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|Hayley Matthews • 3/11/16|
What are the worst dating cliches of all time? Think about it for a second or two.
OK, now that you’ve thought about it, name only the cliches that have actually worked in real life.
Got anything? Well, 39-year-old writer and sexpert Mandy Stadtmiller would be curious to hear your thoughts on the subject. The spunky editor-at-large of xojane.com spent more than a month outside of her comfort zone in order to engage in the ultimate social experiment.
She partnered with Plenty Of Fish to put the top 30 dating cliches of all time to the test by completing specific challenges to assess their validity as dating rules to play by.
The end goal: to find the perfect Valentine’s Day date.
Mandy took to the streets of the New York City at a time of year when “love is playing hard to get,” and asked New Yorkers for the best (or worst) dating cliches out there.
And 30 classics were chosen.
“Never kiss on a first date.”
“Don’t play games.”
“Go for what you want.”
“Play hard to get.”
For each of these corny yet universally accepted dating proverbs, Plenty Of Fish concocted a challenge for Mandy, starting with a blunt beginning.
On day one, Mandy was asked to ditch the typical, acceptance-seeking profile description and instead create a brutally honest assessment of herself and share it with the online dating pool.
The cliche “honesty is the best policy” was put to the test, and brutallyhonestamanda was born.
From there, there was no turning back. The out-of-the-box dating experiment ranged from hugging strangers in Times Square, to watching the Super Bowl with a group of guys in their natural habitat, to polling social media for advice on what to wear on a first date.
Mandy created a scavenger hunt for her date to find her, drafted a conversational itinerary to avoid taboo topics and “Skyped like she’d never been hurt.” The dating timeline truisms were tested: wait two days before contacting a date and don’t have sex until after at least three dates.
All of these experimental hilarities were filmed and documented with wit, vulnerability, stream of consciousness and, of course, unapologetic truth-telling.
In the end, Mandy made memories that turned out to be embarrassing and exhilarating, she surprisingly admits.
All of this culminated in the moment of truth. D-day for V-day.
Mandy ultimately chose to put herself out there for “Nice Guy Steven The Adventurer” and ask him to be her Valentine.
Steven had hung in there through this silly saga of social experimentation. He’d countered her brutally honest (and self-admittedly snarky) profile, which suggested a helicopter ride to Cuba as a first date game plan, by taking her on a helicopter tour of Manhattan.
He allowed her a “do-over” when she failed her challenge to refrain from mentioning her past or exes during a date 23 seconds into said date (exactly 23 seconds — he timed it).
He played along with the “You should date a nice guy” challenge and even added a selfie with his grandmother to score him extra points on “the good guy test.”
Staying true to the principles of this entire operation, Mandy’s proposal for a Valentine’s date was anything but ordinary.
She put herself (and a broadway star) out there and asked him out on film, complete with big posters of dialogue and tap shoes. The Mandy Project followers were able to view and wait with her in anxious anticipation for a response.
Makers of The Mandy Project have truly outdone themselves in bringing one-of-a-kind, captivating and mind-blowingly entertaining evidence to the R & D department of dating.
Mandy Standtmiller is engaging and refreshingly genuine, and her one-liners are priceless. Guy or girl, you won’t be able to decide if you want to marry her, be her best friend or be her.
No matter what, you’ll want to catch up on all of the titillating challenges to the cliche classics you’ve missed at MandyProject.com. Be sure to tell Mandy how YOU are putting yourself out there, especially if you dare to try any of the challenges yourself!
Photo sources: mandyproject.com