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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: dating

Day 523: Advice to the Tinderers

In an attempt to be a social butterfly (instead of one of those irritating moths that gets trapped flying around in the lampshade when the light’s been on too long), I recently re-downloaded Tinder.

For those of you in-the-know, Tinder has been around since 2012 as an alternate to other cold sweat and anxiety-inducing online dating platforms like OkCupid. It’s much simpler and less work to manage. It hooks into your Facebook profile and let’s you choose one main photo, five extra photos and add a short “about me” paragraph. In addition to the photos and paragraph, other users see your age, how many miles away you’re located, any Facebook friends you have in common, and any mutual interests you identified on Facebook (although, I haven’t bothered to add any new Facebook interests since approximately 2007—has anyone?).

Aside from one super creepy message from someone who is apparently known for sending creepy messages (Dude. You know who you are. Stop being a creep.), it’s been fun to see who’s around. It’s really, really, really (really) easy to tell which Tinderers are looking for—erm—”short-term experiences,” and which ones are actually interested in meeting interesting people. And the ability to cross reference potential matches with mutual Facebook friends is a huge benefit.

Since Tinder users have to make most of their initial assumptions about each other based on six photos and not much text, the photography becomes extremely important. And telling. In keeping with my habit of offering unsolicited online dating feedback, I have some advice for folks (specifically guys) about how to make the most of Tinder photos.

The Advice

1. You can only use six photos, so don’t use the same one twice. Or worse, three times. This app is super easy to figure out, so it’s not a good expression of your intelligence if you don’t get how to use it.

2. Understandably, most of your Facebook photos are probably of you out and about with your friends, because that’s when people take pictures. But you with a beer in each hand and a bro on each side in every photo suggests you don’t have many outside interests. Add one of you with your dog, or your favorite board game or your roller blades. (The ladies are pretty good at sussing out staged photos, so you might as well be honest about what you like to do.)

3. Pick at least one photo in which you’re identifiable as the subject. You’re virtually invisible when all of your photos are of groups of people. Which guy are you? Trying to figure it out is like a weird Where’s Waldo game, only everyone is Waldo and they all wear sports jerseys.

4. Keep the close-up mustache shots and fishing photos to a minimum. For more information, see Day 115: Advice for Dudes.

5. Be yourself, and represent yourself as such. Per the number 2 parenthetical, don’t bother trying to trick people into liking you. This applies to more than just your images. There are so many different types of people in the world, all looking for different types of relationships. Be honest about what you’re looking for—odds are, someone else out there is looking for the same thing.

Day 253: More Books, Less Dates

I started writing a post about being 30 and single (which is both awesome and exhausting, much like being in a relationship at any age), but I became distracted by The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (thanks to my college friends for posting it on Facebook within mere moments of its creation).

Anyone who watched any of the seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls knows that Rory Gilmore loved a good book. In scrolling through her character’s eclectic and sophisticated tastes, I had a sudden epiphany—

I need to read more books and go on less dates.

The Gilmore Girls

I’ve gone on more dates this year than I probably have in all of my previous years of life combined. Two thirds of them have been via online platforms—and I’ve met some really interesting, intelligent and totally not-scary people through the world wide web. I even recently downloaded Tinder, against my feelings of skeptical doom that it would be a creep-fest (it’s not).

The thing is—in my effort to go on more dates, the novelty of the first date has worn off. And the pressure of a second date is too high for me to consider. I’m in first-date burnout, second-date commitment-avoidance no-man’s land.

So, I’m turning to the books.

Of the 339 books Rory was seen reading, I think I’ve read 54 of them. But I listened to The Secret Life of Bees on tape, so I’m not sure if that counts. And if I remember correctly, I never finished As I Lay Dying because it was ridiculously depressing.

I’d like to say I’m going to jump right back into reading with something like The Portable Nietzsche, but I started Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) a few months back and recently found it in my suitcase. I’m going to start by finishing that one.

If you’re interested, you should stop dating and/or watching Storage Wars and check out the reading list with me. There are some excellent books on there.

Happy reading!

Day 115: Advice for Dudes

Okay, guys. If you have an online dating profile, I have some advice for you.

Since I can only write this from my own perspective, not all of my advice may apply to you. But I’ll try to keep most of it universally applicable.

The Advice

Do ask someone to proofread your profile.

Do not mix up “you’re” and “your” or spell “intelligent” wrong.

Do include pictures of you smiling. Everybody likes a smile.

Do not include close up photos of your mustache. A surprisingly large number of you do this, and it’s actually really hard to tell you apart. Plus, I’m pretty sure mustaches were meant to be viewed in their entirety and not as individual hairs (ew).

Do let your personality come through on your profile, whether you’re goofy, serious, shy, etc.

Do not write generic phrases that could end up on every other person’s profile. Saying that you “work hard to play hard” doesn’t mean much without the context of the actual work or play. Also, what?

Do include pictures of you with your pets, kids, guitars, drums, siblings, rollerblades, friends, etc.

Do not include pictures of you with dead animals.

Do send messages to people you’re interested in meeting. Include a question or reference to their profile to let them know you aren’t spamming everyone on the Internet with, “Let’s talk. Meet me at Perkins.”

Do not berate the person you’re interested in meeting if they don’t write you back right away (or at all). Yelling/writing, “YOU’RE LOSS!” is not a successful way to get dates. (Also, see above.)

Do write about the things you like about yourself. Are you really good at making people feel comfortable (or uncomfortable)? Are you a rockin’ math tutor? Do you always win Jenga? Put it in your profile.

Do not refer to yourself as the most attractive, hilarious, well-groomed, smart, fit and humble person you know.

Do include your actual height.

Do not include someone else’s taller height. Your date will figure it out within the first half-second of meeting you.

Do include some information about the kind of person you’d like to meet. If it’s important that your partner enjoy running two-hour marathons with you, it’s worth a mention.

Do not paint yourself into a corner by being too specific about your ideal partner. You might be surprised to find out who clicks with you, and if you require too many traits, you’ll alienate some people you might really like.

In closing, do feel free to ignore any and all of this. (Except the mustache thing.)

Happy dating!

Day 90: She’s Funny

I started dating a guy (not from the Internet, although I do think he would appreciate my burning gingerbread house profile picture) who likes reading my blogs out loud to me. It’s a sweet but strange experience that makes me painfully aware of my tendency to use awkwardly long lists and excessive qualifiers.

A couple of evenings ago, he read aloud to me while I sat on the couch and tried to concentrate on a riveting episode of Chopped. In response to my squirming and grumbling, he amicably switched to reading someone else’s blog out loud. I liked that much better until he laughed and said, “She’s funny!”

In general, I don’t feel necessarily competitive (I was more of a “social athlete” in college), but I did feel a little “Oh-no-she-isn’t” twinge kick an extra beat into my heart. Three funny blogs in, I asked him to please go back to reading mine out loud instead.

Days later, I’m trying to figure out what stirred in me. Was it blog envy? Some kind of primal urge to mark my digital territory? Could I have been jealous of her humor prowess?

One of the wonderful things about blogging is that everyone can do it, regardless of how “good” they are. Any 13-year-old with public library access and a dash of tenacity can scoop up some online earth to call their own. So, I’ve always been comfortable knowing there are bloggers out there who are funnier, smarter, deeper, more cultured and more well-read than I am (even some of those 13-year-olds). They challenge the rest of us to be better writers.

As this post is read aloud to me, I’ll listen quietly and dig deep into my soul to source the cause of my discomfort. I’ll also try to use more metaphors.

Day 76: Dating Dancers

Here are nine things you should know about dating dancers (inspired by this clever post about dating architects).

1. Dancers’ tastes are highly prone to change. They might love pancakes and blues music on Sunday and then think pancakes and blues music are the worst on Monday. This adaptability serves them well in the studio. If a movement they imagine doesn’t seem to work in real life, they’ll change it. Or, they’ll spend three hours trying to execute it before realizing they don’t like it anymore anyway.

2. They’re a little stubborn. It’s impossible to lift another dancer while doing a handstand, you say? Watch and learn, buddy. Real-world translation: the dimensions of that bookshelf are too large for the allotted area, you say? Watch and learn, buddy. Two dented walls and a broken bookshelf later, everything fits.

3. They like dance and they’re pretty sure you’ll like it too if you see as much of it as they do. They may shield you from the two-hour “Objectified: Why Ketchup Makes Me Look Like Meat” solo show, but they’ll invite you go to see anything and everything moderately audience-friendly. The great thing is that you’ll actually really enjoy it (most of it).

4. They have anywhere from three to fifteen different jobs, at least two of which are unpaid. This makes them seem scatterbrained at times, but they’re actually highly organized and dedicated.

5. Dancers’ financial planning skills enable them to get from Point A to Point B, but Point B is probably only two months away. Or it’s tomorrow. Dancers’ art is ephemeral and so is their money. That said, they don’t want you to buy them things. They can take care of themselves.

6. They talk a lot about their perpetual injuries, especially when with other dancers. It’s important to note that they aren’t complaining; injuries are just common conversation topics. “How’s that strained psoas today, Jen?” “Oh, it’s fine. But my IT band is killing me. How’s your knee healing?” “Pretty slow. Check out these bruises!” “Ooh, pretty!”

7. To combat the injuries, they’re constantly getting massages, acupuncture, acupressure and a variety of other bodywork methods that aren’t covered by the insurance they probably don’t have. If they’ve been in the field for a while, they have a pile of bodywork receipts somewhere that you should please not touch or move. It’s their accounting pile and it’s arranged just-so.

8. Dancers’ wardrobes tend to be either vintage-trendy or I’ve-been-wearing-this-disgusting-shirt-since-sixth-grade-and-it’s-still-comfortable-so-I-love-it. They have mastered the art of layering and are generally un-bashful when it comes to changing clothes in public.

9. They’re quirky by nature and they appreciate other quirky people. Don’t hide your collection of 1960s troll dolls or the fact that you can’t get up from a table without knocking on it first. Their freak flags are generally pretty close to the surface, so you should always feel free to fly yours.