In case we needed any further proof that dating is dead, I was asked out on a non-date BY A DATING GURU. Like seriously, a dating guru. I won’t reveal his identity because I don’t need the bad karma, but for real: this guy writes a dating column in a major NY publication, runs a private practice advising women on their love lives, and is writing a book about how to get guys to date you. And he just asked me on a Non-Date… But let me start at the beginning.
It was a typical NYC evening and I found myself at a book party full of publishing and media types. Over white wine and soft cheese, I was introduced to a tall, handsome man. “You’re both writing books on dating!” our mutual friend exclaimed and then moved on to mingle elsewhere in the crowd.
“What is your book about?” Mr. Dating Guru asked me, sidling in for greater intimacy. (This guy wants in on my dah, I thought to myself, but I’m going to keep it professional and see where it goes.)
“Our book is called Dating & Hookup” I answered, “and it’s all about how dating is dead. I mean, you MUST know how communication’s more complicated now and you find yourself in more ambiguous interactions than outright dates…”
I trailed off because he was looking at me blankly. He was seriously perplexed. Then his eyes lit up.
“Well!” said he, “in my private practice I give LOTS of advice to women who can’t get dates!”
I was taken aback. Two seconds ago this guy was flirting with me – did he seriously think I had trouble attracting men? I tried to spell it out for him. “I don’t need advice on how to get dates,” I said, “because no one’s really dating anymore, right? I mean, there are totally men in my life, but a girl is much more likely to hear something vague like – hey, let’s get together and talk about that thing – than she is to hear that a guy wants to take her out. Right?!”
I was met with an even more intense blank stare. I think he was trying to figure out what planet I was from. So I started mentally freaking out. Maybe I WAS from a weird, alternate, non-dating universe. Maybe I was in SERIOUS need of this guy’s love advice.
Then, as if on cue, my iPhone buzzed. dah Alert. My super-cute Aussie HSP who had been out of town on business had just texted me, “Where u at? Want to go to sheep station?”
“It’s on,” I texted back and then smiled apologetically at Mr. Dating Guru.
“Sorry I’ve got to run.” I said. “I have to get to a Play-Non-Date.” I grinned to myself as I left him puzzling that one out.
Then, in the cab on the way to Brooklyn, I got the following email from Mr. Dating Guru.
Subject: Hello from Mr. Dating Guru
It was good to meet you just now at the party – let’s definitely talk more about our dating woes, etc – could be fun. You can check out my column at my website. Looking forward to chatting soon.
I thought to myself: either he is dying to “talk about our dating woes” (what?) or he is using work as an excuse to keep in touch. I’m going to trust my instincts on the vibe here: he’s interested. The traditional move would be to ask me out, not send this ambiguous-pseudo-networking-non-date email. Ugh.
The bottom line: If this Dating Guru can’t be straight up with a girl when he is interested, then ladies, cling on to your nearest Ego Booster, because the dating apocalypse is NOW.
thanks ankakay for the photo!
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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