Dating Games: Dudes or duds?

Some guys may be nice enough, but they simply aren’t worth the time or effort of keeping in touch with from a romantic point of view.

By TAMAR CASPI
November 5, 2010 17:06
Dude Buster

Dude Buster 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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My girlfriend Julie was on a roll – or so I thought. We were at a Simhat Torah party a few weeks ago and not one but two cute guys asked her for her card after talking to her for at least 15 minutes each. So she gave her business card to them both, but failed to write her personal cellphone number or personal e-mail address on the back.

I told her later that for future reference, she should scribble her personal info on the back of her card after a guy asks for it so the guy knows she’s for sure interested and not just giving out her card as a polite form of rejection.

Luckily, both guys sent an e-mail to her work account at the beginning of the next week.

The first one – whose name I can’t even remember, he ended up being so inconsequential – only asked about work in his initial e-mail. After the second e-mail exchange, he finally came out with his real motivation for writing: He had been recently laid off and wanted to know if her law firm was hiring.

I advised her to reply curtly that they were not, and to not write anything else to prolong the conclusion of the conversation.

This guy was a dud; although he may have been nice enough, he wasn’t worth the time or effort to keep in touch with as he had motives other than dating. We later found out that he had asked for numerous girls’ cards at the party and had e-mailed each of them to ask if they knew of any job openings.

I understand the need to network in this economy, but this guy had most definitely led Julie on in a romantic way, and I’m sure he did the same with the other women. To add insult to injury, Julie later found out that he was a major player and was dating a number of her friends simultaneously.


The second guy, Josh, seemed friendly and interested. He asked Julie about real estate, since she had recently bought her condo, and about the big networking event coming up that she was helping to organize. They traded e-mails all week and she typed her personal cellphone number in a subtle way under her signature nearly every other time.



Finally, at the end of the week, after a dozen e-mails, he asked if they could get together… to talk real estate.

I wasn’t ready to write him off as a dud quite yet. I figured he could have been making up an excuse to get together because he was insecure, or feared rejection.

But when he did finally call, he rang her on her office phone, blatantly ignoring her cellphone number, and then the term “dud” did start flashing before my eyes. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get their schedules to sync up and he said he would call the week after – but he never did.

A week later, I advised Julie to send him a quick and casual e-mail letting him know she’d been really busy but that her schedule was finally slowing down. He replied via e-mail within 24 hours – a good sign – but once again, the e-mail was about real estate, and he didn’t make any move to make plans; not a good sign.

I was ready to write this guy off once and for all as a dud. I couldn’t understand why he had even bothered replying to Julie’s e-mails. Julie was also ready to write him off – but then the influx of e-mails started once again, and she was stuck going back and forth for another week before finally cutting him off.

HOW AND when Julie and other singles should write off a dude as a dud is not always obvious. The nameless possible suitor had been easy to identify as a dud, but the other one, Josh, didn’t make the differentiation as easy.

Use a mixture of your instinct and any evident signs to know when to stop wasting your time and move on. If a dude doesn’t call after a few e-mails when he has your phone number, he’s a dud. If a dude only discusses subjects which benefit him, he’s a dud.

The reason I supported Julie’s choice to give Josh so many chances was because she is often the one so busy with work and extracurricular activities that she rarely has time to schedule a date, and I wouldn’t want some guy writing her off as a dud for that reason. People do deserve second, third and sometimes even fourth chances, but it all depends upon the circumstances and the signals.

Julie gave Josh her business card and didn’t write her personal info on the back.

So her signals weren’t totally clear to start. But once she had listed her personal info on an e-mail, he should have used it. His (purposeful?) ignoring of those signs was a sign in and of itself.

Then, once they couldn’t sync up their schedules, he didn’t call back to try again, as he had said he would. Finally, she sent him a follow-up e-mail for one more, last-ditch, final effort – and still nothing developed.

Some may say Julie gave him ample opportunity, while others may reckon she should have been more straightforward. At this point – from my perspective – it’s clear Josh is a dud; a nice guy maybe, but a dud in Julie’s romance department.

If getting together for a first date is complicated, then it probably won’t get any easier. If it’s too difficult, it may very well just not be worth it, and it’s time to cut your losses before you invest any more time or energy, and move on.

Just like a sherut taxi, another prospect will be coming around the corner in 15 minutes.

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