Let’s face it: Meeting men isn’t easy when you’re a widowed, foreign-born woman past child-bearing age, accustomed to luxurious particulars and Fifth Avenue fashion, intellectually and geographically curious and skeptical of a guy incapable of focusing his full attention on the woman across the table.
Here’s a recent example. I’ll call him Mr. X. Dates One and Two were very promising — the first was short and sweet — a drink after work; the second lasted seven hours — but then that make-it-or-break it third? Twenty minutes into it — we could barely look at each other.
Red Flag #1
I had worked carefully for that “wake up beautiful” Saturday look. X showed up (at Ladurée in Soho) looking disheveled. My heart sank.
Red Flag #2
X started the conversation, “I am not used to fancy places; I’m a diner guy and that’s as fancy as I go.” (This from a corporate attorney.)
Red Flag #2a
In a similar vein, when I launched into my recent three-week escapade in detail, my passion overflowing, X shoots me a look and says, “These luxuries don’t exist in my world.”
Red Flag #3
Our conversation turned to Christmas shopping. I was heading up to explore Madison Avenue after breakfast. He looked at me intently and asked how many Birkins I own.
Okay. This threw me off. For someone who purported not to be interested in luxury goods, he knew about the Birkin bag. Maybe things were turning around?
Alas, the conversation turned south again. X actually had the temerity to ask, “What do you save if you spend all your money?” My jaw hit the floor. Was he serious or teasing me?
Red Flag #4
He mansplains that people should have three priorities: Real estate, Art and Savings. Everything else is secondary.
Now, I am a woman who has bought her own home, collects art and has the appropriate amount in savings, thank-you very much.
The next 15 minutes were painful, so I was glad that I had picked the perfect spot to sit in the restaurant. I had a view of the artwork and he of the gardens. We didn’t look at each other, talk or make eye contact. After the check was paid, we walked out together and I was cordial.
Despite the fact that X had been adamant about meeting (via a mutual friend), he really couldn’t accept who I am: A strong, beautiful and educated professional who makes her own decisions and pays her own way. And this is especially true of South Asian men, who can be conservative in outlook, traditional and insecure.
So, dear reader, please share your thoughts. How does a modern woman plunge into this myopic world of eligible men, navigate the murky waters of ego, cultural disparity, chauvinism or even misogyny? Do tell.
The Z Experience: Dating
When I’m getting ready for a date, these are the 5 steps I always take.
Five Steps for Getting Ready for Your Date
Know Your Audience. First date or not, always look him up: Google, LinkedIn, etc.
Get Groomed. Fresh manicure and a smooth hair blowout is a must.
Lighten Your Mood. Dance to your favorite tune when getting ready.
Fuel Your Body. Eat a few hours before your date so you’re not pigging out in front of him.
Play Dress Up. Choose colors, prints and styles that “compliment” your body. This is one of my go-to date outfits - a well-cut black jumpsuit, statement earrings, and Jimmy Choos!