Dating, Noah style

Between settling into a new career, planning my upcoming nuptials and slowing taking another swing at my novel, I’ve been off the bloggy multiverse for a bit. I recently found myself in a fun discussion about dating – one that was generated by a cheesy “ain’t that just typical” pun about single men that I found HIGHlarious, but in reality was actually met with a blank stare and perhaps the sound of crickets by my audience of one. It took a slight jogging of my memory before I realized that, said conversation companion, had been in only one relationship since high school and didn’t have the entire Mencyclopedia Britannica it seems every single female in L.A. claims to have authored.

Silly me, since moving to Georgia, “this isn’t California anymore, Toto” seems to be my mantra.

As a seasoned, professional dater with 29 years experience (less the first 16, unless you count practice kissing with my pillows), it seems that I may just be somewhat of an authority on the matter. I mean, at the very least if we are using the same standards of “authority” say a show like Married At First Sight uses when they pick their “matchmaking experts,” that are little more than new-wave hippies parading around like psychotherapists (I’m sure you didn’t get your “sexology” degree from Harvard, buddy). So yeah, I guess I can call myself a bit of an expert on the matter. By the time I was done covering the basics of modern-day passive communication styles, sexpectations and  the disturbing rise in ghosting techniques, I had amassed a few more participants in the conversation.

A pretty fair suggestion emerged that this perspective was likely due to the type of man whom I had dated in the past. As I sat there and thought about it, I concluded that I didn’t actually have “a type” at all. Spinning through the rolodex of former suitors, I could see a wide range of everything from race, background, income, physical qualities, it was all over the place. And then it hit me, I was the Noah’s Ark of dating, I think I have dated two of every kind!  And no, not in the slutty way, as a matter of fact I was most adamant about one thing, if you are dating someone and don’t sleep with them after three dates, there was a 90% chance you would never hear from them again. In my experience, a guy who thinks you’re just okay is willing to put up with you for a max of three dates before they move on, to which I will raise a glass and toast to not having any precious time in my 20’s wasted by the ill-intentioned. Nope, I wasn’t going to be fooled by any husk pretending to be boyfriend material, if I was going to make lousy decisions I would do it willfully, with two eyes open and a middle finger pointed straight up to the air. Yep, my mistakes were my own and I love the fact that I was able to share little moments of my life with such a variety of people. I like to think about all the evening’s of deep conversation, good music and laughs and about the ones that got away, but mostly, I love to think about the one that decided to stay.

Being single was two sides of a coin, there were ups and downs but when it comes to my personal chronicals of dating and knowing how it led me to the path I travel today, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Man·pology

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 6.56.10 PMI have to take a short trip up onto my soapbox for a moment. You see, it drives me nuts, I mean absolutely insane when other people do the sorry/not sorry type of apologizing that people are just starting to catch on to. You know the ones I’m talking about, they usually start with “I’m sorry you feel that way.” That specific set of words that come in when what you really want to do is place blame on the other person and take no responsibility for your own actions.

Don’t get me wrong, I have used that tactic many-a-time, and I’ve always meant it just like that. I’ve got a straight-forward, blunt type personality and it works well for me, but I also understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So, there are times when I’ve said something that’s an ugly truth out loud and this may be upsetting, but none the less, it’s still true. So for that, you have definitely earned no more than a “I’m sorry you feel that way.” On the flip side, there have been times when I have actually misspoken and managed to string together a set of words which can easily be interpreted in a way that delivers a punch I never meant to throw. And for that, my mistake, I will wholeheartedly deliver a “I’m so sorry for what I said, I didn’t mean any harm, but I can see how my words caused some.” It seems to me that there are only two steps to delivering an apology, and they are as follows:

  1. Identify what the action or words were that upset someone
  2. Deliver the appropriate corresponding type of apology

You would think that this was pretty cut-and-dry, but then we have to bring the dreaded Manpology into the mix. I’ve dated a lot of different men – all types – from varying ages, education levels and ethnicity, and it seems to me that the one thing they all have in common is their inherent knowledge of Manpologizing. In the past, I have often referred to this as a Marytr’s apology, but at some point, someone brought to my attention that this could be offensive to some, in which case I will tell those offended parties, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

The Manpology is typically delivered with just a hint of aggression, usually in short snippets of repetitive “sorry,” for which the deliverer makes it abundantly clear he has no clue what he is apologizing for and usually throws in some variant of “I can’t do anything right.” And there it is, the blame is thrown right back on you, because now the alleged offender is suggesting they are really no more than a victim of circumstances beyond their control or of unrealistic expectations of a crazy woman. Don’t get me wrong, there are some ladies out there who are way out of line, and if you find yourself with a woman who is too demanding, then by all means – break up with her. But, the Manpology seems to make an appearance all the time – from the minute situation to even more offensive act of infidelity. And then, when this “I’m sorry/yet I refuse to admit anything is my fault” type of apologetic defense comes into play, the woman responds wildly, thus seemingly proving the crazy woman claim that goes hand-in-hand with the Manpology.

And you shouldn’t necessarily blame the woman for having such an adverse reaction (just see the second sentence of this blog), but men know this is the easiest way to get to a stalemate. A simple “Look how crazy you are right now” can stop a woman in her tracks and men know it. And thus, the Manpology has been perfected and passed down to the bearers of penises for generations. I love men endlessly, but this behavior has got to stop.

So ladies, now that you know the symptoms, I urge you to keep your cool and accept obscure apologies no more. If we all work together, we can revoke the intangible Manpology cards in our households and it will soon be a fad of the past! I will leave you with the the words of great G.I. Joe, knowing is half the battle.