Tag Archives: Guest Post Wednesday

Guest Post Wednesday: A Date With Chloe Cline by The Private Investigator

Private-InvestigatorOnline dating can often feel like you’re forced to waddle through a swampy cesspool full of leaches, crocodiles, and the occasional crazy, gun-toting “Duck Dynasty” wannabe. If you’ve been doing it long enough, you know to be cautious, and you know that feeling when a few red flags turns into too many.

Yes, there are dangerous catfish lurking in these waters.

This is technically my third go-around with online dating in approximately seven years. I’ve been on plenty of awful dates, a few good ones, and mostly have simply occupied my time and given myself the best excuse whenever I was the only groomsman at the wedding without a girlfriend/wife/life partner.[1]

My vast experience (not something I’m proud of) with online dating does mean I know when I might be getting catfished.

As readers of this blog know, Ms. Cline has quaintly outsourced her dating life to her friends. On the surface, I have to admire the brilliance of it. It is effortless dating, provided you trust your friends.[2]

Ms. Cline detailed it last week; about a week and a half ago, she met me for a date interview.[3]

But before Chloe Cline ever walked into that bar, I knew she wasn’t who her friends had made her out to be.

The red flags began appearing almost immediately. I messaged “Chloe” first after she “liked” me. Throughout our online conversations, her messages were abrupt and chock full of high-school texting language. Although this wasn’t, on its own, terribly off-putting, it was the first red flag. Either this 30-year-old woman has a teenage-like grasp of the English language, or she isn’t quite who she says she is.

Further, “Chloe’s” profile was sparsely filled out. It smirked of laziness, as if someone else was just filling out the questions in a way they thought would be enough to get people to write back. Red flag no. 2.

Yet, what really set off the klaxons in my head was how quickly “Chloe” propositioned me to get a drink. In less than a day and only a few messages, I was being asked out. This is strange for two reasons: First, it’s exceedingly rare for the girl to ask the guy to meet. Second, it’s nearly unforeseen that she would do so after only sending a few short messages.

Now I knew there was something suspicious here; there were many questions. I had no idea how spectacular the answers would be.

Prior to my current career, I was a newspaper reporter and a private investigator. I was often tasked with hunting down people who didn’t want to be found. Thankfully, Chloe wasn’t that challenging.

I didn’t time myself, but I’d estimate it took fewer than 5 minutes from the time I began my hunt to the time I stumbled upon this blog (and with it, her twitter feed). After a half an hour of reading this, I realized I was being catfished – sort of.

This was still on Sunday, the first day we had exchanged messages.

I read more of the blog – the Steve Harvey appearance, the failed dates, Lexi and Daisy – and I quickly realized I HAD to go on a date with this woman. There was no way I could resist.

The best trap is the one you know you’re walking into.

But now I had an important decision to make. I could approach this date one of three ways:

Option 1: Immediately upon meeting her, confront her with what I knew and see what happened.

Option 2: Assume a character and go overboard in such a way that I was assured to be terrifying/revolting but not quite over the top. This would have been challenging, but possible.[4] Then, at the end, perhaps drop the act, confess I was faking just to make the blog, and see what happened.

Option 3: Be myself and don’t tip my hand. At a certain point during the evening, maybe drop a backhanded comment about the blog and see what chaos ensued.

I went with Option 3.

Chloe, to her benefit, came clean almost immediately (as she detailed last week).

I was crushed. She confessed within minutes of our meeting.[5]

When I told her I knew everything and began to walk her through her own dating history (we had shaken hands only moment ago, mind you), I admit that had the biggest shit-eating grin on my face. But could you blame me? I had just turned my catfish’s face as red as her lovely nail polish.[6] For the next little while, Ms. Cline, online dating extraordinaire, laughed, giggled, blushed and occasionally stood aghast. I had successfully turned the trap on her.

Yet after all that, Chloe and I had one of the best date interviews I’ve ever had in those years of hopeless and agonizingly awkward online dating. We had a real date last week, and I intend to take her out again, now that we can honestly get to know each other.

So all’s well that ends well, or some bullshit like that.

But seriously, folks, don’t trust your friends with your online dating profile.

[1] This has happened now 9 times. Always the groomsman, never the groom.

[2] I do not trust any of my friends to do this. I tried it once; I quickly learned my friends know next-to-nothing about me.

[3] I dub the “meet-and-greet” portion of online dating – you know, the part where you first meet the person and realize all their photos were taken 4 years and 50 pounds ago – as a “date interview.” You get to see if you get a real first date or not.

[4] I actually had figured out how to begin the conversation. It involved me showing up late, a recent morgue visit, and graphic descriptions of various bodily injuries and how much they excited me. Also, this is what all my friends wanted me to do. Chloe is lucky I did not do this.

[5] I chalk this up to repressed Catholic guilt.

[6] Which can probably best be described here as “crack whore red.”

[Editor’s Note: In regards to footnote 5, there’s nothing repressed about it. It’s very out in the open. And with footnote 6, I’m not sure another date will be happening.]


Guest Post Wednesday: Terrible First Date Ideas by Hot Mess Stiles

 

Danielle Stiles is the hysterical vlogger of Hot Mess Stiles, wearer of adorable glasses, and girl crush of many. Subscribe to her YouTube channel now. Like right now. Here ya go: Hot Mess Stiles.

[Editor’s Note: It’s just adorable how she thinks I’m an expert, huh?]


Guest Post Wednesday: Tinder Trainwreck by Olivia Hoffing

Ice-Cream-by-Emily-Anne-Epstein03I love Tinder. I love shopping for boys–the constant ability to have instant attention at the ease of a swipe and the excitement when you sign in to see a little red dot in your message section. It was perfect for me as a true sufferer of commitment phobia. I convinced myself and my friends that I was interested in casual dating for fun but open to something more serious if it was the right person. I hadn’t been in a relationship in years and honestly out of the dating scene for quite some time. I was a Tinder sceptic, but after a few good experiences I had faith in the system.

I realized quickly that there is a method to how guys Tinder…

*Step 1: Ask a girl to drinks on a week night to see if she passes the crazy test and if she is as hot in person as her 3 individual/1 group pictures reveal.

*Step 2: Ask her to drinks part 2 on a week night and determine if this girl is a good hookup by inviting her back to your place which is conveniently close to where drinks are.

*Step 3: Maybe meet up for 2-4 additional hookups/hangouts then decide that it was “getting too serious too quickly” and find a new girl to repeat the cycle with.

As a true Type A person, I wanted to make sure that I was going to be beat guys at their own game and always be one step ahead of them in the process. I did my homework and made sure that the gents I selected to meet in person were truly worth my time. I dated hard in the spring/summer and ended up having positive Tinder experiences. I broke my own rules and ended up falling for one of the bastards in late July. I even deleted the app. Sadly, as summer ended and the Calvin Harris song was officially driving everyone nuts, my Tinder love also faded. Now I sat at the start of fall with a bruised ego and no guys on the horizon.

After a lonely and boring hungover Sunday, I decided to download Tinder for the SECOND time. I gave my profile a facelift and added new, much more attractive pictures from that month showing that I actually stuck to my summer diet. I felt so invigorated to be getting all these matches and starting the process from scratch. It was on hour 2 of Tindering that I matched with what seemed to be the adorable Kevin. Kevin seemed to be a great catch and with my stellar eye for classy men on that vulnerable Sunday, I realized it was his pictures that had me at “hey, what’s up?”

Let’s review the classic photos that every desperate Tinder girl gives into….

  • Photo holding a baby (check)
  • Photo where he looks extremely attractive compared to his friends/other people in the picture (check)
  • Photo in Europe looking very classy and cultured (check)
  • Individual photo in a suit probably from standing up in a wedding, showing that he cleans up well (check)

Sooo Kevin initiated conversation early and stated that he was in the business field and studying to get his MBA. We talked aimlessly about other insignificant details and after only 4-5 lines of conversation, Kevin asked me out. Normally I would attempt to learn more before meeting up with him to ensure that the date would be a success…however I was desperate and feeling super sorry for myself on that Sunday. So I exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up with him later in the week. I remember thinking, “Take that Summer Tinder Love, I have hot Kevin now and it only took me 2 hours to find him.”

Until this point I thought I was a genius and maybe even the Tinder whisperer…and then the Tinder gods struck me down from that pedestal quickly by giving me truly a horrific date with Kevin. The first warning sign was that Kevin asked me out to ice cream on a Tuesday at 7:30. I thought, “Awww how original. I have never been on an ice cream date in Chicago and maybe this will be special.” WRONG–the reason I have never been on an ice cream date in Chicago is because I am over the age of 12 and any dates after 5 P.M. should include alcohol NOT ice cream.

Anywho, I arrived for my ice cream date with Kevin and, to put it kindly, he was NOT cute. (Strike) He must have picked the best 4 pictures of his life, but I decided to let it go and see if he had a redeeming personality. He DID NOT. (Strike). So rather than replay every word of that 45-minute ice cream date, I will give you the highlights of why you should never swipe right to Kevin.

  • Upon arrival he mentioned that he was going to the gym immediately after ice cream because he knew this date wouldn’t last long.
  • He hates his job and is annoyed that I don’t hate mine.
  • He told me that I was too positive.
  • He explained that he used to have a girlfriend who he lived with last spring but she dumped him and now he is just lonely.
  • He hated Europe when he visited. (Who the fuck hates when they went to Europe?!?)
  • He has a predisposed genetic muscular disease that may put him in a wheelchair eventually, but don’t worry, it shouldn’t be for a while.
  • And Kevin informed me that the fact that I drink Diet Coke will kill me.

Much to your surprise I’m sure, Kevin and I did NOT work out. At the end of the date, we hugged it out with looks of mutual disgust on both of our faces.

So my word of advice…Keep Calm and Tinder ON because it only takes one swipe to find Mr. Right Now.

And never agree to go on an ice cream date. Unless you’re 12. Then it’s adorable.

[Editor’s Note: My favorite part of this is when Olivia feels justice has been served to her former Tinder flame by finding Tinder Kevin in record time. It’s just like a Jane Austen novel.] 


Guest Post Wednesday: What Happens Out of Town, Stays Out of Town. Unless Your Friends Are Assholes. by Dating Olivia

Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04A lot has changed in the past two years. 2012 was a different time. A simpler time really. In October 2012,  I was stuck between my hot and heavy summer with the FWB, who I was slowly falling for by the way, and the winter where he would eventually break my heart. I was in an awful dry spell (for those who don’t know me very well, I am in fact referencing the state of my vagina when speaking about dryness). And I still lived in Riverview, but I was starting to entertain the idea of moving to Lakeview, two hours away, to be “closer to my family” which was what I told myself so that I could live in denial and not believe that I was actually moving to Lakeview to be closer to FWB. 
Mind you, some things have not changed. Being that it’s October, the leaves are all orange and on the ground now, and the air has turned crisp and cool. I just recently pulled my Roughrider mittens and scarf out of the closet, and if you don’t know who the Roughriders are, then Google it, because I just can’t even with you right now. And speaking of the Riders, just like in 2012, there is uncertainty of our making the playoffs, and a run for the cup. And of course, being that I live in Canada (if you comment something with an Eh! joke or something about aboot, I will punch you square in the nuts) it’s getting cold enough that the potential for snow is making everybody cling to thoughts of summer, when they were sitting on a sun-filled beach, and actively planning trips for this coming winter. But it also has me looking back. Back to the simpler days of 2012, back to my trip to the Dominican in February of that year. I actually wrote this post in October of 2012, but I’ve reworked it for today. To read the original, check out www.datingolivia.wordpress.com
In February 2012, two of my best friends married one another, and I was in the wedding party.  The wedding was a destination wedding, which took a group of about 30 of us to the Dominican Republic. Those of you who haven’t been – go. It’s beautiful. It was my very first trip outside of Canada and the U.S., and all the saving and working two jobs I did to get there was worth every single penny.
I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone on the trip.  Sure, I’d always thought it would be a cool story, and staying at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean meant that there were more than enough beautiful men to go around for all of us single ladies. But I never thought it would ever actually happen. Not to me anyways.
There are three things Canadians should know when traveling to this part of the world. Now, I know that most of you reading aren’t Canadian, so I’m not sure if this information will be useful internationally, but now is as good a time as any (minus the impending doom of winter) to think about moving. Just a suggestion. 
The first thing you need to know about going to the Dominican as a Canadian is that the people there seem to think we Canadians are rich and therefore cheap as fuck when we barter, because we obviously should want to pay $60 Canadian for a trinket that we could buy at the dollar store here for $1.25. Now, I get this misconception because compared to them, we do make a fortune. But still. I had to work two jobs for well over a year, and pinch every penny to get there. 
The second thing being that our reputations as a nice nation precede us, because before we even left the airport, we had people singing our praises just for being Canadian. We were affectionately known around the resort as Punta Canadians, and there was even a Canadian flag (and only a Canadian flag) behind the bar in the main lobby. 
The third is mostly for the ladies. And I’m guessing this goes for ladies all around the world. It seems as though the combination of being rich (or looking like it), and also having a vagina makes you instantly popular with the locals. The men were big fans of ours. Our group of girls got approached more than once by local men trying to pick us up. (Granted, most of the time they were also trying to sell us shit, but still.)
The one day, I decided to fly solo.  Some of my friends were off on an excursion that day and the bride and groom were busy with wedding prep.  So I decided to take my iPod (it was 2012, I didn’t have my iPhone yet), and a book, and go chill by the beach for several hours to get my tan and afternoon all-inclusive drunk on. Even on an island far from home, I loved my solo time.  Being single as much as I had been in my adult life meant that I had become a great companion to myself.  I could hold my own. I was fine till I decided to go to the main lobby for something and bumped into a guy who my friends and I had met the day before while he was trying to sell us something.  Except this time, I was alone, and the only thing he was trying to sell me was himself.  I can’t remember his name, but he walked with me across the resort from the lobby to the beach, and then sat there on the beach with me for a half hour trying to convince me to move to the Dominican to be his girlfriend. Now don’t get me wrong. He was cute, he seemed really nice, and the idea of living in a beautiful tropical locale like that was not at all unappealing. Call me old fashioned, but I wouldn’t have been able to set up roots in a different country thousands of miles from home after only meeting this guy for a half hour.
Then, there was Jose. I think it was our first or second day there, and we had discovered that the best place for drinks was the main lobby bar. Mostly because the staff was super nice to us because they knew we were Canadians, but also because they had some really cute bartenders back there.  Jose was one of them. He was hot. So hot in fact, that if we were back at home, a guy as hot as Jose would have never even looked in my direction. And I am not an ugly girl. I think that I am an attractive woman. But back in North America, he’d be one of those “way out of my league” kind of guys.
But we weren’t in North America, we were in the Dominican. The land of my infinite beauty. So anyways, Jose made it perfectly clear that he was into me.  We’d go to the bar and order drinks and he’d stare (not creepily, just like, pay attention to me), lick his lips at me (also not as creepy as it sounds), wink, wave to me across the lobby, and tell me I was beautiful when I ordered a drink from him. I ate that shit up.
*I should note here that this trip happened two weeks after I broke up with Dave #4, the guy I lost my virginity to at 26 years old, and my first serious boyfriend. I was vulnerable and hurt and considering how often Dave ever complimented me (0 times) the whole time we were dating, I was in desperate need of male attention.  Just throwing some perspective out there, because this all makes me sound pathetic as hell once I actually type this story out.*
Jose and I flirted, and I made sure to go see him anytime I was dressed up, as well as anytime I was in my bathing suit ready to hit the beach. (See, I sound just as creepy!) I even went to go see him when I was in my bridesmaid dress, but he wasn’t working then.  That time was actually not for nothing though; we all got tons of compliments walking through the resort in our dresses, because well, of course we all looked stunning.
Then, the last night we were there, we decided to go to the disco.  With the help of one of my friends, I went and told Jose about it, and told him he should meet us there after he was done work. He said he would, and I felt giddy.  So I went back to the hotel room, got all dolled up, and then hit the bar for some liquid courage before Jose was done work.  We were hanging out in the lobby when Jose was done work, and when he came to tell me he’d see me at the disco shortly, he also took it upon himself to give the kiss I had been dying for all week.
We went to the disco, and Jose went home to change, and came back to find me.  This is where the trouble with holiday hook-ups dawned on me. We danced, and made out on the dance floor.  Cause I am a classy lady. The unfortunate thing was that he wasn’t a great kisser.  That was disappointing.  He was the hottest guy I’ve ever made out with, and he had these pillowy soft lips that look so yummy, but the kisses were not good.  It was a big letdown.  His dancing also leaved a lot to be desired.  Now, yes, I was a bit tipsy, but I was not even close to being drunk enough to find him jack-rabbit thrusting his package into my crotch on the dance floor (and not even to the beat of the music) appealing at all.
Then, in his broken English (oh yeah, forgot to mention, that he spoke very small amounts of English – I know.  Awesome right?!) he asked me to go back to his place with him.  Now, some of my more…uh…we’ll say “liberal” friends, wondered (out loud) why I didn’t go with him.  Hmm, I wonder guys? Maybe it’s because he can’t even kiss, so what if he can’t fuck?  Maybe it’s because I just met the guy less than a week ago. Maybe it’s because I had just ended the first adult relationship I was in, and I was not ready for a rebound like that. Maybe it’s because I liked someone else.  Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that we were in a different country, and he lives in a village somewhere that I don’t know, god knows how far from the resort, and oh yeah THAT’S HOW PEOPLE GET ON THE NEWS BACK HOME WHILE THEY ARE ON VACATION!!  Yeah, maybe, just maybe that last one is the best reason ever NOT to hook up while on vacation.
Oy vey. Yes, Jose was a great vacation story. I will remember him and the trip fondly for many years. But the last thing I needed was to wind up pregnant or get an STD from a man I will never see again, who barely speaks English, who probably hooks up with oodles and oodles of girls just like me who are wanting to let loose a bit while on vacation.
Making out with Jose while I was on my first tropical vacation, after ending my first serious relationship was just perfect enough.  Why make it more than that?
So the moral of the story is, if you hook-up on vacation, be safe.  And you better listen to me or I’ll tell your mom.
Clase despedido.
Adios amigos!
[Editor’s Note: Is it weird that none of this sounds creepy at all to me?]