Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Why Do You Ask?

First, let me state that this post is not meant to offend anyone.  Anyone who reads it and is subsequently offended should, perhaps, set aside some time for self-reflection as the only people who would be offended by this post are those who are full of shit.  And if you’re full of shit and I’m pointing out that you are, in fact, full of shit then you have no right to be offended.  I’m just stating the truth.

Each and every day I check to see what brings people to my blog.  A big chunk of my visitors come to me directly, without any referral like or twitter. But a large subgroup does find me via search engines.  And I love reading their search terms.  Frequently they questions like, “if he hasn’t called for 4 days does he not like me” or “how do I know if a guy just wants to get laid”(both real).  The variety is endless.

I don’t really understand why people would be googling these questions, but there are lots of things I don’t understand.

Like why some people think they have the right to call themselves and relationship experts.

As you all know, I spend hours every week surfing the web.  And I skim the content of at least a dozen “experts” sites/columns.  Most of them are full of shit. Not only are they full of shit, but some of the advice they dole out seems unkind, unhelpful and frequently downright bad, IMO.

I just don’t get it.

I am not a relationship , but a few times a week I have readers send me emails asking for my opinion.  I always give my honest opinion and I always tell people that they shouldn’t take anything I say too seriously, because what do I know – not much.

In the end, my advice usually boils down to a few simple things – be kind, be honest, don’t be too willing to trust someone who hasn’t earned it, don’t be afraid to try, enjoy your life.  I avoid placing blame or encouraging anger.  I avoid rants.  I tell people that I wish them luck and that they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves.  That everyone makes mistakes.  Not much more than that.

But from what I read from the different experts, that’s all really bad advice.  Really bad.  people can’t be happy.  Someone’s always at fault.  Rules must be followed.  People must be changed.  Books must be read.

Bite me.

Yeah, I’m actually mad about this.  I just read a couple of spectacularly awful things this week and I’m done pretending that it doesn’t matter.  It does matter.    When single women and men are constantly being given the message that a) being single is a bad thing and b) you’re single because you’re doing something WRONG – it matters.  To me.

OK, over.


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36 to “Why Do You Ask?”


  1. pups4me says:

    I think you are absolutely right about lots of people giving horrible advice and I’m tired of it too! That’s why I find your blog so refreshing…you tell it like it is and you don’t pretend to have all the answers.
    As a single woman who dates, I find it very helpful to hear other stories…from yourself and fellow readers. If nothing else, it shows there are lots and lots of us out there, going through the same stuff.
    Speaking of terrible advice, I recently “discovered” Christian Carter via eharmony and he is really bad for the old self esteem. I’m not sure why eharmony supports him? Anyone think he has some good info to share?

  2. allmynamesaretaken says:

    You’re right the internet is full of people giving terrible advice.
    But I think people asking 4 advice on the internet should realize that it’s only that ADVICE.
    Dictionary says advice is “Opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem” not a definite order of what you should do.
    So if anyone is going to ask 4 advice online:
    - read what people tell you remembering that no 2 minds are alike,
    - analyze what they tell you, take some time to digest and see if it’s useful for you or not
    and then
    - YOU decide what to do on your situation or problem.
    YOU are the owner of your destiny. Not the letters of someone behind a screen.

  3. allmynamesaretaken says:

    oh, and I forgot to add that we must not forget that most of the time, we ask for advice when we already know what we HAVE to do, so once again read, think and then act.

  4. BerteraNissan says:

    I am also a single man by choice and find your blogs quite refreshing. More for the stories that are told. Point blank and up front. I totally agree with your statment but I find that the real problem is the masses that empower these said “experts”. People find it easier to do as told for some strange reason. Like if I do what he\she said to do and it doesn’t work than by some way its not there fault. It was the advice givers.. People need to learn how to be themselves and just make it a point not to try and hurt others.. Things happen.

  5. Hypatia says:

    I think we need links for to the spectacularly bad advice columns !

    BTW– Have you read the nerve.com feature where they rip apart the horrible advice some people give? It’s called “Awesome Advice! Way to go!”

    http://advice.nerve.com/2009/09/10/awesome-advice-way-to-go-cosmo-explains-how-to-be-a-dainty-girlfriend/

  6. Kolea says:

    I agree. I’ll admit it…during especially horrible lapses in self esteem I have googled those questions just to see f there was some hidden, secret website that had all the answers pertaining to my very specific dating problems. It only took a few times to realize “no, no there isn’t.” I do think that a lot of dating advice, especially when it pertains to women is geared towards being a doormat, disguised as “empowerment.” I think men are encouraged to be “pick up artists” and know how to “play a game,” as though women are these pretty little robots that you just have to outsmart. It pisses me off too. And I’d rather people just admit that they’re flawed and be the best people they can be without trying to “trick” people into falling in love with them, or analyzing how and when to call. If more people were honest with themselves and others, life would be better for everyone.

    /end rant. Need coffee.

  7. Quirkily says:

    I think the people that feed the bad advice are naturally dramatic and are seeking a means to validate and act out their negative/selfish emotions, regardless of whether it’s justified or not. Just more proof that our genes haven’t caught up to our brains… Or maybe we just don’t want to use our brains since people seem to have an inbuilt need to define and categorize things.

    Plus if you think about it, a lot of your above points aren’t exclusive to dating beliefs. Just think about how many of those relate to American politics! Someone’s always at fault and they deserve all the scorn we can muster. Mistakes aren’t allowed. Rules must be followed. Only adoration and raging hate are allowed. People must be changed. Books must be read.

    In short, dating isn’t the problem. It’s merely one of the more obvious symptoms.

  8. Quirkyeconomist says:

    Just had to say: Amen, sister!

  9. NadiLes says:

    I just got introduced to this blog — and this is some of the best non-advice advice I’ve ever read.

    No one has the right answers in terms of dating. All we can do is give our opinions from our own experiences and perspective.

    I think they best advice you can give some one less experienced is to tell them to see and try for themselves.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “When single women and men are constantly being given the message that a) being single is a bad thing and b) you’re single because you’re doing something WRONG”
    YES YOU ARE!!!! You are Chronically Single because you are doing something wrong…. Cant be something wrong with the 100′s of men you’ve met???? You dont like the advice because you are afarid to look within yourself…. hmmmmmm Its like getting a job. If you really really want to work, there are plenty of jobs out there. Maybe something unexpected. Maybe something you might not have considered ………………………

  11. Veka says:

    Anonymous – no.

    Simone – Thanks for a great post. And something that Kolea said has inspired me to write something (later, maybe in a day or two).

  12. periken says:

    Aaron Karo just wrote a book called, “”I’m having more fun than you”, directed to all his peers getting married.
    Enough said.

  13. Simone Grant says:

    -pups4me
    I’d imagine that a very expensive online dating service that promises to find your perfect match would have an incentive to support someone that makes people feel bad about the lives they have and the choice they’ve made. Perhaps.
    -allmynamesaretaken
    I would hope that people asking for advice on these sites don’t take it too seriously. I really, really hope so, for their sake. PS, I’m guessing you are new to the blog, yes? Welcome.
    -BerteraNissan
    Good point there about people wanting to be able to lesson their own personal responsibility. I can totally see that.
    -Hypatia
    I love her column (one of the advice columns I do like, hers and Savage Love) and love that new feature. I don’t feel comfortable openly mocking people though. I know how hurtful it is to open up a GoogleAlert and see that someone has written something nasty about you. i wouldn’t do it to someone unless I really felt provoked/a burning need to.
    -Kolea
    I feel as though you have been reading my mind – have you? I love it – “as though women are these pretty little robots that you just have to outsmart”. But see, we’re not alone.
    -Quirkily
    First, welcome to the blog. And wow – excellent point. Completely true and scary, though. We are a pretty dysfunctional society, dating is just a tiny piece of it.
    -Quirkyeconomist
    Thanks darling.
    -NadiLes
    Thanks and welcome. I’m glad you found me/us.
    -Anonymous
    Who ever said there was something wrong with all of the men I’ve dated. I’m friends with some of my exes. And more to the point, what makes you think I “really, really” want a husband (using your employment analogy)? I don’t. I have a good life. I date because I like the company of men, and if there was one who could make my life richer I wouldn’t chase him away. But I’m in no rush or panic to join the legions of unhappily marrieds. No thanks. Perhaps you are the one who needs to “look
    within yourself” and find out what’s so threatening about other people’s happiness and independence that it can bring out such nastiness and aggression in you?
    -Veka
    I can’t wait to read your post.
    -periken
    hmm. I’m going to have to read that book:-)

  14. Anonymous says:

    you like the sequential company of random men?? i guess that is what “dating” is to you??? and of the last 50 men you “dated ” this year, you don’t think you’ve met ANY men “that could make your life richer” isn’t it exhusting?? how long do you spend with these people ……1 or 2 dates???is that a “relationship?? what is your goal? just meet different men every week?? you’re 40, right??

  15. Simone Grant says:

    -Anonymous :-)
    Yes, that’s exactly it. I go out with a different man each week, exactly one time and then I throw him away because I’m a vacuous slut. Oh, sorry, let me correct myself – an aging (almost 40) vacuous slut. And I couldn’t possibly know what I want or what makes me happy (because I’m an aging vacuous slut).

    Much better for me to conform to what society expects of me and get married and live in the burbs with a mortgage and a couple of cars and a couple of kids. Never mind that I’ve never wanted any of those things. MUCH better to be a mindless sheep and just do as one is told.

  16. EmilyPies says:

    I think this blog would be 100x more insightful and interesting if you allowed people to speak their minds without getting defensive.Step down from the anonymous pedestal on which you’ve placed yourself and stop believing your own hype. This blog is no different than every other SATC knockoff blog. It’s just another blog written by another dating challenged woman who refuses to take responsibility for her own choices. You’re not saying anything new that hasn’t been discussed on thousands of other blogs. Your perspective isn’t fresh and it’s most definitely not honest. You don’t even write under your real name. That must make it pretty easy to use your blog as a weapon the way you do. And you DO do that.

  17. Simone Grant says:

    -EmilyPies
    I guess I hit a nerve? I’m guessing you’re one of those full of shit advice givers. Get over it.

    No, I don’t write under my own name. Never have claimed to. I have no desire to be known/famous/whatever. I like my little, dull life the way it is, thank you very much.

    As to whether I’m honest, I’m as honest as I can be. As honest as I’m comfortable being.

    I’ve never claimed to be anything other than I am. A woman who dates a lot (and maybe a dating challenged one, at that – I’ve been called far worse). I don’t claim to have a unique or fresh perspective. My perspective is mine, that’s all. I write what I wish to write, point fingers at no one specifically and if people choose to read they can.

    As to letting people speak their minds, I tolerate a pretty high level of abuse here in the comments but I draw the line at nasty. In fact, I probably should of deleted your comment as it’s in clear violation of my blog policy of “be nice” but, what the hell. I’ll let this one get by with a warning. Have a nice day.

  18. Mindy/SingleMomSays says:

    @ anonymous – I’d rather be “chronically single” than settle for the *wrong* man. I did that already and I was in a marriage for 12 years that ended badly almost 8 years ago. Just because a woman is single doesn’t mean there is something wrong with her or the men she has dated but for whatever reason it hasn’t been the right fit. Being the same age as Simone I can say that I am definitely more discerning now than I was when I married or even 5 years ago. Also, many single men in our age group are divorced or have been “chronic” bachelors and prefer to date women in their twenties/early thirties. There may be plenty of men out there to date but there are very few who are what I would consider relationship material. Finding the *right* guy is not easy but I’ll take being a happy single woman over a miserable married one any day.

  19. lostplum says:

    I’d personally rather be a ‘vacuous slut’ who knows who they are and what they want then a mindless wife stuck in the burbs who is forced to use questions marks more then once because she can’t make a valid point. Just saying…..
    (you are one of the most amazing, confident, beautiful, smart, and inspiring women I know! And that wouldn’t change if you had a man or not. period!)

  20. tinagirl207 says:

    @Anonymous – if you dont like what this blog has to say,why do you even take the time to read it and comment on it?nobody is forcing their point of view on you.this blog,like every other blog out there, was meant to be a forum for the writer to express herself and share her stories w/ whoever is interested enough to read about them. and the fact that you hide under “Anonymous” to post these comments is laughable.and the same goes for EmilyPies.talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  21. onedatewonder says:

    With at least half of marriages ending in divorce these days, how can one really imagine that committing and getting married are necessarily the “right” thing?

    People are individuals. Unique snowflakes and all that jazz. We do what works for us. If one person wants to find a relationship and settle down, so be it. If another person would rather explore options and be more cautiousl, no harm no foul. Just live and let live.

    Simone, you always impress me by being fairly centered and comfortable in your own skin. I think how you get that way (so long as no others are harmed in the process, which they are not in your case) is really inconsequential.

    And just in case this isn’t full enough of platitudes… different strokes for different folks!

  22. Christan says:

    I have a question….

    If you have such a disdain for dating advice writers/bloggers, then why would you intentionally seek them out and try to network with them?

    You contacted me a few weeks ago, encouraged me to read you blog and suggested we meet. I went to your blog and read your About Me page before reading anything else. On that page you make a pretty disparaging comment about dating advice bloggers. You say what we do is “too easy” and fake. Well, if that’s the case…then why do you reach out to so many of us? And who are you to make such a blanket and ill informed comment when you’ve never done it? Let me tell you something…it ain’t easy. It’s because of this opinion that I chose not to engage you. Why should I be expected to when you made it very clear you think I’m some disingenuous hack?

    Look, I get that many of us are full of shit. I agree that a lot of these advice blogs are for the birds. But if you feel that way, then don’t try to connect with us. Don’t try to bait us into arguments. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask for and I think you should understand why some people – people you have engaged and had little Twitter fights and other behind the scenes issues with – might read this post and be a little offended. Take the advice of one of your commenters and just ignore all these sites if they bug you so much.

  23. hithatsmybike says:

    LOL what a gong show.

    All comments aside, Simone, are you really actually genuinely surprised by “society’s message” to single women? I would normally assume you too intelligent for that.. Human beings are not die-hard monogamists, but we’re try-hard ones. Most (all?) human cultures pair up the sexes. It has it’s perks, after all: tribal alliances, capital growth, and the kin theory at play. There’s more pluses than minuses.

    Is it weird to be single @ 40? Well, yes. It’s not bad or wrong, but it’s unusual. It’s uncommon in our culture, which has come to value otherwise. I’m sure we’d find most sociobiologists agree it’s against our nature.

    If you want to lead a crusade for perpetual singledom, you’re fighting a losing battle. Our biology is programmed otherwise. We want the house in suburbia and our 2.5 kids. Not because we’re “conformists” (oh god, was that ever a stupid accusation), but because we’ve spent the past 10,000 years seeking a secure environment to reproduce & raise offspring. In the 21st, this is simply what it looks like.

    I like you, but I don’t read your blog often. I’m not part of your target audience so it has little appeal, and the head banner is NSFW (and to be honest, reeks of such desperation I feel awkward FOR you). But I don’t read any of the other dating-advice columns either, so I have no opinion on their “shitty” or “fake” advice. In any case, if it bothers you, I wouldn’t read it, and if you want to defend your normalcy, I’d quit. It’s a waste of time, and who really cares if you fit the status quo? Your readers don’t care, so you certainly shouldn’t.

    It’s life. It’s just a game. Let’s all take a deep breath an relax.

  24. Simone Grant says:

    Thanks so much (as ALWAYS) for the support, Lostplum, tinagirl207, and onedatewonder. It’s nice to know that people out here in the cyberuniverse have my back.
    -Christan
    I’ve reached out to many, many (MANY) NYC based (and sometime not) bloggers. Yourself included. And when I do so I reference my blog as a way of introducing myself. Not to say, “read me”, but rather, this is who I am. I am new to the game and don’t go to bloggers events and so know very few people (hence the reaching out and introducing myself to people one at a time). I am a social creature and would like to know people who do what I do, and learn from them.

    I’m sorry if you found what I wrote in my About Me offensive, but honestly, you are the exception. I have good relationships with other advice givers/people who understand that that is a generalization, not intended to harm or provoke.

    Further, I have no idea what you’re talking about in regards to “Twitter fights”. We don’t follow each other on twitter. My twitter use is made up, daily, of exchanging messages with friends. If you have an issue with me, fine. We don’t have to like each other. I don’t read your site or follow you and you should maintain the same policy in regards to me.

    In closing, this has been a totally inappropriate conversation to make public. TOTALLY. I replied to you publicly because you wrote to me publicly. But that’s not the kind of blog I want, or the kind of person I am.

  25. Simone Grant says:

    -hithatsmybike
    I’ve read over your post a couple of times and I keep coming back to the same thing – you seem to be trying to convince me that I’m somehow wrong, in both the choices I’ve made with my life and the fact that I think I should be able to live as I choose. OK fine. Then why would you read this blog, EVER? Seriously?

    And as for my header, I love it, and was proud of myself that I had the courage to pose for the pics and then post them. Desperate, no I found it empowering. Again, I can’t imagine why anyone who thinks it’s desperate would be a reader.

    Seriously. And goodbye.

  26. Cat_Pin says:

    Calm down girly — some people really do need to here some rules whatever. It’s great that you’re doling out the common sense advice, but there are some awesome experts out their who provide a great service. Many are highly qualified, even if they don’t have credentials (Dan Savage comes to mind).

    As to why people ask Google such detailed, intimate questions, well, sometimes you’d be surprised at the results…

  27. Simone Grant says:

    -Cat_Pin
    I love Dan Savage, as I’ve mentioned several times here on the blog (and earlier in the comments). And very clearly in (VERY clearly.) the post I say that I don’t think ALL dating and relationships are full of shit. There are a few I like a lot.

    I rarely give unsolicited advice. When I do, it’s only on online dating (in this genre – I can give lots of advice on “other” things that have nothing to do with this blog) as that’s a topic I do know a bit about. When I wrote this post, days ago, I was very upset because of some”advice” posts I’d read that were really rather nasty and unhelpful (things like calling people desperate, pathetic, dating challenged, weird – hmmm, sounds suddenly familiar.

  28. Simone Grant says:

    Dammit, that’s supposed to say “I don’t think ALL dating and relationship experts are full of shit.” I am the queen of comment typos, especially when I’m annoyed. I hate when I get this annoyed by this stuff.

    *sigh*

  29. drumdance says:

    I love Dan Savage too. Just listened to a couple of podcasts today.

    Can someone introduce me to these vacuous sluts of which you speak? I’m not meeting enough of them. ;)

    Seriously, I’ve dated quite a few girls in their 30s and some in their 40s. Some of them definitely want to settle down, but not all of them. For one reason or another, those didn’t turn into LTRs, but we had good times together and I’m generally on good terms with all of them. I don’t look at any of them or the relationships as failures. Just experiences. Why would anyone judge them?

  30. Writer Girl says:

    I found you from Googling “things you don’t want to hear during sex” because I am writing an article on it and was looking for some fresh ideas. Then I spent some time browsing and found this post as well. So now you know :P and I think I’ll keep browsing your posts.

  31. Anonymous says:

    how could you not expect backlash ? “you’re single because you’re doing something WRONG”. people who have reached their 40′s and AVOIDED relationships, yes…. avoided, are single because they cant’ recognize a suitable match, or they really just don’t want a realtionship. and thats ok. nothing wrong with that. but what is “wrong”, is people like you who pretend the want it and are chronic daters. thank goodness for online dating sites, right? do you think its ‘normal” to meet new people weekly and never really connect? thats a big red flag?

    i am a very happily divorced mom. my life is very complete. had the marriage, big wedding, kids, i have a profession, and i live in the city, not the suburbs as some have assumed. so now i date and i laugh when i see profiles of 40 something year old single never married men. they’re defective. why would i want to train them in adult relationships???what have they been doing for 20 years? kayaking?? working out in the gym? and yes, a failed marriage or ltr, longer than 5 years is transformative and more attractive than only thinking for yourself for the last 20 years. get help or stop pretending you know what your doing.

  32. Simone Grant says:

    -Anonymous
    There are many things I care about in this life. What made you the sad, angry and bitter woman that you are is not one of them. You’ve come here, over and over, trying to spread your misery. I want none of it. You are no longer welcome on this blog. Please take your crazy elsewhere.

  33. Simone Grant says:

    -Writer Girl
    I apologize, darling, I almost missed you in this childish mess (dear lord, I hope you see that the blog usually isn’t like this – and please let it go back to normal). Welcome to the blog, I’m glad you found us, and what a cool topic to be writing about.

  34. hithatsmybike says:

    (I know I’m late with this, I forgot I posted here)

    Um, I’m not trying to convince you you’re “wrong”. I thought I made that clear when I explicitly said “it’s not bad or wrong”, but maybe you glazed over that part because you were so offended by the science behind mating. I can’t issue any apologies for human psychology, I don’t make it up I just play along.

    Now, without actually exploring the issue of why you need a personal nudie shot to sum up your blog in an image, how come you don’t just pay one of those cool burlesque photographers to take a tasteful, high-quality print of you that you can use as your banner? I understand you’re trying to celebrate your sexuality or whatever, but using a grainy webcam shot makes it look like a still from a home sex video. It’s poor quality and you don’t look awesome in it, so why not do yourself (think how good you can look!) and your readers (think how less awkward they’ll feel!) a favor and get a better photo?

    Look, I’m not trying to insult you there’s just not a nice way to tell you that that’s not a great photo. I didn’t think your feelings would get hurt because obviously I assumed you’d be more secure about your body since you’re the one that posted it in the first place, but hey, I don’t know what it’s like to have the body of a 40 woman yet (call me when you’re 60) but I imagine it’s not awesome, so my apologies.

  35. Simone Grant says:

    -hithatsmybike
    And again, why are you here? As I said before, You don’t respect me or my blog. So goodbye.

  36. Discount sunglasses says:

    Really nice ideas presented about dating and relationships with the opposite genders. I think people who are searching these kind of terms on Google, they actually need your guidance, so why not you include a post for them :)