How to Date Me: A Field Guide for Men

Confidential to the guy who’s asking Amie Longmire out on a date: she wants you to succeed at dating her. Here’s how.

I will not pretend to understand what a man goes through when asking a woman on a date. I can’t speak for women everywhere but what follows are friendly reminders in case you find yourself about to ask me out.

1. My first date expectations.

I only have one. To get to know you better. I never say yes to a date out of pity or expecting an engagement ring. I’m treating the first date like a scrimmage. It’s not the big homecoming game. We’re not there yet. Getting to know me is going to be a long distance run not a wind sprint. I won’t be giving you enough information about me on the first date to make any life long plans. Even if our chemistry is clicking, I try to avoid hormonal decisions. It might not be romantic or polite to bring this up right now but, I need to know that we can actually be friends, that I can trust you with who I am, and trust you, that I can make you laugh, that I can genuinely laugh at your jokes. I fear I’ve used all my sports analogies in the first paragraph.

2. I have a no drama policy.

I love my life. I am not a victim and I don’t need rescuing. I’d consider rescuing a puppy. Never men. Leave your baggage at the door, be honest about its existence, and I will do the same for you. I don’t speak in “girl code” and I don’t play mind games. I’m sorry if previous women have left you feeling used and abused but I am not other women. You can take me at my word. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “You marry a sinner. There’s no one else to marry.” If this first date eventually turns into a trip down the aisle, we will be unpacking our respective histories together for years to come.

3. Reframing a successful relationship.

I believe that God brings us together for reasons we don’t always understand at first. Not all dates go well or turn into lasting romantic relationships. Some dates seem doomed and rally after some time has passed. You and I have both picked our way through rigorous dating terrain. Can we both agree to treat each other with kindness no matter what happens?

If we are being ourselves, our expectations mutual, and we find that one of us no longer wants to continue, we will have the guts to be honest about it. No dropping off the face of the earth, or suddenly losing your number. If we are honest from the beginning, determining that we cannot move forward is a way of coming to a successful conclusion. This is a difficult talk to initiate. It should be an open dialogue.

I don’t have a poker face. I’m a terrible actress. If it’s not going well on my end, I will not be able to hide it. On the bright side, if it is going well, you will know immediately.

4. Let go of your list.

You know the one … At some point you sat down and wrote out the list of qualities you want in a spouse. We’ve all done it. I did it. In my early twenties I made a comprehensive list (it was more than 2 pages). I folded the list and lost it pretty quick. Several years later, I found it again, read it, laughed, and made a new list in my journal (only one page this time). I’m pretty sure a few more years went by before I found it again. Rereading it, I noticed something. The qualities I asked for where all things that I wanted to manifest in myself. I want to be a better leader, a stronger communicator, financially responsible, faithful in the small things … Shouldn’t these be basic prerequisites for everyone?

You can save your list if you feel strongly about it but, I don’t want to hear of it for a long time (say years). Reducing me to a list tells me that you care more about your own agenda than you do about learning who I actually am. It’s a back handed way of telling me that I’m an object.

5. I am not an object.

Neither are you and I promise not to treat you like one. I’ll give you a tip. Most men are not chatting me up because they think I look smart. I live in Los Angeles. I’m tall. I’m blonde. I like to wear cowgirl boots. But there is so much more to me than these superficial things. You’ll win my attention and respect pretty quick if you can make me laugh and ask me intelligent questions.

6. Dynamic characters only.

I teach college writing courses and I find myself telling my students the same thing over and over. A story where nothing happens and the character never changes cannot be counted as a story at all. I want the story of my life to be filled with adventure, growth, laughter, love, risk, and whimsy. I think God’s imagination for my future is immeasurably larger than anything I could come up with on my own. I’m looking to spend my life with someone, possibly you, in such a way that when our lives merge, we are a force of nature the likes of which the world has never seen. This is a tall order, not for the faint of heart. Only dynamic characters should apply.

7. Be a gentleman and treat me like a lady.

I will say, “I got it” when you hold a door for me or help me with my coat the first few times. I’m my father’s fiercely independent daughter. You will need to remind me that you are doing this because you are a gentleman not because you think me incapable. I need your help remembering these things.

8. Avoid a post date freak out.

Are questions and doubts plaguing you after you say good night to me? Do not freak out on me. I’ve seen great guys get derailed this way. There is a phrase I’d like you to remember: object permanence. Object permanence is Jean Piaget’s idea that objects (or people – in this example only) continue to exist even when you cannot see them. Babies haven’t learned this yet. It’s the reason they love to play peek-a-boo.

If you wake up the morning after our date and wonder how it went or you’re doubting the effectiveness of a punchline or if something I said confused you, know this: If our motives were clearly stated, mutual, and honest, there is no reason for second guessing yourself or me. You are free to proceed with confidence. I hope that you will.

Good luck. I’m rooting for you.
P.S. I’ve always wanted to try kayaking.

 

Read more: What Does Your Online Dating Profile Secretly Say About You?

Image credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives / Flickr

About Amie Longmire

Amie Longmire currently teaches writing at Biola University. She recieved her Masters in Professional Writing at USC. Her work has recently appeared in Divine Caroline Magazine and Darling Magazine but you can read more of her work at AmieLongmire.com.

Comments

  1. PERFECT….Amie you rock!

  2. Andy Buchan says:

    I hope you enjoy the article and please think of child and adult sex workers on the streets in squats and inadequate accommodation both private and state housing. do not give to human rights corporations as you promote them and not the causes they claim to champion.

    Give food and clothing and sleeping bags and waterproof materials and help starve the new age Human Rights Oligarchs who prey on your conscience to improve their social standing and enrich their movements which tend to be hidden agendas just like government and private companies.

    I am a survivor from the child sex trade, I was an unpaid child sex worker in care and the community and I was also controlled with medication which gagged me and also served as Illegal Human Drug trials. Please spread this and share the idea and message.

    For many it will not be Christmastime but yet another day at work on the streets of European Cities. Here in the UK it will be no different. Radical groups will be counting their gains and discarding adult and child survivors of the sex industry with nothing more than a smile. Groups claiming to be for Human rights and advocate survivors ignore people because they do not meet their criteria. It would be better if Human rights activists were made to provide for all walks of life and not just take from victims of human rights abuses and worse still only help victims who would help promote them and advance their career.
    Could you spread these posts and search for more to add to the list so that people in activism, especially those exploited by what can be termed as Human Rights Corporations, know more about how people in human rights groups exploit peoples misery for their selfish gain.

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-883365
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-889412
    http://www.youtube.com/user/YAYFUL1
    Meeting with MSP and justice Minister Kenny MacAskill Edinburgh Scotland

    http://coblehaugh.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/tam-baillie-positive-change-must-come-from-savile-case-1-2672911

    Austerely
    Andrew Buchan

  3. Frederick says:

    we are a force of nature the likes of which the world has never seen. This is a tall order, not for the faint of heart. Only dynamic characters should apply.

    Come on, this is ridiculous.
    I wonder what the woman will bring to the table. It’d be a breath of fresh air to see a woman to set up and plan a date for once.

    • I wish I could figure out what men want from a date. I would probably take more initiative, but I fear it would just be a turn-off. Men already think I’m too intimidating, because I’m an attorney. If I started planning all our dates, they’d run for the hills. And I’m perfectly capable of planning dates, I’m a very competent person. But men usually aren’t looking for that, I’ve discovered — except for certain men who want to be the passive partner, which turns me off. I like someone as strong and competent as I am.

      • Frederick says:

        You assume I’m talking about completely switching the roles while I was referring to women sometimes taking the initiative. Finding a middle ground is important.

        Women in general tend to be more passive than men when it comes to dating. Having to think up a plan and a few back up plans is tiring. Plus there is always the “fear” that the other person might not like it.

      • Andy Buchan says:

        It is actually women who make things difficult for men to understand what they want in anything. I think that you are trying to shift the blame away from yourself to see what you can get from it. This is very suspect and needs to be clarified as it is universal knowledge that women are far more awkward than men.

      • @Sarah…

        “I wish I could figure out what men want from a date.”

        How about the simply opportunity to get to know the other person. While I do not date, this would be my goal on the initial date. I want to get to know just who she is a person. Why? Because I might not like her. Or find we have little in common.

        If we did click or have “chemistry” as women like to say, then we could talk about moving forward. This discussion MUST involved the nature of the relationship ( casual, serious, monogamous,…).. Then each person can freely decide to proceed, if her or she wishes.

        I am attracted to intelligent women, period. I am not intimidated by anyone. If she is a neurosurgeon, I would not care at all. Yes, I know men who are intimidated by highly educated and smart women. Honestly, I am turned off by pretty faces and nice asses with no brains.

        So, I think it is pretty simple to state what I would want in a date. But, unfortunately due to the anti-social nature of our society today, dating has become utterly silly and lacking in social cohesion. It all stems from the increasing lack of human beings talking to one another. They would rather text, email, chat online,…..Anyhow, not my cup of tea.

      • “I wish I could figure out what men want from a date.”

        Spoken like one who has truly ignored men her whole life. Pay attention to the men saying “What do you offer men in return?”, they know what they’re talking about. And having seen what this author looks like (yes, it really does matter, and it’s too damn bad if that’s offensive), her list of demands is even more hilarious to read.

        Men are pulling away, they are not ‘afraid’. men are pulling away because the ‘value proposition’ women tend to offer these days is FAR below being worth it for most guys. Lawyer-chicks, for example, usually aren’t intimidating so much as total bitches most of the time. ‘Smart, successful’ girls tend to be unattractive, mannish, frumpy, with entitlement and persecution complexes to match. For perspective, this is exactly as attractive to men, as the whiny, wimpy supplicating beta-boy is to women. And yes, we will lie about this unattractiveness just as often as women will, and for the same reasons.

        That’s why the smarter girls, and the ones that actually want to understand men rather than try and browbeat them into submission, tend to frequent manosphere blogs rather than this sick parody of the concept.

        It’s encouraging and discouraging all at once to see comments such as your lamentation over ‘figuring out guys’, since so precious few of you even attempt to do so. Maybe that’s because it means letting go of the Pretty Lies, which pains women every bit as much as it does men.

  4. You obviously still expect chivalry and yet you want to be treated as an equal in every other way. Where is the woman who believes in TRUE equality? It’s always only equality as it suits women best, not cut-and-dry equality. Many women are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

    • Phil, do you really want your boss or female work-mates to treat you the same exact way your girlfriend does? Because I got to tell you, there are many things I do for my boyfriend that I don’t do for my boss.

      You got two options if you believe that all relationships need to be treated the same to be equal. Either you sleep with your boss like you sleep with your boyfriend/girlfriend and you give them lovey dovey expressions. Or you treat your boyfriend/girlfriend completely professional with no romance or anything of the kind.

      “True equality” is not about everyone treating each other in one blanket way. I am sure there are ways men enjoy being treated within their personal relationships that do not extend to their work ones. Women are no different. “True equality” is also something that may be different for each individual.

      If you don’t enjoy openning doors for women (just an example), you have the freedom not to. If a woman does enjoy having this done for her, she has the freedom to find a man that will give that to her. Like anything else, it’s about your needs in the relationship.

      • You are right. I’ve always believed that ones sexual / partner preferences don’t have to align with their gender politics.

        A woman can believe in true equality yet still expect men to make the first move, pursue her and have the burden to prove themselves. This isn’t a political issue because there is no obligation on those men to do all that and neither am I entitled to that treatment.

        Similarly a woman can be a feminist and still have a preference for men who are considered traditionally masculine in aspects of personality, appearance and their social standing.

      • I think ones sexual / partner preferences dont have to align with their gender politics.

        A woman can believe in true equality but still expect men to make the first move, pursue her and bear the burden of courting.

        Similarly, a woman can be a feminist and still have a preference for men who can be considered traditionally masculine.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          @ Erin and Kiron

          Rationalize away, but what you’re really saying is that you want to have the option to have your cake and eat it too.

        • @Erin and Sarah and Kiron: I couldn’t agree with you more that women have the right to demand that men accept that they– women– can have their way with little or know accountability, taking both sides of a position, leaving no room for the man to have space to be anything but reactionary.

          What is interesting about this point of view is that it is so fundamentally self-concerned. It mentions that ” we” should throw away the list,( though I’ve never met a man with ” the list) but this is a cleverly concealed ruse.

          The old list is replaced with a new list, but since one isn’t compelled to to write down the contents of the new list, I suppose this makes it different. This spider web of confusing, conflicting,demands offered to men in this article is nothing more than a reformation of the old nonsense and is a menu for relationship disaster and an unhappy life if your a man.

          • OgWriter, it’s not about “women’s way”. I’m really trying to be open here and communicate with you fairly. I am not looking for everything to be “women’s way”. I also don’t understand what you mean when you said that this leaves no space for men to be anything but reactionary. I have had a lot of men turn me down because I didn’t fit into what they were looking for. I wasn’t thin enough, my breasts weren’t big enough, I wasn’t feminine enough or I liked talking too much about a certain topic that drove them crazy. I could list so many more ways that I have learned that I don’t fit into certain men’s desires and needs. I can’t do anything about that though. I can only be me and be honest about what I need in a man and what is good to compromise on. Because everyone is going to make some compromising and compromising is healthy. It’s about figuring out what is really important to you.

            I would totally be interested in hearing you and Bay Area Guy answer my questions that I asked of Phil. Would you be willing to do that? Do you want your gf/wife to treat you the same way your female work mates treat you?

            There are things I do for my boyfriend that I don’t do for my boss. Isn’t that the way it should be? Shoudn’t there be certain ways I treat my boyfriend that don’t extend to the professional world? Does that mean I am being treated unfairly? I don’t think so. There are ways I treat thim that he really loves! Ways that are kind of old fashioned sometimes! Should I deny him these things because they are not seen as “equal” in the professional world? Are all our relationships meant to function exactly the same?

            I do understand how women can be confusing and how sometimes it seems like we demand alot and unfarily so. I totally get that. It feels like that for me sometimes too when it comes to men. Standards about how I am suppose to look, act how I am suppose to have my carreer be altogether and be very independent while not making any demands on him….Ideally that is who I would be if I could fit into what a lot of guys wanted. But I have far from a perfect body. Certainly not the kind of body that I know a lot of men are looking at with lust. And I’m not as young as I use to be. And I know men like young women the most. I am not as independent as I wish I was and I know that men wish I was so together that I can do everything on my own. I got a lot of faults and I don’t fit into a lot of th demands a lot of men seem to want. Feeling confused nd unfair demands is something we BOTH are feeling from the other side.

            • @Erin: To be honest Erin, I finally get that women like yourself will probably never understand my point of view. I used to think that there was hope for greater understanding, but thirty five years later, I must realize that it’s simply not true.

              I can relate to Wanda, but she is a rarity among women. What is normal is this mind fuck; “A woman can believe in true equality but still expect {demand} men to make the first move, pursue her and have the burden to prove themselves, or bear the burden of courting.” OOOH sounds like fun, sign me up, I wanna be burdened too! Kiron, I’m sure quite unintentionally, summed up quite nicely what trying to have a relationship with a woman who is like this is like—–a burden. Yeah, I think Wanda has this thing figured out.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              I would totally be interested in hearing you and Bay Area Guy answer my questions that I asked of Phil. Would you be willing to do that? Do you want your gf/wife to treat you the same way your female work mates treat you?

              I’ll answer.

              What you do with your boyfriend in your relationship is your own business.

              However, what irks me about the attempts to combine feminism and chivalry is the “is it good for women?” attitude.

              If certain “traditional” gender roles are to your liking, then it’s just fine to keep them. Like, I don’t know, men holding doors open for you. But if you find certain “traditional” gender roles discriminatory or sexist, then they must go!

              It’s all about what women want, not about true equality.

              Frankly, yes, I do believe that equality should extend to courtship and romance.

              Regarding “feminist chivalry,” I once heard a quote from a man on some other blog:

              We’re tired of having to treat women like complete equals from 9 to 5, only to then have to treat them like princesses from 5 to 9

            • @Erin: A few days ago, Sarah wrote on the post,” Men have Feeling Too,” that she didn’t know that men had feeling, beyond the need for sex and food, until as an adult, she saw police men emoting. She was taught this behavior from her mother and I’m sure from society too.Millions upon millions of women were taught this very nonsense for decades and decades and decades.Yet, somehow I am supposed to believe that the emotional worlds of men and women are treated equally, not a chance.

              Men still run the physical world and women still control the emotional world. What is strange to me is that some women actually don’t know this. How is this possible that women think that men are on an equal footing when it comes having their emotions judged on a par with women? I keep hearing about all of these evolved women, made better by feminism, where are they? And, for these women, rather than change and give up some of the perks for the benefits and responsibilities of equality, all they do is demand more—i.e. I can be equal AND demand that I don’t have to give up any of the perks of a traditional chivalrous relationship.From what I can tell,that’s what it comes down to for women, if I can have what I want then that’s what I’m gonna go for. If it means that I can have it both ways and he gets screwed in the process, then so be it.

              The existence and prevalence of this belief system among American women was never properly modified and dealt with by feminists is why I say that men aren’t heard, And it is also one of the reasons why I don’t believe that the feelings of men are treated with the same respect and consideration as the feelings of women. This is why say that men can only be reactionary to what she wants because what he wants is secondary to her needs as expressed by her emotions, which are more valued in America.

            • Erin

              You say you don’t have the perfect body, you’re older now, you’re not feminine enough, have small breasts, you’re not thin enough, etc. yet despite admitting your own shortcomings have you ever stepped back and looked at your requirements of men regarding their appearance?

              Have you ever considered how many men you overlooked because they were a bit too chubby, scrawny, dorky, a few inches shorter, balding etc. for your liking?
              Have you considered how many men among your male acquaintances and friends you would reject if they were to approach you?

              My point of bringing this up is that men feel the same amount of pressure to look good in order to be considered desirable by women and have dating options. Women are not more forgiving in this regard (unless of course a man brings money to the table). Why are you portraying it as a gender specific issue?

      • Erin’s comments on “equality” confuse me. Having equality in your relationships in no way implies all your relationships are the same. Equality will undoubtedly manifest itself differently in different types of relationships. If wanted to judge is a professional relationship was equal, you would look for different things than if you wanted to judge is a friendship was equal. Just because different relationships possess equality doesn’t mean they are necessarily similar in other ways. However Erin’s comment implies that treating your girlfriend with equality means treating her with professionalism. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. However I will point out that it is perfectly possible for a man and a woman to love each other with similar intensity, to depend on the other equally, and give each other the same level of decision making power, regardless of how “romantic” their relationship is.

  5. FlyingKal says:

    I have a kayak, now isn’t that a strange coincident…?

    Nah, this time of year I’m too busy ice-climbing. And I couldn’t get you to laugh anyway.

    • Oh FlyingKal, you did make me laugh! Thanks for that :)
      And Sarah, I feel exactly the same way! Well said.

      -A

      • Hey Amie

        I want to ask you a question. Do ponder over it a bit. There are actually many ways to put it.

        Why do you think men should put more effort in dating and courtship, than women?
        Why do you think women are the prize to be won in dating?

        I hope I didnt offend you.


        • Hey Amie

          Why do you think men should put more effort in dating and courtship, than women?
          Why do you think women are the prize to be won in dating?

          Does no one want to respond to these questions by Tim?

      • Yeah, well, the comment was a rip-off anyway. From a barfly character (played by Mickey Rourke, I believe) in the movie “Sex, lies and videotapes” that must be about 25 years old by now.

  6. It’s just…

    What exactly am I suppose to take away from this?

    Seriously, what advice is this article trying to pass on? As a 20 year-old young man struggling with romance I assumed I fell into the target audience for this piece, but the message just doesn’t really click.

    Here’s what I heard:

    “I want a man that’s confident and forward. But also reserved and observant. Like, confident enough that he asks me out and plans a whirlwind date that pushes me a bit out of my comfort zone, but knows that I like it without having to ask. He should also like me just about as much as I like him, or at least only let on that he does. He definitely shouldn’t be insecure.”

    “My man must also be incredibly open and honest, but also pure. Maybe some bad stuff happened to him in the past, enough that he’s emotionally deep with a complex personality, but nothing that REALLY hurt him. Just enough that he has some history. That he’s delt with. That he’s moved on from.”

    “He should make me laugh. He should say things that I find intelligent. He should show me a world of constant adventure and growth where we stand side-by-side overcoming all sorts of adversity whilst constantly plumbing new depths of trust and shared experience.”

    I’ve re-read the article a couple times and I’ve found some good advice, namely, date in a respectful and honest way. Thank you for that, it’s a good point.

    From the way the rest of the piece is framed I can’t help but hear a checklist behind it (ironically). And maybe a little bit of fantasy? I mean, I’d also totally date someone if our lives merged, Optimus Prime-style, into some never-before-seen uber-relationship of adventure every time we hung out. Who wouldn’t? Right now though, I’d be thrilled to find someone who I consistently have fun with.

    Maybe this analysis is too harsh? Maybe you’re being hyperbolic and I didn’t catch on? I guess I just don’t expect to hop on the GMP and read yet another version of [insert Female Author] write about The Perfect Man.

    • Andy Buchan says:

      This article is counter productive and I think that sometimes these BLOGS are not really intended to help men but to have us forgive women for their sins. I am an Atheist now and I am far better for that. I forgave a female Paedophile when I was a child but failed to take the blame for her actions when the other female paedophile expected me to. Instead when she asked, and what about the other I thought she meant the man who molested her.

      It seems that would never do either and without knowing it I had shown them just how intelligent I was to see that it was pandemic.

      • “This article is counter productive and I think that sometimes these BLOGS are not really intended to help men but to have us forgive women for their sins.”

        The bolded portion is exceedingly accurate. Sites (and posts) like this aren’t really intended to help men on our terms—they’re really just clearinghouses for propaganda designed to urge men to accomodate female imperatives, whether doing so is good men for men or not.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          Sites (and posts) like this aren’t really intended to help men on our terms—they’re really just clearinghouses for propaganda designed to urge men to accomodate female imperatives, whether doing so is good men for men or not.

          That’s exactly how I see it.

          Whether it’s an article like this or any “advice” column by a certain “doctor” who shall remain nameless, the woman is always right. Her standards can never be too high, she can never be entitled (“entitlement” being the sole domain of men, apparently), etc.

          It’s always up to the man to conform to a woman’s standards, and make the necessary changes to himself.

          The more I analyze dating and courtship, the more it feels like a marketplace.

          Trying to get a woman to like you feels more like a corporate job interview than actually trying to bond with someone you love.

    • Funnily enough, there was a Shine article talking about how women wanted to be kissed, and I found it be contradictory. Telling men not to ask for permission to kiss but also be a gentleman, and it’s like . . . what? So be confident but not TOO CONFIDENT. Don’t be insecure, men! Men aren’t allowed to be that!

      I don’t like articles preaching about how you should approach a date. I think if everyone stopped thinking so hard about it, we’d all have a better time. I don’t like telling men what to do, as a woman. It’s not really my place. Just be yourself. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out. I want to know who you really are as soon as possible, and I’m sure the man feels the same exact way about me.

      • Andy Buchan says:

        This is more like it, @Wanda. This article doesn’t make sense at all.

      • @Wanda..

        Kudos!…

        This piece is as dysfunctional as much of the dating world.

      • @Wanda: ? Are their more women like you somewhere with your perspective—anywhere!?

        • Look for introverts who spend enough time by themselves to think too much, aha. They’re hard to find though. If they were easier, I’d have more friends. XD

          • @Wanda: The idea concerns the fact that for me, I learn stuff from women like you. I am shocked that you have come to understand so much at such a young age. You have more understanding of people than the 57year old therapist I dated for 7 years. All of this traditionalists mantra about relationships on this site that serves as progressive dialogue, leaves me cold and disaffected. Just the idea that if no one dates you, your ok, is a fucking revelation. Swear to god, it is your self confidence that is the turn on! Men are so tired of the—build me up make me feel good about myself trap.

            • I have spent a lot of time on both women’s feminist sites and GMP, and narrowed down on the valuable arguments each make and what other arguments don’t “fit” into the way things go down. My dad talks about the difference between believing and knowing, and I think that’s what I’m trying to figure out: what I believe and what I know. I know my own experiences. If you look at what you know, sometimes life looks a lot better than if you only look at what you believe. I find people are controlled by beliefs far more than knowledge, both men and women.

              I don’t look like the type to have never dated (average weight, average looks), and I don’t really bring it up because people tend to think you’re a freak if you haven’t dated past the age of 20 (especially as a woman, since supposedly we can get dates just by breathing and being attractive in public). I’m kind of glad I haven’t; I know myself so much better because of it. I think more people should hold off and work on themselves first. I’m glad to have given you a revelation. :) I know many women my age (and older) who have never had a date or been kissed, but we’re never discussed. Probably because once you reach a certain age, you stop caring and move on with life. XD

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              I know many women my age (and older) who have never had a date or been kissed, but we’re never discussed.

              Without wanting to pry or sound judgmental, what are the profiles of these women? Are they average in looks, deemed unattractive, or are they just not interested in dating?

              I know this will sound like “women just have to show up and breath and they’ll get dates,” but what would the situation of a woman have to be for her to have never been kissed?

            • Well, I consider most of the women to be average in appearance. None of the girls I’ve known who have been unkissed by the age of 23 are overweight or ugly. I mean, for the purposes of research, this is what I look like: http://www.okcupid.com/profile/WandaWalker/photos#0 I consider them about the same level as me. As for uninterested in dating, none of them actively go out and seek men, but they are not opposed to the idea. As in, if someone asked them out, they’d probably go for it.

              I have no “situation”, really. My friends, two out of three being unkissed, are similar in that they are introverted people, often shy at first. Men have never expressed an interest, and I’ve been pretty okay with that. It just means I learn how to do things by myself. I will say though that after creating a dating profile just to see what would happen, it’s clear that men are far more willing to talk to me online than they are off of it. It’s not a “looks” problem. I don’t know the answer, outside of that I’m introverted and not a flirtatious person.

            • Weight and looks notwithstanding, you have to put yourself “out there” to at least raise some kind of interest. (And I don’t nean just clubs and bars, but just about any social setting where you might meet people of your preferred gender.)

            • I know. What I’m trying to say is that a lot of people seem to think women are shooting down admirers left and right every day, that not one has any trouble getting a date if she is decent looking. This is not true for a section of women. I KNOW why I haven’t had any dates. That is no one’s fault but my own. But dates don’t just fall into a woman’s lap the moment she puts on lipstick. It’s a popular sentiment on GMP, and I wanted to provide a story that counteracted it. Landing dates whenever has never been my reality, nor the reality of my female friends. And insisting that this IS something that just happens is harmful for me and these other women, as we begin to believe there is something wrong with us. There is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with us because of this (our behavior, maybe, but not US as people). Yet men and women will think so because of this pervasive myth.

  7. Frederick says:

    Nice post there Dan but allow me to tell you what 18-24y old girls want.
    * be aloof, don’t show you like them until a few dates in.
    * listen
    * be moderately cocky & funny
    * treat her like you would your bratty little sister
    * don’t keep asking her questions like you she’s filling in a questionnaire.
    * don’t agree with her or laugh with her jokes all the time.
    * don’t be the nice guy. that’s boring. That doesn’t mean you should be rude though.
    * whenever you try to arrange a date, first mention the days you can’t. Makes you look like a busy man.
    * after the date, send her a text asking if she got home safely, then don’t text her anymore that night.

    In short: the less you show you really care, the better.
    It still feels unnatural to me behave like that. but that’s what they seem to like.

    • Andy Buchan says:

      you are right.

    • The kind of women who respond to this aren’t the kind you want to date. :/ If the point of this is to have sex with women, then I say go right ahead and do that. Whatever gets you in the sack, man. If you’re looking for a relationship with a woman you want to love, then why do this? I’ll tell you now, she’ll be high-maintenance, shallow, and carrying lots of baggage (like a dad who treated her like crap).

      I don’t know what it’s like to date women cuz I am straight. And it’s probably true that the majority of women have crappy taste in men (like most men have crappy taste in women). But I know that if a guy did that whole negging thing with me, as a healthy, well-adjusted individual, I’d be less than interested.

      I am 23 by the way. No one has ever asked me out, asked for my number, etc. It’s fine with me– I haven’t asked anyone out myself, have I?– but I notice a lot of people complain about a certain kind of woman and basically ignore the women who aren’t like that. We aren’t popular, in my experience.

      • Andy Buchan says:

        @Wanda

        it is the stereotype that women create about men as is evident in this article, but when a woman builds a picture of how a man should be it also bounces back on them and others like you. So you will find that such women are not treated like crap by their fathers mostly it is usually the opposite. They are over bearing because they are well adjusted and consider themselves confident and they usually are cos they get what they want most of the time.

        • @Andy..

          True. A lot of these middle/upper middle class young women, especially the pretty ones, are flippant, shallow, entitled, narcissistic, and are just plain to be avoided. All they will ever be to a man is a pain the ass. But, most men do not see because many men are equally shallow and want the trophy piece (that is really a fake!).

        • When you date, it is really important to get what you want. Why would you want to get something you DON’T want? I know pretty well what kind of man I’d want, and it’s not “lol, rich hot dude”. It’s a guy like me. And I don’t think I’d be interested in dating if he weren’t what I wanted. As for confidence, I’d think that would be a good thing. There is a point at which confidence can be annoying or arrogant, but some confidence in SOMETHING is necessary. It doesn’t have to be confidence in dating (goodness knows I don’t have that) but confidence in a hobby or passion. So are you taking issue with confidence and knowing what you want? I have confidence in some areas and I know what I want, but I am the least overbearing person you will ever meet. It’s not confidence and knowing what you want that makes you overbearing. It’s something else entirely.

      • Wanda I think your analysis is spot on!

        Your last sentence, specifically. “I notice a lot of people complain about a certain type of woman and basically ignore the women who aren’t like that. We aren’t popular, in my opinion.”

        I was thinking, a lot of men complain about a certain type of woman. Conversely, a lot of women complain about a certain kind of man. Thus everybody hears all about the terrible people everyone else dates. And some of us conclude that those types are the only ones out there. But it’s all confirmation bias! Because people don’t stand around talking about how great everyone was that they’ve dated. Humans like to talk shit and commiserate.

        And we’re left with this huge group of decent people who never get talked about, so they all think each other don’t exist. And maybe they get pressured into acting the annoying asshole because their friends and everyone tell them that’s how to succeed.

        Ok so it’s not groundbreaking, but I’ve never had that click as strongly as just now.

        • Well, let me take the chance at this point to say that I just went on my first sort-of date, and it went really well. :) He was cool, I felt comfortable, we talked and we laughed. No games, no drama, nothing. Just two people hanging out and being friendly. He wasn’t rich or super sexy and neither am I. We were just average and getting along, aha. And this is coming from someone who never spends much time around men. It was waaaay easier than I thought it’d be. I was honestly thinking to myself, “That’s it? Where’s all the heartbreak and frayed nerves?”

          I do think humans really tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. It’s like when you had ten good days at work and one really bad one. Which one do you talk about with your friends? The bad one. It’s what we do. If we could erase our memories every day, I think we’d all be happy, aha. I do believe there are a good chunk of really awesome people out there, regardless of gender. People just get bitter and hopeless sometimes.

        • “The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think…”

    • @Frederick:
      Another bullet to your list:
      Take her phone and send some stupid/corny message to one (some) of her friends or her FB/MS page. Seems to work remarkably well for some of my friends, however angry she pretends to be at it.
      I guess it’s a show of character/confidence…

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    “He should make me laugh. He should say things that I find intelligent. He should show me a world of constant adventure and growth where we stand side-by-side overcoming all sorts of adversity whilst constantly plumbing new depths of trust and shared experience.”

    Adventure? Doesn’t that differ from one person to another? I think she means he’s supposed to arrange for her to have what she thinks is adventure. What if he likes, say, skydiving or spelunking and she is terrified or heights or confined spaces? What if he likes starting businesses on a shoe string and failing until he succeeds and she likes the certainty of academia (presuming her job is reasonably secure)? Or vice versa?

    I suppose it’s fun to be a force of nature, but, unfortunately, the world is full of people who don’t notice and they don’t know they’re supposed to get out of the way or get on the bandwagon, depending.

  9. So I just had my first date, ever, at 23. I don’t even know if it was a date. It was like hanging-out/date. Anyway, it was pretty cool and I had a good time. I wasn’t as awkward as I usually am, so that’s a good sign. I guess I’m lucky in that my first step into the dating world was a good one.

    What I can’t understand is why people do something that makes them miserable. That’s what confuses me about this whole deal. Everyone bitches about the opposite gender, and I have to ask why they even DO it. For a relationship? If I kept dating men who were scary or treated me like shit, I’d just stop dating. Having a boyfriend is very low on my list of priorities. What’s at the top? Being happy. Not putting myself through crap to fulfill some societal expectation. I understand a lot of people want sex, but in the end, dating is a decision you make, a decision that you are responsible for.

    This article is very meh for me. I don’t like it when people tell the opposite gender what to do on dates, especially in regards to ME, as if men need to be told how to date ME (cuz I’m such a great catch, amirite doodz? DX) Guys can treat me however they like. If he acts like a jerk or airs his dirty laundry, then we aren’t a good fit and we part ways. He is free to “be himself” until he finds a woman that likes it. And to the men complaining about women’s head games (especially in the 18-25 age mark), you are fully entitled to treating the women you date in this manner, if you think it’s successful. Wouldn’t work with me, but that’s fine. You do what you have to do to get a girlfriend/get laid. Getting a boyfriend/getting laid is not my first priority in life, so appealing to the “collective male” is not going to be something I burden myself with. So I’ll just be honest and myself and try to have a good time and if it’s not successful, then oh well. I am more than the opinions the opposite sex has of me.

    • @Wanda…

      I love your very strong sense of self. It will serve you well.

      If you follow the crowd, you’re going to end up like the crowd. Dare to be different! Sometimes, you will find that taking the road less traveled is best.

      Having your first date at 23 is not a bad thing at all. Just think if you were one of these 23 yr old women who by age 23 had gone through 20-30 sex partners, contracted STDs, and terminated a pregnancy or two. This is the reality for many 23 yr old women. Many of the men are just a bad, or not worse in their conduct.

      I agree with you on accepting people for who they are as individuals and then deciding whether you want to be with them or not. Unfortunately, what I have witnessed is many women expecting men to be a certain way (like the author). Fine, if that is what floats her boat, let her have at it. But, it is almost like living in a totalitarian state. Everything is control to a point of stifling the human being.

      Best of luck! Happy Holidays!

      • Thanks. :) I try to be very self-aware and call myself out when I say/do stupid things that I need to change. I also try to see the world in a light that’s not tainted by biases/frustration. If being single for so long has taught me anything, it’s that you can be a perfectly enjoyable, humorous, complete human being without a significant other. So if no one dates me, I’ve learned to understand that that is okay. It has no reflection on me as a person.

        I think those type of women and men are in the minority (I believe a lot of people lie about that sort of thing to seem more “cool”, both women and men) but I know that I’ve avoided so many tears and drama wars. Every time relationship drama consumes a person’s day, every time they spend the whole day at home bawling their eyes out, I have to raise a small “thank God” that I’ve been spared, aha.

        Yeah, a lot of women love to tell men what to do on dates. The thing is, people need to let go of this idea that they can change someone else’s behavior. The only behavior you can control is your own. If you release that responsibility, understand that there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO, then you feel a lot freer. I have a bit of social anxiety, so I don’t exactly live what I preach, but maybe one day I’ll live it with practice.

  10. Yesh, How to date and court ME; How to persuade ME to have a relationship with you; How to win over my heart, how to prove yourself you are good enough for me; how to impress me and keep me interested; how to earn my attention and affection; how to make ME laugh, how to entertain me, take me out, show me around, wine and dine ME…. and finally how to SUCCEED at dating me. WOw !

    Because afterall, you are a worthless supplicant who has nothing inherently desirable about himself. Your only worth is based on how useful you are to me, I am desirable, I am grand and my presence alone should be an honor for you.

    • Got the same feeling.

      In addition, she seeks advanture but it has to be brought to her. Just look at the last line: ” I’ve always wanted to try kayaking.” If you’ve always wanted to kayak, then go do it. Why would an adventurous person hook up with a passive person? Don’t rely on others to infuse excitement in your life. If you’re unlucky you might end up never really live at all.

    • Tim, I think youre taking it the wrong way. There is no need to be bitter.

      Dating and courtship is about give and take and mutual interests. You think men are required to put in more effort in dating and courtship because you forget that women bring value by giving the man affection and intimacy. Why cant we just accept that men and women value each other for different things they bring to the table, instead of making it another gender politics issue?

      • Because, as a man, I work just as hard to give affection and intimacy to my partner.

        Tim is criticizing the article because it frames the article in a needlessly narcissistic way. Many guys feel that dating already inherently caters to the woman’s preferences. This piece drives that home.

      • I dont know, but if get bogged down on having ‘equality’ in very private matters like dating and courtship and worry about who is putting in more effort, I’m afraid we will kill all the fun and romance. I think most women want to be made to feel special when they are dating and that’s what the author is trying to express.

    • I concur. The whole “how to date ME” thing really put me off, even if some of the advice was solid.

  11. It is saddening to see how out of touch society is with the male perspective on dating, attraction and relationships.

    Even more saddening is that many men are buying into this crap.

  12. Andy Buchan says:
  13. I have a wonderful girlfriend, so I’m off the dating market (hopefully forever), but if i were on it, my dating criteria would be far simpler.

    “Be hot, bring the sex, and make it awesome. Don’t be a controlling b*tch. Everything else we can work out and compromise on.”

  14. Not really digging all these guys whining about the advice in this article. Most of it is pretty practical and helpful and could even be applied to women out on the first date with a guy (e.g. this is “get to know you time,” don’t come into the date looking to see how the other person fits into your “perfect mate” mold, don’t objectify the other person, etc).

    I can see how points #6 and #7 are a bit ambiguous, particularly #6. (And I’m actually not sure why the author felt the need to include #7 in its present form. After all, wouldn’t it be better to say that she appreciates gentlemanly behavior even though she tends to be suspicious of it initially because she is very independent? Seems to be projecting here rather than offering good advice.)

    I think the point of #6 is that you should be yourself rather than attempt to be inoffensive or “perfect”–inexperienced authors will frequently create main characters who can do no wrong because they are the ideal versions of who they want to be. But a person who doesn’t change or need to change (“dynamic” means to change, btw, as opposed to “static”) is not interesting or appealing. There’s no adventures to be had–the perfect person knows exactly what to do in every situation. So in a way this is actually more freeing than restricting, I would think.

  15. I think there are some good points, but dating doesn’t need to be so complicated. You know what the biggest mistake anyone can make before/during/after a date? Over-analyzing. Examining every detail of the experience to look for clues as to what the other person is thinking or feeling about you.

    To put it simply, you’re trying too hard. Stop looking for subtle hints, stop comparing your dates to unrealistic standards set by most of our media outlets. Understand that the first date is no different than a first interview for a job. You’re both putting the best possible versions of yourselves out there because you want them to believe that you’re all these wonderful things, that in reality, you’re not. And that’s ok that you’re not those things. You’re you. Show her you. Maybe you’re not the “ideal” guy. Most women don’t want the ideal guy.

    Confidence is something you have when you’re not questioning yourself. Know yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, and what you’d like to improve in. Through this you’ll gain knowledge, ambition, and confidence, all of which are traits that women are attracted to. You don’t have to pretend to be someone confident, because now, you just are. Turns out that being confident in who you are is a lot easier than trying to be the ideal guy. But it starts with knowing who you are, because if you don’t know that, how can you know who you’re attracted to (beyond the physical traits)?

  16. Having a very hard time understanding the strong reactions to this article. It’s perfectly sage advice whether you want to date Amie or someone else. Why shouldn’t you go into a new relationship doing your best to be authentic and keep your preconceived notions in check?

    I think dating advice pushes buttons for a lot of folks. Regardless of what the author is saying, it’s very easy for us to bring our own dating ups and downs to the discussion and miss the point. I’ve encountered very angry audience members who were enraged about something completely off the topic I was discussing. Amie’s not being entitled, as some seem to think. She’s trying to be helpful. Hopefully, most readers get that.

    • I don’t doubt that she’s trying to be helpful, but I don’t think she succeeded very well. There’s all sorts of good dating advice completely interwoven with her own fantasies and personal desires. Which obfuscates her message.

      Take point number 5 for example. Amie starts with a great assertion. “Please don’t treat me like an object. I promise I won’t treat you like one either.” Very solid. Good rule to live by.

      But then she undermines it by saying, and I’m paraphrasing, “I’m hot. Duh, I get it, people tell me that all the time. Instead of being boring, like them, how about you focus on saying things that I find funny and intelligent.” What am I suppose to take away from that?

      If instead, she’d finished off the point with something like “Instead of focusing on our physical attributes, how about you talk to me about things you find entertaining and exciting. Then later, ask me what I find entertaining and exciting. Please listen to what I say, I promise to do the same. That way we’ll really get to know each others personalities” then this article would have been less scattered. Advice like “listen” is vastly more useful then “have a sense of humor I like”.

      See my issue isn’t really with content, it’s with implementation.

    • Steven

      I agree with Tim.
      I doubt the most desirable of men will have that tone when talking about how they want to be courted by a woman. Maybe we’re just arguing about semantics here. She says “How to SUCCEED at dating ME” It implies she is in a bargaining position, has the upper hand, like she is already very desirable, has more than enough options and is the prize to be won. Most women feel that way in dating.

      Maybe men need to date women who find them desirable. Maybe men need to learn a thing or two from women and expect more from dating.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        She says “How to SUCCEED at dating ME” It implies she is in a bargaining position, has the upper hand, like she is already very desirable, has more than enough options and is the prize to be won. Most women feel that way in dating.

        It’s sad, really.

        Don’t know what the solution is though.

        • The solution would be to put their feet on the groud again by showing them they’re not all that. As long as you do it in a playful, moderately cocky way, they’ll accept it without being offenced.

        • Well, If you are a young, attractive woman, with a lot of options, you can afford to be picky. I don’t think this will ever change.

          • For every young attractive woman, there ought to be a young attractive man who is equally desirable with a lot of options of his own. Why cant they date on equal terms where no one can afford to be too demanding and no one feels like they have to put in too much effort?

            • I don’t know. Why is it that, if a man has to choose between 2 women who have very similar personal qualities except that one is 20% more attractive, he’ll take the more attractive one every time? what I’m saying is, if men didn’t give attractive women so much power, things would be different. But men are probably biologically programmed to prefer more attractive women. As long as men cater to those women, nothing will change.

            • PursuitAce says:

              I always pick the more attractive woman. The more attractive woman for me. I have a scale of one to one hundred I judge women on. The maximum amount of points a woman can get for physical beauty on this scale is ten. So once physical attractiveness is established she can earn a total of ninety more points. Sound sexist? How different is it from having a list? I’m just mathematically inclined so I have fun coming up with a number.
              And I’m sorry that men are so visually centered. It can be quite a pain in the backside for us as well. It’s a knife that often cuts both genders involved.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              That’s an interesting question, Sarah.

              Maybe men actually should make a conscious effort to choose the somewhat less attractive woman in the scenario you described.

              As long as men continue to put attractive women on a pedestal and shower them with attention, it will only feed their entitlement mentality.

              Perhaps men should get together and perform a collective “neg” on attractive women, where they ignore them and don’t shower them with the kind of positive attention to which they’ve grown accustomed.

    • AnonymousDog says:

      “I think dating advice pushes buttons for a lot of folks…..”

      Most of the dating advice ever given to me was pretty much useless. Too often, the people giving me advice wanted to tell me about the Big Lesson that they learned in their life, rather than address the actual problems that I had. It’s frustrating to have people give you advice that really doesn’t address one’s own particular problems.

    • Sean & Steve

      Men like you take the status quo for granted and label anyone, who dares to question and point out the fallacies & biases in the mainstream dating advice given to men, a whiner.

      Ask a sample of young men “how can women succeed at dating them” or “how they want to be courted by women”, and they would be at a loss for words. Most men dont expect anything other than common courtesy, an easy going nature and friendliness from women during dating.

      Ask the same question from young women and you will get the kind of sage advice given here in addition to some other do’s & donts and wishlists on how to impress us (something you will rarely hear from a guy’s mouth)

      We men make dating so natural and effortless for women and let the process take its natural course. Its a difference that gets overlooked easily.

      Im sure you dont expect women to take you on a fishing trip either.

      • I kind of disagree with you. If you are a woman who is less conventionally attractive, or older, etc., you have to work very hard to try to convince men you are worth getting to know better. Dating for many women is not easy or natural at all. Over the years I’ve dated men who have very clear checklists and gave me to understand that I had to prove that I met all their criteria.

        • I don’t so much mind if a man has a check list as long as it’s presented up front. i’m more than happy and willing to note where I don’t meet their needs on that checklist. Is it not better for us both to look at the reality that we might not be meant for each other? I’d rather know up front if I don’t meet a man’s expectations on a date than months down the road trying to make something broken work.

  17. These articles always blow up in the comment section. I think it’s a good indicator of how frustrating the dating scene is; specifically for guys. In no way do I think it’s easy for women, but I think we deal with a whole separate set of issues. And I think while the issues women face often get acknowledged, it seems that often the belief for the guys issues is that they are overblown.
    Last week at Nerve.com they interviewed some guy from Iceland that had lived in the states for a bit. They asked him what the differences were in dating women here as opposed to Iceland.
    To paraphrase him, he said that when he was in the US he had to do like 80% of the legwork when it came to dating. His feeling was if women want all things equal why not carry their fair share.
    For me, that basically summed up the problem with dating and what the solution should be.

    • Good point. Seems like women use the emancipation explanation only if it suits them at that moment.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      Here’s the interview with the Icelandic man in question.

      http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/talking-to-strangers/talking-to-strangers-reykjavik-iceland-0

      Europe sounds better and better by the day!

      • Yes, Iceland also gets mentioned by this photographer, who has written several pieces on understanding women.

        http://blog.kareldonk.com/understanding-women-part-iv/

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          The interviews of those Icelandic women were very interesting.

          One of them even wanted to import American dating culture, because she actually wanted to have men ask her out, rather than having to make the moves.

          I think that video revealed two things.

          1) Everyone seems to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Most Americans would agree that dating sucks here, and would love a place like Iceland (at least American men), but an Icelandic women would rather have the American system. Maybe because she knows that women have it much easier within the American courtship model. 😉

          2) Push comes to shove, it seems that most women, even in the most liberated countries in the world, would rather be asked out than have to make too many moves.

          All I know is that I would hate to see the American model of courtship contaminate the rest of the world.

          I’m even flirting with the idea of moving to another country, precisely because dating/romance is so lousy here. I don’t want to arrive in that country only to find that they’re just like Americans in this regard.

          • I think it has little to do with culture.

            If you are a great looking guy, women will value you for who you are and the dating norms will cease to have any effect. Really good looking men are pursued all the time by women. Ask any good looking male friend of yours and he will have tales to tell. No dating norms or cultural expectations stop women from pursuing good looking, desirable men in any part of the world.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              I must disagree, Keith.

              I myself, as described by others (lest I be accused of arrogance) am a good looking guy. I know other guys who are good looking and work out frequently. And yet we’re not exactly accustomed to being pursued by women.

              Even good looking guys need to know game and overcome the many tests women create for us.

  18. wellokaythen says:

    From the perspective of this particular man, it sounds like generally good advice to bear in mind. Don’t go overboard, take your time, be yourself, get to know each other, don’t panic, keep your expectations realistic, and treat her like an individual human being and not “all women” nor an object. It’s refreshing as long as you don’t read too much into the particular details.

    The part about treating her like a lady and acting like a gentleman would probably confuse some readers. I know it did me. What I heard was that a man should hold the door like a gentleman, and she expects him to, except she may get offended when he holds the door, so he has to point out why he’s holding the door. A true gentleman would not draw attention to his acting like a gentleman.

    And, on that whole “throw away your list” thread, the advice seems a little hypocritical. Is she throwing away her list as well, or is this field guide itself evidence of her own list? He has to dispense with all preconceived notions but she will not? It seems more realistic to keep your list somewhat flexible, while being grounded by some dealbreakers. (For example, no one recently out on parole for rape, no prostitutes addicted to crack, etc. I know, very judgmental of me, but I wouldn’t give up those dealbreakers any time soon.)

    Perhaps the larger lesson is already suggested in the first few points. She is a human being, and human beings are complicated. You can’t expect a fully fledged adult human being to be totally consistent, logical, or rational. You also can’t expect an exhaustive, consistent list. It’s extremely rare for any person to have his or her desires and expectations completely aligned with each other.

    • While I found a lot of parts of this article problematic, the “list” thing is common with both genders. People concoct ridiculously long lists of supposedly unimportant things that their significant other NEEDS to have. This happens a lot on dating profiles. She HAS to be feminine yet willing to get dirty, he HAS to be sensitive but capable of doing every household chore . . . It’s good to be firm in what you need in a relationship, but some things are really negotiable. Sure, I’d love someone to meet all my requirements too, but there are only a select few things that I believe my significant other would need in order for us to be happy in the long term. And it’s more for his sake than mine. As in, he can be as extroverted as he likes and it won’t bother me until he expects me to go to parties with him. And he would. And I know that dragging me around when I’m not having any fun would be a huge bummer for him and torture for me, so that is something I don’t see myself budging on. But as far as “well, he HAS to be able to cook and he HAS to love cats and etc” is not something very important, because it really doesn’t affect a relationship in the long run.

      I think a lot of people have lists they need to toss out. I have found over time that I cannot be close friends with extroverts. I do, however, get along with people who love anime (I do not) or who love cats (I’m a dog person). I think lists for looks are a big no-no. There can be some general things that are immediate turn-offs, but when people reject someone because they don’t like slightly big schnozzes or something, it seems to me they might need to dig deeper.

      This is a bi-gender problem though. :/

      • wellokaythen says:

        Now this seems like a much more sensible approach to dating and to life in general. I think I’d prefer reading your list to reading the original article….

  19. Bay Area Guy says:

    he said that when he was in the US he had to do like 80% of the legwork when it came to dating. His feeling was if women want all things equal why not carry their fair share.
    For me, that basically summed up the problem with dating and what the solution should be.

    A journalist from Britain had similar observations.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/its-hard-dating-american-women-6318739.html

    They invariably had a check list of questions that they shamelessly ran through over the course of the evening. What did I do for a living? What part of town was my apartment in? What kind of car did I drive? It was less like a romantic encounter than an extremely tough job interview.

    And then this.

    They may demand equality in the workplace, but when it comes to romance they expect to be treated like Jane Austen heroines.

    He, a middle aged British man in 2002, and I, an early 20s American man in 2012 have almost identical observations. Somehow I don’t think that it’s a coincidence.

    Maybe there was a golden age of dating in the 80s and 90s (as described by Julie), but it has long since passed.

    • Man, he knows the NYC dating scene well, and it is depressing.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        What he says about the NYC dating scene seems to equally apply to the Bay Area.

        Ditto for Southern California.

        Maybe there’s just something about soulless yuppie culture, as parodied and critiqued in the movie “American Psycho” so well, that creates such a dehumanizing dating scene.

        One woman from rural Oklahoma commented on the British journalist’s article, saying that women in rural parts of the country were much friendlier.

        So maybe the depressing “American” dating scene is more of a regional problem, with big cities and affluent suburbs being the worst. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much in that regard.

        • As someone from the country . . . the women might be friendlier, but they have just as many problems. And I moved to the city to get away from the men in the country (well, I moved to the city for a lot of reasons, but the boys my age drove me CRAZY, and not in a good way). Friendlier, yes. Less misogynistic? Ahaha. Ha.

          • AnonymousDog says:

            Women in rural areas may be friendlier, but they are fewer and farther between. When I went back to my rural home town after college to join the family business, it seemed like all the unattached women were hiding. I eventually realized that while I was going to college, the women in my age group either got married, or went away somewhere for an education or a career and never came back.

            So most of the dating advice I got back then didn’t work as it assumed the presence of available women.

    • Yeah, this type of objectification does not get the same type of negative press as the other kind.

    • wellokaythen says:

      When you come across strangers who have ridiculous expectations, at the end of the day you just have to let them have their ridiculous expectations. If they live in a fantasy world or demand superhuman companionship, then they are setting themselves up for disillusionment. If you fail to meet someone else’s impossible standards, then that’s really the other person’s problem, not yours. Don’t debate with the insane. Don’t try to change the mind of someone who’s not connected to reality. Move on and look for sanity elsewhere.

  20. @wellokthen: I can get behind the idea that all humans are complicated creatures, no problem, However, what really happens in this debate of whose complexities are the most important and whose complexities are gonna ultimately shape the relationship? Are they viewed equally as having the same weight or are women judging themselves by a different standard of confidence than she does herself?

    Saran says that she isn’t turned on by the shy guy type and that she wants a partner as confident as she is. Really? Then when Sarah is experiencing some tough times because of recurring body image issues, is he supposed to still see her as a confident person? I’m sure she does.

    That this double standard of perception is normalized is of one of the reasons that women feel entitled to have their cake and eat it too. When their politics run in the opposite direction of their sexual desires, they feel no need to directly address and take full responsibility for their self imposed limits of their choices, and decisions about who they are.

    This is chilling to know that many women actually think this kind of immense, stealth, control and hypocrisy is good for relationships. It is also affirmation that my choice to eschew traditional relationships was smart. I know from past experiences that I cannot deal with and be happy with women who harbor these kinds of flawed values about relationships.

    • “That this double standard of perception is normalized is of one of the reasons that women feel entitled to have their cake and eat it too. When their politics run in the opposite direction of their sexual desires, they feel no need to directly address and take full responsibility for their self imposed limits of their choices, and decisions about who they are.”

      I totally agree having had two long term relationships where my partners embodied what you’ve just said. But here’s why it exists; because they simply find another guy to fill that missing void. In the past I seem to be good at filling the”emotional need” void that they needed at the time, but as soon as the “financial need” void wasn’t being met all of a sudden what I had to offer wasn’t good enough. So they just simply moved on to the next one. And because there is always a plethora of guys available the pool is wide open for them. It’s simply like replacing a worn down tire.
      I’m resigned to the fact that what I have to offer isn’t good enough for most of the female population. There isn’t much I can do to change who I am so I just get used to swimming in a sea of rejection.

      • @John…

        “There isn’t much I can do to change who I am so I just get used to swimming in a sea of rejection.”

        If you change your thinking, you CAN change your life. What’s great about America is we can find what we are really seeking! We just have to be willing to change our thinking and approaches.

        Many ethnic women do not have these lousy attitudes. While my experience in dating is limited I have met lots of women from South America, Spain, Carribean. They are far more “man friendly.”

        There is no need to give up. Stop swimming in that sea of rejection and start swimming in a sea of happiness!

        • @Jules: I would have to agree with your advice that there are other women of different cultures who behave differently than the kind of American women you speak of. Having read many, if not all of the posts from a variety of women on many similar topics on GMP, coupled with my own experiences and those of my friends and older men I have known, it is hard not to conclude that what you advise is not the best avenue to tread.

          The truh is, even if American women get the memo, it will be generations before the kind of sea change needed will happen. The god awful reality seems to be that women don’t see men. The only other alternative is that men decide they have had enough—not gonna happen—and compell women to change…now. So, John, i’m with Jules. I say get in the gym—there’s nothing like it to make you feel goods about yourself, and women like fit guys–maybe get cleaned up a bit, nice haircut, decent clothes, etc. and get out your comfort zone. There are lot;s of male positive women out there, if you know where to look.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          While my experience in dating is limited I have met lots of women from South America, Spain, Carribean. They are far more “man friendly.”

          I’ve also heard great things about Eastern European and Southeast Asian women.

          Maybe it’s time for me to start learning another language.

    • Actually in my comment, I used the word “competent” not “confident.” There’s a difference. I don’t have a bias against shy guys, in fact my boyfriend is quite shy and introverted (engineer). What I meant is, I am personally a very competent person, able to plan and organize my life, and want men who are the same. I don’t like passivity. I don’t want to be with someone who expects me to plan everything for them and never has ideas of their own, The conflict I have is that many men are intimidated by powerful women, but at the same time, I don’t want to date the kind of guys who are actually attracted to or seek out powerful women because I’ve dated some of those guys and they basically want to be the passive one in the relationship. I don’t want to be the dominant partner or the one who is “in charge” all the time, I want a relationship that is primarily egalitarian but sometimes I also want to be able to show my girly/feminine side with my man. I want to be with a man who lets me explore my femininity and lets me be nurturing and kind and lets me express all those feminine qualities I have to repress at work. I’m afraid if I took more initiative in the dating process (asking guys out, initiating sex the first time, etc.) the men who would respond positively would be guys who are attracted to my powerful scary lawyer side, and that’s not the side I want to express in my relationships. The other guys would be totally turned off by the idea of a scary smart professional woman pursuing them. They’d probably be freaked out.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I think there’s a difference between feelings and behavior, and I think it’s important to be honest about feelings and be able to put a particular feeling into a larger perspective. For example, if a man felt a little intimidated by you at first impression, that is not the end of the world. It would be great if he could be honest about that at some point, and of course you wouldn’t want him to be totally distracted by that feeling, but it doesn’t have to be the dominant feeling he has. Who knows, you both might be able to joke about it later. One place people demand too much from their dates/partners is demanding that they have only desired feelings and don’t have any undesired feelings. It’s rare to find anyone who lines up in all the desired ways.

    • wellokaythen says:

      You make some very good points here. The only thing I would add to what you said is that a relationship is still something two people take part in. If one person’s complexities matter in the relationship more that someone else’s complexities, that is something that both people have set up. Past a certain point, if her feelings dominate the relationship, that’s because he has consented to let that be the rule. Maybe he doesn’t know any better or he feels manipulated into that kind of relationship, but it takes two to make an emotional dictatorship. I’m not saying the man in that situation has always has completely equal power or equal choices, just that he is partly responsible for creating that situation.

  21. thank you for your delightful and insightful article, amie. much of it resonated with me and is applicable to the kind of dating i look for and am experiencing. i don’t think i’ve ever had a bad date, which i credit to there being millions of good people in the world and me sincerely wanting to get to know them for who they are. how else will i find the someone who is a great fit? who wants the kind of love i want to have with him? force of nature, indeed.

    obviously you’ve hit a nerve, one that i find a lot on this site. i don’t understand why i hear so many men say that they are frustrated because they do not understand women and then balk at any information that is offered. and it makes me sad that some men and women in general seem to be mired in their history and their patterns and have decided that they can’t do something to improve how they experience the world. ironically, the tendency toward negativity is pointed out in the comments more than once.

    i appreciate a number of the thoughtful remarks by others above. a good piece gets folks talking.

    lucy :)

    • @lucy…

      “i don’t think i’ve ever had a bad date, which i credit to there being millions of good people in the world and me sincerely wanting to get to know them for who they are. how else will i find the someone who is a great fit? who wants the kind of love i want to have with him?”

      This is truly great to hear. Just as I have never met a stranger!

      I think this is because you are truly and open minded and non ego driven woman. You seem to approach every person with a mind set to truly discover and learn about them. I must say the majority of women are far far more discriminating such as the author.

      Always great to read a positive and open minded comment.

    • @Lucy: As a man, I have heard this advise from women, about what they want for 40 years, and what some men, like myself, are saying is this advise doesn’t work for us and we see many problems associated with it, most of which have been stated over and a again. I certainly don’t think that disagreeing with said advise is being negative at all.

      We are searching for something other than what the limits of the dating advise in the article has for us.

      We are tired of the courting, of the constant uplifting onto pedestals of his woman that he must do to even get his foot securely in the door, we are tired of the pressures to prove ourselves worthy that never go away. And for what? We are saying that there must be something more for us out there. I don’t think that many of us have decided that we can’t do something to change how we experience the world.That is why we are here on this site, looking for change.

      Quite frankly, the idea that people such as this are unhappy, because they don’t have romance in their lives, is only thought by people who actually believe that romance is critical to having a good relationship. For my money women like this don’t want a good relationship they want fantasy. ” We are a force nature, the likes of which the world has never seen.” It all reads wonderfully romantic and when I let go, I get a sensation of warm and fuzzy all over just thinking about it. I’d settle for a woman who knows herself and is confident. Finally, don’t ask me to be gentleman unless you are going to be a lady. Don’t ask for doors to be open for you and all of the other “place her on pedestal ego boosting stuff she likes”, if I don’t get what I want…maybe like her serving me meals while she wears a skimpy maids outfit.

  22. It seems no matter what dating advice het women want to give het men to help them out, we’re being entitled, lazy, manipulative, contradictory and prescriptive to even *suggest* that you might do something differently. EVEN if we offer it as “This is specific to me and what I like and probably won’t work for everyone,” our advice is lumped in with some ongoing and indecipherable female narrative.

    I’m sort of with what Wanda said on the previous commenting page – if dating is so awful, I don’t know why anyone chooses to participate.

    • Matthew Walker says:

      No, we think you’re entitled when you make entitled suggestions. What does this chick offer me? A list of demands. She thinks men ignore her because she looks smart — wrong. Always. 100%. Every time. A smart-looking beautiful woman will be beating them off with a stick. That is, unless “smart” is being usec as a euhemism for “overweight and doesn’t give a damn about her appearance”. Kind of like a man with a gut in sweatpants and crocs saying women are intimidated by his intellect. He’s kidding himself.

      Like men, women should tell you what they offer you, not what they demand.

    • @KKZ: Which is precisely what men are doing. Men don’t want to hear all of the things women want… we get too much of that …women don’t seem to hear that message. So, they keep giving men the same old warmed over advise, slightly reformed bs as something new. When a woman hears give dating advise to men, it is understood by the woman as,” I get to make demands and tell him what I want.”

      This only works because men haven’t figured out that as long as they have no leverage, nothing will change. At the end of day, as long as women can get away with this behavior, they will. I am not saying or suggesting that morality is at work, that women are purposely exerting power over men to be mean…doesn’t matter. So, for me, I don’t the advise, I want a conversation about relationships that is inclusive of my needs and wants. I think that”s fair and reasonable.

    • howabout you stop calling guys Nice Guys ™ and treating them like their subhuman pieces of $%*#

  23. Amie, I think you might be entertained (and better served) if you have a read of my own adventures in creating prudent lists in order to find an ideal woman:

    http://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/qualities-of-the-prince/

  24. “4. Let go of your list.”

    kind of ironic for someone who ha, y’know, ahem, a list….

    And peeps ask why I’m MGTOW….

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      “4. Let go of your list.”
      kind of ironic for someone who ha, y’know, ahem, a list….

      Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

      I think this is why so many men on this site get worked up whenever a woman or feminist either gives men advice or lectures them about dating.

      It’s perfectly okay for women to have an extensive checklist of what they require in a guy. Or, as male feminist Hugo Schwyzer would say, it’s not women being too picky it’s men not offering enough.

      And yet if guys have a list, well, then they’re either being shallow or have unrealistic standards. If they can’t find women, they either need to become more open minded, or they have only themselves to blame for being single.

      Again, it’s the hypocrisy.

      • No it’s not. When she says “a list” in the original article she doesn’t mean any list, in fact you could avoid anything resembling a list and still make that mistake. In her description she makes a long list of specific qualities, only to ignore it and laugh at it years later. When she wrote the list, she wasn’t thinking about real men, but rather her fantasy man. However comparing a potential partner to a fantasy partner is usually a useless exercise. Also, judging someone on more specific qualities is usually useless. Though admittedly, if that was her point, she didn’t communicate it well.

  25. This piece is going to make Amie Longmire famous. Good and hard.

  26. ha! i’m a horrible critic when it comes to writing – hence the reason i’m not a college prof… :) but fun article, and i love the upfront honesty. you can’t go wrong in writing from your own vantage point. personally, what i’ve realized this past year, is when it comes to the dating scene, i want to spend time with men who value me. 2 wins for me: if you think i’m pretty, say so. and if you say you’re going to call, please do so.

    • katrina says: if you think i’m pretty, say so.

      And just a few weeks back, the men here were treated to a heartfelt screed about how we should NEVER make a compliment about a woman’s looks.

      And that (no offense to you personally) is why men are simply turning off women and their endless “advice” to us on how to be up to snuff, rather than sub-par.

      At some point, perhaps, the broad lack of responsiveness, manifesting right now as a sociological withdrawal by many men from het dating/mating, will make all of the advice giving women think about their strategies and tactics.

      Because what’s happening right now in the hetero-normative world is about as broken and dysfunctional as Washington.

  27. This advice is kind of… dumb, on its face.

    Think about it for a second: you’re telling men what you want them to do to win you over. Which means that, if the article is 100% successful and the men you date do what it says, they’ll be purposefully acting in a way that is not natural to them.

    So on one hand, it’s “be yourself”. On the other, its “be confident but not too confident.” What if, for any particular man, him “being himself” means being insecure? Or being arrogant?

    So now he’s putting on an act, to whatever value, which is inconsistent with his natural character – firstly, do you think that can last, or be the foundation of a meaningful long-term relationship? Secondly, wouldn’t YOU harbor some serious resentments if you had to put on some similar show in order to prove yourself to be “good enough” for a man?

  28. > I will say, “I got it” when you hold a door for me or help me with my coat the first few times.

    Do that, and a true gentleman won’t be around for you say it to a second time.

    > If you wake up the morning after our date and wonder how it went or you’re doubting the effectiveness of a punchline or if something I said confused you

    A guy with those worries should instead be concerned about the future’s “fun” Christmas sweaters he’ll be forced to wear and figuring out the best way to hold your purse for you.

    Overall, I think a lot of men would reply, “Thanks for the warning, Amie”.

    • So, wait, a true gentleman is someone who gets upset and leaves unless he gets to “act like a gentleman”. A good man will offer to open the door for a woman, a gentleman apparently will DEMAND the privilege of opening a door for a woman, and when denied will avoid her. “I am going to give you an delicious cookie and if you don’t eat it you will never see me again!”

      I think the point is that you shouldn’t be worrying about specific moments in a date. A single bad joke or awkward moment won’t ruin your chances. If all else fails, you can ask her what she meant next time you talk. Some women might drop “Big Hints” and expect you to read their minds, but others, including Ms. Longmire, expect you to ask for clarification.

      • His point is that if she can’t be enough of a lady to be gracious when he acts like a gentleman, he’s not interested in pursuing the relationship.

        Pretty simple stuff, really.

  29. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    Is this a real article or an Oscar Wilde-like satire on what American women are like?

    I’m having a hard time believing that the following sentences aren’t meant to be read in a high-pitched Victorian-inspired voice for a character whose motivation in life in “instructing” a parade of hapless suitors on the finer points of how to behave. Call it “The Impotence of Being Earnest.”

    The scene: a well-appointed living room where are teacher holds court in front of a motley band of schlubby social misfits who seek her hand in courtship. Like the Iago character in “Othello,” she feeds them bad advice to further her own devious ends, which in this case include free dinners, out-of-style-boots (which draw a round of chuckles from female audience members), and kayaking lessons. The audience laughs uproariously at the most pretentious lines, such as:

    ” I need your help remembering these things.”

    “If this first date eventually turns into a trip down the aisle, we will be unpacking our respective histories together for years to come.”

    The fun really comes, though, as she wildly starts to gesticulate, raising her voice to an ear-splitting high pitch, while her minions — all sitting at her feet in criss-cross applesauce position — nod approvingly:

    “This is a tall order, not for the faint of heart. Only dynamic characters should apply.”

    “Good luck. I’m rooting for you.”

    I want to applaud the author for devising a deliciously wicked parody of the type of self-deluded, entitled American woman that populates certain urban areas. This character is cleverly drawn because it is the female equivalent to the basement-dwelling gamer geeks who write on message boards about how Internet models don’t measure up. As for the author of this piece, I encourage her (or him?) to take it to the stage where it should be a hit with audiences for years to come.

    Oh and if this one-act play seems kind of short for an evening out, I’d recommend putting it on a double bill with a musical: “Cats.”

    • @Days of Broken Arrows: We should be so lucky. If this advice were an Oscar Wilde play, at least, it would be entertaining. The scary truth is, I saw this entire scenario played out on an episode of Jimmy Neutron this morning—it was a slow news morning–what can I say? Cindy, who is about ten to eleven years old and is the girl of Jimmy’s nightmare’s, is waxing poetic in the malt shop ( do malt shops still exists?) kickin’ it with her females— who look suspiciously like the crew from The View– about why she won’t settle.

      She’s holding out for the man of her dreams, someone who will make her every moment sing and make life worth living.On cue, In stumble’s Jimmy and in front of a stunned and stupefied audience he drops to one knee and professes his love for Cindy…who promptly disses him for embarrassing her in front of all of her friends, and she hits him in the face with her ice cream cone.

      In next scene Jimmy is begging Cindy to give him a chance to..wait for it…PROVE himself worthy of being her boyfriend. Keep in mind that usually, Jimmy, a nerd of the highest order can’t stand the ground Cindy walks over, and is perfectly happy studying, inventing gadgets and hanging out with his pals. Also bear in mind that Cindy is cast as a independent kind of gal.
      I am just thinking, one cloud put this cartoon on between plays.

  30. “Be a gentleman and treat me like a lady.
    I will say, “I got it” when you hold a door for me or help me with my coat the first few times. I’m my father’s fiercely independent daughter. You will need to remind me that you are doing this because you are a gentleman not because you think me incapable. I need your help remembering these things

    .
    If she is likely to get offended at chivalrous gestures why expect them in the first place?
    Isnt it a ‘die if you do, die if you dont’ kind of a situation?

  31. meistergedanken says:

    This article is pointless because it violates the cardinal rule of understanding women: don’t pay attention to what they SAY, only what they DO.

    Aside from that, it feels like I wandered onto “The Atlantic” or “Salon”‘s website.

  32. wellokaythen says:

    Has anyone tried the gender flip test on this yet?

    When I did it, I was embarrassed to discover that I have internalized some double standards of my own. When I imagine a man publishing a comparable field guide to dating him, I picture a man who is egotistical. I picture a man who is not nearly the catch that he thinks he is, a man who has perhaps overinflated what he has to offer to a relationship. I can clearly see a man who will be roundly denounced for being too full of himself.

    Maybe I’m just jumping to the conclusions I want to jump to. I’m curious to see the results when other people run the article through the test.

    • @wellokthen: I tried to flip the script, but found that I was unable to get anything out of the exercise since taking that position is so foreign to me. I do have standards, but reality has taught me that standards without flexibility makes me just as narrow as those others.Besides, this is where my experiences as a man of color maybe gives me an advantage as I have always known that my way or the highway isn’t always a good position to take. I have had to learn to share and take a backseat to the needs of others. Most of these women who feel this way are likely white/upper-middle class women or are women who aspire to that lifestyle.

      These women are among the most privileged and pampered( relatively) in the history of the world. I proudly come from a slave class who just was able to win a questionable freedom only 147 years ago–historically, the equivalent of a drop of water in a tsunami– and only got the right to vote, that was protected and enforced, since 1964–a full one hundred years after so called “emancipation”.

    • Why is it that when we see a guy pay for a billboard on the freeway expressly so he can find a wife we call him a desperate loser, yet when a woman essentially posts her dating profile on a blog (with far more visibility than a billboard) we take it as sage advice?

  33. QuantumInc says:

    At first glance this seemed to be excellent advice, (from a socially liberal POV anyway), though on second glance I see how she contradicts herself with some more…traditional..advice, not to mention how it could be confusing. Her ideas on dating are not as well thought out as say Scarlateen or really anyone who regularly blogs on the subject. (I may have been substituting ideas from other blogs as I read it that first time).

    The most obvious contradiction is #7, where she notes “I will say, “I got it” when you hold a door for me or help me with my coat the first few times.” She was raised to be fiercely independent, but you look back to the title “7. Be a gentleman and treat me like a lady” So basically her instinct is to be independent and open her own door, but she expects you to push through that in order to be the traditional chivalrous guy. She sounds conflicted. It seems that she was raised to be men’s equal, but somewhere along the way she was told that dates are supposed to work THIS way. However chivalry comes from a time when women, or rather high class women, were viewed as being like golden idols, super valuable worthy of care and protection, but not as capable of men.

    There are A LOT of people calling her out. With the above contradiction and a few others, it is partly understandable. However many people seem to think she’s incredibly entitled and delusional because she asks things of the men she dates. Well, DUH!! Any relationship, and I don’t mean any romantic or sexual relationship, even friendships, has to provide SOMETHING for the people involved. Even if that is just an opportunity to joke and laugh with someone who understands your jokes. You don’t have to pay for dinner, but you do have to keep your promise to show up, and resist the urge to eat her food, and other things that are all part of not just being a decent date, but being a decent human being.

    To me it seems fairly obvious that this isn’t meant to be advice about dating Amie Longmire, but rather women in general. Amie Longmire is merely the author and a case study. Yes I know what the title says, but if you took that literally you are an idiot. She would have to be massively narcissistic and delusional to write an article thinking the majority of the GMP readership wants to date you. The title implies that, but the circumstances (an article on a blog) contradicts it. Of course some people prefer to see woman as narcissistic and delusional.

    Actually there are a lot of comments here who have a problem with the mere idea of a woman giving men dating advice. However if you are trying to date women, who better to learn about women then someone who is in fact a real live woman! That is no guarantee that it will be good advice, but again, the average woman knows more about women in general than the average man. This should be obvious and self evident. Yes, advice for dating women will mention the things women want, but that’s not the same as saying that women deserve the world. If you don’t think women deserve X, then fine, just take a moment to double check your logic, sport.

    If you feel that she is being entitled, what things do you think she’s being entitled to that are beyond the realm of basic human decency? I explored the opening of door, other “gentlemanly” behavior, and then there’s Kayaking, or is that enough to swear off dating her?

  34. I love the tone and information of this article. The “I want you to succeed” attitude seems great to me throughout and encourages authenticity and confidence (contrary to what some of the PUA community will teach men about dating). I like how this piece emphasizes that it’s about getting to know the person, slowly. About a real connection, slowly building trust, not do-or-die. I worry that many men put pressure on themself that the first date HAS to be Earth-shattering to the other person to feel okay.

    “If we are being ourselves, our expectations mutual, and we find that one of us no longer wants to continue, we will have the guts to be honest about it. No dropping off the face of the earth, or suddenly losing your number. If we are honest from the beginning, determining that we cannot move forward is a way of coming to a successful conclusion. This is a difficult talk to initiate. It should be an open dialogue.”

    I love this part- two adults, honest, straightforward, be yourself, and if there is a genuine connection, things will work out. If being yourself doesn’t work, thank goodness it won’t progress to something further.

    Well written all the way through.

  35. I am a little surprised at all of the negative comments in response to this article, which is largely positive in tone and fair-minded in its analysis of the pitfalls of dating. And guys, in case you are not aware of it, there are all kinds of websites out there that offer women advice regarding “how to understand men,” “how to figure out what men REALLY want,” “how to decipher what it means when he emotionally withdraws,” “how you can attract him and keep him,” etc. etc, etc. I could go on for days. And my attitude is: Why must this be so complicated? Why do I need a guide? Why can’t we just be honest and straightforward with each other, regarding our needs, wants, and desires?

    And that’s all that this writer is trying to do: be honest about her needs, wants, and desires. And I get the sense that she is the type who would listen if you offered the same in return. But, too often, men are not looking for that woman who will be honest and straightforward about her needs and then be patiently attentive to their needs in return. They are, quite frankly, looking for someone who turns them on. As long as that is the number one priority . . . well . . .

    My point: It cuts both ways, guys.

    • none of it has to be that complicated. we all make it complicated.

      really, though, people have been surviving without these articles for thousands of years. these people are all just trying make a living writing.

  36. PUAs seem to aim for quantity… Trying to treat one girl as special seems antithetical to their dogma— “one-itis” is something that should be rejected…. Because if it is easier to score with drunk party girls at the local bar or club, then why bother taking the time getting to know someone and making a deeper connection because you think she is one of a kind?

  37. Notice (ladies and gentlemen) how the onus here is on the men to succeed in winning over the woman.

    “I want you to succeed. Good luck”…etc, etc, etc.

    Let’s queer it up to clear it up: Gay men and lesbian just don’t talk to one another this way, as part of their own dating/mating monkey dance. The onus is on BOTH to be the woo-er AND the woo-ee.

    I want you to SUCCEED? Good LUCK? Are men applying for a JOB here?

    The truth is, Amy, that until you disabuse yourself of that old-school sort of thinking that others have rightly dubbed “patriarchal”, you will probably continue to have as few dates in the future as you have in the past. And the reason that is so is because the old school sort of thinking really SUCKS – and is confusing as hell for men and for women.

    When I say “queer it up to clear it up”, I’m being REALLY serious. I think het men and het women can learn an awful lot by taking an open and curious look at how homo-normative people are living out their dating/mating lives – and how much easier it is for them than for hetero-normative people, because they’re just not schlepping all this ridiculous historical baggage.

    And no, none of us are victims here. We all have the ability to drop that baggage, and learn new ways of being alone and together, whenever we are ready. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

  38. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    I liked this a lot. I’ve been married a few years, so it doesn’t really pertain directly to me anymore. I do have one issue, and it’s probably sort of a Myers-Briggs type of thing, however. It’s the no drama business. Let me give you some context. When I was on the market, I was frequently quite attracted to lady scientists. I had two long term relationships with this type of woman. They were both very attractive, good conversationalists, and not particularly hung up. I’m a sociologist, but I’m a feeling type on the MBTI (scientists tend to be thinking types.) I probably have something like a therapist personality. I know that this is generalizing from an N of 2, but both of these women had an unfortunate tendency to label any expression of feeling (even small ones) as “drama.” Needless to say, I didn’t wind up with either. Maybe it all depends on what your definition of “drama” is.

  39. So let’s step back a bit and have a meta-conversation about this blog from Amy, and all the clearly disapproving comments it is getting from a lot of men, and all the surprise women are expressing about these disapproving comments.

    What’s going on here?

    Well, the first thing that’s going on is that we’re reading yet another in the apparently endless parade of blogs, articles, etc etc etc in which women (and sometimes other men) feel it is their responsibility to “help” men up their game, and go from being sub-standard overgrown children to being (in one of a thousand ways) up to par.

    And the advice is ENDLESS. Just the other day, a blog here from an evangelical Christian woman was written to tell her married evangelical men friends how their “half-hugs” were inadequate. Someone else wrote a blog advising men that wearing a Trilby hat was a terrible thing to do, and no one should do it. A few weeks back, another blog was written telling men that they should NEVER, EVER compliment a woman on her looks, or what she was wearing. I’ve read several blogs that have insisted that men needed to identify themselves as FEMINISTS, and other blogs that implied, and sometimes outright stated, that committed, monogamous relationships were really the best.

    And that’s just the recent past here at GMP. If I start listing all the stories I’ve read on other websites, like Huffpo, I could literally compile an entire book.

    So the first question to ask – if we’re having a meta-discussion – is this: Is there any other demographic in which the members are being treated in this way? And specifically, are WOMEN being treated this way, by men, or by other women?

    Nope. Not at all.

    What I see is that women are being given a daily dose (actually a gazillion daily doses) of “You GO, girlfriend”. They’re being told that whatever they want and whatever they like (as long as it’s not homicide or the moral equivalent thereof) is their right and their entitlement, as free beings in a free world.

    But somehow, in the unconscious shadowy minds of a whole lot of folks – including a whole lot of folks who write and edit for the Good Men Project – that’s just not the case at all.

    So that’s the first part of the meta-discussion that I want to have – and am having, in any number of comments to any number of articles and blogs that I’ve been reading here for the past several months. My take is that a lot of people – including the people who write these sorts of articles and blogs – are really UNCONSCIOUS around this issue – just as a lot of people used to be unconscious around issues of the partriarchy.

    So what’s the antidote to such unconsciousness? Of course, it’s consciousness raising – the key pivotal act that defined feminism, and has led to the better conditions that we have today – and will continue to lead to better conditions for women all over the world (thank you, Malala) as we continue to raise consciousness around women’s rights.

    Similarly, I think that the GMP needs to be a THOUGHT LEADER in the area of raising consciousness around not telling men what to think, say and do – unless (once again) we’re talking about homicide, or being rapey, or some other obvious moral error.

    This should be The Good Men Project – not the Good Yente Project. That’s my view, and I will continue to advocate for it.

    >>>

    Next, I want to address Amy directly, assuming she is reading the comments. And even if she is not, I want to address all the women who are – and who really don’t get what is wrong with the latest iteration of Amy’s List – which she now reframes as “suggestions for dating me”.

    Here’s the deal, Amy – and yes, I am MANSPLAINING this (another contemptuous term, that I am co-opting, just like gay people co-opted QUEER).

    The reason that you’re getting so few dates is not because you are intimidating men because you are so smart. Really, there are a whole bunch of men who are just as smart as you (or smarter), and there’s a whole bunch of men who may or may not be smarter than you that find smart women VERY sexy. (I’m one myself).

    But what I don’t find sexy is being told what to do, or how to behave, when I’m with you – unless what I’m doing is really and obviously OFFENSIVE.

    So…if a man is acting MEAN, or OBNOXIOUS, or RAPEY – by all means play that assertiveness card, and either straighten him out (because he needs it desperately), or call SHENANIGANS on the entire date and flush him out of your phone and your life.

    But you’re not doing that.

    By your own admission (ie your list of “suggestions”) you’re both thinking poorly about him (or men in general) and acting poorly as well.

    Let me give you a simple example: When I go to the gym, a lot of times someone will hold the door open for me. It might be a man or a woman. It might be someone old, or someone young. It might be someone I might think about trying to date – or someone I would never think about dating.

    I can tell you that in 100% of the cases where someone is gracious enough to hold open the gym door for me, my response is THANK YOU, along with a nice, brief look in their eyes, to let them know I really mean it.

    I can tell you that in ZERO % of the cases, I actually tell the other person, “Thanks, I can hold the door myself”, thus making them feel foolish for making a decent gesture to me as a fellow human being.

    Do you get my drift here?

    If you’re carrying around that crap inside of you, you’re exuding VINEGAR energy rather than SUGAR energy. Even before you open your mouth and say one word to a prospective dating candidate, you’ve sent a whiff into the air that many men will subliminially smell, and it wil make them turn away from you, even if they thought that perhaps you might be datable.

    So what can you do instead? In two words, GROW UP. Make up your mind that you are going to be gentle and gracious in your dating interactions with men, just as you would be if you were travelling as a missionary or a diplomat to a foreign country. Because – truth to tell – EVERYONE is a foreign country to everyone else when they first meet.

    If you have THAT pre-existing consciousness and attitude, you will – without saying a word – exude more HONEY and less VINEGAR. And that’s how you can start to catch more flies.

    Let me give you one other example of how your pre-existing attitudes – as defined in your own list of suggestions – is causing you to exude VINEGAR rather than HONEY.

    You are demanding (yes, demanding) that any candidate who wants to approach you should be a fascinating sort of fellow. Well…OK. That’s certainly your right.

    But you know what? Most of us aren’t really very fascinating, in that superficial sort of way. Most of us lead average lives rather than spectacular ones. Most of us (men and women both) cluster in the middle of the ubiquitious bell shaped curve.

    But here you are, DEMANDING and FEELING ENTITELED TO the attention of men at the high end of the curve – and of course the flip side of that demand and sense of entitlement is that all the other guys are (wait for it) LOSERS.

    Once again, as stupid and clueless and emotionally unintelligent as so many women think so many men are – the truth is that a lot of us have just as highly developed instinctual sense as women do. So (once again) we can smell that kind of filtering attitude a mile away – and (for many, if not most of us) it is a total turn off, rather than a turn on. It’s just more vinegar, and we smell it, and it lowers the interest of MOST of us, immediately.

    And of course, a lot of the guys who remain interested after smelling that vinegar are exactly the sort of guys you don’t want to be bothered with: PUA’s looking for a challenge, who get their ego strokes by “bagging” a tough sell.

    So…once again…if THAT is the problem (or at least YOUR part of the problem), what might be a solution?

    How about this:

    How about you get rid of the list altogether? How about you dump the suggestions? How about you let go entirely of your implicit and explicit demands and requirements above and beyond the requirement that he thinks, talks and behaves with integrity – as a man, and not a boy?

    How about you make a CONSCIOUS DECISION that you will go into each dating/mating encounter with an open mind, an open heart and EMPTY HANDS?

    How about YOU deciding to meet him in that place of full integrity, without any sort of sex or romance agenda – simply meeting as PEOPLE – and letting the relationship unfold itself the way it wants to – for both of you?

    Of course, this is not an easy thing to do. We are all carrying an IMMENSE amount of baggage, from our personal lives, and our lives as member of this late stage hetero-normative capitalist dating community – men and women BOTH.

    A lot of it is PERSONAL baggage – whatever personal wounds we have experienced as either children or adults, that makes us close our minds, close our hands, clench our fists – be anything but open and spacious.

    And a lot of it is the baggage of the MATRIX in which we have all been immersed, with the various memes of women’s rights, men’s rights, men are from Mars, women are from Venus – the whole thing is an incredible suck factory that makes us enter any new relationship with all the suspicion that you can see in the comments on this blog, or the comments on Jezebel or XOJane, or the comments on any of the MRA or MGTOW websites.

    There really IS a better way. But – for men and women both – it has to start with REALLY growing up, healing the old wounds, rejecting the old armor – and being willing to encounter THE OTHER with compassion, with an open heart, an open mind and empty hands.

    Now…if that seems like too much to ask, based on your own personal story, then I would say you’re really not ready to date yet. Do something to fix what’s still broken: therapy, life coaching, some sort of spiritual practice. Do what you need to do until you really can come to the hetero-normative dating experience with open minds, open heart and empty hands – and no other identity besides that.

    Take the time you need – and make the effort you need to make – to fix you, so that you’re not demanding anything from anybody, and you’re not compulsed to give anybody anything that feels like it’s being given without your own personal moral approval.

    Forget the list…once and for all. If you’re going to meet someone, just meet him or her with open mind, open heart and empty hands. Otherwise, do something else.

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