It’s Not Easy Being Green, or a Dater

by GK on November 24, 2011 · 3 comments

I’m back from celebrating Rob’s 30th in New York, and I can cross the following off my bucket list: attending an underground party in a Brooklyn ghetto, first at a warehouse with half-naked women on a trapeze, then riding a school bus to a speakeasy. And I owe it all to the guy I coached for getting me in. If they have parties like that in San Francisco, I need to get on the mailing list.

Speaking of parties, I will now perform the ultimate DJ mashup: mixing feminism, male dating frustration and Muppets, while making sense of it all.

I’ve spent much of my time helping guys learn how to get dates, but I’ve been hearing lately from some of those who have graduated to new problems: having fun, getting dates and being picky about them, but facing periods of confusion and disappointment with the girls they do see.

Here’s a typical scenario: guy meets girl, they’ll have some initial spark, they’ll go on a date and make out or even sleep together. She’ll tell him she wants to see him again, and maybe she does. But soon after, she gets distant and silently disappears. Then it happens all over again with another girl. What gives?

In Western culture, where we think we have a solution for everything, this is treated as a problem that can be fixed. It could be a blog post about how you need to have sex with the girl on a first date if you want to make her stick around. Or a magazine article proclaiming “Seven Dating Dont’s!” and the guy may think, “Oh, maybe I leaned in too close during our drink. That’s why I haven’t heard back from her!”

And if you’re such a guy who is nouveau riche in the dating world — a happy, well-rounded guy exploring greater options, and facing higher-quality problems — I want to save you some trouble. Lean in and listen to this. Are you paying attention? Good.

You’re probably not doing anything wrong. Even if it’s wrong in her eyes, the next girl might not see it that way. And there is no catch-all answer for why women walk away or flake. You’re just experiencing what every single man faces. And you’re doing so at a fascinating time in male-female relations, when chances are you’ll stay single longer no matter how good your game is. So have fun with it and don’t worry about the outcome.

For some insight on how educated, professional women view dating, I suggest you check out an article in this month’s Atlantic. It’s long, and I may critique it in another post, but to me the most telling part is the intro, where the female author confesses to dumping a perfectly good boyfriend just to maintain some abstract feminist ideal passed on by her mother.

Now she’s pushing 40, unable to find anyone as good, and questioning the quality of men and the nature of traditional relationships. And, as you can see by the statistics she quotes, many other successful women are too, which in part explains why the percentage of unmarried people continues to climb.

Now, this was a guy she loved. So don’t be stunned if a girl you’ve had two dates with inexplicably flakes on you or stops returning your texts. Her reasons may be as philosophical as this woman’s, she might be unwilling to accept your Transformer collection (er, not like I have one or anything), or she might simply be in a bad mood.

In fact, you’ve probably done the same to women yourself. I know I have. Just know that it happens to us all, and ultimately it’s best not to fight it. And ask yourself if you were that into her anyway.

This is the curse of being picky. Those of us who have needed help with women eventually learn that picking them up is easy. Finding girls to have sex with is likewise easy if you make the effort — in fact it can be disheartening to learn that some women are more reliable for a one-night stand than an actual date. But finding an upper-echelon girl who has her life together and complements you can take time.

I have male friends who, on paper, shouldn’t have to go through many women to establish a relationship (monogamous or just something intimate). They have desirable jobs, stimulating interests, above-average looks and solid social skills, and they lack a criminal record. They also can get laid often. Yet, just as happens to me sometimes, they get dumped, flaked on or ignored.

Guess what: it’s nothing new. Half the songs and poems that have ever been written involved heartbreak, including my favorite song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” And being picky is nothing new, either. There’s this story about a man and woman, both sarcastic, young and single, who pick apart the opposite sex and vow never to marry. It’s called “Much Ado About Nothing,” and it was written by Shakespeare in the 1500s.

OK, here’s where my beloved Muppets, who are finally back in the movies, come in. Even Kermit the Frog, that lady pig killer himself, has had to complain to Rowlf about woman troubles, as you’ll find in their duet, “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along.” But as Kermit adds, it’s no use complaining.

This exchange says it best:

Rowlf: “Stay away from women, that’s my motto.”

Kermit: “But I can’t.”

Rowlf: “Neither can I, that’s my trouble.”

I also have male friends who recently have gotten married to great women or entered blossoming relationships, so it goes both ways. That’s the beauty of it all: I’ve faced some cold, even rude treatment from women this year. But then I meet that hot girl who shares my interest in new-wave music and demands I call her. I’m doing the same things with all of them.

I think of what Bill Hicks, who died far too young, said: Life is a ride. And when I’m on a rollercoaster, I’d rather enjoy the moment than worry about what happens after the ride is over.

{ 3 comments }

1 Alfonso L November 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

That article was more than just interesting, thanks for sharing it!
It0s amazing how radical postures (in this case feminism) can destroy a good project.
Anyway back to your topic I must say I discovered your point this summer when dating a girl who for no reason stopped responding to me. At that point I struggled for days thinking about what in hell did I do wrong and all I came up with where some crazy theories that hardly made sense. I guess this is a girl thing who knows as you said it’s best to let it go and keep enjoying the ride of life. (even if letting her go was a hard thing to do.)

Great writing as always GK, you always have great advice to share. 😉

2 GK November 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for reading, Alfonso! Yeah, save the detective work for watching CSI. :)

3 David M August 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

Great article. I had a phone session with you two years ago and since then have learned enough to have regular dates. Your advice is invaluable and reminds me that most of the time when a girl flakes its not something I did.

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