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On a lovely little winding road that snakes along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a quaint cottage that I pass almost daily, as it is almost next door to my home. No one lives there, which is not unusual in this area. Many chalets and small houses are vacation rentals; most sit empty or for sale due to our economy.

It looked like the perfect place for us...

It looked like the perfect place for us…

As my lease is nearing a close in the coming summer, I’ve begun the arduous task of searching for something appropriate and affordable. This unusual place keeps coming to mind; I create different scenarios for how I could make the place work for us. The house is back from the road, with a long narrow yard; perfect for a small herd of goats. The back could be cleared and become a most magical garden, with place for a swing, and an arbor.

Even though I haven’t had time to investigate it on a personal basis, it is tempting to day dream about all the things I could do there, how it would be an easy move, especially as the boys are in school, how much fun it would be to decorate, etc.

In this new world of online dating, it is often quite difficult to figure out the rules
so that one has a chance at actually winning. Dating  is a double-edged sword
at best; as we text or email for days on end with very little voice contact or face to face encounters.

It is easy to fall into this trap of thinking things like “he’s too busy to call”, or “he’s shy so I need to give him more time to come around”. Equally questionable is when he only wants to see you at your place or has no desire to go out once you do start dating.

I think that you are quick to catch on to signals like these, but what about the visual cues or illusion a man or woman creates through their appearance?

When we find a profile that visually stimulates us, and the PD(potential date) seems too good to be true, is terribly sexy or attractive, and says all of the ‘right’ things, it is easy to fall into the ‘daydream trap’.

In the beginning phase when we are getting to know someone, understand that PD is only showing you the very best he knows to offer, working hard to say all the things he has had success with in the past, choosing  pictures that show off his best side, even old ones, whatever it takes to get you interested. During those first few days of chatting and meeting after work, it is easy to get so excited that we don’t pay attention to the actual words PD is using, or his tell-tale body language. Yet, it is crucial to our survival in the dating game to step outside of that crazy, hormonal rush and look at PD as one who is interested, yet distant. Let me explain….

After two weeks of fantasizing about all the great things I could do with the little house,  I called the number on the sign by the road. It was almost a week before the owner called me back. (hint #1) She was a little clipped in her conversation, and explained that it was being sold ‘as is’, and that I would need to do any and all work after purchasing.  I hung up, telling her I would check it out more tomorrow.

Well, the next day it was late, so approaching darkness, so I quickly ran over to get a closer look, and got caught up in a bramble, so just looked at the front, and came back home. I started to imagine all sorts of little potted herbs going down the steps, and rocking chairs on the porch, with some landscaped beds along the bottom of the porch, and how the goats could chew this down to the grass in no time! (I don’t have any goats now, mind you) (hint #2)

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But, this is what we do as women, we are the home makers, the changers of the world, the fixers, no?

No. You must stop this notion when it comes to modern dating. You know NOTHING about this person as yet. All you know is what he is allowing you to, and if you aren’t alert and paying attention to the signs, then you only have yourself to blame when he cheats on you, doesn’t call back after getting you in the sack, or worse, has duped you into letting him move in with you and you are stuck in a crappy relationship as he is either jobless, homeless or an abusive person.

When we don't remain a little detached in the beginning it can be hard to tell what is illusion and what is fact.

When we don’t remain a little detached in the beginning it can be hard to tell what is illusion and what is fact.

As women, we allow our minds to wander with the possibilities of what ‘could be’ or the ‘potential’ of something. However, when it comes to relationships or money, we must be more focused, clear and fully aware of what is happening between the lines. If you practice some tools I’ve learned along the way, and I will teach you in a later post, you will learn to avoid pitfalls, and how to tune in to a really great catch that may have more to him than meets the eye. Looks are definitely not the main consideration to make in determining whether to give a man who shows interest in you a chance.

As I found out when I finally took the time a week later to truly investigate the entire property, look at what was waiting once I got inside…

Don't let your next date drag you into his illusion of being a great catch...

Don’t let your next date drag you into his illusion of being a great catch…

….a completely empty shell or something that had once been a great little place.

Don’t let this happen to you. I’ll explain how, shortly. Stay tuned…

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