The name is Charming, Prince Charming
The name is Charming, Prince Charming

Today’s Question reads:

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for your candidness and the humor in your postings.

My question for you is about dating, or at times, the lack of dates.
I use online services (Match, PoF, et al) regularly to meet women. In the past 15 months I have met dozens of ladies. I doubt if there was ever an occasion when I wasn’t a gentleman to each of the women.

More often than not, she and I didn’t hit it off. I understand chemistry and clicking are elusive and difficult to define. Sometimes the stars and planets are in alignment and all goes well. Most of the time, there isn’t that celestial conjunction and we depart never to see one another again. Occasionally, when I feel a spark, she replies that I am a great guy but no. In addition, my coworkers, friends, and relatives comment that I am a “great catch” and express their puzzlement over why I am not with someone.

Yet, none of these people who claim I am a great guy and an extraordinary catch offer their friends or relatives as possible dates.

Thank you,
Befuddled in Palo Alto


Dear Befuddled in Palo Alto (“BIPA”),

First, thank you for your excellent taste in blogs.

Second, that your friends, coworkers and relatives have failed to offer to fix you up may be that they don’t know any potential dates for you.

After my husband died, I joined several social groups, including a synagogue, but was disappointed that no one ever suggested fixing me up with someone they knew.  Then one lady at the synagogue asked where I met men, so she could steer her daughter in the same direction.  And  I realized that the synagogue people didn’t know any single guys.

The people in the groups I belonged to were all older married folk and, I’m guessing, so were their friends. (They could also have thought that I was too crazy to fix up with anyone, but I choose to disregard that possibility).  So, unless your friends are socially mobile singles, it may be that they don’t have access to any potential fix ups.

If they are, please see the list of “date killers’ below.

Chemistry, that “spark,’ is so elusive.  Perhaps you have yet to find a woman where the spark is mutual. If, of all the women you met, you only asked to see a few of them again, it is certainly possible that your small sampling of  ladies just didn’t match up.

But, if this is happening with more than a few dates, I too wonder what is going on.

Date killers for me have been:

  1. Guys who babble on about their exs, yet want to date me, apparently as free therapy or else they have inherent sadistic tendencies.
  2. Guys who babble on about themselves without any interest in anything I have to say.
  3. Guys who get/show up drunk or wasted.  (I’m doubting this is you).
  4. Guys who are sexually inappropriate. (Again, probably not you).
  5. The guys who think they are soooo smart (usually a subset of talks a lot about themselves).
  6. The romantic  fantasizers.  Where you go on a date, and the guy decides he’s in love with you, even though he doesn’t know you and is making up a fantasy “you” in his head.  These are characterized by wide-eyed gazing and excessive declarations of interest.
  7. The guy who kept blasting his tuna fish sandwich with gobs of mustard from a squeeze bottle.  Hypnotically.  Again and again.

Perhaps you are too serious or earnest.  I have felt uncomfortable with men who seem to be planning our future together from the first date.  I’ve also felt disturbed by guys who have asked very serious questions on date one like, “are you sure you are sufficiently over the grief of your husband to commence a new relationship?’  “I want to adopt a dog with my next partner.”

First dates seem to require a bit of levity.   Ideally they are more like a soufflé than a heavy roasted animal.   We are lonely, we so want to find a new person, and yet coming across as desperately looking for one makes us unappealing to most people.

So Dear BIPA, not having seen any of  your dates on instant replay, I don’t know what’s going on.  My best idea is to ask some of your friends, especially women friends, what they think might be happening. Then listen honestly to the answers.  Maybe go on a pretend date with a woman friend and see what she has to say.  (This was probably on a bad sitcom at some point).   Your friends may know something you don’t.

Otherwise, approach dates with a sense of fun and without investment, with lot’s of interest in listening to what your date has to say, and I hope things go better for you.


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