What Dating a Spy Taught Me About Long-Distance Relationships

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CHRIS DRUMM via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

I've dated all types of men: butchers, bakers, candlestick makers.

Okay fine, I've technically dated no one in those professions, but I have covered quite a few of the careers in between. Depending on the guy and his job (or sometimes lack thereof) there can be relationship pros and cons.

Dating a musician means heartfelt serenades and horny groupies ready to snag your place. Dating a chef means free food and free added weight gain. Dating an accountant can mean great income and not-so-great conversation.

When I dated a spy, the situation was no different. It had its ups and downs, but toward the end of the relationship the latter greatly outnumbered the former.


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5 Pieces of Dating Advice for My Younger Self

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cornflakegirl_ via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

I have made quite a few mistakes in dating.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still making them. But at least they're not the same ones. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me six or more times, shame on me. Looking back on my early 20s is like watching a terrible romantic comedy but with more crying, worse sex scenes, and no happily ever after ending. If I could go back and tell my young lazy/doe-eyed self a few pieces of advice, these would be them.


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The 25 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time

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Touchstone Pictures
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Lights. Camera. And, if you're lucky, action.

It goes without saying that the rom-com reigns supreme among girls' nights out, dinner-and-a-movie dates, and lonely Netflixing singles. While we've seen our fair share of heartbreakingly bad love stories on screen, we've also witnessed a good amount that give us hope in happily ever after.

Heat up the popcorn and dim the lights, because we're about to revel in the 25 best romantic comedies of all time.


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40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix

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Connie Ma via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Dating doesn't have to be confined to expensive menus and awkward conversation. After all, first dates aren't necessarily about being formal. They're about making (and getting) a good first impression. From the indoors to the outdoors, uptown to downtown, here are 40 ways to make your move.


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Peoria Named One of the Best Places for Newlyweds -- Wait, What?

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madebyWstudio via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Remember when Phoenix made NerdWallet's list of best places to meet singles? Yeah, we all had a good laugh about that one.

Comical as it was, that study was nowhere near as ridiculous as a recent one produced by Mylife.com. Last month, the lifestyle blog released a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for newlyweds, and contrary to everything that is good and right with the world, it ranked Peoria, Arizona, as its number-10 town.

Peoria.


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Should I Try Online Dating? A Guide for the Curious

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Quick Meme
Just get the eye wash ready, ladies.
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Online dating has come a long way.

With so many virtual matchmaking venues out there now, including Tinder, OkCupid, Match, and Plenty of Fish, singles who subscribe to Internet courtship are no longer confined to the stereotypes of being socially inept or a serial killer.

With a busy schedule of adulthood responsibilities and the fear of giving a complete stranger the cold approach, online dating offers some serious appeal. But is it for everyone? Let's discuss.


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3 Things to Never Talk About on a First Date

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Beraldo Leal via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

First dates are rough. A single meal or a meet-up over coffee can make or break your chances of changing your relationship status on Facebook. If a first date goes great, you could be telling your future children about it 15 years form now. And if it crashes and burns, you could be reading about it on this blog

Since one is the loneliest number, here are three pieces of advice that may save you from your single status. Think of them as the trifecta of taboo topics.


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The Basic Bitch Breakdown: Your Guide to Basics in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix

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Alan Stark via Flickr
Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Heads up, bitches. This one's going to sting.

Whether you love her, hate her, or secretly wonder if you are her, the basic bitch is everywhere. From the West Coast to the East Coast, Midwest, and down south, this simple lady can found playing it safe inside a neighborhood Starbucks, under the mist of a spray tan, or on social media posting selfies (#blessed).

Of course, the basic bitch doesn't just vary from state to state, she varies by city. Which is why we're breaking down the basics of being basic in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.


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How to Flirt: A Quick Guide for the Socially Inept

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Flickr via lostprophet
Warning: This is an advanced move.

Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Like any person riding the existential roller coaster that is their 20s, I bounce back and forth between thinking I know what I'm doing and realizing I don't know shit. Moments of blockbuster confidence are followed by moments of complete inadequacy in the fetal position.

This method of one step forward and two steps back has become my sad white girl dance approach to work, friendship, and, sometimes, my love life.

Just when think I've found someone (I refuse to say "the one" because, come on, that's bull), I find out something else. Maybe they're not over their ex, maybe they harbor wanted criminals in their basement, or maybe, just maybe, it's me.

Remember when I said I would never tarnish my credibility on Courting Disaster by revealing my flaws? Well, it's happening.

Let's start with flaw numero uno: flirting.

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5 Things Men Secretly Hate About Women

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LibraW via Flickr
Let's face it, guys are willing to overlook a lot in lieu of getting laid. And the ones that aren't, well, you'll find them in the comments section below. That being said, nobody's perfect, and bad habits are a two-way street. So while you may harbor some secret hatred over idiosyncrasies of the opposite sex, chances are they feel the same. Here are five things you ladies may think men love when, in all seriousness, they don't.


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