That 1 word you shouldn’t use in your first message

We’ve all been there. You match with someone you think is so amazing only to draw a complete an utter blank. What are you going to say? It’s not like you’re in a bar and you catch a glance of each other from across the whole place and BAM. Sparks fly, universes collide and you just know in your heart of hearts that one of you will come over and approach the other person and say that one word and it’s all over… the rest, so to speak, will be history.


In online dating, the right swipe is the “hey,” so if your first message is also a, “hey” you aren’t showing your originality. In fact, hi, hello and hey received a response message 18-30% less than their more unusual counterparts (i.e., how’s it going, hola, what’s up). I still don’t think you should use ANY OF THESE – but you shouldn’t use hey, which was the worst offender.

There is a reason these dating apps have an amazing little section where you put in a few little words about yourself. Skim it real quick and write a response. Here, we can do a practice session. We will use myself as an example.

IMG_9496So with this bio you can engage me by asking if I caught the Indians game last night, if I’m going to the game tonight/tomorrow. You can ask me what I like writing about… 😉  Or you can ask me about my funny childhood photo (it’s my last photo and I am pulling a weird face – it’s great to have at least 1 photo that it a conversation starter). Let’s move on to another Tinder profile….

1d1.jpgNow with Jamie, it’s a little different. Jamie doesn’t have a bio with her profile, but she’s doing a GREAT job with her her photos – she’s smiling, showing her personality right away, which in turn will increase her right swipes.

Now, as people start engaging Jamie – hey or hi, might seem like the only thing they can and should say since she hasn’t provided anything to go on. But she has provided a lot! “How long have you been hitting the slopes, you look like a pro?” “Man, I wish I could’ve been out with you than day on the slopes! It looks like you had an awesome time.” On to the next one!

tinder-puppy.png I read somewhere there around 10% of Tinder photos have a dog in them (I feel like I must swipe left on everyone without a dog… because I think 99.7% of my matches have a dog… I just love dogs, okay!). I think the best way to engage Taylor is playfully, because that is that sign he is conveying with his entire profile.

Something along the lines of, “Taylor, I don’t know if puppies can read, but will you please tell your owner he is cute.” That will get the job done. 😉


Good luck out there champ – you got this, and don’t you dare say hey ever, ever again.


You Gotta Break Up: 3 tests to know if someone is the right one for you

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes a relationship work and what doesn’t. Mostly because I am back to online dating, but I feel like I am going at dating with a different mindset than most people. Because I just I genuinely don’t care.

I am in this (by this I mean life) for myself. On any given day when you approach me, I will have an IDGAF attitude. I don’t care what you think of me. I am content. If you make me not that, I will probably let you go. It took me a long time to realize that this is how life should be. And by golly if I find someone whose content-ness matches my own and maybe, just maybe we can even make each other happy a few days that would be fucking great. But if I’m dating someone and they are constantly making me feel uneasy or unsure of myself, you best believe they are going to get the boot. So, how do you know someone isn’t right for you?  Here’s the test!

Three tests of a relationship’s success rate (give or take, I mean I’m clearly not a pro):

1. Swipe Left or Right

This is basically the Tinder Test, however it applies to anything and everything. Are you attracted to them? Would you swipe right on your significant other? If they aren’t attractive to you, why are you with them?

(Second marriages maybe don’t apply, we all know those are for money and money alone.) 😉

2. PDA

Is your partner someone you want to take out and display in public. Meaning, are you proud to show them off to your friends at parties and events. Do you feel proud to call them yours or do you find them embarrassing because they all always do that one thing and you never know if they’re going to be on their best behavior? Have you ever told your partner that it was, “just a girls/boys night,” because you did not want to invite them out and then you proceeded to go out with your whole group of friends?

If you were truly in love with this person, you would bring them around your friends no matter what because you would not care what people thought because you like/love them and this wouldn’t phase you.

3. Fambalam

I think this speaks for itself… well maybe not, because it’s a take off of Black Betty lyrics. But is this someone who you wouldn’t want to invite home to meet mom and dad and eat a lengthy meal with while sharing all the embarrassing things from your childhood. You gotta break up with them.

If someone passes all three, that’s when you know you have someone special. That’s when you know you fight for them. I’m not saying someone could pass all three and not be a total piece of shit. People can surprise you.

I’m just saying, this is a great way to tests someone’s character and also test yourself along the way. Don’t rush the tests though – give people a little bit of a chance.

The guy that could sell you a home but never sell himself

In this week’s tell-all of my dating life it’s far more tame than the passionate C.O. from last week’s story. I met the realtor at a time in my life when I needed someone who was wholesome, kind, a great listener… everything that you would want to bring home to mom and dad. At this point in my life my checklist of things that I want men to have was faaaaaar longer than it is now (and no, it’s not because through the process of dating I’ve just given up and removed items one-by-one in a sad Bridget Jones-esque way).

Right now in my life I would like to have a man that treats me as his intellectual equal, who values family and friends equally, who has his own life but has room to let me in. I want someone who is able to communicate and open up about their feelings and doesn’t expect me to fall in love within the first few dates – because that’s not going to happen. Basically, right now my list revolves around emotional intelligence and the other person actually being stable enough to open themselves up to the possibility of love and is also somewhat handy – because I can’t fix anything but somehow I keep breaking things.

Back then my list was like: Tall, tips well, likes dogs, talks an equal amount on our dates, close with family/has a family? I could keep going but it was mostly superficial… it was terrible (I was terrible). I like to think I’ve come a long way since the realtor. But back to him.

The realtor checked everything on my stupid list that did a terrible job of actually telling if someone would be a good fit, because it was a superficial list. Our first date was at Great Lakes Brewery and he was really sweet, I only had to fake laugh like 3 times (which I KNOW I shouldn’t do) he even fixed my car afterward. I know that sounds weird but there was something hanging down under my car and it was a cable or something – ANYWAY handyman realtor climbed under my car and took care of it, which like *swoon*. He also could’ve installed a tracker or totally screwed up my car but this was a while ago and I don’t have that car anymore – so not my problem.

Our second date was at Tremont Taphouse. And at this moment in time I really shouldn’t have gone on a second date with him because I found him incredibly boring. I don’t know if it’s because he was actually everything I thought I was looking for or if it was because he was too passive, but this poor guy was just so incredibly boring to me. I think I had to stifle like 13 yawns on date 2.

Although I am Queen of the Yawns – so it also could’ve been because it was past 8:30pm but I think it was because he was so boring and monotonous.

Except when he realized where I lived and knew (without me telling him) what I pay on rent and then tried to explain to me with I could afford if I allocated that into a mortgage. And he basically switched from Date Mode to Realtor Mode and I then saw a completely different personality. For the record – I am not in the market for a home, so when I turned him down on his offer he was a little sad. I also think he was sad that I didn’t care that he sold Stipe Miocic a home.

I will say this loudly for the people in the back: When you’re dating you are doing it for love and not to sell your professional services.

Don’t be a prostitute.

The Rosy Basic B
When dating doesn’t work out – which face it sometimes it feels like it will never work out… take the stories outside and start gabbing with the girls. I mean how else are you going to validate all the choices you made without a champagne flute filled with something light and airy?

The prison guard that could never quite guard his anger

I can’t even tell you when we matched or how our conversation started or who said what first or how charming and witty I was… Just know that I was in fact charming and witty. I just remember that it was hot. Not like, our chemistry (though there was a lot of that…), just the temperature outside was scorching and he mentioned that he was a corrections officer and I asked if he was looking to take in another prisoner. I know what you’re thinking, wow, you’re really laying it all out there aren’t you? But you can’t hate the player, hate the game tinder game.

I can’t tell you how it started because the aforementioned corrections officer has since unmatched me on Tinder and we are no longer in communication. And before you ask: No, I did not ghost him. This C.O. and I initially clicked right away. I think we clicked right away because I was willing to flirt and show him that girls can be forward via text first. This is a trick I learned from a friend and let me tell you, it really lightens the mood.

Anyway, this C.O. and I ended up going out for dinner and drinks which then turned into dinner, drinks and a movie (Finding Dory – his pick, I shit you not) one Saturday. That first date was like makeout city… I mean the passion was there and if this was Bachelorette and I was JoJo he would’ve been Jordan Rodgers and gotten the First Impression Rose right then and there. That first date was everything.

We quickly had another date, this time a lunch date, the following day and then he used the typical line, do you want to Netflix and Chill?” and I quickly rebutted this with, “We can just Netflix and get to know each other, but I’m not a ‘Netflix and Chill’ kinda girl.” I never knew that you could get to know someone so much and so quickly in two dates, but the Correctional Officer and I were so quick to share.

We arranged to have a third date before I left on a quick out of town trip… It’s funny how you can be one person on a date and another with your friends, I myself try to be the same person throughout. I think this is an important thing to be aware of, if you have multiple sides, be aware of them in case people see your many facades as they might be taken aback at first.

The C.O. was a little different, his hours weren’t your typical 9-5, which is fine and in fact our first few dates he had the days off so I never saw him after work. However, on our third date I saw him after work and it was like dating a different man entirely. I understand that his line of work is a very complex and troubling line of work and can cause some anger issues within a person, but the person who came home after work on date three was angry and in no mood to see another person. I mean, this person was slamming cabinets and snippy and this was date three! What was going to happen when we fell out of the honeymoon phase? On date three everything is supposed to be rainbows and butterflies and sunshine….

When I asked him if he was okay and if he still wanted me to be there he simply stated, “Yeah, of course I want you here! I just wish you didn’t have to see me after work it always makes me so angry.” When the guy works six days a week, I would have to see him after work if I was going to date him and if this is the norm, there would be a serious discussion about mental health and to quote another Bachelor Nation Star, his “emotional Intelligence.”

When I returned from my trip with friends after serious discussion with them, I gave my C.O. a call and explained to him that this wasn’t working and I didn’t think there was going to be a future for us. I didn’t want to be with someone who was so upset and angry when they got home from work and I said that the timing wasn’t right for us. Shocker, he did not take it well. What started as him saying he could change for me, which is surprising for only have a few dates, quickly changed to him saying “no,” to the dumping.

Which to be clear – you can’t say no to a dumping.

I’m not exactly saying no… but I’m not saying FUCK YES

I’ve taken a hiatus from a lot of things. It started accidentally – I’m not going to say that I had a grandiose plan to take a break from watching TV every night and instead start running again. I’m not going to say that I decided to cut cold turkey and delete all my dating apps on a whim one night. I’m not going to say that I just cut all the shitty people out of my life, though you know who you are, I’M CALLING YOU OUT (jk). That’s not how it happened, I vowed to keep it real here – actually, I never vowed to do shit with you but I think you and I will keep it real, right? I will tell the truth and you, you will point out in the comments when I spell something wrong. That’s how this works.

What did happen was I slowly started to notice a change in myself in 2017 (I think it’s because I’m reading a lot more and becoming far more self-aware). Well, I noticed that I didn’t want to watch Netflix/Hulu/HBOGO every night, I wanted to start running again, and over time I fell back in love with running. And, through falling in love with running and wanting to train for a half-marathon I had less time for things like going on shitty dates with people that were half-assing something that I thought should require a whole-ass. So I stopped caring about online dating. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.

I started getting annoyed at the dating apps. So one-by-one I started deactivating and deleting them. Until one day there were none left on my phone. And you know what happened to me? Nothing. I noticed that I looked at my phone less. I cared about my friends more.

Then the next thing I realized was that I was more invested in my friends when we were together because I wasn’t distracted by my phone – C R A Z Y, I know. And you know what I realized? My friends are shitty people. Just kidding. Or am I? When you aren’t distracted by technology and you are all in – you’re officially the person you want everyone else to be.

Always be the person you want others to be, fully-invested and always game. Whole-assed.

I recently stumbled upon Mark Manson’s blog discussing this theory. In it he states, “The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

Just, like, this. Soak it in. Think about it.

In all things, just take a second to remember about this. We are all crazy busy people in an even more chaotic world, if you don’t feel something with every fiber of your being that makes you say FUCK YES 100% I’m all in! Then it’s a no. This could be a new job, a new lover, a new car, a pet, drinks after work, getting up early to go for a run, etc.

When you say no to things that you are either wishy-washy about or don’t like, it leaves more time and energy to throw yourself at the FUCK YES things.

Moving forward, if you don’t feel it in your core… if it doesn’t make you say, “FUCK YES!!” – it’s a no.


When was the last time you said no to something? And when was the last time it made you incredibly happy to do so? And not cancelling on a friend, that doesn’t count.

Queen of the First Dates

Take me to any bar in Cleveland and I can tell you the perfect table to sit at for a first date. I can tell you which side of the table to sit on so you’re not distracted by a TV or a view and you can devote your attention to the person you’re with. I can pick out a back-up location within the bar or restaurant in case it’s crowded and they don’t take reservations and it’s an hour wait and you need to find a space at the bar (a corner spot is best or an end spot).

But you have to find this spot and let the guy think it was his decision to sit there… I’m not new to this.

I’ve been online dating/blind dating in Cleveland for over two years. It’s a party, you guys. I mean this half sarcastically and half whole-heartedly, 50 percent of the time the men are very sweet, kind, and looking to date and 50 percent of the time they just say that on their profile to get in your pants or they have the intelligence of a third grader. Okay, actually these percentages should read 20 percent kind and somewhat intelligent and 80 percent can barely find a doorknob. Read any news article and they will tell you that 70 percent of Cleveland isn’t married, which bodes well if you also aren’t married and are looking to catch one of those fish in this proverbial sea. So, what’s better than being cold? ICE COLD! a town that is 70 percent single? Being a city that seventh place in’s ‘Best Food Cities’ in America.

That’s a town to date in people! I could eat my way through anything. Except onions, god onions are awful – I mean I understand their importance in meals but do they have to do so with such a disgusting texture raw and cooked? I might as well eat my way though Cleveland, one terrible date at a time…

That’s a lie, sometimes there have been good dates and I have been terrible, but at least I’m self aware? Yeah, let’s convince ourselves that being aware of the issue makes us less of a shitty person! So, what are the tips to have a good first date?

1.) Set yourself up to not fail. Notice how I didn’t say “set yourself up to succeed?” No one wins at first dates – a successful first date is one where you leave with promise. One where you leave not feeling like you wasted your afternoon or evening. One where you actually, maybe, want to see the person again. A dream first date leaves with a call or text or SnapChat to the besties where you actually say, “I had a great first date!” Go in with low expectations, leave pleasantly surprised. Basically go in with the Hot Tub Time Machine outlook – expect the worst, if it is you were right – if not, hey! It wasn’t a waste of your time!

2.) Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I mean this in two ways. 1.) Don’t take big bites of your food – slow the fuck down and talk while you eat. Jiminy crickets – I know that pasta is, like, the best you’ve ever had but you’re here to get to know someone not stuff your face until you become Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (side note: which one are you supposed to reference when there are two movies and you like both the OG and the remake for different reasons?).

Listen, I have to take my own advice here from time to time, I love food – but we’re on a date not Survivor and this is not the first real meal I’ve eaten in weeks… slow. it. down. babes. 2.) Don’t try to do too much with your dates early on! I’ve always been a big fan of coffee or cocktails as date one, dinner or activity as date two, movie and a nicer dinner as date three, and then BAM! big activity for date four. Get your head out of the gutter. Slow it down… get to know someone before you want to take in an Indians game with them, if you do that for date one you might hate them by the 3rd inning and you don’t want to tarnish your love affair with your precious Indians because of some terrible date! Take it slow, this is a marathon – not a sprint.

3.) Talk less, smile more. Okay, really this is more about how the person who does a majority of the talking feels that they had a better time, but in all honesty you should both be talking equally. So, listen to Aaron Burr (sir) here from my favorite musical that I haven’t seen because I am not the luckiest person in the world and talk less, after all… fool’s who run their mouths often wind up dead. No wait, that’s still Hamilton. Okay, give me a second. Talk less – do not monopolize the conversation. Ask questions and get to know the person you are with equally. And at the end of the day, a smile never hurts. Also don’t end up in a duel, that’s just good life advice, it’s not privy to dating.

4.) Go where you know. You’re most comfortable and relaxed at places you’ve been before. So when in doubt – go to places you have been before! It’s a great idea to have a few spots up your sleeve for a first date that you have eaten at and know what you like or what you don’t like, especially if you’re the one doing the asking out.

5.) Have an easy out. When all else fails it’s a great idea to have an easy out. “It’s getting late and I have work in the morning,” is always a nice way to wrap up a dinner date – it also shows that I’m employed and like to be somewhat timely in the morning. If it’s a daydate, “I’m really sorry but I have to meet a friend at ______ in 20 minutes, but I had a great time with you!” Is also a great way to wrap that up. I cannot stress this enough, you cannot give your excuse for leaving at the beginning of the date – unless it’s real. For example, I have a friend coming into town for the weekend but I don’t want to cancel a date because the guy is actually a decent human being who I can chat with (crazy, I know!) but if it starts getting too late, I will just say that I’m really sorry to do that but I have to meet up with some friends who are in from out of town and might have to cut the night short. Now, because this isn’t a lie it can be said at any point in the evening. I know it’s confusing, but it’s just an unspoken rule.

I hope these help you get out there and have fun in the dating scene! I promise it’s not as scary as people make it out to be.

What tips have helped you get through a first date?