Tag Archives: dating
After a divorce and then a long-term relationship that ended because: a) I got my life together; b) he was jealous of that; and c) he had no idea who Nelson Mandela was…I unleashed myself onto the online dating world.
My point of entry was OKCupid. My life is crazy busy, and online seemed to be the best option for me. My best friend was also on “the Cupid” and seemed to have success there, so I thought what the heck. The first person I contacted who contacted me back was great guy who just happened to have finalized his divorce one month before he met me.
After about two years of trying to feel out if this man was ever going to be ready (honestly if they want to be with you, they will and you don’t have to figure it out; men are pretty basic that way). Needless to say, he was not ready for what I was looking for–an eventual life partner. So I went back to “the Cupid” to see who else was out there…or more accurately, I decided to passively online date. I wasn’t going to look for anyone; if someone wanted to contact me, I would go from there. But I really didn’t have time to waste looking through countless profiles, because, well, I’m busy!
One day a nice guy contacted me and he seemed OK. [Editor’s Note/Question: Pun intended?] He had two kids from a previous marriage. Had been divorced for my minimum amount of time. (About four years seems, in my experience, is an optimal time to heal…and sleep with enough people to get it out of their system so that they’re ready for an actual relationship.) [Editor’s Note: Good. To. Know. Thank you.]
We texted and talked for a couple of weeks before we actually met. We met somewhere close to my house for breakfast because he worked nights, and I had to work that day, and it was the only way to fit it into both our schedules. Unconventional perhaps, but if you can’t be adaptable in dating, you can’t be adaptable with a life partner so why even bother.
Several things were red flags to me when we met. He felt the need to kiss me as a hello. I’m NOT a PDA girl with someone I don’t know. I am barely PDA with men I do know (at least at that point in my life…but that’s another story). Throughout the breakfast, he was trying to hold my hand before our food arrived. I told him that PDA just wasn’t me and he really needed to stop. Once that ended, I noticed something else. Something I just couldn’t believe.
He had no teeth.
When I say he had no teeth I mean NO teeth–not a ONE.
I couldn’t believe it. I almost couldn’t handle it. My parents spent thousands of dollars on making sure that, not only did I have teeth, but that they were perfectly straight. This man. This 35-year-old man had not one tooth in his head. It’s not like he was a professional hockey player or a boxer or something where he might have gotten them knocked out and then replaced with fake teeth. I could handle fake teeth, but gums? Just gums? Oh hell no.
After the date ended, he tried to kiss me some more. I just couldn’t get the image of his gums out of my head.
I called my best friend and shared my story with him. His reply was not what I expected: “I hope someone could love old, fat, bald me, but if this isn’t something you can get past, then you should put this guy out of his misery.” My response to him was, “Well at least you have teeth.”
That weekend I was headed to St. Louis for a wedding and to visit with my family who I hadn’t seen in years, and I told Mr. Gums I was going to be busy.
The weekend was filled with texts and calls that were above and beyond normal dating etiquette. So not only was this guy toothless, but he was obsessive and, well, annoying. I was going to let him down easy, but changed my mind and went for blunt and to the point. I texted him: This isn’t going work, sorry. I hope you find what you are looking for.
A little over a month later, I met the man I am with now. In our early conversations, I said to him, “You seem perfect, but I have to know…do you have all of your teeth?” He laughed and said, “Yes. Why?” I told him, and we’ve lived happily ever after.
Now I actually enjoy PDA.
Dana is a 43-year-old, white, single mom of a biracial 13-year-old daughter. She started a new career three years ago in video production and she’s also an online radio co-host. Her background includes music, musical theater, and improv. She studied at The Second City and took a graduate class with Adam McKay at Piven Theater workshop. Name dropper? Maybe a little. For more on That Fat Girl Media, click here.
[Final Editor’s Note: I pretty much fell into a deep girl crush upon meeting Dana. Can we just talk about how she called men basic? #basicboy Happened here first, folks. And in lieu of pumpkin spice lattes, Basic Boys carry Lifetime Fitness cards.]
POSTED IN: catfished, chicago, chloe cline, Dana R. Griffin, dating, Fat Girl Media, OkCupid dating
Naturally, I did what anyone in my situation would do. I checked his left hand for a wedding band.
He didn’t have one, so it was game on.
So I get this guy and his bike out of the street–you know, like a lady–and we’re sitting on the curb and it’s totally first date conversation. I’m like, “How many how fingers am I holding up?…Do you know where you are?….What’s the last thing you remember?”
It. Was. Magical.
Aaaaaaand then his girlfriend showed up. Who was non-too-pleased to find me soothingly rubbing her boyfriend’s back as she came upon the scene. But as soon I realized what was going on, I put an appropriate amount of distance between her man and me, even putting my arms up like I was being arrested as if to say, “I’m sorry, girl. I didn’t know. He didn’t have a band.” (Which is something sister friend might want to work on….)
It’s so weird–the wedding band thing. Because I’ve realized that when I’m out in the real world, I’ll look at a guy’s left hand before I even look at his face.
I wasn’t always this way, though–hunting for bare left ring fingers with the type of dedication reserved for Nordstrom Rack deals and bars that have Brooklyn Brown Ale on tap. I noticed that this behavior only recently picked up in the last month or so, and I couldn’t quite pin point why.
Then I read author and co-host of SoChi, Jillian Conley’s, blog post from last week, in which she described this as a time when men and women instinctively look for a partner. It’s something Jillian refers to as the “rutting period.”
Ooohhhhhhhhhhhh. So THAT’S why I restarted my OkCupid profile and put on make up to go to Trader Joe’s. I, apparently, am also on the fall hunt.
See, being single during the holidays is never something that’s bothered me. There’s so much joy and fun and alcohol from Thanksgiving to New Year’s that I don’t take note of not having a plus one while mowing down on Aunt Chele’s homemade chicken wings. The same goes for January through March, since I don’t leave the house or put on make up. And we all know that spring and summer in Chicago is one, long bender season. Who has time to be locked down?
It’s this interim time, when summer sets and fall begins, that I think we feel our soloness hit.
The other day I grabbed coffee with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in over a month. Her first question for me was, “So–anything new on the dating front?”
This question annoyed me for two reasons: 1. I’m pretty sure my blog serves as a weekly newsletter on this exact subject. 2. It’s the one time of the year that this question feels like a sucker punch.
So since this is a critical time for your local singles, I’ve made a list of DOs and DON’Ts (and things you can request if you’re one such single) in honor of Singles Awareness Month:
Singles Awareness Month DOs and DON’Ts
- DO NOT SEND THEM FLOWERS. Your local single will think it’s from a romantic connection, only to read the card and learn that yay, my friends pity me, and drown him or herself in Chips Ahoy and a bottle of wine. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
- DO send them take out food. There’s nothing we love more than food in…especially when we don’t have to pay for it. [Note: This single in particular loves Pequods pizza, thin crust, extra sauce, Canadian bacon, and basil.]
- DON’T ask them to go to one of those places where you paint pottery/canvas and drink wine. Just. Don’t.
- DO ask them to go to places and just drink.
- DON’T flag down a cute guy or girl at a bar, and say, “Oops, I have to go now. Ok, you two talk.”
- DON’T send inspirational quotes found on Pinterest about love. Unless you want to be ruthlessly made fun of by singles everywhere. Behind your back, of course. We have manners.
- DON’T let them walk out of the house pulling something like this: (And expect a completely irrational fight about it.)
- DO support them in whatever odd endeavor he or she has recently picked up. (i.e. knitting, beer brewing, blogging,* Ancestry.com, leaf collecting, bowling league, taxidermy, or Sims).
If you don’t have the time to dedicate, singles will also accept donations. Most in the form of ChasePay.
*Yes, I see the coincidence in that this blog was born and then reborn from my singledom. You’re welcome.
POSTED IN: Bullet Point Tuesday, chicago, chloe cline, dating, Jillian Conley, Singles Awareness Month
My apologies. But I had ebola and was afraid to leave my bed. Fever, runny nose, unquenchable thirst, chipped manicure. It was totally ebola. And I totally beat it by myself. Can’t get more bad ass than that. Thank you.
After careful examination of my recent history and WebMD, I’ve determined that I ascertained said deadly virus in one of two places: Bar Deville or Taco Bell.
First of all, let me preface this with the only reason we went to Bar Deville on a Friday night was because Siri failed us miserably. When I asked her: “What are good bars to meet men at?” she unhelpfully replied with this:
So I turned to Twitter and, when asked what bar to check out in West Town (where I hear cute guys run around like Disney characters), I was given Bar Deville from not one or two, but THREE different trusted Twitter users. And given that three is the magic number in the drunk world and that I was getting drunk just from playing this game, Lex, Lily, and I decided to go on an adventure.
- How I Could’ve Gotten Ebola Part I: Bar Deville
Remember those Westerns when a cowboy walks in the saloon and the music stops and everyone turns around and stares? Yeah. It was like that. Except instead of gun holsters, we had on dresses from Express and Old Navy and wore pink lipstick. (In the land of hipsters, your dresses must be from thrift shops or boutiques and lipsticks shades of the red variety.)
We tried to order a beer, but didn’t recognize any of the names of the beers on tap because we are not, in fact, cool. When Lexi asked for a Miller Lite the bartender smirked at her. She ordered PBRs (in hopes to slightly redeem ourselves), which I’m quite confident he spit in. Bam. Ebola.
Lily has terrible short-term memory, which is why she has the need to document us at every bar via iPhone photography to make sure it happened. It’s not her fault. She has a problem.* When she asked the young woman sitting next to us at the bar to take our picture, the woman rolled her eyes and while taking the picture said, “I. Hate. You. All.”
She gave the phone back with a satisfied, smug grin and asked mockingly, “Is it ok? Do you want me to take another?”
I leaned over and told her that I loved her tattoo: “A peace sign? On your wrist? You. Are. So. Original.”
So I’m pretty sure she could’ve given me ebola, too. I know she wanted to, anyway.
We left shortly after, but not before having a completely necessary photo session in the bar’s photo booth.
- How I Could’ve Gotten Ebola Part II: Taco Bell
Because what else are you supposed to do if you’re single on a Sunday except treat yourself to some delicious fast food?
As I waited for my order to be ready (I was generously picking up some TB for my girlfriends–I know. I’m a giver.), this homeboy next to me was clearly trying to put out the vibe. I looked up from my phone and he opened with the very innocuous, yet underrated, line of: “Hi.”
We chatted for a few minutes and then homeboy asked, “So what do you do?” When I told him that I’m a writer and comedian, he looked a little surprised and hesitated. I told him not to worry; I’m not like….all the scary writers you hear about. (Fuck, I’m awkward.)
“No, that’s not it,” he said. “I just would’ve guessed you were a high school gym teacher.”
Because Taco Bell has merciful gods, my order number was called just then. I grabbed my bag, to which homeboy said, “Wow, that’s a lot of food!” and I walked out.
I don’t think it was the Taco Bell that gave me ebola, but maybe the pint of ice cream I had afterwards.
*Pretty sure it’s also called Insta/FB Addiction-Fatigue Syndrome. Look it up. It’s REAL.
POSTED IN: bar deville, Bullet Point Tuesday, chicago, chloe cline, dating, ebola, high school gym teacher, taco bell
Guest Post Wednesday: What Happens Out of Town, Stays Out of Town. Unless Your Friends Are Assholes. by Dating Olivia
POSTED IN: Canada, chicago, dating, dating olivia, Guest Post Wednesday, moving to warmer climates
And enough time had passed in my online dating stints that I forgot. I forgot how depressing online dating is. Especially on Sunday.
Because…even though it’s online, it’s pretty transparent. I mean, you can see who’s viewed your profile, who’s seen a message you sent and never responded, and if you look really closely, you can see your standards–and dignity–fading fast.
I’m not sure about other sites–I’m too cheap to try them and OkCupid is free–but it just serves as a reminder of what’s really out there for you.
Exhibit A: Nicely Bearded Man, 31
After clicking on his profile, here’s what I found:
- Works at Ace Hardware
- Fired from Ace Hardware (so the above should be in past tense)
- Tried nursing school, but it was “too boring”
- Lives with his parents
- Currently looking for roommates (maybe he got this site confused with Craigslist)
- Looking for a trendy, good-looking woman with a “career”
But you know what–I have to give this homeboy credit for putting it out there. How many times, ladies, have we been out with a guy and it’s just this snowball of horrible information: I don’t have a job–BOOM–I’m completely unambitious with my life’s goals–BOOM–I’m going to pretend I forgot my wallet and make you pay for my negronis–BOOM–
Exhibit B: Blondie, 32
For those of you who haven’t been on OkCupid (or hit rock bottom), the service provides a space for you to fill out a self-summary. It’s super awkward because no one really knows how to talk about him/herself without sounding incredibly lame. But we all fill it out in the name of finding true, OkCupid love. Here’s how this homeboy’s went:
- My Self-Summary: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah, blah
I know. WHERE is that second-to-last comma?? Is he so lazy he can’t even correctly punctuate his “ironic” self-description? I. Can’t. Even.
Exhibit C: Too-Good-To-Be-True, 36
This guy was just a little too good-looking–like did you airbrush your photos or just step off a Ralph Lauren photo shoot?
I thought about messaging him anyway until I saw this:
- Optimal dating age bracket: 20-31
Hold up, dude. You’re ok with dating someone who still has to bring a fake ID to the bar and you’re 36? Yeah….I’m out.
Exhibit D: the Creative Message Guy
I received the following message from this homeboy:
- “Do you think sneakers, sandals, or flip flops look better on a guy with shorts and a T-shirt?”
First of all, unless she’s a store clerk, do not ask a woman you don’t know for fashion advice. Second of all, none of that footwear is appropriate for a grown ass man. Neither are shorts, which I imagine are of the cargo-nature. Don’t even get me started on guys who think it’s acceptable to wear concert shirts to any place other than the gym.
Just imagine if the situation was reverse. If I sent that message to a guy: “So, do you think I should wear my TOMs or clogs or Crocs with my oversized sweatpants from high school?”
Dude was from Indiana, though, so I guess I have to cut him some slack.
*This is just an obligatory * after the plethora of my ***** were called out last week. See, dear reader, I listen.**
**Kinda. I just had no real after-thoughts on this one.***
***See what I did there? Ok, I’ll stop.
POSTED IN: Bullet Point Tuesday, chicago, chicago dating, chloe cline, dating, okcupid, OkCupid profiles, online dating
There is still a certain stigma around meeting someone online,* but I don’t get it. It’s 2014, era of Facebook replacing class reunions, LinkedIn profiles replacing resumes, and me constantly accidentally liking my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s photos on Instagram. Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, etc. make perfect sense. In real life (or IRL), the first thing we notice about a person is usually their face, and so many of us (even if we try not to) check whatever social media we are into with alarming frequency. Your friends faces are probably usually illuminated with the glow of a smart phone when the couch, at the movies, at a bar or a restaurant, or a street fest. Hell, I even watched some people on their phones while on the dance floor at a wedding last weekend. Face + phone = great idea.
It’s the phrase “online dating” that sends me through the roof.
Dating suggests going out socially–getting to know someone in person to see if you are interested in making out with only them or bringing them to your friend’s birthday dinner or your nephew’s first communion after party. Online dating should be called online meeting or, better yet, online arranging to meet. To say that staring at 5-7 flattering photos of people (totally filtered, and usually ranging from the years of 2008-2012) and the best one-or-two-liners someone can come up with is as equivalent to dating as ridiculous as the following conversation:
“I just re-watched [insert movie here].”
“Oh, I loooove that movie!”
“Me, too! What’s your favorite part?”
“Well I haven’t actually seen it, but some of my friends like it and I read the Wikipedia. It seems like something I would love.”
I’m sure that I seem like someone plenty of people would be into. There have been plenty of times that I come across a profile for someone that seems like someone I’d really like. Maybe we have some mutual friends and interests or maybe he just appears handsome. It is the presumption that there will be (or already is**) a real life connection or chemistry that irritates me.
Let me elaborate. Pictures of Fiji look great. I would of course go to Fiji, the same as I’d of course go out on a date with an internet guy. That said, I have never actually been to Fiji. Maybe I’ll love it, or maybe I’ll get food poisoning and never see the beach or have a weird regional allergic reaction after a few days. Moral of the Fiji analogy: NEVER ASSUME!
Will the presumptuous potential beaus of the world wide web keep me away? Of course not. But for anyone reading this that might run into me on the net, please don’t be offended if I don’t take too much stock in whatever happens before a real-life meet up.
*If you’ve ever dabbled in “online dating” you’ve seen a version of the classic “We’ll tell out friends and family we met at [blank]!” at the start of an “About Me” section
**I legit had a guy introduce me as his girlfriend on our first (and last) date
[Editor’s Note: I did not realize until this moment that Wikipedia isn’t a credible answer for having seen a movie. Mind. Blown. And thank you for confirming exactly why I haven’t gone to Fiji.]
As a 22-year-old recent college grad, I can safely say that most people in my general age bracket use Tinder (and other forms of online dating) as more of a game than an actual dating mechanism. While people do occasionally meet up, it has the general aura of a frat party, and guys usually message you romantic, endearing things like “sit on my face” and “nice tits.”
On the off chance that you do meet someone you kind of like, you have the opportunity to get to know them a bit before you go on the First Date, which is pretty cool. But it’s also hilarious because it takes the normal stages of dating and completely f*cks them up.The best and worst part about the virtual world is the shield of anonymity—how easy it is to say things you would never, ever say in person when you’re safe behind your cell phone.
Normal dating, for example, goes a little something like this:
- Meet someone somewhere IRL. Perhaps you are sober, perhaps you are not. Flirtation ensues regardless.
- Cute Person asks you for your phone number (or vice versa)
- You text each other for a few days, usually about innocent topics, such as what you’re eating for lunch and what your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix is.
- When texting conversation goes on for awhile before you see Cute Person next, winky faces become a thing.
- You go get a few drinks or dinner.
- You might repeat Step 5 a few times.
- Cute Person kisses you.
- The relationship progresses physically, generally as you spend more and more time in their physical presence.
And then there’s online dating.
- You match Cute Person online and the first message ensues. If he does not include the acronym “DTF” in his first sentence, you are surprised. This is Prince Charming, I tell you!
- They snag your phone number (stay with me here)
- You text each other for a few days, usually about entirely scandalous things like what kind of underwear you’re wearing and what your favorite position is.
- At some point in your virtual flirtation, Cute Person is probably jokingly going to ask you if you want to exchange pictures. They are not joking. You will laugh and say “Omg, noooooo! I’ve never even met you!”
- A few days pass. You exchange pictures.
- More sexually charged conversation happens for another week or two, occasionally interspersed with discussions about more trivial things like, you know, your career and life’s ambitions.
- Meet IRL. This occasionally might involve shaking the hand of someone you’ve already seen naked.
- Sit through a couple of hours of intense sexual tension. Drink several beers and wonder what you should do next. I mean, you’ve already hooked up. Wait, no—that’s not right, is it?
Perhaps the latter is more indicative of a demographic making a sad attempt to switch from the dating norms of one life stage to the next, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily a bad thing. While I’m certainly not advocating virtual sexy-time with every Right Swipe Gentleman Caller that comes your way, I have a friend who met a guy on Tinder, went on several great dates, and then scored in the editing room of the major TV network he works at.
It may not make the screenplay of the next Rachel McAdams movie, but if you say that’s not on your bucket list, I think you’re lying.
[Editor’s Note: I love Katie Roach. Like a lot. But I think this post distinguishes between the young guns and the old twats like myself. Rachel McAdams hopes? You. Go. Girl. Remember when we had that kind of hope? That’s now gone with our thongs and fertile eggs. But, man, I really want the deets on that editing room.]
[Editor’s Note 2: Read more of Katie here.]
POSTED IN: chicago, dating, katie roach, online dating, sundae funday, the ice cream diaries
A few weeks ago, I was asked to be a guest on the Steve Harvey Show. For my first date tips? For my hilarious array of dating stories? For my inhuman ability to correctly combine independent and dependent clauses at a rapid rate?
No. No. And, most disappointingly, no.
This was an intervention.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever witnessed an intervention or looked it up on Wikipedia, but it generally involves loving friends and family, reassuring words, and a safe space. Or national television. Tomato tomato. (Wow, that phrase really bombs on the page. It looks like I’m just repeating random vegetables.)
So this Thursday and Friday you–and the rest of America–get to see what a dating disaster I am. Pretty sure some former dates are claiming karma right now. Zucchini zucchini.
The show airs this Thursday and Friday (9/18 & 9/19) at 2:00 P.M. CST on NBC.* If you see a bunch of drunk tweets about that time, just kindly disregard. It’s all a part of the fifteen-step plan.
*If you’re in the Chicago area. If not, check your local listings, yo.
POSTED IN: @IAMSteveHarvey, Bullet Point Tuesday, chicago, dating, dating disaster, steve harvey show