Online dating isn’t a game…no wait, of course it is! – Part 1

Sure, online dating apps have changed the way relationships and marriages develop and grow. Those who meet and form strong partnerships with Tinder and Bumble, as well as plenty of other, more particular dating apps are invoking a rise in interracial and inter-class relationships: an increase that no one has seen in the U.S. until now. For those lucky enough to find and maintain the magic that they are looking for through a dating app, you are passively doing your part in changing societal norms. HOWEVER – dating websites shouldn’t be overlooked, since the gamifying “swipe” apps would not exist, or thrive today without the original sites.

A dirty, dirty game.


https://mashable.com/article/online-dating-change-world/

I stand behind dating SITES because during the time I was actively using them to find a date, I found a guy or two.. thousand – that I thought might be my soulmate. I’ve created a breakdown of different guys that I met on dating websites that I hung out with for a special length of time, believing that they might be the one…along with the reason(s) why they most certainly did not live up to the role (and some fun follow-ups!).

First up (and there’s a lot of ridiculous details here, because I think “ridiculous details” is this guy’s real name):

Phil*- We met virtually on Match.com and after a bunch of messages, decided to meet in person at a café. Phil was nice and polite, and gave me a lot of attention throughout our courtship, but it became super apparent that he had some major issues that I could not deal with. The first sign was during our introductory date, when he told me I couldn’t get a ham and cheese croissant because I’m Jewish. I believe he confused being “kosher” with my religion and also: don’t ever tell me what I can and can’t eat, Phil. After a few weeks of chatting and hanging out, I told Phil that I dabbled in marijuana usage from time to time. His legitimate response to that (via text) was to inquire about my health. Phil didn’t understand why someone would smoke weed unless they had glaucoma or cancer. Baffled, but assuming that his narrow-minded comments would eventually dissipate as we fell further in love (in my imagination), I continued to hang out with Phil.

I ended up driving to another state with him to spend an early summer Saturday at his relatives’ house and pool, with the entire family. Knowing very well that I had just adopted my dog less than a week earlier, Phil had no qualms about staying with his family for over 10 hours. When I privately asked him about 9 hours into the visit when we would be departing, he announced to his whole family that I had to get home “to the dog” while rolling his eyes. That was not okay. Probably worse than managing my food intake. Neither was his behavior the entire drive home and via text for the next 12 hours, where I was insulted and told I was horrible because Phil’s cousin felt that I didn’t show Phil enough affection. He also demanded to know if I even cared about him. I must’ve repeated to Phil that I liked him but 10 hours with someone else’s family in another state after a few weeks of dating is a bit much and maybe his cousin needed to keep her comments to herself.

My apartment, in Phil's mind.

My apartment, in Phil’s mind.


After all of that judging, Phil and I still spoke and he had agreed to spend the night at my apartment for the first time. In preparation for that, Phil casually asked me if I had my own bathroom. This was said in the same serious tone as his marijuana-health inquiries and exasperation with the attention I gave my dog. With all the patience I could muster, I explained to Phil that it was not 1923 and I didn’t live in a tenement with my extended, seamstress family. As a result, I did have my own bathroom. He almost seemed convinced that I was telling the truth. So – we met each other out earlier that evening with a few of my friends, planning on going back to my place afterwards. We weren’t even out for that long when Phil turned to me after talking to one of my friends and accused me of not “treating him well.” He was already upset with me and I didn’t know why, and then told me he wouldn’t be staying at my apartment that night. That’s the point where I gave up on him and just wanted to hang out with my friends, but he wouldn’t leave. He followed the group of us to two additional bars and brooded in the corner, not telling me what he was upset about but not leaving either.

Why are you so angry?

Didn’t we just meet?

Phil eventually went home (not with me) that night, and I had reached the point where I officially wasn’t having fun with him, nor did I understand how his brain or emotions worked. I decided that night that it was over (and from his behavior, I assumed he felt the same). Phil ended up texting me the next day, asking if I had “calmed down” and if we can have a reasonable conversation. I told him I was calm the day before and didn’t understand him at all. I wasn’t interested in dealing with his mercurial behavior and it was very obvious by then that we were not a good match.

I had a few more texting interactions with Phil, wherein I was told how horrible I was for a bit longer but it eventually stopped.

In summary:

– Phil held food from me, kidnapped me to be with his family, made fun of the care I took for my child, yelled at me several times for not being affectionate, accused me of not having a bathroom and thought I had a serious illness.

I am fully aware that all of these interactions were partially my fault, since I kept our contact going. I wanted to believe that I had finally found him. The One. And I just needed to get past some early arguing.

I’ve looked Phil up a few times since we dated and it seems that not much has changed in his life. I hope he chilled out a little.

More games to come!

*All names have been changed because everyone on the planet is a complete lunatic.

The Origin of the $wipe

As soon as I became familiar with the swiping feature of Tinder, I was hooked. It was not until several people in my life referred to the app as a “hook-up” tool that I started to realize that telling guys that I wanted to be in a relationship was just not the way Tinder worked. If you break the functionality of Tinder down, it’s essentially just online shopping for people – based solely on appearances, the way the Lord intended. Which is why it is really amusing to me that they have been embroiled in a lot of legal issues as of late.

Yep, Bumble is using Tinder’s “stolen trade secrets.” I’ve discussed Bumble before, but it is worth it to mention that yes, it is a carbon copy of Tinder. That doesn’t stop anyone from using it, though. The more swiping for hook-ups the better, no?

It’s fascinating that there are so many people fighting one another for substantial funds generated from an app that essentially made the dick pic an acceptable introduction to potential dates.

Don’t we have other issues to address as a society? My role models at Bravo don’t really think so, but they are not the majority.

Everyone just needs to chill out and… look for a hook-up on Tinder or something.

Give me swiping abilities or give me death!

Partner Searching vs. Job Hunting – The Pinnacle of Mind-Reading and Insecurity

Finding a good date. Finding a good job. Okay so they are both complete torture.

During the past year, I was searching for another full-time job, other than the one I had, but the extra special time came during the last 3 months where I was officially an unemployed, crap excuse for a human being (yes, it says so on my taxes) and I’m here to tell you that it is definitely worse than being single. HOWEVER – online dating and job searching are so similar – and in ways I would have never thought prior to this experience.

[

A real life Tinder profile. I promise.

I am job.

The greatness that is Mrs. Doubtfire

Self-representation on paper (online) and in-person are obviously sucky parts of both activities. No one likes to fill out the dreaded profiles / resumes / applications and conduct an endless search for perfection (unless she is a sadist), but that is a pleasure compared to other aspects of the process…

You feel crazy and stupid at all times. No matter what.

Whether it was the recruiter who called and e-mailed me about my application, but then never got back to me when I returned her call, or the potential manager who suggested we have a phone interview at a certain date and time and didn’t show up, I blamed myself. I must’ve misread text in black and white and actual messages saying that they wanted to talk to me, right?

Everyone ignores you.

Literally, all the time. They only called or e-mailed me with five minutes to spare about something highly important when I was in the shower, out socializing in a very loud place or even worse – waiting in a very quiet place, where phone use was prohibited. I also enjoyed showing up for two different, supposedly real-life interviews in which I was given the wrong floor or in one case, the completely wrong building to go to. Trying to be confident and focused (and not sweating profusely, in utter exhaustion / confusion) at that point is quite challenging.

Eye contact is probably worse than eye surgery.

And I’ve had both in the past year! And I’m mortified by eyeballs in general! Get jealous! And I’m not even referring to the job interviews where I was finally invited to enter the tangible office space to have a conversation with a real person. I’m referring to the modern Skype / Facetime / Google Hangout interview where I looked either too eager or completely insane at all times. I remember thinking that I wish I couldn’t see what I looked like while talking – it was horrifying. It’s like having to look at the face of a creepy guy who thought he was entertaining. Yuck.

You get judged.

And quite often you don’t know what you are getting judged for. It could be your crappy small talk about the weather, or the way you described your last meal was somehow offensive…WHO KNOWS? Not me. I definitely had that same kind of “WTF did I just say?” feeling during many blind dates, after either having someone laugh at me when I wasn’t trying to be funny or just nod along when I asked a question. Super comfortable.

People advise you to “enjoy the downtime” / “playing the field”

It’s like the people who have been married since they were toddlers explaining their plight of wanting to know what it feels like to be alone on a holiday…Ummm…I’m not going to enjoy being single and I’m not going to enjoy being unemployed. Unless I had zero desire to associate with other human beings while being independently wealthy and free to travel the world, I don’t see how that’s possible.

No follow-up, unless you have zero interest whatsoever.

I think that heading speaks for itself. Just a reminder that the people that I never wanted to interact with ever again in my life have always tried to stay in contact and “be friends.” This has included unbalanced stalkers, people with more time on their hands than I have (not sure how that’s possible) and people who think I have money to give them. It has never included a recruiter, headhunter or potential manager.

Bumble Bizz – The Networking Condom for Women

Have I covered the Bumble phenomenon on here? Maybe not, but I certainly have used it and oh boy!

Quick and dirty: Bumble is an online dating app that has been in existence for a few years now that basically promises “normal” women that they will have more control over their flirting experience. Developed by someone who knows the struggle is “real” for women (really? just women?), here is how the Bumble experience distinguishes itself:

At Bumble, women make the first move. In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond. In same-sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move, while the other individual has 24 hours to respond, or else, the connection expires. By prompting our users to be bold and make the first move we’ve seen over 3 billion messages sent to date.

The first problem I had with these rules is that it doesn’t matter if I was able to start the texting conversation with the guy I paired myself up with. I would say that the majority of the guys I wrote to did not write back to me – I guess that’s what makes them normal? Some did write back and I had some uplifting conversations where one person ended up telling me that “I was no spring chicken” while another one freaked out a few days into our chat, and told me he still loved his ex and “couldn’t do this.”


https://www.amazon.com/Rubies-Bumble-Bee-Costume-Large/dp/B001R03F4K

Basically, I would just position Bumble as another outlet to search for the needle in the dating haystack of madness. It’s not any better or worse than anything else out there for flirting, or finding a mate that doesn’t insult you or have a virtual emotional breakdown. But, do I group dating sites and apps with professional “networking” sites and apps? Definitely not, so I was surprised to read that Bumble has expanded into the “bizz” arena.

“According to CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, a safe space is needed for women who are career networking, just as it is necessary for dating.”

Would I want to use the same mechanism to find a colleague that I would to find a boyfriend? Would I want to find out that my mate has been using a dating app to “network”? Would I feel any “safer” as a female looking to professionally network using Bumble Bizz and its location-based technology versus LinkedIn or at an actual conference or event?


http://theupstart.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/peek

NO. And I don’t understand why the marketing message is that there “is a shield built into Bumble.” Like a hardcore protective barrier? Also, why should women fear men and not the other way around? There are plenty of dangerous women out there who use all sorts of technology to prey upon others. This also makes me question same-sex flirting, networking and the “rules” for finding friends online, which Bumble also claims to do with “Bumble BFF” (really?!)

As any human being with the desire to connect with another human being, my advice would be to do what feels right, and not to depend on technology as a protective “shield” from negativity or danger.

Take a page out of my cousin’s latest suitor’s book. Pay additional cash to extend the chat window, get to know the other person for weeks and then when it comes to actually meet up and make things happen, just chicken out:

Here’s a game rule that someone needs to scream often: When you are planning your first date, DO NOT “play it by ear.”

Patti Stanger is my idol

Being single when you truly don’t want to be is not fun. I don’t care what any “expert” says about the excitement or the possibilities of it. It’s traumatizing – especially if you are going the online route.

For those of you who don’t know who Patti Stanger is, I encourage you to look up her bio and even partake in some of the older episodes of her earth-shattering TV show, “Millionaire Matchmaker.” It’s no longer on the air, and she has since developed a remixed version of the original show on a new network. The older ones are the gems though. That show is where I learned such valuable lessons about dating that have stuck with me for life, including: men aren’t attracted to women with red and / or curly hair; men aren’t attracted to women who don’t wear the correct high heels; the very well-researched, poignant notion that “the penis does the picking.”

Patti also continues to share her wisdom on several different marketing channels, including her own helpful blog, with a title that I have found myself repeating internally for years: Patti Knows.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/tv-exec-tough-love-advice-matchmaker-article-1.2697289

One post that I found encourages women to go on dates that they know will be bad. “I know this advice sounds weird, but trust me, it works. Go on a few dates you think will be bad and I guarantee you’ll get something valuable out them.” I almost understand the logic shtick behind this sentiment, that you never know what you will find by putting yourself “out there” and one should be open-minded. Yet, I think that free spirit should have a cautionary footnote and an expiration date. I would then point at any of the posts that I have documented on this blog throughout the past several years as supporting evidence. And some other profiles recently discovered out there in the exciting world of dating apps:

He’s a caring and thoughtful Dom. With friendly photos!

Here’s my bare chest – or someone else’s bare chest. Anyway, wanna be my side piece?

Remember… Patti Knows*

http://www.manbehindthedoll.com/dreamdate.htm

*What exactly does she know?!?

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.

Shmalentine’s Day: You’ll Get Through It

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Whether you are actually getting some fun attention today or want to scratch everyone’s eyeballs out, I just want you to know that you will get through it.

I once dated a guy I met on the magical land that is okcupid from late December until the beginning of February. He conveniently ended things with me over the phone by telling me he had met someone else who was 10 years younger than me, with whom he had a major connection. “It’s not fair to her to keep things going with you,” he told me. I was at my hair salon in the middle of getting my highlights done while he shared this amazing news with me. Running away in tears from the salon chair to the bathroom in a robe and foils all over my head was one of the less graceful moments of my life. “Not a big deal,” you say? “What does it have to do with Valentine’s Day?” you might ask. The same guy did have the wherewithal to hang out with me long enough to pass his strep throat along. So after I got my highlights perfected, I was able to go on antibiotics and lay in bed on Valentine’s Day while he swept his new young love off her feet.

There was another Valentine’s Day that I had been looking forward to for months several years before strep boy. I was actually in a relationship and couldn’t wait to go out for dinner and give each other cute gifts. I had only waited my entire life to experience that. You can imagine my excitement when I went back to my boyfriend’s apartment after dinner so he can give me my gift. We were sitting down and the next thing I knew, there was a Maglite on my lap. I looked up and heard the words, “you said you didn’t have a flashlight.” Well, he was right…and I still have that same sturdy flashlight to this day, thoughtful as it was.

Those are two mere examples of some great personal Valentine history. Stay strong, my fellow not-so-smitteners.

I promise you, it can always be worse.

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 Match.com 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?

axel-foley-rug-smiles