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.

“Hey.”

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.

Advertisements

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 Time.com’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?