Dear Miss Kitty,
I must strongly suggest, as one of thousands of other decent looking, kind and good hearted males living in Santa Barbara, that Greg M. has spoken a simple truth about finding a nice date here. He is not trying hard enough, you say, or looking in the wrong places or perhaps ignoring some failings in himself rather than the majority of single women in our “American Riviera.”
It is high time to acknowledge that most women, wishing to think well of themselves, will rarely admit to money being paramount in selecting a date or mate in this town. A virtual tidal wave of decent men, of all ages, will attest to sharing Greg’s experience. He states he has made seventeen attempts to find just one decent female who will judge the content of his character over the weight of his wallet.
Best listen to a lot more men here before blaming Greg for lack of effort. Try harder? Seventeen dates in just four months? That sounds like an admirable college try to me! And I would wager, as a nice guy myself, that such a trial by fire cost him a bundle. The chivalrous (yet often foolish) old world practice of letting or expecting the guy to pick up the tab still rules in dating. Please, give Greg a break. Usually you show remarkable maturity and wisdom in your writing. Please think this over with care and compassion and all the best with a better considered column next time.
Thomas, Santa Barbara
I love that you wrote me and I soundly agree with some of your points. As you directed, I have dissected and digested both the lines and the in-betweens thoroughly, with compassion and care. After this exhaustive study, I still conclude that if there are so many truly nice guys (and girls) out there that can’t get past a second date that they owe it to themselves to take another look into the soul searching mirror for inward is where the answers will be, like it or not.
This is a noble effort Thomas, and if by some miracle this dating conundrum can be attacked in a different way – with the help of your insights – I will share the Noble peace prize with you. Well maybe not a NPP (which used to be meaningful) but coffee and pastry at Renaud’s, which in my book is as meaningful as it gets. So Boys and Girls; I stand my ground that there are plenty of amazing, wallet-blind people out there to date and date again and even again. If that is not happening for you, avoid the blame game and first check in with yourself to examine in-depth how you are going about the process. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy (either the dating process or the analysis of knowing thyself) – but what sort of worthwhile endeavor is?
It starts with perception of both the self and the relationship world as we think we know it. This has everything to do with how (and who) we hunt, how we act and how we tend to sabotage ourselves in the process. There are a zillion ways that we contaminate our innate ability to have successful dates – and those highly questionable ways are part of the reason so many relationships are ships waiting for an iceberg. How can that be? How can we be so confused and easily misguided when all we are looking for is each other in a interesting connection over pasta and reasonably good Chianti?
If you need a visual aid think of the ubiquitous Smiley Face – with a Hitler mustache. That doesn’t make sense (for most people) and it never makes sense to continue to do the same thing and expect a different outcome. That is why I maintain that there is something that you are doing – maybe consciously, maybe not – which is prohibiting the manifestation of (dare I say it) a great relationship in your life.
It’s an easy out to claim that Santa Barbara, or any town, is full of gold-digging dames or sex-mad men, but it just isn’t true. Sure there is the odd duck here and there but the majority of those participating in the wild west of dating tend to need and want a purposeful relationship, purposeful being defined as something that is fulfilling, teaching, and loving. Being in the unique position of working in a lingerie shop fitting bras day in and day out gives me a very unique perspective. Women are pretty forthright when half naked with a stranger in a fitting room and they tell me the same thing that the “Mr. Nice Guys” are saying. How do you meet a nice guy in this town? All the guys want is young, sexy, etc. Fill in the blank with whatever you want – and it is still just an excuse.
So how can it be that Mr. Nice Man is never running into Miss Nice Woman? Is there a conspiracy out there? This just may prove that aliens have visited our planet and are running a very amusing experiment at our expense – but other than that could it just be possible that MNM and MNW are just making the same mistakes over and over again? So how do you get to date number 2 or 3, up the aisle or even to just holding hands on the street with nature, perception, society and perhaps even the Aliens plotting against you? By changing your perceptions about yourself, dating and relationships-as hard as that is to admit and to do.
Darling Thomas, Boys and Girls, perception of the self is the only place to start. Would you date yourself? Do you like yourself? Are you really as self-confident, plug-and-play and comfortable in your own skin as you appear? Most of us are works in progress. Knowing that fact and accepting it is the beginning of finding that special someone (yourself), before you find someone else, and hopefully they are doing the same thing. A strong self accepts and works from the premise that EVERYONE puts on a bit of a show in the early dates. It is no different from peacocks preening and in fact it is a self protective device since we don’t want to show our soft underbellies to just everyone. It wouldn’t be safe or smart; and quite frankly it’s a form of self preservation that works. From then on-the real self can come out and play and that’s when we can see if a date is just a date or something more.
Thomas to prove my point would you be interested in a faux date with me? I am happily married to Mr. Rocketman so it won’t be a real date (and if you try anything he will “faux” kill you) but we will pretend it is. As part of the exercise I will buy dinner if you agree to a very honest MK critique of your dating persona. Maybe fresh eyes will help to open yours (besides I know a lot of women – and you never know).
Have a naughty day!