Men vs. Women: Dating Tips for Women

Category: Men vs. Women Series

Mr. Wrong

Dating: perhaps one of the scariest words in the English language. But, like so many things, it really is all about our attitude. We control very little in our lives, but we do have full control over our attitude.

I’ve lived a long life with lots of varied experiences. With this scientific and extremely potent resume, I am going to offer you ladies some tips and advice about dating and men.

My experiences? Married, divorced, and a SAHD for many years doing the parenting alone. I met my second wife online, after 467 dates over a several-year period. Don’t think that that was really that many dates because the vast majority were coffee meet-ups. What ended up occurring was that out of every ten women I met, I liked one. Out of every one of those, one of two liked me back. So, that means I had about 23 second dates over that several-year period.

Do's and Don'ts of Dating

My future wife was on for about eight months. She received several thousand emails and many more “winks.” She chose to meet seven of those men. I was number seven. Prior to that, she had been single (divorced) for nearly ten years and had several monogamous relationships.

I wrote a column about Internet Dating, which has some useful tips, but this column will take a different approach in being much more politically incorrect and specifically directed at women. It is directed mostly at women long out of college and women that have been independent and self-sufficient for a significant amount of time. I really don’t have any advice for female college grads that are still living at home other than to GET OUT!

Finally — my disclaimer. This is the same disclaimer I say or write every time I offer generalities and stereotypes. Yes, there are exceptions to every one of them. Yes, not all men are like this or that and not all women are like this or that. So, save your rants and your exclamations of knowing different. I challenge you to challenge the veracity of my generalities being “generally” correct!

Dating is funny

This list is in no particular order, no particular order of importance, and is an arbitrary number of observations.

~~ Men and women are different. Yes, this is a shock to you graduate students in Women’s Studies and most of the liberal arts, but we are different: inherently different. Note that I said “different” – NOT better or worse. Once we recognize these differences, it’s easier to understand our respective behavior. Want to know more about these differences? Read the rest of my Men vs. Women series.

~~ Men are guided initially by YOUR looks, ladies. Yes, it’s shallow, but get over it and get to the gym if you need to lose weight (or simply to be healthier if you don’t), take care in how you look, and dress attractively without being salacious or overt. Dress your age, too. Men and women who try to look younger by shopping at H&M simply look foolish. You can ignore my backwards cap, low-hanging pants, and bling. I’m the exception to the rule.

~~ Whatever your list of required “qualities” contains, revise it to those things that really matter. His height, hair color, and the kind of car he drives does NOT make much difference. His values, character, job, and baggage can and do make a difference.

Relationship Comic Strip

~~ Stop apologizing for wanting to be with a man who is your equal in career and income. YOU are built that way. There are few successful and powerful women that have any sustained relationships with the male equivalent of “eye candy.” Men can do this; women can’t. And, frankly, it’s to your credit. BUT, for those of you that are six-figure income earners your “talent pool” of men is decreased significantly so beware of those other things on your list and pare it down!

~~ Let him pick up the tab if he wants to. Offer to share the bill since we are in more equal times, but let him be the man if he wants to be. Embrace his chivalry. Face it – you want him to be a man, to act like a man. There was a recent study, “Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” that revealed a very interesting fact. Men (and women) in households where men shared much of the traditional housework had less sex than in those households where men did the more traditionally male chores such as taking out the trash. Evidently, doing the ironing and laundry wasn’t such a big turn-on for women after all! How ironic. How wonderful!

~~ Perhaps this is the biggest tip on this list; though I disclaimed there was no order or priority. Make finding YOUR man YOUR priority. Think how much time you spend developing and nurturing your career. What if you put even 20% of that effort into finding a life partner instead of hoping for a “cute meet” at Starbucks? I’m NOT suggesting that you work less. I am suggesting that you put more time into your efforts to find a partner and give up other expendable things, such as shopping.

Dating comic

My wife did this diligently with her time on, reading every one of those thousands of emails and carefully reading every profile when there was the hint of an appropriate match. It took time and effort. Many of her girlfriends gave up after a few lame dates. It’s a process. Relax and put in the effort.

~~ Chemistry cannot be manufactured. If you don’t feel it pretty quickly, let it go and move on. This is VERY true for men. Yes, you ladies can be “seduced” by wittiness, humor, and character. But, usually you know pretty soon if the chemistry is there. I believe it’s built into us somehow and I know there are scientific studies that back this up – it may be a smell thing or something else – but don’t fight it.

Hmmm, it seems this list ended up being a list of seven. My wedding ring is composed of seven bands. May seven be OUR lucky number…

  • BarbaraDuke

    I didn’t ever date online. I have been married to my present husband 19 years. I did write to a man in the paper. He was an engineer at NASA. We met for lunch on a Sunday. His ad said that he was well educated, love to take walks on the beach, loved to dance, etc.
    If I hadn’t told him what I was wearing, I would have run when I saw him. He was at least 20 years older than me. He had on bright green golf pants and a faded blue knit shirt. He was walking with a cane. Being the nice person that I am, Introduced myself and we went to the restaurant. He did not hold the chair, and when the waiter came over, he told him that we would be having water.
    We ordered salads and he proceeded to put the crackers on the tablecloth and buttered each one. There were cracker crumbs all over. And, he practically ate his salad off the tablecloth. He wiped his nose with the cloth napkin. I was so embarrassed but I continued on like nothing was wrong. after an hour or so I took some money to cover my lunch out and put it on the table. He said that he would pay, but I did not want to feel obligated to him in any way.
    We went outside and he said he might give me a call, but I Iooked at my watch and said I had to run to meet my girlfriend for church. I went home and the phone rang as soon as I got there. It was him asking if I would like to go dancing on the beach on Friday. I told him that I would be out of town. He called me a few more times, until he finally got the message that I wasn’t going out with him. His manners were atrocious, not to mention he walked with a cane, and he was a liar. Needless to say, that was my first and only pen pal situation with a man.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @BarbaraDuke:disqus – that’s a sadly typical story. BUT, had you not met your husband, I would still advise you to stick with it. There are good men and good women out there. It just takes perseverance and patience to weed through them all!

    • Nicky

      Sorry Barbara,sooo scary,the way we men can act.

      • Scott McCollum

        Get real Nicky, Women lie also. I have been on 3 different dates from online where the woman had used pics that were at least 10 or 15 years old.

        • Bruce Sallan

          @scott_mccollum:disqus – men lie about their height and income; women lie about their age and weight – generally. So, what you experienced is sadly quite typical!

    • Helga

      Let a man ‘be a man’ and allow him to pick up the bill if he wants to? All well and good if he us a true gentleman. I’ve done that and ended up with a guy who believes that I ‘owe him’ because he’s bought me drinks and paid for a meal, even though I have offered to pay my way. That’s when I find that he is not a gentleman……

      • Bruce Sallan

        @Helga – that “man” is a slug!

  • Nicky

    What a loaded piece of reading.I am in the search having lost my spouse some five years ago.I am 100% convinced that dating is scary and not so easy as it seems.Meeting with someone is not so much of hustle but to click is so much different.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @Nicky – how is it “loaded?”

  • christiantoto

    Really solid advice here from someone who has battled in the trenches, apparently! I think dating could be the hardest thing we ever do … some people are natural at it, but I suspect most of us aren’t. What I learned through my trials and errors is that the mental checklist I had in mind for the right women didn’t end up helping me. My future wife didn’t fit the mold, the expectations I had for a partner. Now, looking back, she had everything that mattered to me. It just took me a while to realize it!

    • Bruce Sallan

      Beautiful comment @christiantoto:disqus and great work!

  • David Weber

    There is something a little bizarre about a 60-year-old man giving dating tips to forty-year-old women. Even more bizarre is the recurrence of your usual dismissal of graduate studies, liberal arts and so on, as contexts within which men and women are described as not different from one another. This is to the discredit of an institution — the U.S. American university — that is under assault thanks to the awful choices made by a small number of people who work in a few but not all of those institutions.

    Thanks for continually castigating the same way every time — never mind the disclaimers of “it’s just my opinion,” which you believe gives you the green light to be something other than willing to deepen or add nuance to obdurate positioning — the sector in which your oldest friend in the world labors, and who STRUGGLES to turn things around that are to the detriment of that sector. What happened to all that about “meeting in the middle” you wrote regarding your experience with Peter Yarrow? That I-love-people charm you always tell your readers you have — how about turning some if it in my direction for once, regarding the world of universities?

    I’m really torn by two desires…one is to not comment (since comments are important to accumulate in SoMe) on any article you write in which appears a passage along those lines…and on the other hand, I feel an obligation to comment at the end of articles containing such passages, in order to get another perspective out in the public square constituted by readers of this space. Not that many, if any, read my comments here, I’m sure. But for your readers who are learning from you that university operations are a welter of misinformation about the sexes and other topics, I would like to mark out space for the other side of the coin.

    • Bruce Sallan

      Well David, we continue to have this issue as our only serious disagreement. I now have first-hand experience of spending 6-figures for my son to go to a so-called prestigious college in Boston only to learn that much of what I’ve been saying is HORRIBLY true (at that school that he has since left).

      I suspect we both live in our respective “bubbles” of knowledge and experence. I listen to people who devote their lives to “news” and while you may not agree with their point-of-view, they inform me about college life and they do a ton of research. Especially one of the big-name TV political hosts i watch.

      The frequency which I hear this point-of-view in my circles is constant. And, now I have my own direct experience attending orientations and some classes at my son’s former college. We WASTED a lot of money and were sold a bill of goods.

      TRUST ME, few of his professors could hold a CANDLE to you and your efforts to provide a good education to your students. Heck, he took a math course in which the teacher couldn’t even supervise exams so he just gave the classes take-home tests – for mid-terms and finals, too! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

      Most of the kids simply googled the questions and got the answers!

      Yes, there are two sides to any debate. I’ve taken this side and I feel further emboldened by my own and my son’s experiences and knowledge base at this point.

      This argument is sort of like the media saying there’s no bias among most MSM outlets. Then we get a report that reveals only 7% of news media declare themselves as Republican! SEVEN PER CENT. 50% declare themselves as Independent so they at least appear to be somewhat in the middle.

      The stats speak for themselves. But, this is my opinion…and I am only an opinion-monger – I don’t claim otherwise.

      • David Weber

        I don’t have a problem with what you’ve written here, because it’s not a quip made at the expense of universities, it is not a dismissal of university grad students and professors as promoting ideas (e.g., “Men and women are not different from one another”) that they don’t. I have a problem with getting mileage out of canards along those lines again and again, month in and month out. I would hope your other readers don’t hope that once again you will bust the chops of women’s studies professors and grad students in almost the same words time and again.

        • Bruce Sallan

          Okay David, I’ll try to “bust the chops” with more original wording from now on!