Hootenannie’s Dating Tips


I’ve heard that activity on online dating sites soars after the holidays.

As one who currently does not have a profile on any dating site (despite having spent some quality time on every available platform in the past – and probably will again in the future), I say good on you. If you’ve declared 2015 the year of finding love, I wish you more of Cupid’s arrows than you know what to do with.

By no means am I a dating aficionado. That very thought deserves a literal LOL. But in 2014, I went on my fair share of dates – maybe more than any other year in my life thus far. And I learned a few things. And because I am known as a Lady of Wisdom (again, literal LOL – and why can there not be a Sarcasm font?), I am here to bestow on you Hootenannie’s Dating Tips. LOL. LOL.

  • Get a puppy. Instant conversation starter. But…
  • Do not go out with men from the dog park. You need that place too much to want to avoid it later.
  • If someone is sending you mixed signals, it’s actually just one signal: run for your life. Mixed signals are the equivalent of multiplying by zero: no matter how positive, times it by zero and you wind up with nothing.
  • Do not spend the better part of a year emotionally entangled with a person who has no intention of dating you – even if he is the best texter you know. Listen, I grew up in church youth group, which means that at age 14 I made a “Husband List” (just to keep the LOLs rolling). And I’m here to tell you that not even googly-eyed teenage girls put “good texter” on their List.
  • If he doesn’t want to date you, do not listen to “I Can’t Make You Love Me” on repeat while drinking wine and envisioning your bleak future of solitude.
  • If she doesn’t want to date you, don’t send her snarky texts in the middle of the night and defriend her on Facebook before she’s even awake for the day. Take it like a man, because God knows I’m trying to.
  • A breakup is like a broken bone: set it, and then don’t mess with it.
  • Confidence will get you further than looks. Just look at Tom Petty.
  • Never, under any circumstances, assume that the man is her cousin.
  • No matter what, keep hoping. Because just like Fievel says, it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star.

Now go forth and date. Be your wonderful self, and don’t settle for someone who doesn’t make you laugh. But maybe be open to someone shorter than you imagined when you wrote your Husband List. I’ll be here on my couch with Foxy cheering you on.




  1. Jessica on January 8, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Love’m all.

    I’d add one, from my 2014: don’t bother with a second date if a man brags to you on the first about how his mom loves him so much that she will get out of bed at midnight to make him a sandwich if he wants one when he visits her. MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICH AND LET YOUR MOTHER SLEEP, GROWN MAN.

  2. Lan | morestomach on January 8, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    when i decided to date again i slapped together a profile almost right after new year. i had no idea about the increased activity after the holidays stat. my one rule was: no texting. i wanted the guy to woo me properly, if he wanted to talk or ask me out, he needed to pick up the phone and call me. Of the 5 guys I met that month I had an online profile, I ended up marrying the one who followed that rule.

  3. Leigh Kramer on January 8, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    It took me longer than I want to admit to learn the “mixed signals” rule. So, so long.

  4. Aaron on January 8, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Interesting tips Annie! I’ve been doing a lot of dating myself over the past year. I never realized how important texting is these days. It seems that “good texter” is at the top of many girls’ lists these days, even if they don’t realize it. And following up on the previous comment, it seems that many girls actually get freaked out when you try to call them. I’m all for calling but I’ve actually on a couple occasions had girls simply stop responding after I tried to call them, and I’m pretty sure it was because of the phone call.

  5. Hope on January 8, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Yes, and AMEN!

    I spent AT LEAST a year on bullets 4 and 5, and I have no one to blame but myself (and one of the best texters / worst leaders-on out there).

  6. Sarah on January 8, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    feivel goes west! Oh how I loved that movie. And yes, sarcasm should be a font…that I permanently write in. Why dear Annie are we destined to be only internet friends!

    Dating tip #27…visit Nicaragua and if nothing else get your confidence boosted by all the attention you’ll get, :)

  7. Sharon on January 8, 2015 at 11:49 PM

    ….Tom Petty. Perfect!

  8. Marijke on January 9, 2015 at 1:41 AM

    So funny, I instagrammed you. Thanks for the laugh, my friend.

  9. Erin on January 9, 2015 at 9:05 AM


  10. hootenannie on January 9, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Hahaha – Erin, you’ll have to be the eyes on the ground for me for Gharmony. :)

  11. rachieannie on January 9, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    That little mouse is full of wisdom that lasts through the ages!

    You could do what I did, and just go work at a summer camp, which is a microcosm of a Bible college, all in fast forward. Go through several awkward are we/aren’t we situations and then end up picking one and holding onto him for dear life (which is awesome by the way. soooo glad I didn’t pick any of the other ones!)

  12. Daniel on January 9, 2015 at 1:08 PM


  13. Michael on January 9, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    This is fab! I once told a girl she reminded me of my mother…once we got over that debacle, we hit it off. We’re still together. But I spewed my drink at “the man is her cousin”!!! Love you, Annie…the last tip is the best: keep hoping! Be a hopeful romantic, because sometimes, out of an orange-colored sky, flash, bam, alakazam!

  14. Jacque Ormsbee on January 10, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Love these. So much truth enveloped in the Annie humor I adore.

  15. Allison on January 10, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Oh my gosh, yes. Yes to running from mixed signals, yes to not being emotionally wrapped up with a good texter who will never date you (so much time lost, oh. my gosh.), and yes to not messing with a breakup. Just, YES.

  16. [not the] Best Blog Ever on January 13, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Just… You know… Tell me you haven’t spent time on the http://farmersonly.com/ platform…

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