A funny thing happens to some men when they get out of the game for a while. They forget the moves. They get rusty, clumsy, and sometimes, downright embarrassing. It can be frustrating for them, because the harder they try, the deeper they get slotted into ‘loser’ slots by women.
One such just-divorced friend recently got a bit out of hand in the singletons club. For starters, he hit on every woman that came his way. Then he hit on her BFF. Needless to say he is currently neither here nor there and a hitherto okay-for-now guy is now a certified creep.
I was embarrassed. I know the women were smart enough to fend for themselves, so there was no righteousness about it, neither was I overwhelmed by my current motherhood streak of being nurturing. Nevertheless, he was a friend and he was faltering and I think I owed him something. But how to tell the man that what he was doing would never get him anywhere in the dating game?
Since I am a) married and b) the writer of this column (I think the latter is more intimidating), most men do not make an overt move on me for fear of being lynched in public view. But there is always a hug that lingers longer than it should, an arm over the shoulder that applies a wee bit more pressure than required, a handshake that refuses to let go, an eye-contact that is more penetrative than required. Blame it on the post partum hormones or distilled thinking time, but I have become ultra sensitive to behaviour from the opposite sex. On the other hand, any sign that you can score at any time of your life cannot be a bad thing in itself.
Another friend who had been married even longer recently found himself in the open post divorce, and realised that the dating rules had changed. As in, there were no rules anymore. So ‘catch up with you tomorrow’ or ‘call you tonight’ had now become mere phrases that were dropped too nonchalantly by women to mean anything. It left him adrift and lost. He obviously couldn’t start where he had left off.
Marriage makes men complacent. They can now put their feet up, grow their beer bellies, stop flossing, and generally allow their pathetic lives and bodies to be re-engineered and be given some semblance of order by their women. This can take from two years to about five. By that time, they are so cushioned in their nest — which they had very little to contribute to, except exist — that now, they can’t be bothered.
Which is why men who marry multiple times deserve a round of applause. Bravo! But then, they are the exception rather than the rule. Or maybe they just fall under the tutelage of Neil Strauss and get better at the game.