The dating story that won’t die

In the past couple years, no Charlotte mag story has generated more feedback than a piece that ran anonymously (as told to Lori K. Tate) in the March ‘07 issue. Tagged on the cover with “Where Are All the Men?”, the article was titled “Age-old Dilemma.” The subtitle: “Dating is always difficult, but this thirty-seven-year-old Charlottean says it’s become damn near impossible. The former investment banker (we promised not to disclose her name, but she’s hot–trust us), who had a close call with The Bachelor and was a finalist with a $50,000 matchmaker, share what it’s really like out there. You can read it here.

The letters flowed in. Interestingly, almost all the letters were from men. In fact, they’re still coming. Over the weekend, we got this one:

I recently ran across your March issue in one of my client’s offices. After reading the article by the 37-year-old single woman, I felt that I needed to reply with a single guy’s point of view.

The first thing that I would like to make clear is that the frustration with the single scene here in Charlotte is not only on the female side of the fence. I’ve been in Charlotte for 4 years now and have found that the single scene can be categorized into three groups. First, the 21-26 year olds that love to go out and party every weekend and aren’t really looking for more than that. The 27-30 something year olds that as your writer put it, “end up doing things together all weekend long because we don’t get asked out,” and then there’s the 30 plus/divorced with kids/I can’t believe I’m back out here group.

Group one is who you will find out at Cans, the attic, Ri-Ra’s Buckhead, etc every weekend doing the same thing. These are mostly people that are partying like they were still in college (and some are) and typically aren’t interested in “dating.” They just want to have a good time.

Then comes group two. This is the group that is looking for someone to date, but doesn’t want to hit all the places I just mentioned in group one, yet don’t know where to go instead. Your girl made a comment about Cans where “there are always droves of men together but no one on a date. No one is walking hand in hand.” Is it that men don’t want to date anymore? Is dating extinct? No and No. She nailed it when she asked “do we just not have the channels to meet people who are likeminded.” We guys like to go out in groups the same way that women do. A guy by himself is never looked upon as a good thing—most of the time it’s just creepy. But the women are also out with their friends and approaching a pack of women, especially in a place like Cans, is a suicide mission. There is so much going on, the music is so loud, that even if you had something to say, your intended recipient would have a hard time hearing it. I actually agree with just about everything that she said in the article, but it’s just as bad on the men’s side. Sure there are guys that are just trying to hook up for the evening, but there are just as many that are looking to find someone that they want to date. We don’t know where to look either. We go to Cans because that’s apparently where everyone else goes. We don’t know where you and your friends are having dinner, otherwise, we would go there too.

Group three is thrown into the same mix with everyone else, but tend to spend more time in the suburbs where other divorcees tend to hang. I fall into the same category as your author, so that’s where my experience comes from.

The bottom line is that dating takes a lot of effort and most of the time you go home disappointed. But as your writer said, “you just have to have a positive attitude” because if you don’t, everyone can see it. Desperation is like a little black cloud that follows you around everywhere you go, and everyone can see it but you. I believe that your best bet of meeting someone likeminded is through friends. Unfortunately, our friend network is typically limited, so we just keep going to all the same places over and over hoping that this time will be different. Personally, I’d just like to know where she and her two gorgeous single friends go out to dinner.

So what’s up guys? Is that what it’s really like? And women, where can this guy and others like him go to meet you?

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