Adventures in Internet Dating
When I set out to write a book about online dating, I was driven by three or four major themes that I felt were missing from my friends’ dating “journeys”. The most obvious and often discussed is that Internet dating doesn’t have to be such a gloomy slog, as it is almost always portrayed on TV and in film. If you keep an open mind, you’re sure to learn something on each new date, and the process can feel like an adventure in the best of possible ways. Even if you don’t meet the love of your life on a given night, if you’ve gained a new friend or a running partner, or learned about a new job, a new neighborhood, or a new outlook, you’re ultimately emerging net positive.
That said, the book isn’t prescriptive. MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN provides a voyeuristic look into dating in New York City, combining the profiles, e-mails, texts, and voicemails from more than twenty men my protagonist, Alison, meets online: there’s the undercover agent who runs stakeouts and sting operations, the tattooed folk singer-turned-investment banker, and the decade-older lonely porcé psychiatrist and his pit bull, among many other colorful, captivating personalities. Over the year, Alison realizes that contrary to the message of most pop culture, there isn’t “The One” relationship but many relationships that could work for each of us, if only the timing worked out. Through incidents funny as well as heartbreaking, she searches for romantic potential while trying to keep an open mind, knowing that after each chapter ends, a new one can begin with the click of a button.
With 50+ million users looking for love online and on apps, and Tinder making 26 million matches every day, online dating is now a 2 billion-dollar marketplace in the US alone. My hope is that MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN offers a fresh, analytical look at how we approach modern dating in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. I wanted the book to be instantly relatable to the millions who have gone through it themselves, as well as instructive and comical to those who haven’t but wish to experience the process vicariously.
The lion’s share of dating-centric novels focus on a single relationship or love triangle, often equating “success” with receipt of a diamond ring. What I wanted to communicate in my book was that when you focus on the process, not the results, dating can be super instructive, interesting, and invigorating. So rather than dwell on the frustrations that can come out of trying to find your Match, I wrote a book underscoring the persity and colorfulness of the men that populate New York City--or any city--and all that they can teach you if you’re open to achieving a different kind of success.
MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN is my debut novel. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Match Made in Manhattan
After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles' scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she's dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.
Giving them each her signature "pants speech"—her pants aren't coming off unless she has a real connection with someone—she desperately wants to push past the awkward small-talk phase to find true love, but finding "the one" is starting to feel impossible. That is, until she meets Luke, who is sophisticated, funny, and not to mention, hot. Alison finds herself falling for Luke harder than any guy she's dated and finally letting her walls down, but will he stick around or move on to his next match?
Match Made in Manhattan is a fast-paced, contemporary story about the struggles of dating in the digital age. Replete with online profiles, witty dialogue, and a super-supportive group of female friends, this all-too-real and relatable debut novel will have readers laughing, crying, and rooting for Alison all the way to the end.
Amanda Stauffer is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities who works as an architectural conservator, restoring historic landmarks across the country. When she grew frustrated with New York City’s dating scene, Amanda headed to match.com. Even though no successful relationships came out of it, her experiences provided her with a lifetime of warm and fuzzy memories, a few friends, and an abundance of material should she ever decide to pursue a career in comedy.
Amanda is a fan of Italian neorealist cinema, mojitos, and—well, you can just read her protagonist’s Match profile on page 20 of this book, because Alison lifted heavily from Amanda’s own profile. An erstwhile expat who has lived in Bangalore, Sicily, and Paris, Amanda currently lives in Manhattan, where she is busy writing.