Monthly Archives: June 2012

Six Questions to NEVER Ask on a First Date

Enjoy this special post by guest blogger, Dr. Christie Hartman.

Dr. Christie Hartman is an author, behavioral scientist, and dating expert. Her most recent book is Changing Your Game, A Man’s Guide to Success with Women. Check out her website at http://www.christiehartman.com/

In this day and age, first dates have taken on new meaning. In the world of conventional dating – the world our parents and anyone born in the Baby Boomer era knew – there were fewer first dates and you actually knew the person you sat across from at dinner. But with the advent of online and mobile dating, going on tons of first dates with utter strangers is the new norm.

Simply getting into this new mindset can be a big challenge for many people. They want so badly to find someone they connect with and grow weary of meeting the wrong people. As a result, some develop a method for weeding out these wrong people as soon as possible.

What is this method, you ask? I call it the “Let’s cut the crap and get right to the serious stuff so I don’t waste my time with the wrong people” method. Advocates of this method look for reasons to rule someone out by asking difficult and personal questions right up front. Here are a few common examples:

  1. What led up to your getting divorced?
  2. Are you looking for marriage and kids?
  3. I’m looking for a serious relationship. Are you?
  4. Why/how did your past relationships end?
  5. What are your goals in life?
  6. Why are you still single?

Questions 1-5 are great questions. Crucial questions, even. However, they’re inappropriate to ask someone you hardly know, and have no business on a first date. And Question 6? That one is never appropriate, whether you mean it as “Someone your age shouldn’t be single” or “You seem too great to be single.” There is no good answer to that question. Everyone is single at some point in their life, no matter how great they are.

But I Don’t Want to Waste My Time!

Of course you don’t. You don’t want someone who cheated on their ex with the neighbor, isn’t looking for a serious relationship like you are, or has some other deal-breaker. But first dates should never be interviews, where you ask test questions and see if your date fails. By doing this, you not only rule out the wrong people, you rule out the right ones too. Why? Because even those who pass your test will hate being put on the spot by a total stranger, or will dislike their happy hour taking a turn down Serious Lane.

Remember: A first date, meet-and-greet, or impromptu meeting is an opportunity to get a feel for someone: Is she interesting? Is he polite? Am I interested enough to go on a second date? That’s it. Save the personal questions for people you’ve built rapport and trust with.

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Safe foods for an impromptu date

By Dawn Papandrea

There’s enough to be nervous about when meeting someone for a impromptu date. Will he look as cute in person as he does in  his profile?  Does this dress make me look classy or  conservative? Will she think I’m too old for her? Will she even show up?  With all that to think about, that’s why it’s good to have a food game plan in mind. After all, you’d hate for a case of “spinach tooth” or seemingly poor table manners to get in the way of an otherwise promising evening.

Here are some safe food choices for an impromptu date…

– Go for something that’s a safe choice in terms of your personal taste, such as grilled chicken, steak, pasta, or seafood. Meeting someone for the first time isn’t the best time to experiment with exotic flavors or dishes you’ve never had before. You wouldn’t want your date to see your “yuck” face the first time you meet, and having to send your entree back can be uncomfortable.

– Stick with fork-and-knife entrees as opposed to messy finger foods. That’s not to say you can’t order a burger or panini, but if you do, utensils are a better option than having your date watch pickles, tomatoes and ketchup fall all over your plate.

– Choose a dish in between the most expensive and least expensive item on the menu. Especially if you’re not the one paying, you will come across as pushy if you order surf and turf and the most expensive bottle of wine. On the flipside, you don’t want to make your date feel awkward by just ordering a side salad when he or she is getting an appetizer and a main course.

As for foods to avoid, here are a list of first-date dining don’ts…

– Watch out for foods that are potential “stank breath”  inducers, like anything cooked with a lot of garlic or onion.

– Super slippery and saucy choices like ribs or buffalo wings are better choices for family barbeques than first dates. Oh, and corn on the cob… that’s never a good idea!

– You know what your stomach can handle, so refrain from tempting fate with things that might not agree with you, whether it’s Indian cuisine, gassy vegetables, cream sauces, or fried foods. Proceed with caution.

– Sushi. Japanese food can be a great first-date choice; just be selective when ordering since items that have to be eaten in one big bite will not make for your sexiest moment.

There you have it. Just like other elements of your impromptu date, you’ll want to take things slow when it comes to adventurous eating. By enjoying your first meal together without any food faux pas, you’ll get to move onto the next phase in your relationship — the one in which you can confidently chow down on tacos and hero sandwiches without worry.

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How Sweet: Dessert Date Ideas

By Dawn Papandrea

While most people automatically equate “dinner and a movie” with date night, that can get pricey, not to mention routine. Change things up by adding a little sweetness to your next impromptu date, by trying one of these fun — and inexpensive! — dessert date ideas…

Boardwalk eats and treats. If you live in close proximity to a boardwalk area, hop in the car and head out for a nice walk along the beach. Of course, if hunger strikes, you can stop along the way for some yummy beach desserts like funnel cakes, fudge, or fried Oreos.

Add some European flair to your date. Take advantage of lovely weather by having some great conversation under the stars at a cafe with outdoor seating. You can enjoy delectable Italian pastries and some cappuccino, while getting to know each other.

Bad weather = cozy evening. If it’s rainy or chilly, what better excuse than to enjoy some steamy hot chocolate, a slice of warm pie, or some other comforting dessert? Think about it: Isn’t hot cocoa by the fire the best part of a ski trip?

Go fruit picking. From spring through the fall, you could usually find an orchard that’s open for picking everything from berries, to peaches, to apples. Fill up a bushel or two, and then continue the date by baking up a delicious dessert together. Flirty flour fight is optional.

Go retro. Who says you have to live in the 50s to share a giant shake or banana split? Feel like a teenager in love, and order up the biggest ice cream dessert on the menu. And go for the hot fudge and sprinkles, too!

Try something trendy. There are actually lots of dessert-themed bars, restaurants, and cafes worth trying if you’ve both got a sweet tooth. Everything from Rice to Riches, which specializes in all kinds of rice puddings, to Max Brenner Chocolate  restaurant, to quaint little cookie and cupcake shops — give one a try.

Go on a quest. Determined to figure out where to get the best slice of cheesecake? Who makes the best cannoli? What cupcake flavor reigns supreme? Embrace your inner “Food Network” or “Travel Channel” host and make trying out different dessert venues a regular part of your dating routine.

Pack up a dessert picnic. You don’t always have to blow your diet if you’re going on a dessert date. Pick a nice afternoon to do something active together, and bring along a healthy dessert picnic complete with comfy blanket, fresh fruit, and a nice bottle of wine.

The best part of these dates, besides the sugary sweetness, is that they make a great addition to your dating repertoire without the hefty price tag.

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How to break up with someone you’re seeing casually

By Dawn Papandrea

When you’ve been out with someone a few times and had a reasonably decent time, breaking things off can make you feel guilty or awkward or worse — even mean. But sometimes you’re just not feeling it, and you can’t see yourself investing any more time in a relationship that you know isn’t going to progress. When you decide it’s time to break up, here’s how to do it with some finesse…

You have to actually do it. Don’t just disappear, stop answering texts, and ignore voicemails. It’s a cowardly way out, and eventually, karma will put the two of you together in the same venue and you’ll have to deal with an awkward confrontation. Treat your former mate with some respect by being up front.

Avoid classic break up clichés. Hopefully you haven’t been on the giving or receiving end of “It’s not you it’s me,” or “let’s just be friends,” but if you have, you know it’s a whole lot of BS. Instead, offer some kind of explanation during your break up talk as to why it’s not working out. It could be vague such as you’re not ready to be serious or specific, such as you’re going to be traveling a lot for work and it’s not going to work.  When all else fails, you can always say you’re interested in someone else.

Don’t play the blame game (unless it’s warranted).  Avoid a big scene by not saying things like “you’re too stalkerish” or “you don’t pay enough attention to me.” It’s OK to point out wrongdoing if the person is overtly rude (like if he or she stood you up) or nasty (just not cool) or untrustworthy (if he or she is lying now, get out).

Choose a semi-public place and have an exit plan. Have “the talk” while walking outside, or over a cup of coffee, but make sure you arrive separately and have a means to get home on your own. It’s probably not a good idea to break up at either of your apartments since it can linger on longer that you’d like it to.

Be careful of timing. It’s just cruel to break up with someone on his or her birthday, right before Valentine’s Day or the same day someone close to them goes into the hospital. But the truth is, there is no perfect time, so if you’re ready to do the deed, getting it done sooner rather than later is better than leading the other person on.

Don’t type out a break up. Ideally, you owe the person you were seeing a face-to-face goodbye, but at the very least, having a phone conversation is a good backup plan. Don’t ever text, FB, email, or tweet a breakup, though.

Being a good breaker upper is an art form, one that might even leave you with some lasting non-romantic friendships once perfected.

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Impromptu date ideas: Where to go with a banker in NYC

MeetMoi is all about introducing you to new and interesting people nearby that you can meet up with in person. This is the fifth in a series of posts to give you hints on where to take your new Intro on an impromptu date. Get more ideas here.

By Brienne Walsh

It’s almost too easy to fall back on stereotypes when deciding where to meet a banker. Where do they like to eat? Steakhouses. What do they drink? Single malt scotch. What do they do on the weekends? Play golf.

But most bankers are more than just alpha males—in fact, given that they’re smart and driven, they’re usually more into adventures than you’d suspect….especially now that so many of them are moving out to Williamsburg. Which is why it was easy for us to put together a list of great places to meet a banker after an Intro on MeetMoi.

1.     The Whiskey Bar, 44 Berry Street, Williamsburg: Located right in the heart of the newly gentrified Brooklyn, this bar, located in the basement of an old tonic factory, has an option for every type of drinker. Whether your date is into bourbon or brewskis—or even white wine—this casual spot features live sports, and the occasional Madonna tune to balance out the male-oriented interior.

2.     The Brooklyn Promenade, Brooklyn Heights: The danger in going out with a banker is that, given his salary, and a taste for expensive things that comes along with it, you might not be able to split the bill at the end of your date. So why not meet him somewhere that doesn’t involve any exchange of money? The Brooklyn Promenade has some of the most spectacular views of the Financial District in the city. If nothing else, you can make conversation by having him point out his office among the sea of buildings across the East River.

3.     Rooftop Films, Citywide: With locations all around Manhattan and Brooklyn, this film series plays underground movies outdoors all summers, for the price of a ticket to a regular movie theater. They’re perfect for the inner film snob in all of the best educated people. If you can, go early, and enjoy the live music before the feature.

4.     Rose Bar, Gramercy Park Hotel: If your date generously offers to buy you a drink before you meet up, you might want to suggest the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park hotel. Gorgeously appointed—and full of art appealing to a market-driven collector, including paintings by Julian Schnabel and Basquiat—drinks here can cost up to $20. But hey, if your banker is making as much as the media says he does during bonus season…

5.     Barcade, 388 Union Avenue, Williamsburg: This bar has a dual mission, which is to provide customers with a never-ending rotation of American craft beers while at the same time keeping them entertained with classic video games from the 1980s.

6.     Tom & Jerry’s, 288 Elizabeth Street, Noho: Tom & Jerry’s is one of the only dive bars left near the Bowery, now that it’s gotten crowded with boutique hotels and bars that try way, way too hard. Which makes it a great, centrally located spot to meet a laid back date for a round of cheap drinks, and a game of Connect Four—the game, along with many others, is available for free at the bar.

7.     Fat Cat, 75 Christopher Street, West Village: Located in the cavernous basement of a West Village building, this forest of ping pong tables seems to go on forever. Test your date’s mettle—and his manliness—by seeing how he reacts when you beat him at a game. If he seems to like you even more, he’s a winner.

8.     Brooklyn Buschenschank, 320 Court Street, Carroll Gardens: It might seem obvious but most bankers—and, if we’re being honest, most people in general—seem to love a good beer garden. And who wouldn’t, with the large pitchers? One of our underrated favorites is the Brooklyn Buschenschank, which has huge windows that open onto the street. The best part? The kitchen has incredible New York style pizza.

9.     Dive 75, 101 West 75th Street, Upper West Side: Something of an Upper West Side institution—at least amongst frat boys, and the girls who like to date them—this bar actually has a lot going for it despite surface appearances. Just like your average finance dude. Stop in for a drink, and play a game of checkers one of the old boards scattered throughout the room.

10. West Side Rifle & Pistol Range, 20 West 20th Street, Flatiron: For some people, this date might be a warning sign. But for a certain kind of person, it would be badass. Try to have a drink after to see if your banker likes to shoot for fun, or if he’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to be alone with in a dark alley.

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Top 10 food truck dates in NYC

By Brienne Walsh

If we had to pick the top food trend of 2012, we’d chose food trucks, which are becoming increasingly ubiquitous on the streets of New York. And we can understand why. They’re fast, they’re cheap, and they’re easy, three things that make for a great first date. And we mean that in the best possible way.

Currently, there are 3,000 food trucks in operation in the five boroughs. Given that none of them have parking permits, you may need to track them down via Twitter. To make your search easier, we’ve chosen our top ten favorite places to eat on the sidewalk, so that the next time you get an Intro to a foodie on MeetMoi on a lovely summer day, you’ll know exactly the place to suggest.

1.     Comme Ci Comme Ça: The owner of this truck, Chef Samir, was born in Casablanca, Morocco, lending him—and his food—an effortlessly romantic air. Don’t be put off by the green Rastafarian theme of the truck—the food Chef Samir makes, which includes dishes like lemon chicken couscous and vegetarian burgers, is not only delicious, it’s also healthy.

2.     Endless Summer, Williamsburg: Although most food trucks migrate, Endless Summer can usually be found on the corner of N. 3rd and Bedford in Williamsburg. Serving up all different types of Mexican tacos—which lend themselves, in all of their tortilla wrapped glory, almost perfectly to the food truck medium—Endless Summer has some of the best burritos we’ve tasted in the city.

3.     Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: Who remembers the ice cream man from their childhood? We certainly do, which is why we especially love the Van Leeuwen truck, which serves grown-up flavors like Galangal, lemongrass and lemon sorbet, and rum raisin-barbancourt 8 year rum ice cream.

4.     Rickshaw Dumpling Truck: The co-owner of this truck was recently featured on an NPR story about how to find the “mystical spot” to park a food truck in New  York City. There must have been many reasons why the reporter chose to follow him around. We assume that one of them was the divine chicken and fresh thai basil dumplings, and if not those, then definitely the chili sesame noodle salad.

5.     Schnitzel & Things: This truck was recently named one of the top 20 food trucks in the United States by Smithsonian Magazine, which is no small distinction. The food is so good—the truck adds a gourmet twist to the traditional German dish, which is, in essence, a finely breaded piece of meat—that the truck recently opened a permanent location on 3rd Avenue between 45th and 46th Street. How’s that for switching the order of things?

6.     Red Hook Lobster Pound: If we had to choose the runner-up for biggest food trend of 2012, we’d choose lobster rolls, which, until recently, could only be found at Maine seafood joints and beachside diners. The Red Hook Pound, which has a permanent location in Brooklyn’s hippest underground neighborhood, creates succulent, dreamy sandwiches, lathered in butter, and stuffed with weightless lobster meat. It’s a treat that can’t be missed.

7.     Kimchi Taco Truck: Another type of cuisine that lends itself particularly well to food trucks is Asian food, which is why it’s kind of genius that Phillip Lee, the owner of the establishment, combined his Korean fare with a staple from Mexico. Using basic Korean barbeque as a base, Lee wraps ingredients in tortilla, or serves them with melted cheese in a “Kim-Cheesesteak Sandwich.”

8.     The Eddie’s Pizza Truck: Before food trucks, if you wanted to have a quick, delicious meal in any New York City neighborhood, you’d visit the pizza joint right around the corner. The Eddie’s Pizza Truck is a variation on that theme, bringing your local pizza, piping hot, right to your doorstep.

9.     Milk Truck Grilled Cheese: Using some of the best ingredients in New York City—gruyere from Wisconsin, bread from Balthazar—this truck serves up a gourmet variation of the comfort food from childhood. Recently featured in a great review in The New York Times about artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches, you can grab a meal at the truck for just over $5.

10. Taïm Mobile: Gluten-free and entirely vegetarian, the menu on this truck is deceptively simple, given the complexity of the flavors in the food. Featuring things like falafel sandwiches with mango-fenugreek chutney, quinoa salads with dried cranberries, and Pear-Mint-Lemon smoothies, Taïm is perfect both for healthy eaters and foodies alike.

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Summer Events Series – Seize the Date!

Single? Looking to meet new people this summer? Then it’s time to get out, and Seize the Date with MeetMoi!

Throughout the summer, we’re partnering with some of New York City’s most popular venues to bring awesome people together—but don’t forget your smartphone! We’ll be kicking things off with our own MeetMoi party on Wednesday, June 20th, followed by a different event every week, including the Down and Derby Roller Disco Night at Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, Social Exposure Media’s Nuit Blanche party on the roof of the Hotel Chantelle, and many more. Some events will have great giveaways, like drink specials and VIP passes just for downloading the app and using it immediately to meet someone new.

And no need roll solo; with MeetMoi’s latest Wingman feature, you and your friends can meet other groups at our events or out on the town—whenever, wherever you are. While you’re out and about this summer, let MeetMoi spark something unexpected…

Check out our official summer event schedule, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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