#Dating, #Sex, and the Single Woman from This Married Dad’s Point-of-View

Category: Weekly Columns

Online Dating Reality

Listening to the travails of two of our single women friends has motivated me to write this column and ask some questions, ponder some societal changes, and simply vent a bit.

Dating rules

Since I began dating, way back in the sixties, we’ve seen an unprecedented change in societal mores, habits, sexual habits, family structure, and significant changes in just about every “institution” that existed post WWII.

It’s a different time. We are also currently living in a very scary economic state as well as dealing with pretty serious global issues and I’m NOT talking about “Climate Change.” Terrorists abound worldwide, America’s place in the world pantheon is diminished, and instability seems to rule. I’ve written a two-part essay (Part One and Part Two) about what I believe is really the world’s biggest problem – diminished fertility rates in so many countries – and this issue is getting ZERO attention.

Dating Rule #2

So, it’s no surprise that the dating world has changed as well. Without going through a history of my own dating experiences, suffice it to say that I met my (second) wife online. Online dating has gone from stigma to dogma, and true acceptance among all ages and gender. Yes, there’s lots of moaning about its pitfalls but it does work.

Yet, it takes “work” to make it work and that aspect sometimes isn’t fully understood by those who partake. I would – dare I say it – suggest that many women give up on online dating sooner than men. Too many losers, too many liars, too much B.S., and more are examples of what they say.

Online Dating dogs

We have two single female friends who have had their ups and (mostly) downs dating. Their ongoing saga of dating and not dating, of having a boyfriend and not, is ammunition for me to endure all the nagging my wife dishes out. I don’t want to go back to the single life.

Perhaps they are atypical and perhaps they are too set in their ways and too set in their standards. You can be the judge of that. But, they both have what appears to be excellent “resumes” and “credentials” as far as we can tell for finding and holding on to a man; a good age-appropriate life partner.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.42.07 AM

I am obviously ignoring the glaring elephant in the middle of this column – that of diminished interest in marriage and diminished interest in having children across the world. These two women both would like to get married. Both are on the edge of childbearing age so they have both accepted and are fine with that not likely being part of their future family life, though there could be step-kids.

What I learned when I dated – between marriages – is that the cliché that men are set in their ways by a certain age is absolutely equally true for women. Our two friends are VERY set in their ways. What I also have observed is that the one thing any particular guy doesn’t have is the one thing that is NOW the biggest and most important thing on their list of “needs” in a partner.

Dating comic

So, if they guy’s too short, then height truly matters. If he doesn’t live in the right neighborhood or too far away, then geographical considerations are paramount. If he’s not funny enough, humor is essential (well, humor IS essential for most women). God forbid he drives the wrong car or wears bad shoes! You get the picture. It’s like when I walk into a room. All I tend to see are the guys with full heads of hair since I’m hair-challenged and that is my particular sore point.

Then there’s the issue of making plans for that first date. Our two friends are VERY particular about exactly where and when they meet. Excuse me? What difference does it make if it’s Starbuck’s or Coffee Bean, a sushi restaurant or Italian food (unless there are real dietary issues). AND, why do these single friends (and other single friends) ALWAYS seem to have to change the time of the meeting? “I’m running a bit late, can we push it back 15 minutes?” Why isn’t a date A DATE?

Dating cartoon

My wife likes to joke that I tricked her. She means that I put on my best behavior while we dated and once we were married, the “real me” showed up. Well, shouldn’t we put on our “best behavior” just as we would at a job interview? I think the pickiness of our two friends shows up immediately and could be a turn-off to a potential date. It would be for me. When I was dating, if it was too hard to simply arrange a coffee meeting, I would give up and not bother.

A therapist friend of mine once said that the number one reason men cheat is NOT what most people would think. It’s not because their wife is no longer attractive or gained weight. It’s because their wives are not sweet and nice. We men are very simple. Be nice to us and we melt in your arms. Be a hard-ass know-it-all demanding woman and we’ll tend to stray or lose interest. This is a harsh reality but it’s the truth.

Dating Rule #1

So ladies, lighten up on making plans. Don’t critique the first thing that doesn’t appear perfect (are YOU perfect?), and give the guy a chance to shine. Thoughts, comments?

  • Bill Lennan

    TLDR: challenges dating are 100% self induced.
    If I can switch it around so can you.

    After my second divorce, I tried both online and IRL dating.
    I found the IRL worked much better as I was going to events/places where women who had similar interests were hanging out.

    I spent a lot of time figuring out what I really wanted.
    Not the societal norms but what really resonated with me.
    Self inquiry is rarely easy but the payoff is well worth it.

    There’s a surplus of available people who want to date you.
    The problem is most of us are blind to all the people peeking at us from behind their coffee cup/phone/laptop/etc.
    (We might make eye contact and they’d see the naked desire/desperation/loneliness)

    This isn’t the normal perspective of scarcity – but I’ve been looking at data, not the common fears.

    Try taking the perspective of surplus – and do the work of really getting clear on what you want and why.

    It’s amazing how what you want will fall right into your lap.


    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Well put @billlennan:disqus – I found it!

  • David Weber

    Given the advice-to-the-women orientation of the column, probably some kind of rejoinder by women (i.e., advice to men) would be in order.
    Consider removing the snark quotes from the term climate change. I recently read that the Dept. of Defense has begun dealing with how climate change is a security issue, i.e., exploring what the security ramifications of climate change are. If the Pentagon is taking it seriously, that suggests it ought to be taken more seriously than not.
    I question whether the population and fertility issue is getting zero attention. I have read a number of articles about it in recent years in a variety of publications. I don’t know what zero attention may look like, but coverage such as I describe does not seem to qualify as zero.
    As for the comment about men are wanting women to be nice, I agree that it’s important. I would add that equally important is for the man (in this case) to train or teach the women HOW to express herself in a manner she intends to be constructively corrective. That will vary from one fellow to another, and may not be primarily about language choice.
    For example, I am comfortable with direct or confrontational wording as long as the vocalic elements (tone of voice, pitch, volume, etc.) are temperate or light, as opp. to whiny, pouty or otherwise seeming to ME to suggest that some inherent problem within me is under scrutiny, instead of some behavior the woman thinks I would do well to consider fixing/adjusting/rethinking/etc.
    You have to nip this kind of thing in the bud … the “training” of which I speak had better happen much sooner rather than later.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – I have seen LITTLE (okay not zero) coverage on the fertility problem and TONS of coverage on the CERTAINTY of global warming – oh, excuse me, it’s now “Climate Change.” Do NOT agree with you even if the Pentagon is acting since the military has become more politically correct than EVER before.

      As for the training…would you do a consultation with my wife, PLEASE?

      • David Weber

        Concerning my comments, I don’t know what specifically you are disagreeing with. If you’re disagreeing with the familiar claim that climate change is occurring, global warming is occurring, and all that, that’s not specifically what I was writing about. I was suggesting that to blithely discount such claims surely is more difficult to do if the U.S. military is taking the effect seriously as something to address for purposes of national security.

        If you are suggesting that the only reason that certain military organizations may be taking such matters seriously is due to some sources of influence that wish to complicate or change the missions or cultural values of the U.S. military, I also don’t know precisely what you’re suggesting. I’d have to have some kind of evidence pointing to some other sort of pressure by those who would wish such influence to prevail in the military’s strategic thinking, threat assessment protocols and related functions.

        It’s tempting to reference public conversations that have occurred over the last decade or so proposing that the U.S. military is, for example, unwilling to deal effectively with turmoil involving Muslims in uniform (such as the Texas murders by the Muslim medical officer). But absent evidence, one cannot bridge from some number of those incidents, which revolve around identity politics — which is the basis for considering something politically correct or not — to a conclusion that decision-making in commands responsible for looking into the future and determining what to anticipate is also affected by identity politics that in other commands may be construed as the elephant in the parlor.

        These are the sources of information that got my attention:





        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – I was suggesting that Climate Change is FAR from decided as some suggest…and that there is MUCH MORE to this discussion.

          Now, you didn’t respond to my request for consultation to help “train” my wife!?