Tag Archives: online dating

Dear Stale Bagels, Where is thy HEAT?

18 Jun

I’m done with online dating.**

After what I’d like to think of as an absurd amount of just okay first dates, almost all of which originating from some kind of online dating app, I might be throwing in the towel. I am in the process of adhering to Stacie’s advice about accepting a second date, because I believe her logic is sound. However, I think as a whole, this online dating thing is just not for me.

Initially the idea of going on lots of dates each week was incredibly appealing.

Coming from someone who has spent 85% of my last 6 years of life in a relationship, I relished the notion of having new conversations with different guys, the anxious butterfly feeling when meeting them for the first time, the opportunity to experience something brand new and not know what to expect! But, and I know this goes without saying, dating in DC is hard.

Most of the months that followed the demise of my 5 year relationship involved a total disregard of typical dating. I just wasn’t interested. I was cool with meeting dudes at bars, semi-poor life decisions, and whatever, but I wasn’t ready to hop on the dating bandwagon quite yet. That’s when my friends discovered Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, Hinge, etc. And I figured #WHYNOT.

My past relationships usually spurned from friendship, or at least mutual activities. Unlike Blind Bagel dates, there was no need to discuss topics like where I’m from, what college he went to, or what we do in our spare time. Conversation flowed easily, and pauses never felt awkward. Why? Because I had already invested in this person. The spark was already there. With online dating, all you have is the hope that something in the initial 45 minutes of conversation will capture your attention enough to stick around for another round of drinks. But more times than not, all I really felt like doing after my first beer was crawling into bed with my iPad and cottage cheese to watch more netflix. That would be 800 times more enjoyable than hearing about their desire to live a more active lifestyle

These guys that I go on dates with aren’t bad (well, most of them aren’t). They’re intelligent, well-traveled, have more or less interesting and stable jobs, and I’m sure have excellent futures ahead of them. So why is it that last night I left a quite attractive and well-spoken date after one drink in a bar because I’d rather watch Inside Combat Rescue with my friend and his dog? I DO NOT KNOW. Other than the fact that there was once again, there was zero spark.

As our wise Betty once said to me, “I think online dating has made it so much about trying out the different guys as if they were dresses and trying to fit them into the right boxes that we forget there IS such thing as an immediate spark.” Personally, I would rather find a guy in a bar who I felt immediate chemistry with, rather than pray that it magically appears while I spill Korean BBQ tacos on my skirt with them at dinner. I’d rather go on a date with someone I already know who I have shared interests with and can talk to, than click “Like” on another sexy 6’3 Jewish man on CMB. The idea of meeting a stranger is exciting – but only until you actually meet them. (Side note, I will always support the sheer entertainment of tinder.) But it doesn’t seem like it’s for me. The question is, will I stop?

The answer, dear readers, is likely a resounding no.

I’ll continue to swipe right, click like, make small talk, and venture on to many more Just Fine dates in the following weeks. Why (besides the fact that I’m getting a ridiculous amount of free food)? Because I’m desperate to think that one time, it’s going to be different. Maybe this guy who talked about making Baklava with his mom will be sweet. Maybe this guy who travels to Europe 4 times a year will be interesting. Maybe this guy with the picture of him playing a piano means he appreciates the same things that I do. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. I’m sure we all know the outcome of this already. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to heed my own advice from my own article.

Thus, I jump back into the never-ending cycle of just fine dates that, if nothing else, result in great brunching topics of conversation. I have yet to find a spark of heat in a single one of them. But who knows… Maybe someday my bagels won’t be stale. Or not.

B.

(**I am not done with online dating.)

 

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The Just Fine First Date Conversation Guide

12 Jun

Well, it’s official: Betty’s no longer an online dating virgin. I went on a date last week via Coffee Meets Bagel, a Stacie-endorsed online dating app, and I survived. Go me.

The date itself was okay. Really, there was nothing wrong with it – the guy looked like he did in his profile, he had all his teeth, he had a job, and conversation flowed fine.

But if I’ve learned anything from the professional schmoozers that run this city, it’s that making conversation isn’t that high of a bar. Indeed, anyone can make conversation in #thistown. It doesn’t mean there’s a spark, and it doesn’t mean the date was a home run.

In fact, it feels like conversation on these just-fine-but-that’s-it dates is sadly predictable. And if you’re not into it, it’s really easy to just converse at the lowest acceptable level – even if you’re the best of conversationalists. If your date is just fine and neither of you give a fuck, here’s what you’ll almost definitely talk about:

Whether you’ve been here before. It’s a great harmless opener. You look around appreciatively. “I’ve never been here before but my friend Jim loves it! Great suggestion!” [Alternative: “Oh wow I’ve only ever been here for brunch! I’m so excited to try it!]

How you got here. This is also another safe conversation starter. I am guilty of employing it as an awkward way to ease into the conversation. It’s literally the most boring thing you could bring up so no wonder I’m single.

Token metro complaint. 

You waited TWELVE MINUTES for the red line???

Where you live. This will allow you to make all of the conversation about your favorite bars and restaurants in that area, your coworker who lives there and you went to a party there once, on and on. The sky’s the limit. Just don’t make a face when you find out it’s Gaithersburg. Or do.

How you got here. Nope, not a repeat of above. I mean how you got to DC. How you made it big in #thistown, if you will. Note that you’ve gotten this far with only purely surface conversations. I bet you’re halfway done with your beer by now! You almost get to leave!

What you do. I mean obviously because #DC, but actually I have a lot of respect for people who don’t ask about this in the first five minutes. My recent date was one of those people, so props to him – although that was admittedly preempted by the fact that Coffee Meets Bagel profiles include your employer because they know that we’re all job snobs. Sigh.

College. Now I realize why no one shuts the fuck up about college. It’s because a) it’s the last time any of us was interesting and b) (relatedly) it’s the perfect safe conversation topic. You went to college? Oh thank god me too. Tell me about it! Tell me about your late night food adventures and all nighters in the library and your spring break trip. I’ll just listen. It’s easier that way. Keep talking!

Do we have to talk about it?

Running and/or fitness. Seriously, fuck this town for being so fucking fit and making me feel like I always need to be on an intense fitness regime or at least planning on starting one. The upside of that is that your date probably feels the same way so you can probably find some common ground talking about how you really want to run a half marathon but you just weren’t sure if you could do it and then sigh your knee got fucked up. NO WAY! ME TOO! [Side note: my Coffee Meets Bagel date was totally intense and was modestly talking about 50 mile runs or some shit. GOOD. BYE.]

 

There you have it. I hope to God at least one of those generated some conversational detours along the way, but I guarantee you you hit most or all of those between gulps of G&T as you attempt to figure out if you can see yourself ever sharing your life – or at least your bed – with this person.

DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating that these are things that should be discussed on a date. What I have provided is a literal recipe for a mediocre date. WE CAN DO BETTER! On the best first date I can recall, we talked about everything from celebrity crushes to favorite Mexican restaurants to stupid movies we liked. Be the change you wish to see in your dates, ladies. But just know that they can’t all be winners. And remember that at the end of even the most boring date, you always – always! – get to go home.

 

 

 

Say Yes to the… Second Date!

3 Jun

by Stacie Smack

Summer is back in full force in DC, which (as we’ve mentioned before) means that the SR ladies are on a mission to go on as many dates as possible. Belle is leaving us all in the dust, having already gone on 4 or 5 first dates. The stories will eventually end up immortalized here because they are too good to be forgotten, yet they are not mine to tell, so you’ll have to wait a little longer.

Most of these dates happen due to the existence of a thousand and half dating apps. Aside from Tinder, the SR ladies have (finally!) gotten into CMB (Coffee Meets Bagel), a personal favorite of yours truly. Despite my lack of success stories, I know several individuals who’ve had ranging levels of success on the site, and I think we can have them too.

The thing is that with any dating site, you’re going to get a varied range of first dates and I promise you only 1 out of 5 will actually be mildly successful. Dating is hard. People misrepresent themselves online (LIE) to give a better first impression. What you think will make you compatible may not actually mean that you’ll be able to talk for three hours.

Dating is hard.

However, after hearing the date recaps from several ladies, I couldn’t help but wonder, are you giving the guy a chance?

I mean I totally get it, if the guy is missing his four front teeth and failed to mention that, and he also doesn’t directly look at you in the eyes for the entirety of your lunch date, well then maybe you’re not being too picky. Bad dates happen all the time.

But when I hear my friends say things like “there was no spark” or “he drank less than I did” or “there were some awkward silences”, I want to yell at them so loudly, because ladies, let’s be real. IT WAS JUST A FREAKING FIRST DATE!

Here are the facts: he was nervous too, online dating is awkward so there will be silences! Honestly, there probably wouldn’t be a spark either with the guy at the bar if you hadn’t been 3 fireball shots in already. He’s someone you know NOTHING about, so maybe he drinks less and you didn’t know that. Or maybe he is more focused on getting to know you than pounding down G&Ts.

I just think that there is so much time between when you first find out about each other and when you actually go on a date, that by that point your expectation of who this person is will NEVER match the person that actually is sitting in front of you, because your expectations don’t account for nerves, for having had a bad day, for being shy at first impressions, and I could go on forever.

So as long as he has most of his teeth, and he didn’t lie about his height by more than three inches (the average number by which men increase their height online), and he showed up on time, and made you laugh a few times, can we agree that it was not a bad date?

Therefore, I make one plea to you if you come out of a date feeling meh but not blegh: SAY YES TO A SECOND DATE!

I mean honestly, a second date barely implies anything more than a first one does: there’s no written expectations about sex, labels, or even kissing! I mean when was the last time you went on two dates and started calling someone your boyfriend? When was the last time you went on two dates???

Two dates is still few enough to fade a guy out, and yet it’s a second opportunity for both of you to give and get a second, better, more you impression. It’s another weeknight with plans with someone who’s not your same 7 friends, and it is definitely NOT anything more than just a second date.

So to my dear ladies, text the guy, get another drink, so that you actually feel confident that you actually have zero interest in the guy, rather than unmet outlandish expectations that you’ve only ever seen on TV.

In which Tinder drains all of my data in a single weekend

28 May

Tinder is like a can of Pringles… once you pop, the fun don’t stop.

While on our girls getaway this past weekend, someone had the brilliant idea to download SR’s new favorite app. Although it is something I typically would not do in DC for fear of accidentally stumbling upon a co-worker or someone else I knew, Myrtle Beach was an entirely different ballgame. Not only was there no pressure to actually meet any of these bros, but we had ample opportunity to troll the crap out of them. Which is precisely what we did.

(Please note that all of these Tinder screenshots actually did occur this weekend…)

Not only did our Tinder-Endeavors provide hours of hilarious story sharing amongst ourselves, but it also showed us the best and worst of men’s attempts to talk to (or hook up with) a girl online.

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There are many types of people that join something like Tinder. I’d say half of them are looking for a random hookup.

 

Another quarter are actually looking for a casual date true love.

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And the final quarter are being trolls and seeing just how interesting the conversation can get (HELLO, that might be me).

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Bojangles seemed to be a theme for where we “invited” our men to meet up.

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I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for. Personally, I’m looking for entertainment. And luckily, there are plenty of men on Tinder willing to provide just that.

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One of our most interesting revelations is that it takes a good deal of skill to be good at Tinder. You can have a gorgeous #selfie of yourself wearing an American flag bathing suit in front of the Eiffel tower (actually spotted) and yet be unable to carry on little more than a sub-par conversation. In my (granted limited) experience, it’s highly unlikely that your Tinder match, even the ones that are just looking to get some, will want to stick around for more than 10 minutes when you can’t put basic sentences together.

As long as you make it past the initial “swipe”, being clever and ironic are just as essential to your online lover as the ability to flex your biceps. And I thoroughly enjoy a man who can outsmart me – or can at least take a joke and keep up!

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Overall, my Tinder weekend has been an enlightening experience. I have considered putting myself on hiatus while back in DC, but I guarantee that whether it’s Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, or whatever the next big dating app is, the SR ladies will cover it for you. Worst case scenario, this happens?

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We know you’ve got your own stories, and we desperately want to laugh at them with you. So send them to us on twitter @StopRequestedDC or in the comments below!

XO,

Belle

 

The 17 Steps of Online Dating in GIFs

13 May

by Stacie Smack

1. You hear a great success story from a friend of a friend.

2. You decide, if she can do it, so can you!

3. Realize there are approximately 5,000,000 different sites…

4. Pick OkCupid.

5. Face the “blank slate” that you’re expected to fill in with a quirky, yet honest, yet funny, yet with a hint of I’m-looking-for-love tone.

6. Give up.

7. Choose Tinder.

8. Spend the next five hours at work swiping until you realized you forgot to eat lunch.

9.Exchange some texts with a cute guy with a paycheck until you learn that he lives in Baltimore.

10. Get matched with your supervisor, Jim.

11. Give up.

12. Join Coffee Meets Bagel.

13. Find it equally as stressful to summarize yourself in 3 bullet points.

14. Get SUPER excited at 11:55 about your upcoming “bagel” person!

15. Get awful matches for the next two weeks.

16. Go on  a terrible date with a guy you met in one of the 14 platforms you’re now on.

17. Meet your girlfriends at the Brixton after, take fireball shots, and meet a cute guy.

18. End up dating the guy for 5 months.

Break up, Rinse, Repeat.

Give The Dweeb A Chance

27 Mar

by Stacie Smack

Last week Betty shared her internal battle of dating because it makes sense on paper or not.

She failed to mention a couple of [essential] aspects of the battle: mainly that he may or may not be a dweeb.

Funnily enough, her ongoing struggle (once you account for the missing mentioned piece) is EERILY similar to my current situation. From reading her post, it might not be obvious, but from talking endlessly about it with her, I know.

I would say that D-Bag (my charming pet name for the man I’m dating) is not perfect on paper or marriage material. He’s a well-educated, employed male with left-leaning tendencies. I suppose he fits the basic criteria. However, to quote & paraphrase Betty:

1) His automatic response to getting somewhere after hours is PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Everyone knows that any proper DC Yuppie exclusively Ubers after 11pm.

2a) He PRIORITIZES SLEEP OVER SEX! This has happened more than once. ALL I WANT is some freaking morning sex but he like constantly freaks out that he like isn’t going to have enough sleep or whatever and keeps shutting me down! Who are you?

2b) When I made a gently sarcastic comment about the above, he jokes (unfunnily) “i need my beauty rest.” you are not beautiful.

3a) He wears really dweeby boxers. You’re an adult. Invest in underwear that is pleasant to see. Unless this is your way of encouraging me to take them off? But see 2a. No.

3b) Actually he dresses kinda dweeby overall.

4) Despite being generally kind of a “nice nerdy boy” type, he occasionally dips into the usage of kinda vulgar terms that just do NOT work for him. For example, his roommate wasn’t there and he looked into the living room and kinda casually thought OUT LOUD “oh, we missed a chance to fuck on the couch” – like EW STOP.

5) We were just lying in bed and he goes “tell me a story” (what?) and I was like ummm what about? and he was like “I dunno, about something really embarrassing that happened to you when you were a little kid.” Why would you want to hear that??? That’s the least sexy thing to talk about in bed ever.

I hope that this paints a better understanding of who these men are. These are not necessarily make-or-break issues. But they are just constant reminders that they’re just a little bit dweeby 100% of the time! So why don’t you just end it? If you’re so caught up in the dweebness and you’re annoyed with his presence, and you’d rather not have your friends meet him due to the possibility of them becoming aware of the dweebity of the man. I mean he doesn’t even own a pair of boat shoes.

There’s a catch. A slightly important catch that went severely unmentioned.

THE SEX. IS FANTASTIC.

Better and unlike anything experienced before. So you’d understand the hesitation when talking about ending things. Sometimes it’s hard to turn down multiple orgasms. Between having to go sexless while finding men to date and having a sure thing that’s also an AMAZING thing, I think the choice is clear right? Right?

There’s a second catch, that complicates things even more.

THE DWEEB LOVES YOU.

Ok, so maybe they haven’t literally used those words. But there are only like a billion signs that make this clear. They’re always willing to go to your place. They always text first. In fact, sometimes I won’t text on purpose, even if I have a free evening, only to see how long it takes him to say something. And that something will probably be dweeby (“Stayed up until 2am playing bananagrams on a weeknight 🙂 how was your day?”). But he will always text. He’ll change his plans to end up where you are because you’re not about to change your plans for him. He’ll come and meet you at a bar full of YOUR friends by himself, because he literally kisses the ground you walk on.

We spend so much time asking “where are all the nice guys in this city?” after yet another guy from Policy never calls you back. It’s kind of refreshing to date a guy who will reliably be there when you wake up on a Saturday morning.

So I’m giving the dweeb a chance. After two years of crazy hook ups, bad online dates, and being strung along by the love of my life (HA), I decided to take a break. It’s almost like a vacation from my preferred lifestyle. I’m temporarily hitting pause, and allowing DB to show me the wonders of monogamy (SOMEONE SAVE ME). Rather than staying up until 2am every other Saturday waiting for Chuck Bass to come over for two hours, I’m letting DB come over, do me, cuddle me, AND take me out to breakfast the next morning.

I haven’t really dated anyone ever for longer than a couple of months, and I’ve never really been exclusive, and I’m sick of sleeping with assholes. So, I’m letting a guy actually treat me nicely.

Because why do we have to put up with being treated like dirt?

1) Why do we silently comply with the guy that only calls us at 12:30am every third Saturday of the month who promises to get drinks and never does?

2) Why do we let the guy we dated for three months just stop texting without demanding an explanation or at least a formal “we’re done” conversation?

3) Why do we only find guys attractive if they ignore us at the bar, flirt with our friend, and manage to give back-handed compliments that still make us swoon?

4) Why is the guy wearing the sexy black David Beckham underwear always the one who never calls back?

So, here I am. And all I can say is:

GIVE THE DWEEB A CHANCE.

 

 

Bars are just Tinder without an easy Swipe Left Option

11 Feb

by Stacie Smack

Recently, I’ve noticed a surge in online/media commentary about online dating. This may have to do with the fact that I have a Google alert on the topic and exclusively follow online dating-related Tweeters. But it may also have to do with the fact that online dating is here to stay, and we’re starting to accept it as a “mainstream” way of meeting people.

I was discussing online vs. offline dating with my therapist (a 75 year old man). His first question was “who uses online dating?” Oh boy, was this going to be fun. There are just about a billion answers, but in classic Stacie fashion, I’ll stereotype and simplify and indirectly not answer the question but pretend to answer it.

I think online dating allows us to meet people in a protected environment. I use the word “protected” with some caveats. Obviously connecting with a total stranger whose physical existence you can’t confirm does not imply protection (I’m not going to scare you with stories, but contact me and I will direct you to some fun reads).

What I mean by protected is that online dating allows you, the user, to present your best self or the self you wish you were. More importantly, an online dating site/app gives you time to think. The prime example being at a bar: if someone asks you “so, what do you do?”, you can’t take a minute or two to craft a response. That would be weird. Online however, you can take all the time in the world to properly describe your job without sounding boring, or too passionate, or whatever it is that usually happens, because the appropriate response window is slower than the “conversational” rate.

None of this answers the who question. But at least it contextualizes the conversation. Maybe?

The next question was “why do you need that kind of protection?” To me the answer seemed fairly obvious. It’s because we have no idea who the person in front of us (at a bar) is. We know nothing about this person. We approach a total and complete stranger, and somehow we have to create natural flowing interesting conversation with someone who may or may not have things in common with us or potential for “compatibility”.

He concluded that nowadays, our generation is constantly surrounded by complete strangers. My therapist is a Latin man probably in his late 70’s who’s been married for a while. He spent most of his life in the same town. He knew his neighbors, he knew the people at his synagogue, everyone knew someone in common WE (you and I) don’t necessarily have that.

We kind of form communities at work, or at kickball, or at book club, or at whatever extracurricular activity you partake in. But there’s a limited number of people we meet at these places, and it’s kind of hard to just go up to one of these people and say “introduce me to your friends since it’s probably easier to successfully date someone who knows you”. So instead we go to bars and try to say hi to strangers.

In his time apparently, you knew who were the good and bad apples, generally speaking. Today at a bar, we don’t know if the guy we’re going to say hi is a pump-and-dump sort of guy or a long-term sort of guy, or if he’s going to make you pay for expensive dinners and never call you again. But we’re not deterred by this uncertainty. It’s part of the gamble of dating and meeting people, and it’s a risk we’re willing to take if it means not becoming a cat lady. Wouldn’t it be nice if every guy just wore a shirt with basic facts about him printed? Single, Non-smoker, bacon-lover, owns a dog, favorite movie is 300. At a glance, we would make some judgements and assumptions and the stranger would become just a little less… strange?

Enter, online dating. Even the newer, less labor intensive sites like Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, and Tinder require some basic information about the user. They also link to the user’s facebook and take advantage of what it means to have “friends in common” nowadays. The mere fact of having a facebook is today seen as proof of existence – we are more likely to trust an online profile that’s associated with a facebook profile. How many fake facebook profiles do we come across normally? No that many I would think. Beyond that, we get a handful of facts that are likely to spark interest (or flag for removal…) Yeah, people like to focus on the shallowness of some of these apps, as our decision making process is primarily based on photos. But how different is that from how you decide to approach someone at a bar? Neither is a perfect system, but both are available choices.

It’s Goin’ Down, Just Got a Tinder!

31 Jan

Lies, I’ve had tinder forever.  Also SR’s interpretation of our blackout song de jour, Timber.

Today, I’ve got literally nothing for ya.

Here is a hilarious video about 2 of my favorite things: Tinder and Disney Princesses.

Enjoy! xx