So show a little love to your single friends on this Valentine's Day. Single women have it hard (yes, Smug-Marrieds, they have it harder than you do, so stop whining about how having a husband is like having another child and give your single gal pals a hug and this book. And while you're at it, try reading it yourself. You might learn a thing or two.)
Here's an excerpt from The Truth About Dating. After months of unsuccessful dates on Match.com, our heroine, Quinn Malone, has convinced her best friend Izzy to join Match, too.
“I had a meltdown on my date last night.” I told Izzy.
“Meltdown or breakthrough?” she asked. “You’re just getting more efficient.”
Maybe she was right. Ryan didn’t look particularly distressed when I left. In fact, he’d nodded and said, “Good points.” And he shook my hand before I left.
“I’m loving Match!” Izzy told me. “I’ve been out on three dates this week. I can’t believe how good it feels. This was just what the doctor ordered. I bought a six-month subscription.”
“You paid for six-months? You’ve had three dates in one week?” I asked.
“Yes. And even just the goodnight kisses have raised my self-confidence through the roof. I feel unstoppable. Match is the best thing I’ve done in years.”
“You’ve kissed people? How many?”
“You kissed all three men you met on Match?”
“And they were kissable? You wanted to kiss them?”
“They were all babes. The first guy, Joe, had a kind of country boy charm to him. He was sweet. He paid for dinner.”
“You let a guy pay for dinner?”
“Why not? And as we were leaving, I figured, I’m going to kiss him. So I leaned in and gave him a small kiss on the lips. He was taken completely by surprise. It was fun.”
“The second guy was a banker and he was a little straight-laced. But I think I’m just what he needs to loosen up a little. And he’s a little short.”
“It’s not too bad. But he’s just a couple of inches taller than me. It bothers me more than I’d like it to.”
“Height? Who cares? Remember Max?” I asked.
Izzy rolled her eyes. “The name rings a bell.”
Max was my…how do I say this without being trite? It’s not possible. He was my first love. We dated ten months before breaking up. Even though I’m the one who did the breaking up, I took the three-year plan to get over him. Izzy surely reached a point where she was so sick of Max’s name that she wanted to scream. But I almost never bring him up anymore. I probably haven’t mentioned him more than five times a year for the past 3-4 years.
“When I first met him,” I began, “I didn’t think he was good-looking at all.” Izzy had never met Max. I wasn’t living in Omaha back then. “I fell for him because he was so funny and because he had so much integrity.”
Izzy nodded. “I still don’t understand why you two broke up.”
“We were moving down different paths. We had completely different life goals. He wanted a wife. I wanted a partnership. But toward the end of our dating life, I remember sitting with him at El Patio. Remember that restaurant?”
“In the student ghetto?” Izzy had visited me enough times in Albuquerque to know my haunts.
“Yeah. And I suppose I knew that we weren’t going to make it. And I remember thinking that if I could just keep looking at him forever, I would.” I grimaced. “We broke up that same night. About some stupid fight. I can’t even remember now.”
“So, by the end, you thought he was handsome.”
“No. Even then, while I was staring at him, I remember thinking ‘All this pain he’s causing and he’s not even good-looking.’ I loved his looks anyway.”
“He sounds like he had a lot of charisma.”
“He did. Charisma is deadly,” I warned. I did a little internal survey. It was still painful to talk about Max. I moved on. “But some guys just make you click, you know? And no one has it all. So if it happens with the banker, if you fall for him, you won’t care about his height anyway.”
Izzy nodded. “And he’s a great kisser. And, we’re going out on Valentine’s Day!”
“Valentine’s Day? When is that?”
“How do you manage all this? I haven’t had a single kissable guy since I started Match. Except for Caleb, who just wanted sex.”
“What about the guy from California?”
“Derek. He flies in next Saturday.”
“You should kiss him.”
“I don’t know if he’s kissable.”
“He’s cute. He’s flying across the country to see you.”
“I’ll try. Okay. That will be my weekend goal. To kiss him.”
“You won’t regret it,” Izzy said.
On Valentine’s Day, I had Moo Shu Pork take out and listened to the Cowboy Junkies’ Trinity Session cd until I felt completely desolate. Izzy called. “How are you doing?”
“Aren’t you on your date?”
“Uh-oh. You don’t sound good. Do I hear the Cowboy Junkies?”
I felt my eyes tear up. “I don’t know why I do this to myself,” I said. “It’s just a stupid greeting card holiday.”
“Yesterday, everyone at work was saying ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.’ I told everyone, ‘Happy Friday the 13th!’”
That made me smile, a little bit. “What about your date?”
“I’m dressing for it right now. So tell me, what are you going to do to make yourself feel better?”
“Eat a pint of Häagen-Dazs?”
“No. First, turn off the Cowboy Junkies. Second, watch a movie. Go rent something you haven’t seen before but always wanted to.”
“I’m kind of settled at home,” I said. “I thought I’d stay in for the night.”
“It’s 6:30!” she snapped.
“I don’t know how safe the roads are, what with all those happy couples driving around on dates.”
“Listen to me,” Izzy said. “You have a Match.com guy flying in from California next week, to see you! Now march yourself outside right now and rent something funny that will get you out of this state you’ve gotten yourself into.”