How Book Blogging is a lot Like Online Dating

Posted February 21, 2014 by Jana in About Me / 36 Comments

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been dealing with the “joys” of online dating lately. Being a full time online student does not leave me many options for meeting men, so I have taken the advice of some friends and started the online thing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how similar online dating and book blogging are… You’ll see what I mean. :)

This NEW thing is just so new and exciting and I am so excited to be noticed!

When I first started blogging, everything was new and everything excited me. The first comment had me giddy. The first follower had me dancing. The first review request had me singing about how awesome I was. The first granted Netgalley request had me flying to the moon. And ALL THOSE BOOKS. I requested them all! Any and all attention from people other than my family rocked my socks off, because I was SOMEONE.

When I first started online dating, I was so excited because THIS was how I would find Mr. Right. I would look at the list of thousands of eligible men and get all giddy because they were just so cute! And eligible! The first email communication made me bouncy. HE LIKES ME! Any and all attention from anyone had me smiling, because I was SOMEONE.


I am LOVING all these emails, and I must respond ALWAYS.

When the first batch of book review request emails came in, I decided that I MUST be a people pleaser and accept them ALL and read them ALL and love them ALL. I did not want to hurt an author or a publisher, so I never wanted to decline anyone. And I ended up reading a lot of junk.

I get a lot of emails from a lot of men. Some of them I get excited about, and some of them make me cringe. But I hate hurting people, so in the beginning I would respond and try to be nice to everyone. And then just run away and hide, hoping they did not write back. I ended up wasting a lot of time.


Covers. Not what they may seem.

You know how sometimes you see a book and LOVE the cover, and then the inside sucks so incredibly badly? Yeah. Exactly. Covers, much like pictures, can be super deceiving. Of COURSE, it can go the other way. I’ve read books with terrible covers that I loved. And I’ve met guys who became more attractive as I got to know them better. But sadly, this is kind of rare.


Well. THAT was not what I was expecting.

You know how you sometimes go into a book expecting a certain quality? And then you get whiplash because you were SO not expecting that? Like, someone suddenly dies in the book. Or someone just said something really stupid and made you think twice about them. The same goes for online dating. You can expect all you want, but when reality sets in it can be a tricky situation.


Can I DNF this?

Yeah, so I have been on many dates from hell. Like, the guy wants to hold your hand when you’re SO not even into him like you were hoping you would be and you can’t fathom why he thinks you ARE into him. Or he says something that makes you want to run away like, “How big is your chest?” or “It’s your job to keep my thoughts and actions pure because I can’t control myself.” Yeah. I have heard both of those multiple times. I only wish DNFing a date were as easy as closing it and throwing it across the room.


Clearly, they read nothing I said.

Ever received a review request that goes completely against your review policy? Like, you say in your policy that you hate paranormal romance, and then up pops a review request for one? Or you say you require this, this, and this from the requester in order to make an informed decision? And then you receive an email with no this, no this, and no this? It’s like, “Did they even care enough to read about me first?”

I can’t tell you how many times a man has written to me and asked me questions I had already answered in my online profile. Or… now, I am a very conservative kind of girl. I don’t drink, don’t smoke or do drugs, and don’t want to sleep with anyone until I’m married to him. And so this dude writes to me, asking if I’d like a no-strings-attached hot night involving a bar and a bed. Ick.

They ask you to make an exception because they are awesome.

Even worse than receiving a review request that goes against your policy, is receiving a review request that says, “Please make an exception for my book, because it’s something I just know you will love.”

I remember one day getting an email from a guy who actually said, “If you would just hook up with me tonight, I know you’d never regret it.” Or there’s the charming, “You’re probably just scared of it because you’ve never met a guy who knew what he was doing. Baby, I do.” I mean REALLY.


I am no longer accepting requests.

Eventually, you just HAVE to get more selective and start thinking of yourself because you can’t please everyone. Ain’t nobody got time for that! In both blogging and online dating, I have learned to ignore the people who clearly do not care, I have learned to decline if I am not interested, and I have learned to stand up for myself.

The more you do it, the smarter about it you get.

This kind of goes along with the last one, but deserves its own point. As a blogger becomes more and more seasoned, they begin to figure out how to make things better for themselves. I no longer accept everything, and I no longer request everything. I have written out schedules, I have learned to be more creative in my post ideas, I have learned to schedule ahead of time. I’ve learned how to politely decline review requests. I’ve learned how to harden my shell against authors who do not like my reviews. This just happens.

In online dating, I have gotten so much smarter. I know what I’m looking for, and know when not to waste my time. I know when and how to meet up for the first time so that it’s safe. I’ve learned to discover red flags sooner. I’ve learned how to tell a guy I’m just not interested and not feel bad about it. It’s sad to say I’ve become a seasoned online dater, but I have. *cringe*


You learn a lot about yourself.

Book blogging has opened me up to so many feelings and realizations. I’ve learned from and been changed by the books I’ve read. I’ve learned to express myself even better.

Online dating has made me realize how important I am. I will not settle for the jerks who only want one thing. I will not be an object or a pet. I will not let anyone make me feel less worthy of what I’m looking for. I will not let anyone tell me my dreams are too big or my expectations are too high. I’m good enough, and I don’t need a man to complete me. I’d love my own love story, but not at the price of my self respect.


Someday it may turn into something more.

Blogging has already taken me in a different direction, and changed my life. It helped me decide what I want in a career. It helped me decide to go back to grad school. Heck, it helped me get IN to grad school! And someday my blog might get my foot in some doors I might not have gotten into otherwise. Book blogging has been one of the best decisions of my entire life.

At this point in my life, I do not have a ton of options for meeting men. Regardless of how hard and frustrating online dating can be, I’m still holding out for my Prince Charming. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to say that jumping into online dating was THE best decision of my entire life.

So, there you have it! I think you know WAY too much about me now. Haha!

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36 responses to “How Book Blogging is a lot Like Online Dating

  1. I’ve just started trying online dating too (I just graduated from uni and I’m stuck in a job with NOBODY anywhere near my age). I swear everything you just said made me scream ‘OMG haha yes!’.

    I’m still holding out I’ll find a great guy online! I’m actually talking to someone I really like right now but for some reason he hasn’t asked to meet up yet (no matter how many damn hints I give), so I’m not sure what’s going on there.

    Hopefully we’ll both have some luck in love soon :D
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Review: In Too Deep {Amanda Grace}

    • Jana

      Ah, my last job was also a pretty dry fountain as far as dating prospects went. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by a ton of people who just won’t do! Haha. I’m glad to hear you’re talking to a good one right now! Hopefully things pick up between you. How long have you been talking?

  2. I love this post!! I can totally see how blogging and online dating can feel the same!!! I have a hard time being mean to people when they want something from me and could totally see myself having to learn the hard way that sometimes you just gotta ignore or say no! Good luck with your dating, I hope you meet someone more up to your standards and all those dickheads get a life (really who asks a girl their bra size??? Is this 8th grade?)
    Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog) recently posted…DNF Mini Reviews

  3. This post made me smile really big this Friday morning so for that I thank you : D
    “It’s your job to keep my thoughts and actions pure because I can’t control myself.” Someone said that to you? I can’t even! That sounds like a line straight out of an erotica BDSM novel. Wow!
    This is hilarious… sorry, I’m trying not to laugh at your online dating failures, but I can’t help myself. I love the way you compare it to book blogging and I cannot agree more! Pushy review requests are the worst! I feel bad, but usually I can’t even bring myself to respond.
    Love love love this post!
    CeCe recently posted…Alabama Sons by E.A. Whitehead

    • Jana

      Haha. I’m glad my post made you smile! I thought it would be a fun post to wrap the week up with. :) And YES, multiple people have told me that! And don’t feel bad about laughing over it. :) I wrote it expecting people to! Eventually you get to a place where it’s just gotten too funny, and I knew all my bookish friends would get a kick out of it!

  4. Ha! This was really fun to read, even though it’s a not totally fun thing. I mean dating is fun and all (not that I’ve had to do first dates in almost nine years…) but trying to find that one and wade through all the books and boys that aren’t interesting…blah. Thanks for sharing this and good luck! You’ll find someone worthy of you soon enough!
    Kaley @ Books Etc recently posted…Author Interview: Nancy Scrofano

  5. Kel

    I don’t know whether to laugh or give you a high five or go hide under the bed forever. To break that down, your post was very entertaining (and some of those emails you received sound downright laughable in how horrendous they are); I’m so happy you’ve found your feet in this new online realm of strangeness and are well grounded in your identity and not willing to settle; and I’m a little scared that I may soon be in your shoes. For now, I’m happily single, but depending on where you live, your job, etc., options for meeting datable guys seem to be dwindling…leaving, for better or worse, online dating. *shudder and/or sigh* Ah well, I hope that for every jerk and idiot out there, you’ve also found genuinely good guys and that you ultimately look back on this journey with a smile. Good luck!
    Kel recently posted…Vitro by Jessica Khoury (2 stars)

    • Jana

      Haha! Thank you, Kel! And thanks for saying such nice things. :) I would say I’m also happily single. It would just be nicer if I weren’t. lol. But I guess I have gotten to a place where I’d rather be single than end up with someone horrible for me. If I were to give any advice to potential online daters, it would be to join the more reputable sites, where some money is involved. I hate to say it, but the free ones are where people go to hook up and the ones that charge money are the ones people go to to try and find something more.

  6. Hi Jana, I saw your interview over on The Paper Sea and wanted to pop over and say hello! I didn’t realize when I clicked over that I would be laughing so hard at the first post I read. This post is genius. The dating stories, the gifs, the comparison to book blogging, all of it had me rolling. Thanks for writing it! I wish you luck with your online dating, and hope things take an upswing. (Though, anything is an improvement from “It’s your job to keep my thoughts and actions pure because I can’t control myself.” SERIOUSLY. WHO IS THAT PERSON.)
    On a brighter note, I love book blogging too! Glad it’s brought you so much satisfaction and fulfillment. :)
    Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon recently posted…Feature Friday: Read a Book, Get Mind-Reading Skills

    • Jana

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for popping over from The Paper Sea! I’m so glad you came over on such a funny day here on the blog. lol. Thanks for your sweet and encouraging words. :) Book blogging is wonderful, and I’m so glad you love it, too! I’ll have to come visit you and see what’s going on in your corner of the blogosphere. :)

  7. Oh man Jana, I too have found some gems in the world of online dating. Like the guy who wanted my number right off the bat before I even got to know him. Or the guy who wanted to meet up for a drink after I had literally JUST mentioned that I don’t drink.I haven’t had much luck lately so I am hoping that it will turn around soon…For you and I.
    Alexia @ Adventures in Reading recently posted…Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

    • Jana

      Oh, that is SO typical. “Hey, you’re cute. We should text.” I don’t even respond… I don’t just give out my number willy nilly so that guys can harass me when things go South. I’m hoping the best for the two of us as well. :)

  8. Andrea

    I really enjoyed this post… super accurate on all fronts.

    And give the online dating thing some time. I met some WEIRDOS…but in a month I’ll be marrying a special weirdo that I met online :) There is hope!

    • Jana

      Oh, congratulations! I’m hanging in there… I’ve been online for almost a year now, and it’s getting discouraged. Your story gives me hope, though!

  9. Jamie

    2 of my siblings found love online but they did have to go through a LOT of junk to find their happy endings. Good luck. You’re beautiful and I’m so glad you know what you’re worth! :)

  10. This post makes me smile :))
    Not to laugh at your online dating ‘failures’ though, but it’s just sweet and good that now you can reflect so much from your experience and compare it to blogging.
    Don’t worry so much about men though, the right one will come in the right time. Good luck, Jana!
    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading recently posted…Finding time to read (and blog)

  11. I never thought about it before, but you are right that blogging and online dating are the same. Good luck with the dating. I have lots of friends who found someone through online dating, but I guess there are a lot of frogs too.
    Pamela D recently posted…Sunday Update – 2/23

  12. So, I wasn’t going to comment because this is the first time I’ve read your blog but after reading the online dating post I just had to say something. About five years ago I was in a similar place. It was so lame my mom actually paid for my first month of the dating site. I went through many of the same emotions you’ve experienced and, because I think I’m Bridget Jones, I ended up finding the only deaf guy on who totally pulled me through these amazing, epic, emails. When he finally slipped in that he was deaf I didn’t know what to do – other than laugh and go on a date with him.

    He and I dated for eight months and had a really bad break up BUT, and here is the most important part of it all, online dating got me in the right frame of mind for dating and meeting people. It opened me up to possibilities and when a friend of mine called on a Wed night, begging me to be her wing woman, I didn’t say no, I have work, I went with her and ended up meeting my now husband. He was the wing-man of my friend’s date.

    You never know how things are going to work but, you can open the door and tell the universe to come on in and party. Wonderful things happen when you do.

    Good luck!!!
    Jessica Cooley recently posted…Cover Love

  13. I’m laughing! This is a wonderful post! You are right. Not that I have any experience with the whole online dating part – well I kind of do, being in a relationship with a guy I met online, but not through any online dating sites. *cough* chatroom *cough*. But it’s really fun to read, and I think the gifs totally make it even funnier. There are a lot of weirdos and creepy guys online, so I guess you’ll have to be careful who to meet up with and who gets a piece of your heart.
    Sandra @ Sandra’s World of Books recently posted…Turkish Delight – Jan Wolkers

  14. Liza

    This post is so funny! Especially with all of the gifs. I guess online dating isn’t much different than meeting guys in public. You get the same creepy lines, guys licking their lips in your direction, or the weird stare that the guy thinks is sultry but really he’s making your skin crawl. It still takes work to weed out the frogs from the princes – whether meeting online or in person. But I happen to know quite a few women who met their husbands online. In one case, the couple was engaged after dating for 3 months. Her family was NOT happy about that. But here they are, almost 5 years and 2 kids later – still happily married. So keep hope alive ;-)