Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

#1,475 – Onward

Need help dealing with a difficult breakup? No need to bother your besties.  Onward has got you covered.

As Fast Company puts it, “You just broke up and now you need to move out. Meanwhile, you’re an emotional wreck over your ex, barely able to focus at work, let alone organize a U-Haul. How can you possibly deal with so many logistics at such a time? Why not just pay someone else to do it?

That’s the premise of Onward, the newly launched ‘post-breakup concierge service’ that handles all your packing, housing, and self-care needs. Consider it relocation with a soft touch. A one-stop shop for moving out and moving on.

[After all] if one can easily hire a wedding planner or funeral director, then why not a breakup handler?”

Such a person would help you handle the obvious logistical issues that arise during a breakup. Such as gathering your prized possessions.  Something you may not want to do if the other person is going to be around.  But they will also help you handle the not so obvious issues such as helping you find a therapist to talk to.  You can also pay to receive recommendations for singles events and things to do in your area.  Everything you need to get back on your feet.  One overwhelming task at a time.

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Is Onward the Greatest Idea Ever?

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In regular speed dating eligible bachelors play a glorified game of musical chairs, rotating from table to table in five minute increments, trying to make a good first impression while speaking about any topic they can think of.  Books, look, and hooks would be more focused.  No ice breakers necessary.  No corny pickup lines needed.  Instead, the only thing you are allowed to comment on or talk about is the book that the lady has chosen to bring with her.

If she brings Harry Potter you’ll instantly know that this is a woman with good taste, a fellow nerd perhaps, somebody with whom you’re likely to have similar interests.  A travelogue would be a sign that she suffers from wanderlust.  An Anne Rice novel that she suffers from regular lust and has no interest in a serious, long-term relationship.  Meanwhile, a true crime novel is likely to indicate what kind of shows are in her Netflix queue.  While a non-fiction book may indicate what she likes to do IRL.

The idea stems from a post I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago, where a woman noticed that men would continuously come up to her if she was reading a book about baseball.  Striking up a conversation over balls and strikes.  Hitting on her in more ways than one.  And it makes sense.  Having a shared interest is the ultimate ice  breaker.  Making it more likely that you’ll want to talk to someone you otherwise would have never had the courage to talk to.  And maybe, just maybe, it can also make speed dating a little more tolerable.

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Is a speed dating event involving books the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Need a gift idea for Valentine’s Day?! Then you might want to consider getting your loved one some pickles. After all, one can never go wrong with a pickle.  But, I’m not just talking about a regular old jar of pickles.  No, that would be lame.  Rather, I’m talking about getting your significant other someone more traditional. Something more in the spirit of the holiday.  Such as a bouquet.  Albeit one made of pickles instead of roses.  That’s right.  The hottest gift trend this year is a pickle bouquet!

But it’s not just pickles stealing someone’s heart.  Other delicacies and snacks are getting into the fun as well.

As USA Today puts it, “Although roses continue to be one of the top-selling Valentine’s Day gifts, other bouquets are gaining in popularity: Think meaty ones made with bacon and beef jerky, sour ones with pickles or sweet ones with candy, cupcakes and doughnuts.”

As tempting as some of those would be I think I’ll stick with a pickle bouquet!  The obvious key to anyone’s heart.

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Is a pickle bouquet the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Samsung has unveiled a new dating app, for their $4,000 smart fridge, that lets people find their soul mates based on expiration dates.

Even if you don’t have the smart fridge you can still participate.  Just download the Refridgerdating app, take a picture of your latest groceries, and start swiping away, left on people who have open cartons of left-over Chinese food populating their top shelf, right on people who look like they actually know what a food pyramid is.

As CNET puts it, “The idea is that what’s in there, whether it’s moldy leftovers or an enticing collection of craft beer, could provide a more authentic look at who you are and how you live. And ideally, keep you far away from those monsters who refrigerate their honey.”

Personally, I love this idea.  I’m all for creative ideas, outside the box thinking, and modern ingenuity no matter what form it takes.  Even if that form is yet another dating app.  Even if that dating app is one that lets users swipe right on a slice of bologna.

That’s because I think this concept could lead to a host of other themed dating apps designed to get people to show their true selves, not the Instagram Influencer versions of themselves that they currently project out into the sordid world of online dating.  This means that we may soon be swiping right on pictures of each other’s cars, wardrobes, DVR queues, and home décor.  Anything that can be used to measure who someone really is and what they’re all about.  For now though, we’ll just have to settle for swiping on bottles of wine, cartoons of milk, and jars of pickles.

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Is refridgerdating the Greatest Idea Ever?

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I’ve never believed in the idea of a soul mate.  Even if they existed, the likelihood of anyone actually finding their counterpart on a planet filled with billions of people when they are only searching in the general vicinity they happen to already reside in, is probably slim to none.  Just think about it.  Your soul mate could be driving a rickshaw in suburban China or working in an antique shop in Bangladesh.  They could be an Eskimo or an astronaut.  A princess or a pauper.  They could be anyone, from any walk of life.  And yet millions of people believe that they’ve already found their sole mate in their small town high school.  Give me a break.  Unless you’ve met, interviewed, or somehow screened every person on the planet there’s no way you can be certain that you’ve found your soul mate.

What you have found is someone that you are extremely compatible with, someone who you are attracted to, who you get along with, who you click with.  And that’s all well and good.  Just know that you could, in theory, find a similar person to date in every town in the country.

Of course, we don’t think that way.  When it comes to dating, specifically online dating, we lack perspective.  We throw reason out the door, believing that when we come across a strong match, it’s some sort of divine intervention.  We all want that fairytale ending.  We all want to find “The One”.  Yet none of us are really willing to do the heavy lifting.  None of us is about to literally travel to the ends of the Earth to find that special someone.  We all just passively leave our future happiness up to luck, happenstance, and nowadays, the machinations of computer algorithms.  But what if there was a better way?  What if there was a way to search every single person on the entire planet and find out who your potential matches were?  Would you have five potential soul mates or five hundred?  And would you want to know?  Would you actually be willing to meet one of them or move to the other side of the world to be with them?

If you’re asking me the answer is yes.  I would most definitely want to know all of my options and I would absolutely be willing to relocate for the right person.  I came to this conclusion while traveling this past weekend to Seattle.  While trying to kill some time I decided to swipe through my myriad of dating apps.  Not to find someone to hook up with over the weekend, but rather just to see how I would do as a dater if I was living in Seattle.  I did the same thing a few weeks back in Denver and London.

Regardless of what city I was in, I was blowing up.  Multiple matches with really attractive, like-minded individuals, who love the great outdoors.  A higher success rate than I usually get in my current hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Does that mean that I should pick up and move to the Pacific Northwest?  Not necessarily.  It’s nice just knowing what’s out there.  But, if I want to date that hot software engineer from Google (an actual match) or that cute transplant from Washington, D.C. (another actual match that I had a great conversation with) then I probably should.

And that’s kind of the point.  If you’re not having success where you’re currently living (Arizona) and you could be dating a hot software engineer from Google (in Seattle), wouldn’t you want to know that information so that you could act on it?  Otherwise you might wind up single the rest of your life or wind up settling for someone that you’re not that into because you wrongly assume (based on incomplete information) that said person was your best option, when clearly they weren’t.

These are important, life-altering decisions, after all, and we’re what, leaving them up to chance?  Leaving them up to fate to intervene while we’re shopping for produce in the supermarket? We swipe day and night on apps, let our friends set us up on blind dates, pay matchmakers, do it all, and yet, we never do the one thing that could solve all of our problems; we never expand our horizons and look over the actual horizon.

So, here’s what I’m proposing: let’s create a worldwide database of single people.  Sortable by various personality traits, physical characteristics, and interests.  The one thing this database won’t have: a way to search by location.  The objective isn’t to find someone in your area to hook up with.  The objective is to find someone, in any area, that you could potentially be with.  After all, if there’s another licorice-eating, Rick and Morty watching, abstract face-finding, nature-loving, uber nerd out there wouldn’t you want to know about it?  I know I would.  Regardless of where they may be located.

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Is a worldwide dating app the Greatest Idea Ever?

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If you’re single and using an online dating service you know how it goes.  You match with someone that you really like, you start talking to them and decide that you really, really like them, and then before you can schedule a first date, they just completely stop talking to you for no reason.  I used to call that flaking out.  Kids today call it ghosting.  Either way, it’s horrible, annoying, and the bane of my existence.

Thankfully, there’s a new dating site that aims to change all that.  Known as Tonight, this new app is specifically designed to force people to actually go out on dates.  Right now. Tonight.

That’s because the service is time-sensitive, only allowing you to search for potential dates for that night.  It won’t even work past 6 pm at night, ruling out the possibility of just using the service for last minute hookups.  Instead, if you’re free that night, and match with someone earlier in the day, you’ll be a given a time and place to meet up later that night.

And best of all, the service discourages people from flaking out, even eventually removing them from the site altogether, if they keep doing it.

As TechCrunch puts it:

“…as soon as two people show interest in each other, the app tries to set them up on a date, no messaging required…you sign on when you’re free for a date that very evening. If both you and one of your matches is free, the app will give you a time and a place to meet up.  You’ll need to sign in by 6pm to get a date that night, which will hopefully discourage people who are just looking for a hookup. In addition, users get penalized for flaking out, and they’re eventually removed if they keep doing it.”

That last caveat, about getting penalized for flaking out, is a real deterrent.  With that rule in place, even if you show up and instantly know that you got cat-fished and aren’t attracted to the person at all, you’d probably still want to go through the motions of going on the date with them just to avoid getting kicked off the site.  That means less people will get stood up, which is one of the worst things that can happen to a dater.

On the other hand there are some potential issues that I see with this app.  First of all, what happens if you get assigned a location or activity that doesn’t agree with you.  Maybe it’s far away and annoying to get to or an activity that you either hate or have done before and don’t care for.  Would you have any say at all in the type of things that you could be doing?  Also, what happens if you match with two people in the same day?  Would you be double booked?  Or what if you accidentally match with someone because you were swiping too quickly?  I agree that once you start talking to someone you shouldn’t be allowed to back out, but what if you don’t want to start talking to them in the first place?

If Tonight can iron out all of those logistical concerns then they could really be onto something here.  Because the #1 complaint about online dating that I’ve heard recently is about how hard it is to actually go on a real date nowadays.  In an era of instant gratification swiping, where a first date consists of “Netflix and chill”, people are starting to yearn for the good old days of awkward meet-ups at mini-golf courses.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, this new app has promise.  So, what are you doing Tonight?

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Is Tonight the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,026 – Sole Mate

The other day I wrote about Chuck McMarthy, an aspiring actor who had started a people walking service.  For $7 per mile you’d have yourself a friend for hire.  Or a therapist.  Or a security guard.

This got me thinking.  What other walking themed ideas might there be? How else can we put our bi-pedals to the mettle when the going gets tough?

What I came up with was a concept for a new hiking themed dating service known as Sole Mate.

I know, I know.  But just hear me out.

Dating is hard.  It’s expensive.  People are flaky.  If the first date feels awkward or forced there’s not going to be a second date.

So why not do something fun in a low pressure setting?  Something that’s free.  Something that you wouldn’t mind doing alone if you happened to get stood up.

That’s where hiking comes in.  It’s the absolute perfect first date.  Walk and talk at a gingerly pace to get to know your love interest.  Explore a cave or ancient ruins to add in an element of adventure.  Drop some knowledge on rock formations or various species of flora and fauna to show how smart you are.  Instead of constantly asking, “what did you just say?” over the roar of a crowded bar, ask, “how did that get like that?” or “why is that shaped liked that?”

What I’m imagining then is dating service in the spirit of How About We or It’s Just Lunch.  A service tailored towards busy working professionals who can spare an hour or two, here or there for a date, but who don’t want to commit to a long sit-down dinner with a total stranger.  Users could use the platform to seek hiking partners at locations that are convenient to them or the service could even host hikes at one specific location.  Imagine if you will, going on a hike and having a picnic for two waiting for you at the top of the mountain.  Or hiking one way and then taking a romantic sunset horse-back ride back to where you started from.  Conversely, there could even be group hikes if people would prefer an even more laid back atmosphere for meeting multiple people or just making friends with other like-minded singles.

The one drawback to this concept are the safety concerns. Is it really the best idea to follow a total stranger into the wilderness?  To get around that fear Sole Mate would vet all participants ahead of time and then adapt an Uber like rating system so that as time goes on hikers can evaluate one another and leave feedback for future daters on everything from conversation skills to walking pace.

Sure there are already a ton of other dating sites from Tinder and Bumble to Match and eHarmony.  Does the world really need another one?  In a word: yes.  After all, when it comes to dating, it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward.

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Is a hiking dating service the Greatest Idea Ever?

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