07 Oct 2012

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

1 Comment Travel

I’m on a dating hiatus, but don’t feel sorry for me because…I am in PARIS!!! And to make things better, I’m with the two people who were my strongest support system during my divorce: Jean and Mai.

Jean and I met when we were 12 years old and I’m extremely fortunate that she still calls me her friend. She called, emailed or texted me daily for the first few months. I don’t think she knows how much those touchpoints meant, but they often kept me sane, even in my darkest moments. Mai lived with me for six weeks — she didn’t know what was in store for her. More than just comforting me during emotional outbursts, but also the home projects needed to prep the house for sale! I am eternally grateful for her company and help!

This trip marks a couple of milestones: my divorce (official Oct 2) and my 40th birthday (Oct 16). But more importantly, I am looking forward to spending time with J&M, seeing the major sights, shopping, eating amazing food and drinking lots of wine!

We’re staying in a very cool 3 bedroom apartment in a central area, the 8th arrondissement near Champs-Élysées, Concorde and Madeline. You can see photos on the website.

We arrived today and will start our touring around tomorrow!

A piece of trivia: I learned that Paris is the most visited city in the world (15.6 million tourists a year). Do you know what the next four cities are? Scroll down to the see the answers!

Julie in Seattle

TOP 5 Most Visited Cities

1. Paris: 15.6 million

2. London: 15.2 million

3. Antalay (Turkey): 10.5 million (this includes same day visitors)

4. New York City: 10.3 million (this includes same day visitors)

5. Singapore: 9.2 million

02 Oct 2012

Who is this person?

6 Comments Uncategorized

Warning to those who don’t want to read about any physical activity (e.g., my brothers): you may want to pass on this post. For all of you perverts, read on. 

On Sunday, I had a great time at my loftwarming party. Good turnout, weather and friends. I had been emailing this guy, Damon about getting together afterward, but didn’t receive confirmation until the middle of the party. We finalized plans and then I shooed out the lingerers to get to my very important date. I think they were as excited as I was.

Of course, I had expectations for the evening. One thing that drew me to Damon was his dogs. He has two, cute big dogs — that reminded me of my mine. I suggested that we take them on a walk. He lives near Alki Beach, so I imagined a nice stroll, conversation and then a hug goodbye.

When I arrived, he asked if I wanted to come in and have a drink. Since I had my fill of wine from my event, I didn’t feel like one, so I asked for a glass of water. He had the Sunday night NFL game on and I soon learned that we weren’t going on a walk. He wanted to stay in. Damon has a great deck with a spectacular view of the water and mountains—so he asked if I wanted to go outside and watch the sun set, which was actually very nice.

Oh and if you aren’t shocked by now, yes, I went to his house without any hesitation. I assumed I would get there and we’d take off on a walk, and that I wouldn’t even go inside…so I wasn’t worried about it. But once I understood we were just going to hang out, I texted the address to a friend, just in case. Even though my gut feeling was that he was perfectly a good guy, I also had a CNN missing woman report flash through my mind. I let him know that in a funny way (as you can imagine with my special sense of humor) that I was sharing his address with all of my friends. And without a beat, he responded by asking if I was a Dexter fan because the new season was starting that evening. So then there were a lot of serial killer jokes. I agreed to watch the new episode with him because, why not?

So we had about 2 hours to kill before the showed started. I decided to have a glass of wine and we did the “getting to know each other” thing. This was challenging because Damon was more about bantering and flirting. which was kind of fun, but also foreign. During the conversation, I learned that he played several instruments and he asked if I wanted to hear something…so he got out his guitar and played and sang a Nirvana song.

Then we decided to watch the last episode of Dexter from last season, which was actually helpful because I didn’t remember the details, only the cliffhanger. And then the first episode of the new season. During all of our conversation and TV watching, his dogs were next to me—they were so sweet and affectionate. At one point, I had to go to the bathroom. When I came back, the dogs were off the couch and then Damon slid closer to me. He then reached for my hand and held it during the rest of the show. It was sweet. When it was over, I was ready to go home, but all of a sudden his face was right in front of mine and he kissed me. Maybe I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was.

Oh, and I should mention that earlier in the evening Damon asked me about my dating experiences. When I told him this was my first week of dating, he asked if he was the first date. I think he was shocked when he learned he was actually #4. He asked how they went, if there were any second dates and if any of them had kissed me, and I said “No, I just met them!” So maybe he took that as a challenge, but either way, he was quite assertive, but not aggressive. We made out for a long time, like 20 minutes! There was even some 1st and 2nd base action (I know, because I looked it up in Wikipedia).

So naturally, the next question is…what did he look like? Truthfully, he was average looking and a bit overweight. He also sounds kind of like a surfer dude. So I can’t imagine taking him too seriously, but he was assertive, a skilled flatterer and a good kisser.

As this was happening, I was like who is this person? Meaning me. I completely surprised myself, but didn’t feel bad or guilty, just genuinely surprised. My mind was like “what the f are you doing?” But my body was like “finally!”

Looking forward to see what else I’m capable of!

Julie in Seattle


02 Oct 2012

Third date’s the charm

5 Comments Uncategorized

I know you have been anxiously awaiting this post (I’ve already heard from all six of my avid readers)!

On Saturday, I went on date #3 with Chad. After my vast experiences, I felt quite at ease…I mean why wouldn’t I? I had two whole dates under my belt!

We met at Barrio (my bar of choice — where I met my first date). It has a unique, open bar area with good drinks. I arrived first and found a couple of seats in the corner. When he showed up, I was pleasantly surprised. Chad was even cuter than his profile photos. I then became quite nervous, but a different kind of nervousness: butterflies in my stomach!

We ordered drinks and talked, and talked, and talked. He actually asked questions and then listened. It was refreshing. Chad is a single, full-time dad of two kids. And it was obvious that he’s one of those great, no amazing, dads. He was also caring, thoughtful and genuine. He’s incredibly active and healthy. And I don’t know how he finds time, but he also a fitness coach. He was almost perfect, except he’s a vegan. Of course, that fits with his healthy lifestyle, but is one thing that I can’t relate to.

Oh did I mention he lived abroad? In Ireland for work for four years — so we talked about travels. He got married at a young age and is new to dating. So lucky him, he got to go out with me first. I mean, who can set the bar any lower, right?

After an hour or so, he asked if I wanted to order dinner, so we ordered and ate at the bar. We met at 7 pm and left at 11:45 pm. We both couldn’t believe how much time had passed! When we walked out, it was me telling him what a great time I had and asked if he wanted to go out again. He answered yes, but then I thought that’s what I said to the first two guys, but really was unsure about it. Maybe he felt the same since I put him on the spot.

We hugged at the end and then I walked home with a HUGE smile on my face. I was so excited, not just because of Chad, but because of the prospect of meeting someone great.

The next morning, I went for a run and then emailed him letting him know that I had a great time and asked if he wanted to get together before or after my Paris trip (did I mention, I’m going to Paris on Saturday? I’ll save that for another post). I felt those pesky butterflies again when I hit send. I prepared for my loftwarming party the rest of the day, but kept checking my email. Nothing that morning, nothing that afternoon and then finally at the end of my party — I received the email. Yes, he’d like to go out again and he asked what dates I’d be out of town. I sent him the dates and now am awaiting his response.

If we aren’t able to get together before Saturday, I’m thinking of calling him just to chat. Or do you think that’s too forward?

Julie in Seattle

29 Sep 2012

Live from Seattle

2 Comments Uncategorized

This post is dedicated to my friend Eric.

This year is truly a year of “firsts.” Last night I went out with an Asian guy for the first time — a true Asian, not like me! His name is Ben and he’s a journalist, which made conversation easy (I had so many questions). He is also well traveled, so we exchanged stories from places we both had visited. I only intended to have one drink, but three hours later (and maybe a few drinks later), we finally parted ways. Ben is interesting, attentive and an all around nice guy (2 for 2)!

However, there was a lack of chemistry. He’s definitely someone I’d like to hang out with as a friend. At the end of the night he asked if I wanted to go out again and I said “yes,” but I don’t think he meant as friends. So I might have to have “the talk” at some point, but not worrying about it now.

I’m happy things have gone so well so far — even though I know I’m only two dates in. I have two scheduled for this weekend that I’m excited about.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Julie in Seattle


28 Sep 2012

My first date!

6 Comments Uncategorized

Since I’ve been on my own, there have been several milestones: buying a car, adopting cats, selling the house, setting up a new place and now dating!

My first date was Tuesday evening. After all of this talking about dating (and yes, I know I’ve been a big talker),  I was finally going on one. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the decade. I hardly ate and felt nauseous all day. I worried that it would be extremely awkward, that I would blurt out something crazy about my ex or divulge too much info about myself (e.g., I haven’t been on a date in 13 years)!  I seriously considered canceling.

However, a few things eased my mind, and/or motivated me:

1. I exchanged phone numbers with my date, AJ, which led to a series of texts. Although texting a stranger was completely foreign, it proved to be a great icebreaker.

2. I had a hard stop. I was meeting friends for a birthday dinner — so there were only 45 minutes between events.

3. I’d have nothing to blog about and that, would disappoint my enormous readership. And I cannot afford to lose any fans!

So I met AJ at a Capitol Hill bar and here’s what happened: he smiled, talked, laughed and bought me drinks. Pretty uneventful…as far as first dates go, it was quite painless. He was truly a decent, nice guy.

Now here are a few interesting tidbits…I asked a lot of questions and he shared quite a bit of information. However, he asked me very few questions, which I didn’t mind since I was so anxious. Also, AJ and I have nothing in common. For example he’s from a small town (moved here recently), hasn’t traveled outside of the US, has older children and doesn’t watch TV. For those of you who know me, you know I’m quite active, but I love entertainment! So the last part was incomprehensible : )

I could tell that he liked me and received confirmation when he texted soon afterward to ask if I’d like to get together again. Even though he’s a good person, I don’t know if we even have enough in common to even be friends. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but also don’t want to lead him on.

Any advice?

Overall, I have to say that my first date was a good one. One down and many, many more to go!

Julie in Seattle






24 Sep 2012

My Match profile

4 Comments General Dating Thoughts

I have an inferiority complex. I’ve been reading A LOT of profiles this week and boy, most of these guys can write — making mine look lame. So I might have to dig a bit deeper and reveal more of my true self. Or maybe I’m truly shallow — so I should just write what you see is what you get – although I was raised white – other than that, what you see is what you get.

I’ve attached two images — my Match profile and the images on my page. They can’t be too terrible, because I have received about a dozen inquiries and have three dates lined up this week. However, I’ve heard that new members get a lot of attention at first. So I may soon have to enhance my profile.

(click on image to see larger version)

Just to give you an example, here is the profile of one of the guys I hope to meet. Enjoy!

Hi. Born and raised in the NW I am quite content to call [West] Seattle my home as long as the occasional trip south is never too far away. When the sun does decide to show itself, I try and stay fairly active enjoying an occasional run, visiting the gym 2-3 times a week, golfing, hiking, riding the bike, and snow skiing. I also enjoy working with my hands and have done quite a bit of remodeling on my 1918 house in West Seattle. I travel whenever possible and my most recent adventure had me driving through Scotland, taking in all of the beautiful scenery while trying not to crash into anything… especially the sheep!

As to my partner in crime? If you’re a serial dater, or you still feel the need to go through a lot of trial and error, then I’m probably not your ideal match. You should probably be someone who welcomes the idea of international travel and tries to maintain at least a moderately healthy lifestyle. Pursuing your passions, whether professionally or as a hobby, is also very important. It doesn’t matter what they are, but in this fast-paced, out-of-touch, electronic world, it’s nice to be reminded of what it means to live life from the heart.

The feeling of being connected to someone through mutual beliefs, interests, and activities I believe plays an important role in the success couples enjoy over the long term.That said, I also believe it’s important to share a lot of “firsts” so having a sense of adventure and a willingness to try new things definitely supports a healthy balance. Feeling comfortable in your own skin, and not being afraid to express your authentic self is very important to me as well–no room for closet personalities here. I want to get to know the REAL you… your deepest fears… your greatest joys… your amazing talents (we all have something)… your biggest dreams, etc.

Enjoying a good laugh as a reminder that life is a journey and not a destination also keeps things in perspective.Though we’ve all heard it before, my experiences both in and out of relationships have led me to conclude that being best friends with someone is extremely important which is why, at this point in my life, I feel I have come to appreciate more the moments that tend to bring two people closer together.

I feel blessed that my parents have been married for over 40 years and have been great role models. Despite a marriage gone bad 11 years ago that only lasted for one year, I still hope to be able to follow in their footsteps. -Cheers


19 Sep 2012

Here I go … again

15 Comments Uncategorized

After a 13 year hiatus from the dating world, I’m about to reenter it.

In case there’s a reader who doesn’t know me, I’m recently single — after a 13 year relationship (8 years of marriage). And just like everyone else in my shoes, I didn’t think I’d ever date again — but here I am.

And since I’m here, I might as well as make the most of it. With my 40th birthday just around the corner, I’ve been inspired by the milestone. While brainstorming blog themes with my friend Mai on a drive to Lake Louise, I came up with the idea of “fortyfirstdates.” The goal is as simple as the domain name: go on 40 first dates and perfect my dating skills!

What happens if I like someone and want to go out with him again? Then I’ll go out on a second date and will probably blog about it — but it won’t count toward the 40.

Will I use real names? No. I will disguise names to protect the innocent, and even the not so innocent. The only exception is if I find out they are married, but “forget” to disclose their current status. Then I’ll happily publish their names.

Other than that, I don’t know what to expect! But I’m feeling ready-ish.

I couldn’t have made it this far without the help of a few talented friends: Chris created the stylish logo, which I heart; Hope helped write and edit my entries for my Match profile (I enjoyed shocking her with my very low standards) and Mai took flattering photos and created this blog. Jean, Allison, Susan and many others have been extremely supportive, enabling me to take baby steps forward. It takes a village, right?

Let the dating begin!
Julie in Seattle