“Single in The Suburbs” is clearly the name a dating blog, right? Why has it been so hard for a dating blogger to write about her life experiences then?
The answer is simple. Pokémon Go was created.
Ever since its release I haven’t been motivated to go out into the world and gather stories. I have, however, been incredibly motivated to catch the 101 Magikarp necessary to evolve into Gyarados, though (On a related note, Northwest DC is crawling with them).
I have come to the conclusion that Pokémon Go can effectively take the place of my dates for several months. Here are the ways I believe PMG can replace dating:
Finding a new Pokémon is similar to the adrenaline rush you get during a first kiss. Although you don’t have the same interpersonal bond, studies have claimed that when you capture that new Arcanine you’ve been wanting, dopamine is released, causing the same kind of pleasure you might get from a first kiss.
Pokémon are cuter than any date you’ll find. Sure DC has a lot of good looking people, but it’s hard to beat out this sweet face.
You know your date is going to be a lot of fun. I still haven’t felt bored or antsy to get home when I’m out with Pokémon. In fact, I’m always happy to extend my time playing; time flies while I’m running around with these little critters!
You meet lots of new people playing PMG. I’ve actually made some new friends going out to different meetup groups or even while sitting at a Poké stop. I have made a couple of lasting friends from online dating, but for the most part we stop talking if we don’t see any sort of romantic connection. With PMG the more the merrier!
I used to stay out late with guys; now I stay out late with my new Poké-friends. Whether I’m taking over a gym, running around to hatch an egg, or attempting to catch a Snorlax, late at night seems to be prime-time to play PMG!
Pokémon Go is a great way to bond with new people and a fun way to spend time. Casually dating around doesn’t necessarily change my life in any major way, but it gives me little stories and teaches me life lessons. PMG has done the same thing by offering me an opportunity to explore new areas of my town. It is an easy way to connect with people — since we all enjoy playing the same game, it’s a great way to break the ice and then get to know more about strangers.
Apparently I have a thing for military guys — noted.
When I first started dating again after my ex and I broke up I realized quickly how many people you don’t click with online. Whether it’s because you have different morals or nothing in common personality-wise, I learned that although talking to a bunch of guys was a lot of fun, it took some work to find people who might have a chance at working out for a second date.
I started off my dating ventures giving a lot of people very different than me a chance. I think you can learn a lot from people who aren’t like you, so I enjoyed meeting people from all different walks of life. After being on a handful of first dates that didn’t materialize into anything I realized I wanted to go out with someone who was more or less on the same page as me.
Then I met “Bean.” Obviously I changed the name and won’t mention where we met, but his name was something that rhymes with “Bean.” You’re smart– you can figure it out. 😉
Bean was smart, witty, loved dogs, and yes — he was hot.
We had a deeper connection than most of my other online conversations, and I was actually really excited about going on a date with him. I daydreamed about going on a date with Bean and felt like regardless of what happened after, it would be nice to have a really good first date with someone. And sparks! It can be difficult to tell whether or not you’ll have chemistry with someone you’re chatting with through a computer screen, but I had a good feeling about this one.
As we were talking about our favorite books — we happened to have a few in common — he asked me for my number. Finally! I thought. It’s about time he asked me out!
Another thing that drew me in to this mysterious marine was that he didn’t just jump right on asking me out. He made me wait a little, which is actually quite intriguing. Kind of like a first kiss, it’s nice letting the anticipation build up a little bit before going in for the kill.*
I sent him my number and waited for the text… And waited. And waited.
What the heck? It had been a few days since our last contact, and it was becoming pretty clear that Bean wasn’t going to be messaging me.
At first I was really disappointed. This guy had been one of the first people who really got me excited about a first date. Then I realized a few things. First, I didn’t really know this guy. The things I knew about him were:
He was cute
He had good taste in books
He was a Marine
He had good grammar
That was about it. Sure I had a little crush and that was okay, but it was more of a Theo James kind of crush — because let’s be real, I think I tricked myself into thinking this guy was “such a great match” because he was someone I thought was super-attractive.
I don’t know what happened to Bean. I’ve seen him on a few different dating apps, but haven’t tried to pursue that any further. We weren’t a match, he never texted me, and you know what? That’s just fine. There are a million other fish in the sea.
*Guys, don’t take this as a tip to make a girl work too hard for you, though — that’s not a good idea either, as we’ll just move on if we think a guy is uninterested. There is a very precise art to playing “the waiting game,” and I don’t want you to miss a shot with someone you really like because you’re playing games with her. This is more of a “playing it cool” technique.
Every time I go to my annual checkup I ask the doctor to check my vision. Why? Because it’s terrible! My night vision is particularly bad; I have literally bumped into walls in the middle of the night when trying to find the bathroom.
I never realized this might affect my dating life, but now I have a new story to tell my doctor when he asks why I think I have bad eyesight. I was on OKCupid mindlessly clicking through the site and decided to try the “Quick Match” feature. I had never used it on a PC before, so was checking out the differences between that and the app on my iPhone.
Anyway, I scrolled to the “Quick Match” section and noticed that they offered three different photos and you could click on one that you liked. Interesting, I thought to myself. I guess you choose your favorite guy and it will “like” him before going to the next group of pictures.
Right. Right. Middle. Left. Middle. Right.
I clicked through about ten groups of photos until I realized the system was glitching.
Why are there three pictures of the same guy? I wondered to myself. Am I supposed to help him enhance his profile or something by choosing one of his profile photos? My thoughts of helping him in his dating endeavors immediately trailed off as it all clicked.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed to myself. I had just liked ten profiles in a row — the photos weren’t of different guys, but rather they were offering me a small sample of one man’s profile photos to see whether or not I was interested in him. I saw a small “X” in the corner and realized you “like” a profile by clicking on any of the photos, or you can “pass” on it by clicking the small white “X.”
I laughed awkwardly, embarrassed at my mistake.
I’m not sure whether these gentleman had mixed in old and new photos, making the photos all look fairly different from one another or if I was just terribly unobservant. Either way, this might explain why I sometimes have trouble recognizing my dates when we meet up.
Today’s lesson: My doctors have been lying to me for years now. There’s absolutely no way I have 20/20 vision.
It’s been awhile since I’ve told a funny date story, so now I’m going back to my first Match.com date! Everything started out fine; we met in front of the restaurant and walked in together to get seated.
Our conversation started with the typical first meeting interview — what we’re doing with our lives, what we enjoy doing for fun, etc. My favorite question to ask is always, “What is the weirdest date you’ve been on?” People have given me such crazy answers, as most of the guys I’ve gone out with have been on other online dates. My favorite story was something that contained going to Kim Kardashian’s home, saving dogs from flooding, and a prize-winning pig, all wrapped up in one (I looked into it later and the story was, in fact, true). It’s a long story and not really mine to tell, but trust me when I say you have to ask this question on your next first date.
Anyway, our conversations were pretty normal, but this particular gentleman and I didn’t seem to have a lot in common. I like dogs, he likes cats (This is an important question in my book; I am not sure if I could date someone who isn’t a dog person, as my dream is to have around six one day). He loves hiking, I can’t do that right now. He loves politics, I am more into entertainment news. The topics of conversation flowed pretty seamlessly, even with the lack of chemistry.
My incredibly awkward moment didn’t come until the token “most uncomfortable part” of any date — picking up the check.
Goodness knows I’ve been on enough first dates that I should be used to this part by now, but I absolutely hate it. Please just let me pay my own way, I always think to myself. I don’t even know you; you don’t owe me anything.
Right before our waiter brought over the check, this gentleman and I were talking about my dream to work in the entertainment industry. I told him that I watched embarrassing shows like The Bachelor and then trailed off before bringing up my guiltiest pleasure of all — Keeping Up with The Kardashians (Please don’t tell anyone, though. This is our little secret).
Anyway, he seemed to read my mind, as he slyly asked, “Do you like KUWTK?”
I blushed and nodded, “But I only really watch it when I’m at the gym.” This is a half-truth.
“Do you?” I fired back, trying to take the attention off of myself.
Enter: the waiter.
I had been fumbling with my wallet trying to grab the cash I always keep on hand for dates. After awkwardly offering — and getting turned down — to pay, we went back to chatting.
“Thanks for dinner,” I said.
“What would you have done if I had said yes?” He asked me.
I looked at him, confused. Umm, I would have totally paid for my food. I thought. I don’t expect you to automatically take care of the check; I understand that it’s our first time meeting and am happy to split it.
“It wouldn’t have been a big deal at all!” I replied.
“No, but what would you have described me as in one word?” He pushed.
This is odd, I thought. Why couldn’t you have just let me pay for myself and skip over all this awkwardness? I wondered to myself, frustrated. I wish there was a way to skip this entire part and just enjoy meeting someone new.
“Umm, I’m not sure.” I replied, clearly uncomfortable with the question.
“Come on,” he urged, failing to sense how awkward I was feeling.
“Uh, I guess I would say you were frugal maybe?” My mind was racing. Was that rude? I wouldn’t have thought he was frugal, I would’ve just figured he wasn’t into me or maybe wanted to be friends first. I certainly didn’t want him to think I was being unappreciative for the nice dinner!
He furrowed his brow, confused. “Huh? Frugal? You know what that means, right?”
OH NO, I suddenly realized. HE WASN’T TALKING ABOUT THE CHECK. I had completely forgotten about the conversation we had right before the waiter interrupted. Darn Kardashians. You embarrassed me yet again!
“Oh,” I laughed, “I don’t think frugal is the word I was looking for.” My face was flushed. I felt like such an idiot, as I definitely know the definition of “frugal.”
“Aren’t you getting your Masters in English?” he asked with a look of concern on his face.
Crap. How do I get out of this one? What kind of English student doesn’t know what “frugal” means? Scratch that. What kind of 25-year-old doesn’t know the definition of “frugal?” Ugh, this was another typical Krista move.
I laughed it off and changed the subject as quickly as I could, ditching the Kardashian conversation as quickly as possible.
Today’s lesson: Guys, please know that paying for a meal is super awkward on the girls’ end. Whether or not you let us pay for our share, we will feel uncomfortable. If you go out with me in particular, I cannot seem to hide my flusterdness very well, so forgive whatever dopey thing I say and move on with the conversation, please and thank you.
I have been on my fair share of first dates now, and I’ve figured out some pretty good standard practices to make first dates go a lot smoother. Here are a few quick tips to take some of the jitters out of a first date:
Have a few different “date” outfits picked out. For example, when I first started dating in the winter I had two first date outfits I would wear depending on my mood. The first was a gray V-neck sweater with leggings and black heeled ankle boots (Right, Robert?). The second was jeans, brown leather boots, and a ballet pink lacy t-shirt. By having specific clothing as my “go-to” date outfits I never had to worry at the last minute that I didn’t feel good in my clothes. If I feel edgy I’ll switch things around a bit, but it’s nice knowing that I have two killer go-to outfits.
Create a “dating playlist” to jam to on your way to the date. Even after dozens of first dates, you still sometimes get a little case of the butterflies before going out. By listening to feel-good songs you can dance around in your car and forget about any of the anticipated awkwardness.
If you’re talking to a couple of people at once, go back and do a quick overview of the conversation you’ve had with your date. It’s obvious people usually have a few options, but is still kind of embarrassing when you mix someone up with another prospect. Something about meeting someone in person for the first time helps you remember details about them, but before that it can be easy to confuse one online date with another.
I like looking over a menu before going to a restaurant if I am concerned about working around my food allergies (I have acquired many the last 2 years — what kind of 25-year-old doesn’t know they’re allergic to tomatoes and potatoes?!). That way I can relax and enjoy the date instead of take twenty minutes to customize an order.
Remember to relax and have fun! The person you are out with agreed to go on a date with you, so there is something there. Even if you just have another notch in your dating belt after, you’ve also gained a new experience and collected another story to tell.
Do you have any other ideas to make dating a little bit easier? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 🙂
*Photo taken by my beautiful friend Audrey! Check her out if you are in the DMV and need a photographer for anything.
This past weekend one of my best friends and I went to a fair in our town. There were rides, games, food stands, bands, and perhaps the most exciting — a silent disco.
Since I have POTS I’m not able to go on rollercoasters or anything that will make my adrenaline and heart rate spike so much, and we weren’t very interested in the bands playing. We are always excited about dancing, though. For those of you who don’t know what a silent disco is, it’s pretty simple. Basically you check-in and get a pair of headphones with a volume control and 3 stations. There are 3 DJs located at the front of the club, each playing their own mix. You can change channels to find a song that you like, and your headphones light up with whatever color the DJ you are playing is wearing.
One of the most hilarious parts of the silent disco was the crowd of people who showed up for it. It was for people 18+, and we were literally the only twentysomethings in the mix. It seemed to be mainly high school kids from the area dancing, but there was also a healthy mix of people in their 40s and 50s.
I quickly realized how much guys my age (25) have matured since they were 18. The kids were crazy! They were flailing their arms about like they were on fire and bumping into everyone on the dance floor. Their way of flirting with us was making fun of our music choices (Sorry that I enjoy hearing throwbacks from the Backstreet Boys and Britney) and attempting to “bump butts” with us. I started to feel old as I was annoyed with this behavior.
Overall the silent disco was a blast. We danced until my knees started to hurt too much to keep standing and vowed to do another one again before next year. Even just sitting on the side and watching everyone dancing to a different beat is hilariously entertaining.
There are so many questions people ask me about dating or using apps that I decided to begin writing about the more popular ones.
Today I am going to focus on the twentysomething men and what not to do when reaching out to a female. These are a few things that I personally think guys should avoid doing on dating apps:
Do not under any circumstance find a girl you see on a dating app on Facebook and “friend” her. This feels like such a violation of privacy and I will delete your request and swipe left on your profile. Be patient, sometimes we need a few days to respond. Which leads me to…
Girls get a lot of messages on dating apps — like, dozens every day. Which means it can be difficult to respond to each and every one of them if you get buried in the mess. If a girl doesn’t reply to your message, politely send a follow-up and then move along to the next one.
Don’t start conversations with just a short, “Hey.” It doesn’t give very much to respond to, and somehow doesn’t feel like you’re as interested as some of the other guys who craft more thoughtful openings.
It isn’t a great idea to open a conversation with asking someone out for drinks that night right away. I prefer someone to get to know my personality a little bit better before going out, as I don’t like to be judged completely on my looks. It is also nice to plan at least a few days in advance — I don’t think many people are going to be free the same night you ask them to go out. I also have a reason I don’t think girls should accept an invitation like that, but I will give that in my next “tips” post.
And finally, be respectful to people. I’ve been offered unappreciated “goods” on some of my accounts or called nasty names for not replying fast enough. Please try to remember that there is a person on the other end of the screen you are talking to, and that they deserve the same kind of respect you hope to be treated with. There are always a few bad seeds, but overall I believe most people are good.
Girls — do you all agree with these tips or am I mistaken about some of them?
Guys — have any of these techniques ever worked for you? I’d love for you to prove me wrong.
Shoot me a message on Facebook or write a comment on one of my posts to get your burning dating questions answered!
As I mentioned in my last post, my friend and I were on Tinder looking for a double date while we were at the beach.
Luckily for us the Serial Killer that was supposed to meet up with us didn’t end up working out, so we moved on to the next one. We ended up chatting with someone in the police academy who was actually really polite and said he would be respectful of our wish to just meet up for ice cream. We sent him the same address we were going to meet the last guy at since both of us were dying for a Kohrs cone at that point. He said he could be there at 11:20, but once again his friend “canceled” at the last second. It’s cool, we thought, we just want to make one new friend by the end of the trip.
This guy seemed like he’d have some good stories for us, so we threw on our matching sweatshirts in true bestie style and headed to the boardwalk.
We waited a few extra minutes for the guy and began to get grumpy. He was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago — maybe he was standing us up!
“I can’t wait any longer,” I promptly exclaimed. “I’m just going to get my ice cream now and we can just sit and visit with him while he eats his dessert when he gets here.”
Audrey agreed with me and we purchased our cones on our joint credit card. That was when hilarity ensued. There weren’t any seats at the Kohr’s, so we walked across the street to the benches by the Hilton hotel that was about 70 feet from the shop. We had a direct view of the cashier, so we could see when our date showed up.
We people-watched and chatted until Audrey suddenly exclaimed “IT’S HIM!!!”
I whipped my head back to look at the shop and saw a bald man with a scruffy brown beard charge angrily up to the cashier. Before I could even analyze the situation a bus stopped in my line of vision.
“Are you sure?” I asked. “I didn’t get a good look, but that guy looked like he was quite a bit older than us.”
“No, but I don’t have my glasses on,” she replied. “It looked a lot like our guy, though.”
We waited anxiously for the bus to get a move-on. By the time it pulled out of the stop the man had finished his purchase and was strutting out of the shop with his cup. He seemed to have a new spring in his step, and hurried happily across the street with his ice cream. He was coming for us.
We squealed nervously as he approached. There were a million thoughts running through my mind at this point.
How did he see us from all the way across the street? Why is a 50-something man on Tinder pretending to be 25? Why didn’t he wait for us? Why didn’t he message us that he was here?
He turned the corner into the pavilion area where we were hidden. Audrey and I froze.
I parted my lips to say hello, but he continued to walk toward the hotel doors. He did a double take on his way into the lobby, and to this day I am not sure whether it was because he was actually the man from Tinder or just thinking, “What the heck is wrong with this girl?” because of the startled look I had on my face.
Audrey looked over at me with her spoon in her mouth, floored. “Was that…?”
I shrugged, stunned. He was at least a vague shadow of the man in the pictures. What were the odds someone else who looked like that just happened to get a midnight snack at the same custard shop as us?
What do you think? Did we see the same guy we matched with on Tinder or was he just an older doppelganger? We sent our match a message and never heard back from him — I suppose he will always remain a mystery to us.
A trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without some great date stories — especially since I am trying to keep up my writing for a dating blog!
My best friend has never used a dating app before, so we decided the beach would be a hilarious place for her to try it out to see what she thought… And who better to try it with than me? After all, she had the security of knowing someone far more embarrassing than anyone else around would be the second girl on her double date, so she could be certain that the boys would all flock to her after seeing my faux pas. Luckily she drove us to the beach, so there wasn’t a chance of me getting into a fender bender in front of my date this time.
On our way to the beach I created a Tinder account filled with pictures of the two of us explaining that we were just going to be at the beach for the weekend and were looking for a double date.
We weren’t extremely picky about our swipes; we sat in the hotel room and giggled as we speed swiped and waited for the swarm of messages to come in. After talking, we realized we didn’t have a lot of time for a date, so figured meeting up for dessert would be our best option. I always like to be incredibly honest in my intentions with everyone, so this is what we added to our profile:
We got a lot of different messages and finally found someone who cut to the chase. He was down for meeting and giving us our precious Kohr Brothers and a good dating story!
Anyway, this particular gentleman will be referred to as “Serial Killer” from now on.
He looked pretty normal in his profile pictures — one was with a friend and the other was playing poker — and he could hold a decent conversation. He gave us his phone number, which we called to plan our meetup. He told us he was at a campground with his friends, but that he was just leaving and would love to meet up with us at the boardwalk for ice cream. After a few minutes of researching we determined that he seemed harmless, so gave him the address of the shop and prepared to go meet him.
Until we got the text.
He messaged us on Tinder saying that he was stuck in traffic (At 11:30 PM. Really?) and wanted us to go meet him there instead. We quickly declined, so he began to push the matter. He said his friend had canceled but that he still wanted to meet up*. We told Serial Killer that it was alright and to take care. He messaged us saying he was sorry and that he could tell we were mad at him (First, we clearly weren’t; we just were mildly creeped out. Second, how could we really be “mad” at someone we didn’t even know? Major red flag).
It didn’t stop there, though. He told us he was going to park his car on the side of the road, and that it would “only” take him about 20 minutes to run to the boardwalk from there. What the heck?! We didn’t even know what to think at this point. Why would a random guy we talked to for no more than 5 minutes want to come meet us for ice cream so badly? Something wasn’t right, so we confirmed with him that we wouldn’t be meeting up, and then blocked the profile.
This is one of many reasons I don’t ever meet up with people right after meeting them online. You never know who could be on the other end of a computer screen, so it’s best to find out someone is a bit creepy before giving them too much information on you… Better safe than sorry, right?
Our story doesn’t end here, though. We did find someone to meet up with us for a double date, but I’ll save that story for next time.
*In hindsight it was funny to see how many guys told us they would bring their friend to meet up with us for a double date, only to have the friend “cancel” at the last minute. Guys, was this planned from the get-go, or do you think the friend genuinely backed out? I can’t figure that one out.