Friday, 29 June 2007

Opting out of the dating pool

They were chit chatting on the radio this morning about a new study released by the CDC that indicates 4% of heterosexual American adults are virgins. The DJs were extremely surprised by this, amazed that it could even possibly be true that one in every twenty-five US adults had never had sex. They were even more stunned when they read on that 25% of women reported having no more than one sexual partner in their lifetime and that only 9% of women had slept with more than fifteen men. They found this last nugget completely absurd and claimed the women must be lying, but as a single 30-something female - albeit not American - New Yorker I would not be the least bit surprised if these women were being a 100% truthful since there seems to be an epidemic lack of dating going on among the women I know.

When I first met GS he would often comment how so many men found me attractive and must want to date me. Um….which men would they be then? Could you point them out, I’d like to meet them. Apart from GS and a couple of lecherous 60-odd year old men in salsa class I’ve been asked out exactly ZERO times in the 7years I’ve lived in New York. This is despite the fact that American men supposedly find a woman with an accent to be extremely sexy, and an English accent to be sexiest of all. Harumph!!

I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing wrong, but whatever it is, my friends - an intelligent, successful, sexy bunch o’ women if ever there was one - are doing it too since they don’t fare much better. I couldn’t tell you the last time any of them were asked out, but when I talk to men they all seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that single women are fighting guys off with sticks. Odd, because even though we all get our share of appraising glances or smiles, which we return encouragingly, actual requests for a date are as rare as hens’ teeth. Although…perhaps the men who find us attractive are just shy of approaching and are, at this very instant, posting messages for us on
Craiglist’s Missed Connections. I’d better go check....

Pht!! No messages!! Then again, if the message below is any indication of the type of guys posting messages, then the phrase ‘dodged a bullet’ springs to mind…

You are a girl, so I am pretty sure you have a vagina. The whole time I was thinking about talking to you, I was also thinking about your sweet, sweet vagina. Vagina, vagina, vagina! The word flows off of the tongue like some sort of pagan incantation of carnal delight. I would have loved it if you had wanted me to stick my ding-dong in your furry cookie.

Pagan incantation of carnal delight??? Stick my ding-dong in your furry cookie??? And people wonder why women choose to be single. What an utterly sad man!!

Call me conceited if you will, but I don’t think I’m THAT unattractive. Don’t get me wrong I’m not giving Gisele BŌčndchen a run for her money, but I’m not exactly frightening small children either. I’m a nice person, I can hold an intelligent conversation, I keep in shape, have good hygiene and over the years at least six random people have told me I resemble the actress Kristin Scott Thomas – I don’t see it myself, but if you stand 200yards away and squint at me through your eye lashes I’ll give you there may be a passing similarity – and people seem to think she’s quite attractive, so I’m assuming I’m not THAT hard on the eyes, but when it comes to meeting men I think I have been off at a sample sale when the pheromones were handed out. It’s a complete mystery to me how some women go from relationship to relationship with barely a break in between. How do they do that? My friends suggest it’s because these women are ‘not picky’, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself picky either. I’ll pretty much go on a first date with anyone – with the exception of sexagenarian mambo men – it’s not like I expect movie star good looks, a fat wallet and washboard abs from a date, I’d just like to meet somebody normal who’s within approx. 10years of my own age. Is that too much to ask?

I’ve taken matters into my own hands and asked men out, but it hasn’t exactly worked out well so far. The first time landed me in an on/off 2year relationship with a recovering alcoholic, whose idea of a fun-packed Saturday night was staying home to watch movies – his notion of a good one being ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’!! Eyeroll. By the way, what WAS Dame Judi Dench thinking??? Then there was Dan, my former Pilates instructor - yeah yeah yeah, I’ve heard it, a fitness instructor, never mind what was Judi Dench thinking. What was *I* thinking??

Dan flirted up a storm with me in the reformer classes I took at his studio, singling me out in conversation and tickling my toes or rubbing my shoulders in class, attention he didn’t pay the other women. He’d also send flirtatious emails so unsurprisingly I got the impression he might be interested. As I was considering switching to another instructor anyway, I quit Dan’s class, took the bull by the horns and asked him out. “Oh no,” he stammered, “I hope I didn’t do anything to give you the wrong idea. I would never date a client, past or present, it’s unprofessional.”

Hmm, and tickling my toes and flirting with me in class is the height of professionalism is it?

My female friends in England don’t seem to have much luck either. My mum used to assume my terminal singleness was because I was ‘too choosy’, but after working with women my age who have had similar experiences with men, she’s since concluded there’s ‘something wrong’ with my generation.

Miles on the other hand thinks I expect too much of serendipity to help me meet a potential mate, he thinks I should be proactive and join pronto!! However friends advise me to steer clear of online dating, claiming their own experiences have been a series of disappointments that left them feeling miserable and bereft of hope. Sara, for example, joined an online dating service in January after making a new year’s resolution to go on at least one date a month. This resulted in a total of 3 dates, the first with a man who turned out to be married and was just looking for a bit on the side; the second with a pony-tailed 40-something who lived in an apartment in his parents’ basement and whose 70year old mother still did his laundry, and lastly was the date with a man who turned out to be going through some sort of manic depressive episode and broke down in tears within 20minutes of them meeting. Is this the best of what’s out there? Spinsterhood is looking more and more attractive!!

I suppose if I were truly unhappy about the situation I would have made a bigger effort to do something about it and gone online, but Miles has a point, I do like the romance of serendipity. Maybe one day I will venture online, but at the moment my attitude is that if it happens it happens. If not,…well, it’s not the end of the world. Overall life’s pretty good, and if you’re going to be single, New York’s an excellent place to enjoy it.


Carrie M said...

That is perhaps the most scary CL post I've seen...and I comb through them for some of the worst for blog fodder...*shudder*

Anyway, I've gone the online dating route and scored a ton of dates off it. Boyfriends? Not so much. But it's a nice way to get back out into the swing of things, and I know loads of success stories as well.

Do what your gut tells you, but the good news is with online dating you can always quit and if you have bad dates? Then you get great blog posts.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Carrie, appreciate the comment. I love your blog. Your CL postings make me laugh out loud