Create a Match.com Summer Singles Event & Win!

match-logoHappy Friday, kittens!

The Spinsters have been asked to participate in a birthday celebration, which you know we love. Bring on the cupcakes and candles! Last year, Match.com—the favored online dating site of our own dear Kate—launched Stir events. With Stir, singles no longer have to wade through online profiles, trying to decipher just how interested in cats that cute surfer guy is, or whether a mutual love of Tolkien is enough warrant a whole dinner. Instead, Match.com plans its own singles events, everything from hiking to bowling, and invites its local users to come and mingle. Happy 1st Birthday, Stir!

Whether you’re just nervous about meeting one-on-one (in which case, we recommend Kate’s ax murderer awareness protocol) or don’t want to waste precious prime time TV hours on individual dinner dates, Stir is the answer. They offer a huge range of activites around the United States, from large-scale happy hours at local hot spots, to more intimate events like cooking classes and tequila tastings. As of their one-year anniversary this month, Match.com’s Stir has already hosted an impressive 2,850 events! That’s 14 events each day, 75 events a week, 320 events per month! Kittens, some of those events are ghost tours. Sign us up!

Match has collaborated with over 1,200 venues and partners—including House of Blues, Banana Republic, Sur la Table and Warrior Dash—along with local gems in each city. Match is throwing singles events in over 80 cities across America – including events in Anchorage and Honolulu! Y’all, over 225,000 singles have attended a Stir event to date. Statistically, that means an intriguingly-bearded (or skirted – Match also hosts GLBT Stir events!) architect is probably tasting hot sauce near you right this very night. Online dating, you are so very, very tempting!

Even better, in celebration of the Stir anniversary, Match.com is offering the opportunity for singles to create their own Stir event. If your event is chosen, you’ll work with the Match.com Stir planners to bring it to life. Whether your ideal is a group trip to Disneyland (Hello, romantic Space Mountain cuddling!) or a feminist book reading, Match can bring it to life. All you have to do, in order to fulfill your wildest mountain climbing with interesting singles fantasy, is visit Match.com’s “What Stirs You?” Contest Page now through Tuesday May 28th, 2013 and tell Match what you think would make for the perfect singles event to be entered to win. Entries will be judged based on quality, creativity, uniqueness and geographical relevance.

The selected winner will have their idea re-created by the Match.com Stir Events team in their city, and will receive an invitation to attend the event along with ten of their singles friends – all at no charge! In addition, the winner will also receive a free six-month Match.com subscription. Sweet! So, my darling cream puffs, what are you waiting for? I know you have great ideas for Stir.

Kate the Man Nibbler

I have a confession, friends.  I haven’t logged on to that online dating site in over a month.  I know, it’s crazy (or cray-cray as my sister would say).  But here’s the thing.  I’m in over my head with this online dating thing.  I don’t know how to date multiple men at once.  I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Kate, you don’t have to date multiple men at one time.  Just pick one and see what develops.”  But gosh darn it, people, I paid good money for a three-month membership.  There is no way I will date only one person at a time and move on to the next only if the first fizzles.  I would make some argument about being responsible with my money but it comes across in an odd way.  You know what I mean.

Things were swell at the outset.  I went on a several dates with different guys and things mutually fizzled.  This was a happy thing!  I got back into the swing of dating but didn’t have to deal with the whole liking several men at once thing.  That was until mid-December when I went on two dates in one week (wild woman, right here!) and liked both the guys.  Enough to think of a second date.  Enough to think I might even want to go on three dates with each.

Intellectual Isaac is approximately the same age, hails from my home state, is a lover of reading and writing, and even owns a cat.  I swoon!  Intriguing Ivan, a reader of the audio variety, likes to keep up with his speech and debate skills, and even agrees with me that a woman shouldn’t have to take her husband’s last name (a topic of which I plan to address next week – stay tuned!).  I swoon again!

So here I am, texting two gentlemen, and feeling very uncomfortable with the situation.  It’s not because I don’t think you should date multiple people at once.  In fact, I think this is perfectly acceptable and is something more people should consider.  Half of my generation seems to throw themselves into the worst kind of relationships since it happens to be their only option at a particular time. I’m no stranger to this, even if it was 6 or 7 years ago.  My discomfort actually stems from the What If factor.

What if Intellectual Isaac should show up at the same bar as I’m at with Intriguing Ivan even though he lives 40 minutes away and doesn’t go to bars but decides he should check one out this night and then he sees us and then he’s all horrified that I’m on a date with Intriguing Ivan and he’ll call me the next day and tell me he never wants to see me again and he demands that I destroy any evidence of his short stories which he kindly sent to me to read?

(You were supposed to say that in one breath without pausing because, you know, that’s how I do it)

What if Intriguing Ivan decides to romance me with a romantic dinner and romantic candle light and I must sneak away to the restroom to remove an offending piece of spinach from betwixt my teeth and while I’m gone Intellectual Isaac texts me but I don’t realize that my phone has fallen out of my purse and Intriguing Ivan gallantly rescues it from it’s fate beneath my chair but in doing so sees that Intellectual Ivan would like us to have a movie night wherein we watch The Holiday and cuddle with our cats and then Intriguing Ivan demands I leave without even a nibble of the bread pudding he was preparing for me because he know I likes it so?

Or my simplest fear:

What if, after a number of good dates with each of the gentlemen, I can’t decide who it is that I like more than the other?

I haven’t dated enough to know this will all work itself out.  That maybe I won’t even have to decide but it will instead be one of them that has a fizzled feeling.  So I will live in fear that I will somehow screw this up, all the while feeling very ill-at-ease with myself on this particular topic.

If you have suggestions about how to own the dating (multiple people at one time) scene, I’m all ears.  Any bit of reassurance you can offer on this topic would be appreciated because lord knows I want to curl up in the fetal position every time I think of the possibilities.

-Kate

Btw, fizzled is my new favorite word of the week.  Apologies for the over-use but I love it so!

The Payment Dilemma

I’m a terrible first date.  It’s been one first-dating snafu after another.  All those taboo topics?  Kids? Politics? Religion? Sex?  Oh yah, I’ve broached them all.  Someone really needs to put a muzzle on me.  The words flow from my mouth and I try to reel them back in but they’re slippery little things and always seem to get away…

Perhaps the most repeated offense I make is the topic I don’t bring up.  I don’t offer to pay on the first date.  If you gasped and covered your mouth, you’re not alone.  Everyone (and I do mean everyone) tells me this is incredibly rude and Not The Way To Do Things.

99% of my acquaintances state a guy should pay for the first date.  This marks him not just as a man, but a gentleman.  Apparently it also tells you he’s not cheap, really does have a job, etc. and etc.   If that 99% of my acquaintances says that a guy should pay, then that means while a girl can offer, she should never pay.  Guys tell me this.  Girls tell me this.

So if I shouldn’t pay, and a guy isn’t going to allow me to pay, then why must I offer? Why is this?  Why must this be?

I tried to come up with several reasons behind it.  Perhaps the offer is supposed to tell the man she’s considerate.  Maybe it tells him she doesn’t expect things.  Or that she’s financially conscious during these hard economic times .  I get it.  Kind of.  But not really.

Hear me out.

If 99% of people think that a guy should always pay and the girl shouldn’t… then doesn’t the offer by the girl count as insincere? “I’m offering to pay and I really would do it but then I know you won’t really let me and you shouldn’t let me!”  There seems to be no point to checking off that box.  It makes it seem like the date is a  game show.  Offer to pay and you advance to the next round!  The reality is I just feel terribly fake when I ask because I know what the outcome will be.

This is, of course, remedied when I’ve made it through to date #2  and I’ve paid for that second meal.  If I can’t split a dinner the first time around, then let me pay for the second so I can show I’m considerate and I’m not taking advantage of the situation. This is acceptable, right?

Can I get a yay?

Or should I file this under things I shouldn’t overanalyze at 1:30 AM on my holiday break?

Or maybe just a “quit being a dumbass and offer to pay?”

– Kate

The Run-In

I had other plans for this post but I’m hijacking my own slot to write about the awkwardness that just happened.  It was online date #4 (as in with the 4th person, not 4th date ever).  Anywho.  We were meeting for drinks and I got to the bar a little early.  The date called to say he was running a few minutes late so I attempted to busy myself with my phone while standing in the parking lot.  Until I noticed a dude sitting outside.  But not just any dude, one of the two dudes that drove me to finish my online dating profile during my boy-induced rage!

Now is as good a time as any to tell you the reason things didn’t work out between us had to do with the fact that he thought things were moving too fast.  I brought him out to friend’s birthday dinner and somehow that was just too darn quick for him.  Even if it was after a solid month we’d been dating.  And there were 16 people there so it wasn’t some intimate gathering.  But then you know how those things are.  If I brought him to a birthday party after just a month then obviously I had marriage on the mind.   From that night on he turned into a giant flake who couldn’t make up his mind about anything.  He continued to keep up with texting (no, he never did call and yes, that should have been an earlier sign) and he made one, “we should catch up tomorrow” comment after another.  I always thought he meant it, then he never followed through.  I’m honestly a little bit embarrassed that I wasted so much time and emotional energy trying to figure out our situation when it was painfully obvious that he was just not interested.  It was about Nov. 7th when I finally got really angry about the whole situation.  That’s the night I finished my profile.

So back to last night.  Of all the effing people at a bar that I never go to, it was almost too perfect.  You guys, I looked hot.  My legs went on for days, my waist was tiny and nipped in, and my newly highlighted hair was shiny and perfect.  I could have walked into the bar without sparing him a second glance but there was no way in hell I was going to waste the opportunity to show him what he was missing.  I walked back to my car to grab “something I forgot.”  Then my phone became incredibly interesting and it was very important that I stop, pose with my long leg placed just so, and send a text.  It was followed closely by the requisite hand-through-hair-followed-by-sexy-hair-toss move.  And oh, he noticed.

Then, then!  I happened to find an open table and what group should be sitting next to me?  Oh yah.  I was sparking and lovely, introducing myself to everyone and generally making a great impression.  Our mutual friend asked if they should leave after he found out I was there on a date.  Oh no.  No, no, no.  Please stay!  See me on my hot date!

And alright, this is where the story kind of falls.  I ended up sitting with my back to that table so I wasn’t distracted by anyone and the night sort of went on.  The table vacated at some point but I didn’t notice because I was caught up in conversation with my date.  And gawd, it was a good date.  He was intelligent and intriguing and I was happy for the date to go on, and on, and on…  It was the perfect of example of my initial desire to do the online dating thing.  He was more interesting, cuter, was engaging, and completely distracted me from the earlier events of the night.  I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details but he was a fantastic kisser.

I guess that’s the best revenge.

– Kate

Online Dating: The First 24 Hours

Nine months ago I got curious.  It was three years since I’d had a serious relationship and while I’m in no rush, it was starting to feel like I had one of those number flip charts pasted to my chest, telling people just how long it had been.  They say 1 in 5 couples meet through online dating.  Since I didn’t want to meet someone in a bar, at work, or church it seemed my options were limited.  There had to be something there.  I started an online dating profile to test the waters and see what was out there but I wasn’t quite ready to go there just yet,  got cold feet, and never finished the thing.  Story of my dating life.

Flash forward to this past November when, in a fit of boy-induced rage (the details of which I’ll save for another time), I decided to finish my profile.  Watch me find cuter guys!  Watch me find more interesting guys!  Watch me show you!   And okay, it took me a few minutes to track down my username and when I realized what it was I was a little bit embarrassed.  How the hell did I come up with that?  But I suppose that’s one of the things you should know – if you already feel a little embarrassed about the fact that you’re writing about yourself and posting it out there for men to peruse as if you’re a vegetable in the produce aisle, you’ll feel even worse when you realize your username is KatetheCatch0022.

After the low of realizing my username I was greeted with the pleasant surprise of an almost complete profile.  There’s a certain joy that comes at 2:00 AM when you realize you don’t have to re-address the “do I want kids” question.   I cruised along, even more pleased to find I hadn’t changed that much in 9 months.  Gentlemen, I’m consistent!  Things were lovely.  This was easier than I remembered.  And then the dreaded free-form “About Me” section reared its ugly head.

It’s sort of like being asked to tweet your life story in 140 characters of less.  How are you supposed to properly convey your sparkling personality and what you’re looking for in a dinky little character-limited form?  Oh sure, they give you examples, but those feel more like cruel reminders of just how lame your own section sounds.  What should take you 30 minutes will be suck up 3 fucking hours of your life so grab a cup of tea and settle in.

Monday rolled around and when I got around to the good ol’ email, there were 40 messages waiting for me.  I like to think I have friends that care about me, but 40 personal emails on a Monday morning was unexpected.  Did I win the lottery and everyone else knew it but me?

And then I saw the first subject line.  And then it hit me.  My profile.  That sucker went live the second I clicked finish.

This is where, if you’re like me, you might experience a wee bit of hyperventilation.  Or break out in a cold sweat.  Or  both.  Fuck.  What did I do?!

Give yourself 10 minutes.  These feelings will pass.

If you get to this point, there are things you should know:

  • You could be saving wee lil’ ones from a fire but you’ll feel like you have to stop what you’re doing to check all the emails.  Boys!  More boys!
  • The next 3-6 months of your life will not be the same.  See, you can’t read those emails until you sign up.  After hemming and hawing about whether you should sign up (you’ll tell people it took you hours to decide when it was really a matter of minutes) you’ll go and find that discount coupon and slap down the cash.
  • You’ll feel embarrassed for a time, fearing it makes you look desperate.  Then you’ll come across guys you know.  Like that dude from your stat class in high school.  Or your mortgage broker!  When you tell people about this, they will exclaim that they, too, are on the dating sites.  Or that’s how they met their husband! You’ll feel a lot less desperate and start to proclaim the virtues of online dating.
  • A visit to the site that you think will take 5 minutes will take 5 hours.
  • Your social calendar is about to get very, very crazy.

Let the dating begin.

-Kate