The Confessions of a [Newbie] Online Dater

online dating experience

Okay, I did it — I joined an online dating site.

And pigs aren’t flying? Well, that’s a relief.

People Do This?

I realize it’s 2013 and a confession about indulging in the online dating scene isn’t as groundbreaking as it seems, but apparently I was left off the memo that this is the “new thing to do.” No, really! Apparently people — my age — do this, and it’s totally normal.

I know, I know. Half of you are thinking that I’m some judgmental ignoramus, who has been sitting in her apartment watching Netflix alone on nights when others were out on dates wondering why it’s so hard to just meet a freakin’ guy but refusing to do anything out of the norm for it to happen. Well…I’m not even going to lie — you’re kind of right. It’s just that I really didn’t know that online dating had somehow erupted into something that people just do and didn’t resort to — although I know those reasons aren’t mutually exclusive either.

Big Apple, Big Disappointment

Let’s start from the beginning. When I moved to New York City last year, I was about a year out of college and excited for my new life as a city girl working and frolicking in The Big Apple. All Carrie Bradshaw clichés aside, the thought of being single and ready to mingle in a city where you literally can’t walk a block without running into an attractive guy was pretty exciting. A potential relationship was exciting — all those guys I’d be meeting and dating — oh, la, la!

Except, I didn’t.

How is that even logistically possible in the largest city in the US? I know, everyone and their mom has asked me this. All I can say is that you really need to stop watching Sex and The City because that show is a freakin’ lie if there ever was one.

Dorothy, We’re Not in College Anymore

So over a year later, I’m wondering why in the world it’s so hard to meet normal guys or even PEOPLE to hang out with post-college, and it hit me — I’m not in college anymore. This isn’t a little Utopia, where life is contained in perfect harmony between your work/education and social lives. There aren’t frat parties or campus events where you can run into a cutie and know that you at least have that one thing in common. No, in the real world, you have to do this thing called “making effort.” Damnit.

So, more than a year and a few frogs later, I was convinced to try online dating. Maybe it’s more common on the East Coast, but as much as I’d had my impression that people resorted to online dating because of whatever reason, I realized none were  as dramatic as I’d assumed. I have more than a friend — hell, I have a club of friends my age with whom I talk about my online dating adventures. In some sense, we all did “resort” to online dating but not because we’re spinsters, a bunch of crazies or desperate to get married. We just couldn’t freakin’ meet cool singles living in the city with similar interests who wanted to just date.

I’m a couple months in to this new club, and I have to say it’s pretty fun. I have my own rules on meeting a potential date, and to whom I respond and why. More or less, it’s just like normal dating with a few obvious differences. I won’t divulge too much, but if you are wondering what it’s like, I’ll give you the unofficial Cliff Notes version.

The Confessions of an Online Dater

Take these with a grain of salt, and please, just please remember — I can be really awkward when it comes to dating and relationships (like middle school awkward). It might be of interest to take that into consideration first.

  1. The first message is 10x harder than an opening line at a bar, party, wherever. My rule of thumb in determining whether the guy is a total creep or weirdo is to ask myself this: Did he actually say something weird? If the answer is no, then give him the benefit of the doubt. The first time a guy messaged me, “Hey, how’s it going?” I literally wanted to think he was a creep just because it felt so weird getting a message like that from someone I didn’t know, until I realized that this whole thing was an unnatural process to begin with. This is where it’s definitely not like normal dating. If he or she doesn’t say something weird, then it’s a good sign!
  2. I really hate ignoring messages — like I really hate ignoring messages. I just feel like a bitch not responding to or acknowledging this human being trying to show interest in me. But then I think — he gets it. There’s some understood social etiquette to online dating, and an unanswered message probably means: I looked at your profile and your pictures, and you didn’t interest me — or your message was freakin’ weird (see #1). He’s throwing out a fishnet into the ocean; he’s expecting to catch one or two, and he’s probably not going to take this that personally if his first message isn’t answered. Just don’t be such a girl when your fishnet only comes back with a few swimmers too…(So, I tell myself.)
  3. Okay, I’m glad this site has a nifty messaging service, but I’m going to need to know you’re a real person at some point. My thing with online dating is that I want to use it as a means to be introduced to a guy — not to get to know him. Some people are okay with online messaging for a significant amount of time, but I’d rather not. A handful of messages is fine, but I’d like to actually see you in person sooner than later because, let’s face it, that’s really going to be what I’m going to judge you on. That also means no long-distance. If I can’t meet you, then I don’t want to talk to you — simple as that!
  4. The most important thing about online dating is being comfortable with doing it. It’s different, new and a little intimidating, but if you can’t jump in and just do it with 100% confidence, then don’t do it. It’s a means to meet people; you’re not signing your soul away! (Unless you join the site where they do that…) Don’t feel ashamed to do it, and definitely don’t feel ashamed if you meet someone great from it. Embrace it, and enjoy it!

Have you done online dating? I want to know your thoughts about it and/or experiences!


Love You Like a Love Song: 8 of the Most Romantic Ballads Ever

Cover of "Wicked Game"

If there was something I definitely could not live without, it would be music (also, lotion — really neurotic about this, but I’ll save it for another post…) — it keeps me going for almost every minute of everyday: getting ready in the mornings, on my way to work, at work, shopping, on the way home from work — and even as I write this post. Music is the spark that keeps my embers burning. For me, it’s more than a distraction from the incessant buzz of the outside world; its words, a hypnotic beat — a mantra, even, (if it’s that type of day) pulsating through my body, creating an unbroken connection between the music and me. The song doesn’t have to be deep for the connection to happen, but this is what music is for me.

Given that deep down I’m just a hopeless romantic like any starry-eyed girl out there, there are a handful of love songs that I’ve come to really love over the years. You know, the type of songs that when you hear, you can’t help but just melt a little because they make your heart flutter a bit?

I should warn you, they’re not all happy love songs — but no less, they’re pretty romantic — I promise! Here are my picks for the most heart-clenching, romantic love songs:

1. “Push” — Sarah McLachlan

Okay, I know Sarah McLachlan gets a lot of bad rep for being the woman who makes people think of homeless and sick animals, but forget (the also beautiful song) “Angel” if you can for a moment, and listen to this song. It’s probably my favorite on the list, and the lyrics paired with Sarah McLachlan’s soulful vocals makes for a simply beautiful ballad that couldn’t be more romantic — and happy, for that matter, aka completely opposite of “Angel.”

2. “Back at One” — Brian McKnight

Oh, whatever happened to men like Brian McKnight? This guy was a staple in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and his smooth voice and sweet lyrics make me melt every time. (I’m a sap — told you.) Plus, who can resist a man playing the piano? I’d have to argue that R&B music of this era was the best, and Brian McKnight was in the throne, leading the realm with this sweet melody…

3. “Wicked Game” — Chris Isaak

I’d probably seen the episode of Friends when Ross and Rachel have their first date and get frisky in the planetarium about a million time before I finally got hold of this song. (Yes, that’s where you’ve heard it.) More than this song is romantic, it’s incredibly sensual — can you honestly resist that voice?! But once you listen to the song, you’ll be hooked to the music, lyrics — everything! It’s a one for the books, I promise. This is a song that rarely, if ever, gets skipped on my iPod/iTunes when it’s on shuffle.

4.  “Forever and For Always” — Shania Twain

There’s got to be something said about a country gal singin’ a love song — there’s nothing like it (unless you’re a country fella). Shania Twain is not only beautiful, but her music is timeless country-pop music, and just like this song — it always makes you feel good — and that impresses me much!

5. “Broken” — Lifehouse

Ah, here is one of those sad love songs I was talking about, but I couldn’t resist because it’s a great song, and the lead singer’s voice is irresistible. The song is relatable to a lot of people in one way or another, and you don’t have to be in a million pieces to think it’s a great tune!

6. “Halo” — Beyonce´

You didn’t honestly expect a list of the most romantic love songs and this song not be on there, right? Beyonce´ singing OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder’s lyrics would have made for one helluva amazing love song by itself, but the music production behind this composition was also ingenious. Who expected the piano, drums and synths combo? The song was a little over-played for a while, but you have to admit — it is one. great. love song.

7. “A Thousand Years” — Christina Perri

Yes, it was Edward and Bella’s wedding song, but I promise that had nothing to do with its place on the list. I don’t even remember the song in the movie (yes, I’ve read and watched all the books/movie — guilty, as charged!), and heard this beautiful ballad for the first time when Christina Perri performed it live on Ellen. Forget the Twilight mumbo-jumbo, and take a chance — her voice, the lyrics, the piano — it’s all very sweet!

8. “Ancient Love” — Anoushka Sharma

To round out the list, I picked a song most of you have probably have never heard of and by an artist that is a favorite of mine. This one also has no words — surprise! There is something very sensual and romantic about the snaky flutes, slow sitar picks and tabla beats that I absolutely love about this piece. If you’ve never heard of Anoushka Sharma’s music, today might be the day. Maybe you’ve heard of her famous family: dad and famous Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar, or her well-known half-sister and blues singer Norah Jones?

What did you think of my picks? Leave me a comment and let me know, and tell me what your favorite love songs are!

A Real Boyfriend

cartoon about thoughts of your boyfriend

Image via Wikipedia

Alas, there are mysteries of our world that will probably never be solved, codes that aren’t meant to be cracked. While we’re working on figuring out the solution to cancer and world poverty — the makeup of the “perfect” significant other would do well to be scratched off the list. Subjective as anything can be, everyone has his/her perspective on how the “ideal” boyfriend should act and what he should do to be the “bestest.”

Twitter is buzzing with Tweople giving their two cents on what a “real” boyfriend is. Are they relationship experts or are they just set in their ideas? You judge for yourself — here are the thought-provoking words of many on the topic (some were too funny not to include):

@LawCannon (Tony Vital): [A real boyfriend] makes his girlfriend realize she [is] the only one who matters, meaning that side hoes don’t exist, and his past is irrelevant. *(Note: This one has been retweeted 100+ times)

@Ronsmooth (Ronsmooth): [A real boyfriend] is like a real friend, always there when YOU need them, not when THEY need something from you.

@DavidCastain (David Castain): [A real boyfriend] will introduce you as HIS girl, ANY time, ANY place to ANY female [no matter what].

@ThewayofLife_ (Dmvinspiration): [A real boyfriend] knows sometimes just listening to what his lady has to say matters the most.

@MrRelationships (Enhance Dreams): [A real boyfriend] is not only his woman’s lover, but he is also her best friend as well. Friendship is crucial to any love.

@DamienBojorquez(Damien Bojorquez): [A real boyfriend] isn’t a perfect boyfriend, and a perfect boyfriend isn’t [a real boyfriend].

@MRKURTDIGGLER (Lil kurt): [A real boyfriend] faces relationship problems and doesn’t Facebook them!

@Misz_Jaii (MszMeseBabii): [A real boyfriend] will let you splurge at Dollar Tree.

@Tanisha_DaDiva (Tanisha): [A real boyfriend] knows that actions speak louder than words.

@Nemo_SC3 (Got Yo B!%€#): [A real boyfriend] makes other females jealous [of] his girl instead of making his girl jealous of them.

@blaueblumei (meihua ng): [A real boyfriend] introduces you as his girlfriend, not “this is (her name)”

@diondraaa (Diondra Straiton): [A real boyfriend] likes you more than he likes video games.

@MadisonMeatSox (Ryan Kay): [A real boyfriend] disappears when Battlefield 3 comes out October 25th. Deal with it ladies.

@TasteofBlasian (G’Lisa Aguanno): [A real boyfriend] should be willing to wait for you to say when to take it to the next level.

@Sianidior (free ant !!): [A real boyfriend] doesn’t exist anymore…

@xo_adaa (A.S.): If your boyfriend is  [a real boyfriend] you will not need to  be texting/talking to him 24/7 asking where they were and what they’re doing…

So there you go. Words from everyday people hashing out their opinions on what constitutes a real boyfriend. Also, it might be interesting to note that most of these opinions came from men, themselves!

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Have an opinion yourself? Leave your two cents!

10 Quotes That Have Given Me Perspective on Life (So Far…)

Sometimes, as much as we rely on our parents, teachers, religion  and other authoritative forces in our lives to give us guidance and help us to shape our beliefs, we can find enlightenment in the most unexpected of places. Like many, I’ve grown up thinking the aforementioned would help me mold firm principles and my credo on life. I also thought that where those figures left a hole or two in, I could turn to the great philosophers of our time to make up the discrepancies. The fame around their names had elevated them to a pedestal because – perhaps – it turned out, they were right about a lot of things?

Ironically, it has turned out that when I chose to create my book of “truths,”— you could say — a lot of the words of wisdom I was logging seemed to come from fictional characters in books and movies, friends, celebrities,  and only a few from people of power and authority.

Each time I recorded someone’s words into my book of quotes, I knew I was doing it because something had clicked when I came across them the first time. It was like a lesson in disguise — a truth it seemed I already had accepted to be valid (at least in my life) but had just needed someone else to voice. Five years later, my pen still scratches away on the pages — strengthening, adjusting, and adhering to new truths everyday. Each new experience and junction uncovers something new, always leaving me thinking, “Hm,  what now?”

Below are the 10 quotes that have give me the most perspective on life thus far. Perhaps they will give you the same:

1.)  “We hate in general and accept in particular.”

These were the words of my high school yearbook teacher. Looking around in our conservative East Texas town, our country and the world in general,  I could see how unfortunately true this was. Stereotypes exist because we tend to expect certain people to be a certain way, but we open our hearts to the one or two that make the exception from “the rest.” It definitely made me work harder not to hold negativity towards an entire group of people even though history or statistics may make it instinctive to do so.

2.) “There is nothing greater than a ‘Thank you.'”

I have to say I can hold a lot of weight to these words of Maya Angelou. There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t ache — even a little — when their actions go unnoticed. Such a small gesture to say those two small words, but when filled with genuine appreciation, they can turn someone’s day completely around. I know they do for me, at least. I believe it’s possible to be selfless in your actions for someone else, but even for the most selfless giver,”Thank you,” can feel like the most precious gift in return.

3.) “Think of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

The wise words of Liz Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have helped me from longing for wonderful memories that are just those: memories. Sometimes when life’s topsy-turvy roller-coaster is on one of its dives, you can find yourself glum simply because the good times are in the past. Yearning for something you can’t have — especially when you know how wonderful it was (as I’m sure many will agree) only makes it harder to cope with not having it. I have found at least attempting not to miss the past so much that it makes you mournful makes it easier for the memories to fill you with joy knowing they were yours to experience in the first place.

4.) “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than the things I haven’t done.”

Lucille Ball, the Queen of Comedy, and my all-time idol couldn’t have been a more perfect person to utter these words. As someone who had seen her share of failures and faux pas, she only became what she did because of what she learned from her mistakes. Sometimes we tend to beat ourselves up about all things we do wrong — whether in everyday conversation, decisions in our personal lives, careers, or whatever else! And the truth is, it really is in the past, and although it is definitely easier said than done — Lucy’s words go well with Lizzie Bennet’s from above. Why dwell on something that makes you unhappy? Now you know what not to do again, and hey — you’ve got the experience under your belt to know why.

5.) But love…is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other everyday.”

These were the words of Wilson Lewis from Nicholas Sparks‘ novel, The Wedding,  and honestly — it is one of the truthful and simplistic ways to describe what real love is. It’s so easy to say you love someone, but showing it is different. And often, I feel that people are quick to say the words to their close ones, but when it comes to taking extensive actions to prove it — even in the simplest of ways: by not hurting them, by being kind and patient, by being understanding, and most importantly — being consistent in all these actions, a lot of people fail. This character’s words really helped me to define my notions of what I was willing to do for those I loved, and what I expected from those who said they loved me.

6.) “You can only be who you are.”

Actress Keira Knightley spoke this set of words, and it was a truth I had always accepted for myself and made me happy to see someone else felt the need to say out loud. There is always room for improvement in every single person, but sometimes there are things we have to stop trying to change about others, and learn to accept. Everyone has his own unique qualities, quirks, and neuroses —  and it’s those things that we all have, but sometimes just fail to recognize when they’re not our own. At the end of the day, we just want to be accepted — but so does everyone else.

7.) “Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.”

I could have jumped and screamed “OH MY GOSH, YES!!!” when I came across this quote by Evan Esar. One thing that I have learned the hard way — far too many times — is that words can never be taken back, and they definitely hurt more than sticks and stones breaking your bones. If there has been one vow I’ve taken that I take very seriously is to never let my emotions — especially anger — get hold of my tongue. It’s not worth it to say something hurtful, and then have to swear and promise that “you didn’t mean it” even if you really didn’t. Then, why say it? It’s also one thing that I am very unforgiving about. “I was mad” is not a valid excuse and free reign to cut someone open.

8.) “You only get so many moments in your life, that if you are not afraid to be yourself, you can make your wildest dreams a reality.”

Again, this was an example of an Average Joe voicing something that I found so incredibly true, it only solidified my belief in it. These were the words of dance member “Pacman” from the Houston dance crew IaMmE that won their season’s title on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. The group was such an inspirational bunch, I nearly cried when they won. A group of larger-than-life dreamers who saw their wildest dream come to reality because they — as simply as Pacman said — were themselves. They took the plunge and pursued their passion in one of those rare moments that life presented them. I’ve seen for myself first-hand that he’s right, like when I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Oprah and  I  let my inhibitions down 150% and went for it — I was my crazy self, and it paid off, and I got to meet her and half the heart-t0-heart I’ve always dreamt about! And now, I especially know it’s not just true for one person.

9.) “Love is a gift…not an obligation.”

I had seen the movie Fools Rush In about a hundred times before this quote really hit me. Salma Hayek’s character, Isabel Fuentes, screams this out to her husband, played by Mathew Perry. It struck me one day when I saw this scene and was mouthing the words before they were even said — she’s so right. It’s the simple answer behind the mystery  that countless numbers of hopeless men and women try to figure out: “why won’t he/she love me?” (And as a result, often get angry when it doesn’t come from someone they feel it should.) Humans are wired to believe that love is deserved to us — especially by those like our parents, friends, and [current] lovers. But the truth is, you can’t force someone to love you. And truthfully, it’s in no one’s contract that they have to — so when there is someone who does love you — why don’t we appreciate it more? It can be gone the next day, and then what — you’ll guilt them into doing it again? Yeah – that doesn’t work.

10.) “This, too, shall pass.”

This very well-known quote from King Solomon’s folktale has helped me to accept a lot in my life: the good and the bad. It reminds me that the bad will pass — either it will get worse or it will get better. It doesn’t give me a false perspective that things will always get better, but things never stay stagnant for long. On the other hand, it helps me to appreciate what is good — because again, it can either get better or it’ll go downhill. Change is constant, and knowing times will pass really have helped me to remember to keep looking forward and take what life throws at me: to appreciate it or just ride it out.

What are some great quotes that have given you perspective on life, and who did they come from?

Listen and Try to Understand

One of life’s many dilemma’s is understanding how best to communicate with one another. Some analyze their words in abundance before they spit them out – afraid of saying the wrong thing, hurting feelings, or just plain giving off the wrong impression. Others, on the flip side, have little filter and often think little of the repercussions of their words and impact they may have.

Tone and the manner of the spoken word is another crucial factor in communication. Sometimes love is the driving force behind reprimanding words; sometimes hurt drives us to call a truce even while sacrificing dignity. Emotions can so easily take over our actions that it’s sometimes understandable how –  without a good hold on them – they can speak for us, but not always so clearly.

For that reason, it is a likelihood that a lot of miscommunication could be remedied by both listening and understanding beyond the words and manner of speaking – to the emotions behind them.

Think back to the last time you fought with someone and you felt misunderstood and victimized  – like you were insignificant and a burden just for trying to express your feelings. Was it a reoccurring issue that you had tried to fix before? Perhaps it was with your significant other, and no matter what you said or tried to explain, your words hit the brick wall he/she put up only to crumble and lie in a heap of fruitless attempts. Often, the person being approached about the issue reacts the same every time – in a defensive, annoyed, exhausted, even angry manner – simply apathetic to the other’s attempt to fix something that he/she sees as pointless.

Now, you are the pestered party – approached again about an issue that you feel is so bothersome; “nagged” about something that you find trivial and plain annoying.

You wonder, ‘Why does this keep coming up? I wouldn’t care about XYZ! It’s not a big deal – why is he/she making such an issue about it?’ And so on and so forth. For you, you hear disapproval in the other party’s words; you hear feelings of constant anger, unhappiness, bitter and pointless banter that is putting a giant stain on your relationship.

Apply this situation to any relationship – be it between you and your friend, parent, co-worker, boss, whomever – and it can easily fit. Such an issue is so remarkably common between two parties: both battle with each other and even with themselves just growing more and more distant and frustrated; true emotions not penetrating and new – quite possibly bitter ones – manifesting and  taking their place.

My experiences have often taught me that the “pestered” party will often neglect to understand that the other person is simply hurt. But just because it may not be over an issue that is personally hurtful for them – it doesn’t mean it’s not important to be understanding why it is for the other person. Being apart of a healthy relationship doesn’t constitute for apathy, but empathy. You most likely have issues that may not be so substantial to the other person, but similarly – you’d hope for them simply to be mindful of them.

On the flip side, the person trying to fix a problem could often be manifesting their hurt into feelings of anger that can so easily come off as complaining, nagging, and overal disapproval of the other person’s actions – leaving that person, in turn, feeling like he/she isn’t good enough or “can never do anything right”. Anger and an attack often beckons for the same, and this can so easily turn into a vicious cycle of fighting fire with fire.

No one side in a fight is ever completely faultless or “right.” Similarly,  it just seems impossible for one person to fix a problem without the other party being open to listening and truly understanding.

Whichever shoe you’re in, you’ll never move forward without both taking a step in that direction.

3 Reasons Why We Love Jerks

Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a universal mystery among “the nice people” and others who consider themselves learned about what constitutes for a healthy relationship: why do we love jerks? While it seems like a trick question because such a conundrum shouldn’t sensibly exist (honestly – who would want to date someone who isn’t nice?) — most people know at least one woman (or man) who has been in a relationship with someone no better described than as a big ol’ jerk.

And yet, the question remains — if he/she is such an unhealthy person to date, then why are we still doing it? If it was only as simple as recognizing a jerk from a crowd and quarantining with the rest of his kind to the Land of Jerks, maybe this question wouldn’t still be relevant. It goes without saying, though, that it’s much more complicated than that, and yet – upon a closer look – the mentality behind it makes sense.

1. Part Jerk, Part Sweetheart

If you’re looking at a relationship that you see as an unhealthy one from the outside — meaning you think you see a jerk in the picture — it may be difficult to drop the bias to see this union as anything else but that. The thing is, you’ll only ever see the bad because you’ve programmed yourself that way, subconsciously or not.

But truthfully — normal, everyday daters don’t fall in love with truly evil people. The make up of a jerk is so perfectly constructed that, often, the person dating him/her has programmed themselves to see the good — to see what they love. People in general want to believe that they’ve found their soulmate, their better halves that they’ve been searching for. And who wants to see their partner by all their ugly qualities, even if they are overwhelmingly apparent to others?

So, when they find someone who is affectionate and loving and everything they’ve dreamt of, they drink it up in gallons. And when they’re treated disrespectfully, or their partners are insensitive, hurtful and overall unkind, they  work desperately for things to be better. Once they get the apology and a healthy dose of “heartfelt” remorse, they’re more than happy for things to go back to normal. They’ll remember the fight by the end result: the remorse, love and the victory of being asked for forgiveness — not by the immense hurt they experienced first. They’ll envision their partner as a sweetheart more often than as a jerk.

2. It’s Like an Addiction

Ask yourself why people are victimized eating disorders, alcoholism, and other addictions and try to imagine a jerk as object of addiction. Addictions are often never-ending cycles of extreme happiness and sadness, and being involved with a jerk is similar. As mentioned before, the jerk is never entirely a bad person – which is the initial appeal. Food is not entirely bad, nor alcohol, nor a number of things than can become unhealthy for you. Of course, this is a very loose comparison but picturing it this way makes the vicious cycle easier to comprehend.

What baffles people more than why women/men date jerks is why they continue to date them or stay with them even when they, themselves, know they’re being mistreated. The problem is that the happiness and emotional fulfillment during the better times of the relationship tends to draw people back, as does the hope that things will get better and that the person will finally change. People are addicted to the feeling of love and security and when you get it, you don’t want it to end. Promise after promise, apology after apology — the addiction lives, and often you can find yourself stuck in a cycle that is difficult to escape even if you want to. People hope for the best, and find themselves giving “one more chance” every time which soon becomes an endless cycle.

3. They’re More Fun(?)

As much as you may hear someone babble on about wanting a “nice girl/guy to finally settle down with, after dealing with all the drama and dating all the jerks, blah blah” — it’s rarely completely true. The problem is that jerks are nice, too! Hello, that’s their whole trap (see paragraphs above). So, why date the “nice” people who aren’t actually that nice? Because they add spice to your life. As much as you may think you hate drama and fighting, things wouldn’t be as exciting in your relationship if there wasn’t an element of challenge: to please, to be loved, and to win over the other person.

Isn’t it an unfortunate truth of life that we always want what we can’t have? People vie for the attention and love of those who don’t readily give it to them. It’s sick, but we typically enjoy being teased with the bait of affection. With the “nice” person, we don’t have to try as hard, and sometimes that translates to him/her being boring. So, naturally we’re lured by the challenge, and — what we see at the time, the only slightly jerk-ish behavior.

I know, if this is true then there’s no room to complain about being mistreated, but this isn’t a defense argument of why jerks are attractive; it’s just the honest observation and conclusion of both an onlooker and participant of loving jerks.

Tell me, why do you think we love jerks?

Shut-Up! 3 Things Not to Say on a First Date

The rules of dating are mythical, but there are certain social standards every man, woman, and child (hey – things get crazy on the playground, sometimes. Hello – “play”ground…) have when embarking on a new adventure in the world of love. It’s sure to be full of many twists, turns, and hopefully not as many awkward moments – it’s called: the first date.

It seems that as much as we’d all like to tell ourselves that we’re “good daters” – meaning we’re reasonably nonjudgmental,  open-minded, and only a teensy bit vain – it’s all kind of a facade when you think about it. Yes, everyone has achieved convincing their minds of inhabiting these noble qualities once or twice, but who are we to fight our own human instincts that are often not so admirable?

We all have our ideals about  dream partners, and it’s just natural to go with the flow of attraction. What exactly it is that’s attractive to each one of us can sometimes be unclear because as with anything else in the world, our preferences change.

What is more clear, however, are the qualities that are very unattractive – at times being downright repulsive. As much as men and women draw boundaries between themselves, when it comes down to “serious daters” (you know, that evolved breed of humans ready to transition out of the ‘bang-and-screw phase’ to the ‘settle down phase’), there are some things that we just hate to hear because it reeks of a quality hated by all, equally.

This especially applies to the monumental first date.

1. “You haven’t met anyone like me.”

Oh, God — hand me a bag so I can throw — at least figuratively, anyway. When I meet a guy with whom I seemingly I have chemistry with, and we start chatting — this is honestly the last thing I want to hear. Why is this the “go-to” line to pull to convince the person across from you that you’re worthy of his/her time? It not only has no novelty whatsoever, it reeks of an enlarged ego.

Even if you’re not a haughty person and the words are an attempt to prove your genuine nature, this is the wrong line to drop. Try proving you’re unlike the bitches/bastards that have so often crossed that person’s path, not just saying it.  These words are an empty promise and worthy of the simultaneous eye-roll/scoff. Plus, I’m pretty sure I have met someone like you because I have heard that lame line before.

2. “My ex was such a *bleep*”

While this may very well be true, this seriously isn’t the time. Ranting about how horribly you were treated or how badly you were screwed over by your last lover, again, sends more than one signal to your date. Firstly, you don’t seem to be over it, and you may not be ready to date; there seems to be a lot of baggage still. Baggage is okay to an extent because it’s kind of inevitable — I mean, who doesn’t have some? But to unload it on someone you have no close ties with only sets you up for more hurt when you realize — hey they don’t give a crap!

And nevermind the fact that you’re probably scaring him/her off by badmouthing someone you obviously had intimate relations with. Is what you’re saying even completely true? You’re hurt, obviously. So, you could just be [temporarily?] crazy too…(maybe not, but remember how we talked about people being naturally judgmental — yeah that’s probably what your date’s uncomfortable expression is about).

3. “I make $x/year”

Woah, woah — money talk is never a good idea. I think it should be pretty obvious what your income is like if you’ve talked about your current job — and depending on where you’re dining (if you’re the guy). Hearing a guy tell you he makes “only $xxx,xxx” goes back to the vanity thing. Money isn’t the way into a girl’s heart (or pants, if she’s got some standards), contrary to popular belief. Having a job you love and work hard at is 100x more attractive, and it’s the same on the flip side.

Men hearing about women’s income can be equally uncomfortable. If she makes more, he may be intimidated and turned off before he even gets to know you. As much as you can try to hate a man for this — it’s just natural. Historically, men are the providers and instinctively he’ll feel challenged.

Hearing about someone making a very small income is just awkward. What do you expect the other to say — “Oh, that sucks. I’m sorry…”? Why are you talking about money anyway on a first date?

What are your no-nos on a first date?