Should You Try Sober Dating?

Bad dating habits are sparked by one too many shots at the bar. One minute you are calm and collected then at the end of the night you are holding onto your heels and calling an Uber. Your dates might feel like a broken record of men shoving you into a casual dating box. If this is happening, it might be a good time to try sober dating. Unfortunately, there are some cons to doing so and some sacrifices. I had a sober period for a seven-year stretch or so and had many first dates in brightly lit coffee shops. (A huge con of sober dating is the atmosphere, usually is not romantic enough to set the mood and tone. I would encourage you to at least meet in the evening to create a better atmosphere). But regardless of all that, here are some signs you should give yourself a sober dating challenge….

All your first dates end in a hook up….

Liquid courage can take it a little too far and dissolve your boundaries. You are not giving yourself a chance to let him get to know you.

Men only view you as the “fun girl”…..

“The fun girl” is not exactly a compliment coming from men. It is hurtful since you probably have an education you worked hard at and managed to make a decent life for yourself. Yet all he sees is how many shots you can take.

You launch into therapy mode….

Trauma-dumping and spilling the beans is your go-to. It’s hard to recover from what has been said and you can’t unsay it. It’s tempting to go into intense sharing mode and it ruins your greatest power in early dating which is intrigue and mystery.

Your memory is not at its best….

If you happen to get a second date, you probably don’t remember the initial “getting to know you” conversation. He might accuse you of not listening to him and therefore not caring. 

The good vibes shift into bad….

There are different types of drunks. The worst kind will completely shift the vibe and get angry or defensive. You could start fights or get confrontational out of nowhere.

Safety is not your #1 concern….

Staying safe in any regard needs to be a priority on a first date. You don’t know this guy and also you need to consider a safe way to get yourself home. He might take advantage of your helplessness in a dramatic way or mild way, or you put yourself and others in danger by being careless.

Bottom Line…..

At worst, you are becoming reckless with drinking, but even just giving off the wrong impression can be bad. Listen….. not saying you should never have a classy wine date, etc. My point is if you are relating to any of the signs, then it might be a great opportunity to rein it in a little. We all have different stages of casual dating whether we want total abundance or want to be intentional. Personally, for me, the pendulum has swung to taking a hiatus and regrouping after a year of saying yes to anything. January is the perfect time to reflect and decide what is working and what isn’t. I use the whole month to get focused on goals and to set the tone for the rest of the year. Understand what you are dating for. What are your dating goals? Don’t go by society standards and really figure out what type of dating will work best for you. Or maybe it’s a great time to be truly single and not have all the noise of dating to distract you.

The Case For A Smaller Friend Group

As an adult, your friends dwindle as people move away or get married. It can get frustrating to maintain friendships and you can feel like a loser for not having a large group to go out with. As a kid I was the weirdo who would cling to one friend who showed me attention. However, this actually taught me how to be a loyal “ride or die” friend and to form deeper relationships with people. So if you find yourself with the friend and the back-up friend, it’s actually a good thing…here’s why….

You are more open to meeting new people…..

When you have a large circle, your social needs are fulfilled. It isn’t that enticing to go to a bar solo to meet new people. You feel very comfortable to bail on a new date with a stranger to hang with friends. Limiting your circle builds up your desire to explore opportunities with acquaintances. 

You won’t have to celebrate too many birthdays….

Not that birthdays are bad. It can get a little overwhelming when you have to celebrate ten people’s birthdays through-out the year. The dinner and drinks and possible gifts can set you back financially. 

You will have more inside jokes….

Instead of spreading yourself thin with multiple people, you may develop deeper relationships. This means inside jokes, memories, and a shoulder to lean on. 

You get more “me time”….

Solo time is crucial for self-care. It is actually nice to carve out your own life and schedule. You can focus more on your side hustle and have fewer distractions

You can be more helpful….

There is only so much kindness that can go around in a day. Every once in a while a car will break down or someone will get dumped. You will be more present and have the time to be a good friend

Bottom Line….

When it comes to close friends, I have always lived by the rule to keep it small. As far as bar friends or people you see out you might have more motivation to expand and become more open to new things. A good friend is someone who is available for long chats and giggle fits. When you add too many people to the mix, you will get overwhelmed or feel you are all set in the social department. It can keep you in a comfort zone where you aren’t experiencing anything new or exciting. Lastly, it is completely normal to go from a huge group in your 20s to your last remaining friends in your 30s. I would see it as more of an opportunity than an obstacle. 

How To Keep Your Relationship “Evergreen”

How can you keep your relationship evergreen – fresh, new, and alive? Bonding beyond the bedroom is what is going to keep the relationship going strong. Passion and the honeymoon phase will fade eventually. The outside world can be rough and your partner should be someone who is an escape from that. Little things from shopping to watching TV ideally will be an enjoyable experience. What are some simple things to take up a notch to connect you further?…..

Play together….

You have to know how to have fun together. As a couple you will be put in boring situations all the time. How can you make it interesting? Play actual games, whether it is kicking a ball around or a card game. It helps pass the time and get into a fun competitive side.

Watch a funny or interesting show….

It’s tempting as a woman to throw on the “Bachelor” or any other reality tv show that your boyfriend cannot relate to. Same thing with him blasting the baseball game all day long. It is best to find common ground and actually get into a show together. It should open up discussion with a dialogue between the two of you. Watch a reality competition show that is gender neutral or stand-up comedy. Keep it light so you feel ok talking over it.

Make the simple things fancy….

When you go over to your boyfriend’s house he might have some beer or wine in the fridge. Why not create fancy cocktails together? It can be fun to experiment and try out flavors. You can invent drinks and name them together. (You can save money by buying the small “airplane bottles” as samples instead of full bottles of alcohol). Same thing with food. Make a special charcuterie board or pasta dish. Elevate your typical mac and cheese with added gourmet cheese and a crumble on top. Go to Trader Joes for cheese instead of a Whole Foods or anything too upscale. 

Have some hot gossip….

Nothing bonds people more than sharing some dirt. Try to keep the story interesting, not just you complaining. Talk about something scandalous that happened at work (no need to name names) and keep it funny. If you don’t want to put people on blast, then share some celebrity gossip. Work on your story-telling skills and try not to just drone on. You can even take an improv class to improve your communication. 

Go on group dates….

Involve the outside world on occasion, just make sure it is a fun activity. Try out miniature golf or have a beer pong tournament. Becoming a team for Trivia Night can help you get to know each other in a fun way. Avoid brunch or a dinner since it will result in the men chatting and then the women talking separately. You will fall into your comfort zone and not bond with new people.

Dance together….

This does not require a professional dancing background. Go to the club or your favorite DJ set and just groove to the music together. It will make your physical connection closer and will bond you. 

Go grocery shopping….

Make it a point to make mundane things fun. A great relationship has its own language and inside jokes. Make it a low stakes shop so it’s not super stressful. Have a list of things you need so you aren’t forgetting anything and getting mad at each other. 

Host a party….

See how well you can be welcoming to outsiders. It’s a good test to see how you thrive without depending on each other. Practice making others feel comfortable and have fun in your home. Be teammates with the same goal in mind. 

Bottom Line….

Getting to the “I married my best friend” energy starts with bonding outside of the bedroom. When there is no foundation, then your relationship will get stale and crumble. A couple that “plays together, stays together.” You should be having fun and enjoying life together. Take your usual activities up a notch by making it fancier and more special.

The Types Of Dates For New Year’s Eve

We all would like a committed boyfriend on New Year’s Eve, or at least a great kiss. However, being casual and single presents the in-between options that all have different meanings and experiences. The hill I will die on is that New Year’s Eve is a legit way to tell if your new boyfriend is taking the relationship seriously. Anything that isn’t fully committed is probably a mix of loneliness and at best wanting to get something started. I will say this is my biggest advice for singles without a date: don’t be on the prowl for men the whole night. I know you need that validation of getting that kiss, but you are wasting your whole night and your aura will be desperate. When you are leaving your house before you go out tell yourself internally that you are fine without a kiss and just want to enjoy yourself. Now onto the types of dates that can happen…..

The “We just started our relationship” date…

Ok, yea, pretty self-explanatory. It’s a great sign when a new boyfriend wants to be seen with you in public and kiss when the ball drops. Any hesitation is a huge red flag.

The “We are on a first date” date….

This could go ok…. I mean my advice is to vet the guy before to just see if there is any chemistry. With app dating you have no clue what you are getting and dressing up for the night takes time and effort. You don’t want to be stuck with someone. I would do a meet-and-greet before the big night.

The “We are friends who can kiss” date…..

No shame in this, in fact this is probably the least pressure. You can have fun and dance the night away, but there is no possessiveness involved and you are free to mingle and use the friend as a backup

The “We met at the club” date….

Anyone is who concerned who they will kiss at midnight is scooping out the hotties to kiss before midnight. He will see who bites and buy people drinks to see who sticks or not. I will say this can feel like a rollercoaster because you might think you have a secure kiss and then he is near the bathroom making out with someone else. 

The “ I am cheating on my wife” date….

Ok, this actually happened to me one year. I showed up solo for New Year’s and then this guy immediately starting chatting. Look out for guys willing to cheat, it can leave you with a yucky feeling at the start of the year.

The “set up” date…..

I love a good set up as long as there is some thought behind it. This is honestly a great opportunity to get introduced. You are looking more dressed up and are in a great mood. So go with it and see if there is a spark.

Bottom Line…

When you are single on New Year’s Eve there are more possibilities than you think. Be open to seeing what works best for you. It’s ok to try to organize a date if you feel weird riding solo for the night. Your safest bet is taking a gray-area friend with you to have fun. There is no pressure to stick with them all night, but they make a great back up. At the very least, try to do that and don’t be laser-focused on snagging that kiss. 

How To Nail The Karaoke Date

Is this an average date for most people?…probably not. For most, it is as common as the bowling date. However, you never know when a spontaneous date might pop up. As a karaoke queen, I have seen what to do and more importantly what not to do. I watch people pretty much every week and have noticed what works for me and others. Listen, when you have this type of date, you want to impress. He should be blown away, or at least not wince when you are on stage. So, what are some tips to be your own rock star for a night?…..

Never sing “The B Sides”….

The B sides of an album back in the day were the songs that were not hits. They could still be great songs, but no one knows them. The problem with doing songs that no one knows is they might talk over it or not pay attention, or they could be spending the whole time figuring out what song it is. Stick to the hits and pick the crowd-pleasing songs.

Switch it up….

When you are a karaoke regular there will be people who show up and do the same two songs every week. This is no problem for an audience who just pops in the karaoke once a month. For the regulars, you become predictable. You can avoid this by not going to the same karaoke night and mixing it up, or make a point to sing new songs. 

Practice….

I know…what? It’s karaoke. I own a portable karaoke mic and I will test the waters here and there. This is the opportunity to create a list in your notes app of what works and what doesn’t. Songs tend to shift keys and if you don’t know the song front and back it might make you fumble. I have thanked myself later for knowing what songs will work. The only downside is there might be a different version or different key that you were not anticipating. 

Know the best key….

It is good to know what songs will work with your range. Knowing the key of the song will help. For me, I thrive if the key is in C or G. For others they might do better in a higher and lower key. Keys will change in the bridge most if the time, so be aware of that. The key is indicated before the song starts. 

Don’t do ballads….

There should be a sign in every karaoke place that says “no bohemian rhapsody.” Kind of like the “no stairway” sign in the movie Wayne’s World. Honestly, long songs feel longer as an audience member. Not to say you should only do 2- min songs, but a 8-min ballad will cause the audience to get another drink or step out. 

Read the vibe….

You might find yourself in a country karaoke night. This doesn’t mean you should go rogue and sing a pop song. You sort of have to take a temperature of the room and get an overall sense of what people are singing. This could be for a younger or older crowd as well. The hardest crowd to please is early 20s people because it’s unclear to know what they want to hear. An older crowd is easier since everyone loves to hear oldies. 

Don’t dominate the list….

Depending on how crowded it is try to limit yourself to three songs max. Have it spread out through out the night so people don’t get sick of you. There will be new people coming in and some of the crowd will leave. Try to make your second song the best, meaning make it a crowd pleaser and not a slow song. The beginning and the end of the night will thin the crowd so technically you can sing whatever at that point. 

Do an unexpected song….

For anyone who can do karaoke rap songs I applaud them. My brain doesn’t work that fast. However, it’s fun to break expectations for people. They might see you a certain way and expect a certain genre. You can switch that up and impress them.

 

Bottom Line….

Be prepared and know your strengths is the best advice. You need to go up there with confidence. Try to avoid a group of five people just yelling and laughing. It seems fun to you, but for the audience it just is annoying. In a pinch, everyone likes oldies as long as it’s well known. Show your date that you are confident and talented. It can present a different side of you that he might not get to see with just a drink date. Who knows, karaoke might be your thing as a couple. 

10 Christmas Hacks For A Post Pandemic Life

We have had a rough couple years, however, I do feel it was a great awakening on who and what is important. It shook up people to rethink what really matters and maybe to adopt new holiday traditions for themselves. During the pandemic a lot of things were impossible to do which welcomed a shift in new traditions. What are some Christmas hacks that will save you time and money?…..

1. Use online shopping as much as you can….

Amazon and other sites can be a great resource to use. You can order presents, send them to yourself, then wrap them. Another option is to order food packages for long-distance family. (Our family loves to send speciality jams, desserts, charcuterie items). Skip the long lines and getting slammed with shopping carts and just push a button instead. If you have the budget, then consider shopping local or on Etsy. Support a small business as much as you can. 

2. Go to the Dollar Tree…..

For any sort of wrapping material or snacks for the Christmas stockings, head to the Dollar Tree. They have a great selection of seasonal candy, like peppermint bark and peanut brittle. You can stock up on cards, gift tissue, Christmas gift bags, wrapping paper, etc. 

3. Don’t be ashamed of using Christmas gift bags….

Look, I wouldn’t say I am perfect at wrapping presents. I feel it comes out pretty wonky more times than not. There is no shame in buying just bags and tissue. Remember that wrapped packages may look pretty under the tree, but they will be ripped opened and thrown away. So, it’s best long-term to use a bag that you can reuse instead of wrapping paper that can only be used once. You can also use the newspaper comic section to wrap presents. It gives a retro feel to it and you can throw on a ribbon to make it more festive. 

4. Make an edible gift…..

No one would be mad at receiving a fresh batch of cookies. If you love baking, then make that your gift to people. There are so many Christmas cookie recipes out there. They sell Christmas cookie bags and containers at the Dollar Tree as well. 

5. Do a service gift…..

Think of your expertise that can actually help someone. You might be extremely organized and can make up a handy planner for someone. Or you can help someone clean out a closet or kitchen. Another idea is to take their car to the car wash for them and get it really cleaned and buffed inside and out. Think about giving back to the community with a coat drive or food drive. It is the season of giving back, so it will feel good to help another person in need. 

6. Think about an easy DIY tree….

For those who have no room for a real tree, I have seen people on Instagram shape a wall tree out of garlands or even Christmas tree lights. (Great option for mischievous cats who tend to attack trees). You can also buy miniature trees that can be in fun colors. I love a theme tree that has cute ornaments, like a cocktail theme tree or food. There are so many ornaments at Target and online. If you are crafty, you can make your own ornaments. 

7. Create your own traditions…..

Bend the rules of the holiday and do things you truly enjoy. You don’t have to have the same food every year or watch the same movie. In fact, there are a lot of unofficial Christmas movies that are a lot of fun. Encourage your family to switch it up and to try new things. Drive around looking at Christmas lights, or walk around a neighborhood with a thermos. 

8. Send out your Christmas cards early…..

Get them done sooner than later. Get yourself prepared and get all the address and stamps in order. Allow yourself time to leave a personal note to each person and wish them a happy new year. 

9. Decorate before December if you want…..

I noticed in the pandemic people could spend more time at home and used that time to decorate. I have no gripes about decorating early. If you are the type to throw up the Christmas tree before December then go for it. Make your home cozy and festive for you!

10. Be selective about what parties you attend….

You will probably be invited to a lot of holiday parties. Do not stretch yourself thin and walk around with a constant champagne hangover. Really narrow down parties that you are more than happy to go to and allow yourself to rest. You can be run ragged and asked to do so many favors for people. Only do things if you have the time and energy and truly want to do it. You will resent people for overstepping and be annoyed you got guilted into doing things. Be polite, but decline if you are not up for it. 

Bottom Line…..

Yes, the pandemic was challenging, however it is good to shake up the system and form new holiday traditions and standards. Stress and guilt can override the joyous season when you are constantly doing favors and spending all your hard-earned money. Do try to give back and donate to people in need. When you see a coat drive or food drive, then participate in it. Do not let the anti-Christmas people make you feel bad for decorating early or feeling joyful. There are going to be people who show their discontent around this time because they are unhappy in general. Your mindset needs to be in the right place because it is easy to be overwhelmed and taken advantage of. Go with the easy and cheaper option first and stay within your budget. Lastly, stay in the moment, look at the lights, and soak it in. 

Friendships During The Christmas Season

When you are single during the Christmas season, you lean hard into friendships. Coupled-up friends will more than likely ice you out, but your fellow singles will have time to chill. Work and school will be put on pause and the hometown crew might surface again. What can you do to enrich your connections and get festive?

Say no gifts…..

And mean it! You may think it is doable at the beginning of the season. Then once reality of long lines and how much money you actually can spend hits, it will be a regretful decision. It’s better to make it known to all friends that there will be no gift exchange. No secret Santa, or white elephant. Just stop the madness! Even if you feel you can juggle everything, it is a burden for others to reciprocate. The best gift is giving someone peace.

Cocktail and carol night….

I own a portable karaoke mic that hooks up though bluetooth. Some people have a whole set-up in their basements. It’s fun to do a karaoke Christmas carol party with booze (or a festive non-alcoholic punch). You can dress as festive as you like or show up in a cozy sweater. 

Decoration and cookie party….

You can rotate to each other’s places who have not decorated yet. The cooks who burn things can bring the break and bake cookies, and the pastry chefs can shine. Help the host decorate the tree and get the apartment spruced up. Play a Christmas playlist mixed with regular songs as a palette cleanser. You can also have a classic Christmas movie playing in the background.

Go to the Christmas parade….

Fill your thermos with a peppermint hot chocolate, wear a cozy outfit, and watch the parade. 

Go to your friend’s Christmas party….

If a friend is single and doesn’t have a plus one, then volunteer to go. You never know who you will meet and you get to dress up a bit. Depending on where they work there might be a nice spread. Your friend might feel relieved they have a a friend and you will get to mingle.

Play Christmas Tree Beer Pong….

Buy green solo cups and place it in a Christmas tree shape in the middle of the table. Whoever collects the most cups wins. You can make it fancier by throwing some tinsel or garland down. 

Have a Green and Red party….

The singles wear green and the people in relationships wear red. Keep up with the theme and serve green and red food and beverages. 

Bottom Line….

Christmas season can bring out the joy…or stress. It honestly comes down to your own mindset and attitude. Do not take on more than you can chew and shut down any idea that involves buying gifts. You have enough gifts to worry about and probably work is forcing you to do Secret Santa. Bring up fun things your friends can actually get behind. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people while you are in a jolly mood. 

How Can A Guy Successfully Approach A Woman In Public

For a man it’s a tightwire act to approach a woman in public these days. The advice is to just “be a man” and “shoot your shot” while juggling not coming across as creepy. It’s understandable that most men have opted out of any in public interaction and rely solely on the apps. There is however, a wrong way and right way to get a woman’s attention. What are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you are at a bar and feeling brave?….

Don’t neg….

Listen…. Will it work on insecure women?… Maybe it did a decade ago. It’s so obvious you are doing a move, or you are just not a pleasant person to be around. Look, leading with negativity off the bat is just bad. I get that you don’t want to be the “nice guy,” but negging has a tipping point and will leave the receiver feeling yucky. She will associate that feeling whenever she sees you. Make people feel good in your presence. 

Do make a shared observation….

Great tip is to bond over something. Maybe something funny happened in the bar, or “Cotton-Eye Joe” started playing on the sound system. A knowing smile and laugh shared together is the perfect opening to strike up a conversation. This can only work when you are next to a girl at a bar or waiting in line for the bathroom. It’s not an across-the-room kind of thing. 

Don’t use a pickup line….

Even with self-awareness, it feels cringe. We have heard them all before since middle school. It’s not a hot take to use a “is that a mirror in your pocket…” shtick. It’s not funny enough to be taken seriously and shows you are maybe out of touch or inexperienced. 

Do ask a question….

Steer away from “what time is it”? That can come across as non-specific and not reading as flirting. A good one is asking about what drink she just ordered. Resist talking about appearance because it can come across as an insult. Even a seemingly harmless, “where did you get those shoes?” Could be interpreted as a question of taste not a compliment. 

Don’t approach if she is with friends….

If she is with a gal pal, then the friend will feel a little awkward and the “ugly friend.” It is a little rude to flirt with only one girl in the group. (Not saying you should flirt with all of them). It’s best to approach when she is separated from the group temporarily. 

Do offer to buy her a drink….

I will always accept a free drink, however I know it is buying my time. It is rude to take a free drink and walk away. If she rejects the drink, then this is the reason. The rookie move is opening with the drink offer. You have to feel out the vibe and chat for five to ten minutes. See if she is low on her drink or says she wants to get another. This is your cue to say, “oh, can I buy you a drink?” 

Don’t word vomit….

It’s a balance of flirting without taking it to a vulgar place. It’s best to stay in the polite lane, rather than being overly complimentary (Especially about appearance). This way, she will wonder where you stand about her. She might think it’s just a friendly interaction. The best strategy is to not show your cards. Having her wonder can work in your favor long term if she is interested. 

Do know when to abort the mission….

You have to be self-aware. Nothing worse than not picking up what people are putting down. Facial cues and body language speak volumes. It’s safer to assume she is not interested versus being overly cocky. Be prepared to walk away or not attempt at all based on her vibe or if she is in a large group. The only exception to be a little more forward would be if you are on vacation and have a time limit. 

Bottom Line….

When you land a successful “meet cute,” it will cause a ripple effect of confidence. Most men are traumatized by rejections that happened at the cafeteria in middle school. There is no harm to test the waters and strike up a conversation. A negative reaction could be because she is married or offended by your behavior. Honestly, in certain cases the more a person does not like you, the more polite they become. I end up going into costumer-service mode around people I do not like. Take baby steps instead of aggressively hitting on her. You sort of have to have a “hat in hand” attitude about starting an interaction. It does take practice which can honestly start with chatting more with a bartender or cashier. You need to get used to breaking the ice with strangers without crossing a line. The magic moment is the shared experience interaction which can segue perfectly into a nice introduction. 

How To Have A Low Fuss “Friendsgiving”

A “Friendsgiving” is a great way for friends to get together for a potluck and wine. Perfect for those who can’t afford a plane ticket back to their hometown. However, when getting a group together with different personalities and expectations drama can enter the chat. The best thing is getting ahead of it by knowing what is assigned and knowing your strengths. How can you prepare for the potluck without the headache?…..

Understand the assignment…..

Everyone needs to know who is bringing what. There needs to be wine, appetizers, sides, and dessert. The host should be providing the turkey, but should do what makes logical sense to the group. Non-cooks should volunteer to bring wine and cheese and people who are well-versed in cooking should bring a side dish.

Don’t nickel-and-dime your friends…..

Listen… you will be spending money. Don’t Venmo-request people later and understand that everyone is pulling their weight. Honestly, even if they aren’t, don’t cause a scene. Spend what your budget allows you to spend. For some people, it’s no big deal to drop $50 plus, whereas others may feel that is steep. 

Help with prep if needed…..

Depending how close you are to the host, offer to help prep. This can mean from chopping vegetables to making pies. Make it fun by playing music and having the football game in the background.

Offer entertainment….

Like I said, there will probably be football on. As a backup plan, have a drinking game going or something to entertain people while the pies are baking. I always keep a deck of cards in my purse just in case. 

Be ok with breaking into groups…..

It’s natural for little groups to form. Depending on how many people were invited there might not be space for everyone to sit at one table together. In that case a buffet style where people help themselves makes the most sense. Try to mingle within groups until you find one that clicks best. 

Think twice about bringing your “situationship”….

There are people who don’t deserve to meet your friends. Any guy who doesn’t even know your middle name should not be invited. I know it feels better to bring someone, especially when everyone is coupled up. Resist the urge and be brave representing yourself. These are your friends and you should spend quality time getting closer to 2nd- and 3rd-tier people. 

Don’t get too wasted….

I mean, if you can handle your liquor, then go for it, especially if you don’t plan on driving. This is the time to indulge a little bit more and enjoy yourself. However, be mindful of how the group is acting and what the energy is. You don’t want to come across as sloppy.

Don’t overstay your welcome….

Make sure to help clean up as much as needed. Don’t be the last guest unless there is an understanding you will be spending the night or something. Pick up on the vibe and get ready to leave when people are going back home. 

Bottom Line…..

This is a great opportunity to make distant friends become closer. You never know who you will be hitting it off with. Get all the information from the host and do not make assumptions. It’s best to know what you should be bringing and if you need to show up early to help prep. Understand your strengths even if they are not food related. You could be persuasive in starting a fun drinking game or being the DJ for the evening. Just don’t push fun on people who just want to watch the game and relax. This is your opportunity to bond with friends you haven’t seen in a while and get introduced to new connections.

Is “Hood Fishing” Ethical?

“Branding” yourself on the apps and in person is a tactic that should be used in dating. You want to highlight your strengths and understate your flaws. It’s tricky to toe the line of being 100-percent honest versus putting your best foot forward. For anyone who doesn’t know, a “catfish” is someone who is faking an identity and tricking someone to believe they are a completely different person. So what is “hood fishing”?… It translates to lying about your neighbor hood (where you live) to come off as more desirable, or see people in a higher population area. Is this ethical to your dates? Or a slight stretch that won’t matter long-term?…..

The reason to lie….

Anyone who doesn’t quite live in the heart of the city will fudge a bit just to date people in a larger area. They are more than willing to travel the extra distance. It is cooler to say you live in a city proper versus the outskirts.

 They could work in the city….

He or she may actually spend their entire week in the actual city. It might be practical to meet up for happy hour downtown after work. They might decide to move to the actual city eventually, it’s just a matter of finances at this point. 

The hosting person should try not to “hood fish”….

Some people are perfectly happy to host eventually. Usually, this is a person who lives in a better area anyway and has no roommates. It is more fun to stay at a person’s place who is walking distance to bars and restaurants. I still feel personally this should be the guy. Only because I have found that it’s more of a risk for a woman to disclose her location to strangers.

Long distance is always a challenge…..

The semi – long distance is way worse than across the country long distance. Living an hour plus away from each other does not seem like a deal breaker. However, with traffic your time is sucked away and you have to leave early to head back home, or you force closeness and spend the night too soon. It either rushes the dynamic or halts it from ever forming.

“Hood Fishing” for safety….

On the apps you can show your exact location. For a woman, or anyone concerned for safety, it’s best to not have an exact location. Go into your app setting and make sure the “precise location” button is off. It usually will throw you in the larger city bracket if you are close enough.

Don’t take it personal for not getting the second date….

Dating is hard enough to make it work with local people. When you factor in travel for a total stranger, it puts a strain on getting to know each other. Some people are more than willing to travel and are happy to do so. I just wouldn’t hold your breath.

Bottom Line….

“Hood Fishing” is a gray area in dating. It makes sense to tell a white lie about your living situation. For people who are in the city for most of the week it sort of makes sense to want to meet people downtown versus where your apartment complex is. It can be used as a safely precaution for people who don’t want to disclose their exact location. Honestly, any tricky obstacle can be used as a great excuse to not continue the relationship. You could be rejected off the bat, or they are happy to have the built-in excuse to keep the relationship casual and short term. When he is willing to do the inconvenient thing it is a better sign he is more serious (or you are his only option). It’s best to try to meet people who are in close proximity, if possible, so you can pace the relationship in a healthy way.