Here’s the review of my original Feature article for The Huffington Post; 9 Months. 98 Men. Here’s What I Learned. While I love getting to love, often times the manner by which we imagine we need to present ourselves muddies the waters.

‘I went out with 98 men in nine months – and none of them led to love’: Woman’s social experiment aims to prove dating is ‘unnatural’

By MARGOT PEPPERS PUBLISHED: 16:42 EST, 7 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:52 EST, 7 July 2014 A woman has made it her mission to prove that formally dating is ‘tedious’, ‘unnatural’ and unnecessary. Relationship expert Susan Winter, who is in her 50s, wrote on the Huffington Post that she has no problems with meeting men organically, but that the concept of the dating world does not appeal to her. To hit back at critics who accused her of ‘never having “officially dated,”‘ the Manhattan-based writer agreed to go out with any man who asked her out – which resulted in 98 dates in nine months. Rather than changing her mind, the social experiment merely reinforced her views that dating is just ‘the required presentational stage for a possible future interlude’. ‘Dating in today’s world is more akin to an extreme sport,’ she offered, slamming it as a chance for both parties to superficially parade their talents and possessions. ‘High-heeled women flaunt the sex card as they savagely stampede each other for a man’s attention,’ she wrote. Ms Winter emphasizes that she uses ‘dating’ in the traditional sense of the word, otherwise known as courtship, meaning she did not sleep with all 98 men. Some of the dates were blind ones recommended by friends and colleagues, other men she met via personal ads, and she even met some through a professional matchmaker. And yet time and time again, despite the variety of dates, she found the experience to be ‘tedious’. ‘They dangle their toys in front our eyes in the hopes that we’ll bite the bait. Oddly, they’re not the bait. Their possessions are the bait.’ She found that the majority of men she went out with treated the date as an opportunity to name-drop their famous friends and prove their power and influence.

‘Men dangle their toys in front our eyes in the hopes that we’ll bite the bait’

Ms Winter concluded that meeting a potential match ‘the old-school’ way – without the mutual and unnatural desire to impress – trumps the ‘meet-and-greet’ method so common in today’s dating world. ‘Whether walking my dog or at the gym, I’m where I want to be while living the life I love,’ she says of meeting someone outside the expections of the dating world. ‘And we meet. Naturally. Organically,’ she writes. ‘The spark we find serves as our connection. We merge.’

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