How about Making Yourself Online Datable

Online dating is part of the modern single person’s landscape. Everyone’s doing it, and most of us are doing it wrong!

There are certainly good things about dating on OKCupid, and Tinder- if you’re new to an area, if you want to meet people out of your regular social circle, or if, in the case of, you want to meet divorced Christian dads in the suburbs- but these formats have their own particular do’s and dont’s.

Here’s a list of common mistakes the online bachelor can avoid (to not kill chances of a possible date):

  • A Woman in Headshot- When I see a dude on a dating site with his arm around a pretty lady, I don’t think “Hey, she’s really pretty, I’d better step up my game”, I think “well, if he hadn’t pissed her off, he wouldn’t be floating around like a loser online still”, which is where, you may point out, I am also floating.
  • A Blurred or Cropped Out Woman in Headshot – Hey, I feel for you guys. Unlike women, who celebrate every dinner, haircut, and outfit with a photo session, guys only get pictures taken when they’re on a date with someone or when they are on a bass boat. Please try and get a decent selfie, or ask a friend “Hey bro, can you do me a favor? I need a picture of myself.”
  • Abs Pictures- Sure, he stopped eating bread and he does five thousand crunches a day, but when’s the last time he read something longer than the list of ingredients on a protein shake? A tendency to post pictures of one’s torso sometimes speaks to a desire to show it to many people.
  • Generic First Message. There are real studies saying it doesn’t matter what your first message is, and the best method is to scattershoot HEY HOW ARE YOU to a hundred women a week, but I have personally never responded to a HEY HOW ARE YOU message, and can’t imagine I would do so unless it was sent by Johnny Depp.
  • LONG Opening Message, mentioning EVERY interest and hobby I have and their thoughts about it. This starts to feel stalkery. Wait, how did you know I’m eating a bagel? Are you watching me right now?
  • Talking Solely About My Appearance: it doesn’t seem like there’s a desire to find out about my personality, right?
  • Pen Pals- Once we’ve established contact, and written a couple messages back and forth, ask me out. I’m here for men pals, not pen pals! Also, if you live five hundred miles away, don’t message me- this is not a sexy chat service and I’m not coming to visit you in Pig’s Snout, Arkansas. Ever. Unless you are Edward Scissorhands or Captain Jack Sparrow. Then, anything is possible.

Mind Your Manners

I asked readers for questions on online dating from ladies and men, and you really came through!  Thank you so much.

Q: How do you politely end a disastrous first date?

A: First of all- set a time limit for your first date of about an hour.  After that, you have a good idea of whether or not you’d like to spend more time with that person.  Come pre-loaded with an excuse like meeting a friend, or an appointment elsewhere.  Good ideas for first dates include small things, like meeting for a coffee or a drink.  Terrible first date ideas include: attending your cousin’s wedding, going on a road trip to Montreal, or taking a six week long Cantonese cooking course.

No matter how awkward the date is, you can give someone an hour of your time, then bow out and thank them for meeting with you.  You might get a story out of it, or make a friend, or learn something you didn’t know before.  Being polite costs nothing.

Of course, if after an hour you are both looking at each other with sparkly eyes and you just ate a piece of spaghetti together and kissed at the end, you can totally agree to continue the date.

Q: When should you let someone know whether or not you’d like to see them again?

A:  If you have the gumption to tell someone face to face that you really enjoyed meeting them and ask if you can see them again, do so.  It’s the romantic thing to do.  Otherwise, say nothing, slink away and text them surreptitiously when you get back to your car, or send them a message online.

If you don’t want to see them again after the first date, just say nothing.  This is the default setting.

Q: I’m out on a date in a bar, but I see another attractive person in the room.  Since I’m not in a relationship, isn’t it fine to chat up and ask that person out as well?

 A: This is incredibly rude, and telling me that I’m being ridiculous and it wasn’t rude at all doesn’t change anything, Matt!

When you’re on a date, that time belongs to that person.  If you can’t commit to giving one person your undivided attention for a few hours, don’t go on dates, just keep swiping on Tinder.

Q: I’m on a first date with someone who I really like- in the interest of transparency, don’t I need to tell them that I have other first dates planned?

A:  Not only is this none of their business, it’s actually a bit rude.  Going on a first date is more like going on a job interview than it is a romantic event.  You wouldn’t tell an interviewer how many other companies you were trying to get hired at, right?  Not until it was time to talk money.  Treat dating the same way, except never talk about money because then you’re not dating, you’re an escort.

Secretive Couple with Smart Phones in Their Hands

Q: When can I assume that the person I’m seeing isn’t seeing other people?

A:  Never.  Even if you fall in love and move in together and she supports you through graduate school and you stick by her side after she loses her pet hamster in a freak road paving accident, and you get older, start wearing only sweatpants and eventually die holding hands in front of the television, unless you have specifically asked “are you interested in being monogamous?”, you’re best off assuming she was continuing to see other people throughout.

How Do You Feel about Tinder?

With so much of today’s millennials connecting with friends online in there daily life, its no surprise dating apps like Tinder are popular. Tinder and other online dating apps have changed the way dates and relationships are formed, but would you say it has caused a “dating apocalypse.”

Tinder has thrown a Twitter tantrum over a Vanity Fair article all about today’s hookup app generation, mobile dating apps and the “dating apocalypse”.

Written by journalist and author Nancy Jo Sales, who wrote The Bling Ring, the article was published last week on Vanity Fair.

Titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse””, Sales gives a glimpse into today’s hookup app generation, told through the eyes of young men and women who recount their often shocking experiences in the modern dating landscape.

The article really focuses on how today’s daters are using apps like Tinder, the kind of throwaway hookup behaviour both sexes are accustomed to, and how dating apps could be changing their attitudes towards sex, love and relationships.

Here are some sample excerpts:

“With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling. You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.””

“But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued.”

“So where is this all going to go? What happens after you’ve come of age in the age of Tinder? Will people ever be satisfied with a sexual or even emotional commitment to one person? And does that matter? Can men and women ever find true intimacy in a world where communication is mediated by screens; or trust, when they know their partner has an array of other, easily accessible options?”

Although the article was posted last Tuesday, Tinder only embarked on the 30-tweet rant yesterday, after journalist Nancy Jo Sales posted a link to an article which said 30% of Tinder users are married.

Tinder repeated their position that this survey was “preposterous”, which sparked a flood of tweets explaining why Tinder is so much more than just a hookup app, helping singles across the world create meaningful connections, relationships and friendships.

Tinder has insisted for years that the app is about more than just hookups, and this Twitter storm almost feels like that particular pot boiling over after simmering for a long time.

And the company has subsequently stood by the rant, which has received national press and lots of attention on Twitter, with an official statement.

Check out the full rant below, and read the Vanity Fair article here.



Stigma-Smigma… Why STD Specific Dating Sites Are Really Popular

DATING can be difficult enough, but what about if you have a sexually transmitted infection?

Online dating has grown massively over the past few years and there’s a niche site to cater to pretty much every kinky fantasy under the sun.

But there’s a little-known sector that’s secretly thriving – dating sites for people with STDs.

Believe it or not the market is so popular that there’s tonnes of different sites out there. From STD Friends to Herpes Passions and HIV Mingle, there’s a whole host of websites for people with sexually transmitted infections looking for love.

Many have tongue-in-cheek taglines such as: “Stay positive! Find love, support and happiness” or “A seriously cool place to make friends with something in common”.

The most well-known of the sites is Positive Singles, which boasts that it’s the largest dating site and app for those with herpes, HPV, HIV, AIDs and Hepatitis.

It has the ease of Tinder, which is no doubt how it’s racked up more than 818,000 members across the world since its launch in 2001.

A recent survey revealed that most of it’s users are in their twenties and thirties.

Meanwhile, the site Date Positive lets users search for a partner according to which infection they have. Typically it’s free to join but members can pay to unlock advanced features.

Sexpert Brigitte Bard, founder of Sexual Health Revolution, Last Taboo and CEO of BioSure UK, said: “I believe websites which match people who are open about their STI status serve a really good purpose.

“They make people feel comfortable and safe when re-entering the dating scene. People I’ve spoken to say they provide hope for the future.

“For example, we must remember HIV is only three letters, not a sentence; so there is a whole life after diagnosis, even children.”

Unsurprisingly, the growth of STI-specific dating outlets goes hand-in-hand with the rising number of people getting diagnosed.

According to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half of all people will have an STD in their lifetime while the World Health Organisation says that roughly one million people catch an STI every day across the world.

In fact, herpes is one of the most common diseases in the world and it’s highly likely that you have it and don’t even realise.

A massive two thirds of the world’s population – more than 3.7billion people – under the age of 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

The virus, also known as oral herpes, usually causes cold sores around the mouth.

But another 417 million people aged between 15 and 49 have the second type (HSV-2) which is best known as genital herpes.

And 90% of those who have the infection aren’t aware of it because it isn’t really screened for during general sexual health check-ups.

So it means you have to take it on yourself to make sure you get the all-clear.

Brigitte said: “If you think you have an STI, the most important thing is to get tested so you can get treated.

“This protects your own health and stops you passing the infection on to anyone else. The sooner treatment starts, the better the outcomes.

“You can get tested at any local sexual health clinic, some GP surgeries also offer testing services or alternatively if you can’t get to a clinic there are many self tests available now – but make sure they are CE marked so you know your result is accurate.”

If you’re still worried about your sexual health but don’t know who to talk to, here’s all of your most embarrassing questions answered.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Don’t Filter This Out of Your Dating Profile

When I was online dating, I filtered single dads out of my searches. There was no way I’d ever get involved with a man who had that kind of baggage. Who needed to date someone with an ex and children in the mix, since dating was already complicated enough?

Then at a party, I met a man who took me by surprise. He was warm, kind, funny — so different from the jerks I’d been dating. Sparks flew. The chemistry was there. I felt hopeful again that maybe this time (after more bad dates than I cared to count), things would work.

On our first date, during a hike up a steep canyon trail, he told me that he was a father. He had two girls, ages nine and 15. I won’t lie. My heart sank in that moment.

I wasn’t opposed to having kids of my own — in fact, I wanted them. But taking care of someone else’s kids who might not want me around? Who were just old enough to form their own opinions about Dad’s new girlfriend? Who might think I was out to replace their mother? That was a whole new level of stress I didn’t know how to prepare for. I trudged up the rest of that mountain, taking in this daunting new piece of information.

But I really liked him. I couldn’t just let him go after one date. So I decided to confront my fears and simply date him and see how things progressed. Why not just enjoy it while it lasts? I reassured myself.

Cut to now, five years later. We are married, and I can say that those first several months of being together and getting to know his children was a tough, but truly valuable learning experience. My greatest fear that my stepdaughters would hate me never came to pass. In fact, they both liked me right away. They made loving toasts to me and my husband at our wedding. In so many respects, I feel lucky, blessed, though it hasn’t always been easy.

Here’s what I’ve learned about dating a man with kids: No relationship comes without risks or baggage for that matter. I would have missed out on a life-changing relationship if I made his single dad status a deal-breaker before I got to know him. And the most surprising part for me? Being in a relationship with a man who has taken on raising kids makes my life that much richer and rewarding, mostly in unexpected ways.

Have Something Uncomfortable to Share? Here is When

After a long stint of online dating, Gemma Halliday had finally found the needle in the haystack she’d been looking for: an attractive, gainfully employed guy with “nothing weird or scary about him” — or so she thought.

“He seemed really nice,” the 31-year-old romance novelist from Los Gatos, California, says of her first phone call with the suitor. He even had “cereal-commercial cute” kids and a picture-perfect home. Halliday learned something else, too.

The man also had a wife — who was in a coma.

“At first I was a little shocked,” Halliday says. “It was very ‘Desperate Housewives.’ In the back of my mind it was like, ‘What happens if she wakes up?’ ”

When to drop the bomb

As strange as the news was, Halliday appreciated his honesty. “Had he waited to tell me, I would have felt he was hiding something,” she says.

Undeterred, she decided to meet the guy for a coffee date, but as it turned out, “the chemistry just wasn’t there,” she says.

But for other daters with secrets — a history of sexually transmitted diseases, a conviction for drunken driving, an obsession with “Star Trek” — the tell-and-then-kiss approach doesn’t necessarily work.

Take Tony Gilbert, 46, from Los Angeles. Throughout his 20s and 30s the body-care products salesman suffered from severe psoriasis, a red, scaly skin condition that covered 20 percent of his body. Besides the itching and discomfort, there was the painful matter of having to tell a date that things might look a little “unsightly” but that “it’s not contagious.”

Rather than share those details over an initial cup of coffee, “I got to know [the person] first, and if I thought we might get intimate, I would tell them,” says Gilbert, who is now married and completely psoriasis-free, thanks to medication he has been taking for five years.

Good decision, says Kimberly Flemke, a therapist on staff with the Philadelphia-based Council for Relationships, a nonprofit relationship-counseling group.

“If you have a big secret, you want to have that trust established first so you know that the person is going to honor your privacy,” she says. “You can’t do that in a new relationship because you don’t know the other person yet.”

How soon is too soon?

Besides, waiting to reveal a potential deal breaker such as herpes or $300,000 in credit-card debt is just good dating decorum, says syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, author of “The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family.”

“You don’t want someone to reveal too much at first because that itself is a deal breaker,” he says. “If somebody sits down on the first date and says, ‘I’m into spanking,’ even if you are into spanking, [too], you might react negatively to that.”

On the flip side, “withholding information like ‘I’m a cross-dresser’ till the wedding night” is bad form, he says. Once you’re seeing the person a few times a week and sleeping together, it’s time to come clean about any secrets that could affect the relationship.

Even then, Flemke says, there are no guarantees your secret will be met with open arms.

Jude Chosnyk, a 48-year-old technical writer from Seattle, can attest to this. Once she became sexually involved with her then-boyfriend, he revealed that he thought he was “a woman in a man’s body” and began wearing women’s underwear and stockings to bed.

“At first I thought it was a fantasy thing,” says Chosnyk, who didn’t mind a little role-playing. But then, “it kind of overtook the relationship, especially in the bedroom. It turned me off, and that’s why I broke up with him.”

Context is everything

When spilling the beans, giving your secret a bit of context can greatly help your case, Flemke says.

“Instead of dropping a bomb and watching the person sit there and absorb the information, say that if you didn’t see the relationship going somewhere, you wouldn’t have said anything,” she explains.

It’s perfectly acceptable to tell your partner you’re nervous about how your big reveal might impact the relationship, she adds. That way, your partner’s likely to have “a little more compassion and empathy.”

Caitlin Weaver, 29, is banking on this.

After breaking off her engagement to her fiancé and canceling the wedding earlier this year, Weaver, who runs a financial research institute in New York, started an anonymous blog about her newfound singledom.

“The idea was to chronicle my commitment to staying single for six months,” she says. “But the problem is that now I have started dating someone, and I’ve been blogging about him.”

Her solution? To stop blogging about her boyfriend (although she still blogs about other aspects of her life) and fess up that she did. “We weren’t serious when we started dating,” says Weaver, who has been with her beau a couple of months and hopes the back story — that she started her blog as a way to “process” how she feels about dating — will help soften the blow.

“I think the fact that I do want to tell him means that we’ve built up some trust,” she says. Now, “it’s just a question of if the blog is a big deal to him.”

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

How to Win at Online Dating

Think back to your last three boyfriends. Are they all over 6 feet tall? Make six figures?

Have you ever watched a straight guy on Tinder? Seriously, it’s amazing. If they find a woman even the slightest bit attractive, they swipe right. I’m talkin’, “I wouldn’t say I’m into the Juggalo scene, but, her lips are kinda hot” swipe right kind of action. I don’t want to say their standards are low, but they are more…realistic.

And here’s the kicker. Those guys are doing it right.

Think back to your last three boyfriends. Are they all over 6 feet tall? Make six figures? Smoke less than a gram of weed a week?

My last serious boyfriend was shorter than me, the one before that had a child, and the one before that one was a virgin. I realize most people don’t put their number of sexual partners on their online dating profiles (the answer is 20, always 20), but the point is, NONE of these guys would have passed my self-imposed dating filters, because they are bullshit. I consider each of those relationships successful in their own right, but had I come across any of them online, they wouldn’t have made it past the damn matching stage.

Before you start whining, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have preferences. That would be insane. If you’re religious and need someone who’s also religious, or if you’re creative and know you’ll only jive with someone who gets that, fine, those are reasonable requirements. But dating online shouldn’t be a free pass to be a jerk and impose unreasonable expectations on other people.

For example, I know for a fact that men under 6 feet tall give the best head. Take a poll between your friends and you will see that this is an undeniable truth. And in general, the most “successful” guys I’ve dated turned out to be least generous. Again, I’m not advocating Bumble-ing with 22 year olds living off their parent’s credit cards, but instead of asking yourself, “When does he make VP at the company?” Ask, “Does he pay his rent? Have some sort of savings account? Have goals and aspirations?” Great. He gets a pass.

Women Approach Men That Are This Many Points More Attractive

OkCupid, a popular online dating site, said women who take the initiative to reach out to men are rewarded with higher response rates and more desirable men.


So, how’s your week going? Have any fun plans for the weekend?

You seem pretty cool. You free now?

You wanna read an article about women and online dating apps?

If you’ve never used the apps or websites like OkCupid, Tinder and Bumble, the opening lines above might sound horrible. If you have used the apps, and you are a woman, those lines most likely sound horribly familiar.

The boring conversations — if you can call them that — tend to be started by men, owing to centuries of Western courtship convention that have remained mostly consistent in the digital age. But in data published Monday, OkCupid, a popular online dating site, said women who take the initiative to reach out to men are rewarded with higher response rates and more desirable men.

“There are women on the site that are reaching out, and they’re getting all of the benefits,” said Jimena Almendares, the chief product officer at OkCupid.

The company studied a random sample of 70,000 users who had logged in at least three times within the same month. It found that women who sent the first message were 2.5 times more likely to receive a response than men who did the same. And the men the women contacted were more “attractive,” as determined by how other users rate the men’s profiles for both looks and content.

OkCupid, which said it has 1.5 men for every woman on the site, said both men and women are aspirational in whom they approach — men send messages to women 17 percentage points more “attractive” than themselves, while women send messages to men 10 percentage points higher. So a woman who simply sifts through her inbox is most likely fielding entreaties from men less attractive than she is, while she’s most likely to get a response if she contacts a more attractive man.

About 12 percent of first messages men send turn into a date, while 30 percent of women’s first messages end up in a date, the site said. And yet, men send 3.5 times as many first messages on OkCupid as women do.

“Women have very much been trained to sit back and let men come to them,” said Whitney Wolfe, the founder of Bumble, a separate dating app.

Bumble requires women to flip the presumption that men are the dating aggressors. After a man and a woman indicate mutual interest in each other’s profiles, they’re both notified that there has been a match — but only women can send the first message. That makes women more confident and empowered, while the men are more flattered and relaxed, Ms. Wolfe said.

“It makes for a healthier and more enjoyable all-around experience,” she said. “It puts the women in the driver’s seat, and typically women aren’t in the driver’s seat.”

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Protecting from Dangerous Cyber Encounters

The UK’s National Crime Agency recently reported that sexual assault associated with online dating had increased by six-hundred percent. That’s a shocking statistic at odds with what has become an accepted way to meet people romantically. And while many individuals have had pleasant, or at least neutral experiences with online dating, those promoting the activity are often simultaneously selling it.

Mary Aiken sees herself as a bulwark against the commercialism of romantic encounters. Her aim is not to tear down technology that has widened our social circles marvelously, but merely to balance what she calls “the army of marketers” telling us that cyberspace is good. What is not good, says Aiken, or at least very different from normal behavior, is how quickly we disclose personal details online.

Called “hyper personal interaction,” it is well documented that people disclose personal details at double the rate the normally would when they are online. What results is a false sense of intimacy between two people, and while this feeling may aid the romantic connection promised by dating services, it can equally result in misunderstandings. And sometimes those misunderstandings occur over serious matters such as one person’s desire to become physically intimate.

Of the sexual assaults documented by Britain’s crime agency, “71 percent of these assaults took place on the first date and either in the home of the victim or the offender,” says Aiken. It is not the case that sex offenders have migrated en masse to online dating platforms. Instead, navigating new social rules introduced by the Internet is complicated. Though to be clear, sex without consent is a crime.

When a cyber encounter moves offline into the real world, there are four identities parties must navigate: two real identities and two cyber identities, i.e. avatars that present an idealized version of an individual often for the purpose of attracting a mate. Unfortunately, sex crimes that result from online dating are likely to be unreported, partly because victims fear their online exchanges will compromise their case. If anybody has been a victim of a sexual assault associated with online dating, however, it is essential to report it immediately.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Two Years Later My Tinder Date Finally Paid Off!

“I’m in finance.”

Oh, great, that’s a decent response to the ever common, “so, what do you do for work?” dating question. I was especially relieved at this response considering the fact that on my Tinder profile I specified, “no comics.” I had just broken up with a comic, the third of which I had dated, and I was, as they say, “over it.”

There’s a certain unmatched immaturity and weird competitiveness that comes from these special little beings, particularly when they’re paired up with a female comic such as myself. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all comics are assholes. But a great many of them are, and when they’re not, they’re often quite immature, or very sexist, or extremely egotistical, or unbearably cynical and insensitive, or terrible with their finances and in incredible amounts of debt, or just overall difficult to have any real conversations or sweet moments with. But again, they’re not all like that. Just the ones I’ve dated. And met. And heard about.

But it wasn’t just comics I was trying to avoid. I wanted someone far away from the entertainment industry as a whole, which can often be a challenge when dating in a place like Los Angeles, but here we were. Finance. Lucky me!

We were both really excited to meet, but I was working a day job in addition to an internship at a comedy theater in exchange for free classes. My schedule was slightly hectic and he and I lived a “far” distance from each other. (I was in the valley and he was in Hollywood, which in any other part of the country would be close, but in LA we might as well have been in different states) These circumstances meant that it would take awhile for us to set something up.

As time went by, he was seemingly more frustrated with the wait. His impatience was becoming quite clear, but he was cute and I was still serial dating at the time. We had sexted a couple of times and he seemed like he might be fun in that area of life. My policy at that point was to say yes to a date with anyone and everyone because at the very least I’d have a great story. So when someone got an attitude with me, I didn’t really care. I wasn’t looking for “Mr. or Ms. Right” at the time. I was looking for someone to have wild sex with, or at the very least give me something entertainingly bad to talk about later.

Eventually after a bit of whining and attitude, he told me he might be able to meet me during his lunch hour on a Monday. He worked from home but could pull himself away at around 1 if that was okay with me. Best part about it up until this point was the meeting place he chose: Target. There’s a Target in Hollywood with outdoor seating, in a sort of strip mall-type atmosphere. So that’s where we met. Not for lunch, just to meet. It was clear by this point that he wasn’t even intrigued enough to pay for a meal, or even go halfsies. Despite my policy of saying yes to everyone, I hadn’t had a super douchey date yet. Up until this point, that is.

I couldn’t really figure it out. He would sip on his green can of Monster energy drink while telling me things like, “you’d probably be a pretty good cam girl. You could make like…15 bucks an hour I bet.” He talked about his ex girlfriend a little more than most would consider to be polite on a first date. We also talked about my comedy a little bit. I told him I just received an email about the Last Comic Standing audition at the Hollywood Improv. I showed him the email because I was excited, and he said, “Oh, so, it’s probably like an open mic or something.” I explained that, no, this was an invite-only type of situation, to which he replied, “But probably a lot of people get invited, like thousands I’m sure, right? ‘Cause they have to have bad people to film at those things.”

I didn’t get it. Why was this guy being such a jerk, and why was he acting like every comic I’d ever dated? Was I wrong in thinking that the competitive asshole element would be removed if I dated someone outside of my chosen career path? Why was this guy starting to turn into the green monster that he drank before very my eyes?

I left the “date” feeling strange and almost defeated. What was it all for? I wasn’t even left with a good story. It was just…icky. I put it out of my brain for the most part but every now and then I would think about how odd it all was. About four months ago I deleted our message thread, which I had forgotten even existed, during a phone cleanse.

A few weeks ago I asked a neighbor if she had any good dog watchers/walkers that she could recommend. I was preparing for a trip and wanted to get a good person at a decent price so I was asking around. She texted me the contact numbers of three people and said they were all great. I went to contact the third one and realized…he was already in my phone! IT WAS HIM!!! The asshole “finance” guy was a dog walker?! No WAY!? I texted my neighbor to tell her and here’s how the conversation went:

Me: One of your dog walkers is a guy I went on a TERRIBLE tinder date with! I went to message him and he was already in my phone! Eep!

Neighbor: Wait whaaaaaaat!!! (Dog Walker’s Name)??? Lololol

Me: It’s funny too cause I saw him walking (Dog’s Name) once and was like, that looks like that (Dog Walker) guy, nah, no way, he said he was like a big shot finance guy. Can’t be (Dog Walker).

Neighbor: What?? Rly??? He is like an unemployed comedian.

Boom. And there you have it. The explanation. And a justification. It suddenly all made sense! The way he always came back with a snarky remark when I texted, “Tonight won’t work, I have a show.” The way he acted when I told him about my audition, and the way he acted in general. Everything finally added up! He was just another in a long line of asshole comics.

So the date wasn’t completely pointless. I guess I did get a pretty decent story out of it after all.

My Start Into Online Dating After Losing My Husband Too Soon

So let’s get right to it. For the first 3.5 years after my beautiful husband died, the very idea of dating or “someone else”, literally made me sick to my stomach. It made me feel physically ill, and I couldn’t even discuss it without having a slight panic attack. The idea of someone else talking to me, touching me, or being anywhere near me, made me want to vomit. That’s just the way it was, and I didn’t spend much time thinking about it. I was in way too much grief to even come around to THINKING about how freakin’ lonely I was.

Then, around the beginning of year 4, there was a slight shift inside me, for no reason whatsoever, or because it was finally time for that shift to happen, that went from feeling physically ill – to feeling sort of “okay” with the idea, but still not willing to actively pursue anyone. Then, about 10 months ago, someone appeared out of the blue. This person was not pursuing me, and I was not pursuing them. But they appeared in such a way and at such a time that it felt like it was meant to happen. This person was not only a fellow widow(er), but also knew my husband. We started talking, and over time, building a budding and wonderful friendship. We met in person in March, and our connection felt more real, because now I could touch it. I could look into this person’s face, and in it, I saw not only kindness and a beautiful soul, but also being around this person face to face gave me this overwhelming feeling of protection and safety – like Don had specifically chosen this man to protect me, because he could no longer do it himself. The details of why I feel this way don’t matter here, because I want to protect this person’s privacy, but the time we spent together over those few days was meaningful, beautiful, and the perfect mix of familiar and brand new, all in the same moment.

Even Though It Can Be Maddening, Why It’s Great to Be Dating

It true, here is how it can be rewarding, fun, and even powerful.

One of the hardest things in life is starting over. It is true with anything, really. If you’re a writer, the hardest part of writing any piece, is formulating those first few words at the beginning. If you’re an artist, the hardest thing is looking at that blank easel or paper, and trying to narrow down your topic of inspiration. And if you are a female who finds herself single again – the absolute hardest thing, is starting over. Whether you are single by circumstance, due to a break up, or because you were widowed young – navigating the dating scene and modern dating sites can be extremely frustrating, maddening, and even downright depressing.

But please know that in addition to all of that, it can also be rewarding, fun, and even powerful. It’s true.

The Maddening Part

There are some real whack-jobs on these dating sites such as the guy on that one site who wanted to pay me to smell my feet and then clean my apartment or the other guy who had a fetish for watching fuller-figured women shove spaghetti in their mouths. You get the idea. And the ones who aren’t can be plain old-fashioned rude. Guys who stop all contact out of nowhere, otherwise known as “ghosting.” Guys who lie in their profiles and then for weeks, telling you they are single when in fact they are very much married. Guys who just want sex and aren’t very smooth about getting it. These characters are out there.

All I could think, at first, in having to deal with all these lunatics online who didn’t seem to be too worthy of my time, was: “Dammit. I wouldn’t have to do ANY of this, if my husband weren’t dead forever. Can I just have THAT LIFE BACK NOW PLEASE???” But the thing is, the answer on that Magic 8 Ball always comes back the same. “No.” So I have no choice but to begin again, and once I began to accept that, I could start to see the dating sites in a whole new light.

There are a lot of genuine, real, kind men out there. Men who are just like me, and who are just trying to navigate their way through the life they have right now, and find something or someone they connect with. So, while the rest of you fellow single people are out there navigating like I am, here are a few reasons why starting over with dating can be positive, freeing, and powerful. Read on:


I need and want different things. I require someone who has an empathetic heart. I need someone who makes me feel safe and protected. I need someone who is emotionally stable and healthy. I need for the person I’m with to understand that my late husband is a piece of me, forever. And that my love for him and his for me, is the very reason that I’m able to want and desire a great love again now. I need someone who is secure enough in themselves to understand that the heart expands, and that they are not in a contest. Each love you have is unique, because each person and each connection is unique. Being jealous of a love from the past is not something I will put up with, and not the kind of person I want in my life today.


In my earlier days, before I was fully grown emotionally, I would have put up with a lot more from a partner than I do today. Today, I will not accept racism or hatred, however veiled, of any kind. I will not date anyone who treats other people with disrespect or unkindness. A long time ago, a friend told me that if a man is rude or standoff-ish to their waiter/server on a first date, she considered that a sign of how he will treat HER in the future when he is in a bad mood or life isn’t going well, and she wouldn’t see him again. I have adopted this same principle. It’s a very clear and easy way to show a lot about someone’s character. How do they treat people in the service industry? It’s very telling. Lastly, if I sense any red flags at all, or if something just feels “off” with someone I just began dating, I’m going to go with my instincts and assume that something IS off. Every single time I have ignored my instincts, I have regretted it. That’s not going to happen again.

When you’re a little older, these are the types of things that you start to get better at. You have to get your heart broken open a few times too many, in order to be able to spot the ones that might not be truthful. And let me tell you, there is a lot of power and freedom in saying to someone: “No. I deserve better than what you have to give me.”


Remember back in high school, or even college years, where every little thing that happened to you in your personal life, was literally the end of the world? Where every break-up, every fight, every boy that didn’t return your feelings, sent you into a spin-cycle of depression and endless sobbing? When you are older, those things just don’t matter much anymore. They slide off your back a lot easier than before. Because you have lived. You have experienced life, and it isn’t always pretty. You know there are disappointments. You know that people can hurt you. When you know all this, and then it happens from some stranger on a dating site, it doesn’t sting quite as much.

Sure, its never awesome when somebody makes you feel bad or makes you feel unattractive or unwanted. But really, when you think about it, anyone who would go out of their way to make someone else feel bad, has a lot of issues going on within themselves. Most of the time, when someone treats you poorly, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them and all their unresolved issues. Once you know this, it’s much easier to just accept things for what they are and try not to read too much into them, or predict the future. A text exchange with someone on a dating site is just that – two people talking and attempting to get to know each other. Sometimes these conversations will go well. Other times they won’t. Sometimes they will go nowhere or be boring or you wont click or connect. Other times you think that you did connect, and then he stops contacting you.

There are a million different variables and reasons why some things just don’t work out. If you try not to take it all so seriously, and take the pressure off of yourself that you NEED TO MEET YOUR SOULMATE RIGHT NOW!!!! – the entire dating experience becomes not only more tolerable, but sort of fun. Think of it as meeting lots of potential new friends. There are quite a few guys on the sites that I didn’t connect with on a relationship level, but who have become good friends. The ones that went nowhere, they probably weren’t meant to. Keep trying, and don’t take any of it to heart.


There is beauty in wisdom. In strength. And there is beauty in living a life of struggle and surviving. These days, even though I will admit to still being insecure about my fuller figured body, I am also a lot more secure in my own beauty, and I know that a lot of that beauty comes from an inner-light. If you show confidence and joy and an ease within yourself, that is reflected, and others see it as beautiful. Its an attractive quality. That is why when you are in a relationship and really happy, it seems like other guys are hitting on you and flirting with you all the time. They ARE! Because you’re giving off this joy and this peace as you strut your fine ass down that street, they pick up on that, and they want to be around it.


It’s the same way on the dating sites. Your inner-glow shows up and makes an appearance in your profile pictures. Men pick up on this, and they want to be around you. I will admit also, it feels really nice to be told, even by total strangers on dating sites, that you are indeed attractive, that you have a great smile, pretty eyes, anything like that. We are all human, and we want to feel wanted and cared for, and it feels good when someone else recognizes things in us that maybe we didn’t even see .

When I first started dating again one of my biggest worries was that I was convinced that nobody would or could ever love me in the beautiful way that my husband did. And in a way, I was right. Nobody WILL love me the exact way that he did. But why would I want them to? Someone new will love me in their beautiful and unique way. Once I figured that out, the fears about it started to drift away, and I started to get more excited about the idea of “someone else.” And now I’m finding that although I will always miss my husband, it is exciting and fun to discover someone new that you begin to care about, and all the many ways in which they choose to show you love.


The big thing about getting out there again and diving into the dating scene, is that it’s actually quite brave. It takes a lot of courage and energy to literally “put yourself out there” in mind, heart, and soul – and take the chance of getting hurt or rejected. But after having my heart broken a few bazillion times, I have started to figure out that someone’s rejection of me simply means that they are not the person who will appreciate what I have to offer and who I am and what I have been through. So I don’t want them. Which means, technically, I’m the one rejecting them. See how I turned that around? All it takes is a bit of humor, and a little perspective.

It can feel really good, and really powerful, to be able to get into the world of dating. There are so many interesting people in this world, so many to choose from. Some are so totally wrong for who you are, and others are so totally right. Some might be right if the timing were different, and others might be right if you were more compatible. And then, there is that someone, that could be the exact right person, at the exact right time, and you never would have known that, had you not taken that chance.

Love is a beautiful thing, and love is always worth the risk.
Every single time.

“Behind the Swipe” with LOVE TV — The Story of 10 Tinder Dates in One Month

My name is Amor Yates and I’m the girl who went on ten Tinder dates in one month for a podcast. That’s my pitch. If you’re questioning my sanity right now then you’d be right.

Ten Tinder dates in a month is a huge undertaking even if you weren’t trying to produce a show. But I was trying to produce a show. So, I set myself a target goal: ten dates in one month, ten interviews, ten hours worth of audio. Easy, right? It seemed like enough material to make a compelling story, especially when online dating has become as ubiquitous as it is today.

I thought the show would write itself. I was wrong.

There were a few factors that I did not consider when I got the idea for “We met on Tinder.” I thought that once I had done the interviews, collected the tape that the hard part would be done. However, that wasn’t the case. It also wasn’t the case that I was entirely interested in documenting this dating digital age. I wish it were that easy.

Instead, I had a few hundred different motivations, but one in particular that was compelling me more than ever. So I had to make the show. There was no question that I had to make even when friends and family thought it was a weird concept. But I don’t want to ruin the story for you. Instead, I want to let you in on a few “We Met on Tinder” secrets.

I am teaming up with LOVE TV to showcase a behind-the-scenes of “We met on Tinder.” As I release the swipes on iTunes and anywhere you listen to podcasts, I’ll also be releasing articles discussing what happened behind each swipe. Swipe 1 has been released and is available to listen now. Enjoy the swipes.





9 Ways To Meet People Besides Scrolling Through Dating Apps

Don’t let your phone do all the work.

Your fingers are sore from the constant swiping, your mind tired from constantly thinking of witty quips for your next dating profile. I hear you. I’ve been there — in fact, I’m there now.

The good news is that you can always take a hiatus. The better news is that you can still meet new people, sans screen.

Here are some ideas for how to meet people in real life.


The benefits of volunteering are limitless. I got my current full-time job through being a committed volunteer. I’ve made lots of friends volunteering. The same extends to finding a date.

While you shouldn’t volunteer just to meet a date (because gross), volunteering is a major way to expand your network. Lots of volunteer programs have mixers of volunteer appreciation nights – try going to one and seeing who catches your fancy after a few drinks.

Go to meetups

I’ve used for poetry workshop groups and for practicing French conversations. It’s an excellent way to meet folks you’ve never met before.

Creating a profile is pretty straightforward, it’s mainly a matter of choosing what your interests are. This way, you’ll definitely meet folks you share a common line with. If nothing else,you’ll make new friends – especially if you go consistently

Partake in an artistic community

Are you a painter, writer, dancer, or musician? Or do you appreciate those art forms? When I say get involved in your town/city’s art scene, I don’t just mean going to the big museums; I mean going to open mics, local shows, small gallery openings, and community theater performances. I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many awesome creatives by simply going up to the performers later and telling them how great they were.

Most local art is reasonably priced, and because it’s so small, when you see the lead of Antigone the musical that wowed you, you can tell them in person (and slip your number if you’re feeling flirty).

Take classes

Learning is the thing I miss most about school. Luckily, there are plenty of adult learning opportunities.

Want to brush up on your college pottery? Or learn to make pots like Sam in “Ghost?” Look into a local class and meet other folks who want to expand their minds, too. You’ll always have a discussion topic – class!

Accept your friends’ party invites

Easier said than done. I am the #1 champion of calling it a night early because it’s 10:00pm on a Friday and sometimes, bed is just a nice place to be. But I’ve also forced myself to go out and ended the night with two new numbers in my phone. Go to your friends’ birthday parties, or random club meetings and expand your network. Most job opportunities (and romantic opportunities) tend to come from folks like acquaintances, or people who aren’t part of your immediate friend circle.

Eat out/go to bars alone

I know, I know – wild. More people do this than you would think. Try picking a bar that’s on the quieter side and sit at the bar, so you can at least chat up the bartender. I’ve done this before and had plenty of friendly, non-creepy conversation. Plus sitting alone makes you look confident, and confidence is way sexier than bona fide good looks. If you’re still nervous about it you can bring a good book as backup.

Join a book club

join a book club

You’ve been telling yourself you want to read more for years. Just join a book club already! You can find one through a friend, or through websites like meetup. Nothing’s hotter than someone with a working brain. Ask your book club crush about their thoughts on Zadie Smith and go from there. This is much better than eyeing the book titles of strangers on the train and mentally appreciating their choices in literature – which I do a lot.

Don’t work from home all the time

While working from home can be a blessing, it’s not so great on the social side of things. You’re missing out on all the office gossip and potential for flings (which, on second thought, might be a for the best after all). Get out of your PJs and hit up your local cafe. Once you become a regular, you notice the other regulars too, including the handsome barista at the bar.

Go to the dog park

Few things are as joyous as playing with a pup in the park, while low-key scoping for potential dates. A guy with a dog obviously has a soul, so the dog park works pretty well as a vetting location!

See if you can borrow a friend’s dog for a tousle in the park. If they have a busy schedule, I doubt they’d resent their dog getting more outdoor time.

You can totally meet people without relying on a screen. It’s as simple as getting the hell out of your house. Easier said than done. But once you get going, watch your phone fill up with contacts.

If you’d like to read more like this, check out: “Behind the Swipe” with LOVE TV — The Story of 10 Tinder Dates in One Month, 7 Love Lessons I Learned from the Amazon Show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and Is Your Dating Out Of This World? Here’s How to Find What Planet You Are

10 First Tender Dates: It’s a Swipe Left — Swipe Right World

When I set out to do the interviews for “We met on Tinder,” I assumed I had a few questions that needed answering. However, spoiler alert: I left the swipe world with more questions than answers.

But I’ll have to go into that another time. At the root of everything was the question of experiences: the way we all date, what we are looking for and how we go about doing it. Maybe it was all just about hookups.

If you haven’t read “Swipe 1” you can do it here.

Swipe 2 was a guy named Matt. We recounted our dating experiences. He told me about a girl he hooked up with in Santa Cruz and his experience with the dating scene in Los Angeles. What I liked most about Matt was the ease of talking with him. It felt less like an interview and more like a date, which was not what I thought would happen. In the dates that followed, I had a new question to access.

How much of this was a date? How much was just an interview? Could I end up falling for one of these guys? What do I do if I fall for someone?

This show became something else. It became about answering questions myself. While I had the interviews set up for the guys I choose to question, I also had to discover things on my own. And if I were to fall for someone, what would that mean for the show and the way I made it?

This is when “We met on Tinder” began to shift for me and become about something more complicated than just a girl going on ten Tinder dates in one month. It became about what I was willing to explore in this swipe left, swipe right world. It became about what Tinder meant for me as a twenty something trying to find love.

You can listen to the full show below. And don’t forget, if you’re searching for a way to maximize your dating successes, you can join LOVE TV today!