Volume 76, Number 12 | August 9 - 15, 2006

Dear Mr. Lonelyhearts

Villager Ron Geraci doles out dating advice for men

By Marin Resnick

Ron Geraci, a writer, editor, and Thompson Street resident, understands men’s dating woes. The 36-year-old relationship expert began a dating column in Men’s Health in 2000, has worked for the online dating website Match.com, and has edited the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column. Recently, he wrote “The Bachelor Chronicles” (Kensington Books), a memoir that has drawn comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and the City” fame. We spoke to him recently about his work, and why a good woman is so hard for him to find.

You’ve been called the “Carrie Bradshaw of men’s dating.” How do you relate to that?

My problems are completely different than Carrie Bradshaw’s. They are more like Terry Bradshaw’s. For me, it’s challenging to go out on a first date with a girl because everyone knows who I am from the dating columns. Relationship cues are very different now. Men have not changed much in 3,000 years but women want different qualities than their mom’s wanted. It’s not as black and white today as they were 40 to 50 years ago. Women now believe that they are entitled to a cinematic, fulfilled, fantasy-like relationship life and the attaining of their “soul mate.”

What would you like to find in a woman?

Although my parents had a 20-year age difference, they were married for 45 years until my father’s death, on Christmas Day, in 1997. I would like to find that kind of a relationship, with a woman who is nice and family oriented.

Any reason why you haven’t yet?

Mostly because of timing issues. And I tend to be too romantic.

Do men care too much about a woman’s looks?

I don’t know if it they care “too much,” but they care a lot about looks and always have. Every guy has drooled for at least one woman who was a good 20 or 30 pounds overweight, but had the personality and magnetism to make her weight a non-issue.

Do a lot of your readers contact you about your work?

I get quite a few e-mails and notes from readers who share their secret experiences with me, as well as from the people who come to my dating seminars. The praise is great, and the hate-mail—there’s a lot of it—is always from a raw nerve. I’m a flawed guy with base motivations and noble intentions and I’m not sugarcoating anything or holding anything back. I’m not trying to help anyone; I’m trying to tell it exactly as it is. Hate mail comes to me for doing that, because people become emotionally involved in the topic of relationships and they want to read something that inspires and them and confirms what they want to believe. Unfortunately, one thing that the letters from readers have shown me is that, in relationships, the same people will make the same tragic, dumb, and obviously catastrophic mistakes again and again and again and again. When I hear from one who says, “I read about your Nicole and I cut it off with mine,” or from a woman who says “I stopped insisting on going Dutch on first dates and a guy finally asked me for a second date,” it’s a nice surprise.

Any ideas about your next book?

The exploitation of the singles population in America is a topic that interests me. There’s a lot to explore regarding the dynamics of dating — so much has dramatically changed between men and women in the last few decades, but many of our trusted rituals and mindsets and approaches regarding dating and mating are still lagging far in the past. It’s a fascinating period of change and awkward, trial-and-error transition. No one knows what’s coming next or what it’ll look like. When society fights with biology, it’s an interesting battle.

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