Friday, December 31, 2010
The New Year is about resolutions. I think to decide what I want out of the next year relationship-wise it is best to examine what I have learned this year. This is what I have learned from dating so far.
•When I started dating one man, I became immediately attractive to other men.
•Men can be as nervous and clueless about dating as I am.
•Engineer types (i.e. nerds) need at least three date to prove themselves.
•I can be a femme fatale at 49. LOL
•Men worry about their weight, their hair, the skin elasticity—the same things that plague me.
•When men do bold things I admire them, but it doesn’t always equate into relationship material. A history teacher I met a few years ago on our first date offered to drive me to a home improvement store to pick up the blinds I ordered to prolong our date. Right in the middle of the oriental carpet section he swung me into a dance turn and dipped me back for passionate movie kiss. He got points for the wow factor, but never made it to the third date. He pretty much gave me everything he had on the first date.
•When men do weird things, I wonder until they give some long winded explanation. Then I smile and put it down as a guy thing.
•When men do clumsy things, I forgive them because I am a klutz. I almost feel an oneness with them.
•All the chivalric things a man can do including opening doors and pushing in chairs, I absolutely love.
•I am an absolute pushover for roses and chocolate.
•An out of the ordinary gift shows that the man thinks out of the box.
•A man with cats turns me off, but a man with a dog and a cat has possibilities.
•A man with a dog can be very sexy. (Okay, I’m a dog lover.)
•A man pushing a vacuum cleaner, especially, if it is mine is even sexier.
•Men can write wonderful emails and go silent on a date.
•Some men refuse to write emails, but can be a great on a date.
•Men who offer to help me with something that is perplexing me I appreciate! I realize some women hate this, but I have enough problems to solve on my own, a little help is very much appreciated.
•Men can be hot in any size or height. It is their attitude that matters. They must believe they are a prize. If they don’t believe it they can’t sell it.
•A man that can make me sigh is good, but a man who makes me laugh is better, but the one who can make me do both is priceless.
•You really can meet men at grocery store, library, post office, even school events if you’re open to it.
•I used to wonder about men asking me inane questions like what time it was when they were wearing a watch, but now that I’ve read enough books on dating I realize it is an attempt to strike up a conversation.LOL
•There are lots of datable professional men out there.
•Surprisingly, the men I meet want relationships as opposed to dating for fun.
•Many men are willing to attempt a long distance relationship. I’m not sure where they think it will go, but they do want to try.
•Younger men do ask me out even if I am not a member of the local cougar club. LOL
•Often there is nothing better than a hug to appreciate the subtle differences between male and female.
•I like the smell of Irish Spring soap on a man better than cologne.
•Getting ready for a date is a great deal of work, but the right guy makes it SO worthwhile.
•It’s working when we are both so lost in conversation that they close up the restaurant around us and we don’t notice.
•While I enjoy this time in my life of being somewhat irresistible I long for a relationship, but I am unwilling to settle.
•Trying to determine if a guy is relationship material takes time. Before I was only dating one guy so the assumption was the guy I was dating was relationship material even when he really wasn’t for me.
•Men will open the car door if you wait long enough.
•By preplanning what type of behavior I will not accept, surprisingly I’ve never received it. I’m unsure if I mentally telegraphed my list of no-no’s or am just dating a better type of man.
•Men don’t like whatever is easy. By being hard to reach since I don’t listen to my voice mail coupled with hard to date since my schedule is full, I’ve increased my irresistibility quota.
•Meeting a man somewhere makes for a much better date. There is never the misunderstanding that I am going to invite him in for sex. LOL
•Dating has taught me a lot about myself.
•It is okay if a man doesn’t have all the same interests as me. I seldom come across male writers who also teach and belly dance.
* Lastly, but probably most important, there are so many princes out there I am amazed I ever settled for a frog.
Tell me your dating truths. My next four blogs will delve into the aspect of dating like a man. I will also reveal if any of it actually worked for me.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Why do we Love them?
Did you know American women have a strong preference for bad boys over any other culture? Why is that? The hot-looking bad boy has been glorified in American culture via the media. Think of James Dean, Elvis, even 50 Cent. We, American women, want it all. We want the hot guy who makes our hearts flutter who will also stick around and be a great dad. Just like the newly divorced fifty year old guy wants a hot twenty-year old babe to have endless sex with and who waxes his car while he naps. The truth is neither fantasy has a chance of happening.
Americans love Disneyworld because we like to believe dreams really do come true. That brings me back to the bad boy. He is candy for the eye. He definitely has the look, the swagger, and the sexuality. He enters the room and it is as if women are hit with a testosterone driven wave. Their heads swivel, their smiles grow wider and inviting. Men feel it too, but their instincts respond to a threat by becoming huffy or dismissive to the bad boy. This always makes them look bad in front of the females. If they were more in touch with their primitive side, they’d immediately attack the guy and push him out the door.
Besides plain good looks, what does the bad boy have that the nice guy doesn’t? Attitude and plenty of it. He knows every woman in the room wants him. Talk about self confidence! He has elevated cockiness to an art form. He doesn’t need to be nice to women because they are responding to him on an instinctual level. Strong alpha male enters the room, pheromones go on red alert informing women that prime mating material is in the area. This is reinforced by years of watching on the big screen women fall at the feet of bad boys and reading endless romances where the alpha male sweeps the woman off her feet. The sad fact is no matter how much women talk about wanting a kind, thoughtful man they will respond to a dominant alpha male every time, even if it is for a short time. Women are traditionally programmed to follow a strong male lead.
Ironically, the bad boy doesn’t get the girl by telling her she’s beautiful. Instead he gives her left handed compliments like “you could be hot if you did something about your clothes.” The woman is drawn in and immediately wants to know what she should do about her clothes because she wants to be hot for this man. The bad boy may hit on the girlfriend because women usually travel in pairs. In that case, the woman wants what she sees slipping away from her and tries even harder to catch the bad boy’s eye. Do you know they even have classes for men on how to act like a bad boy?
The only problem is if you’re an average guy and you try to act like a bad boy you just come off sounding rude. The bad boy has charisma, humor and loads of sex appeal. His words may be saying your dress is hideous, but his eyes are promising to peel that dress off you. He also has pacing down to a science. He knows when to pull back to leave a woman intrigued. Always keep in mind, a bad boy is always a short term venture. He knows he’s not staying around. Too bad most women seem to ignore this point. Instead they believe if he meets the right woman, i.e. her, that it will happen.
Some women believe that they can change the bad boy into a devoted family man. Remember this, the only person you can change is you. Bad boy is what he is. You respond to his obvious charm. Maybe he’s even yours for the night, but not for long. It isn’t in his nature to be a one woman man. He’s gone before you ever really know anything about him. It is just as well his irresponsible bad boy ways would eventually grate on you.
In other cultures, women don’t want bad boys because they want someone who is responsible. The dependable good guy with a steady job appeals to them. They know he’ll be around to raise the children. Why are American women obsessed with bad boys? The fact that most American women are supporting themselves is one factor. They aren’t necessarily considering bad boy for the breadwinner role. Instead they see him as an avenue for the mythical screaming monkey sex they’ve heard so much about, but never experienced. A brush with a bad boy allows a woman to walk on the wild side if only for thirty minutes. Another is the belief is we can have it all.
Newsflash: you can’t have it all. Choices have to be made. Most women who rode the roller coaster of having a relationship with a bad boy welcome the stability that comes with a nice man. Others become addicts and chase after bad boys despite friends’ warnings. Now your nice man might occasionally enjoy playing the bad boy role, but he’ll still be around to take the kids to soccer practice. So if he wants to don a leather jacket, mirrored sunglasses, and straddle a Harley, make sure you jump on behind him. It could be a memorable ride. Maybe you can have it all.
Give me your report on the state of bad boys. Did you marry a bad boy? Fall for one? Would you fall for one? I did my time in a month-long bad-boy relationship. It was intense. I felt like I’d been flatten by semi when he left suddenly, then I realized I knew almost nothing about him and that’s the way he wanted it.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ask yourself when a date comes to your house, do you offer to get him something to drink, even offer him a snack? Maybe he’s so divine, that you want to show him what you think of him and you buy him a cute gift that reminded you of him. Worse yet you find yourself offering to do things for him from getting him an appointment at your exclusive hair salon or dropping him off at the car service center? If you do any of these things then you’re probably a good girl, especially if you only had ONE date.
Good girls believe they have to earn a man’s love by doing nice things for him. It isn’t surprising that they continue to do nice things for their man until the man takes off with a not so nice girl. What happened? I was good to him…and you were, that’s what did it.
I was watching the end of the show, Millionaire Matchmaker, when the matchmaker scolds the woman for cooking for the man on the first date. She reminds her client how you start a dating relationship is how you will carry it for the life of the relationship. If you start out by giving everything you have on the first date, what do you have to offer later? Anything less than everything will always seem small and petty to a man who got everything on the first date.
In Sherry Argov’s book, Why Men Love Bitches, she explains that a woman who gives very little in the early stages of the relationship will be greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm when she does little thoughtful gestures. Think about this—this is how we treat men. Whenever they make the smallest romantic gesture we react like they are king of the world.
Being the good girl is tiring too. I ended a relationship that was great for the man. He showed up at my house on weekends. I cooked dinner and did his laundry while he sat on my couch and watched television shows he liked. They were very boring shows I might add. Wonderful deal for him, but I felt I just adopted an overgrown kid. It was because I was a good girl and I was in the habit of waiting on him hand and foot. When I broke it off, he didn’t understand because everything was fine in his world. He liked the status quo, but I didn’t. I simply slipped into my role of nice girl when I was determined not to do it. What can I say I was raised in a traditional environment where the women stayed in the kitchen and cooked while the men watched sports. Sometimes I find myself doing things out of habit. Do men even want to be catered to?
Some of you are laughing because you think this is a no brainer, but allow me to offer you the evidence. Not everything we do for our guy is appreciated or wanted, but we define it as pampering. A friend of mine would make her husband a cheesecake from scratch every two weeks to pamper him. She made some great cheesecakes. She did this to indulge him, but after one especially trying week with work and the children she may have told him what he could do with his stupid cheesecake. It was then he revealed he never really like cheesecake he only said he liked it when they were dating so she would like him. All that work for nothing when she could have been doing something she wanted to do.
The nice girl runs around trying to make her man happy as opposed to making herself happy, which in the end makes her angry.. Here’s the deal, he doesn’t really appreciate it when you put on your NFL jersey and sit by him while he is watching the game because you’re doing it for him. Most of the time he doesn’t know you’re there and you resent him for this. Maybe you think he is ogling the cheerleaders and he is.:) A confident woman and goes out and does what she wants to do. There’s no reason to stay home and keep the chip bowl full. The man managed to survive before you showed up on the scene.
A woman who pursues her own interests instead of helping a man with his is more fun. Think about it, you go to your spin class, get in a little shopping, meet your girlfriends for lunch won’t this put you in a better mood than watching a game you couldn’t care less about in your good girl role? The happy woman comes home and sees her man and maybe thinks he looks cute in his rumpled jersey. The woman who fetched, carried and silently seethed for past three hours just wants to do something unpleasant to her guy with the empty chip bag. Let’s face it no one appreciates the good girl. She’s not getting any kudos from anyone. So why in the world do we do it?
My grandmother was an absolute traditionalist. She had to be because she was forced into an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, which made her a poster child for the good girl. When her much older husband died, she swore never to marry again. Ironically, she met a shy bachelor at the great age of forty-eight. The big difference was she sat her earnest suitor down and explained that she would not wait on him hand and foot. She had interests that she intended to pursue. If he was still interested he needed to help out with the cleaning and the cooking. He was interested and agreeable. I never met a happier and more loving couple than my grandparents. I am very fortunate to see modeled what happens when a good girl goes rogue.
How about you, do you consider yourself a good girl, a bitch, a confident woman or combination of all three? Inquiring minds want to know…and so do I. Next week: Why Women Really Love Bad Boys
Monday, December 13, 2010
Who remembers Women’s Lib? I do. I may even have an ERA NOW button stored somewhere. Let’s face it. Women are not operating the same playing field as men, paycheck or otherwise. The big question: Is it okay to be the pursuer in the dating game? This is a tricky question and you have to define what pursuer means.
The fact that you made the decision to date means you are obviously going to put yourself out there to meet men. It’s one thing to introduce yourself at a party and even make a coffee date as opposed to constantly emailing, calling or texting a guy, especially when he doesn’t reciprocate. That not only looks needy, but it is also on the stalker-ish side.
You have friends that when they meet a guy will roll out the red carpet. On the premise, they’ve met Mr. Right, they make a five-course meal and serve it in a black lace teddy on their second date. While the man may enjoy the pampering, he’s gone within a month. What gives? Your friend wanted to show her potential man all she had to offer. It wasn’t that what she had to offer wasn’t good, it just came too fast. The man didn’t appreciate it because he didn’t work for it, anticipate it, or even have a chance to feel special. The lavish display gave the opposite message that this was something she did for almost every man who made it to date two.
We tend to respect what takes work and time. Children who spend their own allowance money on a toy will treat it better than a gift toy. They remember how much work went into it. Men are like this. I got this factoid from men! Sure, it is nice when a woman approaches them and makes the initial move, but a woman who constantly keeps making the moves leaves him with nothing else to do. When does the guy get to fulfill his traditional role as the pursuer?
Some shy guys need to be pursued or else they’ll never go out on a date. There is some truth to that. A woman who does ask the guy out should make sure that it's her last obvious pursuing move because the cards are definitely on the table. The flip side of this whole argument is the totally passive guy. You know the one. In his effort to please, it is always “whatever you want, dear.” Guys will sometimes complain that women don’t appreciate nice men anymore. It depends on what you define as nice. A wimpy man who allows a woman to make all the decisions gets old fast even for an opinionated person like me who likes to make decisions.
Men like what they don’t have or what they think they might not get. They also like to think of themselves as the pursuers…even if you’re allowing yourself to be pursued. There is nothing like a little doubt or insecurity to make a man pursue harder. I got a real life example in my own life due to the fact I don’t listen to voice mail. If I see someone has called me I’ll call him back, but often I don’t see that call. My family will keep calling until I do answer. A bad habit but I doubt I’ll break it though. About once a week to ten days, I listen to all my voicemails. That’s when I discovered one man had called me twice. I texted him with a general message and made no mention of his phone calls. His response was very enthusiastic.
He could have acted hurt or even refused to answer my text, but he didn’t. Instead, he put on his pursuer cap because I appeared elusive. If I mentioned my failure to listen to voicemail, I just sound irresponsible. Maybe he thinks I am so overwhelmed with men asking me out that I just managed to find time to answer his call. I was only able to text because I have such limited time. :) Mentioning my state of constant absent-mindedness would probably not endear me. Why do we want to share our flaws on the first date?
If a guy is around for the fourth or fifth date, then he is willing to deal with your flaws because he has a few of his own. If you want to be pursued and you do, check your baggage at the door. Be mysterious, don’t tell everything. I used to think I had to detail all my failed relationships. Do you want to hear about all his failed relationships? Even if you think you do you’re only fooling yourself. No one wants that. If you insist on rehashing past loves it becomes a therapy session instead of a date. Is that what you want? Keep in mind, you want his attention on you, the pursued, not on the ones who got away.
Men like mysterious. I’ve heard it, even read it, but didn’t believe it. As a woman who talks way too much, I thought it was my goal to reveal every tidbit of my life. I had my doubts about my ex’s sexual orientation and a dislike for my ninth grade locker partner. This did not benefit me. It may have made some men run screaming into the night. It is rather freeing to realize every aspect of my life does not have to be on an examining table. There are things I don’t tell my family. Why would I want to tell a man I‘ve known at best a couple of hours? Mysterious can be good. If he doesn't know everything then there is a reason for him to pursue you to learn more. Keep in mind you never have to reveal all.
There is a common joke among women my mother’s age that they allowed a man to chase them until they caught him. They knew all along which man they had set their cap for. Their girlfriends knew too and probably the guy too. Still, on his part, there was a bit of insecurity that she could prefer another guy or lose interest so he needed to be clear where his interest laid. He did this by bringing small gifts and squiring his girl around. There’s a good chance he also warned off other guys by either looks or actual words. Almost reminds me of a nature show where the male animal puts on his mating display to attract a female and chases off the competition. Ever wonder if the female animals were talking among themselves pointing out which male they liked already, but allowed the male to feel like he was the pursuer
Update: I joked on a blog that I allowed my husband to catch me, while I had decided on him from the start. This amazed him because he believed he was pursuing me. He was to an extent. Rather like primitive men, he demonstrated why he was superior to other men as far as a mate.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
As I promised, here is the scoop from the male point of view on online dating and just plain dating. Since they were kind enough to talk to me and answer my questions I will not use their real names. The first topic is getting out there.
Ethan: People assume if you’re a guy, single and not a troll that you must be dating. I haven’t been. I will admit to withdrawing after my last relationship broke up. I didn’t know if I could justify dating again. I know it’s a pessimist outlook, but won’t it just happen again?
Johann: When a man decides to date after divorce, he’s very vulnerable. One woman has just told him that he has no worth to her. That can make the man over react in an attempt to keep any woman who might show him a little interest. He practically becomes a doormat for the woman. Eventually the woman loses interest in a man who offers no challenge. The man is back where he started from only a little more bruised and bloodied.
James: The biggest problem is meeting women. I want to meet women around my age, professional, and attractive. I’m not sure how to meet these women. I’ve taken night classes, gone to church, even joined single groups without much success. I even bought books that advise you to ask women random questions at the grocery or the dry cleaners. So far, it hasn’t work for me. Usually I get a strange look when I try to make conversation, then the woman sprints for the check out.
Mark: I’ve tried online dating several times, several different sites. There are a lot of issues there with women not really wanting to date, but to email endlessly. Then there are the women who post photos that are 20 years old. The woman you asked out is not the woman you get. Makes me wonder what other things they lied about on their profile.
Eric: I’ve been off and on dating websites for a while. Truthfully, I find few women that even tempt me to write. Some people might call me picky, but why start something that you know isn’t going to work out.
Lane: Most of the women I emailed online, never responded, not even an email saying they weren’t interested. I’m not an ogre. I’ve heard that there are more men online than there are women.
James: Sometimes I just don’t think I have the energy to go through with it all again. I get caught up in how much work I put in past relationships just to have the woman walk out on me.
Mark: I wonder sometimes on my way to a date if it isn’t too late to turn around and go home. It would be a lot less stressful to watch television, but then I remember my life plan is not to spend the rest of my life alone.
Johann: Women also play games. Some women are in relationships, but they get online to check out if they can do better. I know men do it too, but when you’ve been caught in one of these games, it makes you bitter.
Zac: Women have all the cards. I see a woman I like. I have to talk to her, get her number, and call her up for a date. At any of these stages, I can be shot down. We could actually date a couple of times, then she makes up some trumped up excuse about needing space. The truth would serve me better. I need to know. How can I stop doing the wrong things if I don’t know what they are?
James: Women get mad when they are stereotyped, but they do it all the time. They might say only thing men want is to get laid. I want someone I can talk to about my day. When the time is right, I wouldn’t mind getting laid either.
Mark: I have to believe that older people successfully date. Older could mean anyone over thirty.:) If I didn’t believe that then I would be hopelessly depressed. Why bother dating?
James: Men have insecurities. Before going out on a date I often play with my hair trying to get my receding hairline to look less receding.
Zac: Women think we have it easy, but I think we have the harder part. I don’t date more because I don’t get the non-verbal message that a woman might be accepting of my advances. You can only get shot down so many times before you stop.
Mark: Then there are the weird dates, you know the ones. Where your date tells you that several members of her family are armed and dangerous and they know she's on a date--so if she doesn't come home on time you're dead meat.
Ladies, that is a smattering of what is going on in the mind of the single mature man (read over thirty-five.) As your intrepid researcher I was willing to go to any length to gather info. Some I actually took from dates who knew what I was doing. Others I gathered from friends and colleagues who gave me squinty-eyed sideways glances, probably wondering if I would take the info to my secret women meetings to be used against them.
So maybe men do have some of the same fears, doubts even insecurities that plague us. Ironically, I didn’t get one man who told me dating was fun. All the books, I’ve been reading on how to date like a man advised me just to go out and have fun, not to have any expectations past the night. I guess none of my informants knew it was all about living in the moment and having fun. I have to keep telling myself that it's about the moment, not the next twelve months.
The funniest comment I received was about a friend of a friend. His seventy-eight year old friend had a date with a charming, attractive, sixty-six year old lady. When asked about the date, he groused, that she looked old. Sometimes what we really need is a realistic view of ourselves before we even try to date.
I would love to hear from you.