This week’s guest post comes from Ian, who’d like to give the male perspective on that wonderful rollercoaster we call dating. You can find Ian on Twitter @boys_ian
Let me put my cards straight on the table: I’m rubbish at this and have had more dating disasters than a blind man carrying around a big ‘Kick Me’ sign. I once married a girl 63 days after meeting her in a war zone (didn’t work out, oddly enough) and that was one of my better moments. I’ll gloss over the worst.
However right now, to my utter astonishment, I’m dating out of my league, an amazing woman who sent me my only nice Twitter DM ever, so with the confidence of the smugly in love (and at the behest of a few despairing single Twitter ladies), I’d like to share what little I know.
1/ Be interested, be decent, don’t be a creep
Until you start reading the experiences of women who date, you’ve no idea how common it is for women to sit through a whole meal without being asked a single question about themselves. So just by asking a question and actually listening to the answer you’re already winning. And those are the ones who actually got to a date. So many are weeded out at the texting stage because they can find nothing better to say than “Hey”. Clearly they never bothered reading the brief bio of the lady they were texting, they (again) never showed any interest in her life or they went straight to sex talk before they’d even met.
And not just one or two. Dozens and dozens in a row. These guys are the norm – the shallow end of the dating pool is far worse. Remember the most offensive way you’ve been treated and double it.
When I was on Plenty of Fish, about a third of the ladies’ profiles would start with a really negative paragraph on how they’re sick of being contacted by men being foul. Think for a second how bad it is to start your dating profile like that and you realise how serious the problem must be. You can be sure the other two thirds thought the same too, they just didn’t put it on their profile.
You only have to be an average human being to be in the top 10% of dating men. That’s all – average. You don’t have to be perfect. At 49 I’m so far from perfect it’s not even funny. But I do OK by trying not to be a dick.
So here’s the rule: just actually like women as people. I mean, that’s obvious, right? Everyone does it.
No. They. Fucking. Don’t.
2/ What Women Want
What do these weird women creatures want? Eternal mystery, right?
No, it’s easy. I can’t believe it took my until my forties to learn this.
They actually want EXACTLY what men want. It is that simple.
They want to be liked.
They want to be seen, accepted and understood.
They want to be desired.
They want (and this is the mad bit) to get naked with you and do all the crazy stuff you like. Yes, they really do.
It turns out that in spite of having slightly different bodies, they’re actually just like us.
So what does that mean?
If you want the sex part, find someone you actually like and accept as they are. Instead of putting all your effort into cajoling someone into bed before you’ve even met, find someone you genuinely like and get to know her a little. Have you thought what you can do to make her feel accepted and listened to? It’s what you want for yourself too.
And if you don’t actually like her, don’t waste her time.
3/ No Tricks, No Games
I grew up in an Army world where the men did everything exciting and the women trailed around after them. In those days there was quite a common view in that environment that men needed to woo and court women who would finally acquiesce and kiss them. Maybe that was just my view as a child but that view stayed with me for a long time.
Let’s be clear – I’m not against courting someone. Buy flowers for sure. But you don’t need to convince women to do things they’re not inclined to. The fact is women are actually looking for people to kiss. Why they choose us I have no idea, but some of them still do. They are looking for people to spend time with, go for meals with, climb hills with and, yes, do crazy naked stuff with. You don’t have to convince them of anything, you just have to get out of your own way and not mess up for a few days.
This is contrary to what so many of us believe. Look at the world of pick up artists and similar idiots. We have been raised to believe that putting in the right effort at the right time will overcome a woman’s inclinations against us. And yes, we need effort at the right time but amazingly enough women will actually want us if we just show a basic level of decency. It’s a miracle but there we are. They really do walk around looking for someone they want to be with, the same as we do. And we stop them by acting like dicks. We get in our own way and provide them a dozen reasons to avoid us.
4/ No Dick Pics
Send a duck pic instead. It’s not difficult. If you ignore this point you deserve everything you’re going to get, which is nothing.
5/ Be Patient, Learn Empathy, Be Honest
You know you’re a decent guy, but she doesn’t. She really wants to believe you but the last guy ghosted her just when things were going well and the one before was still married. And the one before him too. She has insecurities just like you do. She wants to believe it will all turn out OK but history has shown her that it often doesn’t.
Take a moment and make a list of all the worries she might have. Really put yourself in her shoes and don’t look at what you know about yourself but at what she doesn’t. What can you do to allay her concerns?
Show her that you are who you say you are. Turn up when you say you will, don’t cancel, be on time, do the things you agreed you would. Let her know in due course that you’d love her to see where you live, meet your children. Don’t ever lie or keep secrets. Change your facebook status when you’re in a relationship and delete your apps. Don’t be that person who fuels those concerns. Remember, she doesn’t know you and we all have histories. Address any problem areas early on. If you’re just separated, don’t pretend to be divorced. Be exactly who you say you are and treat her as you would wish to be treated. It’s actually just a lot simpler to live like that.
She might not like everything she hears but at least she’ll know where she stands. If you can only give her one night a week, tell her. She would honestly rather know.
6/ In Summary
So when you boil it all down, it’s really not that complicated. It just comes down to four things.
1. Be a decent person.
2. Women want what you want. It’s not complicated.
3. They’ll want you unless you give them a reason not to.
4. Be who you claim to be.
But wait! you cry. I did that and it didn’t work!
Well obviously it’s not going to work with every single person. Not everyone is right for you or it might just be the wrong day or she doesn’t like beards or Elvis or whatever. That’s life. Dating is a numbers game. Keep persevering and you’ll get there in the end.
Single women constantly complain that the good ones are all off the market. There’s a lesson there. Just don’t be a dick and someone will snap you up in sheer relief.
But don’t just listen to me. Actually ask a woman. They’ll tell you better than I could.
If you’ve got a story to share, or dating advice or opinions, and you’d like to write a guest post, please contact me with your suggestion!