I was never a very good dater.
Once upon a time, I would have attributed that to the fact that the strongest, most lasting relationship I’ve ever had has been with my mother. But I can’t be sure.
You know my mother. Sure you do. Just picture the love child of Sylvia Fine from The Nanny and Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond — with just a touch of a more accessible Angelina Jolie thrown into the mix (my mother is reading this, after all). And there you have it. An eccentric self-proclaimed drama-mama, she dresses up in her wench costume for the annual Renaissance Festival and reads Tarot cards. Like an excitable puppy she often gets so worked up about something that her mind runs faster than her body and she falls over and needs to be rushed to the hospital. This is a woman who gets so worried when I don’t immediately return her calls that she has been known to call the police on me, convinced that I’ve gone missing.
My love life has never been spared her utmost attention and devotion, of course.
I was born to Tindr. Everything about it appeals to every gross part of me. I love engaging with strangers offline, and I love trolling online. Judging people on the fly is totally a skill. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to fulfill my calling because I was also born a serial monogamist.
I once asked my boyfriend if I could join Tindr and his reply was, “Well, what do I get out of it?” I told him he could be on Tindr too. He said that no, if I got to be on Tindr, he should be allowed to sleep with three different girls. Ok, no.
And so, with no Tindr account of my own, I rely on the kindness of others to let me live vicariously through their profiles. Sometimes they let me have a turn and swiping around, sometimes I get date stories, and then occasionally I’ll get screenshots.
Yesterday, I received a series of screenshots from a friend who thought the conversation with Gabriel was going somewhere until it was very clear it wasn’t. And because she’s basically the best friend in the world, she egged this loser on for the sake of all our entertainment. So thank you dear friend, and also, plug in your phone.
I get it. Online dating is stressful. When you don’t have someone else’s physical face in front of your physical face, it’s hard to get a read on what’s going on in their weird, strange, little mind. It makes you uncomfortable; it makes you insecure and, most of all, it makes you IMPATIENT.
I understand it, I do. But still. If I get one more goddamn pathetic second message within 48hrs of first contact, I am going to find a way to explode the universal mainframe* of OkCupid so that every man registered on the site has an immediate malfunction on their laptop, tablet, and/or smart phone which causes the device to spontaneously combust.
We’ve all heard of using OkCupid, Match.com, or even Tinder to meet your next date. But what about Twitter, or Instagram? Or hell, even Facebook? Have you ever used social media to help you date? By which I do not mean tweeting “I’m single #whowantstodateme” — that’s just desperate and not cute.
I met a lad on Twitter. He was a musician. I was a fan of his. We met up, hit it off, had sex, and now we’re friends. Unlike writer Laura Olin, of Swimmingly, I did not meet the love of my life on Twitter. But that’s okay. I’m amazed I met a real live human on Twitter, and had sex with real-live human. And am still alive. These are big things.
I wasn’t intending to use Twitter to date. It just kind of happened. I think that’s the key when you’re using social media for sexier purposes; you can’t plan or design it, it just kind of has to happen. But there are some ways to guide the happening.
Boys, boys, boys. You know I love you; most of the time you are my favorite thing! However, we need to talk about your online dating profile picture.
Itʼs not good.
In fact, I hate it. We hate it. But, letʼs try to fix this! Because I want to meet you for a drink and maybe make out with you afterwards.
Here are a few changes you can make so that I will find you interesting enough to swipe right.
Can’t get over your ex? There’s an app for that. Well, sort of. Match.com is pairing up with the matchmaking service Three Day Rule that uses facial recognition software that can find a match for you based on what your ex looks like…if that’s your thing.
Talia Goldstein, the founder of Three Day Rule, told Mashable that, “People have a type and it’s not necessarily about height or race or hair color, but a lot of it is about face shape.” Meaning there’s more to a potential match than height, weight, hair color and eye color. For $5,000 for 6 months, you can sign up for Three Day Rule’s premium service that has matchmakers finding you matches based on photos of your ex.
Online dating is officially the norm — and with new, less chartered territory often comes a lack of rules. Thus, to help women craft a more appealing profile (and avoid the big no-nos), I have taken one for the team and voluntarily drafted a few guidelines for how ladies can navigate this digital realm of romance successfully.
Ideally, we’ll get OkCupid and the rest of the matchmaking sites to make these suggestions mandatory reading upon registration soon.
OkCupid is one of those things that when it works, it’s fantastic, and when it doesn’t work, it’s absolutely diabolical. It’s all based on the user’s experience. And it seems like users have the best experience when they’re honest on their profiles.
The idea of being honest on a dating profile sounds both smart and scary at the same time. It’s a “duh!” and a “wha?” thrown together. Here’s a guide to what you should and shouldn’t be honest about on your OkCupid profile.
– What sort of relationship you’re looking for. Want something serious? Click that box.
– Photos of you that look like you on any given day. You do not want too many photos of you that don’t actually look like you, i.e. are professionally shot and photoshopped headshots. And sure, you can throw in a photo of you all dolled up at a big event, but that unless you do major hair, make-up, and dress every day, do not use multiple photos of you looking all fancy and made-up.
When it comes to dating sometimes even those of us with the best intentions wind up being an accidental creep. And this isn’t limited just to dudes, although dudes are better at sending creepy texts and PMs via Facebook, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, and so forth, than women are and why is that? But yes, ladies can be creeps too. I’ve been an accidental creep once. I did not leave my house and think, “Okay, tonight I’m going to be Lydia Deetz without the charm.” But it happened. I lived and learned.
Don’t be an accidental creep. Don’t make these mistakes.
NOTE: These really only apply to those first reaching out. If you’ve already been seeing someone for a while and feel you know them well, that’s different. But if you’re just connecting with this person and are trying to make something happen, these are the ways it won’t. Life is different for everyone, blah blah blah.
You send too many texts.
Have you ever gotten,
“Babe how r u?”
all sent within an hour? At first it’s kind of funny, then you feel sorry for the guy, then you’re just plain annoyed. I’ve heard from guys, “Why didn’t she tell me she wasn’t interested?” There’s three ways this usually goes down. The woman tells the guy she’s not interested which he then, 1. takes as a challenge and still tries to “win her over”, 2. gets really angry and lashes out at her, sometimes even threatens her, and 3. is respectful and mature about it, and completely leaves her alone. Sadly, 3 rarely happens.
Dear OKCupid – I’m sure by now you’ve heard that I shut down my profile. That is not how I wanted things to end between us, but break-ups are never easy.
Just so you know, it’s me, not you. I think of online dating like an invitation to my cousin’s wedding. There’s no way to get out of it, and I’m always too tired to hang around for the cake.
But what we had, those four months we spent together – it wasn’t all bad. I can honestly say that I could get a job as an ambulance driver or local television reporter because I have been on a date in just about every neighborhood in Los Angeles. I can get to DTLA, Venice, or Glasell Park without my navigation. Before we met, I thought going east of La Brea or West of Robertson was worth Instagram-ing. I got free legal advice from a date with a real estate attorney, the address of a hidden, no-name sushi restaurant in Glendale, and a crash course on fantasy football. And that Helmut Lang dress I wore on every date (because there were never any second dates) was completely justified by its less than the cost of an Urth Latte, per-wear-amortization.
I hope we can still be friends. And I hope you can forgive me for calling you “Ok Stupid” on Facebook, as it should have stayed a pet name between us. Who knows, maybe with a little time and lapse of memory, we’ll even hook up again. I have to admit I already miss feeling like I was back in high school every time I got an email from you letting me know, “He’s interested in you!”
I hope this list gives you some kind of closure for our brief but memorable affair. It did for me.
ONLINE DATING – BURN AFTER READING
Project: Man started in the dark, smoky confines of a Madison, WI dive bar. My friend and I were sipping on Long Island iced teas (ugh, I know, it was college) when she revealed she had a confession to make. I expected something juicy but was still surprised to hear that my hot, outgoing pal had signed up for Nerve.com.
Back then online dating was a bit less socially acceptable. And we were in Wisconsin, not a major metropolis that’d attract thousands of online members. Still, I volunteered to jump on the bandwagon. Why not make it a semester’s personal project to sign up and snag a dude?
I am a geek. I needed a geek girl. So began my journey into the great blender known as online dating in hopes of finding love among the puree’d virtual masses.
Step #1 was creating the online profile.
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.
Follow Dating & Hookup on Instagram
Follow Jess on Instagram
Follow Becky on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter