So, about this odd 'dating' custom that you Earthlings have...

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13,
Probably too young to have figured it out.

17, 19, 23, 29, 31,
Not necessarily old enough to have figured it out, but might have

37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59,
> old enough to have figured it out, but < of academic interest.

61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101
Generally of academic interest.

Are we in there?

You could try: “we should go see a movie sometime”.

Stranger:

I have nothing but admiration for you. You are one of the reasons I signed up here.

But - you don’t talk like you post do you? I mean, you’re fantastically erudite, but in conversation that style might seem a little stilted and daunting. I’m sure you don’t, but, just in case, have you thought of getting blind drunk in a bar, lying spreadeagled over a table, shouting ‘come on, you bitches, take me, I’m yours’?

Just a thought.

The next Dopefest is looking fun.

Odd thought: Do you act stranger than usual when riding a train, or are you the person I haven’t met on a train?

If your conversation is at all like your posts, I would be intimidated and probably be afraid of mis-speaking in your company, so would decline the offer of a date.

If you’re in the ATL area I’d love to go on a “practice date” with you.

Been there. I don’t do the asking out thing. It takes a clear path that something is going to happen for me to go over the path and seal the deal. Once there’s a “yes”, everything’s gravy, but that initial path is always in my way.

Shit happens. Hell, I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend that I live with and she’s great in all kinds of ways, and she even understands my interesting cadre of online friends (you guys) so she’s not all that bad, right? Don’t stress it. Shit happens, so just make sure that you’re in enough situations for shit to happen to you.

Say Hi to your girlfriend for us. She sounds cool. Ms. Attack also sometimes comments on my “imaginary friends”.

I shall. Queen Tonya calls her The Ever Patient Tracy because she has to put up with me.

The thing that makes Sherlock Holmes look so brilliant is that he explains his methods only to Watson, and then, only briefly, so that when he is wrong, he can say, “Oh, that’s because it is the second Tuesday of March, and the Moon is waxing gibbous.” But yes, you’ve made a correct assessment of the general range.

Actually I talk in a halting, punctuated style only poorly imitated by Christopher Walken. Seriously, I do try to dial back my proclivity toward exotic and convoluted vernacular, especially when talking to people I don’t know, or talking to people I know who don’t enjoy verbal wordplay, but I never considered it to be all that intimidating, just sort of odd and offputting, kind of like walking into the middle of a David Mamet play and wondering why the characters are speaking as if they have red-hot pokers in their rectums.

At any rate, I enjoy no more success with women that I have gotten to know through repeated contact than those who I’ve just met. I’ve gotten the phrase, “You’re a nice guy, but…” so often that I’ve considered trademarking it to prevent future use. (This one particularly grates because my conception of a “nice guy” is a weak-willed passive-aggressive doormat, which I hope is not what others think of me and certainly isn’t the way I view myself based upon how friends and coworkers interact with me.) I’ve done the speed-dating thing, I’ve joined clubs and taken extension classes, I’ve tried meeting women through mutual friends, I’ve done the on-line dating thing several times (and am doing that now, albeit with no success after several hundred “connections”), and I’ve read everything I can find from The Unofficial Guide To Dating Again to the “seduction community” literature that reads like a mid-level marketing pitch to the pathetically desperate. (“By appealing to a WOMAN’S NEED to be VALIDATED, you can PENETRATE her bitch shield and MAKE CONTACT with her UNCONSCIOUS DESIRE.”)

And I’ve been stood up more times than a toy soldier, to the point that now when I make a date I also check to see that there is something else to do in the vicinity (movie theater, bookstore, interesting restaurant, et cetera) so at least if the woman is a no-show I don’t go home without having done something productive. I don’t really understand the mentality that leads to this, rather than at least picking up the phone or sending an e-mail offering up some transparent excuse as a proxy for just saying, “I’m not interested.” I had an invitation to hang out Friday with some friends and listen to live music; instead, I spent more than half an hour at a restaurant waiting awkwardly as far away from the hostess station as the layout permitted, and then suffered her irritated look and disgusted exhalation when I cancelled the patio table they’d been holding. (And as a former waitron, I feel bad that someone just got gypped out of a $20+ dollar tip because a table in their section sat empty during prime dining hours, and I’m the shitbag responsible.)

I don’t think my expectations are unreasonable, but given that reasonable measures don’t produce acceptable results, I’m either excessively optimistic in my expectations or just fundamentally incompetent at this type of interaction.

Stranger

I should be getting ready for work, but I wanted to quickly reply to this. You’re, unfortunately, meeting rude people. I don’t think you should take it personally. Your communication style will be appreciated by the right person. I happen to like it, and I’m pretty particular!

I do not think you should draw the conclusion that you’re fundamentally incompetent at this type of interaction, particularly because you are taking all the right steps to ensure success. I honestly think it’s as fundamental as interacting with a-holes, unfortunately. People are generally inconsiderate and disappointing in the dating world, and I’m afraid women are no exception.

Have you *ever *had a successful relationship?

Now that I’ve blown dry my hair, I’d also like to add that of course I don’t think that *all * single men and women are inconsiderate and disappointing. But my experiences have led me to conclude that a fair number of people are. I’ve been disregarded many times over the course of my dating life and I happen to thnk that I too am, as earlier described, “eminently fuckable”.

It’s that group of people that I expect are *not *insolent a-holes that I have not yet encountered that allow me to retain hope. Perhaps I’m too optimistic and I’ll be disappointed in the end, too.

But at least in the meantime I’ve got that thing with feathers to hold on to.

It’s either how you act or how you look. So what’s the deal with the latter? Could that be it?

Where do you live? This can be a surprisingly significant factor in the dating scene. If you’re living in rural North Carolina with your vocabulary, I can see where some of the trouble may arise.

I’d love to make this my sig.

Mark you well about the jazz records. The blessèd things ruined me and many a better man.

[femaleScotty] Cap’n, the Bitch Shields are falling! we canna take another direct hit from his Seduction Torpedos![/female Scotty]

Definitely. We both love musicals, and there are a few performances coming up that I think he and I would like. I planned to ask him this week if he’d like to go see them.

**Stanger **lad,

While I can’t help you in your original quandary, being a guy, and married and all, let me just say that it would nevertheless be a pleasure for me to take you to my range and afterwards stand you to a pint should you ever traipse through Canada’s cowtown. Hang in there.

hmm, how about meeting ladies at NRA events & courses?

A successful romantic relationship? I was married for three years (and together for about four before that) in a mutually unhappy union, and I dated another woman for about a year back in 2001 until she admitted that she just wasn’t that attracted to me. Aside from that and some date-for-term-paper-or-tutoring and an abortive relationship with a Japanese exchange student in high school, no. I’ve had and continue to have several successful platonic relationships with women, so it isn’t as if I’m a misogynistic asshole or anything. (One friend volunteered once that my “feminist credentials are well established,” so I assume that this is conveyed.) Basically, I’m well set to be a gay man, except for an aversion to the whole having sex with men thing.

I basically look like your generic cop/fireman paleface, to the point I’m sometimes mistaken for an out-of-uniform peace officer. I do have a tendency to fade into the background, but I don’t think I’m hard to look at. I could stand to drop about 15 lbs and put on some muscle tone, and if I were inclined I could wear more fashionable clothing, but that doesn’t seem to prevent many men in vastly less appealing appearance and manner than myself from engaging in fruitful conduct with the fairer species.

Basically, I know that I’m doing something horribly wrong, to the point that I don’t even really have the opportunity to make an ass of myself or reveal any ugly backhistory before I’m rejected or outright ignored. My friends who observe my behavior and interactions don’t seem to be able to discern why I have so much difficulty in this. I’m at a loss as to what to do differently, or how to even begin changing whatever it is about myself that is so offputting.

Stranger

Stranger, if you’re passing through Vancouver, I’ll take you out for a beer.