few minutes with the man and he said he was going to call back. He hasn’t, but he did text to say his day got crazy and he’d back in touch later.

Then I went to the list of men who had viewed me online; there are 27 pages of them. How flattering, but Oy vey! Here’s a sampling:

Cute guy with no shirt on; one too old; a 24-year-old, really? Geographically undesirable; too short; no picture.

And then I came to page 13 and page 15 where I found some entries that were both cute and funny; great profiles. I could hear Dr. Page in my head and I went for it. I actually took the initiative and e-mailed the men all on my own.

No response yet! Again, I am okay. I am good with that. I still had a great time. Meeting a man isn’t the “be all and the end all.”

Until next month, wish me good luck and I will keep plugging away. Signed: Your exhausted, overwhelmed 50-year-old Carrie Bradshaw. And remember, if you know me, it’s between me and you.



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