Online Dating: Effective and Brutally Honest or Confusing and All Over the Place?

A wise reality star once said, “I wouldn’t recommend dating if you’re on the fringe of sanity.” And I tell ya – Shepard Rose (“Shep”) speaks the truth. He certainly doesn’t seem like he knows much of anything, but that’s a darn good phrase to live by.

Shep, being Sheppie.

I guess most people that are a bit confused, or close to insane will not acknowledge it. And I guess that’s what makes Loveflutter, a timely dating app that uses big data and analytics, so promising. The main gist of Loveflutter is that it uses actual words that you have said (typed) on your Twitter feed to match you up with like-minded singles, thus working with the logic that social media posts truly represent the essence of people. I get it – Tinder, etc is completely superficial, basing matches off of photos only, while other sites will survey and have you fill out bios ad nauseum that never seem to really get used for anything. Loveflutter digs into your social thoughts and makes matches that way. It’s new and different, but I just don’t really buy that it is as promising as this article claims.

“Effective” is a word I would use to describe a skin cream or pad training for my dog – not necessarily for a dating app, so I was already a disbeliever when reading the headline of this post. I also distinctly remember viewing and reaching out to different Twitter users on my own if I found them to be interesting. Isn’t that what the kids already refer to as “Sliding into the ‘DM'”? The innovation on this app must be super-impressive, possibly because they use “AI” and “NLP” acronyms enough to get greedy techies way too excited.

Also, you have to be a Twitter user who actually posts things AND you can’t utilize these amazing feats in artificial intelligence and compatibility measurement unless you have an iPhone*! I’d say that a large percentage of the single population is already missing out…

I would love someone to tell me that I’m completely wrong. Contrary to what you must be thinking, I don’t know everything (but thanks for the compliment!) It’s an idea that is different from a host of very stale, excruciating match-making models and devices, so maybe it does have some kind of a success rate.

Please educate me! Until then, I will be working on my Shep quote collage.

Not very southern gentleman of him. (Thank you, Bravo)

* My vast research resulted in an additional Loveflutter app that is available on both Android and iOS devices. Seems just like Tinder with a different name, and basically just makes dating even more confusing and annoying. According to this , Loveflutter BLUE is the “premium,” Twitter-verified version of the original, fake Tinder. All of this information makes me even more confused. Not a good look for a dating app, eh?


To POOL or not to POOL

With so many entertaining pieces of media dedicated to dating at large, it’s difficult to find some that are actually enjoyable. Which ones are worth talking about? Well, as POOL demonstrates, the answer is: “eh, not many.”

As it so happens, something else I am not so smitten with is my current employment. It is not stressful in any way. Quite the opposite actually. I have way too much time on my hands. Time that is often spent indulging in some entertainment like POOL.

So I spent a little over an hour the other day (clearly during work hours) watching the entire first season of POOL. That leads me to one of the positive qualities of this show. It’s short and you don’t need too much of an attention span to watch each 6 to 8 minute episode. They are basically short skits. I definitely give Mary Ashley and Chris Russell a ton of credit for their writing and acting. They also managed to get their creation distributed and available online. That’s a HUGE deal that even someone as low-on-the-totem-pole as myself understands. Huge props. Here’s the breakdown of the web series in my favorite brief and bulleted format:

Plot: It centers around three friends / roommates (two guys and a girl) who tell each other their dating stories.

What kept me watching:

– Excellent camera work and audio – like an expensively-produced show

– One of the male characters gives me an American Psycho vibe. I almost feel that he sees himself as Patrick Bateman. Disturbing, but the guy has good hair and a dominating personality.

– The more I watched, the more I cared about the characters. Even aforementioned American Psycho.

– Steph (played by Mary Ashley) finds a plot-related reason to show off her bare behind, more than once. That would be a win for anyone interested – as she does (generally speaking) have a very tight behind.

– Every time Steph has a date presented from a flashback, her two roommates are somehow in the scene as servers or employees of the date venue, which is pretty clever.

– Episode 5 features the best cat sweater of all time. While it is fashioned inside-out with no clear purpose, this might be the one solid reason you need to watch.

What caused me to lose interest and look at puppies on Instagram again:

– Most of the funny lines fall flat – I am not sure if it is because the dialogue is so ridiculous or there is no laugh-track. Maybe I still need encouragement to laugh at amusing parts of TV shows…so maybe that is just my own personal problem (one of the many).

– Why is everyone white? Not to bring up another racial argument, but the poor man’s Three’s Company inverse is not too realistic when you’re talking about New York City in this century.

– Way too many disgusting bodily function / human waste jokes. Like I didn’t have enough of those with every real-life roommate I’ve ever had.

Net-net: If you want some cheap laughs (and I do mean cheap – this stuff is FREE!), fill up an hour of your day with the entire first season.

If you made it through this entire post, you already have a bigger attention span than I do, so POOL will be easy to get through.

Tender Pressure of the Holiday Season

It’s been well over half of a year since I posted anything to this award-winning platform, and for that I feel like a let-down. I never meant to ghost any readers or quietly fade away. The lack of posts is due to the fact that I have run out of my own dating stories. Lame, I know. With that, I have been contemplating different directions to steer this ship o’ bitterness over the past several months and have yet to decide on anything.

I have, however, listened to multiple online dating stories from friends that would entertain the masses. Maybe in the coming year, I can relay them back to my readers in an organized way that everyone can enjoy.

In the meantime, I have found some really interesting posts on the interwebs that explain to the world just how connected the end of December holidays are with the act of people looking for companionship / attention. Let me know if any of these amazing works of genius have truly made a difference in your lives the way they have for mine (<sarcasm font).

Here we have some info from Men’s Fitness, geared toward the minds of those with peni…or so they think. As a non-man, my #1 takeaway from this post is that single men should go to any and all holiday parties they can find in order to meet women. “It’s not a great idea to try to hook up with someone at your own corporate holiday party,” the writer points out. No shit!? If someone honestly avoids getting drunk and hooking up with a co-worker because of this post, I want to speak to them. From what I remember of my 20s, it was full of experiences like this and while I remained single, no real harm was done.

It’s also written by a female, for males…so the suggestion to go to “tree lightings, pop-up ice skating rinks, and holiday festivals” makes a lot of delusional sense.

I’m not sure if any of the videos on this page actually work, but I really enjoy the grammatically incorrect and misspelled pushes from yet another female writer to stay physical in one’s relationship. She says to “Spend time together. Make out.. A touch on the check, shoulder, tush. With a tender pressure. When you kiss, let your foreheads touch afterwards, which is a tender moment. Get close.” I feel icky. Uggh.

For those who are single and not attending pop-up ice rinks or drunkenly hoping for a relationship with a co-worker, just keep in mind that this is the time of year that dating sites and apps go insane to get you hooked. I personally notice a lot more TV commercials and online ads for “finding someone special when it counts.” So if you feel like no one else is vying for your attention, at least Tinder and are. “Advertisers are doing whatever they can to gain visibility and organic installs.” In plain English, this means that these companies are experts at taking advantage of holiday loneliness.

Additionally…and most importantly: I also have the cutest dog on the face of the planet that I’ve already exploited in numerous places. Why not here?


Wait…THIS is the Online Dating Ad That Offends People!?

I’ve been seeing flickers of this story in various social media posts today and I am not understanding the issue. Well, actually I do understand the issue but I think that those who have it are getting a bit…um…”extreme.”

Here’s the Match ad that is causing an uproar and the multiple commentaries around it:

I would just like to say that I actually understand the point of it, I am not offended at all and I actually think it is kind of cute. I also really, really miss all the freckles I had as a kid. Freckles are not something to get overly PC about, people! And by the way, there are a lot of other problems in this world besides ads!

What about the creepy eHarmony guy who’s been invading my TV time for years? Or the fact that anyone who is not single believes that dating sites are solely for people looking for hook-ups? Or the infinite number of MARRIED MEN I’ve met on Tinder and Bumble?

The point: Times are tough, but a cute poster with freckles is not a cause for an uproar. Get over it.

The Man Who Feared Tomatoes

Sean traveled to Manhattan from the middle of the New Jersey suburbs to meet me for our first blind date at a little Italian restaurant that I had chosen. And I know I say this about so many other people, but Sean really and truly was (and maybe still is?) a good guy. It was definitely me who kept him away after our second date.

I’m certainly no foodie, but I like to pretend I know what is going on in the cooking world and am friends with people like this guy who have helped me hone my superficial interest in dining.

During our first date, I vaguely remember suggesting several different appetizers for us to share – including mozzarella cheese, stuffed mushrooms, and possibly something seafood-related. He looked at me like I was crazy for each suggestion, and I believe we ended up sharing an order of fried calamari. His entree was a fairly simple pasta dish and he ate it very slowly. As he examined every morsel that went into his mouth, I started to ask him about food that he actually enjoys. I mentioned different types of cuisines to see if he would have any sort of positive reaction:

Me: Mexican? Tacos? Burritos?

Sean: (tongue sticks out, appalled) Oh man – definitely not.

Me: Any type of seafood, besides calamari?

Sean: Ew, gross!

Me: Burgers?

Sean: Yeah, that’s what I eat pretty much every day. But nothing on them.

Me: Not even condiments? Ketchup?

Sean: ABSOLUTELY NO KETCHUP – I hate it. And nothing else.

Me: So just a plain burger on a bun…do you like cheese?

Sean: Nope

Sean likes plain burgers, plain pasta and possibly some calamari (although I probably devoured that by myself).

At some point, he mentioned that he was a very simple “meat and potatoes kind of guy” so when he asked to see me again in Manhattan, I suggested Keens – a very well-known steakhouse that I had wanted to try for a long time. He seemed okay with Keens. He wasn’t over-the-moon like I was to be anywhere that was considered a classic. Yet he seemed content enough to order a steak. Like any nice meal, his steak had some random vegetables on it and I pointed out that the cherry tomatoes looked good. At that point, I think he was really trying to make me happy. He put the tiny tomato in his mouth and immediately spit it out. He was mortified. Flushed and tearing, shaking his head and sticking his tongue out, he glanced at me and I’m pretty sure I saw a little contempt in his eyes. I guess he wasn’t ready for a tomato.

Once I licked my plate clean of whatever I had been gratefully served, we exited the restaurant. Sean texted me later that night to let me know he had made it home (to the burbs) safely. I thanked him for a lovely time, and he said, “Yeah, I enjoyed it. But you made me eat a tomato.” It was like I committed murder and it was confusing to actually experience some guilt about something so ridiculously insignificant.

I have no idea why Sean asked me to hang out again. I had to turn him down. I love food too much for that sort of anxiety and trepidation to be repeated.

Misspellings, Maintenance Man and Mediocre Music

Have you heard of a dating app called “Once”? Well I was innocently listening to one of my NON-ad-free Pandora stations one day and it was advertised as the latest tool in online dating that involves a “custom matchmaker” and unique matches for each user on a daily basis. It seems that my counterpart – “Smitten” – likes to tout it. But she probably got paid for that.

I should have known that it wasn’t exactly a match after every single text message that Jason* sent my way had at least one horrible misspelling in it.

I should have also known that it wasn’t going to work out when I was telling him about my planned move to a new apartment. While he did live in the suburbs of New York City, I assumed he had a grasp on how human beings function. In fact, he did not. And both of these quotes came from him via text (and he wasn’t being sarcastic):

–“Wait, there’s a Home Depot in Manhattan?!? Why?”

–“I thought everyone that lived in the city had their own maintenance man.”

I didn’t know how to respond to each of those items without asking him if he was being serious several times. I also doubt that this guy ever left his house to go anywhere beside his local bowling alley or to find new items to shred with his Veggetti (both of which he texted about in misspelled words daily)


But okay – he was attentive and was keeping our correspondence going so I continued to keep in touch. We planned to meet in the “big city” and I even continued to talk to him when he suggested we meet in the middle of Times Square. Yeah – I like torturing myself I guess.

Thankfully, we met for lunch at a place not located in Times Square and he spoke in person better than he texted, but of course, he didn’t really resemble the fit guy in his photos. I felt zero chemistry as we chatted over our meals and any semblance of a bond with Jason stopped short when Pandora (the music app mentioned above) came up. I innocently asked him who his favorite singer / band is.

“Shania Twain. Well…followed closely by Faith Hill.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was talking to a sassy 55 year old female in 1994.

Well, that wasn’t my response but I did snort and then ask him who he really listened to. He told me how many times he had seen each of them in concert, how much of their careers he had followed, Shania’s big “comeback”…and so forth. In pure Notsosmitten style, he was also extremely defensive of each singer and their extraordinary talents.

Everything following that topic was a blur, and when we parted ways, I went to Home Depot.


* Not his real name mainly because I can’t remember his real name and I’m kind of proud of that.

Going Dutch with the Irish

Peter was the first guy I met in person through Tinder. In hindsight, he should have been the last, but what can you do? He was polite, good-looking in his photos and actually asked me if I wanted to meet up with him at a normal, public place. He was around my age, employed and had come to live in the U.S. several years ago from Ireland. So yes – you guessed it – Peter really liked to drink. When he selected a “pub” for us to meet at after work I was delighted…only because he called it a “pub.” The place was a tourist trap smack in midtown, but it was convenient for both of us and I just went with it.

In person, Peter spoke with the adorable Irish accent I was hoping he had and was reasonably attractive. Our time together was relatively unscathed. I wouldn’t say that there was much chemistry, but it wasn’t painful. We must’ve been sitting at a small table together for approximately two hours, and I believe that for the 2 drinks I had, Peter had downed 5 pints of beer. This fact alone did not bother me, and neither did the fact that he mentioned that he had two cars “at his house in Virginia” at least twice. I thought it was interesting that he had a home in Queens, New York as well as Virginia. I did find it a bit odd for him to mention the stuff that he bought for his ex-girlfriend more than once – that being the expensive concert tickets and jewelry he had purchased for her. So there were a few topics that started out innocently, that ended with Peter declaring that he spent too much money on his ex-girlfriend. That was only multiplied when our date came to a close because Peter was meeting “friends for more pints” and asked for the check.

Here’s my favorite part…Peter had the check for my two drinks and his 5 pints in his hand and after mentioning his 1) two cars 2) two homes in the U.S. (one additional home in Ireland) and 3) his materialistic ex-girlfriend…he declared the amount of money I owed for half of the bill.  I guess this is not such a big deal to some people.  I found it appalling and per usual, I couldn’t hold back my reaction. Maybe my expectations are too high…wanting a man to pay for my drinks on our first date. My jaw just hung open after he said that, to which he responded, “Oh no…what did I do? What’s wrong?!” And I told him the issue. And he wasn’t even fazed, and told me to forget he said to split the bill, which of course just inspired me to pay my own way. I made sure he accepted my $20 bill in my “I’m a strong woman who can afford two drinks, you dipshit” way.

This is exactly what our date DIDN'T look like.

This is exactly what our date DIDN’T look like.

You might think that with Peter’s complaints of past experiences and logical frugality on first dates that I would be turned off. I probably was, but still wanted attention (and to pay my own way for dates?) and to hear from him again. We texted a few more times after that but he eventually stopped.

At least his rejection helped me save some cash.