“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Sep 14, 2013
DEAR AMY: I’m just past 40 and have been divorced for three years. I’ve briefly dated a handful of guys, all of whom I met through work or friends. None of these mini-relationships have ended well — most barely started — but all have one striking similarity: The men are happy to go to lunch or dinner with me but balk at spending any “quality time” together.

When I invite these men to join me for something as simple as an afternoon bike ride, the response is always either: 1) a flimsy excuse, with no follow-up by suggesting another activity, 2) hedging (one guy responded to my invitation with,“Will it take long?”), or 3) complete silence — they ignored the request altogether.
None of these guys has ever initiated an activity date. I find this behavior incredibly rude and frustrating. How can people get to know each other if they don’t spend time together?

I’m not sleeping with these guys, so what do they get out of just having dinner? Has dating changed so much that this is considered totally acceptable? For all these men, I cut it off once it was clear it was going nowhere, but now I feel the pattern will just repeat itself and I shouldn’t bother going out at all.-- Dazed and Confused

DEAR DAZED: For most people, sharing a meal is an appropriate way to get to know and connect with someone. Some men actually enjoy conversation and a good meal, even if they don’t have sex afterward! Imagine that!

I believe you have a valid point, but rather than try to change every man you encounter, the smart thing to do is to look at this established pattern and then look in the mirror — and see what you can do differently.

You are lumping all these men into the same category and judging them harshly. Perhaps they sense they are being tested when you throw down the idea to go on a bike ride, or they are terrified about being trapped with you in a context where they can’t simply ask for the check and flee.

The most obvious solution is for you to join clubs or engage in activities where you will meet people who have the energy and desire to be active and adventurous.

DEAR AMY: Our son has been dating a young woman for about a year. He brought her home for dinner during the holidays, and shortly thereafter we received a gift card from her for $150. In the enclosed note, she thanked us for the dinner and stated that she hoped that we would enjoy her gift. We’re not sure how to respond to this. Your thoughts, please?-- Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: My in-box is full of letters written by people frustrated by the lack of gratitude expressed by people in their lives.

The flip side is a thank-you that is so outsize it makes the recipient uncomfortable (I assume that is the case with you). I don’t think it’s appropriate to return this gift; accept it graciously in the spirit with which it is offered.

You can assume that this young woman erred by going overboard because she is eager to impress you. Consider yourselves impressed and respond kindly by writing her a note or e-mail to say,“We were so surprised to receive your extremely generous thank-you gift. That was very thoughtful and sweet of you. Please know that in the future you needn’t ever thank us by sending a gift. It is truly a pleasure to get to know you, and we are always happy to offer our hospitality. We look forward to seeing you again very soon.”

DEAR AMY: I’m responding to the letter from “Unsure,” whose friend hit on his wife. If he has to now watch his friend like a hawk, the sun may already be setting on the relationship with his wife.

It seems to me a frank conversation between Unsure and his wife is called for immediately. This four-way friendship, at any rate, is doomed.-- Experienced

DEAR EXPERIENCED: I fear you may be right.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Sep 14, 2013
1. Yawn
2,(This is getting contagious) Yawn
3. Yawn- oh that was Abby. Sorry.

Coffee ready yet?

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#3 Sep 14, 2013
1. You need to quit acting like these dates are "job interviews" and making the guys feel like they're on the spot and being tested and interviewed instead of just trying to enjoy an evening of conversation and getting to know you. Or, perhaps, that's the problem, they ARE getting to know you too well and are rightfully turned off. Quit acting like these dates are so Serious And Important from the very start and just start having fun with them. I HATED the "serious job interview" type dates when I was single, which seemed to get more frequent once I hit my mid-30's.

I was also a never-married single parent, which seemed to cause certain men some problems, which was, frankly, their problem and not mine. One even went so far as to ask why I'd had my son, why, given the circumstances (my fiance threw me out of the house when I was pregnant because he "didn't want to deal with it"), I didn't just have an abortion and be done with it. It's been over fifteen years and I've still never forgotten that! I am SO glad I'm out of the dating scene!!!!!

The guys are sensing such seriousness and desperation from you and it's a real turnoff, believe me. And you need to tailor invitations to the man himself. For instance, not all men are going to want to go on a bike ride or something like that. I know I sure wouldn't, and, even though I'm a gal, I understand where some of these men are coming from. I'm not at all an outdoors, uber-exercise person, although I try to be healthy, and, when I was single, I hated it when men would want to do things like that because, first, I wasn't that good at it and I was embarrassed for them to see that, and, second, I just didn't enjoy it all that much. Just RELAX a bit, until you do, you aren't going to get anywhere.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#4 Sep 14, 2013
LW2: To echo Mr. Tonks from sometime last year, "Christ almighty, can we finally be done with the dam TY notes questions"? Sheesh, people aren't happy no matter what. They beeyotch if they don't get a TY and then they beeyotch if they DO get one, for God's sake. The LW is prolly just pissed because he or she is deprived of the older generation's rite of passage in beeyotching about "these kids today", which I heard when younger, my parents heard when my age, their parents heard, and on and on ad infinitum.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#5 Sep 14, 2013
So is LW1 a good cook--but has other quirks that
tell these guys to see her for dinner only?
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#6 Sep 14, 2013
LW1: Dudette, your problem is that you are expecting way too much too soon. Also, you will have better luck if you let them do the suggesting in the early stages of the relationship. I know, this is the 21st century, but trust me on this one.

LW2: What Judge Janie/Mr. Tonka said.

LW3: I agree that the 4-way friendship is doomed.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Sep 14, 2013
LW1: "The men are happy to go to lunch or dinner with me but balk at spending any “quality time” together....How can people get to know each other if they don’t spend time together?"

Spending a meal and having a CONVERSATION seems like a pretty good way to get to know someone. Not that there's anything wrong with a bike ride, but, I fail to see how that is more conducive to getting to know someone unless what you want to know is whether or not they like bike riding. And what's to say these guys even have a bike? I had a frien who used to go to the Daytona 500 with an RV. Once parked, you don't wanna move that thing. Much easier to get around on bikes. He used to borrow mine cause her did not have one. And that's not even an indication of physical fitness. Dude was in much better shape than me and got in a lot more physical activity. Just didn't own a bike.

"I’m not sleeping with these guys, so what do they get out of just having dinner?"
What added bonus would they be getting out of going on a bike ride?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Sep 14, 2013
L1: Go on a dating site and pick men who have interests such as yours. Go from there. You're either not meeting the right guys or you are giving off the wrong vibe.
L2: What Amy said.
L3: No fear here. She's right.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#9 Sep 14, 2013
LW1: Ask your friends/colleagues who introduced you to all these men who refuse to spend more than the bare number of minutes with you. Chances are they'll know why.(My guess is that it's because you sound like a desperate, high-maintenance PITA.)

LW2: That girl is *Really Desperate* to marry your son...

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#10 Sep 14, 2013
1: "Do you want to hang out on Saturday? Maybe go to the farmers market, or a bike ride or something? Maybe we can get some lunch while were out..."

THAT'S how you do it.

2: Yeah, pretty much what Amy's intern said.

3: Don't care. Can't really remember the letter anyway.

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