The Fun-Haver's Guide to Dating

After four and a half years together, my girlfriend and I decided to part company. So, I'm back in the dating scene. I'm friendly and sociable, but I've never been much of a smooth talker or a barfly. I've managed to collect a few phone numbers and date a bit. However, I rarely get beyond a second date.

Don't worry, I'm presentable, employed, educated, and well-mannered and possess a warm, genuine smile. Over a low-pressure meal or cup of coffee, we chat about our backgrounds and interests. In some cases I see what I believe is a twinkle in her eyes, in other cases there's a hug good-bye or even a quick kiss good night. From my perspective, everything looks good, but obviously not from her perspective.

I realize there are thousands of explanations why there's not a second date (i.e., ex-boyfriend, different personalities, etc.). However, there must be a way to determine my odds with using a survey questionnaire approach.

If I ask a direct question, most women will smile, look me in the eye, and say what I want to hear: "Did you have a good time?" "Yes." "Do you want to meet next week?" "Yes."

I need some real-world advice for determining when "Yes" really means "No." Or at least some pointers about how I could approach dating differently.

I hope you can help because I'm getting tired of the highs and lows of dating.

One-Hit Wonder

After my last relationship ended, I looked at every man I went out with as a potential boyfriend. (OK, who am I kidding—I sized them up as husband material. And yes, I'm embarrassed just typing those words.) As a result, what should've been a fun-filled adventure morphed into a nerve-racking, tic-inducing exercise in excruciation. Sounds like you're doing the same thing.

However, after having gone on something like 10 billion torturous dates with assorted retards, studmonkeys, and entertaining freaks, I realized the error of my ways. So I stopped overthinking things and getting way ahead of myself and instead began to consider each date two hours of my life that I'd never get back. And not in a bad way, either. I readjusted my outlook to believe that there was very little chance anything would come out of it, but I should do everything in my power to at least make those 120 minutes or so as fun as humanly possible. I suggest you do the same. Lighten up. That's an order.

While you're at it, fuck low-pressure coffee dates. First dates are terrifying whether you're sipping cappuccinos in some self-consciously run-down dump or quaffing champagne at a schmancy overpriced bar with a view of the water. Which sounds like more fun? (If you picked the dull coffee date, lift up your hand and smack yourself in the head as hard as you can.) See what I mean?

These namby-pamby pseudo dates don't fool either party, unless one of you is remarkably stupid. The best dates are always spent sizing each other up, wondering what the other one's come-face looks like. When you interrupt a woman's perverted silent reverie to nervously question whether or not she likes you, no offense, but you start to seem less like the fuckmonkey she'd been envisioning and more like a mewling little pantywaist. And nobody wants to git with a pantywaist.

I've said it a million times before, but confidence (not cockiness) is key to being a successful dater. Whether you admit it or not, you're probably still shaken from your breakup and should get over that before inflicting yourself on another. Speaking of which—don't talk about your ex and the tragic breakup. Nobody (especially someone who is deciding whether or not she wants to see you naked) wants to hear about it. The only women who find basket cases appealing are potential stalkers and/or dames with the dread Mommy Complex.

So you see, dating is not something that should be approached in a polling-type fashion. You shouldn't be quizzing your date as to whether or not she's having a good time; the fact that she's laughing so hard that beer is blowing out of her nose should tell you she is.

Need answers? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

 
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