Last year, a single friend sent me an article that troubled her. The author, Tracy McMillan—a television writer who’d recently published a memoir about her own complicated history with marriage—argued fiercely that if you wanted to be married by now, and you weren’t, it was because you were either a bitch, a slut, too shallow, a liar, too selfish, or else you didn’t believe you were good enough. “The problem is not men,” she wrote. “It’s you.”
No doubt McMillan intended to be brash, like a tough love intervention delivered by the wisecracking best friend on a situation comedy. She was resisting the narrative of female victimhood, empowering the woman who doesn’t have what she wants to accept that she is not at the mercy of men or fate, but does have the power to change her situation. She also resisted the notion that marriage is the triumphant end many women believe it is: “for us, [marriage] is the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.” Instead, McMillan reasonably notes that marriage is not about getting something, but about giving. continue
I work with all sorts of people grappling with all sorts of dating questions. From “how do I attract the kind of people I want?” to “how do I keep myself from being friend zoned?” people come to me with problems big and small.
Perhaps my most inspiring client however, came to me a year ago. After hiring me to work on his OkCupid profile, and hinting at his anxiety over his lack of experience, he finally laid it all out for me. “I’m a virgin,” he said. “A real life 40 year old virgin.” He asked me to refer to him as a former client in this interview (FC for short). Even though FC is a lot more comfortable sharing his past with people now than he was when we first met, he knows people are pretty ignorant when it comes to adult virgins and he’d rather avoid answering a million questions from uninformed folks. continue
See if this sounds familiar – you meet someone. They are amazing. They tell you, you are amazing. You text them. They don’t text you back for days. Just at the moment you are ready to say fuck this shit, they write you a beautiful message. You are hooked. They get busy, pull away, and say they are confused. You heart jerks back and forth. It’s clear they like you – the kissing, the emotional vulnerability, the compliments. But they always seem just out of reach, a ghost. So you write them a couple extra times for every time they write you. Maybe they are shy? Maybe they weren’t hugged enough as kids – you can help them out! You send them little presents and they say thank you. Encouraged you call them again – no answer. But that’s weird – they are online, why won’t they answer? Do they even like you? You have to know. So you send them a chat. But they go offline, so you call but then hang up and text. Damn. That text was stupid, so you send another explaining. Then they freak out and say you are smothering them and since this is the first freaking message you’ve heard all month, you are shocked and hurt – why couldn’t they just say what they needed in the first place? continue
Early on in our three-week liaison, Frank asked me to send him a photograph of my feet. This was a wonderful contrast to some other recent requests for photographs that were physically impossible to accomplish without assistance and even then, would have involved a significant amount of discomfort. Frank seemed delighted with the foot photograph I sent. I assured him that I would be happy to make my feet available to him.
During our final evening out, I rubbed my feet up and down Frank’s leg, squeezing his calf between my arches. He grabbed a foot, stroked it and squeezed the toes. Apparently, this led him to the point where even going home seemed too far, so we went to a hotel. continue
Our first live event happened last night at Public Assembly, and if you weren’t there, well, have no fear. We all walked out of there feeling like we had just experienced the future of something big. We’re already planning our next event in Austin, and then San Francisco after that, and then it’s probably back to New York. And we’re just going to keep going from there. Because we realize that as awesome as our dating site may be, we need to do more to help people, and no one else is getting the job done. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. continue
Our big event is almost here, and we’ve been hard at work putting together a creative, interesting, artful evening of fun. This is not just hanging out at the bar (although, there will be a bar). And I’ll tell you, this is an area that really sets us apart from other “dating” events. We are no strangers to planning an evening. There are so many wonderfully talented and experienced people contributing to Strange Angels — actors, musicians, writers, and performers of all stripes. We have run conferences and workshops, we have put on plays, we have been up on stage and rocked the house. We know how to do this shit.
TimeOut New York will be there, searching for people to profile for their “Date These Singles” feature. Don’t miss out!
Sunday, 9/23 6pm
70 N. 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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If you want a truly depressing, soul-sucking experience, Google “dating blogs,” and spend an afternoon sifting through the volumes of formulaic, prepackaged advice floating out there on the web. I did. And three showers later, I still feel dirty. Most of these blog posts feature a stock photo of a couple in bed, staring off in different directions. The advice often comes in numerical form (7 pajama patterns that will turn off your lover, 3 Things to Ask on Your 7th Date, 184 Signs Your Mistress is Cheating on You…) There was one article like this in particular I came across several times: 5 Steps to Getting Your Ex Back. In fact, I discovered entire websites dedicated to this genre. So I thought I’d give a crack at it. continue
Starting today, Strange Angels is a sponsor of the Majority Report with Sam Seder at Majority.fm. I want to write briefly about why we’re sponsoring this program. I’ve been listening to Sam since his very first broadcast with Janeane Garofalo on Air America Radio, all the way back in 2004. Over the years, he has offered me and many others quite a bit of insight, thought, perspective, entertainment, and above all, honesty and respect, and without much in return. The values that Sam has put into his show are the same values we put into Strange Angels. We believe we’re all in this together, we believe in truth, and we believe in integrity. So when it came to looking for a partnership, he was one of the first people I reached out to. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to give something back to him, and to do something for his listeners. Throughout the month of September, Strange Angels will be contributing one-month memberships to his show. So tune in to Majority.fm weekdays at noon, and lend your support.
First, be sure to have recently gone through a tough breakup. That way you’ll have no interest in meeting anyone new, which of course women can sniff a mile away and are insanely attracted to, especially women who are rising actresses and used to having men chasing them like rabid dogs.
Then, be on your way to meet an old friend for dinner to talk about said breakup. Better yet—make this friend a gay man, so your friend won’t be on the prowl either (at least not for women).
As you walk up to the restaurant, receive a text from your friend that he’s running 20 minutes late. Fail to notice that a young woman happens to see you approaching through the windows.
Being new to this restaurant, ask the hostess where you can grab a drink while you wait for your friend. She points you to the outside lounge off to the side. Walk in.
Notice immediately that the lounge area is empty. Except for one woman. Sitting alone. Reading a magazine. Casually note that she is annoyingly beautiful.
One of the biggest problems people face when dating is getting stuck in the friend zone. The idea of the friend zone and its perils is so popular there are internet memes, a gazillion articles on how to avoid it, several music videos and even a show on MTV. Briefly defined, the Friend Zone is a metaphorical land in which someone you want to date would rather “just be friends.” According to all the wisdom of the Interwebs, once you’re in the friend zone, it’s all but impossible to escape.
But here’s the thing—the Friend Zone isn’t the problem. Lots of people have friendships with attractive interesting people and they don’t lie awake all night being tortured about it. Being friends with people of the gender you are fond of is REALLY good for your emotional development and social standing. Friends are a lot less drama and a great reality check when you really need it.
So this leads to a really important question—if the Friend Zone isn’t the problem, then why does it SEEM like the friend zone is the problem? continue