Natalie Keener: "Sometimes it feels like, no matter how much success I have, it's not gonna matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work, he really fit the bill, you know. White collar, 6'1, college grad, loves dogs, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance but is outdoorsy. I always imagined he'd have a single syllable name like Matt or John or Dave. In a perfect world, he drives a 4 runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his golden lab. And a nice smile. What about you?"
Alex Goran: "You know, honestly by the time you're 34, all the physical requirements just go out the window. You secretly pray that he'll be taller than you, not an asshole would be nice just someone who enjoys my company, comes from a good family. You don't think about that when you're younger. Someone who wants kids, likes kids. Healthy enough to play with his kids. Please let him earn more money than I do, you might not understand that now but believe me, you will one day otherwise that's a recipe for disaster. And hopefully, some hair on his head. I mean, that's not even a deal breaker these days. A nice smile. Yea, a nice smile just might do it."
Natalie Keener: "Wow. That was depressing." - Up in the Air
All right. Someone needs to say it out loud. There is a rampant shortage of sorted, single, thirty-plus men in this city. Add such requirements as 'monogamous' and 'non-asshole' and you're pretty much staring at an endangered species situation here. I’m not kidding. I've been living in a bubble (my room, basically) for the last four years, expecting this tall, well-spoken, funny man to magically drop into my room and you know, fall irreversibly in love with me. It is easy to remain hopeful when you’re as cut off from reality as I have been. I still subscribe to the Shut up and Stay Put theory and all that but while you’re shutting up and staying put, it is better to not stick your head out and take a peek at all that you’ve been missing in the last four years. I mean, it is dismal – the dating scene in this city. And I imagine, this country. Wait. My brother mentioned it isn’t very different in London – there are many, many, attractive single women who are only single because of said shortage. The other day, I was whining to this 26 year old girl about how I’m crushing on boys these days for lack of men and she – very matter-of-factly – informed me that this is how it is these days and that she’s been driven to have crushes on 21 year olds as a result. This is scary. Like, The-90s-are-over-and-rock-is-dead-and-all-the-good-men-are-married-and-Tom-Cruise-is-getting-divorced-again scary.
So I’ve been thinking we should do something about this. I mean, if we can create so much drama about the 1411 tigers left, then we should be driving ourselves into a frenzy, looking under couch cushions – trying to save the (much less than 1411, I’m sure) monogamous single men still left in this city before they also sell their souls to some rubbish Victoria’s Secret fantasy and start subscribing to another casual relationship theory.
And let’s not forget the ones that are in circulation. You know, the ones who are currently in a relationship but might be out of it in a bit? It’s not like we’re wishing a breakup on anyone or anything but we do live in the era of fickle relationships and we need to let it work for us.
We chicas who still have old-fashioned views on relationships need to come up with a plan and help each other out.
You can still dream about that perfect encounter with Prince Dashing at the library or the dance floor or my personal favourite, in a plane – you’re seated next to each other and end up hitting it off over the funnest conversation ever and just when the chemistry becomes tangible, the plane gets hijacked and you realize that Funny Guy is in fact a secret agent who is about to kick some hijacker butt and rescue the plane in exactly 36 seconds. And while you’re dropping from the plane in a parachute, tightly wrapped in strong, secret agent arms, you have your most magical first kiss ever.
Yeah, so it’s good to dream. But meanwhile, we need a more practical approach to deal with the crisis at hand.
First, we need to maintain a log. Of who’s in and who’s out – in and out of relationships of course. This way, we will be immediately alerted when a halfway attractive single guy is back in the market. And this information will be accessible to the entire sisterhood. Now if you’re worried that someone will beat you to the draw, I’m going to ask you to please look at the big picture. This is the only way we’re going to save this sinking trend – by sticking together. Also, this won’t be just any log. Next to every available guy – or The Catch as I’d like to call him – will be an empty column for ex girlfriends/ex wives and other close acquaintances to leave any valuable feedback. This way, we get to have a balanced understanding of who it is we’re dealing with here. If you’re wondering how any ex’s opinion can be balanced, you should know that I’ve paid a very heavy price for not cross-checking with the ex girlfriend so I’m just a touch cautious in that department. Besides, if an ex is being catty about a perfectly decent guy, then I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other opinions to balance that out.
So once we’ve figured out who is available and established he is a non-asshole, we will – by means of compatibility tests – come up with the most suitable woman from our circle for this particular catch. We will then use all our contacts and our collective pool of manipulative techniques to set up a series of seemingly random run-ins for the Chosen Chica and The Catch till they figure out that they are so perfectly compatible and eventually, fall in love. During this time, the rest of us will take care to not preen before The Catch so as to avoid distraction. This is a whole new step in the evolution process – The Not-So-Natural-Selection. Of course, The Catch has no say in the matter at all. In fact, the idea is for him to be kept in the dark while we methodically set him up with the soon-to-be love of his life. If you think this is unfair, you should know that this is only because men are simple, easily-distracted creatures and find it difficult to focus on one girl. Please note, this is only the case in the beginning. Once the male has recognized a female as its ideal mate (this will take some time, however), it will gladly walk down the aisle, procreate and lovingly nurture its offspring. So all we’re doing is providing an optimal environment for this to take place. Also, trust me, it’s for the greater good.
Another thing to keep in mind when trying to trap The Catch is that timing is everything. I’ve come to believe that a guy who is truly a catch is never entirely single. And by that I mean, he is usually emotionally or sexually involved with someone even when he’s between relationships. So if he’s one of those well-spoken, well-traveled, funny men who happen to be financially stable and come with a good heart, you are kind of screwed. I mean, we live in a day when even sub standard guys are juggling multiple women at any given point of time (thanks to rampant conversions to casual relationship theories). So you do the math. It’s not going to be easy but it’s not impossible. First, you’ll need to know how his previous relationship ended. If he’s heartbroken, you don’t want to meet him too early or you’ll end up being The Rebound. If the previous girl did a number on him, then the next stage is likely to be what Mark Sloan calls Delayed Rage. He might, at this point, go on a hate-sex rampage. Might. But if he’s thirty-plus, you can count on him to tire of it soon enough. The emptiness of it all will get to him and he’s likely to swear off women for a while (nothing left to prove in that department) and get all wired about his work – seeking the other kind of autonomy. He’ll probably want to create something awesome or start something new and he will throw himself into it. This, ladies, is The Sweet Spot. Not only is there something particularly hot about a man who is deeply passionate about his work, he is also – at this point – not looking for you. So there is the element of surprise. Now is when you strike. But of course, you do it subtly so that he thinks that he is the one doing all the striking. And then, for a little while, you play hard-to-get. It’s only because he has this need to win something – especially given the place he is at – in life.
I know, I know, I’ve always preached strongly against mind games but maybe there is another way of looking at this. It’s like playing Fetch with your dog. It’s the same stupid game but the stupid dog enjoys it, so you play it. Because you love the dog and want it to be happy. Also, this isn’t just about you anymore, remember? It’s about preserving monogamy and winning the war against casual relationships so I say, take one for the team!
And when you’re happily married and have a couple of kids of your own - gather them around and tell them the story of how you really met their father and totally freak them out.