Would you pay a company to plan your date?

Date night

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A Portland blogger was recently approached by My Mystery Date, a company that will plan a date for you and your partner for a flat fee. While Chris seemed to like it and have fun, I wonder if he’d feel differently if he actually had to pay for it?


  • Leave your wallet in your pocket.
  • No date-planning pressure.
  • Discover new restaurants and activities.


  • You may get stuck doing something you’re not into.
  • If you or your partner are a control freak, you will probably implode.

So would you pre-pay for a date that someone else plans for you?


Why asking guys out is awesome

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While there are lots of reasons for women to ask men out more often, the one I’ve been thinking about most often lately is that it can help us learn to cope with rejection.

I have a theory that one of the reasons why women don’t ask for what we want – whether it’s a promotion, a discount, a favor, or a loan – is that we’re more likely than men to be paralyzed by the risk of rejection. Boys grow up asking girls out – and most of them get rejected, at least some of the time. By learning in middle and high school that a rejection isn’t the end of the world, boys see that they can just brush it off and move on. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained - TechStars NYC Demo Day

(image courtesy Gotham Gal)

Girls, however, have conventionally been acculturated NOT to ask, whether it’s for a boy to kiss them or for seconds at dinner. We’re trained to wait for someone to offer. The problem is that no one’s going to offer you what you really deserve. You need to ask for it.

So here’s my proposal – let’s all start asking men out on dates more often. Let’s do it earlier, when we’re younger. Let’s do it, and learn what it feels like to be told “no”. Let’s learn that rejection is really no big deal. And then let’s teach girls that it’s okay to ask for what they want. Because they deserve it.

A way to find a pet AND a boyfriend?

A speed date at the dog park?

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Speed dating has been around forever. One enterprising pet rescue has decided to take the concept one step further, helping match dogs owners with, well, dogs:

On five-minute “dates,” the potential adopters will interact one-on-one with a furry suitor. This time is used to see if chemistry exists between the dog and person.

Event organizer Pam Partis hopes to arrange for eight dogs to attend the event.

Personally, I love this idea as a way to find new homes for well-socialized dogs. At last year’s Portland White Party, I was able to take a break from the human socializing to spend time with some of Oregon Humane Society‘s special guests:

(photo by Michelle Pearl Gee)

I also wonder how effective an event like this would be for matching up humans? You already know everyone else there loves dogs…

Would you use an event like this as a way to meet singles? Or is that not fair to the poor homeless puppies?

How important is “compatibility”?

Stuff I like/ stuff you like Venn diagram

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I recently participated in a spirited Facebook discussion about the differences between what men want from an online dating app and what women want. The topic of compatibility became an integral difference – to wit, women care about it, men not so much.

One male friend of mine defended the typical male “shotgun” approach to dating sites – sending messages to as many women as possible in hopes of defeating what he said was a meager 10% response rate. When asked why men send messages to women they’re not actually compatible with, this was his response:

Most men are of the opinion that women in their mid-20s and earlier don’t really know what they’re looking for (versus what they say they’re looking for). Whether or not this is true is a different question, but the result is that men don’t care about compatibility so much as they care about not being filtered out.

This was a real eye-opener for me as a woman, and it got me thinking about different types of “compatibility” and how important they really are to a successful relationship.

Good on paper

Sites like OKCupid and eHarmony have made a crapton of money matching people based on “paper” compatibility – beliefs, hobbies, and personality traits people have in common. The more you have in common, the more likely you’ll be pushed at each other. But who really wants to date a copy of themselves, except for narcissists?

Some of the longest-lasting, funnest relationships I’ve had have been with people who liked radically different music than I did, or came from wildly different backgrounds. I love learning about new things from my friends – why would I want to date someone who only likes the same things I do?

The pheromone challenge

For me, the best indicator of whether I’m into someone enough to stick around and make a relationship work is if we have physical compatibility. Not just sex, but that pheromonal compatibility that I think of as “chemistry”. When someone just smells right.

So until someone builds a scratch-and-sniff web site, the only way to figure out if I’m truly compatible with someone is to meet them in the flesh. And, if it doesn’t seem too weird, smell his neck when he’s not looking.

Hey boy – why you didn’t call me?

The best song ever about the Houdini. Also, the story behind the song is hilarious.

A. You’re gay.

B. You’ve got a girlfriend.

C. You kinda thought I came on too strong.

D. I just wasn’t your thing (no ring).

Why online dating sucks

Knowing “everything” about a girl via her profile made me trust her less than if I’d known nothing about her and we’d randomly met on the street. With online dating, I was always battling a sense of doubt, in both the profiles I browsed and in myself. Anyone can manicure their profile to present the exact image they want, but no amount of matched compatibility questions can equal the excitement of someone catching your eye at the grocery store or on campus the first time.

Amen, brother.

From Timothy Seppala‘s piece in Complex, 404s & Heartbreak: Why Online Dating Sucks

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