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Journalist, Author, Columnist. My Twitter handle: @seemagoswami

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Just say no

What would be your deal-breaker when it comes to dating?

The headline read: “Why I won’t date hot women any more”. The New York Post article was about Dan Rochkind (described as an “Upper East Sider with a muscular build and a full head of hair”) who, after spending his 30s dating model-types had, at 40, settled for a ‘softer beauty’, getting engaged to Carly Spindel, whom he described as someone “you can take home and cuddle with”.

So, why did Rochkind give up on “hot women”? Well, since you didn’t ask, it was because “Beautiful women who get a fair amount of attention get full of themselves. Eventually, I was dreading getting dinner with them because they couldn’t carry a conversation.”

I know. It seems a bit rich when a man who is superficial enough to choose his dates on the basis of their looks complains about how they aren’t great conversationalists (it would, of course, never occur to him that perhaps he’s not interesting enough to make an effort for). Not to mention the putdown of his future wife, who is “beautiful” but not quite a “swimsuit model”. Clearly, this guy is a keeper!

But whatever you think of Rochkind’s delusional dating rules, there is no denying that there are some types (and that goes for both men and women) that are just not second-date material. And here, for those of you still in the dating pool, is a random sampling, based entirely on my own prejudices. Feel free to add your own.

·      * Those who spend the evening paying more attention to their smartphones than to you. If your date is more focused on Instagramming the food, tweeting about the bad service, Snapchatting with friends, or simply checking on news alerts, rather than engaging with you, you need to ask for the bill and get the hell out of there. If he or she can’t be bothered to focus on you to the exclusion of all else for a couple of hours over dinner, what hope is there that things will ever get better? Yes, that’s right, none at all.

·      * Those who are the heroes of every story they tell. And they just can’t seem to stop telling those stories. How they saved the boss’ life at the last presentation. How they carried the day in court despite being pitted against the best litigator in town. How they ran the marathon with zero training. And so on and so tedious. One evening of this is quite enough; why sign up for another?

·      * Those who can’t seem to stop name-dropping all the rich, famous, powerful and influential people they know/are related to. Her uncle is married to the sister of that famous Bollywood star. He went to school with the current chief minister’s younger brother. Her sister is married to that famous TV anchor. He plays golf with one of India’s leading cricketers every Sunday. It’s a safe bet that those who seek proximity to power and fame to bolster their own self-esteem, don’t have very much of it in the first place. And unless you want to sign up for endless evenings of ego-massaging, get the hell out of there.

·      *  Those who keep banging on about the elite school or college they went to and sneering about those who went to lesser institutions. If, in adulthood, you are still defining yourself and deriving your self-worth from where you studied, then clearly the best years of your life are already behind you. Not to mention that you’re a bit of a snob.

·      * Those who show zero interest in your life. If your date doesn’t bother to ask even basic questions about you – which books you like, what kind of music you listen to, or even, where you grew up – then it is clear that a) he or she is not that into you or b) he or she is completely self-obsessed. Either way, you should cut and run.

·      * Those who are constantly nasty and snarky about their exes. Everyone is entitled to be bitter about their break-up, but it is never a good sign if someone is compulsively rude and derisive about someone they went out with. For one thing, it shows that they are not completely over that relationship – feelings still linger, even if they are only of rancor. And two, it is a pretty good indication of the treatment you will receive if things don’t work out between you two. Stay only if you are willing to take that risk.

·      * Those who are rude to waiting staff. If someone is rude to the waiter or busboy, that is pretty reliable indicator of how they treat people who have less power than them. And being a bully is never an attractive look, no matter how attractive they may look.

·     * Those who order a salad and then steal half the fries off your plate (or self-righteously turn down dessert only to demolish the chocolate cake you order).

     Either these people have no self-control or will power, and you don’t want to get involved with someone who can resist anything but temptation. Or they are downright delusional and believe that calories don’t count if they come off someone else’s plate. In which case, this delusion is bound to extend to other areas of their lives. Best steer clear.

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