My SO once briefly participated in a Boston-area dating service called, disturbingly enough “Good Genes”. When she confided in me that she had used a dating service, my response was not charitable, I’m afraid. I considered online dating and its ilk to be the epitome of desperation, and I stated I’d rather go without than so lower myself. Boy, did I get an a-hole ripping for that.
The thing that convinced me (though it took a while) that dating services were not the undignified vices I originally thought was one simple concept: Time, or more appropriately, the lack thereof. As my SO pointed out, people are busy. It’s hard enough to meet people in the city, but add that difficulty to the time that is eaten by work, long commutes, chores, maintaining existing social ties, etc., and your typical professional woman in her late twenties or early thirties can completely slip through the dating cracks. My wife is a smart, attractive woman, and the fact she couldn’t meet any men she wanted to go out with, and didn’t have the time or the inclination to do the bar scene, left her, she felt, with few options.
In the end, though, she gave up on Good Genes. Why? Wasted time. Many of the guys she met interested her enough to give a possible relationship a go. The difficulty was pinning them down. It seemed to her many of them were just playing the field casually, juggling multiple potential dates through the service, and lacking focus. She was interested in starting a meaninful relationship. She felt all the guys were less focused on that than she, and, not surprisingly, relatively unresponsive. She’d go weeks without hearing from someone, and then suddenly get a call. All of the sudden she had multiple guys who would contact her, seemingly at random, when the the dry spells between calls lead her to conclude (wrongly) that they had written her off.
So she got sick of it. She started asking guys for more timely follow up. They, in turn, would accuse her of rushing or cramping their style. So, she ditched all of them. Even after we hooked up, she got a call from one of her old Good Genes contacts. She kept him on the phone for two hours (his long-distance tab, I might add) before ending with “Dinner? Where? Oh, well, sure! Can I bring my boyfriend? Yeah…well, we love Providence! Is Friday good? No? Oh, OK, well call me back when you find your Palm Pilot, because it sounds like a lot of fun. Yeah, you too! Talk to you soon!” I, being in the room for the whole thing, noted “that was, uh, kinda bitchy, don’t you think?” She replied “Well, that’s what he gets for wasting my time.”
The moral: Perhaps your friend is tired of beating around the bush, and if she’s desperate, she’s desperate for feedback so she can either A) Take it to the next level, or B) Move on to something else, as she could well have other prospects in mind, but is giving you the benefit of the doubt before ruling you out as a possibility. Her desperation may well come out of dealing with lots of other guys who she felt strung her along, or kept her on the back-burner while they perused the meat market. That’s what happened to my wife, and it irritated the hell out of her. The sad fact for at least a couple of those guys was, they really were most interested in her, and wanted pretty badly to keep dating. They just kept hedging their bets, and didn’t think they owed her regular contact just because there was no defined “relationship”. I’m guessing some ladies, while dating, don’t see it that way at all. They aren’t necesserily needy, just more focused than the average guy, it seems.