I’ve got a TON of questions in ye ole’ Ask A Grown Man queue. So, we’re going to spend a couple of days answering them, changing lives, and kickin’ it Dear Abby style. Let’s get to work….
I am recently divorced. It’s been ten years since I’ve even thought about dating, and I believe the world has changed quite a bit. What do I do to get myself into the current dating scene? A related question, what are your thoughts on e-dating sites?
Thank you for your time,
My Good Man,
Sorry about your divorce. While you may be happy it ended, nobody ever goes into a marriage expecting it to fail. I hope this season of your life hasn’t been too rough. But, judging by your email, I’m guessing you might be emerging from those woods and ready to dip a toe back in the ever-so-treacherous dating waters — well done. Allow me to shed some light on your questions.
First, a lot and nothing has changed in ten years. For example, in 2000 everybody was paying attention to hanging chads in hella-crazy Florida while at the same time – get ready for it - women enjoyed being with a man who was polite. Here’s another one: In 2000, every Gen Y-er was bemoaning the end of Boy Meets World (and Topanga) – also, eye contact and genuine interest in a woman’s life was getting guys second dates.
You see what I’m saying? Basically, Michael, being a good man is always en vogue and ten years changes nothing except current events and fashion (no more paisley ties – ever). However, and more to your questions, where do you meet Michael-worthy women?
Well, people say you should stay away from bars. But, what I really think they mean is that you should stay away from places that you, on a normal day, would never go to. For instance, if you’re 45, don’t go to the bar that the super-trendy college kids frequent. While it may seem like a good idea to be flirting with freshmen, it’s not the relationship you’re looking for.
In reality, you should be hanging out in places with people like you. You should find the local Michael-like establishment(s) and set up camp. Also, you might need to be creative and create hobbies or situations in your life that foster this kind of community. Not a church-goer? Maybe it’s time. Are you a half-way decent baseball player? Time to sign up for your local softball league. The bottom line is this: find a community, be bold in asking quality women out, pick yourself up when it doesn’t work, and be patient. Then, like the shampoo bottles say, “Wash, rinse, repeat.” Keep at it.
Or, there’s option b) on-line dating. Here are my two cents on online dating. Five years ago, it was a little odd and something that good, normal, non-super strange folks should have avoided. However, the fact that on-line dating has become so popular has helped in shifting the balance from 10% Normal/90% Creep-a-zoid to 80% Normal/20% oogie. This change has caused me to rethink the validity of this option and give it my official, “I Don’t Know Man, If You Really Have To” seal of approval. There’s nothing better than meeting a nice lady organically. However, I realize we live in different and increasingly isolated times, and it gets progressively harder as you get further away from your 20’s to go au naturel. So if you must Michael, you’ve got my semi-support.