Monday, June 28, 2010

Time Efficiency

Continuing with the theme of dating multiples from last week, today I’m going to dive into a subject that only the hyper-organized multiples-dater ever even deals with:

What is the maximum number of date slots available in one weekend?

There are several factors to consider: How adept at schedule-keeping are you? How much free time do you want during the weekend to hang with friends, relax, etc.? And, if you really have 17 available people you want to go on a date with this weekend, how smooth are you at scheduling all of them without tipping them off that they’re bookended by two other potential suitors (a fact that would probably be a buzz-kill)?

Here’s my take on the maximum potential dates from Friday evening to Sunday night, allowing for 30 minute breaks in between each date for travel time and mental recuperation and preparation, a one to two hour date duration and assuming restricted sleep, very little free time and a fast metabolism.


- Happy hour drinks (5pm-6:30pm)
- Dinner (7pm-9:30pm)
- Late night drinks (10pm to whenever)


- Early morning coffee/light breakfast (8:30am-9:30am)
- Brunch (10am-11:30am)
- Afternoon activity #1 (hiking, beach-going, river rafting, park-enjoying, BBQ at friend’s house, etc.) - (12pm-2pm)
- Afternoon activity #2 (2:30pm-4:30pm)
- Happy hour drinks (5pm-6:30pm)
- Dinner (7pm-9pm)
- Dessert/Cocktails (9:30pm-11pm)
- Late night drinks / party-going (11:30pm-whenever)

- Brunch (9:30am-11:30am)
- Afternoon activity #1 (12pm-2pm)
- Afternoon activity #2 (2:30pm-4:30pm)
- Happy hour drinks (5pm-6:30pm)
- Dinner (7pm-9pm)
- Late night cocktails (9:30pm to whenever)

That’s 17 potential slots: definitely not a schedule for the faint of heart or the easily exhausted. But for the soul-mate seeking, “dating is a numbers game”-subscribing, time-efficient go-getter?This schedule is an inspiration. Even a much more doable, pared down version (2 dates on Friday, and 3 each on Saturday and Sunday), action-packs the weekend with 8 slots for potential sparks to fly. And when you’re trying to meet your soul-mate by next month, maximizing your dating is the only way to go.

So the next time you feel like you don’t have time for yet another date, remember that if you watch the clock and clustering your dates according to location and traffic time, it’s possible to have a date with every member of your local adult soccer team, and most of the substitutes.

Yours in time-efficiency, S

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes), where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Handle Multiples

Although dating multiple people at one time has become a much more accepted route with the popularity of online dating (and therefore the necessity of meeting each person you might have a connection with in person to see if there’s anything there), there seem to be a lot of differing opinions and questions about it:

- Do you fully disclose how many dates you have this week with the person you’re on a date with tonight?

- What constitutes “dating”? Definitions range, depending on the person, from meeting for coffee to it being a term only applied to a monogamous “will you be my girlfriend?” pre-marriage coupledom.

- Are multiples an efficient way to figure out who’s best for you or is it an ultimate playboy lifestyle where you can get your cake and eat it too?

Navigating the emotional minefields of each separate person in your personal black book takes skill, grace and tact — and a giant heap of communication.

I think that most of us assume that until there’s an actual conversation about where we stand in a dating situation, as long as we’re treating the other person with respect, what we do in our time away from them is our business. As for when to bring up the conversation (similar to my post about the DTR ) having a talk with someone becomes necessary when you can a) sense that they’re thinking that they’re the only one you’re dating or b) when you sense that you’re not the only one they’re dating and you’re interested in going in that direction. Ultimately, we’re all responsible for our own feelings and actions, so while it’s not your responsibility to constantly monitor how the other person may or may not be feeling, it’s still a good idea to have their thoughts in mind so that you don’t inadvertently hurt them — no one likes being a jerk. This is especially true when sex comes into play, because oftentimes there’s going to be more (and sometimes unpredictable) emotion involved.

All that said, while I think honesty and integrity in dating are extremely important, I do not subscribe to the theory that you should mention on the first date that you’re currently also dating sixteen other people. This looks like bragging, despite the place of honesty it’s coming from. A much more realistic and non-jackass way to go about discussing your (or their) other activities is to wait until you sense that either one of you is not on the same page: “Hey - I like you and I’d like to keep hanging out to see where this goes, but I want to make sure we’re on the same page so that neither one of us gets hurt.”

Basically, whether your goal is to get as much ass as possible or you’re looking for your soulmate in a time-efficient manner, being sensitive to what the people you’re dating are feeling is key. Assuming that they’re on the same page is fine for a while, but as soon as emotions start getting involved, it’s important to let them know where you stand and what your plans are so that no one gets inadvertently hurt. If they’re down to continue, rock on. If they’re not, they can bail.

Yours in time-efficiency, S

(Credits: Image by

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes), where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5 Easy-To-Plan Themed Parties to Kick Off Your Summer

Parties are fun all year round, but in the summer when we're all a little more relaxed and fun-loving, adding some sparkle to your parties with a fun theme can make a huge difference in attendance and give your crew a chance to enjoy the hell out of a Saturday night. Plus, the more enticing the party is, the more likely it is your friends will bring friends -- one or more of whom may end up being your next date. Here are five easy-to-plan, very-low-stress plug-and-play parties that require only a light cleaning of your apartment, some simple supplies and an Evite account.

1. Blind Taste Test: Cheap Beer / Wine. Request that everyone who attends brings their favorite cheap wine or beer ($5 or under). Once they arrive, wrap the bottles in masking tape (so that no one knows what they're drinking), give each bottle a number, and begin the tasting. Everyone votes for a favorite and most likely, hilarity will ensue when the crowd realizes that Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's is the winner.

2. Jello-Flavor Party. Everyone attending dresses in a monochromatic color, limited by the colors of the flavors of Jello. Serve your favorite Jello concoction and enjoy the rainbow of ridiculousness caused by you and your friends dressed in head to toe bright yellow (or green, blue, red or purple). Don't forget the camera.
3. Clothes Swap Party. The requirement to enter is to wear something you don't want anymore (with bonus points given for going thrift store shopping ahead of time and wearing something completely ridiculous). The goal is to leave wearing something entirely different, and hopefully that you actually might wear. Barter and swap clothing during the party to get what you want. Hilarity, some partial nudity and a whole lot of fun is guaranteed.
4. Best Drink Party. All guests (or groups of guests) must bring the fixings for their favorite drink: the more outrageous the better. Each drink gets a separate station, and everyone tries everything. Votes are cast and the winner gets a token prize. If people choose drinks that are unusual and uncommon, this can be an educational experience as well as a fun party.
5. Wine and Cheese Party. The caveat with this one is to bring really, really cheap wine and really, really hight quality cheese. The name of the party sounds classy and posh, but it ends up being a whole lot of giggly fun when you juxtapose cheap wine with really good cheese. Enjoy the epicurean nightmare.

Themed parties are great because they give the guests something to do and talk about, and when everyone is doing the same thing, creates common ground on which to stand. Themes create easy conversation spaces and when there's a goal, push people to mingle and talk to those they might not have otherwise. When you're dealing with combining groups of friends who don't know each other that well or with friends of friends coming into the mix, this is especially useful. Plus, themed parties are often good for several hours of stress-busting fun and laughter, which deepens bonds between friends and can easily create a bond between those who just met. So whether you're trolling for your next date or just want to spend a beautiful summer night in good company, theme parties are an easy, make-them-come-to-you answer.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on, where I'm the dating expert.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dating Dish: Why Summer in Seattle is Fantastic News for Your Dating Life

The fabulous women of Girl Power Hour (a fantastic women's networking group in Seattle) have asked me to write a monthly feature for their blog called Dating Dish. I couldn't be more honored or excited to do so. Here's the first installment!

Why Summer in Seattle is Fantastic News for Your Dating Life

This is me in the Olympic Rainforest, enjoying the hike but looking forward to summer. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Online Date Fail: How to Handle It

Sometimes — even when the chemistry online is so hot any other outcome but life-long bliss seems impossible — when you meet said online profile in person, it can be a there’s-no-way-this-would-ever-work-out disaster. This isn’t anyone’s fault. The Internet can only give us so many hints about whether or not we’ll be compatible, attracted to and/or have chemistry with someone when we meet them in the physical realm. Beyond the obvious problems that can potentially arise from dishonest or exaggerated profiles, there are things you get in person — how you feel around them, smell, body language, how attractive they are to you in three dimensions — that you can’t get through IMing, emailing and profile stalking.

So what happens when you encounter an online-arranged date fail? When things don’t stack up in person and you know it, how long do you hang in there before bailing, and what do you say?

I think most would agree that hanging in there for 20-30 minutes is both long enough to show respect for the person who took time out of their day to come meet with you and also to give any potential bonding a fair shot, but isn’t so long that either you or they will feel like they wasted their whole afternoon on a date that went nowhere. The 20-30 minute goal is a perfect argument for why first online dates should be drinks or coffee based, and not meal based. Unless you’re grabbing hot dogs from a street stand, a meal will almost definitely commit you to more than 30 minutes. Anyone who has gone on a few bad online dates knows the wisdom of not roping yourself into an extended period of time with someone you may actively have anti-chemistry with.

As far as how to politely and respectfully bail after you’ve burned your tongue on your coffee in an effort to speed the 20 minutes along, I’m from the camp of just being honest — not brutally so, but honest enough that your feelings are clear about any potential future dates with this person. Something like the following works well: “Hey, thanks for the drink” (if they bought) or “Thanks for meeting me for coffee”, followed by, “It was really nice to meet you, but I’m just not feeling a connection, romantically. I wish you the best.” You’re being straight up about not feeling anything for them, which isn’t arguable — you feel how you feel. Being honest during the date and letting them know where you stand is a more stand-up way to deal with non-connection than to not return emails or phone calls in a few days when they ask you for a second installment.

Sometimes, the anti-romantic chemistry is present on both sides, and being honest will result in a friendship — one you may not have fostered if one or both of you turned to the unanswered emails and phone calls route. If one of you feels it and the other doesn’t, being honest may feel a bit brutal, but will ultimately be respected more than the alternative. I know I’d much rather hear it straight than be ignored.

Yours in stand-up honesty, S
(Credits: Image by

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes), where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.

Friday, June 11, 2010

UK promotion in "Scotland on Sunday" | Contest to win a Sassy Guide

Two things:

In celebration of the UK release of Screw Cupid, titled The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Fit Guys (released on May 25th, 2010), I'm running a very un-official contest to give five copies of the UK version away. The first five to email me their worst dating story will receive a copy: sam (at) screwcupithebook (dot) com. Ready? Go.

Second: Scotland on Sunday (one of Scotland's largest newspapers), asked me to do a one-page dating Q&A to promote the UK release of Screw Cupid. Here it is: "Lifelines: Get Back in the Dating Game". Enjoy! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

5 Ways to Get Outside, Meet Your Next Date, and Have a Blast

Summer is here and if you’re recovering from a break-up, now is the perfect time to utilize the many benefits of being single in the warmest, laziest time of year. One of the easiest ways to meet new people (remembering that even if you’re not ready to date again, it’s always great to find new people to laugh with), is to take a co-ed sports class. When that class is outdoors, teaches you a new skill, gives you a great work-out and is full of fun and attractive people enjoying life, it adds up to a fantastic make-you-smile combination. Here are five fun outdoor summer activities that give you a work-out and easy access to your next date.

1. Beach Volleyball. Even if you don’t live on a beach, there will be a park with sand where people play this incredibly fun sport. Community centers, colleges and private clubs alike offer classes, ranging from beginner to expert. Wherever you fall on that scale, you’ll be surrounded by attractive, tanned, fun-loving people. Plus, it’s a fantastic work-out.

2. Sailing. Sun, water and a humbling day of dinging around on a small sailboat is a fantastic way to bond with your classmates -- no one knows what they’re doing and it’s a real challenge to do any serious damage to anyone or anything. End result? Hilarity. Plus, once you understand the mechanics of sailing a tiny boat, the bigger ones will be much easier to learn. Then, you can hang out with the local sailing club, giving you access to an even bigger group of outdoorsy, water loving people.

3. Rock Climbing. Although probably the most physically challenging of the five, it’s arguably the most fun. There’s nothing like successfully scaling a wall with the sun beating down on you and being cheered on by your fellow newbies. You’ll do things you never imagined you could, and walk away with some seriously envy-inducing shoulders. Plus, never was there a place with so many attractive, healthy people than in a rock-climbing gym.

4. Golf. One of the most popular weekend activities, golf is one of those sports for which the mechanics and frustrations can provide hours of easy-to-keep-going conversation. Once you’re ready to play a game on your own, you can ask to be put with people at your level. Four hours walking around a golf course is a great workout, and an even better bonding situation. You’ll walk away with three new friends, and perhaps your next date.

5. Kayaking. Depending on where you go, kayaking varies in its challenges. The one common factor? A great upper-body workout. It’s also one of those sports, like hiking, where you can easily find a group (led by a professional) to join and spend a weekend with. The immediate bond you feel with nature when it’s just you and a paddle is amazing, and incredibly healing.

Being outside is a proven mood lifter; as is exercise. Taking a outdoor sports-based class gives you a work-out and also provides you with a fail-safe way to make new friends because you’ll always have something to talk about when you’re in a class together, and the bonding that comes with being schooled in humility when we learn something new creates instant friendships. If you’re ready to date and no one in your class fits the mold, these new friends will fold you into their circle and you’ll meet even more potential dates. Any way you look at it, outdoor summer classes or professionally led group trips add up to a win-win way to spend a few hours on a weekend.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on, where I'm the dating expert.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

F$%# the “Should”

There’s so much “should” propaganda out there telling us that our dating lives should be these raging, always exciting, non-stop, somewhat drama-filled roller-coasters of emotion. It comes from ads, movies, celebrities, and closer to home, from our friends, families and occasionally the barista who makes our lattes in the morning. We end up feeling like we “should” be  going out more, sending more emails to hot people in our online dating forays, or making more of an effort to get set up by friends. We feel like we “should” be in a relationship when we’re not or either getting out of one or pushing it to the next level if we’re in one.  And when we start getting into our late twenties and early thirties, the pressure to not only date someone seriously but get married, find the white picket fence and have babies starts coming from our families, and also from random acquaintances at weddings, coffee shops and well-meaning co-workers. The pressure never lets up.

I say f&$# the pressure.

If your dating life is making you happy, ignore the gentle but relentless pushing to do whatever it is that friends, family and the big ad agencies think you should be doing. If you’re happy on your own right now, own it. If you’re happy with the 15 dates you aim for each week, rock it. If your plan for no kids/no wedding is right for you, ignore the nay-sayers and follow your dreams.

The only reason to change it up is if you’re not happy and/or you’re not meeting your personal dating/relationship goals. If this is the case, all you have to do to find that happiness is to make the changes necessary to meet those goals and get where you want to go. Although that’s kind of a “duh” statement, it can be easy to forget how simple it is to make changes for the better. We forget because sometimes it’s easier to keep doing the same thing because it’s familiar, even if we think we might be happier doing something else. Or we rule out the possibility of owning our lives and making changes because we’re scared of the unknown. The courage to make those changes is what makes us strong and grows us as people. Making changes because it’s what YOU want — and not what someone else told you to do — is extremely powerful.

For example, if you’re in a relationship that’s sucking your soul, get out of it and focus on you for a while. If you’re single and don’t want to be, get yourself involved in classes or with groups of people that enjoy the same things you do (the more co-ed, the better). Then, you’ll be enriching your own life and at the same time, meeting new people you already have something in common with (and if it doesn’t work with them, they all have friends who have friends who are probably awesome).

In short, f&$# the “should” and focus on doing what’s right for you. Your dating life is YOUR dating life — it should reflect what you want.

Yours in damning the man, S

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes), where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.