Just as gyms and diet programs fill up as the calendar turns, online dating sites get as crowded as a trendy nightclub in January. After a fun evening of dancing the night away at Pyramid Club in NYC’s East Village, Randy continued texting me. As I mentioned in my last entry, I’m thoroughly enjoying the feeling of renewal that comes with a new season. Still, much as I have enjoyed the men I’ve met on HowAboutWe, I am also ready for a new online dating venue. If it sounds like I’m a little weary of the process, not to mention ruminating about it, well, I am. In a virtual universe where anything goes, you can find yourself on the receiving end of these bizarre antics quite regularly. It is one of my single relatives, though, who can claim the most off putting initial conversation with an online bachelor. When you’re single, it is inevitable from time to time that well intentioned people will offer to set you up.
Over the last couple of months, three different people have mentioned bachelor friends who they would like to introduce me to.
I also make it a point to say I’m flexible about how the connection is initiated – open to either providing my contact info or reaching out to the bachelor in question. Two of the recent would-be Cupids backpedaled as soon as I indicated my openness to taking them up on their offer. When it comes to online dating, I’m a big fan of anything that makes it easier to take the connection offline and in person. Match has partnered with seven board game manufacturers to provide singles with a combination of icebreakers and party games. Players rotate from table to table between rounds, giving everyone a chance to mix and mingle while playing up to seven different games.  Attendees are also provided with a selection of games to play on their own as icebreakers, while connecting with other singles. Game night events are taking place now through the fall at bars and restaurants in select cities including NYC.
Sure enough, he proceeded to talk about how he’s just so busy that he could never make time to have children, and it’s really his married friends who are more concerned about him meeting someone than he is.
My discomfort around Sean was nothing, though, compared to what I experienced with school teacher Robert.
When I mentioned that my job is in hospitality, Robert proceeded to spend a good ten minutes revealing in florid detail how much he hated his past experience working for a hotel. During our one hour drinks date (that felt more like four), Robert also treated me to a laundry list of reasons why he hates teaching and doesn’t want to do it anymore.
Interestingly, in our pre-date phone conversations, both Sean and Robert were inquisitive and full of positive energy.
After a brief stop at Faces & Names bar and walking past the NFL Draft red carpet on Sixth Avenue, we settled at the bar of Del Frisco’s in Rockefeller Center. I’ve said it here and to other singles many times – speed dating is a thousand times better than dating online.
Which is why I’m feeling especially thankful for the gradual yet seismic attitude shift I’ve been feeling lately when it comes to finding love. As the first quarter of 2013 races to a close, I’m happy to have stuck to one of my New Year’s resolutions – speed dating more often. As a thirtysomething single woman, it’s very easy to think you’ve got the market covered on feeling frustrated with what it takes to make a meaningful romantic connection. Even though, statistically speaking, the odds are more in their favor, single guys go through their ups and downs just like we do. So if you’ve been on the fence about trying speed dating, now’s the time to jump off and give it a try. It started with a visit to Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, where I joined hundreds of fellow hospitality professionals for NYC & Company’s annual meeting. Speaking of new finds, my next stop was the Museum of Art and Design in Columbus Circle, where I met up with business associate Andrea. Andrea shared the news that she recently married, which led to a lively conversation about the unexpected journey to finding Mr. Andrea met her hubby on JDate a year ago, admitting that on paper, he seemed completely different from her usual type.


Wednesday night, I headed over to David’s Tea on the Upper East Side for cocktails and conversation in celebration of eFlirtExpert Founder Laurie Davis’ fabulous new book, Love At First Click: The Ultimate Guide To Online Dating. Having worked with nearly a thousand clients and connected with her future hubby on Twitter, Laurie knows plenty about dating in the digital world. After reading her book, you won’t have to wonder about whether to wink or how to use emoticons when flirting via email. Rather than making us lonelier, as presumed by the general consensus, digital communications such as email can be more intimate than, say, a telephone chat. Interestingly (and, for some, reassuringly) they discovered their study subject rarely used emojis or emoticons to convey feelings but rather used actually (and thoughtfully selected) words.
They also, in a nod to Marshall McLuhan, discovered the medium used for the message can actually shape it. Carla Caccavale Reynolds is a dear friend, force of nature and the one who inspired me to stop stalling and start blogging. The flip side—it also makes it much easier to detect when someone you’re dating isn’t a good fit. Still, at this stage of dating, I usually give it three dates before making a determination. When I reach out (yes, via text) day of to confirm, he says he ‘totally forgot’ we had plans and asks to reschedule.
What I was sure about was that S probably felt my reticence and was accordingly blowing me off. It’s not right to make assumptions, especially with a medium like texting that’s makes miscommunication an all too common thing. Spring is a wonderful time to make a fresh start – and that’s what I’m doing on several fronts.
Much like most of the bachelors I’ve met through the site, both were personable, fun and engaged in taking advantage of what this great city has to offer. I’m not in their target demographic, of course, but it is equal parts fascinating and disturbing how niche-oriented the online dating world has become.
Which is why I’m in the midst of another spring makeover project: revamping my little corner of the blogosphere. Though it can introduce you to a variety of people, it also seems to have a higher volume of inappropriate behavior than the offline world. One recent Okc member followed up a fun first date with an invitation to have lunch with him and his sister. In a previous life, the traditionalist in me would have insisted on the guy initiating communication. They suggested it would be “less pressure” if I were to meet their bachelor friends in a group setting.
And why state you’re inclined to play matchmaker if you’re not going to actually follow through on it? I say, unless you’re actually willing to put words to action, it’s probably best to keep any matchmaking thoughts to yourself. Having attended a few happy hour Stir events and been underwhelmed, I think this approach sounds more effective, not to mention a lot more fun. Two recent dates with bachelors I met via Coffee Meets Bagel ended up in the latter category. In his profile, Robert said he likes a date who “talks as well as listens.” Which is why I found it particularly interesting that he spent the majority of our time together not only talking about himself but failing to ask me much of anything.
An aside about my affinity for Broadway shows inspired him to mock several celebrity-driven musicals.
Assaulting your date with a barrage of complaints and negativity, and being dismissive about what she shares isn’t exactly appealing.
Over a round of Blue Moon and some shared appetizers (cheesesteak egg rolls and tuna tartar tacos…delish), we talked about career moves, bad dating behavior and my most recent speed dating experience. I cringed when I spotted a guy I dated briefly back in January who went all X-rated in his sweet nothings on date #2.  For a city of 8 million people, New York is way too small sometimes.
A combination of spring weather and Amy Spencer’s uplifting book about dating optimism, How To Meet Your Half Orange is fueling the change. In the last week alone, I’ve reconnected with an old flame and met a matchmaker-inclined florist.


With other, more time intensive resolutions being a work in a progress, this one is proving to be a lot of fun. And I’ve also found time and again that it’s the number one thing singles tell me they want to try but haven’t.
A quick chat with just about any guy you meet speed dating reveals that’s most definitely not the case. And I can’t help thinking that discovering such common ground helps break down the walls that often divide us in this great city where playing it cool is practically an Olympic sport.
We headed up to Robert, the museum’s penthouse restaurant with fantastic views and a sleek, modern decor that still manages to be both warm and inviting.
She decided to give him a chance despite opposite schedules and some challenges from living in different boroughs (he’s a Brooklynite, she lives in Manhattan). Love At First Click is a brisk, engaging read packed with great tips for finding love in cyberspace. The best compliment I can give is that Love At First Click has made me consider a  return to online dating. We talked about work, what’s new in social media — I didn’t know about hot new video app Vine – and adventures in speed dating.
Nevertheless, I set some boundaries after date one, declining Randy’s offer to have our second date happen at my place.
Sometimes, though, it communicates incompatibility loud and clear—and, fortunately, very quickly. That makes sense given HowAboutWe’s premise: posting date activities and meeting likeminded people with similar interests.
So, after a while (in this case almost a year) of frequenting one, you can’t help wanting to try something else. Call me cynical, but I think this checklist approach to finding love is only making singles more disconnected. I know we live in a modern era of sexting and so on, but why is there such a mad rush to replace romance with raunch? After all, mutual chemistry is unpredictable enough that you can’t really hold someone accountable when it doesn’t happen. But having been through the anything goes world of online dating, speed dating and just about everything in between, I’ve learned you can’t stand on ceremony and be completely rules driven if you want to meet someone new. I’m looking forward to checking out the September 5th outing featuring musical game Spontuneous. And, of course, how important it is not to be a Debbie Downer when you’re meeting someone for the first time. Second, it gives you the opportunity to practice your flirting skills and elevator pitch about yourself, always a good thing in the competitive dating jungle that is New York. She said the right relationship is worth the effort — and it tends to happen pretty quickly when you come upon it. Laurie covers everything – from choosing the website that’s right for you and creating the perfect profile to netiquette rules. Laurie dispenses her practical, proven advice like an old friend whose wisdom you can’t deny.
I told CeCe about the guy I met at HurryDate last month who called me at work weeks later, soliciting a business lead then clumsily asking me out as an afterthought. Wells in a paper, To Email or Not to Email: The Impact of Media on Psychophysiological Responses and Emotional Content in Utilitarian and Romantic Communication. And the next time you find yourself in that dimly-lit, soft-music filled intimate moment with your favorite partner: email her (or him). And a wistful lament for the days when he trolled nightclubs picking up women on the dance floor.
I guess it’s less daunting to flirt via cyberspace than to face the prospect of a dozen or so mini dates with complete strangers. In my experience, though, the payoff is much, much greater when you get back to basics and interact with fellow singles in person.



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