Via a reader on Twitter, this article:
Courtneigh Summerrise, a gallery assistant in Manhattan, said a man once opened conversation on her first date with, “Next week, I am meeting my dad who abandoned me.” It should have surprised her, but it didn’t. She was used to men unloading their troubles before they even ordered their food. Other men have used dates to describe family problems, past relationship issues and other traumatic life events.
This is limited to men, of course. No woman has ever complained about previous relationships on first dates or made comments indicating deep-rooted daddy issues, oh no.
She’s not alone. Talia Goldstein, chief executive officer and founder of match-making service Three Day Rule, said female clients complain that men are increasingly using dates to over-share about grievances in their lives — from divorce and family illness to financial strain and other problems. She said the issue has become a very common trend.
They should be grateful they’ve waited until an actual date. Rather a lot of women seem to include such information in their actual profiles.
Women tend to ask more questions about their date, while men talk about themselves, she said.
Can we get the men’s view?
Bea (not her real name), 24, who works at a nonprofit in New York City, has had similar issues. On one occasion her date seem so troubled that she texted him afterwards to see if he was OK. The weirdest part of all: He said he had an amazing time. “The emotional labor of absorbing the traumas of a stranger is not my job and also not what I’m trying to do in my dating life.”
What are you trying to do in your dating life? And how much of this weirdness was projection on your part? If he said he had a good time, maybe there was nothing wrong with him?
Dating is cheaper than therapy. The latter costs $75 to $150 an hour or up to $300 per hour in metropolitan areas like New York. The average first date costs $90, according to a survey from the Cashlorette personal-finance site.
What? The average first date costs $90? Okay, it’s easy to see what’s going on here. As an astonishingly talented author once wrote in his debut masterpiece Window on a Burning Man:
When we were alone again, I picked up where we’d left off. “I’ll confess, I’ve never had a bad first date. For me it’s just to show up, have a look, say “yes” or “no,” and not make a cock of myself. Even I can manage that. I don’t know how it can go that badly.”
“Oh trust me, it can!” she said with the conviction of someone who knew. “I’ve left after fifteen minutes before. Sometimes you just have nothing to say to each other.”
“Oh, I’ve had boring first dates and those where I know it won’t go any further. But I’m still going to be nice and talk to the girl, no need to start arguing or being unpleasant.”
“Sure, but sometimes you have to get out of there if it’s unbearable,” she said, making a face.
“That’s never happened to me, but it’s why a first date should be a quick drink, not a four-hour meal in a five-star restaurant. A friend once told me she met with a guy and instantly wanted to leave; his photo was old and he’d grown fat in the meantime. She got stuck in a restaurant half the night where he said he was lonely and wanted kids.”
Katya laughed. “Oh God! No, I always meet for a quick drink first, so I can escape if I have to.”
The mistake people make is thinking a first date should be anything other than a quick look to say “yes” or “no”. So they go out with high expectations, hoping to be entertained or to discover their soulmate in this random stranger they met online. If the average spend is $90, it means a lot of people are having meals on a first date or having to get taxis home because it’s too late for public transport. It’s fine to spend $90 on a first date if it goes well, but it sounds as though people are putting themselves in a position where they’re having to shell out a lot of cash to spend time with a complete weirdo. And if $90 is the average, I shudder to think of what the maximum might be.
Given that you get wine and food on a date,so it may seem like a bargain compared to sitting in a therapist’s office where generally the only perks are free tissues.
If women are going on dates in part because they get free wine and food, it’s not surprising they’re not enjoying themselves.
One single, Florida-based journalist who wanted to remain anonymous said her date recently revealed he was very sad to find out that his ex-wife was pregnant with a new husband. “I wonder sometimes if men, who aren’t really encouraged to discuss their feelings with each other, end up spilling a bunch of stuff to women just because they need somebody to hear it,” she said.
Hmmm. This might be true. But it’s more likely that a woman was unhappy that her ex-husband was with a new woman who was expecting his baby, and they’ve switched the sexes around. Either that, or this chap was a complete drip.
When a man dumps his troubles on the dinner table during a first date, Bea says it kills the romance. “You sit there listening because you are trying to be nice on a first date,” Bea said, “but in the end you hear way more than you want to hear about their personal issues to the point where it is impossible to think about them romantically.”
This is why you shouldn’t go to dinner on a first date. Read my book, woman!
Some men may actually need to seek professional counseling before embarking on a stressful litany of dates.
I’m assuming this advice doesn’t apply to women on the grounds it would require three or four times GDP to finance.
“Obviously, men have a tendency to see women as sources of emotional support, but everyone could use someone to talk to and a professional to help them sort through problems in a productive way,” said New York City journalist Danielle Tcholakian.
I think this entire article says a lot more about the sort of men lefty women in trendy areas of New York attract online than anything else. And I expect these women would complain just as much if men didn’t share their feelings on a first date. Which is why they’re single, of course.