(And forgive me again readers, because I really wanted to apologize via Mr. Darcy in the rain, but couldn’t find an animated GIF of Colin Firth apologizing and thus had to use the far inferior Darcy. Shudder.)
Anyway, back to the apology. We’re sorry because we’ve basically acted like a man after 2-3 OKC dates. Provide a few laughs, some relatable stories, make you feel slightly bad for us… and then BAM…come down with afairly horrible summer cold and disappear.
1. We have had a monumentally important 30th birthday this month! S entered the next decade with fanfare that included a popcorn bar, a full length, high tech FAMILY FEUD style game (with sound effects), engineered by D, and a signature cocktail named after her. What can I say? CALIFORNIA HAS NOTHING ON NEW JERSEY when it comes to knowing how to party. And believe it or not, S is an even better friend than she is blogger, so she deserved every bit of our crazy celebration.
2. December is like, the most horrible time to date and meet new people. I mean, we all know meeting new people is horrible, no matter when you do it. But December is particularly bleak because people’s schedules are insane with awkward office holiday parties, family dinners, yankee swaps, etc. E.g., below:
3. I’ve actually started seeing someone. That I like. It’s a holiday miracle!
As previously mentioned, I have a strict policy not to blog about guys I am seeing. So sorry for being a total tease (obviously not that sorry because, HURRAY!). Anyway, I promise in the new year I’ll figure out a way to keep posting about dating. And, if things end, then you can get ready for the series of sad, self-deprecating posts filled with Avril Lavigne songs and Lena Dunham GIFs that are my post break-up speciality. But let’s hope it’s the former rather than the latter, ok?
While I have the mic, I’d also like to take some time to say that we at StuCu are pretty happy to say goodbye to 2014. Sure, it’s had some highs (mostly minor brushes with fame), but also some low lows that I hope not to repeat. Here are some ways I am hoping 2015 will be different for those of us navigating online dating.
1) Jdate will FINALLY improve its user interface. Jdate, what will it take before you stop being the most hideous site on the internet? The SECOND COMING OF CHRIST? (HAHA, couldn’t resist). Anyway, Jdate has allegedly made progress by creating something called an APP. It’s this thing for phones. You may have heard of it. If anyone is using it, let me know. The worst thing about not being on Jdate anymore is that I can’t make fun of it’s “new” features.
2) Sites will find a way to get rid of ghosts. Speaking of new fangled apps, in S’s post about Coffee Meets Bagel, she mentions that she was removed from the site do to inactivity. Kudos, we said then, and I’ll say it again now. Sadly, much of the space on internet dating websites is taken up by ghosts. Not real ghosts, because they don’t need to date. (Especially if they look like the 1995 movie version of Casper).
Devon Sawa, swoon. (Says 10 year old me. Now it’d just be creepy to swoon).
But people who are functionally ghosts because they either made a profile and then never signed on a again, starting dating someone and forgot to delete their profile, or, are victims of the NON PAYING MEMBERS situations on Match, HowBoutWe, Eharmony, or Jdate, where they created a profile to browse, but never paid and couldn’t receive messages. These people aren’t really looking to date, but their inactvity on the site, their non response to our messages, and even the mere fact that they just aren’t messaging us creates depressing illusions for active users. Other sites should follow CMB’s league and kick their ghosts out. I think having a smaller, more active base of users would result in people feeling much more successful!
3) Texting will become a thing of the past. And all communication will just move to snapchat. HAHA, J/K. I don’t even know what snapchat is, you guys. As you know, I declared a serious jihad against texting last winter, and it’s continued ever since. I am hoping that dating communication moves away from text, and back to the phone where it belongs.
Now readers, what are your hopes related to 1) online dating and 2) this blog for 2015? As I mentioned, we are tossing around some ideas for how to spice things up a bit, and are looking for suggestions on topics, and even some potential guest bloggers, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got ideas!
And, finally readers, Happy New Year! Here’s some parting advice for your evening, straight from our hearts to your homes:
Look at me, speaking Hebrew! Sadly, despite the significant gelt (lol, GET IT?) my parents dropped on Hebrew school, “Shalom” is basically the only word I can remember in the mother tongue. (Or in my case, the father tongue. Since my dad is technically the Jewish one. GET IT?).
OK, OK, I will stop cracking myself up with these stupid puns, though you must admit, they ARE funny, and tell you that Shalom in Hebrew means peace, hello, and goodbye. And in this specific case, it means goodbye, because I am saying goodbye to Jdate. My subscription expires tomorrow and I am not sad to see it go. Though, it has brought me some pretty good things. Besides the experience of hiding in a porta-pot, of course, which was, as Mastercard would say, Priceless.
Wow Jdate, No need to get so sentimental. Looks like you’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss you. Of course, Jdate did deliver me several lovely gifts before my departure, including the message I am featuring in this week’s Message Tuesday. Yes, yes, I know we are technically supposed to be doing Message Mondays, but like the good Jew that I am, I am running a full day late. (And sorry/not sorry I continue to make lame, Jewish jokes after promising to CUT IT OUT less than two full paragraphs ago). Anyway, let’s first get into some key details about the sender. Where’s he from, you ask? DC? Arlington? Bethesda? Baltimore, even? NOPE NOPE NOPE.
I mean, I know I’ve complained about this before, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it again.
I live in the UNITED STATES. About a seven hour flight from Israel. And, my profile says I am not interested in relocating. Sadly, I am not sure if homeboy understood my profile, because it is unclear if we have a shared language. His message read:
Oh yes, that makes perfect sense! It sounds like you really enjoyed reading my profile and that we have the same taste in music.
ACTUALLY, WAIT. I don’t know what you said because you and I don’t even use the same alphabet. I mean Jdate, can you put us both out of our misery and only allow us to message people who can READ OUR MESSAGES?
Now look, just to be super clear for the record, it’s not that I wouldn’t date someone whose first language isn’t English. The problem is, this is an ONLINE DATING PLATFORM where the chosen mode of communication is written, and so if we don’t share the same language, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to move things forward in a meaningful way.
I wish this gentleman the best of luck (as long as his message isn’t actually like, a long string of curse words or hate mail). And if anyone can translate the following sentence for me: “Do yourself a favor and use a different dating site that intuitively sorts users geographically and/or by language of choice,” shoot me an email and I’ll send it to this poor fella.
That’s all for now readers. And hopefully, this is really the last time you’ll hear me complain about Jdate for reals. Because, SHALOM JDATE!
Worry no more Victoria Grayson, because tonight I really will tell you about my date. This date was my first Jdate after rejoining the site in October. I spent my first couple weeks on the site making fun of it, and not doing what I was supposed to be doing, like updating my profile or answering messages, or looking for potential matches.
But then, after lots of pep talks from everyone’s favorite sassy gay friend (C), I decided to reply to messages from some promising dudes.
This particular dude, who I am knighting Sir Talks Alot, for reasons that will soon be clear to you, seemed like your average Joe (Or, since we are talking JDate here, more like your average David. Or Daniel. Or Max. Or Josh.) He was in his early thirties, had a decent job at a government agency, and messaged me about benign things like my job, traveling, and my hobbies. He suggested meeting up at one of my favorite bars that has a killer happy hour and an even better back patio.
So, I begrudgingly put on lip gloss (not lipstick, I am not nearly cool enough for real makeup. I prefer to stick with the same make-up regimen and products that I’ve been using since 8th grade. Ask S, she knows.) (Real talk, I once staged an intervention on L’s bra collection upon discovering that each and every one was legitimately purchased in junior high. Homegirl has a problem.) and hauled my lazy self to the bar. This was going to be my first date in two months (unless you count dates with fictional TV characters. Which I go on every night. On my couch. In sweatpants.), and as I walked to the bar I was nervous. Would I forget how to flirt? Could I remember all the thoughtful questions to ask?
When I got to the bar I was pleasantly surprised. Sir Talks Alot was way cuter in person than he had been in pictures. I mean, in one picture, he had been sporting a FANNY PACK. In another, Tevas and sandals. I literally went to the bar expecting someone who resembled a nervous, midwestern tourist. Instead, I was greeted by a decent looking guy with glasses, wearing normal, preppy clothes, sans fanny pack. (Thank god!). Now, as we have discussed previously on the blog, there are two kinds of profile picture fraud.
The kind where someone posts a picture WAY more attractive than they actually are and then when the other person gets to the date they are so disappointed and bamboozled they can barely focus. This is by far the most common type of fraud.
The kind where someone asks a blind, thumbless person to take his or her picture, right after they get styled by your dad. This is far more rare, because usually these bad pictures prevent someone from going out with you.
Now look, before I get to the complains section of this post (because lord knows, that’s our bread and butter), let me just say I DID appreciate that this guy was putting some effort into the date and conversation. You’ve heard me and my co-bloggers complain time and time again about men who sit silently (or worse, mumble) while you lead the conversation like a paid mediator. But this talking was extreme. During the course of our 2.5 hour date, I think I shared four things:
Where I work
How many siblings I have
My sister in law to be’s profession (Hey B, tell K she made into the blog AND the date. And I told my date and my readers that she was a DOCTOR.)
That, yes, I would like another glass of wine.
Sir Talks Alot, on the other hand, shared about 1000 things. I mean, at one point I actually wondered if perhaps I had showed up for the wrong engagement and this guy thought he was meeting with the aspiring author who has going to ghost-write his biography. A few nuggets I learned:
His dad’s job. His mom’s job. His brother’s job.
How every room in his house is decorated
The names of his friends’ cats.
A recipe for vegan stir fry.
Now there is nothing wrong with these nuggets individually, but string them together, and multiple them by 100 other random facts and there you have my date.
Now, why didn’t I just get up and leave you ask? The thing is, when one is shellshocked by reverse profile picture fraud (Type #2 fraud as described above), she is sort of in this imobolized haze where she is so confused at her own good forture that it is hard to think clearly. Also, what he was saying was interesting (his parents are also doctors! like my sister in law to be!), and I figured his incessant talking might just have been first date nerves. Lastly, once I started drinking wine, it seemed like too much work to stop. (Yes, I realize that last sentence made me sound like a lazy alcoholic, but no I am not sorry).
Anyway, by the end of the date I decided if he asked me to go out again and do something cool I would give it one more shot. And he did. He asked me to this fun food and drink festival that happens a couple times of year in DC. And, in the spirit of embracing new and creative date ideas, I agreed to a Sunday afternoon date, hoping that Sir Talks Alot’s nerves would have abated and he wouldn’t be so chatty.
However, when I met Sir Talks Alot for the date, I noted an IMMEDIATE CURVEBALL. This guy was wearing TRANSITION LENSES.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to avoid this fashion phenomenon for most of your lives, allow me to show you an example:
See what Matt is wearing? Those are transition lenses. The stated goal of such lenses is to be a one stop shop for people who wear glasses to see and who need to wear sunglasses to protect from the sun. Indoors, they are reading glasses. Outdoors, they are sun glasses. Makes sense, right?
First of all, the lenses never fully make the transition? See how Matt’s lenses are a bizarre shade of gray? That is what transition lenses look like 80% of the time. A weird, funky gray color that compliments the face of NO ONE.
Second of all, the other 20% of the time, when the lenses are making significant shifts in appearance, they are terrifying everyone around them because, as one wise friend put it, “One minute you see their eyes. And the next minute they are sort of gone.”
Thirdly, the whole marketing campaign contains some stock photos that resemble either a Viagra add or a tampon commercial.
Lastly, transition lenses bring up weird free associations in my mind. Here are other people I know who have transition lenses:
My ex mother-in-law (L we both know you don’t have an ex mother-in-law). OK, not technically. My ex-fiance’s dissaproving Korean mother. Just as terrifying as the real thing.
Most of S’s exes (I don’t actually know this, but when I went on an anti-transition lens rant, S said, a little too proudly, “Please, everyone I’ve dated wears transition lenses. GOOGLE GLASSES OPTIONAL. I didn’t say it proudly (who would be proud of this??) but I’ll admit I was oddly possessive of my ‘dating someone who makes hideous fashion choices’ title and thus made a wildly inaccurate claim about “all my exes” wearing transitions (upon further investigation it was one dude at most. We’ve established that my memory is sketchy.) To be fair, though, the men I’ve dated HAVE shown up to meet me in all of the following: Google glasses, stonewashed jeans from Costco, windbreakers, and shorts paired with dress socks, so I know this feeling of bewilderment and public shame all too well #nerdfetish.
“Now before you jump down my throat and accuse me of being that judgmental person I swore about four paragraphs ago I wasn’t going to be, let me say that the worst part of the second date was not the transition lenses. That digression is mostly a PSA for your benefit, dear readers, that is intended to ensure that when you buy eyewear, you buy it only for one purpose.
The worst part of the second date was that Sir Talks Alot talked even more than he had on the first date. This time, the conversation featured:
His bowtie collection
His favorite paintings of all time
His grocery list
About 15 minutes in, I knew their wouldn’t be a third date, and just tried to escape as much as possible. I reached out to S for emergency support:
Date Rating: First date 6/10, second date, 4/10: Once I knew the incessant talking was likely here to stay, I just used the time we were together to make my own grocery list and fantasize about the Sunday night TV I was going to watch. And the worst part? He didn’t even notice I zoned out
Lesson Learned: The lesson here folks? If you are hiding in plastic toilet on a hot DC day just to avoid talking to someone about their bowties while their glasses change color before your very eyes, it’s time to call it quits.
Hullo readers! Some updates from Washington, D.C., where I am pleased to report that more has been happening than me just hating on JDate. Well, actually, not a ton more. Mostly just me going on dates with Js from the site and then finding something about them to hate on.
Yup, hold on to your hat Tim Gunn, because there is a date post coming your way in a couple days, and it features a whole litany of complaints, including some about what I consider one of most serious fashion faux-pas of our time.
Meanwhile, since I have your captive attention, I thought I’d use a few minutes on the mic to run an idea by you. What if: there was a way to discipline your dates and exes for not acting like they had any basic human decency or manners, without seeming like a total lunatic or having to bear the uncomfortable pain of conflict yourself?
In fact, I’d be a liar too if I didn’t admit that over the past 6 months, there have been a few monologues rehearsed in my mirror where I tell J I know he’s a big lying cheater and that I have gonorrhea. (Don’t worry mom, I don’t have it. I don’t even know how to spell it. I had to use google because even my spell check doesn’t know how to spell it.)
Anyway, when I saw J today, getting off the metro. I totally froze:
I barely managed to give him my trademark side-eye glare before I actually quickened my pace and headed to the turnstile, even though at that point he fully turned around and looked at me. (When I got home and looked in the mirror, I sadly realized I was rocking a creative looking side part and had magic marker all over my hands. So I am kinda glad the confrontation didn’t go any further).
I mean, the reason why I didn’t say anything is the same reason I don’t implement many of my revenge fantasies, or give some of these fools the talking to they deserve. I didn’t want to be this girl:
However, my (well-advised) fear of conflict/humiliating myself means that J gets to walk around this earth (or to be less dramatic, NW DC) thinking that he can just be a douche and no one will care.
Now, enter the solution: the secret vigilante dating task force. What if, I could enlist volunteers (presumably other scorned, righteous ladies and the odd sassy gay friend or two, of course), to deliver anonymous hate telegrams to J and the other creeps that have come before and after him:
I mean, clearly leaving terrifying notes in someone’s home would be reserved for the worst level of offenders. But we could ask volunteers to implement a number of services, perhaps based on a sliding scale donation.
Back of the envelope calculations on pricing and services:
$10: We’ll send the offending party a facebook message from an untraceable source, calling out his bad behavior and concluding with a spooky, “we’re watching you.”
$20: We’ll up the ante and make the facebook message a public wall post (or tweet), so everyone can see what he did.
I.e. Hey there J, It’s about time that you stopped cheating on C (tagged) with petite, ambiguously ethnic girls you meet on the internet. #cheater #herpes
$50: We’ll triangulate social media data to pinpoint a time and location where one of our trained volunteers can confront this clown in person. (Add $25 if you’d like volunteer to be dressed in a fake sheriff’s outfit. Add $50 more dollars if you’d like the volunteer to throw a drink in his face).
Clearly, all the deets aren’t figured out yet, but you get the gist. I’m basically the new Mark Zuckerberg. (After all, at one time in my life we sported similar haircuts. AND, we both like to sit at our computers and scheme). Instead of facebook, I’d call it HATESbook. (I realize that name doesn’t make a ton of sense, but I could resist the rhyme).
So what do you think ladies and gents? (Though mostly ladies, because if you haven’t inferred it yet, this blog is pretty biased against men). You in?
Tonight, as I was going through my inbox to prep a Message Monday post for you, dear readers, I realized that nothing noteworthy stood out to me.
Sure, there were plenty of lame/nonsensical things to choose from, such as:
Brought to you courtesy of Jdate, of course. This message is extraordinary in that it manages to be vaguely creepy but also rather unintelligible. Is my “book” my picture and profile? And what would it mean to curl up and “read” me?
So, rather than craft our 100 blog post about how most messages leaving us shaking our heads in a combination of confusion and fear, I decided to dedicate this post to tackling a frequent question from fellow online daters.
However, I do have some well formed theories why people don’t return most of the messages they get. I’ve sent my fair share of messages over the last year, and much to my dismay, some of them never got returned. I used to get pretty bummed by this, but now it doesn’t faze me at all.
Based on my experience sending and returning/not returning messages, I share the following nuggets of wisdom with you about why people aren’t replying:
1. They are not attracted to your pics.OKC’s Nobel Prize Winning scientists (oh, what’s that? Not a Nobel Prize? Just a Gold Medal of Douchery for experimenting on their users?) have conducted research to prove what we already know. Online dating is a shallow pursuit, where most users judge other users on their looks. I mean, if you have NEVER met a person, heard their voice, or seen them interact with other people, pictures are the most concrete things you have to go on. And if someone doesn’t like the way you look in the pictures you’ve carefully selected, which I am assuming were taken on a good day, when you were a few years (or at least a few months) younger, in some flattering, low lighting (MINE WERE), they probably won’t be attracted to you in person. Sadly, we online daters don’t get the luxury of getting to know each other through late nights in the dorm studying and eating pizza, or dinner parties with mutual friends. So, we make snap judgments. It’s by no means a good thing, but it’s a necessary evil. I am sure that some men don’t reply to my messages because they just don’t find me attractive. I mean, I recently suggested “an older version of Dora the Explorer” as the actress who would play me in a movie. While a surprisingly large proportion of men find this attractive, others don’t. And I’ve made peace with that.
If somebody can’t appreciate what you got going on, oh well. Just move on, and eventually, somebody will. (In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to find an animated monkey to be your BFF and follow you around.)
2. You have some weird dealbreaker in your profile that they’re not willing to compromise on.
Remember our series on OKC question dealbreakers? There are just some things that you might put in your profile or in your questions that might cause another person to press delete. For example, let me remind you that I hate cats, and I’m deathly allergic to them. So if you write about your multiple cats on your profile, I’ll likely take a pass for my own safety (and the safety of the cats). Same goes for vegans. Or people who like Billy Joel. Am I missing out? Maybe. But that’s my choice. And it doesn’t mean you have to change. Unless of course, your profile reveals you are an avowed woman-hater or homophobe. Then, you should change, because you suck.
3. Whether people reply or not probably has very little to do with you. Now, this is assuming you write something a) SANE (so, not this) and b) vaguely original (no form letters) and c) more than hi. The majority of times I don’t reply to messages that would pass a basic normalcy test, one of the following is going on with me:
I’m traveling/working a lot and just don’t check them that often.
Due to the traveling/working, too many messages build up and I get tired just sorting through all the crap (see a,b, and c above), get discouraged after 10 minutes and decide to watch The Daily Show instead.
I’m sorta seeing somebody, and I want to see where it goes, but I don’t want to jinx it by disabling my profile.
I just had a bad date and I’m too demoralized/terrified/irritated to interact with other strangers for awhile.
I am messaging with a couple of promising dudes, and decide it’s not worth it to engage in additional pen-palling at that time.
I burned my mouth on a pizza bagel and got distracted mid-reply.
The key takeaway here is that we’re all just really animals who have no idea what we’re doing. So you might as well message people who sound cool, because honestly, what do you have to lose? And just remember:
Thank you Stuart Smalley. for the Sunday night self esteem boost. Have a great week readers!
Per usual readers, I have a confession to make. No, this confession doesn’t feature me deeply offending a date or flagrantly breaking my first date rules. Instead, I’m about to tell you something about which I am a bit more ashamed. But I have to tell you, because I don’t like secrets between me and the internet (unless it’s my search history after a night of binge drinking that includes things like “what to do about underarm fat?” or “what can I catch from a toilet seat?”)
Now that I’ve begun gradually embarrassing myself, I’ll just come out and say it:
But then, a few days ago, I decided I wanted to get back out there. But I wanted something new (ish). OKC, while still my favorite dating site, has allowed me to indulge in some bad patterns, which can be summed up in one run on sentence: I love to go out with guys who are cute BUT 1) not that nice 2) have a serious drug problem, or 3) I have nothing in common with, or 4) all of the above. This is what happens when you’re too shallow and make your decisions based on looks, folks.
After a couple days, I’ve learned that, of course, the problem was not that I was too hard on Jdate. It’s that I wasn’t hard enough on Jdate. It’s fertile soil for mockery and complaints, my latest of which include:
2. They still can’t figure out where I live. Even though you have to indicate your current city of residence in your profile, and, EVEN THOUGH I have marked 50 times that my preference is to see guys in the DMV area, my Jdate homescreen is usually populated with “Member Spotlights” featuring men (and sometimes women) from as far away as Columbus, Ohio. I am sure this is especially heartening news to those suckers out there who shelled out the extra $5 to have a “member spotlight” feature.
3. They continue to run a fascist ship, uncomfortably reminiscent of some very dark times in our people’s history. When I rejoined Jdate, I decided to freshen up my username a bit. Turns out, if you change your username, you have to undergo a highly scrutinized review process (similar to a CIA level background check or when the Bar Association makes you submit character references). Until your new screen name is approved, Jdate assigns you a MEMBER ID, which is a nine digit string of numbers. Jdate, COULD YOU THINK OF SOMETHING IN SLIGHTLY BETTER TASTE than assigning me, granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, an ID that involves a string of numbers? POOR TASTE, JDATE. POOR TASTE.
But my biggest complaint about Jdate right now is the presence of a stupid little feature called the “flirt.” Flirts are basically the equivalent of facebook pokes, but for single adult strangers, which makes them all the more sad.
Basically, flirts are something a Jdate member can send another member to indicate interest without having to go through the trouble of typing 2-3 sentences based on the other user’s profile. Instead, Jdate crafts some dumb one liners that make you sound lazy or cheesy, or if you are lucky, both. Behold some examples:
Wait? WTF? You are sending me a message to “get the conversation started” and your way of getting the conversation started is to tell me to do it myself? Does it get any lazier than this?
If I knew why I was still single, dude, I wouldn’t be on here in the first place.
Finally, they say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Unless of course, Jdate is generating the question. Behold:
Again, WHAT IS HAPPENING? You are already writing me! That is presumably why we both signed up for this online dating service! How do I respond to this? With a simple, “Yes????”
Now look, it would be depressing enough if these men were crafting these messages themselves. But what sets Jdate apart is that they actually craft these absurd pick up lines, and then encourages members to send them.
But in all seriousness readers, does one respond to these sort of things? I know guys are probably sending them because they are too scared/lazy/sick of being ignored to craft a personalized message. On the one hand, I don’t want to hold this against them, but on the other, I feel like I am worth at least a two uniquely crafted sentences. And, as you can see, these flirts are actually really hard to respond to, since the questions/statements are so senseless. So if you have advice for me, leave it in the comments section, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’ll admit we have a pretty formulaic party line here at StuCu which is basically: “Men. They’re the worst.” While our man-hate and complaining may be a little excessive at times (a certain reader recently called us whiny COUGHMrsSCOUGH), we’re not about to stop it anytime soon. However, today is a brief respite from the usual “they’re the worst,” theme so I can tell you that sometimes, I’m actually, kinda, the Worst.
I was at my worst most recently with an unsuspecting victim date who we shall call The Kid. The Kid was a 26 year old bro who shares a name with a famous criminal, and also with another guy I “dated” in high school who was a few years younger than me. What can I say? The youths think I’m hip.
The Kid was attractive, and we shared the very unique interests of: traveling, basketball (sort of), and going out with friends. (This is the stuff love connections are made of, folks). Perhaps it was our uninspiring list of shared interests, or his boring, bro-y messages, but, sadly for The Kid, he brought out the worst in me. Behold….
I’m the Worst Exhibit A: Prolonged messaging
How many times on this blog have I declared that I hate prolonged messaging? And that I love to just cut to the chase and go out dates? Because, after all, I hate to waste people’s time. Well, the Kid literally started messaging me in June, and asked me about after about three messages. However, I I stalled on going on a date with him until mid July. This was partially due to the unfortunate timing of vacations and work travel, but also partially due to the fact that I had met GPU around the same time, and was determined to follow my New Year’s Resolution to date one guy at a time (especially because I was convinced he was the Elton John to my Kiki Dee. In a purely musical sense of course).
BEST. DUET. EVER.
I digress. (But what is more digression-worthy than these two British chums, belting out what would become one of the defining karaoke duets of the 21st century? Nothing.) The point was, I took my sweet ass time getting back to this guy’s messages, until I decided to stop being such an asshole bite the bullet and grant The Kid a date. (Oh yeah, and by this time, GPU had come down with a fictional summer cold that rivaled the Ebola virus.) Oh, is it TOO SOON for Ebola jokes? Sorry, I’m the Worst, remember?
I’m the Worst Exhibit B: Downgrading date location
The Kid was very excited our date was finally happening and immediately suggested dinner. Now, if you are a devout reader of this blog, you will remember that very early in my dating “career,” I set a “no meals on a first date” rule. After a few bouts of drunkeness/dizziness/starvation, I’ve relaxed this rule considerably, and, if after 1-2 drinks I’m having a decent time, I will certainly agree to dinner or some apps if suggested. But unless the guy is a unicorn, or taking me somewhere amazing where I can literally sip chocolate and inhale cheese, I like to start off in a bar-like atmosphere. So, I gently redirected The Kid to a dive bar near my office. And yes, in retrospect, I realize that I just traded a nice meal for a few pints of Yuengling and some wings. But I’m not sorry. That’s just how I roll.
I’m the Worst Exhibit C: Persistently talking about how old I was
Anyway, as the date neared, I have to tell you, I was less than excited. I was still stinging from the GPU fadeaway, bummed that the Balkan vacay was over, and just in an all around man-hating mood (yes, more than usual).
So when I arrived at our date (to which the Kid was 15 minutes early, and texting me enthusiastically to fill the minutes until I arrived), this was kinda me:
Did that temper the Kid’s enthusiasm at all? NOPE. I mean, today’s youth have lots of energy! And gumption! Theycannot be discouraged! He immediately jumped out of his seat, gave me a big hug, and started asking me lots of nice polite questions. The Kid was outgoing. The Kid was as tall as he claimed to be on OKC (6’2). The kid was blond haired and blue-eyed. I decided to let his youthful optimism (and good looks) inspire me, and have a good time. Apparently, my version of a good time involved me talking about how old I was for a good 10 minutes without stopping.
Weirdly, this did not seem to be deterring The Kid. He kept saying, “We’ll, you’re as old as you feel.” To which I’d reply, “I mean, I feel really old. My knee can tell when it’s about to rain.”
I’m the Worst Exhibit D: Bringing up painful childhood memories
Me: “How many siblings do you have?”
The Kid: “None. I’m an only child. “
Me: “Ew. I hate only children. I have like, two friends who are only children but otherwise, I avoid them at all costs.” (Insert half hearted apology to only children friends here. Sorry, most of your peers are selfish weirdos.)
The Kid (nervously): “Hehe, why?”
Me: “I mean, they’re weird. They grew up playing checkers against THEMSELVES. Their toys were their best friends. And they tend to be selfish. They don’t understand the needs of others! I mean, why didn’t your parents have more kids??”
The Kid: “My father passed away.”
Me: (HUGE GULP. SLIGHT SILENCE.) “OH. GOD. I am SO SORRY.”
The Kid: “Nah, no worries, you didn’t know. But I bet you’ll think twice the next time you bash only children on your dates.”
I mean, you gotta give it to the kid. Laid back and a sense of humor. This exchange happened about five minutes into the date, BTW, and my rudeness, though accidental, certainly gave him cause to chug his drink and leave. But he didn’t. He stuck around. And was super friendly and nice to me. Even when I ate more than my share of wings. And basically all of our nachos.
As we finished our 4th drink, I told The Kid I had to get home. The truth was, I couldn’t stand myself much longer. The Kid however, due to some cruel twist of fate, seemed to be enjoying my worst-i-ness.
The Kid: “I had an amazing time. Can we get together this weekend?”
Me. “No, I’m busy.”
The Kid: “Aww, why not? You’re not free at all? Not even for breakfast?”
Me: “Wellll….my friend is having a house party on Saturday night in Dupont. So, if you are in the city, and you text me, and I’m by my phone mayyyybeeeee I can meet up.”
The Kid: “Great! I’ll plan on that!”
The Kid walked me to my bus stop, and went in for a first date kiss. Apparently, my lack of eye contact, one word responses, and literal insults hurled at his family were a complete turn on for him. Because I’m the Worst, I turned my head and the poor guy got a mouthful of face.
Date Rating: 6/10. The Kid was actually a good date. If he had been on the date with someone else, it is likely it would have scored a 8 or 9. But I’m the Worst, and all my insane behavior made it a bit more unpleasant than one would hope for a first date.
Epilogue: The Kid reached out to schedule another date, and I sent him a gentle rejection text. I’m not proud of the way I acted that night, but I figured I could salvage some karma by politely and directly letting homeboy know I was not in a place to date right now, rather than subject him to another round of theatrics.
The moral of this story is this: nobody is perfect. We all have our bad days, even those of us who are self proclaimed dating gurus. The funny thing is, life is so unpredictable and strange, someone just might find you charming anyway.
(You’re welcome for that gratitous clip of an angsty Jake Gyllenhaal.) It’s a mad world, readers. If you figure it out, let me know.
Whoa. Way to lay your relationship concerns on the table before we’ve even exchanged one written word. Homeboy here just wants to make sure, before he spends $12-$30 buying me some drinks and mozzarella sticks, that I am not going to try and cramp his style.
Look dude, I understand, where this is coming from. Everyone I know over the age of 15 is walking around with a full on 3-piece luggage set filled with fears about repeating past relationship mistakes or strangers hurting us in ways we hadn’t even considered before.
But just because I have my share of emotional baggage doesn’t mean I message guys on OKC and say things like,:
“Are you the kind of guy who asks girls out on a second, third, or fourth date and then just disappears?”
“Do you kiss like an aggressive bird who is trying to build a nest for his family before the wintertime frost?”
“Do you have a girlfriend whom you murdered and stored under the floorboards, all while continuing to use her eye makeup remover wipes for ‘camping'”?
As much as I’d like to know these things before I go out with someone, asking them sounds crazy. And I don’t need any help sounding crazy, ok? I DO THAT VERY WELL ON MY OWN THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I was not going to respond to this guy’s message or anything, but it made me curious, and I had a feeling he’d make good blog material, so I meandered my way over to his profile to learn more about him. And what did I find?
SURPRISE,SURPRISE. What do we have here but another nice guy of OKCupid?? So nice in fact, that he harbors vaguely homophobic tendencies (his answers to questions are the top answers, mine are the bottom):
Also, a possible white supremacist:
Hmm, well maybe he is super smart. Oh, wait:
Btw, sir, Christopher Columbus called, and he wants me to tell you that even HE knew that. He also told me to tell you that you and I have nothing in common and that you would have change significantly if you even wanted to get through a beer together before I dumped mine on your head. #imaginaryconversationswithexplorers
Lastly, readers, I’d like to conclude this post with the higher level reminder to you that, despite what our dear friend might think, change is a good thing. But don’t take my word for it. Take his:
I mean, I actually just wanted to end this post with the musical stylings of Tupac, which is how I conclude all of my written work whenever I can. You’re welcome.
Yes, you are still reading the right blog. Despite our frequent digressions these days into whimsical subjects such as mermaids, unicorns, and valiance, this has yet to become a website focused on writing GoT -themed fan fiction. Though if it does take that direction, I know K would be very proud of us.
Now, I know I’ve claimed some good dates before. The truth is, most dates are either so mediocre or, so bad, that if I am on a date and we have a great conversation and physical chemistry, I am usually ready to call Columbia Pictures and suggest they make the modern day romantic equivalent of “From Here to Eternity,” about what just transpired between me and a relative stranger.
But this date truly blew the others out of the water. Really. If I could find a GIF where Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift were blown out of the water, I would have used it.
I did have high hopes for this date, because this guy was another unicorn. Not to be confused with S’s Good Message Unicorn, this guy was Good Profile Unicorn (GPU). I actually read his profile and thought, did someone make a fake profile filled with all the things I like? A few excerpts so like-minded ladies can drool…
Politics. Seinfeld. Random movie trivia. Sigh. And there is more…
I love Bob Dylan. So much that I even made the ill-advised decision (like many college students do) to hang this over my bed freshman year.
Nothing like waking up for 8 am class and looking straight into the eyes of a stoned Bob Dylan blowing smoke into your face.
Anyway, this guy further certified his legitimate fandom by citing his favorite Dylan album, which is actually my second favorite album (Blonde on Blonde is the best. No contest). Plus, in addition to having some good, yet not pretentious, music taste (we’re ignoring the Ryan Adams thing, ok?) he also shared my serious devotion to “Almost Famous” which S and I quote to each other in a completely serious, un-ironic way on a weekly basis. Most recently, this:
Usually walking into a date with high expectations is a bad thing. And people don’t usually live up to their profiles. But, GPU was BETTER THAN HIS PROFILE. In every single way. I mean, a half hour into the date, he revealed a strong affection for no other than the high priestess of this blog, Veronica Mars.
He had seen the entire tv series, and could debate with me episode by episode, the characters’ strengths and weaknesses. He knocked my tried and true, Top Three Presidents question out of the park, by naming some of my favorites but offering creative rationales filled with facts I didn’t know. I could go on and on about GPU’s strengths all day, but I won’t, because there is, of course, a more complex story to be told here, and second it is legitimately making me sad.
Anyway, after the date he asked if he could walk me home and I said yes, and he took my hand and even though I abhor PDA, I could not have cared less. And then, a few blocks from my house, he turned and kissed me and my whole body felt like one big firework.
If you have read any of my previous entries on this blog, you know that I am not a romantic person. Nicholas Sparks novels make me gag and I abhor all pastel colors and prom songs. But I am telling you, when he kissed me, I felt like Sister Mary Clarence had just come to the convent and revived our choir. (I mean not because I am a nun. Because that rendition of “Hail Holy Queen” in Sister Act I is the most joyful thing I can recall). Anyway, we went back to my house, where we made out, but did nothing else (please refer to YOLO lesson learned #3 from last week’s post).
Before he left, he waxed poetic about how amazing I was and how “he couldn’t WAIT TO SEE ME after I returned in three weeks” and “ugh, it was such a long time”. But we’ve heard that before. Multiple. Times. So, I shut the fireworky romantic part of my brain up back in the deep dark place it lives, and let my cynical, practical thought process take over. Three weeks were going to pass and he was an attractive, smart, interesting guy who was online dating. It was unlikely I would hear from him again, despite his insistence we see each other ASAP after I got back.
But, when I got back, I gave him a call and we set up a date for a few days later. And that date was similarly excellent, though it did not top the first date. Because I’m pretty convinced nothing could. And he asked me what I was doing the upcoming weekend, and we made plans to see each other. And when he left, he kissed me goodbye and said, “See you this weekend, right?”
Now, as soon as my apartment door closed behind him, I got this weird feeling. And I still don’t know if i should call it general cynicism and fear or if I should call it instinct. But I felt like, wow, things are just going so 100% well. This cannot be real, right? Of course readers, I’d love to tell you my anxiety was misguided, and that all is well.
But instead, I heard nothing from GPU the rest of the week. When the weekend came, I texted him to see what was up:
Now, those of you familiar with the world of online dating know that this is probably a lie. I mean,how bad can this cold be? Bad enough to render both your fingers and vocal chords useless so you couldn’t proactively reach out to me to reschedule? Still, I tried to remain optimistic, and I responded with an obligatory sympathy text and some times and dates to reschedule. And then…
That’s right. Not a peep from GPU. The same guy, who had declared in my apartment, a few nights earlier, that he “could not wait to see me again.” And for the first time in a long time, I felt RUHL disappointed. First of all, I was dissapointed, because yet again, some guy had told me a bunch of things he didn’t mean. I felt stupid for getting excited about someone, despite my prior knowledge of my own experiences and the experiences of many single women I know, which prove that you really know nothing about a person after two dates (or even 15 dates), and so it’s silly to imagine anything else with him besides the present. And yet, we all do. Because getting excited about the possibility of someone SHOULD be part of the fun of dating, and, not to sound more and more like my sworn enemy Nicholas Sparks, but also the fun part of falling for someone. I was mad at myself for letting my guard down, yet simultaneously pissed that we live in a world so shitty, we need to all walk around with our guard up. Second of all (Oh my god, there’s more?), I genuinely liked this guy and wanted to get to know him better, and I was bummed I wouldn’t get the chance to do that.
After a weekend full of tears comingled with more pleasant summer distractions, I told myself to make peace with the whole thing and just let it go.
But, then I remembered all the bold proclamations I made on this blog to YOLO. And to call people out when I felt like they were treating me unfairly.
I mean, regardless of what was going on with GPU, I felt like after the dates we had, and the fact that he asked me out again, MULTIPLE TIMES, that he owed me some sort of explanation if he was going to disappear. Veronica would never let someone get away with this.
So, with the courage provided by some booze on a pretty bad date (more on that soon, don’t worry), I reached out to him a couple days later:
I mean, believe it or not, the first link is very legit, because we had a very spirited debate about Larry and Piper and OINTB on our last date. (Again. Swoon.) But I didn’t want to send him that text and pretend that nothing weird was going on, so I just put it out there.
Here was his response:
Before we give GPU credit for sending a mature, kind message, a few critiques:
Again with the cold. This is 2014, and colds are common as they come, treatable with a variety of drugstore remedies, and do not prevent you from answering a text message.
Don’t act like your moral compass led you “to be honest with me.” I literally demanded you tell me what happened, and then, and only then, did you respond.
This could all be a lie. Like your cold.
Now, let’s put the criticisms aside. And cry, because this is a very decent thing to say to an almost stranger, and he identified such nice, genuine things about me, and, if he’s telling the truth, the timing really does suck. Because, even after a week of thinking about this, I still can’t get GPU out of my head. Look, despite all the complaining I do on this blog, I know I have a pretty good life, relative to most of the world. But at the same time, as I watch my Facebook feed fill with wedding photos of former classmates, and collect baby shower invites on my fridge, I wonder, will I catch a break? Is relationship happiness just a thing other people have, while I’m left to watch my own engagement unravel, and then online date unsuccessfully for over a year?
I realize this post just took a very dark turn, which means it’s definitely time to stop writing, since I intended to pat myself on the back for YOLO-ing, drop the mic, and go watch back episodes of Top Chef on Hulu.
I mean, the fact remains that I am proud of the way I conducted myself during this brief affair. I was honest about my feelings, and I asked for what I needed. Did I get what I wanted? No. We all know that’s not how life works. (God I hate being an adult.) But there is nothing I wouldn’t have done differently. Except perhaps picked a hipper term for our summer than YOLO (which, according to my hip young colleagues, NO ONE USES anymore unless it’s on ironic bachlorette party tank tops).
Well hello again readers! It’s certainly been awhile. I’d like to tell you that’s because I’m successfully married by now, due to following the advice we dispense on this blog, but that would be untrue and I cannot tell a lie. (Like this guy. And George Washington). However, the reason for my absence is pretty delightful; I just got back from a whirlwind vacation in the Balkans. I’ll spare you the deets, since, much to my chagrin, S and D were not fans of my request to transform this blog from a dating blog into a “brag about your exotic vacation” blog. And let’s be real: that’s what facebook and instagram are for. So instead, I tip my hat to S and D for keeping the wheels of the blog turning while I jetted around Europe took lots of buses through mountain back roads.
Anyway, vacation gave me a lot of time to reflect on things.
Good god. Not like that. No meditating or like, speaking to monks or spiritual nirvana or anything. But I did take some time to think about the way I interact with men and what I’ve learned after a good year and a half of being single. S and I have also been having a number of conversations recently about our “new” approaches to dating. I mean, we’ve been feeling pretty mature ever since we hit 29 and the next birthday on the horizon is the big 30. I think we’re hoping to feel less like GIRLSand a little more like SATC (though it’s usually more like Seinfeld).
Anyway, folks, here are some new things I’m trying this summer. I’d bill it as advice, but since I’ve obviously demonstrated by now that I don’t have, as we say in the business, a “proven track record of success,” I’ll call it experiments from which you are welcome to take or leave your own lessons.
I’ve always felt a lot of pressure to carry on a text message conversation with guys I’ve been on a couple of dates with.
Obsessively checking my phone/not checking my phone;
Getting a Master’s degree in Emoji language (I mean, why say BE COOL when you can send a picture of a cute bee and and ice cube? And let the person on the other end try to figure out if you meant “BE COOL” or “striped ice” or “I am putting ice on my bee sting?”); and
Trying to craft witty responses to stupid questions like, “what’s up?” or “how’s your week coming?”
I no longer have time nor the patience for this nonsense. I’m a grown woman with a job and a mortgage rent for godsakes. I’m not saying texting is bad for everyone. It’s just that I’m sick of spending time communicating in a medium I don’t even like. Going forward, I am trying to use texts for two things: Making plans and sending articles/sharing information that is truly funny and relevant to another person. Eventually, I’m gonna try to graduate back to phone calls.
I know Mindy, but YOLO. A lady’s gotta try an alternate approach.
2. Go for it. Drive to the basket. Swing for the fences. Run the ball. Kick the hockey puck. Sink the putt. (I mean do I know my sports analogies or DO I KNOW MY SPORTS ANALOGIES? I feel like a got 1-2 of them right.)
The point is, I am not sure where the pressure comes from, but a lot of times I feel like dating is a contest of just trying to care less. Care less if someone calls you again, even if you had a great date. Care less if someone disappears for a week and resumes texting you (DAMN THE TEXTING) like nothing has happened. Care less if someone says they really like you and want you to see again.
And the truth is, that’s so hard for me, because I care so much about everything I do in my life, and usually I show it. I’m a passionate person, with a lot of strong opinions. (I know this might be quite shocking to you readers. Hope you were sitting down). So if I like someone, I’m just gonna tell them I like them.
OK, well, ideally, a bit more toned down than that.
In the opposite vein, but same sentiment, if I am confused about a guy’s behavior, I am just gonna call him out rather than watch him slip away unexplained. (Major props to S for inspiring this–please stay tuned for her upcoming post, unofficially titled “YOLO Part II.” The more interesting part. Since she’s already YOLO-ed)
3. Don’t give away the “cookie” right away. WTF IS THE COOKIE? Bear with me for a sec. I recently read Steve Harvey’s, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” It was recommended to me by a colleague, who wanted my expert perspective, as a trusted voice on love/dating/relationships.*
*Actually she gave it to me after listening to story after story of dating mishaps and said, “I hope this helps.”
Anyway, I am considering doing a full review of that book, but for now I’ll sum up my thoughts in a few short words: SEXIST. PIECE. OF. CRAP. Even the title is heteronormative. It’s full of stupid statements, including a Q and A section at the end where Steve Harvey and his ghostwriting team have dreamed up ludicrous questions that women allegedly submitted to him like, “What should I wear on a date?” and “Is it ok if I don’t like to cook?” (According to Steve Harvey, if you want a boyfriend, ladies, you best learn to cook). You’re welcome readers. I guess you got a mini review after all.
However, there was one useful nugget I am trying that was loosely inspired by that book: Don’t sleep with a guy ASAP.
Of course, my reasons for trying this are very different from those presented by Mr. Harvey. If you haven’t guessed by now, the “cookie” is the delicate term Steve Harvey uses to describe sex. According to him, men are basically the equivalent of preschool students you might be bribing to sit still for a dentist appointment or something, and the only real power you have over them is a “cookie.” That, or men are cookie monsters.
Neither possibility is flattering. And, for the first time in a very long time, I found myself defending men. THEY CANNOT BE THAT SIMPLE AND STUPID. Right? Male readers, please tell me I’m right.
But something about Steve Harvey’s advice stuck with me, and I have decided to try not to sleep with guys on the first or second date. When I sleep with a guy right away, I often muddle the process of getting to know them. There is a ton of physical intimacy ASAP, and yet, I don’t even know the person’s last name (well I do, because I’m an A+ internet stalker, but not officially).
Plus, as much as I’ve tried to deny it, sleeping with someone does make me more attached to them. And, I’d rather not feel so connected to relative strangers.
Lastly, I have this hypothesis that the better you know someone, the better sex with them will be. And who doesn’t want to start something on the right foot?
That’s all for now readers. Hopefully you’re crossing your fingers for me and not shaking your heads about all the misguided assumptions I am making. Wish me luck as I unleash my YOLO resolutions on the DMV area and see what happens!