In this world, where complicated is synonymous with our day-to-day lives, some things just need to be easy, especially dating. And, I know what a lot of guys are thinking right now: “What is there that I (yes, you, mister forty and single) don’t know about dating?” Let me tell you—there’s a lot. And you might be surprised with some of the advice women have to share with you. Stop rolling your eyes, take a seat, and read the eight misconceptions guys have about dating.
Misconception #1: It’s Bad to Text or Call After the First Date
I’m putting this as #1 because it’s a biggie, especially in an era where you can actually see when your BBM is read (don’t lie, the “R”s without the response offend you, too).
Let’s face it, people are addicted to their phones. And, as a female I can honestly say that there is nothing, and I mean nothing, worse than waiting to hear back from a guy you went out with, especially if it was clear that the date went well. Call or text her within twenty-four hours. I once went out with a guy who texted me right after dropping me off saying that he had a great time. Was I surprised to see his name on my Blackberry that soon after we went out? Yes, but only because the majority of other guys I know wouldn’t have taken that initiative. She’s wondering what your thoughts are. Life’s too short to leave her waiting by the phone.
Misconception #2: Talking About Exes Early On is Not a Good Idea
Okay, so talking about a past relationship on the first date is probably not a good idea. After all, there’s already enough to talk about (i.e. family, friends, college, jobs, living arrangements, roommate problems, pets, favorite colors, favorite foods, favorite television shows, favorite band, best concert you’ve ever been to, favorite vacation spot, what you would have as your last meal before getting the death penalty—you get the point). Nevertheless, you can learn a lot about a person by hearing about their past relationships. Relationships make an impact on a person’s life and they’ll sure as hell impact their future relationships, so it’s best to know what went wrong before you get too into things. Why did the relationship end? How long ago did it end? What are personality traits that she didn’t like in him? The whole “talking about exes” is usually a taboo topic but, really (and sort of unfortunately), there’s no better way to learn about your girl than hearing about the past.
Misconception #3: Girls Aren’t As Horny As Guys Are
Science might not be on my side with this one. Louann Brizendine, M.D., a clinician who specializes in the study of relationship dynamics, has done research that shows men being 2.5 times hornier than women. Science and Harvard Medical School aside, let me tell you: your girl is hornier than she seems. Much hornier. As a society, we have put men in the “horn ball category,” leaving the poor female gender out to dry. But, we can be horn balls, too. When asked about this particular misconception a friend of mine said, "Truth be told, girls think about sex just as much as guys. Even on the first date we’re daydreaming about what you look like in the buff. Lacking a penis does not mean we lack sex drive." True, it just means that, unlike you boys, it’s not as, er, obvious when we’re aroused.
Misconception #4: Chivalry is Dead
Just last week I nearly regurgitated my lunch listening to a group of college freshmen girls talking about “some lame guy who kept holding the door.” It took every ounce of strength inside me not to go up to their table, scold them, and inform them that, in a few years, they will be beating themselves up for thinking that holding the door is lame. And also over the fact that guy was probably the catch of the century. Because a guy doesn’t get more chivalrous the older he gets—that, like most things in life, is learned young. My sister, Andi, says it best: “Being too polite is not a bad thing. Holding the door open is not outdated! In fact, it’s expected.” Overalls have come and gone, so have Beanie Babies, trucker hats, and acronyms like “ROTFL.” But, chivalry will always be in style.
Misconception #5: Dinner is the Best Date
Stop right there, Mr. No Creativity. Guys are not the only ones who want to engage in activity-related dates. “It’s a total misconception that guys think girls just want the classic dinner date. That’s fun sometimes, but girls like to be active, too,” says Tina, a 23 year old Chicagoean, who enjoys dates other than the standard dinner. And I can’t say I disagree. Some of the best dates I’ve been on did not involve a table for two. Think: baseball games, basketball games, hiking, barbeques outside, playing a game of golf or tennis. An even better idea? Geocaching: A high-teach treasure hunting game played by adventurous people equipped with GPS devices, hoping to locate hidden treasures. It’s free, all you need is a small GPS system ($40 at Best Buy), and I can guarantee you there will be hundreds of hidden treasures in your neck of the woods. A day of geocaching followed by a refreshing drink at your local bar. Sounds like the perfect date to me.
Misconception #6: Bragging About How Well You Do Is Hot
If you’re bragging to a girl you’ve just started dating about your income, you are, for lack of a better word, a total douche. The majority of you probably don’t fall into this category (thank God), but I’ve heard the bragging from a variety of guys in New York. I’ve been told what figure income a guy had the first time we went out for drinks. I left fifteen minutes after that bomb was dropped. Let’s face it, a girl wants her guy to do well. Nobody wants to date a pauper. But, if you do well, we’ll be able to tell without hearing about it. You’ll be wearing a nice watch, dressing to the dime, and probably rocking a moustache. No, but seriously, a study done by the American Mustache Institute (yes, this actually exists) found that guys with mustaches make nearly 5% more than guys with no facial hair… interesting. I won’t lie—the appearance of wealth can definitely attract women. But, seriously, do you have nothing better to impress us with? I’d rather hear a guy bragging about his elementary school all-state basketball game than his salary. If you’ve got it, there’s really no need to flaunt it.
Misconception #7: Girls Love Bad Boys
Ah, Colin Farrell and men of the like with their drug addictions and sex tape scandals. His bad boy behavior is perfect for tabloids and for the Hollywood scene, but when it comes to real life, the bad boy image won’t get you as far as you think. We’ve all dated the bad boys and, for the most part, it ended just like that… bad. “You’re not going to get what you want out of bad guys. They’re good for a romp around the sack, but nothing long-term,” says Jarvie, a good acquaintance of mine. Everett Worthington, a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, agrees. In an interview with ABC, she said: “…some of these males [bad boys] may be more successful at short-term sexual relationships, but their overall success with long-term relationships is often compromised by their dark triad traits.”
Misconception #8: Girls Like Playing Games
I love Monopoly and Scattergories and Candy Land and Catch Phrase, solely because I rule at it. I love board games and sports games and card games. But I, like most women, do not like games when it comes to dating. If you want to call, call. If you want to text, text. If you want to go out to dinner, ask her out to dinner. It’s really not your fault (as a guy) that you’ve been falsely informed. I cringed when I saw what some guy advice websites were saying: “How To Play The Game,” “Do not be too accessible—calling daily goes hand in hand with this,” “Do not devote too much attention to them,” “Do not accommodate anyone but yourself,” “If you run from them, they’ll chase you.” And we wonder why nearly 100 million Americans are single (that’s an actual statistic, gulp). Save yourself the time and energy. If you’re into a girl, stop playing the game. Even Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst agrees: “Boys frustrate me. I hate all their indirect messages. I hate game playing. Do you like me or don’t you? Just tell me so I can get over you.” Bottom line: Ignoring her is not going to make her want you more. Unlike your glory days of Chutes and Ladders, playing the dating game isn’t so easy to win.
By: Alexandra Foster