9.25.2004

Let's Play 'Ask me on a Date' Chicken

No. Really, can we not? But you've already challenged me, so now I have to play. I won't lose --I won't ask you out.

I hate dating mormons. In my experience they are either way too pushy or too passive, more often the latter. Not all mor-men fit into these categories of course, but enough that they are the only kind I've dated. The pushy ones are desperate to marry so they start talking about marriage after dating for one month. The passive ones understand that they have the upper hand so they sit back and wait for the perfect woman to come to them. These guys go to the dreadful dances and don't ask the women to dance. Women do most of the asking. Then they also ask the men out on dates. The guys grow to expect women to chase them. [This is a pattern I've noticed and heard repeated by others. I don't know that it's universally true.] I think because, for a lot of these women, if they don't chase down a man, their lives will be an empty waste. They were raised to believe that their sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother.

Well, you gotta get a man before you can serve that purpose. And if you don't chase the men, plenty of other Mor-women will. Women out number the men so you better catch one quick! We have more at stake in this dating game because this culture defines a woman's identity by her family. And we also have less time, only so many fertile years and if you get too old to be attractive then you need to start your cat colony. Mor-men can take their time if they so choose, and get married in their 30s to some sweet young thing in her 20s (she has to be young enough to bear lots of babies!) It makes for a bad dynamic when the single mormons get older: late 20s and up. It makes me sick. So I refuse to chase the lazy ones. If a man doesn't have enough interest in me to at least risk asking me out, then he's not worth my time.

I'm currently pissed off about this for a reason. I have a dear friend I grew up with. We're the same age and we're both single. He plays the field with the younger ladies. And he complains to me about their silliness. For example, the 21 year old made him a collage; yes, she made a collage out of photos and gave it to a 28 year old man. But she drives him mad insisting she just wants to have fun, nothing serious. Oh, but she had a fit when he didn't call her for two days! And he loves it, every stinking bit of it. I hope I can go to my grave knowing I never made a collage for a man I dated.

I still love my friend anyway. He's not the reason for this post. Last week I had to call him so he could translate a Mor-man email for me. I couldn't tell what this guy wanted. He said pleasant things about meeting me and sounded positive. But he wrote, "Hopefully our paths will cross again soon." ....??? What does that mean? Sounds like a blow-off to me, another way to say 'maybe I'll see you around sometime. Don't call.' But then he ended with, "Next time you're planning something adventurous, let me know, I'm there!" --What? He didn't give me his number, he didn't suggest a time, and that kind of vagueness translates to "no thank you ma'am, I don't want to see you again."

However, my buddy said the dude was definitely interested in me and wanted me to ask him out. Excuse me? He said he uses the same M.O. and it's typical. If he likes a girl at church he'll give her his number then tell her to call if she wants to hang out. To which I said, "That wouldn't work on me, I wouldn't call you." He replied, 'That's ok, plenty of women would.' Then he laughed.

Whatever. I'm annoyed. But, since I didn't give this guy any signals when we went out, he had no idea I was interested. His passiveness I could excuse the first time. So, I emailed him back and bluntly listed a few acceptable 'adventurous' city activities. Then I said my schedule was fairly open and gave him my phone number. On retrospect, the 'open schedule' comment was a mistake, he could have read it as, "I have nothing to do because I'm a desperate loser so please call me!" Maybe I just don't care about putting up a front because I took it for granted that he could tell I'm not a desperate loser. Anyway, he was supposed to take the bait, not start a freaking game of email dating chicken. Wasn't it humiliating enough that I offered myself up on a platter like that? Apparently not.

Oh, yeah! [insert Duffman pelvic thrust with that.] Coy boy served it right back to me in his reply. This time he wrote, "If/when we hang out next we should"...something facetious that made me laugh. But that's all he said about that. He challenged me again to ask him out, though just barely, almost tauntingly. It sounds like the words of someone who thinks he has me. I see how my email could have come across that way, but his first email asked me to ask him out. I merely replied to his request by telling him he could ask me out instead.
I should let it go. I should not email him, but now I want to win. It's not about getting a date anymore, it's about victory. He will ask me out. *

*Unless he 's waiting for me to chase him first, then he can wait for someone else. That won't take long. Anyone giving away some kittens?

Next Post: The Desert, There and Back Again

Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetic exploits of me not having sex in the city.

26 comments:

dJake said...

Check this out... it's a chess game and he's playing defensively. Fine, you play defensively and wait him out. Patience will always make the "opponent" make their move first. Just a thought

SK said...

Rather amusing because as different as our perspectives are, it's still the same. Men are tools. I don't play games. If he's playing games before a date - what is to be expected down the road????

Are you committed to marrying a Morman man or none at all?

I'd end up being a single catwoman. A friend's cat had kittens a few weeks ago, I can hook you up! (My blog will probably offend the hell out of you - but wanted to let you know that you're not alone!)

Aimee "Roo" said...

We used to call girls like that "Cookie Bakers".

Yes, you have to let the guy know that you have interest, and encourage him. But, I don't think any woman needs to ask out a guy unless she really wants to.

Anonymous said...

Please see: http://www.ldsmag.com/singlethought/040923advice.html
specifically 'DFD'

Stephen said...

Sheesh, reminds me of complaints about "the boys of BYU" I listened to when sharing a ride up to Washington once.

Though, in my own defense, I used to ask a lot of people to dance at young adult dances.

This whole post reminded me of an experience I had in law school. There was a club of all the unmarried guys in the law school at BYU. We ended up being set up with a number of groups. For the most part we were glad to have the speakers, not terribly interested in the young girls (as one guy said, "if I wanted something brainless and cute I could just date a poodle.").

Then a stake president got our group set up with a collection of "old maids" -- and was pretty congratulatory with himself about how he had put one over on us. Surprise on him, a number of the guys finally found women they were interested in and started dating the people they met seriously.

Lots of bad levels to the story (I mean, who would "put one over" on a group of guys in a way that would result in the women involved being cheapened and rejected), but the interesting part was just how responsive most of the guys were to meeting real women. It is hard to find them. Or was when I was looking.

You are right that there are a number of guys who have aged out of the normal range who find themselves outnumbered and who enjoy being chased. Kind of like walruses at the beach or something. But there are also real guys.

Hope you find one.

JL said...

Anonymous,
I heard about that DFD garbage. I don't know what the complaint with this purported phenomenon is supposed to be. Nor do I much care about the sermonizing of someone regarding what she thinks our dating habits should be.

But see, the thing is that I've mostly dated non-mormons and they don't act this way. At church I'm told that my education is intimidating to men and that I'm too independent. In the real world I have lots of real men hitting on me right and left. That's why I find this behavior so annoying.

I know there are real men out there amongst the LDS. I haven't given enough energy to looking because I thought other things were more important, which is my fault I accept that responsibility. Now that I'm looking around I realize a lot of good ones are married and the good ones that aren't are too busy to be out looking because they are also doing whatever it is they're doing with their lives.

Anonymous said...

I want to hear a little more about this philosophy of refusing to ask the guy out. I'm one of those guys who is probably both too pushy and too passive, depending on the month, and I want to hear your side of this, JL. Yeah, if there are guys who don't bother to ask women out because they figure the women will always ask them out, that is utterly lame. But does it have to be all one way or the other? What is wrong with mutuality on that score? I don't want to leave anyone guessing whether I'm interested when I am, but neither do I want her to feel like she has to wait for me to make all the moves. That seems like it would be an uncomfortable position for the kind of woman with a mind, will, and heart of her own that I am interested in. I don't plan to call all the shots when I'm married; nor do I think my wife's role will just be to either say yes or no to my suggestions. I expect it to be a very mutual relationship, where her ideas matter just as much as mine do. If I'm looking for the kind of woman I can have that relationship with, isn't it weird for us to follow a dating model where I'm the one who takes all the initiative? Another angle -- I want to know that she takes a positive interest in the relationship; I don't want to be with someone who is just willing to let me lavish attention on her, someone who is going to let it be my job to make the relationship work, to identify and solve all the problems because princess can't be bothered. I've been there more than once, and it's not for me.

So with this guy, I think you *should* make him ask you out first, because it sounds like he's being too wishy-washy, but do you really think you shouldn't take the initiative sometimes yourself?

I know the asymmetry of the older Mormon dating scene puts a special twist on the situation, but how much do you want to let that distort the relationship between the two of you?

JL said...

I appreciate your thoughts anonymous #2, and yes that sounds like a good way to go about things where there is a mutuality in everything. I agree. I have asked men out and I don't think there is anything wrong with women asking men out. What bothers me is the expectation of it by the really ego-centric mormon guys.

This dude wasn't like that, he seemed nice. So I don't understand what the deal is. But, I do have a problem with an overly passive man. I find it a turn-off, probably the same way you'd find it a turn off to be with a woman who made you make all the decisions. An intiative-taking man is just sexy. It's some kind of genetic programming and that's why I think the jerks get so many girls. Assertiveness is an attractive feature in a man. Some women prefer to always be in charge and that's fine. Some men prefer to always be in charge and that's fine as long as they aren't with me. The blind date guy was feeling out my interest in him in the first email. Which is totally reasonable and I understand. (My annoyance at it was due to my resentment that has built up over the years and had nothing to do with him.) That's why I wrote back expressing my interest in doing something with him. I just didn't take the step of asking him out, I left that for him. But then he didn't do it. That leads me to the conclusion that he's not very interested or he wants a very aggressive woman. I'm not aggressive romantically so that wouldn't work. I do enjoy a challenge from time to time though. Those are my thoughts. I'm going to join a gym this week, I think I'm getting too frustrated and the little things bother me more than they should.

*I'm also pretty sure blind date guy has read my blog by now and I expect this game is over.

JL said...

Nota Bene: When I say I'm not aggressive romantically, that's a euphamism for shyness. Because of my lingering adolescent issues I tend to always assume the guy isn't interested until he expresses it explicitly. So, in the beginnings of a relationship I need the man to take more initiative than I do. But once the relationship develops and I feel comfortable with him that need goes away. Then I actually like to be the aggressor once in awhile. But only after I feel confident of his affections.

It sounds like if you and I were to date it wouldn't go very far because you'd be looking for immediate mutuality in initiave which you wouldn't get from me at first. Even though it sounds like I am the type of woman you are looking for. Isn't that unfortunate? Maybe the real problem with mormon dating is people are immideately testing the other person as a potential spouse, when in the beginning we should be more open to the possibility of the other person. I do know a lot of guys won't ask a girl out if they think some aspect of her personality precludes her from his ideal of a wife. Wouldn't it be better if not assume we know what we need before we find it? Because you can't know how compatible you are with a person until you've spent time with him/her. I do know that I need a man to pull me out of my shell in the beginning. I've gotten A LOT better with that but he has to give me at least one gesture of interest in the beginning, such as asking me out when I tell him I would like to go out with him. I'm looking for a strong man who can take me on and not let me push him around which will happen if he's too passive. (I realize that's a hypocritical thing to say after my previous remark about assuming we know what we need. But I'm human too.)

Like yourself, I don't want to randomly ask people out without knowing they have some interest. Most guys will go out with any girl who asks as long as she is cute enough. I don't want to subject myself to that by asking out every guy who comes my way. Then I'd just be something to do. Now I'm rambling to distract myself from the horror suffocating me. I want to crawl under a shell and disappear forever. Damn.

Ann said...

Re: your comment about wanting a strong guy who won't let you push him around because that's what you'll do if you can get away with it. I said that very same thing. And then ended up marrying a guy who will always do anything I ask. The first time I asked him to do something unreasonable (it wasn't, but he misunderstood me, and started doing what he thought I had asked) and I realized that this man would do whatever I told him to, I realized I would have to be very careful of what I asked him to do. I am a better person because, since he WOULD let me push him around, and I love him...I don't.

JL said...

As I wrote that I realized it violated my own belief, that we should give everyone a chance because we don't really know what's good for us. And your story is a good example of that very truth. I could see that happening to me too.

Anonymous said...

Chess and cards don't get interesting until someone makes an unusual sacrifice play (queen for a pawn) or says "all in." I used to deliberately play chess in a somewhat random style to throw the opponent off or to create a bunch of weak spaces in a particular part of their side of the board (by undermining their pawn structure). Often it worked and I won the game. The person on the other side of the board would be freaking out because I had flagrantly broken some of the seemingly obvious cardinal rules of the game (and dusted them off in the process too!).

These guys are obviously taking advantage of the supply-and-demand thing. There's more women than men so they're expecting women to do all the work -- ask them out, pay for dinner, bake cookies, whatever. They probably brag in the locker room or wherever about how they get women to do everything for them.

Maybe there's some way to shake them out of their complacency. Let them think you're playing their game. Then shock them by taking it to a level that they wouldn't have imagined. I don't know what this would mean exactly but if you played it right I'm sure it could be very amusing.

Then again, maybe they're just a waste of time. I dunno. I just think that if you're going to be angry about something maybe there's something you can do about it -- and have a good laugh at the same time.

Danithew
http://www.wump.info/wumpblog

Stephen said...

I tried to send you an e-mail saying "it isn't so bad" etc. and it bounced.

Just to let you know people are thinking of you and hoping you are going to be ok.

JL said...

Hmm, I just checked my blog email and it's 80% empty. Don't know why it bounced. Thanks anyway though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey JL, thanks for replying (this is Anonymous #2). BTW, I don't think anything you said about this guy was all that awful. Nothing a guy who goes on a blind date shouldn't be prepared that someone might think about him! It was fairly evident that a lot of your frustration wasn't his fault anyway, but directed at bad trends in Mormon dating culture in general, and your friend with the 21-yr-old dates.

I know what you mean about needing to know the guy is interested, showing you clear signs, before you take a risk. I don't stop asking a woman out just because she hasn't asked me out. For a lot of Mormon women that sort of mutuality wouldn't be comfortable until a relationship was getting kind of established. I really appreciate it tho if she volunteers some interest, even just saying "Give me a call". Or maybe coming over to talk to me at church, rather than waiting for me to find her always. What a fun feeling that is! Of course, I rarely slow down long enough to give someone a chance to do that!

If it was me writing that email to you that sounded like playing chicken, it would be because I'm busy, haven't identified the exact time and plan, and don't want to make a promise I'm not sure I can fulfill. Like once I went to lunch with somebody really great, said "Hey I'd like to see you again before you leave town" (she was going away for a few weeks), but then didn't manage to call her again in time. I am usually a bit overcommitted in work and play both. I hate letting somebody down like that.

JL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Caiti said...

JL,

(I tried to post this on your latest entry, but the comments don't seem to be working there.)

Hope you're feeling better. It was probably a shock for Blind Date Guy to read about himself, but I agree with Anonymous #2; you didn't say anything awful about him.

You've got many people pulling for you.

JL said...

not blind date guy. I was prepared for that from the beginning. I turned the comments off because I didn't want people speculating about it. But thank you, I appreciate that.

Stephen said...

Hey,

I've run across worse, this isn't anywhere near enough to kill a good thing.

Bless your heart, I remember asking you about this possibility and
concluding when you wrote back that you could be philosophical about it
and weather things.

For what it is worth, they caught the two guys who burglarized our
house, we should get at least two pots and a fry pan back ... One of the
guys even decided to resist arrest (and yes, they caught them while they
were breaking into another house with a stolen car to haul the loot away).

Really, it isn't as bad as it feels.

Stephen

Stephen said...

This may mean the death of this blog. But then I wouldn't even have my pretend friends and then where would I be? I don't know. But I can't eat or sleep. I want to take it all back and make different decisions. But I can't. I just pray that I didn't matter much to him so that this was nothing more than a mere annoyance. That would be the best thing. I guess this shouldn't matter so much to me, everyone says just forget it, but I can't. And it does matter. A whole hell of a lot.Hey, I posted the e-mail I treid to send you, that bounced.

Man o man, if you aren't posting about the blind date, then nothing you've posted here should ruffle anyone living in Dallas, none-the-less New York.

Darn, wish I could just have you talk to my wife for a while.

Be patient with yourself, lovingly.

JL said...

Thank you everyone!
Lots of Love,
JL

Kim Siever said...

Very funny, JL. This post really made my day.

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