Dating Advice From The Armed Liberal

Since I’m surfing while waiting to do a huge presentation, it occurs to me that I ought to repost an old favorite of mine about dating from back in the day (2003) when TG and I were…and publicly wish my sweetie a Happy Valentine’s Day to boot!

So Tenacious G (my sweetie) and I went out for our pre-Valentine’s Day dinner last night. We have the boys Friday, and it’ll be a zoo everywhere, so we went to our favorite neighborhood bistro and had a nice dinner together.

Which was slightly spoiled by the conversation at the next table. I’m usually pretty good at filtering, and too polite to acknowledge that I’m eavesdropping (or reading your mail upside down on your desk), but this was just too much, in every sense of the word.

It was a first date. He was (from the conversation) about my age, but overweight, balding, and with a sunlamp tan and a pony tail – a combination that I can’t imagine the ladies could resist. I’m commenting on his physical attributes (actually more his “presentation” of them) because they meshed so well with the personality that he displayed at dinner.

I kept one eye on my watch for a bit and at one point he talked over three minutes without stopping. I think she said about ten words in the entire hour and a half that we were there, and the conversation from their table never stopped.

They (he, actually) discussed Iraq. He’s against it, but he would have gone to Canada if his lottery number had come up during Vietnam and would personally drive his son to Canada today (in his Ferrari) if he was in any danger of serving in the military. We can’t invade Iraq, he explained, because we haven’t defeated Al Quieda, and we haven’t made a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Once we do those things, he’d be open to considering it if it was OK with the U.N.

I have a discussion on his points over at Winds of Change.

He discussed work. He’s apparently a prosecutor, and he discussed how unfair the laws that he is sworn to enforce are, and how he practices his own form of “jury nullification” on cases that he thinks are just unfair.

He discussed (at painful length) his divorce, his lack of a relationship with his children, and his dysfunctional dating history.

He discussed his cars (a 70’s Ferrari, a 60’s Porsche, and a new BMW).

He discussed dancing, and the kind of music he likes. He went on a long riff about “the sensuality of just moving your body to music” – i.e. he dances like a white guy.

So in 90 minutes, he did a kind of miniature “Biography Channel” special on himself.

There are so many problems here…

Look, I’ve never been a ‘playa’, but I’ve certainly dated a bunch (TG would say more than a bunch) and met a bunch of neat women (even married a couple). I’ve given some dating advice to my sons and to my more relationship-challenged friends (male and female, showing that they’ll take advice from anybody). But it was all I could do not to turn around in my chair last night and go …Stop. Stop now. Ask her something about herself, and let her complete her answer. Explore her interests. Hand her the keys to the conversation, because believe me at the rate this is going you aren’t going to be getting any tonight.?

So let me offer some dating advice to my fellow middle-aged divorced guys:

Shut the fuck up.

Don’t try and sell yourself, its boring and ineffective. Help her sell herself, and in doing so you’ll sell yourself far more effectively than you could otherwise.

Don’t inventory your possessions, inventory your passions.

Don’t recount, in real-time, the story of your failed prior relationships.

Don’t talk down your exes.

Basically, don’t assume that you’re the only interesting person in the room.

And lose the damn ponytail.

16 thoughts on “Dating Advice From The Armed Liberal”

  1. I’d give the guy some credit for not deceiving anyone. While feigning interest in other people might benefit him in the “getting any tonight” department, better for his dates to know what they’re dealing with right off the bat, rather than dating for awhile and developing some sort of emotional investment before his guard begins to slip. And perhaps he’ll one day find a soul-mate with compatibly low self-esteem who’s as fascinated by him as he is, and they’ll live happily ever after.

    And meanwhile, the rest of us look that much better by comparison.

  2. Good advice in 2003 and good advice now! I hope you and TG have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

    And, many thanks for running a great blog.


  3. Have you ever seen Dennis Kucinich’s wife? Proof that the laws of attraction are as obscure and undecipherable as the composition of dark matter…

  4. Amen to two great pieces of advice:

    Shut…up. The easiest way to get ANYONE talking is to stop talking yourself. Try it out in a conversation, when you want someone to speak up–they’ll blurt out almost anything to fill the silence. Then, with a little clever feedback, you can get even a shy person (like your DATE) to become the center of the conversation.

    …lose the damn ponytail. I tell my students that a grown and balding man with a ponytail does not look like a horse’s HEAD.

  5. If I were on a jury and the prosecutor had a ponytail, I must admit I would immediately be reminded of an individual I know who had his law license suspended for marijuana possession – while he was working as an assistant prosecutor on marijuana cases.

    Call it prejudice on my part, but at that point the defense could show up in a Casper the Friendly Ghost costume and fall asleep in court; they’d still have a bit of an edge.

  6. There’s a really good movie called the Tao of Steve that I highly recommend. There are a couple of important lessons:

    -We chase that which retreats from us. Stop chasing women, and honestly they will start chasing you. Or at least stop running away :)

    -Be excellent at at least something, and it might as well be conversation. Dont pretend to be interested in what she says, be interested. Be a curious person and learn to get inside other people’s heads. And with women once you embrace point 1 that becomes a lot easier.

    Learning to be good to a woman has taught me to be a much better person, and in my mind that was gods point. If you can do one you can do the other. If you suck at one, chances are you are sucking at the other even if you dont realize it.

  7. Actually, prostitutes (hetaerae) *do* get to decide. *Slaves* (“b*tch-*ss hos”) don’t. That might be too fine a distinction for you, Jeff.

  8. One more peice of advice to the pony tail guys out there- throw away your fucking blue tooth. If i see you on the street talking to yourself while _holding your cell phone in your hand_ (no need to say talking at the top of your longs, its a given), we’re gonna go round and round. Same goes for the retarded *beep beep* nextel crap. There is no way you are so important you need to be in walkie talkie contact with your dork people at all times. Dont even THINK about approaching a female until you a)get that pretension out of your system and b)gain enough freaking sense of coolness to realize _that is not sophysticated). You are a dope.

    Can anyone tell i’m at the airport?

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