Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Single Suggestion: what to do when the online dating game has one weak player

One reader wonders what to do when the volleyball game that is online dating messaging gets stale due to one player's soft spikes and weak serves. (Okay, perhaps the metaphor is not so great.) OSS [hopefully] answers in this week's installment of One Single Suggestion.

Q. I’ve got an online dating question for you. I saw a guy's profile, sent him a wink/flirt/nudge type thing, got a quick line back which I took as a good sign because if he wasn't interested, he'd ignore me outright. So even though his quick response didn't include questions about myself, I wrote back and asked a question or two to get the conversation going. We've now been going back and forth in this same way for about a week...he's still not asking about me, but he's keeping the ball rolling by replying and is always complimentary about something, so it's not a lost cause -- some guys aren't good at email, right?

I don't want to be the one who makes all the effort here. Any clues or hints I should drop to get him to just ask me to meet up? Or, do I just drop it since he's maybe he's just not that into me given the nature of his notes? What is my next step here?

- Tired of Email Vollying

A. Sure, some guys aren’t good at emailing. Some girls aren’t either. And yes, it’s clear that he’s interested in you or--you’re right--he wouldn’t keep contacting you. Unless he’s seriously bored. And who can be that bored with reruns of Full House still on the air?! But, Tired, compliments and interest do not a fair and balanced relationship make. If he can’t rev up the effort to ask you about yourself now in the courting stages, nor actually ask you out, will he be engaged and proactive later on? Will he hold open the door on the first date? Will he ask you how work is going on the 2nd? Is he the type to suggest meeting each other’s families down the line? Will he ask you how you like your pudding and oatmeal when you’re old and feeble and living in a senior center in Boca Raton together? No, probably not. So, you can take your chances and suggest a first date. Or you can hold off on a guy who’s interest in you is equal to your interest in him. And will treat you like the cat’s meow that you are today, tomorrow, and in 50 years when he’s still excitedly asking you out to early bird dinners and Scrabble dates.


Have a dating doozy of your own? Email your dating queries, woes and what-should-I-dos?! to

Monday, February 21, 2011

How I unintentionally brought SEXY back to Tuesday.

I went out with Ed last Tuesday night. Tuesday nights are guaranteed to spell out unsexy. U – N – Nothing sexy happens on a Tuesday – Ever. Unsexy. We had a nice time, sure. A really fun, great conversation kind of evening. Over a glass of wine and spaghetti, we talked about home and family and college with ease and some humor.

I actually wanted to transfer to another school after freshman year, I said, hoping to be vague about my first year indiscretions which had led me nearly to leave my small university.

Freshman slutties? he asked in reply, assuming me to be one of those girls who’d spent freshman year disrobing half the lacrosse team.

I had been.

No, I wouldn’t say quite that, I said. Because there is no time to reveal to a man that you’re dating that you ever had the ‘slutties’—the first date being the worst of all times to make such a disclosure. We all just make mistakes freshman year. This wasn’t a lie. This was just an omission of truth. Plus. ‘Freshman slutties?’ It doesn’t even have a ring to it. Not like ‘freshman fifteen,' a typical first year weight-gaining phenomenon I had also understood well. I’ll think on it.

The next day it came to me. Frosh floozies! It was perfect. It had alliteration. It had pizzazz. I texted my inventive catchphrase to Ed. He’d surely appreciate my ingenuity a day later.

That’s great, he wrote back. Glad to hear you’re still thinking about it. But I think we could get a little dirtier.


At what point had I indicated that I was ‘that kind of girl?!’ Had my mere allusion to sex the evening before made him think that I was a promiscuous, loose, sexting type of lady?? I was insulted. I was offended by his presumption about my character. I mean, I am a sexter when the mood strikes and the situation warrants it. But for godsake, at least a kiss usually precedes that kind of raunchy writing.

I asked a male friend about my predicament this weekend. A lovely, respectful, married man whose opinion I trust. Well, you brought up sex, he said. The conversation which followed was inconsequential. What it came down to, it seemed, is that a girl’s not safe mentioning even the word sex around a virile man. He will mistake this for an advance. He will mistake you for the kind of girl who slinks around in lingerie and puts her number up on bathroom walls. Ugh. Men, the lesson was learned, are all likeminded and that mind spells S-E-X. Even with a nice girl. Even on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Single Suggestion - a new advice feature.

As my dating adventures continue and my wisdom regarding dating and relationships grows infinite and vast, it would seem selfish if I hoarded these divine secrets of singlehood for myself. Therefore, I introduce to you...

'one SINGLE suggestion' will be a semi-regular (my commitment issues never cease) write-in dating advice feature of the 'one SINGLE story' blog.

Our first reader query appears here. Ooh! Ahh!

Q. I've been talking to this guy online and we've exchanged about 4 e-mails each, but the last one he sent didn't leave me much to work with. He hit on a couple things we had previously talked about and then answered a question I had asked, but didn't ask me anything in return. Done? Do I even try to keep the convo going? Don't even know what I would say at this point.

- Reader in Need

A. I say NO, not done yet. He wrote back and that is all the motivation you should need to write him again. I have found that after a 4 to 5 email banter back and forth, it becomes more fun to start opening up about yourself (cause we live in a me me me society) and it becomes easier to forget general e-dating etiquette--which says to always end with at least one or two questions back to the other person. If you are interested in seeing him, I'd swoop in now and suggest an in-person meeting. Too many emails can kill the excitement anyway. Sort of just like the way video killed the radio star.


So, don't be shy now. Email your dating queries, woes and what-should-I-dos?! to I may have some sage advice to offer you in return for your troubles.

N.B. In a relationship already? No worries. Though I haven't had a successful relationship myself, I can probably help yours. Promise. Fire away with your questions too, coupled friends.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tales of the motorcycling Buddhist Beau.

29 years ago I was born to Jewish parents and have since taken every opportunity to prove that I am not, myself, Jewish. I dropped out of Hebrew School. I’ve claimed atheism. I’ve dated outside my faith. So, so many people outside my faith. Commonly known in some circle as Goys, non-Jews have always shone a little brighter for me. I’ve dated every kind of Goy and then some. I’ve dated black Christians. I’ve dated Irish Catholics. I’ve dated half Asian Episcopalians. I’ve dated WASPs from the suburbs of Northern California.

And so when I recently began studying Buddhism, it seemed natural that I should add Christian turned Buddhist to my list of non-Jewish romantic partners. I spotted Joe from across the circle of chairs on Day 1 and decided that he was probably the cutest little practicing American Buddhist I could ever hope to meet. Smart, calm, the kind of person who doesn’t waste words or get excited very easily. He also had some nice ink on his biceps and the sweetest blue eyes. Done.

Before our weekend of classes was complete I’d orchestrated a means to get my email to him if he wasn’t going to ask for it. Cut to the success of my manipulation and a dozen or so emails later and Joe and I were on our way to a first date—class extra credit if you will. Joe planned the kind of picture perfect date that most people only dream of. He picked me up on his beautiful Harley motorcycle at 9 am. He had with him an entire outfit for me that screamed safety and zero sex appeal (but what a sweet gesture). And he had a whole itinerary planned that involved crossing county lines, riding along the California coast and a perfectly timed sunset at the park. Score. Score, score and a million times score.

Something about Joe’s authentic nature brought out the same in me. I want to see you again, I told Joe as he was dropping me off 12 hours later. When your midterms are over. (Joe’s back in school to study social work. Be still my easily swooned heart.) I’d like to see you before then, he replied. Oh, my achy breaky Buddhist love organ.

Date No. 2 with Joe is planned for tomorrow. While some other gentlemen have entered the picture in the last week (oh, I have so very much to catch you up on friends!), stay tuned for tales of my motorcycling Buddhist beau…

Hear this, Gals: Ballsy is better. Guys don’t always have metaphorical balls that mirror their real ones. Sometimes you need to make the first move. Or at least gently guide them toward making one themselves.

Listen up, Guys: Sometimes the nice guy does win. Gentle is good. Authentic is awesome. Sweet can be sexy.

[Image via LIFE]

Monday, February 7, 2011

Harry and his magical, vanishing social skills.

Over messaging, I will cut prospective suitors some slack. Not everyone writes with as much furor and gusto as your One Single blogger friend. And maybe it's not that the communications are awkward necessarily, but rather that the writing is just not that great. Which I'm learning to forgive a bit. After all, a writing snob does not a happily coupled woman make. And bad grammar doesn't always mean a bad date.

So, when Harry was a bit, okay, awkward over email, I was able to rummage up enough redeemable qualities within his messages to ignore the glaring social suckiness and arrange a date. Redeeming quality number one? He had been the first person to write to me over Match and I held a grateful little place for him in my heart. Lesson learned. Gratefulness is not synonymous with real desire. It's actually a sort of pathetic reason to accept a date.

Harry's Downfalls (in no particular order--they all sucked).

* During our initial phone call and in our subsequent first and only meeting, Harry would allow the most terribly pregnant pauses--the kind that one could drive a semi through. Was I interrupting? Was there a better time for me to call? Was he just a weird mute? Ah, yes, the latter.

* Once on the phone and once again in person (this guy learns no lessons), Harry answered my attempt at small talk questions with don't worry about it. Don't worry about it? Yeah, I'll show you not worrying about you all the way to never speaking with your sorry ass again.

* Harry chose a spot for lunch. I arrived on time. The kitchen was closed. Harry was 15 minutes late. Negative point. Negative point. Negative point.

* Harry had circles under his eyes. Like crack addict circles under his eyes.

* Harry scratched his stomach. Under his shirt. Skin bared. More than once during lunch.

* Harry looked at my almost finished salad and commented wow, you ate a lot. To which I replied--a tip, Harry? Never again tell a girl on a first date that she eats a lot. Negative point (x15).

* I earned a $158 ticket during our date. If this was a not a sign from God (or the LA City Parking Department) that I shouldn't be on a date with Harry, I don't know...

* Harry suggested that perhaps I might be interested in joining him and his friends a couple of days later for the Super Bowl. Because I was sort of dying to see what a group of people who identified themselves as friends with this man would be like, I said I'd think about it. A day after (and the following day too), I received voicemails from Harry's friend via his phone in which said friend put on fake accents, made up fake characters and left me nearly incomprehensible prank messages.

Oh, Harry. Oh, Harry Harry Harry. Bad. Move. All of them really--bad, bad moves.

Tip to Chicks: When a man fumbles over email, proceed with caution. When he fumbles over the phone, really reconsider a date. When he fumbles within the first five minutes of your first date, do yourself a favor and spare yourself a parking ticket and just--walk--away.

Tip to Dudes: Don't be weird. It's so, so easy not to be weird. Just don't be.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't stroke his ego or his back.

Derek and I didn’t have the most fantastic of online dating email dialogues. I wouldn’t say that our conversations had evoked in me feelings of chemistry or even excitement to meet him. But our chats were stimulating in the way that a history textbook is stimulating—the material is interesting, the delivery is dry, and you feel as though you ought to learn more.

I met Derek at one of my favorite restaurants in LA and I immediately realized that the restaurant was going to be forever tainted for me by this date. Derek was about 15 pounds heavier than his pictures would have indicated. Derek was doofy. Derek was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. Derek was the kind of man you found yourself talking as though he was a child.

Everything improves after half a bottle of wine though and by the end of dinner Derek was seeming entirely tolerable and slightly charming.

Derek asked me to continue the night with another drink elsewhere. I was tipsy and couldn’t think of any reason not to. By the time I finished drink number one at the following establishment, I was finding it harder to aim for my mouth with the straw and my hand was playfully grazing Derek’s shoulder. Bad. Move. Even tipsy, I knew this. You never want to give a wrong signal to a guy like Derek. It was time to go home.

I had one drink too many that night and came within too few inches of Derek’s personal space. He was hooked.

Now, when I go out with men I meet online I go in with an assumption that he is seeing just as many other chicks as I am dudes. I mean, that’s why we go online right? To check out as many fish in the sea as possible? Well, either Derek prefers fishing in small ponds or I am just that good of a catch. Because Derek has called or texted me or both every day for the last week and a half. And while I would have considered a second date with Derek—we both have a shared interest in art and eating after all—I am now afeared that he might ask me to move in or propose were I to get too drunk and hold his hand.

A word to the ladies: if you don’t think a fellow’s up your alley, don’t stroke his ego or his back on the first date. Men are easily mislead by such advances. Not unlike lab mice by blocks of cheese.

Hey guys: even if a girl gives you what you think might be a good sign on the first date, stay attuned to other signs after—like unreturned calls.