Funny, forthright, and hopeful, Kissing Strangers is a survival-based how-to guide about looking for love online … and how to separate the men from the frogs.
Out Now! – Kissing Strangers: How to Online Date Like a Boss by Alethea Spiridon.
So many frogs. So few princes.
Every single (and soon-to-be-single) woman knows the Dating Horror Stories. The guy who charms your panties off before he bolts. The funeral planner with a foot fetish. The Early Ejaculator. Or that filmmaker looking for a soul mate—provided you don’t mind he lied about his height, his weight, his wife, and… oh look, a micro-penis. How nice.
The bad news is that these guys exist. The good news? There are ways to find them, avoid them, and concentrate your energies on non-fuckwits. Who, as it turns out, also exist. Hurrah!
From deciphering Man Speak to the sexy perks of 30-year-old men, Catfishing 101, navigating hookup culture, and the safety precautions every woman should take, author Alethea Spiridon taps into her own hilarious—and occasionally heart-crushing—experiences in the dating world. Funny, forthright, and hopeful, Kissing Strangers is a survival-based how-to guide about looking for love online … and how to separate the men from the frogs.
Praise for Kissing Strangers:
“I absolutely loved reading this book! Funny and engaging, this is a great guide for women who are getting their toes wet into the online dating pool. It’s funny, informative, compelling. I wish I had read this when I was online dating. It would have helped me a lot. I made a lot of those mistakes!” Bestselling author, Carmen Falcone
Becky on Books asks: How do you realistically find time for dating with work, a kid, and a writing career?
You’re right, it’s tough and hard, and some weeks almost impossible. I made it more a priority when I was writing the book on online dating because I needed to experience dating. Now that I have, and know what most men are like, I’m not as eager or willing to give up what precious time I do have. All that getting ready (something men still don’t quite understand), driving to wherever, then the time invested in actually meeting…it’s a lot to do and to do to only be disappointed most of the time.
Now I only bother with people I feel there could really be a match with. Before I was open to seeing if matches could be found in unlikely places. I just don’t have time for that now. And many, many men are not understanding when it comes to a woman being busy and having other obligations, and needing flexibility. I may have to change date night or the time…they seem to want a woman who can be attentive to them and them only, and live in some bubble that isn’t impacted by responsibilities. They take it personally! I don’t need that.
Yes, dating takes time. I reserve that time for real potential candidates now, and even then, it’s tricky because, honestly, three quarters of the time I’m dog tired and just want to go to bed. Those are the times I wish I could fast forward and be at the already-know-you stage of dating where he could come over, bring fries, and we cuddle in bed watching Lovesick again because it’s that good. But reality looms large and to get to that sweet spot we. Must. Go. On. Dates.
Magi Romance asks: As a Romance Editor what are your favorite and least favorite romance tropes?
I adore the tropes that require the hero and heroine to have a feisty, electric, dynamic relationship charged with tension, sexual and other. A Taming of the Shrew kind of energy a la Taylor and Burton. So those tropes would be marriage of convenience (my favourite trope), blackmail, and revenge. I love a good nanny story, and a friend of mine is writing one now and it’s going to be amazeballs.
I don’t tend to gravitate to, say, second chances or reunited lovers, though stats seem to say readers love those two tropes. I just find the stories end up being a bit flat. I mean, yes, it can be done well, and has been done well, but a lot of the time it’s simply a nice sweet story that doesn’t zing with energy, the kind of energy I enjoy at any rate. Really, I don’t care what trope you use as long as there is conflict galore, amazing sexual tension, and a proper romantic arc. These seem like basic requirements for a romance, but you’d be surprised how many writers struggle with those three.
Miss Riki asks: Everybody fudges the truth in an online profile….right? What is your deal breaker? Or is even a white lie or omission grounds for dismissal?
I’ve never lied, at all, on a profile. Not one iota. What’s the point? The other person will eventually figure it out. And what an awful way to start a potential relationship, if that’s what you’re there for. Many people are only looking for hookups, so lying about career, money, etc. doesn’t matter to them that much. Your height and weight will. Honestly, I haven’t encountered too many people who have lied on their profiles. There was one guy, and I mention him in the book. It was horrifying to discover when we first met because he lied so drastically. That’s a deal breaker for me for sure. Honesty is number one. You’re out if you lie.
So, yes, a white lie is grounds for dismissal in my books. And it should be in yours too! If they start lying about the little things right from the start, then, girl, there isn’t much hope for the future and when it comes to bigger things. It says a lot about a person’s character, and you can choose to dismiss it … at your own peril.
Reviews in Heels asks: Have you ever met a guy who was better than initial impressions would suggest? How did he redeem himself?
No. And I’m sorry for such a short reply! I pretty much know going in what I’m going to get, though there have been doozy curveballs thrown at me that I did not see coming. I wouldn’t go out with a guy who I thought was iffy to start, so no one had to redeem himself on my clock. I know this happens and it’s always a delight, to be sure, when someone turns out to be better than expected. I’ve had guys flake out on date day and then message days later, but not to redeem themselves or apologize, so they got the boot.
For the most part, in my experience, they turn out to be far more disappointing than expected and the answer to this is really simple: projecting oneself online, through text and email, and even phone, allows for the creation of some kind of persona more easily. But everything comes clean and is revealed in the first meet. That’s where the goods come to life… and get packing nine times out of ten.
The Avid Reader asks: How many times does a person need to go out with someone before they are considered as “dating that person”? I ask because young people these days can go out with a person for months and still not count that as dating or that they are boyfriend/girlfriend etc
I love this question and touch on it in my book. Dating is dead today. Nobody dates anymore. Men are terrified of saying they are dating someone, because they are so afraid of commitment in all of its forms. Why commit to one woman when at the slip of a finger you can have ten more who might be better than the one you’re currently seeing/sleeping with? Dating has been bypassed. Most people go from hooking up/hanging out to boyfriend/girlfriend, ditching the courtship and dating stages.
You aren’t dating until you hear him say you are dating…or until you get the courage to ask him if that’s what you’re doing. Today, most people are hooking up and hanging out. You used to be able to assume that after five dates you were, logically speaking, dating a guy, but not anymore. Until a conversation has been had about dating or seeing each other exclusively, you aren’t doing anything but seeing each other casually and/or hooking up and hanging out. The word dating is akin to marriage and serious commitment to most men. It freaks them out.
Do not assume you are dating after three, four, ten dates. Unless you hear him say it or you ask…you aren’t doing anything remotely like dating and it’s just casual at this moment. Honestly, nobody knows what the hell is going on anymore because all the protocols of courtship have been tossed into the fire and we’re now left with this free-loving haze that has us all wondering where we stand with other people. It’s a strange and confusing time to be “dating.”
Love in a time of Feminism asks: What are subtle but massive red flags to look out for on dating profiles? The ones that look innocent enough but actually should be setting off alarm bells.
I’m always wary of the profiles that seem to cater to what a man thinks a woman wants to hear. You know, all the sweet things, like he’s looking for love, his best friend, his soul mate, wants to walk hand in hand with the love of his life…most men do not talk like this or think like this. Maybe once he’s head over heels in love. Maybe. Most catfishing profiles start and end like this because they want to draw in all the lonely women who are desperate for love and a man to say such sweet things to her.
Another red flag is when they have a laundry list of attributes they are looking for. Women do this too, but I find people who have lists are going to be people who are neurotic and difficult to please. You have to be savvy and read profiles carefully.
If it seems over the top, demanding, or simply says something lame like “Ask me” or “I don’t like to share myself online so message me” then you’re potentially dealing with men who aren’t sincerely wanting to be online to look for anything real. The “Ask me” boys are really here for a booty call, so if that’s your thing, amen, and have at it. The blank profile guys are either here for just a booty call or are so damn lazy and apathetic about the whole online dating experience they can’t even be bothered to fill anything in. I think that tells you everything you need to know about that guy.
Dating today isn’t really dating!
It’s hooking up, hanging out, Netflix and chill.
I asked one of the guys I matched with on Bumble about this idea that nobody dates anymore. Sean, 36, said this: “Well, I think at our age we know what we want and when we find it we move quicker than before.”
You can probably guess that Sean moved on faster than I could ask a follow-up question.
Most men look for sex and find love. Truth.
I’m a romance editor and a die-hard romantic through and through, so this cold, loveless world of dating where most people are in it to sleep with you on the first “date” is soul crushing. Yes, mindless sex is fantastic, but when that is all most guys want…
What the fuck happened to romance?
Do not expect to be courted or dated. Expect to be jerked around, lied to, avoided, ghosted, stood up, breadcrumbed, cancelled on… There are, of course, good men out there, but it will take some digging and meeting, and time and patience.
That’s where this book comes in. You want sex? I’ll show you how to find it. You want something more? Well, keep reading…
Go in knowing a few things.
Tinder. Bumble. POF. OkCupid.
Netflix and chill.
“Nobody dates anymore!”
“Romance is dead!”
You thought dating would be fun, easy, and you’d walk around in your cute little outfits like the women do on television. Bah! Not so much, girls. It can be fun. It is fun at times. But it’s also work and involves a lot of man decoding and navigating a landscape filled with unknowns, rejection, confusion…not much has changed since your mom dated, really. It’s just packaged differently is all.
Dating comes in new forms now. Well, the ways that we get to men. One in three people meet online today, so you have to be where the men are—on a dating site and dating apps. Swiping and sore digits will be your new norm.
But that’s just how you initially connect. Nothing matches real-life experience, so you must meet and talk to men, and a lot of men (probably) until you find the one you click with and want to settle with, whatever settling means for you.
Or maybe you’ll meet him on guy number three.
And if it’s hookups you want, you’ll get tips on how to make them work for you. Nothing wrong with casual sex!
This guide will give you that heads-up so you don’t get ambushed like I did. You’ll know what the booby traps are and how to charge ahead regardless. Consider this your counterattack in your plan to survive.
A decisive victory can be yours, but you need to know the rules if you want to beat them (men) at their game.
Alethea is a writer and editor (lots of romance books, so many) out of Ontario, Canada. When her marriage fell apart she realized she had to get back out there and figure out how to date again or accept a life of eating from the Dinner For One menu option permanently. The book in your hands (or on your screen) is the result of that research. If it saves one woman (you!) from the landmines out there in the DatingVerse, then she’s done her job. For more bits of dating advice and man mysteries solved, visit her website at www.littleblackhook.com.
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