There are men who manage to go through their entire dating lives without stress, anxiety, failure, offending anyone or being offended, rejecting anyone or being rejected, without encountering even one dating dilemma or disaster. They, instead, have smooth, successful, joyous, passionate, love-filled, worry-free dating lives without incident. Do such men really exist? Yes! Do they truly have such idyllic dating lives? Indeed they do. Can you find them on JDate? Sadly, no. Then, who are these men? Well, as it turns out, they’re called — fictitious characters. You’ll find them in books, plays, TV shows and movies, but you certainly won’t find them in real life because they are fantasy figures, much like Zeus, Harry Potter, or a viable Presidential candidate.
Yes, all of us who date encounter, from time to time, bumps of one size or another on the Highway of Love. And there’s nothing said about traversing it in the Department of Motor Vehicles booklet. It’s part of the relationship package. Perhaps the positive aspect of these love bumps is that they serve to make us even more appreciative of the good dating experiences. Still, it never hurts to be on alert for any potential dating disasters that could be lurking around the corner. So, as a public service to my gender, here are three potential dating disasters for men, along with a suggestion or two about dealing with them.
Online Dating “Bait and Switch”
Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud, most commonly used in retail sales but also applicable to other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by advertising for a product or service at a low price; second, the customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are “switched” to a costlier product. Substitute “attractive dating prospect” for “low price,” and “less desirable dating prospect” for “costlier product,” and you have the form of bait and switch that frequently occurs in the online dating world. And to be fair, both women and men are perpetrators and victims. So, guys, don’t be surprised if that 35 year old single Pilates instructor with an average build and her own home turns out to be a 48 year old separated waitress with the physique of a linebacker, living with her mom, along with her three hyperactive kids and two cats with intestinal problems. Lesson: Ensure the photos are current and the information absolutely accurate. I speak from personal experience — I’m still trying to get those cat stains off my carpet.
Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make, She’ll Be Watching You
Why? Because she’s just so crazy about you that she wants to be with you every moment of every day, if not in person, then via phone or email. The truth? She’s just plain crazy! I actually had a girlfriend who thought it was strange that when we were together, I felt the need to close the bathroom door while I was using the bathroom. She felt that when you’re intimate with someone, you should share everything, including the sights and sounds of relieving yourself, grooming yourself, etc. Good lord, how about keeping a shred of mystery in the relationship?! How about an occasional evening to yourself? How about not feeling that the only way to gain a little independence and privacy is to take out a restraining order?! Explain it to her that way. She’ll understand. Then escort her gently out of the bathroom.
Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Well
The end of a romantic relationship is like a little death – with the exception that hopefully death is the end of pain, but breakup pain can last for seemingly an eternity, not unlike the movies “Showgirls” and “Battlefield Earth.” Which is why there’s a bit more to breaking up than deciding to leave a gym or not return to a restaurant. Ending a relationship well is almost an art form. That is assuming, of course, that your intention is to behave like a mensch, to honor the relationship, and to be considerate and respectful of your partner’s feelings. Do not do it via phone, email, letter, or through a third party’s intervention – even if that third party is Dr. Phil. All of those techniques are simply wimping out, hurtful, and just plain wrong. You know it, I know it, Dr. Phil knows it. Sorry for bringing up the P-word.
Remember how kind and gentle, thoughtful and respectful you were going into the relationship? Well, your exit strategy should involve those identical qualities. But be forewarned — if you don’t use those qualities, the angry DKM – Dating Karma Monster may very well track you down and torment you in the EPR — Extreme Punishment Room for all eternity. And, no, there’s no WiFi there. Just some old onions, a rickety chair, and a copy of “Battlefield Earth.”