So I was writing a blog post yesterday. The topic: Top Ten Women I Know From Twitter Who Don't Have A Date For Valentine's Day.
I was almost done and I scrapped it - intentionally. Part of it was I realized it was a bit of an intrusion on people's lives; part of it was I couldn't actually verify that they weren't dating someone and I didn't want to present false information about someone.
So I've salvaged what I could from my first attempt at a post and changed my focus a little - why these smart, interesting, beautiful women might not have men in their lives.
I've read in past articles with supermodels that some don't date a lot. Why? Because they don't get asked out a lot. Men, they believe, are too intimidated by their beauty, stature or notoriety to think they have a chance of getting a "yes." It's a believable notion.
No matter what women might think, asking someone out can be a daunting task, even for the most confident of males. Even men who exude a boldness and brashness when approaching a potential date feel the sting of rejection. They may cover it with an dim-witted comment to their friends after returning to their group ("She must be a lesbian," "She's not as pretty when see her face-to-face") but their ego and confidence still hurt.
So funny, talented, gorgeous women like Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples, Date Night) and Rebecca Mader (Lost) - who I use as examples only because they openly said online that they didn't have plans for February 14 - might remain dateless for months because no one actually asks.
But there could also be other reasons, a major one of which I tried to sum up in a tweet the other day:
Some women keep themselves on the sideline because of past relationships that have gone sour. Not wanting to risk the pain of an unfaithful man or a reasonless break-up, they choose to keep themselves in a coccoon of solitude. I know I've done it - fairly recently in fact. It's a natural reaction to pain, in short to avoid it, and it's hard to fault anyone who takes that route.
Within the past few months, I've given myself a new directive. I included it in a blog post last week: "Go ahead, ask her." It's something I've never given myself permission to do in the past. I was always to afraid of putting myself out there. But I have always liked a quote by Basil King - "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid" - so I'm trying to follow its advice now.
This isn't to mean I'm asking out every woman I meet. I tend to be picky about the women I date and need to get to know them some before I ask. (I think I've asked three women out in the last five months.) But I am giving myself those opportunities when I see something special in someone.
So what's the point of this? Well, first, it's not to place blame on the fairer sex. I think women can be called that not only because they are more attractive than the cretins men can be. But I also think they are, on average, "fairer" when it comes to affairs of the heart.
I think what I'm trying to say is consciously be more kind, respectful and gentle when dealing with each other in relationships - whether it's the blossoming of one or deep into the grit of one. The scars we leave on our past loves not only affect them and you - but the rest of us trying to get just that first date.