Category: Nominate A Date


July 8th, 2012 — 9:22pm

I wasn’t surprised when I learned ABC‘s The Revolution was being cancelled. In fact, I think I did a little happy dance. Why? Because of my disastrous firsthand experience as one of the show’s makeover guests.

Like many TV viewers, I’ve always felt a little envious watching before and after makeovers on shows like Today, Rachael Ray, etc. What, I wondered, would it be like to get a whole new look created by superstar stylists? So when I heard The Revolution was looking for guests to appear on the show’s “Timtervention” segment with Tim Gunn, I jumped at the opportunity. Especially since the theme was dating again. It seemed like a perfect fit, as I was in the middle of my Nominate A Date adventure.

The call sheet for my stint on The Revolution

As part of the interview process, I spoke with one of the producer’s several times. She asked me detailed questions about my fashion questions and concerns. I, meanwhile, couldn’t wait to discuss them with Tim Gunn. Visions of a revamped wardrobe danced in my head. How could they not when you’re thinking about meeting one of today’s top style gurus?

So at last, the day of taping arrives. I get to the studio around 12:30. I end up waiting a good half an hour before being brought inside — my first clue that this was going to be a long day. A friendly but frazzled associate producer (AP) finally escorts me up to one of the dressing rooms.

Within minutes, I hear Tim Gunn’s distinctive voice chatting with another guest before he comes to say hello. He greets me with a warm hug and kiss on both cheeks, and starts asking me about my style in such a curious, engaged way that I feel like I’m talking to an old friend.

When I admit that I’m not at my ideal weight, Tim happily commiserates. Waving his hand sympathetically, he quips–

“Oh girl, I was wearing two layers of Spanx underneath my tuxedo at the Oscars!”

We quickly talk through a few ideas before Tim is whisked away. Little did I know then that the day would pretty much be downhill from there…

The AP then takes me down a flight of stairs to meet with the show’s wardrobe director — only to discover once we get there that she’s not ready for us yet. So we walk back up to the dressing room as the former TV producer in me starts thinking, this show seems a little disorganized.

I soon discover that I’m not alone in this line of thought. As Tim and I rehearse the segment on set, he expresses exasperation at  poor planning and resulting production delays. I resist the urge to agree out loud before returning to my dressing room.

Up next…why I ended up telling very few people I was on The Revolution, and the most shocking part of my Timtervention.

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April 23rd, 2012 — 2:16pm

Friday night, I went out with Nominate A Date bachelor #9, Marcus, 33. Marcus and I initially connected last month, at our mutual friend .

Tall, sweet and very easy to talk to, Marcus planned a lovely evening for us that began with a leisurely stroll along NYC’s High Line. I wasn’t surprised to hear that photography is one of his passions. Marcus made a point of stopping a few times along the way so we could take in a few spectacular views,  including the sun setting behind the Hudson River.

We fell into easy conversation about our respective hometowns (he’s originally from Salt Lake City) and career transitions – his from human resources into financial services, mine from journalism to PR.  Marcus started out as a tuba player majoring in music education. I could see that because he has the kind of warm, engaging personality which would lend itself well to teaching.

The artichoke and cream pizza here is not to be missed. Yuuuum.

For dinner, Marcus introduced me to , a cozy pizza place in Chelsea, and to one of their signature dishes – artichoke and cream pizza. The mouthwatering pie is almost worthy of a blog post on its own, that’s how much I enjoyed it.

We ended up talking quite a bit about dating. When it comes to first dates, Marcus was very clear about what he considers the ground rules for them—

“Planned, paid off and partnered up.”

Meaning, he clarified, that chivalry is not dead – something he proved by insisting on treating me to dinner and graciously helping me with my coat.

Marcus asked me a lot about the blog and my various dating blitzes, managing to be inquisitive in a thoughtful, sensitive way.  He wondered what I’ve learned from it all. I found my mind drifting to various moments from each of these adventures, recalling the amazing people I met and many a-ha moments they led me to.

I told Marcus that some of the greatest lessons have been about the universality of the search for love, and the understanding shared by all singles regardless of zip code or country. I also realized how I was getting in my own way by holding on too tightly to the past.

One of the greatest epiphanies resurfaced as Marcus and I were saying goodnight.

“Let’s definitely stay in touch,” he said. “I want to hear about your future dating projects.”

I cringed when he said this.  Because it reinforced the downside of taking an unconventional approach to meeting new people – the perception that you’re only interested in adventure for its own sake. Though I have no regrets about any of my three dating projects, I am now officially done with them, happy to turn my attention toward slightly more traditional methods of connecting.

Here’s to the next chapter in my single life – and feeling completely ready for it.

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April 17th, 2012 — 9:52pm

Friday night, I met up with Nominate A Date bachelor #8 — Westchester attorney Mike, 48. Mike nominated himself after recently stumbling upon my blog.

Mike and I met up at East End Bar & Grill (photo: EastEndBar.com)

As we sat down for drinks and a light bite at East End Bar on the UES, Mike was surprised to discover my day job has nothing to do with blogging.

“I thought being single was your job. I have to ask – is dating a hobby for you?”

“No,” I told him, literally having an a-ha moment about the singles scene in New York. Dating actually is a hobby for a lot of people here, a sport engaged in for its own sake rather than with any specific outcome in mind.

Divorced with two kids, Mike clearly isn’t one of those people. When I asked him if he had ever been married, he seemed surprised by the question.

“Any guy my age who says he’s never been married is either cheating or never will get married.”

I laughed at this refreshingly non-Gotham take on settling down, informing Mike that my experience of upper-40 something guys confirms it. A sharp, no nonsense kind of guy, he didn’t hesitate to reveal some of his own dating horror stories – including a relentlessly monosyllabic woman who refused to make eye contact and a bachelorette who attempted to saddle him with a pricey dinner bill on their first date.

Mike also shared how his experiences working in the military and as a cop helped prepare him to be a lawyer. I found myself thinking of my journey from journalism to PR, and being happily reminded that each chapter really does lead to the next.

When you’re single, it’s easy to feel like that’s not necessarily the case – because you don’t know where the journey is going to take you. But when I look back at the landscape of my love life so far, I see that each experience has shaped me in some way, sharpening who I am and my vision of the partner I hope to find. And in the land of dating for sport, that’s definitely something to smile about.

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April 7th, 2012 — 5:41pm

 Since starting Nominate A Date seven weeks ago, I’ve mentioned more than once how it’s proven connecting offline is much better. As I wind down this adventure, I find myself reflecting on a few other lessons I’ve learned along the way too.

Men will make the first move – if you make it easy for them to: Three bachelors actually nominated themselves as soon as they heard about what I was doing. And I think a big part of that was because I made it clear I was open to meeting anyone, and that this isn’t about putting the pressure of “are you the one?” on a first date. Speaking of which…

Sometimes dating is simply about having fun – and that’s okay: I went out with one Nominate A Date guy a handful of times. We enjoyed some laughs, smooches and great meals but the lighthearted tenor of our conversations made it clear we were only a temporary thing. Not every romance has to be a big love affair to be enjoyable.

There’s no way around it — dating in NYC is harder than it is anywhere else:  I guess you could say this experience, my third dating marathon, only confirmed what I discovered during the other two – Gotham is simply a tough town when it comes to meeting single thirtysomething men. Lining up dates was infinitely easier across the U.S. and in six European countries than it has been here.

Knowing what you don’t want makes it easier to identify what you do: In the interest of making the most out of Nominate A Date, I intentionally opted for a big age spread (27-47) and just say yes mentality. Because of that, I had the chance to meet a variety of men I would not have otherwise. In their own way, each of them confirmed what I can compromise about in a partner and what I cannot do without.

I’m looking forward to applying all that I’ve learned as I move forward in my single life. Especially when it comes to the having fun part.

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March 24th, 2012 — 3:04pm

As I recently mentioned, would be went MIA. So, in the adventurous spirit with which I started this journey, I opted to loosen the parameters and go out with Kash, an OkCupid member who nominated himself.

Earlier this week, we met up for drinks on the Upper East Side. Much as he seemed in his profile, Kash was well spoken and thoughtful, happy to share his take on writing, what he enjoys about his day job at a law firm and how he manages to juggle work with finishing up his master’s degree.

At 30, Kash falls within the broad age spectrum (27-47) I’ve been open to for – which also happens to be beyond my dating comfort zone (38+).  Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a big believer in shaking things up. The older I get though, and the more miles I log in this journey called singlehood, the more I am realizing that there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want — and what you don’t.

As I listened to Kash talk about his aspirations and newness to the online dating scene, I was reminded of why my dating type skews older than he is — because it usually means having more in common and, for me, more of what it takes to spark a genuine attraction. Though I’ve had some fun flirting with younger guys, I’ve always been most drawn to men who are my chronological peers or older. Being at the same life stage makes romantic chemistry feel grounded in something more substantial. Especially when the connection begins through mutual friends instead of online.

With only a few weeks left of Nominate A Date, I’m appreciating how this process has taken my love life offline and somewhere a lot more fun than cyberspace. Cupid tends to have a much better track record when he’s not confined to a computer.

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March 18th, 2012 — 10:36am

It’s no secret that dating sometimes leads to moments of crossed signals and miscommunication. And then, there are those head scratching moments that make you go — huh? That’s exactly what happened after I connected with the guy who was supposed to be Nominate A Date bachelor #6.

A few weeks ago, we chatted on the phone. After lightheartedly poking fun at Nominate A Date, he tells me in an awestruck tone about the biggest surprise he’s encountered since moving to NYC from Florida – how much casual dating goes on here. His online dating inbox, he says, has been flooded with messages.

At one point, he asks me –

“So, are you waiting for someone to give you a glass slipper?”

Much as I admit to having Cinderella-sized hopes for finding love, something about this comment seemed a bit, well, not so Prince Charming-like.

With plans to get together the following weekend, Mr. Florida and I agree to reconnect in a few days. He gets in touch first to postpone our date  because of a charitable commitment. I say ‘no problem’ and that I’ll follow up during the week via text to confirm. I do. Three days later, I receive this response:

“Hi I didn’t mean to blow you off, you seem very nice, but you all seem busy in your life. Manhattan is a busy place and you can easily be caught up in it. I sort of met someone and trying to see where it goes, I don’t serial date as they say.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed a lot of single people and I’ve been asked out numerous times so I’m nothing special. I know I made a promise to you and I’m a sweet and nice guy and I never break my word. So blowing you off is not what I intended to do, I am just so busy as you are and I really don’t give most people the time of day. It’s just that I’m so tired of liars and people that just waste my time with nonsense.

I’ll meet with you at some point, just don’t want you to think I’m rude or anything. It’s just when I spoke to you on the phone it was very brief and then I didn’t hear from you after that for like four days so I figured you may have been interested in others.”

Whew. I was more than a little confounded by this explanation for ‘not’ blowing me off. Was I somehow at fault for not following up sooner after he postponed our date? Did he think I fell into the category of nonsense-peddling liars who he’s clearly had his fill of?

I quickly texted back to say best of luck with his new romance and leave it at that. Which prompted this:

“I am more honest than most and I don’t lie. I apologize for any inappropriate comments. I don’t date multiple people…I’m not in a relationship per say so I’m not off the market.”

Hmm. Sounds like he has a few things to figure out. Then again, I think when it comes to navigating the murky waters of thirtysomething dating, so do most of us.

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March 11th, 2012 — 6:12pm

As someone who is bone tired of online dating, I’m a big fan of websites that make it easier to connect offline. So I was excited to hear about , a site created by veteran bartender Teresa Rivera that connects members and suggests ideal bars based on a variety of variables.

Each bar has a profile highlighting hook-up potential, guy-to-girl ratio, vibe, etc. The website’s team also stalks the City’s top bars, so that members can see the hottest venues for a particular evening. During the registration process,  Barstalk.com asks you to fill out a brief profile with info including favorite spots in the city, neighborhood, and what qualities you’re looking for in a match, etc. One of my favorite features — an “Anonymous Check Out” button that enables members to view matches while remaining discreet.

When my date for this weekend fell through, Barstalk.com founder Teresa graciously and quickly came up with an alternate candidate – 34-year-old J, a good-looking, soft-spoken personal trainer and Connecticut native.

Del Frisco's Grille in Rockefeller Center has a much cozier vibe than its sister restaurant on Sixth Ave nearby

J trekked in from the Bronx for our drinks date, which got off to a good start with him guessing that I’m closer to 30 than not. We met up at in Rockefeller Center, which has a fantastic cocktail menu and ideal low-key ambience for conversation. J filled me in on his upcoming trip to South Beach, why nothing and no one comes between him and an Oakland Raiders game and what he doesn’t like when it comes to food.

He also mentioned a seven-year relationship. His ex-girlfriend actually came up a handful of times. Even though it happened organically, it got me to thinking about mentioning old flames on dates in general. It’s a topic that has surfaced a few times since I started Nominate A Date about a month ago. One guy did it only in passing as we were comparing notes about online dating disasters. Another bachelor, the only one I’ve gone out with multiple times, spent the last part of our third date telling me about his month-long stint on OkCupid.

Admittedly, these stories can be amusing at times (after all if they weren’t, dating blogs wouldn’t exist). I’m just not so sure the first few dates with someone should be a forum for them. Because, frankly, it’s a buzzkill.

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March 4th, 2012 — 8:49pm

Today, I met up with Nominate A Date bachelor #4, personal trainer and New Jersey native SK.

SK and I were introduced through our mutual friend, the fabulous Liz of . Liz raved about what a thoughtful, caring and all around great guy SK is – qualities that all came across during our pre-date communications. We discovered mutual interests in writing and movies, and easily continued the conversation in person at Hell’s Kitchen bistro Pier 9.

Pier 9 serves up a delicious, budget-friendly brunch in a lively bistro setting

Over a delicious brunch (lobster mac & cheese, crab supreme scrambled eggs), SK and I talked about the winding road of our careers (including having both worked at 30 Rock), our passion for concerts of the 80’s music variety and nostalgia for a time when technology didn’t completely saturate our daily lives. We had some laughs about Commodore 64 computers, the impatience that texting breeds and the inevitable perils of online dating.

SK shared the story of a Match.com ex that demanded he return all of his birthday gifts, including a movie gift certificate. I admitted to cancelling post-breakup the value of a movie gift certificate I had purchased for an Match.com ex of mine. He chuckled, quipping that he would keep in mind that this is an option should future scenarios warrant it.

After brunch, we walked briskly over to Theater Row Diner, a cozy coffee shop that serves decent dessert and hot chocolate. SK asked me what I look for in a guy. I thought about it, and said that experience has taught me to look for whether someone is close to their family and friends. Because people who are tend to be pretty grounded. We both had something of an a-ha moment, realizing that paying attention to this one thing could have prevented more than one ill-fated past relationship.

As we reflected on some love life lessons not so easily learned, I found myself feeling thankful all over again for what Nominate A Date has already taught me – that you can meet some great people when you’re willing to be adventurous. And, of course, that when it comes to matchmaking, the Internet doesn’t hold a candle to your friends.

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March 1st, 2012 — 8:44pm

Earlier this week, I was quoted in about recycled romances. The story cites a new Kansas State University that says most of these relationships rarely have a different outcome. I couldn’t help thinking how this is one lesson I know all too well.

Altogether – including the one I shared with MSNBC.com’s Diane Mapes – I’ve done the multiple breakup routine with five boyfriends. Considering that I’ve had a total of about seven relationships, it’s a pattern that has been something of an Achilles heel for me. Especially when years and geography have often conspired to make me view old flames with more nostalgia than I probably should.

There is, of course, always the exception that proves the rule. Reconciling with one particular boyfriend served to cement his place in my life as someone who will remain beyond a friend albeit not quite a lover. And my yo-yo dating style of years gone by has also served to teach me that I know myself pretty well when it comes to recognizing that a relationship isn’t working anymore. I’ve gotten much better about not wasting my time or anyone else’s and, at 38, it’s long overdue.

Leaving the past where it belongs means approaching the present with a completely clean slate. Which is why I’m enjoying my Nominate A Date adventure. I’m appreciating exactly where I am, completely open to wherever this takes me.

How great is that?

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February 27th, 2012 — 9:01pm

Wednesday night, I met up with Nominate A Date bachelor #3, New Jersey resident Kai. Our date is a wonderful example of how serendipity sometimes has a romantic streak.

Kai recently attended a disastrous speed dating event — attended solely by him and a few women. The event took place at a comedy club, so Kai ended up as the target of a few performers. He handled it so graciously that he caught the attention of my friend Annabel. Annabel has a good track when it comes to playing matchmaker – she set me up with from my European Dating Blitz.

Knowing about my adventure, Annabel mentioned it to Kai. He proceeded to send me an email that confirmed her initial impressions of him as a fun, easygoing guy. Especially when he referenced Nominate A Date in a way that indicated he had a lighthearted view of my unconventional approach to meeting new people.

Kai and I enjoyed cocktails and great conversation at Reunion Surf Bar (photo credit: DailyCandy.com)

As soon as we met, I was struck by Kai’s great smile, warm personality – and knack for picking an ideal place in which to get to know each other. Our first stop was Reunion Surf Bar, a fun, flirty downstairs bar tucked away in Hell’s Kitchen. The beach hut vibe and steady soundtrack of 70’s and 80’s pop music makes you feel like you’re anywhere but in the city. Kai and I found plenty to talk about with our mutual love of travel, karaoke and taking bold leaps of faith where dating is concerned.

We traded a few speed dating horror stories before heading onto Mercury Bar, where the effortless conversation continued as we sat closer to each other. I found myself smiling a lot and feeling none of the awkwardness that often goes along with a first date.

Chemistry was the word that kept coming to mind after Kai and I said goodnight nearly five hours later. And how you never know when or where it’s going to find you, so why not just embrace that?

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