Why Deleting My Dating Apps Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

It was about a month ago that I decided it was finally time to kick the bucket and log off. There was such a surge of power—and frankly, relief—when I deleted all of my dating apps. Tinder was the first to go, followed by Hinge and then Bumble.
When I read Vanity Fair’s article, ‘Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’—I found myself nodding along mindlessly, silently saying ‘Yep, yep, yep.’ I didn’t really need the article to tell me that dating apps had changed relationships, marriages and the process of finding someone that you want to see for longer than it takes to swipe left or right. That, I knew, from four hard years of being single and watching the whole process change and in many ways, worsen. Even my mom taking over my Tinder account for a week confirmed this.

But as the article points out several times, as we all continue to get online to find someone we connect with offline, I had to beg the question to myself: “Why was I investing all this time into something that makes me miserable?”

Like any true addict, it took me a week to wean myself off of my dating IV and to get rid of the shakes that made me anxious: “If I’m not on these apps, how will I meet people?! What will I do?” Continue reading

So, I Had An Invisible Boyfriend For a Month (Really)

You know the scene: You’re at a bar with your gals on a Friday night and a drunken weirdo won’t stop hitting on you hardcore, even though you’ve made it very clear you’re not interested. For many ladies, the ‘I have a boyfriend!’ white lie is an easy escape tactic. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be a white lie anymore! With InvisibleBoyfriend.com, you can create a magical fake boyfriend that sends you text messages, leaves you voicemails, and gives you all the (fake) validation you could ever want. Obviously, I had to try it. Continue reading

The Worst Online Messages I Received This Year

For every semi-decent guy I’m actually interested in online, I probably receive about 10 odd, spammy—and sometime scary—messages in my inbox. In the wild, wild west of the digital dating world, you really don’t know what you’re going to get when you swipe to see what that Tinder notification was all about.

Though the crazy messages don’t really phase me anymore and I usually just share the screenshots with my friends for a midday laugh during lunch, perhaps there’s something to be learned from these ridiculous one-sided exchanges?

You know, like this important lesson: run far, far away from any of these guys if you ever receive a message to the ones below. Hopefully, 2015 will bring me a boyfriend—or at least a less-intense inbox:

1. The One Who Wanted Me to Eat Doritos

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23 Things I Love About Being Single (in GIFs)

There are some things that really suck about being single. But then there are some awesome benefits of flying solo. When I start thinking about how annoying it is to go on bad date after bad date, wishing for my single days to end already and wondering where the hell is this guy I’m apparently going to end up with… I remember all of the reasons I actually love being single.

Here are just a few… (add your own in the comments!)…

1- Peanut butter and popcorn for dinner? Occasional glass(es) of wine with hummus, carrots and a hard-boiled eggs because I just want it instead of cooking? Grub from the food truck late at night? Ain’t nobody that’ll be laying next to me… so…

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Are We Dating? Or Are We Apping?

I almost always cancel on first dates these days.

Not because I don’t want to go per se – but because the anticipation is almost always more intense than the actual experience. In the age of Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, JDate, HowAboutWe, Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, Stir, Chemistry, Nerve, Sparkology – and on and on and on – before you ever meet someone, you’ve spent so much time communicating with them, you feel like you know them.

But you don’t.

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And Then Mr. Unexpected Came Along…

The weeks after I returned from Europe were one big blur: getting over jet lag, starting a new job that starts an hour earlier than my last one, and getting my finances, insurance and 401k set up and settled.

Needless to say, I wasn’t focused on dating and quite honestly, didn’t have much time or energy for it. (Especially since all the running blogs were telling me I needed to start my marathon training… yesterday.) It was after a long, sweaty run in Central Park on a Wednesday, while I was picking up odds and ends at the grocery store that the dating app, Hinge yelled at me for not logging in for a while.

You could be missing great matches! It said.

Mmmk, Hinge. Whatever you say.

I’m not really a big fan of Hinge and at that point, I had never been on a date from it, mainly because while the concept is smart (10 matches a day, must have at least a third-degree Facebook connection), the technology is lacking. Most of the time when I opened it, it crashed before I could even decide if I thought a guy was cute or not.

So why I decided to open it that day, I still don’t know, but I did. And I’m glad I gave it a whirl, because there waiting in the inbox was a message sent while I was in Rome from…

…Mr. Unexpected.

It was hard to tell exactly what he looked like – he isn’t a big fan of having his picture taken. But from the few selections, I could tell I was into this tall, dark, Greek daytrader – who apparently liked sports, dogs and fishing. He went to college in North Carolina, so at the very least, I reassured myself, he would understand and maybe share my Bojangles obsession (and extreme longing for it). His message was smart and short, enough to get my attention but not so intense it turned me away. I responded with my phone number (not in my character, but I had to get off that faulty app before it completely failed).

Mr. Unexpected asked me out for the next day – a Friday, after work. He hinted to dinner but kept it cool with drinks first – ya know, just to make sure we could tolerate one another for an entire meal.

Turns out we could. And that’s when everything started to become rather unexpected:

I usually don’t get tipsy on a first date – but by the time we headed to Bowery Kitchen, I lost all track of time and wits and … I had already downed three cocktails. He ordered us a bottle of red at dinner and suddenly, the me with a big appetite, had zero interest in the lobster roll or the skirt steak… instead I wanted to be that girl who kissed a guy on a first date in a restaurant. (Sorry –I’m not sorry- other patrons!)

When we left, we got caught in the rain and huddled underneath an umbrella, his 6’3-self attempting to hold it over his head and my head without both of us getting soaked (it didn’t really work, but was cute, nonetheless). We found a covered building and made out for a bit, laughing at the irony of the “romantic kissing scene,” and generally just savoring the unexpected moment.

And then I became Ms. Unexpected myself:

We could go to a place near my apartment, I said. I have to walk Lucy anyway.

We grabbed a cab uptown from Soho and had another glass of wine before heading back to my place- I won’t give details (quite yet) but while a deed wasn’t done, it was evident that Hinge quite accurately predicted a vibrant chemistry. So much in fact, that after a restless sleep, two giant iced coffees and a stroll in the dog park, I went to brunch and flying trapeze with M, took a shower, took a power nap, and headed downtown again to meet him, less than 24 hours later for dinner and drinks.

And so far, a month later, he’s still proving that the unexpected can be so much easier, so much sexier, so much more relaxed than when you follow the rules.

Because I’ve been having a lot of fun breaking them.

I don’t ever take home someone on the first date, and I usually never agree to dinner so early in. I rarely do back-to-back dates, or as I’ve called our first/second date: the marathon date. (If only actually running the marathon would be the easy!) I usually try to be nonchalant and uninterested, playing a game that I’m not good at until the bitter end, but instead, we send each other slightly inappropriate memes, pictures of our dogs, talk sports (ahem, thanks E for explaining hockey to me) and just let it flow.

As for Mr. Unexpected, he continuously sparks my curiosity with his candor, his charisma, the way he challenges me – in many ways – and what he picks for dates – a Yankees Game (my first one), a family-owned Spanish restaurant he frequents, potato chips and beer in bed, watching YouTube and perhaps a comedy show in the week the come.

From how it started to where it’s going – the most exciting part and yet, the thing that makes me at ease, is how I never saw it coming. And for once, I put aside the things that make dating feel like such a chore, and I just let someone surprise me. I just went with it and let the ride take it’s course.

Ya know what? Six or seven (or something?) dates later, Mr. Unexpected is still keeping me on my toes. And as he said, “I can’t be ‘unexpected’ forever, I have to turn into something, right?

He does. And I bet I won’t expect whatever that will be.