Dating sucks (A guest post by Claudio Morales)

dating sucksDating sucks. Unlike Ms Daphne here who seems to relish or even enjoy the act of dating, I for one can’t stand the dating game. Although I’ve gotten somewhat good at it, its almost always a painfully annoying exercise involving forced conversation, hiding of nerves and most commonly subjection of both participants to an activity that at least one party would avoid given the chance. I’ve dated enough girls in my time to know which hoops to jump through correctly, but its still a completely ponderous ritual.

My dating history is rather expansive, I’ve tried dating both students and professionals, girls with serious commitment issues, girls with serious rejection issues, blondes, brunettes, Americans, Europeans and there’s only one think that I’ve found consistently through it all. Dating really, really sucks, especially for guys. Nowhere have I heard it explained why so succinctly than in the classic U.K. sitcom Coupling. The main reason, as explained by the character Steve on his date with Susan, is that for men, the outcome of the night is an unknown. The whole time, we simply have the question bouncing around in our heads, are we going to get any? For women, they already know, they hold the cards.

A male of friend of mine (whom I’ll call Ghandi) may or may not be something of a genius in that he simply doesn’t date women. No, he’s not gay, he simply doesn’t bother with it. He never goes to movies, doesn’t invite women out to dinner and would never subject himself to any theater-based activity. He’s a fairly typical alpha-male and quite a successful one at that. If he wants to sleep with a girl, he’ll tell her directly that’s what he wants and if she’s not interested, he doesn’t waste time pursuing her. If he meets a new girl for the first time and he’s interested in sleeping with her, he’ll invite her out for some drinks in a group setting. Somehow girls seem to go for this and from all reports he currently has enough leads in his phone to sleep with a different woman every night of the week, should he so desire.

I acknowledge that dating is a necessity for those of us wishing to find a suitable partner (as opposed to those of us like Ghandi who simply want to screw everything female out there with a heartbeat), but aren’t there any ways we could make it more bearable for all concerned? Although I am no longer a single man I have a stock of enough stories of successes and failures to share and perhaps by doing so here those still playing this ludicrous game can garner some insight. Many are painful, embarrassing and frustrating even to think about, but hopefully their re-telling can provide some value. And who knows, maybe once I’ve finished recounting them all, those of you who’ve bothered to digest them will reach the same conclusion that I have. . . dating always has and always will for men

December 15, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

What the hell happened to Anthropologie?

Pretty Anthropologie THEN (ca. 2007)…

It’s no secret that boys like girls in sundresses, and I’ve always worn dresses on pretty much every date I’ve ever had.  For years and years, my favorite source for pretty date frocks was Anthropologie.  Sure, they were expensive, but the dresses were always beautiful and well-made with unique little touches, like pockets and lace-trimmed linings.  These investment pieces are still gorgeous years later and remain among my favorite items in my closet—for date nights and otherwise.

…and ugly Anthropologie TODAY (2012)

It used to be that I couldn’t walk into an Anthropologie store without buying something (and drooling over practically everything else).  But all that changed a couple years ago (circa 2010), when suddenly Anthropologie’s style seemed to take a major U-turn away from “pretty and vintage” to “ugly and unflattering.”  Since then, there’s hardly been a single pretty, much-have dress in the entire catalog, which is now filled with shapeless sacks and ugly grandma clothes.

even uglier Anthropologie in 2012

At first, I was kinda relieved since I was no longer dropping a huge chunk of every paycheck in the store.  But as the months and years wore on, I became increasingly disenchanted by Anthropologie.  I rarely even look on the website anymore, since it’s become an exercise in futility.  It’s just rack after rack of ugliness, with nary a silk sash or nipped-in waistline in sight.

What gives, Anthropologie?  Please bring back the pretty dresses so I have something new to wear on my dates!

August 2, 2012. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

A white girl’s perspective on interracial dating

I have a feeling I’m about to get blasted in the comments here, since interracial dating is such a taboo topic.  Let me begin by assuring you that I’m not racist at all; I have friends of all enthnicities, and I fervently believe that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities.  In the dating world, however, this gets tricky because personal preferences come into play.  In theory, I’m open to the idea of dating men from all different races.  But in reality, I’ve only ever found myself attracted to white men.

Why is that, I’ve often wondered.  As a blonde, blue-eyed white woman, I suppose it makes sense that I would be most attracted to men who look like me.  Studies show that people tend to choose mates with similar genes as themselves.  Yes, interracial marriages are on the rise (and it’s great that they’re becoming more universally accepted by society).  And I know some people dream of a future where all races will eventually blend together into one multi-race.  A one-race world would be nice in a lot of ways (the end of racism!), but I really think it would just be boring if we all looked alike.  Certain traits, such as blonde hair and blue eyes (being recessive), would disappear completely.  In fact, natural blonds are expected to go extinct by 2202.  If I want little blond, blue-eyed children who look just like me, then I need a mate with similar genes.  It’s just biology.

I often feel guilty that I only date white guys, but it turns out I’m not alone.  Statistically, white women are the most race-conscious daters in America, with the majority indicating on online dating sites that they only date white men.  In contrast, white men are less likely to indicate any racial preference, and when they do, it’s typically to exclude a particular race (not the entire non-white spectrum).  White women are less likely to interracial marry than white men are, but when they do, the odds are stacked against them.  The divorce stats are striking: white men married to non-whites have the standard divorce rate.  But white women married non-whites have a far higher rate of divorce.  This effect is especially pronounced in white-woman-with-Asian-man marriages, which have a 60% higher rate of divorce than whites who marry whites.

Statistics and genes aside, I really would like to try dating men of different races.  I’ve been pursued by Blacks, Indians, Pacific Islanders, and many ambiguously ethnic guys, but I’ve just never met one I’m attracted to.  However, I’m always on the lookout for a particularly sexy specimen that will prove to me that I CAN be attracted to non-white men.  It just hasn’t happened yet.

July 31, 2012. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

How to pretend you’re NOT having your period

ImageA while back I blogged about the “Pretend Period”—a little red lie we girls tell to guys when we want to avoid getting busy.  But what about the opposite scenario, when you really do want to have sex but the crimson tide is in full swing?

True, most guys (especially a boyfriend) are fine having sex during a girl’s period; they just throw down a towel and have at it.  But some dudes can be a bit squeamish, and the whole thing can be awkward if you’re not that close to the guy yet (for example, if it’s your first time sleeping together).  But you can’t just pretend the blood isn’t there… or can you?

Allow me to introduce a little piece of technology known as the “menstrual cup”—a  device that consists of a flexible ring with a little plastic bag attached.  It works similarly to a diaphram (if you even know what those are, as they’re a somewhat archaic birth control method today).  To use one, the woman squeezes the cup and slides it all the way up into her vagina, until it cups over her cervix, catching the blood as it drips out.  Although somewhat difficult to insert and remove (you really gotta stick your fingers all the way up there), you can’t feel the cup at all while it’s in place.  Menstrual cups have a lot of advantages over tampons: you can wear them for 12 hours, there’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, and they’re less likely to leak.  And most importantly, you can wear them during sex.

I had my first chance to try this out a couple weeks ago, when an out-of-town lover happened to come for a visit—on precisely the day my period was due.  That afternoon, my period still hadn’t started, but I slipped in the cup “just in case.”  By that evening, I started to *feel* like I was getting my period, but there was still no sign of blood, so I wasn’t sure.  As we started having sex, I was surprised to realize that it did not feel any different: I couldn’t feel the cup at all!  No blood, but all the usual lubrication was flowing.  The sex was great.  I asked Mark if he felt anything different.  “I can definitely feel there’s something up there,” he replied, “but it doesn’t hurt or anything.”  Afterward, I went into the bathroom to remove the cup, and discovered a big pool of blood hiding inside.  So yes, they really work!

A few tips if you want to try this at home:

1. The brand of cup you use matters, since some of them sit lower in the vagina.  I used the Instead softcup, which fits snugly up against your cervix.

2. Insert the cup well before you actually have sex (ideally, before the bleeding even starts).  If you’ve already got blood dripping down, then it’s going to take a while for it to completely clear out of your vagina.

3. Warn the guy ahead of time.  Unless he’s got a tiny penis or you have an extra-long vagina, chances are he’s going to feel something plastic up there, so do him a favor and let him know it’s not vagina dentata.

July 26, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What guys really think about your group of girlfriends [Guest Post]

by Elton Zoolander

Note from Daphne: This is a guest post, penned by none other than Matt-Steve (our beloved texting douchebag from LA).  I, of course, love my loyal group of girlfriends and consider them to be vital allies in the War of Love between the sexes.  Although, I will concede that “The Girls” can sometimes get in the way of a blossoming romance.  Let’s see what a guy has to say about it…

Let’s talk about Facebook profile photos and chicks. Then, being a man, I’ll offer you a little Insight circa 2012 about what we really think about girls and their army of girlfriends, a peak behind the curtain, if you dare…

OK, Facebook. What a stupid platform. It’s full of ranting lunatics with status updates–aka famous quotations, emotions and self-promoting. The ones that spend the most time bragging are the ones that need a therapist, not a digital personal-public journal outlet. But I regress… let’s talk about what we dudes see when we see a profile picture of a group of girls.

If the chick is over age 25 and her profile picture is posing with a group of girlfriends, then a dumb guy (or “boy”) says to himself, “Cool, she has some girl friends, my buddies will come out to hang, looks like she is fun, party on.”  However, a smart guy (or “man”) says, “Yep she is dying to find a boyfriend” [*if single] or “She is just broken up with a dude and wants to show how much better off she is now.”  This can also be interpreted as marketing for “I’m not desperate, I have friends to hang out with that fulfill my needs, I’ll be a cool girlfriend and go to sports games!” 

If she is over 30 and posing with one or more girlfriends, we interpret it as, “Boy do I have my work cut out for me with this one, she still isn’t a woman.”  Or we might think it’s a marketing campaign–i.e., “Just had a girls weekend, found the best picture where I look good and they look like shit” (*doesn’t matter if she is single or not, women are competitive). Women in their 20’s or as they progress into their 30’s, when viewed by a smart guy, it’s like dating a team. There are 3 or 4 levels of management working for that department in the corporation.  There are chains of command, approval processes etc… Just so many different opinions to account for. 

And then you have to know your audience. Unfortunately, a guy’s success with a woman/girl/chick rides on the happiness level of her friends, as well as the fickle woman being we are attempting to “woo.”

If her friends are losers or having a rough go of it, good luck with that, buddy. Imagine if they are all on the same cycle and you wander into that tornado, unaware?? In general, if they aren’t a really successful, happy, healthy bunch, unless you are Ryan Gosling in the notebook, YOU ARE FUCKED trying to get past the lions den. Even still, if you DO make it past level one and things go well, don’t forget the “sabotage” aka the jealousy factor. No friend wants her friend to be happy if she isn’t, and they don’t want to lose the musical chairs game. You won’t know what hit you but you did something, either too right or stepped into a bear trap. A GUY CANNOT WIN without luck, so they play the odds. Women drive that train… Just need to slow down the crazy. Combine all this and the outside pressures on an aging man, tired and weary from the Indiana Jones world of trying to save the princess, and there you go. 

Next up, the second wife – secretary syndrome.

July 3, 2012. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Texts from Douchebags: The return of Matt-Steve

Six months after writing “Texts from Douchebags: LA edition,” I’m still texting with Matt-Steve.   So, I finally decided the time had come to tell him about the blog.  Naturally, Matt-Steve loved it, charmingly egocentric as he is.

However, he has taken issue with the word “douchebag” to describe himself.  Here is Matt-Steve’s response:

In response to “texts from douchebags” I was going to clear up some misconceptions, but it made good literature so all is good. Matt Z is the name, I work in advertising, had a music client.

I was trying to think of the right word to describe myself. Douchebag? Nah too defined by clothes, aesthetic and cliche. Asshole? I mean yes and no. Masshole is too commonly used and Tucker max coined “Hi i’m Tucker Max and I’m an asshole”. Dennis Leary wrote a song about it. Jerk? Nah I’m actually not mean deep down. Dickhead? That’s kind of douchebag meets asshole. Punk! No, that’s not it, Ashton Kutcher ruined that word and he’s a douchebag. I tote the line so to speak, sometimes I cross it and sometimes I don’t. I’m playful yet can be annoying, mildly offensive depending on context but somehow still have all my teeth. I’m a bit of an agitator, in what I believe is in a charming way. I can be a nuisance, I can also whine if I don’t get my way (see texts). I’m a provocateur (or “pro voka”) in massholian. Instigator or Instigata? One of the two. Pick a card, any card.

So, what do you think, dear readers?  Douchebag, asshole, or what?  You don’t have to decide right away.  For your reading pleasure, Matt-Steve has also generously provided us with a guest blog post, to be published shortly. (Update: Matt-Steve’s blog post is posted here.)

July 2, 2012. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Stir Events by Open Office Hours for all

It seems that even got the memo that sifting through online profiles and photos is a highly inefficient way to find a mate. So, they have shamelessly ripped off my “Open Office Hours” concept and introduced real-life mixer events they call “The Stir.” Curious, I signed up for my first Stir event last night in Cambridge. I figure, if Match is going to do all the work for me and set up Open Office Hours, then I’d be a fool not to go!

Before going, I did have some reservations. My biggest fear was that the venue would be full of my old Match rejects–the guys I had already dated and shot down.  After nearly a year of dating on, this is getting to be a populous demographic.  Luckily, this fear turned out to be mostly unfounded: I only ran into one guy I knew–the cheapskate known as the Guy Who Splits the Check.  We pretended not to know each other.

When I first walked into the venue, I was struck by the fact that it mostly felt like going to any other bar. It was hard to tell who was there for the Match event and who was there just because their office is across the street. People were mingling, drinking, and talking.

Having gone by myself (being unable to blackmail any of the girls into accompanying me), I got myself a glass of wine at the bar and immediately realized my conundrum as a solo woman at a Stir event. You see, I’m a fervent believer in The Rules and never, under any circumstances, do I approach a man first. Normally in bars, I hang out with my girlfriends and wait for men to approach us. However, when you’re a “Solo Lurker” this is difficult. You can either sit at the bar, nursing your drink, looking lonely and pathetic, or you can grab the bull by the balls and just start talking to men yourself. Actually, the latter is pretty easy at Stir events. You already know everyone there is single and looking to meet strangers, so simply making eye contact is enough to spark a conversation with most people.

Some observations from the evening:

1. As you might expect, the girl-to-guy ratio was highly skewed.  I’d estimate there were 3-4 girls for every guy in attendance.

2. The men are all lame. And short.  (Basically, it’s a representative subsection of the pathetic male selection available online).  I did not meet a single guy who piqued my interest.  I wish I could say I was surprised.

However, the evening was not a total loss because:

3. There were some really awesome girls in attendance.  I exchanged numbers with two really friendly [straight] women and made some new friends to go out hunting for men with!

This just goes to support my growing belief that there is no shortage of amazing women in Boston, but the men are all duds.

June 19, 2012. Uncategorized. 9 comments.

My First Attempt at Dating “Open Office Hours”

Last week I blogged that I was sick of online dating and announced an entirely new dating concept: The “Open Office Hours.”  So, how did it go?

Well, the first surprising finding (I’m sure this will shock you as well, dear reader) was that guys actually showed up!  I mean, I sent out the mass email invite partly as a “I’m so sick of match, let’s just hit the self-destruct button on this thing and see what happens” maneuver.  Call me a hypocrite, but if I received a Match email like that, I would think the guy was the biggest douchebag of all time and hit delete.

So, I specified that office hours were to run from 9-11pm.  In typical style, my entourage and I arrived at 10:00.  There was already a line out the door at Drink, which the bouncer advised had a one-hour-plus wait time.  An hour?  As if!  Screw “open office hours,” let’s head across the street to Lucky’s instead.  As we were gathering up the troops, a lone, 35-ish man with a heavy Russian accent approached.  “Are you Daphne?  I was just about to leave, I’ve been waiting outside since 9.”  Oops.

We invited Vladamir to walk across the street to Lucky’s with us.  Unfortunately, within 10 seconds, I quickly surmised that Vladamir, while a nice and educated guy, was absolutely painful to talk to.  He was stiff and boring and acutely uncomfortable.  “You may have noticed my accent,” he said.  Uh, yeah, I did.  Where’s it from?  “Canada. Montreal.”  No freaking way this guy had a French Canadian accent.  I wanted to ask from where he had moved to Montreal, but let it slide, as I didn’t really care and didn’t want to encourage more conversation.  My girlfriends instantly deduced that Vlad and I were, sadly, not a romantic “match” and came to my rescue, suggesting we move the party to another bar.  Without Vlad.

“Well, it was nice meeting you,” I said, offering my hand for a shake.  “We’re heading on to the next bar.”

In the meantime, I’d been texting with another guy from Match, Ryan, who let me know he had been waiting at open office hours, but left when I didn’t show up.  “Sorry I was late!  There’s actually a line at Drink, so we’re heading across the street.”

“Be sure to tell Vladamir, he was looking for you.”

What???  Ryan had met Vladamir?  Just how many guys had shown up for these office hours, exactly?

When I finally met up with Ryan that night, he told me the story.  He was waiting in line at Drink behind Vladamir and struck up a conversation with him.  Then the bouncer came through the line and started asking people if they were part of a party or group.

“I’m meeting a girl named Daphne,” said Vladamir.

Ryan’s eyes popped.  “Uh, I’m just here meeting some friends,” he lied.

By the end of the night, I decided that open office hours had been a smashing success.  I had a fun night out with my girlfriends.  And I met two Match guys who were interesting to talk to, even though I ultimately didn’t think there was much of a “spark.”  I got to check two candidates off the list.  And really, Ryan and Vladamir are exactly the kind of men I’m hoping to weed out with this whole office hours process.  On paper, they’re both great guys, and very smart.  But in person, they were clearly just wrong.  I could have wasted weeks going back and forth with emails, getting to know these guys, only to have been disappointed (and wasted a whole evening) meeting one of them for a date.  Clearly, the office hours are much more efficient.

The girls and I are going to try it again, but with a few lessons learned:

1. Don’t go to Drink.  The line is way too long.

2. Keep in mind Daphne’s inability to be on time for anything when scheduling office hours.

3. This one isn’t really a “best practice,” and it might even be disastrous, but Elbie is insisting that I should let her hand-pick some of the men who come to the next office hours.  Knowing Elbie, she’ll probably pick some crazies just for the entertainment factor.  God knows there are plenty to choose from on Match.

May 21, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment. “Open Office Hours”

After six months on, dozens of dates, and countless emails later, I’ve decided I’m sick of online dating! I’ve been putting in way too much effort to schedule and attend all of these dates, and with only lackluster results to show for it.  You see, on, you spend all this time looking over profiles, reading and responding to emails, and finally scheduling a date–only to discover with 5 seconds of meeting the guy that he’s definitely not the one. He’s too short, or smelly, or his voice is like nails on a chalkboard–all flaws that can be easily hidden on an online profile.

This is the fundamental problem with online dating: it completely flips the tried-and-true human courtship process on its head. Over thousands of years of evolution, our genes have developed ways of quickly and subconsciously evaluating a potential mate’s desirability. Within milliseconds of meeting a strange man, your brain is already sizing up his appearance, smell, voice, and body language to make an instant judgment as to whether he’s “hot” or “not.” Yes, it’s a cognitive shortcut, but psych studies show that first impressions actually tend to be very stable and reliable. Within 2 seconds, you have determined whether you want to get to know this guy better (or politely excuse yourself to go get another drink).  From there, a conversation takes place and you begin to learn more about each other, ultimately deciding over a number of dates whether you are well-matched in terms of intellect, emotions, and practical matters. Physical chemistry is just the baseline.

Compare that process to the modern methods of online dating, where you get to know each other and start to form attachments BEFORE even meeting in person to see if there’s any chemistry.  The net result is that you spend time getting to know lots of guys that look good on paper, but maybe are not so hot in real life.  It’s an endless disappointment.

And so, going forward, in order to save myself all the time and aggravation, I will no longer be accepting dates.  Instead, I will be holding “Open Office Hours” where suitors are welcome to come to a public place and say hi to me and my group of lovely girlfriends.  Sort of a group date or “meetup,” if you will.

Excited by my genius idea, I cut-and-pasted this email to a dozen guys in my inbox:

I’m a little burned out on Match and thinking about giving up. But my girlfriends and I have one more idea we wanted to try first. At the risk of being completely obnoxious, I’m pleased to announce our first-ever “Open Office Hours”! This Friday, May 11, from 9-11:00, my single girlfriends and I will be hanging out at Drink in Boston. Feel free to come by and say hi.  I’ll have a squadron of lovely single ladies with me (some of them are pictured in my Match photos, in case you want to scout out the talent in advance). 😉 Maybe we’ll see you there!

How would the men react?  Surprisingly, the reception was mostly warm.  I got one no:

The Office Hours idea is interesting but makes it seem very one way 🙂 One minor issue with your plan though – Drink usually has a line on Fridays and Saturdays so getting in is always a pain. it will have to be some really committed (or desperate) men that will wait in line for an hour just to get in 🙂 I will not be one of them.  -M

But I also had at least one taker:

I would be happy to meet with you and I could probably make it on Friday night. I am not sure about your girlfriends, but I certainly look forward to meeting you 🙂  Also, how many guys interested in you (i.e. that e-mailed you on Match) have you invited to your “Open Office Hours”?  -D

To find out how my “Open Office Hours” went, stay tuned for the next blog post!

May 14, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

It’s Official: Boston Men are Biggest Pigs in America

Pig With Bow TieNot that you needed a study to tell you this, but the dating scene in Boston is bleak. To quantify exactly how bleak, some researchers recently conducted a study on men’s and women’s attitudes on dating in different American cities. Turns out, men in Boston are the biggest pigs in America, with one in eight Boston men expecting sex on a first date—the highest ratio in the country. In a related finding, Boston women are the unhappiest daters in America, with more than 26% complaining about their love lives. (Compare that figure to top city Washington, DC, where 87% of women are actually happy with their dating lives).

So what’s a poor Boston woman to do? Move away? That’s probably the best option, although I have discovered a workaround. For the most part, I have sworn off Boston men for good due to the fact that after years of dating in this city, I still have yet to find a native Bostonian who really makes my heart race. Instead, I’ve gotten good at seeking out the imports: American men who move here from other cities or–even better–European imports.

For more survey results, you can see the Glamour slideshow here:

March 26, 2012. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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