Love Lessons From Dating Blogs

The web is rife with people chronicling their romantic lives…what can you learn from them? Tons—just check out these takeaway tips from top sites.

By Laura Schaefer

hese days, you can’t surf two feet on the Web without running into someone’s blog. And many of them, you may have found, chronicle in courageous detail people’s dating lives. Read a few, and you’ll find that their fresh, unedited input about matters of the heart isn’t just fascinating voyeuristically, but offers some pretty smart insights on how to find Mr./Ms. Right. Read on for the best of the bunch… you might just discover a new love guru to listen to on a regular basis!

What it is: This site, also called “No Sex And The City,” recounts the not-so-successful
Sometimes, a little femininity or manliness is just what’s needed to inject a jolt of electricity into a love connection.
dating exploits of four women in Washington, D.C. named NotCarrie, NotSamantha, NotMiranda, and NotCharlotte.

Sample posting: “I’m not saying that men shouldn’t treat women like equals. What I am saying is when are we going to let each other off the hook for acting like a girl and a boy? For doing the things that, for lack of a better word, come instinctively?”

Lesson learned: Celebrate what makes your sex unique
In this modern day, it’s easy to see “traditional” dating roles — men holding doors, women letting their dates pay for dinner — as something from the Dark Ages that should be avoided like the plague. But as these four gals can attest, the dating androgyny that’s been the rule of late isn’t exactly romantic, now is it? Sometimes, a little femininity or manliness is just what’s needed to inject a jolt of electricity into a love connection. So enjoy your differences!

What it is: Stephanie Klein, a divorced ex-New Yorker now living in Austin, captures her gritty, fast-paced dating days in the Big Apple with humor and heaps of self humiliation, which won her a huge following and resulted in the publishing of her memoir Straight Up and Dirty.

Sample Posting: “Men to Avoid. Period:
  1. The guy who believes a ‘meaningful conversation’ includes quoting The Simpsons, Ben Stiller flicks, and any trilogy.
  2. If the Ken in your life calls you ‘dude,’ or emails ‘whut up?’ send him Skipper’s way. He’s not ready for Barbie.
  3. [A guy who says] ‘Wait did I tell you this already?’ [which] is his code for ‘I’m dating a lot of other women.’
Lesson learned: Red flags are red flags for a reason
Sure, it’s good to have an open mind and not write someone off before you’ve finished one cup of coffee together. Still, if your date says or does something that sets off alarm bells in your head, silently take note rather than brush it aside. Sure, maybe that unease you felt over the way he treated the waitress or what he said about his ex was an isolated incident. Or, maybe your instincts are dead on—and it’s the tip of an iceberg you want to avoid.

What it is: Written by a spunky 26-year-old Southern gal, these posts are full of amusing nicknames for her array of characters (including On Paper and The BlackBerry), smart insights on dating, and plenty of pet peeves she suggests men avoid at all costs. For example…

Sample posting: “Pet Peeve No. 347549: Saying ‘So when are you going to let me take you out for dinner?’ or ‘Are you ever going to let me buy you a drink?’ when you’ve never asked me out. How about if you actually ask me out instead of flirting with me and then insinuating that I haven’t let you take me out yet? I have a job and a life and friends and plans this weekend. Seriously. Just ask me out.”

Lesson learned: The straightforward approach is best
Look—we know it’s hard to put your neck on the line and say, “Hey, I like you. Want to spend some time together?” But if you think you’re salvaging your pride by beating around the bush and sliding someone a half-hearted invite out, just know that your coyness won’t necessarily score you points. Just bite the bullet and ask. Your courage and honesty may actually win that person over.

What it is: On this blog — so named because its founder toyed with giving up dating for New Year’s — Ken Wheaton, a thirty-something New Yorker and writer at
Every new relationship needs quality time alone to bond.
Advertising Age magazine, gives advice on “how to do the least damage to yourself and others in your quest for Mr. or Ms. Right.” (Looks like someone’s once burned, twice shy!)

Sample posting: “I wish it were otherwise, but I’m a firm believer in the spark. I used to explain it to more rational, able-minded people that you could take six desks, say, and put a smart, beautiful and funny woman at each one, but there’d only be one that I’d feel that certain something, that instantaneous ‘Gee golly, I sure like her’ thing. And chances are she’d be the craziest coot in the room. Of the six choices, she’d be the worst one I could choose. But that’s a story for another day. The romantics, the idealists, the fools... we’re all big fans of the spark. Easy enough. No? You feel the spark. You go back for more. You don’t feel the spark, you should walk away. Really. It’s the humane thing to do.”

Lesson learned: Love isn’t logical—so go with your heart, not your head
Admit it: Most times, that certain something that makes you crave someone’s company cannot be forced or explained. So don’t! The next time you find yourself struggling to connect with someone who’s perfect on paper but leaves a lot to be desired in the chemistry department, cut your losses and move on. Or, if you find yourself inexorably drawn to someone who’s not your ideal date material, ask yourself: If this person were really that wrong for you, would things really feel so right?

What it is: Think Bridget Jones’ Diary meets San Francisco. Armed with a master’s degree and the desire to find the “perfect profession that will allow me to not work and make lots of money,” Datingirl’s love life is touchingly chaotic and will strike a chord with anyone who’s young and searching.

Sample posting: “Make sure you guys get to know one another on a personal level. But also make things lighter by introducing him into your group of friends or joining his. Have a beer or a martini, laugh, converse, pay attention to other people... there’s nothing like seeing the object of one’s affection handle themselves with dignity, independence, and humor around other people.”

Lesson learned: Dates need not always been one-on-one
Sure, every new relationship needs quality time alone to bond. But you can also get closer by mixing things up and surrounding your budding romance with your respective buddies. Trust us, watching your sweetie find his or her footing in the midst of your posse (or doing so yourself) will introduce you both to entirely new facets of each other’s personalities. Added bonus: You can get a better gauge of whether this person will fit into your life in the long-term sense.

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time.
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