As anyone who has ever had more than one romantic partner or watched any modern day sitcom other than Entourage can tell you, dating isn’t always easy. And I don’t know, I stopped watching Entourage after Season 1, so maybe there was a dramatic tonal shift and it suddenly became hard for the guys to get girls to shower them with attention and sexual favors somewhere down the line. In any case, when you’re single, finding a meaningful, adult relationship can often be a trial that challenges you to trust your instincts and go a bit outside of your comfort zone in order to get whatever it is that you want.
Why am I waxing philosophical about romantic entanglements, you ask? Is there nothing new going on with some deranged celebrity this week that I could talk to you all about instead? Well, first of all, yes there is. But more importantly, I just found out about a website called HeTexted and it’s blowing my goddamn mind.
HeTexted is billed as the first Q&A service dedicated to dating questions. The basic idea the founders of the site ask you to buy into is that girls are emotional, desperate and confused, and guys are intentionally cryptic because they really just wanna crush mad pussy. You know, men are from Mars, women are from Venus—if Mars were a titty bar and Venus were a Ben and Jerry’s-stained Snuggie waiting next to an iPhone on a Saturday night.
So what’s a girl to do when she gets a text from a guy she likes and doesn’t know what it means? Text back, “Hey, what does that mean?” No way, dummy! She might as well text back, “I am an old shriveled hag, want 2 get married and have kids tmrw nite?”
Instead, she should log on to HeTexted.com, post a screengrab of an out of context portion of a text message (or BBM if you actually are an old shriveled hag) and let a group of completely anonymous strangers with no knowledge of the situation decode how the guy is really feeling. And then she can act accordingly! Independent thoughts? Nah, we’re cool.
But, if you decide dating is hard enough without Lisa Winning and Kenny’s input, then I encourage you to consider asking your date what they’re actually feeling. Maybe even in person sometimes.
One of the founders, Carrie Henderson McDermott, should totally know about such things because, as she clearly points out in her bio, he texted, and then he put a ring on it. Mission accomplished! From SMS to Jared in 60 seconds, bitches! The other founder, Lisa Winning, left her relationship status out, so maybe she’s not just a founder, but an avid member, too? Winning joke too easy.
In any case, if the Greek Chorus of Internet Trolls isn’t providing enough insight, there’s also the Ask A Bro feature, where seasoned daters with names like Mason and Finn will listen to your dilemma and tell it to you straight, girl. Does this guy like you or is he just not that into your ass? Ask Kenny! He’s married, so he knows “more than anyone what makes a guy put a ring on it.” More than anyone! He’s the only married guy on earth and they got him on HeTexted! What a coup. He’s so famous for being a marriage expert, that he just came back from North Korea, presumably to learn about the only people with less progressive views on dating and gender roles than his own.
You can also ask self-proclaimed douchebag Ben. Or me-proclaimed douchebag Jared, who goes by "J-Train" and also writes for the popular website Bro Bible. J-Train is brutally honest because that’s just the type of bro he is. There’s also token gay Bro Josue, who says he knows guys “inside and out, literally.” Bro Mason calls himself a Dude Whisperer, which doesn’t even really make sense in this context, and James is “an NYC player,” something I’m pretty sure only people who can’t feel love call themselves.
I don’t really know what the worst thing about HeTexted is. That it was founded by two women, but seems to reinforce awful stereotypes of girls? That the ultimate goal proffered by the site is to get somebody to put a ring on it? That it reduces complex human emotions down to totally arbitrary judgments based on the most basic and easily misconstrued form of communication since Morse Code? That someone, somewhere is listening to advice given by someone who calls himself "J-Train" and his friend the Dude Whisperer?
Here’s my advice, for what it’s worth: If going on HeTexted and listening to a bunch of people you don’t know—or maybe only a few people, we have no idea who is voting on this shit—makes you feel better and more confident, then go for it. But, if you decide dating is hard enough without Lisa Winning and Kenny’s input, then I encourage you to consider asking your date what they’re actually feeling. Maybe even in person sometimes.
Then, you can submit your screengrabs to my new website: WeExchangedTextsLikeAdultsandThenIGotOnWithMyMotherfuckingDay.com. Don’t bother telling "J-Train". I don’t think he’s ready.
Steve Dool is a writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.