In dating in Philly over the years, I’ve run into my fair share of things that have shut down my prospective relationships. From an unhealthy obsession with cats, to a very severe lack of common interests, to, of course, the occasional UDP (if you know, you know), sometimes matches just aren’t meant to be. But lately, the issue that seems to be plaguing my budding romances most stems directly from be me being confident about what I’m looking for, and that, for the most part, making the guy run the other way. And this all manifests itself in the planning. of. freaking. dates.
I really try to be positive about the dating world. For me, my time trying to find love in Philadelphia has been filled with some peaks and valleys. There were times I could meet 3-4 different guys for dates in one week and be loving life. And then, there have also been times when, after rushing out of a second date I really shouldn’t have gone on in the first place, I’ve spilled out onto 13th Street, called my dad laughing/yelling/crying, and questioned, why am I even doing this?! Why does the quest for love seem so “easy” for some, and so, so difficult for the rest of us?
Today, you’ll hear from 5 Philly women, Melissa, Leah, Sarah, Tracy, and Tiffany, who are all out there in this city of ours, trying to make it work with a special someone. And while some of their answers are optimistic (You mean you actually meet men in person? You’ve never had to pay on a date? No dating horror stories…ever?), the last question really just says it all.
But before we begin, let me just say this: (and I’m speaking for you here ladies, so please chime in if I got it wrong) while our attitudes towards our dating lives might not be optimistic all of the time time, we’re still out there. Dating takes work and time and money and creativity and humility and honesty, and here we all are, soldiering on. We’ve seen our friends get married and we’ve heard the online dating success stories, so we keep going. All with the hopes that one day, we’ll find a guy who will laugh at the same TV shows as us, know exactly how we take our cocktails and our coffee, and surprise us with flowers, just because.
What a time, ladies, what a time. Being single again has brought some laughs, some screams, and some texts to my girlfriends with “why. me.” written 10x. I’ve also started listening to podcasts for the first time in my life (newsflash: I obviously love them), and the dating ones are the absolute best (but really, please send me all your podcast recommendations, dating or not).
I’ve gone on a few dates with a “guy” (you’ll see why this is my naming convention of choice as we get to the m-e-a-t of the post): dinner, beer garden, and Terror Behind the Walls (the terror was true and real), and for tonight’s date, it was my turn to suggest. And suggest I did:
Keeping true to my list-loving personality, I just sent a guy 10 options for date #4 this Weds. Any interest in me making this a blog post?
— Her Philly (@HerPhilly) October 10, 2016
After seeing how many of you liked this idea, I thought I’d add a little bit of an extra spin to it, and get actual, real Philadelphia men to give me feedback on these 10 dates I very really suggested. I asked them to give me some quick thoughts on what they would think if a girl suggested these for date 4. Some of these you’ve seen on the blog before, some are new ideas. I’ve decided not to identify the guys (and just call them “guys”), but for some extra context, they range in age from 27-34 and all live in the city, so they’re pretty up on their Philadelphia knowledge. Oh, and one of them is my actual date for tonight, because I’m crazy. 😉
This past November, I was a dependent woman. And not on any guy, but on none other than Tinder. Through many dates and many men, I’ve come to the conclusion that dating apps can be extremely limiting (especially when all of your friends are using them, too). In my experience (and you know I loved online dating at one point), after a while, apps can hold you back. My friends and I would go out in the city and not entertain any conversations with men, because, for all we knew, they were creeps. And why talk to creeps, when we could (hopefully) vet the endless supply of men waiting right on our cell phones (before we even had to deal with looking them in the eye)?
Craigslist is a strange place, folks, and not just because the owner of the perfect vintage bar cart you’ve been stalking won’t answer your 3rd email. In case you didn’t know, there should be some snow on the ground right now (but as I’m writing this at 11pm on Monday night, it’s not looking very promising). And during that snow, you may be stuck in your apartment, depending on the kindness of Instacart and Grubhub to get you through the day. But some people are taking a proactive approach to their snowed in status, and reaching out for a companion from the only reliable source they know: Craigslist.
After seeing this Business Insider article titled “New Yorkers Are Flocking To Craigslist To Find ‘Blizzard Boyfriends’ And Girlfriends,” I decided to take a peek at what Philadelphians were looking for last evening. And here’s what we got:
It’s coming up on my one year anniversary on the ol Tinder (this is a judgement free zone), and even with as many troubling, inappropriate and generally cray men I see on the site, someone always manages to top the last. A few weeks ago, I matched with a nice man named Hodor. A week after that, some gorgeous, curly locks graced my iPhone screen. When I finally got matched with everyone’s favorite (SPOILER ALERT) and still living man, Tyrion Lannister, I knew I had to get the scoop on these Game of Thrones inspired Tinder matches. And no, this has nothing to do with the man giving out spoilers on Tinder . . . because, just no sir.
In honor of the recent season finale, and because you guys asked on Twitter, I thought I would share with some tidbits from my insightful conversation with Game of Thrones Tinder man. Enjoy.
My name is Emily, and I am riding the online dating train. For the past 10 months, I have been trying my luck online in hopes of meeting a great guy who likes to travel, appreciates Philadelphia sports teams, and makes me laugh. (It also wouldn’t hurt if he had a job & didn’t live with his mother.) On my first few dates, I was nervous, just like everyone else. But after over 30 first dates and meeting many, many different types of men, I’ve settled upon a few basic principles that make meeting a new guy a few times a month no big deal.
1. Suggest your own date location. For me, I only feel comfortable doing drinks on a first date, so I have a few select bars I use in rotation for my first date spots. Home court advantage means you’ll know how crowded the bar gets on certain nights, have a go-to drink to order or recommend, and feel comfortable overall.
2. Before you leave the house, give yourself 10 minutes to review your date’s photos and your online conversation. This helps your recognize your potential match quickly when meeting at a crowded spot, and gives you the confidence to reference things you’ve spoken about prior (and not ask men who are not nurses how their nursing job is going).
3. If you haven’t spoken on the phone yet, give your date a call on your way to meet him. Hearing his voice always makes me more comfortable as it takes away one layer of surprise. Plus, a quick chat on the phone gives you a chance to figure out exactly where he will be positioned at the meeting spot.
4. This one pains me to say, but, be prepared to pay. I am slightly spiteful about this point, but believe me, even the men you’re sure will pick up the tab can surprise you. Having cash on hand (and not just twenties, grab a few of those small bills) will make a potentially awkward situation a little bit less awkward.
5. Smile, breathe, and remember it’s just. a. date. Give yourself a few moments before you round the corner. Check your lip gloss, fix your hair, and take a deep breath. You are beautiful, fabulous, smart, and this date will go well. And if it doesn’t, cities are big, and the chance that you’ll ever see this man again is slim to none.
So there you have it, an honest Philly girl take on how our online dating world works. A big thank you to Carly, Victoria & Miranda for helping me with this post. If this is a topic you’d be interested in hearing more about, let me know. I have loooots of tales that deserve to be told. Have you dabbled in the world of swiping & blind dates? I’d love to hear some stories!