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The Issued Outs

Are you picky, or issued out?

“He’s got that nervous look in his eye,” she said. “You know, that issued out look.” That was my friend Jessie pointing out a man standing across from us in a bar at the Jersey shore. I asked her to explain it more. She told me it was a little shifty, like he wanted to approach a woman there but something was holding him back.

Sometimes the men do approach you. Sometimes they even ask for your phone number. But that’s as far as it goes. It’s like guys on internet dating sites who you exchange several emails with but when the topic of actually having a phone conversation comes up they suddenly vanish. It makes you wonder what they’re up to.

In my circle of friends we often use the term “issued out.” We’ve all come to understand what it means. Men with emotional baggage that prevents them from entering into a relationship wholeheartedly. Often, issued out men find something wrong with you after the first date, like your eyebrows are a little unevenly tweezed. Another sign of the issued out man is his fear of calling you when he says he will. Well, in that case, add inconsiderate.

Sometimes there are clear warning signals that the man you’ve met is issued out. The most obvious — over the age of 40 and never been married. Other times, the red flags may seem orange at first. Take the man who seems to be so into you initially, he’s already planning next year’s vacation together to Cancun. While you’re starting to think this could be the one, he’s already got one foot out the door. Then there are the ones with the odd lifestyles; for example, still living at home (even though there are no ill parents there) at age 45.

Yet another sure sign of the issued out man is the one who gets pickier as he grows older — especially about looks. Even though he’s balding and his six pack abs have turned into a beer ball, he still believes he’ll get the 28 year old Megan Fox look-alike. Clue to issued out men — unless you have the money of Warren Buffet or the power of the Trumpster, forget it.

At that same bar a few weeks earlier, Jessie’s friend was approached by a man she considered to be issued out. At first, her friend was polite to the man, telling him he looked 35 when he asked her to guess his age. But quickly her graciousness turned into animosity when she got tired of dealing with the issued outs. She told him she was only being nice when she said 35 and he really looked 42. She asked him if he really thought he had a chance with a young attractive woman like herself. She berated him for probably going out with several nice women in his past and dropping them like hotcakes in his quest to find someone “better.” Finally, she reminded him he was alone in a bar trying to pick up young women when he might as well accept he’d most likely end up alone because his issues prevent him from having a meaningful relationship.

Wow. Quite the tirade. Jessie and I agreed we probably would not have done the same, although we might have been thinking it. Why make the guy feel like more of a loser than he already does?

And after all those years in the dating rat race, it’s normal to have some issues. We all do. We’ve just got to learn how to deal with them. I’m sure the men out there can write comparable notes about the issued out women they’ve encountered.

Perhaps, while we’re avoiding the issued out men standing in the corner sipping their beer, they’re sizing up the women with a little too much carry-on baggage reapplying their lipstick.

Nancy Fingerhood
Nancy Fingerhood

I am the creator of the web series, Mile High Nancy about a 420 chef in Colorado who is also a single mother by choice and aspiring comedian. I also have a blog called Confessions of a Middle Aged Woman Gone Wild.

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