Love in the Time of Collection Agencies


Getting fired sucks. Getting fired AND not getting any nookie sucks worse, so Flavorwire has asked the experts and is bringing you the all new Recession Dating series. This week we talked to dating writers Diane Mapes (author of How to Date) and Judy McGuire (author of How Not To Date ) for a Do’s and Don’ts of cashless courtship. Their responses to some of our laid-off pal’s tricky romance questions after the jump. (And if you’ve got a burning question you’d like us to send their way, hit us up here.)

I lost my job. What do I tell potential dates so I don’t sound like a loser? Diane: You’re more than just a job title. Keep in mind that a lot of the country is out of work, and it’s all that anyone’s talking about. If you’re currently jobless, you’re hip right now, you’re what everyone’s talking about. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet somebody else who’s out of work and the two of you can bond over some Top Ramen. Judy: I agree. Being on the dole is the new black. Cash that unemployment check (direct deposit is for losers) and bring your bankroll to the bar. Inform the first cutey you see that you plan on purchasing them as much Genessee Cream Ale as they can guzzle. With any luck you’ll still have enough left for a White Castle brekkie for the two of you the next morning.

My unemployment just ran out and I have a date this weekend. What now? Do we summon the VISA genie? Diane: Some of the best dates are no money outings. Pick up a deck of cards and teach your date how to play poker at the local coffee house. Go for a walk in the park and nuzzle under the pine needles. Check out Sunday flea markets. If your date seems like the intellectual type, take them to a reading at your favorite bookstore Bake some cookies together and then get creative with some melted chocolate. Judy: Don’t break out the credit card! Sweet booty action should not have to cost you. I had a broke-ass date arrange to meet me at an art opening. He got there early and downed so much gratis white wine that the lady dispensing the vino was actually mouthing “noooo!!!” at me, from behind his back. Then he suggested we go to a bar around the corner. We both ordered a drink. When they came, he grabbed his and said, “I’ll get you next date.” There was no next date, but he did get several glasses of free Chablis and a beer on me. Take from that what you will.

I just moved in with my girlfriend. How do I tell her I lost my job? Diane: Definitely go through your options. Figure out how much unemployment will be coming in, what you might be able to sell to bring in quick cash, ways you can cut back on your monthly expenses, and what you can do to find new income, even if it’s walking dogs or editing resumes for cash. Once you’ve got the numbers together, lay it on the line. Be straight about the bad news, but show your partner you’ve got a battle plan other than becoming a master at Resident Evil 5. Judy: There is only one course of action: grovel. Oh, and provide lots of oral sex. Become a giver even if it kills you.

I lost my job but got a severance — I’ll be taking my boyfriend on vacation! Good idea or not? Diane: Great idea! But you may want to make it a mini-vacay. Getting laid-off is scary and can make the world seem as warm and welcoming as a Saw trailer so treat yourselves to a little fun. Check around for deals. Pump your friends/family/former coworkers for a cheap time-share/house-sitting option. Hit the road (gas is cheaper right now) instead of flying off to some exotic locale. Be creative and you can have a great time whether you’re in Palm Springs or Poughkeepsie. Judy: I say, the more extravagant the better, so when you return and he starts bitching about how you haven’t paid your half of the rent in six months you can retort with “Yeah, but remember when I took you to the Poconos?!”

Since I lost my job all I do is sit around the apartment in my skivvies with a beer and a bowl of corn chips! What do I do? Diane: I don’t understand. Is sitting around in your underpants and drinking all day a problem? Seriously, if you don’t feel like dating, don’t date. But you definitely want to take care of yourself and not fall into a dark pit of self-pity and despair. If nothing else, get together with your buddies for beer and corn chips, but do wear pants! Judy: Mmm, greasy, broke and drunk — Judy likey!

My confidence is in the basement since I got canned. Getting in the mood is close to impossible! How does Stella get her groove back? Diane: Work it to your advantage. Make a date to watch Some Like It Hot with someone to whom you’re attracted. At the part where Tony Curtis confesses to Marilyn Monroe that he’s unable to feel passion, tell your date that, by a strange coincidence, you’re suffering from the same thing. With Marilyn as their inspiration, they should take up the challenge and you should be in the pink (so to speak) in no time. Judy: That’s all good but you have all this time to have sex and you’re wasting it by being a mopey little bitch? Excuse me, Morrissey! You should be having sex 24/7! As long as your getting benefits, unemployment is like a paid sexcation from the government. The jobless rate is at 8.1%, so how can you take it personally? Pull those pants down and get busy, buddy!