You’re not officially involved in the New York dating scene until you’ve sacrificed your profile photo (and, in some cases, your dignity) at the altar of a GPS-based dating app. But Miss Wingman finally pulled the rip cord, and recently went on her very first Tinder date. This is what happened.

The set up: Mutual right-swiping, Tinder style.

The guy: A sensitive ponytail man-type, only without the ponytail. Clad in a cardigan and rocking at least a 3-day shave stubble, we’ll call this dude Soft-spoken Sean.

In what can only be called a supremely small metropolitan world, when Soft-spoken Sean initially chatted me up on Tinder, the first thing he said was, “Do you have a friend named *Marni?” (*yeah, that’s not her name either.) I do, in fact, have a friend by that name, and he proceeded to tell me that he’d only ever met one other person with my first name, and that person was at his then-girlfriend’s birthday party nine years ago. Yes, 9.

He told me that at the time he’d thought I was cute, and when I popped up in the Tinder-sphere, he had a hunch it was the same person. I didn’t know whether I should be very flattered that this relative stranger remembered me, or mildly creeped out. But, after texting with her to confirm that he was normal, we agreed to meet for coffee in Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon.

Age: 33

Hometown: I suck, but I completely forgot what he said. I’m sure it was something in the tri-state area though.

Occupation: Film and television producer. Er, Production Assistant? AP? Fuck if I know. Dude had left a job in finance in his late 20′s to get his masters at a prestigious NYC university specializing in journalism, and since he’d only been in the production game a few years, I assume his job was support staff. But props to him for making the jump. Miss Wingman’s a big proponent of finding your passion.

Height: Tall – at least 6 feet. Arguably the most manly thing about him, in fact.

The date: It doesn’t get more placid than a coffee shop in DUMBO in the middle of the day, with someone to whom you already have overlapping social connections. So needless to say, I was expecting things to be pretty low key. Just not quite like this…

The date was really sedate. Like, they couldn’t have been more cozy or platonic if he was curled up on a sofa with a cup of tea and a cat in his lap, sedate. And speaking of tea, that’s what he ordered. Not joking! And no, he’s not British.

Um, yeah. I think you can probably see where this is going already.

Fahhhk, I can’t say enough good things about this guy, either, but once again there was no spark on my end. Maybe it was because Soft-spoken Sean and I spent so much time talking about our production backgrounds and being caffeine-driven film & television gurus who work until 2am and never have health insurance, but it felt like he was a friend. Or maybe it was because he just didn’t seem like a guy’s guy.

In any event, something was missing (his masculinity, perhaps?) and I felt like I was the dude at the table, not him. I can’t emphasize enough how sweet, intelligent and pleasant he was, but it seemed more like an afternoon you’d have with your aunt over a cup of camomile than a Tinder date. Where was the flirting? The “You wanna get out of here”‘s? Much like my coffee, I’m afraid, it was all a little too vanilla.

Postgame analysis: Soft-spoken Sean has a lot – and I mean alot – of good qualities…for some other girl. Some vegan, Rachel Maddow-watching, cat-owning Williamsburg girl. Just not this chick.

The takeaway: Alas, I need more of “Smartass Sam” than a Soft-spoken Sean.

Final score:Webout of 5. I enjoyed talking to him, and I liked him immensely as a person. I’d actually be friends with this guy, and I don’t mean that in the bullshit, disingenuous way that most people do. Still, getting Friend Zone’d is the kiss of death. I suck, I know.

Next up Miss Wingman’s sorting through a mountain of Match emails, though the front runner seems to be a 39-year-old Oxford grad who moved to Brooklyn after several years abroad and, if his profile photos don’t lie, enjoys tennis, having good hair, and fairisle sweaters. What do you think, Wingman faithful, should I give it a go?

Weigh in on what you’ve read so far, boys and girls, and in the meantime, as usual, I’ll be just winging it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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Everyone thinks they’re qualified to give dating advice. And truthfully, anyone can – since 95% of it sucks anyway (present company excluded.) But sometimes Miss Wingman doesn’t mind stepping aside. And when I do, who better to listen to about how to date and who to marry than people who also don’t mince words – kids.

So if you need some fresh inspiration, here’re the top 6 answers – my favorites – from a delightful piece called “How You Decide Who To Marry (written by kids).” Because sometimes they’re good for things other than free housekeeping and the HOV lane. Who knew?

How do you decide who to marry? 

“You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.” – Alan, age 10

F**k yeah to the sports part, Alan. (I mean, “yayyyy.”) I couldn’t agree with you more. As for the second part: slow your roll, man. Women want to go to the game with you, not serve your ass Tostitos. What you’re describing’s a waitress, not a wife, and confusing the two will ensure that you go an awfully long time without the latter.

When is it OK to kiss someone?

“The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.” - Howard, age 8

I admire your integrity, Howard. But that kind of conviction is what leads to more virgin-centric reality shows and people with the last name Duggar.

What would you do on a first date that was going sour? 

“I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.” - Craig, age 9

That’s some dark sh*t right there, Craig. Points for creativity and committing to it, though. Also, someone should probably call your parents.

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Is it better to be single or married?

“It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.” - Anita, age 9 (middle name Obi-Wan)

Or, you know, to not.

I’d love to see what a throwdown would look like between Anita and Alan, who clearly gets his philosophy on women from Kenny from “The Cosby Show”s older brother.

What is the right age to get married?

“Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.” - Camille, age 10

Right. Not to be confused with 33, Camille, because by then you’ve probably given up on getting married and are just preparing for your daily march ever-closer to impending death. (Kidding, relax.)

How would you make a marriage work?

“Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.” - Ricky, age 10

Amen, brotha. Amen.GEEK WINGMAN

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Who doesn’t love some good competitive eating every now and then? Apparently, people on dates (and for good reason). Yes in the midst of this oppressive, sweaty heat wave we’re experiencing, I couldn’t help but sweat it out for the guy who sent in this latest dating horror story.

Meet Rob, the insurance salesman from New Jersey who thought he was taking a nice girl out to dinner, but ended up being the less masculine one of the pair. While Miss Wingman loves when guys send in stories for this feature, I hope none of you encounter anything like this on a date. Ever again.

Jen, the champ: I was set up with this girl through a friend of a friend, but we both had dating profiles on the same site. So I think technically it still fits your “Online Dating Horror Story” criteria. We’d exchanged a few emails and she’d sent me a photo of herself before we decided to have dinner one Friday night. I thought she was pretty, if a bit more athletic-looking than most girls I’d dated. Our mutual friend said she was “into triathlons” and played several sports in a corporate league. I had an ex who was a soccer player, so I thought nothing of it. Game on.

She suggested a sports bar near her house, and when I walked in I saw that she’d already gotten us a booth in the back. When she stood up to say hello, I noticed that she was a lot taller than I’d expected, and almost had bigger triceps than I did. That’s hard to do, I’ve played Rugby since high school.

We exchanged some small talk and sipped our waters while the waitress brought us menus. That’s when trouble started. Our waitress mentioned that, in addition to the specials, the bar also featured a sandwich called the “Big Daddy” that, if you finished the whole thing, would earn you a free meal.

The menu described it as “a colossal stack of gooey, fried awesomeness,” which was really a cheeseburger with chicken fingers, fries and more cheese piled 8 inches high, all wrapped up on “bread” that was really a pizza folded in half. Oh and it was doused in wing sauce, too. My date turned to me and shouted, “Let’s do it!” But the waitress said it had to be eaten by only one person for it to count. I was so freaked out that she would even consider it that it didn’t even really sink in when Jen told the waitress that she’d take the challenge herself.

What the hell was happening?

As I sat there trying to process that a female had just ordered a meal on a first date that even truck drivers couldn’t take down, I glanced at our waitress who shot me back an equally surprised/sympathetic look. “It’ll be great!” Jen told me. “I can out eat almost anyone, and this way I’ll be a cheap date.” Then she high-fived me (not kidding) and asked me about what I did for a living.

I couldn’t even concentrate on what I was saying because she began picking at this enormous scab on her elbow while I was talking (*Miss Wingman note: Ew. Just…ew.) When she caught me staring she said, “Haha, yeah – isn’t it gnarly? I got it playing kickball the other day. We crushed the other team though so it’s all good.”

I would’ve been tempted to get up at this point, but that’s when they brought out the Big Daddy on this huge tray. And handed Jen a bib. Yup – a bib. She was smiling ear to ear, I was exchanging confused looks with guys around me.

Then the waitress went over and rang this cowbell thing on the wall alerting the bar that someone was taking the “Daddy Challenge” and then people started watching and coming over to stand by our table to cheer her on. Within minutes there was a full-blown chant going as Jen dove into this enormous towering pile of food. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had sauce all over her face and hands (not to mention pieces of lettuce stuck to her bib) and when I offered her a napkin to clean up, she said, “Nah what’s the point? I’ll wait til I’m done, doesn’t bother me.” Holy sh*t. I was speechless.

As it turns out, Jen DID finish the Big Daddy. And even though I was grossed out and it was the least sexy thing I’ve ever seen a girl do, I had to hand it to her. It was impressive. But when the crowd subsided and they took away her plate, she realized that someone had taken her purse while she was eating. When she panicked and told me, my first reaction was, “Wait you carry a purse?” She seemed like more of a wallet in the back pocket kind of girl.

We alerted the bar and everyone looked around, but at that point it was a lost cause (on the purse front and the date front). I offered to give her a ride home since her keys were gone, too but she said she’d rather call her roommate to bring her a spare set. I stayed with her until her friend came, but then high-tailed it out of there. As I was walking out, I heard someone let out a long, loud burp and, without even turning around, knew it was her.

Ladies, I know even jock girls need love, too, but if you want a guy to be into you, don’t spend half your date with condiments on your face. Her name is still up on the wall at the bar, by the way.

Rob: This. Is. Awesome. I mean, not the losing her bag part – that’s a stomach-sinking feeling that all women have had at one point or another and it SUCKS. But the devouring a platter of food that would make most dudes cower part is pretty outstanding, you have to admit. On one hand, the scab-picking would’ve made me bolt for the door – I’m nauseous just writing about it. But on the other hand, you have to admire a girl who was so comfortable being herself around you that it didn’t dawn on her to be self-conscious. The only one horrified was you.

And yes, even not-so-girly girls need love, too. But if ingesting 3000 calories isn’t your idea of a fun first date, I totally get it. You’ve got to hand it to her, though. She was a cheap date in the end. And it sounds like she’d be a hit at parties, too.

The next time you go out with a woman who seems like she has more testosterone than you (the next time?), bear in mind how hard it must be for jock-ish girls to find a guy who isn’t threatened by them. I guess it’d be similar to skinny, frail guys who are man pretty finding dates too. I mean, I don’t go out with guys who wear a smaller jean size than I do, but I guess that’s what they made hipster girls for… Either way, better luck next time and to Jen out there – wherever you are – consider this me sending you a chest bump. Well done, girl.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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