At a dinner party recently, I was seated next to a vaguely abrasive young woman who leaned over to me and breathlessly queried,
“Do you have any normal friends for my friend to date?”
Vaguely confused by the hasty presumption that I was a dating sourcer, but detecting an opportunity for a silent manosphere laugh, I replied “you’d have to tell me more.”
“Well, she’s been dating guys from OKCupid and says she just can’t find any normal guys there.”
Now I was irked. It would have been one thing if she said her friend worked long hours with all women and just wasn’t meeting men, or had had trouble getting back on the
carouselhorse after a breakup. But she’s swimming in men and is striking out wildly. And I happen to know that a significant portion of the young men in my city are on OKCupid, so I know there’s a few good fish in that pond. The more I thought about the more I saw she was trying to outsource this woman’s man-choosing algorithm before she came up 00 again.
But that wasn’t even the interesting part of it. It was the fact that she came to me, a guy she had just met, and proceeded to recruit me into the problems of a woman I’d NEVER met, that fascinated me. It felt invasive and uncomfortable, as if she had turned to me and said “I’m getting divorced, and let me tell you, it’s nothing like those chick flicks would have you believe!”
And then it felt opportunistic. Let me explain that further.
The fact that she saw me as a possible conduit for her issue of the day smacked of a combination of megalomania and an appeal to the male instinct for problem-solving – “maybe you can help me fix this!” Expecting me to leap into the coat closet and re-emerge in my Captain Save-A-Ho suit, ready to line up cannon fodder for her chica amiga who couldn’t generate her own romantic sales leads. I also bet there’s some female-on-male projection in there, thinking that I get such a kick out of setting up my male friends that I’m going to facilitate a third-hand setup involving a woman I’ve never so much as set eyes on. There’s an element of matchmaking/relationship drama that women crave that is just not really a guy thing. Truth be told, I’ve already set up two marriages*, so she had come to the right guy; unfortunately for her, Yenta Badger knew enough to turn down the case.
The failed communication frame she put across was another interesting part of the exchange. What she THOUGHT she was communicating was:
- I have a friend who is eager to date, so it shouldn’t be hard for the guy to close the deal
- Her standards aren’t unrealistic, my friend just wants a “normal guy,” so he has to be single but not spectacular
- This is an opportunity for you to feel good about yourself playing matchmaker
What she was really communicating to me, through the prism of my male mind, was:
- It IS going to be hard for the guy, because she can’t find satisfaction with the large pool of eager men available online
- I’m trying to find someone who will clean up the drama-mess she’s made of her life
- I need you to screen for “normal” men since neither of us gals know the right guys (the “right guy” probably doesn’t exist)
- She’s desperate (or I’m desperate to stop her incessant complaining)
Another thing she didn’t consider is that generally speaking men are not very good at evaluating other men’s sexual market value (guys tend to evaluate male SMV post-facto, by inferring it from the quality of women he’s pulling).
I’m unusually game-aware, so I have a pretty good sense of when a setup is going to bomb, but the typical guy’s recommendation of a man to a single woman is usually worthless. That again goes back to the differences in how men and women evaluate their own sex versus the opposite sex – a guy we like and admire for being an honest, dependable, low-maintenance and mutually supportive is sadly a good bet to go straight into a woman’s “boring, no-spark” bucket.
One final factor is that she didn’t even try to sell the woman in question as a good partner with a bunch of boilerplate like “she’s a great girl, really cute/smart/etc, she just hasn’t found the right guy.” It was simply, “my friend needs a man. Can you give me one?”
THE HARSH TRUTH
Since picking up my game and finding that good women, while few, are found everywhere, and that good men truly ARE everywhere you choose to look, I have come even more to the conclusion that a woman who “can’t find a man” is more often than not:
- Suffering considerable personality flaws that drive men away (abrasive), or drive men away from committing (slutty), or blow her dating logistics (the Rules/sucky girl game)
- Stuck to a counterproductive comfort zone, refusing to mine new places or give audience to new types of men (he’s “not her type” or she’s “not going to settle!”)
- Unserious about commitment herself (possibly subconsciously) and thus positively smashing good opportunities
Or some combination thereof. This doesn’t apply to all women everywhere, particularly introverted women who have a much lower tolerance for the pageantry of social preening, but a large enough chunk to be a valid concern about an unhaaaappily perpetually-single woman you might hear about at a party.
*One where I introduced a girl I was pursuing to her future husband.