Last day of summer 

Written on 9/5/2016

It’s been a month since I’ve posted to summer squeeze. I know, I know- the amount of phone calls and texts I’ve received asking for an update have shocked me as well. (Thank you)

When I first started summer squeeze my goal was to spend 90 days online dating and see where things got me. My goal was to provide a place where paid advertising was forbidden and real dating tactics in this newfound world of online dating could be.

As I’m reflecting on the last day of summer, the funny thing is I don’t even think that online dating was the solution to finding someone. I think this post is going to be a bit sentimental just because it is the last day of summer and technically the last day of this project, (I know I need to backdate many posts from the multiple dates that I’ve had in the month of August), I really wanted to reflect on what this summer has been for me.

Here’s what I’ve learned about online dating:

  1. Be yourself. I know it sounds simple and I know it’s difficult, but this is what I realized. Why wouldn’t you want to be yourself when you’re trying to find someone through online dating. If we started to think about online dating and of the dating apps as mediums to meeting new people and only as mediums all of the crazy bullshit tactics of who messages who and when to send a message are completely eliminated. Only because you’re being yourself. I stopped over analyzing about messaging times and frequency and when I did this I actually put less pressure on myself and it worked!
  2. Tinder works. And it’s not just booty calls. Create your tinder profile and start swiping. If you get weird messages or late-night messages which you’re not comfortable with delete them. You never have to talk to that person. It’s all about your choice and again about the medium. Tinder is huge and continues to grow. It’s growing because it’s working, and people are meeting each other without that negative connotation of a one night stand (it could be a positive connotation if that floats your boat too!). Now, I will let you know that you will get the weird and odd messages but your chances of finding more people are high and frequent.
  3. Profiles mean a lot. Present yourself as you want to be presented but remember to be yourself. If you’re only, again, using this a medium to meet people and seriously want to meet someone take it seriously and try to put your best foot forward with a good profile. In my opinion, let your best friend create your profile and don’t change it when they hand your phone back to you.
  4. Listen to Aziz! Put some effort into it. <Sentimental > Online dating is hard and in our generation dating is harder than ever. I’m sure if you have made it here to Summer Squeeze you’ve seen your friends and family members continue to find “their person” which creates a frustration about yourself which then ultimately develops a nasty lack of confidence in yourself. If you’re interested in finding someone, it is logically sound to go and put some effort into it. Like anything from your job to maybe even training for a marathon, it takes effort. This doesn’t mean that once a week you can just swipe left and right and then follow up with messages the next week. If you’re interested in online dating and/or finding someone, you need to do what I did. Listen to your friends and get on these apps. Remove the stereotypes from your head and just do it. Summersqueeze is the reason I put some effort into it. These apps are here to help you find people who have similar interest, it’s making it easier! But dating was never just a right and left swipe, it always included some effort.
    1. PS: If you need an extra push and want to blog about your dating adventures, contact me, I would be more than happy to help.

<End sentimental post> Point number four has the most meaning to it. When I first started this blog I was so afraid of telling people who I was and why I was writing this blog.  I’m not done dating and I will continue to update Summersqueeze but what this blog has done has taught me that it’s OK to be a little bit vulnerable and get on these apps. They do work and you do meet wonderful people of all types of backgrounds. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

Now onto the good stuff- a date story!

About two weeks ago two of my wonderful friends from New Jersey came down for a weekend. These friends are super fun and full of energy and life. It was going to be a weekend of nonstop fun and friendship. And it was…


I’ll leave all of the different places and adventures we went to for another post. On this very rainy Saturday we ended up at a local brewery here in town called Hops and Grain. Lucky for everyone in the brewery, it was raining cats and dogs so we spent the majority of our time at this brewery. (Anyone who was there and saw us running around doing the chicken dance because we lost in a game of kings, you are welcome for that entertainment) I’m not so sure the brewery was happy about it but we had a great time. After the rain, we ended up at a local bar called the Liberty. My friend Erin bumped into a few friends that she knew, one who we will call Nick.

I’m sure you can assume by now that Nick and I hit it off right away. It definitely helped that I spent most of my time at the brewery, hence a slight buzz, which helped with my conversation starters with Nick.

That night was an extraordinary one, filled with multiple bars and lots of fun. We stopped at the Whitehorse inn, where Nick and I actually two-stepped. To this day both of us are unsure of how great to step routine we did.

I’m going to leave the details of the past two weeks with Nick to another post but I couldn’t help but share the irony of tonight’s date. Nick and I have been seeing each other for only two weeks. We hit it off on Saturday and continued to meet throughout the next two weeks. We found we had many common interests and our conversations were interesting and exciting. Nick asked me to dinner on the last day of the three day weekend. He made reservations at Odd Duck, a very nice tapas restaurant which I highly recommend. After dinner, we had drinks at Highball where he purposely parked on the sixth floor of a very open parking garage. After cocktails and a ride on the elevator, we walked out to the top level of the garage to a gorgeous skyline of Austin.

I hope you could see some of the irony to ending up with a pretty nice guy watching the beautiful Austin skyline on the final day of summer. It was a GREAT date and I couldn’t have been happier. It made me reflect on this summer and Summersqueeze and what it’s done for me as a person.

Thanks to my friends who pushed me to start this. I owe you guys.

As for the end of the date?

It was great. He’s great and we’re still dating. (I know!) Stay tuned for more as we jump into Fall.

Pumpkin spice anyone?

 

 

Date #2- and being ghosted from it 

Hey ya’ll

Greetings from Buxton, North Carolina!

If you don’t know Buxton, it’s a beautiful piece of national park land on the water. Located here:


I’m here on my family vacation which is part of the reason why I’ve been delayed in posting. Another reason has been my numerous dates and “ghosts” I’ve received. This post needed some strong coffee and a few days to think about it. 

So here’s the dating scene, get your popcorn.

Guy #2 (we call the ballerina guy #1)

This guy was super cute and we were going to head to the Greenbelt to meet up. I was even the one who initiated the date! 

After the week of conversations on the app, he asked if I wanted to grab a drink before the weekend. (Change of plans from the Greenbelt, but who am I to judge?) 

We met at the Buzzmill. A local beer and coffee place on the east side of Austin, also known as east riverside. Buzzmill is a great spot for conversation, working or a blind date! 

We had good conversation and both had two beers a piece. I honestly thought that with even being in a room without air conditioning and him asking if I wanted another drink was a good sign, but there’s something I noticed- he talked- ALOT. 

Now, I don’t have problems with guys who talk a lot. Honestly, in my profession, I talk a whole heck of a lot and it’s nice to have someone else talk. He talked about his houses, his education and his goals. He talked about his opportunities and even his senior thesis. Maybe it was me not engaging in the conversation but I honestly just wasn’t into it. 

I can’t tell you why I wasn’t into it. He was cute, he was smart, and he had things to talk about…they just weren’t interesting to me. But why? I have no idea. 

It’s funny to me because immediately after the date I called my good friend and ironically she had a bumble date. We both sighed as we relayed to each other the same thing- 

“How was it,” friend asks. 

“He was nice, sweet.” 

“And…” Friend says. 

“Yea, he was nice.Maybe I’m just not into him.”

“Probably,” friend says. 

“Well he did go to school!”

Why is it always this way? A very nice, well rounded gentleman who is educated but isn’t your type? Is it about being your type or are you just not into it? My friend and I had the same exact issue happen to us on the same night- I know we both can’t be the only two women on the planet who feel this way. We both blamed it on ourselves (a therapist would probably not approve of this, we are both very aware of this) and hung up the phone. 

Then comes the next day where you continue to wait for a text from him. 

And he doesn’t text. 

Days go by… 

Still no text.

You realize- you’ve been ghosted.

Gosh darn this damn ghosting shit. 

I recently looked this up and found that it’s now an official term in Urban Dictionary. We as a people are just letting people go, hiding per day, from other people. Why do we do this? And why am I so upset about this when I wasn’t even into this guy?!

**Writer’s note: I should note why I’m frustrated by this (aren’t we all?) – I’ve been in this weird funk of two years after dating someone who meant the world to me. After two years of weird after that, I tried the dating scene and met two great guys who kindly told me, “no thanks.” I know I’m lucky- most single people do not get this opportunity…they usually are ghosted. So I am adding a writer’s note here that my frustration probably has some other history added to it. **

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a confidence thing and then a technology thing. With technology, we have something to hide ourselves with- and thus we don’t need the confidence. When we do put out some confidence (I.e. – going on a blind date) and then get ghosted, it’s like the rug was pulled out from under us. With each rug pulled, it hurts more for ourselves. 

Getting ghosted sucks. But just like anything, we need to get up and try it again. It’s like anything from a work project to training for a marathon. You have to keep dating and realize that ghosting is just another thing now. It’s not going away, probably going to get worse and we just have to deal with it. 

I’m not sure if I’m alone in feeling the way I feel. My immediate reaction is to close up my account and blame Match.com for finding people for me who ghost. BUT- after reflecting on this I know that’s not the thing to do because we all walk on rugs everyday, there’s always a risk for it to be pulled out from you…always. 

So I guess this means I’ve got to take a dose of my own medicine and get back on the app. At least I can do this on a beach… 

Ps: My friend was not ghosted but did end it after the second date. If you aren’t into it, you’re not into it. 

The Top 5 Pieces of Advice From Friends to Dating Online

After almost a month of dating online and Summer Squeeze, I figured it would be fun to share some of the advice I’ve received after sharing with people my blog and my objective. Some of the advice is actually pretty funny:

#1 -Don’t do it. 

Hm. Helpful. And somedays I think it would be advice well taken. But I mean, I’ve met a ballet dancer.

#2 – Date them all, sleep with none, thank you for the gifts. 

Always good to be safe, I agree! The emphasis, however, is always in the emojis.

IMG_3404

# 3- Only swipe right if they have boat pictures 

I do like boats. And why not plan an adorable and romantic date on HIS boat?

#4 – Say yes to everyone. 

I’m not sure about this advice yet, but if it gets to this point I will definitely attempt. I can understand why she gave me this advice. It’s only to widen the net and provide more opportunities to meet people.

#5- You do You.

Simply said, and absolutely spot on. I really feel like this has been an enjoyable experience and anyone who is curious about online dating should really try it. Do you know that 25% of people in the US are now meeting online. It’s the World we’re in, so why not join?

 

 

Experiment Recap: Initiating Conversations Isn’t Just a Male Thing

Last week I started a new experiment on my profile.

I’ve always been the person at work to be the boss, the person in charge, the go-getter but when it comes to my personal life I hide in most scenarios (unless there is wine involved).

The challenge to myself was to message guys who met my criteria through a focused and involved search. Involved sounds like an odd description, but it really means that I am putting attention to and really putting effort into my search results.

In addition to diligently looking for prospects I also added that I would message them instead of just winking at them. After reading a few different articles on how to message to a potential guy or interesting match, I went with the detailed approach.

The message went like this:

Hey there, my name is Jamie. Your profile was very interesting- <Insert something about their profile and how it relates to me > I think we have some common interests so I wanted to stop “by” and say hello.

The message, to me, was a bit quirky (I know stop “by” is odd) but it was something I would say to someone as my normal self.

I messaged 6 guys of interest last week with the same format of the message (I changed the similarities depending on their profile) and here were the results (in regards to responses)

2 guys messaged me back

2 never read the message

2 read and never responded

When I asked my friends about this, they chalked this up to a win. It was more than I would normally get in regards to responses because I took the initiative and started a conversation with two guys who turned out to be very interesting guys.

When we talk about stereotypes and dating do’s and don’ts – I’m starting to see the true meaning to “the times have changed.” I think we all need to understand and reflect on this a bit more. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m all for the woman taking the lead in the relationship all the time, I just mean that as much as ladies like to be courted, men do too. I mean, that’s why Bumble is so popular right? (If you don’t know Bumble, it’s an app where only the lady can initiate a conversation with a potential guy)

I think from this mini experiment we can all see that we, ladies, shouldn’t be shy to message any guys who we’re interested in.

I’m going to take a dose of my own medicine and keep messaging.

Stay tuned for more updates!

– J

 

When you get asked to text: A qualitative study on what to do 

I recently started a conversation with a guy on Match. He reached out to me with a great message which was authentic and unique. (He read my profile) 

After going back and forth with a few messages, he sent me his phone number and asked for me to text him. 

This conversation has been great, I’ve enjoyed it. Here’s my number if you want to text. 

What? How? When? (Ugh) <– this is my reaction.

In my Type A, anxiety driven personality I immediately went to Google to solve my anxiety. (I do not recommend this to anyone who is looking for an answer other than for definitions, math problems or urban dictionary translations)

Google wasn’t helping. They were recommending how to start a booty call. (Thanks, Google)

 What exactly was I supposed to text? I have no idea how to start a conversation via text unless it’s with a client or a friend where I’m typically sending emojis back and forth. 

I mean, really, what would you text to someone to “start” a conversation you’ve already been having online? 

  • Hello (weird.)
  • Hey there (too flirty?) 
  • Hey, this is Jamie. (Of course it is, you just received his number) 
  • Hey, we’ve been talking on Match. This is Jamie, thanks for your number (uh. No) 

So, when Google didn’t help with the quickest answer I went to my amazing and oh-so wonderful friends who have all of the experience. Hello qualitative study on how to initiate a conversation on text! 

Here were their suggestions: 

  • “Hey, it’s XX, thanks for your number!” 
  • “Hey, it’s Jamie. How are you?
  • Continue the conversation, starting with “Hey, it’s Jamie”
  • Another suggestion came from someone who is also online dating. Her guy actually asked her number and jokingly said he wasn’t a stalker. 

So here’s what I’ve learned: 

  • Be simple and relax. Maybe this is advice for myself but the simple response, “Hey, it’s Jamie. Thanks for your number! How are you?” Worked. 
  • Text is weird but texting is easy. Since its easy, keep it easy and don’t stress. (Again…more lessons for myself) 
  • Anything really works but providing a question helps create a quick response. Think about how we communicate with our friends through text. We have long conversations, back and forth, why can’t this be the same way? 
  • If you want the simple answer that Google should have had: Say hello, say who you are and then ask how they are. 

Text is annoying. And for the record, I’m a TERRIBLE texter but in a situation where text is requested, I went with it. 

Stay tuned for the first date. I arranged it! (Gulp.) 

Friends stick together…and pick better profile pictures.

Since I’ve started on match.com it’s been an adventure. Match has changed a bit and is now including many more different features for you as a member.

I figured I would start normally with the simple profile and see how this had attracted some interest. Here was my experiment:

For one week, I didn’t change my profile. I kept the pictures which I thought were attractive on for 7 days.

I was thrown into this experiment when I was showing my friends my profile. My friends were over for a pool day and they immediately went into meltdown mode about my profile.

Their specific rules were:

  1. You should never have a group of people in your profile pictures. (This makes sense, but I only had one…)
  2. You should have individual photos of yourself and try not to include repetitive friends. (I guess I didn’t think about this but it did look like I was dating my friends instead of me being me.)
  3. Make sure to include pictures of “me being me.”

Here were the pictures I selected:


Here’s what my friends selected for me:


I was pretty surprised by my friend’s choices. I would have never selected these photos for myself. Especially the one where I’m a blonde and the other where I’m sitting with Phin looking like I’m smiling from my right ear to my left (ugh).
Here’s what I learned:

Statistically, I received 65% more engagement on my profile than I did without their help…in less than 2 days.

Seriously.

I received more messages, likes and winks because my friends chose my profile pictures rather than me.

This means that:

  1. You should trust your friend’s judgements when it comes to photos.
  2. Group photos, any of them, are worthless and will result in a quick swipe….(not the good kind of swipe)
  3. You will always have a type of perception about yourself which is different than how your friends portray yourself- trust them (and refer back to number one)
  4. If you are like me, pictures which may look a bit odd actually show your true personality. I can’t say that I’m happy about the pictures on my profile, but I do feel better because my friends know me very well and know these profiles are me.
  5. 21 pictures are not necessary, 8-10 pictures are. My friends gave me a good variety of “pretty” pictures to fun pictures about myself. It made me feel like I’m being more real about who I am.

For those literal people: 

  1. Don’t add any group photos, period. 
  2. Crop people out. They won’t be offended…and if they are it is probably time to think about whey they may be offended?
  3. Choose a fun photo, one of you doing something- it shows you are well rounded.
  4. Don’t worry too much about hair color, I did, and it’s not worth the stress  
  5. The line starts to get blurry here and the weird pictures come out. Therefore, use best judgement. 
  6. When in doubt, check with friends. 

Has anyone else tried this? What have your friends selected as pictures?  The next step for me is selecting new pictures by my guy friends. Stay tuned!