June 2nd, 2011 — 1:10pm
When it comes to online dating, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how it’s a breeding ground for strange behavior. I was reminded of this the other day, with an unexpected email from a bachelor I’d connected with on OkCupid.
As I mentioned here, said guy and I were supposed to meet for drinks last month. At the last minute, he cancelled our drinks date because of work. In his text message, he also revealed that he’d been in AA for more than a decade and would rather meet for coffee.
A few days later, Mr. Coffee Lover sends me a text wishing me a Happy Passover — but makes no overture about rescheduling. I respond with thanks, thinking that was that until he sent me this missive yesterday:
“It seems your life revolves around drinking alcohol and mine doesnt. good luck in your search..no need to contact me again…really not into those that need alcohol in order to meet me. AA could use a woman like you ..”
Um, call me crazy but this seemed like a slightly extreme overreaction. And I told him as much in my response, adding that I would happily have met for an activity that didn’t involve drinking had he bothered to follow up and reschedule.
More bizarre still, the guy answers my email by informing me that he’s already found someone else who could work with his ‘crazy’ schedule.
“This new one is beginning to become an assistant for me as well for business…so best of both worlds..been having tons of fun with life…”
Which only begs the question — then why are you still contacting me?
Sigh. Simply another reason to be thankful that, for the time being, I’m offline.
| dating dos and don'ts, OKCupid, online dating
April 4th, 2011 — 8:51pm
Saturday, I caught up with my good friend and fellow single gal B. Over a delicious brunch at Bistro 61 on NYC’s Upper East Side, B and I got to talking about dating etiquette — and how it seems to be an increasingly lost art these days.
Case in point — the Jdate guy who B has gone out with twice. After their first date, he suggested multiple times they get together at his place so he could demonstrate his massage prowess (clearly a popular line among online bachelors, as an OkCupid member recently suggested likewise to me at the end of our first date). When B declined, he said his only free time would be following a work-related dinner — and then proceeded to be more than an hour late in showing up.
During a dinner date this weekend with an online guy, I was reminded that men too are dealing with strange behavior. My date told me he’s gone out with multiple women who’ve expected him to send (and pay for) a car service to pick them up. When I insisted on paying for the movies, he told me that was a first for him.
I was floored. For as much as I’m a believer in traditional mores when it comes to who pays on a first and second date, I also think it’s bad manners not to reciprocate. Whatever happened to putting your best foot forward when you’re getting to know someone? Has online dating reached a point where people don’t think twice about being inconsiderate of people’s time or money?
Despite what he’s experienced, my date would beg to differ. He couldn’t have been more of a gentleman — and an inspiring example of dating with class regardless of how many times you’ve experienced those who choose not to.
| dating dos and don'ts, JDate.com, OKCupid, online dating, Upper East Side
March 19th, 2011 — 7:30pm
When you’ve been on enough first dates, you inevitably find yourself feeling a sense of déjà vu during the experience. At no time is that more true than when you meet someone you’ve connected with online.
You’d think that having already seen your date’s profile, you would be able to dispense with some preliminaries and move on to more substantive conversation. What I’m finding increasingly, though, is the opposite. Bachelors online seem stuck in a rut of asking questions they should presumably know the answers to already. For example–
“What kind of music do you like?”
“How do you spend your time when you’re not working?”
“Where do you live?”
All would be perfectly acceptable lines of inquiry if you are connecting somewhere outside of cyberspace. But as I find myself regurgitating details from my online profile more often than not, I can’t help thinking how tedious and unnecessary it is.
I think an online date is kind of like a job interview. You should do your homework ahead of time and know who you’re talking to. Only then do you stand a chance of having the kind of dialogue that doesn’t feel like Groundog Day all over again.
| dating dos and don'ts, first date ettiquette, online dating, online dating profiles
January 6th, 2011 — 1:35pm
The other night, over dinner with my friend T, we got onto the subject of a conundrum that seems to come up more and more these days — not knowing when a date is, in fact, actually a date.
With some of the more obvious indicators (i.e. a man picking up the check or holding a door for you) no longer de rigeur, you can’t always tell whether an invitation is of the romantic variety. T recently reconnected with a male friend. They went out a few times but it wasn’t until get together #3 that he asked if she would like to go on an official date.
T’s story resonated with me because I recently experienced a similar situation. Just before the holidays, a cute tri-state media guy who interviewed me about my European Dating Blitz suggested we meet for dinner. Was, I wondered, he just interested in finding out more about my trip — or interested in me?
As we fell into easy conversation, it occurred to me there was a definite upside to not knowing the answer. Without any date-related pressure, I felt no pressure to do anything other than have fun. I was reminded of some great advice in my client Roy Sheppard’s book, How To Be The One. In writing about the value of, as my wise mother used to say, going with the flow, he says:
“Take people as you find them. And refuse to allow yourself to think ‘What If?’ Do not judge or ‘dismiss’ anybody. Have no expectations whatsoever.”
In other words, enjoy the moment — a truly liberating concept.
So, like I said, that’s exactly what I did. When media guy insisted on paying for dinner, I simply assumed it was because he’d extended the invitation and nothing more. Which is why I was happily surprised when he called the next day to say he had a great time. Natch, it was a date after all.
Who knew? Sometimes the best dates turn out to be the ones you don’t even realize you’re on.
| dating dos and don'ts, first dates, mixed signals from men
December 11th, 2009 — 5:45pm
I recently celebrated five months with my fabulous personal trainer Crystal. As we talked about this mini-milestone, I couldn’t help thinking that Crystal has outlasted any of the men I’ve dated during this period – and how much easier romance might be if men took a page out of the personal training playbook.
Have Regularly Scheduled Dates: When you’re working toward a fitness goal, you can only get there if you stick to scheduled dates with your trainer. The same applies to love, whether you’re in the throes of new romance or settled into a committed relationship.
Remember Likes and Dislikes: Crystal knows I prefer mat stretching to using foam rollers and keeps me into our workouts by remembering that when structuring routines. Similarly, remembering what your significant other likes and doesn’t like is an important part of sustaining a mutual spark. As the saying goes, love is in the details.
A Little Praise Goes A Long Way: Unlike our fiercely fit First Lady Michelle Obama, I don’t have supermodel upper arms. Which makes me all the more appreciative when Crystal notices a change in my guns for the better and says as much. When you’re dating, a little compliment goes a long way. My current romantic dalliance, HurryDater and PR exec E has a good knack for sweet nothings. There’s no better icebreaker.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Crystal and I ended up working together after my previous trainer left to go back to school. Open and honest communication helped us fall into a good groove quickly – just as it does when you’re getting to know a potential sweetheart.
Much like getting in shape, learning the dos and don’ts of dating is a constant work in progress. All the more reason to appreciate good counsel wherever you find it — even at the gym.
| dating dos and don'ts, getting in shape, love lessons, personal trainer