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Lourdes Duarte Headshot

The Valentine's Day Challenge

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Despite what Beyoncé may have told you, being a single lady isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, you'll be up in the club, just broken up, doing your own little thing. And yeah, you'll have gloss on your lips and a man on your hip, holding you tighter than your Deréon jeans (or maybe those jeans you got on sale at Macy's, because let's be honest, when was the last time you ever saw anyone wearing Deréon jeans?) But this man will also dry hump you mercilessly at said club, promise to call and then leave you shame spiraling for about a week or so. Until you meet the next gem the following weekend at some jank Miami establishment and repeat this vicious, vicious cycle of dirty dancing, broken promises and embarrassment.

While I may or may not be speaking from personal experience, it's time to put an end to this chongivity activity. I mean, it's fun for a hot minute, but mama's got three weddings this year and an actual suitor would make them a lot more bearable. I'm also hoping that having a date will stop me from killing an entire bottle of champagne and whipping my hair back and forth like some epileptic version of Willow Smith.

So, in an effort to put my hot mess tendencies to rest, I'm embarking on what I would like to call The Valentine's Day Challenge. From now until February 14, I'll be joining a dating website (ugh, I know but bars, clubs, grocery stores, parks, mutual friends and beaches haven't been workin' out for me) to find someone worthy of wedding date status in 2014. Since I'm a broke, non-Carrie Bradshaw type of writer (i.e. the type that balls on a budget and can't afford Manolos), I've decided to go with Plenty of Fish* as the dating site of choice. It's free and seems pretty legit, so what's the worst that can happen? I know what you're thinking. "A LOT CAN GO WRONG, LOURDES. Like murder. Or God-awful dates that will make you want to gouge your eyes out." But hey, I'm hoping for the best.

In a show of good faith, I'm putting my judgmental panties away and trying to embrace everyone equally; however, men without something substantial to say need not apply. While "hey" is a perfectly solid opener, let's try to up the creativity factor, eh? And fans of mirror selfie shots should also look at their life, look at their choices.

Wish me luck, and check up on me come February 15. I'm sure I'll have PLENTY to say about those plenty of fish.

Here goes nothing.

*Tinder was ruled out from this social experiment due to it being a cesspool of broken dreams and sadness. A dating app that was promptly deleted off my phone when a particular gentleman's opening line was "show me your boobs."