Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Online Dating - Some Advice For Men

Hello all. It's been a while since I wrote a blog, but I haven't been sitting on my laurels. I've been online dating, which means I now have blog fodder for years. It's not the most enjoyable experience I've ever had in my life. Even though the guys I've met in person are great, and I have nothing to complain about per se, I just haven't found someone that I really connect with. So I come to you single. Sooooo very single.

Since I have approximately ninety billion dating apps on my phone, I have become an unwitting expert on the male dating profile. I try not to hold a bad profile against a guy, but I thought I'd give a little advice to the ones out there who are undoubtedly great guys, but may not be getting the kind of attention from women they would like. Here are a few things to consider:

1. Check your user name.

If your user name is something like Sir Humps-a-lot, Dr. RockurBooty, Mr. Goodtime, A-Yummy-Treat, or something in that vein, I'm going to assume you're a fuckboy looking for a hookup. I can't take guys with these sorts of names seriously. If you want something serious, have a serious user name.

2. Your Profile Picture - Part 1 - Please guys, learn how to take a decent selfie. This includes, but is not limited to, taking said selfie in a well-lit area, holding the phone above your nose (please no more nostril shots, guys, for the love of god!), as well as a proper distance from your face, and for god's sake, smile. I can't tell you how many selfies are out there in cyberspace of men who look their photo was taken mid-root canal. I can't believe I even have to say this but this picture is to attract the girl of your dreams. It's not a mugshot! (LOL we'll save that comparison for another blog!)

I know you have to have one friend who will give you honest feedback on your picture. Show them your profile picture and ask them the following questions: Do I look like an escapee from a Soviet gulag? Like I'm on the way to my execution? If you didn't know me, would you think I was a serial killer? If the answer is no to all the following questions, then you may move on to Part 2...

3. Your Profile Picture - Part 2 - Action shots are awesome. And yes, we live in Upstate New York, where everybody and their dog seems to hike, boat, camp, fish, and four wheel. This is all fantastic, by the way. Good for you for being athletic and outdoorsy. However, if you have any of the following pictures on your profile, please note that 90% of the other guys do too (the other 10% have pictures taken in the dark, of their nostrils, while scowling and giving the camera the finger): the "Sitting in my Car" selfie, the "Standing Triumphant on a Mountain Top" picture, the "Proudly Holding a Gigantic Fish" picture, the "Half-Naked, Flexing in the Mirror" selfie, and the frequently deal-breaking "Drinking in a Bar With My Friends" group shot (otherwise known as "The Minutes Leading Up to My Evening in a Drunk Tank" or "How I Broke My Hand in a Bar Brawl" memorial photo, depending on the crowd).

Some advice? My favorite profile pictures are the ones of men where they look happy, relaxed, and I can see their eyes. I love pictures of pets. Candid shots. The shots where a guy is goofing around, wearing a funny hat, or being light hearted and unguarded. I like pictures from work, and pictures with your families. Looking sober and law-abiding is also good. Through these kinds of pictures, I feel like I can get to know you.

4. The First Contact - The dreaded "hi". If I had a nickel for every lone "hi" message I've gotten this year, I could comfortably retire. I get it, women suck and often ignore messages you've put a great deal of thought into, so you don't want to invest a lot of time writing a message that statistically won't get a response anyway. But know this, whether or not I respond to a "hi" depends entirely on how bored I am at that given moment, and what I can glean from your profile picture.

A "hi" from a guy in a wifebeater giving the camera the finger is not getting a response. Neither is the dude whose profile picture is so dark and blurry that he could be either Brad Pitt or an aardvark. My thinking is this: YOU messaged ME. Therefore the burden is on you to start the conversation. "Hi" is lazy. I'm not expecting you to write War and Peace, but please, please give me something to work with! And while we're on the subject...

5. I'm going to assume that you wouldn't have messaged me if you didn't find me attractive. Especially since more than half the time, I know a guy is messaging me based on my pictures alone because he asks me questions that he'd know the answer to if he'd read my profile. If he'd read my profile, sometimes he'd also have come to the conclusion that we were horribly incompatible and not written me in the first place. But I digress...

Messages that say "hi beautiful" or "hello. you are so gorgeous" or "hello pretty" or "wow. stunning" don't impress me. Of course I'm flattered. And I truly believe men have the absolute best of intentions when they say these things. But women hear this all the time. It becomes commonplace and loses its significance. Until I know you better, what you think of my appearance is as meaningless to me as your opinion on how wet rain is. I'd like to form a mental connection with you. I'd like to know what it was about me that drew your interest. I would hope that you're looking for a girl who isn't shallow and self absorbed, so that fact that I don't want to talk about myself and how hot you think I am should be a relief to you.

So what should you talk about? Even if we have nothing in common, ask me a question about something I said in my profile. If we do have things in common, tell me what they are. If a woman has pictures of kids and pets and people on her profile, ask her about them. I know it sounds crazy, but asking a woman why she likes someone, something, or someplace will open up an amazing conversation and help you really get to know her. Women always have a why.

Then, if after talking to a woman, you really like her, please tell her so. You don't have to propose, but know she's probably talking to a lot of guys. She may not be going out on dates with all of them, but they are around, and in various stages of communication. If you tell her "look I really like you and I want to meet you as soon as possible," your excitement will put you ahead of all the endless nowhere conversations. And then you can finally get offline, and move things along in real life...

Hopefully this is helpful advice. Happy dating!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It All Started With A House

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I've been meaning to get this blog started for a while, but as things usually work in my world, it didn't happen when I wanted it to. Perhaps you followed me over from my previous blog Re-Writing Motherhood and you've been following my story for awhile. Perhaps you're brand new to the crazy world I inhabit. In that case, pull up a chair, have a seat, and enjoy!

Every good story begins with the proper introduction of the protagonist, so without further ado...
Hi! Once upon a time, I was a married stay-at-home mom, who worked on a novel sporadically, and long before her kids came along, had had some poetry and poems published and had written some plays a time or two. But sometimes life takes a wild left turn. Today I'm newly 40, happily single, a boring insurance administrator by day, and artsy fartsy writer/crafter/general chaos creator by night and weekend. I'm what would happen if Dharma from Dharma and Greg or Phoebe from Friends had a Master's degree in English (and a trio of naughty pets who chase each other over her computer keyboard making the letter pads fall off and the caps lock key stick). I am hopelessly dorky, unabashedly whimsical, delightful, maddening, and probably half crazy. Hot mess, thy name is Brittany. Welcome everyone to Crazytown!

You will be happy to know that you have been spared a year and a half of introspective, post-divorce angst. What is on offer today is a snapshot of a much happier, sunnier, funnier (anyone ever tried online dating? It's comedy gold!) life. If you stick around, I guarantee a corncucopia of misadventure: funny kid and pet stories, writing updates, DIY, pinterest fails, and most likely, lots of stories about being a single woman in Upstate New York (it's nothing like Sex in the City, if that's what you were thinking).

I'm sure I will also post a-nauseatingly-lot about the current love of my life, my adorable little bungalow that I bought and moved into this summer. Sometimes, a girl just needs her own space, and here, I can paint the walls turquoise and bid a fond adieu to a past that, chromatically, was very beige. 
It's a happy house and a happy life, and here, I can share it with you.