college friends, dating, friends, read it love it, Short Story Love, tales from the dating trenches

Elevators, Stairwells and Stalking: A short-lived love story by Helen

I received this in an email Friday afternoon from my dear friend Helen. I haven’t stopped laughing since, nor have I stopped thinking about her brilliant perspective on the topic. 


(Alternative title: Why I’m Single)


Even though this story has a disappointing ending, I take pride in what it says about the kind of girl I am. The following is a tale of perseverance in the face of adversity.


Ever since I started working at the Avenue*, I’ve noticed a guy who works on my floor. He looks quite ordinary actually, but has a kind face. Of course, I’ve had boyfriends, prospects and fuckboys crop up throughout the past four years, so I’d never taken my interest past a polite smile in the hallway. Having been single (as fuck) for nearly a year and a half now, however; I hatched a plan to satisfy my curiosity. I vowed to ask his name and then use this information to ascertain his relationship status.

One day, I chanced upon him in the elevator. After exchanging a few comments about the weather, I mustered up the courage to inquire further. His name was John*. We shook hands. Discovering his last name was easy because I knew where he worked and, like most professionals, he had a LinkedIn profile. He was an analyst, had a master’s degree and, based on his undergraduate graduation date, seemed to be 37 years old. What proved more difficult was the utter banality of his full name: John Smith. Neither Facebook nor Google yielded clues. I told myself to be patient.

Some time later, after lunch with colleagues, I stepped off the elevator and practically walked right into him. A colleague, Reba*, mentioned that he seemed to be interested in me. Emboldened by her encouragement, I decided to renew my efforts. Another colleague, Ericka*, contributed her online sleuthing skills to the task, but alas: no immediate answers to the question of his marital status. I decided to go about the task the old-fashioned way — looking for a wedding ring. I thought I’d seen a wedding ring in the past (remember that I’d had an eye on him for quite some time) but according to Bridget Jones’ Diary, one in three marriages now end in divorce. Plus, it was clear that he totally had a crush on me.

The restrooms on our floor had been under construction for almost a month, forcing us to use the restrooms one floor down. As a result, we’d all been wandering the hallways more than usual. On one such occasion, I swung open the stairwell door and there he was. Taken by surprise, I forgot all about the mission, but managed to blurt out: Hey! How’s it going? To which he responded: I’m good, how are you? To which I responded: I’m good! Immediately after this strained exchange, I remembered my mission and lamented the missed opportunity.

A week passed without running into him and, knowing the restrooms would only be under construction for so long, I decided I could not leave our next meeting to chance. I began drinking a healthy amount of water, which forced me to roam the hallways at least three times more than usual. Finally, I saw the back of his head disappear into the stairwell. I calculated the amount of time it would take him to walk back up and then I waited. As soon as he turned the corner, there I was. I scanned the hand — no ring! I made my small talk and went on my way. Thinking about it later, I realized that I’d looked at his mirror-image left hand, which is to say, I looked at his right hand. This is exactly the type of thing I would expect myself to do at this stage of such a critical mission.

Back to the Internet. I began googling his name with the few facts I knew about him. John Smith Commerce Bank*. John Smith Redbranch Los Angeles California. I learned his middle name. I learned where he lived. I learned his home phone number. I stumbled upon a wedding registry for John and Jane Smith from 2015. Now I began googling Jane Smith. That led me to Facebook. I looked at all the Jane or Jane Smith profiles associated with the correct village. And then I found what I did not want to find. She was indeed married to him. She had updated her profile picture only two months ago with an image of their wedding. The jig was up.

In the end, I discovered what I think always knew. He was unavailable. Shame on him for having a crush on me, though.


As I said, this story has a somewhat disappointing ending. But although I could not make John Smith love me, I must say that I’ve come to love myself even more. So dedicated am I to achieving excellence in everything I do that, if lack of chill were a sport, I’d make it to the Olympics no question. Does John Smith deserve a woman on that level? Does any man?

*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.


dating, poetry, read it love it

Three questions.

three questions | by Caitlyn Siehl

My mother tells me
that when I meet someone I like,
I have to ask them three questions:

1. what are you afraid of?
2. do you like dogs?
3. what do you do when it rains?

of those three, she says the first one is the most important.
“They gotta be scared of something, baby. Everybody is. If they aren’t afraid of anything, then they don’t believe in anything, either.”
I met you on a Sunday, right
after church.
one look and my heart fell into
my stomach like a trap door.
on our second date,
I asked you what you were afraid of.
“spiders, mostly. being alone. little children, like, the ones who just learned how to push a kid over on the playground. oh and space. holy shit, space.”
I asked you if you liked dogs.
“I have three.”
I asked you what you do when it rains.
“sleep, mostly. sometimes I sit at the window and watch the rain droplets race. I make a shelter out of plastic in my backyard for all the stray animals; leave them food and a place to sleep.”
he smiled like he knew.
like his mom told him the same
“how about you?”
I’m scared of everything.
of the hole in the o-zone layer,
of the lady next door who never
smiles at her dog,
and especially of all the secrets
the government must be breaking
it’s back trying to keep from us.
I love dogs so much, you have no idea.
I sleep when it rains.
I want to tell everyone I love them.
I want to find every stray animal and bring them home.
I want to wake up in your hair
and make you shitty coffee
and kiss your neck
and draw silly stick figures of us.
I never want to ask anyone else
these questions
ever again.
blog features, dating, dating around the world, features

Dating Around the World//Victoria, Australia

James H.

(Note: LROL is for Little Reminders of Love.) 

LROL: At what age do people typically begin to go on dates? 

James: Usually mid to late high school, I guess (so… 15-18), but it’s not uncommon to be a bit before or after that, either. That said, it’s a very different type of date then to the sort I’d go on nowadays.

LROL: Who asks whom on a date, normally?
James: The guy, of course! Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been ‘asked out’ a few times by girls previously, I suppose, but in a very informal, casual way. I think this is becoming more common (and props to those who do it!).

LROL: What is a typical first date like?

James: Back in high school it was usually together with other friends, maybe to the movies or swimming pool. Post-school, it’s more likely dinner or drinks, or even just a coffee at a cafe. I’m a big cafe fan, it’s much more relaxed!

LROL: What is culturally “expected” of you and your date?

James: Nothing in particular, just getting to know each other a bit better and sussing out whether you want to have another date.

LROL: Who decides what the date will be?

James: Generally whoever asks, but not always. Like, if the askee can’t make the proposed time, they might make a counter-suggestion.

LROL: Who pays?

James: More often than not the guy, but I’ve had girls jump in to pay for themselves before I had a chance to say otherwise. For dates further down the track, it’s more of a pay-for-yourself or take-turns kind of thing, which I like.
LROL: What are the post-date norms?
James: I had a discussion with my (female) housemate just the other day about the “3-day rule”… We both think it’s very silly. But everyone has differing opinions about who should do what, and I’m sure some still adhere to older rules like that. I think it depends on how the date went – how/when you get in contact says a lot about how you feel.

LROL: What would you change about the dating culture of where you live?

James: My city isn’t so big, which makes it a little awkward – everyone knows someone you know! Also I dislike it when things are too formal – not a ‘proper’ date fan, to be honest, but I usually can manage to avoid them.
LROL: What do you like about the dating culture of where you live?
JamesThere isn’t too much pressure on either party, which is nice. It’s often more of a “we’ll just see how this goes…” kind of thing.
LROL: What was your best date?
James: It was in Sweden, actually – we went out for lunch and enjoyed chatting so much that we ended up having afternoon tea and dinner together, too!
LROL: And your worst?

James: Probably the most ‘proper’ date I’ve been on, I got a bit dressed up to go out to dinner at a restaurant. I felt rather awkward, and she was nice but we just didn’t have very much in common.

LROL: Anything you’d like to add that I forgot to ask?
JamesI feel like I should add some sort of disclaimer. I really don’t have a lot of ‘dating’ experience (‘dating’ seems a little outdated to me… I see how it could be appealing, but I prefer things to be much less formal), and of course I can’t speak for the whole of my city, let alone country.

Thanks James! It’s great to see things  from the male perspective sometimes. I think it’s so funny that so many of us think the three-day rule is a bit bogus, yet we all follow it to some extent! ; ) 

Do you guys have any questions you’d like to have added to the interview? Feel free to leave your idea(s) in the comments. If you’d like to participate in this series, please submit your contact information here.

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Dating Around the World//United Kingdom (by way of Germany)

Britta H.
(by way of Germany)

(Note: LROL is for Little Reminders of Love.) 

LROL: At what age do people typically begin to go on dates? 

Britta: It varies. Some people go on their first dates when they’re around the age of 13 some a lot later, around the age of 17 or 18.

LROL: Who asks whom on a date, normally?
Britta: I think most girls would want to the boy to ask them but often they get too impatient and so they take the first step.

LROL: What is a typical first date like?

Britta: Many of my friends just went into town for ice cream or something, to keep it casual. I think what you do on your first date depends on how well you already know each other. But I guess the typical thing is to go to the cinema or for drinks. Often people do something in larger groups to just get to know each other and not have the pressure of a one-on-one date.

LROL: What is culturally “expected” of you and your date?

Britta: I think in Europe there are not as many “rules” when it comes to dates compared to the States. Most people just do what they feel like without being concerned what others might think.

LROL: Who decides what the date will be?

Britta: Both, I think. But I personally like it when the guy comes up with a nice plan for the date.

LROL: Who pays?

Britta: Some guys offer to pay on the first date, but quite often everyone pays for themselves or you take turns. I think it depends on what you do as well. If you go out for drinks it is cheaper compared to cinema admissions or a dinner.
LROL: What are the post-date norms?
Britta: There isn’t really a 3-day rule, but I think people try not to call too soon, to not give an over-eager impression. 

LROL: What would you change about the dating culture of where you live?

Britta: In Germany there isn’t really a dating culture like you know it from American movies (picking up the girl at her house, bringing flowers etc), which I think is a pity sometimes. There could be more chivalry if you ask me.
LROL: What do you like about the dating culture of where you live?
BrittaIt is quite casual and so dates are really relaxed usually.
LROL: What was your best date?
Britta: My first date. We went to a funfair. The guy turned out to be pretty boring but he paid for a carrousel ride, which I found really sweet at that time.
LROL: And your worst?

Britta: My date and I went to a mountain near our town. It was a beautiful scenery but we didn’t really got on. We were a bit far away from the town, so the date lasted quite long which was painful as there was a lot of awkward silence. As wouldn’t that have been enough he tried to kiss me a few times until I told him that he should please stop and stay away from me…

LROL: Anything you’d like to add that I forgot to ask?
BrittaNo 🙂

Thanks Britta! It’s good to know these things before I embark on my next European adventure. I feel like we’re a bit too high-strung about dating here in the States, maybe I’ll have better luck in Germany. ; )

Do you guys have any questions you’d like to have added to the interview? Feel free to leave your idea(s) in the comments. If you’d like to participate in this series, please submit your contact information here.

dating, dating around the world, features

Wanted: your insight. (Yes, you.)

I’m creating a series for this little blog called, you got it, “dating around the world.”
Do you want to help a sister out? (Needed: Men & Women!)
(Please include where you live and whether you are male or female in the message!)

Then I can get in touch with you for a (short) interview by email!  The questions won’t be too nosy, I promise– just a bit about the culture of dating where you live.

And for those of you I have already heard from, THANK YOU. I am getting a schedule together now & will be getting in touch with you again, soon!