What I've Learned From Dating Podcasts
I’ve been listening to a lot of dating podcasts lately. For no other reason then I find that these hosts are hilarious and the episodes are very conversational, which I prefer. I’ve been listening to Girls Gotta Eat, U UP?, and We Met at ACME. They are all based in NYC, which really makes my heart hurt to move to NYC. So if anyone is reading this and wants to give me a job in NYC, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – THANKS!
But any way here is what I’ve learned from these very interesting podcasts and my own sad dating life. Side note: these are all generalizations based on our cis-heteromative society. And to be honest, probably mostly represents white people.
If a guy doesn’t make a plan, he’s not interested.
This almost blew my mind but it’s so simple that it didn’t. Think about the last guy that was really into you. How often did you not have a plan to see each other? Maybe a few days at the beginning of the week? He doesn’t always have to be the one to initiate it, but if he’s into you, he will create a plan to hang out if you don’t have one yet. If he’s not making plans or accepting your invites, he’s not into you.
But if a guy is not into me why does he keep texting me?
Because guys will keep things in the air.
I’ve written extensively about guys who have just kept me on the line. They text me, oftentimes consistently, but won’t make a fucking plan with me. I am not high maintenance when it comes to dating. I am fine with 10pm drinks (and I will pay for mine!) or even just a last minute hang out at his place. It doesn’t have to be a dinner. I just want to the in-person affection. So I’m always confused when they want to keep in touch but don’t want to meet up. At least not regularly. Usually spaced out between 1-2 months. When I do ask to hang out, they reply with a rejection that is just vague enough and polite enough that keeps me still interested and believing that he is interested in me.
I always wondered why. What is the fucking point of us talking all of the time if you don’t want to hang out or hook up?
HERE IS THE FUCKING POINT:
First, guys want to be known as a nice guy. They all have “crazy ex-girlfriend” stories and have heard their friends’ horror stories and they are terrified of looking like the dick again. They do not want to look like a dick. So, if you have not done anything absurd that they can point to, they will not abruptly or bluntly end things with you. And they will just keep things going with really low effort of shitty text messaging conversations.
Second! Guys that are keeping you on the line, or keeping you (and let’s be honest, probably a bunch of other ladies) on the line are trying to establish trust with you. But not good trust. They are looking to build the lowest level of trust and connection possible, with as little effort as possible, so that they can call up on you late night when they’ve struck out with all the women at the bar that they are at. There are so many creepy guys out there, who don’t care about building trust and connection before they bone you, but I’m not talking about them right now.
These guys look like good guys (see above) because they’ve put the work into getting to know you and you knowing them so that it doesn’t seem creepy when they text you at 11:00pm “Meet me at O’Malley’s. I want to see you.” It’s not on accident. He keeps you on the line for a very specific reason. And it’s not because he likes you but is scared to jump into something or his schedule is busy. Reminder: if you don’t have premeditated plans with a guy, he’s not into you. See above.
And I want to specifically call out, that I don’t think there is anything wrong with meeting up with this guy and fucking him. That is your prerogative and it can be pleasurable and amazing. I do this all of the time. I am just pointing out, that a guy that asks you to hang out like this is not into you. If you are 100% okay with that or are prepared to deal with any negative implications, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t.
My advice: If you find yourself texting a guy for weeks or even a month and they’ve circumvented plans so far, just text him, “Hey I’m free Thursday next week if you want to grab a drink.” If they don’t accept or try to find another date that works – stop talking to him.
Guys think every lady who shows interest in him wants a full-blown relationship with him because of the ego his mother gave him.
My current Bumble profile reads, “Looking for someone to travel with. Don’t want to meet your mother. I am a terrible cook.” All of that is 100% true. Well, my food isn’t always gross, but I hate cooking and its best that my future lover thinks that I’m bad at it. But I really am looking for someone to travel with. I travel a lot, but it’s always alone and it gets lonely. But I don’t want to be in a Meet-the-Parents type of relationship right now.
The perfect situation to me: We see each other 2-3 times a week to do something fun and have sex. And every couple of months we go on a weekend trip to a cabin or go on a big trip like to Seattle or Tokyo! It’s the perfect amount of intimacy. I don’t want any more than that right now.
BUT. It will be very, very difficult to find some dude that will be into that level. BECAUSE. Guys think every lady wants who smiles at them wants to marry them. Guys are built on ego. They never think you just want a casual relationship. Because their mothers have told them they are perfect from day one, and society has reinforced that, so they’ve developed wild egos, which tells them every lady who shows interest in them wants to marry them. Making it hard to convince them you want something more nuanced, which explains why guys see relationships with women are so binary.
Long story short: Telling a guy that I want to take trips with him is practically the same thing as telling him the names you want to name the children you plan to birth him.
Guys need to feel like the lady is out of their league.
Maybe it’s due to their competitive nature or maybe because men treat women like inanimate objects that can be won. Whatever it is, most single men are holding out for a woman that they believe is a little bit (or a whole lot) better than themselves.
Whereas women, will invest in a garbage person. If I have ten things I’m looking for in a guy, I will settle for a guy with four of those things, convince myself I can change three of them, and forget that I wanted the last three.
This is especially hard one for me. Because it means that I have to look like I have my shit together all of the time. I am someone who thrives on vulnerability. I also thrive in drinking too much and making bad decisions. So, it would be really hard for me to ever appear to some guy that I am out of their league. Unless of course, they are a garbage person.
This all adds up for me because most guys that pursue me are guys who have a dead-end job that they hate, don’t have hobbies, and has a less than average personality.
My pessimistic advice: Don’t ever be vulnerable or negative in front of him.
Often times, men are telling you they are not interested in something serious.
Earlier this year, I became infatuated with an artist. He was tall and skinny. His art is dark and moody, which was sexy compared to his humor and playful personality. He made me pee my pants a little talking about Beanie Babies, more than once. So, when he’d say things like, “I’m a degenerate I’m a mess”, I thought it meant “I might drink a little too much but I am a fun time”.
At first, I am surprised that he does not call. Because I swore we had a great time. I know we did. Why wouldn’t he want to recreate that? That’s what confuses me. Did he not have that great of a time? Did I do something weird? It’s slightly upsetting. More of a hit to my ego than anything else. I get over it. I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me. I don’t say that out of spite. I have grown to a place where I genuinely find it attractive when someone wants me and I find it unattractive if they don’t. It doesn’t make him a bad person. I accept it and when I run into him a few more times, it’s not awkward anymore, because I don’t have any expectations and I am not nervous.
Now that I am calm and free of worry when I talk to him, I can get to know him, as a friend. Through our platonic conversations, I learned that he had been telling all along that he was emotionally unavailable. Of course, he told me this indirectly when I had a crush on him, but I chose to hear what I wanted to hear. I ignored what didn’t serve me.
When he was telling me what a mess he is, he was really saying, “I’m not emotionally available”. What I thought was a lighthearted self-deprecating joke, was him telling me that he is not ready to date. This isn’t true for everyone who makes self-deprecating jokes but if a part of his flirting routine is telling you what a degenerate or what a mess he is, he is telling you that he’s not looking for anything serious.
This is just one example. I think there is a long list of other things we can translate. But that’s a separate post.
Men want to wait a for a serious relationship, or marriage, until they have met (or are really close) to meeting their financial and professional goals.
This one blew my mind. I first came to this conclusion from the last guy I was dating. He was (is, he’s not dead, but we don’t talk anymore) insanely ambitious in his career. Before we met, he had told me his dream job, and from what I can tell, he’s well on his way there. There were also several other things he told me about himself that told me he had a bunch of goals – none of which were personal or romantic.
I posed something to him once – that he didn’t want to meet his person (or a very serious contender) until he was one or two positions away from his dream job. I just had these vibes from him. He did not disagree.
My theory was confirmed when he stopped talking to me a month later (I hope that was the reason….) and that I heard this several times on the podcasts I have been listening to. It made so much sense. Comparing it to women, we are so much more likely to drop our lives, leave our jobs, and move across the country for a possible life partner.
Guys have to have every single fucking duck in a row before they even go into a date with that mindset. This isn’t just because men are trash. This mindset is greatly influenced by our toxic-patriarchal society, which has taught men to be breadwinners for their household.
So that means, if you meet a guy on a dating app and when you’re out you learn that he has just not started at a law firm after law school and really wants to make partner – he’s going to want to have sex that night, maybe for a few weeks, or months, but he is not sitting down for that date with any possibility in their mind that this will go somewhere real. It has nothing to do with you. He’s just not in that mindset.
My advice: I guess ladies, if you’re looking for something real and/or marriage, then only date guys who are completely satisfied with their career, maybe they have climbed the ladders and have achieved their dream job or their dream job didn’t require ladders. Or a guy is almost there, can see the path ahead, and feels very confident in his career.
Finally - just because a guy is not into me, doesn’t say anything about me.
Lots of guys have gotten my number and never used it. I have had dates and/or sex with a lot of guys and never heard from them again. I’ve been ghosted probably a dozen times. It always stung. It’s hard not to take it personal. BUT I PROMISE YOU THAT IT IS NOT PERSONAL. It has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with you.
Jared Fried, comedian and co-host of the U UP? podcast, has a couple of lines that he repeats, which I absolutely love. The first, “nine out of ten people you meet are not the one. And that one, ends in divorce 50% of the time”.
The other one, is a bit more uplifting: “Anyone who gets dumbed is a worthwhile person. There’s a butt for every seat.”
So, if you’re feeling lonely, you’re not alone. But keep hope. There is someone for you. I promise.