No one really likes first dates because they are the most stilted of all human interactions, second only to that thing that happens when you’re trying to pass someone on the street, and you keep feinting the same way. As a result of this intense and horrible discomfort, people try to avoid dating at all costs, citing excuses from “washing their hair” to “rearranging all their books by color and alphabet.” It’s even harder to be encouraged to participate in these sorts of activities, because if you’re out of practice, a first date seems like the worst possible thing in the entire world. It’s a whole thing. What do you wear? How do you act? What on earth do you talk about or do? How do you handle the stranger sitting across from you? Common sense gets replaced by sheer panic and feet get firmly planted in mouths. And worst of all, what happens if you really seem to like the person, but are just so out of practice that you bungle the thing? Oh, the things you might say! As a person who abhors the notion of first dates, I’ve figured out four relatively solid tips for those out there who fear them just as much as I do. Keep reading »
Choosing a restaurant to eat at is an easy, fun task. Say there’s a new Chinese-Cuban-Indonesian fusion place that opened up on your block. Maybe you want to go there one night, because you enjoy clever fusion and you’re hungry, but you’ve never been and don’t want to waste your money on some greasy noodles. In this instance, Yelp does the legwork for you, but there’s no such great rating system for online dating sites. Like any sensible human trying out a service, you’d definitely want to read reviews before you go there, right? Look no further — we’ve done the dirty work of reviewing and ranking some choice online dating sites in a way you’ll understand — by comparing them to food. Keep reading »
For the majority of my last relationship, my partner was in the throes of a slowly unwinding nervous breakdown. He moved to New York at the same time I did, and lived for a brief period in a state of almost too much togetherness, bound because we loved each other, but also because we didn’t know what else to do. There is a strange thing that happens when you first move to a new city. Stripped free of your usual comforts, you cling readily and fiercely to whatever is available. For us, it was one another, and that felt fine to me, but less so to him. With the stress of living in a new city and delving into a new relationship, his anxiety and depression blossomed beyond the average quarter-life crisis into something much more serious. Keep reading »
It happens to everyone, eventually. You’re out with your friend and her new man, sitting across the table from them like a little girl out to dinner with your parents. The guy she’s seeing is nice enough, always kind to your friend, and pleasant to you, but you can’t help but shake a feeling of deep-rooted dislike. Her new man is nice, he’s kind, he’s always polite, but you don’t find yourself clicking. No matter, you tell yourself. I’m not the one dating him, she is. Who says I have to like him? Keep reading »
I am the oldest of four girls, a pack of sisters who descend in age like uneven stair steps, from 31 to 29 to 26 to 23. As the eldest of this pack, I am a consummate older sister — bossy, with a tendency towards lecturing, and a fondness for teaching “lessons.” In the context of my family, this dynamic has its place. The traditional roles of birth order are said to be fluid, but mine never is. I am eternally a big sister, and this dynamic has bled into my love life. Keep reading »
Technically, there are four seasons, but I like to think of Winter and The Holidays as two distinct entities. The Holidays are their own special thing — a whirlwind of lights and fun and being hungover at the office on a Wednesday. The Holidays end with a splash, making a champagne fountain and entering the New Year clutching the hands of your friends, or making out with that dude you winked at, then cornered at midnight. After the dust settles, the fog lifts, everyone starts to make their way back to their regularly scheduled lives — that is Winter.
Winter is long, it is the interminable darkness of three to four months until Memorial Day weekend. Winter is losing gloves on the subway and runny noses, and spending time alone because it’s too cold to get anyone to leave their house. Winter is a time for introspection, reflection, eating a lot of cookies, and falling into a state of weird, depressive hermitude that may lead you to consider the Winter Boyfriend. Keep reading »
Theres something about twinkly lights and snowflakes falling on a hushed street that can send even the most confident woman into a free-fall, scrambling for the nearest warm body to spend the holidays with. This time of year lends itself nicely to reflection, to family, to untold amounts of love and cheer and wassailing, but can also very easily be horribly, awfully depressing. If you find yourself pushing through throngs of rosy-cheeked, hand holding couples stopping to kiss under every available sprig of mistletoe, don’t despair. Don’t get mired in the “woe-is-me-I-need-a-man” blues.This is a time for reflection, but it’s also the best present the universe could ever give you — built in downtime, for you to think about what you want and how you want it. Keep reading »
I had a drink with a friend the other night who spent the entire time pouting as he regaled me with the latest details of his most recent failure in the dating world. “Girls don’t like me because they don’t like nice guys!” he said. “Girls only like assholes. No one ever wants to date me because I’m too nice,” he whined.
I’ve had this conversation multiple times with lots of my guy friends, and the one thing I always tell them is this: women do like nice guys, because no one wants to be with a jerk, but there’s a difference between being a Nice Guy and being a guy who is nice. Recognizing the difference between the two is key. Keep reading »
There is no secret to dating success.There is no incantation to whisper over a pile of personal effects under the light of a new moon, no candles to burn, no rituals performed under a veil of Spanish moss in bare feet. Dating is one of the least magical and miraculous things that occurs in our short time on this earth. It requires the same rote, dedicated work you need to do to lose weight, quit smoking or do anything that is difficult, that takes time, that is slightly unpleasant, but necessary. Like most things in our adult lives, to date successfully is a task best done alone. Here’s the rub, friends: when we deal with the tricky unpleasantries of life that require determination, willpower and confidence alone, with nothing but our interior monologues to shut us down, that’s where the trouble starts. Sometimes, blaming your lack of success on everything else around you is the easiest way out. Perhaps we should consider an irrefutable fact: you are your own worst enemy. Keep reading »
Life as we know it is a series of small, careful choices that we make day in and day out. We choose to watch television, to go to yoga, to eat that last piece of cake, to go the long way home instead of taking a cab. We make these choices as a part of life with little thought and a decided lack of consideration. If you’re single, and decidedly so, that’s a choice — an easy choice to make for some, a difficult choice for others, but what does it mean when you decide that you want to choose to date, but aren’t sure how to go about doing it?
The concept of making yourself available is a notion that is more difficult to put into practice than it sounds. We spend so much of our time being available only to ourselves — choosing what we want to read next, or where we want to go on vacation, or whether or not to eat Chipotle two days in a row for lunch. These are choices that come like second nature to us. To make the decision to let your delicate, quivering soul out into the universe is a terrifying one, but it is necessary if you choose to be available. Keep reading »