We’re Baack (Sort of)

Hello readers–we couldn’t allow 2014 to end without issuing you a BIG FAT APOLOGY for being completely delinquent bloggers this month.

 (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 a fairly horrible summer cold and disappear.

Unacceptable.

So, a few quick explanations for our absence:

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).

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 stucublog@gmail.com 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:

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That time D went on 2 Dates in 1 Day

Well hello there everyone. Happy Monday! I know we’ve been a little delinquent on our posting lately. We’re working on it, we promise! And to prove it to you, on this Monday, rather than a standard Message Monday post, I’ve got a post about a real date! That I went on! This is a dating blog, after all, so we should probably tell you about these things. This particular date was awhile back. In fact, this post is actually long overdue. Remember that time I alluded to the time I went on 2 dates in 1 day? Well, today’s the day I finally tell you all about it.

Back in mid-April (sidenote: how the F is it already the end of August?), I was dating D. As you may recall, following what ended up being our last date, on a Saturday afternoon, I went on an impromptu first date with another guy. We’ll call him Gillette. As luck would have it, the ultimate take away from my date with Gillette was that I really did like D. Annnnnd then D dumped me 4 days later. I don’t know if that’s karma, or what, but I know I probably won’t ever go on 2 dates in 1 day again.

To backtrack, earlier that week I got a message from Gillette on OKC. A really, really great message. Of the unicorn variety. And even though I was seeing D, that was still new, and I admittedly had a few reservations about getting involved with D. So I responded to Gillette, because unicorns are such a rare and mystical thing, and we hit it off immediately. He was a fantastic texter, and I’m super picky about texting. He was really funny, and there was a LOT of banter. I love banter. So when he texted me late Saturday afternoon and asked if I wanted to get dinner, I rolled with it. (By rolled with it, I mean called S AND L panicking that accepting made me a super slut somehow). 

He’d never had hibachi, and there’s a hibachi restaurant at Patriot Place, the outdoor mall built around Gillette stadium. His pictures, though not an outright lie, were misleading. But as soon as we got into the restaurant, the charming, witty banter began, and I had a blast with him. I thought it would be a little awkward at first, because when we got there, I remembered that hibachi is typically shared with strangers, but we had such a good rapor that that aspect wasn’t weird at all.

When we had finished our meal, he asked if I wanted to take a walk. I agreed, but wanted to head to my car first to grab a coat, and to drop off my leftovers. Long story short, we ended up driving over to the parking lot by the nature trail and cranberry bog that are behind the stadium, under the guise of taking our walk there. We didn’t even get out of the car. Well, that’s technically not true. We did get out of the car, but only to the get into the backseat for more comfortable make-out conditions. Also, I did a little re-arranging of stuff from the backseat to the trunk, because as Norman Bates can attest, the interior of my car is “not bad,” but also not great. My trunk is full of a bunch of random shit, including a sleeping bag I affectionately call The Sleeping Bag of Broken Dreams (which has actually come in really handy on more than one occasion). Which made the task of moving the junk that had accumulated in my back seat to the trunk comical. But I digress.

Now, to give you the full effect, let me just describe to you the conditions. This parking lot is more just like a gravel pit. There were maybe 3 other cars parked, and about 20 or so dry-docked boats in shrink wrap. Can you say romance? It was still light out, and I parked my trusty little Corolla in the most conspicuous spot possible. AKA right out in the open, rather than tucked in between two boats.

We ended up making out in the back of my car for awhile. I knew almost immediately that I was not into Gillette at all, despite the genuinely good time I had had at dinner. He was not a very good kisser. I know the existence of bad kissers is a hotly debated topic (actually, it’s not, because everyone knows bad kissers exist in this world), so I’ll rephrase and say that his style was not my favorite – he was of the sloppy variety. Also, all I could really think about the whole time was that I really wanted to be making out with D. But, Gillette wasn’t a totally terrible kisser either, and it was nice to be making out with someone (D was getting over a cold so there had been no making out earlier in the day while I was with him).

The next day Gillette texted me asking to see me again. I felt bad letting him down, but he was super awesome about it. I figured that was the last I would hear from Gillette.

I left the whole thing feeling a little bad about both Gillette and D, and kind of skeezy for going on 2 dates in 1 day. It’s not something I’ll likely ever repeat. I can barely handle going out with multiple guys in a week when there’s a chance that I’ll see at least one of them again. I know there’s no reason to feel bad about that, but it’s just not my style.

I wrote the bones of this post awhile ago, but had yet to finish it until this past weekend. Cut to a little over a month ago. I was seeing someone (who I’m no longer seeing, womp womp, and I’m not really ready to address it on the blog yet). Gillette texted me out of the blue and started chatting me up. He asked if I wanted to “hook up” again. I told him I was seeing someone. He said that he had started seeing someone too, but they weren’t exclusive yet, and I had been fun to hook up with. “Are you and your guy exclusive yet?” Ohhhh, Gillette, how the mighty have fallen. I mean, at no point were you actually mighty, but you had been a pleasant memory until that question.

I have a bunch of stuff to post about in the near future. I promise to be better about actually posting, rather than just thinking about it on the commuter rail. In the meantime, I know L has a date story to regale you all with later this week. We’re getting back on track folks (you know, if “on track” means going on dates that are blog worthy for all the wrong reasons). Good job us!

Suck my dick Frank

You guys. I am fired up today. And not in a good way. So fired up, in fact, that the post I was originally going to put up today is on the back-burner. Instead, I’m treating you to a hastily written, rage filled post.

Last week, I messaged a guy on OKC. His name is Frank. I’m not even going to give him a nickname. Because as it turns out, he’s an asshole. And assholes deserve to be called out. So Frank from Rhode Island, I’ve got 5 fingers, and the 3rd one is for you. In other words:

i would not lend a hand

Source: quickmeme.com

Let’s backtrack, shall we. We hit it off pretty quickly (as much as you can online), and planned a date for last Sunday. He chatted me up all week last week. Sunday morning he confirmed our date. And then an hour later texted me to cancel.

cancelling sunday

A bummer, but not really a big deal. Shit that’s totally out of our control happens sometimes (I assumed it was totally out of his control, but I now assume the opposite). And, honestly, though I was bummed, I was also secretly excited to suddenly have no plans. I lived. it. UP. on Sunday (i.e. took a nap, ate some leftover cake from my brother’s graduation party, and binge watched Orange is the New Black). 

Monday morning, as promised, he texted me. But it was a very short conversation. I thought something might be up, so later that day I just straight up asked him if he wanted to reschedule our date.

monday text

I was still a little suspicious, but he claimed he wanted to reschedule. And then he followed that up by texting me yesterday morning, and again later in the afternoon. But he still hadn’t actually made any sort of effort to reschedule (clearly a sign, but I took him at his word so I ignored this sign). I took matters into my own hands, because despite this being vaguely annoying, I was excited about going out on a date with him. Last night I proposed a date idea, and told him I was free tonight and tomorrow night. He responded that my idea sounded great, and we could do it tonight. So we made plans. Again. This was around 10/10:30 last night.

I woke up this morning to find that Frank had texted me the following at 12:16 a.m. 

I'm sorry

Ummmmmmmmm.

Shit got serious between 10:30 and 12:16? Really? 

calling bullshit

Source: replygif.net

I would wager $100 billion that the reason he canceled on me on Sunday had to do with this girl. And you know what. That’s FINE. I messaged him. So if he was already casually seeing someone else, but wanted to keep his options open, that’s cool. And if, before our first date, things took a serious turn, that’s cool too. These things happen. But he should have just been upfront about it when he canceled on Sunday. Or at least been honest when I asked him about rescheduling. Here’s how that could have played out:

D: Hey! So did you want to reschedule/make new plans, or are you executing an elaborate fade-away plan? (90% kidding there 🙂 )

Frank: Hey. Actually, I have to be honest. I have been seeing someone and it’s starting to get serious. Sorry about canceling on you at the last minute. I wish you luck.

D: No worries. Thanks for letting me know. Good luck to you too.

See how easy that was? But NO. That’s not how Frank rolls. He CONFIRMS, then cancels an hour later, then claims to want to reschedule, then actually reschedules (with some prompting), and then cancels again 2 hours later.

If he had taken the adult route, would I have been bummed, because he seemed like a cool dude? Yeah, definitely. But I also would have understood. Instead, he played this stupid game, and wasted my time (and his, but I don’t care about him, and you shouldn’t either).  

What the fuck is the matter with you Frank? That’s not a rhetorical question. I want to know. I want to know why you thought this absurd game was the right way to play this. I want to know why you didn’t take the out when I presented it to you on a golden fucking platter. I want to know why at 10:30 p.m. last night you enthusiastically planned a date, and less than 2 hours later you suddenly remembered that you were seeing someone and it was getting serious. Because that makes no sense, Frank. 

throne of lies

Source: replygif.net

Either it had already gotten serious and you just didn’t have the balls to tell me earlier, or you didn’t actually want to go out on a date with me. But nothing ACTUALLY changed between 10:30 p.m. and 12:16 a.m. Which makes you a lying asshole Frank.

rose-gives-finger

Source: gifrific.com

Further, I do NOT wish you luck, Frank. I hope this girl shits all over you and crushes your stupid, lying heart.

Frank and Beef Teriyaki Guy are giving Rhode Island a bad name. I’m starting to think that, because it’s such a tiny state, the handful of guys I know from Rhode Island are the only good ones. And they’re all taken. I think I’ll be swearing off Rhode Islanders for awhile.

*sorry about all the swearing. Not really, but I feel like I should probably apologize. So here’s my half-hearted apology.

Ugly Truths About Modern Dating

This article, 18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With, recently popped up in my facebook newsfeed. Curious, I clicked on over, and was super bummed out about the world by the end of the article. Because a lot of it is painfully true. Or used to be.

1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested. Oy – starting off with a hard punch to the gut. This one really bothered me because I used to put up with it. To an excruciatingly painful degree. On more than one occasion. And if I’m being completely honest, this exact point had me pretty messed up for a really, really long time. There is one particular guy out there who I have been powerless around since I was 16. Even after we stopped being a part of each others lives, years ago, his memory continued to have a lot of power over me. Even though I can confidently say that I’m completely uninterested in any romantic relationship with him, I can’t confidently say that if he were to knock on my door tomorrow he would no longer have any power. I hope that would be true, but I just don’t know. And that scares me.

This post is starting out in a really heavy, dark place. Here, look at this adorable gif of Adam Levine holding a puppy:

celebrities-with-puppies-adam-levine

Source: sheknows.com

I don’t know about you, but that link of 20 Adam Levine gifs just made me feel a whole lot better. Sorry/not sorry S, I know you think he’s gross, but you’re DEAD. WRONG. He is every kind of delicious. 

Back to the super depressing article about how much dating sucks. As much as I let the above happen in the past, I am extremely cognizant of not letting it happen again. Because that shit was fucked. up. Do I expect everyone I date to be exactly the same amount of interested as I am, at all times? No. That’s not reality. There will be times when I’m more into a guy than he is into me, and vice versa. And it’s easier said than done, definitely, but that imbalance doesn’t have to equal power. I’m not going to wait around too long for him to figure out how awesome I am. It’ll suck and sting if he doesn’t reach that conclusion, yes. But I know how it’ll turn out if I keep waiting for it to happen. It gets uglier and more painful the longer it drags out.

2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun. Yeah no, I just don’t have time for this shit anymore. We live in a world where people are always in close proximity to their phone. There are lots of perfectly legitimate reasons why someone might not respond immediately. But if I notice that it’s starting to become a thing that it takes you eons to respond to my texts, then I’m done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not above raising the threat level to orange and scrambling some jets when he doesn’t respond within a few hours (see #10). But I’m also not above cutting him loose after he does it a few times and I get the impression it’s just to play the game. I am better than that.

3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two. PREACH.

4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options. I’m not crying any rivers about this one. I hate talking on the phone with anyone other than my immediate family and my close friends. And even beyond that personal dislike of phone calls, texting is more convenient. Want to make some plans? Want to let someone know you’re thinking about them without being that asshole talking loudly on their phone on the T? Want to relay a funny anecdote? Texting is great for all of that! Can texting be detached and impersonal? Yep. But it can also be a great way to stay in contact with your significant other throughout the day. Just don’t get familiar with emoticons. They suck.

5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table. Another one that I used to put up with. But I’ll be damned if I put up with this anymore. It’s taken me longer than I care for it to have, but I’m finally pretty happy and secure about who I am. And while I may be a lunatic, I’m also a pretty great person. If you don’t want to commit to plans with me because something/one better might come along, that’s fine and that’s your right. But I’m not going to keep trying to make plans with you. Because there are people out there who do want to spend time with me.

6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles. Life is a bitch, yes, but I don’t really think this is a truth about modern dating only. This has actually always been true.

7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all. I mean, this is more true than I care to admit. Mostly because I’ve been the creepster more than often than not.

8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay. First of all, if any guy ever says to me “Let’s chill,” chances are pretty good he lives Allston/Brighton, has street signs decorating the wall over his enormous oversized leather couch, and reminisces about his frat days (which were only 2 years ago). And my answer will be, “thanks but no thanks.” Though it is true that this kind of informal invite to “hang out” is the norm these days. But is that really the worst thing? It’s not eloquent, but they are still asking to spend time with you.

9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory. Yeah, this is totally true. And it’s a real bummer.

10. The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services. True or false: a couple months ago I worked myself into a frenzy about a drunk text I sent late one night. At 7:19 a.m. (I wake up at the crack of dawn after a night of drinking, it’s the worst), I sent S a text that read “Last night was paved with bad decisions. I want to crawl into a hole and hide.” I sent my best friend a text that read “I want to go back in time, grab the phone out of my hands, and throw it in the river.” Because I’m not dramatic at all. I spent the whole day imagining a host of improbable scenarios about why he hadn’t responded yet. And when he did text me later in the day about something unrelated, I imagined a whole new set of scenarios about how he might have missed that 2 a.m. message professing my feelings. But I did eventually come to terms with the fact that he saw it, and just didn’t respond for whatever reason. Oh well.

11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together. Yeah, this one is totally true. Deciding when to bring up the exclusivity talk is a fine line. Too early and you risk seeming too intense/desperate. Too late, and you risk either the above, or looking uninterested. I have no words of wisdom on this point. God speed to us all.

12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening. This just seems so cynical to me. Sure it’s a new medium for emotional cheating (and potentially physical cheating), but if the person you’re dating is even looking to do either of those things, isn’t the relationship already broken to some degree? Social media isn’t really the problem, it’s just a place for the problem to manifest itself.

Uh oh, it’s starting to get serious up in here again. Here:

slight overreaction

Source: 31 GIFS What Will Make You Laugh Every Time

That’s better. That is just the cutest thing. And not unlike how I react when I spot seaweed or a spider/insect. Although something tells me when I do it, it’s not all that cute. Anywho.

13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family. I guess this could be true? It’s certainly not how I use facebook, but maybe I’m just doing it wrong? All this social media talk is making me feel really old all of a sudden.

14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced. This is another one that I think is universal to any era of dating, not just modern dating. Being vulnerable is never easy. And requires a certain level of trust. So of course you’re not going to get all of me really early on. 

15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts. Again, not really a modern dating problem. But certainly accurate. The magnitude of this point sank in for my best friend recently, when she said to her fiance, 2 or so months before their wedding: “M, this marriage thing is a pretty big deal. After marriage you either die or get divorced.” Wise words, K. Wise words.

16. When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblr-esque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you. I mean, this is just comical. Was I guilty back in the day of the AIM away message that cryptically obviously referred to some guy (see #1)? ‘FO. SHO. But now? H E double hockey sticks NO*. And the second a guy I’m dating throws up a facebook status/instragram like the one described, I will slap him in the face and tell him the next time he pulls some shit like that, I’m going to buy him a Lisa Frank diary and some glitter pens so he can be the 13 year old girl that he is in private.

Lisa Frank diary

17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in everyone. I do think that this is far more prevalent than it used to be, and that just makes me sad.

18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. People can cut ties over the phone and avoid seeing the tears stream down your face or end things via text and avoid hearing the pain in your cracking voice and sniffling nose. Send a lengthy text and voilà, relationship over. The easy way out is far from the most considerate. Dear John letters existed long before the text was invented. Is it a lot easier to break up with someone impersonally these days? Of course. But getting dumped has always been, and always will be, brutal. And some people always have been, and always will be, cowards about it.

I know I started off this post by saying I was super bummed out about the world by the end of the article. And I was. But I also felt better about myself too. So many of these things, that are definitely true, I’m just not willing to deal with anymore. Maybe it only comes with experience and maturity, but I deserve better than all that crap. And I demand better than that. Because you know what, there are people out there who don’t behave like that or do those things. Are they fewer and farther between? Yeah. But I know from experience that they’re out there. So yeah, I go on fewer dates than I used to/could. But I’m fine with that. And I think that’s pretty awesome.

S

*I find it really comical that I have no problem dropping 7,276 F-bombs per post, but when I drafted this post I didn’t just type “hell.” I don’t even believe in hell, so I shouldn’t be afraid of saying it. I don’t understand me sometimes.

Textual feelings: My short-lived, mostly virtual, romance with M

Mark my words, in the next fifteen years, there will be a college course on dating, probably cross-listed under psychology and history. I mean, when I was in college, there was already a course, that, according to my loose recollection, was called something like, “Peeping under the Petticoat: Images of female sexuality in popular British magazines.” (Of course, being the gender studies junkie that I am, I think I took it.)

This hypothetical future course on dating would include, at the very least, three hours of course material on text messages, the form of communication that seems to dominate dating these days. We’ve already written about texting a bunch (texting too much, sexting, texting fails, etc) on this site. I personally HATE texting, but believe it’s one of those annoying, but inevitable things that one must do, especially when dating people you’ve never met in person with whom you want to avoid an awkward phone conversation full of long pauses, static, talking at the same time, and asking things like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. Can you repeat that?”

But texting too can have its awkward and frustrating pitfalls. I really think this Aziz Ansari clip says it all:

PREACH AZIZ! I hereby declare that the first college course on dating be named: Guess who is uninvited to the pizza party?: Texting and other humiliations you will experience when dating.

A couple months ago, I met a guy who was, at the very least, case study worthy for this course, if not a guest lecturer. His name was M, and he was a scruffy, tall, flannel shirting wearing, sarcastic, sound engineer. He worked at some very well known music venues in DC by night and made extra cash during the day shooting weird documentaries and promotional films for nonprofits and small businesses. Now, as I have alluded to briefly in my other posts, I am not exactly what you would call COOL when it comes to music and pop culture. I often find myself at the bar requesting a combination of Bob Seger and Whitney Houston, depending on what time of the evening it is. I get my clothes at Target (not ironically, for real) and the most recent thing I downloaded on my Ipod may or may not have been the soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen, which I sing along with while I fold my laundry.

C’mon, you’d be blasting this too.

Anyway, M somehow overlooked the lack of coolness on my profile and asked me out. After I agreed to meet, he wrote:

m message

Oh,  how M LOVED to text. But the thing is, he was pretty good at it. Funny, witty, and could keep up with my jokes.

M is a wit

We planned a date for the following week, so had a full week to know each other through text. The weekend before our date, M even drunk texted me.

Now, we all know that I don’t believe in sexting before the first date. Honestly, in my early years of online dating, this may have scared me off. But M played it off well, and soon enough we were joking around.

m drunk text apology

Sometimes, M’s texts reached beyond the point of my understanding. He liked to send me pictures, which was normal enough when he was in vacation in California, but less normal when he was texting me selfies from a brunch downtown. I mean, how many selfies can one woman take before she actually meets the fellow? 

When M and I finally met, I was super psyched to find out a few things about him.

1) He was better looking than in his profile picture. 

2) He was even funnier in person than in text.

3) He had access to free tickets to any show at any live music venue in DC.

M and I proceeded to have, what I thought, was a very good date. Drinks turned to more drinks turned to dinner and then to more drinks. We were joking around like old friends by the time we finished our first beer. I swear to god, readers, it was like a movie-worthy first date. People at the restaurant were literally jealous of our chemistry. The host at the second bar thought I was M’s WIFE. 

After the date, M and I began to walk home (it was 11:00 on a weeknight after all). He lived a block away from the bar and when we got to his door, and said goodbye, he went in for a kiss. And it was a pretty awesome kiss, though it took me by surprise. And then we stopped kissing, and I turned to walk away, and he pulled me back in for a second kiss.

kate and leo kiss

We were basically Kate and Leo at sunset, minus the good looks and the boat. 

We said a goodbye, and he said, “Promise me something. Never let go.” and I said, “I’ll never let go M. I’ll never let go.” And he then he shivered and floated away on a piece of driftwood. 

PSYCH, SUCKERS! What I just described is a scene from James Cameron’s Titanic. But it was almost that magical, I swear. 

The next day, he sent me this:

mysterious pic

What IS that,you ask? I. DON’T. KNOW. I sent the image to no less than three other experts, and they were just as stumped as I was. If you can figure it out, let me know.

So I replied in the only way I thought possible. With another inexplicable picture.

weird dragon photo

Yes, that IS me giving bunny ears to the stuffed dragon in my office. And, don’t worry, the actual photo was sent right side up.

And then, NO RESPONSE. FOR 2 DAYS. I was pretty bummed. I thought the date had gone well. I thought when someone kissed you and said they wanted to see you again, they meant it. I took the absence of his communication as a sign he wasn’t interested in me and sulked around for about a day, and then decided, the chemistry between us had seem so FREAKING GOOD that it was worth one more try. So, I texted him:

The next day, he replied:

M last time i heard from him

WHAT? HUH? I did not know what to make of this response. Was he flirting? Blowing me off? A little of both?

Sure enough, I never heard from M after that inexplicable text, and about one week later, he disappeared from OKcupid altogether.

Date rating: 9.5/10. Like I said, the chemistry going down would make Jim and Pam jealous. I deducted .5 for the two nasty remarks he dropped about his ex girlfriend. Ovaries before bro-varies my friends, even when the ovaries belong to a stranger.

Lesson learned: There is no way to predict what will happen after a date. People often don’t mean what they say, and they have a multitude of reasons for doing what they do. This date definitely contributed to my journey into cynicism.

**Author’s note: For those of you who are wondering about why I am blogging about something that happened around Halloween, please accept my apologies. I went on a man-bender for the last quarter of 2013, and got very distracted by W and some other gentlemen who I will write about shortly. The Chris Christie-esque traffic jam I’ve caused on this blog is one of the reasons I am trying to limit myself to one guy at a time in 2014. (Three weeks in, btw, and I am about .75 of a guy away from this goal. So TGFMA (thank god for my archives)!

Breaking it off is hard to do…

There is a very firm difference between “breaking up” (i.e., ending a relationship) and “breaking it off,” (telling a guy you’re dating that you don’t want to see him again..)

Breaking up is a hideous business. It involves an in-person conversation/fight/world war during which one  or both of you explain your decision to no longer be together. It can, on occasion, involve crying, sobbing, name-calling, psycho-analyzing the other person, diving up your possessions, determining norms for future communication, and dividing up custody of mutual friends/favorite places to go out, etc.

The aftermath involves spending a lot of time in your car sobbing while listening an assortment of the following: Jewel’s “Pieces of You,” Mandy Moore’s “Wild Hope,”  and Taylor Swift’s “Red,” and basically any Kelly Clarkson song ever written.

There may or may not be instances where you find yourself on your couch, eating alternate handfuls of Kettlecorn and PopChips, waiting for your nightly dose of Benadryl to kick in so you can fall asleep in pool of your own tears and snot and grief. (Hypothetically, of course. Personally, I wouldn’t know anything about this.)

donut gif

Breaking it off is a slightly less hideous business. In fact, if a guy is breaking it off with you, it’s pretty easy to endure. One of two things happen:

1) They just disappear (Please see Fade Away for more info on how that looks)

Hmm..wait. That’s the only way I’ve ever personally experienced a guy breaking it off.  (CLASSY, BOYS!) But, in theory, I realize they could also do option 2.

2) Tell you, via text or a very short phone call, that they don’t want to see you anymore. (As I have learned from S, having this conversation IN PERSON is a real No.)

While I’ve definitely been momentarily bummed by the fade away, give me a few shots of Jameson, an episode of PLL, and a short pep talk from S, D, C, or one of my other lovely friends, and I’m over it. I mean, 1 or 2 dates is at max, 6 hours of my life and I’ll forget about that person soon enough.

That said, I don’t love being the one doing the “breaking it off.” I am actually a pretty nice person, despite my fervent hatred of cats and disdain for my peers who aren’t quite proficient in Shakespearean English. I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and hate to think of myself of the cause of even momentary disappointment.

If I’ve only been out with a guy three times or less, then I think it’s fair to break it off by text, especially if that’s how we have communicated previously. When they ask for a repeat date, and I’ve decided I don’t want to go on one, I just say, “No thanks.”

normal rejection

And, you see, they usually take it very graciously. I mean, like I said, most normal people don’t get that attached to one another after  2 interactions, during one of which they were probably drunk. Every once and awhile, though, you’ll get a bit of terrifying push back:

weird rejection

Ginnfer Goodwin? Is that you? HAVE SOME SELF RESPECT!

Anyway, so far,  I’ve been able to skate by, breaking it off by text. But a few weeks ago, I started dating a really nice guy, R. R was, in theory, kind of the perfect guy. Why?

1. He was smart AND hardworking. Intelligence has always been a turn-on for me. I love it when somebody can tell me something I don’t know already, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that a concise, wittily-worded email or text from a guy doesn’t cause a stomach flip. But I’ve usually been drawn to guys who are smart slackers. You know, unmotivated guys who spent most of high school and college smoking weed and cutting class, but got by with a little bit of Adderall and a whole lot of cramming. R was different. This was a guy who was not only naturally smart, but interested in getting smarter. He was good at his job, he cared about what he did, and he was interested in reading, studying, etc. to improve himself personally and professionally.

2. He was actually a nice guy. We all know many men who call themselves nice guys. Most of them aren’t, and I think actually just adopt the term, “Nice guy,” so they can complain about all the things that go wrong for them and make self-pitying comments about “finishing last.” R was a genuinely, nice, polite person. He was interested in making the world a better place, he cared about his friends and family, and he planned the nicest, most thoughtful dates for us.

3. He was an ideal planner and communicator. Dude, did R READ this blog? Did he eavesdrop on a brunch conversation that I had with my girlfriends? Because he did exactly what I wish every guy would do to plan and follow up on dates. He suggested a restaurant I’d been dying to try for our first date, and floated a few dates and times for me to choose from. He didn’t harass me with mindless texting, just to confirm the day before. After each subsequent date, he would follow up with a text to say what a great time he had, and then call to ask when he could see me again and suggest some some possible destinations for us. I cannot tell you how much of a draw this was for me. S and I frequently commiserate about men’s inability to plan ANYTHING. And, as a the bossy oldest child, the bossy colleague, the natural planner in my friend group, I am SO SICK of making decisions. I make decisions all day. I plan things all day. There is nothing that turns me on more than someone else making plans. I mean, if I could write, shoot, and film a porn for women, I would call it “Men Making Plans.” Srsly. And R did that. Flawlessly.

And yet, after 3 dates with R, I had no attraction to him. I tried booze, I tried different lighting, I tried giving myself a pep talk in the bathroom every time he was going to walk me home from the restaurant or bar. But I just didn’t want him to kiss me, and after openly dodging his kiss after date 3, I felt like it was only fair to break it off. So, when he, like clockwork, called the next day to ask me out again, I realized I had to call back and say no, for good.

I consulted several dating gurus before making the call. Here is the wisdom I gleaned, which I will now share with you, dear readers, should you ever have to dole out a lil rejection.

1. Keep it short. No one likes to be rejected. As soon as they hear the word no, they want to peace out, be pissed and a little bummed, and then move on. 

break up image 1

2. Don’t tell anyone your sob story. This advice came from my friend, I, who is the Professor Emeritus of dating in DC (I, please come guest blog for us!!). I wanted to tell this guy that I’d recently gotten out of a serious relationship, and that I just didn’t think I wasn’t ready to date anyone. Shes said, “Look, that sounds fake. And even though it isn’t fake, don’t burden him with your personal baggage. All he needs to know is that you don’t want to see him anymore. Don’t waste his time making excuses just cause it’ll make you feel better.

3. Do it in a timely way. R called me to ask me out again Wednesday. I called him back Thursday and delivered the news. This way, he can move on as soon as possible to someone better.

This wisdom worked. R was super gracious (of course, cause he’s a GREAT guy). I am sure he’s out right now, with some much more emotionally balanced woman, planning fabulous dates.

Real talk: Do I feel great? No. 

hannah girls

Rejecting a good guy definitely wakes up the little voice in my head that keeps telling me to freeze my eggs or look into adoption regulations in post-Soviet states, because I very well might die alone.

But, I’d rather die alone than settle. Right now, at least.

Got any other good wisdom about breaking it off with someone you’re casually dating? Leave it in the comments readers!

My first truly terrible date

Like D, I have been light on the date posts recently. This is because the guys I’ve been out with in the past month fall into two categories:

1) Guys who are so dull I literally could not write an interesting post about our dates unless I were to get up in the middle of the them and set the bar on fire or commit a similar crime.

OR

2) Guys who I’ve seen again/wanted to see again because the date has gone well.

However, last week, that changed. I had my first date with someone whose personality I truly detested. And, I thought TGFTB (thank god for the blog), because otherwise all I would have had to show for it was 40 terrible minutes of my life that I’d never get back (and a lovely dose of textual harassment).

A seemed like perfectly normal guy when he messaged me. We shared a love of the Boss and of ice cream, and he cut to the chase and asked me out pretty quickly. He was a PE teacher, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I was hoping he’d turn out a lot like this:

coach taylor

And not like this:

coach carr

He looked like neither, but as long as he didn’t look like this (editor’s note: Ms. Stoeger! This is why we’re friends, L):

ms stoeger

I figured I’d give him a chance.

Anyway, A and I agreed to meet for frozen yogurt on a Friday afternoon. Afternoon dates are not ideal, because you are meeting a stranger without the social crutches of 1) alcohol and 2) dim lighting. But we were both pretty busy, and I figured the silver lining of the afternoon date is that, if it goes poorly, I could end it quickly.

I arrived at the froyo place and we got in line to order. He was slightly ahead of me, and when we got to the end of the counter, the cashier asked, “Together or separate?”  And A, who BTW, is 38 years old, literally 10 years older than me, and gainfully employed, and asked ME out, says, “Separate.” 

EXCUSE ME

Now, I am a very progressive sista who has NO QUALMS about paying my own way. But, I found this rude. If I had been first in line, I would have said “together” and thrown down my card. Cause it’s a date. Otherwise we might as well be two strangers just buying frozen yogurt around the same time. So, I began the date a little put-off (Does this guy not think I’m worth 6 dollars? Is he going on so many dates that treating for froyo has become a prohibitive cost??) But, I decide to put the beginning aside and try to have a good time. We make the usual small talk: where we grew up, siblings, jobs, etc. He’s talking about being a gym teacher, and I say, “Oh, how do you like it?” And he says, “That’s a STUPID question. Of course I’m going to tell you I like it. We just met. It would look terrible if I hated my job.”

OK, buddy. Can I offer you an Ativan and a reality check?

1) Don’t call someone you just met 5 minutes ago STUPID. How old are you? Oh that’s right, 38!!!

2) There are a lot of nice, normal ways to answer that question that go beyond “yes.” For example, you could say, “Yeah–it’s really interesting. Sometimes it’s too much chaos for me, but it’s a small price to pay for how much fun I have spending time with kids.” Or you could say, “It’s OK. I’m thinking I might want to do something that has broader impact and more variety in what the day to day looks like.”

Despite my rapidly increasing horror, we continue to chat. He mentions he likes movies. I’m like, “Oh cool! What are some great movies you’ve seen recently? And he says, “Well I just saw Zero Dark Thirty. But unfortunately, people were misbehaving in the theater and really ruined my experience.” 

“Oh, what happened? ” I asked, hoping to hear a funny story about two people getting it on in front of him, an old man releasing a toxic fart, or some children having a temper tantrum. You know, NORMAL THINGS TO BE ANNOYED ABOUT AT THE MOVIES.

“Well I caught two people texting on their phones during the movie.”So I had to speak with the usher and ask that they be removed from the theater. That’s against the rules.”

HUH? This guy has a legitimate social disability!! Get me out of here!  I figure at this point, all I can do is wolf down this froyo, make up some excuse about having to go back to work, and exit gracefully. Except, the next thing A says to me is: “Do people ever tell you that you talk REALLY fast?”

(I do talk fast. And people tell me that A LOT. In a MUCH more polite ways than this guy just did). “Oh yeah,” I said, trying to laugh it off. “I just get really excited about things I guess. Can you not understand me?” 

A said, “I can, but I just thought you should know that.”

I said, “Thanks.”

Finally, I finish my froyo, check my phone and confirm I’ve been there a respectable 30 + minutes and I can bounce. “Sorry,” I told him, “Something has come up and I have to go back to work.”

So we walk outside, where I am prepared to salute this guy, or, at most, give him a firm handshake, and be on my way. Before I can move, he PULLS me into a very close hug, rubs his hands up and down my back and says, “I had a really good time. I’d love to see you again.”

say what

Good sir, you have spent the last 30 minutes insulting me and blatantly sharing your distaste for humanity and anything fun. There is no country, no religion, no culture, in which this would be considered, by anyone, a good time. But, do I say this? No. Because I am literally scared that this guy is mentally ill and if I irritate him there is a 50% chance he’ll stab me in the street. So I say, “Umm ok, just text me…” and then I SPRINT away. 

I put A out of my memory ASAP, hoping that I wouldn’t have to deal with a message from him for a few days. That night, I was out with friends for beers and basketball when I get a text from A:

a text 1

Hmm. I don’t know how to respond to that. It was NOT nice meeting you A. And I hope this weekend you trip and fall down the stairs. But I don’t want to type something nasty to anyone, let alone a confirmed psychopath, so I ignore the text for now. And besides, I don’t return every text I receive instantly, especially if someone isn’t asking me a time sensitive question.

So the next afternoon, I am getting ready to go to a babysitting job and my phone beeps. And, guess who it is? It’s A:

a text 2

Is he SERIOUS?

1) It’s been less than 24 hours buddy. It’s not like you texted 911. I have a job, and friends, and a life. Sorry if exchanging faux-pleasantries with you isn’t #1 on my weekend to-do list.

2) Again, you were a HORRIFIC date. You’re lucky I’m not using your full freaking name on this blog so women across the DMV area can be spared 6 dollars and your company. So pardon me if I’m not itching to communicate with you and hear more stories about how you tattle on people in movie theaters.

3) If you had actually texted and asked me out again, I would have happily rejected you. If someone asks me out again and I’m not interested, I always write a nice, polite rejection. And the responses I receive following the rejection are more normal, and nicer, than the text I just received from you.

4) This is the world of online dating. Sometimes, you reach out to someone, and you don’t hear back.  It sucks, but it happens. Remember that we’re all still basically strangers, and while it’s impolite to not respond indefinitely to someone you’re never met, people still do it. And I can guarantee you, no one has ever gained anything from sending a hostile text.

I really hope that’s the last I hear from A. And please know, the only PE teacher I’ll be spending time with this week is:

sue sylvester

P. S.: Ya’ll, I can’t tell you how many hours spent googling “PE TEACHER”  “famous coach,” etc. went into the creation of this post. It’s straight up embarrassing.

N – the excessive texter

I’ve been out of the dating game for awhile.  Four years to be exact.  When I started law school back in 2008, I was not-so-seriously dating someone.  That petered out somewhere in the spring semester, not surprisingly, and then law school just got in the way.  Now that I’m done, I wanted to “get back out there” and hearing about S’s adventures inspired me to give online dating a try.  Things started out slow.  A lot of “Hey what’s up?”, which I don’t respond to because if you’re going to be lazy, then so am I.  There were a few nice messages as well, but none that really piqued my interest.  And then N sent me a nice message and asked an interesting question, so I responded. To understand N, I can’t start at the first date, I have to share the messaging history. 

We exchanged sporadic messages for a few days.  Everything was going nicely, and it was getting to the point where we both seemed interested enough to warrant a date.  He asked at the end of one message if I had any plans that weekend.  I actually did, so I shared them, and then he asked what I was up to during the upcoming week.  Expecting that he was going to ask me out, I answered that it was actually a pretty quiet week for me.  His response was “Nice, a quiet week is good every once in awhile.”  That was it.  I was a little confused, but he continued to message me for a few more days.  He finally asked for my number on a Tuesday, and texted me that night.  For over 3 hours.

Here’s the thing.  I know that texting is the norm now, and an accepted form of communication.  But I hate it.  The only thing I like texting for is the occasional hello/thinking of you/funny anecdote and to make plans.  I don’t like it for extended conversation.  It takes too long, it’s distracting and impersonal, and things get easily misconstrued.  Conversations should take place in person or over the phone.  This rant makes me sound like an old, crotchety grandmother, and I’m cool with it.

But I went with it, because it is pretty common and a phone call without having ever met would have been awkward.  So I texted with him until I was tired, and said goodnight.  The next morning I get a text from him around 10, asking how my day was going.  I kindly told him we could catch up later, but I was busy at work so no daytime texting (meanwhile, I was actually playing minesweeper, but he didn’t know that).  That night, the texting picked back up again, for another 3 or so hours.  I was starting to lose my patience.  The conversation was pleasant enough, but why were we still texting?  I don’t understand why someone would want to spend that much time texting someone they had never met.  So Thursday night, after a half hour of texting with no sign of asking me out in sight, I said that I really wasn’t much of a texter, but would he like to get a drink and chat in person?  He said sure. 

Planning the date was a project.  When I provided two options for a place to meet, his response was “sounds good.”  What sounds good?  We haven’t decided on anything.  Eventually we had a date planned for Monday night after work.  Despite my annoyance with all the texting, I was excited to meet him.  He was nice and funny, if not a little obsessed with the details of my being a lawyer.  Questions about what types of cases I worked on, my workload, and billing were endless.  They comprised at least 62% of our 7 or so hours of electronic communication.  It was a little weird.

Monday night came, we got to the bar right at the same time, and ordered drinks and apps.  It was a little awkward at first, but conversation flowed pretty nicely and covered a broad range of general topics.  Hobbies, family, my job again, sports, etc.  He earned bonus points when he agreed that Wings is a fantastic show, and even hummed a little bit of the intro music.  After about an hour and a half we wrapped things up.  He asked if I would want to go out again.  There wasn’t really any sort of a spark, but the night had been pleasant enough and a 2nd date seemed warranted to really get an idea about him.  So I said sure.  As we walked back to our respective cars, he seemed confused about how to plan the next date.  I had to explain that he could text me, there wasn’t a ban on all texting.  Just, not as much texting.  To which he responded: “I don’t really understand, but we’ll figure it out.”  This did not bode well.

-D

Date rating: 6/10.   The extreme texting had been a little off-putting.  But the date itself wasn’t too awkward and conversation came pretty easily, so it was a pleasant evening, and by all accounts a successful first date.

The 2nd date though, was far less successful.  Stay tuned.