Single in Your Thirties? Here’s How to Ruin a First Date

I just saw the funniest Facebook post today about how to ruin a date in only 5 words. Everyone was commenting with suggestions, and a few of them were quite genius.

In this technological modern age, there’s more online dating happening than ever before, which basically translates into more dating happening than ever before…or at least more online penpal-ing? But anyways, with the amount of dating going on nowadays, a ridiculous multitude of dating horror stories have arisen. Of course, there are lots of really good dates, and even great dates, but the funniest stories usually come from the crazy dates. From constant texting to Facebook stalking to misrepresentations on Tinder, the dating arena’s a lot more like the wild west than it ever was before. And I realized recently that there’s a whole lot more semi-blind dating happening now than it ever has in the past. OkCupid, Tinder, Hinge (have you ever even heard of that one??) and plenty more dating apps have brought a whole new series of strange events and bizarre occurrences…at the very least! But don’t be scared- interesting dating stories are happening to anyone who’s brave enough to put themselves out there! And it’s all kind of awesome.

There’s a lot I can say about dating, and I will talk more seriously about it in another post, but for tonight, just sit back and enjoy some absolutely terrible first date comments that may just make you laugh till you cry.

Here are some of the best suggestions for how to ruin a first date in just 5 words. Enjoy!

The Obvious Issues

  • It’s not contagious anymore…hopefully
  • Honestly, your friends hired me
  • They haven’t convicted me yet
  • I know where you live
  • My lawyer says no kissing
  • When will this be over?

The Family Issues

  • You remind me of mom
  • My curfew is at 9
  • What’s your sister’s phone number?
  • My dad’s on his way
  • By the way, I’m married
  • My current wife is missing

The Political/ Cultural Issues

  • Have you considered Donald Trump?
  • I don’t believe in education
  • My role model’s Kim Kardashian
  • Ann Coulter is my hero
  • Theater is like live TV
  • I don’t believe in independence

The Technology Issues

  • I already Facebook stalked you
  • Those Tinder photos weren’t me
  • Wait, I’m tweeting about this
  • I’m only 40 pounds heavier
  • I just bought your domain
  • Hold on- texting my ex

The Seems Like Maybe Red Flag Issues

  • I figured, hey, free dinner!
  • You are really rich, right?
  • I’m high. Everything is funny
  • I only speak in rhyme
  • Yuck! I hate all foods
  • I heard you were desperate
  • Hurry! I have another date
  • I got that waitress pregnant
  • No one else was available
  • Meet my psychiatric service dog
  • My biological clock is ticking
  • I think I love you

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A Different Kind of Marriage in your Thirties

Ellen McCarthy, a wedding and relationships reporter at the Washington Post, spent years interviewing hundreds of couples about what makes relationships work and what doesn’t for the paper’s On Love column. Her book, The Real Thing, is an insiders scoop into what makes some marriages work and others..not work..and possibly end in divorce.

According to McCarthy, there seems to be two major keys to finding a marriage partner to be with for (hopefully) your entire life. They weren’t what I thought they’d be. At first I found them way too simple. But simplicity can be deceptive…

The two keys are:

1. Comfort
It turns out that so many of the spouses in successful marriages used the word ‘comfortable’ when talking about their significant other that McCarthy began to get worried when couples didn’t mention that word.
Comfortable in this case didn’t mean settling or boring. It meant that both spouses felt very much themselves in the relationship. The couple still had to work on the relationship of course, but the marriage just felt natural and they didn’t have to second guess themselves or tiptoe around one another. Both husband and wife were comfortably able to express themselves without fear. One person even said that the marriage sometimes felt like being alone while together …in the best way. They both still felt extremely free and independent while together in the relationship. This is the best kind of interdependence, I think.

2. Kindness
When asked what the most important quality a potential life partner could have, the answer was kindness, hands down. The marriages that lasted consisted of partners who were kind to one another…and kind people overall. One respondent said that her significant other was kind to everyone- kind to her, kind to himself, kind to friends, kind to dogs. Kindness is everything in a lasting marriage.
And why shouldn’t it be?

If you’re going to be with someone for life- and in this day and age that means another 60 possible years from your thirties(!)- why wouldn’t you choose someone who’s kind and who you can comfortably be yourself with?

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t butterflies, super hot moments, and great chemistry, and it doesn’t mean that everything is boring and tranquil. It just means that when looking for a life partner, kindness and comfort are great places to start…and continue.

Are you in an amazing marriage with a kind partner who you feel extremely comfortable with? Are these traits valuable to you? I know that I never had them high enough on my radar before, and they’ve recently moved to the top of my list. I don’t want to be with a person who seems great on paper, but isn’t kind. I want to be with a kind person who makes me feel comfortable and good about myself. The rest can be figured out thereafter.

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Making Friends When You’re in a Long Term Relationship

Let me preface all of this by saying, I love female friendship. I’m kind of obsessed with it, actually. From the popular Sex and the City and Golden Girls to the less well-known Walking and Talking and Heavenly Creatures, I’ve seen EVERY movie and TV show about female friendships. Maybe it’s me being an only child and craving siblings, but I find these friendships to be deeply sustaining and life-affirming.

But I realized that since I’ve been in a relationship, about five and a half years, I haven’t made many super close girlfriends. I’ve made a lot of acquaintances, but not as many really close pals. It might simply be more challenging to meet new friends in your thirties, or it’s just plain harder when you’re in a serious relationship. Most likely, it’s a combination of both of these things. But for me, there’s one more element that I think is a factor.

Talking about boys.  In high school and college, I bonded with a lot of my friends by talking about boys and dating. I don’t feel like less of a feminist for saying that I love talking about these subjects, because I enjoy talking to my female friends about other subjects too. But one of the ways I bonded with new female friends was over men. This may just be my personality, because I was the girl who ALWAYS talked about her crushes or my fear that I would never meet that special someone.

I think it touches on something deeper, though. Talking about love and dating is really intimate; it’s not just superficial talk. You expose yourself, share your hopes for the future and that’s vulnerable. When I would share a story about my crush with a new friend, most of the time, she would share her own romantic adventures with me, and often, a friendship was born. I suppose I could share stories from my relationship now, but honestly it would almost feel like a betrayal to share anything negative about my relationship to new friends, since we’ve been dating for so long.

Now I feel like I’m more of a listener, and less of a contributor to these conversations about dating, and it makes me a little nostalgic for the old days. I don’t have stories involving crazy dates, or the drunk dial from the ex I still care about,  or the cute co-worker who I kissed once…And since I met my boyfriend before the boom of Tinder, I’m bummed that I can’t share my own adventures in swiping left and right.

But I guess you trade one thing for another. I wouldn’t want to go back to dating lots of new people just for the stories I could share with my new girlfriends. It’s about finding fresh meaningful ways to connect with recent women friends….quilting, anyone?

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