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Why is it Wrong For Men to Use Coupons on a Date?

May 29th, 2013 14 comments

Now you can tell from my everday fits I ain’t rich
So cease and desist with them tricks
I’m just another black man caught up in the mix
Trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents

— Shock G from “I Get Around”

Every now and then I ask a group of my lady friends the following question:

Is it okay for a man use a coupon deal on his first date with you?

In my unscientific research, very few women say it’s fine. Most women tell me it is not. For those women, I follow up with this question:

Is it okay for a man to take you to a restaurant during Restaurant Week?”

The majority of the responses are some variation of this phrase: “Yes, that’s different.”

So here’s the question I ask all of them, and I’m extending to my readers.

What. Is. The. Difference?

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Does Race Matter…on a Blind Date?

April 16th, 2013 9 comments

On the questionnaire I give to all my Meet Market applicants, there is one question I immediately skip to upon receiving it.

47. Are race, religion or age important factors regarding who you date? (This won’t be published, but is important so we know who you’re looking for)

Of all the answers I look at on the questionnaire, this is the most important because it’s the most specific. The person’s answer helps me figure out how to group them.

A lot of answers focus on age; they give me a range they either want or don’t want. Every now and then, their response is religion-specific; some will say they don’t want someone who is too religious, or they’d like someone who is the same religion as them. Then there’s race, which is always interesting.

Some people will say they’ve never dated outside of their race, which makes me have to clarify with them, Does that mean you want to keep it that way? Others will be more blunt and say they prefer not to date anyone of a specific race or outside of their own race. The answers never bother me. The way I see it, the more honest they are, the easier my job.

The most problematic answer is the one I probably get the most: Race doesn’t matter.

People like to make a point of saying that, and I assume they’re telling the truth, but how truthful is that truth is the question I find myself asking whenever I get this response.

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Categories: dating, race, Work Tags:

Have You (Yes, YOU) Ever Been A Bad Date?

April 8th, 2013 3 comments

There’s nothing like a good bad date story. The best ones are so good they become a part of someone else’s storybook collection. We’re glad it didn’t happen to us but we’re also jealous we don’t have a story just as good to tell so we crib it, and tell that story to other people who don’t know you.

I don’t have a bad date story to share myself, which is weird. Some would say I’m lucky to be able to say such a thing, but I feel like I’ve missed out on some rights of passage only the realest of single adults have been through. I could talk about the dates I’ve been on where I ended up not going home with the girl. There’s also the times I foolishly spent more than I can afford wining and dining a first date, only to never get a return on my investment, not even in the form of a second date. Both of those situations have happened to me more times than I care to admit, but not to the fault of the women involved. I either had bloated expectations, assuming a woman would be so smitten with me, a perfect stranger, that she would be willing to take her clothes off just a couple hours after learning my basic information. Or, I didn’t bother devising a plane, thus letting her pick the restaurant or the activity, and ended up secretly checking my balance on my phone while she went to use the restroom.

So no, I’ve never been on the receiving end of a bad date; never can talk about the time I was out with a girl at the movies and everything was going so well until a child I didn’t know about ran up to her, grabbed her leg, and started screaming, “Mommy,” with a man much bigger than me following behind said child, talking about, “Where have you been and who is this guy you’re with?”

The worst I can say about any date I’ve been on is they’ve either been boring or anti-climatic. Bad though? No story here, but every time I hear a woman telling me about some guy who failed on a date in spectacular fashion, I wonder, is one of the many women I’ve been out on a date with telling a similar story about me and I just don’t know it?

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A List of Date Spots I’ve Sent People on for #MeetMarket Dates

March 19th, 2013 1 comment

Before I run this list, a disclaimer for my long time readers:

I know I have been posting about job-related things a lot more recently, but I don’t want you to think this is what the blog is going to be about on a regular basis. I am just trying to flip the following I have here into a following over at the 9-to-5. After all, this blog is part of the reason I was hired to handle the blind date column at The New York Post.

Now that I got that out of the way, I want to share with everyone a comprehensive list of all the places where I’ve sent my dates for the column. As I have explained time and time again, these dates are all FREE. Most of them consist of a nice dinner, and of course, the participants are required to tip their service, but outside of that one expense, the meal and their drinks are on the house.

While the most challenging part of my job remains finding people to participate in Meet Market (you can sign up here or email me at jcummings@nypost.com), the other challenge is figuring out where to send people.

Dinner is the quickest and easiest solution, because who doesn’t like free food? All I need to do is find a good restaurant that I think both people would enjoy. For those who have seen the questionnaire I give to each of the participants, there’s a couple of questions about their favorite food and food allergies, so I usually use those to help me get a better idea of where to send them. For instance, on the list there is a restaurant called Casa Nonna. That place was chosen because they have a gluten-free menu, and the woman who was going on the date was allergic to gluten. If people are vegetarians or don’t eat meat, I would never send them to a steakhouse either, so I have to pay attention.

Then there are a couple of activity dates, which are always my preference to set up. Whether it’s cocktails while learning how to paint at Paint Nite NYC or a Brooklyn Nets game, activity dates work well because they are a more casual way for two strangers to meet for the first time. Unfortunately, they’re not always as great of an idea in real life as they are in my head. The two people I set up on the cooking class date at Sur La Table loved their experience, but had to pay close attention during the class so they really weren’t able to get to know each other as much.

People always ask me if I’ve successfully made matches out of the dates I set up. Considering I started this job on June 4, 2012, of course there have been some people who went out on second and third dates, but that’s their call not mine. What I’m more concerned about is setting up two strangers to have a good night, to make some good memories for both of them. THAT is my, and I must say I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Here is the list of dates, in no particular order. For more information click on the name of each restaurant to be taken to their website. Also, for non-dinner dates, I’ve offered a description of the date.

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Categories: dating, Work Tags:

Can I Afford to Date?

February 12th, 2013 14 comments

As my grandmother took her seat at the table to meet my mother and I for breakfast, she asked me, “So do you have a girlfriend?”

“Nope,” I said.

“Good,” she said with a nod of approval. “They’re too expensive.”

(Ladies and gentlemen, my grandmother, hater of the year for as long as I can remember.)

The exchange above wasn’t recent. It was actually a few years ago, at a time when I was actively dating. I laughed at her remark, but it always stuck with me in the sense that she was right. Girlfriends are expensive, and though some may read her comment as heartless, I prefer to look at it as a heartfelt, but conservative message. I doubt she would tell my sister boyfriends are expensive because my grandmother is a woman of tradition who believes it’s a man’s responsibility to support his woman (even though she owned a restaurant for years to much success entirely on her own). And she knew I wasn’t in a position to be able to do that.

I have thought about my grandmother’s comment a lot these days. Single and in pursuit of control over my finances, one expense I’m looking at and thinking about constantly is the dating expense. The evaluation is also compounded with a conversation I had with my ex as she was breaking up with me.

She said, “I don’t think you should date anybody, at all, until you get your money under control.”

Foolishly I asked her if she was going to date other people. She didn’t hesitate, “If someone asks me out on a date, I’m not going to say no.”

Who can blame her? Any of us lucky enough to get an invitation to accompany someone on a night out would say yes, unless they had better things to do.At least, most women would, and I think we can all agree, for men like myself, dating is a little different.

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Quit Wanting To Date Like An Old Person and my CosmoRadio Appearance

January 29th, 2013 3 comments

For those who aren’t SiriusXM subscribers or don’t wake up early enough in the morning to listen to the show, “Wake Up With Taylor” (@wakeup_taylor) on the Cosmo Radio Channel, well, you missed it.

Throughout the month of January, “Wake Up With Taylor” produced a segment entitled, “30 Guys In 30 Days.” Every day they interviewed notable guys like Sean from the current season of “The Bachelor” (he appeared on the show the day before I did) to discuss dating and all that fun stuff that guys don’t talk about unless girls are around.

For my segment, recorded live on January 9, we delved into how my job as a Dating Reporter for the New York Post, and my blog, effect my dating life. But we also got into the more polarizing discussion as to what does and does not qualify as a date.

In the clip below, which is only five minutes of the 20 minute interview (legally I’m not allowed to stream the whole segment), I let down my gracious host Taylor and her partner-in-studio Kenny when they ask me what is the craziest date I’ve ever had. It’s surprising for even me to say, but I never have really had any catastrophic first dates or story worthy first dates. As I explained to them, the craziest thing I’ve done is arrange for first dates to happen around 11 PM, which is hardly a traditional time to meet someone who is still very much a stranger.

Listen to the clip

Play

What I didn’t explain is how I’ve been able to successfully manage not to have horrific dates. I mean, sure I’ve had dates that didn’t go well, but when I say the date didn’t go well, I mean we didn’t go home together. Outside of that small issue, every date I’ve had has ranged from movie-worthy to not bad. And that is because I am a magician.

Not really. It’s because I. Don’t. Ask. Out. Girls. That. I. Don’t. Like. Talking. To.

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How My Job Taught Me To Hate Guys and Why I Need More Nice Guys

November 30th, 2012 6 comments

Full disclosure: I was once guilty of being one of the guys I am about to discuss.

You know the guy who thinks because there’s more women than men, there’s too many women to be with an ugly one? I said this all the time. You know the guy who thought just because he was once lucky enough to get one pretty girl to like him, he could get other girls who were out of his league to follow suit? Present! The guy who wasn’t opposed to sleeping with a less attractive woman simply because he thought she was less attractive, and instead just kind of hid her from everyone else, only dealing with her behind closed doors and in secret? Let me raise both hands up so you know that I’m here. The guy who wanted to see a picture of the girl complaining about men before he took anything she said seriously? You’re looking at him.

Then I started my job in May and I learned, through the small but very true sample size it provides me, I need to stop being that kind of guy.

I hate that type of guy.

He may not be the kind of guy I deal with on a regular basis (most guys are cool), but I have dealt with him more times than I care to admit. He makes my job a living hell, and because he makes my job a living hell, he makes my life a living hell.

In short: fuck him. That kind of guy, my old self included, should die a virgin.

Allow me to explain.

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So Apparently If I Really Cared About You, I Would Make More Time For You

November 21st, 2012 6 comments

This is my attempt to debunk a myth, or at least, what I believe to be a myth. If I had a dime for every time it was floated around like gospel, I would be rich.

To hear some tell it, we make time for the things we care about.

Simple enough, right? I believe so, but could it be too simple?

Over the years, this adage has gone from a somewhat logical theory about why another person isn’t as available as we like them to be, to pretty much the only theory. And it’s not to say that it’s wrong, because let’s face it, in some cases it makes perfect sense. But there are many times when it’s flawed; not entirely incorrect but slightly off-base.

What I am attempting to debunk is the myth that everything we devote our time to is something we care about more than the things to which we don’t devote our time. Our time is valuable, but where do any of us get off determining that value for someone else? Every time a woman has told me about my time, I have to remind her she’s wasting valuable minutes together talking about what we’re doing when we’re apart. Certainly my time is too valuable to waste it doing that, but I also hope she understands, the time together is actually the time I cherish the most, but due to a packed schedule and various other demands, it is less time than I have.

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Quit Asking Her To Cook Just Because She’s A Woman

July 16th, 2012 7 comments

When I was growing up in my house, the men never cooked. Gender roles were well-defined and traditional. Mom made dinner, sister helped, and us men worked outside. My grandmother owned a restaurant, a small diner in a neighboring town, and there, she was not only the proprietor, but also the cook as well. Over 12 hours a day she would spend in her restaurant’s kitchen, cooking up customer orders of classic American cuisine.

Needless to say, I loved mom’s cooking. Her tacos are the reason for my love affair with them to this day. Her porkchops are to die for, and her chicken adobo is some of the best in my hometown of Seaside. Especially when you put it over white rice. As my sister got older and she began to handle her own in the kitchen, I loved her cooking as well. And my grandmother? Forget about it. That woman can win Chopped, Iron Chef, and Top Chef at the same time.

But if there was one lesson I took from my years growing up with women who could cook, it was that this was a privilege and not a right to be had simply because I was a male and they were females. My Pop, as manly as he was, would occasionally remind me that it was no one’s responsibility to feed me, a woman’s especially. “Don’t let someone tell you it’s a woman’s job to cook,” he said. “You can feed yourself.” Every now and then if it was just the two of us at the house, he would drive his point home by making me go with him to the grocery store and pick up some cornish game hens. “Bachelor food,” he called it. “Put these in the oven, let them cook, make some rice, some veggies, there you go. This is how I survived when I didn’t have a woman. You’ll do the same.”

The cornish game hens came out right, though not tasty. They needed salt, pepper, flavor. Another time, he made me some boxed pasta, fettucini alfredo, the one that comes with a pack of sauce, and also some hot dogs which he cut up and mixed in with the pasta. If you think this is something you feed a baby, you’re right. But I was 14. To this day it remains the most disgusting meal I ever had. I sometimes think back to that dinner and wonder if I was on punishment and just didn’t know it, but Pop wasn’t really emphasizing the skills of being your own chef, as much as he was the ability to be my own chef and not let a woman affect my hunger pangs.

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Categories: dating, women Tags:

About The New Job And Why Some Of You Should Care

June 1st, 2012 12 comments

So I got a new gig.

For those who follow me on Twitter, I’ve been talking around it for the better part of a week, not divulging the complete details because I wanted to be careful, but since I start on Monday, I decided to let all my loyal readers know the good news and what it entails.

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