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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday
Jul022014

#OnlineDating: The 10 personality types of men found #Tinder

Tinder has been in the news a lot lately. From Sochi athlethes declaring their on and off court "game" using the social dating site, to less fortunate press surrounding a harassment lawsuit between two of the founders. 

For those who are unaware, Tinder is a dating app that allows you to "swipe" left or right indicating interest in someone. Remember the arduous days of OKC (OkCupid) and having to devote hours to setting up your profile? Well, Tinder is your cheat sheet. It populates your photos, mutual friends, and interests through Facebook connect. Another added bonus of the app is its GPS capabilities. Each profile is populated with the user's last login, and how many miles away they are from you. (Even being an avid Foursquare user for years, I'd be lying if I said that part didn't freak me out.) 

With great trepidation, I have been actively on Tinder for the last two months. My personal experiences exempt, I can say there are very clear patterns of the type of gentleman (I use that term loosely, but respectfully) that I have come across.

They are as follows: 

1) That one guy ... who still thinks its a 1998 yahoo chatroom: 

  

2) That one guy ... who is obsessed with 2 Live Crew and enjoys sharing their lyical wisdom: 

 

3) That one guy ... who is very eager to tell you his schedule. 

 

4) That one guy ... who takes what you say literally. 


5) That one guy ... who leads with his "humble" card. 


6) That one guy ... who you want to stay at least 300 yards away from. 


7) That one guy ... who keeps messaging and messaging and messaging. 

 

... there are a lot of those guys ... much like they warn you in the zoo, do not feed the animals. 

 

8) That one guy ... who is surprised he actually has a match. 


9) That one guy ... who doesn't share the same sense of humor that you do. 

Even weirder. 

10) That one guy ... who is genuinely nice, but you feel like you need a shower and a confession after spending so much time on Tinder. 


Tinder provides yet another outlet for singles to connect both online, and off. While I am a fan of "putting yourself out there" by whatever means necessary, why not start with aligning your recreational activities with the type of character you seek in a mate? If you're athletic, why not join a kick ball/ sports league? Religious? Why not start volunteering at a local church? While I can't discredit my own experience with online dating, I can say that it hurts my heart to feel the lack of actual interaction had between two people, vs the beauty of two people just sharing a common interest and bonding over it.

When I begrudgingly got on Tinder, I didn't even know if I could swipe "no" to someone. What if they were just a digital n00b, and didn't set up their profile properly? Would that be a deal breaker for me?

I currently view online dating like I do slot machines -for entertainment purposes only. There's lots of shiny things, loud noises, but you never know, one try could be the one that hits the jackpot. 

#kthxbye

 

Monday
Jun162014

#Fact: I may be a woman, but I don't have to roar 

I watched the Other Woman with my parents yesterday. (Talk about being secure in your manhood on Father’s Day going to see a movie like that with your daughter and wife.) In the past, like most women, I would have enjoyed the 90 minute escape into a feminine cliche - but to be honest, it made my heart hurt. Not because of the plot, or the acting (Leslie Mann is positively divine), but for the projected fantasy that we all (culturally) absorb as reality. 

I take my part in responsibility as a writer and working in media in general, but I can also admit to myself, and to my own reality that it’s (pardon the blunt terminology, but sometimes there is just no better way to say it) bull shit. 

I stared at these beautiful women on the screen (the cast consists of Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, and Leslie Mann) and as lines like “together we are the perfect woman. What more could he want?” poured from their mouth I just face palmed my own life and simultaneously wanted to enter the screen and smack common sense into each of the characters. (I do not condone violence of any kind, but I’m going to assume that I don’t have to say that.) 

I have spent exactly one year now on an island with a four digit population. Coming from a decade living in a 7 digit population to say it was shocking is a gross understatement. I left LA for a relationship, and genuinely believed that in life up until that point I had "it together." Life was like Lionel Richie on a Sunday morning ... 

 

... I had a gorgeous man that I loved, and a website that I was proud to have built.

Love life? Check. 

Career? Check. 

Within a matter of days the house of cards called a life I had built started to fall one by one. I thought I was so hard-core because I was without a home for a year, but there were no brown recluses, lizards, sharks, or snakes. I couldn’t even put a shrimp on a fishing line, or put my head in the ocean without shaking from head to toe. When I slept in the car, I slept in Venice. Have you seen Venice, CA? It’s pretty awesome. While I was genuinely stupid for putting myself in harms way so many times, my accommodations were more than satisfactory by anyone’s standards.


Within months of my arrival, I found myself without a boyfriend, a website I didn’t know what to do with now that morally things had shifted, and quickly fell into a deep depression. To say this four digit population kicked my @ss is an understatement. 

Break ups really suck, but one thing I was determined to do was not give up. I knew in my heart I needed to stay where I was, (which I thought initially was insane, I’m not going to lie) and for the first time I had to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. I was presented with a freedom of no labels, and it scared the daylights out of me.

When I had first moved, I purposefully wouldn’t say my full name (knowing people would want to add you on Facebook). I always introduced myself as “so and so’s girlfriend” or “Jennifer.” I didn’t have anything to hide, but out of respect for him, it took away having his friends read about my past escapades. I was now without the label of girlfriend, and now without the persona I had built. I've consciously never felt so vulnerable in my entire life. I cried for days, weeks, (and I’m not ashamed to admit) a few months. My neighbor used to ask me if I was okay, and I would always take a moment to pause wondering if he had heard me listen to “Nobody wants to be lonely” on repeat. (I sincerely wish I was kidding.) Never trust someone you share a wall with - they know everything. 

All that I knew in my heart from every other time I had been this depressed was that everything was one foot in front of the other, and that I needed to get out of my head as much as possible. My only friend at that time, volunteered at the local church once a week, so we quickly turned it into a routine. 

I never told a soul what I did, or even my full name. Not that anyone anywhere would have even cared, but I just did whatever needed to get done and helped out however I could with two working arms and legs. I didn't need to tell stories, and I didn't need to be the loudest person in the room. I. Just. Shut. Up. and did what I was told, or saw needed to get done.

I then got back to the gym (for socialization and sanity), and within a few months I was stopped by a gentleman after class. I've been asking around town about you, he started, while mentally at that point I had cut him off wondering who even knew who I was? (And to get all philosophical, did I even know?!? I'm so confused?!!!) I was happy to hear he was very complimentary, but it all caught me by surprise. I'm not doing anything here, I thought. I don't understand how people can know so much. (That's the thing about small towns, you can't help but bump into people everywhere. Even if you don't see them, if you know someone's car - you're genuinely going to see them driving on the one road in and out of town. It's not rocket science.) 

Somewhere between there and here, things have started to come into focus. I don't know exactly where the shift occurred, nor can I speak of my progress - but one thing I am filled with is gratitude (genuinely). I realized that while my experiences are there, I am not them, they are merely gifts.

Those gifts allowed empathy.

Through empathy came the beauty of compassion. 

Through compassion, my heart has opened up even more to recognize my own worth and value - which in turn has become a valuable commodity to gentlemen. (Remember my point in this long winded story? Yeah, it was about women longing for a guy.) 

I've wanted to be with someone for so long, but until I was able to (at least I think) experience a shift - I couldn't ever be in a sustainable, healthy relationship.

<tangent> I say all of this very humbly, btw, documenting anything in real time completely freaks me out now, but I know in my heart this is a message that I need to deliver. I am just the messenger. </tangent> 

It is the quiet confidence that you don't need to speak of, and you might not even be aware that you have it - but people see it, and immediately respect you. Life becomes less of a "fighting battle" and more of a surrender. The irony is, in the surrendering process I couldn't feel less vulnerable.

There is never going to be a Mr. Big, Romeo, or Maverick to ride off with in the distance. There is only going to be a woman who has a choice to speak with grace, carry herself with dignity, and smile on the inside knowing that her greatest secrets are kept close to her heart until they are whispered with a side of monogamy. 

I was seeking archetypes in media to create my own reality, which is a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I kept searching and searching, and while I had my share of pricks - it was more time and energy than it was worth. I am a woman, and I don't have to roar - just being is enough. 

#kthxbye

Friday
May302014

#Dating: 103 dates in 9 months meets @OneHundredDates

I got an email the other week from a gentleman that I went out on a "date" with a few years back. (I use that term loosely but explain why a bit further down.) It is with a heavy heart that I share this. I'm not embarassed by it, but facing the reality of the way I have been living my life hasn't been easy.

Click here to read the "Video Chat Date" on 100Dates.com by Evan Barden

First off, thanks Evan for writing that, and thanks so much for your email. For one, it was cool getting to go back two years in time and remember everything Evan mentioned. That whole self-reflection thing while still in that same frame of reference (at least in my experience) was complete BS. You can’t learn what your lesson is until you know whatever it is you’ve signed up for.

Life just keeps moving - keeps happening to us. You can’t tell it to pause while you reflect and write a post. It’s varying degrees of, pardon my French, (which I said to my mother this morning, why do we always have to blame the French?) a shit show. 

<tangent> Forgive me if this is incorrect, Evan, but I believe we met somewhere in Boston back filming for Vidblogger Nation? Then, you were telling me about your journey with the improv troupe, and how you wanted to launch this site. (Which congrats on doing so, btw!)

I can still remember details/ stories of just about everyone I have met while launching this site. I don’t know if that’s creepy on my end, or if I was truly that lonely and held onto the memories as if they were something more. (Not in a manner to discredit, I’ve absolutely had the time of my life - but as far as what I had said I was seeking, it all lacked fulfillment.)  Jury is out. Back to session ... </tangent> 

Two, it was nice to see how certain aspects have changed. You’re never too busy to take time and speak to someone. In my mind, I had allocated x amount, and boom - it was over. My concept/ value of time spent with company was as shallow as my mentality. 

I apologize to you for that hour, Evan. 

Not to say that I could have been anything different, but as a lack of commitment on my part to what I had acknowledged our time as being - a date. 

I don’t just jump into things like I used to - I take a moment and assess what exactly is happening, but then most importantly, myself. Am I the absolutely 100% the best candidate? Can I recommend anyone else - someone better suited? What are the needs and how much can I commit? How much is required, and I can honor that?

I was asked to take on a leadership role this week, and I’m not kidding you when I say I freaked thinking, there has to be someone better. Am I doing this for all the right reasons? I called the woman who had been in the position for the last 10 years the next day and said to her, if you believe I am the right person then I have to trust that. She started laughing saying she had prayed and it was a “call" (no pun intended). All I had to do was answer the phone, listen, hang up, and do the job. I loved that. 

At the end of the day the internet provides an outlet into a virtual reality that is yours to create. You can say, or be whoever you want, (although social media does provide a degree of credibility) but at the end of the day you have to look in the mirror, or Facetime/ Skype and be happy with what you see. Very concrete, very simple.

In my experience learning to like what I saw in the mirror meant not only facing the reality of everything I was doing, but also forgiving myself, and instead of dwelling on it, take action, and decide for myself that I wanted to make a change. How could I possibly date or even be in a relationship until I started to deal with these things? 

Honor your commitment, honor your words, and honor your relationships. 

Life now is less appointment based and more Buster Brown (my dog). I spend my days not thinking but knowing that he is smarter than me, and not thinking but knowing that he is stronger than me. I tell myself I win most days when truly he is the one that lets me win. 

Thanks for this smile Evan, and keep on sharing that big heart of yours. xx 
Wednesday
May282014

#NowPlaying: Imagine Dragons - On Top Of The World 

I just had a beautiful moment. I don't know how else to describe it but other than the acknowledgement of something moving "through you." I've heard this song countless times, but I can't ever recall a time where instinctively I was told to sit and listen.

In the process of writing, I just stopped, and looked up the lyrics (which I had yet to do, but normally do when I like a song)

My heart feels like it's singing - it's so light.

(All of this sounds totally wonky, btw, but I'm going with it and also instinctively know I need to share this, and it's not my job to censor.)  

Enjoy!! My work here is done. 

If you love somebody
Better tell them while they’re here ’cause
They just may run away from you

You’ll never know quite when, well
Then again it just depends on
How long of time is left for you

I’ve had the highest mountains
I’ve had the deepest rivers
You can have it all but life keeps moving

I take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

I take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

Oooooooo... OoooAhhhhhOoooAhhhhh[2x]

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down
And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground
Get up now, get up, get up now.

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down
And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground
Get up now, get up, get up now.

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

Also, in other news, on the internet these two things happened today: 

#nerdsunite

Tuesday
May272014

#YesAllWomen: A male's perspective 

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @Saintpepsi

It's a little disheartening to think that any man can claim to know just what it's like to be a woman.

- To tell them to suck it up.

- To be more accepting of advances as they are really just compliments no matter how grotesque the pick up line might be.

- To assume that we have any measure by which to judge their experiences.

We are very different sexes.

In theory equality would be a fantastic ideal to achieve. In reality men will always be given a pass.

Rarely are we judged on our sexual actions, rarely do we fear walking home in the dark, rarely do we have to suffer cat calls and beratements based on our attire. Men as a whole sex have no idea what a girl goes through on a daily basis.  No matter what small inconvenience we may have suffered once. It is not something we have to live with everyday. We can’t wrap our heads around it, because it is not our reality. So we stay silent because we don’t know what to say. Some men will sympathize, but no man can empathize.  It would seem the only time men have something to say is when it comes to defending their honor. Because we are all honorable aren’t we. When women make broad sweeping statements about all men being some way. We react in hostility saying #NotallMen.

Even if you are blameless in your life for helping firmly establish misogyny. You are still reaping the benefits of that birthright you acquired between your legs. We as a sex have taken everything from women. Their right to choose their own medical plans, their right to walk without fear,the right to an opinion that goes against the commonly held beliefs, their last names, their trust and worst of all their faith in an equal society. Not only have men taken these things, they react in the most redundant way. Blaming either a period or assuming she’s just crazy. Because all women are crazy… Right!

If I had to walk in the shoes of a woman for a day I’d be insane too. A full attire for a man down to his underwear could cost less than 70 bucks 150 if you are dressing nice. For a girl double if not triple that. If I couldn’t leave the house without fear of being analyzed by every person I pass girl or guy based on how I looked I would be a little freaked out to leave my house. Just to meet standards given by an industry run by men. If I had to suffer strangers pushing through my personal bubble just to talk to me because they KNOW I must be so interesting only to win a number and high five some friends. A number I probably gave you so you would get the fuck away from me and I could go back to talking to my friends reminding myself to block or not answer any unknown numbers or people I saved in my phone as creepy guy 15. YES! 15 I have seen it in my friend’s phones. Not all Men are the problem, but you can be damn sure men are what keeps the inequality alive and well. I have had friends who were raped, sexually abused, and sexually taken advantage of even in relationships. Not a few. More than that. This entitlement that men feel they have to always get what they want is despicable. I have walked in those shoes before. I have wondered how could this woman not like me? I'm such a nice guy and other excuses for plain bad chemistry or even good chemistry. Where I am in total disbelief that she can’t see our friendship as more. Even if all she really wanted was a guy who saw her as a friend and not a sexual object. Seeing her with guys I assumed were douche bags. Why are they douche bags? She’s not with me and I want her. That’s why.  Why would I think these things? Why wouldn’t I wait and see if who I am matters more, than what I want.  It took me years to realize that I don't deserve any woman. They are not things to have or acquire like some sort of new toy. They are human beings pure and simple. They should be treated with the same respect given anyone.

I work part time as a bouncer and I can tell you the greatest difference between men and woman at the bar is how they enter. What are they looking for. While some girls desires may be sexual they are generally looking to be social, dance, experience life a bit with friends. Maybe even find a little romance. For men they come in as a predator right off the bat. Looking to satisfy an insatiable lust that needs something to devour. Even if they don’t come to the bars for that reason, the pressure to not leave alone compiles and by the end of the night you are making a drunken fool of yourself just to get a girls attention. Just remember to blame the alcohol.  Nightly I hear as I check ID’s, “So are there any hot girls here tonight.” With everyone’s standards of beauty so very different how am I to know what you are looking for. Even if they don’t ask me up front I will still see them walk in, look around, and then leave saying there aren’t any girls here. Not people they know, but strangers to prey. They come to get something and no matter how many times they strike out, they will fight on to find what they want. Men are the Mormons of the sexes. Knock on a enough doors and someone is bound to say yes.

Most of the girls that I see go home with random Joes do so out of sheer unwillingness to fight to stay or leave alone. It has become easier to accept a reality of misogyny than to fight back against it for fear of the tide of remarks that follow. Deny a man at the bar, you’re a bitch or a lesbian. Sometimes said to your face in an anger undeserved of a casual refusal. Other times said with in earshot so they can hear and know the mistake they made by not accepting this gentleman. I used air quotes when I said gentlemen. The problem will always be put at the feet of the woman. I actually had one girl tell me she gives guys a blow job just so they leave her house. Why does this work, how can we claim to be men if we don’t act like human beings. It’s not like girls don’t have a choice. Girls could get laid any night if they wanted to. Fact! Men are so driven to acquire that it’s far too easy to get a yes. Girls say no because they have been shamed into believing that if they allow their sexuality to show they will be called sluts by both sexes. Even the terminology is screwed up. Men who fuck around are players. All these arguments have been made time and time again. If I tell you a girl is a slut you would look at her differently, even if you don’t know her. If I told you a guy is a player even as a warning. There’s a cultural norm to almost praise him for his conquests.  

Look through the comments of any girls photos on facebook and witness them broken down into pieces of flesh. Cuts of meat with dollar signs attached to distinguish value. How can you fight against such a horrible reality, but to give in and assume this is the norm. That peer pressure and undaunted repetition will ultimately yield results. Knowing if it doesn’t, you will branded as a prude. It sickens me to see the anonymous nature of the internet breed more misogyny. With demeaning language thrown about to contort a woman into believing she is less than human, because she doesn’t meet an impossible standard. To sit in judgement of a woman for having not put on makeup for a trip to the grocery store. When Men are required to do nothing in prep for any event.  No you can’t say shave considering a girl has to shave half their body weekly. Heaven forbid a woman leaves the house without her mask. That’s really what it becomes though. A mask that all womankind must wear. Not because it is a choice they have been given, no it is requirement of society. Wear your makeup, and 4 layers of clothing on a hot summer day. to ward off the eyes of the unknown. So you don’t make it on some internet trolling site that snaps photo’s of girls to compare. Without permission or consent.  I have played the gentleman role, protector role, and guardian to girls just trying to make it home safe.  I have been there to hold my friend hands in fear. Hugged those taken advantage of.Through all this I will never know… truly know what it is like to be a girl. To be an object, not a person. Sadly, they will never know true peace. For a life lived in fear of the nonintellectual response by a group of unenlightened people is the assumed normal our society has to offer. I do not hate men, I hate what we have established and perpetuate.

#nerdsunite

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