Post #388

Being single

2nd May 2004, the wee hours | Comments (51)

So, what’s it like, moving to new city, to a new country? Being single. Being, frankly, awful at getting a girlfriend. But being fabulous at being a girl’s best friend?

What’s it like?

Well, I’ll tell you.

You get here. You’re fairly sure you have a few things working in your favour: one, your accent — you’re not just another American, you’re That Guy From England; two, you’re in good shape — you’ve been putting in some decent boxing training recently, and you’re feeling pretty sharp; three, you’re You, man. You’re not so bad, you know? You’re pretty funny when you want to be, and Funny, like Personality, goes a long way.

Thursday night, you go out. You meet a girl. She’s pretty, you see that straight off. You wander over and talk to her. She’s intelligent. You crack a joke, she laughs. She’s got a sense of humour. She touches your arm. Crumbs. If you recall correctly, touching is a pretty good sign. You press on.

You offer her a drink, she accepts, you go get one. You catch her eye as you walk back from the bar, and you smile at each other as you weave your way through the crowd. Your heart goes pitter patter. Godamn, when was the last time a girl showed that she liked you? A year ago? Jeez…

You talk on and off for the next hour, and she touches you four times. The fact that you realise this, and remember it two days later is a pathetic sign. You’re doomed.

You smile, she smiles, everyone smiles.

Is it really a year? It seems longer than that. What the hell happens now? What if she wants to kiss you? Do girls want to kiss guys? Or do they just sort of give in and accept their fate once a boy leans in and closes his eyes. Close your eyes, remember that. You kissed a girl once when you where young and in the middle of it she opened her eyes and caught you looking at her in wonder. You felt wierd. Close your eyes, man.

Holy crap, what happens if you sleep with her sometime? Condoms. When did you last buy condoms? Over two years ago? Help! Of course, you’re not going to sleep with her; you’re at a crafts fair for heavens sake. People don’t hook up at craft fairs and make out behind the corduroy handbags and embroidered velvet cushions stall. But, she did touch your arm, and, you know, stare at you in that "hey, I’m looking at you, Mister" kind of way. And she’s not even drunk.

This makes you feel good.

The night ends. You help her pack up her stall. You exchange a few more looks, the question of phone numbers is raised and neatly delt with, you walk her to her car and kiss her goodnight. You have plans that evening but by jingo you wish you could scrap them and just hang out with her. But you don’t. You go with your new friends as arranged. You have fun. You feel fabulous. A girl likes you. You like the girl. Hot damn.

That night, you get home late. You want to call her. You don’t.

Friday morning, you wake up. You want to call her. You don’t. Instead you skip to the gym, pound the shit out of the middle-weight bag and the speed-ball, and skip home again.

Saturday morning, you try to call her. No answer. Lunch time, no answer. Afternoon, no answer. Early evening, you call again. You sing a little song while you dial to make sure your throat isn’t dry. You sit on the wooden steps in the fading sun and ahem one last time. She answers. The air in your lungs goes on holiday. You breathe in some new stock, and say hello.

The conversation doesn’t go as planned. She doesn’t sound so enthusiastic. Is it your immagination? She’s busy tonight, but so are you. Tommorow she’s also busy, but she hopes she’ll be done by the early evening. You can meet up then if all is well.

You put the phone down. Your hands shake a wee bit, you’re slightly short of breath. You mentally curse women for their evil powers over your respiratory system. Then you decide that isn’t enough, and you openly curse them.

You break out your two new guru-films: The Tao Of Steve, and Swingers. You watch that scene from Swingers and feel slightly more in control:

What’s wrong? I saw you talking to that beautiful blonde baby.
She was cute.
She didn’t like me…I made a fool of myself…
Baby, don’t talk that way, baby…
You are so money, and you don’t even know it…
That’s what I keep trying to tell him.
(To mike) You’re so money, you don’t even know…
Please, don’t mess with me right now…
We’re not messing with you…
…We’re not…
You’re like this big bear with claws and fangs…
…And big fuckin’ teeth…
…And teeth…And she’s like this little bunny cowering in the corner…
…And you’re just looking at your claws like how do I kill this bunny?
…You’re just poking at it…
…Yeah. You’re just gently batting it around…And the rabbit’s all scared…
…And you got big claws and fangs…
…And fangs…And you’re like I don’t know what to do. How do I kill this bunny?
…You’re like a big bear.
You’re not just, like, fucking with me?
No, baby!
…You’re money…
…You’re so fuckin money.
Now go over there and get those digits.
You’re money.
(Pulling him aside, dead serious) Now when you talk to her, I don’t want you to be the guy in the pg-13 movie that everyone’s pulling for. I want you to be the guy in the rated R movie who you’re not sure if you like.
Nods and, energized by the bombardment, crosses back to the bar and right into the fray.

You feel a bit better. You laugh a bit. You think, I’m money, baby. Then you feel a prick for thinking that. Then you worry again. Why wasn’t she as enthusiastic? Did she have a bad day? Does she regret giving you her number? Did you imagine it? You go play the theme tune to Shaft and pretend you’re cool. You feel marginally better. Marginally. You look at the clock, only 23 hours and 34 minutes to go before you call her again. The fact that you’ve calculated this means that you’re doomed. Doomed, doomed, doomed.


How long do I wait to call?
A day.
…Tomorrow, then a day.
So, two days?
Yeah. I guess you could call it that.
Definitely. Two days. That’s the industry standard…
(To Sue. Shop talk) …I used to wait two days. Now everyone waits two days. Three days is kinda money now, don’t you think?
…Yeah. But two’s enough not to look anxious…
Yeah, but three days is kinda the money…
(Interrupting sarcastically) Why don’t I just wait three weeks and tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and found her number…
…Then ask where you met her…
Yeah, I’ll tell her I don’t remember and then I’ll ask what she looks like.
(Pause) Then I’ll ask if we fucked. How’s that, T.? Is that “the money”?
The guys
Laugh all you want, but if you call to soon you can scare off a nice baby who’s ready to party.
Don’t listen to him. You call whenever it feels right to you.
How long are you guys gonna wait to call your honeys?
Trent & sue
Six days.

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Comments (51)

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  1. Dunstan:

    Posting when you're drunk ... *shakes head* ...

    Posted 2 hours, 54 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Nicole
  2. Darice:

    So you are one of the nice guys who admit they sweat before calling a girl. But as a girl I must tell you that 2 days standard sucks. For a guy it is like a proud issue for a girl it's like well maybe he didn't like me, better move on. My way of thinking than...

    Posted 3 hours, 13 minutes after the fact
  3. Michael Heilemann:

    You're so money and you don't even know it...

    Posted 3 hours, 21 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Scott Johnson
  4. Alex:

    I think he does know it, hence the first comment and the search redemption where it can't be found.

    Posted 3 hours, 48 minutes after the fact
  5. Chris Vincent:

    I thought five days was standard. Hmm...

    Posted 3 hours, 52 minutes after the fact
  6. Sam Newman:

    Any bloke that says they don't sweat when thinking about calling a girl are either lying or just plain don't care. Me? I have to make several calls to my support network before I could even pick the phone up, let alone actually call...

    Posted 4 hours, 34 minutes after the fact
  7. Andrew Hayward:

    I do care, and I'm not lying, but I don't sweat. That may be because I'm not a very sweaty person, or possibly because I don't actually remember the last time the situation arose! Seriously though, I have found myself just looking at the "dial" button on my phone for several minutes, in that "do I, don't I?" personal arbitration type quandary.

    Posted 4 hours, 52 minutes after the fact
  8. Jack:

    Hmm... I definately need to see Swingers.

    I remember you saying something about the movie ages ago and I meant to see it back then too. Bleh.

    Posted 5 hours, 46 minutes after the fact
  9. Stefan:

    At least you have that kind of feelings again. Rejoice, I'd say.

    Posted 6 hours, 39 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Stefan
  10. ACJ:

    I think according to Raw (Eddie Murphy) 8 days was the (only) way to go.

    Anyway, this was the most fun thing I've read in some time. Probably because I recognize so much of myself in it (the consistant use of "You" helps with that, also). It's been two years for me, actually. *shrug*

    Posted 7 hours after the fact
  11. Debbie:

    If you are that open and vulnerable in your communications with 'her' as you were in your post, you make the money, you have the money, you ARE the money! --whatever that means.

    From a woman's frank point of view, waiting SUCKS. Consider this: Perhaps she's thinking, "Geez, I really liked that guy. I didn't hear from him right away, maybe he's full of it...he's only going to be here a short time--do I want to get involved?" Wait too long dear Dunstan, and you could blow it!

    IMHO, girls don't like guy rules.

    Posted 7 hours, 12 minutes after the fact
  12. Jim:

    What an honest account of a situation any sensitive, "doesn't know he's money" kind of guy has been through time and time again.

    I know I've been there and I feel for you.

    Fucking girls. As much as I hate feeling nervous and short of breath and unsure and wanting to run away with my tail between my legs... its pure adrenaline the first time they brush your arm, or smile and you... and suddenly... it's all worth it again.

    Posted 7 hours, 52 minutes after the fact
  13. Scott Johnson:


    Like many others have said before, you are <em>SO</em> money, baby. Call her whenever you think it's right. Remember at the end of Swingers when he finally got the chick? She called him a couple of days later just because she couldn't wait. She <strong>does</strong> want to kiss you. It sounds like she totally digs you. Go for it! Have a blast! And be sure to keep us informed on how it goes.

    Man, I wish I was in SF to meet some beautiful babies like that.


    Posted 8 hours, 13 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Michael Heilemann
    Inspired: ↓ Scott Johnson
  14. Scott Johnson:

    Guess I totally ignored the <stray markup> in the preview of my above post. I don't think I'll ever get used to sites that don't let me add simple emphasis to my words. ;-)

    Posted 8 hours, 15 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Scott Johnson
  15. Sergio:

    I'm something of a compulsive phone-getter. I'll strike up a conversation with a girl, chat her up, and after a while, decide that I really don't like her all that much, but by then she's endured me for quite some time, so it really seems inappropriate to just wave goodbye and wander off, doesn't it?

    So I'll ask for her phone number. And deep inside, I know I won't call. And I kind of hate myself for it.

    So I go. And I keep the phone number. And I don't call.

    I always tell myself that the girl wasn't really into it either, so it's no big deal. She probably doesn't even remember me... Right?

    God, I suck.

    Posted 9 hours, 41 minutes after the fact
  16. Alex:

    Dude, you're money - just make sure you avoid the 4 messages/"Don't ever call me again!" scene. :)

    Posted 9 hours, 48 minutes after the fact
  17. Mark Eckenrode:

    Myself, I'm about a two-day guy. I tend to muss myself up a bit mentally, though. See, from a sales perspective if you push the close too soon you run into the chance of scaring the prospect and no close. But, if you soft sell a bit, letting them think there's no pressure they have a tendency to want to listen more and by the time you choose to close you find they've already closed themselves. Done deal, no fuss. There's the money!... ummm, I think. Hell, it sounds good in theory. Let me go ask my fiance what worked for her...

    Posted 11 hours, 36 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Mari
  18. Lee:

    He's been in the States for all of a week and had two gay advances and now he meets a lady. Dunst you must be positively oozing sex appeal.

    Anyone seen Love Actually (reference to America being full of gorgeous babes waiting for an English guy to appear)?

    Good luck, buddy. We're all rooting for ya, you're so money.

    Posted 13 hours, 2 minutes after the fact
  19. Jonas Rabbe:

    "You’re like this big beer with claws and fangs…"

    I don't know if I just drink tame beer, but my beer is generally fang- and clawless.

    - Jonas

    Posted 13 hours, 30 minutes after the fact
  20. Les:


    Best of luck out there - try throwing the vaguaries of text messaging in on top of that one - it's the type of communication that leaves me waiting thinking "did she get it?" or "is she ignoring me?", "do I now phone her and see if she got it, 'cos she's not replied in 3 days?", or "is her cellphone broken, I seem to remember her saying something about it when I took her number down?".

    Then by the time you figure it out, it's too late, she thinks you're not interested...

    Bloody dating game!

    Oh, btw, I live with 4 girls and they all said anything more than 2 days is a bit like playing games, and they say apparently most girls don't like blokes who play games - I had the same number problem last weekend! It's nice to know someone else is having a blast with it.

    Have fun man - and remember - you are always money :-)

    Posted 15 hours, 3 minutes after the fact
  21. Mike:

    Wow man, that post was the coolest shit I've read in any blog in a really freakin' long time! Your situation is analogous to my current situation, and reading this really put a smile on my face and hope in my brain. Thanks a ton dude.

    Posted 15 hours, 48 minutes after the fact
  22. Zelnox:

    (^_) (^0^)/ (/_^)/ *cheers for Dunstan* (^_) (^0^)/ (/_^)/

    Posted 16 hours, 5 minutes after the fact
  23. Craig:

    to cover your shame I'm commenting whilst drunk and as soon as I read the first sentence I knew you where under the influence as well.

    Well, if the last taboo of blogging is to admit to feeling their life is a scene from Swingers then I'm standing shoulder to shoulder with my brother.

    even if slightly wobbly.

    I may regret this tomorrow...

    Posted 17 hours, 44 minutes after the fact
  24. Ryan:

    Now you just need hope that she doesn't read your site and realize you're an electronic geek...

    Of course that could be looked at positively too - such intellectual effort to transcribe entire scenes of relevant cinema into a post about a girl you just met. Rather flattering, if you ask me.

    Posted 19 hours, 40 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Kitta
  25. Javan:

    Goodluck Dunstan! Reading your entry has reminded me how exciting that butterfly-in-stomach, spring-time-love feeling is.

    Posted 20 hours, 38 minutes after the fact
  26. Nicole:

    Blogging while drunk? For shame!

    Of course, I can't say I haven't done it. Or made drunken phone calls, or sent drunken emails...but I digress.

    But yours? I must say it was quite well written for being composed by an inebriated man. :)

    Posted 21 hours, 14 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
  27. Karan:

    Something tells me Swingers might just be the movie for me at the moment. Empathy goes out man :)

    Posted 21 hours, 18 minutes after the fact
  28. Kitta:

    Ryan could be right. My friend tends to google a guys name before she dates them.

    I like to give a guy my email, it's easier on them and they don't take so long to get in touch.

    Posted 23 hours, 27 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Ryan
    Inspired: ↓ Max
  29. Rahul:

    Watch Coupling! ( That'll cheer you up... though you're in the US, so you may have to settle for the US version... eh...

    And show the girl this post. If anything's going to get her won over, this is. Besides, she'll see it anyway if you end up together and then you'll feel a right dork...

    Posted 1 day, 1 hour after the fact
  30. Norton:

    The way to do anything is to do it the way a person of Zen would do it, and that way is to just do it, simply that. You must go ahead and do it without thinking about it, worrying about it, analysing it etc., just do it. Just my 2-cents-worth. It's helped me get through.

    Posted 1 day, 4 hours after the fact
  31. Max:

    Kitta, that's cool that you give out your e-mail.

    I don't think I've ever been given an e-mail instead of a phone number. Though that's probably because of the most people (and in particular the girls) I know, don't use e-mail nearly regularly enough for it to be a useful alternative to giving out their phone number.

    I think I'd prefer phone though, e-mail (for me) is always a little weird and slightly impersonal. Especially if you're writing to someone you've only recently met.

    Posted 1 day, 4 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Kitta
    Inspired: ↓ Kitta
  32. Kitta:

    Max, another reason I give out my email, instead of my phone number, is because I'm not a phone person. I hate when people call me while I'm doing something, I wish they'd email me instead, so then I can reply later. Most people I know check their email a few times a day, so it's not a problem.

    Posted 1 day, 6 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Max
  33. Tom Dell'Aringa:

    1. Don't get drunk. :) It ain't good'n fer ya. Fine, have one drink. You don't need more. You can avoid drunk blogging that way. Have a Coke and a smile. You'll be normal instead of ... drunk.

    2. Forget "guy" rules. You met a girl and you didn't call her the NEXT DAY? What kind of idiot are you? ;) Stop basing your personality on MOVIES! Aaargh! I hate when people do that! Forget swingers and any other hollywood BS - cuz that is all it is.

    Dude, be a man. Not a copycat.

    Clue for Dunstan. You met a girl you had a connection with, - she GAVE you her number - AND you liked her? CAMP OUT on the phone until the exact time the next morning when it's okay to call her (say 8 AM?) and CALL HER! And you wonder why you didn't get the warm reception you were hoping for! Call her back right now, tell her you were thinking of her and you have NO CLUE why you didn't call her sooner!

    3. Don't play games. Let me reiterate. DON'T PLAY GAMES. You like someone? Tell them. You want to talk to them? CALL THEM. Don't be "money" - don't be "g" don't be anything but one thing.

    Be Dunstan.

    Tom :)

    P.S. hey worked for me, married 10 years ;)

    P.P.S - Did I mention don't play games?

    Posted 1 day, 9 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Sian
  34. Mari:

    This is Mark's fiance. In our circumstance, I was the one who "closed the deal". Funny how he forgot. I made the first move, I went back and got the phone number the next week, and I made the first phone call ;) Even though I had the nervousness on the phone and went through the back and forth analyzing after the first phone call, I got an overall good vibe and went full force ahead. Now we're getting married this June. I've always been a very upfront person and although I've failed many times it only takes that one time for things to fall in to place. So never pass up an opportunity and no matter whether it's two days or six days, whatever your decision is if it's the right person things will just "click". Good luck!!

    Posted 1 day, 10 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Mark Eckenrode
  35. Spike:

    This sounds quite close to home! I'm genuinely terrible with this sort of thing, very very English about it and not at all cool. I had a crush on a girl for six months or so, didn't say anything whatsoever then, when drunk, texted her ... we've been seeing each other for a month now and things are going really well. Which is not what you want to hear, but take heart.

    Posted 1 day, 10 hours after the fact
  36. Sian:

    I don't think Dunstan's being a copycat, he's being himself, why should he try and be something he's not. If the Girlies can't accept him for being him then it's not the right time.

    Posted 1 day, 11 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Tom Dell'Aringa
  37. Scott:

    I had know the woman (who is now my wife) for 2-3 years before we actually got together, and we had kinda flirted occasionally, off and on. We went on a group trip (semi-together) for the weekend, and it was a little awkward, because we weren't really a couple yet (we hadn't even gone out on a real date). The night we arrived back home and said goodbye was a little awkward (especially since others were around), so I felt uneasy about things. I had really liked this girl (I thought) for a while, but didn't really know her that well, until the trip. Afterward, I was hooked, but I wasn't so sure about her...

    I called her the next night (after a lot of looking at the dialpad and a couple of attempts to test that they worked), and that call eased my mind tremendously. I did not call her the following day (for the above mentioned dumb non-reasons), but have spoken to her every day since. We just celebrated our second anniversary...and I could not be happier.

    Now I wonder why I missed a day of talking to my best friend.

    Point being - call her.

    Posted 1 day, 12 hours after the fact
  38. Ben Poole:

    What's all this "money" nonsense these young whipper-snappers keep coming out with? It's piffle! PIFFLE I say!

    Oh, and it's fine to get drunk once in a while. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise ;o)

    Posted 1 day, 12 hours after the fact
  39. Stefan:

    But Dunstan, I must say, you are so the money. NOW CALL HER!

    (And she be like, hey, I'm famous! Go me!)

    Posted 1 day, 13 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Stefan
  40. Web:

    Re: Posting when drunk.

    At least the grammar and spelling is right. I have the same affliction, I will allow myself to write, but never to post. Wait till the next morning...

    We're all pullin' for you man!

    Posted 1 day, 15 hours after the fact
  41. David Barrett:

    Dunstan: "Is it really a year?"

    Have you been watching "Time Gentlemen Please" recently? When I read that, I thought of Al Murray telling himself "Well, it's been a year!".

    Dude, get rid of those silly rules; all they do is make you miss out (and make you sound like you have OCD). I can think of many things I would have missed out on if I had have stuck to the rules that popped into my head as things to do.

    The "rules" bind you up.

    Posted 1 day, 17 hours after the fact
  42. Kirk:

    Whats up with wait-2|3|4-before-you-call-the-girl-stuff. It's some stupid movie thing. If you feel that you bounded (dont shure of my chocie of word) with your "date", why is it so wrong to call her/him when you feel like it? Why would anyone be upset about someone wanting to talk to you?


    Posted 2 days after the fact
  43. Blair:

    It's not often I look forward to reading a follow up to someone's blog, but ... </a>

    Posted 2 days, 4 hours after the fact
  44. Richard Rutter:

    "Being, frankly, awful at getting a girlfriend. But being fabulous at being a girl’s best friend?"

    Dunstan, sounds like your past life is filled with 'You're cute, but...' moments. I know mine is.

    Posted 2 days, 4 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ David Barrett
  45. David Barrett:

    I'm afraid I can't feel your pain, because my past life is full of "You're cute, but you have a penis" moments.

    I seem to be off the lesbians for now, thank God.

    Posted 2 days, 7 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Richard Rutter
  46. Lawrie:

    *rethinks the idea of posting "but you ARE the money". again.*

    you've made me so desperate to watch swingers again that, for a moment, i even forgot i was hungry. and that's saying a lot, because two minutes ago i was ready to scrape any and all nutrition from a crunchy dung beetle into my mouth.

    a word about calling girls; i have a philosophy. no. fucking. games. it's a simple philosophy, and that makes it the best kind. an ex of mine once got 'wierded out' because, after our first date, i told her friend that i had a really great time, i really liked her, and would love to see her again. i told her right then (this is when i discovered i had big fucking claws and big fucking teeth) that it was all true. i DID really like her, and would earnestly LOVE to see her again, and if that made me wierd for a) telling the truth and b) not acting too cool for school, then fuck it. but no fucking games.

    call when you want to call - your gut is *always* right, and if she doesn't get it, she's not worth the connection charge.

    um... rant end.

    Posted 2 days, 15 hours after the fact
  47. Lea:

    This entry has made me smile. Though I have bouts of wondering what it'd be like if I was single again, this type of thing just re-iterated why dating sucks: mind games. Playing with your own, playing with someone elses... whether you do it consciously or not, it's always there during the early stages of dating.

    So I'd listen to Tom Dell'Aringa.

    Zelnox, I will just say those are the cutest smileys EVAR. :)

    Posted 2 days, 17 hours after the fact
  48. Jesse Perry:

    you can thank me later for saving your life. you have to check out sign up for his newsletter. it seems like some crappy website someone threw together to get people's emails and spam 'em. but this guy's advice is gold. i just read the first paragraph of your article but it seems like you've got nothing to lose.

    Posted 3 days, 13 hours after the fact
  49. Visceraman1: could be that she checked that Caller ID box the Yanks are so enthralled with and thought you called too many times...

    Posted 5 days, 22 hours after the fact
  50. Mittens!:

    Did you know your blessed blog is one of the results for 'being single' on a yahoo search? lol!

    N we here in Bangalore, India, are doing a radio show on 'Who gives a shit if you're single.'

    But great stuff boy, n i'm terribly curious - the girl? Yes or no?!

    Posted 1 year, 5 months after the fact
  51. Laura:

    Call when you feel like it! We do HATE all those stupid guy rules! I hate waiting and wondering - it doesn't make it any better, actually gives me time to decide why I'm better off if he doesn't call! I think you just may be "the money"! Go for it!

    Posted 1 year, 11 months after the fact

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