I started going to the gym after a girl rejected me. She was a lawyer in her late twenties. I don’t know what went wrong; maybe I came on too strong or wasn’t as established as she would have liked. Maybe we just weren’t compatible. Or, maybe it was because I was too scrawny.
Afterwards I felt angry and weak … I wanted to feel strong. I would show her — I’d become ripped and burly. I was frustrated with my physique and found it pathetic that there were so many men on television who were more than twice my age and in better shape than I ever have and probably ever will be, namely Matthew McConaughey. I was also annoyed with my family, who thought the idea of me working out was hilarious. So I joined a gym. The only problem was … I had no idea what the hell I was doing. To quote Louis C.K. “I’m just a guy wearing shorts.”
My gym is nestled in the heart of Chelsea. For the most part, it’s populated by ripped gay men and lonely, beautiful women. And then there’s me: thin, straight and desperately trying to whip into shape before I hit thirty.
Oh happy day! Finally a refreshing piece on why dating is so broken, from a MAN. A real man.
The conversation around the ills of modern dating seems to skew very feminine. It feels like women are the only ones brave enough to honestly question the current romantic climate. The result is the sad, desperate girl narrative, of which we’re all too aware. What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Am I just choosing the wrong men?
Finally, a man has spoken up! In his piece, “Is Your Boyfriend Muscle Out of Shape,” on NYMag’s The Cut, Jeff Wilser publicly questions his serial dating behavior. At 38, he finds himself repeating the same patterns and bad habits and wondering, “Is it me?”
Yessir. It is you! Thank you.
Even if we all texted exactly what we meant…it probably wouldn’t get us very far anyway. JUST PICK UP THE PHONE!
(NOTE: I use the term ‘date’ very, very, VERY loosely.)
Freshman year I went to a bar completely by myself where I flashed my shiny, new fake ID and was allowed entrance. I was wearing boot cut jeans (I know…), a sweatshirt I got at Pacsun in maybe 2010 that I am certain I still own, and a walking boot that I had to wear because I broke my foot from “dancing too much.”
I ordered a drink or eight but didn’t really talk to anyone, and before I knew it, it was bar close. Shit. I called a cab and waited outside the bar to be picked up. That’s when I met “Dan” who will be referred to as “Dan” to protect his identity and also because I don’t actually remember his name.
Dan was a music major who graduated college before I had graduated high school. He stood at around 5’6” (I’m 6’5” so you can already see the cracks in our really, really short-lived relationship) and looked kind of like Diplo, I think. We chatted for around 10 minutes before he invited me back to his humble abode, and of course I agreed because I’m gross.
Over the course of the ten minute walk (or in my case, hobble due to my walking boot) to his apartment I learned that he was unemployed and that he and his dad don’t really talk anymore. What I found inside of his apartment proved to be a lot more interesting.
Sarah and Sara weren’t in a fight. They were best friends and had ruthlessly stuck by each other since middle school, when there had been three other Sarah’s and two other Sara’s in their grade. So they would never fight now, let alone “over a guy.” They were not in a fight over Mark.
But they could disagree about who had the right to email Mark first after he and Bev broke up.
As it turned out, they had both emailed him that morning, shortly after learning about the breakup via mass text from Aaron, who always knew the gossip. Aaron had suggested that the friend group rally to support Mark, because Bev had, in fact, been sleeping with her good-looking Russian co-worker, whom she had nicknamed Sergei the Great while swearing he was gay. Mark’s ongoing jealousy of Sergei had seemed so mean-spirited that everyone had interpreted it as insecure paranoia. They had all, over the course of many months and in group emails as well as one-on-one, persuaded Mark to “tone it down” and “trust Bev.”
Now they all felt guilty and complicit in her deceit. As if the glint in her eye every time she said “Sergei the Great” hadn’t been a dead giveaway.
I asked my friend Tony, “Hey Tony. I know this is a big question, but what do guys really want? I know every man is different. But think broadly. What do guys want from a woman? For her to do or not do? You know?”
He said, “It really depends on the guy. And unfortunately, I’m so far off from most guys that I don’t know how well I can answer that.” And then, he asked me, “What do you want out of a boy? For him to do and not do?”
Here’s what I want.
I consider myself an honest person. Open to all perspectives and frames of mind. Rarely am I shocked, offended, or bothered by the opinions of others. Opinions help you to gain knowledge and perspective and insight into things and people and that’s a good thing.
I received an opinion this weekend from a man that was quite different from what I’m used to hearing. He told me “Darling, I love who you are; I love everything you stand for and I wish you the best, but I think you just might be one size too big for me.”
Makeup and the women who use it have had a long history of love and hate. Some women love experimenting with makeup and won’t leave the house without it; others hate it and would rather go barefaced as the day they were born. But what do men think about makeup, really? Do they like when we wear it? How much is too much? What do they think “natural makeup” is? I asked some men of varying ages to try to get some answers. Of course, every man is different. But if you’re curious about what men really think about makeup, this is for you.
“Do I like when women wear makeup? My gut response is no. I always tell my girlfriend she doesn’t need it and looks beautiful without it, which I really mean. That being said I did see the Mila Kunis picture without her wearing makeup and was blown away by how different she looked. I guess I’ve always underestimated the transformative powers of makeup.” — Nick, 26.
“Sure [I like when women wear makeup]. I’m a little old-fashioned. But that’s like asking, ‘Do you like it when women wear clothes?’ It’s all a question of what, and how much. It’s good when there’s a clear difference between everyday makeup and special occasion makeup. It’s a nice gesture to have a girl make for you, albeit not a hugely important one. That said, some girls can totally rock huge eyelashes and eyeshadow 24/7. I’d just avoid a full Dee Snider whenever possible. I feel like I’m failing a critical gender theory class just be answering these questions.” — Jesse, 29.
“Are you are tired of getting the ‘once over’ when you are walking down the street, on the job, or at the grocery store? Have you considered buying one of those t-shirts with ‘my eyes are up here’ plastered over the bust? If so, you are not alone.”
Sarah J. Gervais, Ph. D., and her colleagues recently conducted an experiment to study where a person’s gaze falls when presented with a picture of a woman. In other words, the team “scientifically examined ‘ogling.’” Using both men and women, test subjects were asked to evaluate either a woman’s appearance or personality based on a series of photographs. So what did they discover? Check out the results of the study over at Psychology Today.
Dating & Hookup: How to Find Love in the Post-Dating World by Jessica Donalds
“My ex girlfriend is coming into town for a few days. I didn’t know until yesterday, and she said that she has no one to stay with besides me.”
I looked at him. He wasn’t smiling. He didn’t flinch. He was serious. I’d been seeing Jack for about a month and he was going to let his ex girlfriend stay with him for the weekend.
“Jack, I think you should leave.” I was twenty years old and didn’t have the know-how to question him, so I decided to let him go.
A week passed before I heard from him again. I was actually surprised to hear from him at all. He told me that he and his ex had slept together (surprise, surprise) and that he felt horrible about it. He said he was thinking about me the entire time and, “just knew that it wasn’t right.” Like any 20 year old girl who is given the choice to either end things with a locally famous musician, or forgive him and hopefully move on, I took him back.
All was going smoothly until early one Saturday morning in 2005. Jack had spent the night at my place and we were happily cuddling, fully prepared to sleep in ridiculously late, when I heard a text message alert from my Motorola Razr phone. I peeled myself out of bed and walked over to the dresser. “Oh…my…god. Is this some kind of joke?”
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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