Bullet Point Tuesday: The First Date Debate

A few days before my date with (much younger) Cute Guy, I received a text from him inquiring where I'd like to go. I requested somewhere that we could sit outside and enjoy some some drinks and food. He suggested a Cuban spot near him. I love Cuban food, particularly 90Miles which was my go-to spot for years. I even threw it in the ring because the outdoor patio is amazing.

He really wanted to go to this place near him. Got it.

The day before the date, I receive the following text: "You ready to get some fancy Cuban food tomorrow?"

Fancy restaurants make me a bit uncomfortable. I always feel like I'm going to fuck something up. A loud laugh and voice that carries over a stadium don't really mix well with white linens and a prix fixe menu. It's probably why I love Cuban spots. It sounds like everyone from the cooks to the wait staff to the patrons are all yelling at each other and I might as well be speaking in a whisper. [Note: Why am I not dating a Latino?]

To get more information on what I was getting myself into, I texted back:

me: How fancy we talkin?
CG: [typing] It would be about 20 for each of us if we split the bill. 25 with tip.

I waited for the punchline.
I waited an hour.
He. Wasn't. Kidding.

me: Oh. That must be a generational thing.
CG: Well of course I wouldn't mind treating you.

Wouldn't mind? Glad I might worth the extra $25. I went back and forth on canceling at this point. I already had reservations about his age, but now about dating his aptitude. My sister, Fran, told me I was being an asshole and to go. I listened.

When I showed up (twenty minutes late--I had a complete meltdown about what to wear--I know, it's inexcusable), CG had a glass of red wine waiting for me. I've always wanted someone to do that. Have a drink waiting for me when I show up. [That was a freebie, fellas.] Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all.

The date wasn't good; it was incredible. We got a few rounds of drinks, ate great* food, and laughed the entire time. It was one of the best first dates I've been on.

And then the bill came.

The waiter handed the book to CG, and I took my credit card out from my purse and placed it down. After all, we apparently had an arrangement. Which was for him to take me to an overpriced Cuban restaurant so I could buy my own dinner.

"I'm just more comfortable with splitting," CG said. "But...you said something about it in your text...did I offend you?"
I looked straight at him. "I wasn't offended...but I was surprised."
His face paled. "Oh shit. Did I fuck up?"
Um. Yes. "Listen, I was just surprised because you asked to take me out and that usually implies picking up the check. But you were very clear in your text yesterday. So let's just split it and stop talking about it."

As I signed the bill for my $50 meal, I couldn't help but think how 90Miles is BYO.

Wanting to make up for it, CG asked if I liked to karaoke. Um, is orange the new black? He said he was really good at it, and I patted his head and said, "Right."

As CG sang his song to an apathetic crowd, I supportively cheered on. I had no idea what song it was (still don't, but I definitely pretended) and I tried not to be condescending when I high fived him as he sat down. I went up right after him and within seconds I had the bar rocking. People were clapping and singing along, and, though I wanted to feel bad for CG, I had fans to entertain.

Despite my rather uncontested slaughtering in our karaoke-off, we continued to have a great time. We definitely have a similar sense of humor and I have a feeling he's the type of guy who'd appreciate that sometimes I spend my mornings doing this:

This was also the part of the night when I'd offer to reciprocate and pick up the beers. But since I had just spent on dinner what I normally pay in groceries for the week, I didn't once reach for my purse. At around 1:00 A.M., we decided we'd had enough of watching other people sing Backstreet Boys and Journey, so we bid each other good-night and I got in a cab to go home.

The next day, I did field research on this Paying on the First Date Dilemma. Here's what I found:

  • My Girlfriends: "A guy should absolutely pay on the first date. No question. No exceptions. Dump the scrub."
  • Twitter: "Why did you go on this date when you knew ahead of time you were going to pay?"
  • My Gay Husband: "Tacky."
  • Random Guys Sitting Next to Me at the Bar: "You never want to offend a woman who might have a feminist take on it. And, also, girls can take advantage and just try to use you for dinner and drinks." [Agreed. But not grown ass 30-year-old women who can buy their own effing dinner and are sacrificing a night of Netflix and yoga pants to be out with you.]
  • My Cab Driver:** "A woman I date will never pay for anything the first three dates--that includes dinner, drinks afterwards, cab fare--anything. After the third date, if we go out to dinner and she wants to pick up the after dinner drinks, then that's ok. But I don't want her thinking she has to play sugar mama."

I get it. It's a gray area. But here's what I realized. I just don't like splitting the check. And here's why:

  • It's a Dick Move: I was a waitress for many years. Splitting the bill isn't asking someone to solve a Rubik's Cube (depending on the restaurant's system), but it's annoying, especially if you're busy, and usually means someone is going to stiff you on the tip.
  • It's Something You Do With Your Friends: Because it's a dick move. And you can be a dick with your friends.
  • It Suggests to Your Date She/He Is Not Worth It: If you've asked someone out (male or female) and had a great time, why wouldn't you want to treat them? Otherwise you might as well be saying, "Yeah, I know I asked you here, but you're just not worth the extra thirty bucks. Thanks for playing!" Which is probably why I've spent a good portion of my dating career picking up the check: I never want anyone to feel that shitty. My Visa can attest to it.

But I understand that guys don't want to offend women, they've been taken advantage of before...blah, blah, blah. And I didn't want to hold this one thing against him, so I agreed to a second date for Friday night with CG. Until he asked to make me dinner. I said that was very sweet, but I'd like to get out on a Friday night. To which he responded that he couldn't afford to do so. To which I responded that I'd be washing my hair.

He's since sent me a list of Groupons, including a pricing sheet for each one, for options for our Friday night date. Just so I know what a deal I'll be getting.

*90 Miles is still better.

**Yeah, I asked around. A lot.

***Shout out to the creepy cousins I met at Mothers on Saturday that asked to get a mention on the blog. Here. You. Go. Shorter Cousin: Just stop talking to women. You're terribly offensive and it's not attractive. Taller Cousin: Ditch your cousin. You're kinda cute.  

Bullet Point Tuesday: Learning From the Kids--My Adventures in Cougaring

About two weeks ago, I gave up on dating (again). It was after a guy via Tinder messaging told me that I'd have a Downs Syndrome baby one day, leave the baby in the car, and accidentally kill the baby.

I cannot make this shit up.

So I think you'll find it understandable that I quietly excused myself from Tinder and the world of dating. Until I had a few glasses of red wine in me last Saturday night.

It was the annual Cruise for a Cause* which basically means about 100 beautiful people get on a boat and drink unlimited amounts of booze for four hours. Definitely a set up for a win.

Unfortunately, every twosome of guys (they even travelled in pairs--how convenient!) was more interested in talking to each other than Lily and I. So we talked to our wine glasses instead.

Not to be deterred and still on the hunt, I attended the after hours bar (because more alcohol was clearly what I needed) and when everyone went home, I went to find the next party (because it was the one time all summer I'd worn wedges, and they were not ready to go home).

So, naturally, when I saw a cute guy across the street, this was my reaction:

me: [shouting] Hey you, what are you doing?
Cute Guy: [looks behind him to make sure I'm the stranger he's yelling at] Um, I'm about to head into that bar.
me: Great, can I come?
Cute Guy: Um, sure.

We proceeded to go to said bar and have some drinks. We talked and laughed and when he said his place was nearby, it just seemed so much more logical than trying to get an Uber in heels.

Up at his place, Cute Guy and I were having a little make out action when he stopped, pulled away, and said, "What's my name?" 

I shrugged and told him I had no idea. He didn't believe me (which is weird) and continued to pester me until I shouted, "I don't know your fucking name, ok?"

I. Am. Such. A. Catch. 

After he reintroduced himself, we had a little more make out time until I decided to take my wedges off, which apparently exerted so much effort that I passed out on his couch. 

I woke up the next day by myself on the couch with a blanket on me and Cute Guy in his room. He emerged and asked, "Do you want coffee?" 

No, I want an IV drip of fluids and tater tots. But, sure, I'll settle for coffee. 

"I'm going to run out and get some. Will you still be here when I come back?"

Was this a trick? Was he hoping I'd be gone? I just nodded, still unable to formulate words. "Good," he said and smiled. "I'll be right back."

I then spent the next two hours having coffee talk with CG. He did quiz me on his name again, which, thankfully, I got correct. We talked, laughed, had conversations ranging from ex's to family to grammar. I liked how he smiled with his eyes and laughed at my attempts at humor. He asked if I was free for dinner that night. I said I was.

There was one question I hadn't asked yet.
"How old are you?"
He smiled. "Twenty-six...."
My face paled. Ok, that's not so bad.
"...in September."
"Do you not want to get dinner anymore?"
I paused. Opened my mouth to speak and paused again. "Um, no, that's fine."

He walked me to my cab and we said our (very awkward) good-byes. And then I proceeded to figure out how I could get out of dinner that night. 

After about 30 minutes of being home, I received a text from CG, inquiring about diet restrictions because he wanted to make me dinner. Asking me about food allergies is like asking for the entire letter G encyclopedia.** We went back and forth, I tossed my phone on my bed, and then felt my stomach drop. 

Shit. I like this guy. Upon this realization, I immediately did everything to reverse it. I made a list of all the things wrong with him: too young. So, yeah, the list was short.  

And then I realized how fucked up that is. After years of going out with guys who make me pay for their Negronis or wear cargo shorts, I'm trying to write off a guy who didn't try to take advantage me in my slightly inebriated state, picked up coffee for me, and wanted to make me dinner.

I texted him and cancelled. I needed time to think. And continue dry-heaving from my hangover in peace.

Where were these fears coming from? His age did warrant some trepidation. I've gone down that road before. Should every guy younger than me be stereotyped by the assholes that went before him? Probably not. But every ex I've had also liked Maroon5. Logical or not, that's also a red flag for me. And gives me more ammunition against that Miley-lookalike

But I know my hesitation goes deeper, too. I recently read a blog post by Dating Olivia*** in which she addresses the fears she has about the effects of her parents' divorce. For children of divorce, stats are still not in our favor for ever getting married or, if we do, staying married.  I mean, I'm not saying there's a direct correlation between me blowing off Cute Guy and the fact that I had to watch my parents' marriage slowly and painfully crumble...but I'm sure there's some Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon shit going on there. 

And of course plenty of kids with divorced parents do just fine with relationships. But for years, I denied that my parents' experience was going to inhibit my ability to form a meaningful one. And in that time, I've gone out with a drug dealer, a gay guy, a guy who told me that I "owed" him because he bought my dinner, and a guy who showed up with a cup of soup on our first date. Just. To. Name. A. Few. So, yeah, I think I might've been wrong.

Now I'm 30 and I'm realizing that it's probably not possible to block out your experiences so they don't jade you. Kinda like granny panties. You never think you'll wear them, but they are just so damn comfortable. That comparison made so much more sense in my head.

So it's not like I want to get granny-panty comfortable with my baggage or anything. (Yup, still rolling with this metaphor.) But what's that they say? The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing it...pretty sure I've heard that one before about my drinking. And we all know how that one is going...

So I rescheduled with Cute Guy. We're grabbing dinner this week. Fingers crossed he doesn't like Maroon5.  

*Put on by the amazing women of twelve.

**And, yes, they're deadly not some, "I don't like onions so I say I'm allergic," bullshit. Seriously, if you do that, stop. You're ruining it for those of us whose one requirement for a purse is, "Will it fit my Epi-Pen?"

***She's fucking hysterical. Read her. 

Bullet Point Tuesday: Dating in the Summer

When you tell people that you're not dating, you get all kind of reactions. And their reactions are very indicative of how in tune they are with the reality of Tinder or owning an unlimited supply of Mace. "Really? Summer is the best time to date!" a friend recently said to me. Oh you poor, poor, little bird.

Here's the breakdown of how summer dating goes down.
  • Fests

It's beautiful outside. There's beer, good food, and supposedly cool music.* Instead of turning into a great opportunity to meet people, fests generally look like this: bros standing in groups, drinking beer. Girls walking in groups, drinking beer. If you're feeling a sense of 7th grade nostalgia, you are correct. It's usually two beers in that I turn to retail therapy and buy something completely necessary from a vendor in a tent. Like this:

This time, however, I purchased a beautiful Simona Calla bag. Because, as I slurrily put it as I handed over my credit card: "It's just a grown-up purse."

I subsequently left said grown-up purse at the bar that night. Proving, yet again, that I am not ready to be a grown-up.

  • Karaoke

If you've ever seen me karaoke, then you shouldn't be surprised that my singing draws a lot of suitors. Unfortunately, they're not always welcome and I've had to tell a homeboy or two to "stop touching my back or I will jack you in the face." I mean, I get it. I do have the voice of an angel. If an angel sounded like a combination of Alanis Morisette and a dying cat.

One such suitor surprised me because he was quite handsome and kind. But...what...was he...doing with his hand...? "Are you married?" I asked, pointing to the wedding band on his left hand that he was oh-so-smoothly trying to cover with his right.

"Divorced," he said.
"So you just still wear your ring as a souvenir?"
He then launched into some diatribe that I wasn't paying attention to because married guys have the same appeal to me as cartoon for adults.**

Fran, watching this unfold, and fuming that I'd even talked to a wedding band for this long, came over complaining of a headache and we were out of there.

  • "G'Day Mate"

After attending an event that shall remain nameless, a few single ladies and myself proceeded on a mini-Wednesday night bar crawl. Totally necessary. If we weren't having luck at one bar, we'd move onto the next. And that's how we ended up at Marquee Lounge, talking in accents. A guy approached our group and asked if we were from out of town. Naturally, the only logical response to that is to say yes with Southern accents. Lily and I proceeded to have an entire conversation about how much we loved Bubba Gump Shrimp, deep dish pizza, and the Bean. It was only after our analysis of the humidity in Chicago versus Atlanta that we noticed our gentleman had walked away.

Ok, so dating in the summer is kinda fun.

*I can only assume. My idea of good music is whatever KissFM is playing. Judge. Away.

**You pay taxes. Stop watching effing cartoons. 

Bullet Point Tuesday: Why You Gotta Be So Dude

Every once in awhile, something comes along in pop culture that signifies a slight fall in our society. For some, ultra-conservative "political" columnists, it's the country's enthusiasm about a team sport.* For me, it's the country's enthusiasm about a song that promotes blind love. And kidnapping.

"Rude"--declared the song of the summer--is about a guy who asks his alleged girlfriend's dad for permission to marry her, and the dad turns him down. Aside from this major red flag, the lover boy in the song continues to offer a plethora of reasons why this gal should not marry him. And yet, America swoons. I fear for the dwindling standards of single women. And this is coming from someone who Tinder matches with her cousin.

Why You Gotta Be So Dude: A Breakdown


  • "Saturday morning jumped out of bed, and put on my best suit"
Anyone else picturing this?:

  • "Got in my car and race like a jet all the way to you"
Really sorry about those extra 30 miles you had to put on your car, brah.

  • "Knocked on your door with my heart in my hand to ask you a question"
Ok, that's kind of sweet. The cliché is lame, but I understand it's the best you could do.

  • "'Cause I know that you're an old fashioned man"
Never put the word "old" near the man who wields this much power over you. Idiot.

  • "Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes, 'cause I need to know"
For the rest of your life? That doesn't sound creepster at all. (This is the kidnapping part to which I was referring.)

  • "You say I'll never get your blessing till the day I die, tough luck my friend, but the answer is 'No'"
At least he called you "friend." Might want to check your pronoun usage in that sentence, though. Unless he's talking about you dying. In which case, all pronouns are used correctly, and I like this dad even more.

  • "Why you gotta be so rude?"
A. Quit you're whining. Now I'm completely on the dad's side and know why he made this judgement call.
B. Rude? No, rude is not holding the door open for a woman with a stroller or getting to the front of the Starbucks line to decide between an iced or hot coffee. Telling a whiny brah in a bad suit that, no, I don't want you marrying my daughter, is not rude. Brutally honest, sure. He's probably just wondering why, in 2014, you're interrupting his perfectly lovely Saturday morning crossword puzzle to ask for his daughter who pays taxes, has a mortgage, and is much, much better looking than you.

  • "Don't you know I'm human too?"
Yeah...I'm still going to hold onto my zombie/vampire/Christian Grey theory.

  • "I'm gonna marry her anyway"
My money is on that dad calling the cops right now.

  • "Marry that girl, marry her anyway, marry that girl, no matter what you say"
Poor Dandelion...

  • "And we'll be a family"
Because this father really wants to imagine you procreating with his daughter.

  • "Love me or hate me, we will be boys standing at that altar"
Boys? Did you really just refer to the man who turned down your request to marry his daughter as your "boy"? Oh, honey...

  • "Or will run away"

  • "To another galaxy"
...Crazy coward.

  • I'm gonna marry her anyway.
Please watch this minute and nine second clip that expresses how I feel about that....

(Editor's Note--and yes, that's a fancy way of saying a note from me: I still blast this song in my car when it comes on the radio** every 15 minutes. It's just so. damn. catchy.)

*If you don't know what I'm referring to, then I'm extremely jealous. 

**Why the radio? Because my CD player is broken. Why a CD player? Because I love a good mixed tape.

Bullet Point Tuesday: Pure Michigan...Not-So-Pure Tindering

As I’m typing this, I’m concluding a family trip to northern Michigan to visit our Bad Ass Nana. I’m sitting in my car, stealing Internet from the public library,* which is twenty minutes from Nana’s house. One of the things no one tells you about Pure Michigan. Pure Isolation.

In spite of this (and being on a family vaca), I’m an opportunist, and still had hopes of perhaps meeting a homeboy or two. But by day three, though, I’d grown tired of telling the Up North Tinder guys that I have other nicknames for Mitt Romney than the “comeback kid.”

However when my cousin, Miles, suggested going to his favorite tiki bar along the river,** I began to think all hope was not lost. Who knew? Maybe I could meet some cute yachtsman. (Yacht included, of course.)

  • River Bars in Paradise
Miles took my sister, Fran, and I for a river cruise and pulled up to the bar, which consisted of docking the boat (something of which I know nothing about and almost lost a finger while pretending to help). The bar, as it turned out, was a tiki hut someone constructed on their property and a BYOB establishment. Having a cooler of Coors Light made us the classiest of the eight patrons, the other five ranging various ages in their 70s. The gal drinking Busch Light on ice in a coffee carrier mug, wearing her floral tankini with black shorts was easily my favorite person there.

Though we did not meet any yacht boys, Fran and I certainly spent some quality time with Smokey, talking about fishing (he did most of the talking) and repeatedly damning his son for not being there to meet us. (The ultimate compliment.)

Once our cooler ran dry, we were back on the river, making our way over to a bar that was described as a “knife and gun club at night—but great pizzas!” We were sold.

Within 30 seconds of walking in, our dreams of meeting an Up North man had come true. If our dreams had consisted of a greasy-haired, redneck, cage fighter. He was enamored with Fran, repeatedly holding her face in his hands in a manner reserved for a doctor…or Ryan Gosling playing the role of a doctor.  “Look at all dem angel kisses on yer face,” he said.

Not wanting to be rude, of course, he then held out his hand and introduced himself.
“I’m Ramone."
“I’m Fran. And this is my very overprotective cousin, Miles.” Miles was engrossed in a conversation with a man who smelled so potently of smoke that I was pretty sure we acquired 14% Black Lung by proximity.
I held out my hand to Ramone. “I’m Chloe.”
“That’s sure some shake you got, there.”
“Yeah,” I said, nodding my head towards Fran, “she’s my sister.”
This act of protectiveness sent Ramone into defense mode, as he proceeded on a slurry tirade about how he didn’t mean any harm and that women should be told they’re beautiful by someone other than their husbands or boyfriends. Oh, Ramone. What a giver.

“Like pregnant women. They need to be told how beautiful they are. Just the other day, I saw a woman knocked up in the store and she looked miserable.”
“Awww….so you told her she was beautiful?” Fran asked.
“Hell naw! I asked her if it was mine.”

We left shortly after Romane insisted I feel his forearm, which felt very similar to a large, steel pipe that could knock all three of us dead with a swift swipe.

  • Living on the Edge
Aside from the nights of playing Pizza Party*** until 9:30 P.M. with my niece and one heated political debate in which I shouted, “People DO have sex before they’re married!”, things were pretty tame. But not so much for the homeboys of northern Michigan. They live on two extremes. Redneck and redder neck.

Yes, please!

Because nothing is hotter than a man who slaughters Bambi.

  • Redneck Tinder Matches
My Tindering came to an abrupt and brutal halt when I came across a profile of a guy who I knew all too well. I have to say, just when you think there’s nothing more debasing than using the Tinder app, then your cousin pops up in your feed.

Because we’re both a-holes, we each sent a series of screen shots of the other’s profile, ripping it to shreds.

But I’m sure I’m not the first gal Up North to match with her cousin.

*I won’t go in because they don’t allow coffee or talking. I can live without Internet for five days, but not without those things for five minutes.

**A cousin as a wingman?  I know, sounds weird. And it is. Especially when I’m pretty sure this cousin would trade me for cocaine.  Or a case of Budweiser.

***Best. Game. Ever.

Guest Post Wednesday: Is This Real Life? by Alex Ripley

This is long overdue. So long that I’ve gotten used to the weekly emails from Chloe begging for a love life update, but I’m finally coming through on my promise to deliver.

Admittedly, I’ve been nearly 100% AWOL from tweeting my exploits over @AlexRipleyDates. Here’s why: About the same time I became single, I also took a special assignment for work. A pretty lightweight assignment that afforded me tons of free time to start Chloe-Cline-ing my exploits as a single dude in the city. Right around the time things were getting hot and heavy with the cardiologist I got back into my normal routine of being, you know…busy and stuff.

So while I haven’t been live-tweeting my inner-dating-monologue there have been some interesting developments in my love life.

The Cardiologist
Almost as quickly as things heated up with the cardiologist, they fizzled out. She was always referring to she and her co-workers as “scientist-types” and I always brushed it off. However, a few weeks in, I started to realize that I get along a little better with women who are slightly more emotionally intelligent than my sweet cardiologist. I loved her intellect, her passion for her work, and her nerdy, nervous sense of humor, but I knew in my heart (and after a very clinical HJ one evening) that it just wasn’t going to work out.

After my NYC Tinder friend visited me in Chicago, I got a little trigger shy with starting a long-distance thing. She also had too many tendencies that reminded me of my Jewish mother.

When I mentioned to her over the phone that I could tell my feelings were changing, she made a reference to my Instagram photos. She had gone ahead and interpreted some things about my last relationship from MY EFFING INSTAGRAM FEED and chalked up any trepidation I was feeling to the all-telling photo of my ex and I dressed as Mexican banditos from last Halloween. Nice try, Sherlock. Its not her, it’s you.

NYC #2
A little more than a month ago, there was a convention that brings many out-of-towners from my firm into Chicago for a long weekend. I have several friends from different work outposts across the U.S. that use that weekend as an excuse to let me be their Chicago tour guide for three days. One of those co-workers and I have had a three-year friendship that has bordered on a professional crush. We met for dinner the first night she was in town, and it moved quickly from professional crush to full on making out at the bar at Au Cheval.

What followed was a lost weekend in Chicago. We were inseparable for three days, started calling each other “baby.” I was spiraling into some weird relationshipy vortex with this girl. The day she went back to New York City, I booked a flight out to see her for a few weekends later. To be continued…

In. Real. Life. Or, IRL as people in the world of dating commentary call it means meeting someone off the grid of online dating. I’d been so engrossed with the world of OkCupid and Tinder that I forgot how great it was to meet someone IRL.

The same weekend that NYC #2 was in Chicago, I was the guest of a high-end vendor at classy gala event for AIDS research. As cocktail hour wound down, I made my way to my assigned table. I chose a random seat and started chatting with a girl seated to my right. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone take the seat to my left. At a break in the conversation, I turned to politely introduce myself to my new seat-mate.

There are a million superlatives I could use to describe the first time I met IRL but I don’t know if they would do her justice. After introducing myself, we entered into a bubble for the rest of the evening, completely losing track of space, time, and the guy spilling his guts to the room about his work with AIDS patients. (Sorry!) We had an instant chemistry that I haven’t felt… um, ever? It was alarming for both of us. By the end of the night, we were in deep “like” with each other. We made plans to go out later that week and by the end of the evening we were already furiously texting each other with witty abandon.

The Conclusion (not a nickname for someone I slept with)
In the interim between my booked trip to visit NYC #2 I fell hard for IRL. In fact, it was a mutual feeling. We kept telling each other we wanted to take things slow with each other, seemingly only so we could laugh about how stupid-bad we wanted to spend all our time together. By the time my trip to NYC was upon us, I was head over heels for this woman.

Problem: I had booked this trip to New York to have a love rendezvous with a co-worker. Uh. Oh.

I took the trip to New York to visit my “friend” and decided that I would be honest with my co-worker. While I was staying with her, I told her that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and definitely not another one with a co-worker. She was somewhat understanding, but slightly unnerved because there was legitimate chemistry between the two of us, just not anything close to what I have with IRL. 

Here’s where I’m going with all this (I think). When I met IRL, everyone, and almost everything fell by the wayside. We instantly clicked and it felt right. All these other girls I was seeing or had been seeing were lovely people but no one that made me pause and say, “There is no one else I want but you.” Throughout the last five months of dating, there were moments where I felt bad about seeing more than a few people at once – but what else is there to do if you aren’t emotionally or physically committed to just one person? Could I have been happy with any of the nicknamed females above? Yes. Would I have ultimately been settling? Yes.

This entire time I was on a search for a person who gave me hope that I could find that loving feeling again. It’s too early to tell where things with IRL will lead but I’m getting all tingly thinking about the possibilities. When you delete all the online dating apps from your phone. You know it’s real.

Bullet Point Tuesday: This One's for the Boys

It's come to my attention that not only do I have a strong male readership (hey boys!), but that there's also a major gap in what women expect from a guy in dating and what is actually happening. Of course, the guys that read this blog don't need this advice, I'm just hoping you pass it on to your counterparts, who in turn also pass it on, kinda like a dating revolution, and one day I can stop seeing guys on Tinder who are wearing spandex and latex gloves and likewise stop going on dates with dudes who think it's acceptable to dip tobacco.

For the Boys: A Do And Don't List

  • DO Go Shopping

You should not be wearing the same button downs you wore in college. We can tell, and it's not endearing. It says: I like to play video games and smoke in my free time.* Get out and buy a some new shirts, and if fashion ain't yo thang, then ask an employee for help. That's what they're there for. I promise.

  • DO Approach a Woman at Bar

I get it. The fear of rejection. Not wanting to buy every girl a drink. Tinder. But, seriously, it's super attractive when a guy has the balls to come up to a woman and start making conversation. Unfortunately, in my experience, it's often been guys like this who have some odd, inflated sense of self-confidence.

The rejection thing is a huge factor for guys. Two things about that: 1. Get over yourself. So some girl isn't interested/has a boyfriend/is a bitch. It happens. Welcome to my world. 2. Pick better women. I mean, you can usually tell what kind of woman is going to be a complete a-hole and turn you down. (If she's drinking vodka sodas, wearing 4.5 inch heels, and says things like, "juice cleanse," then take those as some solid indicators.)

I do realize I'm asking you to break away from your pack o' brahs to accomplish this task. Fly away, little bird. Fly. Away.

  • DON'T Have Pictures in Your Online Dating Profile of You Urinating/Sticking Your Tongue Out/Wearing a Leather Jacket

You are not using Tinder to impress your guy friends. We--trust me--do not find pictures of you in front of a urinal, with another woman, or blacked out attractive. Don't look like a dbag, either, who takes himself too seriously and post some A.C. Slater-backwards chair bullshit. I know, I'm asking you to walk a fine line here. Don't have many great pics to use? Make a point to get some the next time you're out. I don't care if your friends make fun of you. You can handle it.

  • DON'T Lead with Lines Like "Hey Baby"

Currently, I have 43 matches in my Tinder that are sitting without conversation. Women have been told (though, as we all know, I often don't listen) that men like the chase. So effing say something, man. You don't need a line; you don't need something clever. "How's your day going?" will suffice if you really clam up around Tinder women. You can give a compliment, but that's risking sounding cheesy and doesn't leave room for conversation. "Killer smile," only really warrants one response: "Thanks." Start a conversation, yo.

  • DO Compliment Her...Eventually

I know, now I'm getting complicated. But, as you already know, women are complicated messes.  Here's the thing: if you lead with a compliment, you sound insincere. If you start a conversation and then say something complimentary, you're gold. The more random the compliment, the better. Sounds weird, but we've heard guys say nice eyes/great smile/you look like Kate Upton alllllllll the time. So when you notice something different--that shows you were listening to the conversation--it makes us think you're truly paying attention to us. Something like, "I bet you're a really good physical therapist," OR, "You must be a good friend with the way you're looking out for them," OR, "You remind me of Kate Upton."

*Yeah, while we're here, there is truly nothing more unsexy than a "man" playing video games. Stop it. Or at least keep that shit to yourself.

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