Sunday 9 June 2013

Every Nice Guy Has His Day....Eventually!

Some time ago, I wrote about the trials and tribulations of nice guys in the dating game and how they can increase their chances of success. Since then, I've gotten a little older (and hopefully wiser!) and I've noticed an interesting trend in the dynamic between the nice guy and the target(s) of his affection.

As a nice guy in your twenties, you're basically hosed; the women you meet hold all the cards and they know they do. Most of them figure they don't have to date you because someone better/more exciting/hunkier is just around the corner. Let's face it, they are probably right, but it still sucks, as our American brethren say. As noted before, to add insult to injury, they often want to keep you as a friend and perhaps even cry on your shoulder about the obvious asswipes they are dating. Yes, just what you wanted!

However if you manage to evade capture until your thirties (and beyond!), you will begin to notice a very welcome, if belated, change. While you were the desperate one in your twenties, frantically searching for someone who would take you, as you get older you will find yourself having an increasing say in the destiny of any relationship you enter into. This is shown in the graph above, which shows the balance of power shifting from about the early thirties on.

Any woman of a similar vintage to yourself still single in her thirties simply can not afford to be as picky as she once was. Her chances of meeting anyone will have severely decreased as couples pair off, leaving her with less friends to socialise with and less suitable men to meet when she does go out. While the Internet has improved things in this regard, it won't stop the gradual panic (that she has missed her chance, that there are no good men left and that she will die a lonely spinster with just her cat(s) for company) from setting in. This is brilliant for you, the ageing and terminally nice guy. You can finally come into your own and experience what it feels like to call the shots in a relationship!

Granted, your choice of baggage-free contemporaries isn't as wide as it was either, but being a man, at least women five or ten years younger are now on the radar (without fear of being arrested!). This in turn forces women your own age to look increasingly upwards for possible partners, which makes you an even better catch for them! Talk about a confluence of positive factors! A nice guy at this stage is manna from heaven for a woman, who is looking for solid, settling down material, not the bad boy party animal she may have preferred in her younger days. Better late than never, I suppose!

However, you have to be careful, because when a woman of a certain vintage lands what she perceives as one of the last of the good guys, she can get clingy very easily, something you may not have much previous experience of. Also, no matter how tempting, you should not abuse this new found power by trying to exact revenge for all your past rejections. Nor should you settle because of social or family pressure. Just because you finally  meet a woman who gives you the time of day, doesn't mean you have to settle down with her! No sooner have one set of problems disappeared than another appear in their place!

Saturday 4 June 2011

The 7 Stages of Searching for Mr/Ms Right

Finding that special someone is harder for some people than others. The chart above shows the seven stages of searching for a life partner. While there are people who get married at 16 and others who tie the knot at 99, most people fall into a general pattern. For simplicity, I assume the search starts at 18 and continues until you find someone or you keel over! The seven stages are:

  1. Nonchalance: This stage lasts from the age of 18 to the age of about 25. You're young and carefree and just want to have a good time with your friends. The last thing on your mind is settling down; the world is your oyster after all!
  2. Optimism: At or about the age of 25, most people begin to keep an eye out for a potential partner. While the partying may not stop, the motives for going out gradually changes. You're young and vibrant - it can only be a matter of time before you meet someone, can't it?
  3. Concern: As your single friends start to drop off like flies and you're still searching, the worrying starts. It starts as a slight nagging doubt, but as you approach 28-30 (women) or 30-33 (men), let the panic begin. Many of your friends' partners have tried setting you up, but there's still plenty of time and opportunity, right?
  4. Desperation: If you're still single by 33-35 (women) or 35-38 (men), you're hit by a double whammy. Not alone are there fewer single people your age to choose from, you find it harder to meet the remaining ones. This leads to desperation creeping in as your biological clock starts ticking in earnest. Your supply of willing wingmen has dwindled to practically nothing, so unless you hit the Internet, it's harder to meet someone*.The pressure to find someone (almost anyone, as some of your family might think!) is intense as the spectre of enforced bachelorhood/spinsterhood looms large! This turns into a vicious cycle as the more desperate you become, the less appealing you are, which increases your desperation......
  5. Resignation: As your milestone 40th birthday approaches and you're still on the lookout, you begin to resign yourself to the fact that eternal happiness is about to pass you by! You may even rationalise that you are happy focusing on your career or that you were destined for a higher purpose, neither of which keep you warm at night! However, the sad truth is that it's looking very likely that you're one of the unlucky few destined never to meet that special someone.
  6. Acceptance: Shortly after the above stage, it's time to accept your cruel fate. It appears you are destined to roam the earth alone. If you're a woman, it's time to buy that cat if you haven't already done so!
  7. Apathy: You've reached your early to mid 40s and realised that this true love malarkey was a pile of pants. You don't even bother to look any more, seldom going out as you're now the oldest swinger in town. You've even abandoned the minefield of Internet dating, even if it did allow you to meet ostensibly suitable people from the comfort of your own home. If it was true what they say about it happening when you least expect it, then no one would be single after the age of about 45!

Obviously, once you start looking, the earlier you find someone in the process the better. However, judging by the amount of married friends that seem to envy your freedom, losing out on true love might not be so bad after all!

*Men have it slightly easier as it's more socially acceptable to go for a younger woman. However, the rise of the cougar has redressed this inequality somewhat!

Monday 21 December 2009

Text Maniacs

A couple of recent (and not altogether pleasant!) encounters with members of the opposite sex inspired the above graph, which shows the relationship between the number of text messages a person sends and how crazy s/he is!

At one end of the scale, you have the person who steadfastly refuses to send any texts at all, which is somewhat irrational in itself. However, it pales in comparison with the other extreme, where the incessant texter lurks. This behaviour is marked by the following characteristics:

  • A non-stop stream of texts, many of an inane and/or incomprehensible nature.
  • If a reply to any of their short electronic missives is not sent within 2 minutes, a torrent of texts is unleashed along the lines of "r u ok?" or "wats wrong, hun?". Note to psycho texters: NOTHING IS WRONG - LEAVE ME ALONE FOR GOD'S SAKE, I'M TRYING TO RELAX/WATCH TV/HAVE A LIFE!!!
  • Once you realise you're corresponding with a nutbar and try to withdraw, cue the "psycho cycle of texts". Even after making it clear that you want no further contact, this cycle starts with old chestnuts like "r u ok?" or "how r u?", moves on to the abusive, e.g. "F@@k u, u b@@tard/B@tch" and followed by the begging/pathetic, e.g. "wat av I done?", "can we meet plz?" or perhaps some unintelligible gobbledygook. After a respite of say, 15 minutes (or an hour or two, if you're lucky!), your unhinged text buddy simply restarts the cycle, somehow expecting you to have forgotten the mental behaviour already exhibited (multiple times!).

The moral of the story? Be very careful to whom you give your mobile phone number! Note that even a joke condition like "Promise not to text me more than 200 times a day?" does not work! The best way to deal with this unsettling situation is to ignore the texts in the hope that the message finally sinks in. Do NOT engage the deluded at any cost as this only gives them licence to continue the harassment. In the likely event of ignoring them failing, getting their number blocked or reporting them to the police are unfortunately your only options.

To prevent this situation from arising, it would be a very good idea to buy a disposable mobile phone (or SIM card) and use it to communicate with new amours. This is particularly good advice for those using Internet dating, where spotting psychos in time is much more difficult. That way, in the worst case scenario, you can simply dump the phone and not inconvenience yourself or the more normal people you’re in contact with!

Thursday 12 February 2009

SAD (Singleton's Affective Disorder)

The above diagram is a simplified representation of the average singleton's year*. Personal calamities aside, those bereft of love can trundle along on a fairly even keel for most of the year. However, there are two periods when even the most ardent of loners feel a pang of self pity.

The first of these unfortunate annual periods is centred around midnight on New Year's Eve. This really gets the new year off to a crappy start for those with no one to pucker up to in the first few minutes of it. In fact, the slump starts for most people in the run up to Christmas when there is no one special to celebrate the festive season with.

You've hardly got over that thorny period when you're plunged back into singles depression a few short weeks later. The largely manufactured Valentine's Day, corny and over hyped as it may be, still has many singletons forlornly watching the letter box, desperately hoping that someone somewhere actually fancies them. The crushing disappointment from a lack of cards, flowers, romantic candlelit dinners etc. can really grate until you become sufficiently cynical sometime in your thirties.

The good news is that from February 15th on, it's a mercifully relatively clear run for ten months until the SAD kicks in again the following December!

*In the Western world. Many around the world follow the Chinese New Year and/or do not celebrate Christmas.

Thursday 15 January 2009

Only he who dares, wins

As stated in a much earlier post, a man needs to be brave, to be proactive in his dating career. Well, assuming he wants a successful one, that is! For all their talk about equality, the majority of women still prefer a decisive man who takes the lead in such matters. After all, what woman really wants a wuss? So, to be a hit with the ladies, a guy really has to make a lot of early running.

However, as the graph above shows, in general the opposite is true for women who make "obvious" moves on men. While I would personally love it (if it ever bloody well happened to me!), many men feel emasculated when confronted with this gift horse and proceed to eyeball it in the oral cavity! This is akin to earning more than him, driving him around or being smarter or taller than him. These are all roles that men are conditioned from childhood to believe that they must fulfil in a relationship. Therefore, making an obvious move can backfire for a woman if the target is even the slightest bit insecure.

Usually, women get around this dilemma by using hints of varying degrees of subtlety to get the man to think that he in fact is making the decisive move!

Thursday 4 December 2008

Internet dating - avoiding a pig in a poke

As mentioned in the original post on Internet dating, chatting away to a potential date on the web can result in extreme disappointment. After prolonged bouts of exciting flirting, hours of playful banter and many deep and meaningful conversations, the real life meeting eventually occurs. This can burst the romantic bubble as you didn't get what you were expecting, s/he wasn't as advertised or the real life sparks simply didn't fly.

As the graph above shows, the probability of disappointment is dependent on how familiar you were with how the person really looks before you met. This is particular true for men, the more visual of the species. If you have relied solely on the tapping of the keyboard for the virtual romance, the first real date is Russian Roulette, my friend! Marginally better is the old picture, which may have been taken many dinners ago.

Even a recent picture can be misleading, especially in the age of photo editing. Therefore, if possible you're best advised to see your cyber-date on web cam before committing to a real life romantic encounter. If you manage to see the object of your virtual affection in his/her birthday suit on cam and you're still disappointed on meeting, you've only yourself to blame!

Friday 10 October 2008

Films (movies) men and women like

The kind of films liked by men are markedly different to those liked by women. As the picture above illustrates, guys tend to like Arnold Schwarzenegger type movies with blood and guts, explosions, guns, gadgets and the like. On the other hand, women tend towards romance flicks and Jane Austen type costume dramas (whatever they are about!).

This leads to all sorts of problems when going to the cinema on a date or deciding on a DVD to watch. He wants the action blockbuster, while she wants the flowery love story. Many a man has had to sit through an agonising 2 hours of pure pap just to further his chances with his damsel!