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This feels like a deeply insensitive thing to say, but… 2020 was a really good year for me, if only financially. I paid off a credit card that had been near-maxxed since 2017. I started my emergency fund. I made more charitable donations than I ever have before because I had wiggle room in my budget to make it work. In a time filled with uncertainty, instability, and dread, I felt like I finally found financial balance.

It’s not that I was bad with money before. I had always been fairly good at making budgets and always knew how much money was in my accounts at any given time. My credit cards were maxxed from covering emergencies and spending several years at the start of my career making barely more than minimum wage while trying to balance hefty student loan repayments. I was in a cycle of paying off a bit of debt, and then three months later being back where I started. I wasn’t shopping every day or partying, but I wasn’t being ramen-noodles and no-dates-out strict either. …


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My 2020 resolution was to take the year off from dating. I had been mostly disengaged all 2019, after 2 years of feeling disappointed and degraded by Tinder, Bumble, Match.com, The League, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and my own friends’ attempts to set me up. When previously I’d been going on 2–4 dates a month, I’d gone on less than 1 a month all year. The only results I had produced were stressing myself out. So, I quit.

And then the pandemic hit, and I was convinced that people would have to be more open to getting to know me if they couldn’t fuck me immediately. …


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I have been on a lot of first dates in the past three years. I stopped counting after 50, and most of them all kind of blur together. I don’t remember most of their names and I’m sure nearly all of them have forgotten that I exist. There are a few that turned into not-relationships that I remember fondly. When things fizzled out or someone else came along, there was no sadness or jealousy, just genuine well-wishes. There are a couple of guys that I went out with a few times only to discover a shocking disdain and/or disregard for others (including, but not aimed specifically at, me). …


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I used to not think of myself as being single by choice. If I had the option of meeting my life partner tomorrow or sometime next year, I’d pick tomorrow. I didn’t want to go on another disappointing first date, I didn’t want to have to feel like any part of my life was on hold because I was waiting for someone to do it with. Sure, there are a lot of perks of being single, but I’d trade them all in for the right person. …


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I don’t remember where I read the idea first- I think it was on a writing blog a few months ago. The writer mentioned a friend who had a goal of getting 100 rejections, and how it had opened so many doors for them. The friend had gotten writing residencies, and awards, and always seemed to be publishing something new. It was easy to see the appeal.

As someone who is often far too hard on herself, this one seemed achievable at first glance, while still difficult enough to feel accomplished at the end. I like the idea of being free to create without the burden of having to be good. I don’t have to actually get published. I don’t have to actually win anything. …


All the stereotypes are true. You could certainly never really be a true French woman- I mean, look at you! Still, you can try. Maybe you’ll even find a man that way.

Be secretive

No man likes a woman they can actually get to know and emotionally connect with in the first six months of dating. Be coy. Be interesting to the point of being completely impractical. Whatever you do, don’t let on to the fact that you’re a normal human woman with a normal human life. How very gauche (that’s French for the reason no one loves you).

Instead of having a real conversation, try something like…


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I’ve been trying to up my game, lately. I’ve been trying to do more, be more productive, find more communities of people that I can reach out to as support networks for my crazy pipe dreams. As another lockdown looms ahead of me where I live, I want to make the most of it. I‘m in a season of trying new things to see what sticks.

So, when one of the publications that I wanted to write for was hosting a personal branding/women in business digital conference, I thought it sounded like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. …


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Today, I read an article about how to date as a fat woman. I voraciously read dating advice on the internet because a) I am single, and b) I write articles like this telling you why other people’s dating advice is trash. Not only is most dating advice totally useless, it often encourages people to feel bad about themselves and treat other people poorly too. See: any Cosmo article from the 2000’s, or any pick up “artist” blog floating around. This was no exception, though it wasn’t nearly the worst that I’ve seen.

The article talked about how being skinny doesn’t guarantee a healthy relationship, and went into detail about how a friend of hers was fat and found someone. It then went on to give some helpful hints and tips about online dating like “don’t use a pic of yourself from 40 pounds ago” and “don’t sound illiterate and desperate” and “don’t date people who talk shit about you”. …


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I reconnected with a friend, recently. I’ve found that I’ve reconnected with a few people this year, a result of us all searching for human connection and reminiscing about fun we’ve had with others in the past. It had been almost five years since we’d talked, and it felt a bit like time travelling to remember who I was when we first met and what life was like. It was eerie and cringey and sweet all at once. A lot had changed and there was a lot for us both to catch up on.

One night, I was complaining about how boring dating during quarantine had been. I had such high hopes for an increased emotional intimacy while physical intimacy was impossible, but instead, I just found the same old shit. I then found myself explaining what “the same old shit” had been. This friend had not been there for the past three years of the catastrophe that had been my dating life. He had not heard, in real time, the many stories of disappointment, apathy, fear, anger, and loneliness. It is one thing to hear someone say that “I’ve been on a lot of first dates and it’s sucked”, and it’s another to hear each of those big and small stories one after the other and see the gradual transformation happening to a person that comes from a long and difficult experience. …


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I was going to say that if I see one more guy on a dating app say that he’s just looking for friends, I’m going to lose my shit, but — I’m ranting about it on the internet, so it looks like I already have. It’s too late. Save yourselves.

This phenomenon isn’t new, but in my three years of being single I haven’t seen it all that often. It’s the kind of thing that you roll your eyes at and move on, like you do with guys whose profile picture is of them holding a still-bleeding dead animal. However, in the past week, I’ve seen three profiles that make this grievous error in judgement. At first, it baffled me. …

Victoria M

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