From the Editor
Yes, let us celebrate our eight bachelors as the worthy gentlemen they are. I’m sure they’ll appreciate—along with all the other single guys out there—the special bonus I’m about to offer them. I spoke with four local single women on how to raise the level of male behavior—and success—out on the Gulfshore dating scene.
Our four women—three in their 30s, one in her early 50s—believe that finding Mr. Right is a daunting prospect. Rachel Decker, one of the 30-somethings, said, “The men here seem to be running from other lives. This is where they come not to grow up.” Melissa Vogt, 30, notes, “The prospects are kind of dismal. Guys seem either too ready to settle down or are commitment-phobic. Plus, the collegians are too young for me, and the divorced men are mostly too old.” Mitzi Nicolas, 53, feels the bar scene isn’t right at her age, and her local finds from match.com were a little too problematical. “Besides,” she says, “it’s scary with so many men out there looking for all the wrong reasons—money, sex and mom.” Kim Royal, 36, sums it up for them all: “It’s very, very challenging,” she says.
It often starts with a pickup line and Melissa reports this groaner: “I’m your future ex-husband.” (She did get a laugh out of another one: “Are you from Tennessee? You’re the only 10 I see.”) Two of her biggest turn-offs? One fellow took her to see his family on only the second date. Another guy got very drunk, said he was calling a driver to come drive them home—he had no such driver—and an hour later had to summon a cab. She never saw either of them again.
Mitzi’s luck with match.com led her to one man who tried to scam her for $1,000, another who had a naked woman as the screen saver on his computer and a third who had post traumatic stress disorder from his service in Vietnam. On the good-luck side, Mitzi reports she’s met the man of her dreams through networking and is thrilled to find him thoughtful, a great listener and romantic. “He proposed exactly five months from the day we met,” she says proudly.
Kim agreed to a blind date with a fellow a pal said she had to meet: “He talked just about himself and his boats and cars, was seriously overweight, and I was only noticing his heavy lip gloss and hoping he wouldn’t try to kiss me. I made excuses after an hour and was out of there … thankfully unkissed.”
Rachel’s nightmare was giving in to a guy in his 50s who kept insisting on going out. “He was truly boring. He talked about the weather and everything else except me. What a generation gap. I thought I was hanging out with my dad.”
• Call, don’t text, if you want to show your interest after a date.
• Plan something; don’t just ask what your date wants to do.
• Be yourself (if you’re funny, smart, sarcastic, whatever—show it).
• Pay attention. Refer back to her favorite music or food.
• If you had a good time, text on the way home or send flowers. Don’t leave her wondering.
• Be chivalrous. Open doors, have good manners. Let us be ladies.
• If you see someone you like, introduce yourself (nicely).
• Keep your car clean, no matter how old or new it is.
• Be a great listener and keep the conversation going.
• Be considerate of her work life.
• Don’t agree with everything she says. It’s annoying.
• Don’t be pretentious.
• If she has given you her number, don’t wait three days to call.
• Don’t ask for a date by text message.
• Don’t talk about ex-wives or former girlfriends.
• Don’t discuss politics or religion until you really get to know each other.
• Don’t let the woman pay (especially at the beginning, even if she offers to).
• Don’t forget how to talk to us. Texting back and forth isn’t good enough for most subjects.
• No texting or e-mailing on a dinner date. Wait till we go to the restroom.
• Don’t show up with alcohol on your breath.
• Don’t criticize a meal we’ve made for you.
OK, guys, have you got the messages? Great, because I wouldn’t dare text them to you. Be good and let us know if our four women have helped you here.