Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Meeting people

I don't normally write about relationship issues. Not here anyway. Mom reads this. But I'm gonna touch on something here that has been getting lots of coverage on more popular blogs. The topic is how single women are supposed to meet single guys. There's about a million caveats I should include, but the biggest is that these rules change depending on what kind of person you want and what kind of relationship you want.

1) Probably the most important thing to do is go out alone.
This is also item one on the "Five Ways To Get Attacked" list. So while you want to go out by yourself you don't want to be alone.
The key factor here is not being in a pack of friends. Guys know the friends of a woman you're trying to win points with are only slightly less cruel than children. Children are just plain evil.
Being in a group makes it significantly more difficult for someone to approach you.
I go out by myself all the time and I'm always having guys hit on me. Yeah, bad news for you and me both.

2) Lose the finger jewelry.
Wedding and engagement rings go on one of those three middle fingers on either the right or left hand. So if you want to wear a purely decorative ring put it on your thumb or pinky.
Some will argue that decorative rings are clearly decorative rings and relationship rings are clearly relationship rings. This may be so to someone who is into rings. However, most guys aren't. Many of us would buy either a gum wrapper twisted in a circle or something that can hold poison or something unless we have someone telling us what is and isn't appropriate.
I've seen all sorts of rings used for engagement rings and several oddities for wedding rings, too. I have some friends who made each other's wedding rings. One has said he'll make one for me some day if I can get him a laboratory made diamond to play with. They're not normal looking rings.
I've also seen people using rings that have been passed down over the generations. These tend to have more jewels and be more gaudy than modern rings.
And if you keep moving your hands around so we can't get a good look at the ring we really can't tell. One woman threw me off for a couple of months because she was wearing her class ring. Her hand was always in motion when I saw her so all I knew was that is was shiny and on some central finger.
You can probably wear one of those rings that has chains running to a bracelet or other rings. That's almost never used as anything but decoration. But I HAVE seen one as an engagement ring once.

3) Give the guy some way to start up a conversation.
Pets are a traditional favorite but not always a possibility. Carry a good book around with you. You don't have to be reading it, although you should have at some point. You could just have it sticking out of your bag. It should be something that a guy is likely to have read so stay away from the Oprah book club. It should also be something that you'd enjoy reading.
I rarely answer personal ads, but one I did because she had read Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land". Turned out she only read it because it's enough of a classic that she felt it was something she SHOULD be reading.
I'm always getting in conversations about books with other guys on the subway.

4) Stay out of the bars.
This is one of those caveats I mentioned before. Bar = meat market. You're more likely to meet Mr. Right in a chat room than you are in a bar. But if you're looking for a short term thing or just someone for the night then go right ahead.
Ask any group of people where to meet a guy and they're gonna start listing bars first. Often these are people who know better. It's just reflex. They're right in that you'll meet a lot of guys there. But are you after quality or quantity?

4.1) Coffee shops. That's the place. A guy sitting alone in a coffee shop is probably there hoping to meet someone. That or using the free Wi-fi. or both.
The most promising date I've had since moving to DC was with a woman I met in a coffee shop. She just caused every hormone gland in my body to dump at once. We went out a few times and then hung out a few times. An amazing woman, perfect in almost every way. But she writes letters to the kids she'll have some day and I don't want to have kids ever. I'm just not up for a relationship that is guaranteed to end poorly. We kept hanging out until she landed a job at a non-profit. She works 12 hour days 6 days a week. The time she had left she used for laundry, going to visit family, etc. We see each other on the street from time to time.

4.2) Or the park. Same basic idea. Look for a guy sitting alone. Especially if he has a parrot on his shoulder. I know that's where most guys hit on me.

5) Ask him out yourself.
"But traditionally..."
"I want the man to chase..."
"A man needs the confidence to..."
"But I'm afraid I'll get rejected."
Fuck all that. It's the 21st century. There's no more arranged marriages. You don't need someone to look after you. Tradition is just another word of "There's no good reason for it". The guys are afraid of being rejected, too, and have been ever since the first female amoeba laughed at the first male amoeba and made sure every other bit of slime in the pond laughed at him, too.
I've actually had a woman I'd never seen before walk up to me, tell me they'd never go out with me, and storm off. That was a real WTF moment.
You can drop all the hints you want, wear whatever slinky outfit you want, and flirt outrageously but the only sure way to let him know you're interested is to ask him out.
In college there was one woman who was interested in me. We saw each other around the dorms all the time and had several classes together. We were pretty friendly and she was really interested in me. But she was a flirt. She flirted with absolutely everyone. I had no way of knowing that she was actually interested until she out and told me as she was turning in her final. By the time I caught up with her the semester break was over and she had met someone else.
I was having dinner with a couple of girls I'd gone to college with. They told me the waitress was hitting on me. I didn't believe them. I mean, she's a waitress. How can you tell who is hitting on you and who is working for tips?

6) Friends.
The idea is that if you have friends in common then you're likely to have something in common, too. It doesn't always work, but it's someone you wouldn't have otherwise had contact with.
My cousin and his wife tried to hook me up with the wife's best friend. She had quite a bit going for her except she smoked and she lived in Seattle.

7) Get a better job(see 4.1)
If you have one of those jobs where you work 12 hour days 6 days a week your options are:
1) remain single with the occasional 1 night stand
2) date a co-worker
3) move in with someone who seems OK and hope things work. Because that's the only way you're gonna have time to see this guy.
4) get a job with better hours

1 comment:

squindia said...

all very good practical advice. i've never had an issue asking guys out, thankfully. and you are spot on about the bar scene (even internationally it applies).

one side note: apparently the thumb ring is a dyke thing...