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Single and 32! Ok, so how does a nice guy with a great job find himself still single at 32? I have no clue, but sometimes I think more people should try it. I've seen a few too many jump right in and get married/kids/divorced early. Some people (more women than men) seem to feel like that they have to be married by the time they are 25 or they never will be. For me, I have never felt so confidant, flirtatious, relaxed and ready to have fun. I do not need to find a girlfriend. I am not in a hurry to get married off. But I am finally at a point where I would like to move on and do something more than just spend weekends out with casual friends. I think it is great to feel this way and yet not feel pressured about it.

So, what have I done? Well, dancing was the first real big step in the past couple of years. It has gotten me out of the house and met a lot of new people. Plus it helped develop social skills I did not quite master back in high school and college when I was a computer geek always on the net or reading books . . . But to be honest bars are not my ideal place to meet women.

So where does a guy go to meet nice single women? I tried a few on-line servcies. Matchmaker.com and WebPersonals.com were interesting. I met a few nice women, even met some for dancing. Unfortunately, it is hard to really learn much about people from e-mail -- and the first few are the hardest! What do you really say to someone? "Hi, I see you like {fill in the blank} also! My how wonderful!" UGH! You know there are probably millions of other people who like the same thing: dancing, Shakespeare, walks on the beach, etc . . . I think I'll stick to meeting someone in person. It is just too hard for me to learn much about someone's personality through mail! Meet for drinks somewhere. Nice, simple, relaxed. It can be as short or as long as either person wishes to make it. Unlike going out for dinner first time out and realizing before even having finished placing an order that this is not the person you would like to spend an evening with! *chuckle*

Anyway, while I do not have a lot of confidance in on-line match making services, I have met some interesting people and decided to try and gather some of the information I have been asked for before and put it together in case Ms. Right does happen to pass through . . . The following are my essay answers at Matchmaker.com. I have had fun rewriting them once in a while and figured they give a little more insight into who I am and what I am think Ms Right may be like for me. As with anything on my web site, do not take it all too serious! ;-)

Necks and Short Hair! I may as well answer some of the questions now. Yes, I like a delicate neck and short hair. Legs, rear ends, etc . . . Other guys can have them. What physical characteristic draws my attention, besides eyes with a sparkle of life? A gorgeous neck. One which is well defined and fun to nibble on, kiss and caress. One not hidden by turtle neck sweaters or big hair. Short hair is sexy! It shows off a woman's neck, of course long hair can be put up too. Combine that with an off the shoulder or spaghetti strap dress and well, you've got my attention . . .

Different? Maybe, but each person has their own tastes. Mine just happen to run from nibbling or caressing my way down from a ear to collar bone. Running my fingers up into a woman's hair, grasping firmly as I tilt her head back and lightly kissing . . . Er, well, anyway . . . No need to go into that here. *innocent smile* I think most of the women I dance with at Spurs know all about my preferences and it is a wonderful source of constant flirting, especially in the middle of a dance! I can eye their necks as a vampire would and get away with playing with them whereas breast men would be in trouble trying to play around as I do. All in good fun of course. There are just some dance moves which are so much fun to play with: neck wraps, duck outs, closed breaks and more! *sinister chuckle*


Try to describe the type of person you might be interested in meeting (either romantically or platonically).
Someone who is intelligent, self confidant, 'girl next door' type who can dance (or have fun trying)... Preferrably with a spark of life in her eyes that shows a creative, mischevious, witty and fun side. :-) To me, self confidance is sexy!

I would like to meet someone who I can be with as a peer who is practical and responsible in the things that matter and has similar ideas on when it is time to go out and have fun and forget responsibilities. Of course I could go on with a long list, but in the end it will not make any difference. Professional, intelligent, city rather than country girl (even though I listen to some Country music, I am not a cowboy myself), mature, competitive, etc... In the end these traits do not make any difference so long as there is the right chemistry and happiness . . . If I could define what makes that 'spark' I would write a book and make millions!

I would hope a woman interested in me enjoys a man that is smart, who attempts to be thoughtful (but has have his slip ups), does his best to learn from his mistakes and has as part of his goals to treat the woman of his life with respect, love and not take her for granted.

What personal habits of others really irritate you?
Irresponsibility. There seem to be some people who don't care how their actions effect others... the word "consequences" does not seem to be in their vocabulary. These I could easily do without. Lying, manipulative and someone who feels they have to yell would be others . . . same way.

Well, I really should not say these irritate me, they are just not what I want in friends or a relationship. I have seen people in various unhealthy relationships and that this not what I am looking for. Not that I don't have my own faults... but experience brings wisdom which I did not have in my 20's.

Describe your personality and physique.
Boyish cute, not rugged handsome. Oh well, that's just the way I am.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not be a perfectionist. Stop feeling like something has to be done right or not do it at all, because often I will let things sit rather than even start or try. Often leads to procrastination. Of course, there are times I would simply prefer to look more my age. I am nearly 33, but I am usually mistaken for quiet a bit younger. Many women have been initially leary when I approached them because they thought I was too young for them (mid 20's?!?!?!). This would be great if I liked women in their early 20's, but I prefer someone mature, closer to my age, with their feet on the ground and ready for a relationship. *chuckle* Oh well, I suppose one day I will appreciate looking younger than my age. Till then . . .

Where have you met most of your current friends?
Dancing! Competitions, bars & association dances... Country/Western and Swing at places like Blackies (closed), Spurs and Vienna Grille. As I mentioned above, I am not a cowboy and I do not tend to wear boots, a cowboy hat or anything like that. I just go for the couples dancing. The best way I've found to meet someone, is to sweep her off her feet with a nice graceful Waltz....

Before dancing, I met most of my friends through juggling. But that is another story from my darker/scary past... (just kidding!)

Just a quick note after getting some mail . . . I go out dancing a lot, but dancing (just like work) is not my life. Interests come and go over time. The quest is to find a partner to see them through with. Growing up, settling down, having and raising a family. These are all things I want to do some day. I will not be out dancing 3 or 4 nights a week forever. So, does a woman have to be able to dance before I will ask her out? No . . . But I do ask for a spark of life in her eyes and a desire to learn and explore together. :-) Winning lottery ticket, optional. *sinister chuckle*

What is your insight into spirituality, and how do you practice this belief?
Agnostic. I was raised as a Catholic, but I just do not have faith. At least not in organized religion. I respect other people's beliefs and hope everyone does the same. I even try to be open and go to church once in a while. We all change over time and this is one aspect I want to be open to. Still, I feel given the suportive and loving family I grew up in, I have high morals and know right from wrong. Regardless of where someone derives their morals from, I need at least someone with similar values regarding life, responsibilities and how to treat others.

Favorite pastime? Sport? Hobby? Diversion?
Ok, I have been through a few interests... Photography, juggling, balloon animals, making jewelry, making chain mail, Renaissance Festivals and of course Country/Western and Swing Dancing.

Recently, my new obsession is photography. The self-portrait of me against a cloudy backdrop was one of my first test shots with my new studio set up. Now I need to play with other people... Anyone available? I guess that fits under the "Ask a question..." part of the essay! http://www.raybowersphotography.com

How would you characterize your political leanings?
Always considered myself a republican, but to be perfectly honest, I don't pay attention. There are two major areas of discussion I stay out of: Politics and Sports. I do not know anything about either subject. I cannot list teams, players stats, or even state senators or major party leaders. If the girl of my dreams is waiting for me at a political rally or football game, I guess I will end up a bachelor the rest of my life...

One addition to this since we have a new president. I like him, but I support Pro-Choice and I am not wild with his starting executive ruling.

If you were to meet someone for the first time, what would be the "perfect" setting?
If after an e-mail or two and a phone call, there's interest, I would say somewhere for drinks first would be nice. Lunch or dinner sounds fun, but sometimes you meet people and by the time you get the menu, you are ready to go. Movies are too impersonal, there is no chance for interaction when first meeting someone. Meeting for drinks at a nice quiet place can last as short as necessary or as long as you want.

I guess I can't say there's really a "perfect" place to start with. I'll save "perfect" for that 2nd or third date when I can figure out what pleases a date who I am interested in... Would it be be dinner downtown, followed by a play, and dancing later? or perhaps a dinner cruise down the Potomac? maybe a picnic down on the mall or at Harper's Ferry? Depends on the company...

What is "SEXY"? What do you find "SEXY" in a mate?
Self confidence, intelligence, a spark of life in the eyes, no cigarettes in her purse and a mischevious smile/wink.

Of course, short hair, a delicate neck and an off the shoulder dress are too . . . Long hair is nice, but short hair also shows off a woman's neck and shoulders much better... but anyway, enough about physical characteristics! *sinister chuckle*

What type of music do you enjoy?
Wide variety. Top 40, Country/Western, Jazz, R&B, show tunes, classical. I tend to listen to the music I am dancing to a lot. Lately some C/W, but more R&B, Jazz and Swing. "Momentary Lapse of Reason", the soundtracks to "Lost Boys" and "Chess" and Pachabel Canon are perhaps my favorite CDs, I just can't dance to them.

What are/were your favorite subjects in school? Where do/did you attend high school and/or college?
Physics -- but that was a long time ago, and these days well... things have changed. In other words, I am not the geek I use to be.

Where were you born? What is your ethnic origin or ancestry? List some of the places you have lived or traveled.
I grew up in the DC area for the most part. Alexandria, VA. I've traveled all over the US and parts of England, Germany, Canada and Bermuda for work/fun. As with everyone else on here, I like to travel. Fortunately, I have 5 weeks of vacation a year now and thanks to work, the frequent flyer points to do what I want with it!

What type of work do (did) you do? How long have you been (were you) in that line of work? Do (did) you enjoy it?
IT Manager in consulting. I love my work, but these days, I leave it at the office. Computers are a job -- that is it now . . . I was a workaholic a long time ago, but I made it ahead in my job quickly and I rather enjoy taking it easy and having a social life these days. I love the people I work with. It makes life easy since I don't come home venting every day about them. I hope whoever I am involved with also has a similar situation. After all, if you are constantly not happy with work, something needs to change!

One great thing about my job is the traveling I get to do. Of course, one big draw back in a relationship can be the traveling too. My schedule varies, but I will make room for what is important in my life. I realized a while ago that while I am dedicated to my job, it is not #1 on the list.

If you could pick one super-human power (such as comic-book characters have) what would you choose?
Teleportation. Because it would be fun to travel all over the world, never waste time commuting to work, and be able to take dates to new and unique places each time. Lunch in London anyone?

Someone may want to say "hello", but not know how to get the ball rolling. Ask a question that someone can answer in their first letter to you.
Are you available for dinner and a play? With season tickets to the Shakespeare theater, and a knack for procrastinating, I've sometimes been looking for a date at the last minute.

Ok, besides that, I have another question someone could answer write to me about to break the ice... What do you have written about me in your "Notes" entry here on MatchMaker??? I am curious. Answer this and I will definitely write back! (Actually, I try to reply to all e-mail anyways since guys don't get flooded with e-mails like the women probably do...)

Of course, for someone brave, here's another question: are you willing to come to my photography studio and pose for me? Your time in exchange for copies of the prints? *mischievous grin* Oh with your clothes on for goodness sakes! :-)

What are some of your life-long goals. Where would you like to be in 2 years? In 5 years?
Dancing goal? Easy. I won 1st overall in San Diego this past October with straight Golds. I am hoping to get in the top 3 at World's this year. Then next year move up a division.

2 years, 5 years... Who knows. Out having fun, learning new things, and enjoying a family. Whatever I am doing, I just know it will not involve sitting around. While I am not into lots of outdoor sports and stuff, I am still not a couch potato. Juggling, skiing, dancing, traveling . . . Who knows what is next. Girl-friend, then wife then kids? I promised mom I'm make her a mother in law before a grand mother. *chuckle*

What comedians, TV shows or movies match your sense of humor?
Hawkeye from MASH. I tend to be very sarcastic. Depending on who is around me and the situation, I may do things to embasrass my friends, draw attention and sometimes be a clown... But that is with friends I am very comfortable around. In general, I don't go around acting silly all the time though. I am actually an introvert, believe it or not... I feel more at ease with a book worm than a social butterfly, but I would like someone in between.

If you have any pets, what are they and what are their names?
Mirrel the Squirel. He stops by my patio for peanuts sometimes. Walks right up to the door and practically bangs on it saying, "Hey, Feed me ya bum!". I also have a 4' tall stuffed Tazmanian Devil! Taz is my test subject when I don't have a model to sit in at my studio and I want to do some lighting or prop tests. See http://www.raybowersphotography.com for a portrait of him. Taz loves the one in front of the red and blue smoke since it makes him look so menacing.

Any additional comments? Is there anything about you that the questionnaire didn't cover?
Just to clarify some thing, the above multiple choice questions are ok, but I wanted to clarify some of them since the answers are too limited:

Current living situation? Single, never married, not even engaged before. No kids (yet). Kind of hoping to find someone similar . . .

Someone also noticed I have been on here (Matchmaker.com) for a while and asked if that was a good or bad thing! *chuckle* Very fair question to ask... Yes, I have been on here for a while. I have actually not asked many women here out -- perhaps about 6. I don't send out form letters. I like to think when I e-mail someone I put a lot of thought into it. I still approach this with some reluctance. I meet lots of women out dancing, and I have felt it is easier to feel a connection with a live person, not a typed profile. But I've tried to be open to it and kept my account, and once in a while asking someone out. So... I hope nobody holds this against me! I'm trying to get away from just dating women I meet out dancing, and figure I should really make a more concerted effert. We shall see...

Picture (required). As I have grown older, compatible personalities and morals have become far more important than when I was younger, but still I want to see who I am writing to. I do not look for a glamour shot photo of the woman of my dreams... but I want to see enough to pique my interest and lead me to want to learn more.

If you completed reading this rambling profile, you were either real bored, or just skipped to the end. Either way, thanks for stopping by!

http://www.bowers.com/ray or


Personals! / Ray's Home Away From Home / ray@bowers.com / September 10, 2000