Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Jdate from hell

Regardless of your religious preferences, ladies, may you never run into a schmuck like Darren.

According to Snopes, apparently the story is true. It goes to show that there will always be jerks around. My feelings on the matter are that if you strike out on the first date, life goes on. If Darren is really as successful as he portrays himself, then a $120 dinner is a small sum to risk on the chance of a very rewarding relationship. The irony is that Joanne was going to go out again with the loser, but he, um...prematurely ejaculated. Via e-mail, that is, then by telephone.

That Darren pursued her as if she were a common debtor was particularly stupid because it destroyed any possibility for friendship. Advice to guys: you may be really disappointed that the outing didn't result in romance, but still, unless she's a bitch, do anything to hinder the possibility of friendship. I have personally learned that, with time, some feelings can be set aside so that both can enjoy a deep, rewarding friendship. "Let's be friends" are not dirty words! Darren, though, used extreme "scorched earth" tactics and foolishly denied himself everything Joanne has to offer: the pleasure of her company in a non-romantic way, advice on improving himself and his love life, perhaps even introducing him to one of her single friends.

It's easy and trite to engage in armchair psychoanalysis, but Darren really sounds like the secretly insecure type who has a need to impress someone on the first date, to blow her away from the get-go. The problem is that a woman he attracts will like him for his successful job, his nice possessions, etc., but not like him for him. Perhaps that is what he deserves. On the other hand, lunch or even coffee, or a walk in the park as Joanne suggested, has far less pressure and allows people to be themselves. I really wish Joanne well. She handled herself very well, pointing out that she offered to go dutch!

I'm old-fashioned and believe that if it's a real date (meaning the possibility of romance), the guy pays for the meal. Dutch is something that friends do, not a potential couple. And I therefore assume the very real risk of wasting money and time, but many other things in life are similarly a crapshoot. For first dates, I personally lean toward lunch at a nice restaurant, but nothing too fancy. Twenty to thirty dollars per person (before tax and tip) in Manhattan is plenty, enough so you can enjoy a good meal, but not so much that a genuinely sweet girl thinks you're trying too hard.

Regarding guys buying drinks as a way to initiate conversation with girls at bars or clubs, I recommend against it. Start talking to the girl first, and if things go for more than a few minutes, you can buy her a refill as a gentleman. If, however, you use a drink in an attempt to start things, beware. Barring that she does it to get back at an unchivalrous jerk (like a married man who's trying to hiton her), a girl who accepts a drink and immediately leaves is certainly rude and a bitch -- but it's her right. Really, you nice guys, exercise some common sense so you're not exposed as fools. I did once learn the hard way, I think when I was 25, but at least she wasn't too bad. It was actually nice chatting with someone for a bit while I bought her a couple of drinks. And no, I wasn't looking to get her intoxicated, for whatever reason. Any of my friends can attest that I'm too much of a gentleman for that.

Remember the girl outside my friend's club who asked if I'd pay for her cover charge? Had I paid for her, odds were a guaranteed 100% that I'd only see her back as she rushed inside without me. Unless, however, she thought she could get more money out of me, in which case she'd "deign" to talk with me for a minute while I bought her a drink. Her game was obviously to go from guy to guy, and even had she called me "cheapskate" at the top of her lungs, I wasn't going to be responsible for inflicting her on my fellow men.

To close, here is a slightly related guy's perspective on the different reasons that guys and girls go clubbing. Hilarious stuff, and true enough. Thank goodness I'm too old now for serious club action.

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