If age were a cocktail, I’d order my 30th birthday straight up.
In order to begin the next chapter of my life, I need to conclude this current chapter
Hi, my name is Liz and I’ve never been in love.
This is a time for reflection. It feels as if I only got to Stern and now I’m almost out the door.
Dating is many things. Lately, it has been incredibly exhausting.
Poker Face...Isn't that a Lady Gaga Song?
I’m a transparent person and couldn’t play poker worth a damn. Since I wear my heart on my sleeve, it can get smacked around in the dating process. My heart’s most recent causality involved a “great on paper” guy that I met on OKCupid. He far exceeded all the qualities I look for in man. It is a short list (five items) but it prevents me from going on dates with people that aren’t a match – why waste my or his time? 1. Chemistry? Off the charts. 2. Highly motivated? Absolutely, I wondered when this guy slept. 3. Shared Interests? There was no shortage of activities we both loved. 4. Shared Values? Yep. 5. Taller than me? At 5’8, I felt dwarfed by this 6’5 man. All systems were GO GO GO!
So, how did I go from smitten to royally pissed off? Let me give you the play-by-play from the beginning. I logged onto OKCupid and saw that I had a new message! This notification isn’t necessarily a good thing. Typically, my messages consist merely of “Hi”, “Hey” or something not fit to print. This message though? It was different and caught my eye:
“Hi, You come across as very smart and are also gorgeous. I would love to chat with you. I look forward to hearing from you. - [his name]”
In order to protect his identity, I will now refer to him as “Fader.” To provide you with some background, we’re both in business school and have busy schedules. After we exchanged messages on OKCupid and then numbers, we found a day a week later that worked for both of us. I was out with girlfriends the night after Fader and I first connected and I texted him after 11pm (Note: what good could come this late at night?). I was such an overeager beaver. Oh, liquid courage you are a cruel friend! Instead of our initially scheduled date at a proper location, we ended up meeting up at a terrible bar at 12:30am. What good can take place at this time? None!
At this fratastic bar, I attempted to find two seats next to each other. I had to make my way through the crowds of double-collar popped douches and scantily-clad girls in barely-there skirts and tops. Ugh. When he arrived, I was relieved. He looked better than his photos (which were very good) and was a stark contrast to the rest of the men in the bar. This was likely my first mistake with Fader. I met him in a setting that predisposed him to succeed. In turn, this led me to overestimate his potential. We shared a few kisses over drinks. I was on the BroTanic – anyone close to normal on this sinking ship would be Leonardo DiCaprio. He walked me back to my apartment and sealed the evening with a kiss. This was going so well! Or so I thought…
We texted each other (way too much) after our date. Second mistake. We made plans to get together two days later. He suggested we meet for dinner – awesome! How refreshing – most guys do not want to commit to sharing a meal this early. I’ve found they will commit to sharing a bed, but not to a meal. Fader mentioned that he remembered me saying how much I enjoyed entertaining. So, naturally, the best place to eat would be at my apartment…where I could cook for us! At the time, I thought this was a great idea! He listened to what I was interested in and was incredibly thoughtful in suggesting this date idea. Now, I see he was cheap, selfish and looking for me to offer “dessert” after dinner. Not that there is anything wrong with this situation or hooking up early in general, but I clearly perceived this “date” as something much more than it was.
Given how excited I was about the potential of Fader, you can likely figure out how the evening went. I cooked up a wonderful meal, we shared meaningful conversation and we definitely enjoyed dessert. What was dessert? I’ll leave it to your imagination. Following this date and more texting (way too much), we made plans to hang out again two days later. He showed up to meet me an hour later than he said. He “lost track” of time. Another red flag. When you’re getting to know someone, it isn’t a good idea to not follow through on what you say. Naturally stuff comes up. Just let the other person know what is going on. This, of course, only applies if you care what the other person thinks. Oh Fader! This was the beginning of the end but I was too hopeful to see it.
As he headed home, we made plans to get together the following evening. I shouldn’t have been surprised with what happened. We were supposed to meet up at 9pm. I didn’t hear from him until 10…AM…the following morning. He “blacked out” and wasn’t able to call me, let alone meet up. That day he was leaving for a weekend trip so I didn’t reach out to him. You can probably guess Fader didn’t reach out to me because, well, he was starting to execute his grand plan: the Fade Away.
I told myself he was “busy” and I would text him when he got back from the trip to make sure he was ok. He responded. I noticed a pattern. The dynamic changed after the second time we hung out – he responded but no longer pursued. I should have picked up on this cue but I REALLY wanted it to work so I pretended it wasn’t happening. He said he was really “busy,” a classic Fader move. I decided to embarrass myself further so I sent him one final text. One more nail in this sad, sad coffin. I asked if he was even interested in me and he said “let’s talk next week,” so I deleted his number. Was I upset? Absolutely! I was more upset at my response to his lack of interest. Fader didn’t need to explicitly tell me he wasn’t interested in me. It was clear from his actions or rather inactions that he was over it. I wanted closure though. Why should I expect closure from someone after 3 dates? In order to prevent myself from getting so disappointed, I need to change my approach, especially to dessert! Here is how I’m going to approach upcoming dates:
How to Stop the Burn from a Fader: 5 Simple Steps
Step 1. Limit Contact Between Dates
False intimacy is a chronic issue with online dating. Why? We read a profile and text constantly so we begin to think we know the other person much more than we actually do. 100 text messages do not a relationship make. A profile is a cultivated representation of the person. You know only what this person has handpicked to share with you, including pictures and personal information. Additionally, texting can make you feel like you’re truly connecting with someone. If a man I was going to date called me, I would be shocked. Who talks on the phone anymore except for emergencies? Instead of freaking out by a phone call, embrace it! Talking on the phone allows you to get to know someone much better than constantly texting. It doesn’t allow for wittily-crafted responses. Talking “live” lets you get to know who the other person really is and not who he wants to project. Also, texting too much at the beginning can set up unrealistic expectations and very real disappointment. We’re constantly plugged in. Online dating encourages us to go from strangers to 24/7 contact. This makes a Fade Away that much harder. Going from 0 to 60 to 0 hurts! With some of the guys that have faded me, I feel as if they were an apparition. Did they ever exist or were they merely a figment of my imagination? By easing into contact with a new person, you can prevent sensory and emotional overload.
Step 2. Gauge Interest by Who Initiates Contact
A relationship, especially a new one, should be a two-way street. Neither person should feel like they are doing all the work. If you find yourself initiating all contact, this is likely a bad sign. If this new person is merely reacting to your actions, I would be cautious. Chemistry should be felt and expressed by both people. If you’re chasing someone that isn’t interested, you will be disappointed and hurt by the burn of the fade. Seek balance. If you’re doing all the work and merely hearing back half-assed responses – take the hint and RUN from the Fade.
Step 3. Ask Yourself...Would He Be “Too Busy” For Angelina Jolie?
If you are constantly being told your new crush is busy, ask yourself if they would be too busy for his ideal match. I get that people are genuinely busy. Oftentimes, however, it is just a convenient excuse and not as mean as saying “I’d rather spend my limited time with someone else.” Too often I’ve rationalized when a guy has told me he is busy. Um, I’m busy too and my time is just as valuable. Instead of constantly following up with him, let this person follow up with you. Ask yourself, Angelina had plans with him, would “I’m too busy” still be the response? If you’re not worth his time, he’s not worth yours.
Step 4. Be Honest...Are Dates Just Thinly Veiled Hook-Ups?
Faders tend to fade after they get what they came for: oftentimes, this is “dessert”. So, be mindful of who you’re serving it up to. If you get Faded by someone that you merely went on a couple dates with, it likely won’t hurt as much as if you hooked up. As a woman, I’ve found I tend to feel much more strongly about someone I’m seeing after we hook up. From experience, this isn’t necessarily true with men I’ve dated. If you’re not looking for a relationship and just want to fix your sweet tooth, then by all means, get after it. If you want something more, I’ve found waiting several dates increases the sweetness.
Step 5. This isn't the Doctor. No News Isn't Good News.
If you have a feeling he isn't interested, you’re right. The moment you think you need to ask whether he is interested is the moment you need to delete the number. This strategy prevents me from desperate texting. The sooner you can move on from someone that isn’t interested, the less hurt you’ll be when it doesn’t work out.
Dealing with Fader sucked. I set myself up for disappointment. I made our pseudo-relationship into something much more than it actually ever was. I texted way too much. I initiated everything. I made excuses for him being busy. I thought we went on “dates” which were actually just meeting late at night to hook up. Finally, I thought I needed to hear from him that he wasn’t interested when he made it abundantly clear by his actions…or rather inactions.
With Fader, I found myself repeating a pattern. I tried to make something out of nothing. I got so excited by him far exceeding what I wanted (good on paper!) that I didn’t take time to think about what he really wanted. I was looking for a relationship. I found out after asking more questions that he was brand new to online dating (I just checked on OKCupid and he deactivated his profile). On the other hand, I’m an online dating veteran. I’ve gone on many dates and have figured out what I’m looking for in a match. My takeaway from this entire experience is to know what you're getting involved in before you get too emotionally committed. Is this easier said than done? Of course! It is never easy, is it? In order to prevent getting burned by a Fader, you should ease myself into dating the next guy. I’ll call it the “Fade In.”
Until Next Time,
I first entered the world of online dating as a nineteen year old. Ten years ago, online dating was highly stigmatized and seen as a cry for help. I am proud to call myself an early adopter. I’ve been a member of Match.com at three separate ages (19, ~25, and ~28). The online dating landscape has changed significantly over the past decade. More players are moving into mobile app platforms. We do everything else on the move, so why not find your next date that way as well? I’d like to share with you my perspective on several different services. I’ve gone on dates through four of them (OkCupid, HowAboutWe, Match.com and eHarmony) and have joined the rest to form an opinion.
Category: Sites That Have Led to Dates
Positioning: “Join the best free dating site on Earth. Start meeting people now!”
Reality: The Fastest Way to Hookup
Cost: Free (Upgrade to A-List, 1 Month Contract: $19.95 per month to 6 Month Contract: $9.95 per month)
Guarantee: None. I do guarantee that you will hate how much you love it.
Some of the Most Ridiculous Questions You Can Answer on the Site:
Have You Ever Hired a Prostitute for Yourself? [Note: I appreciate the specificity of “yourself” and not “your friend”]
While in the middle of the best lovemaking of your life, if your lover asked you to squeal like a dolphin, would you? [Note: If is name is Flipper, you were warned!]
How do you eat your cupcake?
Would you consider dating someone with a glass eye? [Note: Depends on how he eats a cupcake]
Personalitini Score: 4/5
Although this site markets itself as free, you can upgrade your account to A-List. I tried the free version for several months and got frustrated, so I forked over nearly $60 for a 6 Month Trial. For a cost significantly lower than most other sites, you are given multiple features. My two favorites are invisible browsing (you can stalk your new crush without him knowing the depth of your obsession) and seeing which members have rated you as a 4/5 or 5/5. These two features eliminate a lot of the wasted time on the site; I can focus on people I’m interested in that are ALREADY interested in me without scaring them by my profile views. Win/Win.
“Best” Dating Story: Oh my. Where to start? Through all of my online dating experience, the dates I’ve been on through this site FAR exceed all of the others. Some of the best stories are a bit too aggressive to print, so I will offer a takeaway: I’ve had some of the best dates with people I had a fairly low match %. OKCupid matches you with other users based off of % Match/Friend/Enemy. I’ve gone out with people I had 99% Match Compatibility that were truly terrible and people that were 50% Enemy that were a delight. It just goes to show that chemistry is far more complicated than a computer algorithm.
Positioning: “Join Free & Post a Date Idea. Start with the words, “How about we…” then suggest a date you’d like to go on”
Reality: The Site Where the answer to “How about we…” is always “get cheap drinks at a shitty bar”
Cost: If you want to interact, you gotta pay! 1 Month Contract: $34.99 per month to 1 Year Contract: $7.99 per month
Guarantee: “The 100% Get-Offline Guarantee” – basically only covers that you’ll meet a real person on a date…woo hoo!
Posted Dates by Actual Users: How about we…
…have brunch at the Central Park Boat house followed by a leisurely walk in the sun.
…take a plane to London for a spontaneous long weekend.
…go skydiving – it’s been almost three years since I last went.
Personalitini Score: 2/5
I went on a handful of dates that were not awful. That being said, the incredible date idea posted by the date in question WITHOUT FAIL never ended up being the date he suggested. As a silly dater, I assumed that the premise of the site was to go out with someone on the posted dates. Apparently, they are just window dressing to entice someone. Ultimately, however, you do feel the unfortunate beneficiary of a “bait and switch” when that swanky bar he suggested ends up being The Four-Faced Liar.
“Best” Dating Story: I bring up that West Village Bar because my first HowAboutWe date took place here and not at the uber-nice bar he suggested we check out. When I arrived, I noticed he was sitting very close to some random dude. After I met him, he kept saying, “Who is this weirdo that is sitting so close to us?” I tried to see the silver lining of this date with each sip of warm beer. It turned out that the “weirdo” was actually his friend that he brought to join him on our date. This is by far the closest I’ve ever gotten to a threesome.
Positioning: “Match.com has led to more dates, relationships and marriages than any other site”
Reality: Pay for the same experience you get from OKCupid
Cost: Don’t post rates unless you provide a username and start a “Free Trial” – I looked at my renewal rates: 3 Month Contract (minimum): $26.99 per month to 1 Year Contract: $20.99 per month.
Guarantee: If you sign-up for a 6 Month Contract and you don’t find “someone special” within 6 Months, you get 6 additional Months Free (so not a refund exactly…)
Personalitini Score: 2/5
Since you can only interact with users if you pay, there are limited benefits to this site unless you’re a member. The argument for paying to communicate with other members is to place a hurdle to filter out people that “aren’t looking for a relationship.” Call me crazy, but if you’re paying $0 for OkCupid it does not mean you don’t want a relationship; the same logic follows that paying $30 for a service does not mean you’re not just looking for sex. Before moving to NYC, I had really great success with Match.com in Charlotte. When I moved here, it was the first service I tried. I was surprised that I had such a different experience; maybe it was market dynamics! I joined OKCupid and found that I was having much better success (for free!) than on Match.com. I didn’t renew my subscription. Based on that, my advice is to try out a couple different sites to see what works best for you! Just because you save money, don’t lock yourself into an annual contract right away.
“Best” Dating Story:
When I was in Charlotte, a date sent a limo to pick me up to go to dinner at an upscale restaurant in Charlotte (Bentley’s Restaurant, if you’re familiar with the area). Initially, I was hesitant. What if this limo was taking me to my imminent death and not a decadent meal? Armed with pepper spray (I would likely injure myself with it first), I got into the limo. During the date, he casually mentioned he was a widower. This nugget was not the appetizer I thought I ordered. I also made a faux pas by ordering my own food. Apparently, we live in the Stone Age and I was supposed to tell him what I wanted so he could tell the waiter: he wanted to play dinner telephone. Did I mention he somehow found out where I worked and sent me an Edible Arrangement? [Note to the Men: if you really want to charm a lady, send her fruit on spikes in a cup. Nothing gets her more pumped than that.] The best part of the date was the walk home. I felt that if I got in the limo it could have ended up like the Bone Collector.
Positioning: “Beat the odds, Bet on Love with eHarmony”
Reality: Pay to be matched with people that you do not find physically attractive but are great on paper!
Cost: 3 Month Contract: $39.99 per month to 1 Year Contract: $19.65 per month
Guarantee: The Premier Package – if you’re unhappy during your 1 Year Contract, you can add an additional year for free (this “package” costs $41.95 per month!)
Personalitini Score: 1/5
I really bought into the marketing. Dr. Neil Clark Warren (the old white guy in the commercials) really nailed it. I just had to fill out a never-ending survey and they would do all the work! Each day, I would be served up potential soul mates! HOW FUN! Guess again. Without the ability to search through the database, you’re at the mercy of an algorithm. Shockingly, just because you both love puppies, brunch and live in the same city does not mean you will want to make out with each other.
“Best” Dating Story
After continuously rejecting my “hand-picked” matches, I finally found someone I was physically attracted to that was also attracted to me! We scheduled a date and met up. At the end of our date, I asked him what he was up to later that week. He started chuckling and shared, “I’m going on a date with your friend that is in your eHarmony photo.” Watch out Romeo! Rico Suave here was also matched with my close friend that was on eHarmony and figured out we knew each other by our uploaded photos. Genius Alert! I don’t know if he thought this would be a strategy to go out with both of us at the same time, but I was over it after that. It hit too close to home. #TMI
Category: Honorable Mentions
Positioning: “Make a Real Connection”
Reality: Have Peace Knowing that that Guy Not Interested in You Knows 5 of Your Facebook Friends
Coffee Meets Bagel (https://coffeemeetsbagel.com/)
Positioning: “Quality Dating Made Easy”
Reality: “This sexual analogy is confusing. Who is the bagel?” (An elegant argument brought to my attention by Christine)
Positioning: “Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.”
Reality: Tinder is how people hook up. It’s like porn, but real.
As always, I’d love to hear your perspective! Which site has given you the best results? If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into online dating, did my advice help? I hope so! Tweet me @personalitini!
Freedom of Speech guarantees you the right to say whatever you want. It does not, however, guarantee that there will be no consequences. My last article ended up being polarizing between single and coupled readers a like. I am pleased that people reached out to me with opinions for two reasons. Firstly, it shows me that you read that article (yay!). Secondly, and more importantly, it shows me that I am writing about topics that matter. I do not write the articles with the hope that you will agree with my opinions. If anything, I write them with the hope that it will start a dialogue or at least cause one to consider reexamining existing perceptions. Often times, I get too caught up in my own situation and fail to put myself in the shoes of my closest friends. At times, our best meaning intentions can be perceived as something else. In relationships, it is important to have an open dialogue. This concept led me to the topic of this article: ending relationships. How do you tell someone you no longer have feelings for him/her while sparing his/her feelings? Is that even possible?
Each time I meet a new guy on a first date, I am entering into a pseudo-relationship. Most would agree it is overkill to discuss your preferences of hearing or for sharing “I’m just not that into you” before a first date; however, without ever bringing this up, I willingly strap myself into the impending emotional rollercoaster. How many times have I gotten on this ride of dating fun? As a safe estimate, I’ll say I have been on over 50 first dates in my post-college life. I do realize this is a humorous number given that a Drew Barrymore movie shares the same name. Unlike Ms. Barrymore, however, I remember all of these dates, some in excruciating detail. Since I’m still single, all 50+ of these dates did not lead to a relationship. This means I have had gone through the experience of ending a potential relationship a lot. From these experiences, I’ve identified three typical ways that my relationships (one encounter or more) typically end.
(1) The Classic “Slow Fade”: Process by which one party reduces communication until s/he has effectively disappeared into the ether. Exceptions: Slow Fader may miraculously attempt to reconnect at 2am on a Saturday to say “Hey.” Be careful; to the Slow Fader this is not an attempt to reconnect “emotionally”, but definitely to connect physically. See “Friends with Benefits” for more details.
I recently went on (what I thought) was an amazing first date. He picked an awesome cocktail spot to meet up and even works in the alcohol industry! We chatted for over five hours and the conversation was effortless. We laughed! He affectionately touched my shoulder throughout the night! [Note: in reflection, maybe he had OCD and had to keep touching it after the first time.] We shared a (tender?) hug and made [tentative] plans for the following week. Our date was on a Monday. We were both free next on the Wednesday of the following week. The first days following the date, we exchanged texts but with decreasing frequency. The Saturday after our date was the last communication. I would be funny if his name was Casper because he straight up disappeared. I respect that he was allowed to change his mind; I would have preferred a cleaner break. Now I’m left not knowing what changed or if he was ever even interested in the first place. Argh!
I have been guilty of doing this in the past. As I wrote in my last article, I chose to tell the guy directly that I did not think we were a good match. I was dreading his reaction. I was pleasantly surprised when he handled it maturely: he told me he was glad I told him directly and felt the same way. It felt good to be an adult about these things for once (see: “Clean Break” for more).
(2) The Confusing “Friends with Benefits”: Process by which one party does not want to date (do activities outside of an apartment) but entirely supports hooking up with the other party.
Haven’t we all been here? I’d like to think I have grown out of this phase, but who knows if another “charmer” can make me think otherwise? I’ve had several guys I’ve gone on a first date with that have “Slow Faded” me attempt to start “dating” me. The caveat being that “dating” to these Romeos is defined as taking place at my apartment, definitely after midnight and most certainly after a night of heavy drinking. It is hard to imagine I would have the strength to say no to such an appealing offer. If you couldn’t end things well the first time, why would I want to deal with you now? Additionally, I really don’t want someone to sleep over in the first place, let alone under this desperate scenario.
If this is a strategy you enjoy deploying, think of the last conversation you had with the person you’re “reaching out” to. The way you end things influences if someone wants to bother with you again. Unless of course, you’re Chris Helmsworth or Kate Upton, then I guess you can just be terrible and get your way.
(3) The “Clean Break”: Process by which one party decides to be a responsible adult and tell the other that the relationship is not working. Receiver of the news can react maturely or immaturely – impossible to predict.
Ah, to be young! When I first started dating, I was a fragile little bird. If a guy that I liked did not like me, well I would tell him just what to do! Nothing changes an uninterested guy’s mind like expletives and threats…or so I thought. This is similar to when I started my professional career and got “constructive” feedback. At first, I was incredibly defensive to hear that I was not a model employee. How could there be room for improvement when I was so “great”? It was only after I gained more perspective that I realized this feedback was to help me and not to offend me. I’ve tried to apply this to dating as well. If a guy has the decency to tell me he is not interested in me, I should be grateful for that feedback. There is absolutely no confusion. It allows me to move on.
With my generation, this method of ending a relationship has been replaced with the Slow Fade, especially if the relationship was never defined. We are simply too casual about everything. How we end things says more about us then how we begin them. Even if you only went on a couple of dates, giving the other person a direct answer is much more civil than deliberate avoidance.
On a lighter note, and in keeping with the “spirit” of my column, I wanted to share a bar crawl I recently did in the East Village. All this breakup talk is a bit depressing. I figured you could use a drink!
190 Avenue B (btw 12th & 11th St)
I planned a fun evening out with Aish, a lovely lady I met in one of my classes at Stern. She is HILARIOUS and I knew I had to impress her with my knowledge of cocktails. I knew Back Forty would be a solid option for dinner and cocktails. Although Aish is a gluten-free vegetarian she does not suck as a person. She was flexible in my restaurant choices and knew that I could find something suitable for her particular dietary needs. I instantly knew we would be best friends.
We each started with their signature cocktail, The Back Forty. It is made with George Dickel #12, Maple and Lemon. Each cocktail is $11; there is also an option for a large format carafe for $55. Back Forty has great desserts but it was the first stop of our evening, so we wanted to have room. The donuts are yummy – tried them the first time I went there!
171 Avenue C (btw 11th & 10th St)
Another place I had been looking forward to visiting! The cocktail list is very interesting. There is a section called "Spirited Phosphates" which are carbonated beverages spiked with booze and charged with CO2! The drinks are "poured" from an old-fashioned seltzer container, super cool. I chose the Bramble Cup, made with bourbon, Pimms, Blackberry Syrup, Mint, Lemon, Angostura Bitters and Phosphate (the Bubbly stuff!).
Since we were having a cocktail crawl, we only got one drink here. The back bar was interesting. It looked like someone was trying to be romantic with the candles and then things got out of hand. It adds a certain mood for sure. I'd recommend exploring this spot and sticking around for a couple cocktails. I wanted to be able to walk to our next location, so we kept it tame with one.
111 1st Ave (btw 7th & 6th St)
We put our name down at PDT (Please Don't Tell) prior to coming to Maharlika. I read rave reviews about this Filipino spot and wanted to visit it while we waited to be called for our reservation. I was focused on ordering a VERY specific cocktail for tonight: the Sharon Cuneta, made with rum, hand pressed coconut milk, nutmeg and cinnamon. It is topped with a generous portion of toasted coconut as well. It tasted DELICIOUS after soaking in the cocktail. Currently, this is right at the top of my favorite dessert-like cocktails.
We were told we would need to wait an hour (at least) for PDT, so we were surprised when we were called after 30 minutes. We just ordered a second Sharon Cuneta and were kindly told me had 10 minutes or we would lose the reservation. The bars were separated by about 5 minutes on foot (in heels, it could be 8 minutes), so we had about 2 minutes to drink an entire drink. I'll let you imagine how we accomplished that task. I highly recommend this cocktail. It is FANTASTIC and the vibe of the spot is cozy and welcoming.
Please Don’t Tell (PDT)
113 St. Marks Place (btw Ave A & 1st Ave)
PDT is one of the worst kept secrets in NYC speakeasies. I guess you should blame the internet for that. PDT is located within Crif Dogs, an unsuspecting hot dog shop (Note: If you ever had a hot dog wrapped in bacon at Beer Blast, you’ve enjoyed the culinary delights of Crif Dogs). I’ve tried to go here once before unsuccessfully with another Stern friend. When you arrive at Crif Dogs, you need to enter the phone booth. There is a sign that says to raise the receiver and press a button. The hostess will then open the door and either 1. Let you in or 2. Take your number and call you when your reservation is ready. The hostess will encourage you to get a drink somewhere else. Be forewarned, however, that you have 10 minutes to arrive once they call you, so be mindful that your waiting place isn’t too far away. We were at Maharlika, so it wasn’t a huge issue.
Once we were seated, we both got the Shark, made with butter-infused rum, overproof rum, Frangelico, Blue Curacao, Lemon and Pineapple Juice, Cream, and Tiki Bitters. It is a beautiful blue hue and accessorized with a teeny-tiny umbrella. We LOVED it! The décor at PDT is interesting to say the least. Many taxidermed animals decorate the walls. This is worth a visit for any serious cocktail fan.
I hope this article has encouraged you to stop the “Slow Fade” and explore the East Village for cocktails!
Blame it on movies, music and television. As far as I can remember, I’ve been sold the idea that I’m going to meet someone and be swept off my feet into a world of bliss. I won’t be able to contain the butterflies and I will be overwhelmed with feelings of happiness. Even Carrie ends up with Big in the end! Over the course of the holidays, many of my close friends have experienced significant milestones in their relationships. My Facebook News Feed was in overdrive with the news of Engagements, Marriages and Pregnancies. In comparison, my success in romantic relationships has been questionable. Upon reading this news, I typically rapidly cycle through the following emotions, similar to The Five Stages of Loss and Grief. Maybe you can relate to some of the thoughts that run through my head when another friend joins the “Left Hand Club.”
1. DENIAL AND ISOLATION: Another engagement…really? Didn’t they just get together? I’ve had my 3-Wick Candles from Bath and Body Works longer and I use that thing ALL THE TIME! AM I THE ONLY SINGLE PERSON LEFT OUT OF MY GROUP OF FRIENDS? WTF IS WRONG WITH ME?! [I proceed to shut down my computer and consider blocking certain people from my Facebook News Feed. Make note that my News Feed will soon be empty.]
2. ANGER: I have my life together! I’m in business school! I have a job! I have good teeth! [I begin to text friends in similar situations to bitch and complain after commenting on how happy we are for our recently engaged friend]
3. BARGAINING: Maybe I need to change my approach. If only I were less sarcastic on that first date…If only I did not make a disgusted face when that “great match” according to OKCupid said something completely inappropriate…If only I did not tell that guy to “go die in a fire” after he sent me that unsolicited “head” shot. [I plead to the Higher Powers to help me! I promise I’ll be better!]
4. DEPRESSION: [Hit rock bottom. Order Pad Thai on consecutive evenings via Seamless and watch Sex and the City. Start creeping on OKCupid desperately and message people I would never interact with because of my fear of being alone]
5. ACCEPTANCE: After speaking to these “winners” on OKCupid that I reached out to in desperation, I begin to accept that I’d rather be alone than settle for anything less than an incredible match. Maybe I’ll just be the crazy cat lady, but instead have a house full of pugs.
The reason I wanted to bring this up is because we all go through it. Social media heightens the underlying-competiveness of our relationships, especially female relationships. Of course I love my friends and care about them deeply. I would be lying, however, if I did not admit that I compare myself to them, particularly in the context of romantic relationships. It is hard to admit and the truth often is just that: hard. Regardless of the success I have had, as a 29 year old single female, I am constantly asked if I am in the relationship and if I am not, what I am doing to fix that issue. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you my most recent “almost” relationship.
Given the social (media) pressure of the holidays, I attempted to unplug. If you know me well at all, you realize how challenging this is for me. I’m Instagramming, Facebooking, Tweeting, and Foursquaring my way through the day. I wanted to do less of that while I was home with my family in Arizona for about two and a half weeks. With all this free time though, I thought I would tee up some matches through OKCupid for my eventual return to NYC. Surprisingly, I really clicked with someone only a few days into my vacation. This was likely the beginning of the eventual end (spoiler alert: it didn’t work out). I was unintentionally setting up a recipe for disaster. Let me break it down for you. I started talking to someone new while I am at home with DAYS of free time. What did I do with this free time? Naturally, I texted this guy back and forth way too much. We even spoke on the phone – who does that anymore unless it is an emergency? Before I EVEN MET HIM, I knew far too much about him. To give you context, I likely know more about him than some of my friends I’ve known at Stern for over one and a half years.
You may be thinking it is a good thing to know a lot about a potential date before you meet him. Well, it is not. Each layer of information applies a filter to how you perceive that person. Is that fair? No, of course not! I can’t stop it OR its disastrous results from happening, though. I’m human! Once I know something, I cannot simply unknow it. For instance, I was discussing my desire to avoid Facebook because of all the engagements – especially of people I’m not close with but remain Facebook friends. I blurted out, “Have you ever been engaged?” He answered, “Yes” before I could stop him with, “Wow that was inappropriate for me to ask.” But, now that I knew this information, I wanted to know EVERYTHING. I had a crush on this guy and had an unquenchable appetite for knowledge! When did it happen? How long were you together? Why did you break up? WHO IS SHE? ARE YOU GETTING BACK TOGETHER? I had to contain myself. I promised myself I wouldn’t ask anything further as it was likely a sensitive topic.
So, I waited until the next time I spoke to him (the next day) to bring these things up. If anything, the honest answers he provided to these questions terrified me. Why did I think it was a good move to ask questions I didn’t necessarily want to know the answers to? I just kept stepping on clearly identified landmines. The quest for knowledge is never-ending; especially when it comes to someone you’re romantically interested in. An answer to one question does not lead to satisfaction; it leads to multiple follow up questions and DISASTER.
This process continued for the next two weeks as I was in Arizona. Even after all of our mutually shared revelations, we scheduled a date to meet upon my return to NYC. I was cautiously optimistic. Even though we clicked “long-distance” would we click in person? We decided to brave the polar-vortex (the first of several in January) and met on a Tuesday night for cocktails at a lounge. When he walked in, I was pleasantly surprised: he looked just like his photos, if not better. This is a rarity. We had a great conversation and hit it off. I still felt the spark of initial chemistry that I had for him before we met in person. This is always a good sign as many times the IDEA of a person is better than the REALITY.
Over the coming weeks, we spent a lot of time together (having the entire month off from school facilitates that). We went out on multiple dates and spent a lot of time texting each other. So, within a short period of time, I got a vibe of him as a person. I really enjoyed this time and getting to know him. Then, after our last date, something just snapped and I had a complete déjà vu experience: I already dated this exact type of person (years ago) and it did not work out. Only then, it took about eight months to find out instead of a month. In case you don’t remember my “What is the Deal with Deal Breakers?” article, I’ve repeated my Top 5 List in descending order with comments regarding this particular situation. [Note: I’d like to provide context for my rationale so you do not think I am unrealistically picky or unreasonable.]
1. No Chemistry – I need sparks to feel hot for someone
Sense of Humor: Are you laughing with me, or at me?
Communication Skills: Can you engage in intelligent conversation?
Strong Belief System: Do you stand for something or fall for anything?
Initially, the chemistry was very strong. As I got to know more about him, particularly his personal aspirations, I started to lose interest. I need to be into the whole package or it falls apart.
2.Conflicting Life Goals –Big goals are more important to me than big feet (but those are ok too)
Although he has an impressive job at an admirable company, he is incredibly unhappy in his current situation. He tended to discuss his job as a necessary evil rather than as a career. I am very career-oriented and driven by goals, hugely unrealistic goals that even if I don’t realize them, I’m aiming high enough to challenge myself. I’m not content with just OK. If you’re not happy, what are you doing to change your situation?
3. Lack of Shared Interests – The couple that plays together, stays together
I am passionate about my interests: discovering new spots in NYC and blogging about it, planning trips, hosting dinner parties (where I accidentally cut myself and have to go to the ER…), PUGS, and scuba diving to name a few! He was mostly just interested in sports. I have ZERO interest in sports. He seemed stressed by the idea of traveling outside the US. Meanwhile, I’m pouring over travel books for a two-week drive around Ireland. This seemed like a challenge. He had no interest in scuba diving; who will be my buddy?
4. Conflicting Core Values – Our moral compasses point in different directions
Haven’t had as many heart-to-hearts on certain issues. Given the differences in 2 & 3, it wasn’t that relevant.
5. Taller than me…with heels…that are high
Not an issue but given the context of everything else it doesn’t matter enough to outweigh anything.
I’m providing this information to hold myself accountable to the Deal Breakers I spent a lot of time reflecting on months ago. Is it fair for me to casually date someone and waste his time if I am absolutely certain there is no future? Is it harsh to have a list of qualities and go through them as I just did or is it really the more considerate thing to do? To have enough respect for the other person to call it what it is rather than make it something it will never be? I’m not ok with settling for OK. I also respect him too much to pretend it is more than OK.
It is tricky to navigate the ending of an “almost” relationship. How do you break-up with someone you are not committed to in any official way? To add to the complication, we connected to each other’s social media accounts. Talk about awkward. Do I unfollow him on FourSquare or is that weird? If I liked a post on his Instagram, is that stalkerish? How do you define boundaries when the beginning and ending of a pseudo-relationship are blurred? To be clear, I told him that I did not think we were the right match for each other romantically. Who likes to hear the “let’s be friends” BS anyway? If he unfollows me on Twitter, I will take that as a hint that he doesn’t want to be friends.
As always, I’m interested to hear your opinions @personalitini.
I made a great decision recently: going to Las Vegas with the Stern Adventures Club. Although I had visited Sin City previously, I knew this trip would be different. My first visit, a surprise 30th birthday for my brother with my parents included in the festivities, was fairly tame. I did live on the edge a bit; I took my brother to see PEEPSHOW with Holly Madison. While it was fun, it was also incredibly awkward at times. I guess I did not fully think out seeing a nude show with my brother. Oops. My next visit was with a large group of Sternies this past May. In the company of many awesome classmates, it was a great way to cap-off my MBA1 year and prepare for my internship. Compared to my first visit, this one was not as tame. There were bottles purchased, tables danced on, and too many things captured on social media that shouldn’t have been. If anything, this second trip prepared me for the epic trip before Thanksgiving. What could you be more thankful for than Vegas?
In reflecting on my trip, I’d like to share a quote: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller. My likely-too-long trip to Vegas (four night stay at MGM Grand) made me take many things into perspective. With this in mind, I’d like to reflect on my key travel lessons from the past trip. Don’t worry, this is definitively within the context of my column, since I managed to go on a date while in Vegas (if there is a “Will,” there is a way) and had a few (maybe more than a few) drinks.
Lesson 1: Great Cocktails are important, but not as important as the Conversation Shared over Said Cocktails
Naturally, while I was in Vegas, I was on the hunt for incredible cocktails. In this city of sin, a vodka soda is just not going to cut it. Whiskey Down, one of the bars located in MGM Grand, served as home base. What isn’t to like about $10 cocktails that feature premium liquor? One of the bartenders had an extra “special” spicy Bloody Mary that he made for us daily; we’re still not sure what made it special, but as you’ll see in Lesson 5, sometimes not knowing is the best answer. I quickly realized I had some new partners in crime during my trip: Miranda and Jenn, both MBA1s. I don’t get to interact with them as much since we aren’t in classes together, but we certainly made up for that during our trip. In addition to their sense of humor, these two ladies shared my passion for an expertly crafted cocktail. We visited many different bars during our days/nights in Vegas. The cocktails were great, but the conversation was the best part. I lost track of how many times I laughed until I cried on that trip. I have a feeling even if I were in a dumpy dive bar with these two ladies, we would still have as much fun. At this point, I know an overwhelming majority of my own class at Stern. This experience taught me that the MBA1s are an incredibly awesome bunch. I need to do more networking!
Lesson 2: Even if you’re hesitant, it pays to “Get in the Kayak”
On Friday, our first day in Vegas, we had a full day of adventurous activities! There would be Kayaking! ATVing! Land Sailing! Biking! I was so pumped! The past two times I had been to Vegas, most of the time was spent disoriented indoors: with the odd lighting, pumped out vanilla scent and lack of clocks there is really no way to tell what is going on. This time would be different! I was going to be outdoors! And in sneakers! When Kate (my amazing roommate) and I opened our blackout shades that morning, we realized it was raining outside. But, come rain or shine, this adventure was a go! We came all this way!
When we got to Lake Mead, it was very cold…wet…generally miserable. I really did not want to go kayaking. I had many rational reasons not to get in the water. I could get sick! I would get wet! I would be cold! But instead, I chose to get in the damn kayak! Looking back, it was the right decision. I was joined by our instructor and Sofia (the fearless leader for the weekend) and Kiran. The rest of the group remained (warm and dry) in the van. When I think of my decision to kayak, it is a metaphor for stepping outside of my comfort zone. It is so much easier sometimes to just say “no” without really thinking about why you’re saying no in the first place. I don’t know if I’m coming from a “place of yes” more because I am freaking out that I will be 30 in August or if there is something else motivating me. Either way, I’m planning to “get in the kayak” much more often. Please don’t say #YOLO.
Lesson 3: Shooting a Gun is like Wearing Lipstick: It gives you Confidence
I am quite aware that this is a grossly simplified simile – just go with it! As one of our optional activities during the trip, we could go mountain biking or participate in a mob-style shooting experience at an indoor range. Likely from watching too much Boardwalk Empire, I was immediately drawn to the shooting experience. It is crazy to think that by paying a fee you have can have such a powerful weapon in the palm of your hand (insert crude joke here). In the past, I’ve often been scared to shoot higher caliber guns (my parents are retired in Arizona and enjoy shooting targets). I often hesitate. I’m too scared of the power of the weapon and the recoil from shooting it. Perhaps I was emboldened – I did kayak the day before. Why not try shooting a shot gun, Glock and Tommy Gun with confidence? The instructor, who was attractive in that “I may have been arrested” way, told me that most people are not as accurate in shooting targets because they anticipate the recoil. Clearly, I cannot pass the opportunity to compare this to a general life lesson. Isn’t bracing yourself for the recoil of the shot the same as having a self-fulfilling prophecy? For example, you anticipate that the gun has a lot of power, so you already start readjusting your posture and grip before you even pull the trigger. Similarly, in life, we often prepare ourselves for a negative outcome before we even start something new! In shooting, it is better to have a more relaxed posture than to tense up. In life, I’m trying to practice the same doctrine. It is far too easy to talk yourself out of something before you even experience it. With this in mind, I’m trying to be more confident about myself and new experiences before they happen. Sure, I will fail terribly at many things I attempt, but if I don’t start with an optimistic mind-set, aren’t I already setting myself up to fail?
Lesson 4: There is a strategy in conquering all-you-can-eat/drink meals
During our trip, I indulged in too unlimited events: a bottomless wine dinner at Charlie Palmers and an all you can eat and drink until-you-hate-yourself buffet at the Wicked Spoon. This lesson is short and sweet. 1. Scout out the buffet before you commit to anything (sort of like dating before getting married); 2. Decide the order that is most appealing to you to eat the food you want to eat (maybe breakfast foods first and dessert last); 3. Taste everything you want but do not eat the full portion size – you will overcommit and ruin your day; 4. If you get something and hate it, abort at all costs (no one won at the buffet by eating gross food); 5. Once you try everything and you really love something, go get some more!
Lesson 5: Sometimes, Less Questions make for a Better Experience
After my first log-in on OKCupid in Vegas, I felt like a piece of meat thrown to hungry sharks. How did I have five messages and 100+ Views since my last log-in? In my settings, I didn’t realize I had it set to update my current location. Since I joined the site, I had not traveled outside of the metro area, so this was a shock to say the least. I wonder if “daters” in Las Vegas are so addicted to the constantly changing inventory that the idea of a committed relationship is mythical. I got a particularly interesting inbound message from a handsome professional poker player. We will call him “Will” – in my last article, I hinted about discussing age. What a wonderful coincidence that he happened to be a bit older than me, let’s say 40. He also happened to be tall (6’5), dark (nice tan and full head of hair) and handsome (professional athlete look). After many “fun” OKCupid dates, I was a bit skeptical to say the least. Surely this person didn’t really exist and I would soon be Catfished. I’m in Vegas though, I thought, so what the hell. I’m not a gambler, unless you consider meeting strangers in bars in Vegas a potentially risky endeavor. He was finishing up a poker tournament nearby and I was already at MGM Grand, so of course I suggested Whiskey Down. Was it even a question?
To summarize, the date was fantastic. Since I knew the likelihood of ever seeing him again was low, I tried to avoid the “interview” date approach, which is terrible regardless of the situation. I just enjoyed his company and went with it. It proved that sometimes you can enjoy yourself without knowing every single detail. Just order a cocktail and the rest will figure itself out. This is a date, not brain surgery (although some are so awful I would prefer to be under anesthesia). Will was a very interesting person, full of surprises; the biggest being that he was exactly (if not better) as I imagined him to be based on his profile. The only disappointment was that I will likely never see him again. Isn’t there a quote in Casablanca? We’ll always have Vegas…I mean Paris?
In summary, I had an incredible time in Vegas. The visit gave me a new lens in which to interpret situations. Hopefully, you’ll get something out of my “Lessons” or at least you enjoyed reading them. Also, if you find yourself in Vegas, check out my recommendations below.
Bar: Whiskey Down
Location: MGM Grand
What to Order: An extra spicy Bloody Mary or The Down Home Punch (Woodford Reserve MGM Select Barrel Bourbon, White Peach, Fresh Mint, Lemon, Tea)
Helpful Tip: The lounge chairs are super comfy. Also, don’t try to bring in outside food, Brienne did and she was scolded – no croissants!
Bar: Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge (do you notice a theme?)
Location: The Shoppes at the Palazzo
What to Order: Feature “winetails” that mix liquor with wine – the Pear Winetini is fantastic (Prosecco, Pear Vodka and St. Germain)
Helpful Tip: Happy Hour Daily from 3-6PM = ½ price featured beer and wine; also a Foursquare check-in special!
Restaurant: Charlie Palmer Steak
Location: Four Seasons
What to Order: “Cut of the Week” Pre Fixe Menu is $48 per person (5:30pm to 10:00pm) and gets you: salad, entrée, two sides and dessert and a bottomless wine pairing (a white and a red)
Helpful Tip: Ask for Tony to be your server, he is a classically trained wine pourer!
Buffet: Wicked Spoon
What to Order: “Taste everything, eat nothing” – Someone smart
Helpful Tip: Explore everything at the buffet first before you pick up one item – this way you can have a strategy and eat food in an order that makes sense. At one point, I had Chinese food next to Eggs Benedict and Meatballs. I was a hot mess.
Picking the right mix of traits in a potential partner is challenging. It is *almost* as difficult as picking an exciting course load at Stern without several night classes. Interestingly enough, both of these scenarios include compromise. The SGov survey explored many of these dilemmas but not with sexy alternatives. It seems often in these scenarios that there are extremes. Would you prefer a 9am class or a 6pm class? What happened to the middle of the day? My experience in online dating has largely encompassed these extremes. A date is either incredible or awful. What happened to the middle of the road?
This predicament made me start to further explore what matters to me the most in a potential partner. Do I experience such polarized dating outcomes because of my expectations? Are they too high? I’m an open book and want to share with you my priorities when identifying a partner I’d want to date exclusively. On the flip side, the lack of these traits would be a Deal Breaker. I provide this specification because different things matter depending on the time-horizon. A causal relationship (dating, hooking up) may not require the same hurdles as a serious relationship. I define “serious” as someone I could picture as a partner for the long-term…not just for the night (I mean, I of course do not think that way, just for arguments sake!)
Deal Breakers (In Descending Order)
1. No Chemistry – I need sparks to feel hot for someone
Naturally my top deal breaker is incredibly hard to define. Chemistry is exactly that. It is that urge that makes you want to see someone again. It is the butterflies in your stomach that excite you. It is the thrill of receiving a text from this person (bonus points if it includes an emoticon) that breaks your sense of concentration. Like Walter White, great chemistry can yield perfection, a relationship of “blue crystal” quality. I haven’t mutually sparked with someone in a while. Have I been on good dates recently? Of course, but I haven’t felt the “click” in a bit.
In the past, the men I’ve had phenomenal chemistry with shared the following traits:
Sense of Humor: Are you laughing with me, or at me?
I define this not just as the ability to tell jokes, but to also appreciate my comedic style. Humor is highly subjective and highly important to me. If you can’t share a joke on the easiest of days, how will you get through the hard ones?
Communication Skills: Can you engage in intelligent conversation?
While I appreciate the ability to grunt or to send highly abbreviated text messages, I most appreciate a skilled conversationalist. I enjoy talking about topics beyond the weather and when we can go back to my apartment.
Strong Belief System: Do you stand for something or fall for anything?
Do you tend to answer questions with “I don’t care” or “whatever you want to do”? If so, we’re probably not going to hit it off. I appreciate a man that stands for something. Opinions and preferences are good. If you don’t even know what you want, how the hell am I supposed to figure it out?
2. Conflicting Life Goals –Big goals are more important to me than big feet (but those are ok too)
In the past, many of my relationships have failed because of differences in personal motivation. As a highly motivated female, I always find it interesting when I bring this up as an issue with male friends. Even in our incredibly progressive culture, there are still stark differences between genders. In a relationship, if a man is perceived as more successful than the woman (as measured by a more “prestigious” career choice, advanced title, or higher salary), there is typically not as much discomfort. However, if the roles are flipped around, interesting things happen, at least from my own personal experience. As an example, I wanted to go on a vacation with a boyfriend that was not as well off financially and I offered to pay for it; this gesture added a perceptible strain on the relationship [Note: this was during my days of investment banking and not unemployment]. I have big personal goals and I want someone that shares this trait. A driven man is a sexy man. A man that is not supportive of my accomplishments? Eek.
3. Lack of Shared Interests – The couple that plays together, stays together
Maybe opposites attract, but I’ve found I need at least something in common for there to be a solid connection. I have several pursuits in my life that I absolutely love. It would be awesome to have a potential partner at least be interested enough to try them. Scuba diving, cooking, exploring cocktail bars/restaurants are all activities I enjoy and are more fun with a partner. Likewise, I may not be the biggest sports aficionado, but I’m more than happy to learn J
4. Conflicting Core Values – Our moral compasses point in different directions
You likely won’t broach many of these topics on a first date, but if you are getting serious with someone, it will come up sooner than you think. Shockingly (though likely not if you’ve read my column) questions regarding child rearing, religion, and ethical judgments have come up on dates before I’ve even ordered my first cocktail. Excuse me Sir, I’d like to order a Manhattan and not share my thoughts on the death penalty right now. As you can imagine, the problem with diving into the deep end of serious conversation right away is that you may be too quick to judge someone without a more robust context. It isn’t until we learn more about someone that we fully appreciate their views. I think you first need to figure out chemistry, goals and shared interests before you move to these highly emotional topics.
5. Taller than me…with heels…that are high
I consider myself a confident person, though I’m not able to get over the idea of being taller than someone I’m dating. Is it superficial? Absolutely. I’m not proud of this yet I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t matter. I’ve attempted to dismiss it and date men that are basically my height. Height is symbolic of a deeper need to want to feel protected. Many of my personality traits are dominant and skew towards behavior generally bucketed as masculine (independent, competitive, blunt). Height provides a balance and makes me feel like a lady, especially in my 5 inch heels.
There you have it: My “Top 5” List. If you caught my Dating Analytics article, you already know that I am a big fan of crowdsourcing information from my peers. I created a new survey to figure out where my partner preferences compare to others. I was pleased to see how willing my Facebook network was to contribute to my research pursuits! I got a total of 67 respondents and over 70% of respondents were aged 25 to 28. Instead of splicing the data by gender, I think it is more interesting to look at all the data since nearly 94% of respondents are aged 25 to 32. After my most recent birthday, I am just outside of it and also one step away from 30 – yay! Anyway, I found some really interesting data points.
Question: When looking for a romantic partner, please rank which traits matter most (in descending order, #1 is most important) [Note: I’ve repeated each trait with its weighted average rank]
Rating Average Trait
2.15 Personality (e.g. sense of humor)
3.97 Physical Appearance (e.g. physical fitness, attractiveness)
4.06 Communication Skills (e.g. can have an intelligent conversation)
5.42 Shared Life Goals (e.g. desire to have children, etc.)
5.69 Shared Values (e.g. religion)
5.70 Interests (similar hobbies)
6.12 Career Trajectory (current as well as potential employment)
6.39 Education (e.g. college attended, degrees received)
7.66 Background (e.g. life before you met, upbringing)
The extremes of the ranking tend to reveal the most interesting data nuggets. When considering Personality, the respondents strongly preferred it; this links up with my Chemistry Deal Breaker. Although this is clear from the rating average already, it is interesting to note that 50.7% ranked Personality as the most important trait in a partner (94% as a top five trait) while only 3.0% ranked it as the least. When considering Age, the scores were more dispersed: 35.8% ranked it least important and 80.5% of the respondents didn’t even consider it a top five trait. As a teaser, I will explore the topic of age in my next article!
Question: Please categorize the following potential issues with a future partner (e.g. someone you would date long term)
% Yes Is This a Deal Breaker?
83.6% Lack of trust / pattern of lying / cheating
73.1% Untreated substance abuse problems
70.1% No physical attraction
64.2% Selfishness - it is all about him/her!
49.3% Bad sex
34.3% Fiscally irresponsible
22.4% Your friends/family do not approve
19.4% Different values (different religious, child raising views, etc.)
14.9% Height (too short or too tall)
When I compare the collective Deal Breakers of my peers to my own, I feel like most of my deal breakers line up. As an outlier, I put more importance on height than others – I stand apart (pun intend). My top Deal Breaker (chemistry) encompasses many of the items that rank highly with my peers. Am I going to click with someone that lies, cheats, abuses substances or is a selfish bastard? No. I mean, I hope not. What if he is really tall? Just kidding. Seriously. I’m not that awful.
Since I had a captive audience, I wanted to ask another question, because well, it is highly relevant to me; specifically as a single woman that dates. What is typical sexual behavior? How soon is too soon? I wanted to see if my moral compass pointed in a similar direction. After seeing that nearly 40% of respondents are down with sex on the first date, are we truly a generation of Carpe Diem? But, rather than seizing the day, we seize the bed…or couch or [insert imaginative location here]?
Question: If your date wants to "get physical" on the first date, what would be your likely reaction?
I figured the data may play out the way that it did in the last question (you could say I based this on a sample size of 1, but my lips are sealed). I wanted to see how people react to someone that does, in fact, make the first move. Although 28.4% said that if they are attracted to the other person, s/he is down, 40.3% said that is really depends on a lot of factors. Imagine that, we are complicated creatures! I took this as meaning that even if we are attracted to someone, timing is key. Maybe she does really need to get up early for a meeting! Or, maybe she’s just not that into you.
Finally, I had to ask the obvious question. If a women and a man both have the same number of sexual partners, is the woman perceived as more promiscuous? When asked, 65.7% of respondents agreed that there is such a thing as too many sexual partners. Of this subset, 61.2% agreed that women are viewed as more promiscuous than men with the same number of partners if the number is “high”. I didn’t ask this question because I thought I’d get some earth shattering data. I asked it because I already knew the answer and the answer bothers me. Double standards are never fun if you’re on the losing end.
My next article won’t be out until after the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you have a wonderful break. If you go home, maybe you’ll rekindle with a lost love. If you go to Vegas with the Stern Adventure Club, maybe you’ll have a steamy hookup. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…unless it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…you get the point. Either way, enjoy it!
Until next time,
After a recent string of (bad) first dates, I’ve rethought how I’m approaching them. Is meeting in a potentially crowded bar the best strategy? Given the format of meeting for drinks, many of my dates turn into interviews or confessionals (fun story coming up!). The venue that you are in doesn’t give you or your date much inspiration. If you do not have natural chemistry, how do you deal with the potential awkwardness? You likely know some basic information about your date ahead of the meeting. Online dating profiles, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Searches can answer many questions you may already have ahead of your date. Sometimes, I forget what information was disclosed on my date’s OKCupid profile or what I found through my own sleuthing. I’m working on curbing this habit. Due diligence appears to be a wise choice but it can backfire. An online footprint cannot defend itself and I do not want to be too judgmental (easier said that done). Sometimes, the less you know the better! On the other hand, not enough information can be terrible if not traumatizing…
Recently, I met someone from OKCupid for a drink at a neighborhood pub. When I first set my eyes on him, I realized that his online photos were deceptively flattering. I (barely) recognized him from his photos. As soon as he started talking, I knew why I typically prefer photos with a smile. I noticed he was missing a tooth in a fairly obvious spot. During our date, I don’t recall him making a comment that it had fallen out on his way over. I do remember, however, him sharing a story about a recent rosacea flair-up and his bulk toilet paper buying habits…really interesting shi…stuff! I’m not sure about you, but I’m not going to be swapping intimate and unflattering personal details 15 minutes into a first date. Don’t you hide all of those flaws until you’re in a relationship? No? Never mind.
Several weeks ago, I felt as if I was being interviewed for a position instead of chatting with a date. Instead of a natural “ping-pong conversation,” I was assaulted with rapid fire questions. I attempted to learn something about my date beyond short responses followed by another question. This was painful. What this date had in looks he lacked in communication skills. I didn’t realize I scheduled my date through Career Account. Eek!
These two dates highlighted two potential first date pitfalls: 1. The date will turn into an interview; 2. The date will turn into a confessional. The reason for the first scenario (interview) is likely an unwillingness to share personal information (because s/he is too guarded). The reason for the second scenario (confessional) is likely a lack of interesting things to talk about or nervousness (s/he becomes too open). This led me to think about changing what I typically do on first dates. Instead of meeting for drinks, why not do an activity? This strategy naturally gives you a shared experience to talk about. Even if the person you meet ends up not being your cup of tea (or is missing teeth), you will still have a fun evening! Planning can be overwhelming for many people. From my experience, it can be particularly overwhelming for men to plan dates. This is a leading reason for a bar to be a default date. Like choosing IBM, no one ever got fired for suggesting drinks as a first date. Why not make the experience more exciting? By changing the venue or format, the date may not default into a bad experience.
I started to get inspiration for this article after attending a House of Walker event. Johnnie Walker hosts high-end consumer-facing events that would be a perfect option for a date. In addition to having a great time at the event, I did not have to pay – it’s free! A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Chelsea Brewing Company (listed below) with my block. We went on a free tour and enjoyed a beer sample. It was a fun event in a format different than just meeting for drinks.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out my blog post for reviews on these two events: www.personalitini.com
I realize everyone reading this may not be in the same situation as me (single). With this in mind, I’ve listed date ideas by relationship stage. Due to length or expense, certain suggestions are best left for later stages in the relationship. The last thing you want to do is pick a long & expensive event to attend with a complete freak show. These ideas are also fun to attend with friends and family at any time! J
First Date: Keep the time commitment and cost low! If the date sucks, you want to be able to get out soon!
Second Date: Featured events are up to 2 hours and under $40 per person
Third Date: Longer events that are more expensive
Pre-“DTR”: You don’t need to define what relationship you’re in to enjoy this event, just make sure you can stand this person for 3 hours or more!
Established Couple: These events have a romantic tone and would be incredibly awkward for a first date…or maybe that is your style. No judgment.
Guarantee You Will Enjoy Your Experience (Even if it’s a First Date) with These Ideas!
First Date: Brewery or Distillery Tour ($)
Chelsea Brewing Company (http://chelseabrewingco.wordpress.com/brewery-tour-info/)
Pier 59, Chelsea Piers (btw 18th and 19th Street)
Free brewery tours are given on the hour every Saturday starting at 2:00PM (last tour starts at 6:00PM).
No reservations necessary.
Free sample of beer on the tour
$4 pint tickets to use afterwards (for purchase)
Kings County Distillery (http://kingscountydistillery.com/)
63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn
Tours and tastings are from 2:30PM to 5:30PM every Saturday. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and run every 20-30 minutes. No reservations necessary.
The tour, which includes a tasting and admission to Boozeum, is $8
This is the oldest whiskey distillery in New York City!
Second Date: Attend Vino-Versity! ($$)
Vino-Versity: An Education Wine Store
1657 1st Avenue (btw 86th and 87th Street)
Social Tasting Events (every other week) from 6:30PM – 8:30PM; include 20-24 tastings and 10% off featured wine
Wine & Wines of the USA (Tuesday 11/19 @ 6:30PM, $36pp)
Featuring wines from CA, WA, OR, NY, NM, VA, RI, and many others! Cheese and small bites served.
Wine and Chocolate (Tuesday 12/10 @ 6:30PM, $36pp)
Featuring Champagnes, Sparkling Wine, Port, Dessert Wines and Spicy Red Wines from all over the world! Assorted chocolate bites and dessert treats served.
Third Date: Education by the Glassful ($$$)
Astor Center New York City
399 Lafayette St (at 4th Street)
The Cocktail Lab – Hands on Workshop (Monday 12/2 @ 6:30PM – 8:30PM, $69pp)
Learn how to design your own signature cocktail with the help of the pros!
Old Word vs. New World Wines (Monday 12/9 @ 6:30PM – 8:30PM, $69pp)
Tasting that features eight wines from the Old World (Europe) and New (N. America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa)
Pre-“DTR”: Attend an Exclusive Tasting Event ($$$)
The Craft Experience (http://www.thecraftexp.com/)
548 West 22nd Street (btw 10th and 11th Avenue)
Wednesday 11/13 @ 7:00PM – 10:00PM ($89 General Admission)
The Event features over 125 Breweries, over 30 Distilleries and Local NYC Food. A ticket covers:
Unlimited samples of hundreds of the finest beers and spirits
Delicious samples from local food vendors
Souvenir tasting glass
Established Couple: Great Cocktails and Free Jacques Torres Chocolate Truffles! ($)
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar (http://www.ayzanyc.com/west-village/special-offers.html)
11 West 31st Street (btw 5th Avenue and Broadway)
On Sundays, this spot features cozy candlelit tables covered in rose petals. If you make a reservation on the website and indicate “Romantic Sunday Special” in the Special Request Box, the chocolate is yours!
I hope these ideas give you inspiration to get out of a dating rut, if you are in one, or prevent you from getting in one! As students, we are pressed for time, juggling classes, clubs and life outside of school. With these activities, you will have fun even if you do not want to see your date again! If you attend any of the suggested events, please let me know your thoughts. You can reach me on Twitter @personalitini.
For this edition’s article, I wanted to stick to the data. At Stern, Business Analytics is a specialization that “deals with the use of data and mathematical and statistical models as a means for aiding the decision process in all of the functional areas of business.” Wow, that is a mouthful, and not in a good way. The MBA1s are spearheading an effort to start a BADAAS Club (Business and Data Analytics at Stern). I appreciate the pun even though I am a damsel in distress! There is data everywhere but not a date in sight.
A light bulb went off. Why don’t I analyze the collective brainpower of Stern MBAs to figure out what my peers think about relationships? Given this information, I can see how my perspective matches up to my peers. I created a survey on Survey Monkey – a service that is free as long as you have no more than 10 questions and 100 respondents (Note: I had to close the survey, so thank you if you wanted to help but were not able to!). I posted the survey on Facebook in the 2014 and 2015 class pages (Population ~800). I also added a qualifier question to ensure all respondents were MBA students. I asked questions that I hoped would reveal some interesting differences (they did!).
Are you currently enrolled in an MBA program?
Please indicate your age [brackets of five years]
What is your gender?
What is your current relationship status?
What do you consider a long-term relationship?
When was your most recent long-term (according to your definition) relationship?
If you are unemployed and your date is unemployed, who do you think should pay for a first date?
Example: two MBA students...?
Have you tried online dating? If so, please check all choices that apply
If you indicated that you have dated through online sites, what have been your results?
How do you communicate with romantic interests?
The majority of respondents (82%) were between 26 to 30 years old and the male/female split was 52/48. Based off of this information, I’m going to say I had a representative sample of the average Stern Student. No, I will not bring back terminology from Statistics. The reason is because I do not want to terrify you and I do not remember. In order to uncover some interesting McNuggets (I love Okun), I sorted the responses by gender. I was curious to see if there were any significant differences between the men and women of Stern. I found three key differences which I’m going to broadly assume apply to the entire full-time Stern class. Please note these are all my own assumptions, guesstimations and attempts to entertain you. I am not a scientist and I do not play one on TV. So take my musings with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila.
Insight 1: Compared to Women, Men are 2x More Likely to Think 3 Months is Long-Term Relationship
I found this data point incredibly thought provoking. I typically perceive women (including myself) as more desiring to define a relationship. However, women may not consider a relationship long-term unless it has passed a significant threshold: Nearly 50% of women think a year is needed for a relationship to be considered long-term. Even though a smaller percent of both men and women agree that 3 months is not a long amount of time, men were 2x as likely to consider 3 months as long-term. When I thought about it, the responses by gender made sense. Men are (generally) less likely to define a relationship, but when they do, they are faster to consider a relationship a long-term relationship than a woman. In my experience, if a man is in an exclusive relationship with the same person for 3 months, he may perceive it as being more serious than the woman. This could also be due to the fact that women have higher hurdles for what they consider long-term vs. “just” dating. Bringing back Beyoncé, if he doesn’t “put a ring on it,” maybe it isn’t long term? The longest relationship I have had was about 9 months; I would consider this long-term. I’ve dated many people for weeks or months; I feel that if a relationship is not working in the initial stages, it is likely not going to work in the later stages. Personally, a long-term relationship would be 6 months or more, which falls in with the majority of the respondents. The next insight is pretty telling as well…
Insight 2: Compared to Women, 2x the Number of Men had their last Long-Term Relationship 5 Years ago…but More than 2x the Number of Women have Never had a Long-Term Relationship
Based on several informal conversations I’ve had with the single men of Stern, it seems like many of their last long-term relationships were from undergrad. Based on the average age of respondents, this assumption is not ridiculous. College provides the perfect situation for relationship building. For most people, it is their first experience living independently. With so much freedom and socializing, college students can easily mix and mingle with potential partners. Once graduation comes and full-time jobs are secured, many relationships can fall apart due to distance or other factors (likely loss of interest). Without the built-in opportunities to meet people, many college graduates need to figure out how to date. Although they were in relationships in college, most of these were the result of “hooking up” that became exclusive and eventually a relationship. In the real-world, how do you meet and talk to people if not after “Kegs and Eggs” Tailgating or during house parties? Survey respondents shared that texting (95%) and calling (80%) were the dominant communication methods with romantic interests (Question 10). Popular write-in answers were Snapchat, FaceTime and Skype; we thrive off of visual images and these strategies can help bridge physical distances. Also, Snapchat is temporary…unless the recipient takes a screenshot. Oops. Many people do still practice the hooking-up to relationship strategy post-college. Others, however, try to assimilate to the new norms of adulthood. Potential ways of meeting people include introductions through friends-of-friends (The “Six Degrees” strategy), shared interests (fitness, drinking at bars…), or online dating. If you’re hesitant to dip your toe into online dating, 33% of respondents have tried online dating and 1 Sternie has married someone she met online!
When looking at Sternies that have never had a long-term relationship, I was surprised that women outnumbered men 2 to 1. This was completely contrary to what I had expected to find. I thought that more women would be in long-term relationships now and certainly more would have had at least one long-term relationship. Given the population, what could be driving this pattern? As I mentioned, I’ve had one long-term relationship. The reason I have only had one? If I reflect back on the relationships that had potential but never achieved long-term status, there is a consistent theme. Drumroll please…all of these relationships failed due to significant differences in values. Is that too vague? To drill down further, for me it has always been differences in career aspirations. If there is a significant gap between my personal goals and my partner’s, I have found that the relationship will not work. It is sad to think, but from the female perspective, this issue can be further compounded if the woman is incredibly goal-oriented and the man is not. I cannot speak for all women or men and I am certainly not trying to, but I have found this to be true with several female friends at Stern as well. I’m curious to hear your perspectives as this is a polarizing topic. As always, I await your tweets (@personalitini)! In full disclosure, this data could be skewed as well because women tend to define long-term relationships after a longer period of time than men. Onto the last (and most interesting) nugget of information,
Insight 3: Women are More Progressive with Paying for First Dates than Men
Isn’t this chart fascinating? The 0% tells a pretty compelling story, doesn’t it? Based on the survey, men do not feel that a woman should offer to pay. Additionally, women feel that whoever asks the other on the date should pay, at a rate nearly 2x higher than men. Roughly the same amount of men and women felt that the bill should be split – how poetic! What do you think these responses say about Stern men? There seems to be a strong shout-out to chivalry. Even if he doesn’t have a current source of income, the Stern man still wants to pay for the first date.
A Take Away From Online Dating
As I mentioned, one-third of the respondents have tried online dating. From this sub-set of survey takers, I’ve listed the top five most popular online dating sites (from the choices I provided). There were also some fun write-in services as well. (Note: Percentages exceed 100% due to the selection of multiple dating services.)
Plenty of Fish: 12%
Coffee Meets Bagel (service where you get one match a day at noon…Nooner?)
Cupidtino (I had to look it up, but it is a “Mac-Inspired” dating site for Apple fans!)
Given the subject matter of this column, I’m sure there are opinions! I love writing this column and I hope you enjoy reading it. I spend time thinking of topics that will interest you – if you have an idea, please let me know. Why don’t we take this interaction a step further and start a dialogue? Please Tweet me (@personalitini) and The Oppy (@SternOppy) to continue this conversation. What has your dating experience been? #datinganalytics
Until next time,
The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping and MBA1s are turning into Justin Timberlake (suits & ties). As I thought about the topic for this issue’s article, I keep thinking about how similar my current experience with OKCupid is to last years’ experience with recruiting. You may be wondering: How? I thought you’d never ask!
The Resume….is the Online Dating Profile:
This is your calling card: the summary of your entire life on a template form. When a page of bullet points or a list of random questions (award winners such as OKCupid’s “The six things I could never do without”) is all someone has to make a decision, you are faced with a challenge. How do you best represent yourself with such constraints? From the recruiting perspective, think of it like applying to a position in which you have no connections. You are the only link between yourself and the organization. There is no Stern network to tap into; no coffee chats you can conduct while chugging Sosnoff’s swill to get a competitive edge. You are going in blind. In this situation, your resume is the only thing that can speak for you and you want the words to be overwhelmingly positive. You agonize with your mentors in GMA, GFA or WTF to wordsmith each bullet point to death. Which action verb conveys that you’re the one who knocks, the Heisenberg of MBA students? Hours are spent on a paper that is skimmed at best. Don’t despair, online dating is even more notorious with quick judgments. OKCupid has the extra wrinkle of supplying photos…so many opportunities for potential disaster. At least someone will look at your professional resume before rejecting you. With OKCupid, your face could be enough. Frownie Brownie. Ideally, you want to select your best photo as your profile photo. Unlike your resume, your dating profile is heavily influenced by visual preferences. You can craft puns and witty sentences, but you cannot change your face. I’ve met people in person that must have applied some Photoshop witchcraft to their photos. This is a great strategy if you never plan to meet in person. Can you imagine if resume drops required a headshot too? Ugh! I am continuously baffled by what users choose as their main profile picture. I went through my recent “Visitors” tab and these are all OkCupid users that viewed my profile within the last week. I include this detail because I didn’t even need to seek out these gems, they found me! I’ve lined up the “resumes” and their stereotyped OKCupid buckets below.
OKCupid Stereotype: “I’m Artistic because I have a DSLR”
OKCupid Stereotype: “Serial Killer Next Door”
OKCupid Stereotype: “Secretly Married”
The Cover Letter…is the First Communication through OkCupid:
Your resume will likely be the same for many internship/job applications; however, you spend time tailoring your cover letter to show the targeted company your interest. You’ve acknowledge that you attended the corporate presentation, researched the company, and networked your ass off. A highly generic cover letter will likely not gain the same positive reception that a well-thought out one will. In the same spirit, messaging someone “hi” on OkCupid is obnoxious. You could send that message to a list of 10+ users within a minute. If you’re truly interested, make the person feel like s/he was your first choice, even if s/he is one of many. The right approach is to show that you’ve read the profile. I spent time writing it and it is nice to know that the person messaging me read it and is still interested. I’ve gone on enough dates with unqualified people. I defined “unqualified people” as men I had nothing in common with beyond physical attraction. Think of it like reading a job description (my profile says what I’m looking for) and then applying for that job (messaging me). I’m not sure how I feel about comparing myself to a job, but, I will for the sake of a metaphor. Unless you know something about the position, how could you possibly apply to it? If you start to panic when your other MBA1 classmates are applying to jobs you never heard of on Career Account, do not just apply for the sake of applying. If this new opportunity does sound exciting, invest some time to approach it right the first time. In both recruiting and dating, you get one first impression! Make it count. So you have perspective, check out some recent “cover letters” I’ve received below…
Applicant #1: The Creeper
September 19, 2013 Received at 2:51am
Hi. I am looking for fun tonight. We can meet at a public place I can pick you up.
Me: Meet in a public place at 2:51am? Really?
Applicant #2: The Question Asker
September 14, 2013 Received at 12:00am
Do you prefer Beagle puppies or Bengal kittens?
Me: Neither. I’m also assuming you cannot read since I mention pugs about 5x on my profile.
Applicant #3: The Knowledge Dropper
August 4, 2013 Received at 11:04pm
Hey, you look like a HIMYM type of girl
Me: Thanks? I had to Google that the acronym stood for “How I Met Your Mother” and I still don’t know what that means.
I’d much prefer getting significantly fewer “applications” if the candidates were well-qualified. My experience to date has been a complete free-for-all of messaging. In order to preserve whatever level of respectability we are aiming for in this student paper, I won’t include the lewd messages I get constantly. To give you an idea of the level of depravity, think 50 Shades of Grey meets Law and Order: SVU meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind. You may be thinking: that is seriously f-ed up! Well, you’d be 100% correct. Since I’ve joined OkCupid, I’ve received such a colorful range of messages that it takes a lot to really make me jump. But boy, do I still jump sometimes!
First Round Interview…is the First Date
Congratulations! You spent a significant amount of your precious time on that resume/profile and cover letter/message and now you have something to celebrate! You’ve managed to get to the first round/first date. In both situations, you’re freaking out. The stakes are even higher now. What should you wear? Professionally, you want to be conservative but still demonstrate your personality. Add some creative flair to that pantsuit ladies and gents. Personally, your first date outfit straddles the line of revelation: you want to reveal your best assets, without literally showing your assets. This is generally a good rule to follow. Your outfit communicates your intentions. If you’re nearly falling out of your shirt at the beginning of the date, you will likely have no shirt on at the end of it. True story.
A key detail of the first interview is location. Will you be in the small rooms in OCD that are incredibly warm or will you be on the company’s turf? While you cannot control where the first interview occurs, you can control how you prepare. Tips: Show up early (add on 15 additional early minutes because the subway will most definitely break down), bring mints and get business card information. In dating, the location of the first date is much more in your control. If you are suggesting a location, pick a place with these qualities: a drink selection you will both enjoy (a full-bar is a better bet than a wine bar), an atmosphere for conversation (avoid yelling on a first date, that is weird), and a location that isn’t incredibly annoying for either of you (if you’re East Side and he’s West Side, pick somewhere in the middle or by a major subway line). I’ve listed some fun suggestions below that meet the first two criteria (selection and atmosphere). If you’d like more suggestions, please Tweet me @personalitini!
Beer Focus/Casual: The Ginger Man (Midtown West) / 11 East 36th Street
Awesome Happy Hour/More Upscale: Pranna (Flatiron) / 79 Madison Avenue
Speakeasy/Upscale: The Dead Rabbit (Financial District) / 30 Water Street
Ok. Location set! Now you need to meet in person! The first time you meet someone in person is incredibly stressful. Both interviews and first dates make you face the fear of the proper greeting. With an interview, you want your handshake to be firm, confident and not sweaty. With a date, you have so many other things to worry about. Will one person go in for a hug and the other reciprocate with a super-serious handshake? I get incredibly apprehensive about this. I think men can be hesitant of making this decision, so I go in for a hug pretty early. Note: If my date looks like a different person than his profile, I react differently, potentially by exiting as soon as possible.
At the conclusion of the interview, you know exactly what to do. You craft the perfect thank you (after freaking out about the exact sentence structure for an hour or two) and click send. You did your best and it is out of your hands. When you’re done with the first date, oh my, who does what?! At this point, you both have each other’s numbers. So, who calls/texts/emails/smoke signals who? It is unclear if the man should make the first move. As a woman, I think it is engrained in my gender to expect men to act first if interested (“I mean, if he’s interested, he’ll like totally text me, right?”). In my opinion, there is so much bad advice out there that men are likely incredibly overwhelmed. If I’m interested in participating in the “second round interview,” I make it incredibly clear. I will send a text like this: “[Name] thank you for a great night! It was a pleasure meeting you and I’d love to do it again. Have a good one.” I typically send this the next day, so it doesn’t come across as stalkerish (he doesn’t know I’ve been obsessing over it all night). If I hear back and he wants to make plans, I’m thrilled. If I don’t hear back, I also have an answer. Knowledge is power. I’d like to move on as soon as possible, so if someone is not interested, let’s both get on with our lives.
Second Round Interview…is the Second Date
Now, the stakes are even higher. You’ve both made it past each other’s first round of qualifiers. As a job applicant, you’ve impressed your interviewer and distinguished yourself from the candidate pool. All of your hard work has paid off! You know going into this next interview that all of your competition in this next round has also made it through all the hurdles. The promise of the next step is both exciting and terrifying. You’re so close to something that could be wonderful but you don’t yet have it. In my OKCupid dating experience, this is where I struggle the most. I’m great at first dates! From my perspective, I feel like many of my first dates are awesome. Even if I didn’t have physical chemistry with my dates, I manage to have great conversations the majority of the time. I may not want to make out with my date, but I would be happy making pleasant conversation. What confuses me is that I never hear from many of these people again. It makes me wonder if I’m doing something that is an incredible turn-off. My photos are all recent, so hopefully it isn’t a matter of appearance. This is a topic I will explore in my next article. As Shawn McClain inquired, this paper, unfortunately, isn’t called The Personalitini…at least not, yet. So, I need to keep an eye on word count! I digress! If you find yourself in a second round/date situation, this is decision time. You each like each other enough to see each other again. The setting will likely be different. For many companies, you will be invited to a Super Day. As for your date, this can be seen as the Super Date. Instead of drinks, maybe an actual meal will be involved. The setting will likely be nicer and the time spent together will likely be longer. Do you need inspiration for your second date location? See below for some spots that are fun for both guys and gals.
Casual New American ($$): Almond (Flatiron) / 12 E 22nd St
Asian Inspiration ($$): Mission Chinese Food (Lower East Side) / 154 Orchard St
Trendy Tapas/Cocktails ($$$): Beauty & Essex (Lower East Side) / 146 Essex St
The Offer…is a Relationship
Congratulations! It is an incredible feeling to have an internship or full-time offer in your hands! You aced the resume, cover letter and both interviews. You deserve it! It is hard for me to comment on this part from the dating perspective. When reviewing my relationship history, I have not had many long-term relationships (I consider this over a year). Unlike your professional search, your past career achievements, awards or other recognitions do not translate into chemistry with a romantic match. I am incredibly happy to have found my dream career and company. I become frustrated when I haven’t realized this same success in a romantic relationship. I’m using my MBA2 year as a period of reflection. Through this column, I hope you will continue to follow along on my journey of self-discovery and securing an “offer” of the heart.
Until next time,
How many times have you heard the cliché “it’s more of an art than a science”? I’ve heard it frequently. Whether you’re discussing the dynamics of entering a networking circle or figuring out how to do well in Galloway’s Brand Strategy class, the “art vs. science” response is almost expected. With this in mind, I’d like to discuss flirting or, as I affectionately like to call it, “creeping” (more on the “to commit” part later). What is the art vs. science of creeping? More importantly, what if I were hypothetically applying this information to Stern’s new MBA1s? Clearly, this is all hypothetical. It isn’t like one of my reasons to be a Launch Captain was to facilitate this “creeping” – I only agreed to do it because I love this community, which just so happens to be full of incredibly motivated, intelligent and attractive people, with a disproportionate number of men. As I mentioned in my first column, Stern hasn’t been the hotbed of dating activity for me that I hoped. But, it is a new year! You may be wondering, but I wouldn’t write about my dating exploits within Stern – so if you are scared to approach me in fear of me discussing our intra-community dalliances, fear not. In the famous words of TLC, so I creep, yeah, just keep it on the down low.
Anyway, back to the hypothetical discussion of creeping on new MBA1s. Launch is a great way to meet a massive amount of new people. However, I’ve found myself in a bit of a pickle. I fear that many of the guys I have my eyes on may view me as an authority figure or, even worse, as a mother hen of sorts. This isn’t the way I would like to be perceived. If anything, *maybe* as an MBA2 cougar creeping on the new MBA1 cubs, again, this is a hypothetical. Also, even though I am a year ahead academically, I may or may not be older, which further confuses the metaphor. As I mentioned I’m all about discretion, so I will refer to these new MBA1 cuties as “muffins”, freshly delivered hot goods. I am impressed with all of their accomplishments and I am intrigued to learn more about their relationship status. Single? If not, how “good” is the relationship? Is it long-distance? Do you need someone to talk to about your problems…maybe over a cocktail?
Naturally, going down this line of questioning makes you wonder if there is a formula for creeping. Is it an equation that is comprised of the right number of texts, beer blast conversations or Facebook messages? Is it scientifically proven and tested level of being cute without appearing to have tried too hard to be effortless cute? Or, is it totally $%^&ing random? More of a Jackson Pollock creation that makes perfect sense exactly because it doesn’t follow rules? I have been pondering this lately. In New York, my age (29) isn’t too alarming. It isn’t out of the ordinary to be single in your late 20s. As a side note, if you watched the award-winning first season of Princesses: Long Island, you may think that if you’re single and 27, you may as well just kill yourself because life is over. At least I don’t have the pressure of living at home with my parents as an unemployed single-spinster. Life could be much worse! Anyway, I digress. In this city, I feel much more comfortable in my relationship status (or lack thereof). In Charlotte (my pre-Stern city), I was painfully aware of my singleness with each passing birthday and each invitation I received to attend an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding, or baby shower. Much like Carrie in Sex and the City, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should throw my own party. To all my friends: I love you and have enjoyed buying you presents off of your many registries, but, it doesn’t look like I’ll be purchasing items off my Pinterest Dream Wedding board anytime soon. In order to correct this imbalance, should I advise my friends to please purchase me a gift to celebrate my decision to go to business school? The short answer is No. It would be too weird. But, in my pursuit of meeting new romantic matches, am I not using the right approach? Is there a reason I am receiving invitations to these key-relationship events vs. sending them out? Am I unknowingly sabotaging my own potential for happiness? If you read my last article, you know a date recently asked me if I was bitter. Was there truth (even if a marginal amount) in what he said to me during our awkward date?
This leads me to think about the best way to introduce myself, my best “self” to potential romantic matches. How do I make the right impression if I’m interested in someone as more than a study buddy? How do I not compromise my reputation in a midsized business school program? A full-time population of approximately 800 is larger than some, but not large enough to remain anonymous to escape a dating faux pas. Do I add them on Facebook? Follow them on Instagram? Like their posts? Comment on their photos with #heartyou? There are far too many communication platforms to be accepted or rejected through. Would my friendly invitation to join social networks be perceived as desperate and/or stalkerish? The convenience of social media lends itself to utter confusion. It is hard to imagine dating at this point in my life without all the technology. How would you creep on people if you just had a landline? Remember when you had one phone line and dial-up Internet? Was that the Stone-Age?
On top of all the social media minefields, the merging of your pre-Stern and Stern social circles can be overwhelming. I’ve looked at countless online profiles and met hundreds of new students over the past weeks of Launch and the new semester. Recently, I was walking home and saw a guy that I’m about 90% sure is an MBA1 but I wasn’t 100% sure. That 10% of me feared that I may have sent him a message on OkCupid that has been unanswered or liked his photos on Tinder without any reciprocation. If so, would he think I am somehow stalking him, on the mean streets of New York? I decided an awkward smile would be the best response. He didn’t say anything. Such a mystery! Somehow in a city of millions of people, I manage to have too many chance encounters with people I may or may not have met. This, my friends, is the consequence of creeping. At times, it is unclear where your latest crush will pop up. It may just be while you’re on the massive serpentine line at Trader Joe’s Union Square. Fear not, I will continue to update you throughout the year on my wins/losses in the spirit of the creep. Hopefully it will net out that I will be in a relationship and not in therapy. I want commitment…not to be committed to the asylum of crazy cat ladies.
It isn’t too much of a stretch to say that dating can make you feel crazy. What is normal anymore? Dating has become incredibly casual. Although there isn’t a standard protocol when forming exclusive relationships, it is widely accepted that you tend to “take a test drive” before you purchase the “car.” This makes sense: you want to know what you’re signing up for before you sign up. I completely appreciate that and took it for granted that this was common knowledge. A week ago, I went on what I would consider an exceptionally good first date. He lives on the Upper East Side – an area that may be completely foreign to many Sternies (there is life above 14th Street!). In the spirit of meeting him “halfway,” both metaphorically and geographically, I chose a location I wanted to go to (JBird) that wouldn’t be a pain for him to get to via public transport. When I arrived at the spot, he was waiting outside for me and looked (shockingly) even better than his photos! I was pleased because typically, posted profile pictures are the guy on this best day, not how he typically looks. I understand that because of course I post the best photos I have, but they aren’t misleading. You could pick me out from a crowd. Sometimes when my date approaches me, I wonder if I need to get my vision checked.
The first minutes of the date (the first seconds even!) set the tone for the rest of the date. If you hit it off and find each other attractive, good things typically follow. If you realize your date is 5’8 and not, in fact, 6’0, bad things typically follow. As far as I could tell, he was 6’4 and didn’t have stilts or wedge-sneakers on. I was PUMPED! We ordered our first cocktails and I was flattered when he deferred to my recommendation for a drink. He had read my blog online and complimented my posts. I thought to myself, WOW, this is great! We continued to have a fantastic date and ordered several more rounds of drinks. After about three hours, we left the bar. He walked me to a cab, gave me a hug, and I gave him a kiss (confident but not creepy). He asked when he could see me again. Was this really happening? Did he want to schedule the second date on the first date? I thought this was something of urban legend – but it was happening to me! As my taxi drove me home at an incredibly unsafe speed, I was distracted by my great date and my upcoming second date.
This is the best part of dating – the promise of what could be! He sent texts throughout the week. He knew I loved frozen yogurt (I am female, so, it is almost a given) and asked if I wanted to meet up to grab some. I told him I was tied up with school events and wouldn’t be able to meet until our second date. We kept texting and on Thursday (two days before the anticipated date) he said he was going to look into a place for wine and tapas. He actually said tapas – he appreciated small plates of food! I was getting even more pumped for our Saturday date! A new outfit had been purchased – ish got real! On Friday, I was in SoHo with my brother when I received this text (verbatim):
Him: “Liz, so I was thinking a lot recently about this whole dating thing, and I think we’re looking for different things in life. You are a great girl and I’d really like to be friends with you, but I don’t think I can commit to a long term relationship at this time”
I am in shock and concerned that I had a stroke recently. Did I forget the part where I asked him to be my boyfriend? Clearly, I took the bait and had to respond to this ridiculous text.
Me: What is it you think I’m looking for?
Him: Long term. You seemed like you’re looking for a long term boyfriend material
Me: Ok, well thank you for making this decision for me.
Him: I’m essentially looking for friends or friends with benefits at this time, and its wouldn’t be fair to drag you along
Me: I find it highly presumptuous that you have assumed I want to be in a long-term relationship with you after one date. Good luck in your search for a friend with benefits.
WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED? In less than 24 hours, we went from discussing tapas to him informing me (via text) that he didn’t want to have a committed long-term relationship with me…after one date! Generally, when people start dating, you don’t tell them you just want to be “friends with benefits” as he so eloquently called it. It is widely understood (or so I thought) that people typically need to hook-up before these discussions take place. I was at a loss. I was rejected for something I didn’t even want and offered a benefits package I certainly didn’t want with him. He lacked a certain level of finesse (he has zero), likely because he is new to dating (he has been divorced for nearly one year). This whole debacle, however, made me think about the topic of this article: to creep or to commit. From my experience, there is an order. First you creep, then you commit. My date had the situation all mixed up: he thought I wanted commitment after one date! Had he watched too many romantic comedies? Were the frozen yogurt and tapas suggestions red flags? I shall continue to put myself out there and hopefully I will find someone that won’t break up with me before I ask him to be my boyfriend.
Keeping up the Creeping,
Welcome back! I have a lot of exciting news to share since my last column. The definition of “exciting” can be open to interpretation. Not because I found an incredible man to date and now I am completely fulfilled in my life, but because I have managed to go on some completely and utterly ridiculous dates within an insanely short time frame. In brief, I have been incredibly productive.
It may be hard to believe, if you know me well, but I do sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt. I am trying to be more open with dating. In the past, I have found myself too quick to eliminate potential matches. Through the mass popularity and rise of online dating, the selection of potential suitors has become incredibly specific. With a filter option, I can wipe out thousands of potential matches in the New York Metro Area. You smoke? No thanks, Next! You’re under Six Feet Tall? I love heels, Next! You live more than five miles away from me? Sounds complicated, Next!
At first, the ability to be incredibly specific sounds promising. Much like ordering a custom car, you can log-in to OkCupid (insert preferred dating site here) in the comfort of your own home (read: in pajamas eating Thai food you ordered from Seamless) without the fear of judgment. Meanwhile, you are judging away like it is your job! I began to think why I wasn’t getting my desired results. I would love to date a tall, non-smoker that lives close to me. But, what I was failing to ask myself was: does this person also want to date me? It is easy to judge when the subject is not yourself. Once the proverbial mirror is reflecting back all of your own imperfections, reality sets in. While we all think we are great, it is humbling to think that not everyone may be of that same opinion. The reason I bring this up, is because this introspection has led me to try to stop treating dating like an Amazon shopping cart. The profiles I scroll through while on OkCupid belong to actual people, just like me, that have hopes and dreams.
In the spirit of accepting myself and others, I have begun to cast a wider net to attempt to catch a match. I have given you this entire back story to explain how I ended up on my most recent date, a date that most certainly fell into the spirit of wider nets and open minds. I’m no wallflower and certainly do not cross my fingers and hope that someone I am interested in will reach out to me through a dating site. I am more than capable of making the first digital move and I often do. That being said, I love receiving inquiries. I recently got a message from a gentleman (more on that later) that would not have made it through my prior screening, mainly due to height. His message seemed thoughtful. Unlike many I have received, it contained fully formed sentences and respected grammatical rules. As much as I love a message that starts with “Hey gurl how r u?” or “Can u send me some booty pics!?!” I enjoy being surprised with a message written in English that acknowledges something I wrote on my profile. I certainly didn’t write the profile for my benefit!
I was stressed with my internship winding down and completing my final project, so I responded to this suitor with the request to meet in a week or so. He happily obliged and I was impressed. In my experience, there is a short shelf-life on the time frame between the initial contact to the first date. Given the sheer number of options on OkCupid, many people start to get ADD. For example, “You cannot meet me at a bar in 5 minutes? Go F Yourself!” Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I’m making a point. I was also impressed with his date suggestions. He had good taste and gave me several options known for delicious cocktails. I had not been to the Crosby Street Hotel, so I chose that spot. I was taking a new approach to dating, so why not try a new spot, too?
I had really high hopes for the date. I decided to be positive and ignore the red flags, all five of them, until I was asked point blank this series of questions: 1. Do you think we are compatible? 2. Are you unhappy? 3. You are not attracted to me, are you? So, what were the red flags that should have warned me before this Dr. Phil-esque series of questions?
1. He texted me about 20 minutes before the date letting me know he would be late, but with no update on timing. Did late mean 5 minutes or an hour? I decided to sit my ass down on my comfy couch and watch TV, because as much as I like to look like a call-girl lingering at a hotel, I’d like to avoid that. It took multiple texts for me to conclude he would be about 45 minutes late. This is sort of a big change. He said there was traffic, which meant he was driving, which meant he lived far away. I was very confused. I decided to wait until he parked this alleged “car” before I took my fairly predictable subway to the hotel.
2. He constantly checked his phone during the date. I made a comment and asked if he needed to step away to deal with his pressing messages. I wasn’t sure why his messages were so urgent, especially since he is a manager of several pharmacies and not the part of a SWAT team, but, in the spirit of being positive, I let it go. Benefit of the doubt!
3. His phone rang and I saw the contact “Mommy” – he didn’t hesitate to pick up the phone and have a lengthy conversation with his mother in Italian. It is always a pleasure to hear a one-sided conversation in a language you don’t understand. Joy.
4. He was utterly overwhelmed with the cocktail selection and mentioned that he “barely” drinks. As a passionate cocktail lover, this seemed like it could be a challenge. I was foreseeing the need to order multiple drinks at this point and it would have been nice to have him order as well, but this didn’t stop me. Especially given red flags #1, #2 and #3.
5. He consistently portrayed himself in an unfavorable light which seemed to hint at some serious, deeply rooted insecurity. I’m all about modesty, but self-depreciating humor can get a bit awkward after a while. How do you respond to someone constantly saying how chubby he is? Aren’t first dates for best impressions? SOS.
Ok, about three-quarters of the way through the date, he asked me if I thought we were compatible. I am a fairly direct person, but this seemed a bit weird. Once you let that horse out of the barn, it is hard to go to “before” the question was asked. Now, keep in mind, at this point, all red flags (see above) had been revealed. I was getting a bit over it, but was intrigued to hear what sort of BS would come out of his mouth on this line of questioning. I told him that I was more curious to hear what he thought on this topic, since he clearly had thoughts on our compatibility (as an aside, did his mother have thoughts too, did she share them during the Italian phone call?). He shared that he didn’t think we were compatible. Hmm…I needed to know more. But why! He asked if I was happy and I said very much so. Dr. Phil shared that I wasn’t and sounded bitter. I had to take the bait- But why! He could provide one (!) example: he said it didn’t sound like I enjoyed life because I had negative comments about my experience at Sleep No More (an expensive interactive theater experience). I politely explained to him the difference between being bitter and having an opinion. This seemed to not “click” for Dr. Phil. He continued his diagnosis of our compatibility.
Next, he shared that he felt I wasn’t attracted to him because I made “weird faces” several times. I asked when I made these faces, and he said throughout the night. I offered specific examples of when I may have made the faces: 1. When he spoke to his mother in Italian on our date 2. When he said he didn’t drink much 3. When he constantly made disparaging remarks about his appearance and sounded insecure. I shared that I typically make a “stank face” when I hear something that sounds ridiculous. Again, didn’t really resonate.
I decided to finish my third cocktail and call it a night. Our date was going nowhere fast and quite frankly I wanted to go home to watch Breaking Bad. At least Walter White could salvage my evening. I have several dates lined up in the coming days. Check out the next Oppy for an update!
Until next time,
Hello there! Sit down, pour yourself a drink and get comfortable! My name is Liz and I’m an MBA2. Don’t worry, you can introduce yourself later. You may be wondering, what the !@#$ does Personalitini mean? I think I may need to clarify since one time on an OKCupid date (more on that later) I was asked if this meant I had a tiny (“tini”) personality. This date not only lacked intelligence but the resemblance of his posted photos; I am typically down for a surprise, but not in this case! Anyhow, when I applied to Stern and wrote the “infamous” third essay, I described myself as a cocktail (you guessed it, the Personalitini). I plan to pursue a career in spirits marketing when I graduate, so there was an actual reason beyond me just loving cocktails. I loved the name so much that when I created my online dating profiles, I used “Personalitini” as my username. Whoever told me that I would never use my application essays again is so wrong! I’m writing this column to share with you my humorous tales of dating and drinking (quite honestly, I’m not sure which fuels the other). Unintentionally, I’ve become the Bad Date Whisperer. With each Facebook post of a friend’s engagement, pregnancy announcement or honeymoon photos, I am gifted with another dating tale. I’ve found misery loves company, so this column will share with you the lowlights and the highlights of my dating escapades. As a trend, the highlights tend to be the cocktails I Instagram after the date and not the date itself.
Last year I was full of hope when I packed my bags to move the hell out of Charlotte, NC. After five years of dating in a Southern city, this Jersey Girl was ready to meet all of the eligible men at Stern! In a class of nearly 400 people, there had to be plenty of men for me to date…right? I wasn’t concerned about meeting one person, but rather having to pick just one! I would no longer need to creep on the internet through Match.com! In a city of millions, I could surely meet at least one person. Call me Katniss, because the odds were in my favor.
You’re bright if you’re reading this, so I’m sure you can tell that I haven’t had much luck in the romance department. Instead of finding someone during my first year at Stern, I’ve found OKCupid, How About We, Match.com and Tinder. TINDER. I even judge myself. I’ve heard of new dating apps (I think a new one debuts each time someone gets engaged in my Newsfeed), but I refuse to have more dating apps than can fit on one row of my iPhone (I say NO after 4).
Once I arrived on campus in August for Launch (much like you), I didn’t realize that many “relationships” (loosely defined) had already started and ended during Summer Start. In addition to taking Statistics (highly stimulating), Summer Starters are incredibly resourceful and found ways to get stimulation outside the classroom. We are always working on developing our networking abilities in business school, especially with potential romantic partners!
Once I heard of the fraternizing during Summer Start, I was even more optimistic! Imagine what the possibilities could be during two semesters of this networking activity? I quickly found out there weren’t many possibilities. What stops the Stern community from being an incubator of not only businesses but also relationships? Is it the temptation of the city’s bright lights? Or that many students have already laid down roots in NYC before school? On-Campus “Dating” is replaced with On-Campus Recruiting.
Don’t get me wrong. There is that rare unicorn of a couple that dates at Stern. Remember though, they are the exception and not the rule. If you came to Stern hoping you’d receive not only an MBA but also an MRS or MR degree, there is hope. Remember how you applied to Stern one year ago and you were accepted? Apply that same discipline to your romantic goals! In the spirit of sharing information, I will be updating you throughout the year on my dating success stories and nightmares. I mean, who doesn’t love a good “Catfish” story?! Until next time, I’ve listed some bars that make great first date locations. The lighting is favorable, there are seats to sit on and you can have a conversation without yelling. Last, but certainly not least, my blog, www.personalitini.com.
Hoping you drink as well as you date,
First Date Locations
The Library at The NoMad Hotel (Flatiron)
1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
PRO: You can drink fancy cocktails in a library setting
CON: “Fancy” cocktails are pricier ($15 average)
Nurse Bettie (Lower East Side)
106 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10002
PRO: Awesome Pin-Up model atmosphere with burlesque shows on select nights
CON: Strangers dancing in sparkly underwear may be aggressive for a first date (or, this could be a PRO)
Jacques 1534 (Nolita)
20 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
PRO: Near school (in case your date happens to be in your study group – play on player)
CON: The staircase leading to the bar is steep – friends have fallen up (yes, up) the stairs. You’ve been warned!
Surf Bar (Willamsburg)
139 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
PRO: This bar has SAND and delicious Tiki-style drinks
CON: Plan your outfit accordingly – no one wants to ruin expensive stilettos!