Dating Dues and Don’ts
I’m no longer playing The Dating Game, which is a good thing because if I were I’d have to slap the other contestants.
Why? Because of exhibit numbers 1 and 2: “Best First-Date Moves For Men” and “Best First-Date Moves For Women,” two informative articles about what makes a “successful” first date, listing what people should – and should not – do, as determined by “test panels” of self-absorbed men and women who claimed to have experience with date moves.
I was all atwitter (adjective: excited; nervous; aflutter, not to be confused with twitter.com) to see what was important to them. When I was on the market, I was happy if the guy 1) showed up, 2) on time, 3) had all his teeth, and 4) could speak in complete sentences.
Of course, I’m a woman, so I was picky. The guys were willing to settle for a lot less – they generally could be happy with one thing.
People today are different. Not one person in the stories mentioned that one thing. Instead they talked about things I can honestly say never occurred to me. Like this from one of the women who didn’t want a guy who might be nervous: “A little cockiness helps. If a guy talks too much out of nervousness or if his voice cracks, that’s a turn-off.”
I don’t mind nervous (unless it’s because he’s planning a major bank robbery later that night) – but I don’t want cocky. The last thing I want to do is spend time with a self-centered jerk who thinks I should be grateful he asked me out and thus is entitled to have sex with me. However, he would be a good match for the woman who actually said, “I expect to be the center of attention.”
Similarly, among women confidence ranked high on the list of attractive traits. Granted, I could never be happy dating the famously insecure Woody Allen even if he was single (with all his neuroses we could never be alone together), but by “confident,” these ladies mean “talkative, and women like a man who can be a smooth talker. A date either has to be relaxed and confident, or he has to be good at faking it.”
So they want someone who will monopolize the conversation, manipulate them and be good at deception.
These are not what I consider desirable qualities.
And then, if the guy didn’t pass muster on the first date, when asked “What do you do next?” the response was not – let him down easy if he calls again – it was “Phase it out. Let it die. After two or three dates, you don’t owe him an explanation. After a year, maybe you can tell him the truth if you have mutual friends.”
“Phase it out”???? If you know on the first date that the “man doesn’t meet your standards”, the correct answer is NOT “make him take me to dinner a couple more times before I unceremoniously dump him with no explanations.”
Where did they find these women?
Hopefully not the same place they found their “panel of bachelors to discuss what a woman can do to make it a night he won’t easily forget.” I mean – really? Don’t we all already know what the answer to that one is? (Even though not one bachelor was honest about it.)
Instead they talk about looking deep into their eyes, saying please and thank you, and not spending the entire meal on the phone talking to your mother.
All of which sounds reasonable. And not one of them said, “I expect to be the center of attention.” But they did want the woman to dress to impress. At least on the first date (she can be a slob later.)
And they did show a complete lack of understanding of women’s cosmetics. They agreed that “women who are too made up are usually more high-maintenance.” (They must know the Kardashians.) But one of them actually said, “A big turn-off for me is women with overly manicured eyebrows. That’s a bad sign. That means she spends a lot – a lot – of time on her appearance.”
Seriously? “Overly manicured eyebrows”??? What does that mean? And how is it possible? There’s only so much you can do with eyebrows.
How about “overly manicured nails”? Or “overly enhanced eyelashes”? You’ve seen them – eyelash extensions PLUS fake lashes PLUS mascara (with the end result something like this). Now THAT would be high maintenance.
And if that wasn’t silly enough – the bachelors were asked – and actually answered – this question: “What subtle signs can a woman send that lets you know the date is going well?”
Who needs subtle? Sign #1: she’s still there. Sign #2: she hasn’t thrown her drink in your face. Sign #3: she isn’t laughing hysterically as she gives a live, “play by play” description of your date in a conference call to everyone in her phone contact list.
Oddly, women were not asked the same question. And weren’t worried about getting stuck with someone high maintenance. But then, if you’re the center of attention, why would you care?