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Manic Monday: Avoiding Dating Disasters with Jenny Hansen

Due to this post from Roni Loren (thank you for the warning, Roni) I’ve decided to remove most photos. 

I’m excited to have the hilarious and supportive Jenny Hansen guest posting on the blog today. I was lucky enough to win the post during her blog contest last month, and I knew I had to get Jenny to talk about dating. Enjoy, and please leave Jenny some love in the comments!

Dear God…Can We Stop With
The Dating Disasters Already?

by Jenny Hansen

When I talked about starting my blog, every one of my single friends asked, “Are you going to talk about dating? It’s not like you aren’t a pro by now.” (OK, ouch.)

I really wavered on the subject.

On the one hand, my blogging mentor, Kristen Lamb, tells us to be positive (and dating today is “iffy” at best without a stellar plan). Plus, did they really have to remind me about how long I dated before I met my husband? Geesh.

On the other hand, Kristen shows bloggers how to connect with readers, and a discussion on dating is a sure-fire connecter.

The gals I know want some dating ANSWERS (actually they wanted ‘em yesterday!). If you’re single, I’ll bet you’re in the market for some answers too. If you’re married, it’s a safe bet you love to hear about being single.


I’m not just talking about the common sense tips our mothers gave us: don’t discuss politics, religion or your exes on those first few dates. Blah-blah-blah. (Snore.)

If you’ve reached the age of thirty and you don’t know these things yet, I recommend reading either of these articles: The Sun: The Top 10 Dating Dont’s or Oprah: The Millionaire Matchmaker’s Top 10 Things Not to Talk About on a First Date.

No, my friends want answers to questions like:

  1. Where do you find your soul mate?
  2. How do you manage this online dating thing?
  3. What do you do if someone calls you frigid on a first date?
  4. What to do if your unemployed father tries to barter dates with you for jobs.
  5. What is the DEAL with sexting?

Those are the questions today’s daters want to know the answers to. Let’s start with question #1:

Where Do You Find Your Soul Mate?

The best answer we’ve come up with is “stop looking.” Seriously, don’t hit me.  All the newly-marrieds I’ve talked to agree: QUIT that frantic searching. Stay put and take time to celebrate you.

Do things like:

  • Follow your passion – whether it’s for rock-climbing or decoupage.
  • Unpack some of that emotional baggage, whether it’s through roundtable discussions with your BFF or a really good therapist.
  • Get in shape so that you are happy with the way you look. I’m not talking about striving to be Jennifer Aniston – just get into better health and a sense of physical well-being, so your body can do the things you ask of it and you can accept a compliment.

It’s like the movie, Field of Dreams – corny but true. If you build yourself he/she will come. Put your energy into being the best “you” there is and your soul mate will home in on you like a beacon.  Love is not a fixer-upper. Soul mates love you and, best of all, they “get” you. The catch is that you’ve got to love yourself first in order for your one-and-only to find you.

Some of you are shaking your head and muttering, “Love, Schmove. I just want to meet someone nice and have a few freaking dates, OK?”

I understand. The search gets old; we get tired.

Perhaps you’re wondering whether I’m qualified to speak to you on this whole dating thing. I assure you that I screwed dating up in nearly every possible manner before I stopped looking and my husband found me.

My girlfriends can certainly vouch for my years of experience, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. Dating By Committee over at More Cowbell tells my story. We’ll see what you have to say about dating disasters then!


In the meantime, I hope you’ll share some of your funny, touching or unfortunate experiences in the comments. If they’re too good to pass up, Stacy and I will find a way to work them into a future blog.

Happy Monday!

About Jenny Hansen

Jenny fills her nights with humor: writing memoir, women’s fiction, chick lit, short stories (and chasing after the newly walking Baby Girl). By day, she provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s digging this sit down and write thing. When she’s not at her blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at jhansenwrites and at her group blog, Writers In The Storm.

40 comments on… “Manic Monday: Avoiding Dating Disasters with Jenny Hansen”

  1. In a way, I almost prefer the really BAD dates. Because then I can tell myself, “This will make a great story in a book, someday.” You know, the ones where the guy rambles on with every other sentence being about: 1) My mother, 2) My Ex, or 3) My five cats.

    it’s the ones where there’s nothing WRONG, exactly, but I just don’t like the guy’s body odor (not that he stinks, just that he doesn’t smell yummy to ME) or some small mannerism, and that swirls me into self-doubt. Am I being too picky, should I just keep dating the guy and try to get over it, whatever “it” is? Or would that be overruling my instincts and unfair to both of us?

    • LOL, that’s true. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a date (been with hubby since I was 19) that I love hearing these stories. No, I don’t think you’re being picky – you’re just not clicking with him. You shouldn’t settle, and I say always trust your instincts.:)


    • Beverly,

      In my (vast) experience, if a man’s smell doesn’t light you on fire right away, he ain’t the one. That so-not-your-yummy smell will distract you forever and you’ll find fault with something else. Sad, but true.

      That being said, I do think everything should be tried at least twice – once to say you don’t like it, and another to decide that no, that wasn’t a PMS Crazy-town moment…you REALLY don’t like it!

  2. I always had a hard time turning guys down when they asked me out and that’s a bad thing because I may have given false hope to one or two of them. Eek! Dating isn’t easy. I’m glad I’m married.

    • LOL, me too. I wouldn’t want to date today for anything. And I definitely led a few on in my time, simply because I was really naive.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • It’s never nice to say “O-kayyyyyy” when you really mean, “Hell no, but I don’t want to deal with conflict at the moment.”

      Guys are trained to the brass tacks/numbers game. It’s a favor to say, “I’m not feeling it, dude” so they can move on to new trolling areas.

      But I’m glad you’re married too, because it means you found “the one!” 🙂

  3. Stacy, thanks for the much needed Monday laughs today! I met my husband through a singles volunteer group – he was the 1st person I met on my 1st meeting. Now 12 years later, I am so glad to be out of the dating pool. I cant imagine how much harder it is today for people to find their match.

    • Thank Jenny:) Wow, that’s a really cool story. And me, too. I wouldn’t want to be out there, especially in the digital world, lol.

    • Hi Donna! That IS an awesome story. 🙂

      And that whole 1st person/1st meeting sounds much more romantic than the story I’ll get to tell my daughter which is: “Daddy danced up to Mommy in a bar. Yeah, he was kind of liquored up and couldn’t dance worth a damn but he was REALLY cute!”

  4. FANTASTIC advice Jenny (thanks for hosting her Stacy)!
    I, as well, have a long list of dating disasters…and one ex-husband behind me! And after years and years of being a dating MORON, I was lucky to be snatched up by my glorious hubby – who found ME when, and only after, I had FOUND and fallen in love with myself.
    No joke peeps – Jenny’s advice is dead on.
    Time and time again single friends tell me “I want what you and hubby have” to which I always answer “then you need to do the work I did to get ME to that point…” and then I launch into a long detailed rant of how to find and fall in love with yourself. Sadly, it’s a rare friend who actuallly TAKES said advice. They want him and they want him NOW and they don’t want to work for him….and so they continue in dating-moron land…sad…many a good ladies never seem to make it out….
    Honestly, Jenny’s tips on what to do with yourself aren’t that hard once you start focusing on you! I promise, you will not die of loneliness but will come to find a wonderfulness about it all!
    I would suggest on small notation on your advice:
    ■Unpack some of that emotional baggage, whether it’s through roundtable discussions with your BFF or a really good therapist.
    It’d be preferable if you found a good therapist. A BFF can only tell you something so many times with you NOT listening and taking said advice before we start to want to throttle you through the phone when you call with yet again, another shocking story of how he turned out to be a thieving douchebag! Seriously. Get. Therapy. Now! They are professionals. They went to school and know how to deal with this sh*t better than your BFF! 🙂
    Fantastic Monday and best of luck to the single ladies! 🙂

    • Natalie, great point about going to the professionals! No one hears advice until a) they’re ready for it, or (b) they have to pay money for it. At least that’s been my experience.

      Incidentally, my honey found me too. My picker has been found unreliable, to say the least. He likes to joke that when he met me “the bar was set so low, he just had to roll over it.”

      And that was AFTER I’d worked on being all that I could be. Yikes!

        Honestly, hubby and I joke about the SAME thing in relation to our EXs…both of us said we couldn’t mess it up – we morally couldn’t sink that far…LOL!!!
        Ahhhh…all that matters is that we’ve found love now! 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting and sharing, Natalie. I think unpacking the emotional baggage is a great tip. It can completely stagnate a relationship.

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  6. I think I can safely say that 99.9% of all of my dates have being dating disasters. I have been “not looking” in a very aggressive manner as a result.

    • Aw, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m very lucky to have been married for almost 13 years. Hopefully Jenny’s advice will help you!

    • Rena,

      I’m soooo sorry to hear that! These days, the pickins are pretty slim. I think online dating has made the men a tad lazy and that’s a big part of the issue.

      Rena, have you tried “not looking” in the Big Four spots: grocery store, gym, church and your friends’ circle of friends?

  7. Stacy,

    Thanks for hosting me today here at your gorgeous blog! Bring on the daters, because we’re gonna have a great time, eh? 🙂

      • You’re welcome, Stacy…it’s been a fun day.

        I always talk to my gal pals about the Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love and the chapter that’s called “All the men I love are either married, gay or dead.” I think, in the face of so many dating disasters, a lot of gals have just chosen to laugh about it (so they don’t cry).

    • Thanks for visiting, Raelyn! The problem with all these slim pickins is some gals (not you) are getting married to STOP dating. I haven’t discovered any solution to that trend yet, but it bums me out. I do love seeing the happy marriages like you and That Man.

  8. Last month, I celebrated twenty years of being out of the dating pool. However, Jenny’s bad date stories are a thing of legend.

    I actually have a piece of advice for finding your soulmate: Life and love ain’t like the movies. Nobody is going to be perfect (or really even that charming). You get out of it what you put into it.

    Thanks for the fun, ladies.

    • That’s so true. I think a lot of people – especially women – miss out because they have a misguided idea of the perfect love affair.

      Glad you enjoyed:)

    • LOL…Thanks, Catie! I agree that people don’t always think that Prince Charming is maybe a little too shallow and way too charming. I’m all about the nice, loving Beta males that so often get passed over for the bad boy Alphas.

  9. Uoh, I am SOOOO freaking happy I don’t have to deal with dating. Gah. I got married kinda late in life (I was a bit over 30) and I admit that I had my share of dating nightmares. There were good dates too, and a few good guys but for the most part I would NEVER want to be “on the market” again. Thank God for my husband. Phew.

    • Me, too. I seriously wouldn’t know what to do. Things are way different than when I dated. God, I sound like I’m ancient, lol.

      Thanks for stopping by:)

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