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.
On this site, we generally try to avoid the kind of repetitive celeb-stalking gossip coverage that overruns the rest of the internet (okay, you’d do best to take that statement with a substantial grain of salt). But when I write for The Huffington Post…it’s all fair game! There are tons of tabloid-style “news pieces” featured over there. In that home away from home, the guilty enjoyment that I feel in following the dramatic ups and downs of the bold and the beautiful no longer needs to be denied.
But even when I have my nose buried in the latest issue of Us Weekly (or more likely, on the fourth page of The Superficial), I can’t help but think of the post-dating world, and of how these images and stories with which we’re being bombarded on a daily basis can help us all to further understand our own romantic quandaries and confusions.
Do we commoners have something to learn from Mel, Bristol, Jude and Katy? I’d like to think so. So in this week’s Huffington Post piece, I attempt to sift through the botox and beaches and bring these love lessons back down home for all of us…
What We Can Learn From This Summer’s Newsworthy Celeb Couples
Apparently, we here at WTF?! – and all you readers, guest bloggers, contributors, and commenters – have been providing a public service. Who knew?
When Becky and I began this project, it was intended for women. Two women, writing about being women, and what exactly that meant in this day and age. With a focus on the romantics of it all, of course. And, by and large, that hasn’t changed. We’ve always heard that you write what you know, and we are two girls who know (AKA are in the process of figuring out!) how to make sense of the post-dating world and come out in good shape on the other end.
How should guys handle all the romantic ambiguity around us, you ask? Well, we’d love for some guy to start that site! I guarantee that you’ll have at least two loyal readers. But we have been focusing on the ladies.
Yet over the past year, I have been consistently surprised by the interest and discussion and introspection that these ideas (Non-Dating, Techno-Romance, Dating & Hookup) have elicited among those most stoic of creatures – GUYS. From bowling teammates who debated the ins and outs of modern love week after week, to the enthusiastic requests from men who want to guest blog about their experiences, to the male entries and comments in our Date or Non-Date? section, to the fact that I have thus far received an equal number of Ask Jess queries from confused members of both sexes, to the daily emails and texts and Facebook messages from guys looking for guidance or excited to share their latest stories…it’s crazy and unexpected. Guys love talking about this stuff!
Why is this so surprising? Because game-changing Millennial or not, I’m still a product of the cultural expectation that guys would rather talk about sports, work, movies, drugs, video games, dogs…anything…rather than have to talk about love. And this may be true. But according to a recent study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, this tendency to clam up about matters of the heart is bad for guys, leading to a host of unhealthy psychological and behavioral effects.
Like what? Like intense emotional suffering during breakups and rough patches – more suffering than that which is experienced by women in these situations. Yes, you read that right. Men apparently get more upset over relationship difficulties than women. Presumably because they don’t allow themselves four-hour brunches and Gchat conversations during which they dissect life, love and their own intimate existential crises with their boys.
(but don’t worry, WTF?! to the rescue!)
“Single, San Diego-based Marketing Genius Creates Infomercial In Bold Quest To Find True Love…”
Sounds like the tagline to a horrific romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Aniston, right? One that ends with the guy falling in love with the girl who helped him make the infomercial, waaaay back before he became famous and desirable?
Luckily for the women of San Diego, it’s not a tagline. It’s real. It’s the true story of a man who got fed up with the traditional and online dating scenes (sound familiar?) and decided instead to use technology, a tried and true sales technique, and his unique brand of humor and charm to find the woman of his dreams. Tim Goggin, a 32-year-old entrepreneur (and improv comedy performer!), has created a professional informercial and accompanying website to sell….himself.
Just call him TimWOW.
Like most girls, I’ve (non-)dated quite the variety of guys – all of whom have fallen along different parts of the physical attractiveness spectrum. I’ve walked hand-in-hand with “the hot guy” and experienced the pride that comes with seeing girls ogle and moon over him, jealously wondering how a normal human being like you got lucky enough to snag him. I’ve been involved with “the nice looking guy,” who initially evokes a sense of ambivalence but seems to become cuter and cuter as you get to know him. And I’ve fallen head over heels for the, um, “less traditionally attractive guy” (okay, we’ll call him “the ugly guy,” but only for the sake of this piece) – the one who makes you feel like you’ve uncovered a great secret, and who you consider hiding away in an airtight bunker before all the other girls realize what they’re missing.
(Although we’ve all experienced the annoying-but-true reality that once you find him attractive, other women will, too.)
I’ve engaged with these different types of guys via my dah, but I’d never thought about them in these specific terms. That is, until I read a recent MSN article entitled, “Dating Down,” which argues that “less attractive men make better mates.”
Like it or not, anyone who visits WTF?! regularly is probably familiar with my post-dating recaps of the latest season of The Bachelorette. I even ruffled some feathers and started a bit of drama on The Huffington Post by writing a piece that preposterously (?) suggested that people are actually watching the show – an estimated 20 million for tonight’s season finale! So after reading all that, you might be wondering what I thought of the dramatic (admit it, those were three DRAMATIC hours of television!) season finale.
Lucky for you, my reactions will be stored for the rest of time in the Library of Congress…because I live-tweeted the whole damn thing!
If you missed it (or just want to re-live it? hey, we live in a post-dating world. shit is weird. to each their own), then check out my minute-to-minute thoughts HERE at our @WTFLoveLife Twitter account.
Oh, and should I mention that there will be spoilers? I like to think that you’re all smart enough to realize this on your own. Especially seeing as you won’t be able to turn on your laptop tomorrow without seeing news of the finale. Well, in any case…SPOILER ALERT!!!
So what was the takeaway message of all this tweeting?
Not to freak anyone out, but tomorrow is the last day of July. Have you started having the best summer of your life (woooo!) yet? Feel free to not answer that.
But not to worry! You’ve still got August to set yourself straight. Where to begin? With my latest Huffington Post piece, of course.
10 Post-Dating Do’s and Don’ts for August
Now…stop reading this, and go out and do something fun. Did you listen to anything I said??
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s only been two days since my last Bachelorette post. It’s a ridiculous show. Why do I seem so addicted to it?
Well, let me correct you. The question is – why are we all so addicted to it? Did you know that the current season has been killing its competitors in the ratings, amassing some of the highest numbers that the show has ever seen? And that, even more surprisingly, it’s been leading in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic? This week’s episode pulled in more than 10 million viewers. We – modern women – are watching this show in droves.
I needed to figure out why this is happening, and this week’s Huffington Post article – Why We’re Addicted to The Bachelorette – seemed as good a place as any to do it. Why are we canceling our Non-Dates to tune in? Why are we texting our friends about every episode immediately after it airs? And why are we boring our Ego Boosters to tears, trying desperately to explain to them why Chris is the greatest guy everrrrr?
Here’s your answer.
Someone give the Bachelorette producers an Emmy, please. Ten Emmys. Actually, let’s just cancel the entire Emmy telecast and send the whole truck full of winged atom statuettes to the producers’ houses. Throw in a few Grammys and a Tony, too, while you’re at it.
Why am I, the most cynical of Bachelorette viewers, demanding these accolades? Simple. Because amidst the ubiquitous helicopter rides, deserted Tahitian islands and rose petal-strewn couples’ fantasy suites, I am truly starting to see my own love life, and the love lives of so many of the women I know, in this show. It’s genius.
We’ve already established that Ali is cultivating relationships with a dah of Bachelors not unlike the guys who are in our dahs. We’ve seen her relationships with these guys evolve and sneak up on her and fall prey to the tricks of the professional wrestling world. And now, we’ve got evidence that, as Becky and I have been saying all along, Dating & Hookup is not simply a convenient way for women to emotionally detach from the guys in our lives and treat them like disposable playthings. It’s not about being a player.
Dating & Hookup often leads to love. And, all too often, it leads to heartbreak.
I’ve heard the same argument many times, from guys in particular. If the girl I like has a dah, and the guys in her dah are fulfilling her various needs, then why will she need and want me? Won’t women stop falling in love, if they get used to spreading their attention and energy around and avoid investing fully in one guy? Isn’t this the end of love, and of committed relationships? The end of civilization as we know it???
Anyone who watched the latest episode of The Bachelorette knows that the answer to that one.
T.G.I.F. Seriously, right?!
So…any fun plans for this weekend? Dates? Non-Dates?
In case you hesitated for a moment there, the right answer is “Yes!” As sure as I am that you have guys in your dah, I’m even more sure that you have at least one potential Non-Date planned for this weekend (even if you don’t know it yet).
How can I be so confident? Read my latest Huffington Post piece – Start Living Your Love Life This Weekend – and tell me if I’m right!
Sorry, guys. No Bachelorette recap today! Why, you ask? No, not because I missed last night’s episode (I watch the show on my iPhone, like all the super-hip romantics do). But because the hometown visits got me feeling a little emotional, and I *almost* shed a tear when Chris’s father started talking about his dead wife. Oh, dads.
Anyway, I was pretty ashamed by my sudden outpouring of almost-emotion, and I fear that it’s the first step in a dangerous spiral of tastelessness and commitment to reality television romances that usually end like this. So in order to pull myself back from the ledge, I’m putting The Bachelorette on hold. Let’s talk about sex instead.
But not just any sex! Sex that involves older women. In case you were wondering, “older” = 27-45 years old. And while it freaks me out to be included in the same sexual demographic as my high school math teacher, a recent Time Magazine article – “The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust” - says that Becky and I should be happy to be part of this group. We’re apparently having more sex than our younger (18 through 26) and older (46 and up) cohorts!
A bit counterintuitive, no? Aren’t we supposed to be living it up in our 20′s, just to get married and have kids in our 30′s and consequently bid farewell to hot, frequent sex?
…then He’s Attracted to You. Ladies, you heard it here first.
If one more guy tells me this! (Actually, what I usually hear is, “If I’m talking to her, then I want to sleep with her.” But gotta keep it clean for the HuffPost crowd).
Happy Summer Friday, folks. Here’s to many, um, conversations to be had over the weekend.
Say what you want about The New York Times – that their website sucks, they they have a tendency to victimize and scare the crap out of single women, that they totally misunderstand the Millennial generation and wrongfully pick lazy, privileged, upper-middle class slackers to represent us as a whole (don’t even get me started on that one) – but DAMN, people read it.
Over the past few days, Becky and I have happily been inundated with emails from our fabulous readers about the Times’s latest foray into modern dating and relationships – their Sunday Styles cover story, The Ritual of the First Date, Circa 2010. And almost everyone had pretty much the same reaction: I can’t figure out if this is cool? Or creepy? Should I be into this or not?
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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