Monthly Archives: May 2011

#SoftRockTues 5.31.11

To celebrate the official beginning of summer (which, according to me and the rest of the cool world, is Memorial Weekend), today’s #SoftRockTues pick is my all-time favorite soft rock/easy listening summer ballad. To me, this song is total starry night skies, sitting around and staring at a campfire, drinking beer and making s’mores, praying that your buddy’s friend doesn’t suggest getting his guitar out of his jeep for a sing-a-long, jumping into the lake nekkid, oh my god it’s finally summer dreaminess.

Also, check out the freaking video. The animation is from a music video collection made and released in the 80s by those fools who brought you He-Man and She-Ra. Aka, Hanna-Barbera. Maybe you’ve heard of them.

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Cyber Dating Sidekick | Thrillist

Cyber Dating Sidekick | Thrillist.

Hey lookit everybody! We’re in Thrillist today!

Also, check out that picture, right? They could not have framed this gig more radically.

And also, can I just have a personal moment to say how amazing it feels to be featured in something that I already love and look to as a consistent curator of cool?

Pretty sweet Friday morning, you guys.

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D&D’s For The Fellas

So a while back we talked about the Do’s & Don’ts for the ladies when it comes to their online dating profiles.

Now it’s your turn, guys. So grab some coffee, pull up an actual work document and then minimize it so you can quickly pull it up when your boss comes walking by, and settle in…

First, Luke was once again generous enough to offer up some great tips to his fellow men concerning online profiles. His comments are in bold italics, and I offer my two cents in regular type. Sometimes, his insights actually serve as the rule.

Like this –

1. “Don’t say that you’re just “looking for friends.” It’ll just annoy women when you try to get in their pants on the first date.”
First of all, most women won’t really believe that you’re just looking for friends, anyway. Ratio of guy friends who have pushed for something more vs. me pushing for something more with my guy friends – 6:1. See? Girls aren’t stupid. We know that guys usually only put that on their profile to look “nice”, but that if the girl is at least half-way decent the code of friendship conduct will go out the window. If we pretend to believe you, just know that we don’t – we’re just hoping that you’ll at least pretend long enough so we don’t have to suffer through the awkward silence after you drop the “So…friends make out, right?” bomb within the ten minutes of meeting.

2. “Do include pictures with women in them, preferably a large group of them. It’ll make it appear like you don’t spend all your nights sitting in squalor with your roomates drinking Natty Ice.” Actually, don’t do that. If you want to play it safe, don’t ever post a picture of you with another girl. We won’t assume it’s just a friend (or if we do, we’ll assume that it’s just a friend you’ve been in love with for 12 years or a friend who will make our lives miserable because she’s been in love with you for 12 years), and if it looks like it’s an ex-girlfriend (and no, blacking out her face with Photoshop tools doesn’t help, guys) it will immediately send up red flags. Just. Don’t. Do it.

On the other tip, if all you have on your profile are group shots of you and your guy friends, please specify who you are if there’s another guy in the picture. If you don’t, we will suspect that you’re the ugly one and that you don’t point yourself out because you’re hoping to trick us into thinking you’re the hot one.

3. “Look below and find the type of woman you’re hoping to attract. List these as your favorite authors and musicians:

– Hippie chick: Barbara Kingsolver, Bill Bryson; O.A.R, Phish (don’t put down Dave Matthews, sellout);

– Chick with glasses: Noam Choamsky, Neil Postman, Dave Eggers, any foreign authors; Bjork, Interpol, Van Morrison, Modest Mouse.

As a girl who wears glasses in private, this is still true.

– Former cheerleader: David Sedaris, Dan Brown, any book authored by a famous person; Death Cab for Cutie or anyone else who’s been on Gossip Girl, Modest Mouse, Maroon 5.

I can fully attest to the truthfulness of this one.

– Don’t care, you just wanna get some: Just be honest – you don’t read anything playa!; “Let’s get it on” by Marvin Gaye, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, whatever was playing at last week’s frat party.”

4. Maybe read her profile before you message her, slacker.

Dudes. C’mon. I’ve been in this game a long time, and even I do the thing now where I look at someone’s pictures before I give 5 minutes of my life towards reading their profile. Yet I also know that if I find them attractive, I should maybe just read what they wrote on their profile. You know, to figure out what they’re like and stuff. Oh, and also because I know that I’ll look like a total douche if I ask them something in a message that they already talked about in their profile. You know, since people write stuff in their profile for a reason?

It’s called courtesy, and I’m down with it.

And so is almost every other girl in America.

5. Remember who you send messages to.
While it is flattering to receive messages – even from those I am not interested in – that feeling vanishes when you send me another message that makes it obvious that you have forgotten who I am. Unlike you, I remember the people I exchange messages with, and thus you do not need to introduce yourself again. When you send me three messages similar to each other and I have not updated or changed my profile in any way, I start to wonder if you have amnesia or short-term memory loss.

6. Chatting.
This might just be a personal thing of mine…I don’t like to chat online. As I have mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of the phone, and esp. not before I have at least exchanged a few messages with someone. Considering that online chatting can be even more stilted and awkward, it annoys me when guys try to chat online with me before they even send me an actual message.

Probably the biggest reason why this annoys me is because I tend to think that these guys are just bored…trolling through the profiles and just chatting up anyone else who’s online. It’s a little insulting. This is even more suspect when you are from Brooklyn and request a chat from someone in Montana (we will be getting to this distance thing next, also). If I wanted to just chat someone up, I’d go on one of the many D&D or Ren Friends message boards where at least I know I’ll be somewhat entertained and can use my extensive knowledge of junior high typing slang (I am fond of alternately typing these two phrases – “OMG, U R 2 kewl” / “OMG, dat sux” – over and over, no matter what the person I am chatting with asks or says).

If you still really love chatting so much that you dream of a girl that you can just IM with all night long, then at least shore up your castle walls with a real, personalized, actual message first (that means writing more than, “Hey! You’re cute. Care to chat?”).

7. Messaging people who don’t live in your state.
I know girls who have received messages from guys who live in New York but are regularly in the Twin Cities for business, and that’s fine – that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is when you receive a message from someone who lives in Florida and has no future plans whatsoever for visiting your fine state. If you are one of these people, and you are just messaging them to tell them you liked their profile and that’s it, then that’s actually really nice and you get coolness points. However, if you expect them to keep corresponding with you, then you’re kinda Grade A Lame. I can’t help thinking that if you have to search five states over to find dates…then buddy, I’m sorry, but it’s not going to happen for you. This is similar to the really ugly girl in high school who claimed she had a boyfriend but that he lived across the country. Everyone suspected that even if he wasn’t an imaginary boyfriend, the fact that he never had to see her on a regular basis probably was a selling point for him to agree to the relationship. Or she paid him after getting idea from the movie Can’t Buy Me Love.

Basically, don’t waste other people’s time. If you have absolutely no intention of ever getting together for a date, then state as much in your first message – that way, people won’t feel like they were  cheated out of time and brainpower just to entertain you because you were bored.

8. Winks are for dinks.
I understand the people who are a little shy and who wink at others to feel out whether or not that person is interested. But here’s what I don’t understand – you already took the first step in approaching that person, so why not just write them a damn message?

Let me break it down for you – winks are like that guy who keeps hinting at the fact that he wants to go out with us, but won’t actually make any moves to make that happen. That guy who just stands there and tells us hey, you like this band and I like them, too, and they’re coming to town soon…and then he just stands there and waits for us to be the ones who will man up and make a move to turn that hint into a solid date. Fuck you. Grow some balls and write a message. If you wink at me, I’m just going to wink back at you as an act to force you to man up. Because if you’re gonna play the game, you might as well play like a champion.

9. Keep it in your pants.
Guys, please have some patience. I, personally, dig the guys who aren’t online to find pen pals. If we’ve exchanged two messages that didn’t make us cringe, let’s talk about meeting. However, there is such a thing as pacing. It comes off as skeezy when a guy messages for the first time and asks a girl to call him instead of message back, or asks that she message him back using his regular email address (also, when you do the whole “I’m leaving the service but I’d like to keep chatting” thing, it can come off as “I didn’t like you enough to message you before, but now I’m just messaging all my last resorts to see what might turn out.” Just a side-tip). If I already know I’m interested in someone, then I’m fine with e-mailing them at their regular address; but otherwise it’s usually just a good idea to exchange at least two messages through the site before moving onto other forms of communication, for safety’s sake.

And I always appreciate it when a guy asks to move to the next level of communication but adds a disclaimer that it’s okay if I’m not comfortable with that yet. Those guys are what we girls refer to as gentlemen.

Stalkers are a reality, as are annoying people. Girls are instantly reminded of these individuals when you come on too heavy too fast, and we also know that giving out our regular e-mail address is a great way to give a potiential psycho a lead in finding out personal information about us.

Okay, that’s it for today. There is plenty more that could be added to the list (pllleeeennnnttttyyyy more), but I can’t give away all my secrets, otherwise what would you pay me for? But I will say this: There are always exceptions to every rule (and no one knows that more than me). However…those exceptions are usually accomplished with an unprecedented amount of style and grace. Unless you’re willing to go big so you don’t have to play by the rules, just suck it up and put the work into doing it right. Because if you’re the guy who thinks you don’t have to…

Then you’re exactly the guy who does.

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This song is the f*ckin’ JAM!

So I missed #SoftRockTues yesterday because I took the day off for some book-writin’ and bike-ridin’. Which means that I was listening to the tunes all day…I just wasn’t talking about it on the internet.

Anyway.

This song is the f*ckin’ jam for a variety of reasons.
A., It’s been one of my all-time favorite songs for about 6 years now.
B. It’s Rick James, bitch.
C. Andy Samberg proclaimed it as “the fuckin’ JAM” on the @nerdist podcast. Even though some of us already knew that, it’s nice sometimes just to hear someone else say it.
D. On one of the first episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the kids are all at a school dance and even the uber nerd Liberty Van Zandt shows that she’s cool enough to know this song by telling Mr. Simpson (aka, Snake, if you’re cool with the original series) that “This girl? Wants to party all the time.”

So do I, Liberty. So. Do. I.

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Also, this guy looks like he knows what he’s talking about.

I saw this quote today and thought it was fitting for both life and dating:

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

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SuperFriends Friday: Connor McCall

When Amber asked me to write a blog post for Cyber Dating Sidekick, my initial reaction was skeptical. Not because I didn’t want to be featured on her blog, but because I didn’t feel I had much to offer. She responded by basically saying, stop being ridiculous and write something. This is one of the reasons I love her.

So I started thinking and realized why I wasn’t interested in writing this post. I despise the term “online dating.” Granted I use it on occasion since it’s difficult not to. But the truth is, it’s a term we should retire.

“But Conner,” some of you are thinking, “it’s dating, and it takes place online?” Nonsense, is my response.

Back in the glory days of the Internet, when people used flashing text without irony and hotmail.com email addresses were considered hot, the phrase online dating made sense. We considered the Internet a little scary, it was unknown, and we generally didn’t know the people at the other end of the series of tubes. Online dating was “weird” because using the Internet to meet new people wasn’t typical. Let’s be honest, keeping in touch with family and friends wasn’t exactly figured out either.

But that’s not true today. Most of us spend a lot of time online; not playing mindless flash games, not reading the news, but talking to our friends and making new ones. OkCupid, Match.com, and Plenty of Fish are nothing more than social networks. The only difference between them and Facebook or Twitter is that by joining these sites it’s implied you want to meet people to date, not to chat about the latest Daily Show episode.

The truth is that meeting people is essential to getting dates, and the Internet has made meeting new people a lot easier. We no longer rely on work, church, or our friends to meet new people. We can use the Internet to meet people from across the street or across the ocean. Once that starts happening, you can find some dates if you’re looking.

Dating websites are like singles mixers. Most people are there for the same reason, which is the crux of my issue with online dating. I never enjoy singles parties. I don’t want to walk into a place with the sole intention of walking out with four or five phone numbers I need to call in a few days. I want to meet women who do the things I do, not because they hoped to meet their future husband in a crowded room.

This probably explains why I’m awful at getting dates on OkCupid. It bores me. I want to have conversations and get to know someone without any pressure. Instead, I find that I get dates on Twitter, even though it’s not a dating website. This works for me because I’m not there to get dates. I’m there to talk to friends, discuss the news, and share my favorite restaurants. Just like in the real world, I don’t need a place designed just to get dates to get dates. They happen anywhere you meet new people, as long as you bother asking.

So let’s forget the term “online dating.” Instead let’s call it dating. It happens online, but for many of us life happens online. Why brand dating that happens online any differently?

—–

If you’re interested in talking to Conner, going on a date with Conner, or telling Conner he’s just plain wrong, find him on Twitter or at connermccall.com. He’s also on OkCupid…but like everyone else, you’ll have to stumble on him accidently.

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Slacker Saturday – Video Treats

So. Not only is Parks & Recreation one of my favorite shows EVER, but the scene where Anne is helping Leslie set up her online dating profile? My life, every. single. day.

And I love it, you silly jerks.

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SuperFriends Friday – Bria Skalsky of Devilish Delish

Eharmony, Match.com, PlentyOfFish, Chemistry.com… the list goes on and on.

It used to be that you were thought of as desperate if you went online in your search for a potential mate.  But in this digital age where texts/emails/IM sessions have replaced phone calls and webcam has replaced meeting up for coffee and conversation, I know very few people who have yet to make their presence (and singleness) known in the world of internet dating websites.

So I figured, why not?  I am single, cute, and have a little too much spare time.  What would it hurt?  I decided to give it a try.

Now, as some of you may know, I love Jewish men.  So I figured it would be best to start my adventure in online dating with a search for the perfect specimen of kosher meat!  Jdate.com, here I come…this was going to be fun!

So I, along with the assistance of my dearest Meg, created an amazing profile on Jdate.com.  Cleverly written, intriguing lines filled my profile.  Surely with this I could find a nice Jewish man to date.  Within minutes, I had three hits on my profile.  The first couple were automatic no’s… too old, too young, not attractive (shallow, I know, but who cares…).  But then, not even half an hour after my profile had been activated and opened for everyone’s viewing pleasure, I got the lovely little box that we always hope to see… Somebody wanted to IM with me! Yey!  A lovely Jewish prospect wanted to chat!

Of course I clicked accept!  His name was Abel*, and he was a 27-year-old Jew from the city.  How is there a Jewish girl up in my area, in the middle of nowhere… a place with no Synagogue for a 50+ mile radius? He wanted to know.

“Well, of course I am not Jewish.  I just like Jewish men!”  I replied.

He thought that was cute, and we proceeded to talk late into the night.  We were hitting it off REALLY WELL!!!  As it got to be very late, we decided to make quick work of things and exchanged screen names, followed by phone numbers.

Maybe I had found my Jewish man!

So Sunday, the very day we first became acquainted on Jdate, we decided that we just MUST meet and go out on a date.  We made plans for Thursday- dinner, a movie, and some drinks afterward.  I was beyond excited!  Not even four days in the new town, and I already had a date planned with a cute new boy – and he was Jewish!!

Of course, the typical girl that I am, the next day I went and bought a too-cute-to-handle new outfit – I had to look great if I was going to snag this cute new Kosher boy for a husband!

We confirmed the date on Tuesday, and he said he was ecstatic beyond words, sooooo excited to meet up.

But then Thursday came.  He never showed up.  And he never called, either!  My date with Abel the Jew was an EPIC FAIL!  Of course, I called him.  And, of course, he didn’t answer.  So I left him the following message:

“Abel, hi.  It is Miss Delish.  I was just calling to ask politely, WHAT THE FUCK?!  Is it because I am not Jewish????  It is, Isn’t it?!  I knew it!  You blew me off because I am not kosher!  Don’t hate me because I was born a Gentile!!  You may be called one of God’s chosen ones, but we were all born equal!  Or was it that your mother did not approve?  Haven’t you seen the movie PRIME?!  Jewish men can date non-jewish women!  Geez…  And you could have at least called to cancel.  I may have broken you into tiny pieces for cancelling, but you would have survived.  Instead you just left me hanging.  How rude!!  I hope you swallow and choke on some nasty nonkosher meat and die!”

Well, actually, I didn’t.  It would have been hilarious, though, if I had.  Instead, I was nice and sweet.

“Hey, Abel… Its *nonjewishgirl*.  I was just wondering what happened with our date tonight.  I wish you would have, at the very least, called to cancel.  Next time you need to drop a date with a girl, you might want to do that, okay?  Anyway, take care.”

And I haven’t heard from him since.  That’s fine, though – it’s his loss.  I’m sure I can find success somewhere in the online dating world.  My search is not up.

Next, stop… OkCupid!

– Bria Skalsky

Want more of Bria (and who doesn’t)? Follow her here and here.

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Sing a Song of Dating Safety.

First, let me say this: I don’t want to take away from what happened this woman. Like all sexual assault, what happened to her was horrific, and I wish her only the best in her recovery.

That being said, this article and the viewpoints within brings up some interesting fallacies about the internet, most specifically about online dating. This, in particular, caught my attention –

After the incident, a quick Internet search revealed to the woman that her date had a history of sexual assault. According to Webb, not only should Match.com have always been able prevent such a person from using the site, but at this point, it should be fairly easy to implement a screening system.

According to Match.com, it is the user’s responsibility to screen their dates, and they provide many useful safety tips to help users avoid various dating misfortunes.

It’s always curious to me how most people come from two schools of thought: Either the internet is a society-destroying, culture-crushing, evil and dangerous place where, at best, no one is ever who they say they are, and at worst, there’s a criminal and predator behind every user handle. Or, the internet is this wonderful magical land where there are never any consequences for your actions because the websites you are on are solely responsible for anything that might ever happen there.

Here’s my philosophy for how these things translate: I don’t require the Green Mill to screen all of their bar patrons before any of them are allowed to ask me out, right? Even the idea of that sounds a little ridiculous. Out here in the real world, it’s assumed that when I’m walking these city streets, I’m responsible for my own personal safety and well-being.  If I meet someone in person who seems like a skeeze, I trust my instincts and I don’t go out with him.  Sometimes you don’t the have the luxury of those radar systems in cyberspace, but it’s still up to you to be smart and do your own due diligence.

To help, I’ve listed out a few safety basics to help you do just that. Because around here? We keep it real…reaaal safe.

In the meet-and-greet planning stages:

1) Get the digits

Even if you’re not planning on using it (phone call paranoids, raise your hands), you still want to have a phone number on file. I always add dates from online into my phone as “Craig – OkC.”  Not only is this a nifty trick to help me remember which Craig is texting me (because there’s soooo many in my life), but I also know that if anything were ever to happen to me, my friends would be able to easily track down any potential-date numbers on my phone.

Which is also the inherent value of talking about your dates incessantly before they happen.

2) Get first and last names.

A LOT of people forget this step. A lot a lot. I don’t, because I grew up with a mother who insisted that I know someone’s last name, guy or girl, before I even entertained the idea of going anywhere with them. Curiously, a lot of girls seem hesitant to ask for this. Why? You’re more afraid of sounding weird then potentially saving your life if this guy turns out to be a psycho? Eff that guy’s feelings. You’ve got an awesome life to protect. And if he says anything at all, just tell him, “Oh, you know a girl can never be too careful, ha ha!” (and then silently mark him down as someone who gets irrationally offended or stupid about stuff, which means that you probably don’t want to date him anyway, hotpants).

3) Take the information from tips #1 and #2 and enter it into a Google Search Engine.

People, Google is your friend, and knowledge is power. You can background search that name from here until Tuesday, and nobody’s gots to know. And, it’s also become my experienced opinion that people who become offended at the thought that you’ve Google Searched them usually have something to hide (which, honestly, could either be juicy, illicit info or the fact that they’re so incredibly boring that nothing they’ve ever done, said or written in their entire lives has been interesting enough to record on the internet. You choose which one is worse). So search that shit. Print it out for future reference, even.

But remember – loose lips sink ships, and if you spill info you learned about them before they actually told you about it, they’re gonna know you Googled them (men, seriously…you think you’re sooo slick with this. And I smoke you out Every. Single. Time.). Which means they’ll either A. think you’re way into them or B. think you’re a stalker. So clam it, chatty Cathy.

4) There’s a reason why background checks are cheap and easy.

If you have your doubts, take the Google Search tip and take it one step further. Do a criminal background check. I have a client who will not go on a date with anyone – online or off – before doing a background check. Some people think that’s crazy. I think that’s a girl who puts her safety and well-being above all else. And that ain’t crazy.

Also, to be honest? Guys, sometimes you’re stupid about this stuff. How many times have you gone out with a girl who turned into a car-keying/tire-inflating/Facebook-harassing/friend-stalking psycho, only to have you learn from one of your homies that their homie had put a restratining order against her a few years before (true story). Right? You’re so trusting. It’s adorable. It’s also kind of stupid (not to mention damaging to the health of your motor vehicles).

5) TELL YOUR FRIENDS WHERE YOU’RE GOING AND WHEN YOU’RE GOING TO BE THERE.

Didn’t you guys ever watch any After-School Specials when you were younger? The first question the police and parents always ask whenever someone’s best friend turns up missing is, “Did they tell you where they were going after school?” and then the best friend just stands there, mouth gaping, all “Uhhhhhh….” and then they end up looking like The Worst Best Friend In The Entire World. And then they probably didn’t get asked to prom and stuff, because everyone was like, “You couldn’t save your friend from being killed and ditch-dumped because you didn’t even know where she was going after school. I think I’ll just ask out this other girl here, who appears to value the safety and livliehood of her friends.”

So tell your friends where you’re going, so you don’t get killed and ditch-dumped and they don’t end up having to live with the My Best Friend Got Kidnapped Curse. Just send a quick text to your best friend (or annoying coworker, if you’re that type who doesn’t have any real friends) that says, “Hey, going on a date at Common Roots around 5. Can’t wait to tell you ALL about my AMAZING whirlwind dating life tomorrow!” It’s the easiest safety step there is.

On The Meet-&-Greet

1) Meet them halfway, across the sky.

You don’t even know this person. Again, have you people not seen any After-School Specials or Lifetime movies? People who get into cars with people they don’t know get raped, murdered, and dumped on the beach, to be found by some fat kid eating an ice cream cone only after half of their face has been eaten off by crabs and turtles and stuff.

This is not the legacy you want to leave behind.

Wait for them to roll you around in their hooptie after you’ve actually spent a couple of hours getting to know them.

2) 3 drink maximum

This is a great rule for so many reasons. The best and most important is that it helps ensure that you’re navigating the evening with a clear head. Not only will you not look like a dumbass, but you won’t act like one, either. Also, real talk? Most lawyers will tell you that it’s incredibly hard to prosecute rape and assault cases when both parties were drinking high levels of alcohol, because lots of alcohol = bad decision-making +poor memory. All of which makes you more vulnerable.  So keep yer wits about you.

Also, with the drinks? Keep your eye on yours the whole time. If he/she offers to go up to the bar to get another round, go with them. And guys, don’t be fooled – chicks can just as easily roofie your drink, too. If I ended up on a date with a Garrett Hedlund lookalike and I was of less sparkling moral character, I would totally roofie the hell out of that shit.

Just being honest. I thought this was a safe sharing circle…

3) If They Suck, Screw Manners

Your date gives you the creeps? Asks you a lot of super personal questions right off the bat? Sends you a naked picture of them from the bathroom (true story)? Are you sitting there and silently plotting how you can get out of there in a way that doesn’t make them insist on walking you to your car? GET OUT OF THERE. (Men, this applies to you, too – cause there are some chicks out there who are straight-up crazy – but I’m mostly going to talk to the girls on this one) My ladyfriends, sometimes, we are too nice.  For a lot of us, when someone makes them feel uncomfortable, we’re so afraid of appearing rude or making them feel uncomfortable or making the situation uncomfortable that sometimes we let the situation continue to the point of danger. And that is some straight-up bullshit. If someone is making you uncomfortable, say so. If they get upset, get out of there. Don’t wait around until you think it’s “polite” to leave. You take care of you.

So them’s the basics. Got more tips and tried-and-true tricks? Feel free to shout them out in the comment section. Because as we all know, this online dating stuff should be fun, but you know what’s not fun? When meeting up with someone from OkCupid becomes a preview of your very own Lifetime Movie about how you got Craigslist Killed.

Please don’t get Craigslist Killed.

[photo via]

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