If You’re Not Date-Hopping, You’re Dating All Wrong

Date-hopping will make your life easier, more productive and less traumatic!

Welcome to the art of date-hopping. Date-hopping will change your life so long as read this essay and apply it to your world. 

Like most insufferable, overworked, city-dwelling, sex-driven millennial women in this world, I’m fixated on being as wildly productive as possible all of the time. (Unless I’m hungover. When I’m hungover all bets are off. I’m horizontal on the couch pounding potato chips into my mouth.)

date-hopping zara
Photo by Owen Gould

For example, I like to schedule all of my downtown appointments on one specific day so I don’t have to waste time traveling downtown multiple times per week. I also like to schedule all of my meetings on one day so I only have to subject myself to the trauma of social interaction once a week. One full day is dedicated to phone calls. One full day is dedicated to the writing and answering of emails.

And I like to save all of my ~dates~ for one specific night, too.

I know this sounds crazy — immoral even! But kindly allow me to explain, my darling dearest dykes

How emotionally and physically taxing is it to get ready for a date? You have to figure out what the hell you’re going to wear, for starters. Figuring out what to wear for a date is an intensely harrowing experience for anyone, regardless of where you swing on the butch/femme pendulum. (Mindf*ck is the term that comes to mind.)

You want to look clean and sexy, without looking too sexy, without looking like you’re trying too hard — without looking careless, but still looking cool. After much deliberation, you’ll finally dream up the *perfect* look for your date. And you’ll gaily skip over to your closet only to find that the *perfect* date outfit you created mere moments ago in your sweet little head is not going to work. The beautiful leather pants — the pants that MAKE the look — are at the dry cleaners. Bah, humbug! Now you have to start over at square one.

Don’t get me started on the trauma of choosing date undergarments. It takes me an hour to figure out what underwear to put on every time! I always want to wear the granny panties that are so soft and so comfortable; except, what if the date goes according to fantasy and we end up having sex? If she catches a glimpse of me spreadeagle in my gray, high-waisted granny panties, she’ll be so turned off she might even switch teams. I don’t want to be responsible for “turning” a woman straight — I mean as a lesbian sex and dating writer I can think of *few* things more harrowing than being responsible for late-onset heterosexuality.

But if I put on the sexy lacey thong, I’ll be picking it out of my asshole all night (sorry to be graphic, but it’s true!). And picking a thong out of one’s asshole makes one appear to be a novice when it comes to being sexy. I’m many things, but I’m no novice when it comes to being sexy. I just never mastered the art of the acting cool whilst having dental floss strung between my asscheeks.

And oh, the grooming. The torture of blow-drying my hair! The anguish of adhering greasy foundation to my face! The suffering that comes hand-in-hand with layering my delicate lashes with globs upon globs of heavy-duty mascara! The stress from applying pre-date makeup is the very reason I’ve been cursed with adult acne and premature gray hairs.

And let us not forget about the pre-date anxiety.  You call it butterflies; I call it maggots.

Look, if you don’t get pre-date anxiety, you’re definitely — this is not up for debate, people — a sociopath. Dating is super vulnerable! You’re forced to look at yourself through someone else’s eyes. As you watch your date watch you, you can’t help but wonder, “Am I a good catch? Are the words falling out of my mouth even remotely interesting? Does my face look… puffy? Am I talking about myself too much? Was Mother right? Am I, indeed, a (*gasp*) narcissist?” Though the anxiety often fades after one personality drink has been digested by the ol’ (prematurely aging) liver, it’s still exhausting.

But that is the trouble with drinking and dating. I’m going to make a sweeping generalization here: I bet most of you get a little buzzity-buzzed on a first date. I know I do. I know most of my friends do. In fact, we usually surpass buzzity-buzzed and wind up slow-dancing with wastity-wasted.

After the distress of subjecting yourself to the wrath of a blow dryer, stripping down naked and attempting to feel “good” about yourself as you squeeze into a pair of ill-fitting skinny jeans, agonizing over whether to thong or not to thong (now that is the question), and battling the anxious inner voices attempting to stomp across your self-esteem as you cab to the restaurant is bound to wind you the f*ck up.

And when you’re wound the f*ck up, you just want to take the edge off of the intensity swirling through your body. When the waiter comes by to take your order, it’s hard not to scream, “GIVE ME 25 MARTINIS STRAIGHT UP PLEASE.”

And the slurping back of martinis is bound to give you a hangover the next morning if you’re over the age of 25. I don’t know about you, but my dates tend to take place during the week, because I don’t want to waste my precious weekend making small talk with an inevitable f*ckboi who will likely slobber into my mouth and leave me with the bill. I save that shit for the already dismal week.

But I can’t be hungover multiple times a week. I can’t. I’m trying to make enough money to pay Manhattan rent, which is hard and takes acute focus. God forbid you have even one “off” day in this town, and you just might get axed from your job (especially if you work in media, where you’re likely to get axed anyway).

I used to put myself through this first date shitshow two to three times a week until I discovered a glorious thing I like to call “date-hopping.”

The first time I date-hopped was the result of my own absolute ditziness (I’m the spaciest lesbian this side of the Mississippi). I accidentally double-booked with two women I was equally interested in. At first, I panicked.

“Who should I cancel on?” I frantically asked my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

“Neither,” my reflection wisely answered back.

I grinned and texted date number one, “I’ll see you at 6 p.m.!” I grinned harder and texted date number two, “I’ll see you at 8:30 p.m.!” I made sure to book both dates at bars on the West Side, but one on the Upper West Side and one in Chelsea. This way I didn’t have to cross town, but the bars were far enough away from each other (in both distance and energy) to ensure that no awkward run-ins happened! And my teachers told me I’d never amount to anything.

My first stab at date hopping was a fabulous success. Since I was already in the flirty headspace of dating, gliding into the second date was a total breeze. If you’re an actor, you know that the second performance on a given night is always superior to the first. It’s the same with dates! You’re all nice and warmed up (and buzzed, purr) for date number two, so you only have to get nervous once for the first date. And you’re already in your glammed-up date night outfit. Yes, you’ll be hungover tomorrow, but at least you won’t be hungover tomorrow and on Thursday when you have date number two.

So I encourage you, babes of all orientations, to date-hop. You’ll save time. You’ll save money. You’ll save stress. You’ll save your hair (blow-drying multiple times a week takes a toll). You’ll save your hangover.

There is nothing immoral about date-hopping. What’s the difference between going on multiple dates a week and multiple dates a night? There is no difference, except if you’re doing them all in one night, you’re smart. You’re time-batching, which is something all successful people do. Anyway, who cares? It’s not like you need to be an oversharing weirdo and tell your dates that you’re date-hopping that night.

No, you save that little nugget of gossip, for me, you, and the family.

Now. Get on Tinder, schedule two to three dates in one night, and take control over your schedule and your life.


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