It’s funny how girls think. Take any one of us. A man will say, “I have a problem. I’m a ____.” Fill in the blank. And the girl will swoon. “Yes!!” She thinks. “Another man I can care for and create a complicated, dependent relationship with!”
Take me for example, with Matt, this recent Jdate prospect. We talked online before meeting. Great on paper – funny, smart, political and enrolled at New York University’s Business School. I told myself he was perfect. The one for me. I started planning our wedding.
He didn’t kiss me on the first date. That was okay. He was respecting my boundaries and really, according to my (recently acquired) rules, I wasn’t ready to kiss him yet anyway. Second date? No kiss. Third date? No kiss. Whoa, I thought, he must really care about me. How nice of him. You’d think that warning bells would be ringing, but no, in my eyes this man was problem free.
Even when he fell asleep on the couch at his apartment on our third date I didn’t blink an eye. We were talking and all of a sudden he was out! It was like when your friend’s cell phone cuts out but you keep talking except I was right there. I ran through the possible explanations – was he bored by me? Devoid of energy, enthusiasm, passion or simply enough hormones to do something with me, kiss me perhaps, as I lay body outstretched on his white, soft couch? Nah, I told myself. He was tired. He was comfortable. He’s able to relax when I’m around. Sweeeet.
It took him comparing himself to Ben Stiller in the movie Along Came Polly for me to start to worry.
Matt, my dashing “problem-free” date tells me that I HAVE to see this movie because that’s him, right there. He. Is. Ben. Stiller. So I rented the movie, and winced as I watched. Ben’s character was horrible. Dependent. Needy. Whiny. Dorky. Controlling. Neurotic. I kept watching, hoping that Stiller would undergo a magical transformation, and burst from his ugly frog costume into Mr. Right. He never did. Neither did Matt.
The next day, Stiller’s character still fresh in my mind, I asked Matt if he’d be coming to my play that weekend. I was in a show about women’s empowerment and sexuality called The Vagina Monologues. I had one of the best monologues in the show, playing a sex worker who only has sex with women. It was hot. I was psyched. My friends came to the show. Hell, my grandpa came. But no Matt. I mean, we hadn’t been dating for that long, but I wondered to myself, and out loud to my friends – why wouldn’t he want to cheer me on? I called him on out on it the night before my last show. “Are you going to see my play, The Vagina Monologues?”
“Don’t.” He replied. “Don’t say that word.”
“What?” I asked, confused. “Vagina?” Was he kidding?
“Please.” He replied.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he used a different, sexier word to refer to the female genitalia. That could be cool, I thought. I could handle that.
I tried again.
“Well then, what word do you use when you’re having sex and you want to refer to a woman’s “down-there”.” I asked, intrigued to hear his reply.
“I don’t.” He said. “I don’t talk during sex.”
I paused. “What about during foreplay?”
“Nope.” He said it so casually. I didn’t understand.
“But if you don’t communicate,” I began, “You don’t have good sex.”
“I don’t have good sex,” he stated matter-of-factly.
You’d think I’d hang up the phone. Call off our plans for the next week and wish him a sweet goodbye. But I didn’t. I strategized. For the next two days I decided what and how I would teach him about sex, love and physical intimacy. I wasn’t deterred by the fact that he had spent 12 years in a Catholic school as the token Jewish kid learning, as he said, that sex was dirty, weird and sinful. With some good-lovin’, I thought, I could reverse that.
He called Saturday night.
“I don’t think we work as a couple,” he said. “It’s a gut feeling.”
I was disappointed, no doubt about that, but the more I thought about Matt, the more I realized that he wasn’t what I wanted anyway. What I needed in a man.
(Photo: Sarah G…)