The bar is open and the DJ is in position behind her turntables.When Gosse steps up to the mike, the men silence their playoff predictions. Some hands go down and one bitter female voice yells out, “Are there any men here?A cheer goes up and Gosse regains control of the mike. “There’s always a surplus of single men who are too chicken to ask a woman on a date.If you understand that, you’ll have no problem meeting a man.” Moving on, Gosse runs through tips for asking someone out and then into first-date etiquette.“You must never, ever volunteer anything negative about yourself on a first date or I guarantee there will not be a second date,” he warns the audience. If you don’t want to play by the rules, you might as well stay home because nobody is going to want you.“Single people are very judgmental on a first date. People actually think, ‘I can be me and meet someone wonderful.’ Well, that’d be nice, if we could be our sickening selves and meet someone wonderful. of all your dates.” The audience is divided between those who are laughing and those who are scowling.The game starts with mastering dating strategy at a convention The middle-aged professionals gathered for the Northern California Singles Convention have resorted to the “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Junior High” approach to mingling.The men, starched and uncomfortable in sports coats and ties, lean against the back wall of the ballroom at the Red Lion Inn.
Few attendees seem as positive as Reno resident Helaine Greenberg, who takes a Zen-like approach to being single.They have dressed with care; lips glossed, hair sprayed and polite smiles hovering on their lips.Some hold notebooks on their laps, pens at the ready.You are competing with their fantasy partner.” His list of taboo revelations includes any previous relationship infidelities and being in recovery for drug addiction. ” Gosse smoothly replies, “After you hear those magic words, ‘I love you.’ Once a person is in love with you, they’re addicted to you like a smoker to nicotine, like a heroin addict to smack. Gosse wraps up the lecture and turns the night over to the DJ.A man raises his hand and asks when one should make such disclosures. They can’t break it off without suffering horrendous pain and people don’t want to suffer, so they’ll stay with you.” Some women gasp. The lights go down, the music comes up and the entire convention races to the bar for a dose of liquid courage.