Where All The “Good” Men (And Women) Are Hiding

I get a lot of questions from my readers asking me where I met the ~awesome~ guy I’m currently dating.

Now, all the good peeps aren’t hiding in one place. There’s no, like, Hot Man Convention (but wouldn’t that be so much easier)? You just have to go to the right places.

I met my guy at a bar in downtown Austin. Normally, I caution against meeting people in bars because all the guys I’ve met in bars in the past just wanted to bang. (Although one guy I met in a bar turned out to be my bang buddy for a solid year and a half. No regrets). But this time, I happened to be alone, with no girlfriends to protect me. I’d like to think one of the reasons he came up to me is because I was just sippin’ on some wine, all by myself, nonchalantly reading a book and enjoying myself. 

What’s the verdict of my successful experiment? Do more stuff alone. You’re less intimidating to men this way. There’s nothing scarier than a good-looking girl gang.

The other day, a woman in her late 20’s told me she isn’t really a “bar person” and also isn’t willing to try online dating. Then, I asked her what her hobbies are. She told me she doesn’t have any hobbies other than getting her nails done with her girlfriends, but after thinking for a little bit, she wrote back that she also likes to travel.

OK. Let’s take a look-see here. She doesn’t go out, is either too lazy (or too proud) to try online dating and has zero hobbies. It’s no wonder to anyone but herself that she’s still single.

PEOPLE. You can’t not be a bar person and not be an online dating person! It doesn’t work that way! How do you expect to meet someone when over 75% of the population goes to bars and uses dating apps to try and find love?

To find love, you’ve either got to be a bar person (extrovert) or an online dating person (introvert). And even better if you’re both a bar person and an online dating person, because you’ve increased your chances of meeting someone by twofold. (Also, the extrovert-introvert hybrid is probably the best possible romantic partner, because you’re pretty much down to do whatever and easy to get along with). 

Back to this not-bar-not-online-dating girl. I suggested she travel alone. Because when I traveled solo to Switzerland, I met a ton of cool new people. Folks flock to lone travelers – especially the local singles.

Now, if you’re not into going out – or just don’t have the stamina to drink like you used to – you could also research hobby groups in your city or try meetup.com. I know they sound kind of lame, but they really are an awesome way to mingle with people that love doing the same stuff you love to do. Isn’t that what you want, anyway? A boyfriend that you don’t have to drag to an indie concert, but that will accompany you gladly because he loves the band as much as or even more than you do?

Remember: We don’t attract who we want. We attract who we are. My guy is more-or-less the male version of me: very active, super outgoing,  flails arms to Chris Brown. 

If you’ve exhausted all the above options, I suggest sucking up your pride and trying online dating. I have a few friends who’ve met some wonderful people on there. Of course, you will need some bomb-ass pics and an interesting bio; something to set you apart from the rest of the horny, lonely souls of the world.

But in regards to how to navigate the Tinder trenches and Bumble beehives, I’ll save that for another day.

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Online Dating Isn’t Desperate, It’s Just A Whole Buncha Other Things

Ah, March Madness, you’re so eventful. Not because of the sports – oh, eff thatI don’t watch sports – but because of the herds of men that come together like hungry wolves ready to take on a carcass.

I was sitting in a packed bar last weekend, when I noticed that the girl next to me was messaging a guy on OKCupid. She was an attractive girl, a busty, brown-eyed brunette, and I wondered if she was talking to Adam Levine on that thing, or if she was really that oblivious to all the subtle hints from interested men nearby.

That’s the thing about online dating: despite the preconceived notion that it’s desperate, it’s not. It is, however, lazy. For those of us who don’t just Tinder on the toilet, it distracts us from making tangible connections in the real world. Connections that could have turned into something more worthwhile than an OKCupid paragraph demonstrating dwindling interest the more back-and-forth it contains.

On all these sites, personalities are subjugated by looks, yet we all know this isn’t the way it works in real life. What drew me to the last guy I fell madly in love with was his big appetite for life, despite his having a big nose, and even still, I continue to only swipe right for the hot guys, because there are no rules on how to navigate these things.

So how do we choose? What if I swiped past my soulmate because he had an Owen Wilson nose? How do we filter who’s date-worthy from who’s not? It’s common knowledge that someone who’s good on paper can be horrible off the paper, and vice versa. And at some point, any less-than-marvelous date becomes synonymous with other less-than-marvelous dates, and if you’re like me, eventually you begin to lose interest in going on any more online dates. It’s exhausting and time-consuming.

What I find faultiest, though, is that the mere existence of online dating assumes we should date for dating’s sake. That we should fall into a relationship for the sake of having a boyfriend, not fall into one because we fell in love naturally, and because it was right.

Thanks to the online dating sphere, we can’t tell for sure if we like the person for who he really is, because we’ve fallen in love with an idea before we’ve even stepped out the door; the idea that we’ll come home with a boyfriend. Someone, anyone. It’s that: the implication that we should be coupled up at all costs, not just in the future but also now and forever, god forbid I would rather enjoy the company of my girl friends than a mediocre connection with a mediocre man, or willingly wander into the MoMA alone on a Saturday afternoon.

Despite all these critiques – critiques not of the users, but of the medium, itself – I’m in company of friends who’ve endured long-term, successful relationships due to internet dating. I personally am not fully opposed to it, and will most probably continue to go on them sporadically, if not for research purposes, though I’ll be taking a break for a while (the last guy I went out with asked to double dutch on the bill. WTF? Is this typical guy-looking-for-girlfriend-so-he-goes-on-too-many-dates-and-can’t-cover-every-girl behavior? Look for a blog post on splitting the bill in the near future).

What’s the takeway? Online dating is mostly unromantic and contrived, and I encourage those in our generation to be more unafraid. Why not sign up for a cooking class, or go to a concert with a single friend instead of reaching out to a stranger on the internet? An online first date doesn’t paint an accurate portrait of our dates; instead of falling for the intricacies of their mannerisms – the habits that really give away who someone is – we end up finding out surface information, interview-style. Observe what I can learn within 5 seconds of knowing an online date, versus someone I met out and about:

Online date:
“Hi.”
“Hi, nice to meet you.”
“So what’s good here?”
“The pie, I’ve heard. I really like pie.”

I learned this guy likes pie.

Guy I met at my first bartending job:
“You’re holding the bottle wrong.”
“What?”
“Lemme show you how it’s done.” He puts his hands on my hands and guides them.

I learned this guy is Type A, street-smart, confident, and charming.

Tinder away, folks, but real world guys always win.

“Hi, I’m ****,” he said. My heart raced. I was hooked.

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