Tag Archives: dater x

Dater X: Shaking Off The Dry Spell

A wise woman—OK, Sharon Stone—once said, “Love is like the ocean. Sometimes the tide is in and sometimes the tide is out, and sometimes it’s like the frigging Mojave. Fortunately, I like the desert. I’m a desert flower.”

For the past two months, ever since The Juggler faded out, I have been hiking through the Mojave, stopping every once in a while to shake the sand out of my shoes. Keep reading »

Dater X: Dating As A Non-Smoker, For The First Time

I’m in a dry spell as it is, I worried. Will being a non-smoker further kill my game?

Will being a non-smoker further kill my game?This status update was from a friend from high school, someone who’s 31 years old—just like me. I couldn’t believe that anyone our age would be dealing with anything as scary as tumors and precautionary lung removal. I feel terrible for him and for his family. After writing him a note, I resolved: it was time for me to finally quit smoking.

Sadly, cigarettes have been a big part of my life. I started smoking as a teenager—my first was a Benson and Hedges Ultra Light that my middle school best friend and I procured from a vending machine at the arcade in the mall. From the very first puff, I loved the way smoking momentarily loosened the grip on my always-spinning brain. By college, I was smoking a pack a day with my roommate in the dorm room our friends had nicknamed “The Smoky Chamber.” At my first job, I remember the joy of meeting my co-workers downstairs for a smoke break and gossip session. Cigarettes have seen me through many a breakup and given me a mental release from stress of all kinds.

But I also know just how horrible cigarettes are. I remember the blackened lung pictures projected on a screen to look four times their actual size in health class. I’ve seen all the articles about the insane numbers of chemicals in a single cigarette. I’ve read all the surgeon general’s warnings as I unwrapped packs. I always vowed to myself that I would quit by age 30—the age I’ve heard that if you can quit by, you can virtually eliminate your risk of lung cancer. But my 30th birthday came and went with my lighting up outside my party, while flirting with a cute guy. My 31st birthday passed, too.

But last week, after reading that Facebook message, I knew I was really ready. I threw away the pack of cigarettes in my purse. (At this point, I smoke about a pack a week—a notable improvement from my younger years, but still pretty terrible.) I ditched the backup pack in my desk drawer. As I walked to the drug store to pick up Nicorette, just in case, a bizarre thought ran through my head: How will being a non-smoker affect my dating life?

Of all the things that could have popped into my mind at that moment, I was shocked that dating and guys were the foremost on my mind. It was a connection I’d never noticed before—that smoking for me has always been social. (Notice that none of the scenarios above where I fondly remember cigarettes involve me smoking on my own.) As I thought about it more and more throughout the day, I realized that smoking is, insanely, something I associate with bonding with men.

Remember Dan, who I told you about last week? Our second conversation was over a cigarette in my high school’s parking lot. Brown Eyes? When we first met at that party two years ago, we were both holding cigarettes in our hand, and taking smoke breaks together has been a part of our friendship ever since. Crazy Dude? We cheesily shared a cigarette after having sex for the first time. The Juggler? We used to banter about what it meant that he was a Marlboro Man while I preferred Parliament Lights. Honestly, it would be hard to count all the hot hookups in my life that began with the lines “Got a light?” or “Can I bum a cigarette?”

I’m in a dry spell as it is, I worried. Will being a non-smoker further kill my game?

Will being a non-smoker further kill my game?

I got a chance to test it out a few days later on Halloween Eve. I met up with a group of friends at a bar in the city. We gathered around a table on an outdoor patio and as the smell of cigarette smoke wafted past my nose, I was more disgusted than titillated by it. I went to the bar to order another vodka and soda, and a hot guy in a pirate costume, complete with a faux parrot on his shoulder, started talking to me. “Excellent costume,” he said, admiring my Little Red Riding Hood get-up. (I wouldn’t see that Kim Kardashian had dressed as the same thing until a few days later.)

“Did you have to steal the parrot from a small child?” I asked. “Or did you purchase him specially for the occasion?”

He laughed. “I cheated,” he said. “I’ve worn the same costume for three years in a row.”

We talked for a few minutes. While I missed some of what he said over the loud music, I picked up that he is a web designer who loves to play darts. Just my style.

“Want to go smoke a cigarette?” he asked.

The wheels in my head began to spin. On the one hand, I was aching for that quiet, intimate, five-minute conversation a cigarette provides. But on the other hand, I really didn’t want to smoke. “No thank you,” I said. “When you get back, I’ll be waiting with another round of drinks.”

I ordered two drinks. As I waited by the bar, I had a moment of neurotic panic. What if he starts talking to someone else outside? I thought. What if her costume is better than mine? What if he thinks I’m an uptight priss for not smoking with him? What if …

Faux Parrot reappeared and smiled at me from the door. He tossed his coat on a nearby chair, and walked toward me. We chatted for another half hour. As I left, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and punched my number into his iPhone.

It’s been a week now, and I still haven’t had a cigarette. But my game has far from been extinguished. Bring on the non-smokers.

Dater X: Making The First Move

I remember watching Dan stroll into Chemistry 101. He had on a blue hoodie and was dancing to the DiscMan he held in his right hand. He sat down at a table across the room from me, not bothering to put his music away, even though the bell was about to ring. He turned around and scanned the room, and we made eye contact. I was instantly drawn to his gorgeous turquoise eyes and devil-may-care attitude. I realized I only had a second to make a move. Even though I’d been in my seat for more than five minutes, I jammed my binder in my backpack and high-tailed it across the room, lest anyone beat me to the seat next to him.

“Hey,” I said, slipping into the chair just as the bell sounded. “Want to be my lab partner?”

“Cool,” he replied.

A week later, he gave me a Smiths mix CD and asked if I’d be his girlfriend. We lasted for a month—which is the equivalent of a year in high school time. Keep reading »

Dater X: I’m Rewriting My Story

Last week, I came at you with the most depressing “Dater X” ever. I was feeling sad, and lonely, not to mention disappointed after realizing that Brown Eyes and I don’t have relationship potential after all. As I pressed send on that last column, I asked myself a question: Would you rather have met someone a few months after your last long-term relationship ended, and not have done the dating life for the past few years?

My first answer was: Duh, of course! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn’t actually true. I’ve learned a whole freaking lot in the past few years as a single woman—about myself, about people, and about the nature of relationships. I wouldn’t give that up. Keep reading »

Dater X: Single Loneliness Rears Its Ugly Head

I spotted Brown Eyes across the street, leaning against a wall outside the restaurant. He looked adorable in his thick scarf, fiddling with his iPod. As I walked up, he smiled and greeted me with a sweet kiss on the lips. It was the kind of hello we’ve never given each other before—after all, for the past two years we’ve been just friends. “This date is gonna be good,” I thought.

Cut to an hour and a half later. Keep reading »

Dater X: Why Does Rejection Make Us So Angry?

I looked at his profile before I read the email he sent—a rookie online dating mistake. The guy in the photos looked highly attractive—green eyes, a shaved head, a strong, square jaw line, and an impeccable sense of style. In his answers to the cheesy profile questions, he managed to seem funny and charming. I had a good feeling as I finally opened the email he’d sent me.

“Hey gorgeous. Ran across your profile, and you are so my type it’s scary. Hope you don’t mind that I am picturing you naked. You into something casual? Think we’d have mind blowing sex.”

Keep reading »

Dater X: Crushing On A Friend

Last Wednesday morning, at approximately 10 a.m., I typed an email to my friend, Brown Eyes. I noticed as I was writing that it was taking me an unusually long amount of time to compose a four-sentence email to a friend I talk to at least a few times a week. I also noticed that I was deleting an awful lot of sentences and rewriting them from scratch, trying to make each line just that much more clever.

I hit send, and immediately felt anxious. Five minutes later, I logged back into Gmail, hoping to see a bold line in my inbox highlighted with his response. Naturally, there was only spam.

I checked my email again at 10:10. And again at 10:12. And then it dawned on me: do I have a crush on Brown Eyes? Keep reading »

Dater X: Can Single Peeps And Those In Relationships Just Get Along?

“Dump them both!” exclaimed Sabrina, taking a sip of a gin and tonic before brushing her lush black hair out of her eyes. I’d just told her about the same dilemma I presented you guys with last week—that I was dating two guys and not feeling that into either of them. “Trust me, I know what it’s like to feel blah about guy after guy. And then to get rejected by the few you do feel something for. I did it for years, too,” she continued. “But someday you’re going to stumble into the wrong bar, spill your drink on someone, and your whole life will change.”

I should probably give you a bit of Sabrina’s back story. Keep reading »

Dater X: Dating Two Guys At Once Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

“It’s like in ‘Rushmore’ when Bill Murray cannonballs into the pool,” I said to Goldilocks, as we sat on a park bench watching a middle-aged man run through a field of sunbathers, barely noticing that he was almost stepping on people’s heads.

“I’ve never seen that movie,” Goldilocks said.

“Wait, I thought you said it was your favorite,” I responded, specifically remembering a conversation we’d had about the Wes Anderson classic a week ago.

“Nope, never seen it,” he said, shaking his head. “And that honor would belong to ‘Ghostbusters.’”

I laughed, but also felt vaguely crazy. And then I remembered the “Rushmore” conversation. It wasn’t with Goldilocks. It was with Band T-Shirt—the other guy I’m dating. Oops. Keep reading »

Dater X: The Craziest Emails I’ve Gotten Via Online Dating Sites

dater x

Earlier today, an email appeared in my inbox from OKCupid, my online dating site of choice. “New message from BananaMan5,” it read. The name was highly suspect, but I decided to check out the email anyway, just in case Mr. Banana turned out to be the hilarious, dashing, uber-creative man of my dreams. The email was short, just one line with a whole lot of exclamation points:

“I love poom poom!!!!!!!”

Keep reading »

  • Zergnet: Simply Irresistible

  • HowAboutWe

  • Popular