By Tash Skilton
When California transplant Zoey arrives in New York City, her laidback lifestyle is put to the test. Unaccustomed to the noise, hustle and bustle, and street crowds, and petrified of taking the subway, she finds herself shying away from exploring the city.
Instead, she confines herself to the same city block day after day. Luckily there’s a café across the street from her apartment that offers free day-old biscotti, aka breakfast. It’s also her “office” Monday through Friday, for her freelance job as a ghostwriter for an online matchmaking company. Things are going fine for a while (or if not fine at least predictably), until Miles shows up, steals her biscotti, and commandeers the good table—the only one big enough to accommodate a laptop.
Livid, thrown off her routine, and determined to reclaim her workspace, Zoey fights back. The two enter into a daily battle of wills (and early wakeup times), all the while fighting an attraction to one another. Unbeknownst to Zoey, Miles works for a rival matchmaking company, and literally wrote the guidebook they both use in their jobs as ghostwriters to help the romantically challenged find love.
In their quest to assist their clients in finding a perfect match, Miles and Zoey employ the following guidelines that anyone seeking love online could benefit from!
- Do not present a “perfect” image.
No one will trust it. Nor should they. Think of that old interview question: “What is your greatest flaw?” And the interviewee says, “I’m just too darn organized.” Don’t be the organized guy. Add a tiny blemish here and there. We’re all flawed but loveable individuals. Don’t worry about being perfect—and don’t try to find someone perfect; it’s a losing battle. Instead, focus on finding someone who’s perfect for you.
- There are certain things you never, ever bring up on a first chat: politics, religion, marriage, meeting the parents, and—of course—children.
You might have kids on the brain, and don’t want to waste your time flirting with someone who never sees themselves becoming a parent. Or perhaps you don’t see kids in your future and want to eliminate matching up with those who do. In either case, you can filter for that in your search at the beginning, rather than terrify a potential match with serious discussions too early in the game. Leave touchy subjects—anything that tends to come up during uncomfortable family get-togethers—for later on in your communiques. Let your chats breathe for a while!
- Think of your quirks as a “Future Honesty.” A Future Honesty is not something to be ashamed of. Instead, view it as a reward, a prize, even, bestowed upon a match after multiple successful dates. If deployed too early, it risks sabotaging the burgeoning relationship. Protect Future Honesties and save them only for those who prove worthy. This is how we bond with potential loved ones, after all; we slowly let them into our worlds.
- Don’t fixate on past heartbreak.
Love stories. We’ve all got ‘em. Even if, sometimes, we wish we didn’t, because that also means we’ve all experienced heartbreak. (If you haven’t, don’t @ me. No one wants to hear it.) 😉 Seeking love is inherently risky, but that’s because the rewards are so great. Keep an open mind and don’t let previous disappointments sour you on the possibilities. If you’re stuck on the way your last relationship ended, you might project those problems onto a new person, and that’s not fair to either of you. Learn from what went wrong before but open your heart to what could be waiting for you around the corner.
- Never bring up the other people you may be chatting with.
No one wants to hear about the competition. Exceptions include: When the exchange is so bonkers you need someone to laugh with you about it. Forming a conspiracy of mockery just might bond you together, “us against the world”–style. It also alerts you to whether you have a similar sense of humor, because here’s the best tip to finding love: find someone who makes you laugh.
And on that note, we hope Zoey, Miles, and their love story makes you laugh!
LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS—TO BREAK ALL THE RULES
Online Dating Ghostwriting Rules to Live by
Dumped by his fiancée, not only is Miles couch-surfing across New York City, but downsizing has forced him to set up shop at a café. Also, he no longer believes in love. Not a good look in his line of work . . .
Do not present a “perfect” image. No one will trust it. Nor should they.
Zoey’s eccentric L.A. boss sent her packing to New York to “grow.” But beneath her chill Cali demeanor, Zoey’s terrified to venture beyond the café across the street . . .
Think of your quirks—such as cosplaying B-movies from the 1980s—as a “Future Honesty.” Save these as a reward only for those who prove worthy.
The only thing Miles and Zoey share is their daily battle for Café Crudite’s last day-old
biscotti. They don’t know they’re both ghostwriting “authentic” client profiles for rival online dating services. Nope, they have absolutely nothing in common. . . . Until they meet
anonymously online, texting on the clock . . .
Never remind the client you’re their Cyrano.Once you’ve attracted a good match, let the client take over ASAP.
Soon, with their clients headed for dating disaster, both Miles and Zoey’s jobs are at stake. And once they find out their lines have crossed, will their love connection be the real thing—or vanish into the ether?. . .