Tag Archives: online dating

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.]


Bullet Point Tuesday: Online Dating (Again)…Because I’m Not a Quitter

-BridesmaidsSo this Sunday I decided to fire up the old OkCupid profile. You know, to do something nice for myself.

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.  

 


Guest Post Wednesday: Online Dating vs. IRL by Hanna Wilcox

phonesThere 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.]


Guest Post Wednesday: The Stages of Online Dating Part II by Katie Roach

As a 22-shutterstock_45432064year-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:

  1. Meet someone somewhere IRL. Perhaps you are sober, perhaps you are not. Flirtation ensues regardless.
  2. Cute Person asks you for your phone number (or vice versa)
  3. 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.
  4. When texting conversation goes on for awhile before you see Cute Person next, winky faces become a thing.
  5. You go get a few drinks or dinner.
  6. You might repeat Step 5 a few times.
  7. Cute Person kisses you.
  8. The relationship progresses physically, generally as you spend more and more time in their physical presence.

And then there’s online dating.

  1. 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!
  2. They snag your phone number (stay with me here)
  3. 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.
  4. 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!”
  5. A few days pass. You exchange pictures.
  6. 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.
  7. Meet IRL. This occasionally might involve shaking the hand of someone you’ve already seen naked.
  8. 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.]


Guest Post Wednesday: 5 Stages of Online Dating by Dating Olivia

neil-wax-five-stages-of-griefWhen Chloe asked me to write a guest post for her, my first thought was, “Holy shit, someone reads my blog!” My second thought was, “Holy shit, someone likes my blog enough that they want me to write something for their blog!” And my third thought was, “Holy shit. What the hell am I going to write about?”

Lately, I’ve been hit with a rather large case of writer’s block. I had created two years’ worth of posts on my dating blog (datingolivia.wordpress.com for those of you looking for some shameless self-promotion) that was based on the fact that I was painfully single, and dating pretty much everyone in my town. My online dating life was particularly eventful, and led way to so many stories that I haven’t really begun to tell them all. But as luck would have it, after years of dating many a douchebag, I finally found my boyfriend (who I call Boyfriend on my blog because I’m very clever and original). So while it’s good for me, it’s bad for my writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss dating. I may have gotten used to being single and going out with many different men over the years, but I am happier than a kid at Disneyland to be in a loving relationship. And even more than just plain old dating, I really very much do not miss online dating. I mean, after all, I am old enough to remember a day back before cell phones existed, when guys actually had to call your one and only landline and risk talking to your dad first in order to get ahold of you. I started dating in a time before MSN Messenger and MySpace were around, when to ask someone out without calling them you needed to pass a note to their best friend in math class with a “check yes or no” option at the bottom. Ah, those were the days. Online dating may be the way that our world is finding love these days, but it’s definitely not the most ideal, or the most romantic. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the days before dick pics were the norm in the dating world. And the more that I think about it, online dating can be so bleak that the stages of finding love on the internet bears an uncanny resemblance to the 5 stages of loss and grief.

5 Stages of Online Dating

1. Denial

You sign up for a dating site “just to check out what all the fuss is about,” but not to seriously date. You log on fairly steadily though and talk to lots of people you would consider dating, but you still don’t think of yourself as an “online dater.” When people ask if you are seeing anyone, you always say no, because you aren’t really seeing anyone, you just happen to be meeting a lot of different people for coffee, and well, anyone would agree that that isn’t really dating. Besides, if you did tell them you were seeing someone (which you aren’t) you’d have to answer a bunch of questions about who this person is, and what they do for a living, and the worst question, where did you meet. And as we all know, the first rule of Online Dating Club is that you don’t talk about Online Dating Club.

2. Anger

At a certain point you will be very angry with online dating. “Tittysprinkles? Really?! I have to sit here and look through messages from guys with screen names like motherfucking Tittysprinkles? Oh, yeah, I am soooo sure that you have a nine inch penis, that doesn’t sound like a lie at all. It’s nice to see that you are unemployed though, and living in your mom’s basement rent free, having money these days is so overrated and really, who wouldn’t want to live off a diet of mac and cheese and Ramen noodles? Oh, that’s nice, I see that you have a bunch of kids all by different women; this means there is a good chance that you have met Maury. Oh, but I guess that’s all ok, seeing as though you don’t want a relationship anyways, you just want to have lots of random sex, and HOW IN THE FUCK AM I EVER GOING TO FIND A DECENT PERSON IN THIS RIDICULOUS EXCUSE FOR A DATING MECHANISM?????” *Turns into the Hulk, starts incoherently screaming, flips a table, and punches a baby* Anger is a very important step to online dating and will also lead to no less than five instances of looking at the computer monitor or your phone screen and going, “Fuck this shit, I’m done!” while looking for the “Delete Account” option.

3. Bargaining

“I will just meet this one last guy and see what happens. If it’s bad, then I will give this whole online dating thing up forever, I swear to God.” Or another popular thought here is: “Please God, just let me meet one great guy online, let this seemingly awesome guy I’ve been talking to for a few weeks now be an actual awesome guy, and let us live happily ever after. If you do this for me, I promise that I will be nicer to people. I will give up my seat on the bus to all the old ladies and pregnant chicks, I swear. And I will call my mom more often. And give all the dollah billz to homeless people. And I will stop laughing at Kim Kardashian when she cries. Actually, I will just stop watching Kim and all the other Kardashians altogether. I will just radiate sunshine and shit rainbows, just please, for the love of you, let this guy be amazing enough to be the last guy I meet online.” Incidentally, for those of you who were wondering, this step is the step that directly led to me meeting my boyfriend.

4. Depression

Before I met Boyfriend, I spent close to seven years logging on and off the dating site, and spent countless hours meeting many, many non-contenders. During these seven years, I spent a great amount of time hating myself. And hating everyone else. I felt like there was something wrong with me. There had to be. Why hadn’t I found anyone worth dating yet, and why had the few guys I actually had liked when I met them turned into nothing? Why was it so hard for me to find love, when everywhere I looked around me, people were in love. How could a person not be depressed after a certain point? How could you go on that many awful dates with awful people and still walk away feeling good about yourself, and your life? This is the worst stage of online dating by far. Because unlike in real life, where yes, you see countless men everyday walk right by you, you don’t get to actively see just how many of these men would openly reject you or see just how many aren’t right for you in any conceivable way. The knowledge you get online is not the greatest self-esteem tool at your disposal, trust me.

5. Acceptance

At a certain point, all that anger, and depression and denial will fade away, and you will accept online dating as the reality you are in. Yes, it’s definitely not ideal, and it for sure can lack the excitement and magic of the old fashioned way of dating, but online dating has its perks too. For the most part, you can find out a lot of information about a person before you even talk to them. This gives you one big advantage over in person dating. You can weed out some of the guys who you want nothing to do with, without having to actually meet them first. You can tell if a guy wants a relationship or not, if he wants kids or not, or if he’s smart enough to know the difference between there, their, and they’re. You know, the important things. Sure, people can lie online, but people do that in person, too. If anything, being relatively anonymous behind a computer screen usually gives people the balls to be more honest with others, and say things that they might not be able to say out loud. (Which, if you read my blog, you would know that this is what it is entirely based on.)

And hell, after a certain point, you may even find online dating fun. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. After a while you may find your groove online, and start enjoying it. I know I sure did. There was a good year not long ago where I enjoyed getting messages on the dating site. I even enjoyed getting these messages from the weirdos. Once I learned not to take things so seriously, I got entertainment out of it, and had it not been for all those idiots who once messaged me, I wouldn’t have any material whatsoever for my blog. I felt the same way about the dates. For every bad date I went on, I got a great story out of it. And every once in a while, I’d meet a new guy who gave me butterflies, or go on a first date that would give me hope that someone decent was still out there, and worth looking for. I’m not the kind of person to believe that things last forever, but had it not been for online dating, I probably would have never met my boyfriend, and I consider him to be the absolute cream of the online dating crop. Every once in a while, you never know, you might accidentally hit the jackpot.

So there you have it. The stages of grief/stages of online dating. I’m glad that for now I don’t have to deal with all that, and that I can now sit back and listen to everybody else’s online dating horror stories. What I enjoy even more than that is discussing which guys to stay away from with a friend of mine who has recently rejoined the online dating world, and is now looking to me to make sure she doesn’t date someone awful. The circle of life is complete.

I’m glad that my dating douchebags wasn’t in vain.

Olivia

[Editor’s Note: I find that I am in a constant flux between Anger and Depression. Both lend themselves to mass quantities of tater tots and alcohol. Which is not, as luck would have it, helping me in my search.]

[Editor’s Note II: I fucking love Olivia.]


Bullet Point Tuesday: okStupid

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There comes a time in a single gal’s life when she is willing to try anything in the dating realm. And thus began my adventures with okCupid. I’ll admit, the first week on this site was completely my fault. I … Continue reading

Bullet Point Tuesday: Weekend Update

I love when people try to talk to you about dating and throw all sorts of cliche phrases at you, in hopes that suddenly you’ll either be enlightened or more hopeful or less likely to polish off the almost full gallon of Eddy’s that promises to make you feel better than any boyfriend ever could.*

Some of my fave mantras that get thrown a single’s gals way are: “It’ll just happen when you least expect it.” Well what the hell, if we’re really honest here, we’re kinda always expecting it (preferably in a JLo/McConaughy way), so according to your theory, it’s never going to happen. OR: “You just can’t try. Let it happen.” Yes. Because that’s what online dating is about. Letting shit happen naturally. OR: “It’ll just start all of a sudden. You know, when it rains, it pours.”

Pours what, though, no one really specifies that part of the prophecy. Because there was some pourage this past weekend, but I don’t think it was in the way the hopeless ro’s anticipated.

  • Friday: Date #1, 5:30-7:30, Happy Hour Drinks and Appetizer

I should start recording the crestfallen looks on guys’ faces when, at the end of the date, we both stand up together for the first time and he’s looking up at me. Can you imagine the You Tube video montage that would make? Just a bunch of these. Not that I don’t empathize with these guys. I imagine it’d be to similar to standing up and realizing that, even in flats, you’re still taller than your date.

  • Saturday: Bar scene, where every couple dreams to start their love story 

I hadn’t openly hit on a guy in a long time, but last Saturday I had just enough of Lottie’s champagne** to muster up some courage to ask this homeboy to follow us to our next destination, Cortland’s Garage. He must’ve been drinking the same champagne because he mustered enough courage to come…and then talk to two hot blondes the entire time, while I chatted up his friend. So I played wingman for myself. Just one of those times I wish I wasn’t so damn good at it.

  • Sunday: Date #2, 12:00-2:00, Brunch (yes, rolling out of bed and putting on makeup before 2:00 was rough)

Dude was so sweet. So sweet. But, honey, at 34, why do you live with 5 other people you met on Craigslist? I dunno. I get that not everyone is as comfortable becoming besties with credit card debt as I am, but some for things I just encourage the splurge. Like an apartment that’s not reminiscent of the Duggars‘ household. Or Single White Female.

Some people would look at this past weekend as a failure in the Game of Love. But those are probably the people who think this is cute and do not like this. Plus, things are already looking up. Yesterday a 58-year-old suburbanite messaged me with “LOTS” of interest. I mean, when a Baby Boomer puts something in CAPS, how can a girl not be flattered?

*If my Lipsticks are reading this, I’m totally kidding. There is definitely not chocolate chunk cookie dough ice cream in my fridge. 

**What can I say? I’m classy like that.


Lies That Online Dating Told Me

If you’ve ever seen any commercials for online dating, then you’re familiar with the handsome, well-dressed, young professional make the claim that he wants to try it because he’s “really busy” and “just doesn’t have time” for dating. And Match or Farmers Only* just makes it so much easier to fit dating in a super busy/handsome/well dressed schedule.

And if you’ve ever tried online dating, you know that this is one, fat, effing lie.

Online dating is like a part-time job. A part-time job that pays largely in disappointing dates. (“At least you get free drinks!” non-single friends will say. I just pat them on the hand. How cute.)

While I used to be embarrassed about the stigma of online dating, I’ve completely embraced it as an acceptable way to meet someone. Or to at least have the best story at the next cocktail party. Not to mention, it totally takes the pressure off putting on make up before I go to the grocery store because I just might bump into a cute guy who not only shares my love for baby spinach, but wants to take me out to dinner to discuss it.

In fact, I’ve become so accustomed to online dating, that when a guy does approach at a bar, I’m completely thrown off. For example, the other night the fabulous CBN ladies and I enjoyed the now infamous Movie Monday at ROOF on the Wit. (Btw: While there is a movie, it’s totally up to you if you want to watch it. Good luck trying to get me to pay attention to 21 Jump Street while there’s endless liquor and conversation about grilled cheese with food bloggers.) And as we were chatting, a guy approached our table and began conversation, seemingly because he knew someone. When I inquired about the connection, they looked at me blankly. Oh. He was hitting on her. How retro.

While online dating is time consuming, I’ve found that the bar pick up scene is starting to dwindle. Or maybe I’m just wearing heels more frequently. (Why are men intimidated by tall women? It just shows we have confidence. And could kick your ass. In heels.)

After my last date (re: My Date With a Hipster), I’ve decided to just start eliminating assholes from the get-go. Which, I now realize, has turned me into one myself….ok, right, so not much has changed. Please see following Tinder conversations for proof:**

Exhibit A
  • Tinder Guy #892: Yo! East Bank Club party was fun. Cougs were out in packs hunting. Stopped by the mid and called it a night. Last night was Boundry Lumen then the Mid. In the burbs now. What did you do. 
  • Me: I need a translator for half of that shit. Mid what? Way? Like the airport?
  • Tind #892: It’s some stupid night club on Halstead and Lake. Cougars are single older ladies that go after younger men. 

A. If you live in Chicago, you know what the East Bank Club is. I can only assume that the name dropping of those other places indicates that they are on the same level of dbag and washed up Abercrombie models as EBC. I was just too lazy to Google the Mid, Boundry or Lumen. (Still not sure if Boundry Lumen is one place or if Boundry is incorrectly spelled, like Halstead.)
B. Thanks for the heads up on the cougs definition. I suppose adding the “ar” would’ve been too taxing.
C. No, I will not go out with you.

Exhibit B
  • Tinder Guy #923: What’s the weirdest question you been asked on here?
  • Me: Um, that one.
  • Tind #923: Hahaha. [I wasn’t kidding.] Do you live in the burbs or city?
  • Me: Does anything about me suggest suburbs, 923?
  • Tind #923: No, but you never know….I live in the burbs. 
  • Me: Uh oh. 
  • #923: Uh oh? [Great. Not only does he live in the suburbs, but he also doesn’t see the problem with it.] Yeah, I’m out in [name of suburb]. I work for [name of university].
  • Me: Oh nice. [hoping I’d just landed a professor] I’m out that way from time to time. What department?
  • #923: Residential Living. We should grab a drink when you’re out here.
  • Me: [silence. forever.]

A. Nope, don’t think I’m going to hit up the dorms in the suburbs and crack a Natty Light with you. Even if I’ve hit rock bottom. Even if I’ve hit a Bynes/Bieber/Lohan rock bottom rolled into one messy burrito. Because then I’ll just seek my burrito treatment in seclusion like a respectable person. And then blog about it.
B. How did a suburbs guy weasel his way into my Tinder feed when it’s set at a 4-mile maximum radius? I feel catfished. (That hyperlink was for the Baby Boomers who read my blog. You’re welcome, Dad.)

This is the problem with even simple online dating, like Tinder, which doesn’t even require reading. Just classic, shallow, snap judgement, but even that becomes time consuming because I find myself in mind numbing conversations about the suburbs or fishing. (Maybe the fishing guy got lost and thought he was on Farmers Only.)

But, like the dedicated researcher I am, I’m going to continue in my quest for the perfect online dating system. One, preferably, that finds me that 6’6″, Australian-born, sarcastic and soulful man that I know is out there. Just waiting. Behind his computer.

Yeah, nevermind. He sounds like a creep.

*Does anyone else want to try this out of sheer curiosity? Their slogan is “City folks just don’t get it!” I’m dying to know what I don’t get. Aside from milking cows and anything that involves getting up before 8 a.m.

**Upon going to my phone to pull up said conversations, I got distracted and Tindered for a good 12 minutes. Or 32. This thing is like online dating crack.


The Tinder Effect

I woke up the morning after my birthday to go to brunch with my dad. Having partied until 7:30 a.m. at an illegal speakeasy in a not-exactly-secure part of town, I was a little out of it. And still drunk.

But after the two bloody Mary’s with my dad, I felt reenergized and back on the party train. So I met my friends at the pool to soak up some sun and have a few beers. It was there that someone introduced the brilliant trend of Tinder to me. So, as a birthday present to myself, I downloaded it.

Like so many before me, I was immediately addicted. I zoned out of conversation as I hit the X or the heart to indicate my instinctual feelings for these dudes. There really is something empowering about that “Nope” that pops up as the guy’s picture slides away to the left. Shallow? For sure. But that’s why it’s also an ego booster.

And since it was my first day at Tindering, I sent messages to every guy that I was matched with. It was a very eloquent, “Sunday Funday!”text. Soon my Tinder inbox became overwhelmed with messages, and I started confusing the guys and conversations. The beers were not helping me straighten this out.

And then, by the magic of Tinder, I had a date set up for that Wednesday.

Experience has taught me it’s easier to maintain low expectations, which I realize is rather unfair to the guy. Especially when I show up for our date, slightly tipsy from my grandfather’s 90th birthday party. But if Papa is going to challenge me to a kegstand at 90, I’m certainly not going to turn him down.

These lowered expectations were soon shattered when I walked into the bar and not only was Tinder much taller than me, but just as good looking as his pictures portrayed. Still skeptical, I ordered a beer and awaited the awkward conversation that was about to ensue.

But that never happened. I was thrown off and suddenly out of my element. I know how to handle the I-live-with-my-parents dude or buy-your-own-damn-drinks guy. But a dude that can actually carry a conversation? I became suspicious. He must own a cat.

We continued ordering beers, and I realized I was getting quite drunk, but I didn’t want the date to end. (The idea of getting a water never occurred to me.)  I asked him a question, and he told me I already asked him that. My sober side was telling me to get my shit together, but my drunk side smirked as the bartender bought us a shot.

The repetitive questioning must have worked because when the bar was closing, we both decided to grab a beer down the street. And after one more, I decided to try and secure a second date by getting the hell out of there. The night ended with a sweet good night kiss and me trying my best to not stumble into my cab.

This is the first good date I’ve had since my singledom, and I got it from a site that creates matches solely off of looks and geographical location. And with the growing popularity of this dating app, I’d imagine Match and eHarm have to be feeling rather silly for creating those extensive profiles. Tinder actually takes dating back to its most basic level–do you find that person in your vicinity attractive? We can find out if he smokes, likes outdoor sports, and how many kids he wants the natural way…through a conversation. I’d take that over reading another guy’s grammatically poor profile any day.

So it looks like the Tindering will continue, and maybe another good date or two as well.


Get it Grouper

So last week I agreed to get my Grouper on. For those who do not partake in such online dating strategies (first of all, congratulations), here’s the basic layout: three gal friends go on a group date with three guy friends. It’s a group blind date.

However, by the magical powers of Harry Potter and the Internet, my friends were able to unearth identities of our mystery men prior to said date.

The picture that quickly circulated via group text was of the three of them, leaning against an orange Honda, wearing Justin Timberlake’s closet and sunglasses, arms crossed, and looking quite serious about themselves. It turns out this was their band picture. They also appeared to be fresh out of college.

And, thanks to my last break up, which has left me petrified of ever having a real relationship with a man ever again, I was thrilled with these results.

My friends, Daisy and Hilary, were not as enthused. They made the mistake of having put-a-ring-on-it expectations of Grouper. Despite their trepidation, the three of us walked into Birds and Blokes together, and the nice, young host informed us that “our gentlemen” had already arrived and were at the bar. He would be happy to show us to our table. I did feel this odd sense of mail-order bride at that moment.

It took a considerable amount of time for homeboys to saunter the 15 feet from the bar to our table, as Daisy, Hilary, and I pretended like this wasn’t awkward because we already knew what they looked like. Apparently they enjoyed their look in their band picture so much, they decided to wear the same outfits on this special night. They must’ve called each other first. We were, of course, flattered.

Conversation came along pretty easily. I think that’s the point of six people on one date.

Here’s what we discovered in the first twenty minutes:

  1. First Dude: He told me to call him “L.A.” I told him I’d rather not. His next life plan is to move to Vegas and work a bartending job at Pure or Ghostbar. Because the hottest clubs in Vegas are always looking for inexperienced bartenders. When Daisy quizzed him on how to make a Old Fashioned, he had a better idea: “Oh I don’t know how to do all that. I’ll just give people tequila and pineapple juice. It’s delicious.” Did I mention L.A. was turning 25 at midnight? Right.
  2. Second Dude: Probably the nicest of the three. Quiet, but a little uncouth when he bought shots for the group and only brought back three. Then they tried to awkwardly share their shots, which we said, please, no, please, you’re embarrassing yourselves. Stop. 
  3. Third Dude: Had no problem bragging about his career as a music video producer. We didn’t have the heart to tell him that filming on your iPhone doesn’t count. He also bragged about his money, his trips, his multiple homes, his hangout sessions with Adam Levine–which made sense, given he had the same demeanor as that gelled-up dbag. Yet we never saw any of this “money” appear when tabs came. 

So basically all three were unemployed and lived with their parents. Thank you, Grouper.

By coincidence, Daisy and I knew the manager at Birds and Blokes because in another life we all worked together at the same bar. (Some of us do know how to make an Old Fashioned.) Because of this connection, our drinks were on the house, and then we decided to move on to a less classy bar. Which wasn’t hard given we were in Wrigleyville. 
We wanted to get the guys to karaoke and show off their talents. They wanted to go to Sluggers.
The six of us immediately took over the dance floor. This was actually pretty fun, as there were only some slurry leftover Cubs fans to get in our way. Just as I was pulling my ever-so-seductive drunk moves, I was cut short by Adam Levine, who dropped to his knees and began singing into his hand-microphone. Then he’d switch it up and play air guitar.

I needed another beer at this point, and, seeing an opportunity for a free drink, Adam Levine followed me. I don’t remember how he spilled his beer. Maybe he was trying to multitask with his dance moves, or he got pissed off because I didn’t treat him to another Old Style.  But soon he was freaking out because he got some beer on his watch. Daisy courteously wiped the spilled beer off my Marc Jacobs purse.

In our last attempt to get the boys to karaoke, we walked towards Trader Todd’s. However, L.A. got distracted by another bar advertising $1.50 shots. It felt slightly reminiscent of chaperoning a field trip. Come on, kids, we gotta keep moving.

Even in the tiki, song-inducing setting of Trader Todd’s, our boyband would still not show off their skills. Daisy asked Moneybags Levine to get her a Crowne and Coke. He brought her a whiskey and diet. It was time to go home.

Despite the promise that I get to say I-knew-them-when, I don’t think this homegirl will be getting another Grouper on. And my Fake Boyfriend is totally supportive of this decision.

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