Dear Gail: My Life of Dating Guppies

Comedian Gail Forrest commiserates with an online dater catching no “fish" and shares her advice for dining with vegans.

My Life of Dating Guppies

Dear Gail,
I know you are familiar with online dating. I’ve been trying it for a couple of years now and I still don’t completely understand it. People hit “like” and show some attention. There might be a few text exchanges and then they disappear.

It seems to be more of a gaming app than a dating app. Are people doing this just to see if someone could be interested in them but don’t really want to have a relationship other than disembodied, noncommittal texting?

Seems to be more like fly fishing; it’s just “catch and release.” 

Am I seeing this correctly?

Dear Unhooked:
What a coincidence as I have had the same thought. Fly fishing is the perfect analogy. Yep, catch and release, or hang out on the shore holding a rod pretending to fish. There doesn’t seem to be any intent to catch and keep. It’s a fishing free for all. Poles flying in every direction and yet none land a fish? It must be more fun to message people, click the “like” button and get a quick response than to meet them.  It’s a high school popularity contest but as a grownup. Feeling popular never grows old, even if you are.

I think the days of “there are plenty of fish in the sea” have become “there are approximately four guppies in a toxic pond.” I apologize to guppies, but I have to date them. And sadly, even dating guppies requires time and energy. I pick and choose as carefully as I can short of hiring a private investigator to pre-screen. Any volunteers?

Lately however, the best part of dating barely-breathing fish has been coming home and thinking up fun nicknames for them. There was Mr. Dinnerless Dinner Date, Mr. High School Football Star 1970, Mr. Too Tight Pants, Mr. I Only Talk About Me, and Mr. Not Quite Divorced. This last nickname is never a fun surprise. And yes, it is always a surprise. Memory loss? Or fear of money loss? Toxic waters for anyone dating this fish.  

Mr. Unhooked, all I can advise is to forget fishing in dating sites and go where the three-dimensional people are: on the pickleball court.

I’ll Have What She’s Having

Dear Gail,
Shouldn’t your date, tell you if they have any dietary issues? Last week I took an otherwise wonderful woman to Ruth’s Chris, anticipating a glass of red, a rare steak and some great conversation.  It wasn’t until after seeing the menu she confessed to being a vegan. Wrong restaurant.  At least she drank, so we enjoyed our salads while she extolled the virtues of veganism non-stop and then we went our separate ways.

With all the complications in trying to start a relationship, why is it so hard to be upfront about such relatively minor things rather than after we sit down and have it become uncomfortable? If I’d known beforehand I would have picked a different place to eat.  Or am I just being a man and need to get over it? 
Still hungry 

Dear Still Hungry:
I think you are being a realist, especially when it comes to taking someone out to dinner. It’s expensive and requires wallet busting valet parking. Admittedly I am the worst person with whom to dine because I don’t eat meat, am allergic to avocados which always shocks my date as well as the waiter, prefer to order last as I can’t commit and usually change my mind as the server is walking away and have to call him back.  I’m a pleasure. 

No one likes dining with me.  In my defense however, I always tell a date I don’t eat meat.  I am not a total buzz kill as chicken and fish are fine. Oh and I love a good thick Turkey sandwich, with tomatoes, a dill pickle and no mayo in New York City at the Carnegie Deli.  Yes, high maintenance.

There are so many crazy diets these days that it makes my head spin and lose the will to eat.  I still don’t understand what Keto means and whoever thinks of these names has too much time on their hands and flunked English.

Pescatarian  – no meat just fish. 
Flexitarian – plant foods with a small amount of meat.    Huh? And how small is small? 
Lacto-vegetarian – dairy but no eggs.    
Ovo-vegetarian – eggs but no dairy products. 
Frutarians – A diet of fruit, nuts and seeds. Malnutrition and death being possible side effects.

Mr. Still Hungry,  I suggest you take your date on a walk and bring a selection of gum.

Need advice? Gail wants to hear from you. Send your letters, questions, and quandaries to: newsletter@weareageist.com

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Thank YOU for that list of diets. I might print that up on a card.

    As many diets as there are genders these days, I guess.

  2. 😂😂Thanks for your advice.. You’ve made made so many dating issues clear to me that I’m just staying home and binging Netflix

  3. Dating apps–a way to delude yourself into thinking it’s real communication. Every single woman I know who’s used them–epic fail. The “successes?” Wait a few months or years and see if such couples are still together.

    • The lack of simple one to one communication is why online seems so seductive–easy, convenient, yet people lie on these apps–that is what friends tell me. I met my husband at work, married almost 48 years.

      • People used to meet dates, significant others, husbands more organically . I met a husband in the middle of Central Park in Nyc because we had the same kind of dogs. It was easy to strike up a conversation because there were no cell phones!!! Now everyone is looking down for answers instead of up at real humans!


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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