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30

Jun

How to Online Date via Different Social Networks

Disclaimer:  This is lengthy, because I want you to be happy and lucky in online love. Okay?

"How exactly does one meet men while employed full-time?"*

Ah, yes.

If this thought hasn’t leapt into your mind at least once, you must be in a long-term relationship, an avid believer in serendipity, or really good at going out on weeknights…and consequently, excellent at feigning a solid work ethic while hungover. Right?

Well, for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to fall into the above criteria, the natural/immediate response to this question is obvious:  Do not work full-time.

However, trust fund babies we are not, so Meg and I spent the evening pondering various ways our oh-so-connected generation could leverage our existing social networks and ameliorate the situation. (Sorry if you’re barfing—I attended business school and solemnly swear to never use “leverage” or “ameliorate” on a date…or anywhere else but here.)

Ready? Here goes…

Yelp: Let’s say you see David H.’s review of CC Club on Yelp, and find yourself briskly swept away on account of his sparkling syntax. How does one approach the situation and casually drop that you’d like nothing more than to try out some bookmarked venues together? Well, this one’s easy if you both happen to be Yelp Elite because there are predetermined events set up for you, complete with free booze. Quick! Become a fan of David H.’s reviews (and note, this is completely anonymous) to engage in some light stalking. Is he participating in Talk threads? Can you contribute to said thread in a meaningful manner? Excellent. Can you determine whether he’s attending an upcoming Yelp excursion? Good. Yelp is basically the Cinderella story of online dating if you can pretend 8 p.m. is midnight (as most events don’t last beyond 2 hours) or happen to be attending a Disney-themed event.  

Pro Tip: Becoming Yelp Elite is essential for success. If he’s already in this esteemed group of Yelp folk, you’ll see the badge on his profile. If not, you have a built-in excuse to invite him as your +1 to fun parties, under the guise of “introducing other Yelpers to Elite status.” What a good-Yelp-samaritan, you are!

LinkedIn:  LinkedIn is a mullet…business in the front, party in the back. The “back” being your private message inbox. The key to meeting someone on LinkedIn is all about making them feel important and relatively successful. Is this object of your affection already in your network? Great. Suggest meeting for coffee to “catch up” on what they’re working on. Let the conversation gradually move from ego-massaging professional inquiries, to social opportunities. “Oh you’re a part of 4As too? We should attend the next speaker series together!” See? If you’re not already connected to said individual, check out the groups they’re in. Send them a message about something that intrigues you and wait for their response. If you must resort to stalking their group threads and interjecting conversations, go for it. You’re just a savvy networker, not a semi-professional stalker!

Pro Tip:  If you upgrade your LinkedIn account it becomes much easier to creep-stalk, though this feature is traditionally reserved for recruiters and job hunters. We do not encourage you to pretend you’re an HR representative from a Fortune 500 company for the sake of acquiring a date. That’s messy.

Now, Twitter, or as I like to call it, the lover’s playground! Do you have any idea how much you can get to know someone over 140-character updates in real time? Twitter is your oyster, young fish in the sea! Not only do you have access to every single thing they’re interested in, but you can respond to their deepest thoughts and immediate frustrations in an incredibly timely manner. (Not to mention that your funniest quips are least likely to be misinterpreted as desperate pleas for attention in this network.) So have fun projecting the more confident, outgoing and thoughtful version of yourself to the world!

Pro Tip:  Whatever you do, do NOT lock your profile. You don’t want to seem standoffish and you never know when “the one” might “@” you.

Spotify:  Start stalking your love interest’s music taste and subscribe yourself to a select few—so as to not seem overbearing—playlists they created. Notice their impeccable taste in Top 40s, and send them the latest release from Bieber. As the relationship progresses—which it will, because what relationship DOESN’T progress over mutual music taste?—you can co-craft a “Wedding Songs” playlist which you can unironically play at your future wedding. You’re welcome for the cute story. 

I think that’s enough material for now. Let me know how you fare, young grasshoppers..and stay tuned for pt. 2! 

———————————————————————————————————————-

While online dating services exist, that is too obvious an option, so I am choosing to ignore them. 

01

Feb

Ways To Interpret And Respond To The Phrase “I Met Someone”

At their house? Can I join?

Oh cool, where are you?

Is it someone important?

Is it someone famous?

Only one? Not two?

I meet a lot of people too.

Nice, I also have a lot of friends.

A girl or a boy?

I’m looking forward to meeting them?

Haha, you mean me?

Wait, did you meet someone, or did you meet someone?

Oh.

21

Nov

How to Get Dates Online

Collaborative dinner table effort to draft an online dating “about me” section: 

Dislikes: orange soda, sober vegans, intolerance, intolerance of sober vegans (I am working on it…), pregnancy.

13

Jul

How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked: Part Three

Ok, so now we’re starting to settle in right? You’ve got your top picks. They all have decent usernames and no pictures with major blood spatter stains or severed limbs in the background. I’m happy to tell you that you are pretty much out of the Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked Danger Zone. Now it is time to dig into the meat of online dating, the written content.

Lesson Three: Written Content

Show me what’cha workin’ wit

-Mystikal

Any and all written content on a dating website is pivotal. This is the part where people really try and step up their game and best represent themselves, a chance to prove themselves. Mystikal really puts it best in Shake it Fast , “show me what’cha workin wit.”

Sometimes its hard to visual who you would actually want to “work wit.” Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

"I’m really shy at first, but once you get to know me…"

You should have stopped reading after “shy at first.” I’m sorry but this is a huge, giant, date-crushing red flag for “this will be so awkward.” I personally did not see this flag before one date, and ended up sitting through the most uncomfortable lunch of my life. I was greeted with a awkward side-hug, eye contact was a bare minimum, and the topic pretty much lingered on how he was really competitive with his brothers and did not get along with them. Check please.

"I’m kind of a foodie" or "I’m a bit of a music snob"

They enjoy good food, cooking, and going out to eat? Great. They listen to The Current, own the entire Beatles anthology, and just got tickets to see Adele? Awesome. They like to describe this in terms that makes them feel superior to everyone. Not so great or awesome. I think it is fantastic that there are people out there who enjoy the finer things, but sometimes a gal just wants to sit at home in her sweatpants, jam out to some top 40, and eat whatever junk food her cupboard possesses. Welcome, leave your judgments at the door and BYOsweatpants. {Things I Will Not Apologize For}

I once went on a date with a guy who described himself as a “foodie.” My first fatal faux pas was asking to explain a creuset. Raised eyebrows and a brief pause, “Oh a creuset is a french cooking dish…blah, blah, blah.”  Later he told me that he and his family go out to eat at a different restaurant every week, a foodie family if you will. I asked him they had ever tried Fasika ‘s Ethiopian Restaurant. After an awkward pause he replied, “I think that might be a little too…ethnic for my mother.” I’m sorry, what? I couldn’t hear you with that silver spoon in your mouth.

Anybody that uses “4” “2” or “u” in ANYTHING.  These shortcuts may be saving them .002 milliseconds every time they use them, but it causes me to lose IQ points just reading them. Nobody is too busy or too important to type out a THREE LETTER WORD, and if they think they are then they may be the type to describe themselves as a “foodie” or a “music snob”. {Please see above}

"I like everything." This is typically an answer when asked about favorite books, movies, music, and television shows. This is also typically a good indicator of either a.) no personality or b.) somebody who so badly wants to be in a relationship that they will like anything you like. Either way you probably don’t want to go there, unless you’re looking for a "build-a-significant-other" project.

Gratuitous sex references. Most likely you’ve already weeded these people out with usernames and profile pictures, but occasionally a few squeak by. If you’re reading their profile and it is reminiscent of the “romance novels” you found in your spinster, 3rd grade teacher’s desk, then it may be time to move on.

Finally, any mention of an ex or past relationships is a huge “AVOID” sign. If their idea of putting their best foot forward is talking about failed relationships then clearly something is wrong. They need some time to heal. Maybe offer them suggestions of good Ben and Jerry’s flavors, loan them your copies of Bridge Jones’ Diary, or send them the link to this killer break-up playlist. It is going to be ok.

All of these rules apply to you creating your profile as well. Now go get ‘em tiger!

Love,

Allison B.

01

Jul

How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked: Part Deux

Welcome back. Have you made your username? Started perusing the virtual meat market? Exciting, right? There are so many normal people out there! Looking for love! Just like you! It may even be overwhelming with all the options you have got going on now. Have no fear, we can weed a few of those out with some keen profile picture sleuthing.

Lesson Two {throw your deuces up}: Profile Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words.

While the main point of the photos on dating websites is to see if you are physically attracted to somebody or not, they can say so much more. Let’s read in between the lines, shall we?

Pictures that are clearly from years passed. I spy with my little eye somebody’s high school senior photo, and they’re supposed to be…25? First of all nobody’s senior pictures, ACTUALLY looked good so if this is what they are putting up as the cream of the crop then there may be some issues. Also, if they are supposed to be 25 then they should have a good variety of pictures of themselves, unless they converted to an aboriginal {last I checked, there is no conversion process} or became a vampire.

The Senior Pic: For the record, I will only date a high schooler if they ask me to go steady AND are on prom court.

Only one picture. I’m sorry, but when online dating and trying to avoid getting kidnapped, murdered, or shanked a lady has got to be a little cautious. They could have easily just snagged a picture off of cuteboyswithcats.net to make me swoon, or snapped a shot of some babe with their telephoto lens from their unmarked white van. I’m going to say a minimum of 3 photos is necessary, all showing the same person, in a variety of settings and activities.

The Solitary Photo: Cutie with kitty? Or kidnapper bait?

Angle obscura. Weird angles. Myspace shots. A photo edited to only see somebody’s eye. Can’t see their face. What are they trying to hide? Identifiable scars or birthmarks that could later be used for police reports? Ha! Nice try buddy.

No face photo: Oh yeah, that’s you huh? Tell me something, how the FUCK would I recognize you on our first date? Are you going to be on the jet ski?

Shirtless pictures. A classic bro mating call, perfected during the Fraternatus-Brosefnus stage of life for young males.  Usually followed up with a chant of “awesome dude!” This ritual typically leads to overindulged and egotistical d-bags. Frankly, I don’t care how ripped you are. No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Shirtless Mirror Pic: Sweet work out room, d00d. Tips on how to improve overall mirror shot quality here.

Refuses to smile in any of the pictures and/or making an angry face. I’m really not sure what kind of look these people are trying to portray, but it feels just a little too domestic abuse-y for my taste.

Mad Face: I feel like the next words out of your mouth may be something like, “Make me a sandwich, woman.”

As for your pictures, two pieces of advice. Don’t do that stupid duck face {because no really, you look stupid} and keep the cleavage to a bare minimum. Other than that, just be your charming, effervescent, and lovely self!

Love,

Allison B.

24

Jun

How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked

I’m about to drop a truth bomb on you. I’m a totally competent, witty, and flirtatious young 20-something and I’m on an online dating website. No, I don’t have a hunch back, more than 15 cats, or severe halitosis. Guess what kiddos, we’re Millennials. Which means we want what we want and we want it now, preferably in some form of smart phone app please.  Cultivating relationships IRL? Forget that noise, online dating is socially acceptable and you should be doing it!

Scared? Don’t be. I’ll teach you the Beginner Basics in my How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked series.

Lesson One: Usernames

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

-William Shakespeare

Don’t be fooled by this quote. It does not apply at all to what I am about to say. Flowers do not get to choose their names, and therefore they should not be judged or penalized if their name does not reflect how lovely they smell. People do get to choose their usernames, it is a product and representation of that person. Judge them. Judge them hard and often.

First impressions are everything. Truth. This means your username. A lot of times this can be a deal breaker for me, sorry blazin696969 I will not be replying to your message today. Let’s take a quick look at how to decode some of the common mistakes.

Genitalia and/or Sex Act References: Ok FreeMustacheRides and OMGitsHUGE, clearly you are on this website for one thing and one thing only. You either need to make it a little more subtle to increase your odds of anybody touching you or head on over to Craigslist Casual Encounters. I’m sure there is a cougar on there who would love some facial hair infused cunnilingus from you.

Inane Use of Capitalization: bEnLoVeScAke. No, no, no. You are dumb. Why would you do that? Those capital letters don’t belong there, and they definitely don’t make your username more aesthetically pleasing. Do you realize you just wasted energy to switch back and forth pressing the shift button, so you could make your username look like a tween girl’s? Probably not, which is why I will not be sending you an electronic wink.

The use of the words “Fun” “Hottie” or “Sexy”: Sexydream277 where is the mystery? Couldn’t you let me come to my own conclusions of how sexy, hot, or fun you are? Odds are I would probably not chose any of these words to describe you. This makes sense since people who advertise themselves as such are, usually, not.

Ends with “foryou” “4you” or “4u”: tallguy4you. Needy/relationship addict/will date anybody. All for me? We don’t even know each other yet. Oh god, is that a picture of your Maroon 5 tattoo on your profile? This is all moving too fast. It’s not you, it’s me….no it’s you.

Drug references: CheechyChong420, I am not a hater. Get it how you live it. BUT if you like weed so much that that is the first thing you want people to know about you, then this probably won’t work out romantically. We can probably be friends though. I like Taco Bell and won’t make too much fun of your Bob Marley wall tapestry.

As far as creating a username for yourself, I like to stick to a little something called the K.I.S.S. rule that my charming third grade teacher would bark at us. Keep It Simple Stupid. I know you want everyone to know how great your music taste is or your favorite quote, but that is what your profile is for. Avoid anything remotely sexual, for fear of being bombed with messages and online winks by creepers. Sit down at your computer and think up a username that Princess Di or Grace Kelly would approve of, then add your birth year to it and call it a day.

In the end you have to ask yourself, which would you rather smell, a rose or vomitblossombro6969?

Love,

Allison

P.S. What are the best bad usernames you’ve come across?