David is one of the friends I turn to when I need someone to grab a drink with and dish about life, love, politics, and work stresses. He’s good peoples. Sophisticated, smart, suspendered, sarcastic. And single. So if you like his commentary here, contact me and maybe I can play matchmaker. *wink wink*
Before I met Bryan several months ago, David and I sat in a local dive and bitched about dating in this great, beautiful, and cold city as well as the stereotypes men had about women and vice versa. I asked him to write a post for me to shed light on the male perspective because he’s opinionated and clever and I have always respected his views. So he did. And like the terrible friend I am, I dropped the ball on this and let it sit in my inbox for an unreasonable amount of time. (Sorry about that, homey).
I have been asked to offer a male perspective on the rather broad topic of dating in New York City. To be clear, this is a male perspective not the male perspective.
In searching for a potential partner, there are essentially three ways to proceed. In addition to the old fashioned way of meeting somebody on one’s own in realife, there is also the intermediary (see: Yenta) or cyberspace. Let us dispense with the simplest of these first, i.e. through an intermediary. This, I believe, functions generally the same for both sexes. Some friend or coworker invariably has the bright idea that two people would be a great match and sets about getting them together. Said friend or coworker is either possessed of some deep insight into human nature and a nuanced understanding of both parties. Or said friend is a meddlesome twit.
So much for friends. But what of online? It is here that womanity has taken its first tentative steps along the path of Targeted Mate Acquisition (TMA). And good on you lot, because now you get to see just how difficult TMA can be. In some ways, it’s like hitting a baseball. If you succeed roughly three times out of ten, you are deemed successful. Therefore, men are accepting of a high failure rate. It is a burden we bear without complaint, for ever and anon do we console ourselves with not being subjected to a menstrual cycle. Women, however, need not fear such a perilous rate of rejection. Though there is surely a more poetic way of putting it, I shall borrow from a Twisted Sister lyric. “I know what you want. You want what we got.”
Still, the potential to experience rejection exists, whether through failing to meet another’s highly subjective optimal ophthalmic standards or by coming across as demonstrably insane. Consider the following: I recently received a message from a girl which was well crafted, intelligent and overall generally pleasant. Natch I perused her profile. She appeared to be quite bright, like-interested and rather charming. I would have liked very much to talk with her… until I saw the pictures, at which point I felt sore ashamed. As you might imagine, I was less than thrilled with myself for making a snap judgment on so shallow a ground.
I composed the following response, here submitted for your (dis)approval, which I (obviously) did not send:
“Hello there, person who is interesting-to-an-uncommon-degree. I respect your courage in not only putting yourself out there but also for laughing in the face of defined gender roles by your female self reaching out and contacting my male self. After careful consideration, we have decided that you score highly in all categories which ‘really matter,’ and have earned a rating of ‘credit to your sex and to humanity already.’ Nonetheless, we regret to inform you that you are hereby: REJECTED. Good luck and thanks for playing. Best wishes: The Mgmt.”
As for coming across as a lunatic, needless to say a whole post could be written on that subject alone. In any event, while womanity may be sloughing off the vestiges of come-hithertude online, it is uncommon rare that this should occur at the local tavern. It is in this arena that the divide between us is most evident.
Men have confected any number of mechanisms by which to deal with this, both fair and foul. These include on the one hand flattery, drink-buying, peacockish displays of chivalry, ingratiation by way of kindness towards the targets friends and light humor. On the other, mendacity, arrogance, peacockish displays of affluence, and any manner of speech or action which may be classed as “Douchebaggery.”
Alas, Douchebaggery knows few bounds. It seeks you always, finds you often, and is not satisfied until the night is won or it is forced to withdraw in defeat. No amount of over-his-shoulder-looking or watch-checking or obvious glances of annoyance to one’s friends will divert it from its aim. And that is not all, for there is collateral damage as well. With every passing minute that Jimmy Popped-Collar is winnowing off your life, there may be some well-mannered gentleman of refined taste who is deterred from sweeping you off your feet.
It has been my observation that through body language, girls will make known whether or not they wish to be approached on a given evening. To be sure, signs may be misapprehended. I grant that it may be ideal, from the feminine perspective, to be approached by an attractive and charming gentleman. Yet as you await him, Douchebaggery circles as a vulture.
Thus, if women are willing to be approached, wherefore are they unwilling to do the approaching? This seems to me to be one of the great differences between our sexes. Many ladies, of course, will argue that it is just as difficult for them to meet a fine fellow as it is for a fine fellow to meet with a fair lady. This may be so. While our approaches do seem starkly different, yet are our objectives strikingly similar. In closing, then, I humbly suggest that if womanity should take some small step toward initiating the Targeted Mate Acquisition, though they should oft times meet with failure and rejection, still they would meet with it less often then do we. And if nothing else there might some circumvention of Douchebaggery to the general welfare of all.