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Why a website called My Life as a Date? Two reasons. First, I’m a novelist-in-the-making, whose main character dates. A lot. And I dated. A lot. Yup, exploring romantic relationships is the thing we do, my character and I. So the second reason for this website is we’d like to pass on what we’ve learned from dating. All the good stuff, the mistakes included. Mishaps are the stuff that makes you laugh. And nothing’s more important than laughing through life. Here’s how it started.

On a man meet––shorthand for the first time you meet someone to see if you’ll go on a first date––I’d excuse myself to got to the ladies’ room, hide out in the toilet stall and scribble notes about my meet. For a writer, it’s not a stretch to go from dating to writing about dating. In fact, logging all those dating miles pushed me to compare everything I did to dating.

My story? I was living with my mom when I started Internet dating. Clueless and divorced. Taking classes and student teaching. Twenty years since my last date. “Check out match.com,” my sister said when I whined about the lack of available men in my classes. Living my life as a date came later, when I decided my own company was fun, that not every Saturday had to be date night, and enjoying a date with myself was just fine.

Life as a date? Better than waiting around for a phone call.

Even so, my notepads multiplied and became a novel. And the thing is my novel reads like a how-to for anyone who's middleageish and too freakin’ scared to get out there. Out there means dating. Internet dating.

On the pages of My Life as a Date, you’ll find everything from dating dos and don'ts to how to spot red flags, navigate the first phone convo with a stranger, and recognize mixed messages, otherwise known as bullshit. Or worse—figure out you’re being used as a pit stop. It's all here. Not exactly advice. More like stories. True stories based on my experiences and that of my friends, and their friends. Guy friends too.

In fact, logging all those dating miles pushed me to compare everything I did to dating. I’d pick out a mango at the supermarket and start thinking: men are like mangoes, sweet on the inside with a tough, protective skin. You had to be gentle peeling back the layers to get to the stuff that counts. Or how getting an agent for your book is like wooing a woman. Pretty words and the promise of a future. I know, it’s ridiculous.