Top 10 Tips to Survive Dating in 2018

In my free time, I’ve become a dating tip connoisseur. In fact, it’s almost a hobby at this point. I’ve been soaking up everything I can from Youtube videos, dating coaches and podcasts to learn everything I can to successfully date in the social media/technological age that we’re in. I think it’s a fascinating world and there’s so much content to learn from. In conversation with Sam the other day, she suggested I pull together a shortlist of tips that I’ve found effective so far in my life. Although there are specific do’s and dont’s from what I’ve listed, it’s not so much about the exact wording or protocol about doing things. Instead, it’s more about your mental state and approach to conducting yourself to date in a positive, healthy and self-respectful way.

So here goes, in no particular order, what I’ve found works best for me:

  1. Don’t contact him after the first date. Unless you forgot something or he said to text you when you got home safely, let him make the move. Having him text first when he’s ready will show an indication of his interest level. Too often I’ve gone on dates and focused on gauging MY attraction to them when I realize that’s only half the battle.
  2. Let him take the initiative to make plans. I want a guy that takes initiative and isn’t afraid to setup the plan. If he puts the ball back in your court, just say you’re up for anything and to surprise you. Having him put the effort in is also an indication of his interest level.
  3. Keep the texts short and sweet. It doesn’t need to come across rude, keep it flirty but get to the point. The purpose of texting should be make plans, not to get to know each other via message. As long as you’ve found out the basics about him and there’s somewhat of a common interest, everything about him can be learned on the actual date.
  4. If you’re unsure about the guy, make it a coffee date. It’s short, quicker and not as expensive as dinner or drinks. And if you both find out you like each other, it’s easy to transition into a drinks date after.
  5. Take the time to evaluate your hard yes’s and maybe’s. You don’t need a must have list of 20 physical qualities and characteristics – it’s not realistic, but focus more on the values and morals that you’d want in a person. At the same time keep an open mind on the date, he may surprise you and you may discover certain things you didn’t realize you’d be attracted to.
  6. Do not ever feel like you owe a guy anything after a date, no matter how much he’s spent on you. You are in control of your own body.
  7. If you can and are able, date multiple people casually at the same time. Trust me, I haven’t figure out how to successfully do it yet myself but I am told it is the healthiest approach to dating. By not focusing all your energy (and therefore desperation) on one guy, you can feel more at ease knowing that you have options and can take your time when evaluating for a good partner before you get into anything serious.
  8. If he cancels or comes across flakey, give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to reschedule. If he doesn’t, move on. You’re not a top priority in his mind and you shouldn’t waste your time on someone who sees you as an afterthought.
  9. Self-reflect on your dating goals. What are you looking for? Are your actions and behavior aligning with your goals? Alter as necessary. There have been times where I say I’m looking for a relationship, but in truth, my body seems to yearn for something more casual. Coming to that realization was eye-opening for me and allowed me to tailor my dating style based on what I was looking for at the time.
  10. Above all, respect yourself and those around you. You deserve to have someone treat you well, and you should treat them in kind. If it’s not the right fit, don’t force it just because you’re lonely, it may damage you more in the long run.

That was just a few of the things I’ve learned over the years. It might not be to everyone’s taste but I think there is a fundamental vein of truth that runs throughout them. Let me know your thoughts or if you have any tips to share with our readers as well.

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Mr. Lawyer

This story comes 4 days after Mr. Heteroflexible happened. I know- it was a bit of an extraordinarily busy week.

It was a Saturday and I was visiting my dad’s place outside the 6ix. My older sisters came to visit as well and I told them about some of my struggles as a single yuppie trying to find a man (hookup descriptions were excluded from this story to preserve a bit of my integrity). I showed them my profiles on OkC and Tinder and swiped a couple times to show them how it worked since they were both in their thirties and have never tried it. Later that day, one of my matches messaged and we talked for a bit before meeting for coffee that same day. I wouldn’t normally rush into things like that but one of the key pieces of advice from my sisters was to just act on things while they’re fresh. According to them it’s best not to wait, stall or talk over a period of days because it can waste time and cause unnecessary disappointment (story of my life right there).

Upon first impression, Mr. Lawyer was cocky, smart and a touch strange. He spoke softly and opened our intros with a rant as to why Toronto is not as great a city as we think. I might admit I got a bit defensive at this point because really, how dare he talk about the 6ix in that way? However, over the course of our talking, his personality started to grow on me. He was currently finishing up an MBA/Law degree and heading to Calgary in a few months to work for a top law firm in the gas and oil industry. Impressive, right? Overall, it was an okay date which essentially means I wasn’t repulsed by him by the end of it. I wasn’t particularly attracted to him so I didn’t plan to see him again or turn this into something. Except somehow I did…

Later that night I was out in Toronto with a friend and just as we were heading back from the club, Mr. Lawyer messages me. Turns out he too was in the city and needed a place to crash for the night. Me being the generous and thoughtful person I am (and also pretty drunk at this point), I kindly offered my sofa to him. When I got home with my friend, Mr. Lawyer was waiting by my door. We all stumbled in and he lit a joint for us to share. Thankfully, I was smart enough to only take one hit but even that was enough to make me officially crunk. My friend wasn’t so wise and shortly after, I found her lying on my sofa throwing up quite violently – it wasn’t a pretty sight. Note that this is the same sofa Mr. Lawyer was originally supposed to crash on.

Of course at this point the only logical thing to do after taking care of my friend is to invite Mr. Lawyer to my bed where there is plenty of room for him to rest his head on my queen bed. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Like a bad rom com, we started hooking up. My head was spinning and I’m pretty sure I was barely coherent but we ended up having a pretty good time. The next day he got up and left and we went on our merry way. I was not expecting for that night to happen, but in hindsight, I guess it all just fell into place. I didn’t plan on seeing him again after that, but he continued to text (rather, sext) me for a couple weeks trying to meetup again.

He was persistent and I guess it worked because fast forward about 3 weeks later to yesterday, we finally managed to coordinate for him to come over for some late night fun. We smoked up and I probably took one hit too many because soon after I was talking in circles and his body parts somehow became my body parts. I was delirious to say the least, holding in my laughter and continuously licking my lips as my mouth had suddenly become the Sahara desert. At one point I had to get up and get a bottle of water and laid it next to me. As we continued to hookup, I would take water breaks every couple of minutes to replenish my parched throat. Everything was going relatively well, at least from what I could ascertain in my particular state, until we moved to the part where sex actually happens. Just as we were about to begin, the weed kicked in full force. My head was spinning and I was numb yet somehow alert. Then I said the be all to end all of sexual encounters. You know, the kind of sentence that makes the universal penis wilt and soften. I’ll share it with you and see if you agree. “Is that your finger or dick inside me?” Yup, I said that. My brain was in lalaland and could not compute what was actually entering me. I didn’t mean it in an offensive way but I was so lost and confused. Unfortunately, Mr. Lawyer certainly took it offensively. I think he said something to the effect of “how can you not tell the difference?” It wasn’t even a size matter that I was commenting on but it was too late, I shot the mood and it was only a matter of time before he got dressed and left. My bad.

After that spectacle, I don’t really feel the need to see Mr. Lawyer again. It was fun while it lasted but I can’t imagine him being too excited to see me again either. I even have second embarrassment reliving this experience. Boys and girls I have a lesson for you: do not smoke to excess before hooking up or else you will come off as a belligerent idiot who makes fun of someone’s manhood. Jesus, I hope he doesn’t sue me.

Mr. New York – Part 2

Miranda- If you haven’t read Part 1 yet STOP and read it here first.

So, I’m back. I’ve returned to the 6ix from my 4 day weekend of bliss in NYC.

Except it wasn’t bliss. It was more like a 4 day arranged marriage mixed with mild forms of social torture.

Let me just preface this by saying that regardless of how it turned out, I do not regret buying my ticket to visit Mr. New York. If I hadn’t, I would have never known the outcome and that would not be a feeling I could cope with. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and all that jazz.

Friday evening I arrived at LaGuardia airport only to meet a man that I barely even recognized. Who was he? Could this really be Mr. New York? I would think after talking to the same person constantly for 3 weeks straight, I should have an idea of what he’d be like in person. Nope. Nada. Negative. He was a stranger. Even after a couple minutes meeting him, an uncomfortable feeling started to set in as I realized that I would be spending the next 4 days with this man.

I wasn’t catfished – at least not intentionally. His face and voice were the same, two things I grew to really enjoy. But his mannerisms and physicality was not something I expected. He was truly awkward and dressed as if he were homeless with ill-fitting, holey clothes (not the stylish hipster kind either).

Even though we connected so well through messages, in person, we could not be more different. In retrospect, I realize that I idealized him too much and that even though I received some warning signs about him, I brushed them aside, minimizing the truth in my perception of him. Our ambition, social life, diet, and sense of humour were on opposite spectrums. I say diet like it’s a joke but his was legit insane. Not once during my trip did I see him drink water (you know, like, the liquid of life). Instead, his fluid of choice was APPLE JUICE – gulping straight from the 2L jug. I also don’t think he’d know what to do with a vegetable if you put it in front of him and directed him to a fork. All in all, he was a boy in a man’s body, and viewed life in that self-centric way that most people eventually grow out of.

The strangest thing though, was even though I was slightly heartbroken by the reality that was crashing down on me, I felt myself starting to like the real Mr. New York by the end of my visit. His odd mannerisms and ticks became endearing. I even hooked up with him a few times while together. I don’t know if it was just me forcing myself to make the best of the situation or if given enough time, I could truly be attracted to him. Either way, it was an insane rollercoaster of emotions.

So, how do I feel now knowing what I know? Sad and disappointed. I am still in complete shock how wrong I could have been about a person. I miss my idealized image of Mr. New York; the fantastical person I created in my head. But, that’s not a realistic or healthy way to think. This was an experience, and one definitely for the books (or the blog), and even though Mr. New York was far from my Mr. Perfect, I’m still glad it happened.

#noragrets

Mr. New York – Part 1

Miranda – My heart is pounding. My thoughts are erratic. I can’t sleep and when I finally do, I only dream of him.

Mr. New York. A fitting name, not only because he is from New York but, like the city itself, he makes me feel like anything’s possible. The world’s my oyster and someone incredible is out there for me, even if they live in a different country.

Let’s rewind to about 3 weeks ago when I decided to try my luck on OkCupid again. As you can tell from my previous posts, I haven’t exactly been successful on Tinder so I’m giving OkCupid another shot. After spending a week on there, I have become inundated with messages from slimy men and I’m left feeling quite unenthused with this alternate form of dating. Yes, maybe the messages themselves aren’t as sexually charged but the greasy moustached men aren’t particularly doing it for me either. I was losing hope fast until I received a message from an adorably dimpled guy from New York.

Oddly enough, earlier that day I met up with my ex-boyfriend for lunch, a year after from our breakup (a story for another time), and I finally got the closure I needed from that brief but intense relationship. I was ready to start again, turn the page, wipe the chalkboard clean, and whatever other kitschy line there is to depict a new beginning. So, Mr. New York popped into my life at the perfect moment. You might be wondering why I would even consider responding to someone so far away but my logic was “fuck it – YOLO, he’s cute and I don’t have much to lose at this point.”

2 days later, my phone had become glued to my hands. Our messages are fast and furious and I’m finding myself quickly gaining feelings for Mr. New York. He’s sweet, genuine, and so much fun to talk to. Our conversation flows so smoothly and it quickly has become second nature to wake up and go to sleep thinking about him. I can’t say I’ve ever felt like this with anyone else in such a short period of time too. Mr. New York is what I like to call perfectly imperfect. I’m not delusional and I realize he, like everyone else, has flaws but I choose to embrace them wholly.

By the third day, a Skype “date” session had become inevitable. I remember being nervous but he quickly settled my nerves and we talked for 2 hours before I forced myself to go to the gym. Mr. New York over Skype was what I pictured -dimply smile and all- and I felt extremely comfortable. Upon my return, we decided to Skype for the second time that day and I was relieved to see that he did not cower in fear of my post-gym look: sweaty, hair up, and no makeup. From there, we discussed the topic of visiting each other, and we resolved that it would make most sense for me to come to him in New York due to work schedules.

The next day, after a lot of back and forth deliberation and a healthy dose of persuasion from Mr. New York, I bought my round trip plane ticket (crazy, I know). Doing something so impromptu is very unlike me. For anyone that knows me, I like structure, plans, and thinking things through. But, it feels right and I’m at the prime moment in my life where I can afford to take chances like this.

Today marks 3 weeks since we started talking. Since then, we’ve been messaging 24/7 and Skyping every day, counting down the days till our eventual meet up. With every moment that passes, there is an electric combination of excitement and anxiousness. My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and possibilities but this is a chance that I must take or else I know I’ll regret it. My bag is packed and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I leave tomorrow.

How far would you go for the possibility of love?

Well, seems like I’m about to find out. Peace out 6ix, hello New York City.

Mr. Belt

Miranda – This is the story that started it all for me: online dating, random meetups and an exploration of the Toronto dating pool. Although after hearing it, you’ll probably wonder why it wasn’t my last.

Let’s go back about 4 years ago. I’m young, I’m naïve, and I’m craving love and attention. Not so much has changed since then but that’s beside the point. This is before Tinder came into play so the only options really out there were the standard OkCupid and Plenty of Fish type sites. After a few days on the site and countless creepy messages, I receive a message from a refreshingly decent looking dude. I take a chance and we begin talking for the span of about 3 days before we decide to meet up for drinks. However, I’m ashamed to admit I made a rookie mistake. He was an English major, and boy did it show. I allowed myself to sext with him (NEVER AGAIN!) and things turned heated pretty quick. I’ll give him this: he definitely had a way with words that got you going, a cunning linguist if you get my drift. The reason I say this is a rookie mistake is because if you haven’t yet met the guy, by sexting, you set up all these weird expectations before you even get to decide if you actually like him. Which, judging by the tone of this post so far, it’s pretty clear to see that I later found out that I did not.

I met Mr. Belt at a subway station and my first instinct as a business student was to introduce myself with a handshake. First impression: HOLY SHIT LEAVE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE. He wasn’t kidding when he said he was tall and awkward. Mr. Belt’s handshake was the definition of a soft, limp, fish aka a complete turn off. In fact, the memory of that hand exchange still gives me shivers to this day. I panicked at the idea of spending the next couple hours with him but I pushed the thought away and our date continued.

We ventured our way to the cheapest and grungiest bar in the 6ix (his pick, obviously) and we split a pitcher of what I’m pretty sure was diluted piss. Now, I’m going to skip the rest of the date and fast forward to the end, because that’s how he earned the name Mr. Belt.

We are now waiting at a bus stop and during this time, somehow the subject of tattoos came up. So, naturally I asked him if he had any. Before I continue, keep in mind we are outside on a busy intersection at about 9pm at night and there are definitely more than a few people out and about. Instead of answering my question like a normal human being, Mr. Belt proceeded to respond by unbuckling his belt. Before I had a chance to express my horror, he quickly pulled down his pants to reveal his boxers and bare legs. Apparently, he thought a live demonstration would be the best way to show me his crappy amateur tattoo of an “X” on his right knee. At this point, I’m pretty sure I was still in shock and had not uttered a word until I looked down at his hands and noticed something that made me burst out in nervous, crazed laughter. In his slim, oddly feminine hands were the remnants of his broken belt and belt buckle; a result of his rushed attempt to reveal his ink. Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m pretty sure at that moment, he regretted everything including life itself. He hastily pulled his pants back up, oversized and sagging due to its typical dependence on a belt and I looked away to give him some privacy.

The remainder of the wait for the bus was a blur, and we stood uncomfortably next to each other in quiet torture waiting for this entire situation to end. Eventually, the bus came and we parted ways with what I can only describe as a sad excuse of a hug. Somehow, he had the balls to ask if we would see each other again. Even as I weakly nodded yes, we both knew in my eyes that that was the last thing I would ever want to do.

And so, the story of Mr. Belt was born.

Well, if there’s one lesson to be learned here: invest in quality belts, for you may never know when you need to depend on its quality stitch and superior leather hide.