Lifetime Habits

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I don’t mean physically – like your composition. No, what I’m talking about are those experiences from your life that made you the way you are today. You know, like when someone says a certain thing to you – be that “Get out of my hair,” or “What lovely eyes you have.”

What shapes the ways we respond to what others say to us?

Is it our original programming; that version of software that came pre-installed in our between-the-ears hard drive? Or is it the way we were conditioned by parents, teachers and life’s hard knocks?

A combination of both?

Here’s why I ask: There are things I’d like to change about myself. I can hear what you’re thinking now: “But John, you’re super-great, at writing and probably many other things, so why change?” And trust me, I get your point – but there are still things about me I might want to modify a smidge.

Like how I argue with Loretta.

Loretta: This ought to be interesting … Continue reading

The Choice



When I was a kid in Morgan Hill the Granada was the only movie theater in town.

As such it was often at the center of us kids’ social culture. It was a geographical reference point, as in “I’ll meet you in the alley behind The Granada”. It was an easy alibi, as in “Mom, I couldn’t have been throwing rocks at the neighbor kid because I was at the Granada”. And, due to its proximity to the haunted house one street over and the railroad tracks behind it, it was the jumping off point for numerous adventures.

It’s also where we went to see movies. Continue reading

Step up or Step off


I was browsing through some word press blogs and came upon one that caught my attention. Maybe because the title was about John.

I have a John – and a somewhat similar story. Not So Desperate in the City  is a good blogger who shares her personal story with honesty and grace.

If I could be so bold as to offer some ‘unsolicited’ advice…

If you find yourself in a situation, with a person you are falling in love with, it’s okay to say what you want. I like that NSD threw caution to the wind and put her feelings about John on the table. I’m sorry he chose to step off, but at least she did it. Continue reading

Online Dating Sucks…book excerpt??


Here’s an excerpt from my book Online Dating Sucks… but it’s how I fell in love. Wait, ‘excerpt’ isn’t quite the right word.

Let me explain – in the last post you may have noticed that Loretta, my wife, likes to have her say. And since the book is my account of how we met and (spoiler alert) fell in love I figured what could it hurt to let her tell her side of the story, right?

In July of 2011 I met Loretta Sayers.

I found her on the dating site OKCupid, where I’d fallen for her (pictures). She was pretty, and had this smile that lit up the page. I emailed her and asked her if she’d like to meet.

Loretta here: By July 2011 I was getting pretty discouraged that there didn’t’ seem to be many guys of substance online. I got an email from one who looked handsome enough and when I read his profile, to my surprise, I made it through the entire thing (and man was it was long, apparently someone had told this guy he could write). As a magazine editor it was nice to read a profile in which the majority of the words were spelled right, so I figured what the heck, I’ll give the guy a chance. Continue reading

On the same page…

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So the funniest thing happened to Loretta and me the other day – and by funny I mean mysterious.

Loretta and I have been married for the better part of a year – and we were together for over a year before that. So you’d think we’d have the bigger topics sorted out by now. Sure, we know which side of the bed each sleeps on. And who gets the bathroom first (and I’m OK with second, really I am). But there are still some topics we have trouble with.

Like how much time do I get to myself?

Hi, this is Loretta, and I’ve been proofreading John’s columns for over two years now. Sometimes he listens to my advice, sometimes not, so I think it’s time I added my two cents to what he says about us.  First of all, part of the predicament is, after years of being single and on our own, we tend to think in terms of “I” instead of “we”. It’s “how much time do WE get to ourselves?” Not ‘how much time to I get to myself?” Continue reading

Online Dating Expo in San Francisco

Come join us this Saturday!

Johns book modified 2-8e (2)

Saturday, September 7, 2013
Adults of all ages welcome

7pm – Exhibits open of leading dating websites.

8pm – Keynote Address: John & Loretta Gavin, co-creators of Online Dating Sucks… But It’s How I Fell in Love, answer all your questions about finding love online.

9pm-12 – Dance Party. Dressy attire requested.

LOCATION: DoubleTree Hotel San Francisco Airport, 835 Airport Blvd, Burlingame, California

COST: $15/advance (by Sep 6) or $20 at the door.

CO-SPONSORED by The International Association of Dating Websites, Society of Single Professionals, Its Just Lunch, Singles Supper Club, Your Asian Connection, West Coast Singles, Professionals Guild Singles, SugarDaddyForMe, Get a Love Life!, CougarEvents, GoldDiggerEvents, Bay Area Singles, and many more leading dating websites.


Meet Loretta

Loretta GavinProfile:

Height: Probably taller than you with my heels on

Body type: Bombshell-esque

Eyes: Are searching for a normal guy to go out with – is that too much to ask?

Hair: Long – after all, isn’t that what every guy wants?

Occupation: Magazine editor

Income: Non-threateningly less than yours – but with a sizable inheritance just around the corner

About me:

I’m Loretta, a magazine editor who loves watching sports, drinking beer, and doing housework in my bikini.

I’m looking for a casual, no strings attached relationship in which you only have to call me when you want to. 

I’m a great cook and a good listener who likes to pay for dinner when we go out by slipping money into your wallet so that it looks like you paid.

Ok, here’s the truth: What I really want is a long term committed relationship with a good solid guy. But we are told by every online dating guru out there that we aren’t supposed to say that to a guy. I finally decided to be myself and follow my own plan. And it worked…


Meet John


John's profile pic

Height: Taller than you in heels?

Body Type: Athletic (ish)

Eyes: Wandering

Hair: Still hanging in there

Occupation: Author     

Income: Depends on how the book sells

About me:

Hi, I’m John – I’m a dating advice columnist for a newspaper and I love cuddling, sunsets and long walks on the beach. I live and write in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I also ride motorcycles and enjoy sushi. Am I at the minimum word count yet for the ‘about me’ section? No? What more can I add?

How about this:

When we meet I’ll want to go pretty fast *wink* after which I’ll slow way down and may not return your calls (Chapter 3, Column 7). But, if we make it through that first rough spot and actually start dating I’ll keep my profile up long after you take yours down (Chapter 2, Column 3). Some women have called me a ‘player’ – but that term is a complicated one (Chapter 6, Column 20). My whole goal here is casual dating – so if you want a relationship, you’ll need to understand how we guys go about doing that (Chapter 5, Column16).

By the way, though I’ve been on these dating sites for years – I am about to take down my profile – this book explains the reason why…