Two for the Price of One!

I'm 34, divorced, and have two children. I started dating recently, which in and of itself is entertaining. I've done lots of online dating and met some very nice men, some very weird men, and some emotionally unstable men. ("What do you mean you don't have a checking account or debit card?")

Problem one: Before I started officially dating, I developed a mental list of what I wanted in a man. Months and months later, my list has dwindled from "college-educated, funny, and likes kids" to "employed, has a car, and isn't a felon." A friend told me I was being too picky. (Asking that he not live with his mother is too picky?)

Problem two: There is a man at work I've had a crush on for months. Recently, I've openly flirted with him and get a "vibe" from him, but I can't tell if he's just being nice or flirting back. I'd really like to go out with him, but I'm too chicken to ask him out because he's, like, one of the main men up on the work ladder, get my drift? Should I just forget it?


Demanding that a potential paramour possess the ability—not to mention the will—to wipe his own ass (an ass that he's dirtied in the privacy of his own bathroom, conveniently located at his very own residence—a dwelling paid for with money withdrawn from his checking account) is not asking too much. Far from it. I'll tell you who's picky—my fortysomething friend who will only date extremely wealthy men who look like she might have ordered them outta the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. Or the mopey sculptor who won't even consider a girl who weighs in over 110 pounds. As you might imagine, those two spend a lot of alone time pondering the unfairness of it all. Snore.

People will tell you things like "You're too picky" or (my fave) "You just have to stop looking" because they feel a need to flap their gums and don't know what else to say. Ignore them.

You just want a normal(ish) guy who can pay his own bills and won't kill you in your sleep; that's not too much to ask for. As they get older, people get more attached to their freaky baggage, so you just have to weed through a lot more kooks than you did back in your 20s. And because you have kids to consider, it wouldn't be prudent for you to cavort with the loonies like I have on many occasions. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but it's a numbers game. You just have to keep slogging away through the dreck until you find your felony-free car owner.

Which explains why you're all moist in the knickers for the guy at work. Hey, for one thing, he's employed! And he even makes more money than you and has a position of authority, which means he has his shit together on some level. Though I've certainly dabbled in the office romance, in all good conscience, I can't recommend it wholeheartedly. However, nor will I dissuade you completely. (Did you know some companies insist interoffice couples sign a legal agreement promising not to sue each other or their employer?)

There are a number of factors to consider before you bust that move. Most importantly, how much do you like your job? Can you easily find another one? Are you capable of coping with the aftermath of extreme humiliation? Because dating is fraught with potentially horrifying consequences, and this could be one you'll have to see every day. Will you be able to take orders from someone who, just hours earlier, had his face buried in your snatch? All things to consider before taking the leap.

If you're comfortable with the above scenarios, accept that you're probably going to have to be the aggressor here. Your superior (in title only!) is well aware of the shitstorm he could stir up by asking you out. Lucky for you, you're pondering this quandary during the holiday season. Office Christmas parties are the perfect venue for quaffing too much eggnog and sneaking off for an inappropriate snog in the copy room. Good luck!

In a quandary? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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