Thanks in no small part to our virtual social reality, Massa, who has a psych degree from Harvard, says that the norms for courtship have become more ambiguous: semi-flirtatious G-chats, for example, have replaced dinner and a movie.To find love in this new world, she counsels, the single gal should stop focusing on all the dates she's not going on and instead open her eyes to the men already in her orbit."Your gaggle is the group of guys who you might not be 'dating' or in a defined relationship with, but who fulfill some sort of need in your life," Massa explains.
I recently declined a dinner invitation because I didn't think I knew the guy well enough to be alone with him for two hours (I suggested we meet at a friend's party instead), but now I wonder at my readiness to fend off intimacy—and I'm not talking the sexual kind here.
"The gaggle is a select group of guys…who play different roles, fulfill different needs," Massa writes, citing archetypes such as "The Hot Sex Prospect" and "The Career Booster." In other words, maybe the guy who sends you sweet e-mails when he senses you've had a bad day could be your next boyfriend, or what about the colleague to whom you kvetch about the boss?
The Gaggle is based on an expressively titled blog, WTF Is Up With My Love Life?! While some of the language in the book can be eye-rolling (one chapter is titled "Ding, Dong, Dating Is Dead"), the (non)-mating dance Massa describes is definitely one I recognize: A friend of mine is about to fly to Canada to visit a man she met once but has spent months conversing with on Words With Friends.
Let this be your new mantra: Everything and nothing is a date.
"You'll be missing out on all sorts of opportunities to connect with guys if you're simply waiting for them to ask you out," Massa says.
That’s the premise of "The Gaggle," a new book from Jessica Massa, who, along with Rebecca Wiegand, runs the website “WTF Is Up With My Love Life?!