Ten untraditional dating don’ts

After writing this, I realized I need to bitch please myself. Which I will, in the book – a fun plot twist we came up with in Seattle. Anyway – this is a gift from me to you – instead of the normal dating rule cliches, I am ramping it up a notch.

  1. Don’t invite someone you just met to a housewarming party – you know the drill. You move into a new apartment, go out with a friend on Labor Day weekend and the next thing you know, a random man is hitting on you and asking to go home with you. Not wanting to be a giant ho, you say no. He badgers you into giving him your phone number. You oblige. He calls and asks you for a date, but you’re throwing a party at aforementioned new apartment. Feeling obligated, you invite him. He shows up at 11 pm with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Things do not end well after you throw him out for being an asshole but everyone else was already gone so for the next week you get texts asking how things with him went.
  2. Don’t go to a bar to “clear the air” – you know the drill. You think you’re dating someone but they think otherwise. You tell him you want to be exclusive. He says he’s dating other people. You proceed to delete him from all social media. A couple months later, he asks if you can “clear the air.” Your intention is to go to Starbucks. But there is nowhere to sit. So you go to a bar at 8 pm on a Tuesday and drink too much and the next thing you know, the air is murkier than ever.
  3. Don’t plan a trip to Vegas with someone you have not seen in five years – you know the drill. Your high school crush resurfaces on AOL Instant Messenger. Although you didn’t date because he was too busy being brainwashed by this evil skank whore who was like, legitimately the meanest and most unattractive person ever, but that’s fine, you’re not offended. And now you live in different states and he tells you how amazing you are and he wants to see you so you pick Las Vegas as a halfway point to meet and his job is to book the hotel because your credit cards are maxed out but he never does so you call and leave a voice-mail telling him to never speak to you again and proceed to spend the weekend at bars with friends taking fake happy pictures to post on My Space when you’re really miserable and your hair color makes you look like if Jem tried to be a brunette but still had pink highlights.134_619916111000_2111_n
  4. Don’t be that girl – you know the drill. It’s high school. You don’t know what you’re doing. You have a crush on like five of your coworkers. Some of whom your friends won’t let you near, lest you slum it. The other two have been given your phone number on receipt paper multiple times by you and your friends, yet you’ve never received one phone call, yet you wait with one of them for a full hour after the store closes while he waits for his dad to pick him up because he lost his license for speeding too much or maybe a DUI, but he hugged you earlier and it was Valentine’s Day, which means you’re obviously getting married, so you NEED to wait for him. Oh, and please consider a brow wax.196530_10150115141417561_6228824_n
  5. Don’t be blinded by the light – you know the drill. You’re in Mexico for a destination wedding and unexpectedly make out with one of the groom’s friends who you then decide is your vacation boyfriend. Except when you return to the arctic tundra that is Chicago in January, you expect the margarita fueled romance to continue so you go on one supremely awkward date and even though he drives you home and comes in he then tells you that this whole thing is awkward because he doesn’t want to date anyone and the next time you see him he’s dating someone.
  6. Don’t text someone who is sitting across the table from you and ask them to make out – you know the drill. You meet someone at a party and you think he’s your future husband. Six days later after zero contact you watch him exchange numbers with another girl in front of you, but only after you asked him to make out via text, while he was sitting directly across from you. That usually does not go over well when the person is devoid of all feeling and has the emotional intelligence of the pus that infects the mucous… that cruds up the fungus… that feeds on the pond scum.
  7. Don’t equate online dating with an AOL chat room – you know the drill. You’re trying to create a profile on Plenty of Fish because you have $4 in your checking account and you want someone to take you on a damn date and you’re all, A/S/L, oh wait, this isn’t 1996. And then you remember those times when you spent the weekend at your friend’s house chatting with random perverts on AOL because you thought you were hot shit and little did you know this was Twitter and Facebook in the making (minus the pictures and Google) so you can at least find out if your date has a criminal record beforehand and you wonder how it even got to this because you didn’t memorize Big Dumb Hairy Oaf’s high school class schedule for no reason! So you could be at the exact right water fountain at the exact right time and eventually you started skipping Spanish class to hang out with him during his free period even though he couldn’t stand you while you thought he was supposed to marry you and relieve you of dating in your mid-20’s.
  8. Don’t date out of towners – you know the drill. You’re eating outside during the 4th of July weekend and a random guy at the table over starts hitting on you. The next thing you know, you’re at his friend’s apartment until 4 am with your friend meeting awesome new people except your handsome military man is all, “I can totally tell you have no self-confidence,” and then you’re all, “cool wanna make out?” but then you never see him again because he lives in fucking Detroit or Georgia and no one likes a girl with no self-confidence.
  9. Don’t be blinded by the light, part 2 – you know the drill. You go on a cruise with your best friend. Wanting to snap a nine-month drought, you are determined to find a cruise boyfriend, which you do, except he’s from the same area, so you’re all, “awesome, let’s get married,” except on the last night he does NOT come to your performance as Britney Spears in front of THE ENTIRE CRUISE SHIP, as promised, so you like, never see him again. And you may or may not track down his work e-mail and are all, “Yo, let’s hang out, peace.” But he never responds. Because of course.25181_10100101416257820_5437004_n
  10. Don’t believe someone when they say they will be your rebound – you know the drill. You get your heart broken and the very next day meet someone who agrees to be your rebound and then he’s all, “Oh, I’m like pseudo-dating nine other people, but that’s cool, you’re cute, we can talk every day but I’m like, not committing.” So you go to Atlanta for the 4th of July and beg random 25-year old boys to take a picture with you so you look desirable and like you’re having fun and you didn’t NEED Rebound Man aka Dr. Evil to begin with. So THERE.

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Another installment of Bitch, Please, in response to “6 Signs You’re Scaring Boys Away”

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When I first read 6 Signs You’re Scaring Boys Away I found it to be the most asinine and offensive dating advice that I’ve ever read.

Once my anger subsided and I read it again, it occurred to me that this Shannon Robb person was mostly talking about her own dating life rather than saying these things in general will always scare a boy into the next time zone.

Nevertheless, I can’t let things that irk me this much go un- “bitch, please”-ed. So, we have yet another installation. Also, Ms. Shannon is apparently 26, so I am qualified to do this as the older and “wiser” person. Below are her six reasons and some excerpts:

1. You know a lot about sports: I know a lot about sports, I love sports, I watch sports, I can hold an intelligent conversation with a guy about sports. You’d think I’d have my pick of the litter, right? Wrong. For some reason, my knowledge of sports tends to scare dudes away, or gets me immediately friend zoned because they know they can talk shop with me and I’ll understand it and contribute to it while knocking back a beer. HOW ANNOYING!

Bitch, please: Girl, I feel you, I really do. I was at a bar once when I was like, 23, talking to boys about sports when my best friend pulled me aside and told me not to talk so much about sports because the guys were probably intimidated by me. I kindly told her to fuck off. (For what it’s worth, she did apologize a year or two ago). Advice numero uno on this is that if you are getting friend zoned by dudes because of your sports knowledge, this is not someone you would want to date anyway. Let me ask you – do any of them have girlfriends? Let me guess, they do, and none of their girlfriends like sports, and they complain about that…to YOU. And in fact, think about it the other way – you wouldn’t want to date someone who wasn’t as in to sports as you are, would you? I have legitimately been on first dates with guys who had never heard of Villanova. I’m sorry, but if you can’t talk to me about the 1985 Final Four, we have no future together. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, chica girl, if your sports knowledge is scaring these weenies away, they are doing you a favor. Trust me.

2. You’re up front about what you want: No, I’m not looking at your breeding stock. But I am looking for someone who has that potential. And, ladies, we know how much this scares guys away! Why? It’s so hard to be honest about what we want without sounding crazy.

Bitch, please: First of all, you’re only 26. What you want might change a lot between now and several years from now. I know it has for me. But I have some bad news for you so I’ll try to say this as nicely as possible. We’re all crazy – gender irrelevant. Everyone has their issues and skeletons and what have you. Some hide them better than others.  If you think about it, the same reasoning from above applies here. If you being up front about not wanting anything casual scares someone away, he’s doing you a favor. Sure, he may end up in a serious relationship with someone else a year later, but in that year he’s going to be a giant man whore and break a lot of hearts. It’s like a reverse Taming of the Shrew – someone will eventually make him want to settle down, but if it’s not you, don’t be offended. Likely, it has nothing to do with you – which brings me back to my previous about everyone being crazy. Someone scared by commitment has issues, and they are his and not yours. So carry on, girl. There is nothing wrong OR crazy with being up front about your feelings.

3. You’re smart: I don’t want to have to pretend I have no idea what’s going on so you can ‘man-splain’ things to me. I hate that. This is a dangerous middle ground though, because smart girls can be a turn on, but we don’t want to come off as pretentious, or better than the men we’re looking at.  On the flip side, we shouldn’t have to hide our impressive brains.

Bitch, please: First of all, what is this ‘man-splain’ thing that you speak of? Second of all – yikes. You should never pretend anything, because if you are, then everything you said about being upfront with someone goes out the window. You can’t be all, “I like, TOTALLY want to get married, and by the way, what’s like, up with Chechnya?” Being smart means you’re smart enough to know you don’t have to hide it. Why would you?

4. Flirting is hard: I find that I can flirt with just about everybody except the object of my affection- then it is totally foot in mouth city for me. I’m sarcastic and quippy and I think it throws a lot of guys off, which sucks because my humor is sarcastic and quippy and I’m just trying to be funny, you know!? Sometimes we come on too strong and don’t leave enough room for the chase, sometimes we act too aloof and dudes think we’re not interested. It’s all about finding a balance, and it is a hard recipe to perfect.

Bitch, please: Flirting sucks. It really does. But there is no perfect recipe. It depends on the two people. You have to first get an idea of their general personality and adjust accordingly. For example: Just on Saturday I was at a bar with my ladies and one of them suggested I put my coat down on an empty bar stool. Well, a gentleman returned from the bathroom to inform me that he was in fact sitting there. The first thing I did was blame Courtney. “It was HER idea,” I said. Luckily he caught on to the fact that we were just slightly embarrassed, so started joking about it – the interaction lasted less than two minutes and I’ll probably never see him again, but he was easy to flirt with because he picked up on my sense of humor immediately. (And all of those thinking, “What sense of humor?” can BITE ME).

5. You’re confident: How many of us have heard dudes say they love a confident woman? I know I have from, like, every guy I’ve ever known. But, sometimes it seems like guys get really scared by confident women, they almost seem to not know what to do with us.  Finding the right balance between being confident and showing a little insecurity is important- men like to feel needed and wanted and we should be able to show them that they are.

Bitch, please: Okay, I disagree with all of this. The right balance between confidence and insecurity? So men know they are needed? Are you kidding me? I met this guy a couple of summers ago, who, within two hours of meeting me said, “I can tell you have no self-confidence, and I don’t understand why.” They pick up on these things, apparently. So they can probably also pick up when we’re bullshitting them. Isn’t just wanting to be with them enough? Do they have to be NEEDED? I might be a rare breed here but I love my alone time and the thought of someone NEEDING me for some sort of validation is enough to send me running.  Again, there is no such balance in existence. Or if there is, it comes naturally. I’m going to use a friend as an example to attempt to illustrate my point: she was sick one weekend (years ago) and didn’t want to go out with her friends. Only on Sunday did she venture out with her boyfriend (now husband) simply to get some food and fresh air. Her friends, for whatever reason, were less than understanding and in fact called her a bad friend (for reasons I am still not clear about, but whatever) – and her boyfriend was very supportive of her and was there as a source of comfort, that she did need as she was inevitably very upset – but none of it was forced. It just was. And that’s why it worked.

6. You’re the right girl at the wrong time: A lot of romance issues stem from the fact that guys just aren’t ready to settle or get serious. And, that’s okay because it’s not on us, even if we think it is. Sometimes it is, but usually it’s more about how together a guy wants to be before he really wants to move on to the next stage of his life.

Bitch, please: The right girl at the wrong time is an illusion. She is what we use to comfort ourselves during heartbreak. Haven’t you seen or read He’s Just Not That Into You? My best example is from when I was “dating” Mr. Titspervert. He didn’t want to settle down. I wanted to be exclusive, he did not. He’s now engaged. I wasn’t the right girl. She was. I have made MANY a mistake thinking physical attraction automatically equaled emotional compatibility or vice versa. There are so many things that go into these relationship things. I know they say timing is everything – it’s because when the time is right, you’ll be the right girl at any time for the person you end up with. Am I talking out of my ass? Maybe. But I still stand by there is no such thing as the right girl at the wrong time.

Yes, I get it. Dating sucks. I am CLEARLY inept at it. Hell, I’m writing a book about sucking at it. But from all the bullshit we deal with, it boils down to one thing: when you meet the right person, there will be no games. There will be no balancing being smart but ditzy but flirty but aloof but into sports but like, hey what it that pass interference thing all about but confident but timid but honest but agreeable to whatever he wants. It will just happen, and it will be fine. So, as an older, potentially wiser, but completely fed up with all the bullshit games, but yes still very single person, I am pleading with you to stop finding the right combination of anything, and just be yourself. I sense that yourself is better than any balanced combination of something that doesn’t actually exist.

Bitch, please, part infinity

A couple of weeks ago we were subjected to the inane ramblings of a Princeton mom, one Susan Patton, who encouraged all Ivy League undergrad ladies to be professional husband hunters, while their male counterparts had to do NOTHING except let the ladies flock to them, because this is apparently 1925. And do it before you graduate, lest you be stuck with an undesirable!

What’s funny is that her letter to the editor created such a shit storm of anger, Ms. Patton felt the need to clarify, which she did via the Huffington Post. Here are the key excerpts:

I sincerely feel that too much focus has been placed on encouraging young women only to achieve professionally. I understand that this can be seen as retrogressive, but for those women who aspire to what used to be thought of as a traditional life with home and family, there is almost no ink addressing personal fulfillment outside of the workplace. Specifically, finding lifelong friends and the right partner with whom to share a life and raise a family.

Okay, fine, but women who aspire to have a husband and family can still find one after college rather than during.

Again, I understand that all women don’t want marriage (to men or other women) and or children, but for those that do, identifying the right partner is critical. One of the criteria by which I am defining the right partner is someone with shared educational and intellectual appreciation. Yes, that can be found after college and outside of Princeton, but the concentration of outstanding men (and women) will never be greater than it is as a student. I wanted to encourage the wonderful young women on Princeton’s campus to take advantage of this while they can. From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good again.

Okay, she’s going off the rails again. I agree that it is important to some people to marry their intellectual equal, though how that is defined varies, and that’s okay. I see that in myself – wanting to ultimately find someone who is smart and ambitious and doesn’t like, do unprofessional things like walk into an office to resign without notice for no apparent reason. I am sure Ms. Patton considers me inferior because I went to (GASP) a STATE SCHOOL and therefore am only deserving of someone who grunts as his main form of communication. Intelligence comes in many forms and I am GLAD I have not restricted myself to such a narrow definition of it that Ms. Patton has: ivy league educated.

The popularity of Nikki Mueller’s video (I Went to Princeton, Bitch) comically attests to the difficulty Princeton women face from men who are threatened by their academic credentials. It doesn’t address how unsatisfying it is for exceptionally well educated women to be with men who are not their intellectual equal. I am divorced. I did not marry a Princeton man. I wish I had.

Isn’t that lovely – once again bashing her ex-husband because he didn’t go to her precious alma mater.

Also, guys who are intimidated by a woman’s academic credentials belong in the same decade as Ms. Patton (one that has been over for 80 years).

Now, before I come off as some self-righteous, bitter, hag (too late, you say? OOPS), let me be clear that I know and love numerous couples that met in college. What I take offense to is Ms. Patton passing that off as a necessity to a successful life and credible advice.

Which brings me to my next bitch, Julia Shaw, who wrote, “I married young. What are the rest of you waiting for?

Again, my issue is not with people who get married young, it is with Shaw, and her seemingly pigeon-holed view that her way is the only way, and the rest of us are wasting away being single.  Shaw writes:

I’m a married millennial. I walked down the aisle at 23. My husband, David, was 25. We hadn’t arrived. I had a job; he, a job offer and a year left in law school. But we couldn’t buy a house or even replace the car when it died a few months into our marriage. We lived in a small basement apartment, furnished with secondhand Ikea. We did not have Internet (checking email required a trip to the local coffee shop) or reliable heat.

I hate to break this to her, but that would have occurred whether she was married or not. For those of you not named Taylor Swift, who was rolling in money at age 23? I lived in a shitty apartment, had a shitty job and went out to the same shitty bars in the same shitty town. Oh, and shock of shocks, Shaw met her husband in college. She and Ms. Patton should write a book together! I imagine it would be called, “Dating in the 1920’s – why it’s the best!”

Anyway, Shaw goes on:

Marriage wasn’t something we did after we’d grown up—it was how we have grown up and grown together. We’ve endured the hardships of typical millennials: job searches, job losses, family deaths, family conflict, financial fears, and career concerns. The stability, companionship, and intimacy of marriage enabled us to overcome our challenges and develop as individuals and a couple. We learned how to be strong for one another, to comfort, to counsel, and to share our joys and not just our problems.

Okay, fine, and that’s great for you, but it doesn’t work that way for everyone. Some people get married young and grow apart, rather than closer. Some grow with their friends, while being single, in a fun town, without having to answer to anyone, and you can make enough bad decisions to warrant writing a book. So there!

This next paragraph is gold. And by gold, of course my eyes almost ROLLED OUT OF MY HEAD WHILE READING IT:

What I did not realize was how thoroughly marriage would jump-start our independence. On paper, our unmarried peers looked more carefree. But many of them also relied on their parents to supplement their income, drove home for long weekends and holidays, or stayed on their parents’ health insurance and cellphone plans (even though they had decent jobs!). I put David on my health insurance. We bought our own family cellphone plan and Netflix account. When we visited our parents once a year, we paid for the plane tickets and still did our own laundry. We loved our parents and siblings, but marriage made us realize that we were now a separate family unit.  

OH MY GOD, WOMAN. So you’re saying our options are either being married or totally dependent on our parents? I will have you know, LADY, that aside from the occasional emergency loan, I have not relied on my parents financially since college. And implying that people cannot do it themselves unless they’re married is just offensive and totally wrong.

Sometimes people delay marriage because they are searching for the perfect soul mate. But that view has it backward. Your spouse becomes your soul mate after you’ve made those vows to each other in front of God and the people who matter to you. You don’t marry someone because he’s your soul mate; he becomes your soul mate because you married him.

Wow, that’s deep. Thanks for that. That’s how people in arranged marriages probably feel. Is it so wrong to want to wait and meet the right person? Or not get married at ALL? JESUS.

Getting married young is great for some and disastrous to others.

One of my friends said to me once, “just so you know, you’ll probably be 35 and single.”

  1. He meant it as an insult
  2. He said this to me when I was 27 or 28
  3. Why is this still considered an insult?

Sure, I feel the need to battle against my impending spinster-status. I don’t know if my recent anti-marriage rants are genuine or if it’s me resigning myself to what I perceive as my fate to be single forever. But that’s my own issue. And I don’t appreciate these women and their gloating disguised as love advice.

The art of dating, as told by SNL

This video I am trying to embed is not cooperating, but last night SNL did a pretty hilarious skit called the Art of the Encounter.

Dating in the 90s is tricky and hard, isn’t it?

You can watch it here – it’s hilarious.

Melissa McCarthy, of course, is genius. The first thing she says is, “I’m desperate for a man and will do anything to impress you.” SO FUNNY. SO TRUE. How many times have we been at a party roaming around to try and find the single guys and hope that MAYBE one of them will find you attractive enough to talk to you until someone prettier and younger catches his eye and he leaves you standing there with your vodka soda wondering where it all went wrong.

I love this skit because even though it takes place in the 90s, the fundamentals here really haven’t changed. You can dig through the sarcasm to see it.