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Adventure in Dating – Game Change

Game Change
by Tammy Schubert

Dating has changed, and I don’t know the rules to the game. What I do understand disturbs me. Actually, maybe it is just that I’m too old-fashioned to truly accept the dynamics of modern relationships.

Let’s talk about the flirt process on a well-known dating site. They offer the ability to send a Wink or an email to the person you are interested in learning more about. A wink is just a flirty icon thing that allows you to enter some text if you want and then send it to the person of interest. Think of it as a shy person’s method of initiating contact. Email is email. Just about all of us use it. We can pretty much agree that these tools are good ideas. When used as intended, I’m sure they work great. Here are real scenarios I don’t know what to do with:

  • An interesting guy sends me a wink. I respond with a wink. Never hear anything else from the guy. Do I pursue this further?
  • An interesting guy sends me a wink. I respond with a short, friendly email. Never hear anything else from him. What just happened?
  • I send a wink to a guy. He winks back. No more contact. Do I pursue him?
  • I send an email and he winks back. Now what?

Let’s say we get past the initial contact and exchange phone numbers:

  • We had some great conversations before we meet in person. We agree on a Wednesday night to meet at a specific location on Saturday at a certain time. Great. Right? Except he calls Thursday night for the pre-meet confession. He tells you his picture is a decade old. What do you say to that? I am not happy about being lied to by using a picture that apparently is not a good representation of who you are now. Well, I rolled with it. Fine. We’ll meet. Why do people do this? Keep in mind I spent time and energy getting a picture posted that was taken just days before my profile went public. Why can’t he do the same?
  • Same guy we just talked about. Now it is Saturday—date night. I picked the restaurant. He was supposed to plan the rest of the date. I get there a few minutes early and sit at the bar. No sign of a single guy on the lookout for a blind date. An HOUR later, I’m not seeing anyone who might be my date. Remember, his picture isn’t him as he is today. I don’t know who I’m looking for in this busy establishment. I text him that I’m at the bar. His text — “What bar?” We exchange more text messages. He apparently forgot the time and went out to cut the yard. What? He forgets a first date? Yeah. Nothing like making a woman feel special. What happened here?
  • Same guy, same night. I’m sitting at the bar for about an hour next to a crazy guy, who swears there are five CIA operatives sitting around us. I text my date and ask him to rescue me. When a man comes up behind me and touches my arm, I come face to face with my date. Since his profile said he is several inches taller than me and I’m wearing low heels, I shouldn’t be taller than him. I am. To make matters worse, his martial arts pictures that are decades old are not remotely accurate. By the way, his shoes are hiking boots with a nice bit of heel. I’m still taller. Please know that I am not a superficial person. However, based on the way we met, shouldn’t he tell the truth about the basics? At first sight, I have pegged him as lying to me. What else has he said that’s not true? Further, what hasn’t he said that will become an issue later?
  • Post dinner with same guy, same night. No date plans, but there is no clear end of the date. So we take a walk. It’s awkward and doesn’t last long. Why didn’t he bother to plan the date? Heck, why did he bother to make the date in the first place?

Let’s just hit the highlights of a few more issues on other dates:

  • A man who has more estrogen than me. Trust me when I say I have enough for both of us. We both need some testosterone in this mix. Yikes!
  • The guy is a natural-born nurturer. Great. I am, too. He spends the entire time we are waiting for a table at the restaurant taking care of all the other customers and wait staff. I’ve never seen anything like this in any man or woman I have crossed paths with in my life.
  • I tell a guy that I do not like to text much. He keeps sending me messages. Yes, I respond to be polite. It goes on to the point it makes me crazy. I mention this text issue in a conversation. I’m still ignored. Why?
  • Over dinner a guy who obviously makes a modest salary begins to tell me what he plans to do for his child. This includes private schools, etc., etc. The conversation turns to travel, and a college education for him. So am I supposed to foot the bill? I’m NOT a sugar mamma.
  • Then there’s a guy who can’t hold a job. I repeat, I’m NOT a sugar mamma.
  • How about the guy who wants to meet? He’s married. What? NO WAY!
  • Oh, here’s the other guy. He’s separated from his wife and shopping around. NO WAY!
  • An interesting guy wants to know if I like kids. Of course I do. Great. He’s a single father who has full custody of his five boys all under the age of ten. I’m not sure how to take this. Is he looking for a maid, babysitter, mother figure, or a romantic interest? Oh, he says our dates would have to include the kids. Ummmmm…. He wants to introduce me to his young, impressionable children on the first meet? No way. Count me out. I have very strong feelings about dating and small children. They need to be protected from the early part of the dating process, which could involve some crazies or women he isn’t interested in seeing again.
  • Then there is the guy who is not seeking any type of long-term commitment. He is looking for a gal without drama or disease for a rendezvous or two. Mornings and early afternoons are preferred. Enough said. Moving on.

I have started to notice something disturbing. The dynamic in relationships is shifting. Have any of you noticed this? We are experiencing a role reversal, which goes against biology. Read John Gray’s book Mars and Venus on a Date. He explains the old-fashioned process and the reasons behind why a guy plans the first date, picks the girl up, holds the door and brings her home safely. Seriously. There is a purpose for every bit of the dating process.

Whatever happened to the old-fashioned dating process? Boy meets girl. They chat and flirt. Boy asks girl out…

Let’s get one thing straight. If there is going to be a committed relationship, I’m the woman. That’s my job. I had dibs. I was born into this role, and I refuse to relinquish the position.

Readers, why are all these weird things happening? How do you play the modern dating game? Please help me understand.

Marilyn Baron - April 27, 2012 - 7:13 am

Tammy,

My daughter is going through the same thing. I couldn’t believe what goes on out there. If you want answers or you just want to commiserate, you should talk to her. There is a definite protocol and pattern to these things. Guys seem to regularly lie about their height, post old pictures, lie about their job (or lack of one), lie about the fact that they don’t smoke when they do, say they’ll call after a date and they don’t, break up with you by text, show up late to dates and the list goes on. It’s almost comical if you’re not the person going through it. It takes an investment of a lot of time before you even go out on the first date and then there’s nothing left to say. But I guess you keep going in hopes that there is that one person out there who will appreciate you, who doesn’t act like a jerk, that takes the initiative, actually plans the date, shows up, is funny and considerate and then I guess it’s all worth it.

Debbie Kaufman - April 27, 2012 - 7:42 am

I’m going to give my husband a bigger kiss before he leaves for work from now on…

Pam Asberry - April 27, 2012 - 8:04 am

Oh, Tammy, I *SO* feel your pain. I have tried every dating site there is; ever the optimist, I am on OKCupid right now (my firstborn met his girlfriend there) but so far the most interesting people I have met are a 31yo lesbian and two married men. Sigh. At least I have found a new friend in the young woman! Whenever possible I turn off winks and some sites even allow you to specify a minimum number of characters in emails. But of course that doesn’t eliminate all the weirdos. I have had so many strange experiences in the past few weeks it makes my head spin – in an “Exorcist” sort of way. I am trying to maintain my sense of humor and hope at the very least to be able to use some of this great material in my writing. I will definitely check out the book you recommend. Hang in there – at least we have each other! :-)

Tammy Schubert - April 27, 2012 - 9:53 am

Marilyn, dating is very comical if you are not the one going through the process. Heck, yes, it’s funny once the dates are over. A sense of humor is a must in this strange dating world. What’s bad is that now I go on dates expecting the weird and whacky. This is terribly sad, but I’m having more fun entertaining all my friends with the stories.

Tammy Schubert - April 27, 2012 - 9:55 am

Debbie, give him a big giant kiss with an enourmous hug every single day. Let him know he’s very, very special.

Tammy Schubert - April 27, 2012 - 9:56 am

Pam,I would love to hear your stories.These experiences should be used in your stories. We just can’t make this stuff up.

So why have men stopped approaching women when they see them offline? I don’t understand.

Dianna Love - April 27, 2012 - 9:57 am

Good grief, Tammy. Talk about red flags flying everywhere. Unfortunately, when we’re very young and dating we tend to overlook obvious red flags. The good news about being where you are now in your life is that you’re editing through the losers quickly. There are still men with testosterone and manners – don’t give up hope and do keep looking at every guy you meet with a critical eye. The only way the relationship gets better as it moves forward is if it starts off from the right place. Hugs on dating. I don’t envy you one bit, but am confident you will find someone worthy.

Tammy Schubert - April 27, 2012 - 9:59 am

Thank you for the support Dianna. It’s crazy out there.

Pam Asberry - April 27, 2012 - 10:30 am

Inspired by your post I shared a funny story on my blog today, Tammy, and linked to you here. Check it out for a good laugh!

http://pamasberry.blogspot.com/2012/04/today-my-friend-and-blog-sister-tammy.html

Tammy Schubert - April 27, 2012 - 10:56 am

Thanks, Pam. I read about your experience. OMG! How creepy.

Sandy Elzie - April 27, 2012 - 10:58 am

Hi Tammy,
OMGoodness! I’ve been out of the dating game for decades and didn’t know how it had changed. I also didn’t realize there were so many flaky guys out there. I mean, he was looking for a date, right? And then not show, or lie in the first place, …well, I’d dump the lot of them. If he lies before…he’ll lie later. If he’s inconsiderate before…he’ll be inconsiderate later. And on and on it goes.

Just don’t give up…there’s a guy out there for you who will treat you like a princess and that’s the prince you want to be with.

Sia Huff - April 27, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Tammy,
I proud of you for not relinquing the estrongen position. And I agree with Dianna, there are men with testosterone and manners. It isn’t too much to ask for.
Guys need better men role models. Heck, if they are interested, there are books out there on the subject. All it takes is a little effort. They’d find out, it’s so worth it.
Good luck – I hope the right one comes along soon. For you and Pam.

Linsey Lanier - April 27, 2012 - 1:26 pm

Funny post, Tammy. Good thing you’re a writer and can use these experiences. Have you or Pam thought about dating another writer? I wonder what that would be like…

PS: I’m giving my hubby a big kiss, too. :) :-*

Carol Burnside - April 27, 2012 - 2:00 pm

Tammy, I enjoy your posts about dating, but don’t envy you you’re position in the dating game. Hugs, sister! It’s crazy out there for sure. I know my sister has gone on dates before where the guy thinks that he has the right to demand sex if he pays for the meal. Yikes!!!

Luna Zega - April 27, 2012 - 7:12 pm

Since I’m an erotica writer, I get some real winners approaching me. It seems like there’s a handbook for cheating husbands. They all say the exact same thing to justify why they’re “shopping.”

I’m impressed that you stayed at the bar and waited on the guy. You’re a lot more tolerant than I am.

For the record though, there are good men out there–single, well adjusted men. They are rare, but they’re there. Best of luck on your conquest to fine one.

Luna Zega - April 27, 2012 - 7:15 pm

Nothing Freudian about that slip, huh? I meant on your “quest,” but if “conquest” applies, woohoo!!!

maxine - April 27, 2012 - 8:33 pm

Holy Cow, Tammy. I read your post and just sat here thoroughly amazed. What happened to men??? I guess you can look at it that you are getting plenty of ideas to put in a book – but it’d be nice to have one play the part of the prince now and then. Good luck!

Tami Brothers - April 27, 2012 - 10:44 pm

Wow! There are some real doozies out there. Funny thing. I overheard a conversation over the cube wall at work where a coworker of mine was talking about how a 27 year old woman “winked” at him on one of the sites he was on. He was surprised since he is in his 50s and was very honest about that. I had to laugh because I had just read your blog post. I was really excited that I knew what he was talking about.

I feel for you girl. I have to wonder if this is why people think romance novels are unrealistic… Food for thought.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed (and all other good luck wishes) for you. I know it will happen. You are too nice of a person for it not to.

Hugs!
Tami :alien:

Tammy Schubert - April 28, 2012 - 12:11 pm

Sandy, thanks for the support. When they show their true colors in the meet and greet stage, I don’t want to know what they are like from day to day. Maybe I’m just a magnet for the strange and rude.

Sia, my estrogen position isn’t going to change. I promise. You make a great point. Men need better role models. After all, what can we expect from men in a society that views sports figures as heroes?

Linsey, I haven’t thought about dating another writer. Mostly because that opportunity hasn’t presented itself lately. It would be an interesting mix. Now to find the writer…

Carol, it seems hard to believe that some guys actuall expect to be rewarded after a meal. We aren’t prostitutes. You have a great husband, Carol. Give him a big hug tonight and let him know how much he’s appreciated. Good ones are so hard to find.

Luna, I can only imagine the kind of weirdos that approach you knowing you are an erotica writer. There is no justification for cheating on your spouse. It’s surprising how many people think it is acceptable.

“Conquest” I like this, Luna.

Maxine, it would definitely be nice to run across a prince every now and then. Even if he isn’t my prince, just having dinner with one would be encouraging.

Tami, yes, these are the winks the guy is talking about. I hope your co-worker has better luck than I do with a dating site. These experiences do give me great ideas for stories. Now I just have to get them written down.

Susan Carlisle - April 30, 2012 - 9:14 am

I’m not surprised that these guys are out looking for a woman. Their mothers should have taught them better or they should have listened when she did try to teach them.

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