I feel like I've just gotten a swift kick in the ass. I have a new dating approach for 2010 courtesy of one of my readers, which I am posting in it’s entirety below so everyone can benefit from it's wisdom. Not sure if it’s the timing or the tone or the actual advice, but something about it made me sit up and really pay attention.
To Anonymous, I say, Yes, ma'am! And more importantly, Thanks, I think I needed that.
I am a woman in my mid-30s whose dating life unfolded much the same as yours has (and that's why I love reading your well-written blog).
I eventually met my husband on Match (at age 36). But I didn't get anywhere with dating, or with Match, until I decided to follow a friend's simple advice: when a guy displays even a hint of weirdness or something that gives you pause or something that you just don't like, kick him to the curb! Don't analyze, don't call, don't second-guess -- just give him the boot and move on to the next guy. Listen to what your instincts are telling you!
Now you're probably thinking: "Well, shouldn't I give men a chance? Shouldn't I put myself out there? What if it's just me being scared?" Trust me, you're not going to miss out on McDreamy, and you can't rationalize away shady, rude, commitment-phobic men (i.e. Surf Dude).
I have been there. There's going to be another snowy street, and there's going to be another hand to hold, and I know you want it to be the right one. You don't need to be on "high alert". You don't need to "wait and see". He came up with some bullshit illness excuse for not attending one of the best games of the year and then has the balls to suggest (even before your second date) that you get naked? And don't even get me started on "c p", his texting-in-place-of-calling, or the absence of his name on his voice mail. He is not even worth another minute of your precious time.
I understand that the "next, please!" approach is easier said than done. I had a really, really tough time doing it at first, after so many years of giving second, third and fourth chances that turned into months of me spinning my wheels. But then I decided that if I was ever going to meet a man who would pick up the phone (not text), invite me to dinner, and then call me the next day, I had to stop wasting time on losers. As cheesy as it sounds, I actually made a list of "weird" behavior that I wouldn't tolerate. I had a lot of experience to draw on, and it helped to look back on all the patterns that inevitably emerged from men who weren't willing to pursue a healthy, long-term relationship for one reason or another.
There is a challenging, smart, funny, good-looking gentleman out there somewhere for you. I am sure of it, and I have learned in the best way possible that life can change in the blink of an eye. Now get going!