People are so impatient nowadays. Everyone's rushing to find someone, get married, settle down, and have kids. Call me old- fashioned, but I believe in taking things slow. That's why I never talk on the first date. Or on the second or third date, if I can help it.

I know women want it. I can tell by the way they look at me and ask all kinds of questions about where I grew up, what I do for a living, and what books I've read lately. Hell, most women these days expect us to talk on the first date. They think they deserve it, just because I'm dressed a certain way and sitting across from them while they ask me personal questions.

Well excuse me, but I'm just not that kind of guy. You know the type—talkative. Sure, some people can just move from one conversation to the next, or engage in three-way chats on a whim, but I'm not one of them. I can't just dive into an intimate discussion with a complete stranger. I mean, my God, can't we get to know each other a bit before we go straight into the heavy discussion?

I know what you're thinking, but I'm not a prude. I'm not above nodding on a first date, and if I really like someone, giving one-word answers to a variety of questions. On a second date, after a few drinks, I might tell a quick story. But that's where I draw the line. I have standards, and I'm not going to debase myself by flapping my gums for any woman who agrees to go to my office Christmas party at the last minute.

It's not even like I'm saving my talking for marriage. I just don't want to give away all my anecdotes to the wrong person. I respect myself too much to be bullied into talking to a woman before we've gotten the chance to see if we really connect.

I guess that's just how I was raised.

Besides, when you start off a date right away by saying "Hello" and immediately giving her 10 minutes of back-and-forth that shows that you're both intelligent and entertaining, that's all you're ever going to be in her mind: a great talk. A guy she could just call up whenever she feels like it for some no-strings-attached conversation. It's like my father always said: Why buy the cow when you can talk to the cow for free?

Unfortunately, I had to learn my lesson the hard way. There was this girl I really liked a while back, and I wanted to impress her so badly I ended up opening my mouth before we even got our appetizer. I think I had a little too much wine, because I don't even remember what I said, really.

She kept me around for a few months, but she just used me for my intellect and emotions. She wanted to talk all the time, day and night, without any consideration for whether I wanted to or not. Sometimes she wanted to do it as soon as I woke up in the morning. And when I told her I had had enough and that I never wanted to talk to her again, she stopped calling me altogether. Women.

But I'm not going to give up on my dream. Isn't there anyone out there who doesn't have a one-track mind about interpersonal communication? Are there no women left who will love a guy for who he is, and not just because they've grown to respect him as a human being? Can't I find a nice girl who wants to just sit around at my apartment in complete silence?

I really don't think that's too much to non-verbally ask for.