Author Archive

Strip Club Connoisseurs and the City

by Kelly under Relationships

“Wow. I’m impressed by your knowledge of strip clubs.”
“Wow. This is the second time in the last month that I’ve been on a date and can say that I am genuinely impressed by your knowledge of strip clubs.”
#thingsihavesaidonfirstdates

Raise your hand if this has happened to you? Anyone? No? Okay, so it’s just me then. Can someone at least enlighten me to where the good guys are hiding? Are they off summering in the Hamptons or traveling somewhere fabulous? That’s the only feasible explanation I can come up with. I’ve only been on four dates this summer, and each and every one of them has left me thinking “what the what?” Perhaps, it’s the heat and humidity that is draining us New Yorkers of any and all sense of what’s up and what’s down. And maybe this heat exhaustion just makes guys feel the need to reveal their inner strip club connoisseur only halfway through their first beer. But whatever it is, it’s making me feel like I need a Gatorade and to run for the hills.

I hope you can understand my decision to take precautionary measures toward self-preservation. I’ve found that dating in the summer is a little slower paced than during the rest of the year. I believe the general rationale is that instead of focusing on starting something new in your life, you can just take a Summer Friday and escape it for a few days? It sounds good just thinking about it. So here’s my plan. If anyone interesting comes along, I won’t say no, but I’m not going to actively look for the next month or so. After all, it’s the summer. All I want to worry about is when I’m going to get my next tan, not that my next date will be at The Gentleman’s Club.


Don’t Let The Schmucks Get You Down

by Kelly under Relationships

The thing about my ex was that he was the first nice guy I had met in a very long time. The kind of guy who was sweet, had integrity and manners. Who would get me a glass of water without even checking to see if I was thirsty. Who would wake up in the morning with me and want to spend the rest of the day together. Who would ask me if my toes were cold while watching a movie at his place and grab me a pair of socks before I could even answer the question.

I can’t help but blame him for initiating my cry-before-every-date routine. When I started dating again, I would spontaneously burst into tears just as I was getting dressed for a date. Do you know how hard it is to apply eyeliner while you are simultaneously crying every spec off? Hard. Very, very hard. Still, I would somehow manage to get myself out the door and on the date. One night, I was out with this guy and it was freezing cold and raining outside. We were at the bar talking and flirting, when he suddenly interrupts to point out a girl wearing an extremely revealing dress for the dead of winter and 5” stilettos. “I like girls in heels. Do you wear heels?” he asked. I tried to explain that while I love a good pair of heels as much as the next girl, the weather did not call for stilettos. It called for my very cute, stable black boots, which frankly I looked adorable in. He seemed to nod along to my rationale, but then added, “You’d look good in heels.” Okay, dude. I get the point. I made the wrong shoe choice. But honestly, if I had worn heels I would have been his height. And I’m only 5’2!

This is what I call a Dating Downgrade. In 3 months, I went from a guy who was genuinely concerned when my feet were too cold to a guy who expected me to wear spike high heels in the dead of winter. There is no question that this guy was a jerk, but not every guy is. The nice guys are out there – and I promise you they want your feet warm and happy. So whatever you do, try and remember this one thing. Don’t let the schmucks get you down.


Tales From A First Date: The Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer

by Kelly under Relationships

Once upon a JDate, I was out at a really cool speakeasy in the Lower East Side with a guy who was just my type. We were having a good time – I was actually laughing at what he was saying, not just my own ridiculous stories. He was starting to tell me that he recently took a salsa dancing class and suggested we go. I laughed it off assuming he meant at another time, but he kept talking about it.

“We should go salsa dancing,” he said.
“Now?” Uhh, seriously?
“Yeah. I know a great place. Or we can go to that bar you mentioned in Chinatown.”
“Let’s go to the bar. It’s called Apotheke,” I said. Crisis averted.

To be fair, salsa dancing is a good idea for a date – just not a first date. First dates are about getting to know someone – NOT going salsa dancing so your date can show off what they learned at a lesson they bought on Groupon. But once I got him to Apotheke, the date started to rebound. This was the first time I had fun on a date in a while. I started to relax and let my guard down when out of left field he says, “After this we should go salsa dancing.”

I should have left when I had the chance.

“Not tonight. Maybe another time,” I offered.
“No problem. Let’s go to another bar.”
I froze. ALERT! STAGE FIVE CLINGER!
“Ready to go?” he asked.

Yeah. Home! I panicked. This guy was not going to let me go easy. It was a salsa dancing or bust. I stared down at my phone to look at the time to stall and think of a plan. Instead of thinking of a polite way to excuse myself, I panicked.

“Oh no! My roommate just texted me. She forgot her keys and is locked out of our apartment.” This wasn’t a total lie. My roommate did actually get locked out…it just happened to be the week before.

As soon as we walked out onto Canal Street, a cab pulled up and I hopped in. I barely had a chance to wave goodbye. It wasn’t quite the graceful exit I hope I usually pull off on a bad date, and certainly not my proudest moment. Had Mr. Salsa Dancer and I parted ways after the first bar, he would have absolutely gotten a second date. But no. He came on so strong in the first date that he actually scared me off. Since then, I’ve tried to take what I learned that night to prevent it from ever happening again. I even created a rule about it: Thou shall only go to one bar on the first date, unless they want to risk exposure to a Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer Who Just Can’t Take a Hint. Don’t let it happen to you.


Friday Night Lights

by Kelly under Relationships

A Reform girl and an Orthodox guy walk into a bar…

Don’t tell me you’ve heard this one before. Because I assure you, you have not. Last year, I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. And then I went out with a guy who was 25, divorced, and Modern Orthodox. Yes, you are reading that right. Oh, and I should mention they went to the same college. Yes, you are reading this right.

25 – Perfect.
Divorced – At 25?
Modern Orthodox? Didn’t they see that I’m Reform on my profile? And how did I notice this on their JDate profile? I’m Reform. As Orthodox Guy #1 later told me, “You might as well be Christian.” Hello, I was Bat Mitzvahed! He might as well said, “you are never going to meet my parents.”
Two of them – Really, universe? Really?

Like most of the Reform Jewish kids I grew up with, I went to Hebrew school and JCC summer camp, was Bat Mitzvahed, went on Birthright, spent much of my adolescence wearing Juicy sweatpants and listening to Dave Matthews Band. That’s the only way I know how to be Jewish.

It wasn’t until one Saturday at sundown that it hit me just how different our versions of Judaism really are. I was doing that girl thing and getting annoyed that Orthodox Guy #2 wasn’t responding to my texts. It had been about a day. Then around 6 pm that night he started texting me back. Earth to Kelly – his phone was off. Off because he was busy observing shabbat. Shabbat because he’s Modern Orthodox. What was I doing when I got his texts? Blow drying my hair, listening to music, and texting my friends.

It never dawned on me that I would have to consider religious differences on JDate. First of all, neither of these guys gave away their denomination on their profiles. And not to mention, all three times I’ve fallen in love was with Catholic guys. I didn’t think this would be an issue on JDate. The universe or God or maybe just my luck clearly wanted to make a point. And trust me, it did. I now try to avoid dating anyone much more religious than myself. Because as I learned – twice – some Jews prefer a total Shabbat shutdown, and some of us like our Friday night lights.


Groundhog’s Date

by Kelly under Relationships

I’ve been on a lot of first dates. I’m not sure the number will phase many of you – over 35 – but that’s in just 3 years with a few mini-relationships here and there. And the sad thing is, after a while, all these dates start to blur together. Sometimes I can’t tell apart the JP Morgans from the Morgan Stanleys. The Adams from the Davids. The Murray Hill boys from the Upper East Siders. Everyone loves their family, football, movies, and a good Sunday brunch. They frequent bars on the Lower East Side and watch The Office and Parks and Rec. And beer. All guys love their beer.

To be fair, I’m sure guys who date a lot would say the same about the female dating pool. I bet we all have similar names, work in media, marketing, or fashion, and live in Murray Hill or the East Village. And wait, don’t tell me. We all like sushi. Right?

This my friends, is what I call Groundhog’s Date. It’s just like the movie, except no guy is ever as funny as Bill Murray, and instead of “I’ve Got You Babe” all I have in my head is “Call Me Maybe.” 75% of the time the first date goes something like this. We meet at a bar at agreed time/date. The conversation starts off with the basics: our jobs, where we live, where we are from. I order a vodka soda with lime. We share our stories about how we landed in NYC. We order a second round of drinks. Discuss the fun topics like movies/TV, vacation plans, hobbies, yada, yada, yada. Then the check comes. I offer to pay my share, but he politely declines. We say goodnight and part ways…

Guy after guy, date after date, it all ends up becoming a hazy memory. When I go on a sequence of first dates it’s like I’m operating in autopilot, knowing exactly what to expect, what to say, which outfit to wear. But every once in awhile, I’ll find myself on a date halfway through my first drink and I suddenly realize I’m waking up. Maybe I’m laughing, smiling, flipping my hair. And hell, I might even be having fun. And maybe, at least for a little while, it feels like I’m not stuck in Groundhog’s Day.


The Jack Johnson Effect

by Kelly under Relationships

I don’t like Jack Johnson. Wait, that’s putting it lightly. I hate Jack Johnson (except for maybe two songs, but I hate those most of the time too). Personally, I think his music is so lame and lacks real grit. It’s hippy dippy. Melodic to the point of boredom. And really, what’s with him not wearing shoes? He’s a grown man. Contrary to popular belief, “No shirt, no shoes, no problem,” is not the rule of thumb outside of beach resorts and Senor Frogs.

I know I sound very content in my disdain for Jack. But trust me, I’m not. My hate waivers the second I start falling for a guy. Seriously, why does every guy I date love Jack? Every time I pitch my argument against Jack to a new guy, I am met with this response, “Who hates Jack Johnson?” Good question, I ponder. And before you know it, he has Jack streaming from his iPod while we hang out and I’m humming that God-awful song, “Banana Pancakes.” Instantly, my loathing vanishes into a warm tingly feeling, and I am transfixed by the acoustic melodies of my boy Jack. And then he serenades me singing, “Maybe we can sleep in. I’ll make you banana pancakes. Pretend like it’s the weekend now.” That’s it. I’m a goner. Did I mention I don’t even eat banana pancakes?

Fast forward to the end of the relationship. Jack suddenly pops up on my iPhone (because I, of course, added him back onto my playlist at this point) and I find myself riding the subway and tearing up to “Sitting, Wishing, Waiting.” And if you can believe it, I hate Jack even more than I did to begin with.

Jack, if you’re listening, it’s really not your fault (even though your music sucks). It’s the fact that love has this way of making little things we usually don’t like – or, in this case, hate – seem absolutely wonderful. In my last relationship, I ate new foods, rooted for football teams I had no previous association with, and even liked his cat when I’m a total dog person. And not to mention, I gave into Sir Jack. I have to ask, why must all 20-something guys in NYC love Jack? And can someone please tell me, why do I keep falling for them?


Do Not Take Your Date To The Village Pourhouse

by Kelly under Relationships

Rule #1 of dating in NYC: Do not take your date to the Village Pourhouse. Do not even give her/him the option of the Village Pourhouse. Don’t even mention that you go to the Village Pourhouse or similar establishments.

This isn’t a difficult thing to avoid. While the Village Pourhouse is best known for a good time (if you can remember it), cheap beers, beer pong, and a young crowd, it’s not known for being a place of romance. That is, unless your idea of romance is making out in a dark corner with a stranger only to ask, “Are you on Facebook?” Now, I’ve never been asked to go to the Village Pourhouse on a first date, or any date for that matter. But my BFF recently went out with a guy whose first option was the Village Pourhouse. She convinced him to go elsewhere, and needless to say, the date sucked before it even began.

I appreciate when guys take into account convenience, noise level, seating (ie. not side-by-side, really that’s just awkward), and menu. You can’t go wrong with a wine or cocktail bar – lots of options and usually a nice, low-key ambiance. I also find it appealing to not have to fear for my life on my way to a date. One guy failed to mention that the bar he picked directly overlooks the East River. This meant I would have to walk across the FDR highway, behind abandoned buildings, decorated with graffiti and broken bottles on the ground. As I walked there, I whispered to myself, “I am not going to die. I am not going to die.” And trust me, if I did die, they would have never found my body.

Honestly, there are so many options in big cities like NYC. And if you can’t think of a place, ask a friend for suggestions. Give your date options so you’re both comfortable. And whatever you do, I beg you: do not make your date fear for their life or even think about the Village Pourhouse. Ever.


Still Standing: My Life as a JDate Veteran

by Kelly under Relationships

I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it, but somehow I’ve lasted three years on JDate. And I’m still standing. I’m on the brink of turning 25, working and living in Manhattan. And, yes, still single. In this time I’ve been on a fair share of good dates, even more bad dates, and my personal favorite, hilarious dates. Like when I lied and told a guy that I was going grocery shopping on the way home just so he wouldn’t walk me to my door. But that’s far from my best JDate story. Seriously, how long do you have? I can go on all night.

Every few months I take a break from online dating, which I was doing last fall when I met a really great, smart, nice, funny guy in a bar. It was as if I blinked and found myself in this relationship I wasn’t expecting… and neither was he. We tried to keep things breezy, but things were becoming serious without us even trying. Ultimately, he decided he wasn’t ready to commit. And while it was a short relationship, I was absolutely crushed when it ended, paralyzed at the very thought of starting over just to get hurt again. But eventually, I got sick of crying along to the pain of Adele and Bon Iver. So I did the only thing I could think of. I rejoined JDate.

Now that I’m back, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned from my experience as a pro JDater – the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious – with all of you. You might be wondering how I’ve lasted so long here. It’s because I’ve figured out the key to surviving on JDate: a little bit of faith in the system and a hell of a sense of humor.