As an intelligent, beautiful woman in her mid-twenties, Amanda wrote her personal journey on the dating apps: An Ode to Hinge
Hinge is the only dating app I use because I’m convinced their model of “hearting” a specific component of someone’s profile—be it a photo or witty answer to one of their dozens of asinine prompts—will eventually lead to a semi-fruitful relationship. Tinder is gross and Bumble is too much pressure, but Hinge is my goldilocks app. I’ve been on Hinge for all of my twenties (more than five years, less than seven) and it’s a love-hate relationship. I hate the app and it has never once led me to love. It certainly hasn’t been the “designed to be deleted” dating solution it’s touted it to be. But truth be told, I’m okay with that. I don’t want to delete Hinge. Every time I muster up the strength to dive back into the world of online dating (or just dating for that matter--I don’t even know what it would look like offline at this point) it’s the only app I’ll use. That’s because Hinge represents a deep well of possibility. Sure, I’ve never actually found love but I could at any moment. It’s comforting knowing there’s a sea of Chads at my fingertips who want to show me their Labradoodle puppy, who love The Sopranos and are overly competitive about “Everything”. The endless swiping and occasional small talk makes me feel like I’m doing the work. I’m playing the field, shopping the scene, and shooting the shit! Of course, I rarely ever meet these guys in person but that doesn’t matter. Hinge allows me to say “Hello, World! I DATE!” It reassures me the absence of a serious adult relationship in my life is simply because I don’t want one at this moment, and not due to any underlying commitment issues as my therapist likes to imply. As soon as I’m ready to put down the yoke of single-hood Hinge is there with a buffet of clean-cut boyfriends-to-be. Their manageable six-photo-three-answer profiles are the perfect semi-blank canvases for my tamest romantic projections. Before I even open the app I always know who I’m going to find and it’s Chad. He’s looking for the best tacos in LA, his simple pleasures are clean sheets and a good book, this year he really wants to leave his house, and that girl in his picture? That’s his sister, silly. Chad is boring, at least on screen. But that’s okay, because when I wake up in the middle of the night from yet another panic attack because four more of my college friends got engaged over Christmas, I know my future with Chad--in any of his near-identical variations--is only a swipe away. And, unless you’re a Jesus-type, isn’t this very anxiety the foundation for many twenty-something marriages anyway? So, at least for the time being, I have no plans to delete Hinge. Keep showing me your big fish, Chad, and maybe one of these days I’ll show you mine.
As I sat having coffee at the park with my two friends, who are both now married with kids, we started talking about my favorite topic.. some of our most awkward dates...Since there were a handful of gems, I decided to provide a compilation for everyone to enjoy:
Caitlyn: "Did I ever tell you the time I went on a date to avoid getting sued for hitting a guy with my car (his car, he wasn't a pedestrian)!"
Sam: "Ah, that reminds me of back in the day when I went to fight a speeding ticket and wore a suit, because that is what I thought I was supposed to do... Well, while I was waiting to get called, one of the lawyers in the courthouse assumed I was another lawyer waiting for my client and asked me out! I was able to keep up the story because we never went out... He called me that night and explained that he planned to interview me for being a future housewife!"
"Wait... that's not all! I met a guy for a first date at the King of Prussia mall. He explained that he wanted to take me on a test run to help him pick out a couch... I failed. After, he invited me to his place for a drink. I thought the couch thing was a fluke, but then... he decided to show me nude photos of his ex on their old computer!"
I told them we would have to wait until next time to talk about my date with the missing tooth, or the guy that continually reused a monogrammed handkerchief to blow his nose and clean his glasses... UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or any other traditional holiday, it's about that time to shop for family, friends, coworkers..... but what about the person you just started dating?? So many questions start popping up like:
What is too much or too little?
Do I even get a gift?How much do I spend?
Am I sending the wrong message?
I have been here a few times and want to try to help those that feel totally stuck when things are new and those decisions feel impossible. I am not an expert, but have been told I am a "very thoughtful" gift giver.. click on each option below for a great place to start shopping!
In the first few weeks to 2mo: Budget $50
3-5mo: Budget $75-$150
6mo-1yr: $150 and up
Special Interest Gifts
Please Advise: Buy a gift that someone can actually enjoy
We are now a solid 9 months into this. If you are not working/not getting a paycheck/struggling to make ends meet and run out of food or necessities...please don’t let yourself or your kids go to sleep with an empty stomach. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message @quarantinedatingqueen on IG or FB. I am more than happy to help. I will drop and go, or order for delivery. No one has to know and I will pretend it never happened. What's understood never has to be explained. I am serious and will never ask questions.
Other local organizations in the Philadelphia region are running wonderful programs to help feed families in need:
Help us provide meals as part of Springfield Country Club's "Holiday Hunger Relief" program.
We, as Brandywine Events will donate $1.00 for every share up to $200.00 which is an additional 20 meals for those in need.
#endhungry #holiday #holidaymeals #helpothers
Whether you want to start volunteering remotely or locally, you can create your own personal profile on VolunteerMatch and receive notices from organizations that need your help. I have had some great and very rewarding experiences:
Feel free to comment on this post with any additional groups or organizations you would like to share!
Ok let's rewind four or five years back. I'm headed out on a Bumble date to meet this guy at Johnny Brenda's. I arrive a casual let's say ten minutes late and find my date finishing up a beer at the bar. At first, I did not realize who I was there to meet, because no one fit the pictures from his profile. He recognized me and waved me over.
First small red flag - his hair was gray and not the brown hair as pictured in his profile.
Second, larger red flag - He is paying his tab in quarters; yes quarters only... he is stacking, then lining them up in fours and paying his bill.
At this point, I need a little liquid courage...
I am hoping this will get better since I'm beating myself up that I've been totally played by his photos and coin collection! Not only did his hair throw me, he was a good ten years older than his photos depicted. I considered walking, but I'm locked in and too nice to bail. I pay the next round and we go across the street to a BBQ place.
The night progresses with decent conversation, and he asks me to join him for one more drink at the German Beer Garden next door. We head to the bar and he says, "Excuse me."
I thought he was being polite about something I must have missed and decide not to ask. We grab our drinks and sit across from one another at a picnic table. Again, he says "Excuse Me".
At this point I reply, "I'm sorry, why do you keep saying, Excuse Me?".
He responds with, "I'm sorry, I have a bit of flatulence issue"... and at that exact moment, he raises his right butt cheek, leans a bit and rips a huge FART!!! I kid you not, as I inhale his gas cloud, I'm at a loss for words and I excuse myself as the last and final red flag I care to witness is waving behind me.
I panic on what to do next?! I return to the table and confess, that as a nurse, I'm not usually offended by such things but it was time to call it a night... None of this phased him and he asked if I would like to share an Uber?! I have never run so fast or crossed a dangerous intersection like I did that evening. I learned a lot of lessons on that date. Most importantly, I stopped worrying about ending a date early, because things can actually get worse!
Epilogue: Kristen and her current boyfriend matched on Bumble. They are very happy and they just moved in together!
When I started my website/blog about dating during Quarantine, I was single. Shortly after, one of my best friends and I decided to take the big step into a committed relationship. We had an amazing time together and I spent all of the extra time I had in quarantine with one of my favorite people. As time wore on, we realized in a very condensed and quick amount of time that we are in very different places in our lives. Even though we knew each other for 3 years, the pivotal life decisions we both wanted were not on the same path.
So, here I am again, joining the enormous pool of potential first dates. As I am mindlessly swiping, a previous guy I matched with reached out. We never ended up meeting so instead of assuming it was for a negative reason, I respected his ability to ask again and we went out for drinks.
In the first hour of talking, we took the time to get to know each other and what we were looking for. While we laughed, shared some serious life changers and enjoyed a boozy brunch, I recognized it was possible to meet someone, even in these circumstances that I felt a connection with.
On our second date, he brought the Tequila and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He complimented my smile through dinner and we ended the night with a loud and fun dance party that left me excited and hopeful.
He was not afraid to communicate how he felt and reassured me that he was looking forward to more experiences and adventures we would take.
I’m sharing this to encourage anyone in the online dating universe to keep meeting people. If it sucks, awkward or hilarious, we all want to hear about it!! Those are the easiest dates to write about ... but we also want to hear about the amazing, memorable and promising people you have crossed paths with and may even build a potential future together ️. Email me @ email@example.com and send me any and all of the stories we can share (anonymously). We all want to have another reason to laugh, feel hopeful, or for a great toilet read!!
I continue to hear single and divorced friends denying the opportunity to join the rest of us on their new journey to finding their ideal partner if that means that they have to create an online dating profile. They feel they can meet people on their own or through their network. There are many possible ways that might happen, but right now, that is a limited option and one of the only new people you are going to become friendly with this way will be: Your mailman/woman, UPS, FedEx, Amazon delivery person... You never know, my UPS guy is really hot!
"Relationships only last when your goals are aligned," says Amy Schoen, a life and dating coach interviewed and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, 2019. She continues, "online dating reveals those goals "up front and center..."
Currently, I have encouraged over 6 friends of mine to try a dating app. Within their first 5 dates, they all found their current husbands. Within my personal network, I know at least 50 people that met significant others, or spouses while on various dating websites.
My journey with online dating has brought ghosting, heartbreak, amazing experiences, friendships, romance and happiness. The idea that online dating simply increases the opportunities to meet my future person, allows me to take the highs and the lows, knowing that I have the opportunity to meet my fantastic human at any given time.
According to The Knot, a very popular wedding website (www.theknot.com), "22 percent of spouses are now meeting online (after utilizing tools like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble)... among nearly 11,000 couples surveyed, 71 percent said they dated for more than two years before getting engaged..."
I challenge you in 2020 and moving into 2021 to give online dating a chance. Share your experiences with me on the blog or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We can do this together!
I thought this one was too good not to share with everyone. I asked my friend, Pete to tell one of the many dating stories he has shared with me. Enjoy!
Ahhh October, cool weather, fun fall activities, but what is October without a good horror story – here is one of my dating horror stories emphasis on ONE OF, as in one of many... When the quarantine dating queen comes calling to share a dating horror story, the only question is which one to pick, hmm. Today's dating adventure features “rock girl".
I connected with "rock girl" on Match.com, and conversation was fun and flirty. We decided to meet about a week after matching and solid daily communication. It was a Thursday night and we met at a casual local pub for a drink. Our first impressions from a physical side were great, I was very attracted to her. So the date was going well and she excused herself to the bathroom. As I took a sip from my beer, my phone vibrated and, rock girl proceeded to send me nudes from the bathroom! Admittedly I was a bit confused, I mean who doesn’t like a good nude? But...like it’s a first date, come on now. She came back and asked if I liked what I saw, obviously I said yes, and then we both proceeded on with the date like nothing happened.
End of the date comes around and we kiss and talk about plans for another date, she asked if she could come over Sunday to my place and we could have dinner . Usually this is too soon for me, I am closer to a house invite on date 3-4. I But, after seeing the pictures, I was not thinking .. clearly.
Well Sunday rolls around and she shows up with a large almost overnight bag...that seemed odd since we were only having dinner. She walks in, sits down and says “I made something for you!” I am assuming it’s some sort of dinner or dessert item, and respond “oh that’s so sweet of you what is it?”
She reaches into the overnight bag and pulls out a.... rock, like a big rock, like a landscaping stone type rock! Upon my inspection of the rock I find it has been carved with my initials, her initials, a big heart and it says “Pete rocks” – I think... “oh boy what have I done!” She stared lovingly into my eyes and asked if I liked it. Of course I said “yes this is awesome!” thinking “please don’t kill me or my cat”. Needless to say, that was the last night my cat and I spent with Rock Girl.
We are working to embrace this new normal and with that, all of the additional alone time we are meant to enjoy. Some of you will already appreciate switching up the ways you visit Pleasure Town, while others, this is on the bottom of your priority list or ignored. I encourage you to make this one of your “new activities” during lock down.
A favorite site that combines class, quality and sexy for both men and women is: Lelo.com (see the website below)
Know your Pleasure:
"Between 50 and 75 % of women who have orgasms do so through clitoral stimulation rather than penetration, so beginners should look no further than external vibrators. They have helped millions of women worldwide unlock the sensual enjoyment of the big O – so have a look at what’s out there and see what tickles your fancy. Literally. " (lelo.com)
One pattern my male friend and I both noticed during our conversations on the apps… A lot of people are forgetting they are getting to know someone to potentially meet up and have their next fling or relationship with. But.. none of that is going to happen if you use Bumble as your therapy session. Pre-COVID, this would happen, but not as often. The men I spoke with would complain about their day, work, their ex, their … whatever. All of that is ok to vent about …. But not as your first impression conversation or any getting to know you topics! Noone wants to listen to a Debbie downer. You want to show off your best aspects of your personality. Why are you a great catch? What makes you different in a great way? What makes you laugh? Those are the types of conversations that will leave you with a smile on your face, even of your day really sucked. Save it for your parents or therapy, this is fastest way to get ghosted or feel worse if now you’re confused why the person you felt a vibe with is running the other way.
Like many of you, I have been on and off dating apps for years. I often think my insane dating experiences and those of my friends would make for a really great book, movie or sitcom. I know you all have stories and experiences to share. My goal is to post my own ideas, thoughts and experiences mixed in with special guest entries covering topics I know less about. Please feel free to message me with your own stories, comments, questions that you would not mind sharing with everyone. My contact info is listed in the bottom of the site. Thank you for stopping by!