Hope and french fries.

So I sat down to write my South Dakota race recap, then logged into match.com “just for a second,” just to browse the emails. And an hour later, here we are.

Here we are with the new-found knowledge of a guy’s weight and body fat % progress, my horrible sense of geography, one hundred million “form letters” (slight exaggeration), and zero steps closer to one of those “relationship” things match.com keeps bragging about producing.

(Just to be clear, this is not my South Dakota race recap)

So the thing is, I paid for 3 months. And I feel like I should at least try to put some effort into it. I mean, otherwise what’s the point, right? I’m fairly positive about the online dating process and figure I just have to weed through some of the crap in order to meet the nice guys, and that’s just part of it all.

But then sometimes I’m a smart ass and can’t help myself. Like when I got this email: Continue reading

“Subscribe Now!”

So one week ago I downed some wine, took to the laptop, and finally put up a match.com profile. And over the next several days, I hovered over the “Subscribe Now!” button for quite some time before logging out, not sure exactly when I wanted to invest the money required to dive back in to this process.

And then I got a bunch of emails that I couldn’t read because I wasn’t a paying member and figured that I had to suck it up and put myself out there.

So I sat down, entered my debit card digits, and was so excited to connect with all of the fine men of Chicago. Continue reading

“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. Continue reading

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

No one responding to your online dating profile? Check to make sure you’re not doing any of these things:

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.

Continue reading

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.