Jess is the co-creator of Dating & Hookup, alongside her childhood best friend Becky Lynch, and is the author of the book - yep! - Dating & Hookup. She never tires of hearing your post-dating stories. She wants you to enjoy your love life, and is full of advice on how to do so.
“You know I -
Thug ‘em, hug ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em
But I don’t trust or need ‘em”
Most of us think we can spot a player – right?
We’ve seen the music videos and the movies. We’ve scrolled through the endless list of girls in their phones. We’ve caught them with their omnipresent harem of ladies at the bar. We’ve received the “Hey, what are u up to?” mass texts at 9pm on Saturday night. We’ve gotten the message – loud and clear, thanks! – after hearing their claims of, “I’m just not looking for anything serious right now.”
We know a player when we see one.
The Charming Player. The Sketchy Player. The Drunk Player. The Sexy Player. The Rich Player. The Player Who Won’t Make Eye Contact. The Traveling Player. The Entitled Player. The Commitment-Phobic Player. The MIA Player. The Cheating Player. The Player Everyone Warned You About.
Come one, come all! We modern women can take it. We know your games, and we know how to handle you.
Or so we thought.
Out of the ambiguous abyss of the post-dating world, a new form of player has emerged. We have Darwin to thank – for this new species of player has evolved from the simple-minded, sex-driven players of yore into a sophisticated, persuasive, mind-f*cking man who may prove to be the most dangerous of them all. He is an obvious product of the key tenets of thoughtfulness, innovation and self-actualization that define our Millennial generation.
Ladies, meet the Self-Justifying Player. Let’s call him the SJP, for short (sorry, Sarah Jessica Parker…but we told you that we were ready for something new!).
So four days ago, I moved back from Manhattan into a new neighborhood in Brooklyn – which is really exciting, because I love the overall cultural and community-oriented vibe of Brooklyn, and also because I love raising my hands at parties when the DJ yells “Where Brooklyn at?!” Yet as it tends to go when you suddenly pick up your life and drop it off in another zip code, as soon as I got my boxes in the door of my new place, I couldn’t help but feel strange that I was suddenly a stranger in a bit of a strange land again.
Where was the best coffeeshop in this ‘hood? Which bodega should I be frequenting multiple times a day? How was I supposed to know which nearby street had a mailbox?
In an effort to give myself a crash course in New Neighborhood Awesomeness 101, I called up one of the more adventurous guys in my dah and asked him to go on a little adventure-non-date with me to explore my new digs. We’ll call him…let’s call him an Accessory for now, cool? With our busy schedules, we hadn’t gotten to see much of each other lately. And so I figured, instead of meeting for dinner or blah blah blah, we should venture out together for something a little more exciting.
What followed was an incredibly fun adventure-non-date that we ended up recording with the new Volkswagen SmileDrive app (more on that in a bit!). The whole outing reminded me that getting off the beaten path and throwing spontaneity into the mix can be the perfect way to co-create an experience with a member of your dah that will strengthen your bond and give you a ton of new memories to giggle over later.
Adventure-non-dates. I seriously recommend them.
If you’re looking to shake things up with a member of your dah, here are my tried-and-tested tips for planning the perfect adventure-non-date.
I have a problem that might be pretty common – because it seems like all my friends have had this problem as well. There’s a guy in my life who I just CANNOT FIGURE OUT. I guess he’s the Prospect I’m Not Sure Is A Prospect in my dah. That is, if he’s even in my dah. Sometimes I’m not sure. It’s all very hot and cold.
Six months ago, I took a night class in Italian and met him there. A group from the class became friendly and started going out for drinks, and I always thought he was pretty cute, but it wasn’t until we started Facebook messaging about some funny class photos that I thought our friendship (or whatever) might branch out from the group.
Also, I think we almost made out one night after class – the vibe was there, unless I’m crazy – but then we got interrupted and never really mentioned it again.
And now…I don’t know. We’ve never hung out one-on-one, but we have fun together in group settings. We also text and Gchat pretty regularly – but his tone is inconsistent. One day he’ll be texting me and seem really enthusiastic, and then a week later, I’ll text him and he’ll barely get back to me. Sometimes he casually brings up things we should do together – try out a new restaurant, watch a baseball game – but then he rarely follows up, which annoys me. Yet since we haven’t hooked up or “dated,” it doesn’t necessarily feel like he’s blowing me off. It just feels like I’m in this weird no man’s land of his dah.
What am I supposed to do here? How can I insert myself into his dah without seeming desperate or pushy? Or is it just a lost cause? I kinda like him. If there’s a shot to be had, I’d like to take that shot.
Mixed and Muddled Millie
Remember you’re advising an idiot, so please simplify things for me.
Idiot With A Second Chance To Score
Valentine’s Day is here. If you’re single, you will likely find yourself assessing and reassessing your love life. Your Instagram feed full of perfectly filtered photos of roses, chocolates and TMI kisses will be a constant reminder that you are not in love and not in a relationship.
Meanwhile, an endless string of engagement announcements on Facebook might lead you to question your singlehood and wonder what you have been doing wrong. You might even find yourself vowing to find a significant other by next year’s Valentine’s so that you can be the one tweeting about finding that perfect gift.
But how? Should you follow the old-fashioned pathway to love? Put on a little black dress, hit the town and hope that someone invites you to dinner and a movie? Recreate your parents’ courtship?
No. Because it’s 2013, and traditional dating as we know it is dead.
I would love to go on a date. You don’t think that? I’m a woman…Seriously, all I want is a guy to take me out and make me laugh for a good hour and take my ass back home…
No one asks. Trust me on that. I’m waiting for the man who’s ballsy enough to deal with me. I’m going to wait, though. You always find the wrong shit when you go looking.”
Why do you think men aren’t asking women out on traditional dates anymore? Even ridiculously hot, confident, successful women like Rihanna?
Quote & image via Vogue
I have been sleeping with this guy for about six weeks. First it was casual, but now, it’s five or six nights a week. He spends the night at my place almost every night, and also hangs out during the day for hours at a time.
We still have never gone on a date or met each other’s friends, but I’m starting to think this could go somewhere. Casual sex is one thing, but spending all your free time together is another – and it’s obvious that we’re genuinely enjoying each other’s company.
I should mention, though, that immediately at the beginning, he made it clear that it was just sex, and claimed that we didn’t have a “relationship connection.” At the time, I was cool with that. He’s not the type of guy I usually date, and I thought we’d just have fun for a while and then go our separate ways. But instead of our connection fizzling, it feels like it’s gotten stronger with time. The more we hang out, the better it gets.
But, he did say that. I can’t ignore it.
The truth is, I’d like to at least try dating him. Whatever that means. Is there any hope for this to become more? What should I do?
Sexing in San Antonio
Flowers. Chocolate. Candlelight. Classy restaurants. Dinner and a movie. Phone conversations. Private jets to Vegas (anyone else been watching The Bachelorette?).
These traditional symbols of romance are unmistakable. We’ve seen them in movies, read about them in Nicholas Sparks novels, watched them on popular dating shows, and heard about them in the courtship tales of our mothers and grandmothers. Yet if you’re a single, modern women today (and that category includes young professionals, college co-eds, small-town girls, divorced MILFs and all women in between), then you’ve probably been wondering…why isn’t this happening in my own love life?! Instead of encountering handsome men and hearing, “It was great to meet you – can I take you for dinner on Saturday?”, why am I drowning in a dizzying storm of text messages and mixed signals and ambiguous interactions and missed connections?
In short – how can I feel so confident and empowered about my career, my friends, my family, my hobbies, my dreams and my fashion choices…but feel so bewildered and powerless in my love life?
“I feel like I’ve found my other half, and I’m so excited about getting to love him for the rest of our lives…there’s not a lot of positive information out there about marriage. It’s the old ball and chain, the seven-year itch, the divorce rate. Still, my parents have been married for 30 years; his parents have been married for 40 years. Mine had great moments and some really sh-tty moments. But they couldn’t have been married to anyone else, and they make each other better.”
quote & image via Glamour
These lectures are usually given within the confines of Becky’s beautiful FiDi abode, or my still-not-quite-decorated Gramercy studio. In fact, this entire project was started and inspired by a similarly frank talking-to, one that took place in sweats over a few glasses of wine on the couch. But this time, I’m going to call Becky out in front of Dating & Hookup masses. Why? Because she is making a mistake that is common to all us girls with dahs. There’s a lesson here for every one of us.
What is she doing wrong?
Becky is hiding in her comfort zone and avoiding her dah by engaging in easy, seemingly fulfilling distractions. In this case, she is pouring her heart and soul into an iPad.This is a problem. As the iPad commercial itself says, “There goes my love.”
I know, I know. Dating in your city sucks. You don’t know what that ambiguous text message means. The last guy you were crushing on pulled The Slow Fade. And – ahhhhhh whyyyyy – you’re about to face the holiday interrogation squad of well-meaning but nosy grandmas, aunts and random neighbors of your third cousin who are just dying to know who you’re dating (no one! who dates anymore? how has Great Aunt Cathy not heard that we’re living in a post-dating world??), when you’re going to finally bring a guy to the family holiday celebration (um, how does 2014 sound?), and why you’re not married yet (for more responses to that convo, read this).
The post-dating world isn’t always a blast.
Except on the flip side, it sort of is – if you’re willing to look at it that way! Because for every weird, confusing, frustrating, how-did-my-love-life-turn-into-this-strange-morass-of-complicated-stuff moment, there’s something fun, exciting and hopeful to be thankful for. Especially today, on Thanksgiving, when we’re supposed to be taking a breather to count our blessings, appreciate our good fortunes, and see the best in our friends, family and – yes – our love lives.
There’s a lot to be grateful for in this post-dating world. Let us count the ways.
In her new book, Dating & Hookup: How The Guys You Know Will Help You Find The Love You Want, Jessica Donalds coins a new dating term every girl should know. Say hello to your dah: the group of guys already in your life that will lead you to Mr. Right. Here’s how it works…
Read the rest on Cosmopolitan.com!
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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