A Dateless Dude, and Babes With Body Art

A dateless, yet optimistic, guy seeks advice on how to diving into the dating world, and another wants input on how to deal with body ink.

Q: I'm a 27-year-old male, and I have never dated. In high school I was a bit of an outcast. I didn't really do much, socially or academically. I just kind of existed. Now that I'm older and have more confidence from life experience in the working world, I want to have women or a woman in my life. However, I don't know where or how to start. I read women like confidence and guys who can make them laugh (which seems to be true for just about everyone -- who doesn't like to laugh?). But when I try to make people laugh it almost never works.

I feel like I don't have the experience I need to be able to sweep a woman off her feet or even have a good time dating. I have no stories to tell about exes or previous relationships. Hell, I've barely even kissed a girl which makes me...nervous. I want to go to the movies, fall down together ice skating, go to dinner, a club, dancing, take a walk and enjoy each other in silence. On one hand I know all I need is experience. Just go get out and do. On the other hand, how do I do that? – Just Trying to Date

A: It takes some serious cojones for people, especially guys, to admit their inexperience in the love department, even anonymously, so first of all I applaud you for writing. But despite the suck factor of your situation, your letter is refreshingly free of whining or complaining, and those are qualities that, whether you realize it or not, are probably already working for you.

Second of all, you’ve absolutely got the right idea here: “Just go get out and do.” Start doing stuff you’re interested in, ideally in a social situation: cooking, wine tasting, stamp collecting, whatever. The idea is to meet people, not just women, and get more comfortable talking to strangers. Conversations lead to comfortableness, which leads to confidence, which paves the way for dating, kissing … etc. But take baby steps, my friend. Stop worrying about being funny or sweeping anyone off their feet, and focus first on creating normal, natural interactions. Things will build from there, I promise.

A few more random thoughts: 1) Sometimes a little tweak to one’s appearance can have a big effect on self-image: an edgy haircut, trading in glasses for contacts, a new leather jacket, losing a few pounds. 2) You’ll build confidence – and maybe even your comedic chops – by taking an improv comedy class. At the very least, I’ve heard it’s a great way to meet people. 3) Don’t advertise your lack of romantic experience, but don’t be ashamed of it, either. Some people are late bloomers; there’s nothing wrong with that. 4) Your line about the movies and falling down ice skating has a nice ring to it – why not use it as a starter for an online dating profile?

Dating is a numbers game, and the only way to fail is by not getting out there. You will invariably have some horrific experiences, but that makes the fantastic ones all the better.

Now, go get ‘em, and please keep me posted.

Q: I recently met this woman who was smoking hot but had a nose ring and several visible tattoos. I can't take her places or introduce her to people who are important to me. I can't focus on her beautiful face without looking at that thing. A nose ring, tongue rings, even toe rings infuriate me. Even through she has this personality that appeals to me, the body art is atrocious.

A woman’s body is so cool, so unique all by itself. I want to remember every original freckle, a distinct natural smell, (sure, I buy her perfume, but I still prefer her smell), her natural hair color, the crinkle of her nose when she is happy or sad, the way her face is. I want to see her age, I want to see her breasts and hips shape naturally with good old exercise. Is this dislike of body art and piercings unreasonable of me? – Won’t Do the Tattoo

A: Nope. Just like it’s not unreasonable of me to think any dude who wears a popped collar looks like a Grade-A dickmunch I could never go out with. Call it what you want – taste, personal preference, prejudice – but sometimes we can’t get over someone’s physical attributes or fashion choices when it comes to romance. And that’s the way it is. But, considering your considerable distaste for tats and piercings, I’m just curious about your breaking point. Do you kick a woman out of bed if you discover a tiny rose on her hip after the panties come off? Does the thought of her nose ring sliding across your schnoz during a makeout session give you the willies?

Whatever the case, I’m way over deadline and ready for a cocktail, and I probably don’t have to tell you that a future with this – or any — body-artsy babe has about as much chance as a salted slug. Instead, I think your letter serves as a refreshing reminder to women everywhere to take a break from our Eternal Quest for Perfection and be content with our “original freckle”(s), “distinct natural smell,” and “so cool, so unique” bodies. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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