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Not A Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters

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40 million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR, and Chapelle's Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness.

68 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 14, 2012

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About the author

Brian Donovan

10 books10 followers
Brian Donovan has written for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, National Public Radio, and, most recently, ABC’s The Neighbors. His work has also appeared on Chapelle’s Show, Funny or Die, and Off Broadway in New York City. His “Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters” is currently being developed for television.

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5 stars
221 (13%)
4 stars
439 (27%)
3 stars
604 (37%)
2 stars
257 (15%)
1 star
97 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 190 reviews
Profile Image for Stephanie *Eff your feelings*.
239 reviews1,199 followers
April 15, 2014
Oh, I thought there were pretty funny moments in this book.....and this book was meant to be funny, but for me it was a book of horror.

Okay, Brian goes on a bunch of Internet dates (I think it was 100) for a duel purpose. One, to find the love of his life (spoiler, he does not) and to get material for a website/book (which he does). What he got for his Herculean effort was a parade of 'bat shit crazy'.

He says in the book that he couldn't say whether or not Internet dating was worse than actual normal dating, but from what I got from this book was that all dating pretty much sucks, and everybody is totally crazy.

Personal note: I'm single, and yes, I do go through my 'Gee, it would be nice if I could find a nice, interesting, funny guy to spend my days with' moments. But then I read books like this that make me rethink that notion.

One thing this book has definately done for me is that if I date anyone in the future, that person will not come from an internet dating site......
Profile Image for Becky.
1,342 reviews1,635 followers
March 9, 2014
Coming right on the heels of an utter failure of an Audible freebie, I was at best hoping that this book would be bearable, and that I would not want to cancel Audible for misleading me twice in a row. Thankfully, Audible and I can still be friends, because this book was fucking hilarious.

Seriously, I spent 95% of this book giggling insanely while listening to his tales of dating what-the-fuckery, and it was fantastic. At one point, I decided that I needed some Lucky Charms, but that probably wasn't the best decision, because choking on little rainbow marshmallows while listening to a humorous audiobook would make for a slightly embarrassing epitaph.

Here lies Becky, who laughed herself to a 'Magically Delicious' death.

Still totally worth it, though. Both the cereal AND the death by laughter, because I really enjoyed both. Donovan has a wicked sense of humor, and his commentary had me cracking up. I don't know if his stories are all true, though he says they are, but man... if so, that's fantastic. Scary, but fantastic.

- OK Cupid questionnaire. (I think this may have been where I was risking my life with the cereal.)
- Dancing aka "I'm not epileptic..."
- The First Date's most traumatizing first date.
- The date which resulted in this:
Courtney: "What are the hardest drugs you've ever done?"
Brian: "Well, I've tried pretty much everything, but I usually stick with the light stuff."
[Wildly untrue. I'd tried pretty much nothing and don't really know what "the light stuff" means, except maybe light beer, which I'm horribly allergic to. But you can't say 'beer upsets my tummy' to the girl you're trying to out as a druggie, so I did the best I could.]
Courtney: Cool. Well, I've tried pretty much everything too, but I just found the best heroin delivery service, if you want me to give you the number.
[Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Lame date results in knowledge of heroin delivery service, simply by asking one slightly inappropriate question. Do I want the phone number? HELL NO! I wouldn't even know how to begin using heroin. Does it work as a mixer? Can it go with iced tea or diet root beer, because that's all I have in the house. If I tried dialing a heroin delivery service, my telephone would laugh and send me a text that said "Who are you kidding? You can't inject heroin! You're afraid of Q-Tips."]

Good stuff. Highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Tania.
1,202 reviews272 followers
September 12, 2014
3.5 stars. This was such a fun kindle short. I've never tried internet dating, and think if you did, you would enjoy this even more. I adore AJ Jacobs, and Brian Donovan has a similar writing style (a bit more swearing though). Part how-to and part memoir, my favorite chapter was The girl who was a Mennonite. I recommend this if you're in the mood for laughing out loud.
Profile Image for Lauren.
495 reviews6 followers
August 28, 2015
It’s Not A Match is a book about one man’s journey into online dating. From women who spontaneously broke down into uncontrollable sobbing during sex to women who criticized him for taking medication during a date on national TV, Brian Donovan has had a lot of bad experiences with Match.com and OKCupid. Divided pretty evenly between personal advice for online daters and his own disaster stories, the book was both entertaining and enlightening, but above all, this book was funny.

It’s Not A Match is based off a website entitled, surprise surprise, It’s Not A Match.com. A few months ago, I went on a huge rant about semi-humorous bloggers who get book deals and produce really crappy work. It’s a pet peeve of mine, and I rarely enjoy books based off of blogs. This was a notable exception.

It’s Not A Match genuinely made me laugh out loud. As someone who has tried online dating myself, I found Donovan’s advice to online dating from a man’s perspective to be quite eye-opening. His experiences with girls from Match.com are, in a word, horrific, but they would not be half as funny without his humorous narration. I found myself reading parts of the book out loud to my work friends who had also tried online dating, and we all had quite a laugh over it.

Yes, this book was short, but it was also incredibly cheap. At 68 pages, it’s one of those books you can pick up and finish in one sitting, but it left me with a lot to think about in terms of how people perceive me and what I can be doing to make myself a little more marketable in the dating realm (note to self: don’t spend full days in bed watching marathons of Law and Order: SVU).

I would also like to say that, having read this book and subsequently checked out Donovan’s website, I really like his presence on the web. It’s Not A Match.com is a kind of community where people share their own dating disasters and advice, ask questions, receive feedback, etc. It’s not good enough to get me to switch from Tumblr to WordPress, but hey, it’s something to check out every once in awhile.

Altogether, this book is a great read for anyone who has endured their fair share of horrendous dates, has tried online dating, or just likes to read a bit of humor. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 simply because it is a very short book and not exactly life-changing. In terms of entertainment, however, it’s definitely 5 star material.
Profile Image for Shaun.
425 reviews
January 11, 2017
This was entertaining. The guy has some good stories. He's a little judgmental and obnoxious but not enough so that it ruins the book. He also offers lots of advice for online dating. It sounds reasonable and effective. And he's absolutely right that, at the end of the day, it's a numbers game.
Profile Image for Johanna.
220 reviews24 followers
February 5, 2013
Not very funny. Most stories were too short and the guy certainly likes to talk crap about women. "Women are crazy, am I right?" pretty much sums up this book.
Profile Image for Kim.
171 reviews4 followers
March 26, 2014
This seems to be a book that can't decide what it wants to be, and perhaps because of that, doesn't excel at any of its options.

I picked it up as a free Audible book, figuring that it would make a funny bit of filler on a road trip sometime. Clocking in at around 2 hours in audio format, it seemed perfect for awkward gaps, and its light tone felt appropriate for those circumstances as well. Also, I'm generally fascinated with the topic of online dating, and dating practices in general, since I think they say a lot about us as people, and because I never really went through a traditional dating process.

However, it's split about half/half between advice for online dating and stories of "terrible" dates. Among the stories, few stand out, and most aren't anywhere near as terrible as you're hoping for when you get in to the book. Some are slightly cute stories, but none seem "I have to write a book," worthy. On the advice side, since it's chopped up here and there and doesn't follow any kind of concerted path through the material, it feels both tacked on and superficial. There's never enough time (or space, I suppose in its original format) to really get deeply in to any of the topics he dispenses advice on, and again, the advice tends to not be particularly notable our outstanding.

And lastly, it suffers from the flaws that all such books seem to: It's written by someone who fundamentally has not succeeded at the task. Presumably for most people, the goal of online dating is to find someone with whom to move from casual dating to a serious and lasting relationship. Having gone on well over a hundred casual dates without finding "the one(s)" indicates that Mr. Donovan is, in fact, almost uniquely *un*qualified to advise on how to succeed in that regard. He himself makes this observation during the course of the book, but the acknowledgement of the flaw doesn't make the flaw disappear.

He has a decent enough writing style and seems like an understanding, non-terrible guy. But this book is too light, too short, too quick to really be interesting, and not quirky or wild enough to really be fun.
Profile Image for Lukas Lovas.
1,209 reviews62 followers
February 7, 2017
I was reading this when I was working in a room filled with morose people on a twelve hour shift. Big mistake. I'm sure they thought I was on drugs, for despite my best attempts I just couldn't stifle my laughter. Even when I did, I was smiling like an idiot the whole three hours it took me to read the book.

So....yes, it's funny. Highly entertaining writing style combined with truly hilarious experiences in dating made for a short but very enjoyable book. Definitely worth it :)
671 reviews6 followers
August 25, 2016
I received this brief book as a free Audible download on Valentine’s Day. The book is about internet dating, written by a comedian, benefiting from his vast research on the subject, having gone on over 100 dates with people he’s met from the internet. It was pretty funny. I listened to the audiobook. 4/5
Profile Image for Erin.
41 reviews7 followers
January 6, 2016
Not great writing, but it was really funny. I've been back in the dating scene after getting divorced two years ago, and it's reassuring to know that others have had some weird dates, too!
Profile Image for Beth.
565 reviews8 followers
June 5, 2016
This was a light, silly read about the misadventures of online dating.
Nice for a break.
Profile Image for Michele.
1,209 reviews64 followers
January 28, 2023
Even though this doesn’t say it is a Kindle Single, it falls in that data because it’s length is just over 2 hours. So out of pain comedy can rise. Right? I mean sometimes you have to laugh at your situation(s) or you will breakdown crying. Not every subject was funny but I found myself laughing mostly throughout this story. I do hope things have gotten better for Brian Donovan. God bless him for sharing his person dating journeys.
Profile Image for Pug.
955 reviews3 followers
June 27, 2022
It was okay. Short, quick stories about online dating disasters. Nothing especially funny (or even really believable), and many times I cringed because he was trying too hard to be funny (and usually with an F-bomb. Both offensive and overdone). But it was enough to keep my attention for 2 CDs, at least.
Profile Image for Angela.
25 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2017
Needs more, it seemed to be going along nicely, starting to describe interesting dates and then slam, the book ended after a couple of descriptions. I've got more than that off the top of my head. That being said, what is there gave me a few laughs.
1 review1 follower
October 12, 2017

It is a good read. The kind of book one would read on a long flight when one can’t sleep and can’t concentrate, will make the time pass by quickly and you remain pleasant. It is a fun read.
Profile Image for Wendy.
113 reviews
April 11, 2018
This might be one of the only books I’d give negative stars to. I thought it would be funny, but the more I got into it, the less and less amusing it all was. I got the audiobook for free and really wish I could figure out a way to return it so I don’t have to keep looking at it in my library...
1 review
August 31, 2020
Short book about a man tried internet dating and the funny experience. I also tried online dating recent days, it very simple and high efficiency, you can chat the girls whom you like directly. Such as https://www.sugardaddy.net.au/ and Tinder is common platform which provide for bachelor.
Profile Image for Pravleen.
41 reviews1 follower
August 6, 2017
Funny enough for quick, light reading. It had lots of typos, which is something I can't stand with published work.
Profile Image for Jane.
253 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2020
Found this in my library and it’s short so I thought I would give it a try. I sure as hell hope I did t pay for this. Waste of my time. Not funny.
Profile Image for Anastacia.
40 reviews
February 5, 2013
I loved this book! I was intrigued by it in the first place because I have had an internet date before, but unlike the author's experiences my relationship was great, and I have only been on one online date....ever.
Anyway, this story was hilarious! I mean the titles of the chapters are intriguing enough to make you want to read more (i.e. 'The Sex Crier', 'The Girl Who Did Heroin', 'The Girl Who Brought Her Boyfriend', etc.)
It was a short easy read, but was entertaining the entire way through. I don't usually laugh out loud when I read books (I basically say 'that was funny' in my head), but I did actually laugh out loud. Overall it was a great read, and I definitely recommend this book to everyone who wants a good laugh.

Ending this comment I would like to leave you with some excerpts from this book:

The author explains the OKCupid questionnaire portion of their website, and how bizarre their questions are.
Question: "Would you consider roleplaying out a rape fantasy with a partner who asked you to?"
Response: Depends. Are we talking about one of those light, playful, fun rapes? (I was laughing so hard I almost died when I read this)

Question: If your partner wanted to pay for you, as a couple, to see a professional dominatrix would you go?
Response: As long as she's a professional. I have had it up to here with amateur doninatrixes! And I'm glad we got the finances out of the way early, because my biggest problem with going to see a dominatrix as a couple is who would foot the bill. (HILARIOUS)

That is just a little piece of the book. I like the author's wit.
Profile Image for Asher.
100 reviews5 followers
August 14, 2013
Dating in New York is a Horrible Crapshoot.

I pre-ordered Not a Match because like many twenty-somethings living in the New York metropolitan area, I have tried internet dating. It's the the only way I to meet people and successfully filter out the creeps and crazies 100% of 75% of the time. If the cosmopolitan mating call of dark, expensive cocktail soaked lounges with too-loud music after 9 doesn't appeal to you, and for some reason your best friend's mother won't set you up with a nice Jewish boy... yeah, the internet is where its at. There are a lot of sites, a lot of members, a lot of weirdos, a lot of liars, and somewhere... SOMEWHERE... is your perfect match.

Just do the math. Literally. Brian Donovan wrote an equation for you (kind of.)

I've been on a lot of disastrous, semi-disastrous, or dull dates (and will likely go on many more), and I wish they'd been half as entertaining as Brian Donovan. His prose is sardonic, his wit dry, and his writing style entertaining.

Ax Norman was a great narrator; effusive where necessary, sarcastic in the right spots. He embodied the voice of Donovan's New York-style of storytelling very well. I kept reaching for my coffee thinking it was a cocktail and remembering I was in the office, and not a bar in the village, on a first date, listening to his stories.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 190 reviews

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