Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Everyone Deserves Better

Everyone Deserves Better rant  971663 tulipThe other day my dear friend Singlegal wrote a post that included a description of a date she had, about a year ago:

“About a year ago, I was sitting in my car and listening to a guy I was “dating” talk about how he’s never been to the dentist. This guy was overweight, self-centered, immature, shiftless and occasionally, a little smelly….On this occasion, I was taking him to meet up with a couple of friends of mine. He wore his finest T-shirt emblazoned with “You Suck” and ordered extra onions on his sub. Extra. Onions.”

Her description reminded me a bit of a date I had a couple of years ago (I think it was a couple of years, ago.  Typical of me, I can’t actually remember when it was, just where we met.  The place – one of my favorites – has been closed for a while and so let’s say 2 years ago.) with a man I’d met online.  We’d spoken briefly before meeting and I was quite looking forward to meeting him.  We had a lot in common and our work worlds had an interesting way of overlapping (this was back when I had my old career).

The day of the date he showed up 15 minutes. Not a good start.  But that was not the worst of it.  It was a Sunday afternoon date and he looked like he’d just rolled out of bed.  His hair was uncombed and his clothes (sweats) were completely rumbled.  And it was late Sunday afternoon.

Now, I’m no snob.  I don’t need a guy to be all dressed up for a Sunday afternoon .  Jeans and t-shirt would have been fine.  But rumbled, slept-in looking sweats were not OK.

It was a quick date.  Very quick.  I made polite chit chat for about 20 minute and left.  Basically, I stayed long enough to give him a chance to say something to prove to me that he wasn’t a giant .  You know, maybe he fell asleep on the sofa reading the Sunday Times or something.  It happens.  But no.  No explanation of the fact that he was late and pathetic.

And so I left.  Because I deserve better.  And, um, so does everyone.  Every woman.  Every guy.

Of course, Singlegal deserved better than the smelly guy (reading that made me so mad!).  Of course, I deserved better than Mr. I can’t be bothered to show up on time or comb my hair.  WHO DOESN’T?  Seriously?  Is there anyone who doesn’t deserve their date to show up clean, on time and unsmelly?  Those aren’t very high standards.

Yes, this might seem like a fairly obvious statement.  So let me just add this.  Unlike Singlegal’s date, mine was not shiftless.  He was a successful guy with a graduate level education.  Sure, that don’t mean shit.  There are plenty of smart, successful douchebags around.  I’m just pointing out that he wasn’t suffering from a general lack of motivation – in life.  That perhaps he didn’t realize he needed to make an effort for dates?  Or maybe he didn’t give a shit about this specific date (in which case he should have just cancelled and saved my time)?

Anyway, my point is just that dating would be a lot more fun and fulfulling if all of the adults involved would treat each other better.  With more dignity.  Because everyone deserves it.  Really, we do.

Note:  I realize there are some people who never reach full maturity, regardless of age. Sucks.


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16 to “Everyone Deserves Better”


  1. Singlegal says:

    It’s so true and it’s a shame that we sometimes have to arrive at these realizations via the process of elimination as was my case. If anything, it’s a great reminder for me to OPEN MY EYES and actually pay attention to myself. I always say I’m a good judge of character but horrendous at following through, and this was exactly that case. But yes – I’m a firm believer in first impressions, and there is no better time than a first meeting to make yourself presentable!

  2. Maritime Gypsy says:

    “Note: I realize there are some people who never reach full maturity, regardless of age…”

    yes, and sometimes those aren’t the people you’ve dated but their parents. I recently (read: one week ago) received an email from my Ex’s mother (we broke up almost 5 months ago). Telling me she wasn’t surprised I ‘moved on’ … and that I will probably ‘use’ him too because ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’… yup, she went after MY MOM! And my parents aren’t using me. My stepfather isn’t employed because he has had 2 strokes, 1 car accident, 1 heart attack, and a diagnosis of primary-progressive MS which means it hit him late in life, and he’ll go downhill quickly. So there are more colourful words I’d use to describe her than immature… but I don’t want to be unlady like
    Her son, isn’t employed, is overweight and blaming everything from Canadian winters to his grandfather being born in the depression era (genetic memory or some BS like that) and has a general lack of direction and ambition. He gets an allowance from his grandfather… and paid just for his half of the bills and bought video games, computer equipment and movies with the rest. Awesome.

    ok I’m done ranting now. That line just amused me to no end…

  3. grad student says:

    @Singlegal and SG… I agree with the first date, first impression. While we all want people to be honest and themselves, i think we all know that people are ‘at their best’ on date, especially on a first date!
    When meeting someone for the first time, at a planned pre-determined spot (i.e., a DATE), then it is expected you are putting forth your best you. I assumed any first date showed up after taking time to pick the perfect outfit, primped and preened to their best look. Also, best behavior. Obnoxious and rude (especially to wait staff) was a big red flag. If smelly and uncaring (or disheveled and in sweats) is your ‘best foot forward’… dang, that’s sad.

  4. That Kind of Girl says:

    !!!! Reading Singlegal’s description made me angry. Seriously angry. My-eyes-are-burning-a-little angry. It absolutely incenses me when people think they can get away with treating others with that kind of disregard! I mean, come on, guys, dating is already hard, and can already be demeaning, so can we all at least just treat each other with a little respect?

    Maybe it takes a little of the romance out of the proposition (as though most first dates are romantic to begin with!), but I definitely believe first dates should be treated as interviews. You have to get your foot in the door to show the other people why you’re worth the long, pleasant process office of really getting to know. (And vice versa, obviously !)

  5. CarmontheVerge says:

    Great post! You only have one shot to make a first impression and sometimes, I wonder (in a very New York accent), ‘Is this the best you got?”

  6. queenieNYC says:

    This reminds me of a guy I (briefly) dated last year. I went over to his apartment for the first time, and it was an absolute PIT. Never mind the usual bachelor messiness – it was a gross apartment, full-stop, the kind of place where you’d rather hold it in than pee for fear of the toilet misbehaving, or seeing a cockroach parade past you. Add to that the shoddily-assembled coffee table that swayed under the weight of a single pizza box, the (broken) Homer Simpson clock on the wall, and the dirty socks in the corner…

    This guy was a corporate lawyer, but he couldn’t be arsed to clean his apartment or properly assemble an Ikea table. I probably would have kept dating him, but things deteriorated shortly thereafter, and, I have to say, I was kinda glad. That place was full of red flags I wanted desperately to ignore.

  7. starangel82 says:

    Personally, I find it very disrespectful and a major, major turnoff if someone can’t take the time to at least try to look and smell nice for their first date with someone. If you can’t put forth the effort to try, then don’t wonder why you’re single. Ugh.

    Oh, and to echo what queenie said…. an unkempt apartment is just a bad sign as well. Sure, bachelors will be bachelors (and even bachelorettes), but come on. We’re old enough to at least have clean homes.

  8. grad student says:

    haha. This reminded me of the first time I went to my wife’s apartment. Dishwasher? Full. Sink? Full. (all dirty dishes). Apartment? Cluttered. Not too trashed, but definitely messy. And this was a planned dinner at her place. Oh, Fishtank.. very cloudy. Fish? Dead and frozen. No lie. Despite all of that, happily married 14 yrs next February. You know, when I write it objectively, I think.. wow, why didn’t I run? But, she was super awesome so… Plus, this was the apartment. Her personal self was always well taken care of. housework was a no-priority.

    And.. just a warning to anyone finding such a person; they don’t change. Especially late in life (me 20s, her 30s). We have to really work at keeping our house clean. I want ‘company ready’ all the time; she wants ‘slightly better than the old apartment’ so we compromise. And work together to keep picked up after ourselves. It is worth it.

  9. peppermint2 says:

    Wow, sweatpants?! That’s a first… It amazes me that some guys will treat dating so cavalierly — do things they would never do if they were meeting a potential business client. Why make a distinction? You never know where something could lead.

    I had a date w /someone I met online. We discovered, before we met, that we had gone to the same business school overseas (so that alone would seem like reason enough to make an effort). But he proceeded to change around our meeting time/location to suit his changing schedule, and still showed up late. I think he just had low expectations from online dating. When he saw me, he looked kind of surprised/taken aback, and immediately turned into Mr Gracious and Attentive, back-pedaling bigtime. Too late, the bad first impression was made and, as you can see, it hasn’t changed since. :-)

  10. LittleMissAngry says:

    well said. though, i personally feel if someone (be it a guy or girl) can’t be bothered about hygiene and how they look in public, they are just the kind of people who don’t give a shit and that’s going to translate into them behaving the way you wrote about. someone who is programmed that way is just not going to make an effort just cause its a first date.

    you said “….dating would be a lot more fun and fulfulling if all of the adults involved would treat each other better. With more dignity….” yes, definitely. but if they can’t treat themselves right and with dignity, how can we expect them to treat others that way? if you think about it, its really their loss. not ours.

  11. dmfontana says:

    Seriously… aren’t there just some “bare minimums” that we all should expect in a date, a first date especially…. soap (check), a façade of a clean apartment (check), dirty clothes hidden (check) etc.

    On the other hand … maybe its good that some people toss out these red flags right away, so that the most time we waste is a coffee date

  12. twisting_edge says:

    There’s plenty of guys who do have their crap together but can never seem to land a date. Personally, I’d chalk it up to this: http://www.sex-lies-dating.com/3180635 (don’t know if HTML works here).

    It’s all very well to follow that “because you can” philosophy of self-contradiction and expecting other people to figure out what you want, but people who have things together aren’t usually all that good at dealing with those who don’t. “Because you can,” has huge costs, because you really can’t.

  13. Simone Grant says:

    Glad to see no one was standing up for these guys :-)
    -Singlegal
    However you arrived at it, you’re there now. Please don’t ever let yourself believe that you’re not worth better than that.
    -Maritime Gypsy
    Welcome to the blog. We all need a good rant now and then. I probably wouldn’t have read the whole email. I love delete.
    -grad student
    Yes, we all know that people are on their best behavior on first dates. And, I’d hope that anyone worth dating was mature enough to continue to be unsmelly and well-behaved for all of the dates after the first.
    -That Kind of Girl
    I’ve always been of the opinion that first dates were a lot like job interviews and should be treated as such. I think that’s why I can go on so many and not get all emotionally twisted about it (a person looking for a great new job would have to do the same thing in a tough economy).
    -CarmontheVerge
    Well said. I’m thinking of doing a line of t-shirts. I’m adding that to the list, “Is this the best you got?”
    -queenieNYC
    When I hear stories like yours (and mine – my guy was the CEO of a small non-profit) I just shake my head. What is their deal? Are they so arrogant as to think that any woman should be lucky to have them, even though they’re slobs? Or are they oblivious to just how disgusting they are?
    -starangel82
    Yep, absolutely disrespectful. Do you think they realize they’re being disrespectful?
    -grad student
    Interesting! I’ve known people who were like that in college, but they all grew out of it.
    -peppermint2
    Welcome to the blog. Yes. I think some people make the mistake of setting their expectations too low for dates. Both men and women. But like I said, if he had low expectations – why meet me at all. I don’t go on dates with men who aren’t worth (in my mind) putting on clean clothes for.
    -LittleMissAngry
    You’re absolutely right, it is their loss. And it is a sign that they don’t take care of themselves in other ways.
    -dmfontana
    The bare minimums – Hell yes. But there does seem to be an awful lot of people who don’t live up to them. Like you said, at least they’re not wasting much of our time.
    -twisting_edge
    Welcome to the blog. I’m sorry, but I don’t see your point. That list is about how women and men relate to one another – in relationships (that’s pretty clear). What has that got to do with guys who “have their crap together but can never seem to land a date”? And, um, it’s not that hard to get a date – so I gotta wonder how “together” this theoretical guy is.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What if the guy believes that nonverbally lying about the way he keeps himself (by presenting himself in a much more acceptable fashion than he’s willing to commit to) is wrong? I’d say that it’s treating a potential partner with much more honesty and dignity to present your true self instead of a person you know others will prefer.

  15. Simone Grant says:

    -Anonymous
    You have a point. But then, a guy who is normally unkempt is going to be shit out of luck in his search for a woman who doesn’t find that a turnoff.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I so agree with you grant
    it doesn’t have to do with having high standards( even though I kind of do) I find it really disgusting once again people are immature minded. You will be surprise by the women who actually marry those types of men no offense but it’s the truth :)