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August 6, 2010

The trouble with Wayne

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:03 am

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Good friends from April 6, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve got a friend, Wayne. Wayne right now is kinda coasting through life — never left home, still working on that Bachelors for 12 years now. Unemployed. Anyway, we set him up for dates and it never works out. Wayne hangs out with one older woman, but he doesn’t want to date her because he thinks she’s too messed up! We’re Wayne’s best friends and we are concerned. How can we get Wayne socially ready for dating?

– Exasperated

Dear Exasperated,

BG thinks it’s kind of cute when she sees those personal ads (research!) that are like PLEASE DATE OUR EXCELLENT FRIEND WHO’S TOO SHY TO PLACE THIS AD. Fine. In your case, though, I gotta ask: Wayne may still be working on his Bachelors … but have you done all your research? As in, does Wayne want to date? If not, no amount of charm- or clue school will land him a Betty.

Also, are you trying to fix Wayne up, or fix Wayne? Look, I get that you’re genuinely concerned about a friend; I totally know what you’re talking about. But the way you speak about him — well, you’re not, as they say, coming from a very positive place. Write and tell me about how great he is; then we’ll talk.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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August 4, 2010

Check out who’s checking in!

Filed under: News, Treats, media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:53 am

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Ooh! “Singles for Foursquare builds a dating and messaging service on top of the location-sharing application. The result is a mashup that could match up hip iPhone-using, Foursquare-playing, same-bar-going early adopters.”

ProgrammableWeb also has this keen idea for version 2.0: “The concept could actually be expanded to connect users in a time-shifted manner. Rather than needing to be at the same place at the same time, Singles could recognize two of its users that frequent a particular restaurant and suggest they go at the same time. With dating sites based on even more tangential commonalities, it seems like a reasonable service to give to Foursquare users who tend to love their local businesses.” Plus, no LDRs.

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April 16, 2010

Does NYC dating suck? We do the math (AND the chemistry)

Filed under: News — posted by Kristine @ 5:21 pm

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Ah, springtime in the city. Birds are chirping, trees are blooming, squirrels are frolicking, and MATH is in the air? The Huffington Post’s “Why Dating in New York Sucks (With Mathematical Proof!) reminds me of another article in which a British economist employed Drake’s equation to figure out why he had no girlfriend. In the HuffPo iteration, Satoshi Kanazawa is presented with the question: “Is there mathematical proof that dating in New York is difficult?”

Kanazawa references a theorem proven by two dorks without dates (ahem…mathematicians in 1966). According to Kanazawa:

This applies to anything, dating, looking for a job candidate. If you have a pool of candidates that you haven’t seen and if your job is to pick the best candidate then it’s been mathematically proven that the best strategy to do is to reject the first 37% of the candidates regardless, so you just reject the first 37% of the candidates and then choose the next candidate that is better than all the candidates that you’ve seen before. So if you apply that to a dating situation that means that you have to reject the first 30% of all the people you date regardless and then you marry the one who is better than all the ones you’ve dated before.

Already, I am finding some holes in Kanazawa’s rationale. First off, if the mathematicians said your best strategy is to reject the first 37% of candidates when hiring someone for a job, then why would you reject only 30% of all the people you date? Isn’t a life partner supposed to be a little more important and hopefully permanent than your employee?

(more…)

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April 6, 2010

Spacebook status: single

Filed under: Comedy — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:55 am

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In the future…Allie pretty much has dated the last man on earth — and he broke her heart. Even as the biological clock ticks for her entire species, can Allie find love on DateAHuman.com? Tune into this camptastic A-Handmaid’s-Tale-meets-Earth-Girls-Are-Easy Web series (featuring FOBG Phil Lamarr) to find out!

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April 1, 2010

Schminner and a schmovie

Filed under: pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:30 am

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What if BG’s The Big To Do was an iPhone app? It’s a herd, it’s a plan … it’s Super Dates, a brand-new partly crowd-sourced activity-idea generator for social iButterflies like your bad self. Basically: “Super Dates puts more than 350 unique, high quality date ideas at your fingertips — a number that grows with each update. Ideas are rated and reviewed by users, with the best percolating to the top. Our recommendation system compares your ratings with those of other users to help you find the best ideas that match your interests and situation in life, whether single or married, young or old. All ideas are categorized, fully searchable by title and description, and available even when you don’t have a connection to the Internet.” Ideas include “Public Transit Dice Roll,” wherein you roll a die to decide how many stops you’re going to ride, and then get off and find a restaurant wherever you land. Of course, that would work only in certain cities, and even then could result in a triangular tuna sandwich box from a hospital vending machine, but you get the idea!

Meanwhile, a new website takes a similar activity-based approach (does this micro-trend mean that you guys have SO MANY DATES that you’re plum OUT OF IDEAS?): How About We has you start with the idea (”How about we…sip tea and slurp noodles?”), and then find a date who’s up for that. It’s like niche-based Internet dating, but without limiting yourself to one niche. For now, it’s still in beta, and New York only, but it costs only a bit more than an iPhone app (and its single employees pay, too!). Founded by two dudes who used to teach high school, How About We’s goal is to “put the date back in dating.” Love it.

Try them both out and let us know how they go! (”How about we … order Thai and read ALL of BG’s comic adventures?”)

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March 31, 2010

Everquesting love?

Filed under: pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:16 am

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This idea, as it turns out, is maybe not as good as it first sounds. (It sounds good enough, in fact, that apparently user demand has shut down the site for at least two days going.)

[GameCrush is] an entirely new interactive social gaming experience allowing gamers to meet, match and pay to play online games with other users (PlayDates). GameCrush is the only online service that allows gamers to choose a companion to spice up their favorite online games. Both Players and PlayDates define the experience they want- either “flirty” or “dirty”, choosing from some of the most popular console titles and casual web-based games.

On GameCrush, players can find their perfect PlayDate through browsing their profiles and chatting live with them. Players can then purchase a live one-on-one private gaming session, complete with two-way video and text chat.

OK, skipping over the “flirty or dirty” part — I mean, how many of us ignore red flags at the outset? — it seems kind of genius: meet and get specifically match-made, with someone with similar interests, while doing exactly the thing that in some cases, um, keeps you from getting matchmade! But, as Postbourgie.com notes, it’s not quite that innocent: “On GameCrush the Players are male and the PlayDates are female. There are about 1200 profiles registered thus far of women recruited using (you guessed it!) a Craigslist ad. They’re also paid. Each PlayDate keeps 60% of the cash she earns. Players can also rate their PlayDates:

After a session you can rate your PlayDate on her hotness, gaming skill, and flirtiness. The highest-rated girls will receive preferred placement on the site. GameCrush is assembling a team of its most highly regarded PlayDates called JaneCrush, which would be positioned similar to Ubisoft’s Fragdolls in that members of JaneCrush will generate content for the site like blogs and editorials.

Hooookay. now it’s starting to sound a bit more like GameGeisha. Postbourgie continues: “It seems like it has the potential to walk the line between being a relatively innocuous social service to something a bit more…distasteful…For the most part the PlayDates are just girls who want to play and get paid and guys who want to flirt with an attractive girl while enjoying a game. And as my blogmate R.A.B pointed out, if this had existed 10 years ago he would have been a much more happy and well-adjusted adolescent, so the benefits may outweigh the possible pitfalls. Even so, I can’t help but wonder when Rule 31 and Rule 34 are going to kick in and it all devolves into ‘Show me ur b00bs! </fap fap fap>’. Is everything all good or am I just being hypervigilant and seeing possibilities for sexism and general ickyness where there are none?”

Echoing one of Postbourgie’s commenters, I’d say, option C: Seeing possibilities for sexism and general ickyness…right where they are.

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March 30, 2010

Missed Connections on Chatroulette

Filed under: News — posted by Chris @ 10:59 am

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By now you’ve heard of Chatroulette, the Russian roulette of online chat? Turn on your webcam and you never know who you’re going to be speaking to; When the session is over you never know who you were just speaking with. Naturally, this kind of anonymity leads to chats with a lot of penises. Now, if you’re lucky you’ll get Merton. And if you’re really REALLY lucky maybe you’ll end up chatting with a cute guy or girl. But when that bullet fires (rarely!!), remember to get their information, because as we said, it’s anonymous.

That’s what happened to this girl. Please, if you know the guy in the below screenshot help these two reconnect! (via Ulresque)

chatroulettedreamgirl-1

And if you have your own Chatroulette missed connection, there’s a site for that!

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February 24, 2010

The geeky case for “older women”

Filed under: Psychology, pop culture — posted by Amy @ 6:32 pm

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What a rollercoaster of emotions we’re feeling at BG today. We found this blog entry via Wired from OK Cupid, noting a bias in their dating pool against women of a certain age (”a certain age” being a year or two older than you are, but whatever).

The good: It’s a veritable candy store of charts, graphs, a javascript widget (ooh! shiny!), and the like. Plus, the blogger, Christian, makes his case enthusiastically, circling the ages 30-45 and labeling it the “Zone of Greatness.” Plus, he’s done extensive research (statistical research, you naughty-minded harlots) to support the thesis that older women are more sexually willing, open-minded, and hotsy totsy. Sure, in an ideal world he’d be all “and they have the most beautiful minds!” but given that we’re talking about a dating site, we have to assume a certain meat-market mentality. And how!

Plus, that’s only part of his picture. And with phrases like this:

There are two operative stereotypes of older single women: the sad-sack (à la Bridget Jones) and the “cougar” (à la Samantha from Sex In The City) and both, like all stereotypes, are reductionist and stupid and I’ve tried to avoid them. I hesitated beginning my case for older women with something about their sexuality, like I did in Exhibit A, because that territory borders right on cougar country. But the evidence there was too compelling to ignore.

Christian reveals himself to be a FOBG in a BW (big way). We luuurve him.

Plus, the comments section speaks well of OK Cupid users.

So why the roller coaster? The original premise. Like the one bad review in a sea of raves, we keep mulling it over and wondering if all the blog posts in the world will knock any sense into unwilling minds. What do you think?

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February 8, 2010

Smart co-eds, foolish choices?

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:25 pm

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Thank goodness! FOBG Mary Beth Williams at Broadsheet explains this article from yesterday’s New York Times, which struck me as just so strange that even someone with a Breakup U. education couldn’t figure it out. Now, I wasn’t a math major, but all I could think was, I understand that 45 percent is less than 55 percent, but do still-nearly-half-male campuses really, REALLY, make all institutions of higher learning feel “women’s colleges”? And, more to the point, does this EMERGENCY!!!! man-shortage really drive smart co-eds to make foolish choices?

We think not. From Williams’s awesome fight song:

According to yet another of those scare tactics stories that makes my weekend coffee seem just a little more bitter, when women outnumber men in colleges, they’d better lower their uppity-ass standards, stat!

Take, for example, the heartache unfolding at the University of North Carolina. On yet another “tiresome” evening out, writer Alex Williams explains, the girls are forced to “slip on tight-fitting tops, hair sculpted, makeup just so, all for the benefit of one another,” because as one future spinster bemoans, “there are no guys.” “With a student body that is nearly 60 percent female,” it’s “just one of many large universities that at times feel eerily like women’s colleges.” And at the University of Vermont, where it’s 55 percent female, locals “sardonically refer to their college town, Burlington, as ‘Girlington.’” I’m sorry, I’m just a set of knockers who can’t do math, but a 45 percent male enrollment makes for a no-man’s land?

Sure, Williams throws us the bone that all this education “is hardly the worst news for women” (no, it’s your withering love box that’s the bad news). But all that fancy book learning comes with a price – “it is often the women who must assert themselves romantically or be left alone on Valentine’s Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box.” And that’s an inevitable tragedy that shouldn’t have to happen until you’re at least 35.

But no, women barely above drinking age are hooking up for desperate one-night stands.  “A lot of my friends will meet someone and go home for the night and just hope for the best the next morning,” explains one desperate little hussy. You read right, New York Times readers: College women! Having easy sex! Because they are lonely and sad. And if they’re lucky enough to land one of those precious boy thingies, they’d better be wiling to put up with his shit: Cheating is described as “a thing that girls let slide, because you have to.”

Well, what do they expect, really? This is what happens when a university is “obligated to admit the most qualified applicants, regardless of gender.” Paraphrasing W. Keith Campbell, a psychology professor at the unnaturally 57 percent female University of Georgia, the Times explains, “Women on gender-imbalanced campuses are paying a social price for success and, to a degree, are being victimized by men precisely because they have outperformed them.”

No, it’s OK. Go bust your ass on the SATs and take out loans you’ll be paying until well into your 40s, as long as you don’t mind paying the price and being victimized and all. Happy now, girls? HAPPY NOW? No you are not, that’s the answer. And “the loneliness can be made all the more bitter by the knowledge that it wasn’t always this way,” Williams writes, sadly citing a girl who tells of her roommate’s parents, who met (siiiiiiiigh) in college. Dammit, why did they have to ruin everything with stupid learning? Now they’ll never have babies!

But brace yourselves: Not all young women are looking for serious boyfriends. Psssst…. not all young women are into boys, period. (Note to the Times: it’s pronounced lez-be-in.) Never mind that drinking and hooking up and heartache and occasional insensitive behavior are part and parcel of the human experience. Never mind that the number of men in colleges is actually holding pretty steady. Nope, outnumbering the menfolk, even slightly, is a romantic death sentence. And if you can’t trust the people who helped sell us the Iraq war to get it right, who can you believe?

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February 4, 2010

Which picture’s worth a thousand dates?

Filed under: News, Psychology, media, pop culture — posted by Rose @ 2:58 pm

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The brainiacs over at OKCupid – a dating site incubated by a bunch of Harvard math geeks in ‘04; also where I met my music-nerd future-hub in ‘09 after being a member for all of a 48 hours — recently crunched a few numbers to analyze the effectiveness of users’ profile pics. (Effectiveness = how many contacts were received monthly.)

What they found, which they’ve published in a lengthy, graph-dense screed, blew them away: “In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.”

Specifically:

* It is not better to flash a pearly grin; instead, keep lips sealed and upturn your mouth corners coyly-yet-half-assedly. Females should do this while making “flirty eyes” at the lens; males should do this while gazing off-camera.

* By all means, do use a self-shot pic taken on a cell or webcam; what you forsake in high-pixel polish you’ll recoup with “an approachable, casual vibe that makes you feel already close to the subject.”

* Chicks especially can cash in big-time with the cell/webcam pic’s stylized subset: the  “MySpace shot,” which even OKC can only put into words as “taken by holding your camera above your head and being just so darn coy.” Like porn — which, c’mon, that’s what the MySpace shot is, right? First cousin to an American Apparel ad? — it’s hard to define a MySpace shot, but you know it when you see it. And when dudes see it, “the MySpace shot is the single most effective photo type for women,” annihilating the second most effective (in bed) by about 3-to-2. (And it’s not just because of the shot’s down-the-shirt angle, according to OKC’s stats.)

* Males fare better not wearing a shirt than wearing one… gah, hard to read much past this without short-circuiting my keyboard with the tears I weep for the future. The second half of the article talks about how old dogs (i.e., me, 35yo) should not learn these new tricks, as the backfire ratio swoops skyward the older you get.

AKA, OKCupid is not OK for “cougars.” Unless (and yes, I unfortunately do speak from experience here*) you do not mind being bombarded with IM requests from Fordham sophomores (and UPenn juniors and NJIT frosh…) to come see their dorm rooms tonight, because they’ve slept with tons of older women and they know just how to push your buttons and maybe they can show you how to use a webcam since when you were born phones actually had dial tones.

* Actually, it was pretty entertaining chatting with them.

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