While second shots in life and romance are hard to come by, you can’t blame a gal for trying, and trying, and trying. Which is exactly what I did, and lead character Samantha Serrano does in The Dating Bender. Between the two of us, we picked up some road rules along the way.
And so, The Dating Bender, began. First as a series of journal entries that chronicled some of my most over-the-top dating moments. And later as an essay entitled: Fire Your Family! Because even though every gal deserves a do-over, her family may not be nearly as enamored by the idea.
As I bounced from city to city (Annapolis, Tampa, Colorado Springs, New York, Los Angeles, Rome) and man to man, I realized these situations were touching, alarming, exhilarating, but more than anything funny.
For lack of a better role model Samantha Serrano turns to women’s magazines in times of crisis. Which for her, is always. She lives in a world according to Oprah, Cosmo, Glamour and any other magazine and self-help guru she can get her hands on.
The character of Samantha is a reflection, of the “every woman,” who is trying like hell to figure it, but failing with aplomb in the process. She is an amalgamation of myself and every female friend and force in my life that came along for the rollicking ride that was my 20s and 30s. Her journey explores what it means to fight fiercely for your place in the world, one bad date and relationship misadventure after the next. Until she finally figures out what her (and not her family’s) idea of happily ever after really is.
The Dating Bender is also an homage to all the men who came in and out of my life. Without whose daring, loving, and at times deplorable behavior, this book would never have been possible.
5 Dating tips from lead character Samantha Serrano in the rom-com:
The Dating Bender
1. An eyelash bat can go a long way, but the execution is key.
2. When a man tells you he loves you like a friend, the only acceptable answer is NO! End it before he does.
“He leaned over, his massive forearms trembling, and kissed my button nose that he supposedly loved so much. Not enough to prevent him from ‘friending’ me. It’s odd how friending in the real world is nothing like being friended on Facebook. The former just sucks.”
3. There is no shame in asking for help.
4. Waiting for a man to make the move doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When he moves first you, know where you stand—he’s into you.
5. When a guy’s mood flips like a light switch after …, it is most definitely, a sign. Move on.
More Dating Tips from Samantha Serrano in The Dating Bender
There is no middle ground when it comes to dating.
What not to do when someone proposes marriage:
If a man you are crushing on says….
Harry was right when he told Sally this in the classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally: “Men and women can never be just friends. The sex part will always get in the way.”
What not to say after ‘friending’ someone…
There are certain rhetorical questions that you should never respond to under any circumstance. Here is one of them:
Man speak on taking a break:
The Dating Bender
Author: Christina Julian
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Christina Julian writes snarky rom-coms that celebrate the underdog and live to make people laugh. She adores dysfunctional leading ladies and the tangled twisty lives they lead. She adamantly believes there is nothing in life that can’t be conquered with a bodacious wine, strong cup of coffee, or a generously iced cupcake. When she is not tapping out her next novel or wrangling her 3-year-old twins, she can be found swilling and swirling in the name of research as a wine and food columnist in Napa Valley. She strives always to live her life to the extreme.
Christina’s work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast, California Home + Design, 7×7, Weddings California, NorthBay Biz, Napa Valley Register, Napa Valley Life, Bohemian, Weekly Calistogan and beyond.