Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

What Women Want (Minus Mel Gibson)

January 31, 2010 1 comment

Once we live through teenage-hood, and our early 20s, and in some cases, our late 20s, women get easier to understand, I swear. We play less games, we want less drama. In fact, at a certain point, we start knowing exactly what we want in a man, or at least in a relationship.

I can’t speak for women everywhere. But I believe it comes down to four basic needs: purses, shoes, jewelry, and chocolate.


We carry a purse everywhere we go. Its contents support us in our daily life. And just like we need our wallet, our cellphone, Advil or our favorite lip gloss, we want our man there when we need him. We want him to support our career choices, and stand by us through bumps in the road with our family. We need him to kiss our foreheads after a rough day. I don’t want a man who fixes my problems for me. I recognize no good can come of someone else doing your dirty work in life. But don’t leave us in our weakest moments. I know it seems like we have a lot of them, but I swear one day, you will need us back, and it will have been worth carrying us along.


My closet holds 38 pairs of shoes (I just counted). High heels, mini-high heels, seven pairs of boots (including fake Uggs, Wellies, two pairs of the same flat leather boots in different colors, and three pairs of high-heeled boots), running sneakers, hiking boots, ballet flats, and flip-flops. They all serve a purpose, or represent good memories. The best ones, the favorite pairs, I have spent a lot of time with. And just like my favorite pair of shoes, I like to spend quality time with my favorite man. It’s not because I want a monopoly on his free time, or because I don’t have a life of my own. It’s because I love being with him. It’s that simple. I’m safe and comfortable with him, just like my favorite eight-year-old black flip-flops, that have formed to the shape of my feet.


We love jewelry. We especially love jewelry from our man. It’s shiny and pretty, and completes an outfit. It makes us feel special when someone compliments a necklace and we can say it came from “him.” Wearing it reminds us we are loved. And we need to be reminded, often. Reassurance can come in many forms: words, hugs, stolen kisses, a hand on a leg, a note, an email, a good night text message, flowers, and on and on. All the small stuff together matters just as much as the big. The more you remind us we are loved, the easier your life will be. Because when we feel shiny and pretty, just like our jewelry, it’s hard to be in a bad mood.


You love beer. Some of us like beer. You love sports. Some of us like sports. You like chocolate. We love chocolate. Chocolate gets us through the worst times of month, and year. It’s shared with girlfriends, or while watching Dirty Dancing for the 1,00oth time. Life’s sweetness can be found in a good box of chocolates, or in a great round of sex. It often comes across, on TV, or in a group of friends, like sex is something women reward men with. But for most women I know, including myself, we crave sex just as often, or sometimes more often than our men do. Of course the sex we crave is equal sided, and ends sweetly for both parties.

So it’s that simple gents: purses, shoes, jewelry, chocolate…aka support, time, reassurance, (good) sex. I promise, unless the girl is a little cuckoo, you provide our four favorite things, you will have a happy girl on your hands. And what dude doesn’t love a happy girl.

Categories: Dating, Love, Men, Women Tags: , , , ,

Hello Fall!

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Fall arrived over a week ago.

Evey year I’m relieved when fall shows up. For an unexplainable reason, summers don’t always go well for me. I think I’m just not a “summer” person. Maybe that’s why I never want to move back to my hometown, where it’s summer 80% of the year.

I love fall. I love the nip in the air, especially at night. I love pulling my sweaters out of storage containers, and putting my summer dresses away. I love the anticipation of the holidays, even if the holidays have been rocky the past few years. I love when football starts and baseball playoffs begin. I love that soon Caps fans everywhere will be back in red, including me.

Fall calms me. It’s mere presence makes my days a little lighter, even when the load I’m carrying is heavy.

One day after fall arrived, I went on my first date since my break-up. I met the guy through an online dating site. He was a total gentleman. He held doors and paid for our drinks and shared dessert. But he was a suburb-lover, who doesn’t like riding subways, or being in airplanes. He has not been to a movie theater since he saw Cast Away, which came out in 2000. And while none of these dislikes indicate anything is wrong with him, they would put quite a damper on successfully dating a city girl who loves going to the movies and happily rides the subway every day.

A day after our date, he was nice enough to ask me on a second date. I politely declined.

So, for now, I continue to live each day as a single girl. I’m okay with that. At the moment, I’m on a bus to New York to see some of my favorite people in the universe. I already know I will laugh a lot (and drink a lot) this weekend.

And two weeks from now my high school buddy and I will be setting up camp in Shenandoah National Park.

During the week, I’ll be kickballing, hip-hopping, and happy houring my way through the start of fall.

For this single girl, life is filled to the brim. It’s going to be a good fall.

Categories: Date, Dating, Fall, Friends

You Tell Me

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment

A friend from work challenged me to let her choose three ways I could meet single fellows, or at least meet people who I could meet fellows from, and let the blog readers vote on them. She is convinced she knows which one will win, but when voting, I want you to consider the question at hand. After 11 p.m. on Sunday, September 13th, whatever choice has the most votes will be the activity I do. I will document the experience and report back whether I did in fact meet any nice gents.

Below the poll is a more in-depth explanation about each activity (and information if you want to try any of the activities out yourself!)

Let the voting begin…

UPDATE: With 53% of the vote, the winner is Nintendo Wii Night! Check back soon for a post on how the evening turns out.

Virginia Wine Festival

Sept. 19-20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This festival, at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, is one of the biggest in the area, with live music, vendors of crafts and foods and wineries from across the state (including Breaux, Tarara and Kluge Estate). Single-day tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate; designated drivers and ages 12 to 20 $16, $22; ages 6 to 12 $5, $8; 5 and younger free. 540-745-3378 or

Nintendo Wii Night

Don’t have a Wii? You can use the Front Page’s system Sunday through Tuesday.

The Front Page – Ballston 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA Executive Airport 1005 Sycolin Rd., Leesburg, VA | 703-777-2420

Thriller Dance Class

Join in the simultaneous global rendition of Michael Jackson’s iconic dance.

Joe’s Movement Emporium 3802-3806 34th St., Mount Rainier, MD | 301-699-1819

Categories: Bars, Dating, Friends, Work

Love is Selling Online

August 24, 2009 2 comments

One of my best friends, and an avid supporter of my blog, sent me the link to this fairly amusing Advertising Age column Love for Sale: What Marketers Can Learn From Online Dating by Matt Brennock.

Brennock’s introduction includes the following paragraph.

“Those looking for love online may be lacking in fancy marketing degrees…and, more than likely, a healthy sense of reality. But give them due props for going about the business of selling with a similar acumen to most seasoned marketers. We can all learn a thing or two from the brave and the crazy, riding down, down into that cyber tunnel of love, for roughly $18 a month, or about $3 a whack job.”

I don’t consider myself crazy, or brave, for taking the very small leap necessary to join an online dating site. And while the writer’s arguments about how marketers can learn from people like me are intriguing, I’m not sure the best way to go about starting the column is to insult the thousands of people who don’t think it’s so very strange, or unrealistic, to find a date online.

Brennock follows up his introduction with a bullet point containing this line, “The vast majority of people out there are hurting, confused, bitter, uncertain, cynical and, yes, crazy. So, once you’ve weeded out those potential targets, you’re left with only a small percentage of people who are at their keyboards with arms wide open.”

I’m guessing he isn’t spot on with this one. The friends I have who have successfully, or unsuccessfully, tried online dating have gone into it believing it was one more way to find a booty call, a date, or a relationship. I would not have described the online-daters who are friends or friends of friends as any of the six adjectives Brennock lists above. I don’t disagree that some people who online date fall into those categories, I just don’t think, without evidence, the sad, pathetic group should be claimed the “vast majority.”

Further down the page, the writer started to make a bit more sense to me. I am fully aware that when it comes to my online profile, a man’s first impression is based on the nine photos I have posted. And I agree that knowing the argument for why that is can help marketers.

On this subject Brennock writes, “We are all biologically programmed to be ‘about looks.’ Apple has built a small empire based on its remarkable aesthetic.”

I work online. I often hear co-workers gripping about the low quality ads that appear on sites they frequent. A close-up of belly fat or a dancing hot dog don’t do the trick with my 20 or so cubicle mates. You’d think good marketers would start taking some lessons from Apple and clean up their look.

Brennock nears the ends his strange ode to online dating with the following: “Forget metrics and science and whatever else they teach in business school. While the tools of communication change, the truth will always come down to this: We are just people trying to connect with other people in the same way we always have, whether we’re selling love or linen sheets.”

And on that point, I can agree.

Forward Thoughts

August 22, 2009 2 comments

Girlfriends often send me forwards with anecdotes or humorous one-liners about the downfalls of men and relationships. I received the list below from a friend on Thursday. While amusing at times, and true in some cases, I wonder if words like these further divide those of us from Venus and those of us from Mars. My thoughts in blue.

1. Don’t imagine you can change a man – unless he’s in diapers. In my experience, pushing someone to change does not work out well for the person doing the pushing. People can change, including men, but they have to come to the changing on their own.

2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door. Agreed.

3. If they put a man on the moon – they should be able to put them all up there. I, like most straight women, don’t actually want all men relocated to the moon. I shudder to think of a world with only women.

4. Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway. True in some cases, not in others.

5. Men are all the same – they just have different faces, so we can tell them apart. I’ve had three serious boyfriends, with three handsome faces, and three different sets of desires, needs, and goals. They are unique individuals.

6. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it. I have yet to try this tactic. Intriguing.

7. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener. No experience here.

8. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn’t ask for directions. My last boyfriend had no problem asking me for directions. I was not always the best at giving accurate ones.

9. If he asks what sort of books you’re interested in, tell him check books. I’m fairly sure that response would eliminate the possibility of being asked on a second date.

10. Remember a sense of humor does not mean that you tell him jokes, it means that you laugh at his. I have no problem laughing at a man’s jokes, especially if they are in fact funny. But it’s just as much a turn-on if a guy laughs at mine. I would hope smart men know that.

Categories: Dating, Friends, Men, Women

Going Halfsies?

August 17, 2009 2 comments

Prior to my entrance into the world of online dating, I took part in a heated debate on whether a guy “lost points” if he didn’t offer to pay for the meal on the first date. The catch, to me, was the date in reference was set up through an online dating site. I argued that no guy should lose points if he accepted an offer from the girl to pay half. I was forcibly shut down by the three women and one man who took part in the debate. This was a few months ago, so their arguments are hazy, but the gist of it was that for reasons ranging from chivalry to respect to the idea that men must win women over, the guy should offer and pay for the first dinner in full, otherwise suffer the points loss.

A friend who I told about the discussion spoke to a friend of hers who had some experience with online dating. This friend of a friend agreed with me. Her argument, which was more valid than any I made, was that both parties, male and female, paid the money and sought the dates provided by dating sites. It wasn’t as if the couple met in a bar and the guy requested the girl’s number. If while online dating the guy was always expected to pay in full he could go through his bank account damn quick, especially if was having some success at getting dates.

When it comes to paying, I’ve always been the split-it-down-the-middle type. It’s not because I’m an uber feminist. The three boyfriends I’ve had made the same amount of money as I did. It didn’t seem fair that because they were men, they needed to bankroll our activities as a couple.

On the flip side, I can’t say I am not flattered when a man treats.

A co-worker who encouraged me to sign up for online dating said when the check comes along she always asks, “Can I help with that?” The phrase isn’t as specific as saying “Do you want to split it?” and, according to her, her date always appreciated that she offered, and 19 times out of 20, said something like, “No but thanks for asking.”

When I come to the “time to pay up” crossroads, I have to admit, despite valid arguments, I don’t think I’ll dock a man points if he accepts my offer to help. To me the test will be whether or not he asks me out again.

Categories: Date, Dating, Online Dating

Top Five Places to Meet Decent Men in D.C.

August 12, 2009 5 comments

Tonight, after a brutal Bocce loss, my team gathered at the bar and started ordering pitchers. It’s fuzzy how it happened, but the conversation meandered it’s way to where I should go to meet quality, available men in D.C.

To start, a teammate informed me I needed to move to Denver. According to him, Denver has more available men than women, unlike D.C., which has a plethora of attractive, career-driven ladies and not enough men to satisfy them all. Sadly, I have a good job here, and in these economic times, it didn’t seem realistic to move to Colorado just to find a good man.

So he, and the others, including the team drinking next to us, started zeroing in on there version of the Top Five Places to Meet Decent Men in D.C. Keep in mind this was done in thinking about what I was looking for in a “decent man.” Qualifications were nice, smart, sense of humor, has a job, at least semi-attractive and likes sports.

1. RFD, Chinatown (near the Verizon Center) — A sports bar with forty beers on tap and quite a few more than that in bottles. The rule was to wear a low cut shirt OR a team jersey. My instructions were to watch games at the bar and strike up a conversation with whoever strikes my fancy. According to my three male sources, not all guys have the balls to talk first at bars.

2. Public Bar, Farragut North/Dupont Circle — A new sports bar with “fresh meat.” Low cut shirt and standing by bar apply here.

3. Tryst, Adam’s Morgan — My directions were to show up in a low-cut shirt on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with a crossword puzzle. Find a couch seat next to a cute guy. Ask the guy for help with 15 across.

4. Quarry House Tavern, Silver Spring — This suggestion was amusing because it was prefaced with if I wanted to meet guys on the slightly “punk-ish” side. For those of you reading this who know me, the image of me with a punk rocker should make you giggle softly to yourself . That doesn’t mean I won’t try it. Punk rockers can be nice guys, too. Oh, and they like low cut shirts.

5. Meridian Hill Park — A nice change of pace from the bar scene, both guys and gals confirmed Meridian Hill Park is the place to be on Sundays for meeting people. One guy suggested I attend the free 5 p.m. yoga session wearing a low cut shirt. I’m unsure yoga on Sunday evenings in a park is where I’ll meet my next boyfriend–or even a rebound guy–but free yoga outdoors sounds like fun, so hell, why not try it?

Number one take away from this night: I need to buy more low cut shirts.

Update August 13, 11:30 am: My teammate was right about Denver. It seems I live on the wrong coast!

Categories: Bars, Bocce, Dating, DC

Romance Novels v. Real Life

August 11, 2009 6 comments

I read my share of romance novels in high school and early college. My collection consisted mostly of Nora Roberts paperbacks, which were on the bestsellers lists and could be read in public without shame.

The basic formula Roberts used worked for me. Strong, career-driven female meets pesky, but very attractive man who challenges her basic way of life and makes her realize she doesn’t want to go it alone. There are fights along the way that only ever lead to two things: hot, makeup sex or romantic grand gestures. And there was never once an unhappy ending.

But here’s the problem, fights don’t always end in great sex or grand gestures. Happy endings seem to be fairly infrequent. And at the ripe old age of 21, I figured that out. So I stopped reading romance novels and I never looked back.

Last fall a friend I respected told me I had to read the Twilight series. I was clued out of what the books were about, and so when she told me that she could guarantee I would think vampires were hot after I read them, I thought she had hopped on the crazytown express.

Turns out I think vampires are hot and Twilight is really four romance novels disguised as pre-teen vampire novels. Except the happy ending lasts forever because the vampires live forever. Romance novels on steroids.

Here’s the catch about reading romance novels three years into a rocky relationship, they remind you of something important–it’s okay to want big love.

I won’t find a hot vampire who turns me into a vampire so I can be with him for all of time and have sex all night every night instead of sleep (because according to author Stephanie Meyer vampires don’t sleep).

But I can do better than someone who is never sure and won’t hold my hand.

Post-Twilight I have not returned to reading romance novels. I don’t want to believe I have to wait for the perfect man to sweep me off my feet (literally and figuratively). If I thought that’s how it worked, I wouldn’t be online dating.

Cheesiness aside though, romance novels do deliver an important message. We all deserve big love. We don’t all find it. But it can’t hurt to try.

Update August 13, 11:31 am: Looks like they have turned a classic hottie, Mr. Darcy, into a vampire, or should I say “vampyre.”

Categories: Books, Dating, Ex-Boyfriend, Love

Writing on Dating

August 9, 2009 1 comment

I am concerned that writing this blog, or more specifically making it public, is narcissistic. My friend (and roommate) assures me it is not. But I just sent the link out on my Twitter feed and I’m still not sure.

I am dating, or at least starting to attempt to date, just like millions of others. And I’m sure hundreds of them are also writing about it (or maybe even millions). And I’m just not sure what will make what I write worthy enough for others to read. But putting it in the universe somehow makes it more exciting, and less overwhelming. And maybe, someone will relate to something I said, and she (or he) will feel like someone else in the universe gets it. And maybe she (or he) will leave a comment, and then I will know someone else gets it.

I do know I won’t be writing names in this blog. If anything, you may see initials. But I want to write truly, without people getting called out.

I spoke to a very nice guy on the phone tonight for 40 minutes. It was a good step. One that capped a weekend of feeling like it’s all going to be okay again, like this is not so scary. And I think writing this blog helped get me there.

Categories: Dating