In honor of Yom Kippur this past weekend I decided to have my own Day of Atonement by writing out some of my dating and relationship sins from the past year.
1. Saying I’m interested in going on another date when I know I don’t really mean it. Eek sorry guys. Sometimes when I say it I really do believe it and change my mind later, sometimes I say it hoping I can force myself to believe it, and sometimes I say it just to be polite even though I’m probably hurting your feelings more long-term.
2. Not letting go of the past. Ok this isn’t really a sin just a behavior that affects me negatively. I just try to keep reminding myself that that person I used to date who was really into me and who I had a great connection with does not exist. I cannot pick up where I left off with them because they are not the person who I make them up to be in my mind.
3. Comparing myself and my relationship to others. This one is tough because I didn’t have a great relationship model growing up and therefore I’m always guessing at what’s normal. Instead of wondering if I’m measuring up to my friends and peers I really need to listen to myself and how I feel about my dating situation. Comparison is the enemy of contentment after all.
4. Putting on my best version of myself mask for dates. Yes we all want to make a good first impression and be our best selves when looking for a significant other, but it’s important not to over-do it. I’ve realized that if you try to project your most “perfect” version of yourself in the beginning it’s impossible to maintain forever so eventually your real self comes out. When that happens the person you’re dating thinks “who the hell is this? This is not what I signed up for.” and ends the relationship which can feel like they’re validating your perfectionist method.
5. Trolling. This naughty little habit isn’t very nice, but I am now off the dating websites so don’t worry single dudes I’m not comin’ for you. I’m sorry guy who kept drunk messaging me on OkCupid that instead of giving you my phone number when you asked I gave you the number for Promises rehab. You’re just looking for love or a codependent relationship and I should have just let you live your life. Also, sorry to these dudes: Continue reading Five Dating Sins I’m Atoning For→
I really like the 5 Love Languages which is a book that talks about how we all wish to receive love in different ways (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch) and that is the way that we are also most likely to show our love. The problem is when you and your partner don’t have the same primary love language and you’re doing all of these things for them in your favorite love language and you don’t feel appreciated because they still don’t seem fulfilled. For example you could be making them breakfast everyday, taking out the trash, running errands for them and they’re still complaining that you never want to spend time with them. You think you’re showing your love doing all of these acts of service, but what this person really craves is for you to be spending quality time with them.
One love language that’s hard for some people to learn is Words of Affirmation. It’s easy enough to compliment someone with a “you look nice”, but if they are constantly flooding you with compliments and you’re not used to saying so many yourself it can feel uncomfortable when there’s that pause after they finish and it’s your turn and you just say “…thanks…” This is especially true if you grew up with a family that didn’t constantly give Words of Affirmation so you feel lost as to what this person wants you to say and very awkward and forced when trying to do it yourself. I think that giving compliments or words of affirmation is a muscle that you can strengthen through practice. Yes it will feel a bit forced at the beginning, but the “forced” part should be saying how you truly feel so it should not feel fake or inauthentic just a little uncomfortable as you get used to something new. Even I don’t always feel comfortable saying how I feel so I understand your pain.
A friend came to me this week with a question. He has been dating a great girl for 2 months and recently she confessed to him that she had to de-friend him on Facebook because he had so many pictures of his (recent) ex-girlfriend and the ex-girlfriend was so beautiful it was making her feel insecure. He assured her that the ex is in the past, he’s with her because he wants to be with her and she has nothing to worry about.
My 2 cents: I told him that while it’s not an ideal scenario at least she told him how she was honestly feeling instead of keeping it inside and acting weird in other situations where he would have no clue what was wrong (which the majority of girls would do in my opinion). I told him if it’s in the past and he doesn’t care, just delete the pictures! Save them in a hidden folder if you want the memories down the road, but for now take them off Facebook. If this relationship doesn’t work out because of this or for any other reason it’s not going to help him in future relationships to have tons of pictures of his ex on Facebook anyway. This is a time when they are trying to build trust and if he really doesn’t care he should be more flexible and more sensitive to her feelings.
I’ve been informally polling my friends on their thoughts on this and another said that this is a red flag and that you should be cautious dating someone this insecure and jealous. They said that they have pictures up of their exes and it’s just memories of the past and they are friends with their exes now so it would be weird if they took all the pictures down. I kind of think it’s a minor flaw in the grand scheme of things if the person is great in many other ways. Most of my girl friends say they do snoop Facebook to look at exes out of curiosity and while sometimes they feel insecure if they’re particularly beautiful, overall it just satisfies that curiosity and allows you a glimpse into your partners past without interrogating them or seeming too interested. Some even go as far as looking at exgirlfriend’s friends to see more pictures of said ex-girlfriend.
While scrolling through my own pictures I realized that I have pictures with a few exes, but they are buried within tons of selfies and pictures with friends and it’s hard to tell whether I’m standing next to a male friend or an ex. When I scrolled through the pictures my guy friend who had this issue in the first place’s pictures I realized that he had 70+ of this ex (they had dated for a few years) with him, with groups of friends, just by herself, etc. in his “Photos” aka no digging through old albums because he was tagged in all of these. Thinking back though, this guy showed me lots of photos in real albums of him as a kid and growing up the very first time I met him so maybe he is just a very sentimental person who likes to hold onto visual memories in the form of pictures?
Most importantly, he and I want to know what you think!! After a break-up do you delete pictures of exes? Untag? If you’re dating someone new and they made a comment would you delete the pictures of your ex? Would you think they were insane or it was a red flag that they were asking? Does it depend on if you really like the person a whole bunch vs. you’re not too sure about them? Please comment and let us know!!!
Ok so this week I wanted to mix it up a little bit and since I’ve already given you suggestions on how to go from chatting to going on a real date on Tinder I figured I’d give you some suggestions on what to do on said date. These ideas aren’t just for first dates they work for any couple or they’re great activities to do with your friends too. They can also be generalized to other cities outside of LA. I have a lot of ideas for October/Halloween so these are pretty September-specific.
When I first heard about the concept of Grouper I was intrigued, but instantly was turned off by it. Grouper is a social club that sets up drinks between 2 groups of friends: 3 guys and 3 girls. I immediately thought, but what if the guy I like likes one of my friends? That always sucks when that happens! You also get no choice as to who you are set up with so it’s a totally blind group date (except you know what your 2 friends look like because you invite them). You also have to pay for Grouper and I have never used a dating site I had to pay for. Grouper costs $20 per person plus a 10% tip for your server which covers their introduction and concierge service and a free first round of drinks at the bar they select for you (the concierge part).
Grouper is actually not claiming to be setting you up on a date and people who sign up don’t have to be single (but God would I be annoyed to go out with a group of guys who were all in relationships wtf). They are planning a night for you with the perfect girl to guy ratio and giving you ideas on how to make it fun. These ideas include preparing “two truths and a lie” before the date for a fun discussion or playing the iPhone game “Phrase Party”. I will say that going on a Grouper definitely takes a lot of the pressure off of the conversations you’re having and you feel less like you’re on a job interview and more like you’re hanging out with friends which is nice. Going out with friends also forces you to be a more authentic version of yourself because your friends might call your ass out or tell the embarrassing stories you might have tried to avoid which does help you get to know each other much faster. It also forces you to actually make a plan instead of getting stuck in chatting or messaging back and forth purgatory.
One of the many trends that turn me off of someone’s Tinder (or Okcupid) profile is when they post something like “don’t worry I won’t tell anyone how we met it can be our secret ;)” or “we can tell everyone we met at IHOP”. Ok, thanks bro. I am truly not interested in anyone who is ashamed to be online dating. Are you better than Martha Stewart at thinking of good ways to do things? No? Well she online dated and if she’s not too good for it neither are you 27 year old guy who “has a real job, not in the BIZ” with pictures of you surfing and with your boys at da club in Vegas and a car selfie with sunglasses on. You can be good looking, charming, successful, and still want to try online dating. The guys that say these things never seem SO good looking and SO successful and SO amazing that no one would EVER believe they’re looking for love on the internet either. The other part that annoys me is they’re throwing shade at me by saying these things. They mean it as a cute little compliment, but the underlying thing they’re saying is oh how could I bring myself to this low point and actually send my computer signal to space to try to find a man?? #shadyboots
The other ways guys (I guess there’s probably girls out there that do this too) let their shame flags wave high is not having a profile picture. It really cracks me up when they try to give reasons why they couldn’t possibly put their pictures up. “I’m in med school I’m not allowed.” Really? Why are there like 20,000 other med students on dating websites showing their faces? “I don’t want people at work to find me” Jesus Christ please get over yourself. If you are that powerful and important you would post yourself online with pride realizing that no one is going to say shit about it. Same thing goes for writing in your profile “wow I never thought I’d be online dating I can’t believe I’m on here”. Girls want a strong man that will stand behind their actions. They also want someone with enough humility to realize that doing something like dating online does not even matter in the slightest in the grand scheme of life. Check your ego little Kanye. When everyone on Earth says they’re looking for someone who is confident, this is not what they mean.
What do you think? Do you have a theory as to why people are still ashamed to date online in 2014?
One thing about online dating that can be frustrating is finding people who actually want to go on a date! There’s only so many “Happy Hump Day!” messages one can get before becoming cynical. There are plenty of time wasters out there (both male and female) and if you want a pen pal they will chat with you about nothing at all for ages. If you want an actual date here are a few of my tips:
1. Guys: Don’t ask right away!! There is about 0 personal info on Tinder so if you ask right away you are saying that you don’t really care what the two of you have in common or if you click, you just want to see if you are physically attracted to them right away in person or if you will “feel chemistry”. Asking right away is a huge turn-off for me because it’s almost like the guy is playing a numbers game and just trying to go on as many dates as possible. You should spend at least a few minutes going back and forth in a conversation first before deciding if you want to ask them out! Guys who do this also tend to blame the girls on Tinder saying that none of them actually want to go on a real date, when in reality they are pushing all the girls away with their eager and non-discriminating approach to asking girls out. On a deeper level this makes me wary that a guy is going to objectify me. I’ve had plenty of seemingly nice, normal guys objectify me while dating. They constantly bring up aspects of this image of me that they want me to be (in very subtle ways) vs. actually getting to know the person I really am. I think I can and will write an entire post about this!
2. After you’ve had a little back and forth banter, know what the person does for fun, if they live in a geographically desirable location relative to you (I think this is pretty key in LA), what they spend most of their time doing, and have a glimpse of their personality, bring it up! I’m old fashioned when it comes to this and I almost never ask guys out. I will, however, ask them if they’ve ever gone out with any girls on Tinder, what they think about online dating, talk about my interest in going out on a real actual date and spending time together, etc. This is the time for them to take the hint and ask you out. If they do not after a 2-3 days, or if a girl gives you a weird excuse and then won’t commit to a different plan, or if the person becomes a ghost then we come to our next tip:
3. Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em! There are plenty of people on Tinder who like the idea of dating new people, but who aren’t actually open to it right now (like me)! These people have good intentions and are hoping that they’re going to find someone who interests them enough to bring them back into the dating world, but are not all in yet. If you feel like you have taken the time to get to know someone, have some things in common, seem romantically interested in eachother/are flirting and the guy doesn’t ask you out in under a week- move on! Block him/unmatch him if you have to. If they say they want to “grab drinks” or “hang out this weekend” and then fail to make a real plan, move on! Listen to Jay-Z “On to the Next One” and keep it moving. There are plenty of other great guys and girls out there and even though you think you may have found your perfect Tinderella, if they do not want to meet up then it is impossible for you to have a real relationship. Let go of your fantasy and find a real life human being who you can actually kiss!
Ah one of my least favorite date invitations right behind “When are we gonna hang out?” And “Let’s go (insert sporty or outdoor activity that involves me sweating) as one of our first dates!” Now this invitation may seem innocuous enough especially if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, but let me explain why I don’t like it: Continue reading No, I Don’t Want to Grab a Drink→
What to write in that little blurb? Here’s some things to consider not writing:
1. “The baby in the picture is NOT MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M A PROUD UNCLE OK STOP ASKING!!!!” – Woah calm down.
2. “I guess everyone is putting their heights? That’s like a thing? So here’s mine 5’5” – The reason why you need to put your height is because when you’re crouching down to pet a tiger or taking a shirtless bathroom selfie I can’t really get a gauge as to how tall you are/how much I’ll potentially be towering over you. As much fun as it is to try to figure out how many Axe body sprays tall you might be from the bathroom pic and convert that, I’d rather you take the detective work out of it and just tell me.
3. Ok those are all the tips you get because if you’re inspired to go on and on about how great you are or how much money you have or how much you hate sluts PLEASE do so we all know which way to swipe.
This was a real conversation I had with someone several months ago…
Tip#1 Have some self-awareness. If this dude replied and said he was referencing the Jeopardy skit from SNL that would have been one thing. If you’re a grown up you can be silly, but avoid anything too immature (i.e. 420, 69, Barbie, sexy etc.)
Tip#2 Don’t use the same username that you use for other non-dating websites! This was a big mistake that I made and some guy messaged me and let me know that if you google it, a lot of personal info comes up. Think: your youtube history, those comments you left on a grad school forum, your gamer profile, etc.
Tip#3 If you’re totally out of ideas just go for something simple like your first name and some numbers. Or a gender neutral hobby (I would never make one like “MakeupGirl” because no dude is interested in that).