'Kissed 1,000 Frogs' explores pitfalls of modern-day dating
West Allis native shares her experiences in effort to help others
Did you know there are more than 5,000 species of frogs in the world? And Jeanie Rasmussen knows many of them quite well, because several have hopped in and out of her life in the past few years.
No, she's not a herpetologist, but she knows their moves, their motivations and generally what makes them croak.
The frogs Rasmussen studies are her dates, some of which have proved to be more memorable than others — but all leaving her with lasting lessons. Throughout the past several months she began documenting her dating experiences and has turned them into a self-help book, "Kissed 1,000 Frogs," for women. Dating is fun, but comes with many pitfalls that some women may be naïve to, she said. "Kissed 1,000 Frogs" hopes to help women navigate around those obstacles and experience more successful dates.
"Dating is a brand new game with the Internet, and for a lot of women, dating can be a scary, intimidating journey," she said. "I want to give them a self-awareness of what's going on in the dating scene. For some women who may have been married for a long time, but now are divorced and finding themselves dating again, things have changed."
Rasmussen realized firsthand just how the dating landscape had changed following the end of her marriage in 2009. In addition to asking her family and friends to keep an eye open for single men who may be dating material, she turned to the Internet. Soon after joining a popular dating site, the frogs began jumping into her life.
Not everyone's a prince
So what exactly constitutes a frog? Remember that not all men are frogs. Many men are sincere, genuine and looking for that long-term relationship, she said. But some are not, and that's the crux of the book — being able to recognize a man with real motives vs. those who may have other purposes. And the sooner a woman can identify that she's on a date with a frog and throw him back, the better for her, Rasmussen said.
"I learned a lot from my own mistakes," she said. "I think most women know that talk is cheap, but that's the one thing that many men are good at. They'll tell you what you want to hear to get what they want. You can't take things at face value. Men have to follow through with their actions, and if they don't, then they're not being sincere. Ultimately, these men will just be wasting your time."
So who are some of the frogs that Rasmussen has gone on dates with? In lieu of their real names, she's given each a moniker that describes them or their personality. Say hello to such frogs as the Alpha Male, Mr. Universe and Polish.
Rasmussen spends time discussing these and other men, and the traits they exhibited that eventually turned them into frogs. For example, the Alpha Male is portrayed as "a complete ego maniac who always was in charge in every aspect of our relationship, especially the bedroom."
Mr. Universe was a very skilled frog in that "he is used to getting exactly what he wants from every woman and had learned exactly what works."
Not surprisingly, Polish got his name due to his Polish ethnicity. This frog used what Rasmussen calls "The Fisherman" technique on her, i.e. catch her, toss her back and not hear from him for a week or so, then try to re-enter her life. In reflecting on Polish, she says, "You hold out hope that he will eventually come around with the bait and keep me in the net. That's not going to happen. He will continue his ways and you'll get whiplash from constantly being tossed back out. In the end, you need to stop taking his calls, stop answering his texts and move on."
With all of the frogs in her book, Rasmussen goes into detail about their motives and actions, and things that women should look for when going out on dates.
Learning from experience
But it's not all about the women, as the last part of the book is told from a man's point of view. Of course there are men out there who aren't frogs, and she ends the book discussing the timing, connection and chemistry of making a lasting relationship with "the one."
"Kissed 1,000 Frogs" is the first book written by Rasmussen, a West Allis native and 1989 graduate of West Allis Central High School. With a degree in physical therapy, she currently manages a skilled nursing therapy department in suburban Chicago.
As women and men head out on their next dates, Rasmussen has some advice for both.
"Women shouldn't settle. I think too many women make concessions all the time for men and their behaviors; you can't settle or compromise your beliefs in what you're looking for because you won't be happy," she said. "And for men, if they are serious about a committed relationship, don't put yourself first all the time. Many of the guys I've gone out on dates with are very selfish. Men have to be willing to put someone else first and give up some control, and be willing to give."
Where to find it
WHAT: "Kissed 1,000 Frogs"
WHERE: Amazon.com or Kissed1000Frogs.com.
ETC.: Share your dating experiences by liking the Kissed1000Frogs page on Facebook.
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