Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A new day. A new era.

Here I go again embarking on a journey that some men that aren't me have succeeded.

I am single again. I know it comes as a shock to some of you since my most recent girlfriend had a shelf life of almost 1 1/2 years. (As a side note, she is a really great person. I mean her no ill will and no disrespect. We just weren't made for each other.) But, it is over. So, onward I go into the great (or not so great) unknown. It is time to walk the walk. It is time to talk the talk. It is time to dance the dance. It is the time for leaping buildings in a single bound. I really need to work on my ab's. Damn.

I have many theories about dating. I have had plenty of time to think about it and the pros and cons. I know that the timing of this breakup wasn't ideal. We could have held on through Halloween and Thanksgiving. Her and I looked good together and we took nice pictures. Then, we could have broken it off before Christmas and both saved some nice coin on presents and simplified our holiday travel plans. But, it wasn't meant to be that way. No, I am in dating limbo. I have officially been single for 3 1/2 weeks. So, in the view of single women, perhaps that isn't long enough to be dating again. I don't really disagree with them except for one thing: I am really bored now.

Aside from that, there really is no sense in starting a new relationship until after Thanksgiving at the earliest. That way neither my newest soon to be ex-girlfriend or I will have to spend much for each other's Christmas gifts. If I could make it until the first of the year, then I might as well wait until after Valentine's Day. So much to think about...

Really, though, were do I begin? Since I am a non-drinker I really don't like hanging out in the bar to try to meet somebody. So, what to do? Do I do the online dating thing? I mean, I see the people on the commercials that "aren't actors" and look normal and really happy. Did it seriously work for them? Is the happiness and excitement in their gaze only because they were finally able to hook up and quit paying for the damn service? Ha. Perhaps. I see in most of those commercials it says match on this date and married on this date. Is that really everyone's ultimate goal? To get married? I think most divorced people would agree that the whole "until death do us part" thing really gets you nowhere even with a lot of wishful thinking. It's a scam.

I don't think I am cool enough for the single women of today. Don't get me wrong, I know I am witty and at least average looking. It isn't that. What I don't get are all the unwritten dating "rules" that people seem to abide by but nobody knows who created. Do you want examples? Okay.

If you get a message from a chick and you can see that she's online and she can see that you're online, what do you do knowing that she can tell if you read the message?
Do you:

A. Log out and not read the message.
B. Read the message but under no circumstances respond right away.
C. Read the message and respond right away if you want.

I would pick "C" all day long every day. Why piss around and waste time? I'm not getting any younger, you know? I could drop dead whilst waiting to look "cool."

How about this? You find somebody that you think is interesting, so you message them. Do you:

A. Make some cheesy comment about some physical attribute of theirs or the weather?
B. Ask a question about something in their profile that interested you?
C. Write some random sputtered fragmented sentences that have little or nothing pertaining to the person? The more random the better.

This is a trick question, since they are all wrong answers. I have failed with all of these attempts in the past. With "A" I got a comment of how she was sure I just copy/pasted this from my last 20 girls I messaged. The was WAY off base since I really only messaged her and I was only very cautious about my comments because of the response I got from "B." With "B" girl, she had a very interesting hobby. I asked her about her interesting hobby and I got about a four word annoyed sounding answer with the attitude of "What could you possibly want to know about THAT for?!?" Also, "What am I being interviewed?" Well, if you don't want people to ask about your own hobbies, take them out of your profile. I did have a little success with "C." I got a few more friendly messages out of my "C" answers, but after a couple messages up and back, I got the dreaded "you're weird" and "you're too high strung for me." So...what to do?

So, here I am. Back at square one. But, I am dusted off. I am not nearly as determined as I am persistent. I think a single person in this small community will have a challenging time finding somebody they are really interested in. There probably is the potential to be a little interested in about 2% of the available single people. Then, you throw in a non-drinker, non-smoker for me and that removes about 97% of the remaining people. Then, you add my other ridiculous criteria like "must speak and write in complete sentences" and "must have a job" and "must be trustworthy" and that eliminates about 95% of the people remaining. Wait...there isn't anyone left.

Oh well. A wise man once said "If sheep could only cook."


  1. I'd date ya, Brad. If I wasn't married. :-)

  2. This is my fav post you have written. You are an amazing guy and you will find that woman who is willing to deal with you! She will be lucky!

  3. Just keep your thumb out high like you only ride with ape hangers.

  4. I have some really good ideas for you. And when I say "really good", I mean you can probably stop reading now:

    1. Make your blog creepier. Write shit about fetishes, porn stars (especially Ron Jeremy), mass murderers, poetry you write to other people's deceased pets, and llamas. Politically commentary is also good, too. If chicks don't dig it, they are obviously judgmental bitches and you should let them know that. You're helping them.

    2. Date a hairstylist. It worked for me. I get my haircuts for free now. Well, "free" if you don't count the mortgage, two kids, and the fact that all my hair fell out. On second thought, maybe just skip this option.

    On a more serious note, I do think that a lot of the problems we're having in relationships can be traced to how we communicate now. You can think of any relationship as having two phases. 1) Establishment, and 2) Maintenance. From this point on, I will also take a neutral stance regarding the sex of the people in the relationship - when it comes down to it, that is secondary, at best.

    Establishment - Take a look at the best relationships you have and see where they formed. Most of them are through school, life-changing events, or some common proximity, whether it was growing up together, or having a common interest. Too many people are forgetting this and turning to social networking (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) to establish relationships. I personally think this is weak. Facebook seems to be all about having a large number of friends, yet most of those "friends" wouldn't recognize you on the street, unless they actually looked at your avatar and you were wearing the same shirt. People seem to have become addicted to these shallow friendships that are formed on these site. It's because we're lazy and this is easy. We all want to be popular and have lots of friends, and this is the easy way to do it. I would rather have a handful of really good friends than 1,000 avatars that post stupid comments on my Facebook page. I have never heard of anybody who has made a real friend for life through Facebook. The real friends we have in life are people we spent real time with, during an important time in life, or where we formed and maintained a common interest.

    The dating sites aren't much better. Most people have a pretty distorted view of themselves. There is too much weight put on self-assessment and self-marketing. I would say that these might get you 50% of the way there, but that last 50% is much more difficult. I also think the investment in these dating sites does cause for a natural tendency to convince the user that they got a good deal for their money. We all want to think we spend our money wisely.

  5. Continued from my previous post...

    Maintenance - Once a relationship is initiated, maintenance begins. Communication is the key element to maintaining any relationship, and the communication methods we use today all have their shortcomings, but some are worse than others. I see too many relationships that are maintained using texting. As far as I'm concerned, this is failure waiting to happen. Texting is just not very effective, although many people will argue that it is useful and necessary. We all seemed to survive without it before. It is inefficient, distracting, and too much is lost in fragmented writing. Chatting and e-mail are a bit better, but there is always the risk of being misunderstood because humor, mood, sarcasm, etc. don't always come across well in writing.

    So, my more serious suggestion is simple (although maybe not practical):

    1. Go somewhere where you can spend some time with people in an environment that takes you out of your element a bit. Two examples come to mind immediately: college and adventure travel.

    Most of my best friends in life came from college - we were all in the same boat, we worked together to reach a common goal that revolved around a common interest in career choice, and we got to see one another's character come out under stress.

    Another thing that made this obvious to me recently was my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb. While I went with two guys I knew, we were also hooked up with 5 people from around the world without any introduction. This could have been a bad reality show waiting to happen (Kilimanjaro Survivor?) or, as it turned out, a great place to make friends from all over the world. We all had a common thread - adventure, and we persevered through something that many might consider was one of the toughest things they'll ever do. You'll either come out hating each other, or you'll make friends for life. Either way, it's a great way to measure people's character (including your own) and see how you'll get along when the going gets tough. Of course, if climbing mountains in third world countries isn't your bag, then it's probably not a good place to meet people, as you might expect the people that do it will probably continue to do it.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts. The trip to Africa made me think about this stuff a lot - walking around Moshi and seeing people talking face-to-face, enjoying one another's company, spending time with people with a common interest, and seeing the locals show more happiness than I've seen from anybody in while were all very refreshing. It gives me some hope that people can still be good, but I think a lot of people need to step back and look at what's truly important in life. We've lost sight of that.

  6. So...you're saying I should start filming "Girls Gone Wild" videos to find true happiness?