Updates and Apologies

Hi Nerdlets! I am soo sorry I haven’t been on here for a while, but I’ve been out, you know, living my life.  Mostly the holidays kicked my ass, but then I started actually going out with people and it took up most of my time.  Again, I’m sorry to have abandoned all my nerdlets, but I’m sure you muddled through well enough without me. 🙂

So, the last time I was on here, I told you all about how I broke my own rule and gave out my REAL number when I was, well, we’ll just say not sober. It was justified at the time–dude pushed me into a window and kissed my brains out. I was hoping the kissing would get better with less alcohol. I was wrong, but we’ll get to that.

The date that came from this drunken night, my nerdlets, is what I will tell you about today.

I really, really, really shouldn’t have broken this rule. There’s a reason I made not giving my number out drunk a rule in the first place. I wasn’t thinking with my brain, I was thinking with beer! Here’s why:

I was so excited to go on this date. I love dating–it’s so fun to meet new people, and we all can use a little bit of work on our people skills and dating skills.  I had an outfit chosen for by a friend that highlighted curves and legs, but revealed little, and I strolled into the restaurant and had no idea who I was looking for. None. I had forgotten what the man looked like because of the, well, beer-goggles.  I found him sitting at the bar, after calling him like a total and unbelievable ass, and we moved to a table and started conversation.  It was nice to talk about who we are, where we come from, all that happy nonsense. But, I didn’t feel any kind of connection, mostly because he didn’t TALK! I had to ask him questions about his interests and all of that and prompt him to ask me questions.  That is definitely NOT what going on a date should be.  It should, again, be give and take, and a good date should have a conversation that doesn’t lag, or if it does, it’s easily filled with something else to talk about! I knew it wasn’t going well when I ordered a salad. It’s the go-to let’s-make-this-quick-so-I-can-get-home-to-my-yoga-pants meal. During the meal, I learned that he and I were totally incompatible, due to some legal issues and lack of education stuff, but I waited it out, gave the guy a chance.

In this guy’s defense, he did everything right.  He paid, even after I offered to go Dutch, he listened well, we walked around to some stores afterwards and he did date-like things (modeled a scarf on me, etc.), but I just felt nothing and like I was doing all the work.  By the end of the night, he would say things like “I don’t really like thinking about things like that” (meaning politics) and I got the ever so awesome, “Can you give me a ride home?” because of his past legal issues. Oy, it was an exhausting night for me, but I got a free meal and dating practice, right?

It was just a dud date, and I wanted to get him home and get myself home to yoga-pants-bliss, so I gave him a ride home.  When we were outside his place, even after the awkward night with stunted conversation, he leaned in for a kiss goodnight.  He gets points for not hesitating on the lean-in, but he loses all points (and I might have lost some IQ points) for the horrible kiss I was forced to partake in. Seriously, he might be the worst kiss I’ve ever had.  I mean, I should have expected this; it wasn’t that great outside the bar, but I have learned, friends, that not everything changes with less alcohol. Okay, here’s why the kiss was so awful.  There are rules for first kisses, which I’ve talked about before.  First kisses should be soft and lovely, not shove your tongue down the other person’s throat (literally) and DEFINITELY NOT A LIP-NIBBLE.  Definitely. Not. Lip nibbles should be saved for sex, or preludes to sex, (which this definitely wasn’t), and you can spread shit with lip nibbles. STIs, I mean. It was very uncomfortable, so uncomfortable in fact that I laughed. Really. In his face. I might be a horrible person, but I have a feeling if you had been there, you would have laughed too.

Alas, I am still single and definitely not dating this guy.  We parted ways, texted a couple times after this, and, awesomely, ran into each other on the bus and had an awkward conversation where I called every number in my phone until someone picked up so as to avoid continuing the conversation.  Oh well, can’t blame us crazy kids for trying. But oh my DAMN, this was a dud date.

So, tips to come from this delightful interlude.

1. Talk to your date, even if you aren’t feeling anything.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll feel something with a more animated conversation.

2. Do what feels right.  You don’t have to pay if you don’t want to or can’t afford it.  If your date offers to pay for half, they mean it (and if they don’t, they are shallow and don’t deserve you).

3. Do not, under any circumstances, shove your tongue down your date’s throat on a first kiss (even if have you drunkenly kissed them before) and NEVER lip nibble.  First kisses should be soft and new.  If they go to a passionate place, it should be eased into, not forced on someone.

4. Keep on dating, nerdlets. We learn something every time.  😉

I won’t stay away for so long again. Cross my heart. x

I Broke My Own Rule: A (potentially) Romantic Monday Post

So, Nerdlets, I now have proof that sometimes, all dating advice has to be thrown out the window and a person has to follow their gut.  I broke my own rule.  And here’s the story.

I was at the club recently, and I was dancing all night, so by bar-close, I was a sweaty, disgusting mess (literally.  There was a tiny little tyrant on the dance floor who kept looking at me and saying “work it!” and I didn’t know what “it” was, but I sure as hell tried!).  I did what any rational girl used to colder weather would do, I walked outside without my coat and immediately took off my heeled boots and socks.  Now, it was somewhere around 30 degrees or so, but I felt perfectly fine, and as I was walking with my friend to my car (I had not been drinking, really, and was nowhere near drunk) I got stopped by a guy.  He was not my usual type, I tend to go for tall and skinny, but he was persistent, and we fell into conversation.  Now he had had more than a few, but I sincerely enjoy screwing with drunk people, so I started questioning him on everything from his views on life to his heritage. I’m an extremely fast talker and I’m pretty witty and smart (if I do say so myself) and this guy’s drunkenness couldn’t keep up with me (so says my friend and I), but despite his inebriation and my mind-fucking, he was gentlemanly.  He slipped my coat on my shoulders when I started to shiver without realizing it, and he told his friend to treat me like a lady when his friend was teasing me (little does this guy know that I’m a lot of things, but I’m definitely not a lady 🙂 )  Now, this man would not let me walk away, and I was about to give him a fake number, when he grabbed me, lightly pushed me into a window of the club, and kissed me.  That changed my tune. Apparently all I need is the thrill that comes with a little bit of force, and I’m a goner (Now, not all women are like this, and if I had said no and this guy had persisted, I would have given my friend the signal to get me out of there, screamed loud enough to draw a crowd, or clocked him and walked away.  Remember, a tiny amount of force only works on those who actually want it. If your partner doesn’t want it, respect that and move on).  So I gave this guy my real number and we are going out this week.

He seemed very nice when we were talking and he was sober, so I guess we’ll see what comes of me breaking my own rules. I figure there are enough outs to get this guy off my back if he turns out to be a creeper (remember, numbers can be blocked, last names shouldn’t be given out right away, and always take the long way home in case you are followed by the creeper, and creepers can be any gender).  And hey, it’s a date, not a marriage.  It was an interesting night, though, so hopefully another interesting night is in my future! Wish me luck!

A Sober First Kiss

Ahh, the first kiss.  It’s so important, it’s the kiss to remember if you and the person you’re dating stay together. A sober first kiss requires a lot of confidence. Look your date in the eyes, touch them lightly on the hand, the shoulder, the waist, lean in and do it. You can’t hesitate, or if you do or are nervous, tell your date. It’s endearing. Everyone has really good first kiss stories (share yours in the comments!), but I have a secret to tell you, Nerdlets.  The first kiss isn’t always amazing.  Sometimes, the first kiss is just plain awkward.  Think about it, you don’t really know your date and you’re touching lips with the person.  Weird.  But, I have some tips to make it less awkward, in case you are a little nervous about diving into this experience.

Now, make it memorable.  That doesn’t mean you have to take your date somewhere special, (though you can), but you need to do something to make it stand out.  That could be looking into his/her eyes, tucking her hair behind her ear, bringing your hand up to his face, or twining your fingers together, but something should stand out and make it worth thinking about later.  The best first kisses show a little tenderness, from both parties.

And here is something very, very important.  You might not agree, but I feel obligated to mention this.  Don’t. Use. Tongue. I really really advise against it, and for a few very good reasons.  1) Using tongue while kissing requires a certain finesse, a certain familiarity between the two people kissing.  It’s more intimate that a tongue-less kiss, and first kisses are a sort of opening round for a longer show to come (hopefully).  2) Using tongue between two people who don’t know each other well can lead to a messy, wet battleground, and when I said to make it memorable, I meant in a good way, not in a wet way.  3) If you use tongue, tease with it, don’t shove with it. For. Realz. You gotta leave some reason for your date to come back for more.

Now this might be a few too many details for some of you, but you all have been on the receiving end of a sloppy, sloppy first kiss.  Think classy, not sloppy. Think sweet, not wet.

Now I have a song that reminds me of a first kiss, or the way a first kiss should make a person feel.  Even if you don’t like the song, or would never listen to it on a regular day, listen to the happiness in the piano, the playful alliterative nature of the lyrics, and to what the lyrics say.  This is exactly how a first kiss should sound in your head (and the cartoons in it are completely adorable):

What do you think?  Any other first kiss tips or first kiss stories to share?

Break the Ice, Don’t Shatter the Ice

So, you’ve me the guy/girl, you get the guy/girl’s number, it all finally worked for you.  You weren’t an idiot, you  might have been nervous, but you were always yourself.  Now, how do you make the first contact after that initial sweaty-palmed masquerade that is meeting new people?  Well, this is pretty simple, but can still be really weird.  It doesn’t matter the medium, thebest thing to start with is, “Hey, it was great meeting you yesterday” (if you just met, obviously) or “Hey, it was great seeing you again/running into you yesterday” (if it’s a person you’ve already met).  It’s nice, straight-forward, and non-committal.  It doesn’t say “All I want to do is talk about me” (a big no-no) and it doesn’t say “Ithinkaboutyouallthetimeandsometimesfollowyouhome.Pleaseloveme!” (again, uh uh).  Now, this approach works only if you are just meeting someone for the first time or you run into someone and tell them you’ll look them up on Twitter or Facebook.

Another way to approach someone you’ve known for a while but want to know in a different kind of way is just a simple, “Hey, how are you?”  This is super simple, and generally leads to a Here’s-what’s-new-with-me-What’s-new-with-you conversation.

The main goal of the first contact after you meet someone is to find time to spend together face-to-face, and getting to that is much trickier.  It’s hard to not sound like a creepy stalker, so a little tiny bit of creepy stalker is okay.  Generally, I would say you need to say something short and sweet but make sure the person knows you’re asking them out.  In the same way that people on the receiving end need to not be an idiot, so too do people doing the asking.  Saying “we should hang out sometime” is an idiot move, and it’s vague and annoying as hell.  “We should hang out sometime” is too friendly and can be really confusing.  Now, if you were to say, “You know, I’d like to spend time with you, we should hang out sometime,” that sounds much more like a date because you are being specific. You are saying you want to get to know the other person better and it’s much more obviously about the other person and a one-on-one situation.

Personally, I’m a fan of being straightforward.  Saying, “Listen, would you want to go out with me sometime” or “Do you want to go on a date with me” would work wonders on a girl like me and a lot of other women.  It’s very direct and it takes a lot of courage to come out and say it. For someone to put themselves out there like is very brave.  Also, if you’re nervous and it shows, it can be very endearing to the person you are asking out.   Most of all, you want to break the ice but not shatter the ice. Say “Hi, how are you, nice to meet you” keep it simple, make small(ish) talk (meaning get to know the person but no big hot-button topics), and ask the person out.  Don’t get too creepy or too needy, that would shatter the glass, make you look ridiculous and weird.  Just try to be natural, be yourself–because that’s the important part.  If you aren’t yourself, you’re selling yourself short and the person you’re interested in short.

Keep it flirty, too.  Make sure you’re slipping a little bit of flirting into the conversation, subtle compliments, things like that.  Remember not to go creepy stalker, and all, “You’re so pretty…hehe” because, well, that’s just weird.  It’s fun to find ways to flirt and update at the same time, flirt and meet someone new at the same time.  And you’re palms should sweat and you probably should stumble a bit over your words.  That’s endearing, and keeps it interesting. This stage is a balancing act, and if you balance right between feeling like an idiot (not ACTING like an idiot) and being direct in your approach, you will breeze passed the first contact and into your first date.

Act Like an Idiot, but Don’t Be an Idiot

Alright, Nerdlets, here is the most important thing to remember when you are dating someone or in a relationship with someone.  Don’t. Be. An. Idiot.  Now you can act like an idiot all you want, hell, it’s inevitable and might be endearing, but don’t actually become an idiot.  For example, while on a date with someone, you can stumble over words or do the awkward do-I-hug-her-or-kiss-her-goodnight dance, but don’t spend all night on your phone or talk about yourself all night.  Those actions MAKE you an idiot and not worth your date’s time.  The easiest way to not be an idiot is to pay attention.   In all relationships, either casual dating or not, people want to feel like what they have to say and what they do is important, and you prove that to your date by paying attention and ACTIVELY wanting to know more. It’s give and take, you give a little and then you get a little. You’ll know that you’re just in it for the possibility of going home with your date for meaningless but hopefully enjoyable sex if you don’t care even a little bit about what they are saying.  And if that is happening on a first date, don’t expect the relationship to go anywhere.  I hate it when I feel like I’m doing all the giving and getting nothing in return. I mean really, really hate it!  Now, if you and your date are just starting to text or chat on a social medium, then it’s not as big of a deal, but don’t leave a person hanging.  Not only does it make the person doing all of the giving or initiating the conversation think he/she is going crazy and making a bigger deal of a potential date than it should be, but it isn’t exactly conducive to future bliss.

Now here is a fairly common scenario: I recently asked a gentleman out via Facebook (a medium I approve of because it’s not the medium that counts as much as the message).  I’m almost positive I was clear about my intentions, and he did say yes to going out and getting coffee, but I’ve not exactly heard from this person in a few days.  This is the way it should go.  One person initiates the conversation, presumably to ask the person out to some kind of social situation so they can get to know each other better.  After the initial contact and agreement to go out, it’s the other person’s turn to start a conversation so that it doesn’t feel completely one-sided.  Yes, this sounds very much like a bunch of elementary schoolers playing kickball on the pavement, but, honestly, people need to realize when it is their turn to initiate conversation. This is the give-and-take part to the beginning of a new dating relationship.  A lot of people don’t understand this, that despite the fact that people get busy or have a ton of things to do, it takes about 10 seconds, give or take, to answer a text or message of some kind, and not only does it relieve some of the anxiety in your date (especially if they asked you out on a date), but it shows her/him that you are interested in what they have to say. It shows you’re paying attention and taking a few seconds out of your day to think about her/him. That’s what really matters.

And realize when you are being asked out on a date!  Don’t be an idiot!  If you meet someone once, they friend you on Facebook, and then ask you out for lunch or coffee or a movie festival or something, you are being asked out.  If you get someone’s number in a bar and they text you the next day, they most likely want to get to know you better and either expect you to ask them out or will eventually ask you out.  It’s harder to know if you are being asked out if you have known the person for a while, but if you have any questions about whether you are being asked out, ask! I’m a big believer in being honest and upfront.  If you are unsure if you are being asked out, a simple “like a date?” or “is this a date?” can easily be answered, and if you are asking someone out saying something like, “You know I’m asking you out on a date, right?” or “So it’s a date!” works really well.  If you slip the word “date” into the conversation, like a “coffee date” or a “lunch date,” then you are being really clear if the other person is not being an idiot.

Remember, it’s really hard to ask someone out. It’s scary because you are putting yourself out there in a pretty vulnerable way, and, yes, you might feel or think you’re an idiot.  That’s very normal, but if you never put yourself out there, you’ll live your life watching old reruns of Boy Meets World and writing blogs about dating rather than actually dating. Take a chance, realize when you are being asked out, and act accordingly.  Don’t be an idiot.

Mating Rituals, or Why We’re All Screwed

So, here’s the thing: dating might just possibly be the worst, most awkward experience anyone has ever had to deal with.  Your palms sweat, you get the butterflies in your stomach, you say the wrong thing, you can’t stop staring a certain part of the other person’s anatomy, your brain moves two seconds too slowly.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m talking through sand when I try to approach someone, like I’m having some kind of out-of-body experience.  Now, some people are really good at dating, really good at knowing exactly what to say when, and, personally, I think those people are rare and possibly a little bit scary.  More often, there are people like me, and probably you, who just suck at the whole experience.  Some people might call it insecurity; some people might call it lack of social skills.  I prefer to call it normal.  It’s absolutely normal to suck at dating, to suck at connecting to a stranger because so many of us have a select group of people we talk to on a regular basis and limited contact with strangers.  Especially sober.

But here’s why: we live in a society that not only says that the most important person in the world is yourself and promotes selfishness, but also keeps the genders entirely separate.  Still in our twenties and thirties, we act as if we are at a middle school dance, where the boys are on one side of the gym, the girls are on the other, and only a daring few will cross the basketball lines etched into the wooden floor to ask someone to dance.  The bar scene is eerily similar to a middle school dance–girls dance together and guys generally watch from the sidelines. Seriously, the only difference between adult daters and middle school daters (hopefully) is the advent of alcohol-induced courage.  With this courage, men feel like they can get any person in the room, women feel like, finally, they are desireable and able to make the first move.  Be honest, we’ve all done things and said things and taken items of clothing off of our bodies while blitzed. “Take a shot, man, then you can go get some!” a man says to a friend at the bar who is about to approach an attractive young woman on the dance floor. I’ve said, and heard several other women say, “I’m so shy most of the time, but get a few drinks in me, and I’ll talk to anybody (with or without clothing).” Reading just these two examples, can you see how alcoholic dating doesn’t generally foster long-term or meaningful relationships?  Because this is how it goes: men and women go to the bar, men and women proceed to drink their body weight in alcohol, men meet women/women meet men (or any variant in between), they seem to hit it off, go home together, have consensual sex (if neither party passes out or becomes afflicted with a whiskey dick), hopefully reach some kind of orgasm, and pass out.  Now in the morning, one of three things can happen: 1) One party sneaks out early and forgets the night ever happened, 2) Both parties part ways satisfied that they will never see each other again, or 3) In order to fill a loneliness within (and not feel like a floozy or philanderer, god forbid), the parties decide to try to form a relationship based on one night of booze-induced sexual haze. Only rarely does option 3 end well, and that’s why I’m here to help.

This blog really is for all the little Nerdlets in the corner, all the people who actively want to pursue a relationship but just don’t know how to begin.  Now, dating sites take away a lot of these little intricacies that make dating scary, but they also take away a lot of the appeal and the interesting aspects of dating.  How do I approach a person?  Can I approach just anywhere or only in specific places?  What if I get rejected?  What do I say? How do I express my interest without sounding like a creepy stalker? What if we have nothing in common?  When should I make the move towards the bedroom? Personally, I think a major part of dating isn’t reading a list of what the person makes a year and what that person’s interests are, but finding out in person.  True, you might find more people who are incompatible, but think of the life experiences you’ll miss out on.  This blog will also focus on some of our societally induced habits of dating and how detrimental they can be for the eventual happiness in personal and professional relationships.  What should you do when you go on a date with someone a friend has feelings for?  What the hell is the “Bro Code” anyway?  Why don’t I ever get a second date when I don’t call for days after the first?  All of these are merely teasers for what’s in store, and I’m always open to more suggestions about different areas of dating I haven’t covered yet.

Now, when I titled this “How to Date Sober,” I didn’t mean stone-cold sober.  If, for whatever reason, you don’t drink, good for you, I sincerely hope this blog helps you find someone to care about based on the tricks, tips, and knowledge I have gained through various life experiences.  If you drink only a few and can form rational and coherent thought, then I wouldn’t consider you drunk. A good rule of thumb for deciding whether or not you have beer goggles on is to gauge how nervous you are during the approach. With or without one or two drinks, you should still feel a few nerves when approaching someone.  Those nerves signal that you are still alive, still able to feel like a pimply faced teenager trying get the cutest boy/girl to look you in the eye, smile, and say “Hi.” That feeling of mind-numbing terror will tell you whether or not you’re doing it right.