Ya gotta help me, Doc.
It seems I have run into a problem. I’m a late comer to the dating scene. I started out having my “girlfriends” set me up with some of their friends. To me, I feel like we really hit it off. But when my “girlfriends” fill me in. it always seems to come down to the same thing.
Apparently, I come off as one of those guys who think going old school is a good way to get into a girl’s pants.
Let me explain. Despite the fact that I just recently turned 21, on paper I sound like an old man. I’m the kind of guy who listens and enjoys Frank Sinatra along with the rest of the Rat Pack. I wear collared shirts and I never leave the house without my trademarked fedora. My movie collection includes classics like Singing in the Rain and The Godfather. I’m also the guy who nurses a glass of scotch while my friends are downing shots and pints. I also think a good way for a guy’s night is sitting around a table with drinks and playing poker. When on a date, I’m polite as I can be. I push the lady’s chair in and out, and pay for everything.
In short, I put the “old” in Old Spice.
So what do I do? While I’m willing to admit that when I think suave men, I get pictures of Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., etc. I’m not using it as hook. Its just happens to be me. I mean its not like I’m a person who does all this ironically ( Hipsters, cough*)
What can you prescribe Doc?
An “Older” Man
Yes, there’s nothing worse than a guy who holds doors and pulls out chairs for his lady friend… how dare you sir? Have you no shame?
OK, time to be serious.
First of all: there’s nothing wrong with liking Scotch (presuming – and you’ll have to allow for my whiskey snobbery here – you’re drinking the good stuff. And not mixing it with Coke or something horrible) or preferring Texas Hold’Em to beer-pong and quarters.
The problem you’re having is that you’re 21 and presumably so are most of your friends, as well as the women you’re looking to date. Most people in their early 20s don’t tend towards the terribly sophisticated; most of them are still enjoying the thrill of being out of control and experimenting with the outer bounds of excess before wisdom (and consequences) convinces them to calm the hell down and grow the fuck up. You may be a bit of an old soul but the majority of your peers aren’t.
We also live in an age where youth culture and the Internet likes to frown on enjoying things earnestly but wearing them anyway in order to be a unique little sunflower, which is how you end up with the skinny-jean-and-ironic-mustache plague that’s currently infesting many of our cities.
Here’s the thing: the way you dress and your interests are going to make you stand out against the crowd. This is both a good and bad thing – it’s good because you’re cultivating a rich inner life and interesting hobbies. You also clearly have a grasp on your archetype and a sense of style; these will serve you well. It’s bad because most of the people your age just aren’t going to get it. They’re going to think that you’re either just being odd for the sake of being odd or that you’re being ironic somehow. They may also feel as though that you’re making fun of them or looking down on them as being somehow less or inferior for liking to do shots or listen to… whatever the hell kids are listening to today1; college is often a time when people start indulging in cultural snobbery and using their interest as “proof” that they’re somehow superior to the rabble around them. Hopefully you aren’t doing that. Nobody appreciates feeling as though they’re being condescended to.
(Oh, and it probably doesn’t help that the fedora has been adopted by scenesters, hipsters and douchebags as part of their clan uniform, which leads to guilt by association.)
So what to do? Well, you basically have two choices. If you’re happy with who you are – and you certainly sound like you are – then I hate to say that you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time single as you look for people who can appreciate your uniqueness and can appreciate what you have to offer. Your peers will eventually catch up to you in maturity, but it could take a few years. If this is going to frustrate you, then you might want to consider toning down the Rat Pack angle a little – or at least accent it some with more modern trappings. The popularity of Mad Men and other shows has had an influence on pop culture and fashion, which can work in your favor.
And just as an aside: kudos for you for being polite, but there will be plenty of women who regard old-school manners with a certain wary eye. Holding doors and pulling out chairs has it’s old-school charm, but it also hales from a time when women were thought of as the weaker, inferior sex – and women are going to be wondering if you’re holding on to those same attitudes to go with your Chairman of the Board suits and record collections. Not to say that some old-fashioned politeness is bad, mind you, but it can raise some women’s suspicions. You may have the style and swagger of the 60s, but you’ll have to reassure ’em that you’ve got a 21st century view of the world.
I’m a geek girl. Plain and simple. While I enjoy the occasional party, my time is mostly spend watching Game of Thrones, playing video games, or goofing around with my friends when I’m not in class. I’m not a very quiet person, but I find myself to be oddly shy and sheepish; especially when it comes to the dating world. I’m not very good at picking up when I’m being flirted with and that can cause trouble for me at times.
A few months ago the guy I was previously dating ended the relationship. So I took my time, worked out and focused on me. Here’s the thing…I think I like a guy in one of my classes. He’s sweet, very humorous, and the work he brings to class is always impressive (What can I say? I like working men.) For a while I was trying to get enough courage to just ask him out to something, but then a friend of mine said she has a crush on him. I hate to admit it, but I had hesitated for a full month in fear that maybe I was trying to rebound. At first I was thinking I shouldn’t try since I didn’t want to cause drama. Except the girl is currently in a relationship, so I’m really tempted to go for it anyway. Since…you know people aren’t objects and such.
I’ve given you a lot of info, but I really don’t know if I should go for this…or even more importantly HOW to go about it.
Fuck the drama. Ask him out.
I don’t care if your friend has a crush – the simple fact of liking someone doesn’t give you privileges over them. You can’t call dibs on a person and then get all pissy when people don’t respect the Dibs rule. If you like someone, you make your move. Ya rolls the dice and ya takes ya chances, otherwise he or she is fair game for all and sundry.
(This, as an aside, is something that annoys the hell out of me when it comes to nerds – they may be too chicken to make a move but they’ll throw the mother of all shitfits if someone else dares to ask their crush out because “I LIKED HER FIRST!” Well then you should’ve done something about it, dumbass…)
But getting back to you HW: don’t overthink it. Keep it short and simple and to the point. Find something going on this week – you’re both in college (I assume), which means there will always be something going on – go up to him and ask him if he wants to go to it with you. No weasely qualifications like “well, if you’re not busy, maybe…”, no open-ended “would you like to hang out sometime?” invitations. Simple and definitive are your watchwords here. “Hey, there’s this X happening on Friday, would you like to come see it with me?”
Keeping it short and simple will make it harder for you to overcomplicate it in your head, get nervous or flustered. Having a definite activity will keep you from worrying about how he might have mistaken what you mean. Deep breath, count of three, in, ask, out again. Easy peasy.
- Oh God, I am old [↩]