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Tag Archives: dating

Hooks in the Water of Missoula’s Murky Dating Pool

It's been a while, Missoula. I haven't been writing columns because...well, because all the best topics are off-limits unless I want to alienate my friends, lose my job, and move far outside the city limits. The thing about Missoula is that even with a pseudonym as clever as mine, I'm about as anonymous as a pink elephant sitting at the Old Post bar. So I have to be careful, thoughtful, strategic about the column's content. Also, I've just been lazy with my daily 12 minutes of free time. But here's the short update: dating is just as exhausting and entertaining as ever. They don't tell you in all those romance novels and Hollywood flicks that integrating new, unknown single males into your life takes a helluva lot of time and energy. Luckily, I've started taking Vitamin B to up my energy supply during these dark, dark days before winter solstice. (I'm considering switching to high-grade cocaine to power through the holiday party season, though.) The longer dating update involves a recent discovery that most of us single Missoulians seem to have several “hooks in the water.” Monogamy is apparently out of fashion this season.

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Ants In My Pants For Saturn’s Return


When I moved here I was young. Carefree. And completely uninterested in conversations where my older friends talked about things like recurring joint injuries, ticking biologic clocks, and “Saturn Returns.” When these topics came up, I just drank another beer, hiked faster, and celebrated being 22 and fully in control of my planets. But now I’m 27, the tendons in my knees require lots of ice, and I’m not sure what the hell Saturn is doing. In fact, it’s quite possible that my Pluto's in full retrograde and Venus has fled to check out a new galaxy. All I know for sure is (cosmologically speaking): I’ve got ants in my pants.

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Going to Grandpa’s Wedding


I just got back from Grandpa’s wedding. Not a sentence you read every day, huh? Grandpa’s hot stuff, especially in the over-70 crowd. Doesn’t look a day over 62, and active to boot. He and his lovely new wife are off to Timbuktu for their honeymoon—they’ll be riding camels across the desert in Mali to an African music festival. I’ll be in Missoula, pretending my office chair is a camel and my keyboard is a tribal drum. Grandpa’s wedding has given me new-found hope that I, too, can find a love-of-my-life and ride to Timbuktu. Plus, I returned from San Diego to full-throttle fall, the season that makes a woman yearn for extra body heat—preferably from a man who’s bringing her lots of freshly-killed game. So watch out, Missoula: I’m on a mission. Again. Because next time one of my grandparents gets married I’m bound and determined to have my own special someone to foxtrot with.

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Fancy Footwork: Insights from Bozeman’s Dancing Guy

Let's face it: teenagers no longer flock to weekly Cotillion classes. The old-fashioned “dinner and dancing” date is now only a romantic myth heard around campfires. In fact, many folks run rapidly for the bathroom when they hear mention of taking a spin on the dance floor. In this day and age, dating involves juggling text-messages, emails, and special ring-tones instead of meeting for a night filled with the subtle flirtations of partners dancing cheek to cheek. But I’d like to argue that we should bring back the romance. Dancing is one of my top three favorite activities (right up there with eating and beer-drinking). I’ve found over the years that partner dancing--swing, salsa, two-step, and (everyone’s favorite) polka--is even more exhilarating than just gettin’ down w’ my bad self by my own self. Plus, it’s a good way to meet guys and do a quick check on whether there’s any of that lovely chemistry. My most recent dancing partner, who I’ll creatively call Dancing Guy, lives in Bozeman. Turns out that he’s not only insightful about swing flips and tango ochos, he’s also got some interesting perspectives on how dancing relates to male-female interactions off the dance floor. Check out this email exchange a few weeks ago between myself (BS, of course) and DG.

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Are My Married Missoula Boyfriends Cramping My Dating Style?

I recently pinpointed a potential cause of my perpetual-singledom that I can be proactive about (other than switching teams, of course): I’ve had trouble finding a man of my own because I’m always out with someone else’s man. Yup--I seem to have a large supply of happily married boyfriends. Now, that might sound suspiciously like I should be wearing a scarlet “A” on my chest. But all the dates with my married boyfriends are completely platonic. They usually involve beer and sometimes sports, chatting about mutual friends (including their wives), a bit of bitching about work, and a lot of bullshitting about life. And absolutely no sparks. And so perhaps my reputation as a single lady isn’t as ubiquitous as I’d thought. Perhaps I rarely appear single, much less approachable, as I’m often out and about with my married boyfriends. This led me to ponder why, exactly, I hang out with married men. Several answers to this question popped up. Let’s start with the obvious ones and work toward the more Freudian answers...

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Spring Cleaning: Sweeping the Ex Under the Bed

It’s surprising, when you really stop and take stock, how much of your life someone else can inhabit if you let them. The castoff from a relationship can hang around for a long time, wedged into parts of your life you weren’t aware of. Love notes stuffed into forgotten drawers; books with handwritten inscriptions on your bookshelf; mix CDs still rotating in your stereo; pictures stuck in the flip-down visor in your car. It’s impressive how many places you can hide someone. These revelations arose after I'd inadvertently called my ex, who was still on my speed dial after nearly eight months. Dropping someone from your speed dial is a fairly heady decision; it’s like blocking their email address or de-friending them on Facebook. The meaning is clear: while you’ll hang onto their number, they’re not someone you’re interested in calling all that often. You’ve got more important people to talk to. And it’s true: I do have someone else I’d rather talk to. And so began The Great Spring Cleaning.

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Falling in Love is Hard on the…Knees?

I hope all you Making It readers will give a warm welcome (back) to Beefcake. We're adding a dash of Missoula-male perspective into the sisters' take on life and love in the Garden City. Beefcake Wellington (someone whom, remarkably, we'd never met before his first guest column) seems more than ready to take on this task. Check out his hopeful happenings at one of Missoula's hottest spots for hot drinks, using nothing more than his brain, brawn, and (of course) a crossword puzzle. -Big Sis Last time I was up here in the spotlight I mentioned how my first-ever one-night stand didn’t really play out in the traditional way. Nutshell: my one-nighter left me empty and wanting more instead of feeling stoked and sufficiently sated. Whether or not I played that scenario right was open to some serious debate, but the cumulative effect it had was making me realize how much, after a while, it sucks to be single. I’m convinced—indeed I believe—people are built for community. We don’t do well on our own for too long. So, as you can imagine, after almost 8 months of being very much alone in a new town, I was ready for a little meaningful human contact outside of spit-swapping and sharing an ill-conceived morning-after breakfast. I decided to put myself on the offensive. I was ready to get off my ass and see what I could do about kicking my (admittedly self-imposed) solitary confinement to the curb. I kept my eyes open. I made advances I might not have in the previous months. I put myself out there. I was—to invoke a little Blues Brothers magic—on a mission from God.

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On “Vacation Mode” in Missoula, Shoving Inhibitions Under the Rug

I’m back in town and back in action. Ah, the Mexican vacation. I found sun, sea, solitude, serious relaxation, and some new friends. Yup, even a few of the male variety. I remembered why it’s FUN to be single. So, why, suddenly, did not just one but two men fall into my lap after only a week in Mexico when I haven’t had a date in Missoula since, oh, the very first snowfall? My extremely scientific hypothesis is: because I was “on vacation.” I’d like to suggest that vacations give us the excuse to shove our inhibitions under the rug. The real reason why I found some fun in the sun with single men is because I left my hang-ups at home. Plus, I left behind all the people who know about my hang-ups, and who may hold me accountable for bad decisions after the tequila fades. Tipsy skinny-dipping, one-night-stands, jumping off cliffs, and talking to strangers on rickety buses—all deviations from my normal behavior while I was in Mexico were explained away with a shrug, a smirk, and the universal explanation: “I’m on vacation.” And, upon my return, I realized this: Missoulians excel at exercising the “on vacation” mode without even leaving our Garden City.

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Training Men and Dogs: Missoula’s Perceived Gender Divide

When Big Sis and Little Sis first approached me about writing a guest column for their “Making it in Missoula” column, I laughed. Although I’ve had almost a decade of experience with the Missoula dating scene, I certainly don’t view myself as an expert. In fact, I wouldn’t even say that I “make it” much of the time. But after their request, I began to ponder what I would write about. After many ideas -- some trivial, some profound, and most totally uninteresting -- I found myself focusing on a conversation of at one of Missoula’s (in)famous potlucks. An animated, new-agey older Missoulian dished out advice to a friend of mine who was frustrated with a love interest. Over a glass of wine and a baguette with hummus, the older woman concluded: “Dealing with men is sort of like training a dog; the key to both is positive reinforcement.”

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The Dating Wish List: Should We Check It Twice?

It's that time of year when everyone's making lists -- for gifts, parties, Christmas cards, and New Year's resolutions. Lately, another type of wish list keeps popping up in my conversations: the "what-I-want-in-a-significant-other" list. The question is: should we really check this list twice? I've never actually crafted a hard-copy list of attributes I look for in a potential partner/boyfriend/lover/husband (choose your favorite politically-correct descriptor here). Okay -- maybe in sixth grade I made a list in my diary with one of those really cool ballpoint pens that could switch between four different colors. But these days, I don't carry around a printed version, colorful or otherwise. One reason for this is that I don't, actually, know what I want (shocking), and the other reason is that there's an off-chance this list would be circulated wildly and my dreams of running for political office would be shot to hell. However, that doesn't mean I don’t have half-formed ideas of what I'd like to find in a significant other.

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