Editor's note: He's single and ready to mingle—and report his findings to you.Also: He's been waiting seven years for this job.
Confession: I have wanted to beJakefor a long time.So long,in fact,that I've auditioned to be Jake before.(Yes,there's an extensive audition process for this job;Glamourtakes its love advice seriously.) The last time I applied for the position,I meant well—but I was a 25-year-old whose idea of a date wastextinga girl to come watch a movie and "hang out," and,"Oh,there's a bodega right downstairs if you want to pick up a six-pack on the way!PS: We'll be hanging out' on a bed without an actual frame." I am embarrassed to tell you that in my sample column I described my ideal date as "one where you drink a lot."
Obviously,I did not get the job.
Flash-forward seven years and a few things have changed.I live in Los Angeles,not New York;I know to buy my own beer (though I still don't know anything about wine);I'm a grown-up.I hold a solid job that makes even my parents proud.I've given speeches at four of my friends' weddings and embarrassed myself only once.
On the relationship front,things have improved too.I've started going on dates during which people actually eat food at tables,served by waiters,or occasionally served by me (I cook now,if you count a kale salad as "cooking").I've been in love three times andhad my heart brokena few more.(The worst: I once drove 500 miles to Sedona,Arizona,to surprise someone I'd brief ly met;she was not excited about the gesture.) I've dated girls I really liked who weren't that into me,and girls who really liked me but whom I wasn't into.But I haven't been in a situation yet in which both parties like each other a lot,equally,and for the long haul.
Why?I'll be frank: Dating in 2015 can be a smartphone-induced nightmare,and I get as distracted by all the noise as everyone else.Amid all the fretting and stressing over how long I should wait to send a text or why she liked one photo on Instagram but not another,I've realized that it's easy to lose sight of the things that make a relationship real: affection and mutual respect.In moments of weakness I value the emoji and swipes more than the person.And it's hard to fall in love that way.
So I'm still a work in progress.But I am making progress.Some recent hard-earned lessons from my dating life:
Honesty always works,even if s/he'll be super pissed at you in the short term.I learned this one the hard way when a girlfriend caught me on a dating app.Truthfully,I'd signed up one day when I was just bored and passing the time,but instead of saying so,I blamed my profile on a "technical glitch." She was not impressed with that dumb lie.
Giving relationships a second chance never seems to work.I once broke up with a girl because I didn't find her funny.We got back together and then broke up shortly thereafter because— shocker—I still didn't find her funny.I feel bad about that one.
If you go out with someone once and you don't feel a spark,ghosting is acceptable.More than twice,though,and a polite,succinct reason for why you're not feeling it is preferred.