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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Love in an Elevator

There are a couple of good ways to meet men. One, when you’re alone in an elevator with them. Two, when he has his dog—good conversation topic, and if you show a guy you like his dog, it’s usually a way to his heart. Well, I recently hit two birds with one stone. And on top of things…it was a very slow moving elevator. Too bad I was in my smelly gym clothes. It was the second time I had seen this guy in my apartment building, and I had been in my sweaty gym attire both times. Why couldn’t I have been wearing one of my cute sundresses? Of course not, I only wear those when I see skeevy old men on the street.

And on top of things, his dog’s name is “Coco.” That’s what my Mom calls me, I wanted to tell him. But he probably didn’t want to hear anything from the nasty, sweaty, smelly girl, who he had the unfortunate circumstances of being stuck with in a slow moving elevator.



We made small talk.

Me: “Cute dog.”

Him: “Thanks, she’s a little rambunctious.”

Me: “Oh really? She seems well behaved.” You’re so lame. Who says that?

Him: “Sometimes, when she wants to be.” Why is this elevator moving so slow? You smell.

Me: “How old is she?”

Him: “One and a half.”

Me: “She’ll settle down.”

Him: “I hope so. She’s a little wild, gets scared with other dogs.”


Him: Second floor! Thanks goodness!

Me: “Well, have a good night.”

Him: “Thanks, you too.”

Coco: You’re both boring, something smells, and for once it’s not me.

Why? Why is that so torturous? A girl finds herself in a decent situation to make conversation with an okay guy, and she blows it. So maybe I was not in the best attire, or my fragrance wasn’t up to par, especially being in a confined space, but hey, I flirted with your dog, buddy, give me a break! The thing is, how do we make the most of these situations when we get put into them? We can find ourselves with good dating possibilities every day, we just need to know when to notice them, and how to utilize them. And how to not totally screw them up… (Tip: Just don’t be like me.)

So here are some places and situations to gear yourself up for — in case you find yourself in them — and how to respond and initiate conversation, so that it might last beyond the closing of an elevator door.

Dogs are a given, and we’ve already touched on that with dog walking. Any sort of neighborhoodly activity is good, whether it is just going for a walk, biking, or being in your yard. Just being outside puts you out there to scope out others and for them to see you. Being a friendly neighbor helps.

Waiting in line. I was once waiting for my coffee, post order, at that tiny little counter so they can yell out my name and what I ordered to the world, even though I’m standing right in front of them. Anyway, there were a few other people waiting and some dude comes up behind me and says, “This is worse than waiting at the post office.” So all right, it was kind of weak. I just gave him a fake laugh and agreed. I could have attempted more, but I just wanted my coffee and to get out there…because, wait, now that I think about it, it was worse than the post office. He had a point! Okay, so anyway…waiting in line is a good opportunity to meet and talk to people—whether at the post office, coffee shop, grocery store….it’s just time being wasted, you might as well be wasting it with someone cute. Or not cute. Hey, I’m not picky. The point is, make conversation when you can. “Oh, you like Tostitos? Me too. Maybe we can share a bag.” Nah, just kidding. Who shares Tostitos? They’re good. Get your own bag.

“How long are you on for?” he asked me, as I was pedaling away on the bike at the gym. What kind of question is that? It’s like asking someone in jail, “how long are you in for?” What a weirdo. So that conversation didn’t last long, and I cut my bike time down because he kept trying to make chit-chat. Okay, maybe this isn’t a good example. I’m the type of gym-goer who likes solitary gym time, but there are those people, most people actually, who like to mix and mingle at the gym, and that’s great. It’s definitely a good place to meet people and there have been plenty of successful relationships to come of it. Need help with a machine? Ask the guy next to you! Not sure how to use some of the weight equipment. Ask one of the trainers. Also, some gyms have little dining areas for post-gym snacking. It’s a great place to sit and mingle after a workout. Small talk is a casual way to see what kind of vibe you get from a person. It’s easy and there’s no commitment, and if you like the way you mesh, you might even find that you’ll like this person better when they aren’t out of breath and sweaty… hmm… on second thought…

Strike up conversation wherever you can — you never know what it can lead to. Even if you weren’t actively seeking someone out, don’t blow someone off when they make casual chit-chat with you in line. Every opportunity is just that, an opportunity. In order to date, you have to meet people, and in order to meet people, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pretty dress to put on and an elevator to go wait in.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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