The Business Of Being Awesome

For the last few months now, I’ve been working with a great team of classmates at MIT Sloan on a podcast called The Business of Being Awesome. Erica and Lily started the podcast last year, and after being featured on episode 8 (below) of the first season, I wanted to be more involved.

I’ve been helping with strategy for the podcast, and then miscellaneous marketing efforts. It’s been a really fun team to be involved with, I’ve gotten some good press, and I even got to write a fun blog post about online dating. I’ve stolen the copy of this from the website, and put it below.

A love affair with online dating

I would deem 2011 the year “Kate Dates.” I went on at least 40 dates that year, purely for the enjoyment. There is something about finding someone who at the very least agrees with you on some political issues and probably a lot more. My website of choice was OkCupid. I chose it because it was free and I was still in college; I kept going back because I loved it.

My profile was amazing, and I took good care of it. Anytime that year I went to a new, good movie, it was instantly added to my “favorites” list. Granted, it probably wouldn’t make my top 10 cut long-term, but I liked to stay relevant.

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Not all my dates were good. I remember one guy who intrigued me because he was in medical school. He was seriously the worst of them all.

One guy confided in me that he had been married while on our third date… this didn’t sit well with me. Been there, done that.

Another guy really liked playing games and we had fun going to the Chatterbox in Saint Paul, where with food and drinks you could play any game (including video!) that you wanted. When he leaned in for that kiss though, I felt more like he was my brother and knew that was the end.

There is one date in particular that sticks out in my mind. I went out with this guy because he liked math and basically said he was a math professor “I work for the math department at the University of Minnesota.” You’d think that by date number 36 I’d be a little jaded, and maybe I was, but I still loved getting to know someone new. On the date, it was clear this guy was looking for something serious. Bless his heart, but I felt bad telling him “I’m just here to have fun, nothing serious…” Needless to say, it was one of the most enjoyable dates I had been on and I was looking forward to another.

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The next day, I went to Colorado where, lo and behold, OkCupid also has a presence. I quickly updated my location so I could meet a guy or two while the friend I was staying with had to work. This was the first time I met an actual married man, who was actually in an open relationship. It was interesting from an interview perspective: I had tons of questions about logistics, trust, intimacy, and the fact that they had children together. His wife’s boyfriend was around the house a lot and had met their children – this was a bit too much for me, but was definitely an eye-opening conversation.

Today, I’m engaged to the math professor [not a math professor] and couldn’t be happier. Yet, because of our relationship (rather than in spite of), I still love exploring the world of online dating.

Last year, I took a course titled Analytics Edge at MIT where, get this, we explored how analytics can give companies a competitive edge. One of the companies we did a case study on was eHarmony. We also discussed other social networks, specifically Hinge and how it leverages your existing network to connect you with 3rd degree connections. So fascinating!

Of course, I had to create a profile on Hinge, just to see how it worked. I remember the text I sent to Joe:

Me: “Hey, I joined Hinge fyi… #research”

I would hate for a coworker of his to stumble upon my profile and mention it to him and have him not know about it. We are all about communication.

This past weekend, his little sister was in town. She is currently single, and to be honest, I haven’t approved of her former boyfriends either. Wanting her to find a good match, I suggested we create her a profile. I chose Tinder, probably just because that’s what I think the kids are into these days. We also did Coffee Meets Bagel, so give me some credit.

Another friend of mine is also looking to find someone (coincidentally, it is the friend I visited in Colorado!). I’ve consulted with him on his dating profile, and am still trying to convince him to give me full rains. Think about it: if I had access to his account and his calendar, I could literally schedule dates I felt were a good match. I would obviously send him notes on our conversations beforehand, so he wouldn’t be caught off guard on something. The other side of me cringes at the idea of a relationship being founded on lies though… so I haven’t actually done this.

If anyone out there wants a consultant to help them with their online dating, I am your woman. I won’t actually independently chat with them, nor meet them for a first date, but other than that, count me it.

Originally posted on The Business of Being Awesome on April 1, 2016.

Bar Food for Thought

I’m at the bar now. This isn’t the revolutionary part. I’m actually sitting in the middle of two couples on dates.

To the left, a man and a woman in their mid-thirties are enjoying their first date. I know it is the first because they have reviewed the man’s children’s names and ages. They talked about the small towns they went to for college and where their lives have taken them since. They have been sitting here longer than me (which is about ~2000 words worth of time) and are having what seems to me, a very pleasant date.

To my right, a couple closer in age to Joe and I sit. They are definitely in their twenties and only came in maybe a half hour ago. They have okay chemistry, but the guy is a douche and I’d like them to leave. Although he did pay, he took multiple phone calls and even checked his phone when the alert was just “eBay.” Conversation between them has been constant, but also rather drab and lacking of energy. It seems like they are just another date where he doesn’t fully treat her as he should and she takes it because she lacks the confidence to do anything different.

I understand the assumptions I’m making. I see that they are… a bit critical maybe. However, I just got out of my memoir class and I’m documenting the world around me as I see it.

I developed a crush on my bartender as soon as I got here. One of the only workers around, I just assumed she was the owner. She carries herself in a confidence that shows both comfort and proudness. I over heard that she has worked her for six years, since the place opened, and I was convinced she opened the place. However, when I asked her if they had a twitter handle she shrugged and said “I’d have to ask the owner.” So much inside of me deflated in that single statement.

I have nothing more substantial to add. These are just my perceptions of life.

P.S. I just picked the shit out of my lip and now my wine tastes like blood.

Is anyone interested in my dating escapades?

I did months of online dating last year, 30+ dates I would say. I have funny stories, sad stories, and maybe some good advice. Is anyone interested in a short little blog series on my experiences? Is it rude to publicly discuss dates? I wouldn’t use names or anything… but either way I’d love to hear folks’ perspectives on this :)