Three years ago I wrote about a feature in the Boston Globe’s Sunday magazine called Dinner with Cupid. It’s a weekly feature – people apply to get set up on a blind date with someone who seems like a good match, and then debrief separately with the paper, issuing a letter grade and stating whether they’d like to go out again. Once in a while the couple gets on really well, they give each other an A, and say they’ve already got a second date planned. I love it when that happens. Most weeks, though, it doesn’t work out too well. Whattya gonna do? That’s life.
What surprises me, though, is the frequent rude, demeaning and dismissive criticism leveled by one party toward the other. It’s rare that both parties call the date a dud – much more common is the A vs. C- Post-Mortem. Who doles out the C-’s? You guessed it – it’s almost always the woman. To be fair, there have been some real jerks among the guys – one guy said, “The minute I saw her across the room I knew this was a no go. She is the opposite of my type.” Rude, right? It sticks out in my memory, because he was one of the few men to behave with so little empathy.
In contrast, the women often imply that the Boston Globe matched them up with someone well beneath them in SMV, and they voice their displeasure at being misled and having their time wasted. This drives me crazy, and Mr. HUS, who usually gets to the paper before I do on Sunday mornings, often warns me with a “You’re not going to be too happy with Dinner With Cupid today.”
Let’s take yesterday’s column as a case in point. Right away, it’s clear there is a mismatch:
For starters, she’s 29 and he’s 25. Re SMV, the haircut is killing him – that and the suit make him look geeked out. In contrast, she’s submitted a photo that suggests she’s down for anything. In fact, they’re both sky divers, which appears to be the basis for the match in the first place. In any case, let’s assume that despite their mutual love of dopamine chasing, they’re not a match. Fine. Compare and contrast how they describe the date to the Globe reporter:
My roommate and I went to a bar and I had a drink. It didn’t help.
I arrived at 8; he was already [seated] . . . right then and there I assumed he was going to be a stick- in-the-mud.
I was a little anxious, but excited to see where things might go.
Before she sat down, she had already asked me her first question, and it just continued from there.
He looked way too young. He also was dressed like he was going to go to an interview. I immediately asked him what he does for work, because I wasn’t even sure if he was old enough to work.
(Note from SW: The restaurant is fancy and expensive.)
We talked about everything from travel, to parents, to work, and even Groupon.
He did not seem to be the adventurous type. He did seem to talk about his mom a lot…He was like a baby to me, in regard to dating, and I felt like I had to protect him and make sure he didn’t know too much about who I really am, because he might be scared of women forever.
I just felt so bad for him, in a sad-puppy way, and I figured I’d make his night and give him a hug and go our separate ways.
There was enough interest on my part. I was interested to see where things may go.
This would never work for me. I’m not attracted to guys who are almost 10 years younger than me or who look like my dorky brother. He’s just a sweet boy and he seems like he has a good heart. He has potential, I think, for the right girl, maybe someone more his age and like him in that sweet, sweet way that I just don’t possess anymore due to my experience with men.
Can you spot all the bitch moves by Meg? I exclaimed “Bitch!” ten times while reading the story.
There’s a wackness in the world of dating. I don’t even know who to blame for the behavior of women like this, and I don’t care. If this were my daughter, I would practically die of shame, and then I would say the following to her:
“No one is demanding that you settle for someone you don’t find attractive. You applied to Dinner With Cupid, and you gave them the right to choose a date for you. The worst case scenario was that you would spend two hours having dinner with someone who was boring or unkind. That did not happen.
You had dinner with an interesting, good guy who didn’t make you tingle. Get over yourself. You are self-centered and mean. You have no empathy if you can say such unkind things knowing they’ll be published and will surely embarrass him. You are a spoiled, entitled brat and I am ashamed of you.
You are not worthy of commitment. At the rate you are going, you will spend your 30s and 40s chasing bad men and you will deserve whatever they dish out.
This young man dodged a bullet.”
The bad news is that women like Meg give all of us a bad name and a bad reputation.
The good news is that if you can distinguish yourself from women like her by valuing the worth in others and asking yourself what you have to give, you will stand out as extraordinary by comparison.