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But First… Reflections On My Dates and Tinder-ing in PGH

Dating Advice

Michael Coghlan/ Flickr

Dating isn’t easy and unless I’m doing something wrong over here, it’s definitely not a series of serendipitous events that lead to a Mt. Washington marriage proposal and a wedding that features an epic cookie table. Nevertheless, what other activity exists where the success rate is so low, yet we still attempt to beat such dismal odds over and over again? Binge drinking and Pitt football are the only two things that come to mind at the moment… but I digress.

Despite the fact that I am single, I rarely go on dates. I’d love to attribute this to some inspirational independent woman mantra about how everything is more meaningful because I did it “My way! On my terms!” but the truth is just that I don’t go looking. Thus, I only end up on dates because some stars have managed to align against those aforementioned terrible odds.

Surprisingly (mostly to myself), I’ve made a relatively valiant attempt to go on more dates lately. To do this, I put myself out there and I even took the Tinder approach; without too much trouble or effort, I was able to line up a few dates. None of them were successful, which of course prompts reflection. So for the sake of us all, here are the highlights of what I learned (thank me later… I accept pineapples, vodka, or pineapple vodka as tokens of gratitude):

freestocks.org/ Flickr

freestocks.org/ Flickr

Just because someone doesn’t appear on the Megan’s Law list, doesn’t make them NOT sketchy.

Tinder profile pictures are very deceiving. If someone’s picture is in sunglasses (or is a portrait of a GOP presidential candidate naked), I’m 100% sure that they have something to hide. 

Be wary of the comedian. Not everything has to be a laugh. Not everyone needs to be part of the joke. 

If someone tells you that they have a knife in his/her pocket for your protection (after a few hours of being on the date), it’s a red flag. Undisclosed weaponry is an issue.

Telling your date that she “is out of your league” isn’t a great way to display confidence, and comes across as problematic.

When discussing mutual friends, it’s best not to insult anyone. For instance, my date insulted one of our mutual Facebook friends, who happens to be one of my favorite people in the entire world.

A first date is not the occasion to get as wasted as one would get at a Sigma Chi party circa 1999. 

Split the bill! 

So, I have to ask. Anyone want to go out with me?

Courtesy of Heidi Balas

Courtesy of Heidi Balas

Heidi Balas is LOCALpittsburgh's premiere relationship advice columnist who is bravely going where many have gone before and most will never go again. Join her as she meticulously documents the wild jungle that is Pittsbugh's dating scene.