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Dating in NYC: Sorry stranger, I’m Not Meeting you for Breakfast

Egg Sandwich 5of7

Egg Sandwich 5of7 (Photo credit: Food Thinkers)

I have only been single for four years in New York but it seems like forty.  So far in my dating escapades I’ve been stood up, watched as my dates have had meltdowns, broken out into tears, ramble on about an ex, tell me they want to date one of my friends, insult me to my face and expect sex immediately.  I have had a few wonderful dates – only to never hear from the guys again for reasons I will never understand.  What can I say?  It’s been fun.

Lately the trend is a man who I have written about before on this blog – The Coward.  A coward will ask me out only to never actually make the date happen.  It run into cowards more often than actual dates now.  I would say for every date I actually go on, I get about 8-10 men who ask me out, but never follow through.  I tell them when I am free and the claim they are busy.  This goes back and forth a few times until I give up.  The newest ploy  is an invitation to a mid-week breakfast date.  I have gotten such an offer a few times, yet I have never taken such enticing bait.  A typical proposal goes like this,

Well I would love to see you but things are really bad at work for the next couple of weeks.  You seem awesome though, and I really love your pictures.  Do you really play the ukulele?  How about we meet for breakfast sometime next week.   That’s the best I can do.

Even if I had a normal 9-5 job.  It’s not as if New York City is a calm and tranquil place in the morning, and virtually no one has an easy commute.  So what would I have to do?  Get up at 5AM, get ready by 6AM to meet you some place at 7AM so I can rush get a cup of coffee and make it to my place of business by 8:00?  For that to work we would need to work pretty much in the same neighborhood, which is unlikely in a city with five boroughs and 8 million people.

Lets say I don’t have a 9-5 job.  So I am still going to have to get up at 5AM get ready.  Get on a crowded train to meet you near your workplace, where we fight to get a table, then rush to get a plate of eggs.  You go to work, and I go home.  Wow that sounds like fun!  I really don’t get enough time on a rush hour train from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Or maybe you work in Brooklyn, but in an area that is going to cause me to take the Q train into Manhattan then transfer to an L to then walk several blocks in Williamsburg to meet you for that same plate of eggs and make the trek home.

I seriously want to ask these men.  Has anyone ever done this before?  Has it ever occurred to you why most dates are in the evening and on the weekends?  Do you think your God’s gift to women that I will crawl on hot coals to share a brief time in your presence only to have you decide I live too far away, have a weird job, and I am just not worth the effort.  And lets not get BRUNCH confused with BREAKFAST.  You didn’t ask me for a leisurely weekend morning activity in the East village filled with Mimosas, Bloody Marys and vanilla bean french toast.  Brunch is a morning after a drunken night New York tradition!   You asked me to breakfast – a meal many restaurants don’t even serve because why should they?  No one but tourists goes out for breakfast, unless it is a local place in a residential area of the city, and there is a 90% chance you don’t work on an area with cute little bistros on every corner.  Maybe by breakfast you meant a latte in an impossibly packed Starbucks in midtown, the neighborhood where every Starbucks is ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLY PACKED!

The weekday breakfast date is telling me one thing – I am not worth the effort.  I get it, as we are just strangers and the likelihood that this is going to be some match made in heaven is slim.  So I understand not wanting to jeopardize your job for the sake of a bad date.  Something tells me though you are still finding time to go out drinking with your buddies, and occasionally hooking up with random women.  You keep an OKCupid profile up more to tell yourself that deep down you really are looking for something with more substance.  I get it.  But you are probably going to end up liking one of the random women you hook up with, and you obviously couldn’t care less about some online blonde.  So instead of insulting me with a “breakfast date” just get off of the site and stop wasting my time.  Breakfast is normally the awkward meal you might feel obligated to have AFTER a date, not before!

Dating Online: The Coward

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful...

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This particular problem is not relegated to any gender, sexual orientation or age group.  Cowards  in the dating world are sadly universal.  I would bet that even prehistoric men and women scratched their heads over this dating archetype.   What is a coward?

A person who asks someone out on a date, only to then:

  • Cancel last-minute
  • Stand-up a date
  • Constantly reschedule
  • Make themselves consistently unavailable
  • Claim they never made the date in the first place – Act as if it was somehow a misunderstanding

I want to emphasize the distinction here, a coward is the person who sets up the date in the first place, and then blows it off. That is a huge difference, because plenty of people might bail on a date for any number of reasons.  Life is complicated, misunderstandings are common and people really might need to cancel.  They may also not be that interested and bailing on a date is a passive aggressive way of saying as much.  However if a man or woman asks someone out on a date, the need to do everything in their power to follow through.  A coward sends the mixed signal of

I want to go out with you, only I DON’T actually want to go out with you.

I hear these stories all the time from both men and women.  It has happened to me more times than I can count, and I will admit that one gentlemen strung me along like this for months.  I didn’t quite have my post-divorce self-confidence back yet so for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I put up with it.

Over half the men that ask me out on online dating sites do this.  The scenario goes something like this:

  1. They send the first email asking me to go out.
  2. I respond saying I would love to go out with them.
  3. Then they either cancel at the last second, blow me off completely, or never get around to actually planning anything.

I used to give these types the benefit of the doubt, but now I don’t.  If they can’t get it together for one date, they probably aren’t going to get it together for much more.   I used to think it was due to my blog, so I stopped using my name in any correspondence online.  Multiple friends of both genders have said this exact scenario plays out with them repeatedly.  Why do people do this?  I am not sure why but it might be

  • Fear of Failure – They are worried they will be ultimately rejected so they avoid the date, thereby avoiding rejection.
  • Fear of Success – If your date does actually go well, then they might have to deal with some type of dating situation this freaks them out, so they self-sabotage.
  • Intimacy Issues – They would rather have some type of fantasy of you than actually deal with another human being.
  • Seeing someone else – It is all a game to them, you are merely a pawn for their ego.
  • Ego Boost – They asked a person out just to see if they would say yes, never intending to go out with them.
  • Living in a Virtual Reality – A person becomes so accustomed to relationships online social networking etc, that a real one is just too much for them to handle.

Faking out dates is almost rampant behavior nowadays.   It seems completely irrational as asking a person out on a date is a bold move, and makes a person quite vulnerable.  It is such a problem with online dating, I could almost bet half the guys who end up in my inbox will never follow through with an actual date.

Actions really do speak louder than words.  If a person is not making you a priority in their life, then they are letting you know that you are not really that important to them.  Asking you out, only to then flake is rude, inconsiderate and downright baffling behavior.  If someone really wants to see you, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  Don’t waste your time on a coward.