User blog: Ivan Susanov
As a divorced parent, I have two boys that are 6 years apart in age. Alpha Boy is the oldest. He’s in high school. Dirt Bike Boy is the youngest. He’s in elementary school. Even though they look and act alike, they are from two totally different backgrounds. Alpha Boy’s mother is more hood than Dirt Bike Boy’s mother. Which basically means that Dirt Bike Boy’s mother grew up in a privileged area. And that reflects in both of the boys attitudes.
Recently the three of us were riding in the car. Alpha Boy was riding shot gun (in the front) and Dirt Bike Boy was in the backseat. I was driving in through our old neighborhood and I stopped at a stop sign. As I was waiting for a break in traffic there was a group of young black teens about to cross the street. They were dressed in typical urban clothing. A couple of them had basketball jerseys on, sagging jeans and matching hats. Alpha Boy and I were deep in conversation and listening to the music. As one of the the teens walked around the back of the car, Dirt Bike Boy casually leaned over and locked both of the back doors. I probably would have never noticed but I could see him in the rear view window.
I immediately turned around and said, “what are you doing?” Dirt Bike Boy had a puzzled look on his face. I laughed and said, “I saw you lock the doors…you think someone is going to get you?” Dirt Bike Boy didn’t respond. Immediately Alpha Boy looked at the group of teens and began to laugh. ”I could take all of them… why are are you acting scared… that was the whitest thing I’ve seen all day.”
So now the our discussion turns to how much my “black” culture is lost because of interracial relationships. I’m sure there is a belief that because of my pursuit of interracial relationships, I’ve lost my black id. card. The one difference between Alpha Boy and Dirt Bike Boy is that Alpha Boy has spent more time with me. He’s spent time with me in 3rd ward & 5th ward in Houston. He was with me when we lived miles away from the suburban upper class.
As much as they are both my children, only one has the mentality to connect with both sides of his racial background. I’m sure Alpha Boy’s age has alot to with it, but he’s had a larger diversity in his social history. I’m starting to wonder if I need to spend more time with Dirt Bike Boy in urban envirionments. To let him become acclimated to other social scenes.
What are your thoughts? Do you think interracial relationships help or hurt your racial identity?
I have not submitted anything to this site in months. I see I have no visitors. No wonder. There has been nothing to see for since July. I have written nothing more my signature on checks to pay the bills. I had to get a “day job” that has been rather exhausting and I feel I have no “words” left. Also, the main crux of this page: Divorce, Dating, and Dieting are not such an issue any more. I mean, I could still write a whole book about what it is like to be married to a gay man, and I am sure others would benefit from my experience, but it is not the raging anger and bubbling creativity like emotional lava it once was. And as far as dating and dieting, well I don’t care as much because I am dating a man who is pretty much happy the way I am and I am not so concerned about my weight any more nor am I searching for the man that is going to make all my dreams come true. Instead, I have made my own dreams come true. All except the one where I become a published author.
So am I too happy to write? I don’t know about that. I know I am too busy to write very much. I definitely do not have the time or will to devote to the site that is needed to make it really take off.
But honestly, I miss it. I miss Charlotte Jay. I miss the crazy things she used to say. I also miss having readers. I miss having readers a lot. I know that is probably narcisstic, but most writers have huge egos or none at all. Either they live for the pain as readers fan the flames as their egos burn and words sear their own tongue on the or they are like Tinkerbell and might literally die without praise. I don’t know where I lie on that continuum, but I do miss it.
So, I guess I will start posting again. Maybe not daily like I was, but something maybe once a week.
https://coachingwithroy.com/love-awake-review/ Loveawake review
***This is an older post from 2010, but it explains a lot of where I was nearly two and a half years ago and bears to be reposted to the revamped site.
How Did I End Up in Dating Florida?
If you have to lose something big, you might as well lose absolutely everything all at once. In the last six months I have lost the following:
A husband and a home. I got divorced and signed over the house I shared with him for almost nine years.
Moved out on my own, first time since aged 22
A boyfriend. I engaged in a torrid love affair with a younger man (okay, not that torrid or that much younger, but it sounds dramatic)
And lost/quit my job of three years.
Moved five states away and am now living with my Dad and Stepmom in Florida
How the fuck did that happen? Well, I guess that is what this blog is about.
How did I get divorced? Well… Um… There is a simple, easy answer to that. An answer I will not tell right now openly, but it is rather cut and dry, really. The short story is that we wanted different things and the same things all at once. We couldn’t give each other what we needed and it is no one’s fault. But still, I feel betrayed and lied to for years and it makes me question the entire twelve year marriage, my self-worth, and my identity as a woman. Trust me, if you had a divorce like mine, you’d skip town too.
Torrid Love Affair? Okay, he was only five years younger, but still. He was damn sexy although not devastatingly attractive. He just had that special something that made me weak. He was super masculine, very sexual, strong, and not at all sensitive. After the divorce, he was exactly what I needed. I did love him. Still do. I REFUSE to call it a rebound, it just did not work out. We were not all that compatible.
Job Loss? Well, it depends on who you talk to. We were told that when we got a new computer system that the company were going to eventually have some cutbacks. I did not see that they were going layoff people, rather I just thought that they would “get rid of” certain people so they would not have to pay unemployment. I got going while the getting’s good. Besides, I was so laughably ill-suited to sit quietly in a cubicle and pay attention to close details.
Moving to Florida: Basically, I had nowhere to go. I lived in my hometown in the moderately large Midwestern city most of my life. Thirty-plus years and after I left my husband and my job I had nowhere to go. I felt like I had not contacts or prospects. It was a very lonely and desparate time. I cried every single day. I was alone in my little crappy apartment I was going to lose and I felt as low as one can be. I did have friends. The boyfriend might have taken me back and might have let me live with him, but I thought that was a bad idea. I found out my job was going away the day before I was to visit my father. He picked me up at the airport and as we were driving along the shore with the sun shining and the water so blue and inviting, he asked, “Why are you fighting so hard to stay in ______?” I did not have a good reason. So I went back “home,” settled my affairs and left.
I moved down to Florida to be with my father because I felt if I didn’t I would die. I know that sounds dramatic, but that is how I felt. I believed I was a danger to myself and others if I stayed with no support and no job. It was either Florida or suicide.
For a time, I believed (and told everyone else) that this was the best thing to have happened to me. Who else has this kind of opportunity? Who else can pack up just the bare essentials, leave the rest behind and never look back? I have a once in a lifetime chance to get a new life.
But… I liked my old life. I miss it. I miss my husband and the life we had together.
I miss living independently and spending time with the boyfriend making plans for our new life.
But I am here now. I am making the best of it. The job market here is no better or worse in my hometown. I could not afford to live in that apartment anymore. I am emotionally fragile and very, very vulnerable and I need the protection of my father’s household. I need the mothering of my step-mother. I am trying not to be a drain on the family, but I did need a place to crash. I start a part-time job next week which will be at least some income and I can help contribute to the household.
Even though my family loves me, I can’t help but feel like a loser. Because really, I have lost a lot. I mean a lot….. Most of it wasn’t really “my fault” but it is still gone.
Yes, it is beautiful down here and I am loved. But I am still a little lost, a little frightened, but at least I am safe. My family will not let me drown in troubles. I needed to be rescued.
What I really need is Jesus and a Job. More on that later.
If you put a gun to my head and asked me how many times I have been in love, I’d say five. The times love has actually been reciprocated (in any measurable form), I’d say four. I was in love once with a boy who can never return his affections. To this day, I still love him and hope he is well. I have had a few heartbreaking unrequited loves, but that is what adolescence is all about, falling for an unattainable ideal in order to help establish what you really want in a mate with the added bonus of hardening the heart to foolish endeavors. I am not bah-humbugging romance, I am just cautioning against needless suffering. I say this logically and from a distance of time and wisdom, but I wonder if all that one-sided affection has warped me somehow.
Let us first address my greatest love, so far. It is the greatest in as far as the longest lasting, my ex-husband. I believed he was my soul-mate. To this day, I wonder still if he really is not still is the other half of my soul. I wonder if he feels the same way towards me. I miss him like a limb sometimes. Perhaps it is a gangrened, puss-filled diseased limb, but a limb nonetheless. Even with all the bullshit and the lying that came after the divorce, even if he turned out to be gay and was probably always gay, I still believe he loved me. I believe he still does. And if you, fair reader, believe I am a fool, so be it. You don’t know what it was like, especially in the beginning. We would finish each other’s sentences, look up words together (we were big logophiles), talk about writing, see movies, take long walks in the park, and make love until dawn. That kind of love went on for years. He also stood by me when I “went a little crazy.” I had some mental health issues that have seemed to have “cleared up” through therapy, life-style changes, and the right medications. But he stood by my side when lesser men would have left. But I left him because he could no longer suppress his desire for other men nor foster any desire for me. Does that make me a lesser woman? I don’t know. I think you can “cure” crazy, but you can’t “cure” gay, nor do I think anyone should try.
I think of my other loves, a college boyfriend who introduced me to the mysterious world of love and sex. Although he was kind, he could never return my level of passion and that is why, perhaps, he broke up with me. Maybe also he saw some early signs of mental illness and did not want to get mixed up in that. Maybe he just wasn’t “that into me” and left before he really broke my heart. In retrospect, I perhaps took the break up much more harshly than necessary. But I was nineteen. People do stupid shit when they are nineteen. Everything is the end of the world when you are nineteen because you haven’t seen enough disaster to know that “this too shall pass” because nothing has yet.
The other two reciprocal loves were post-marriage. One was more or less an internet romance, I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, but this is the 2000’s, a lot of people hook up on the internet. He was funny, charming, smart, and could turn me on with just the sound of his voice. Most of our “relationship” was on the phone although we have met up in person several times. He helped me through those early months of my separation/divorce by just letting me know that I am beautiful, desirable, and that I can make it on my own. He told me that men would line up just to love me. A bit of an exaggeration, but he was right in some ways.
My next love was a hot and steamy summer romance. He was young and confident, quite cocky, actually. I hate to say it was a rebound. I do not see it that way and I hope he does not see it that way either. I fell so fast for him, it was ridiculous. He had a certain sexiness about him that transcended looks. He really helped me get my groove back in a way that would be uncivilized to discuss even on this blog. I broke it off for a number of reasons, but basically it was because I was too broken to be in a serious relationship. I think I might still be in the healing process right now. I should not be in a relationship, but I am in one any way. I am a dumbass.
Perhaps I am even a cruel dumbass. I am allowing men to fall in love with me when I am still limping around with a broken heart. Love should be a blanket, warm, inviting, keeps you close, safe, secure, the very place you want to curl yourself into after the world has beat you down. How can I warm anyone when my heart is in shreds and tatters? I would let too much of the world in and right now loving me would only make me seem cold and directionless for what choice does a shred of blanket have but to be whipped around by the wind forever changing direction?
So, where does that leave me? Where does it leave any man who dares to love me? If my ex-husband was my “soul-mate” does that mean that I will never connect with another person like that again? Is one allowed more than one soul-mate or was I so wrong the first time? Am I being unfair to date at all when I know I am not ready for anything serious? Should I let my waning years of viable fertility waste away while I am trying to get my head together? Should I just take a risk and see what happens?
I do not know. All I know is that this Book of Love is not over. There are many chapters left to be written. Whether it is a series of chapters with many different male romantic leads or if I start over with a whole different volume with a new co-author and we write our own story together is yet to be seen. Really, from the bottom of my broken heart, I hope the latter.
Let me start by telling you about one of the best dates I have ever had. To start with, it really wasn’t a “date.” This young man and I have had a long distance flirting to the point that we really developed a relationship. We went to school together a lifetime ago and really had a lot in common. Even through email and the occasional phone call, we had grown very close, but because of distance and various other factors, we both knew that there really couldn’t be a “couple.” But I think, on some level, and I don’t think I am over-stepping here, I think we do love each other.
So the non-date-date started off with some other classmates and the two of us at this concert at a club. And then it just progressed from there. We drove around our old haunts and then finally ended up at IHOP. I had one of the most intimate, inspirational, soul revealing and comfortable conversation of my life. And the pumpkin pancakes we shared at four o’clock in the morning were some of the most delicious I have ever enjoyed. I think I keep going to IHOP ordering pumpkin pancakes expecting that same delicious feeling to return, like a junkie that keeps chasing his first high.
I need rehab.
See, when a date ENDS at IHOP, it has probably been a glorious date, you are still getting to know each other, you have that buzzy feeling of infatuation, perhaps even have had your first kiss, or anticipating that first kiss. You end up at IHOP, or Waffle House, or Denny’s, or some other 24-hour diner because the two of you having such a great time you don’t want that feeling ever to end. You just want to keep it going for fear if the night ends or the sun comes up that it will somehow break the love spell the two of you are under. Under any other circumstances, these establishments are only ho-hum. One has to be either drunk on love or high on pot to think having one’s hash browns smothered and covered at 4 am is a good idea.
I had a perfectly horrific date START at an IHOP recently. If a date starts at IHOP, it just means he’s a cheap ass. I am not saying there aren’t great date places for the frugal Romeo. There are great little ethnic places with unusual food and interesting ambiance that would make for a great story to tell the grandkids. There are lovely parks that you can bring a picnic to that can easily lead to some smooching under the stars. But taking a girl to an IHOP on a first date in broad daylight or in the evening just means that you are cheap and/or have poor taste. Rooty-Tooty Pancakes just spells lame and romantic disaster.
The date was a blind internet date. The guy was so out of his league, I felt sorry for him. He was such a “Bubba.” He wore his best ball cap to the date. What the hell. He said that he wanted to go to culinary school but proceeded to tell me about all the food he doesn’t like for about 30 minutes. Wow. And then I asked him what would he make, and he said, “food like this” as he proceeded to eat the crispy fried batter off the onion ring, but not the actual onion. He doesn’t like onions. This was 45 minutes I would never get back.
So, guys, if you really like a girl, do NOT start the date at an all night diner starting at eight pm. The only circumstances you can take your girl out for pancakes and it is not between the hours of 7 and 11 in the morning, it better be because you just want the chance to talk to her and enjoy her company for just a few moments more. And that is what will make those pancakes the most delicious think you’ve ever poured syrup over.
Boy: I thought you had nice legs. (This blew my mind. I thought that my legs were my worst feature. But I did spend my entire freshman year and that summer losing weight and doing the latest fitness trend, Step Aerobics. I guess I did have nice legs).
“You have great curves, just work on getting them more (makes gesture)….compact. — This was made by a girlfriend who has been amazingly supportive through my weight loss. Love her!
“You are already hot. Losing weight and working out will only make you hotter.” This statement from a guyfriend that really did jump start my weight loss and my new life. He really woke me up from my “coma.” I had all the ingredients of a beautiful, healthy, competent, and sexy woman, I just had to access them and use them to my fullest potential. I will forever be grateful to this man for waking me up.
“What, did you used to have a weight problem, or something?” This is SOOOOOOOOOO hilarious so many levels as in I used to have a weight problem but not currently.
“You have really lost weight. Your boobs stick out more than your stomach now.” This was a comment made by a young and somewhat silly female personal trainer.
“I love your ass! I want to send postcards to that ass.” This was complimentary, really. He was not saying that just because my ass can qualify for its own zip code, he just thought it was… I don’t know, in need of congratulations or something. He was trying desperately to sleep with me, so I don’t think it was condolence.
(phone conversation with a potential blind date) Me: Just so you know, I’m not really petite. (total euphemism)
Man: Hey, will my arms fit around you?
Me: Well, of course.
Man: That is all I need to know. (Wow, we women are hard on ourselves. Really, that is what men really want. I woman they can put their arms around.)
“That’s what I see when I look at you, a pretty face and big boobs.”
“Ahhh… Chanel Number Five…. That is what noses were made for.” This was also when I was a college freshman. Okay, that was just a line, but it was cute. I loved him; he didn’t really love me back. He just wanted me to write his papers. Why couldn’t he just use me for sex like a normal boy?
(This was part of an IM exchange) Man: You have great legs and beautiful breasts.
Me: You know, if you would see me during daylight hours, you would also see that I have a great smile and a nice personality.
Man: Nope, can’t get past the legs and breasts.
(This man was supposed to be a ‘friends with benefits’ situation. At one point I asked him, “So, when does the ‘friend’ portion of this arrangement supposed to kick in?” The “can’t get past the legs and breasts” thing, I never spoke to him again. He then called me a b*tch. How dare I insist on conditions to access my body?)——This is also sooooo funny because it is like he doesn’t know that my body is not the best thing I am bringing to the table. To be seen only for my physical attributes I find this absurd.
“You have a great ass and decent tits.” Wow, what a smooth talker. And only “decent”?
“You have such beautiful breasts. You shouldn’t cover them up.” This was said by an older classmate (he was probably about 21 or 22 tops) my freshman year of college. To my memory, this is the first time any “man” saw me as a sexual being, or beautiful. I think this moment I no longer saw myself as a little girl and instead a woman. In context, it is not nearly as crude as it seems here. In context, he was really encouraging me to be more proud of my body and realize my beauty. Yeah, sure, he probably would not have minded if we slept together, but still, I think he was sincere.
Funny, the parts of my body I think are most beautiful, other than my face, men do not talk about. I think I have a lovely neck, nice shoulder bones, and a cute little waist. I also think I have nice hair. Other women notice and even envy my hair.
And the best comment about my body was from my gay ex-husband. Before you proceed, just know that this is an 18+ blog.
Me: When talking to your gay friends, do they tease you about liking women? I mean, you don’t say mean things about, you know, my body, do you?
EX: Of course not. You have a pristine pussy. (Pristine in its upkeep or preservation from under use?)
I bare my soul (and my ass) for comedy and posterity sake.
I was waiting at SFO for my delayed flight. I was heading back home from San Francisco, but Poseidon decided it was a great time to visit NYC and cover it with water. It was clear, this airport was going to be my home for a while. I was sitting next to a very attractive woman, and wanted to start a conversation with her, but I didn’t know how. I was awkward, shy, and decided to keep to myself. At the time I was going thru a shutterbug phase, and decided to pull out my camera and take photo’s. My first subject was a bottle of water I was playing with.
“That bored?” she asked me. ”Yeah, kinda,” that phrase began the next few hours of conversation, she was a promoter who was just living in San Fran, but decided to move back to NYC for an opportunity. Jokingly, I thought, I would be a part of that opportunity.
The Promoter and I continued to chat while waiting for the flight. She was one of those tough skin, snarky women with a soft center. I loved women like this; the no bullshit, has their own personality, cool chicks. Her life as a promoter allowed her to meet a few famous people, she didn’t name drop, but mades certain hints of it. The say she mentioned it wasn’t in a boastful manner, she could care less, and so could I. Although attractive, the woman was a down to Earth cool chick.
Although we got along well, I also realized, she was out of my league. I didn’t have the bravado, that was required to keep up with a woman like her. I wasn’t that confident.
When it was time to board the plane, I wasn’t lucky enough to sit next to her. I gave myself brownie points for being able to maintain a conversation with an attractive woman, and not make any major mistakes. However, I didn’t get her information. The flight was okay, it was on Virgin America (my favorite airline), and when we landed in JFK, I decided it would be time to catch up with her on the way to our luggage. Due to the delay, we were given free movies to watch on the flight and used those as conversation pieces.
https://sway.office.com/1zYlrUb4FB8s1T0b Are You Cheap or Frugal?
https://launchpad.net/~dating Relationships for Grownups
We walked to the bag exchange and waited for bags. She had a friend pick her up and wait with her. The three of us chatted a bit more and while waiting for bags to arrive. Suddenly she handed member phone already set to add a new contact. Shit, she was smooth, better than me. I got her number and we went our separate ways.
I texted her the following day and she asked if I wanted to go to a party. I said yes, it was set for a Tuesday, a day away. When I got to the party She was busy at the door, so I didn’t get the chance to talk to her much. Work from the West Coast wanted to have a late night chat. I stood by the door entrance on the phone, on the phone having a needless series of conversations that weren’t worth my time in he long run.
I knew I was blowing this, taking work phone calls at a club. Not making any impression on this woman, who obviously was working. When I had the opportunity, I didn’t know what to say to her. I ended up talking to a group of guys, one who which decided it was time to give me a back rub. Note, don’t give random strangers backrubs, it’s awkward! This was a complete failure, I should have just asked her out to a lunch or something, not this.
I cut my losses and ran. Eff it.
Looking back, I had these moments of confidence, but I was never myself around her. The woman was well out of my league, and I didn’t know how to play ball. I should have been more of myself, and looked past her attractiveness and more into the type of person she was. That’s how I got her to notice me at the airport, but when I saw her again, I pulled the same mistake most men would with a woman like her. They get trapped into the glitz and glamour of the job, and not into the woman she was.
I should have never attended that party, and instead offered to go out for lunch. If I only knew now, what I knew then.
People may think that men are tougher than women but when it comes to
feelings but this is not so true. Getting over divorce for Maryland men is just as hard
as it is for women. Men tend to hide their feelings and hold their hurt inside.
But the feelings are still real and painful.
Men will show their feelings in private when nobody else can see them trying to fool family and friends. Even if you succeed in hiding your feeling from family and friends you can not fool yourself. Your feelings are real and you need to be able to deal with them and start to move on.
You may not be as sneaky as you think. If you are not leaving your house or you are not socializing like you used to then they probably know that something is wrong with you. There is help for Maryland men to get over divorce. A Maryland based dating site have provided a link to a very good program only for men. Take a look and see what you think.
Your Feelings Are Normal
The first thing you should know that
your feelings of hurt and hopelessness are normal. You have lost somebody that
you loved. There are stages to grieving.
Mourning - Hurt, rejection, disappointment, confusion, depression, all causing the mourning process. It is completely normal to mourn as you lost your love. You have many good memories of the past with your ex so it is only normal for you to grieve your lost love.
Anger - After you are done grieving you may get angry at your ex for everything that happened. This is also normal and part of the grieving process.
Now after some time and you are able to grieve it is time to move on.
If you have been staying at home and not going out then it is time to try to find a happy place inside of you. This does not mean that you go out and hook up with somebody.
Get up and take a shower and shave.
Go out and get a haircut and something new such as new clothes or new shoes.
Call a Marylandfriend and go out for a couple of hours.
Join a gym if you have some weight to lose.
Think back to life without your wife. What are some of the things that you used to do before her that you enjoyed. Things that she maybe did not like you to do after you were married. Go do some of those things again. Do things that make you happy. I do not mean go on a drinking frenzy either. Do fun things that you once enjoyed again.
The point is you have to do something to help yourself. If you start living your life again you will find happy memories that do not include your ex.
This may not work for everybody. Sometimes you need an extra hand to get back on your feet.
When it comes to online dating, there are many routes you can take, but one major option is choosing between a site you pay for or a free site.
The founder of OkCupid recently posted “Why You Should Never Pay for an Online Dating Site” on his blog. And I loved this article. I thought it made so much sense. It uses numbers to explain why Match.com is full of BS and actually doesn’t lead to a lot of relationships or marriages; he argues that people not finding love keeps sites like this in business.
I knew he had a point, so I had to ask myself … Why do I keep paying for online dating?
And I realized that, just like many times a girl wants to be taken to dinner before she takes off her pants, I like that a guy has to pay to show his interest.
Now, at the risk of sounding like a gold-digging narcissistic biatch, let me explain: I’m a cute 24-year-old girl. From what I know about online dating through personal experience and from talking to other guys my age who use it, I know that I have a huge advantage. Most PYTs get tons of winks and e-mails from guys and they often get a little overwhelmed by the attention. But on Match.com, at least guys have to be a paid member to e-mail a girl … which cuts back on the attention slightly.
The other reason I prefer paid sites is because, like many PYTs, I’m kind of sick of guys just trying to hook up with me. I figure that a good way to meet guys who actually want a girlfriend is to use an online dating site. Now, this isn’t always the case – we’ve already seen that Match.com is a little more tailored to booty calls than eHarmony. But I assume that by paying to be on an online dating site, a guy is a little more interested in actually going out with the girl he meets there. Sure, he might see the $30/month fee as cheaper and more efficient than seeking out booty calls at the bar each weekend. But I just worry that if I go on a free site, I’ll get bombarded with e-mails from guys who aren’t seeking anything more than a one-night stand. There are a lot of creeps out there, and for me, the fact that guys have to pay to subscribe has been my filter of choice.
And it’s not like I’m just saying I want a guy who is willing to drop cash. I’m dropping cash to be there, too! But I only drop cash when I have the time and energy to invest in dating, when I really do want to meet someone. And I hope that the guys who whip out their plastic have used the same thought process. Because the only time I can see myself using a free site is if I just want to hit it and quit it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that guys might feel the same.
Valentine's Day is next week. If you're single, you can blow it off, you can complain about it (although consider the Oatmeal's point before you do so), or you can go out and enjoy yourself. But if you do go out and enjoy yourself, there are three things you need to trust in order to enjoy yourself.
#1) Your Gut
If a guy seem sleazy, or if something seems off about it, he probably is sleazy or there is something off about him. This isn't to say that on February 14th, the bars will fill with jerks: there are plenty of single guys who will go out on Valentine's Day because, hey, who knows, right? Back in the day, I was one of them; I didn't listen to my gut, I went home with a girl I shouldn't have, and I woke up to screaming, since she'd broken up with her boyfriend but hadn't bothered to actually inform him of this fact.
So, really, it's like any other Friday or Saturday night: there are the guys who are worth taking home, and there are the guys who aren't. Trust yourself to know which is which. But failing that...
#2) Your Friends
It goes without saying that if you're going to go out, you're bringing some friends, mostly to have somebody to talk to, right? Right.
So listen to them. Yeah, getting blocked can be annoying, but it's your job, as a friend, to keep your other friends from making bad decisions. Your friends are in your corner, so make use of them.
#3) Your Bartender
National "holiday" or not (and shouldn't we have this off if it's a weekday?), February 15th is a workday, and we all have to go to our jobs. So, if the bartender politely suggests you leave the rum out of the rum and Coke, listen to him.
This is personal experience talking here: you really don't want to be the one with the hangover in the office the next day. Everybody will assume you're groggy because you got lucky, and they will joke about it until you either vomit or deck them. I went with the "both" option.
How about you, readers? Any tips for a single Valentine's?