A Fantasy League — For Dating? Women Ask Out Guys And Rack Up Points
11:15 am, July 27th | by Laura Donovan
I hate to be the millionth person to say this, but dating is terrible for 20-somethings. I knew this long before HBO’s “Girls” hit TV screens and reminded the world that its infested with frogs — and few princes. But interacting with the opposite sex doesn’t have to be such a nightmare, say the women behind Fantasy Dating Game, a new venture that encourages women to approach the guys they like, take romantic risks, and embrace their confident side.
The site, which has been featured on dynamic Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, enables women to turn dating into a fun, all-inclusive competition. Through Fantasy Dating Game, you get points when a potential love interest contacts you — one point for exchanging numbers, two for receiving a text, and three for being called. Fantasy Daters must follow the Honor Code, as there’s no other way of holding anyone accountable in the game. This leaves room for debate about cheaters, but what can a lady gain by making stuff up? Besides, the people running the site are keeping their eyes peeled for potential fibbers. The players who achieve success could also motivate other women in the game to be more proactive in the dating world.
The main goal is to find someone awesome and eventually leave the playing field (one Fantasy Dater has plans to wed the boyfriend she met in the game), but as we learned from our interview with the founder, there are plenty of women still going strong in Fantasy Dating Game. Here’s our chat with the founder, Suzanne Casamento:
The Jane Dough: What inspired you and your friends to create the Fantasy Dating Game?
Suzanne Casamento: One night, while out with some girlfriends, they kept saying things like, “All the good guys are married,” and “It’s so hard to meet good guys in this city.”
I said, “It’s really not that hard. You just have to introduce yourself and say, ‘Hello.’”
They said, “We can’t do that.”
I pointed at a guy at the end of the bar and said, “Why don’t you go say, ‘hi’ to that guy?”
My girlfriends shriveled in their chairs.
“Seriously?” I asked. “What if I dared you?”
And the light bulb went off. I had an “ah hah moment.” I realized I had an opportunity to dare women to date. And I began to write out the rules of the game.
That summer, my girlfriends and I Fantasy Dated. Over a 10 week season, we went on more dates than we had in the previous two years!
TJD: Have any success stories come out of this venture? If so, can you provide an example?
SC: Yes! During that very first season, my friend, Stacie, was obsessed with catching up with Kerri and her zillion points. So, after spotting an attractive guy at a bar, Stacie approached him and offered to buy him a drink.
Turns out, he loved her confidence and they began dating. They now live together and are planning on getting married.
TJD: How many users have you acquired?
SC: About 300 women are currently playing. What’s fascinating is that they’re coming from all over the world. The Blond and Strong League, created by a single woman in Sweden, kicked some serious butt in their first season. Women are playing in the UK, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean and all over the U.S.
That tells us that the need for a new way to find love transcends all cultures. We’re happy to swoop in and provide a solution!
TJD: What type of woman generally joins the site? Young professionals? College students? Women in their 20s?
SC: All types of women Fantasy Date, from college girls to women in their 40s. That’s what’s so great about the game. It’s on everywhere we go — at the dry cleaners, at school, at your kids’ soccer games and while running errands. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are — the game in ON!
TJD: What are some of the craziest or most outrageous things women have done in the game?
SC: This is such a great question, because Fantasy Dating actually takes the “crazy” out of dating.
When women Fantasy Date, they feel confident. They smile and say, “Hi” to strangers. And every time a stranger says, “Hi” and smiles back, it’s a little win. Those wins add up and as we play, we notice there are guys everywhere and that desperation was just a previous state of mind.
But a lot of women have done a lot of brave things. They’ve started conversations with men they would have previously considered “out of their league.” And we don’t care who you are, that takes guts.
TJD: Have you gotten any feedback from guys about the site (whether they’re men who wound up dating users of the site or just random men who know about it)?
SC: Some men think it’s genius and look forward to women being less shy. One guy said he hoped the game will encourage women to stop doing “the huddle” when they go out. He said there’s nothing worse than approaching a group of girls.
Other guys laugh and roll their eyes. And we love that. Go ahead, roll your eyes, then thank us when the girl of your dreams says, “Hi,” to you.
This interview has been edited and condensed.