Articles By Single and the City/Amber Soletti

online dating

Are these guys telling the truth?

Having dated online since I moved to NYC in 2000, it goes without saying that I have more experience perusing men’s online dating profiles than any single gal should. I want to share with you what I've found to be the top ten dating profile “red flags” that could save you the ridiculous amount of time that I have now forever lost by corresponding with and/or going out with some total losers.

Disclaimer: To any of the men whose profiles inspired and unknowingly lent to the quotes that comprise my post, let’s all hope for your sake that knowing is truly half the battle.

1. Hat Trick

If a guy’s profile only features photos of him sporting a baseball cap, don’t just assume that it’s his favorite hat or that all of the photos must have been taken from the same outing. In "physical description" he may have even filled in the question of “hair color” with “ask me later.” Don’t get me wrong—a lot of bald guys are hot. My dating service even offers a “Bald And The Beautiful” Speed Dating event that always sells out for women. What’s NOT hot is a self-loathing, insecure guy that’s hiding under his hat.

2. “Model” Citizen

Avoid a guy who talks about how he does some “acting and modeling on the side,” is a “former model/personal trainer,” or any variation of having once had a “lucrative career as a model.” They either feel that all they have going for them is their looks, are living in the past, or they’re not looking so great these days and are hoping by mentioning that they used to model, you will find them hotter.

3. CAPITAL Offense

Any guy who writes his entire profile in ALL CAPS should be avoided at all costs. i.e. “I'M JUST YOUR EVERY DAY PEOPLE AND WOULD LIKE TO MEET SOMEONE SEXY, AND DOWN TO EARTH.” Uh, capital “NO.” It's as if they're overcompensating with a large font for their small intellectual capacity.

4. “Killer” Profile

If a guy’s profile pic even remotely resembles Jeffrey Dahmer, to the point where you’re seriously questioning if it is actually him or perhaps a first cousin, you might want to go ahead and click "next." You know what I'm talking about--the thin guy with the glasses, scraggly hair and a total menacing, pedophile-esque look on his blank, expressionless face. Granted, some people aren’t photogenic and look better in person, but honestly, are you willing to risk your life on it?

5. Lost In Translation.

“Maybe should me first by said that English is no my speaking.” If you think that was hard to decipher, imagine how much time he put “into” perfecting it via his use of the [insert any foreign language] to English online dictionary. I’m sorry, ladies, I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t have the patience to date a guy who requires subtitles. I’ve done it once, and you just end up smiling and nodding a lot.

6. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I get really turned off by the guys who describe themselves as “very attractive,” “charming,” “kind,” “honest,” “generous,” “romantic,” “blah, blah, adjective, blah.” First of all, “attractiveness” is in the eye of the beholder, so post your pic and let us be the judge. And as for the rest of it, I feel it should come across in what you say and be more of a “show-not-tell.”

7. Humor Me

Along those same lines are the guys who find the need to describe their humor ala “I have a dry wit, sure to make you laugh,” or “I think that my most marked trait is a somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor.” They may even go as far as to say, “I’m the funniest guy you’ll ever meet. LOL.” Be warned ladies, these are likely the least funny guys ever. Date the self-proclaimed “funny guy” and you’ll be courtesy laughing for life.

8. Don’t “Hang” Yourself

“I'm looking for someone to hang out with and get to know.” Translation: I’m not looking for a relationship or to take you out on dates. I just want to come “kick it“ at your crib late night, so I can get familiarized with your liquor cabinet and favorite positions. Don’t worry, I’ll bring the 420. Let’s just say these relationships tend to be as short-lived and easily delete-able as the text messages they’re usually founded on.

9. Come Correct

If someone mentions that they are “opened to the possibilities,” “have interests which might seem like contractions,” are “emmotionally available” and/or, get this, find “grammatical errors an spelling mitakes a turn off,” you may even want to go as far as to “flag” the profile as inappropriate.

10. “Fit” To Be Tied

Avoid any and all guys who say, “working out and staying in shape are very high on my list of priorities.” They probably then delve into stats on how frequently they go to the gym. They of course like to do a “variety of things including hiking, skiing, triathlons, running, biking, etc.” They keep themselves “in tip-top shape and believe the body is a gift and should be maintained.” What they clearly haven’t realized is that being SO “fit” and “big” actually makes “it” appear even smaller than what they’re already trying to over-compensate for.


Reject-proof ways to put yourself out there. They won't know what hit 'em.

As single women, it’s not always easy to go after what you want, to put yourself out there without fearing the possibility of rejection or coming across as desperate. Here are my tried-and-true, reject-proof ways to covertly pick up men. Trust me, they won’t know what hit ‘em.

1. "Digital Underground"
This tactic is guaranteed to not only get him to take your number but also get his digits. This requires an over-sized, seemingly disorganized-looking purse or bag and can pretty much be used anywhere. I inadvertently stumbled upon this maneuver on a flight home to Texas. I was on a crowded airplane, and during the hustle and bustle of stowing my luggage and getting settled in my seat, came to discover I no longer had my cell phone. In a panic, I turned to the guy in the seat behind me, explained the situation and asked if he could call my phone so I could try to find it. Gave him my digits and had him make the call.

As soon as I heard my phone start ringing I immediately realized what had just transpired and the new “super power” I now possessed of being able to give hot guys my number while simultaneously obtaining theirs. Turned out my cell was in my purse. We shared a laugh, chatted before take-off and ended up going out for a first date later that weekend as he conveniently had my digits and ended up “text” asking me out.

2. "The Bend Sans Snap"
This would end up being my biggest take-away from the movie "Legally Blonde" years after the fact, but I must say it is one of the most effective ways to initiate a conversation with a guy you’re interested in. It’s especially effective to use at a party. The first time I attempted it was on a dare at a party, my “gay husband” dared me to do the “bend and snap” to get the attention of a hot guy. I said “fine,” strutted by him and dropped my clutch, practically on his foot. I seductively bent down, arched my back while picking it up... and before I could even manage a snap, he asked if I had lead in my purse. Thirty minutes later into a conversation with this guy, I realized that there was really something to this whole “bend and snap” thing.

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Get inventive!

I’ve since done it with car keys, lipstick and even towels at the gym. Cell phones work really well, because sometimes your phone will fall apart upon hitting the floor and that buys you more time with the guy as he tries to put it back together and even sympathy if he can’t fix it (Disclaimer: make sure it’s insured or this can quickly become costly). I’ve definitely done the “bend sans snap” without so much as even a glance from my target, but I’d say it works 75% of the time and the times it didn’t work I’m pretty sure the guys were non-breeders—or at least that’s what I tell myself to make it okay.

3. "Fly Me To The Moon"
I came to discover this technique riding the subway home from work. I was fixated on a super hot guy standing by the door, think Boris Kodjoe. I was looking him up and down and up and down, about to do a thrice over when I noticed his fly was totally down. I walked over to him and whispered, “your fly.” He of course was caught off guard, fumbling as he tried to quickly and discreetly zip it up. He kept thanking me for looking out for him and was so appreciative. We ended up chatting until my stop came, at which time he asked for my digits.

If only we were all so lucky to conveniently run into hot guys with their flies down. Desperate times call for desperate measures; you’ve got to create these “fly down” situations for yourself. If I see a cute guy in line or sitting at the bar now I’ll sometimes be like, “you’ve got something in your nose,” or “a little something on your mouth.” This totally makes the guy vulnerable and embarrassed as they start wiping their face and trying to get “it” off and it opens the door for them to talk to you. Keep in mind, this tactic works best if done "one on one" and discreetly. You’re probably not gonna win him over if you “out” him for the stain on his pants in front of the entire office.

4. "Be Direct, Ask For Directions"
It’s a well known fact; men love being the "experts." They also tend to eat up the whole damsel in distress routine, leading us to our fourth and final method for getting their attention. If I’m ever walking somewhere and see an attractive guy on the street I’ll walk up to him and say, “Excuse me, I’m totally lost, can you help me find insert made-up destination here?”

If a guy is interested in me, this will lead to an entire conversation where I will share how I’ve been directionally challenged my entire life, where I’m originally from, hell, I may even get him to drop what he’s doing entirely and escort me to my “destination.” At the end of the day, what’s the worst thing that can happen? If he’s not that "into" you, he’ll tell you where to go, you’ll ignore his directions and be on your merry way.


dating

Dating tips for your—and your hair.

As a resident single New Yorker, curly girl and dating expert, here are my top dating tips for other curly women trying to navigate the singles scene.

1. Tress To Kill. Ignore the dating advice of Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger about spending a lot of money for a first date blow-out. Instead, wear your hair curly. But here’s the key: don’t just wear it curly—make sure your curly tresses are looking their best. You can achieve this by applying product properly on damp hair, diffusing or air drying, and if needed, going back in with a curling rod and/or some anti-frizz pomade.

2. Be Approachable. The great news is that curly girls have a tendency to appear carefree, bubbly and fun in general. To enhance this, smile when trying to catch the eye of a potential suitor. Body language is also key for appearing approachable. Be aware of how you are sitting. You don’t want to have your arms crossed and appear closed off or guarded.

3. Keep Them Guessing. One of the great things about being a curly girl is versatility. Almost all men have a fantasy of being with a different girl every night. So if you played it curly on your first date, mix it up and keep them guessing. Go wavy on date two and remember to rock your curls in various fun styles. Messy buns are super sexy and easy to achieve. Remember, with curly hair you have lots of options, so stay true to yourself but have fun!

dating

Don't forget to always carry a small bottle of hair product with you.

4. The Art Of The Curl Twirl. Here’s a little-known flirting tip, which works especially well for curlies. Whether short or long, use your hair to your advantage. Simply twirl a strand of hair while making direct eye contact with your target. This is a great flirting tactic for getting noticed.

5. Get Physical. Despite occasionally touching your curls to flirt, you don’t want to touch your hair too frequently due to nerves, which could cause your curls to lose shape and frizz, not to mention could appear neurotic to your suitor. Body contact is also a great way to flirt. Once you’ve got his/her attention, if you like the person and think it’s mutual, go ahead and try to break the “touch barrier.” Touch his or her arm gently as you talk, perhaps a nonchalant brush of your hand on the leg. Women can get a way with a lot more in this realm than men, so go for it!

6. Be Prepared. Always keep a curl rejuvenating spray in your purse. A lot of brands make small travel sizes just for this purpose. You never know when frizz will strike, and frizz on a first date, or any date for that matter, is far from ideal. Simply excuse yourself and do a bathroom mirror check. If you have frizz, spritz the area, scrunch and you’re good to go. If it’s beyond that and you’re dealing with the aftermath of major humidity, more drastic curl control measures may be in order. Make sure you have an elastic hair tie with you so you can put your hair up in a bun or ponytail to keep it from getting too big and out-of-control.

7. The Morning After. If you sleep over, you're probably more focused on things other than your hair. The last thing you want to do is bust out your hair beauty routine checklist and ruin the mood early in the relationship. Guys love confidence in a woman, so relax. After all, the beauty of curls is that they often look better the next day and you might even work that "just rolled out of bed" mascara-smeared, vixen magic on your man. However, if you have somewhere to be the next morning, or have especially tricky curls, try sleeping with a high ponytail so you wake up with some extra oomph in your curl. Or, if you're really sly, wait until he falls off to sleep and wrap your hair in a silk scarf before bed, then stealthily remove the wrap before he awakens. Trust me on this one. When you wake up in the morning for the first time with your new beau and your hair looks perfectly kempt and frizz-free, you’ll thank me.


singles on valentine's day

We've got tips to ensure you've got a date next Valentine's Day!

So you're single. Rather than spending "Singles Awareness Day," aka S.A.D., staying in and watching the Lifetime movie of the week, why not take advantage of what is in fact the BIGGEST “hook-up” day of the year for singles? Not only is it the best day to meet someone, Valentine’s Day is also the best night to go out in the city because it’s the one night of the year you’re almost 100% guaranteed that the “singles” you’re meeting are actually single.

Here are some of my dating tips on things to do on Valentine's Day so that you’re actually looking forward to V-day as a single instead of joining in on the pity party.

1. Pay For Play. Research Valentine’s Day singles parties and local dating events online. We’re throwing two major Valentine’s Day singles parties the weekend before Valentine’s Day so that singles can ideally find a date at the event who will take them out on a first date on Valentine’s Day. These dating events don’t have to be super expensive and are a great way to meet singles that are also clearly looking to meet someone. If you’re more of a shy introvert, make sure to look for a party that is more structured and offers activities like speed dating, dating games, or ice breakers so all of the pressure isn’t on you to go up to people and start conversations on your own.

2. Girls Night Out. If a dating service that offers singles events isn’t your scene and you’re looking for a more “organic” way of meeting someone, call up your favorite wing woman, get dressed up and do dinner together somewhere fabulous. Post-dinner, hit some local singles bars and lounges for drinks. Several singles lounges and bars will be offering “ladies night” drink specials for Valentine’s Day, and knowing this, single, savvy guys (the kind you want to meet) will be showing up in droves. Keep in mind when deciding whom to recruit as your wing woman that you DO NOT want to have more than 1-2 women come out with you. A group of women (3+) can be intimidating, 2-3 women is still approachable while at the same time not seeming desperate that you’d be hanging at a bar solo on Valentine’s Day looking to meet someone.

Also keep in mind who you are recruiting to come out with you. The last person you want to invite is your "Debbie Downer," next-door neighbor who is going to bitch and moan all night about how you guys are going to be single for the rest of your lives!

If you’re looking to have a good time and are seeking attention, perhaps you shouldn’t invite your hottest girlfriend to come out with you. “Rachelle” may be a good friend and all, but think about how you feel when you’re out with her. If you feel invisible and like you’re always second choice with all the guys when you're out with her, then maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t the night to invite your Brazilian supermodel friend out. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result—I’m just saying!

If you’re looking to meet men on Valentine’s Day here’s another hint…don’t hit the bars with your "gay husband." Everyone is going to think you guys are together, which won’t help either of your causes! Trust me, it took me like eight years of living in NYC to figure that one out.

If you don’t have a single girlfriend to go out with, be pro-active and find one. Post a platonic ad on Craig’s List looking for a single wing woman to go out with on Valentine’s Day. I’ve done this before and definitely met some super cool women, some of whom I’m still friends with. My dating agency also offers a "wing woman" speed networking event where you can meet 10-20 women in one night, one of which who could potentially be your new BFF and Valentine’s Day date.

3. Milk It! Valentine’s Day is one of the most commercialized holidays ever. Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take full advantage of all of the promotions and discounts made available to couples. Simply recruit your favorite wing woman, "gay husband" or platonic guy friend to take advantage of all of the “couples offers”. Book a “couples” massage, facial or manicure/pedicure together. Many restaurants will also be offering amazing tasting menus and special promotions on Valentine’s Day. As a single gal you definitely want to take full advantage of these types of Valentine’s Day offers. Use the money you would normally be spending on a significant other and splurge on yourself and/or your friends.


NYC-based dating service OnSpeedDating.Com in partnership with NaturallyCurly.Com recently hosted its first-ever “Curls Gone Wild” Speed Dating event on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010.

Dennis Reilly (36), a New York firefighter was one of the first single men to request OnSpeedDating add a “curly” speed dating theme to their constantly-growing portfolio of themed singles events. “I sent an email three months ago,” says Reilly. “I love confident, curly haired women and am happy to see it’s finally happening”.

Dating Curlies

Several recent requests for this particular event by curl aficionado NY singles, like Dennis, clearly counter the singular voice of Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger’s constant “curl bashing”. “It’s not even about straight versus curly anymore,” says NaturallyCurly.Com Co-Founder, Michelle Breyer. “It’s about women embracing their natural beauty. Patti Stanger is a giant step backwards in terms of female empowerment.” Contrary to Stanger’s obvious misconception, NYC men respond positively to women with curls. “We actually had a wait list for men wanting to get into this event,” explains OnSpeedDating.Com Co-Founder Carmine Di Re.

“I’m going to admit that I typically do blow-out my hair straight on a first date,” said single girl, Michele Jones. “As women, we’ve been pre-conditioned by the media to believe that men want women with straight hair. I was so excited to see a singles event where I can actually be myself and know the guys are gonna like me - curls and all!”

Thursday night’s event quickly reached its goal registration of 15 men and 15 women ranging in age from 24 to 46. The Watering Hole, a Gramercy mainstay, featured three-tiers of cascading two-top tables and romantic lighting. Each table was adorned with a number, dating pamphlets, pencils and plenty of sponsor-provided Sweetbreath breath freshener, ensuring daters would breath-friendly throughout the night.

First-time speed dater and recent California transplant Thomas Holmes, (24), heard about OnSpeedDating's multitude of theme-specific events through their guest appearance on Howard Stern. “I find curly women to be fun and sexy and like to think of their wild, curly hair as an extension of their extremely outgoing personality. There are so many gorgeous women here tonight I am really psyched.”

The evening started off with singles checking in around thirty minutes prior to the event start. Informal mingling over drink specials gave the men the initial opportunity to marvel at the abundance of cascading curls, while a few of the women swapped hair styling tips with each other.

The speed dating began at 7:30pm once all of the single men and women had been seated in pairs. The chime of the bell signaled each couple to begin their three-minute "date". Many were relaxed, a few were nervous, but conversation, curls and drinks flowed all night and smiles were contagious. With every chime, the men moved to the next table until they had the chance to meet all 15 women in attendance.

In support of the confident curl girls who ventured out on such a cold December evening, DevaChan Salon and Deva Spa Co-owner Lorraine Massey made a surprise appearance with a $250 DevaCurl gift basket in tow to award to the woman with the best curls. With 15 curl-vaceous women to choose from, after careful evaluation, Lorraine’s expert eye singled out the curly blonde tresses of single New Yorker, Gail Glidewell (33).

“I definitely connected with some women tonight,” says Financier Rob Alder, (33). “I’d say there were at least 4 women that I would be interested in seeing again.”

For $35, the curly haired women in attendance not only got to meet attractive, professional men, they also were guaranteed that they wouldn’t go home alone. Every woman left with three bags worth of curly swag from major hair care sponsors like Devachan Salon, Deva Spa, Miss Jessie’s, Christo 5th Avenue, Hercut, BeautyVT and Avon. Performer, Tauren Hagens (36), a brunette with above the shoulder curls enthused, “I am blown away by tonight! Hot men and free hair care products? What more could a girl ask for?”

Di Re summarized the success of the evening by stating, “Based on the turn-out, energy and connections I saw tonight, I foresee this becoming one of our more popular events.”

To guarantee a spot at OnSpeedDating.Com’s next “Curls Gone Wild” speed dating nyc event, register for the waitlist at OnSpeedDating.Com.

Check out the photos from "Curls Gone Wild" Speed Dating by adding Amber Guesa as a facebook friend.


“You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression,” has been forever ingrained in our minds, thanks to the Head and Shoulders ad campaigns of the 1980s. Meeting the parents for the first time can definitely be a make or break relationship milestone that you want to get right the first time. Below are my tips and dating advice for successfully navigating the “parental waters” during the already-stressful holidays.

dating at the holidays

Know Before You Go

First and foremost, only agree to meet the parents if you consider your relationship to be serious and on that level. I can’t tell you how many of my girlfriends and/or matchmaking clients have agreed to meet the parents of someone they’re not even that “into.” Talk about sending mixed messages! Here this person thinks you guys are totally serious because you’re spending the holidays with them and their family, and in reality, you were just in it for the free home-cooked meal or maybe just had nothing better going on. I’m telling you, it happens, so consider what meeting your significant other's parents means to them and their family. Make sure this is the path you want to go down, because at the end of the day if it doesn’t work out, you don’t only have to break up with them but also their family.

The 411

Open and honest communication is key to the success of any relationship. Hopefully you and your significant other are already close and you are aware of their home life growing up and any on-going family dramas or hot buttons. In the event you aren’t, now’s the time to get up to speed quickly. How did the parents meet? Are they religious? What do they do for work? What are their interests, and/or favorite TV shows? What, if anything, did they not like about any previous girlfriends? If you and your sweetie are staying the night, are the parents the type to let you stay in the same room? You definitely need the low-down on anything and everything "familial" prior to going into what could very well be the lion’s den.

Get On The Same Page

Anticipating the tough questions and having a game plan as to how to answer them is a must. Do you want the parents to know you guys met at an S&M bar, on a free online dating site, at a singles party for swingers or at a “Bi-onic” speed dating event for bi-sexual women and the men who love them? If not, you better get your stories straight. Are the parents aware that you are living together? If not, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally “out” your living situation while passing the mashed potatoes. Topics to be prepared for might include whether you’re having safe sex, when you’re getting married and/or having kids. In the event you’re dealing with manipulative parents, or more likely, a possessive mom who may bring up stories about ex-girlfriends, it’s always good to have a full-disclosure session with your mate beforehand so there are no major surprises. In trying times like these it’s good to refer to the Boy Scouts tried-and true-motto, “be prepared”.

Come Bearing Gifts

When meeting the parents for the first time you definitely don’t want to go in empty-handed. A nice bottle of wine, their favorite dessert, fresh-cut flowers, a new release or classic DVD or board game of the Milton Bradley variety are some good gift ideas. If they’re not drinkers, maybe some gourmet coffee, sparkling cider or chocolates. Something personalized is always the best way to go, but at the end of the day it’s the thought that counts. It’s sort of like Kindergarten where if you bring something to class you have to have enough for everyone. It wouldn’t be cool for you to bring something very specific and un-sharable, say a picture frame or book for one person leaving out the rest of the family.

dating at the holidays

Keep It Real

Be genuine, be sincere, be yourself. Many dating coaches would recommend you avoid certain topics of discussion all together…politics, sex, religion. I have a different view on this. I believe if these topic come up you should discuss your views honestly and respectfully. At the end of the day, if the parents are going to hate you, might as well establish that early on and know what you’re potentially getting yourself into. There’s also a fine line between being complimentary and being fake. Don’t be the fake, kiss-ass girlfriend who is throwing out compliments left and right, desperate to earn the family's approval. No one likes that.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Don’t just offer to help around the kitchen,…jump right in. Is Mom setting the table? Grab some silverware and get in there. This is the perfect opportunity for one-on-one bonding and to demonstrate your stellar domestic skills. Has everyone finished eating? Start clearing the table. Nothing is more annoying than the faux, almost inaudible, offer to help. The insincere, “Can I help with anything?”, knowing they’re not going to take you up on your offer. You want to make a good impression on the family. Don’t talk about it—in the words of Nike, “Just Do It.” In the event the family is insistent that they don’t want any help, then at that point you can back down, knowing you made a solid effort to pitch in.

Go With The Flow

If the family wants to play Scrabble after dinner, even if you’re Scrabble skills are limited to 3-point word plays like r-a-t, be a good sport and participate. If Dad wants to watch the big game after dinner and you are totally not a football fan, I say suck it up and be one for a couple of hours. Be the laid-back, easy-going kind of gal that everyone loves. The last thing anyone wants is a high-strung, diva-esque potential daughter-in-law. If everyone at the table is drinking red wine, don’t be that girl that insists on opening up the bottle of white that they don’t even have until they run out and get it just for you. If you sit out on the sidelines, and/or come across as demanding and difficult, you become fodder for family gossip and judgment. Variety is the spice of life. Embrace the family traditions, and at the same time gain more insight and understanding of your partner.

Make A Connection

As a woman, ensure you make a special effort to hit It off with the mother and any sisters as they will definitely be critical to win over. I find asking to see baby pictures a great way to bond with the mom. If you go this route, just be ready for the long haul. We’re talking like a minimum of five albums worth. If it’s a big family gathering make a genuine effort to meet not just the parents, but also the extended family and any family friends. Don’t devote 100% of your efforts to impressing the potential in-laws. This would be a rookie mistake on your part. Winning over the siblings and rest of the family is equally important. Make sure to pay a lot of attention to the little kids, the neighbors, the geriatrics, and even the family pets. Spend time getting to know each person, connecting with them on some level. If you keep to yourself or just with your partner, others will definitely take notice and you’ll be perceived as an anti-social “ice-princess” ala Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in The Family Stone. I don‘t care if you’re shy or introverted—“fake it till you make it”.

Seal The Deal

The good-bye is key. Here’s a tip. If you want to cement it with mom, tell her again how much you enjoyed the food and ask for some recipes of the dishes you really liked. Trust me, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach by way of his mother’s cooking. Why do you think Jennifer Aniston is still so close to Brad Pitt’s mom? You definitely want to go in for the hug and not the handshake as hopefully your first meeting went well and you’re now considered family. Thank them for their hospitality and definitely share that you had an amazing time, and that it was nice to finally meet them and how much you look forward to seeing them again. Seal the “welcome to the family” deal by sending a hand-written thank you note in the mail the next day.


As single women, when it comes to relationships, we like to have closure and more importantly, to know where we stand at ALL times. In today’s convoluted dating world where honesty and transparency pretty much don't exist largely due to the internet, free dating sites and cell phones providing already non-committal men with even MORE options, where do we stand? Let's talk about some "dating labels"—words or phrases that define where we are in a relationship.

Dating

“Dating”: If I’m seeing someone who has “boyfriend potential” I like to say that I’m dating. “Boyfriend potential” meaning he has the majority of things on my “LIST.” Is he the one? Too soon to tell, but he could potentially be “the one,” and we will continue to “date” until I figure it out. To be clear, I can’t say that I’ve done very much “dating” in the city. I very RARELY click with and am attracted to someone and in the rare event that I am, they typically end up being unavailable and/or raising red flags which quickly down-grades their "dating" status. Is it okay to “date” more than one person at a time? I think it is critical to “date” multiple men. “Things”, especially in New York City, have a tendency to NOT work out. By having a couple of guys in the rotation, you’re keeping your options open, which helps lessen the disappointment when it doesn’t work...there’s always the other guy.

“Seeing Someone” If you’re going out with someone you know is NOT “the one” but you are sleeping with him and spending time with him, then by my definition, you are “seeing” him. Guess it’s a kind of a more respectable way to describe an unspoken “friends with benefits” or “hook-up” situation. I tend to “recycle” guys that I’ve “seen” in the past. They come, they go, but they ALWAYS come back in some form or fashion even years later.

“Boyfriend” Actions speak louder than words with exception to “the talk” which HAS to happen for your “relationship” to be legit. He can be acting like your boyfriend, seeing you a few times a week, calling you every night, holding your hand in public, BUT, if you do not have “the talk”, he in his own mind can still think he is single and actually, based on the unspoken rules of dating, technically has the right to still be seeing other people. Most men try to put off having “the talk” for as long as possible. Here’s a hint: Stay away from men who are initiating “the talk”, especially if it’s within a couple of weeks of meeting you.

Harsh but true...You may have had “the talk”, and even be saying the “L” word, but here’s a MAJOR indicator that he’s still NOT really your boyfriend. If your “boyfriend” won’t change his Facebook status to say “in a relationship” with you, then despite having had “the talk,” he is clearly still not willing to fully commit and is probably seeing people behind your back or at least wanting to have the option to do so in the event he’s contacted by an “ex,” or as SO many men endearingly refer to me, “unfinished business”. If you’re in this situation I would quickly in your mind downgrade this man to someone you’re “seeing” while immediately hitting singles events and girlfriend supported outings to begin the search for an upgrade.

FYI ladies…”Text message” relationships are “textbook” he’s just not “into” you. But that’s okay…maybe we’re not all that “into” them either. As soon as a relationship starts to look like or full-on become of the “text message” variety, I quickly demote that guy from someone I’m “dating” to someone I’m “seeing”. Don’t get me wrong, “text message” relationships can be a nice distraction and keep us going during dreaded “dating” droughts. I for one survived ten years in "Corporate America" largely due to some great text message exchanges that got me through PLENTY a boring meeting, conference call and 3-day seminar. Again, they’re fine, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s more than it is and just know that like a “text”, these types of relationships tend to be short-lived and EASILY deleted…except for the private, naughty pics that these guys will probably save on their phones FOREVER so they can continue to show them to their friends and anyone else that will look.

Here's my dating advice. With all of the 'smoke and mirrors' that men put out, it’s hard to say if we’re ever seeing things clearly. Our “relationship” labels may at times be off or greatly vary, but at the end of the day I truly believe that knowing is half the battle. The quicker you can see things for what they are, the less likely you are to be disappointed, hurt or wasting valuable time. I tell all of my gfs and female matchmaking clients, be aware of your male surroundings at all times and always try to know where you stand. If you’re too emotionally involved to assess, have an honest girlfriend put a label on it for you.


dating

As a matchmaker and resident NYC single gal who runs speed dating NYC events, observing male and female interaction on a daily basis, curly women are constantly asking me if on a first date they should follow Patti Stanger’s advice of getting their hair professionally blown out.

Here’s my take on the Millionaire Matchmaker's, (who can obviously afford unlimited salon blow-outs), insistence that looking your best on a first date requires having straight/sleek hair. I give the same advice for job interviews and first dates, which can often feel like a job interview. Be yourself. If you’re not the type to wear a suit to work everyday, yet alone at all, than don’t wear one on the interview and give the impression of being something you’re not. If you’re a curly girl that doesn’t plan on blowing her hair out every single day, than why go through all the effort of ultimately misleading your date? You want a guy to be “into” and attracted to you for you, curls and all.

Read more about Patti Sanger's anti-curl rants here and here. Also check out our Facebook campaign!

Here’s what I know. Men find versatile women HOT. Versatility in the bedroom, in your sexuality, the way you dress. Think about it. As a woman of curl, you have the option of going straight one night, wavy the next and full-on kinky the third. For men, it can almost be like being with a different girl every night.

dating

Men tend to be attracted to the exotic and unique. Think about it—there are fewer blondes than brunettes, and they consequently garner more attention from men. It’s a basic economic principal, which easily translates to the dating world. Things that are scarce and less available are consequently more in demand. Blue eyes, full lips, a Kim-Kardashian-esque derriere and yes, curly hair exist among a smaller sect of the population. Not everyone has it nor can everyone can pull it off, but when you’ve got it, you should flaunt it, stand out from the crowd and definitely cause men and women alike to take notice. Getting noticed is half the battle.

It’s funny, because Patti Stanger is SO adamant that her male clientele are requesting women with straight, flat-ironed hair. I think her approach and opinions on this topic, are as dated as her own stick-straight style.

We have an “ask and you shall receive” policy at OnSpeedDating. If enough people request a speed dating NYC “theme” then we’ll make it happen. I have yet to have a man request an event themed around women with straight hair, but I did receive MANY requests for what we are now calling are “Curls Gone Wild” speed dating event for curly girls and the men who LOVE them.

dating

Life is too short to be a "closeted" curly girl, forever married to the notion of the mandatory “first-date”, flat-ironed blow-out. Super-straight hair is contrived, conservative and Stepford wife-esque. It’s very “The Rules.” Stop conforming. A good, strong man doesn’t want to date a woman who follows the rules. He wants a woman who breaks the rules and/or makes her own. Women who embrace their curls are seen as care-free, confident and comfortable with who they are, which is the ultimate sexy to men.

Here’s my advice. Spend that hour you would normally take to blow out your hair to get in a work-out at the gym. Guarantee it will be time better spent in your pursuit of being your best, most confident you, which goes hand in hand with finally meeting “the one”.


I thought I would share my tips and techniques for turning up the heat and "melting" the ice on a first date.

Cut To The Chase

As a single New Yorker, life is too short for there to be taboo "first-date" subjects. I say put it all out there so as not to waste time. You want passion in your relationship? Talk about topics of substance. Politics, religion, sexual preferences, everything you were always told NOT to talk about on a first date are the conversations which will really enable you to see if you're going to be compatible with and potentially connect with a person in the long run. Why wait till the third or fourth date to find out that you don't see eye to eye on major, "deal-breaker" topics?

Date

Don't be afraid to share something about yourself.

Share Dating "War Stories"

On a first date, you don't necessarily want to dive into your recent divorce or how your college sweetheart broke your heart, now causing you to seek professional help. However, relating on a "single in the city" level is definitely a good thing. If you two met online, ask what his or her worst online date was. I'm sure you have had your share as well. This will be an entertaining topic that you both will be able to relate to. It will also provide major insight into your date, empowering you with the knowledge not to make the same "bad date" mistakes. For example she shares with you how the guy she went out with was such a horrible tipper that the owner of the restaurant came over and made a scene. Perhaps with this knowledge you'll go ahead and leave 20% to make a good impression rather than the standard 15%.

Be Bold

Technology and the Internet have empowered singles to date 24/7. How do you stand out and become more than just another first- and last-date statistic? Rather than sticking to the basic, run-of-the-mill "where are you from," "what do you do," "where do you live" line of questioning that the majority of first dates entail, mix it up. Find out his/her celebrity crush, if they could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of their life what would it be, what would they or wouldn't they do for a million dollars? This line of questioning is open-ended, fun, flirty and most importantly will allow you to gain more depth and understanding of your date.

Play Games

If your date is a big movie buff, or geography guru, rather than just talking about the subject, turn it into a game. For example, "Do you like movies?" Have you ever played the movie game?" Pick an actor/actress and go back and forth naming their movies until one of you can't come up with one. Whoever lasts the longest wins and gets a massage or have the loser pick up the next round of drinks. A little competition is healthy for a relationship, especially a new one. It will help you gauge how smart, creative, competitive, collaborative and most importantly, what type of winner/loser your date is. It also creates the good type of "sexual tension" that will secure you a second date.


New York

New York, the city with everything, but a dating scene, it seems.

After ten years of living in NYC I’ve come to realize it is in fact “The City With Everything” where you can have anything at any time…everything that is, excluding a committed relationship. Those are few and far between in my city...definitely not like Starbucks or Ray’s Pizza.

I think the biggest challenge is that no one moves to NYC with the intention of settling down and meeting “the one.” People move to the city to focus on their careers, to work and play hard while having as much fun as possible in the process.

After ten years of living here, I’d sum up the NYC dating scene as a seemingly never-ending string of disappointing first and last dates.

WAY more women than men and that’s before you even factor in how many of those single men are gay, vertically challenged and/or unemployed.

Also unique to dating in NYC vs. other cities is that there is a large portion of singles that are still living at home or with multiple roommates despite being in their 30’s and 40’s.

Cell phones, the Internet and what is now a multi-billion dollar dating industry have contributed to a major lack of commitment and exclusivity due to everyone’s sole commitment being to find the “next best thing”.

I’ll never forget my first singles event in the city. It was a speed dating event for singles 28-35. I’m 5’10 and don’t date guys under 6’0”. I literally walked into a sea of small, unattractive, socially awkward men. As I towered over everyone I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow, everything is BIGGER in Texas’.

The first “date” I sat down with, for what may end up being the most painful 8 minutes of my life looked up at me (he was probably like 5’3 standing) and said, “I know you, you’re on Match.Com, I emailed you 5 times and you wouldn’t give me the time of day. I paid my $40—now you have to talk to me”.

This speed dating event was what inspired the creation of my own dating service. I thought the concept of speed dating was great in the sense that it increased the odds that you would hit it off with someone; however, I still wasn’t meeting the guys I wanted to meet. That’s when it hit me…speed dating had the quantity aspect covered. If I could just find a way to incorporate the “quality” portion I could offer something the other services weren’t.

We introduced OnSpeedDating to the NYC market in 2008. Our point of difference? “Themed” events based on singles dating “deal-breakers” and 3-minute dates. Chemistry is unpredictable. What we do know is it’s usually instant, and it’s either there or it’s not. After my experience with speed dating, I figured it’s better to leave people wanting more than wanting to slit their wrists—making 3-minute dates ideal.

Think about it. Are you more likely to hit it off with someone because they fall within a 28-35 age range, or because they meet your height requirement, enjoy the same past times/hobbies as you and perhaps even share your same political views? We all have relationship “deal-breakers”, and that does not make us shallow. It just makes us singles that know what we want and I always say ‘knowing is half the battle’.

New York

Wouldn't you feel better if you knew one of them were always by your side?

Initially we started hosting events somewhat selfishly themed around what we were “into” and looking for. For me, tall men at our “Size Matters” speed dating event for men 6’1+ where we do in fact measure to ensure men aren’t rounding up from 5’10 1/2, “Rescue Me” night for sexy, single firemen, “Date A Democrat”, and seeing as how I’m “into” the audio as much as the visual, “Men With Accents Are Hot”. For my single at the time business partner, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “Hot For Teacher”, and of course “Stacked” for the breast-of-intentioned men.

Two years later we now offer over 70+ themed events including a new “Curls Gone Wild” night. Finally speed dating with a real "twist." For wild, romantic, free-spirited curly haired women and the men who LOVE them.

Would love to hear what the dating scene is like in your city. What your absolute relationship “deal-breakers” are and what, if any additional events you think we may be missing. Check out all of our upcoming speed dating NYC events and let me know what you think.



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