Love Guaranteed: Dating Advice

Dean and I met online and are obviously big proponents of online dating. But just because we’re a success story shouldn’t justify us telling all our single friends to hit the interweb. Us getting together could have very well been luck or a random spark or a freak accident. But what is solid justification is the fact that so many of our friends meet their significant others the same way we did. I’d say less than half of our friends have found their partners online. A friend of mine who met her boyfriend on is just recently engaged. Can I get a Woot-Woot!

So for all the people out there who refuse to get online or think that it’s weird, well, let’s just say you deserve to be single and alone. The site doesn’t matter: eHarmony, Match, JDate, OkCupid, Craigslist, Grindr. Get on one or two. Like anything else in life, finding your soul mate is hard work. Don’t be jaded by people who easily find partners or who wax on about how it was ‘love at first sight.’ Those people will be divorced in 7 years. Relationships are hard work. Dating is hard work. Short cuts are a sign that the worst is yet to come.

Now about the process. If you are spending all your time thinking about this one date or this one person, you are failing. Dating is synonymous with interviewing. If you focus all your energy on one company and this one very important interview, well, welcome to the world of unemployment checks. What’s the sales mantra? ABC, Always Be Closing. I’m not in sales, so I’m not sure if that’s correct, but you get my gist. ABD, Always Be Dating. Until a guy brings you home to meet his mama, ABD! Until she says, “I’m totally into you and I’m wondering if we can be exclusive,” ABD! You cannot date enough. Fill your calendar with brunch dates, coffee dates, happy hour dates, movie dates.

Why is this important? Because when a date goes poorly, you won’t give a flying F. You’ve got another date tomorrow! Their loss, you’re moving on.

I’m not saying it’s not hard. Yes, you will feel rejected. Yes, you will feel bad. But the more you date, the more you recognize what you’re really looking for in a partner. Even the bad dates teach you something. When I was dating and whenever I had a miserable time, all I kept thinking about was how I couldn’t wait to go home and blog about it! Damn, wait ’til my readers hear about this.

A friend from business school was unbelievably dismissive when it came to rejection. He simply didn’t let it bother him. Couldn’t score a phone number? No big deal, onto the next girl! I was really amazed by his attitude. He’s, in fact, a very successful entrepreneur. Go figure!

Lastly, if all else fails when it comes to online dating, go to Burning Man. This is the 100% money back guaranteed part. People are incredibly open and warm at Burning Man. It’s utopia. Every year that I went to Burning Man when I was single, I always met someone who I went on to date for several months back here in the Bay Area. Granted, while there are a lot of local people who go to the Burn, people come from all over the world. The Canadians don’t have a problem meeting other Canadians. The Irish don’t have a problem meeting other Irish. I mean, take your geographical pick. They are at the event.

You know who else is at the event? Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page who recently extolled the culture of the Burning Man event. Can I get another Woot-Woot?

The Pregnant CEO

So much talk about the new Yahoo CEO getting the job and then immediately announcing her pregnancy. Personally, I don’t think it matters one bit. Yeah, I’m not a mom and I have no idea what it involves, but still…any woman who is given that kind of opportunity should take it. And why should she let being a mother stop her from realizing her career dreams? Kudos to Yahoo for recognizing that working mothers can be just as capable as working fathers! If a man were in contention for the CEO job and he (and his wife) were expecting a child, no one would blink. Yet soon-to-be mothers are expected to renounce their careers and stay at home to raise the baby. So sexist and wrong!

I was listening to NPR’s Forum debating this topic and was appalled by what people (especially women) had to say. Several women called in to say that a new mother can barely hold down any job outside the home, let alone a CEO position. Well speak for your average non-ambitious self. Don’t apply your lazy work ethic to the first female hired at Google! I’m looking forward to her proving all these naysayers wrong.

Someone else commented, “Why have a child if you can’t be a mother and spend time with your child?” Are you friggin kidding me? Can I virtually slap this person? So being a mother means staying at home and being with your kid 24/7? I’m sorry, but in this day and age, most women work. Yes, it may be by necessity, but it also gives women a purpose. A career = a purpose. My mother worked full-time while she was raising 2 kids. Did I feel neglected because my mother wasn’t a stay-at-home mom? Quite the opposite. In fact, I’m extremely proud of the fact that my mom had a career. My mom ran a tight ship, raised 2 kids well, contributed financially, and had a productive career. When I was having trouble in my accounting classes in grad school, who did I turn to? My mom! How many people can say that their parents helped them out during grad school!

The debate around an expectant CEO reminds me of the time when I was interviewing for a consultant position out of college with KPMG in San Jose. The last round of interviews was with the hiring manager and partner. She said she knew I was qualified, but kept wondering how I would commute from the East Bay all the way to San Jose. I wanted to scream, what does it matter? Hire me if I’m qualified and then let me figure out the logistics once I have the job. I could have certainly moved to San Jose or gotten an apartment there. In my mind, all that should matter were my qualifications. That’s exactly what’s going on with the Yahoo hire. They hired who was qualified and now she will have to figure out how to deal with the challenges.

Cmon people. It’s called LIFE.

Budget: Extreme Makeover

I’ve been crunching numbers non-stop lately.

It started when my tenant gave notice that he’d be leaving at the end of this month. Quick to Craigslist. What’s the going rate for a 1-bedroom apartment in Lower Pac Heights? I’ve been renting my place for more than two years, steadily increasing the rent with each new lease. But this time, I aimed a lot higher. The rental market is dot-com hot. I’ve got Googlers, engineers, doctors, interns, VCs emailing and calling. A New Yorker hired at Facebook told me he was contending with crowds of applicants at every open house. Bejesus! Instead of 20%, I should have increased the rent by 30%. I still would have had the demand.

With the rental money covering my mortgage, HOAs, and property taxes combined, I don’t want to be one of those un-disciplined Americans who takes that extra money and spends it. Like when we get raises, we adjust our lifestyle accordingly. No, I want to be fiscally conservative.

More research! Even before the tenant changeover, I have been eyeing mortgage rates, targeting a 4% or lower 30-year rate. Then a friend tipped me off to consider a 15-year. THANKS KITTY! I couldn’t seem to make the numbers work, but I kept on it. Determined to cash in on these low rates, I searched all the major banks’ websites for mortgage rates. I scoured the web. I looked at ING and First Republic. I called Residential Finance Corporation because they had mailed me a promotion. And lastly, I checked Navy Federal Credit Union who I used to refinance my private student loan. There it was, a 3.125% 15-year mortgage rate – right on the money.

A little bit of luck, ample social networking, friendship, a lot of research, and persistence. It pays.

Google, Hire M.E.

Ok, ok. I know this is a cop-out post but this website and video clip made my day. A lot of you don’t follow me on Twitter so you probably missed this tweet. Check this guy out.

I was listening to part of an NPR series on the military and how the military sees record applicants during a recession. This means they can be more selective. More hires have high school degrees than ever. And the caliber of the recruits is better overall. Well that’s one positive to take away from this unemployment pain.

But you know what this means, there are options. There are opportunities. Joining the military. Becoming a farm worker—which Americans will rarely choose and don’t consider an option. Yeah, there’s sacrifice involved. You may have to move away from your family. You’re stuck in nowhere-ville. But, there are options!

Photo credit: Wetpaint