In my years of writing at The Frisky, I think I’ve mentioned (numerous times) that canned dating advice drives me crazy. Love and relationships are not a one-size-fits-all pair of shoes. All of our feet are different! Often our sex and relationship dilemmas are more existential in nature and can’t be solved with a simple how-to list. Every now and then, I get a letter from a Frisky reader (or a friend) asking for love advice. I admittedly don’t have all the answers, but I’ve found that I give the best advice when I share my own stories — as weird as they may be — and offer empathy. Inspired by Jack Handy’s Deep Thoughts, my new video series Date-Ade offers mini stream of consciousness meditations for stressed daters.
If you have a sex,dating or relationship dilemma that you’d like for me to try to illuminate (no promises), send me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie got a big advance for her book while her boyfriend, Jack Berger, watched his flounder? He was so jealous of her success! And he didn’t want to be that guy! As much as “SATC” got basically every single thing about relationships wrong, they still managed to kind of nail this one. Sometimes you are dating that guy, and you are that woman. Your career is on the up and up, while he’s either stuck in a job with no mobility, or straight up unemployed.
We live in a time when women are increasingly likely to be the sole breadwinners in their families and, in some career paths, we even get paid as much or more than our male colleagues. Which is awesome. It’s exactly what we wanted.
But it can also cause tension in relationships because, to be honest, we haven’t really collectively agreed on how to deal with the shift; women have been conditioned to behave as if men have more money, more career ambition, and more promise, even as statistics prove that is less and less likely to be the case. Below are some tips for how to deal when you’re blowing up, but the person you’re dating isn’t. Keep reading »
I started out my college dating career the way most girls do: with a boyfriend back home that I tried to breakup with before I left, but couldn’t quite go through with it. When I said goodbye to Danny* at the airport, he pushed a fishnet-gloved palm up against the glass (this was in the days when you could still walk people to the gate) and sobbed as I boarded a plane to NYC. I wasn’t crying, at least, not until I got to my dorm and realized that I was going to be crazy lonely. I called Danny and tried to sell him on keeping things going long distance. He agreed. It wasn’t until I met my (still to this day) best friend on the front steps of my dorm later that week and she also had a boyfriend back home she was trying to give the slip (also named Danny), that we mutually worked up the courage to dump our Dannys.
A free woman, my college dating career devolved into a series of mistakes wherein I consistently said YES to the wrong guys and NO to the right ones. I could roll the list out before you like double ply toilet paper: the guy with the infected tongue ring, the prematurely balding guy who invited me over to his dorm room to watch a James Bond movie (translation: try to get me to blow him), the guy in the wheelchair (who was really amazing until he left me for a girl who ended up moving in across the hall from me), the much older alcoholic who worked at a nightclub, the guy who told me I was “maladroit” when I fell off the hammock on his dorm balcony and then gave me a copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil to read if we were “ever going to get along,” the guy who left me for a porn star while I was studying abroad, the boyfriend who told me he was going on a road trip to New Mexico and then I never heard from him again. Keep reading »
When meeting people in real life became too much work, we went online to date. When online dating becomes tedious (and it pretty much already has), what’s next? We date through apps, obviously. After all, why spend hours combing through various online profiles, when you can just tap a button on your phone? If you haven’t heard of Grouper or Tinder or Coffee Meets Bagel, then… you’re clearly in a happy relationship.
Pshh. I’ll explain: Grouper is like a group blind date; you fill out a short questionnaire and it sets you and two friends up with three guy friends who are revealed at a given location. Other apps like Tinder show you pictures of potential matches that you can choose to like or pass, and mutual “likes” become grounds for further contact. And while there are positives to such dating formats, like maximizing potential suitors with minimal effort and taking screen shots and sending them to your friends for giggles, in the end, they’re all just as bad, or even worse, than putting in your time on OKCupid. Let’s flesh out all the things that can go wrong with these apps, shall we? Keep reading »
“Two years ago, I was depressed because I hadn’t found the true love of my life. I was like, ‘What’s wrong with me? I’m smart. I make money. I’m pretty. What’s going on?’ I told Jill [Zarin], who said, ‘Something is running in your unconscious that is preventing you from finding love.’ …The unconscious is the bus driver and if it has no map, it has no direction and that’s why you can’t figure things out … Forty eight hours later, David walked into my life … We are living together. Things are great. I’m really happy.”
–Patti Stanger gushes to People about how she met her soulmate, former baseball player, David Krause. Look, I’m terribly happy for everyone who finds true love. I believe in soul mates. And maybe David is Patti’s true love. All that is well and good, but what I can’t stand is her using her love story as a sales pitch for self-promotion. The other thing that drives me nuts in the whole “self-help-y dating advice” world is when someone peddles oversimplified versions of new thought principles stolen from the The Secret to reel people into feeling “single shame.” Keep reading »
The scenario is a common one – it’s happened to me and, while writing this piece, I did an informal survey and asked a handful of women in my life if they were familiar with the phenomenon of fake-friending. All them were. And almost all of them – myself included – admitted to having been on both sides. As a person with a lot of close male friends, I’ve fake-friended multiple new girlfriends in the interest of research (Because really? Her? Is she funny or something? He told me he doesn’t even like brunettes!), and I’ve been the new girlfriend who suddenly had a suspiciously good-looking college friend of my new boyfriend Facebook messaging me that “we should get together.”
It usually goes like this: a man and a woman begin dating and eventually get to a point where they start to meet each other’s friends. If they are well-adjusted, normal adults, they will probably have friends of both genders. Maybe it’s awesome. Maybe the new girlfriend and the female friends genuinely have a lot in common — they do have similar taste in men, after all — and everyone becomes friends and the world continues to turn in perfect harmony.
But probably, because humans are just sacks of guts and hormones, at least one of those female friends will likely have or have had feelings for the newly-spoken-for. Maybe they dated or slept together once (or for a while*) and it didn’t work out. Whatever the specifics, the dynamic is the same: the female friend doesn’t necessarily want to date the guy, but she doesn’t want him dating that girl. And instead of admitting that (and thus, admitting her feelings), the platonic female friend will launch an attack of niceness. Keep reading »