We spend a lot of time on this blog mocking all the ridiculous things that men do and say to us. That doesn’t mean, though, that the three of us haven’t made our share of facepalm-inducing dating snafus. So I thought it would be a…humbling exercise to put my ass in the hot seat today and share a bit of my shame with you readers, especially since yours truly made a really smooth move on Okupid this past weekend. And by smooth, I mean painfully awkward.
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen a teaser for this post.
Allow me to set the stage: this single 29 year old was home on a Saturday night, dicking around on the computer while catching up on her stories, and signed onto Okc to check a (terrible) message. Yes, my life is super exciting and not at all sad!
After I checked my (terrible) message I decided to cruise for dudes. I came across a profile that I’d seen before and decided to shoot the guy a quick message. I paused momentarily, wondering how pathetic I was going to appear by messaging a guy on a Saturday night.
When I send someone a message, I try to zero in on one or two profile details that can be potential conversation starters. This guy’s favorite movies were almost identical to mine, and he had the following little caveat at the end:
Trading Places is an 80s movie that takes place in Philly and is a cult fave around here; there’s literallya bar named after the two main characters. Whenever I told people from the area that I’d never seen it they would practically shriek with horror and alarm.
Well, I finally got around to seeing it just last weekend, so I figured it was a perfect conversation starter, right? I threw it into a quick message…
…also inexplicably calling attention to the Saturday night thing, because I’m just so breezy and self effacing, and hit send. I was about to sign off Okc and continue on my merry way, when something possessed me to click on my sent message history. And that’s when I realized:
How did I not remember writing this? Was I drunk? Sleep-typing? Did I black out?
My favorite part about this whole thing is that I accidentally gave a stranger REAL TIME STATUS UPDATES on whether I’d watched a random 80s movie. As if anyone would care about that, let alone a guy who already received and made a conscious decision not to respond to a message from me. It basically looks like I said, ‘WELP, didn’t hear back but I refuse to take no for an answer, sir. I’m just going to keep blowing you up about this movie which I’m apparently obsessed with until you respond!’
Also, if by some chance this dude has his own dating blog where he writes about all the whackadoo girls he runs into on Okcupid, those messages are going to make an excellent post. You might even say I’m…trading places with the guys we skewer on this blog.
Before I get to the substance of this post, I would first like to address the unfortunate uptick in the usage of YOLO around these parts. Both of my fabulous co-bloggers have used the term in their recent posts. And though I love them dearly, I would like to officially distance myself from them when it comes to this stupid ass phrase. Under no circumstances do I want anyone thinking that I’m calling this the “summer of YOLO.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally on board with and embrace the sentiment behind “summer of YOLO.” Much like S and L, earlier this week I demanded an explanation from the guy I was seeing who faded into oblivion (it was a BS reason), where I previously would have just wondered and obsessed in silence. I’ve tried a bunch of new things this summer, both on the dating front, and in general. I just shun the actual term “YOLO.” And I wanted to make that clear.
Okey dokey, on to the topic at hand – dating. We haven’t done a pic of the week in awhile. It’s high time we fix this.
The majority of profile pics tend to fall into one of the following categories:
selfies (most typically of the bathroom variety);
with friends at a bar/party/club, drink in hand;
at a sporting event;
in formal attire (“____’s wedding!”); and/or
doing something outside, most commonly hiking or at the beach.
But we wouldn’t have this blog feature if everyone stuck to that predictable format. Shit would get real boring, real fast. Which brings me to a rarely seen category: dude performing a mundane task.
full body shot
he knows how to pump gas (I know that seems like an obvious thing people know, but on a road trip with a friend one summer, I went in to get snacks and left him to pump the gas, and he apparently had to ask the guy behind us for help, so I no longer assume)
not interesting in any way, shape, or form
unclear whether this is: his car, a stranger’s car, a rental car, or a friend’s car
potentially a shot of him just doing his job
not interesting in any way, shape, or form
you can not actually see his face
not interesting in any way, shape, or form
What exactly is the point of this picture? Both in general and for an online dating profile? Why was this picture even taken? He’s not gassing up the Batmobile or an Aston Martin. It’s a subaru. And nothing against subarus, I’ve owned 2, but no one cares. Despite that, someone whipped out their camera(phone) anyway and documented this happening, and then this dude thought to himself, “you know what would be a great profile pic on OKC – that pic of me filling up a tank of gas!” The only thing this has going for it is that it wasn’t taken in a showroom.
If you’re going to put up pictures of you with a vehicle, at least make it worth my while. Unless it’s one of these beauties, I don’t give a shit:
HA, those 2 images look absurd together. Don’t worry, I know that the second picture is pretty specific to me. But god I love a pickup. And an old-school two-tone pickup? Heaven. Rustfreeclassics.com is a gold mine for me. (Of course I love something on a site called Rust Free Classics). But I also love that Vantage Roadster. I don’t know how to explain it, but they both do it for me.
Whatever the reason, we have kiiiiind of stopped giving a fuck. About rules. About conventions. Especially about being breezy. When I started online dating, I was fairly preoccupied with not coming off as pathetic or crazy or desperate, to guys, to you readers, to myself, to anyone. I’m not sure where this weird stigma comes from that says single girls in their 20s are batshit insane…
…but I wanted to stay as far away from that stigma as possible.
However. As L mentioned, the more we date, or maybe the older we get, or maybe both, the less this stigma affects and concerns us. Two years into online dating, I’m basically like…
The other issue is just general human decency. If a guy acts like a douche, I’m feeling less and less inclined to just let it go. We know from experience that the standard of online dating behavior is laughably, pathetically low, but to quote a certain Disney ginger heroine…
Co-blogger D, what do you think of this GIF? (Co-blogger D has an inexplicably intense hatred for The Little Mermaid, which was my FAVORITE Disney movie as a kid. I know, she’s insane.) (It’s not inexplicable. In fact, I can easily explain it. Ariel is a selfish twat who shits all over her family, signs a deal with the devil, completely changes herself for a man she barely knows, and then is SHOCKED when it all goes awry. That is, until Daddy comes along and, despite all of her bad behavior and poor life choices, fixes everything with magic and gives her exactly what she wants. There is literally nothing to like about that horrid movie, other than “Kiss the Girl.” And Flounder is kinda cute. Yet everyone goes around touting it as great and “a classic.” THAT’S the inexplicable part.) (You see? Insane. Tempting as it is to take the bait and get pulled into D’s crazy world where animated movies for children make total sense and Disney characters are “twats” for not behaving like realistic, responsible adults, I’m going to spare you readers an impending Disney cage match and get back on topic.) (One last thing – the real Hans Christian Andersen version is so much better, and Ariel gets exactly what she deserves. Ok, carry on S, I will now abide by the cease-fire agreement and not comment any further.)
ANYWAY. As you read in her post last week, L and I have christened this summer ‘the summer of YOLO’. (What’s that? YOLO is a thing my roommate’s little sister said two summers ago when she was eighteen? It’s tired and lame and completely over? We can’t hear you, haters, because we’re too busy unironically YOLOing).
Now, for a real life example of this attitude shift in action.
Remember the great message I received literally days after D dumped me? When I was in what some might call a “fragile state” that essentially consisted of sobbing, sleeping, and ordering Thai takeout?
Refresher can be found here. In summary: I received a great message from a cute, seemingly eligible guy but was in no way ready to date again. This Good Message Unicorn and I messaged back and forth a few times until I revealed that I was post-break up and like a newborn foal wobbling around on its shaky little legs out in the single world. I asked him if I could contact him when I was ready to date, and he said that would be great.
Fast forward six weeks. Feeling confident that I was up for sitting across from a stranger over drinks again, I messaged GMU. He messaged back immediately and enthusiastically–WOOHOO! Then I replied, and…
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not rolling out some plan to go after every dude who’s ever pulled a fade away. Most of the time, if we haven’t met and a guy disappears, I take it as a sign that he lost interest, shrug it off, and move on. Because most of the time my interest level is only slightly above ‘would rather be watching House Hunters International’ at that point anyway, so it’s no skin off my nose.
But I liked that Unicorn. He had potential, and he seemed pretty into me before he rudely disappeared with zero explanation. I decided I wasn’t cool with things ending this way, so I messaged him. SUMMER OF YOLO, people.
In my message I pointed out that he’d disappeared without warning in the middle of (what I thought was) a great conversation, and told him I wanted to know why. I decided if he’d lost interest, met someone else, or was turned off by something I’d said, whatever it was I could handle it. And more importantly, I wanted to make him say it. No more slinking off like cowards, single men of Okcupid. You jerks.
Unsurprisingly, GMU didn’t reply that night, so I thought that was the end of my little experiment. But the next morning I woke up to a semi long-winded response. Allow me to summarize:
GMU was super apologetic he’d disappeared and insisted it wasn’t because he’d lost interest
He claimed he’d been “really busy at work” and hadn’t had time for Okc lately (sidenote: I call BULLSHIT on this excuse. It had been a week and a half since GMU disappeared, not two days. Are you a brain surgeon? Are you Secretary of State John Kerry and are you currently negotiating a cease fire in Gaza? Oh, you’re not? Then you’re NOT. THAT. BUSY. We all work; we all have a lot going on. If you don’t have literally four minutes out of your day for some human interaction, then don’t join an online dating site and initiate conversations with people. OR alternatively, just shoot me a message saying ‘hey, it’s a crazy week for me but can we meet up next Tuesday for drinks?’ Do I have to bust out the ‘use your words’ GIF again??
He claimed he had started to respond to my message, was trying to be witty and funny, never finished it, and by the time he went back to it was afraid too much time had gone by and he’d blown it.
He ended with something to the tune of “clearly I’m really bad at this online dating thing, but I’m definitely still interested, so if you’d be up for it, I’d love to take things offline and meet for drinks.”
Hmm. Well. I’d gotten my response.A long-winded response, some of which made no sense, but a response nonetheless. Now the real question was, what was I going to do about it? I briefly considered sassily telling GMU that he had blown it, dropping the mic and exiting stage left…
….but I thought about what the he’d said, the fact that he’d sincerely apologized, and the fact that he’d ended with getting to the effing point and asking to meet me in person. Sure, I was annoyed that he’d pulled the ‘I’ve been soooo busy’ BS excuse, but he was otherwise appropriately contrite. That’s what I was looking for. So, wouldn’t it make no sense at all to go to all this trouble and then not at least agree to meet this dude who claimed to still be into me? And who I clearly was still into?
Yup. I YOLO’d again. I messaged back, gave him some shit for the ‘I’ve been busy’ line, gave him my phone number and left the rest up to him and the universe. I was done putting in any effort at this point; if homeboy really wanted to meet me, this was his chance, and I wasn’t doing another thing to make it happen.
Spoiler alert: we did meet. So, was it worth all of that trouble? Did the YOLO approach pay off? Stay tuned, dear readers, for a post on my date with the Good Message Unicorn with answers to these questions and more.
Lastly, D, nice try attempting to have the last word on our Disney feud, but it’s my post. Please enjoy some of the great Disney songs of our time, readers, and have a great weekend!
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!
You can join Dumbledore in offering me some tepid applause, because I’m actually doing a pretty good job on this one. Sure, my success is at least partially due to the fact that I went one some pretty terrible dates this winter. But, I’ve honestly made a concerted effort not to pack my schedule with dates with any promising bachelor in the OKC universe. The good part about this? I’ve been seeing the same guy for just shy of two months, and I actually might like him. The scary part? I’ve been seeing the same guy for just shy of two months, and I actually might like him, and I can’t hide my feelings behind the distractions with other guys.
Of course, I’ve kept my OKC profile active, because 1) it’s early yet and 2) I’m a well-respected semi-famous dating blogger after all, and I need that profile for professional reasons. And, before I had decided I was actually dating the bachelor of the moment, I had been exchanging messages with a couple promising guys on OKC. Rather than just disappearing into thin air, as many many online daters before me have done, I decided to take the direct approach to let them know I wasn’t interested in going out:
HAHAHA. I gotta tell you readers, this guy’s response actually IMPRESSED me. I have a weakness for negative cynics, and as you have probably discerned, there is nothing I give more credit to than a direct, blunt response. So, it’s good to know, if things with T (promising bachelor) don’t work out, my Prince Charming Miserable may be out there.
Anyhoo, speaking of T, that brings me to …
RESOLUTION # 2: STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HE’S THINKING, AND FOCUS ON WHAT I’M THINKING
This is a tricky one readers. While I was walking around last year feeling like the most romantically wounded adult on the planet, apparently 5000000 people were having the exact same feeling. What I’ve learned from my friends, colleagues, co-bloggers, and you, wonderful readers, is that most people who have been in any serious relationship, which has then ended, amicably or not, is pretty worried about getting hurt again. As a result, most of us spend time protecting ourselves, which means 1) not getting close enough to anyone to let them hurt us and 2) anticipating the moment where the other shoe will drop, and we’ll get hurt again. In fact, this phenomenon is so common that there is a whole TED talk on it (recommended by my friend A. Thanks A!) I strongly suggest that, if you are one of the 5 million of the aforementioned people who fear rejection like me, you watch it–after you’ve finished reading this post of course.
So, inspired by the TED talk and the stories of many, I am trying very very hard to just embrace the feeling of liking someone again. And to explore all the other feelings, and questions, and reflections that come with it. Am I always successful? No. (Per the read receipt incident S mentioned a few weeks ago). But I’m trying, and this is one of those rare times I think the journey is as important as the destination.
Yikes! That is one scary GIF. I get the message, Heath, don’t worry. I’ll get off my emotional soapbox now and go back to trying to get some cheap laughs…
RESOLUTION #3: GET BUZZED, NOT DRUNK
Barring what I like to call “the Mormon surprise of 2014” (which is covered by the well known resolution clause which reads, when you are out with someone you can compare to Tom, Cruise and John Travolta, all bets are off), I thought I was doing a pretty decent job on this one. During a recent post-date Sunday morning brunch with C, I was patting myself on the back for this feat when C interrupted me.
L: “And I mean, T kept saying I was drunk last night. But I wasn’t. He just doesn’t understand yet how freaking fun I am, even when I am sober.”
C: “I thought your New Year’s resolution was not to get drunk on dates.”
L: “Yeah, that’s what I just said. I didn’t get drunk on my date.”
C: “Yes you did.”
L: “NO I DIDN’T. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CRUSH THE BUTTERFLY THAT IS MY SPIRIT?”
C: (Pulls out cellphone) “Um, please look at these texts you sent me.”
L: (mouth agape) “I don’t even remember sending those texts.”
C: “I mean, could there be clearer evidence I am right? You actually said, I got drunk [drink] on this date. You also said you wished I was there, which was weird.”
God bless, C, my real life sassy gay friend.
Thanks to C, I am back on the wagon (and by wagon, I mean 4 drink max on dates). Now, if only he’d help T pick out some better fitting shirts…
Overall resolution-keeping grade: B. I picked some hard resolutions y’all. (Esp 2 and 3!). I’ve done better on them than the year before, but there is still plenty of room for improvement in quarters 3 and 4.
Regrets: I don’t have any. All three of these resolutions are increasing my quality of life. And besides, I don’t believe in regrets. YOLO.