Online Dating, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bombs


I first gave online dating a stab a year and a half ago. Took a break for a while, gave it another go, then gave it up again. A few months ago I picked it up again, figuring the third time might be the charm. Maybe online dating’s like riding a bike: something you get better at the more you do it.

The first time I’d tried it was doomed from the start. I wasn’t ready; my breakup was still too fresh. Ironically, the first person to “like” me on the website (because online dating is like eighth grade: a “win” is when someone “likes” you) was my ex. As a favor. As if throwing someone a bone after you’ve ripped out their heart is fair trade. Then again, egocentrics by definition have warped worldviews. If an ass grows wings and flies, you can’t really blame it when it crash lands.

In round two, I went out with a lawyer. We met for dinner, where she mentioned her ex. Then mentioned him again. And again. And again. And again. This was annoying–especially when the check came and I, the professor, opened it up to see the total and she – the lawyer – said “Thanks!” We went to a bar after, where I thought a change of scenery and some drinks might move us into new conversation. Nope. Now, I’m a mellow dude in general. But my pride burns deep inside me like the hot Caribbean sun. I have quite the subterranean ego. I didn’t like feeling like I was just some stand-in. I was going to let her have it, but after we left the bar she let me have it. In a good way. Sometimes being a stand-in’s pretty good.


Round three has seen its share of WTFs—specifically, seven distinct classes of girls: Continue reading

Givers vs. Takers

Borges would approve of this image. But he's way smarter than me anyway.

Borges would approve of this image. But he’s way smarter than me anyway.

In most of my relationships, I am the giver. This can sometimes lead to problems, especially when you’re involved with shameless, aggressive takers. I promised myself after my last relationship ended that I would look to date givers. I have a date later this week with a girl I met on-line. One of the first things she told me, unprovoked, is that she’s “a giver.” We’ll see.

I wonder what drives givers to be givers instead of takers. Or takers to be takers instead of givers. Or either to be one or the other, rather than balanced. Are there balanced people out there?

This is the last week of the summer semester. My students are emailing me their papers left and right, and as is always the case the last week of the semester, I’m so overwhelmed by the intense focus devoted to literally hundreds of thousands of words that every night when I go to bed I have a piercing headache.
Last night one student emailed me her latest revision at 3:00 a.m. This morning in class–that’s a 9:30 a.m. class–the first thing she wanted to know was whether I’d read her paper yet. I’m guessing that one’s a taker.


Are you a giver? A taker? Balanced? Do you date givers, takers, balanceds, or others? Is there a relationship between what you avoid in your romantic life and what you seek or end up encountering in your workplace?