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“Sometimes, I want that girl who will inspire me to be more, but that’s not what I want today,” he told me. I’m just not sure I’m ready to be ‘that guy’ for her.”But, like, they waffle.One of my more amusing male book interviewees, a tech guy in his mid-thirties, told me that he purposely dates the wrong women.“I can’t have a girlfriend right now.” These words come tumbling out of the mouth of the tall, dark and quirky math theory researcher I met a week ago at a party — within 10 minutes of meeting me for our first date. I want to unpack brains, lead horses to water…talk to guys about love. Overall, I’m just not a small-talk-with-strangers-from-apps kind of gal.“So, um, I don’t know what you’re looking for, but…” He trails off, eyes glued to my face for reactions! Math theory guy is, unsurprisingly, convinced that love hinders forward progress. So, when I am excited for a date, 1) it’s really rare, 2) I feel a connection with the person, and 3) I’m really wary, because history has taught me to be such. There was the late-twenties grad student, who went from incessantly texting me and taking me on nervous-excited coffee dates, to telling me that I was amazing and he loved talking to me, but that he was not convinced he was good for me.“I might move…in a year.” (In that case, I am not stable either.) Then there was the resident doctor, who kept delaying dates and blowing me off.When I finally him off, he tried a million ways to track me down and fix what he’d broke. I’ve talked to lots of straight single women who’ve experienced the snap, crackle, pop of connection, only to watch it fizzle out in an extravagantly complicated way — which is when I tell them my theory: Many men, while still figuring out their lives, struggle with connection. In some ways, they have to fall on accident, or they often won’t let themselves fall at all. They get in touch with you, off and on, to leave the door open to romantic or sexual relationships…often, for the truly intriguing maybes, The theory of the (straight) male dating spiral began with my (straight) male friend from high school, with whom I’ve always discussed relationships in great detail.
“They are raised to have passion and purpose, but also be the best at everything,” she explains to me.
Maybe they’re about to move across the country, just started a new job, are focused on grad school, have been through a rough breakup, are playing the field, etc.
Problem is, they are also serious idealist-romantics, too.
Great girls, awesome, fun, but with whom he feels connection and long-term potential.
He dates prospects he calls “crushes,” and soft-approaches his actual assertive, independent type.
“On paper, this relationship would be on a higher plane.