Friday, November 18, 2011

The Repeat Offender

The Internet is a big place, especially for a new Single Girl who is trying online dating for the first time, or taking it seriously for the first time. At the outset it would seem impossible to see the photo more than once in your inbox. It's just too vast. The reality is there are a finite number of single men out there, and if you are doing The Rules, you are only answering the messages that men send you first which narrows the field even more. Personally, I do not even open messages that do not have a clear picture, reducing my online presence still further. I do this for two reasons: one, no need to exhaust yourself reading a message from someone who isn't serious; two, the pic is usually not clear for a damn good reason.

You may notice that the same familiar face pops up more than once. For me it always happens like this: a nice, normal good-looking guy with a stable job sends me a couple notes, gets my number, calls me once or twice and then... nothing. The momentum cames to halt. Because I date using The Rules, I have a very full calendar, but I do notice this halt in progress. The Rules calls this a "Time Waster". The Rules say that this happens when a man has another woman in his life. This makes sense. He is not entirely happy (so he went on a website) but he is not entirely unhappy (and so when it get's to the point of actually scheduling a date - which all men know is cheating - he disappears)

Except he doesn't disappear.

He re-emerges sometime later... with a message that will often read "Do you remember me?"
or "Haven't heard from you in a while"
or something equally ridiculous.

I know what you are thinking, Single Girl: "He's tried the rest, now he'll try the best".
This is not true. The nicest thing you can do is DELETE this message. Let me tell you why by repeating what I just told you...

This man is not entirely happy with his current situation and he is hoping you will have a few good ideas. And if you if you ignore The Rules and act like alpha-female party planner, you may even squeeze a few dates out of him. But it will be like walking a dog on a leash on a cold day, you will just be dragging him along on an idea his not really sold on.

If you answer this kind of non-specific message, you will be confirming to him and yourself that you really are desperate and were waiting around for his message. This will satisfy his ego; it will not make him respect you. He is not entirely happy with his current situation and people (all people, even women) in this situation tend to be assholes about it.

Delete his message until he comes up with something a more specific. You do not want a man who can not hunt. You do not want a man who does not eat what he kills. But odds are he won't.

Because he is a Dud and there is no cure for that.

Full Disclosure: Unmarried men do not consider going online to be cheating, they consider it "research". They also do not consider calling another woman to be cheating, although this is the fine line where they will feel a twinge of conscience.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Date # 54 - "RUN!"

This date was a long time coming; and so very weird that I have not had a chance to fully explain it to myself yet, much less to you, Dear reader.
This man wrote a few messages and finally asked for my number. He called me and spoke about polite subjects for a full 10 minutes. I was very pleasantly surprised at his knowledge on the local welding union; he said he was a pipefitter. Since I adore blue collar workers, I was interested. But he did not get to the point; he didn't ask me out. So after 10 minutes I said I was busy and hung up. The following day- and every day after- he sent text messages that were extremely sappy:
"Hello Beautiful / Sunshine/ Bella/ Sweetheart"
"Have a good day/ afternoon/ night"
"Hope you had a good day/ Afternoon/ night"

I am always thrilled when a gentleman is thinking about me, but since he wasn't really saying anything, I deleted the texts and I went on with my life. And the messages kept coming. For two weeks. At some point he asked by text message (!) if I'd like to meet for dinner and a movie sometime. This is a tall order for a Date Zero and completely against The Rules.

The Rules say that the first time a Sing'al (Single Gal) meets someone from the Internet it should be strictly a drinks date, no more than an hour. This works for two reasons:
1) It keeps things light and low pressure
2) nothing is worse than being stuck at dinner with someone you have nothing in common with.
Time is precious, Gentle Reader, never waste a moment with a dud.

So back to my date. A fancy date by text message is usually sent by a man who lacks the courage of his convictions. So I said yes. If he wasn't serious then neither was I. Two can play this game of chicken. So then he ping-ponged back and forth between the obvious next steps:
When are you free?
Where to meet?
What time?
Since I don't date myself, I deleted these messages upon receipt. It's only fair. So he eventually called and we decided to meet at a restaurant near me on Saturday night at 8pm. Saturday afternoon the date descended into comic buffoonery. And after 53 online dates I do not say that lightly.

Here are the following red flags in chronological order:

-He did not confirm the date at 4pm. Most men confirm the date a few hours before. This has nothing to do with The Rules, this is just something I have noticed.

-At 8pm he texted that he was running late. I deleted it.

-Then he called to tell me the same thing. I ignored it.
A Rules girl never waits more than 5 minutes and so at 8:05 I got up to leave and got talking to the bartender. He was interesting, the bar was crowded, loud and warm with a fireplace in the corner and I literally lost track of time. The bartender got me a fresh glass of water with lemon without asking and so I sipped it for a moment to be polite. That's when I noticed a text message at 8:22pm.

-Date#54 was advising me that he was in the parking lot.
What the fuck do I care? Did he need an escort? I literally laughed out loud.
I wrote back that I was in the bar to see what he would do.

-He texted that he was in the lobby, and should he wait in line?
"Wait in line"?!? What "line"!?!
This guy was so scared of me that he was making stuff up!
So I deleted it and stood up to leave, when across the bar a man waved at me. I blinked and realized that this was my date. It had been so long since I saw his pictures that I did not recognize him. Nor should I have. Because he did not look like his pictures.

He sat down and started talking about being hungry. He ordered a drink and did not offer me one. I mentioned that he could eat dinner in the bar. He looked at me very strangely and mumbled "I don’t get out much". This man had extremely sad eyes, very dry skin and something about this statement made me pause. I sudddenly had a very bad feeling. He began to talk. I was so stunned by the bad feeling that I was not listening... Until he said that he was looking for another Justin Bieber.

Wait. What?

I had been tricked. This guy was not a respectable blue collar working class hero... He was an aspiring music producer! He said that he played an instrument (not sure which one) in a couple of bands, that he was looking forward to signing his first act "Another Justin Bieber" with his partner. He was excited to tell me that - while it didn't exist yet - they had plans to build a studio in the basement of this girl's house and produce music. Music like Justin Bieber's. To get rich. It was a get rich quick scheme.

Then he started talking about another girl he met on POF six years ago who was a country singer. She was moving to Texas to further her career...

I had heard enough.

I said I was going to the bathroom. And I walked out the front door. When I was a few blocks away, I sent an apology text outlining that we did not have a lot in common. (This is true. I am not into men who are artists). He texted to ask if he could call me, which is really ironic. But it was too little, too late.

Full Disclosure: I left this date because I had an extremely bad feeling. Always follow your gut.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I ain't trying to hear that.

The more the I do The Rules, the more I find women trying to date me. No, my attraction to females has not increased. My behaviour has changed and so has my perception. I initially wanted to write this blog about the difficulty of maintaining adult female relationships in the City. But the topic does not have any more legs than the sentence I just wrote, so I got depressed and never wrote it. Let me explain: my female relationships used to be my prime motivator in life. I never thought for a second that men who hold such an important part of my world. And they still don't. It's not that I am not into men. I am. This blog is proof positive that I find the human male very fascinating. Plus, I get more action than the average single Catholic woman in the suburbs and that is saying something. And they are very fun.

I am just not in a committed relationship. But the females around me? Not the same.

Not the same at all.

Which brings me to women who want to date me. Often I meet a woman who wants to have lunch/ brunch/ drinks/ dinner/ movie/ Broadway show/shopping with me. And I always smile and say thank you and try to be as encouraging as I can. I really want to do these things. But then...between work/school/ sleep/ house cleaning/ Christmas and summer vacation there somehow never seems to be enough time to make a new female friend. This is not to say that these women do not have time for their boyfriends, they do. They just don't put such a high priority on maintaining women friends. Certainly not the same kind of priority that men make in maintaining theirs. Case in point: I once worked with a woman in her 20s who left work early to "help her boyfriend take a shower" after he got in a bar fight the night before. There are so many things wrong with this decision. Am I really going to have anything in common with the woman who makes this kind of choice?

Women are expected to carry a heavy burden in relationships. Between working, taking care of the home and raising children, the first thing to suffer is the time she may have taken to build relationships outside her immediate circle. And there is an unspoken agreement that women like me are supposed to simply accept this as a normal course of the "friendship". As a result, women who are not completely occupied with the male in their life (like me!) collect a variety of one-time wholly-unsatisfying experiences with otherwise normal women who can not commit to a weekly brunch or monthly reading club because she is "too busy". Too busy being the driving force in a one-sided relationship. It's exhausting to watch. It's also sad. The conversation circles around the man, even when he is not there. And circles around her problems with the man. Her endlessly stupid problems. Or her sex life. Her endlessly unsatisfying sex life.

In short, this women is a bad date. While it is very important to have women friends. It's not at the risk of potentially being dumped by one. And as much as she likes you, if she's straight she won't marry you, and so you will be dumped the minute the man in her life needs something, anything... Mark my words, You will be dumped. But you knew that, right? You already saw this coming....

Okay, Smarty Single, here comes my most important point...

She is also setting a bad example. The Rules advise that "we only love those who love us". Therefore, your dream man is the one who is calling you, not the one you are chasing. You don't need to be a doormat to have a relationship, although I admit it helps to get you in the door. Then again, is this really a relationship...? IF the woman who wants to date you can not "commit" to even simple things: who plans everything by text message, who is always late with a silly excuse... then what kind of relationship do you think she has built with "her man". (Because he always has that title, am I right? He is NEVER her actual husband)

In short, women that I respect and who value my precious time are rare indeed. Which is exactly what The Rules teaches us to look for in men.

My mother said something interesting to me the other day....
I was complaining about yet another female who wanted to be married...badly.

And how any man would do.

I began to stutter and choke because I literally could not find the right words.

I said "It's not"
and my mother said - simply and quietly - " she wants to make him happy?"

And I was struck because that was it. Exactly.

I used to always focus on the fact that these girls were "so amazing"; I mourned bitterly how they were throwing what they had away on someone who does not appreciate it; someone who can not respect - who can not SEE - them the way I do.

And it occurred that to me that I have been biased in a pretty typical way.

She can't see him either.

She has no interest in "making him happy" the way you feel when you are actually in love.

She just wants to get married.