A first date is a meeting of strangers. But with the possibility of romance in the air, allowing our expectations to bust out is easy. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves; a first date is not much more than a handshake. Unless you go prepared.
The story I tell myself is that brunettes with mildly equine features and big smiles are my thing. Small speech impediments, nice feet and emotional equanimity round out the picture. She is out there somewhere.
This article about how to stand out in a boundless world of dating possibilities is an antidote to the usual guff. Honesty works, according the author, and will end much of the posturing and masking that make so much of dating unbearable.
The story is common enough. A middle-aged man accepts that he will be divorced. His wife no longer wants him around, their children likewise. Upon moving out of the family home, what’s the first thing he does? He goes online to find a woman.
Once he observes the number of women who might fulfill his sexual needs, he begins to indulge himself. Rifling through the profiles, the ones that catch his eye are selected for pursuit and, eventually, a real-life meeting. Sex, if he’s bluffed successfully.
This is how it works. If you want a book go to Amazon. Looking for a bargain? Try Overstock. If you are jonesing for a woman, check out Match or Tinder. The world is now on the screen in front of you, ready for your consumption.
Except that people are not books or watches or beds-in-a-bag. Relationships of any kind are not commodities. That printer you bought doesn’t have an opinion about your moodiness. As much as you might want it to, that Lands’ End shirt cannot be supportive on down days. When we couple-up with someone, it’s an interactive endeavor; success depends upon how well you mesh.
And if you’re Jed Ringel, author of “Stuck in the Passing Lane: A Memoir” you are depressingly normal at meshing. I say depressing because Mr Ringel catalogs his coupling failures as if he has no control over his behavior. Just like every other dopey guy. Having already chosen one woman poorly, he compounded the mistake by creating chaos in his children’s lives. Dissolving his marriage and family appears as an annoyance, an opportunity to modify of his daily life that allows more time for self-indulgence; namely drinking, cooking, eating and searching for trim.
There are three parts to this book. We get to see the drinking divorcé who chases sex with vodka. To his credit, his vodka habit falls to the power of AA, but now he pairs sex with instant shack-ups. The last part of the book appears to be written at a later time, with a pinch more self-examination. The common thread is that this otherwise accomplished man lives a life unexamined, shallow, self-indulgent and destructive, informed by the impulses of a teenager.
Which is why everyone with an online dating profile should read it. Go and buy this book now, especially – especially – if you are a woman. This is what waits for you on the other side of the pics and profiles.
Stuck in the Passing Lane: A Memoir, by Jed Ringel.
Published by About Face Press LLC.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Cadence Group as part of their blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Almost always a mismatch of intention sits between new daters. Men want the sex, women want…sex perhaps, but oftentimes more than that.
One way to allow men’s motivations to catch up with women is to give them the time to do so; time to get to know you, time to go beyond the initial attraction. In other words, if he’s still interested after ten dates, he might be longer-term coupling material. If that’s what you want.
We appear programmed to look for the new.
I, for example, am intrigued with new ideas, new ways of approaching old problems, new ways of expressing thoughts.
There is a reason it’s called “news”, right?
(Although I do remember at one point thinking it was an acronym for north, east, west, south. But that destroys my argument here, so I’ll ignore that.)
New cars, new computers, new breakfast cereal, new diets, new clothes, new books and on and on. Whether the newness is leading us or we create the newness doesn’t matter at this point. The New Juggernaut is rolling and unstoppable.
So where does that leave the idea of long-term coupling? If we figure that, for most people and society that permanent attachment to another is good for us, what to do with the urge for the new?
How can we accommodate our desire for the unknown, the unexplored and the bewitching?