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 »
Even though I’m a cat lady by choice – minus the terrifying figurines and embroidered pillows – when my ex started dating someone new, my reaction was … let’s just say, unexpected.
I’d like to foreshadow this tale of my psychotic break by mentioning our breakup was totally mutual. It was one of those “Leave It to Beaver”-esque, respectful breakups that if re-enacted for stage and screen would be as exciting as sobriety.
There was the occasional sob – I mean, hello, we’d been together for five years! – followed by the classic after-all-we’ve-been-through-let’s-be-BFFs routine which ended with a joint custody kerfuffle over our cat (pffft, yeah right, and ruin my new persona?). All in all, a pretty mature outcome if you ask me.
We went on like this for about six months or so: chitchatting about work and school, sharing adorable cat pictures, and updating each other about our families.
Then, it happened.
The mofo started dating someone new and I was blindsided by the news in the most clichéd way possible: on Facebook. There, on my newsfeed, was his updated profile picture – a pukey couple shot from one of their dates, followed by nauseating comments from their family and friends. 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 »
Yesterday, I teared up over a iPhone photo of my high school best friend looking stunning in a potential wedding gown. It was captioned, “This could be the one!” My watery response startled me just as much as seeing a childhood friend looking bridal.
Two days ago, I felt a genuine jolt of elation upon seeing a different, dear friend’s engagement ring. I stammered to my mom on the phone, “I’ve known her since I was four and now she’s getting married!”
If I’d been confronted with wedding artifacts even six months ago, I would have eeked out my best ecstatic voice and plastered on a fake smile. Meanwhile my insides would have balked and squirmed. The feeling of being trapped in domesticity would have spread like a rash.
Now the only unpleasant feeling that emerges after getting engagement party invitations and the word “fiancé” is the lingering aftertaste of my anxiety. In the love arena, I’m far behind two girls I grew up with. Keep reading »
In my eight year stint as a single person, I became very proficient at dating and breaking up. I learned how to flirt, I became skilled at meeting men both on and offline, I developed coping mechanisms for making it through horrendous first dates, I came to understand how not to take rejection personally, I honed in on what I was looking for rather than who was looking for me and I came up with a protocol for moving on with as little emotional scarring as possible when things didn’t work out. (And I typically didn’t expect them too.) These were all incredibly difficult and, at times, painful skills to master, but I think I just about had them under control. And then a bout of dating fatigue and a stroke of dumb luck later and the thing that I thought would never happen for me happened — I was in a serious relationship faster then I could say DATING SUCKS. After the first few moments of being annoyingly in love (I still am), I found myself with my back up against an OH FUCK wall. Keep reading »