Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blogger's Guilt

If you're a blogger (as I am), and you are inconsistent at producing content (as I am), as well as a procrastinator (who, me?!?), it is likely you often go through "blogger's guilt."

My inner monologue goes a bit like this:

Oh man, I haven't blogged in awhile. I really should write something.

Ehh, it hasn't been THAT long; I don't have to feel too guilty just yet. I'll really think about it though.

Okay, it's been over a month. No one will read my blog if I don't update more frequently. What should I write about? I don't have anything to talk about.

Okay, wait, I have an idea. I'll start a post. Wait, I'm tired/I have to shower/I have to get back to work; I'll finish later.

Oh wait, I have another idea. I'll start a post. Wait, my room is dirty/Futurama is on/I have to put on pants; I'll finish later.

Now I have 6 posts in draft in various stages of completion. Some have 3 paragraphs, some have 2 sentences, some have just a title. Still looks like I haven't posted in 2 months.

I'll write a post about how I haven't posted. That'll be interesting to people!

I promise to get my butt in gear and tell more hilarious/embarrassing/depressing stories about the single life soon.

I really like using slashes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I joined OkCupid, and I already love it

More to come on my newest online dating venture at OkCupid, but I had to share this.

OkCupid stays free because it has advertising galore. Which I'm okay with. I'll put up with some ads in order to join the site for free. In fact, when there are ads like the following, I even enjoy it!

Find a date, but don't give them chlamydia! Order a free test online now.


It's nice that their ads are so targeted.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nick the Nice Guy: Part 2

See previous post for Nick the Nice Guy Part 1. Obviously.

It was after the second date when no sparks were flying, no kissing was occurring, that I started thinking, well maybe I'm not feeling it because he's being too much of a gentleman... He hasn't made any sort of physical move on me. Maybe if we get a little physical, I'll start feeling the sparks. Maybe I have to create the sparks... maybe they won't just come to me.

So I started turning on the flirt. Giving not-at-all-subtle hints that he could get a little more.... aggressive.... with me. 


Hi, I'm a red flag!
Hi, red flag. Nice to meet you.


As any heterosexual male would do when opportunity smacks him in the face, he accepted the offer. On our third date, we went to a bar close to where he lived. He didn't seem too keen on staying there long. Go figure.

And guess what? My brilliant plan had not succeeded. Despite getting physical, I still was not feeling feelings. Are you surprised? All that happened was that I realized that making out with him only made me uncomfortable.

On our fourth date, he asked me to be his date for Valentine's Day. The thought it made my insides writhe. Not because he was a bad guy, or even an unattractive one, but the thought of faking emotion on V-Day made me recoil. So I said no. I made up an excuse about promising to spend it with a fellow single girlfriend. Which wasn't a total lie, that is what I ended up doing... but you can bet my answer would have been different if the guy was different.

Although it had clearly been coming, the V-Day request was when I knew for sure that I was not interested.

Finally, after I continued to reject his requests for further dates, I had to tell him that I wasn't feeling it for him and no longer wanted to date him. I could have just ignored his calls, but it feels awful when that happens to you, and personally I'd prefer to know for sure than slowly come to terms with being ignored. The whole ripping off the band-aid idea.

Why do I feel so much pressure to decide whether a dating experience is "going somewhere?" I have an obsessive need to categorize things in my mind: It was a good date, or a bad one. I want to pursue a relationship with him, or I don't. He is a romantic partner, or a platonic friend. Nothing in between. I have difficulty seeing the world in shades of gray... things are black or white. I'm uncomfortable being in limbo, so I try to assign labels to compartmentalize my brain.

If that wasn't bad enough, then I constantly worry about assigning the wrong label. Have I written him off too quickly? What if he's the one I was meant to be happy with, and I'm screwing it up? But if I'm NOT meant to be with him, am I wasting my precious partner-finding time?

I've been told that I need to stop thinking in questions, and instead only deal with what I know... not what I don't know. A good idea in theory. Not so easy to put into practice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nick the Nice Guy: Part 1, or When Do You Know You're Not Interested?

If a guy's really nice, and not awful looking, and clearly really likes you, it's a good thing, right?

What if you've gone out with him a few times, and never felt that "spark"? How long do you give it before you figure out if you are ever going to be interested, or if it's a lost cause? 

I write about date night horror stories a lot, because they're way funnier than the stories about guys who just sort of fizzled out. But in the spirit of balanced reporting, I submit to you the story of Nick the Nice Guy. I'm kind of experiencing a similar situation with someone else right now... so I'm looking for a little clarity on this type of experience.

Nick the Nice Guy: Part 1

ASS Profile

Dating site: JDate

Fake name: Nick (the Nice Guy)
Age: 23
Job: Counselor, works with kids and teens.
Time frame: January and February of 2010

When I started chatting with Nick, I was very excited. Based on the pictures, he was cute, and had a similar sense of humor as I do, and we had tons to talk about. He was a gentleman. And an NJB (Nice Jewish Boy). I had high hopes. And then we had our first phone call.

To say I was slightly disappointed would be an understatement. His voice was completely the opposite of what I was hoping it would be. (See The Importance of the Voice.) It was not masculine. It was not sexy. And to top it off, it reminded me of a guy I'd liked in high school, who played games with my head. Not a connection I wanted to make with Nick.

Still, he'd called. We'd had a good conversation. He was still the same guy I'd been talking to online. So I went out with him for coffee.


Yes, he looked like his pictures. No deception. But, as anyone who has tried online dating knows, the discrepancy between a picture and a person can be enormous. The voice, the mannerisms, the facial expressions, all contribute to an overall person who may be a completely different person than you have been conjuring in your mind. And though I was attracted to online Nick, I wasn't attracted to in-person Nick.


Here's where my neuroses inner monologue kicks in.

Okay, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't feel an instant swoon. But he's a nice guy. A gentleman, even. He works with kids. He lives near me. He's my age. He's... well, I guess he's cute. There's no such thing as love at first sight, right? I gotta give him another chance.

So, when he calls me (or rather, texts me) and says he has tickets to a comedy show downtown, I give him another chance. Maybe the second time I'll be more about him.

In between the invitation and the show, he texts me. A lot. He is clearly very interested in me. Which kind of pushes me away a little more, since I am really unsure about my feelings at this point.

He drives. Driving downtown at night makes me nervous. We park about 2 blocks from the theater and start to walk. And then he makes the mistake of holding my hand.

You might be thinking, what?! Geez, give the guy a break! What's so bad about holding hands? It's about the tamest thing a guy can do! It shows he likes you! Respects you!

Hand-holding, to me, is one of the most intimate things two people can do. Yes, more intimate than a hug, than a kiss, than a blow job. Holding hands implies something. Not that those other acts don't imply something, but holding hands implies... ownership. This is MY girl. We are TOGETHER. We are holding hands in PUBLIC because we are in a RELATIONSHIP. 

In other words, holding hands is not meant for two people who have been on 1.5 dates, not even kissed yet. Especially not when one party has not felt the va-va-voom.

So we are walking around, I'm limply holding his hand, desperately wanting to take it back but not wanting him to be crushed or think I'm rude.

We go inside. We're early. I buy a glass (more like a clear plastic cup) of wine. Maybe I'll like him better when I'm tipsy. It is cheap wine. I don't get tipsy.

The show is hilarious. I freakin' laugh my ass off. Not literally; I still had an ass when the night was over. (As an English major, you will never hear me use the word "literally" if something is not literal. Yeah, the previous sentence has a misplaced modifier. Sometimes I choose to use improper grammar. But never will I use the word "literally" when something's figurative. Know the rules before you break them. Okay, I'm done now.)

He drives me home. Nothing eventful happens. He walks me to my door, and we hug, and he gives me a peck on the cheek, and I go inside, and I am still unsure.

After TWO dates, feeling no spark, just a lot of guilt for not feeling the spark when Nick so clearly feels a spark. How long does it take for the spark to develop? When do you know you're not interested?

Stay tuned for the THRILLING conclusion of Nick the Nice Guy, for my plea for advice about my current situation, and my justification as to why this bothers me so much.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You looked better online.



I should buy this t-shirt and wear it underneath my clothes on every date with guys I meet online. Just in case.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coincidences and Valentine's Day

My subscription to Match.com ends today, February 13th.

How appropriate.*

I don't actually care all that much about Valentine's Day. It's always been more about the candy for me than the men. Even when I had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, I didn't do romantic things. I sat onstage with a bunch of other women and talked about vaginas. I performed The Vagina Monologues in college each year on Valentine's Day. That must have been fun for my ex, to watch a girl power lovefest onstage on the most romantic day of the year.

Regardless, being single on Valentine's Day sucks. So I'm going to buy myself some candy and watch Castle. Mmmm, Nathan Fillion, you can be my valentine.

someecards.com - Valentine's Day is the perfect time to reflect on all your horrible dating choices since last Valentine's Day


*PS: I have decided to renew my subscription. For you, the readers. I only started this blog a few months ago. It'd be a shame to waste such fabulous writing potential.**

**PPS: Also Match offered me 6 more months for half the price.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Top 5 Dumb Things on Guys' Online Dating Profiles

You would think that if you've taken the time, and maybe the money, to do online dating, you would actually want to find some measure of success. Based on some of the things I've seen on guys' profiles on Match, this is in fact not the case.

So here is a list of the top 5 stupid things that I have seen guys write. All excerpts are real, unmodified (for the most part) passages from male profiles on Match.com.

5. Sarcastic "fake" profiles

This is when guys apparently think it is funny to create a completely fake (at least I hope, dear Lord I hope) profile. Either they are doing it to show their equally mature male friends with no intention of getting a response, or they hope some girl will find it funny.

Exhibit 5:
   I will pay you if you date me! I am clingy, jealous, and have terrible hygiene. I hate activities. Also, I cry a lot...especially at barbecues (i don't know why). Interesting fact: I love exotic foods. When I was 12 I ate my little sister's guinea pig to see what it tasted like.
   On our date we can discuss many interesting topics such as how my uncles would take pictures of me in the shower. Please don't be a big talker, I like to talk about myself so try and stay quiet.
...
   I just got out of a five year relationship. If you are wondering why, it was court ordered. I beat her but it was her fault. She always forgot to raise her hand before she spoke and sometimes she would wear obscene outfits where everyone could see her ankles...what a slut.
...
   Here are some testimonials from previous dates:
   "He said he was going to call but his dog ate my number, then aliens took his dog. I believe him." -Bertha

And believe me, there's more.

Humorous? Sometimes. But will it get him a date? Doubtful.

4. Being too cocky

Confidence is important and sexy, and you do have to try to modestly describe your best qualities to a complete stranger. But there's a fine line between confident and cocky. You cross into cocky when, for example, you start telling girls how good looking you are, even when there is photographic evidence to the contrary.

Exhibit 4:
just look at my picture and tell me how i look to me im very handsome man
 This one's full of grammatical errors, too. It illustrates various "what not to do"s.

3. Telling us right off the bat what you DON'T want.

Yes, you gotta have standards, but it's an immediate turn-off to hear something negative. I don't want to be berated for potentially having qualities that you don't want in a mate.

Exhibit 3A:
I can smell drama and problems from far away, and i refuse to allow entrance.
Exhibit 3B:
I ... am not looking for games or anything of that nature I would rather everyone know this now.. and not to waste my time if your a cheater/ or liar
Oh, well, I was planning on playing games with you. And once I was done playing games I was going to cheat on you repeatedly as I lied about it. BUT, since you told me that you don't want that, I won't bother contacting you. Thanks for letting me know.

Though I understand the impulse to ward off certain types of people, this isn't the way to do it. People don't set out to be mean, and rather than achieving your goal, you'll only turn off people who may have been interested.

2.  Exposing your baggage

We've all got baggage, past relationships, past pain, but it's best not to put it out there at the start. Then potential matches are left wondering about your state of mental and emotional health... not a favorable first impression.

Exhibit 2A (This exhibit has been lightly proofread because, well, I can't help it):
I'm a dj that [has] been hurt many a time[s] in relationship[s] and I just want someone who [will] like me for me and wa[o]nt hurt me
Exhibit 2B:

Hopeless Romantic Just got out of a 10 year relationship

Wow, a 10-year relationship.... can we say rebound?

Exhibit 2C:
I don't know, It seems I'll be single forever.
Depressed, hopeless, desperate? Pick your poison. I won't, thanks.

And the NUMBER ONE dumbest thing that I have seen on guys' online dating profiles:

1. "No fatties."

Oh yes. OH YES. I have seen this. On more than one occasion. SURELY you can see that this will ONLY turn off women. Even the skinniest, prettiest women. This makes you look like a dick. A superficial dick. A superficial dick who doesn't understand how women think.

SIGN ME UP!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Date Night Fail: Alex the Awkward

The good thing about keeping a blog is that going on a date is win-win. If it's a good date, that's awesome, but if it's a bad date, I have more inspiration for the blog.

From this, you may have gathered that tonight's date was of the "bad" variety.

It wasn't a dating horror story, and no one was seriously injured, but as dates go, this one was a definite fail.

The lead-up to the actual date was a bit like the Jaws theme song. Subtle, but the observant ones see the signs. The smart ones listen to the signs. The lonely single ones willfully ignore them.
Jaws theme song. Online dating.

It started, as it usually does, with a (Match.com) wink. I winked because he seemed sensitive (he writes music, he's in a band) and like he could be cute. As we emailed back and forth, there emerged some slight, shall we say, idiosyncrasies.

It started with some odd phrasing, some metaphors that seemed out of place in casual email conversation. We set a date to meet and started discussing where to go. Neither of us was especially talented at decision-making. What came next, I have to quote because sometimes nothing is funnier than the truth:

My email:
Late afternoon/early evening on Sunday works. Shall we do drinks? Dinner? Both? Neither? Should I just pick a place and hope for the best?
His email:
That sounds sweet. Options abound like northbound subway trains bashing about in the most controlled fashion on the most uncontrollable tracks known to humankind.
...what?

At this point, the date can go one of two ways:
  1. He's smart, ironic and self-aware, and funny, and we'll get along great.
  2. He's a pretentious elitist who I won't like but who might nonetheless give me some hilarious lines for the blog.
Alas, he turned out to be neither.
ASS Profile

Dating site: Match.com

Fake name: Alex
Age: 32
Job: Computer programmer; worked in retail for 11 years.

Appearance: Tall with dark, curly hair; looked his age. Looked older and less cute than his picture. Fail.
Date Location: Irish pub
Time: Last weekend

I never come down on people for being late, because I'm perpetually late. I'm one of those people you should tell to come 15 minutes earlier than you actually want them there. HOWEVER, I make it a point to be on time for first dates. I like to hide my flaws at first. Hence, I was on time for this date that was 30 minutes from my home. He, who lives 10 minutes from the date location, was approximately 5 minutes late. If you're not good at math, that means he left 5 minutes before the start time.

Not the greatest start, but I forgive.

He comes into the restaurant and says hi rather awkwardly, and the host leads us to our table.

I start the pleasantries. Hi, how are you? So how far away do you live from this place? Have you ever been here before? Haha I'm so delightfully chatty!

Awkward turtleMonosyllabic answers, and then silence.

To fill the awkward silence, I nervously make dumb comments about how there appear to be a lot of mango-themed dishes on the menu. HahAHHahhAHahHAHA OMG pleasesaysomething.

It's not that he's COMPLETELY silent, he just responds with a phrase, maybe a sentence, and an awkward nod. And no follow-up questions.

Where were the clever turns-of-phrase? The extended colorful analogies about options and subways? I understand that coming up with interesting things to say is easier in writing (I do blog, after all), but there was just nothing to indicate that this was the same guy who I'd been corresponding with over the last week.

As I resign myself to giving a bad interview instead of enjoying a date, I ask more questions, share stories about myself until I feel like I'm word-vomiting, and then stop speaking. And listen to the silence.

What might be worse than the silence is that, as I talked, he looked everywhere but at me. At the walls, the other patrons, the TV above my head. Occasionally he would glance at me as though he remembered I was talking.

The conclusion that most people would draw is that he either has ADHD or doesn't care what I have to say. My father pointed out, however, that some people just can't make eye contact. They don't know where to look, or they're too shy to meet your gaze. Still, not conducive to a date.

Bad dateFinally I gave up and stopped asking questions. The extended silences must have jolted his brain slightly, and he began asking me questions. I happily answered them. He nodded. Then silence again. Usually I would then prompt him with, "And how about you?"

He didn't seem to understand the idea of conversation. Person A asks questions, or makes comments, and Person B responds, and then Person A builds off of what Person B had to say, and shares a relevant comment or story, which triggers Person B to then speak again.

At the end of dinner, he asks if I want to get a drink at the bar. I politely decline.

That evening, I receive an email from Alex saying that he had a fun time and wanted to know what I thought.

I couldn't believe that there could be such a disconnect between two peoples' experiences. My immediate reaction was, of course not. Why would I waste my time and his money? My dad thought I should give him another chance. But I was not going there.

I don't want you to think I'm mean. Or a bad person. I'm sure he was nervous. And maybe drugged. But his lack of conversation skill plus my lack of attraction, his age, and other factors about his likes/dislikes contributed to my lack of desire to see him again.

Date Night: Fail.

**Disclaimer: Do not bring a laptop into the ocean. Especially not if it is a shark-infested ocean. On a side note, Roy Scheider graduated from my alma-mater.

Image credits:
Pocketnow.com
KCconfidential.com