The perversity of the universe

The good news is that four (FOUR!) different guys wanted to go out with Speed Dating Girl this weekend. The bad news is that she had decline all of them because she looked and felt like the “before” person in a NyQuil ad. But the silver lining is that this situation offers conclusive proof of the theory that the more effort you put into your appearance, the less likely you are to have a successful date. Think about that.

I did, and it led to some interesting questions. Namely, is leprosy still available in the US? And if I caught it, would George Clooney finally ask me out? And if the answer to both of those questions were yes, would it be worth it? Feel free to disagree, but I’m leaning yes. After all, is a small body part like an ear really so much to pay for a date with one of the world’s most eligible bachelors? (Extra bonus silver lining: I’d finally have a use for all those single earrings!)


False alarm

I’m baaaack. It became clear that all of you were too lame to fully supply me with blog material, so I had to put myself back on the market. No, seriously, things didn’t work out with the boyfriend, for reasons unrelated to your lameness. But it ended about as well as these things can– I didn’t do it by text, phone or email! [INSERT APPLAUSE.] Aw, thanks! I like to think Miss Manners would also be impressed by how I waited a full 12 hours before blogging my breakup.

Anyway, I’ll be doing my best to get back on the job as soon as possible, although it might take me a little while to rejoin all those speed date mailing lists and compose my pithy emails to the fresh meat on the matchmaking sites. Who knows how the dating world may have changed in the six months I’ve been gone? So be patient, and feel free to send your assistance (in lieu of cash, SDG accepts weird invitations, self-improvement advice and English-speaking guys) in the meantime.

A man with a plan

I recently read an advice column that recommended choosing one go-to location for all your first dates to avoid the awkward “Uh, I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation that can follow someone agreeing to go out with you. The idea has some merit, but for a girl who firstdates (yes, I’m declaring that a verb) as much as me, things could start to get embarrassing with the wait staff. Still, the expert was totally correct about the importance of a plan for your date. But I’ve never seen anyone take it quite as far as this suitor of an SDG reader:

“I went on a date with a guy who, within the first five minutes of the date, handed me a sheet of paper with an outline of how our date would go,” she reports. “It included time slots for ‘ice breaker conversation’ and ‘holding hands during film.’ The last line of the (extensive) outline said: AND THEN…”

So did she run for the hills (after carefully putting away the agenda for later mocking)? Nope! Not only did she fully complete the outline, including the ellipsis, she went back for more. “I ended up dating the guy for ten months,” she said.

A little holiday shopping

You may have noticed that I take a quantity-will-bring-quality approach to dating. Recently, it went to an extreme. After my online profile attracted an unusual number of emails (guys desperately searching for someone to kiss under the mistletoe, I’m guessing), I found myself virtually dating four men at the same time. One lived in New York City, one was 10 years older than me, one couldn’t spell (I shouldn’t judge, but I can’t help it, I’m an editor!) and one was still technically married.

Despite that promising start, I found myself getting stood up twice in a single week. Guess the older guy was serious about how he’s only into cybering. (Research that vocab at your own risk.)

Naturally, I bitched about the situation to the next person I ran into in the office kitchen. Luckily it was a woman my age instead of the company CEO. So she told me about how she had successfully met her boyfriend online: “I searched Match for a guy who was an atheist, didn’t want kids, and mentioned Edgar Allen Poe in his profile. There were two. I’m with one of them.”

Her story blew my mind. Of course, it’s all about the search terms! I’ve been putting myself– and you, dear readers– through all this ridiculousness for nothing. When you want something these days and don’t know where to find it, what do you do? Duh, you ask Google. (Like the definition of cybering, for example. Sorry about the pictures, but I did warn you.)

So I gave it a shot. And I got this tragic response: “Your search – boyfriend for speeddatinggirl – did not match any documents.” Then Google had the nerve to suggest that I might have spelled my query wrong.

But all hope is not lost. At the top of that empty white page was an ad.

For Boyfriends

Find Everyday Low Prices at Yahoo!


Lately my dating life has felt like a fairy tale. And not the sort where Prince Charming appears and whisks me off my feet.

Instead, it’s one of those stories where you wish for something and your wish is granted, but so excessively that you’re worse off than you started.

You remember how I went on the date with the guy who didn’t talk? Well, shortly after that, I found myself out to dinner with a guy who only paused for breath. I’m serious– he had to get a doggy bag because he hadn’t had time to chew. I learned about the annoying habits of his company’s HR department, even the continuing education opportunities offered by the grad school he attended. When he asked for a second date (he liked the conversation), I declined.

Instead, I made plans with another guy who had been pestering me to go out with him. Yes, pestering. Before we had met in person, one night I told him I would probably be available after 9 to discuss plans for a date on the phone. By the time I got home at 10, I had two texts and a phone message from him.

Could have been a warning sign, but I thought after dating a couple guys who mysteriously disappeared, this could be a pleasant change. The change part was right, the pleasant not so much. In two weeks of dating, he sent me NINETY-FIVE text messages.

I developed a big phone bill and an even bigger aversion to my phone’s text alert. BZZZZ. What would be this time? Checking again to make sure I got home safely, or some more discussion of whether our relationship should be exclusive? Did I mention that we only went on two dates?

I told him I wasn’t into constant communication. I tried ignoring the texts. So naturally (and by that I mean, natural for a crazy stalker), he started resending the unanswered texts.

I saw no other option but to send one of my infamous dumping texts. Then I turned my phone off and went to heat my bowl of porridge to just the right temperature.

(Getting) lucky lines– another SDG contest!

There are many painfully awkward and scary moments in dating, but one of the worst might be the first post-date invitation inside. In movies, it looks so simple. “Hey, you want to come in for a drink?” But what if you don’t have a drink to offer? (One of my friends has an answer: “Carry a small bottle of bourbon with you at all times.” Of course, that might send some other messages, too.)

Anyway, I’m almost totally incapable of pulling this off, and my experiences and friends’ reports indicate that a lot of guys are, too. (It’s a wonder we’re not all hooking up on the sidewalk.) There was the guy I dated who ended so many dates with long makeout sessions in the car parked in front of his house that I finally went with the oh-so-subtle “You know, some people kiss inside buildings. That might be nice.” And it worked!

Less likely to work, but a popular choice nonetheless, is the “You should come inside and see…” I recently spent a first date hearing all about how the guy had just moved into his new apartment the day before. “Yeah, it’s just a bed and a whole bunch of boxes,” he said, describing the place. Flash-forward a half hour to when we left the restaurant. “Hey, so what are you doing now?” he said. “You should come up to my place and see the view.” I could just imagine what would come next. “Sorry about not having any chairs. Why don’t you just climb into bed?”

Some guys aren’t lucky enough to have a view to promote. A friend traveling in Southeast Asia met a guy who invited her up to his room to “enjoy the air conditioning.” Another met an artist in a bar who invited her over to “see his work.”

I’m betting you, loyal readers, have also heard your share of these ridiculous lines. Seems like it’s about time for another Speed Dating Girl contest. Email me at to share the thinnest excuse a date’s ever given to get you inside. I’ll think up another fabulous mystery prize for the winner.

Talking to brick wall, or a flat screen

For the past several years, my job has involved interviewing people over the phone. The upshot is that I’ve become pretty skilled at pulling conversation out of anyone who is not entirely comatose (and one doctor who called me after a night shift almost crossed that barrier).

But this first date was testing my ability. Clearly, he was alive, or had been when he asked me out that afternoon. Yet he had nothing to say. His answers were monosyllabic and he offered almost no questions. I had gotten to the point of stream-of-consciousness babbling (really– I was talking about my old roommate’s boyfriend’s dirty socks) when I discovered the problem.

“Whoa, what was that score?” he asked.

“Hunh?” I said.

“Oh, I was just checking out the game on that TV over there,” he explained.

“I didn’t even know there was a TV here,” I said.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t go to a bar without a TV,” he said. “It would be too boring.”