Friday, January 28, 2005

Virtual romance

More than 31,600,000 results on google for the word "dating". I personnally never heard of this "activity" outside the U.S. God knows how interested I am in other "cultures" but it seems to me it's a unique phenomenon over here. In my great effort of integration in this great America, I tried to learn more. I bothered my friends for hours with the most astonishing questions, I called on the phone, chatted sleepless nights, talked to my Teddy-Bear, I still DO NOT UNDERSTAND a single element of that.

"These things require swallowing pride for the sake of understanding "

I thought I was smart. I thought human nature was my lifetime study subject. But I give up. I'm deeply hurt. Maybe I invested too much of myself in futile things but that's -hélas!- the way I am.

Ok, Mister Jeff Cohen ( says he's an expert in dating. Jeff -I can call him by his first name: I'm trusting him in very intimate things!). So Jeff says: "According to Liz, “if you’re spending a lot of time making excuses for your man or thinking about your man, or obsessing, it’s very likely that he’s just not that into you.” So, ladies: stop thinking about your men, they don't like you anyway!

Throw away Sex and the City, I'm talking to you about real life! And here, it visibly means shy first steps (even second steps are shy), smiles and "hi's!" and a lot of "what are you up to?". Then comes the very delicate exchange of phone numbers and the set (ing) up of the first "date". Rules: don't dress up, don't show too much interest, don't do anything scandalous, don't expect a quick follow-up, don't....wait a minute. So what can we do then? Jeff has -of course- the answer: balance talking and listening, drink responsibly and compliment, but don't over do it. These are definitely tips for a happy american life. Let me tell you, dear Jeff: in my case, it FAILED. I'm sure I can find some other people for whom your advice wasn't that useful.

"To him, it's just dating, little emotion, little investment"
Roya Aziz

I'm not even thinking about the big issues: living together, cheating, commitment, etc. I'm just curious about how to maintain alive a "date" with rare phone calls and few demonstrations of interest. Lubna says it's "only for the first month". It's mysterious to me how this "first month rule" appeared, where is it written and by what magical process the date becomes a "boyfriend". I have a thousand of other questions but I think these two are the main ones.

I'm desperate about finding the answers. For the moment, my Valentine's day doesn't seem very exciting. I'm sure it would be good to offer people classes about "become the guy women crave", or "how to talk to a woman" or even "Make the first move". Anyway, it can't be worse.


Lubna said...

Well, my dear, as flattered as I am that you actually think me credible enough a source to quote me, but I'm sorry to tell you there really are no rules.

The only rule is to treat things situationally, case-by-case. With people's individualities come all kinds of background, assumptions, and behaviors that can only be understood with all sorts of difficult communication and patience. You have to become intimately acquainted with these issues before you can feel a sense of intimacy with the person. That's the only way you can know how to act.

The only other thing to know is the typical things most people fear or enjoy. With your intuition and insight into human nature, I am sure you'll catch on very quickly to the nuances of this new culture.

It confuses everyone. I'm beginning to wonder how ANYBODY has success dating or, gasp, with marriage, in this country. Good luck to us all.

MarcusW said...

Well, I'm not sure how much insight I can offer. I've been in a relationship for so long I almost forget what it's like to be single. My advice: Meet in a dark alley in Boston. Ten years later, voila! You're married.

Seriously, from my experience, I do believe first impressions mean a lot. Much like looking for a new apartment, you can weigh the pros and cons all you want, but you know whether you like it as soon as you walk in the door. Kim and I clicked right away, and we kept clicking.

My only other advice: Men are scum. All of us. Don't kid yourself.

jiji said...

Je n'ai jamais été aussi d'accord avec toi!!si manque de démonstration d'interet, pkoi continuer??a quoi bon??comment peut on esperer que ca evolue si au debut, qui est cense etre le plus "hot" moment, on ne sent pas qu on est derriere nous???!!!decidement, je crois k on n est pas fait pour s entendre avec les me demande des fois ce qu ils ont dans la tete!!