Vital Dating And Relationship Tips You Must Not Miss…. Through The Eyes of Samantha Serrano From the ‘Dating Bender’ : By Christina Julian (AVAILABLE NOW)

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.

dating bender full cover


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.

“I did my rendition of the sexy eyelash bat that Babs taught me. She said it would guarantee sex on the spot. I must have done it incorrectly because without as much as a blink, Sheldon was gone.”

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.

“I fumbled with his zipper until he came to my rescue by undressing himself for me. My nerves had gotten the better of my seduction strategy.”

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.

“It has to come from them if it is ever going to “come” at all.”

5.    When a guy’s mood flips like a light switch after …, it is most definitely, a sign. Move on.

“Frankie broke up my daydream when he entered and hovered over me anxiously like a hound dog, signaling it was time to leave. He thrust my overnight bag into my hand with the same force he had pushed his penis into me. In the light of day, it did not feel nearly as romantic and was not necessarily the wake-up call I’d hoped for after fornicating all over the place last night.”

More Dating Tips from Samantha Serrano in The Dating Bender

There is no middle ground when it comes to dating.

“How can you be sort of dumped? It’s like being kinda pregnant, either you are or aren’t. There’s no grey area when it comes to breakups.”

What not to do when someone proposes marriage:

Running and ultimately fleeing the country had to be one of the worst ways to not answer someone’s proposal. Rome is a long way to go. A simple ‘no’ would do.”

On friending:

If a man you are crushing on says….

“How about we make-out right here? But it wouldn’t mean anything. After tonight, we’d go back to being friends. Are you cool with that?”
The correct answer is:
Capital N, Capital O! Walk away while your pride is still intact.

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.”

Samantha in The Dating Bender: “He didn’t pretend to be anything other than what he was: a horny, hot guy with great hair who wanted to hook-up on his own terms with no strings or drama attached. Clearly, he ‘friended’ the wrong woman. As much as I wanted to, I could not have sex with somebody and not fall for him. Hell, I couldn’t even kiss a guy and not fall for him.”

What not to say after ‘friending’ someone

He said: “Why don’t we enjoy the rest of the weekend and forget I ever said anything. Okay, baby? I’m sure I didn’t mean it.”
She said: “At least one of us was sure of that point. There are things in life, which as much as you’d like to pretend you never heard them, were impossible to ignore. Being told you are no longer romantically attractive to your partner was one of them.”

There are certain rhetorical questions that you should never respond to under any circumstance. Here is one of them:

He said: “I feel more like roommates than lovers. Do you know what I mean?”
She said: “Uhh. Not exactly.”
If you insist on answering, you might just hear:
He said: “I’m sorry, Sam. I’m just not attracted to you anymore. I love you, but like a friend. I don’t know what to do about that, do you?”
She said: “For starters, he could stop saying ‘friend’ and start undressing me with his eyes like he used to.”

Man speak on taking a break:

He said: “I don’t recommend giving a guy space. We find way too many things to do to pass the time, if you know what I mean.”
She said: “Unfortunately, I knew exactly what he meant.”

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.




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