Tag Archives: dating

Dating is like finding your dream job: Part One

Well you guys, here we are again.

Let’s all collectively start singing Whitesnake’s “Here I go Again on my Own” in our heads (like I am right now). Actually, no WAIT! I like Queen’s “Somebody to Love” a little better. Cue it up, kids.

“Can….anyyyy bodyyyyyyy…..fiiiiind meeeee……”

Anyways. No I don’t want to talk about it and, honestly, no I’m not really ready to start dating again just…quite…yet.

However. 

We all know that inevitable moment is bound to occur. That moment when I take a deep breath and stop turning down dates with the excuse that I need to stay in to do my taxes (so, is that like the modern-day equivalent of saying I have to stay in to wash my hair?) (also, pro tip: If a girl turns down a date to do her taxes she’s probably not interested and you should stop trying) and put myself back out there.

Yes.

I’m talking about online dating again.

I’m talking about match.com and eHarmony and one word emails and “stages of communication” and “winks” and “nudges” and planning to meet in a well-lit area so I don’t get murdered, and potentially awkward fist kisses. When I’m ready. When I’m ready to hopefully not awkwardly make out with non-murderous men in Chicago. In well-lit areas.

Which means I eventually need an updated online dating profile.

The resume of the online dating world, if you will. And, just like when you start looking for that dream job (which I’m currently at, by the way), you update your resume. Dust it off. Ask for advice from others to make sure it “reads” correctly. And then, when it’s just right, you put it out there to grab someone’s attention in hopes of a mutual match.

So I figured “hey, why not update the online dating resume profile now, so when I want to get back out there, it’s just a simple click of a button to unhide it?” because that sounds like a great idea.

Until you’re drinking wine staring at a computer screen logged into match.com realizing you have to come up with a fucking screen name. Some witty one-word identifier to convey who you are so that someone clicks on your profile to read more instead of keeping on scrolling on. As if this whole process wasn’t bad enough, you have to find a way to market yourself so you don’t come across as yesterday’s left-over day-old pastry on sale at the shoddy bakery down the street.

“But Nixie,” I can hear you thinking, “who really cares about the screen name? I mean, should you really put this much pressure on something that doesn’t even matter that much? Shouldn’t the guy care more about you and not some stupid picked out name?” To which I say you have clearly never done online dating, scored through an insane amount of profiles, and started judging them based on this fact alone.

So I’m taking you down my very own Nixie Path To Hell. Let’s judge together, shall we, pumpkins? Here is a list of actual screen names found in the Chicago area, after typing in a legitimate search, altered slightly so I’m not 100% being a total jerk:

enjoysstuff (his profile pretty much said he likes doing things. Yup, things. And stuff. Very compelling, this one) (Seriously, I’m going to hell)

WooooooooChicago (ZOMG Wooooooooo! Yaysies!) 

ChiGuy1, ChiGuy2, ChiGuy3…..ChiGuyINFINITY SERIOUSLY COME UP WITH SOMETHING MORE UNIQUE ALREADY

Its_A_Sweater (and yes, in case you were wondering, he is very. very. very. hairy) (VERY)

Woofwoof2 (he has no dogs, nor does he list even liking dogs? So, I don’t…..?)

DrinkOrB_Gone5 (If this doesn’t have “I want to meet a fellow alcoholic” written all over it, I don’t know what does)

WittyAvocado7 (I’m going to hold out for the first 6 witty avocados I come across, first)

CleverScrnName (except….it’s not really?)

Chi_Wine_Guy (wait, hey…..we should actually talk….)

So pretty much I’m a jerk. But actually, let’s be honest, if the guy is educated and looks attractive, I still will most likely click on his profile. And, actually, the reason for this entire blog post is not because I want to make fun of other people’s screen names. I’m just stuck on what screen name to choose for myself. So I now have to come up with something equally as awful, so I can get the ball rolling on this.

Any ideas?

I’ll be staying in, singing “Somebody to Love” and doing my taxes while you think of something clever.

Match.com Form Letter #FAIL

Oh, the match.com form letter approach.

In theory, it’s the start of a great idea in the making. Create one basic message universal enough to copy and paste to multiple girls on match.com, therefore not wasting time personalizing an email to those accounts that are not paying active members, or those who are not interested in you. Get an email back? Then spend time crafting a witty response.

But here’s the problem. First of all, it’s completely transparent. They all say something insanely generic (i.e. “you have a great smile”) with zero indication they’ve even looked at your profile, about 90% of them have blatantly obvious incorrect grammar and/or spelling (not that I’m great at this, but if you’re going to copy paste something, wouldn’t you at least use spell check?), and about half of them don’t ask any questions to get a conversation rolling.

And looking through my friend Amanda’s match.com account last night at the bar, it appeared this was the communication style of choice by many as of late.

Maybe it was because we were drinking, maybe it was because we were annoyed at how little time these guys put into this approach (really, guys, you can’t make one comment about the profiles to show you’ve looked at them?!), or maybe it was because we were drinking (wait, did I already say that?) We decided to start replying. Words in bold are from an actual, unedited email. Responses are italicized. We’ll let you know if TRON responds.

Hey there!

Hiya!

I hope this email finds you in good spirit. 

Well, I’m drinking at the bar and there some really good “spirits” in the glass in front of me…so far, so good!

Your answers to these questions will help me determine if we are a vibrational match, in other words, compatible. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions only if you and me are right or wrong for each other. 

Thank you for explaining what the hell you mean by ‘vibrational’ because I was caught up on that for a second. Then again, I am drinking, so….Also, I really super hope I answer all the questions right and not wrong on this test.

Do you believed you attract what you think about?

I think about wine a lot and it’s in front of me, so….yes!

Do you rely on other people and external events for your happiness?

At the moment, I’m relying on the bartender for my happiness. Does that count? Also, I’m confused about part two of this particular test question – can you clarify what makes an event ‘external’ as opposed to ‘internal?’ Like, do you mean did it happen outside or inside, or…?

Do you seek validation of self-worth from others? 

Nah, I don’t think so. But can you let me know if I’m answering the questions right so far? Just to make sure I’m doing it right? Like, what do you think of me so far? 

Do you accept and allow others to be who they are? 

Wait, hold up. You mean I could have not accepted and not allowed my ex-boyfriends to be extreme idiots? This….this is an option?

Do you always practice looking for the positive aspect in everything, in everyone and every educational experience? 

Everyone knows that after college you’re totes done with educational experiences, so I know this is a trick question! Do I get extra points for figuring that out?

Do you believed and practice unconditional love by not trying to control people and condition to make you happy?

This test is starting to get really hard. I’m going to get another glass of wine and come back to this one, ok?

Do you appreciate leading edge thinkers and leading edge conversation that open up your mind and spirit?

Um….what’s an edge thinker? 

Are you generally a happy person?

We just got shots and can’t stop yelling “Wooo!” while smiling, so I think so, yes!

What do you think about and what do you that makes you happy?

Shots! Shots! Shots shots shots shots!

What’s more important to you, the way you feel when you are with your beloved or the way your beloved physically looks and the way he makes you feel?

Whoa. I read this one like maybe four times and am still confused how option one is different from option two, other than in option two the dude’s not ugly, so I pick number two!

I invite you to email me and answer these questions and we’ll see where it goes. Looking forward to your answers. 

Thank you for the invitation! I rarely get invited to things, so this made my day.

Thank you. 

Welcome! So, did I pass?!

Namaste,

Namawhat? 

TRON

 

“Dating Firsts” and the effort that goes into them.

Oh, dating.

Such an adventure! And in the beginning? An adventure entirely full of very important “firsts.”

If you’ve made the (dreadful?) (last resort?) (scary?brave decision to try online dating (good for you, pumpkin!) you get to experience a slew of firsts with any number of people in rapid fire.

First time being matched up online. First email. First time exchanging numbers. And, if all seems to be at least semi-normal, first time meeting someone.

From there, things get more selective and the pack thins out. There’s a first kiss, first time talking about the first kiss with your girlfriends, and down the road a few, uh, more intimate firsts (mom, if you’re reading this I’m totally talking about sharing secrets and not at all about anything to do with making out) (Jesus, I hope she never finds this blog). But there’s one very important one that often gets completely overlooked by gentlemen, and is completely nerve-wracking to us women.

The first time a guy comes over to your house to watch television and hang out while you are in pajamas. 

Ladies, I know y’all are nodding your heads right now. But gentlemen? Allow me to explain.

Up until this point, we’ve met you out dressed up, made up, hair all done up. We’ve been on our best behavior at restaurants (I still stand by my decision to use my fingers vs. a fork to eat calamari – it’s fried food for crying out loud!).

But then, all of a sudden you’re emailing some dude you’ve stayed up way too late with the night before, saying if he doesn’t mind seeing you in pajamas and glasses he can totally come over and watch t.v. with you. And he says “sure!” And you have to somehow pull of “casual” yet “attractive” all at the same time.

Then it’s five o’clock, you’re leaving work, and realize you have no cute-and-flattering-but-not-obviously-sexy pajamas. My dear pumpkins, you realize that you own baggy sweat pants and ratty t-shirts and if you are wearing that when said dude shows up, you may as well overbook your DVR because you’re going to hanging out on your couch alone a lot more often.

But wait! There’s a remedy! Old Navy is on the way home! And pretty soon what was supposed to be a quick stop turns into a half an hour errand-turned-fashion-show in the dressing rooms before the perfect pajama “outfit” has been selected.

And then it’s six o’clock, you realized you mentioned wine and since you never grocery shop there is no such thing at your house and a trip at the grocery store is in order. And what was supposed to be a five-minute stop turns into a 20 minute errand-turned-connoisseur-attempt.

And then it’s seven fucking o’clock, he’s supposed to be over in exactly one half hour, and you have just enough time to refresh your makeup, cut the tags off your pajamas, open the wine, and manage to look relaxed and refreshed.

But upon walking into your apartment, you realize while you were out running essential errands, your dog has shit all over himself. And it’s totally your fault.

And it’s not just a normal accident. Dog shit. Is. EVERYWHERE. All over the crate. His fur. His face. ALL OVER THE FUCKING WALLS AND CABINET NEXT TO HIS CRATE. Essentially, dear Hunter managed to have the most epic accident of his life and must have decided to perform a tap dance show in it to celebrate the event, followed up with a full body roll while it was still in liquid form. 

And then it’s seven-fif-fucking-teen, you’re bathing your shit dog, scrubbing the walls, the cabinet, the dog crate, and the bathtub won’t drain.

You’ve got to be kidding me. 

SEVEN TWENTY FUCKING FIVE. The tub finally drains, you manage to fit in a quick shower, refresh your make-up, cut the tags off your new “outfit,” open the wine, turn on the t.v., and take a deep breath just as the bell rings to start your low-key relaxed evening.

And then pack the same exact “pajama outfit” when he takes you on a trip to Seattle, secretly laughing about how he has no idea about that particular first event and the effort that went into it.

“The Perfect Week” Guy

***Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent***

This weekend, I carefully applied my make-up, did my hair, and selected a cute outfit. It was my second eHarmony date planned since arriving in Chicago and I was super excited to meet someone new and check out a fun place in the city.  I took the Metra in (I don’t move to the city for another 3 weeks), grabbed a cab, and stepped out to see my date standing in front of the bar, right on time, looking much cuter in person than his pictures. We’ll call him….Freddy.

Freddy put our name down for a table and walked me over to the bar to get a drink. He was a perfect gentleman, helping me take off my coat, and handing me the drink menu first to look over, first.

But then he started talking.

Within five minutes I learned the value of the condo he could have bought at Trump Towers. A short-sale for a little less than $500,000, it was still affordable to him – even with the $1,000 monthly condo association fees. I briefly wondered what he would think about the value of my former condo in Sun Prairie…and how he could have bought close to five of them at that rate….

Not wanting to talk money on a first date, I changed the subject to work locations. Turns out both our jobs are just off Michigan Avenue. He knew right where mine was, mentioning it was very close to the new Burberry store. I remarked that I had been there once but it was a little intimidating. Freddy then told me he did a lot of shopping there.

I immediately felt a tiny bit self-conscious of the Target Merona brand scarf I had with me…

Realizing I was out of my league in the knowledge of designer labels, I changed the subject to Chicago neighborhoods. Freddy talked about looking for a condo in the Wicker Park / Bucktown area at one point. I happen to love that area! But – and he actually made a sweeping gesture from his head to his toes to indicate he was referencing his clothes – he didn’t think he’d fit in there. Those Wicker Park / Bucktown area folks just wouldn’t know what he was wearing.

All I could think was I don’t know what labels you are wearing…are you sure you want to be out with me?”

Our table was finally ready and at this point I was just hoping he was super nervous and maybe he’d relax and I could get to know him. So we sat down. And the conversation turned to How I Met Your Mother, one of my favorite shows.

“My groups of friends and I, well we love that show. We all fit a role of one of the characters.” Said Freddy, rather proudly.

“Oh,” I said “so, are you the most like Ted?” It was an easy assumption. I mean, he seemed sweet (on his profile), and he was on eHarmony for crying out loud. Why wouldn’t I think he was the one on a quest for love?

“Oh no! I’m like Barney!” Freddy’s exclamation kind of threw me off. “Have you ever seen ‘The Perfect Week’ episode?”

I wasn’t quite sure where he was going with this. “Yeah, you mean the one where Barney sleeps with a different girl each night of the week, seven days in a row?”

“Yes! That’s the one! That was the first episode I saw and I was hooked right away. I’ve had a perfect week before, too!”

Oh. My. God.

File under: The things you just don’t brag about on a first date.

If that wasn’t bad enough, you guys, he actually followed it up with “Practice makes perfect!”

Over the next half hour, most of his sentences started with “I probably should not share this on a first date, but…” I learned Freddy lives across the street from one ex girlfriend and keeps in touch with all exes. Well, except the two different girls he had once been engaged to.  He boasted he was a “tell it like it is” guy and always straight forward and blunt. And he was very impressed that I didn’t recoil when he told his Perfect Week Story. Turns out most girls react to that declaration quite negatively.

“Damn, my poker face is getting pretty good.” Were my first thoughts, followed quickly by “if all girls are repulsed by that story, wouldn’t you think to stop telling it?!”

And so, I went on my way back to the train station. Not without Freddy first trying to get me back to his place to watch How I Met Your Mother Episodes. I politely told him I didn’t want to end up a Dateline special, or inspire another plot for Law & Order SVU, and got into a cab.

And the next day when he reached out, I told him I didn’t think we were a good dating match and politely wished him the best of luck.

Freddy can take his perfect week.

I’m still holding out for the perfect date.

Top 5 Reasons I’m Not Responding to Your Online Dating Profile

5. The Picture Fail.

I’d be proud of those abs too, but I don’t need to see 18 shirtless pictures of you, sans top, with your fist pumped in the air Jersey Shore style.

Or maybe you’re the guy with all the bad quality photos, taken by a cell phone. Which you are holding. In front of a mirror. In the bathroom. You know, the same room the toilet is in? Gross. 

A few recent (clothed) pictures where we can see your face is all you need.

4. The Rebound Fail.

We have all (hopefully) dated before. Which means we all (for better or for worse) have a little bit of baggage. And while I get that not every relationship ends perfectly, I don’t need to hear several times you are “very recently back on the dating scene.” And that you want to take things slow while you mend your broken heart and try to learn to trust again.

Trust me – this has “rebounding” written all over it.

3. Grammar, Spelling and Awful Words.

A lot vs. alot. There, their, and they’re. Or (my latest personal favorite) both using and misspelling the word “doosh.”

Look, a mistake here and there is fine. Lord knows I think spell-check is to email like red wine and drunk texting is to Girl’s Night Out. But if your messages and profile are littered with horrible spelling and incorrect grammar, I’m moving on to read something else.

3. The Copy/Paste Fail.

We know there are a lot of us on online dating sites. And we realize you can save a lot of time by playing the numbers game. But be careful, gentlemen. For if you copy and paste the same generic email to every girl who fits your criteria, sooner or later some of us are going to be on to you. Probably because our best friend (who is on the same dating site) called us to read your identically “dooshy” message while laughing at your Jersey Shore imitation photos.

I honestly admire the copy/paste theory. A short and sweet email, written well, can effectively save a lot of time. But in order to make it a success, please just mention at least one personal thing you read about us in our profile.

2. The One Word Email.

Recently, when I signed up for a popular dating site, I spent about an hour revising (and spell-checking) my profile before making it public. I was excited to see I had an email from someone within 15 minutes.

Until I opened it. The email had just one word: “Sexxxxyyyyyy.” Um…? But that’s ok because I got another one within the next fifteen minutes. I was excited again!

Until I opened that one. All it said was “Hey.”

Honestly, I’d rather have to wait an extra day or so to hear a nice and thoughtful message from you. If you don’t have time to write more than a word, wait until you do. If you can’t think of a message with more than one word, I promise we don’t belong together.

1. The Too Many Words Email.

On the other hand, saying way to much too soon can be a real downer.

This includes (but is not limited to): detailing the story of your divorce, telling us how you chose the name for your second child, divulging financial problems, declaring your love for bonsai trees passionately referring to bonsai tress as “your babies” multiple times, proposing marriage, and walking us through how you are a perfect match for every. single. last. one. of our personal details we mentioned on our profiles.

Just don’t do it.

I don’t consider myself an expert. I’m just your average girl trying to survive online dating. But stay away from these five things in the online dating world, and you should be good to go.

This single girl’s take on Valentine’s Day

You guys. I have a secret: I’m single. And I don’t totally hate Valentine’s Day.

In fact, quite the opposite.

How many of you out there watch How I Met Your Mother? For those raising your hands, hold tight a second. Everyone else, I need to fill you in on a reference I’m about to make.

Almost exactly a year ago, on Valentine’s Day in fact, HIMYM aired its 128th episode titled Desperation Day. Barney, the totally awesome womanizer of the group, gave this name to the day before Valentine’s Day. His theory was that single women would hook up with just about anyone on the 13th, desperate to land a last-minute date on Valentine’s Day

That night, Robin and her friends have a girl’s night. They pointedly wear purple as a protest against the holiday. Joining them later is their co-worker Nora. She shows up in yellow, claiming to have forgotten their pact to revolt against the color of love and the need to have a man on February 14th.

The thing is, Nora was keeping a secret. She didn’t forget to wear purple. She wore yellow because she was protesting their protest.

And truth be told, I’m on her side.

Yes I know it’s become a bit of a commercial holiday. Yes I believe it would be nice to celebrate it with a guy. And yes, at times a very small part of me could really care less about it in general, single or not.

But the thing is, I think it’s sweet hearing about all the nice things people do for each other on the 14th. It’s a date on the calendar that reminds people in relationships to stop and smell the roses (pun intended). To show appreciation. And, with all the terrible stories you come across on the news, why not indulge in a little more amore?

I may be accused of loving love. And I’m ok with that.

And in one week from today, if you see me wearing yellow, you’ll know why.

So about that book I’m writing about online dating…

You guys. Do I have horror stories from online dating?

Do I ever.

I was perusing through match.com and eHarmony before internet dating was widespread. Before it was a socially acceptable way to meet someone. Back in the days when people tried to keep it hush-hush and make up pretend ways you met, if things actually worked out. Back before cute, successful singles were featured on commercials having cute and succesful dates.

Player please.

I’ve been out with guys who looked nothing like their profile pictures (one I nicknamed “The Frankenstein Guy”). Guys who insisted I pay for the bill after a few beers (twice! He asked me out to dinner after the second time. I wrote back telling him I couldn’t afford it).

I’ve been stood up, left on a sidewalk on State Street in front of a bar by a blind date. He showed up 15 minutes late, walked by looking me up and down, and ducked into a doorway calling to cancel feigning an emergency. When I called him out on it, he said I was too tall. That same week I went out with a guy who, within ten minutes, told me he had Aspergers, that doctors wanted to medicate him for other various things, and that he would never succumb to mind altering drugs. You know. Since he didn’t want to change his personality and all. When I got up to use the restroom (read: figure out a polite way to get the hell out of there) he blurted out my frame was so not what he expected, being a marathoner and all.

You guys. That was a rough week.

There have been guys who have talked about nothing but ex-girlfriends. Guys who have gotten drunk off of two beers. Guys who bought me completely inappropriate gifts after only a few dates.

The memorable ones earn nicknames. For instance, “Fig Newton Guy” acquired his by telling a story about consuming too many Fig Newtons before running the Chicago Marathon. Which caused him to make a pit stop in a porta-pottie. Which he described in detail to me. Over dinner. At a Mexican restaurant.

(And I’ll bet he thinks I didn’t finish my meal because of some odd theory about girls not liking to eat in front of guys)

Despite the horror stories, I still think it’s a great outlet to meet people. At age 31 it’s not like I’m hitting up the bars on a weekly basis. And honestly, it cracks me up. Each date is either a great time, a snore-fest, or another adventure to live to tell about. So I approach it with a positive attitude. And why not? I may not be able to control the weirdos, but I can control my attitude.

That. And I can write a book about a girl who takes on the adventures of online dating.

So far, I have a title. I have an outline. I have characters, a plan, a plot, an ending. I’m 900 words in, with a goal of 65,000. All the makings for a work of fiction, based off of real-life experiences. My horror stories are now transformed from mentally exhausting situations into laughable writing material.

So here’s where you come in. If you or your friends have stories to share, I’d love to hear them. Sending them to me ensures I have full creative rights (read: if by some miracle I get published, I won’t be mailing out checks and I may change things around slightly to fit into the storyline). The idea is the main character experiences the same situations we’ve all suffered through and lived to laugh about. The book will be dedicated to each and every person willing to send me their tales. I’ve got some great feedback already (thanks Angie!) and welcome anything more that comes in.

If you’re game, I’m at nixietale@gmail.com.

xoxo,
Nixie