Dating Similes

I recently came across a few old writing exercises from my schoolgirl days. It’s been a while since I tried my hand at creative writing, so I thought I’d try to oil some of the old gears. Feel free to chime in.

Dating is like jogging on a treadmill with no readout. You’re not sure how fast you’re going or how much longer you have to go, but you keep chugging along because you’re told it’s good for you.

Dating is like Apple’s sweatshops in China. Nobody likes the process, but they’re cultishly obsessed with the results.

Following dating etiquette feels like wearing white only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nobody is really sure why the rules exist, but you follow them because they must be of some benefit to mankind, or maybe because if you don’t someone will call you a philistine.

Dating is like dropping a brand new dark wash denim skirt into the washing machine for the first time. If you aren’t careful, it’s going to bleed all over the rest of your life.

…K, maybe that one needs a little more work. So does this next one:

Becoming a couple is like becoming a vampire. You have to be pretty sure that’s the route you want to take, because it’s not an easily reversible process.

Going on a first date is like kissing a frog: you might get a prince, you might get a frog, but you will definitely get curious stares from the neighbors.

You know it’s time to stop dating someone when it feels like reading Fox in Socks to a kid at bedtime: fun the first time or two, but increasingly exhausting with each repetition.

Talking about dating with friends is like the inverse of looking at their Facebook profiles: suddenly everyone seems to have a more miserable life than you do.


Letters From a Young Dater

Every now and then I get asked a question like I’m some kind of dating expert. I don’t think I am, but some of the questions only require a little bit of experience to answer.

Here’s one I received recently:

What’s with guys who don’t bother with spelling, grammar, and punctuation on their profiles? To me that’s like showing up on a date with his shirt untucked and hair unbrushed. Am I wrong?

Here’s my response:

Dear Young Dater,

Spellcheck is a wonderful thing that everyone ought to use on their profile. That being said, since our profiles tend to have loads of squiggly red lines on them under words like “yeshiva” and “hashkafa,” it’s easy to overlook one or two. I’d go easy on those guys.

But if it’s more than just a word here and there, if they persistently refer to themselves as “i,” then I feel your pain.

For example, right now I’m corresponding with a fellow who thinks that punctuation and capitalization are optional online. When I read his emails, the image that pops into my head is of someone with slanty eyes trying to talk around an oversized tongue that doesn’t seem to fit in his mouth. I keep telling myself that he’s probably fairly intelligent, but I struggle to see this beyond his slurred online accent.

The fact is, many guys are under the misguided conception that the internet is still some wild and woolly frontier where the old rules don’t apply. Between you and me, that’s kind of like assuming the gun is still the law in Texas. It’s quaint idea that will get you in trouble.

bec maybe writing like this is fine for teenagers who arent known 4 gr8 self represntation @ the best of times but not 4 grown ups who want 2b taken seriously

So, should you dispense with a guy for clearly being clueless? Or should you try to move on to verbal communication as soon as possible, so you aren’t tempted to type small words in big letters when you write to him? (I AM BAD4, BAD4 I AM. DO YOU LIKE WALKS ON THE SAND?)

Personally, I try to give everyone a fair chance. Moreover, I have not found excellent online communication skills to correlate with excellent life skills. (Although a professional guy will rarely type pidgin at you.) So I’m going to recommend you take the latter tack. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and if everything else sounds okay, say “yes.”