Archive for category Relationships
- Nice guy
- Good man
- Mysterious fellow
- Arrogant prick
- Confident dude
How a man is perceived is complex and confusing, especially for the man back on the dating scene. After digesting the emotional turmoil that is divorce – even if civil – the single guy is entering a new landscape. Gone are the days of the dinner and a movie date. Now there is online dating and “meetings” where reduced expectations are the new normal.
But the 40-something guy simply wants to meet his relationship goals. Perhaps he wants to be a Lothario and master the art and science of seduction. Maybe he just wants a woman to love again and her love for him is matched. Maybe he wants the “stayover” relationship where there is exclusivity but not cohabitation. All these goals are legitimate.
Our 40-something guy is not in his twenties. He’s smart enough to listen to his single female peers. When he takes in their words, he has haplessly wandered in the adjective minefield. It gets worse if he fires up some online dating and reads a few hundred dating profiles written by single women. I’ve read tens of thousands of such profiles and I know the patterns.
“Looking for a nice guy” is a frequent term used by the dames in their online dating profiles. I’ve covered this quite recently. The difficulty lies in understanding that actions and words diverge terribly when it comes to understanding how women deal with attraction and dating. Descriptors like “nice” and “good” are the socially expected words. Those are polite company words. Those are the words used at singles events where we actually have to communicate face to face.
Away from social expectations and well-meaning friends, a woman does what she wants. She’ll publicly and happily tell a friendly fellow that she has no problem dating shorter men. But when she puts her fingers on the keyboard to describe her preferences, out comes “you must be 5’11” or taller” in her online dating profile. Gentlemen, this is a feature in women, not a bug. Deal with it like an with it like an adult.
When reading the pick up artistry (PUA) literature, a man learns a whole new language and a completely new set of skills. “Aloof”, “cocky”, and “confident” become the new normal. These are not the words of his sister and his female friends who bestow well-meaning and socially accepted advice. Confusion swirls in his mind. Our man simply wants to be himself. He wants to be humble, decent, and good. But in his efforts to be such things, he dines alone and his online dating efforts come to naught.
Let’s bring in the whole concept of “be yourself”. New readers will be nodding in agreement. My seasoned readers will be slowly shaking their heads. If a man or woman is not meeting relationship goals, then “being yourself” simply won’t cut it. Coming through the divorce process is an opportunity to change. Yes, I said it, “change”. Human beings are incredibly adaptable, regardless of age.
It’s time to sum up. Nice guys lose in the dating game. Supplication never wins for guys. Chivalry ain’t working it. Good guys might do better but they need to be aloof and mysterious. If it such characteristics don’t come naturally, men can learn. Women can re-learn femininity, as well. Being more attractive to the opposite sex can be learned.
I’m a huge fan of cleverly written blog posts. With the author’s permission, I’m reposting an extraordinarily clever post from LaidNYC (link below). A smart reader will quickly figure out angle of this post and the lesson it imparts on young women. Honestly, there are times when I’m grateful to be middle age and don’t have to deal directly with the 20-something dating scene.
Lauren is happy. Last night, her boyfriend Mark finally told her he loved her. She had been wanting that ever since they started seeing each other four months ago. She had been having sex with him, and it had been pleasurable for sure, but she was doing so hoping it would turn into something more: love.
Mark had been aloof and slow to give away his emotions. Lauren didn’t mind this, she even preferred it. It meant that she had to work for his love, and by the time he said it, she felt she had earned it and that it really meant something to him.
Lauren set up an excited brunch with her friends Stina, Terri and Lisa. They hadn’t seen each other in four months, in fact none of them knew she was dating Mark. Right away, she starts telling them the good news.
“Wow” said Stina, “I didn’t even know you were dating a new guy! That’s great.”
“Yeah”, said Terri, “what is the guy’s name?”
“Mark Smith”, said Lauren. A hush immediately fell over her support group as they began to give each other awkward looks.
“Uhhhh, Lauren”, said Lisa, “Mark Smith has loved a lot of girls.”
“Yeah”, said Stina, “He told Jackie Valenti he loved her.”
“Okay” said Lauren, “But she probably fucked his brains out, right? Like, he was definitely getting sex from her?”
Stina cringes. ”No” she says, “They never even kissed. He went over to her place drunk one night and professed his love for her. She never even let him in her bedroom.”
“Alright but that’s only one girl. That’s okay.” Said Lauren, getting nervous.
“Well there’s also Andrea Tedesco. He told her he loved her after two casual dates.” said Terri, “She was bragging that she kept him around for a while, getting ‘good morning beautiful’ texts from him and other indications of love whenever she needed it, and she only stopped accepting his love when he started to want sex. He still writes on her facebook wall.”
Lauren felt a deep pit in her stomach.
Lisa continues: “Mark told Angelica Messina he loved her the first night he met her. She said he was REALLY into it, looking her right in the eyes when he said it, getting down on his knees in front of her just to kiss her hand, and he even recited poetry for her. She gave him one of those awkward one arm hugs and that was it.”
He never did that freaky stuff with me, thought Lauren. If he does that stuff, then why did I just get a plain old “I love you”?
Plus Angelica is the biggest cocktease in the city, thought Lauren. How could Mark fall for her bullshit? What an idiot. Now she thought Mark was stupid as well as loose with his love.
Stina says, apologetically, “I don’t want to tell you this, but I heard Mark met a girl in a club and dragged her into the bathroom to tell her she was beautiful, then he gave her twenty dollars. She never even touched him.”
“Okay, please stop” said Lauren. She was growing sicker by the second, her world crushed.
Later, she confronts Mark with her new knowledge. Did he really love all those girls without getting sex from them? She demands to know.
“Well yeah but I didn’t really WANT sex from them”, Mark lies, possibly even to himself, “I wanted to give them love, that’s all. I wasn’t ready for sex at that point in my life.”
“Uggggghhhhh” says Lauren, “Don’t you know that guys who give girls love and attention without getting sex are LOSERS??? The girls getting the love and attention don’t actually respect them, they are just using them!”
“No way, guys can want love without sex, too”, claims Mark.
“Well I heard you told Shirley Thompson from my building you loved her and I have to look at her every day. Plus she’s really pretty, there’s no way she was going to fuck you! Why did you love her?” says Lauren.
“Is that what this is about”, Mark says, “You are just insecure because I have more experience with love than you. You think you can’t measure up to all the beautiful girls I’ve loved in the past.”
“Just how many girls did you tell you loved?” asks Lauren
“I don’t know, about 30″ says Mark
This hits Lauren like a brick in the stomach. “30! That is insane, you are a loser!”
“Can’t you see that my past doesn’t matter, and you are giving me sex now and that’s all that matters?” says Mark, “I love the sex we have and that’s something I didn’t get from the other girls.”
Mark can’t see why this only makes Lauren madder. Why should she be the one who has to pay by putting her valuable eggs at risk by taking his sperm in order to get the love and attention that the other girls got so easily.
“Well if you give away love so easily, why did you make me wait?” says Lauren, “Was I not as good as the other girls?”
“Well I saw the chance for sex with you and I didn’t want to mess that up by giving away love too soon”, says Mark.
Lauren dumped Mark.
She had to.
Someone so loose with their emotions is not a good person to give sex to.
What if they have a son who turns out to be easily manipulated by a pretty face, like Mark?
What if a pretty girl in need bats her eyelashes at him and he gives her money that their family needs?
What if she just wants a man’s love all to herself and that can’t happen with Mark?
Even beyond that, on a very visceral, base level that she couldn’t explain, she found Mark repulsive. It was as if she had been wired biologically to feel disgust and lack of attraction for guys who allow themselves to get friendzoned. There was no way she could fuck him again.
Yup, it was as clear as day, thought Lauren. Guys who give away love easily are definitely not worthy of sex.
LaidNYC’s original post
A dating adviser, Christie Hartman (link below), recently tweeted:
“Guys: chivalry is an easy, cost-free way to impress a woman.”
My tweeted response was:
NO!!!! THIS IS WRONG!!! DON’T DO THIS!!!!
Via Twitter, she asked why not. As for Christie, I’ve retweeted some of her dating advice tweets in the past because she mostly gives reasonable advice and I support her efforts. It’s unfortunate that otherwise excellent dating advisers sometimes come up with disasters like that tweet. Another example of that is Moxie (link below) writing for Role/Reboot, the most politically correct and idiotic website discussing gender issues. No link from me to that dreck.
As for chivalry (link below), it might have had its place for medieval knights and Dating 1.0. With Dating 2.0, chivalry – especially early in the dating phase – is an expression of weakness and supplication in a man. A woman might be outwardly pleased at a chivalrous gesture but inside, her hindbrain is screaming “Run away! This guy’s a pushover!”.
Worse, chivalry can too easily be exploited by selfish and egotistical women. One of the quickest way for a man to assigned to the FriendZone is for him to act chivalrous to a dame. The loathsome and despicable white knights use chivalry with wanton abandon. This pedestalizes women and the clever ones will manipulate the white knights while enjoying the physical affection of men higher up the sexual food chain.
A bold and confident man can certainly use courtesy and manners as required. If a relationship develops during the dating phase, certain chivalrous deeds can be doled out very rarely. At the start of dating, a man simply can’t be chivalrous but he should be polite.
Ironically, chivalry is where feminism and the Manosphere agree. Feminists hate chivalry because it makes women look weak. Denizens of the Manosphere hate chivalry because it makes men look weak.
Some of these might seem patently obvious but each one is based on women’s actual dating and attraction experiences. Feel free to tweet these to your followers or add your own random dating tip.
- If it’s a first date from online dating, go to a place without bright lighting.
- If entertaining a lady at your place, keep chilled water in your bedroom. Wink, wink.
- Shoes and wristwatch, keep them classy and elegant. Women immediately notice this and judge you for it.
- Stand up straight, sit up straight, walk straight.
- Women want you to boldly approach them. It’s a sign of confidence. Only do so in a safe environment.
- When starting a conversation with a woman, never compliment below the neck.
- Get out of the house. Run single errands on different days of the week.
- When walking with a woman, offer your arm. Don’t hold her hand.
- Even if it’s her car, you drive it when on the date.
- Worst first date: Dinner and a movie.
- When standing, keep your hands out of your pockets. Pocket thumb hook, cowboy style, is acceptable.
- When walking, look at the horizon, not the ground.
- Speak clearly. Too much “Um” and “er” kills conversation.
- Dress one level up from all the guys around you.
- If you don’t want to text, you don’t want to date.
- Put your name at the end of your outgoing online dating messages.
- If you get the date, don’t over-communicate with her before the date.
- You want to give a gift on the first date?! Don’t be a moron. You barely even know this woman.
- The future of meeting women will be singles events in real life. You do remember real life, right?
- Do you feel compelled to talk about an ex on a first date? Stop dating. Recover emotionally first.
- If you don’t have the time to date, you’re not ready for dating.
- Fingernails, clean ‘em and trim ‘em.
- That haircut of yours sucks. Trust me on this.
- The point of online dating is to actually go on dates with real women.
A recent tweet from the Wall Street Playboys (@wallstreetplayboys) gave some succinct advice – gotta love Twitter and that 140 character limit – to young men:
Truthful steps to success:
1. Ignore family
2. Throw away the TV
3. Delete mainstream news
4. Ditch your average peers
5. Find older mentors
I agree with most of it. Ignoring family is a bit strong but if family is heaping pressure to follow the standard life script, those words should be ignored. Family can too easily sabotage a young man’s efforts towards self-improvement.
The television really is a bad influence because the mainstream media is not about helping men, it’s about keeping men down with terrible messages about masculinity. With high-speed bandwidth and streaming video, the TV simply becomes a very big computer monitor.
Yeah, mainstream news media is quite awful. The purpose of that form of media is to make money, not be accurate or thoughtful. National Public Radio is an option just be sure to screen for the left-wing bias.
Average peers preach mediocrity. Quality guy friends are worth cultivating and emulating. This is especially true if your “friends” are urging you to toe the party line and not make waves, culturally and socially speaking.
The last point is extremely important. When a man has a few decades on this planet and is reasonably evolved, he has a tremendous amount of wisdom to offer. A bunch of young pick-up artists sharing Game tips might work in the short-term. Yet a younger man needs a wise, older uncle to offer long-term guidance that goes beyond the pleasures of the flesh.
The Manosphere has a mostly young demographic. Many bloggers here are in their 20s and have yet to gain the seasoning of life experiences. ‘Sphere men in their 30s are a great source of wisdom and knowledge. Danny (link below) is a great example of this. He lives life soundly and boldly and then shares the knowledge he has gained. Young men with a long-term view of life should look at even older guys for wisdom and advice.
I am in my early 50s (51, to be accurate) and my life has been complex and filled with mistakes and successes. I don’t have kids. At this point in life, I want to pass along wisdom to both men of my age and the younger generation. To wit, I want to be the wise uncle to any young man who wishes to reach to me with more personal questions and issues. I’ve learned almost too much from my life’s mistakes and I certainly don’t want the younger generation to repeat my mistakes.
To my regular readers, pass along this blog post to the young men in your life. I hope they reach out to me. Just be warned, I can be nicely bombastic. Hit the Contact Me page for the relevant info.
Note: This is combination of two posts from last year that proved to be very popular. This dialog is a mash-up of all the conversations I’ve had with women this age in the past two years or so. I put it in this format because my normal posts can be too abstract. Many people learn from the dialog approach just as many people require pictures.
A middle-aged fellow is having a libation at an upscale bar and restaurant in a big city. It’s about an hour or so after work and the place is rather full with a white collar, professional crowd in attendance. The protagonist is sitting at the corner of the bar.
A reasonably attractive, early 40s-looking woman sits next to the protagonist but as the bar has a corner, she’s 90 degrees to him. She orders a cosmopolitan and then proceeds to dig her cell phone from her purse to look at it with a hopeful expression on her face. Then a brief and darker look crosses her face.
Our protagonist, an observant fellow, notices that the woman isn’t wearing a wedding or engagement ring. He also notices that her hair is down and her very red lipstick is quite fresh. He glances down and sees high heels that are too tall for work and a skirt that ends just above the knee. Her well-cut jacket covers her blouse so he can’t see what she might be wearing there.
The woman looks up from her cell phone and sips her pink drink and then sighs almost imperceptibly while looking away from the protagonist. She looks back to her drink and the phone.
He finally speaks to her.
The woman looks up at him, almost puzzled.
“Oh… cheers” She raises her drink glass and has a sip.
“Pity about your date being cancelled.” He says flatly.
“Do I know you?” The woman has an expression of surprise and wariness.
“Not at all, but I can tell your date cancelled.”
The woman regards him carefully for just a moment, as if assessing a threat.
“How did you know I was even supposed to have a date?”
The protagonist sips his drink – an imported draft beer – as a way of pausing. He then looks at her directly.
“Your heels and skirt are too high for work, your lipstick is also too red for work and it’s fresh. You’re not wearing a wedding or engagement ring, that means you’re single. You were supposed to have a date.”
The woman leans back to look at the protagonist. She raises one eyebrow.
“I could be here to pick up men, did you ever think of that?”
The protagonist smiles wryly.
“We both know there are better places in town for that.”
The woman crosses her arms in front of her and almost glares at the protagonist.
“OK smart guy, how did you know my date was cancelled?”
The protagonist continues.
“You checked your phone as soon as you got here. You had a hopeful look at your face and then you saw something you didn’t like. Probably you got a text just as you entered this place and waited to sit down before you checked it. Also, it’s five minutes past 7:00 so it’s likely you had plans to meet at 7:00. He’s not standing you up because you would be looking like you were anticipating something.”
The woman glares at him.
“What are you, Sherlock Holmes? I don’t think I like this conversation and I think you’re kind of rude.”
She looks around the bar and sees that no empty seats are available. The protagonist calmly takes a sip of his beer.
“I know I’m rude, I’m actually rather good at it.”
“You know you’re rude?” This remark surprises her. “I can’t believe you just said that.”
“Should I continue?”
“You might as well.” The woman lets out an exasperated breath of air.
“OK…you’re not here to meet friends or colleagues because you would have tried to get a table or they would have already been here. I’ll even go out on a limb here… this was supposed to have been your fourth, no, your fifth date with this guy.”
As the protagonist talks, the woman leans in and opens her mouth slightly. Her stare at him is unblinking.
“Fifth date and have you been following me or something? This is really creepy.”
The protagonist sips his drink again.
“Nope, not following you. I have better things to do.”
The woman leans back and opens her eyes widely. The protagonist doesn’t react to her expression. He reaches his hand towards her.
The woman reluctantly extends her hand.
“Well, now that we’re not total strangers, should I go on?”
“No, I think you should stop.”
“Fair enough. Pity about your date.”
“Yeah, I know.” Claire turned and sipped at her drink and then turned back to Douglas. “He didn’t even say he’d contact me later, just said he couldn’t make it tonight. He didn’t even apologize. I was about to text him back.”
“It won’t do any good.”
“No? Why is that?” She looks both surprised and crestfallen.
“If he were serious about seeing you again, he would have texted that he would call later or for you to call him, or something like that.”
Clair looks at her drink pensively.
“I had high hopes.”
Douglas smiles thinly.
“We all do, even at our age.”
“Why do men do that?”
“Because we can.”
At this, Claire looks almost angry.
“This conversation is making me uncomfortable. I don’t even know you except for your name.”
Douglas leans back on his bar stool. He crosses his arms.
“Do you want the truth about men and women? I figured out your situation in about minute, I have more to say.”
Claire looks away. Then she looks back at Douglas.
“This is going to be uncomfortable.”
Douglas doesn’t smile.
Claire takes a gulp of her drink, finishing it. She quickly signals the bartender for another.
“You should buy me that drink, you know. It’s what men are supposed to do.”
Douglas smiles wanly.
“It’s what men do who are unsuccessful with women. My beer is almost empty, by the way.”
Claire looks very surprised.
“Wait, you want me to buy you a drink?”
Douglas nods his head slowly with a small smirk outlining his mouth. Claire shakes her head.
“I can’t believe this.” Still, she signals the bartender and points to Doug’s beer.
“Thank you. You’ve never bought a drink for a man before?”
Claire appears thoughtful for a moment.
“Well, I actually bought drinks on the first date with the guy who cancelled tonight’s date.”
Doug continues his questions.
“Has a man ever bought you a drink?”
“Sure, every time I go out with my girlfriends, there’s always some guy buying me and my friends drinks.”
“Have you or your girlfriends ever gone out with a guy who’s bought you a drink?”
“No, not that I know of…” Claire catches herself. “I don’t get your point.”
Douglas leans back.
“You just made my point for me. Guys who buy drinks for women don’t usually go out with those women.”
Claire makes a skeptical face while sipping her drink that the bartender has just brought over. Douglas’s beer is now fresh.
“So Mister smarty-pants, you were going to tell me about men and women.”
Douglas replies quickly.
“Not the younger generation, only people in our generation.”
“That makes sense. So what about people in our generation?”
Douglas takes a long drink of his beer before he responds.
“Dating is different than when we were young.”
Claire is not impressed and her face shows it.
“Tell me something I don’t already know.”
Douglas looks at her as he puts down his beer.’
“You’ve been divorced for about four years now, right?”
Claire doesn’t appear surprised.
“You’ve had at least one boyfriend and several short-term relationships since you started dating again.”
Claire puts an annoyed look her face.
“I really think you’re a private investigator or something.
“I know probabilities and demographics. People are shockingly predictable if you know their age, where they live, and their education.”
Claire leans back and crosses her arms in front of her.
“So where do I live and how many kids do I have?”
Douglas names a suburban community. “And you have three kids, all teenagers. The oldest is applying for college.”
“Fuck, it’s uncanny what you know about me.”
Douglas smirks broadly.
“Nice girls don’t curse.”
“Now you’re being rude again.” Claire is smiling, but not showing any teeth.
“Like I said, I’m good at that.” Douglas continues his smirk and drinks his beer.
“OK, back to this dating thing, you’ve got me intrigued.” Claire tells him.
“Let me ask you a question, where do you get your dating advice?”
Claire looks thoughtful for a moment.
“Well, in the beginning, I didn’t really ask anyone and I didn’t get any dates. Then I started talking to my single girlfriends and then started to get set up on dates through them.”
“How did that go?”
“I don’t know… it was good it was bad… the men seemed so lost and I was so uncomfortable…” Her voices trails off.
“What were you looking for?”
“What my friends told me, for chemistry, whatever that is.”
Douglas laughs softly.
“We both know what chemistry is.”
Claire looks puzzled.
“I really don’t know. I think it’s supposed to be love at first sight or something.”
“Don’t believe the fairy tale, we both too old for that. Chemistry is sexual arousal, nothing more.”
“Hmm, I don’t know about that…”
Douglas puts on a determined look.
“Look at it this way, if you didn’t feel some sort of physical attraction for a guy and very quickly, would you sleep with him?”
Clair almost scoffs
“Of course, I wouldn’t, that’s kind of a stupid question.”
“Welcome to chemistry.”
Claire still looks puzzled. Douglas moves on.
“We’ll get back to that later. I’m curious about how you met the men you have dated.”
“Well, a few were setups from friends, divorced guys my age. Most of them wouldn’t shut up about their exes and the shitty deal they got in their divorces. I didn’t feel like a date, I felt like a psychologist.”
Douglas rolls his eyes.
“Guys shouldn’t do that, but they’re told to do that.”
Claire again looks puzzled.
“They’re told to bitch and moan about their ex-wives? They don’t know how off-putting that is?”
Douglas leans in.
“Do you remember the late 70s and early 80s?”
“I was pretty young, but yes.”
“Well, that was a time when men were expected to be more in touch with their feelings, to be more sensitive, to be more emotional and less macho.”
Clair laughs a bit and sips her drink.
“Yeah, don’t be macho, I remember that. But men should be more in touch with their feelings and be willing to open up.”
Douglas wears a satisfied look on his face.
“You’ve proved my point again. Those pissed off divorced men you dated? Yah, they were simply being in touch with their feelings and being more emotional. They were doing what was expected of them as they were growing up.”
Claire looks a bit dubious.
“I guess I see your point.”
“I know you see my point.
“You’re kind of arrogant, do you know that?” Claire doesn’t sound insulting, her voice sounds almost bemused.
“I’m rude and arrogant… one more insult and I’ll get a hat trick.”
Clair smiles and turns to signal to the bartender for another round of drinks for both of them.
“I thought this was going to be uncomfortable, but it’s not.”
Douglas looks serious.
“We’ll get to that part.”
Clair looks equally serious.
“If you’re trying to pick me up, it’s not working.”
Douglas leans in as closely to her as the corner of the bar will allow.
“I’m not trying to pick you up. I’m not even going to ask for your phone number.”
Clair looks surprised.
“What if I gave you my phone number?”
Douglas is still leaning in closely and almost whispers.
“I wouldn’t call you.”
Claire is taken aback.
“You’re a jerk!”
Douglas leans back quickly and throws up his hands.
“Insult hat track! The crowd goes wild!” Several bar patrons turn to look at him.
Clair looks exasperated.
“OK, can we move on here? You were going to tell me about men and women and dating… because you’re so smart and all.”
Douglas swiftly changes his mood to be more serious.
“Before I do, I want to ask you some more questions.”
“OK, go ahead.”
“After you dealt with those burnt out divorced guys, how did you meet your dates?”
Claire lowers her voice.
“I tried online dating. A couple of friends recommended it… but I was really hesitant.”
Douglas sounds reassuring.
“Online dating can work and there’s no need to be embarrassed with doing that.”
“Well, I was kind of embarrassed, but I did meet men.”
“See? It can work.”
“I guess you’re right, I met my ex-boyfriend that way, that was just over a year ago.”
“But it didn’t work out, right?”
“Yeah, we were together about three months. I guess it was good but he was a single father and always busy with his kids and I was really busy at work so it just sort of fizzled…”
“Sorry to hear it, but this is the age for dealing with kids and careers, it’s tough for mothers and fathers.”
Douglas shifts the conversation a bit.
“So tell me more about your online dating experience.”
“It was real hit or miss. The emails I sent out, I never got a response. The emails I received were from totally unsuitable guys, my ex-boyfriend and a few others were the exceptions. I haven’t gone back to online dating since we broke up.”
Douglas has a disappointed look.
“That’s a fairly common experience for women, especially after about 40 or so.”
Claire has an almost pleading expression.
“Why is that?”
“This is where it gets uncomfortable. I fully expect you to throw your drink in my face.”
Claire looks serious.
“I promise I won’t do that.”
“I’ll take you at your word. The reason those guys never responded to your online dating messages is that they are attractive to most women. They have options. So, they date younger women. Women in their 40s have the hardest time dating because they expect to get the same kind of guys they could get when they were younger.”
Claire takes on an odd expression that’s part defensive, part sad.
“Women in their 40s are fabulous. They’ve accomplished so much, they’re beautiful, they have so much to offer. I don’t understand why men don’t find them attractive.”
Douglas looks away briefly and then addresses Claire.
“You mean why don’t the tall, attractive, confident, and successful men find you attractive.”
Claire crosses her arms defensively and stares at Douglas.
“Now this is uncomfortable. Are you telling me I’m not attractive?”
Douglas lets out a sigh.
“The guys you want? Those are guys that most 40-something woman wants. Compared to the 20-somethings and 30-somethings they could easily date, you’re not attractive enough.”
Claire is visibly upset and takes a big swallow of her drink.
“That’s bullshit and you know it. Women get better with age. Men should know that.”
Douglas doesn’t retreat.
Claire throws up her arms.
“Everyone! I’ve even heard a lot of men say it.”
“OK, I know everyone says that. But those are just words.”
Claire quickly takes on a more questioning mien.
“Just words? I don’t understand.”
“It’s the whole words versus actions thing. A confident, good-looking guy might say he finds 40-something women attractive but his actions are different in that he only dates younger women.”
“Then he’s being stupid.”
“And he’s also keeping the peace and getting what he wants.”
“Men are so stupid.”
“From your point of view and because you’re not getting what you want from certain men, yes, they’re stupid. But let’s move on. I want to know about the other guys you met online.”
Claire is still in defense mode.
“Look, I’m answering all these questions about me and I know nothing about you, just your name. I don’t think that’s fair.”
Douglas is conciliatory.
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know but first tell me more about your online dating experiences.”
Claire is not completely satisfied yet she acquiesces.
“OK, I did respond to some messages and went out with a few guys. They were all pretty nice but not serious long term potential.”
“I don’t know, they just didn’t feel right to me.”
“It’s that chemistry thing.”
Clair looks surprised and relieved.
“Yes! That’s it! There was no chemistry!”
“Not uncommon. How many messages did you get from guys?”
Claire changes her expression to mild sadness.
“I got a couple a day. Mostly from older guys or really younger guys. The messages were either really long like they were desperate or they were really short like they didn’t care that much. I got some messages from married guys who said they weren’t happy. It was so frustrating.”
“That’s a common experience.”
“You seem to know an awful lot about this.”
“I do a lot of online dating.”
Claire looks almost triumphant
“Finally, I get to learn something about you… you’re single!” She pauses and regards him more closely. “Oh… shit… I remember. Is that why you wouldn’t call me if I gave you my number?”
Douglas laughs loudly and honestly.
“You didn’t respond to my message back then, did you. Don’t worry it took a while for me to remember your profile and match you with the photo. I look at a lot of female profiles.”
Claire is obviously embarrassed and swallows a large gulp of her drink, emptying it.
“I need another drink. You do too. It’s on me again.”
She signals the bartender. Drinks are delivered.
Douglas mollifies her embarrassment.
“Don’t worry, most women didn’t respond. I’m not going to ask you why you didn’t respond, that was last year.
Clair still remains embarrassed.
“I just… well… “
Douglas leans in.
“Stop it, I’m an adult. I don’t take it personally. I send out so many messages and get so few responses. I’m used to it.
Claire’s voice is soft.
Douglas laughs again.
“Good Lord, woman, don’t worry about it! But if you’re ashamed and sorry, so be it. You can do me a favor. Consider it an educational exercise.”
Claire’s face brightens and she nods her head.
“OK, what do I have to do?”
Douglas looks around the bar until he sees what he needs.
“Look over you left shoulder. Do you see those three guys standing around the high-top table?
Claire does what she’s asked.
“I see them.”
“Good. Assume they are single tell me about their dating potential for you.”
Claire looks at them a bit surreptitiously.
“Hmmmm, the guy with the long hair has a pony tail so forget him. The middle guy, he’s got a weak chin and I think his eyes are too close together so he’s out. The last guy… way too short.”
Douglas puts on a subtle smirk.
“OK, did you know what you just did?”
“I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”
“You rejected three guys without even hearing their voices, just on their appearance.”
Claire looks confused.
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s a matter of mindset. A woman usually finds a reason to reject a guy before she’s intimate with him. This is especially true with online dating. There’s always a reason to reject a guy and there’s always another profile to look at or message to read. So, after awhile, there are practically no guys left.”
Claire is unconvinced.
“I still don’t understand.”
Douglas is not fazed but this.
“I want you to look at those three guys again but this time I want you find something positive about them.”
Claire doesn’t look convinced.
“I don’t know about this…” She turns again to regard the three men. “Ok… the long-haired guy, he has nice blue eyes…”
Douglas is pleased.
“Good, now the other two?”
Claire looks again, taking her time.
“The middle guy… hmmmm… actually, he has really nice hair… and the short guy, that’s easy, he’s really well dressed.” She turns back to face Douglas who was smiling.
“See that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
“I don’t see your point.”
“When you look for something good, you usually find it.”
Claire is still unconvinced.
“Platitudes… just platitudes… I’m not going to date any of those guys, after all.”
“I know, but when you start doing online dating again, you need to be able to see guys in a different light.”
“Who says I’m going to start online dating again?”
Douglas looks pleased with himself.
“I do because it’s inevitable. After your cancelled date, your conversation with me, and that little learning exercise, you’ll be re-writing your profile and looking at guy’s profiles, but differently.”
Claire takes on a coy look.
“If I put up my profile again, are you going to send me a message?”
Douglas smirks broadly.
“Would you respond to a message from a rude, arrogant, jerk?”
Claire laughs lightly.
Douglas shifts in his seat.
“It’s time for me to leave.”
Claire is a little disappointed.
“This is the best conversation I’ve had in a long time.”
“It’s been interesting to say the least.”
“And you’re not going to give me your phone number and you won’t call me if I gave you mine.”
Douglas is firm.
“I’m a man, I am bound by my word. Thanks for the drinks.”
Claire watches him leave.