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Originally Posted: 2005-08-04 2:56pm

The Six Male Dating Archetypes Encountered by the Over-30 Woman

Thank heaven they aren't all like this. I finally found a good one, so now I can look back on all the nonsense and laugh. A few short years ago, I didn't find it nearly as funny as I do now...

The Desperado: “Must . . . have . . . relationship . . . now!” The Desperado is acutely aware of his mortality, and his worst fear is that he might leave this earth without having achieved his fondest ambition of being the next Ward Cleaver, complete with apron-clad wife and two clean, happy children. He tends to be very traditionalist about male and female roles, and, because he expects the relationship to begin somewhere around the middle of the first date, you can expect the frantic “Where have you been?” phone calls to begin within 24 hours of that first “good night.” Don’t let him railroad you, but go easy on him if you can: He’s not a bad sort, really, and he’s likely been hurt a few times already. You don’t want to turn him into . . . .

The Misogynist: “Women . . . can’t live with ’em, but gotta get satisfaction.” Maybe he hated his mother. Maybe his big sister used to give him wedgies. Maybe he’s been married to Britney Spears. Whatever the reason, try as he might, this guy just can’t like women. Because he views the female gender as wicked and untrustworthy en masse, he has no compunction about any mistreatment he might dole out to you. For him, dating is a game of one-upmanship: While he’s dating solely for sex (what else would he want a woman for?), he thinks women date solely for free food. (No, I am not joking.) He’ll suspect every nice thing you say or do of being either (a) part of a scheme to get him to take you to one of those restaurants that requires neckties or (b) evidence you’re a lovesick bimbo. Don’t bother trying to analyze the psychology behind this; it’s enough that you realize both (a) and (b) mean he’s just going to lie and cheat that much more.

The Patrician: “Are you good enough for me?” Your first date with the Patrician will not be a date at all. It’ll be a job interview. With unabashed grace, the Patrician will ask probing questions that aren’t appropriate until date number four or five – questions about your health, education, career and pedigree. We’re talking stuff not even your hairdresser knows. He might have something to offer in return, such as wealth or a great body, but he’s just as likely to be unemployed and have man-boobs. The good news is he’s looking for a serious relationship and probably marriage. The bad news is you’d have to be Madonna, Mother Teresa, and Hillary Clinton combined in order to live up to his ideal. While the Desperado will probably end up unhappily stuck with an ill-chosen partner, the Patrician runs the very real risk of spending his golden years cruising the singles bars.

The Enigma: “You don’t know me.” Is he married? On drugs? In the witness protection program? The Enigma disappears more often than David Copperfield, and his escape skills would give Houdini an inferiority complex. He’ll stand you up. He’ll break dates by way of last minute e-mails. He won’t answer his phone, and he isn’t too conscientious about voice mail, either. Then he’ll surface bearing tales of mishap and misfortune that are just too strange to be made up. But trust me: This guy is a better plot stylist than Stephen King. You might never know whether your Enigma is married or just juggling four girlfriends, but it really doesn’t matter. The one thing you can be certain of is that he’s a waste of your valuable time.

The Businessman: “Wow, that was one expensive $20 dinner!” No woman over 18 will be surprised to hear that every man’s first objective in dating is to obtain sex. The “I-pay-for-dinner-and-a-movie-and-you-put-out” refrain is a chestnut. What sets the Businessman apart is his straightforward approach to the transaction. He doesn't dance coyly around the subject, plying you with flowers, compliments, and allusions to a future together. He simply makes his pass, and, when you’ve moved his hands, smiled sweetly and said “no,” he remonstrates with you over your lack of gratitude for his $30 investment in you. With a sad shake of his head, he admits he won't be able to continue dating you if there isn’t something in it for him. N.B.: Preempt the Businessman’s strategy by always going Dutch.

The Wily Rabbit: “Pant ... pant ...” The Wily Rabbit is rabid about copulation, and it makes no difference to him who picks up the check. A Wily Rabbit takes the traditional flowers-and-chocolate route to obtaining sex, but he takes it a step further. He’s creepily good at analyzing a woman and divining what she seeks in a man. Then he slithers and squirms his way into that mold, even if it takes a shoehorn, a crowbar and a whole can of WD-40. He’ll flatter you and pretend to share your interests. He’ll appeal to your sympathy. He’ll show off his possessions and brag about his career, maybe even pretend to pressure you for a commitment. The Wily Rabbit has a weakness, though: He’s too proud of his superhuman sex drive to ever hold it completely in check. His lewd “compliments” about your body parts, and his casually lurid conversation about past liaisons are completely out of character with the charming illusion he’s trying to construct. If, after a couple of dates, the Wily Rabbit hasn’t managed to charm the clothes off you, he’ll hop away in search of females more compliant. But don’t be surprised to hear from him again, next time he's between conquests. After all, the one that got away is perennially irresistible.

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