Makeup artist and self-proclaimed science nerd Lauren Urasek was surprised when a reporter from a major New York magazine contacted her to interview “the most popular girl on the dating site OKCupid.” Urasek had no idea trolling through a barrage of pitiful messages from eager suitors would make her an instant celebrity. With more than 15,000 4- and 5-star ratings, Urasek decided to write about her online dating do’s and don’ts in her debut book, “Popular.”
Urasek wastes no time warning readers that the online dating world is mainly full of strange beings who have very little couth and zero knowledge of basic grammar. She also includes a selection of essays from various women navigating blind dates based on nothing more than a single picture and one profile sentence. These ladies join Urasek to form a scrappy sorority bonded by horrific online dating experiences that would make most people burrow under their couch cushions.
The author includes a chapter about the idea that singleness may be overlooked as a gift, and she combats the negativity of sketchy Internet dating with encouraging chapters on how to avoid unwanted situations. This includes dating red flags, how to tell the type of man you’re about to meet based on his profile and indicators that it’s time to step away from the match.
Urasek also gives tips on how to make your own profile pictures more appealing, the difference between city and suburban dating, and lessons learned from each of the major Internet dating sites. She understands that she’s considered to be a sought-after success story and is happy to share tips with readers.
“Popular” is largely a book about the ups and downs of online dating. It’s full of laughable and embarrassing dating stories that will make most readers want to hang out in the produce section of the grocery store and hope for the best. Urasek does include a few of her own personal online dating success stories, but the book’s message is clear: Have fun and trust your gut. It’s a jungle out there.