Gena Kaufman, Glamour magazine
Have you ever had a friend gush to you about a new guy--"He's 35, a software developer, and he's really into biking"-- and you're like, "Wait, that sounds exactly like the guy I just went out with" and it's super awkward because it is the same guy? Yeah, yikes. That's a thing that happens.
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I've talked before about some differences in the New York dating scene versus the Midwestern scene, and now I've got a new one. I'm living in Columbus, Ohio now, and although it's far from my small hometown, it's not exactly comparable to the 8 million-plus people in New York. In addition to less people in general, it also seems to me that it's not quite as common for people to online date as it is in NYC (that's not an official statistic, just an observation. I could be wrong.) This makes for a smaller pool of fish. Um, fish for dating. Whatever, you know what I mean.
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Last night I had a few drinks with a friend of mine who is trying to get out on the dating scene like me. We both favor OKCupid, and it occurred to us that we should probably make sure we weren't dating the same people. We did a quick comparison on our phones and sure enough, we had several overlaps in our lists of potential suitors. It's not unexpected: we are about the same age, we live in the same area, and we even look vaguely alike, although she is totally cuter. (For the record, we also determined that while we are a 72% match for dating, we're only a 55% match as friends. Wait, what?) We cracked up as we scrolled through our lists of matches, but it is kind of strange to deal with!
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A few lighthearted rules if you're in a similar situation:
- Keep communication open. I'm not saying you have to keep a spreadsheet or anything creepy, but keep each other updated on your latest dates (which, don't you want to do that anyway?). You don't want to have a surprise "The Boy Is Mine" situation after you've both been seeing him for six weeks.
- Don't write off guys because of it. Remember, they don't know that you two are friends, and it's normal to send messages to several people when you're just getting to know each other. You can't blame a man for thinking you're both awesome.
- Do feel free to write off the guys that send you the exact same message. I've been clear on my feelings about generic messages before.
- Remember that one woman's trash is another's treasure. (Just an expression, not actually calling men trash. Unless he's the worst.) If one of you has already gone out with a guy, he's not necessarily off limits. Just make sure you talk about it, that they didn't go out more than once or twice, or that she didn't have feelings for him, and that it won't make her uncomfortable. In my opinion, no date is worth messing up a friendship.
- Give warnings (be be fair.) If you go out with a guy who was seemingly nice online, but turned out to be rude or offensive in a way you would never recommend to a friend, tell her his username so she doesn't make the same mistake. On the other hand, if you just didn't hit it off because you couldn't get past his obsessive love of sci-fi, don't be a jerk. She might be really into that type.
- Laugh about it. I mean really, you can't take this too seriously or get weirdly competitive. She's your friend, and dating is supposed to be fun.
Have you ever had this situation with a friend? How do you handle it? Any other tips I missed?