What is broadbacking? Dating answers here.

By now we’ve all heard of “ghosting” (disappearing from a conversation, whether it’s online or texting, and then zombieing… reappearing days, weeks, or months later). Other more traditional terms like “DTR,” “red flag,” and “an item” have all been used in or about relationships over the years, but for recent trendy terms, here’s a list. One you won’t see on there yet is a dating word I’m coining today.


Broadbacking is when you’ve met someone and within a short amount of time they dump an overwhelming amount of emotional baggage onto you because they think you can help them carry the load.

This behavior can happen online through long and drawn out emails that take you 29 minutes to read, text messages that are broken up into 17 different sections that you have to piece together to make sense of it, or even in person/on the phone where you may have to practice the art of listening…a lot.

No matter how this information is being thrust upon you, just know that it is, and the person doing it is totally broadbacking you.

-Out of the Wilderness


Guys like this give dating (and guys who have all their teeth) a bad name

I seriously hope Minsoo isn’t reading this. I’m not making fun of him as much as I am wondering which girl in Nashville would honestly reply to this heartwarming message?
The highlights:
1. he’s new in here
2. he has all his teeth (and they’re super clean!)
3. he has 2 pictures, one with clothes, one without (aww, come on Minsoo!)
4. the more I read it, I’m Minsoo!! (except for that whole 3-times-a-day teeth brushing thing… gosh, Minsoo, let ’em breath)

Girls like this give dating (and trailer parks) a bad name

I don’t think much explanation is needed for this but once you read it, you’ll be dying to read a dictionary for it’s proper spelling alone! Anyone outside of Tennessee, this is not the best we have to offer… I hope. My favorites:
1. tryna make it (hey, aren’t we all)
2. ne thing (much easier than typing anything, ow my fingers hurt now)
3. all she needs are hot water and a toothbrush (for her 3 teeth, I’m assuming)

The Best of 2010

Last year welcomed a new blog into the world. Since the birth of ‘Out of the Wilderness’ in April, the site has attracted 26,604 views. The postings on this site cover everything from dolphins to Nashville to mustaches, Boney M, music, the power of words, ghosts, personality types, the BP oil spill, online dating, and much more. With all the variety of topics, though, the highest viewed posts are about the 2010 season of “The Bachelorette.” I posted a weekly review after each episode from the very first episode (meet the Bachelors) to the last when Ali picked Roberto Martinez over Chris Lambton. Curiosity about Chris drew in the most clicks among Bachelorette posts. However, the post with the most views overall will surprise you. It’s about a band called Boney M, international stars from the 1970s. Sadly, the male lead from the band died recently so searches for Bobby Farrell and Boney M have surged quite a bit since then. Without further explanation, here are stats from ‘Out of the Wilderness’ this year, in order of most viewed:

1. Boney M In A Green Taxi
views: 9,699

2. The Bachelorette, Chris L.’s Tattoo Pictures
views: 6,887

3. The Bachelorette Episode 10
views: 839

4. The Bachelorette, Chris L.’s Birthday
views: 448

5. The Bachelorette Episode 4
views: 412

6. Slept Like A Log
views: 376

7. About the Author
views: 252

8. The Bachelorette Episode 8
views: 163

9. Will You Accept This Prose?
views: 147

10. Where Are All the Men
views: 138

11. The Bachelorette Episode 3
views: 138

12. Music Roulette: 50 Songs In 1 Paragraph
views: 134

13. Popular YouTube videos
views: 120

14. Fantasy Football 2010 Draft Order
views: 112

15. Ben Wilder vs. Nick Shell: A Facebook Battle
views: 110

The Dos And Don’ts of Online Dating: The Date

The purpose of online dating is to take the conversation off the computer and into a face-to-face encounter. Soon the website won’t be needed and it’ll be up to you to keep the relationship afloat. It may be going well and everything seems hunkle-dunkle till you’re at an art exhibit with your date and you hear her say, “It looks like a fruit basket,” but she’s not looking at a painting, she’s looking at you! It can happen that fast people. The things you do and say on the first date will determine if there is a second date, and a third and a fourth and a fifth. Here are some general guidelines.

Dating Your Matches:

DO: Most importantly, say yes when a match (who you’ve been communicating with consistently) asks to meet you in person. Like I said in the post about communication, there’s no point in joining a website to find dates if you never go out on dates.

DON’T: Deny every single date offer because you’re waiting for “The One”. The old wise quote comes to mind, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” So take a chance.

DO: Plan activities you both will enjoy, and do those together. Whether it’s Mexican food for dinner, or just dessert, find something that keeps you comfortable so you can really show off who you are.

DON’T: Agree to go somewhere you know you don’t like. If you don’t drink coffee, Starbucks is not a good idea.

DO: As a gentleman, offer to pick them up on the first date.

DON’T: Insist on picking her up. If she declines your first offer, she’s probably playing hard to get, right? Wrong, creep! Offer to pick her up once, then if/when she declines just meet her at the date location.

DO: Show up to the first date.

DON’T: Sit in a booth near the kitchen. Nothing kills the mood like glasses clinking and odd smells. Which reminds me, don’t sit near the restroom either.

DO: Men, be assertive. One person will be the leader in this relationship, make sure it’s you.

DON’T: Pretend you’re perfect by saying all the right things. Second to sitting next to the kitchen or restroom, it’s the behavior that smells the fishiest. For more on this, research Jake Pavelka of Bachelor fame, most notably his cat fight with ex-girlfriend Vienna. I’m sure it’s on YouTube.

DO: Come into a relationship with your flaws. There are no perfect people, so if your date expects that from you, run away.

DON’T: When the date’s over, a kiss on the cheek is very acceptable, but limit yourself to applying one kiss to said cheek. Going in for a second cheek kiss? Think twice. If there’s still time, divert it to a whisper in her ear then spend your car ride home accepting that you will probably never hear from her again because you just whispered in her ear on the first date.

DON’T: Immediately check your date’s online activity when you return home after a date. If it says “active in the last 24 hours” it may begin to mess with your head. Just remember, it doesn’t mean your date is not interested. Afterall, your online activity probably has the same status message.

Thanks for reading through these last four posts! This last one is shorter than the others, on purpose. When you’re with your date, there’s something more than a list of dos and don’ts that gives you a sense of yes or no. An assurance in your gut that guides you. Your date could do all the wrong things, but you fall in love. Your date could say all the right things, but you are totally uncomfortable. Relationships are more than what to do and what not to do, they’re about chemistry. When the sparks are there, you’ll know it. So here’s my last bit of advice.

DO: Go out on dates. Enjoy exploring the city you live in. Try new food.

DON’T: Don’t, for any reason ever, give up on finding the one that will fall asleep holding your hand on a long car trip to the coast.

Here’s a recap of ‘The Dos and Don’ts of Online Dating.” Enjoy.
1. Profile Picture
2. Profile Information
3. Communication

The Dos And Don’ts of Online Dating: Communication

You’re success in the world of online dating depends not only on your profile picture, or profile information, but largely on how you communicate with those interested in you (similar to real-life relationships, surprise surprise). Once you’ve found a likeable someone, it’s time to initiate contact. Most dating websites recommend to send some sort of wink along with a message (chances of a response increase if you also write to them as opposed to just sending a wink). Here are a few other notes on communication… and feel free to communicate back to me on whether you agree/ disagree/ or have other dos and don’ts.


DON’T: Dismiss somebody because their favorite things are not your favorite things.

DO: Remember variety is the spice of life. If we were all exactly the same, we’d all be awesome, but possibly a little bored. In conversation, ask them about what they like, and hopefully they’ll do the same.

DON’T: Copy and paste a “Hi, I liked your profile. Hope to hear from you!” message then send it to 5 different people.

DO: Use the option to wink (or whatever the site offers for this type of notification) at people you think are interesting. In other words, don’t wait for people to wink first. Take initiative and yes, this is for the men and the women. Women, I know it’s not “traditional” to initiate contact, but think about it this way: you don’t join a site (and pay for it) to sit and wait. Heck, you can sit and wait for free and you probably already do. So get your money’s worth. For interests you like more than just a little, write them a quick note along with the wink.

DON’T: Expect replies or winks back the same day you wink or write. This will require patience, as it will also require patience to not respond immediately to messages you’ve received. Dating is a stupid game, but unfortunately there are rules. The more you follow the rules to the game, the higher chances you have of winning. The rule that applies here: whether you’re always busy or always bored, a little mystery goes a long way. So by giving a message a few hours/days to sit, at least the other person will think you have a life.

DON’T: Get upset if a few days go by and you haven’t heard from someone you wrote or winked at.

DO: Talk to more than one potential date at a time. It’s ok to have a few irons in the fire. If you only have one in the fire, you risk hyping up the first date and nerves may get the best of you. If/when the fire burns out, all you’re left with is one dull sword. Something about having other options relieves nerves and actually improves each date, because you don’t have to be there, you can just enjoy wanting to be there.

DON’T: Have too many irons in the fire. Then you’ll dial up Judy and say, “Hey Barbara!”

DON’T: Expect a date with Judy after you called her Barbara.

DO: If you need to, re-read some messages between you and the person your conversing with. Remember a few topics you’ve already discussed so you don’t make the mistake mentioned below.

DON’T: Mention that you also love “Wicked” when, oops, that was a different person that told you they loved “Wicked.”

DO: Write original messages tailored to the recipient. What do you like about their profile information? Tell them about it.

DON’T: Guys, don’t make your first message about how pretty she is. Mention something you like about her profile information as opposed to her pictures. This shows you are paying attention to the details and not just scanning pictures for hot girls. My guess is a girl would rather hear you like that she volunteers at an orphanage first, then later you can tell her how beautiful you think her green eyes are.

DO: Keep the first message short. No reason to write a novel to someone who hasn’t signed on in over 3 weeks.

DON’T: In your first few messages, don’t be careless when you attempt humor. Making someone laugh is usually about the delivery, and when a person is reading a message, they most likely won’t read it the same way you typed it. What you write is funny to you, but may seem odd or weird to the reader and they will think twice about continuing in communication.

DO: In your messages, it’s ok to talk about yourself. But remember to ask questions as well. This invites a response and keeps the conversation going.

DON’T: Respond to anyone who winks or messages you without checking their “about my date” section. If over half of it has “no answer” listed, move on. Especially if it has “no answer” for more critical relationship information like faith, smoke, drink, and have/want kids. Most likely this profile is some kind of fraud. I’ve actually come across profiles that fit this description, and a few days later the profile was removed, confirming my suspicions.

Hopefully you’ve been able to establish a real relationship with a few matches through interesting communication. Don’t be afraid to throw in an offer to meet up either. Once you do that, and they accept, it’s time to go out on the town for your first date. Check back Monday, September 27 for more about the first encounter with your match. Thanks for reading!

The Dos And Don’ts of Online Dating: Profile Picture

Online dating isn’t what it used to be. When it first began, the perception was that it was only for the desperate or lonely.

Actually, it may still work for the desperate or lonely, but it’s become something better, a legit avenue for starting relationships. It’s not even an “alternative” way to meet people, it’s simply a way among many ways to find dates, mates, and fates. That’s a slogan waiting to happen. Anyway, I’ve made a few notes to help those willing to step out of their friend circle, out of the bar, and step into— or should I say— step on…line. Disclaimer: I may refer to Match.com-specific features, most sites have similar functions but are named slightly different (ie. wink, ice-breaker, etc). This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but rather a compilation of personal observations based on real life experiences. 

Let’s start at the beginning, setting up your profile. Information you post here is critical as it’s the first impression for traffic your profile will pull in. You want it to be a cross between sincerity and humor so when people see your page, they’ll say to themselves, “Wow, that guy is
scrumdiddlyumptious!” (girls say that, right?) or
“She has all the characteristics I want in a wife!” (guys say that, right?)

Alright, step one is uploading pictures.

Profile Pictures:

DO: Post more than two pictures of yourself, preferably a couple of close-ups and a couple of head-to-toe photos.

DON’T: Post pictures of you and kids, unless they are yours. If you want people to know you love children, just type it into the “about me” section. No need to scare off half the potential dates in the first five seconds. And for no reason is it ok to post pictures of you with nieces/nephews. There are too many creepy’s out there to endanger your sibling’s children. 

DO: Use pictures taken within the past year. Remember, surprising your date the first time you meet in person is rarely a good thing.

DON’T: Post pictures of you and fifteen of your friends. Most of the time the picture is entirely too small and most people won’t squint for ten minutes trying to figure out which one you are. If you really want people to know you have friends, don’t worry. We assume you have friends.

DO: Post pictures that show you at your best. Save the I-just-woke-up  pictures for later. Even a picture or two with a few of your friends is ok, as long as you… (see below)

DON’T: Post pictures with friends that look better than you. The last thing you want is someone looking at your profile and wishing you were that other person in the picture.

DO: Look happy in your pictures, whether it’s a smile or just having a good time. No one wants to date a Negative Nancy or Danny Downer. If you’re sad or annoyed, my advice is to cancel your account, fix what needs fixing, then rejoin as a happier you.

DON’T: Upload extreme close-ups of your face. It’s like looking at a square inch of Starry Night. Allow enough space for the viewer to appreciate the whole package, whether it’s your face or the head-to-toe photo.

DON’T: Look completely different in every photo. If you’re currently a brunette with long hair, don’t post pictures of you as a blonde with shoulder-length hair.

DO: Think twice about uploading pictures of little Scruffy. No one is online trying to date your pet. And quite frankly, it’s an invasion of your pet’s privacy. My dog Piper is howling in agreement. 

DON’T: Use stock photography. Using Getty Images offers nothing original about you, even though everyone knows beagle puppies are cute. My dog Piper is howling again.

Ok, so you’ve got more than two original pictures uploaded and you’re using the best one as your main picture. Next, it’s time to describe yourself, or more simply, give all the information you’re willing to reveal to the world!

Check back Monday, September 13 for what to say and just as important, what not to say on your profile. Thanks for reading!