I’ll Be Back Soon, I Promise…

Drunk-New-YearHappy New Year, everyone! And what says January 1 better than a renewed commitment to finding love through a series of winks, poorly written emails, and slightly drunk bar conversations? It’s New Year’s resolution time, which also means it’s internet dating time, which also ALSO means it’s God-do-I-hate-internet-dating time, which is why you find yourself back on It’s Not a Match. The go-to destination for everyone who wants to murder OKCupid and burn Match.com in a fire. I’ve been getting so many emails and comments from you all asking where I’ve gone that I had to come back and say, “Hello.” And then quickly disappear back into the night. Kinda like Batman, except flabbier and without the weirdo voice.

So anyway, yeah, I’ve been gone a long while. I’m very sorry, but I do honestly intend to return soon. I’ve landed a job writing for the television, and it has taken up a lot of my blogging time. Well, all of my blogging time, as well as my staring out the window at nothing time, and my thinking of funny nicknames for my cat time. But the season is winding up in another month, and I hope I’ll be able to return to It’s Not a Match soon after and offer my “wit and wisdom” every now and again. (Please note: use of quotation marks is meant to imply deceit. There will be neither any wit nor wisdom ever again. I’m out of both.) So please, read the old stuff-it’s still PURE GENIUS. And check out my book. And watch The Neighbors on ABC. I’ll back soon, and I promise, I’ll reply to all my emails too. Eventually.

Goodnight, good luck, and good dating. Say hi to the love of your life for me.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

The Plight of the Nice Guy

"Hi! I'm nice!"

“Hi! I’m nice!”

I’ve been wanting to write about nice guys for a while. I recently received, because I am an important and influential person, an interview request on the topic of nice guys, and why they’re so hard to date. (Just how important and influential am I? The requesting magazine was based in Canada, and according to the Internet, ceased existing two years ago. Yippee!) The question that I was asked to discuss was this: “Why are nice guys the worst?” And when I heard it I thought, “Wait, they are?” Because truthfully, I’m a nice guy, and I was surprised to learn that all along I have secretly been the worst.

I mean, I’m the worst for plenty of other reasons. I horde plastic silverware and rarely pay my cable bill on time, but niceness never seemed like my problem. However, I did some googling, and it seems that many people agree––nice guys can be a real pain in the ass. Maybe we’re too cloying, or our niceness sets expectations of niceness in return, and that can be burdensome, especially if the nice guy is a fatty or has b.o. or wants to murder you or something. Honestly, I didn’t really understand the female argument on this one, so I needed more info. Because in my mind, you have to be pretty friggin’ entitled to complain about excessively kind suitors. And then more info arrived in my inbox,  from a hilarious reader, Kristin Klauder. Here we go…

There are really some seriously nice and thoughtful guys out there and the girls who find their quirkiness cute and endearing will be very happy one day…unfortunately I’m not one of them. My latest gentleman caller was actually a blind date set up from a friend. As first dates go, it was pretty successful. Good conversation, some laughs yada yada yada. He even walked me to my car where I decided it was a good enough date to qualify for the straight on hug. However, he got a little greedy and went back in for another one so I settled on the one arm side hug which is no good because it leaves one arm just hanging there and I always feel it needs a place to land. That’s when I found myself patting his stomach. Ya know the way you do to grandfatherly type men. Awkward moment #1 goes to Me.


“I love you so hard.”

(I’m not sure what hurts more. That one has to earn a “straight-on hug,” which presumably is the thrilling moment of sexual embrace where two peoples’ genitals touch through at least four layers of clothing, or that going in for a second hug denotes greed. Really? When did hugs become such a prize? You can be greedy for kisses, or greedy for cash, or greedy for Baby Ruth candy bars, but greedy for hugs? I think that’s just a poor guy trying to fill some post-date awkwardness. But Kristin is self-effacing and made me laugh, so I remain on her side.)

It didn’t scare him away though, because after the standard three day wait period I get the second date phone call. As the phone call comes to an end, he says “I’ll pick you up at 7”. PICK ME UP!?!? I know what you’re thinking.. “Awww how sweet!” And I would typically agree with you because I’m an old fashioned gal, but now I have to handle the inevitable drop off. Will he walk me to the door so then I feel obligated to let him in? What if I don’t want to let him in, will he try his luck for a goodbye kiss??….Ahhhhh!! Then I hear myself say, “Sure, sounds good!” Ughhhh! Well it gets worse…I asked where we were going and I hear three fateful words that no man should ever say to a girl when you are planning the SECOND date…”It’s a surprise!!” Men: yes I’m talking to you…do you realize what simple words can do to a woman? We analyze everything, but when you say “surprise” we go into overdrive! “What do I wear, where are we going, do I need a getaway plan, is he kidnapping me and taking me across the border!?!?!?” In fact that last thought did come up in my freak out session the next morning with the girls at work…what can I say I have an active imagination, just ask my mother!



(I have only planned one surprise date in my life, and it was not on an internet date. Or blind date. Two words that should never be mixed are “internet” and “surprise.” Unless they are in the sentence, “Surprise! You’ve been elected King of Internet!” That would be worthwhile.)

After calming down and accepting the fact that I most likely wouldn’t be bound and gagged and end up in Mexico, I give this very brave guy my address. At 6:59 I get the knock on the door. I open it just enough to fit my body out sideways so he doesn’t get the impression he can walk in and give him my dazzling smile as I squeeze through and slam it shut. He very sweetly says how wonderful I look that night and I should tell you I just don’t take compliments well. I can’t just say “Thank you!” like a normal person, I feel I have to reciprocate. So I decide to say “Thanks, you’re looking pretty schnazzy yourself.” I said that…I really did. Awkward count: Me 2 Date 0.

(Isn’t Kristin growing on you, guys? She’s really growing on me.)

Well, as it turns out this very sweet guy listened to me on the first date and took me to the local minor league hockey game! See I told you he was nice! Now I’ll preface this next part by saying I pretty much knew I wasn’t interested in much more than friendship with this guy, but we did have fun the first time so I didn’t see how a second date could hurt. Well, my little friend didn’t exactly feel the same way. He kept trying to chat me up while I was trying to watch the fights and the ramming up against the walls and let’s be honest checking out the really cute hockey players. So as I’m leaning forward intensely scoping out these hot men…uhh watching the game…I feel a hand touch my back. Hmm that’s odd. Then that hand starts going up and down, up and down. I cringe and move further to my left to try and get out of the back rubbing zone. It stops. Alright! Five minutes later, that darn hand finds its landing area again. Now most women will understand my conundrum…if I move backwards to prevent my back from being an open target I’ve invited him to put his arm around my shoulder and I can’t move further away because those darn tight stadium seats are so tight the fat sweaty guy next to me will think it’s an invitation!

See how creepy the arm on the shoulder can be?

See how creepy the arm on the shoulder can be?

So I go for the enthusiastic fan move and jump to my feet to cheer!! GO TEAM! Well that was a temporary fix because eventually I had to sit back down and of course when I do that hand finds its home again. I then turn to mentally chanting “Please stop touching me, please stop touching me!” When that didn’t work, I caught a lucky break and was saved by predictable man behavior…he reaches for his beer. I shoot back so fast and ram my back right up against that chair I think I pulled a muscle. But that hand is so persistent that it finds my knee! The rubbing continues, up and down up and down. I move to the left, I move to the right it’s like we’re having our own hockey game but I’m the goaly and can’t stop that stupid puck from finding the inside of the net! Nothing I do throws this guy off, by the end of the game my whole back is to him and he’s still trying to find a way to touch me. If that isn’t a turned off sign I don’t know what is!

I had already agreed to getting a bite to eat after, so I couldn’t escape just yet. The game of cat and mouse starts again as we’re walking to the restaurant and I find myself running into bushes and lamp posts to avoid him trying to hold my hand! However, as we go into the restaurant I hear someone yell my name!  There sits my two bosses from work and a colleague. I’VE BEEN SAVED! But wait, I still have to get through dinner and, oh yeah, I have to find an alternative ride home because I got chivalrously picked up remember! Once dinner ends I say to him that I feel the need to put in some face time with the boss and will find another way home, but thank you for a wonderful evening. While I was expecting to see him depart, he just stood there silently. If I don’t like compliments, I really don’t like awkward silence. It has to be filled!! So I open my big fat mouth and say “You’re welcome to join us”. And sure enough, he accepts! So there we are my coworkers, bosses, my awkward date and me…one big happy family.

Actual photo

Actual photo

No need to go into the details of the rest of the evening as my behavior was not my finest. I simply remember diverting my attention to others in the group until my poor clueless date decides to leave on his own. I did hear from him again asking me out on a THIRD date, but I finally had to break it to the guy that while he has redeeming qualities they are just not for me and we should remain friends. He replies “Great, I feel the same way.” Huh????

So fellow single male friends out there, take this one piece of womanly advice from this experience. When a woman turns her back to you, she’s not asking for a massage in the middle of 7,000 other people…SHE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!

(And that’s all I need to know about the nice guy argument. Kristin didn’t dislike this guy for being nice, she disliked him for being, well, him. She just wasn’t into him. So when he did the things that every man would do on a second date, that you really SHOULD do on a second date to express your interest, they creeped her out. Because she didn’t like him–which is totally fine and totally within her rights to do. But then why does she, and many other women, rope nice guys into it? Well, because nice guys implicitly make you feel guilty. They treat you well, then you feel like a jerk for not liking them, and then translate that into feeling annoyed at the nice guy for putting all his expectations of niceness on her. Well, that, and his sweaty hands. So really, it’s not about nice guys at all, it’s just about regular ol’ dating. And now I feel marginally better about humanity. Thanks, Kristin!)

Got your own feelings about nice guys, or stories of dating horror? Email me at itsnotamatch@gmail.com!

Posted in Reader Submissions | 37 Comments

Guess What? Your Dating Profile is Breaking the Law!

You. Soon.

You. Soon.

What’s up, soon-to-be convicted felons? It turns out that you and I (but mostly you) are criminals, as it is apparently illegal to lie in your dating profile. A law written in…wait for it…1984 makes it a federal offense to break any website’s terms of service. Which means that any time you forget to buy an item you won on eBay, or use your friend’s Netflix streaming account without paying, or use MY Netflix streaming account without paying, you can totally be thrown in the clink. And yes, that is both shocking, and a fantastic premise for an Orange is The New Black spinoff. But how does it apply to internet dating? Well, it turns out they have terms of service agreements, just like everyone else.

Some rules that come along with internet dating are not a surprise. Like, you’re not allowed to copy and paste their entire website onto your website and pretend that it’s your own special creation. (But if you did, I’d recommend naming the site OKShmupid or Weeeeee!Harmony.) Nor are you permitted to stalk your dates, steal their private info, or use their credit card numbers to buy a jet ski. There are, however, a few stipulations that you may not be aware of, and hey, guess what: they could result in 100% genuine jail time! Like…bread and water, shanked in the shower, singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot…the whole deal.

Here are some codes of conduct that may surprise you. First, on OKCupid…

Sorry, baby. Too young.

Sorry, baby. Too young.

Every User Must Be An Adult, 18 Years or Older: This gets ignored constantly. I’ve had several women message me who admitted they were under 18. Makes sense, as my profile is all about hanging with my cat, watching Golden Girls reruns, and listening to Sammy Davis Jr––so I can see why the Millenials are so turned on. Also, judging by the amount of emails I’ve seen saying “I know we haven’t met, but wanna bang” and “Have XXX pics to send?,” I’m gonna argue that pretty much no one dating online is an adult, regardless of their age.

Users Info Must be Used in a Lawful and RESPONSIBLE Manner: Is it “responsible” to use the information in a woman’s profile to cyberstalk her on Facebook to find out if she only takes pictures with her dog because he’s her best friend, or because she’s blind and it’s her seeing eye dog? I’m asking for a friend.

Users Agree to Create Only One Unique Profile: I don’t even use OkCupid for dating anymore and even I have like four active profiles. And, as I’ve recently seen profiles for men dressed as horses, adorable little kitty cats, and someone who looks a lot like Barbara Bush, I have a feeling I’m not the only one messing around with some extra pages. Hope the outfit plays over big in prison, Horseman. Because that’s where you’re headed…

Your Use of the Website Shall be for Bona Fide Relationship-Seeking Purposes: Dear every guy under 35 who’s using online dating strictly to get laid, have fun in jail. Also, every woman who’s on OkCupid just to feel like they’re working on their love life even though they have no time or interest in being in a relationship, we’ll see you there too.

"What you in for?" "Internet dating."

“What you in for?” “Internet dating.”

In Digital Interactions with Other Users, You Agree to Conduct Yourself Civilly and Respectfully: Well, now we’re all screwed. Unless “Thanks for writing me non-stop for two weeks then disappearing into thin air, you total freak show!” is a both civil and respectful in a way I don’t realize.

You Agree that You Shall Not Under any Circumstances Harass or Make Mischief Against Any Other User of the Website. I’m emailing someone I’ve never met or even seen with my own eyes in the hopes that they will let me kiss their mouths, do sex to their body, and if all goes well, get married. But most likely, just the first two. Isn’t that by definition mischievous? Let me know now, so I can start saving up my bail money.

So that’s enough for life sentences for most of us, but just in case you’re a double dipper, here’s a few of Match’s rules and regulations that could get you in trouble. Let’s start out with a biggee

You Must Be Single or Separated From Your Spouse to Register as a Member of Match.com. Uh oh. Bad news, creepy guy in your 40’s who’s using Match to meet unsuspecting girls in their 20’s. Looks like that marriage that you’re still totally a part of is gonna result in you going to the big house. Bummer. Also, all of you “well, I’m seeing someone, but I wanted to keep my options open, so I thought I’d throw up a profile!” jerkwads. Say “Hi” to the group showers for me!

mailmanYou Will Not Post or Transmit any Defamatory, Inaccurate, Abusive, Obscene, Profane, Offensive, Sexually Oriented, Threatening, Harassing, Racially Offensive, or Illegal Material. A lady friend of mine used to get a weekly email from what appeared to be a rather reserved, 50 year-old African American mailman. It said “I want to fuck you with my big black cock,” which I believe hits abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, sexually oriented, harassing, and racially offensive all in one message. In addition, judging by the picture he somehow managed to include in the email, the word “big” was more than a little inaccurate as well. Eight infractions in only ten words. Pretty impressive stuff.

Users are Prohibited From Sending Unsolicited Mass Mailings: Wait a second. There’s no way to successfully internet date without sending unsolicited mass mailings. I call entrapment!

You Will Not “Stalk” or Otherwise Harass Any Person: Crap. Does sending a second email to someone who hasn’t responded count as harrasment? If so…I’ve led you all into a life of crime. I’m sorry. Terribly, terribly sorry.

Posted in Internet Dating is Weird | 11 Comments

My First And Last Tinder Date

Tinder. Where everyone is hot, and potentially on heroin.

Tinder. Where everyone is hot, and looks kinda like they’re on heroin.

For It’s Not a Match’s second installment of Crowd Sourced Insanity, we have a piece from loyal reader Mikinzie Stuart, who runs her own blog about dating and general musings over at A Typical Redhead. Mikinzie is one of the proud and daring few who have tried to date via Tinder, the internet’s newest and creepiest romance phenomenon. I wrote about it a few months ago here, but because I am both not longer looking for my mate and no longer looking potential insanity, I have not tried the service. Mikinzie has, and these were her results. I’ll chime in here and there, because I can’t help myself…

Here’s Mikinzie…

“Why don’t you try Tinder?” asked my gay co-worker. “A few of my girlfriends are doing it. A couple of them have even met some decent guys!”

That’s the sort of thing that happens on a slow Friday at the office, especially after I‘ve just disabled my OkCupid account for the fifth time. We’d had both had our share of OkCupid dates, gay co-worker and I, and enjoyed swapping stories over the past year, but I had finally decided to give “The Cu” a rest after an attempt at a relationship ended in flames. Not actual flames, but really, that wouldn’t have made it any worse. But like the virus Online Dating is, once you get rid of one service, there’s another one waiting to infect your free time. So I threw caution to the wind, downloaded the Tinder app, connected my Facebook account and we were off to the races.

UrNextMan69, probably.

UrNextMan69, probably.

What makes Tinder different from other online dating services is its simplicity. There’s no website to sign into, no long-winded profile where you have to charm the opposite sex with your wit and good taste in movies, no emails saying you got a five-star rating from UrNextMan69. Could this finally be a no-hassle way to meet a potential match online?

As I hung out at my apartment before my plans that evening, I decided to kill time flipping through the male faces in my area. That’s when I got a notification that Bill*, 26, matched with me and was free to “seduce away…” via Tinder’s version of IM (*name has been changed for obvious reasons). Not one to be shy about sending the first message (ain’t nobody got time for that!), I saw Bill had “liked” LCD Soundsystem and asked him if he had seen their documentary last summer. As most of my potential love interests begin, we got to talking about music and before you know it he was asking me when I was free that week.

“Wow, that was so much easier than weeks and weeks of messages!” I thought. Isn’t Tinder the best?!

He suggested a trendy europub in Chicago with dim lighting and shared plates. We were already off to a good start. (B HereChicks love shared plates. Why is that? Why can’t you just order what you want to be on your plate, I’ll order what I want to be on mine, and then our plates can remain autonomous? Sound good? I want my own plate, regardless of how big it is!)

D-day arrived and I was more nervous than usual. I even considered cancelling. Was it because I virtually knew nothing about this person? Or because the Google search I ran on him revealed little? Or was it because he was so quick to ask me out and I didn’t get much of a chance to feel out whether I actually, you know, liked him? I ignored my gut and reassured myself that it would be fine. This wasn’t my first Online Dating rodeo. Isn’t Tinder the best?!

Bill, probably

Bill, probably

When we met, Bill was shorter than I had hoped. And I had made the mistake of wearing boots with a chunky heel (one of the ways the ‘no profile’ aspect falls short. No pun intended.) (Fuck that Mikinzie! On It’s Not a Match all our puns are intended!), but I didn’t let my picky preferences put me off. “Love comes in many heights,” I reminded myself. (I’m not so sure about that. As my tall lady readers often tell me, love is pretty rarely under 5’4″.)

We ordered a few overpriced cocktails and stood by the bar while we waited for our table. There wasn’t instant chemistry, but he seemed nice enough despite an air of pretension:

Me: I heard the burger here is really good! (Very accurate exclamation point. I feel like every sentence I say on a first internet date involves an exclamation point, just to make sure everyone’s having a good time. “Hi!” “Did you run into any traffic on the way here?!” “My name’s Brian!” “Cats!” “I have herpes!”)

Him: Yeah, it was named #1 in the nation by Bon Appetite, but I’ve had better…

Me: Yeah, I really love LCD Soundsystem. I’m sad I never got to see them live.

Him: I mean, I high-fived James Murphy at Pitchfork, but yeah, that sucks for you.

However, I chalked it up to nerves and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Who knows? Maybe he could be ‘The One.’ Or perhaps ‘The One For Now,’ which in all honesty, isn’t that bad of a gig either at this point.

After the first date routine of ordering, eating, and check signing, we headed outside.

“So, what’s the plan now?” I asked.

Welllllllll, we could bar hop around here… or we go back to my place and have a drink on my balcony,” he said.

I had been on enough online dates to know what that meant. He may as well have ended the sentence with ‘…so we can listen to Drake and play naked Twister.’ (Is Drake what people listen to hook up to now? God, I’m so old. I just learned who Taylor Swift was. How about Roxette? Anyone like making out to Roxette nowadays?)

Good for one free ass.

Good for one free ass.

Granted, he did just pay for my $15 gourmet burger. But I wasn’t even three drinks in yet and he thinks he can GET DAT ASS? Call me old-fashioned, but that was the only “meat” I was interested in sharing with him that night. So…maybe Tinder isn’t great.

We grabbed a drink at an overpriced rooftop bar and then I bailed claiming I had yoga class the next morning while covertly texting an old OkCupid flame when he wasn’t looking.

As I lay in bed alone that night, I picked up my phone and deleted the Tinder app.

Here’s the three main reasons it didn’t work for me:

1) There’s not enough information to establish common ground. As tedious and verbose as profiles and messages can be, they give you the advantage of learning something about that person before you go on a date with them. Or at the very least, something you can remember to bring up in conversation later so you’re not stuck answering questions about which celebrity would play you in a movie about your life.

2) The minimal amount of required effort makes the other person’s intentions unclear. The more time and energy you put into something, the more likely you are to take it seriously. While I can’t say there aren’t guys just looking for a hookup on OkCupid (there are, I’ve dated them), my Tinder date made it very obvious what kind of fun he was looking to have that night. While I’m thankful to have dodged that bullet, I think the simplicity of the app makes it easy to forget that these are real people with real feelings. Oh, and to have a little more tact if you’re trying to get someone to sleep with you on the first date.

3) I have yet to hear of someone who’s been in a monogamous, long-term relationship with someone they met on Tinder. Just sayin’.

For more from Mikinzie, follow her @Mikinzie. To submit your own story, send it hither: itsnotamatch@gmail.com

Posted in Reader Submissions | 13 Comments

The Man Who Licked His Pickle



The following is the first reader submission we’re running on Not a Match. Hmmm, “reader submission” sounds kinda stuffy. Like the sort of thing you’d hear during an NPR pledge drive. Crowd Sourcing is popular nowadays. How about this? Crowd Sourced Insanity. This story, from reader Lori Sebulski, is the first edition of INaM’s Campaign of Crowd Sourced Insanity. And with a title like ‘The Man Who Licked His Pickle,’ believe me, the description is well earned.

Now here’s Lori…

I had a great first date with Chad. He actually read my online dating profile (yeah, people really READ those), noticed that I liked hockey and invited me to a minor league game downtown. We met at the entrance to the arena and the night was perfect. We had a lot to talk about and the silences weren’t awkward. We shared a soft drink, had some popcorn and waited for a fight since that is clearly the best part of hockey. At the end of the date, he walked me to my car, gave me a hug goodbye and asked when he could see me again. We set up a second date right then and there for the following Friday night. I was feeling really good about Chad.

Fred Fuddrucker

Fred Fuddrucker

The following Friday, we decided that I would meet him at a restaurant named Houlihan’s for dinner. (OK, B stepping in here, because I have no self control. First rule of dinner dates: If the name of the restaurant sounds like the last name of an alcoholic, don’t go there on a date. If you met a dude named Billy Houlihan, you’d assume he was a boozehound. Same with Fred Fuddrucker, Oliver Applebee and Tommy Bennigan. Also, Greg Burger King. Especially Greg Burger King. So don’t go to their restaurants.) We ordered our dinners and talked while we waited for our food to arrive. The conversation wasn’t as easy as it had been on our first date but I chalked it up to higher than usual expectations and nerves. I had ordered a chicken sandwich and french fries and he ordered a hamburger and french fries. Within a few minutes, our dinners arrived and that is when the date took a turn for the worst. (Love the cliffhanger. Couldn’t have written it better myself…)

We began to eat our dinners and Chad picked up his hamburger and licked it around the edges of the entire bun. I thought it was a little odd but maybe he just didn’t like when the ketchup was running off? (Yeah, ketchup running off. That was the problem.) But then he picked up a french fry and proceeded to stick his tongue all the way out and lick it from top to bottom. And moan. Yeah, moan. Like a low purr. His eyes were closed, he was licking his food, and he was moaning. Chad never actually looked directly at me unless he was between bites (licks), but would try to carry on a conversation with me like it was a super normal date. With someone who was having mouth sex with his food. At this point, I started to look around at the surrounding tables to see if anyone else was noticing the nightmare that was happening. They didn’t. He continued to do this with every bite of his sandwich and every single fry he ate.

Registered sex offender.

Registered sex offender.

To be honest, I was starting to feel a little nauseous. And then it got worse. (Not possible.) He picked up the pickle spear that was on his plate, stuck his tongue out and proceeded to lick the pickle from top to bottom. With more moaning.  He then moved it in and out of his mouth like he was giving it a blow job. (I was wrong. That’s totally worse.) Again, I looked around the restaurant and nobody else seemed to be witnessing the spectacle that was my date.

At this moment, I began to analyze. Was this an attempt to show me what he could do to me with his tongue? Why was he moaning? Did he think that it was turning me on? If he was exhibiting this type of behavior on a second date, what was ahead? Does he eat like this on all of his dates or just with friends and family? Whatever his reason was, it was definitely NOT hot.

He asked me if I wanted to get a drink after dinner and I feigned sickness for the first and only time ever on a date. As soon as I arrived at my car, I called my sister and told her what had happened. We laughed so hard we cried and from that moment on, he has been known as the Pickle Licker. This date occurred 10 years ago, the story has been told a hundred times and yet, it is still hilarious every single time I tell it.

The Pickle Licker is a legend.

And let his legend live on. Thanks, Lori, you’ve gotten us off to a great start. I have several other amazing Crowd Sourced Disasters from you guys in the works, but can definitely use more. Been out with a Pickle Licker (or Anything Licker) of your own? Have a perspective on internet dating that I haven’t covered or a topic I can’t touch? Email me at ItsNotaMatch@gmail.com. For more from Lori, follow her on Twitter:  @lasebulski.

Posted in Reader Submissions | 6 Comments

Interested in Writing for It’s Not a Match? Now’s Your Chance…

REJOICE! Now you too can blog!

REJOICE! Now you too can blog!

OK, gang, so here’s the deal. The good news is that the book has sold really well, and is continuing to do so. If you’re wondering how to celebrate this admittedly shocking development, can I recommend re-buying the book? It makes a great gift, and I personally guarantee that everyone who buys My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters a second time will meet the love of their life in under six months. If you don’t, I will pretend to be the love of your life. Or…my cat will be the love of your life. If you wipe tuna fish on your face, he will lick it off and everything. It’s very romantic.

The further good news is that I’ve just started a job writing for television, so blogging time has become scarce. And honestly, that bums me out. My original vision for INaM was two to three posts a week, written solely by me, filled with hilarious stories and sage, buddha-like advice. And for awhile, I achieved that couch-based, income-free nirvana, and it was bliss. But bigger dreams have come a-calling, so I’m gonna have to alter that vision a bit to keep Not a Match alive. I suppose I could just close up shop and bid you all goodbye, but the community that’s built up around the site, and all the great questions and emails and support I get from you guys is too great to give up. And I love trying to help people with my demented little version of advice. So I’m gonna be selfish and keep Not a Match going. But that means I’ll need a little help from you…

Aaron Sorkin, smiling at the news that we are now taking submissions.

Aaron Sorkin, smiling at the news that we are now taking submissions.

Over the years many of you have asked about contributing to the site, and writing stories in your own words. Up until now I’ve resisted, because I’ve wanted Not a Match to be in one united voice, and use it to stretch my own writing muscles. But now the time has come to change those rules. So if you have a piece of writing about internet dating or dating in general that you think would be right for site, please send it to me at itsnotamatch@gmail.com. I’m particularly interested in topics that I haven’t discussed before, and viewpoints that I can’t easily get to myself. Women, older folks, younger folks, religious folks, druggy folks, monsters, centaurs, invisible men, dragons, Stephen Baldwin: all are welcome. Just be new, be specific, be original, and be fun. Ideally I’d love to run a combination of new stuff and my own writing in the coming months, and hopefully it will give the site more depth than ever before. Not just what it’s like to internet date when you’re a weirdo who loves the Golden Girls and peanut butter and jelly, but what it’s like for all of you too. If it works, I think it could be really cool.

So please, send your stories, ideas, opinions, and experiences. I promise I’ll read and respond to them all, and would love to possibly include some of them in another book down the road. So show me what you got, readers. Tell me about the times you realized It’s Not a Match.

That email again is ItsNotaMatch@gmail.com

P.S. I was joking about Stephen Baldwin. Please, Stephen. Stop emailing. It’s getting sad.

17th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala - Arrivals

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What a Normal Person Would Do On ‘The Bachelorette’

Who farted?

Who farted?

Of all the reality franchises, it’s difficult to compete with The Bachelor and Bachelorette when it comes to idiocy. I mean, imagine you’re in a bar and the hostess walks up to you and says, “I know you’re enjoying your drinks, but I wanted to let you know that happening right nowin the corner, is.a DATE! Wanna go see?!” You’d laugh uncomfortably, because that’s uncomfortable, then look over because she kinda seems unbalanced and you don’t want to set her off. “Really? It’s just a date. Plusthose two?” you ask. She nods hysterically. “They’re both quite attractive,” you offer, “but I don’t know, don’t they look kindaboring?” “They sure do!” she squeals. “This is gonna be amazing! Now sit here and watch for the next two hours. Also, there will be advertisements. For detergent and garbage bags and stuff. Have fun!” That’s ridiculous, right? But for some reason, every summer millions of Americans do the exact same thing from their living rooms when The Bachelorette appears. They turn on the TV and watch two random hot people eat dinner and make small talk. I had no idea why, until I started watching myself.

OK, that might be an exaggeration. I still don’t entirely understand why The Bachelor shows are such a hit. But I have this site, so I figured it was about time I check out the OTHER successful dating franchise ever, and was amazed at what I discovered. The show isexceptionally boring. Which is not surprising, as it’s built around the romantic attempts and adventures of 30 Biff Lomans awkwardly flirting with a stranger. The show should be called “Walking Haircuts Attempt To Get Laid, Roses Involved For Some Unknown Reason,” but that would ruin the romance of it all. Because at every moment, The Bachelorette eagerly reminds us that what’s unfolding is actually the greatest love story ever told, two people defying all odds to find the love of their life. Which would be entirely true if the couple ever actually fell in love. But the reality of Reality is that they usually break up soon after the cameras stop rolling. Even with all this nonsense, however, I have found myself transfixed by The Bachelorette. It’s like the minute everyone steps on set, their brains turn to goo. They make insane decisions, say preposterous things, and generally behave like monkeys. But not the smart monkeys who can drive cars and do sign language. The monkeys who throw their poop. Everyone on The Bachelorette acts like a monkey who throws his poop.

"I want my friggin' rose!"

“I want my friggin’ rose!”

Which is why, if I — or any sane person — were on the show, we’d have to go in the other direction. Each season begins with around 25 contestants, all of whom act like morons. So if you have any hope of separating yourself from the Captain Abmericas, your only choice is to be normal, honest, and say what’s genuinely on your mind. Here are some suggestions:

1. Yell “So, Who Else Heard that Hot Tubs Are a Breeding Ground For Infection?” It took Desiree an entire episode and a half before she got one of her beaus in the hot tub, and from what I understand that might be the longest drought in series history. But here’s the thing about hot tubs: they’re really hot. And then you start sweating, and you’re supposed to make out, but lord is it warm. And you can just feel the bacteria multiplying around you. The suitor I would want to be would point that out, loudly. Then, ideally, pull up a PowerPoint. Just to make sure everyone was aware of the dangers of tubbing.

2. Not Go Absurdly Overboard with My Affections: The Bachelorette is the Dominos of personal intimacy: everyone falls in love in 30 minutes or less. This season a guy said “Wow, I might have just met my wife!” halfway through the first episode. Sorry fella, but unless you’re talking about the chick in craft services, I think you missed the mark. Were I on the show, I would confidently stare into the camera and declare, “Yeah, she seems fine. I don’t know. I just met her. She smelled like peaches, which was cool. What’s her name again?”

The perfect Bachelorette cocktail

The perfect Bachelorette cocktail

3. Drink Shirley Temples: You know why guys are constantly doing insane stuff on these shows? Because they’re pouring free drinks down their gullet every chance they get. I’d be weird too if I had six whiskeys in three hours. Come to think of it, Shirley Temples might be a little strong for me. Better stick to straight ginger ale. Actually, make that water. No ice.

4. Only Laugh at Things That Are Funny: So far this season, the following sentences have resulted in hysterical laughter: “Are we having fun yet?”, “I’ve never had so much fun!”, “Hi!”, “Is that a band?” as well as the mere appearance of a soccer ball. A real relationship cannot be built on fake laughter! I think!

5. Only Kiss People Once I Know Their Last Name. Would drive the show to a halt.

6. Only Kiss People if They’ve Kissed No One Else In the Last 24 Hours. Same as above. Everyone on these shows is a loosey goosey.

7. Announce “You Know, My Life is Remarkably Empty of Tragedy!”: The second a suitor sits down in private with Desiree the violins start playing, because a sob story is a comin’. “You know, I actually have a son from a previous relationship.” “I got into a car accident once. Wanna see pictures?” “Guess what? I have diabetes!” One guy actually gave her the sobriety coin his mom earned after being six months sober. Which I’m sure is totally what the poor lady had in mind when she gave it to her son. “Here Timmy, give this to some broad you’ve known for half an hour!” If you or I were on the show, we’d play it cool and dignified. Unless she asked to see pictures of our cat, but come on, we’re not made of stone!

8. Have Something To Say: If there is a central flaw at the heart of the Bachelorette diamond, it is this: getting to know someone is incredibly boring. A four hour date, no matter how filled with candlelight dinners and extravagant helicopter rides, is tedious as hell if no one has anything to say. “This is crazy!” and “What’s gonna happen next?” and “Could it get any better than this?” is the best these beaus can muster. It’s a wonder these evenings don’t lead to more marriages, with such scintillating personal exchanges. We’d be better, you and I. We’d have jokes prepared. Observations. Opinions on life. And, if worse comes to worst, one simple statement that could unite any couple in such a situation: “Isn’t this show a little bit deranged?”

We all did. We all just farted.

We all did. We all just farted.

Posted in Internet Dating is Weird | 3 Comments

Why Do Daters Pull The Fade Out?

The amazing disappearing man.

The amazing disappearing man.

We’ve all had it happen at least once. You’re dating someone and things seem to be moving at a perfectly nice clip. You see each other once a week or so, hooking up here and there, and generally having an enjoyable time of things. (Incidentally, I never hook up here and there, unless here and there are both the bedroom, with the lights off, on Saturday night at exactly 11:21.) You and your mate aren’t getting engaged any time soon, but you do text each other a lot, and if that’s not commitment, I don’t know what it is. Then all of a sudden, without warning, the person disappears. No, “Hey, I‘m going out of town for a while,” or “I don’t really think this is working out,” or “There’s a guy in the other room with a knife and I’m pretty sure he’ll kill me, so…adios.” They just fade out. All communication stops, and you’re left to figure out where they went. Were they kidnapped? Did they get eaten by a bear? Or were they just too wussy to end things with actual human language? Or is it something else entirely?

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about the fade out. Here’s one from loyal reader Anna…

This keeps happening to me: I meet a guy OKC who’s good looking, sweet, and all around good company. So, this guy will continue to ask me out as well as text/call in between our dates, and we’ll go on 6-7 dates over the course of about a couple of months, and then suddenly he will just stop talking to me. I show interest but do not act clingy or super attached. Can you please answer me, from a man’s point of view, why after about a month or two the guy will just stop talking to me?

Bonetown International

Bonetown International

I will, Anna, but I fear you won’t like it, because not only is it infuriating, it’s also a cliche: he’s just not that into you. From what I can tell, men do this is A LOT. Like more often than they do anything else. If they brush their teeth twice a day, they fade out at least four. At first, because I’m a neanderthal, I assume this was tied to sex. Either the guys had gotten sex and felt they were ready to move on, or it seemed like sex was going to be too difficult to acquire, so they decided to jump to greener (easier) pastures. But apparently that’s not the case. After talking to more women, it’s clear that will fade out after a few emails, a handful of dates, or several weeks of visits to Bonetown International Airport. They really don’t care. Either they’ve lost interest in you or developed greater interest in someone else, and, they figure, why waste everyone’s time with genuine adult communication? Let’s just stop talking and sooner or later the message will sink in.

But here’s my question: is this really so bad? What would you rather do, hear someone tell you they’re not that into you, or figure it out after five consecutive nights without receiving a text? Because during those nights you can do whatever you want. Watch Shark Tank. Bake cookies. Solve crimes with your wise but smart-alecky cat detective Inspector Whiskerton. You’re getting dumped either way. Either via uncomfortable conversation, or slow realization after you spend a week having fun elsewhere. I don’t know about you, but I’m picking Whiskerton all the way. My female readers seem to feel this approach lacks sufficient respect (Which they would never say if they met the Inspector. He takes no guff from nobody), but what exactly does respect you? It’s a lovely concept, but it’s entirely intangible. Doesn’t the fade out allow everyone a more peaceful, dignified ending than they’d be getting otherwise? It’s like the Dr. Kevorkian of breakup techniques, right?

While I don’t think I’ve ever personally done the fade out, I talked to readers, FEMALE readers, who vouch for its value. Here’s Grace:

Kid never faded on the fade.

Kid never faded on the fade.

I see fade outs as a really gentle way of telling someone “hey, I’m not wild about you” without having to say it, and then be faced with the follow-up question of “Why?” I always explicitly tell the people I can stand “no thanks,” but if it’s a really nice person and I like them but I know, like KNOW, that they don’t blow my socks off, it’s easier to fade out because I don’t exactly know why I’m not 100% into them. I just know they’re not my guy. And trying to explain that to someone is a pretty tricky thing to do. I mean, what do you say? “I like you as much as I’m going to, and I want to look for something else.” Yeah, that’s gonna feel great.

See! I can’t be a total asshole if women agree with me, right? But Grace has more surprises for us.

The fade out is in no way gendered behavior. In fact, I’ve done it way more than guys have done it to me; and it has NOTHING to do with internet dating. In the 21st century, the people we date are more likely to be removed from our social circles, so no one has to explain to people why someone doesn’t work out. This makes the fade super easy. Had it been an option 50 to 100 years ago, everyone would have done it then too. No mess, no confrontation, a no without being a no. Isn’t that better? Why has telling someone you don’t like them come to be a sign of respect? Insults are polite now?

Wow. I’m starting to like Grace. And starting to not like the idea of dating 100 years ago. Do you think you had to pick up chicks in your horse and buggy? In the end, Grace makes the boldest case of all, that fading out is actually a sign of maturity.

What’s cowardly about walking away? Isn’t it kinda brave to know what you want instead of stopping and explaining everything to everyone? And I’ve been faded out on too. I’m fine with it. Hit it, quit it, still like it, but don’t quite love it? Move on into the wind….

So what do you think? Are you with me, Grace, or Anna? Is the disappearance act an acceptable one, or pure cowardice?

Posted in Advice, Internet Dating is Weird | 92 Comments

How is This My Match? Scary 21 Year-Old Edition

When I introduced How is This My Match? some months ago, it was in an effort to keep things brief. The internet is designed to be short and sweet, and my posts tend to be more long and sour. Because when you’re discussing things as important as a girl who can’t stop wearing holiday sweaters, you need a lot of words to capture the complexity of the situation. I wanted to keep writing long, but also have shorter pieces that would allow you guys to zip in and out quickly and help me post more often. So HiTMM? was born, and so far you guys really seem to dig it.

Initially I asked you guys not to send me your terrible matches. Because what happened was, I’d giggle at your hilarious descriptions, then I’d check our their profile myself, then they’d see me checking them out, and not realize I was doing it more for laughs than for sexies. So they’d message me, I wouldn’t quite what to do, and everything would get real uncomfortable real fast. Leading, at one point, to me getting an email which read…

(clearing throat, putting on reading glasses…)

“You look familiar. Did I sleep with you?”

And what exactly am I supposed to do with that? So, I asked you to stop forwarding me the bizarrely unsuitable people that Match and OkCupid have bizarrely deemed suitable. But now I say… screw it. Things have gotten quite busy here at the It’s Not a Match home office (i.e. my couch and/or toilet), and with talks of a second book on the horizon, I will take inspiration where I can get it. So please, send me your tired, your poor, your hungry, so that I may mock them and the internet dating service from whence they have come. Seriously. Itsnotamatch@gmail.com. Let’s make it happen!

Wanna know what kind of thing I’m looking for? Well how about this… I mean, How is This My Match?

21 year old woman
Maryland, United States

seeking men 20-25
within 25 miles of Maryland, United States

Alright, look. There are plenty of problems with this, which I’ll get to, but let’s start with the basics. I AM 35 YEARS OLD. I know you know this, Match, because when I click on the profile of myself on your site, it tells me I’m 35. And there’s a picture of me right there to prove it. In fact, if one day I got into a terrible accident and hit my head and needed, more than anything else, to figure out how damn old I was, I would look it up on Match.com, because I know that’s a place where saying exactly how old you are is important. This young lady is seeking a man between 20 and 25. 35 is not a number that’s between 20 and 25. It’s just not. Not even close. And my desired age range starts at, I think, 31, which means the youngest person I would even think about dating is six years older than her most ancient, grandfatherly possibility. That is not good. Honestly, I don’t even really know what algorithms are, but I would think they’d be able to parse a complicated mathematical minefield such as this.

Oh, also, Los Angeles, where I live, is not within 25 miles of Maryland. It’s closer to within 2500 miles. Do you not have a map, Match? You should get a map. Or just use Google Maps. That’s easy too. Or MapQuest, I think that’s still around. That one’s fun because it makes it sound like a dangerous journey….MapQuest!

All of this is to say, Match, that before I’ve even gotten to the specifics of this young lady’s profile, the idea of me dating her is completely preposterous. You might as well have recommended a 75 year-old man. (Smash cut to: Me on a date with Larry King. Confused, but not altogether unhappy. Smash back.)

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty…

Her Headline: Like I sayed I am crayz I say what I want to I dont care what ppl think of or say.

Uh oh.

Profile: I’m out going girl I love to go out and have fun as long as I dont get in trobley. When u get to now me I am crazy amd radom. I dont care what ppl say about me or think about me. I can be funny sometimes. 

I would like him to be funney like me for who I am not lie to me us me treast me the same no matter who we are around. Trust me.

Well, I think well all like to have fun as long we don’t get in trobley. Sometimes I feel like I’m the kinda guy that trobley just follows, you know? Oh, pardon me. U now?

The authentically prepared dutch dish, Radom.

Hey, you guys read this site. I make typos. Sometimes I make lots of them, and truth be told, I’m not all that concerned with rooting them out. There’s probably typos in this very post. It’s a blog, I’m not getting paid to write it, you’re not paying to read it, so I feel we can all survive a botched sentence and here and there. But come on, this shit is insane. You’re telling me the algorithms can’t pick up “Male – Writer” and “Female – Thinks ‘Radom’, ‘Funney’, and ‘Treast’ Are Words”, and sense there’s a problem?

College: ITT Technical Institute, Owings Mills, MD

Oh yeah, I know that place. I think it’s within 25 miles of my house.

Favorite Things: I like all kind of music. when I watch tv it is mosty paranormal. I love horroe moves.

I feel like I’m trapped in a horroe movie right now.

Last Read: I dont read books.

You don’t say.

How is this my match?!

I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours! (In as uncreepy a way as possible…)

Posted in How is This My Match? | 10 Comments

Great Date Ideas If You Absolutely, Positively Refuse to Drink

Drunk_06Alright, fine, have it your way. Enough of you have written in demanding non-alcoholic date ideas that I suppose I should stop being such a jerk and give you what you want. As regular readers of the site (i.e. geniuses) know, I am a strong advocate of drinking dates. Devoted, even. Honestly, there are alcoholics who aren’t as passionate about drinking on dates as I am. No, I don’t have a drinking problem, or so I tell my doctor when he starts getting pushy with the pamphlets, but I do enjoy the relaxation alcohol brings. Especially when you’re meeting a stranger you may or may not end up tongue kissing in a few hours.

However, as many of you have reminded me, alcohol is simply not an option for everyone, and truth be told, there was a time when I was a sober dater myself. There weren’t a lot of second dates, and there sure as hell weren’t a lot of tongue kisses, but that’s not so terribly uncommon for me, so let’s not dwell on the negative. I am confident that 0 proof romance can occur, if not for me, then certainly for you. So if you’re committed to a booze-free evening, here are some itineraries I can recommend.

Sexy times.

Sexy times.

1. Get a Lemonade Together. The major thing you have going for you when you propose a non-alcoholic night is that it’s cute as hell. So innocent, so demure, it’s the sort of date a teddy bear would suggest. If, for you some reason, you’re into dating teddy bears. And when you’re looking for innocent and demure, it’s hard to beat a nice cold glass of lemonade. I had a friend in college who swore by the lemonade date. It’s so sweet and non-threatening, he found it was almost impossible for women to turn down. Of course, I don’t know where the hell you go to get lemonade once you’ve made this adorable little plan together. It’s not like there are lemonade stores on every corner. Do you just go buy a Snapple? Or wander the streets until you find some kid with a stand? I don’t really know. So, first find somewhere that’s not a convenient store that sells lemonade, then start putting out the offers. I promise you’ll get some interest, both teddy bear and otherwise.

2. Trivia Nights. Trivia is objectively fun. I can’t think of a trivia night where I haven’t enjoyed myself, even as it’s become increasingly clear that I have, at best, a third grader’s understanding of facts and data. Also, these things are usually in a bar, so if your date drinks but you do not, it’s an easy way for both of you to feel comfortable. Drinks are available but not required, there’s plenty of room for conversation, but also there’s the game to fall back on if things get slow. There’s really only one drawback to the triv night experience, but it is a crucial one. I know this is a little bit sensitive, but you should probably pick a different date activity if you’re, well… kinda dumb. It’s just awkward when you’re there with one other person and you keep getting everything wrong. And it’s not really a turn on when you start insisting that Bob Dole totally was the President “sometime in the 90’s.” Believe me, I know. So if you feel like you know your stuff, pub quiz it up. Oh, and here’s a tip: if you want to impress him or her with the greatest trivia night team name ever created, it’s Trivia Newton John. Use it wisely, my friends.

Hey baby, what you doin' later?

Hey baby, what you doin’ later?

3. Dessert. Let’s face facts: were it not for the desire to look good and the hope of living past the age of 45, we’d all be eating cake 100% of the time. Oh, is that some chocolate cake you have there? Give it to me. Carrot cake, yep, put that shit in my mouth too. Red velvet? Not my favorite, but what the hell, toss some of that down my gullet as well. And this is to say nothing of pies, cookies, ice cream, brownies, or blondies. I swear to god if blondies had a profile on OkCupid I would email them over and over until an administrator had to step and tell me stop. And then I’d probably message them some more, because what the hell, they’re blondies! So why not capitalize on our collective love of something sweet and ask your date out to your favorite dessert locale? So what if they’re watching their figure–they’ve just been given the perfect excuse to indulge. It was suggested as a date! Can’t be a party pooper, gotta eat some rocky road! Plus, whatever you have will probably have less calories than the alcohol you were gonna drink anyway. Presuming you order the same thing I do, double piña coladas with extra sugar.

4. The Arcade. I have been on one date to a Dave & Buster’s in my life, and it was a great time. Mostly because the ski ball machine broke and started spitting out tickets for five minutes straight. Honestly, I haven’t felt that much giddiness and joy since the first time I saw the Golden Girls. Later my date rejected my advances, but I DID go home with a stuffed monkey wearing a Dave & Buster’s t-shirt, so I guess I got the last laugh. Seriously though, any night that includes Wackamole is already a success. Try it out.

5. Bowling. I discourage billiards as a date activity because many of us (read: me) are terrible at it. But everyone’s terrible at bowling. It’s the great equalizer. So throw some balls, have some laughs, and if you really need some hooch, sneak your flask out while you partner is taking their turn. If you’re one of those weirdos who carries a flask (read: also me). And how can you not love a date that forces you to rent shoes? If that’s not as enjoyable as a stiff drink, I don’t know what is.


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