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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5 Things Men Secretly Love About Women

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Leo Hidalgo 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.

Few of us can claim to be fluent in the language of love. In truth, there's a lot that gets lost in translation. But between worrying about what to wear and what to say, it may help to know there are several things you're probably already doing that he secretly loves.


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5 Things Women Secretly Hate About Men

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J@YGS 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.

All right, guys. We set you up with the five things women secretly love about you. Now it's time to knock you down with the five things they really don't. If recent courtships have gone south and first dates have fizzled out, here a five things you might be doing that women secretly can't stand.


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5 Things Women Secretly Love About Men

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Sascha Kohlmann 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.

There are lot of things out there in the dating ether that either men or women fail to comprehend whether it's when to call, what to say, or how to approach the simple milestones of the dating ritual.

But for all the things you do that unknowingly drive opposite sex insane, there are just as many that they find covertly endearing. From physical flaws and phobias to guilty pleasures and goofy idiosyncrasies, here are five things that women secretly love about men.


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Is Your Outfit Making You Undateable?

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Screenshots via Urban Outfitters
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.

Feel like you're giving off the wrong vibe? Well, we've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that it might not be you. The bad news is that it might be your entire wardrobe. Truth be told, we can't all agree on whether a particular fashion is hot or not -- the Bradley Cooper short shorts, Rihanna's diamond nipple dress, and whatever the hell Lena Dunham is sporting at any given moment.


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10 Love Lessons Learned from Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones, HBO
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.

When it comes to finding and keeping love, does anyone know what they're doing? Not really. So why not take a few tips from movies, television, and books? In honor of the season four finale, which HBO airs Sunday, June 15, here are 10 tested love lessons we've learned from Game of Thrones.


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10 Worst Breakup Lines Ever

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woodleywonderworks 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.

Oh, the breakup. Whether it goes down like a smooth operator or a jagged little pill, the breakup conversation is never a fun one. On the enjoyment scale, ending a relationship usually falls somewhere between getting a root-canal and running over your neighbor's dog.

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Lingerie, I Hate You

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LaggedOnUser 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.

Does anyone look good in lingerie? Outside the world of a mannequin or a Victoria's Secret model, lingerie is rarely flattering. If anything, lingerie does a good job to let you know what parts of your body aren't working

Fine lines cut into your skin making you feel like finely wrapped sausage. Sagging bra cups resemble empty breast pockets. Lacey "underwear" crawls up your butt and out of sight -- no doubt hiding from the sheer embarrassment of you in that whole ensemble.

I mean seriously, bows? You look like Little Bo Peep fell on hard times.


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The Italian Job: How to Break Up with Your Boyfriend. On Vacation. In a Foreign Country

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kozumel 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 learned a lot from dating an Italian. I learned how to say "fuck you" in Italian ("vaffanculo"). I learned how seriously a man can take his personal grooming. And I learned that you should never, ever break up with someone while you are on vacation.

But let's back up to grooming. When a relationship is on the fritz, you begin to notice the little things about your partner. The blackheads on their nose, the way they chew their food, the stupid catchphrases they use, and how they manage to make the simple act of breathing so unbelievably annoying.

Seriously, was it always this loud?


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