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Dating Don’ts: Valuable Lessons Gleaned from Reality TV

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Let’s face it, the best thing about reality TV is its ability to make ourselves feel better about our own lives. Bumming ‘bout your bubble butt—hey, at least you’re not as large as the peeps on “The Biggest Loser.” Angry your boyfriend cheated? Jerry Springer will make you grateful he was banging some coworker, and not knocking up your mom.

Oddly enough, most of these shows seem to be trying to deliver a message or lesson. The problem is that there’s a huge discrepancy between What They Want You to Learn (WTWYTL) and the Actual Lessons Learned (ALL). Luckily, I’m here to translate.
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Dating Don’ts: Who Gets What In A Breakup?

At a long-ago birthday party, my cartoonist friend Peter gave me a framed piece of his artwork. As he handed it over, he said, “This is for you, so no matter what happens with him, it’s yours.” At the time I thought it was weird. After all, my boyfriend and I were never ever going to break up.

When my boyfriend dumped me a few months later, Peter’s painting was the first thing I packed.

Though The New York Post recently ran a story about couples signing “pre-prenups” before marriage is even on the table, most cohabiting, or even co-existing, couples don’t bother. I mean, if it’s legalities you want, either get married or go down to City Hall and register as domestic partners.

And besides, without kids or shared property, what’s the law going to do for you? Gifts are one thing, but what of the random detritus that gets left behind? Is Johnny Law really going to help you get your Ramones shirt back? Probably not. So most couples figure this stuff out themselves. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How To Travel As A Couple Without Killing Each Other

Second only to his inexplicable ardor for overhead lighting, my boyfriend Spyro’s extreme loathing for travel is probably our number-one topic of, uh, discussion.

I love to travel and I’m not picky—I’ll go pretty much anywhere my credit cards can afford to take me. Once I decide where I’m going, I carefully research the best deals, amp up my excitement with guidebooks and daily internet searches, and so by the day I split town, I’m in a happy tizzy. I carefully pack the night before and make sure I’m at the airport two hours ahead of time so I can get in a quick pre-boarding glass of wine and maybe a little duty-free shopping. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Fight Or Flight?

The first time someone tried to rob me, it was four in the morning. I was in a desolate part of town, I was tipsy, and it was my birthday. A guy came up from behind my sister and me and tried to grab her purse. Without even thinking, I grabbed it back and screamed, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

Expecting an easy grab-and-go, the guy freaked out, turned and ran. I took off after him, intent on beating the crap out of him. At precisely the same moment, we both realized he was twice my size. He turned towards me and I high-tailed it back down the street, shrieking like the scaredy cat I am.

Now if I had to advise someone what to do if a big guy tries to rob them, threatening death and chasing him would not even be in my top five suggestions. But my beer-addled nervous system threw my body first into fight, and then into flight. (Thank God!)

There comes a time in just about every relationship where you get so angry at the other person, you’re not sure whether you should stay and duke it out (figuratively, of course), or throw in the towel and cut your losses. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Sensing And Resisting An Office Affair

When I read the gossip about Vanessa Paradis allegedly feeling so threatened by her man Johnny Depp’s upcoming on-screen sex scene with Angelina Jolie that she “forbade” him to take part in it, I rolled my eyes. Yeah, right.

My boyfriend, however, didn’t think this was a ridiculous rumor at all. “I think she’s being smart,” he said. Huh? Like Angelina Jolie is this all-powerful sex monster that zaps men of their free will and judgment, rendering them helpless at her feet, regardless of how attached and in love they might be?

I raised an eyebrow.

“It’s Angelina Jolie,” he insisted (emphasis his). Well, I see how long I’d last if my man were to come face-to-boobie with Ms. Jolie. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: To Catch A Cheater

There is possibly nothing more soul-destroying than finding out someone you love is loving on another.

The first time I was cheated on, I was out at a club with my very first boyfriend. I noticed a beautiful girl across the room staring at him, then the band started playing, things got loud and suddenly my boyfriend was nowhere to be found. Oddly enough, she was gone too. Fifteen minutes later, I saw them skulk out of the bathroom together. Ouchie! Keep reading »

3 Big Things To Avoid On Valentine’s Day

Over at the Daily Mail today, there’s an, um, interesting article about what you should and shouldn’t wear if you want to get lucky with your date on Valentine’s Day. The writer, you see, has been schooled by plenty o’ men and has learned designer duds and super high heels scream “high maintenance” to all men and will guarantee you’ll be spending the night alone. Find out what she says to avoid, as well as my suggestions, after the jump … Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How To Make Sure Your Apartment Isn’t A Boner Killer

You know how experts claim that most couples fight over sex or money? Not in my tiny apartment, which I share with a 6’5” dude and two cats. What we fight over is décor.

If he were in charge of our home, everything would be bright, white, and utilitarian. There’d be no blood-red living room, featuring Ganesh and Jesus duking it out for wall space. No piles of books and no throw pillows (he especially hates the latter).

But because real estate in New York is insane and my apartment is cheap, my man moved into mine, which (I believe) negates his right to complain because he knew what he was getting into. He would disagree, but I already told you this was our biggest bone of contention. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: The Do-Not-Date List

Common knowledge of the dating variety dictates that unless you’re looking for heartache, you should stay away from musicians and bartenders.* While, yes, within every stereotype there is a grain of truth, I don’t think it’s fair to paint all these guys with the same bourbon-soaked brush. I know many perfectly sweet guitarists and gin-slingers who’d sooner commit themselves to a cubicle farm than cheat on their girlfriends.

The dudes you truly have to watch out for are the types you’d never guess were players or cads because they appear so straight-up, and seem so normal. For example … Keep reading »

Hey, Ladies, Can You Stop Doing This On Dates With Me? Thanks.

So, look. I’ve decided to write this article about stuff that people do on dates that sucks. Now, I’m a man who dates women, so a lot of these will be irritating things that women do; this doesn’t mean that men don’t also do all the same (or similar) annoying things.

I’ve been single since the Sumerians were settling Eridu (if you believe this psychic in New Orleans who told me my soul has been around — and single — since the sixth millennium B.C.), so yeah, I’ve been on a lot of dates.

I won’t claim I’m an expert, but I know enough to actually be helpful to you lady readers. In the interest of both men and women, I give you the eloquently titled, painstakingly wrought: “Things Women Do On Dates That Suck That I Wish They Wouldn’t Do Anymore.” Keep reading »

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