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.
My future wife was on Match.com 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!
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.
~~ 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.
My wife did this diligently with her time on Match.com, 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…