This article may seem shocking and archaic, but it is all true. The other night I had dinner with my husband and two of his single male friends (Ben and Jack) who went on a rant about today’s dating. These handsome freelance singles in their forties are frustrated trying to find a decent woman. I could not believe it.
Ben and Jack believe that today’s women act desperate. Of course, I asked for details: what does despair look like? Turns out, it boils down to two very basic and fairly traditional concepts:
1) Men don’t want women to chase them
2) Men don’t like it when “the chase” is too easy
Dating is an ancient mating ritual
That? How can this be in an age of equality between the sexes? It’s really very simple – dating goes back to ancient mating rituals that haven’t disappeared or been modified as much as women would expect.
“Boys” Dating Guidelines
According to Ben, Jack, and others, here are some guidelines that women can try to follow if they want to be perceived as “quality prospects” during their initial encounters with men:
1) With online dating, don’t start a flood of emails. Some women send emails multiple times a day, making them appear demanding, needy, or high-maintenance. Frequent contact can make you feel cluttered. Initially, let the men set the pace.
2) Don’t call to say hi, check in, or find out why you haven’t called. This is considered aggressive and desperate. If you don’t like the slow pace, the guy may not be the one for you. If you feel compelled to call when you haven’t heard from him, don’t make more than one cheerful and friendly call. That is all. He will pick up the ball or not, but he will leave that ball on his court.
3) As horrible as this old saying is, “There is no reason to buy the cow if the milk is free.” The double standard is still alive! While not all men feel this way, it’s pretty hard to know who does and who isn’t before it’s too late. The best course of action is to refrain from privacy to make sure you get the respect you want and deserve.
The persecution is still important and desirable
Most men still prefer to chase women during the initial dating phase. They want to chase and conquer you, instead of feeling like you are a push. It’s not about playing too hard to get there. It’s about not being overly available or overzealous. Simple human nature creates the desire to want what is not available and without this tension, there is nothing to “conquer.”
If you think about it, women feel the same. My clients complain all the time about men who are “too nice”, clingy or too strong. Or think of all the women who love “bad guys”; men who are unavailable or unreachable. This is the other side of the same coin, so to speak.
My conclusion on Ben and Jack’s perspective on dating is this: for better or for worse, the dating game is still up for grabs. You can deny it or fight it if you want. But that won’t change the cold and hard facts from most men’s perspective.
Your best bet is to play the game
Instead of chasing after someone and risking the appearance of despair, use your feminine charm to attract a man. Let him know and see why he’s a great match.
Show your charming character by being fun to be around and looking your best. Flirt with him, flatter and praise him (but be honest, please) and show your appreciation by thanking him. And let him lead the way for at least the first 4-8 dates. It may be “old school”, but you can’t argue with what has worked well for eons and still works today. Try following this plan and find out how well it can work for you too. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised.