Comments 14

Help Wanted

online dating 101

online dating 101First and foremost: a great big THANK YOU to everyone who rallied to my defense during Wednesday’s Soccer Mom PJs debacle.  Secondly, if you haven’t read TWD’s comment, you should—not just because it paints me in a rather positive light (heck, I started crying as I was reading it!) but because he’s never commented before and it’s the closest to “meeting” him that most of you will ever get.

Now, last but not least, I need your help.

(I know, I know.  I’m always whining or complaining or asking for recipes that require minimal effort and minimal ingredients but this time it’s fun, I promise!)

I’m putting the finishing touches on my PowerPoint for Online Dating 101, the free workshop I’ll be giving through the Free Library of Philadelphia starting next week, and I want to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything.


  1. If you were coming to a workshop on online dating, what would you want to know?
  2. If you’ve tried online dating, what have you found to be the most challenging or frustrating?
  3. If you haven’t tried online dating, why not?  (And don’t just say, “I’m married.”  Say something like, “I’m skeptical of online dating because I think it’s too expensive but I have come to this workshop to be enlightened and I would be oh-so-thankful if the next slide on your PowerPoint will address free and low-cost online dating services.)
  4. Finally, what do you think of my “manthropological” approach to dating?  Seriously.  I can take it.

I’ve put together some awesome swag bags for the workshops, including cute little notepads for attendees to record their “research” with stickers on the front that say “It’s not dating, it’s fieldwork.”  And even though I think this is the greatest concept ever, I’m sure I’ll have a few attendees who disagree with me.

So if you disagree as well, tell me.  Tell me now so I’ll be prepared for whatever next week’s workshop has to offer.

Thank you.

And on that note, have a great weekend, folks.

This entry was posted in: Uncategorized


Kat Richter is a freelance writer, tap dancer and teaching artist. She lives in Philadelphia and holds an MA in Dance Anthropology. Her work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun and numerous magazines including Skirt!, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Museum. She has also published several scholarly articles and writes a daily lifestyle blog called Fieldwork in Stilettos. Kat is co-founder of The Lady Hoofers, an all-female rhythm tap company. She teaches tap and creative movement throughout the greater Philadelphia region and is working on her first book, a tongue-in-cheek "manthropological" analysis of her 18-month online dating experiment.


  1. Oh please please please! tell me you’re going to use some graphs and such. I think a lot of the data you’ve collected along the way should be explained. It’s humorous and relevant.

    I would want to know that people are openly communicating and laughing about it on the web, so that I didn’t feel like the only person I know doing online dating (obviously I’m not). A lot of people where I work do it, but since I’ve been so open about the whole process, I’ve become the “go to” expert on such things (again, mostly just because I am not hiding it). I think reminding people that whether it’s church, the supermarket, a bar or online, meeting your potential soul mate is still the goal. The stigma with online dating is from people who would rather label and belittle than be positive and supportive.

    As for online dating as a whole: always ask for a second date (unless the first one is horrible). The second and follow-on dates to that let you know who someone is. Also, most of the time, a second date doesn’t work out (ie, somehow the other person gets “busy,” so it seems to be a good way to judge someone’s interest).

    As for online dating from a guy’s point of view: be ready for the onslaught of recently divorced, currently separated women. Be ready for tons of mothers and few single, available ladies. And lest anyone take offense, I think Kat can verify that I dated Ms. D with three kids and wanted things to progress, but alas, she didn’t. It’s just that an overwhelming number of women have already “progressed” to a certain point, and things didn’t work out; a great deal of those same women seem to be interested in continuing along as if nothing’s changed, just with their new Prince Charming. I hope I’m making sense. Still, you can find some great women online. Case in point: my current gf, Kat, and a few others I’ve blogged about are online and some are still there, looking.

    I think I’ve rambled enough :-)

  2. I think you should address the stigma that goes along with online dating still to this day. Everyone who has ever told me that they were involved in online dating has been ashamed to admit it even though I know tons of people with online dating profiles.
    Also, the majority of people I know who have been involved in online dating either go nuts with it and date a new person every week then fizzle out or never really used it at all. I would wonder if people on these sites are serious or just want to be wanted.

    • Yeah, I myself thought online dating was lame and I think most people do too… but then you get talking and find out they’ve tried it.

  3. No advice, but this anecdote may be entertaining. Jules and I met on Match.Com when I was 58 and he was 63. We married 7 months later and have been together 7 years now. imo, and experience, the most important thing in on line dating is to tell the truth! No exaggerations, no 5 year old photos.
    At our wedding reception we had posted our profiles and first few emails. My son’s comment was, “Wow. These must be the only two profiles on the whole system without a lie on them.”
    The other thing I did was post deal breakers – I said my perfect date had to have liberal politics, sleep in a cool room and wear a seat belt.
    So, that’s the point of view from the old people’s perspective. lol.

    • Landlord says

      OMG, Maia I love this!!!! One of these days when I make to Meeting again, we must go for lunch or something, there are so many things inquiring minds need to know…

      and yes, I agree w/the other poster about the stigma, I am from this generation of “Oh my, and even had heart palpitations when you first started putting your toe in the water in the UK and when another person who is near and dear, met her husband of one year on FB or I think it was My Space and they would tell folks they met doing some exotic thing like mountain climbing or hiking… and even though I know of successful couples that have gone on to marry, it wasn’t until YOU started doing it wholeheartedly that I became blase’ about it all and looked at it as the new way to connect.

      • Maia Simon says

        We don’t have to wait until you make it to meeting to get together.. We will be out of town from next week to early November, and we could make a date for the 4 of us to meet for dinner some place half way. We would love to see you!

        • Landlord says

          After the first week of Nov, we’ll make some plans, once things settle down here that is…

  4. Jerseyite Lurker says

    I’d like to propose an ethic for meeting up with people through the personals, and it goes something like this: Don’t go in with the attitude that an evening out with someone you’re not attracted to is a waste of time or a disaster that you must escape from.

    I once met up with a woman from the now-defunct Yahoo Personals, where the plan was dinner and a play, possible drinks after. Well, I could tell within the first two seconds that we weren’t a potential match, and so could she, but I was still perfectly contented to spend the next few hours socializing with her. We had dinner, we made conversation, but just as we were finishing up her cell phone rang, she was out in the restaurant’s vestibule for a few minutes, and then she was back with a story about how her cat was throwing up and her roommate wanted to take the cat to the vet. She elaborated at length on why she thought it would be better if she got home and took the cat in her own vehicle instead, consistent with a recent study that says people expend more verbiage when they’re lying.

    I could live with that, but someone I know told me about an even worse personals date. The woman was a bit heavy-set, not everybody’s physical type (though she’s happily married now), and on that occasion the guy met her at the restaurant, asked her what she’d like to drink, got up and walked toward the bar, and disappeared into the cold night air.

    So, if your online-dating workshop has a segment on ethics, you might suggest not treating the absence of attraction as translating into “Help, get me out of here,” but rather, just letting it be a friendly and platonic social evening out.

    • Maia Simon says

      This reminds me of a terrible first date I had when I got a phone call that my son had been hit by a car! The guy didn’t believe me, but I didn’t care, didn’t use excess verbiage, just got out of there to take care of my son.

      • Jerseyite Lurker says

        Oh God. I hope he came out all right. Your experience suggests another good rule for going out on a personals date: give the other person the benefit of the doubt if an emergency arises, because some emergencies are for real. (As a footnote, I kept my doubts about the cat story to myself and would have been open to getting together with “Catwoman” as prospective friends again, but of course in that instance I knew it wasn’t going to happen.)

        • Good point! I always figure if someone is nice enough to give me a few hours of their time, I can be nice enough not to run away if I don’t like them. Although there were definitely plenty of times I wanted to! But thanks for sharing your story– I can’t believe she went into such detail about a cat!

  5. Landlord says

    I agree with including an ethics portion, or just plain old courtesy. Obviously if someone is obnoxiously awful, you do what you have to do to leave, but can’t a simple, “I’m sorry I’m really not enjoying this,” suffice? You are not going to see them ever again anyway, so just be polite about it and end it. But then again, I’ve never done this kind of dating, so it may be tougher to be truthful and polite at the same time?

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