wedge ugg boots The Field Guide To Single Men
When it comes to dating, at least among those in their 20s, men really are from Mars and women are from Venus. While most of the single women I know spend their time wishing they had a partner (sometimes to the point of desperate loneliness), the single men I know live for playing the field. Even guys in serious relationships admit to sometimes wishing they were on their own, free to live the seemingly carefree life of a bachelor. It’s in their blood.
It’s easy for us women to write off these bachelors as uncaring, skirt chasing man whores, but the truth is we could learn a lot from them. For instance, we run around town waiting to be approached, but we’d be better off asking our friends’ boyfriends to bring their single guys around (men are more likely to date someone with whom they share a friend than they are a complete stranger). We gals also need to get over our fear of online dating (but beware the virtual dirt bags). Instead of singing “Someday My Prince Will Come” in the shower, we ladies should be belting out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Why should the guys have all the good times?
I journeyed to where the boys are to find out how women can learn to relax and enjoy being single. Read on it’s a lot better than watching romcoms and braiding each other’s hair. is to be as ridiculous as possible,” says 28 year old Jamie Stanton (his name has been changed so as not to affect his chances with the ladies) when we sit down to discuss the perils of dating in Calgary. “I want to make sure I’m having a good time, so I basically try to entertain myself when I go out,” he says.
When I was introduced to Stanton, who is a friend of a friend, in the lineup for Local 510, he knew (and greeted) every pretty young thing who walked down 17th Avenue over the course of an hour. He regaled me with amusing stories of how his father, a Ukrainian artist, had given him a unisex name, seemingly the bane of his existence, and how his parents sent him to “work camp” (a. Montessori) to toughen him up as a child. He was undeniably charming. Naturally, I assumed he was a major player.
Stanton has a surefire method for determining
whether your last evening out with a member of the opposite sex was indeed a date. “It’s not a date unless you make out at the end,” he says.
I’m still not sure I’m wrong about that. Stanton seems sincere when he claims to have “no game” and that women only go out with him after coming to see him as a friend. And he’s certainly got the self deprecating thing down. He tells me he tones down his “usual antics” if a girl he likes is around. “I know some guys can use their outlandish behaviour to their advantage,” he says, “but I am definitely not that guy.”
Now that I’ve watched Stanton in action a few times occasionally leaving with a lady on his arm I wonder if the no game assertion actually is his game? It’s either that or Stanton is an idiot savant of dating.
It’s next to impossible to get a proper read on the man, and I suspect that intrigues a lot of women. He is both athletic and creative and has degrees in philosophy and business. He is accomplished and well travelled, but downplays all this. He wears a uniform of jeans and a T shirt, but his overcoat is Burberry (he downplays that as well). In one week this guy attended a performance of Alberta Ballet’s Tubular Bells and the Guns N’ Roses show. In short, he’s a walking contradiction.
Stanton was a serial monogamist from the age of 17 to 25, but he’s
been single for the last three years. This is not to say that there have been no women in his life; he’s just the type of guy who isn’t into formalities. “As I got older, I developed the self confidence to be like ‘Hey, we don’t need to date,’ ” Stanton explains. “Now it’s more like, we can hang out, enjoy each other’s company. We don’t need to put that label there.”
According to Stanton, labels create unnecessary pressure and expectations. As a result, he claims to have gone on only three actual dates in his life. “I prefer just to go for coffee or to movies and things that technically could be considered a date like activity. If I’m not lying to myself, some of these girls may think they are dates, I just don’t qualify them that way.”
Is it any wonder dating in this town is so confusing?
Don’t worry, though; Stanton has a surefire method for determining whether your last evening out with a member of the opposite sex was indeed a date. “It’s not a date unless you make out at the end,
” he says. “I think it’s a given that guys and girls have different understandings and expectations of what qualifies as a date, but if everyone knew that rule then there wouldn’t be any confusion.”
It’s a perfect cop out for a guy who admits to being terrified of rejection. When I asked Stanton what would compel him to speak to a beautiful stranger he said, “Nothing could make me go and talk to a woman I was actually interested in with the intention of picking her up.” Instead he would just lean against a wall, eye her and think about what he might say to start a conversation. “But in the end she would walk on,” he says, “and I would have to tell myself I needed to hold up that wall, otherwise it might have fallen down.”
It seems that the world’s dating woes can ultimately be traced back to this constant fear of rejection. “People are generally just afraid to take risks, and dating is one big risk,” Stanton says. “You have to emotionally put yourself out there. That’s why I’m envious of those guys who can just approach anyone they feel like.”
Now, consider that the last lady Stanton was involved with texted her number, unprompted, to him after they met (someone’s got to wear the pants in the relationship), and you’ll see what I mean about his no game game.
A NICE GUY JUST LOOKING TO FINISH
When I met Domenic Lucca, I assumed he was gay. Not because of any stereotypical traits or what he was wearing, but because he was surrounded by six attractive women.
Upon further investigation, however, I determined that Lucca was very heterosexual. What’s more, he knows how to talk to women without fear. “Women travel in packs in Calgary,” he says, “so you have to learn early on not to be intimidated when approaching a large group.”
And here’s the clincher: he’s understanding about this pack mentality. “I have seen what happens on the dance floor when a lady strays from the pack,” Lucca says. “It’s like something off of the National Geographic Channel.”
He’s not wrong about that. Any single lady worth her stilettos knows better than to wander away from her friends if she is not looking to be accosted by a group of over gelled, Ed Hardy wearing dudes. But Lucca also notes that women should limit the number of BFFs they hit the clubs with. “For most guys it’s no big deal to approach two or three girls, but it’s a little off putting to have to approach half a soccer team. It’s like a man against a nation kind of thing.”
While the Calgary singles scene is not quite as ruthless as “hunt or be hunted,” there are certain animals on the prowl that should be treated as predators. Lucca isn’t as aggressive as a jungle cat, nor does his ego rival the king of the jungle’s, but he shouldn’t be underestimated. Sarcastic, passionate and opinionated, he can keep a girl on her toes, but he is also the type to treat her like a princess (his words, not mine) if she can keep him on his.
I’m speaking metaphorically, here. Lucca is not fond of dancing, and prefers restaurants and pubs to clubs. “I don’t think surrounding a group of girls and getting up in their space is all that conducive to a lasting relationship,” he says. “I wouldn’t write off a girl that I met in a club, but it’s next to impossible to have an actual conversation and if there is two stepping involved then just forget it.”
At 29, this traditional Italian boy is looking for the real thing, not a one night stand. When a nine year relationship ended in his early 20s (it started in junior high) he says he went through a “selfish phase,” during which he wasn’t interested in anything serious. After some trying times, however, he realized how important family and a person to share your life with is when things get rough. “Being my age and Italian, I should be married with two kids by now,” he says. “My grandmother asks me where my wife is every time I see her. I do not want to be the one that gives grandma a heart attack.”
In a bizarre turn of events,
the woman who showed up for the date was actually the mother of the girl Lucca thought he was meeting.