Josh Bowman provides some insight into the strange and complicated minds of guys during the first few dates.
Note: another response to idatedthatdouche.com
- Guys these days are a lot lazier about traditional rules of etiquette. First dates are often hanging out watching a movie, or going to a pub, or just driving around. Doors don’t get opened for you, dinners don’t get paid for. You need to set expectations, and if a guy likes you he will rise to them (as long as your expectations are fairly reasonable).
- Men like the chase. Even though every man says “I hate games”, you have to be a bit standoffish at first. Not totally awful, but don’t care too much at the beginning, and you’ll find a guy is more interested. I don’t know…that’s just how our wiring works.
- I’ve always been leery about the informal rule that you aren’t supposed to have sex within the first few weeks. I always thought that it shouldn’t matter, and if two people connect then that should be enough. Over time, at least in my experience, I see how that rule makes sense. Take a bit of time to know somebody before jumping into bed with them, and it will build a stronger base for a relationship. Unless you just want to bone, in which case…go nuts.
- Fellas want to create a situation that is as relaxed as possible. First dates are hell sometimes, and I know in my experience the easier I can make it, the better. Relax. Have fun. If it doesn’t work out, who cares? Having that attitude will make the date go better as well.
- The reason a lot of guys drink too much in the beginning is because they are nervous. The reason guys say dumb things is because they are nervous. The reason guys “neg” or throw out insults or jibes is because they are nervous. I’m not saying being nervous justifies that behaviour, but that is generally the context for it. I really wish that a lot of guys had other go-tos when nerves hit than being dicks.
- I know I said that fellas react well to women who are kind of standoffish, and I want to clarify that. It’s true to a point. If you are carefree, have no problem trading jokes and good-natured insults, and are gonna have fun regardless of who you’re with, that’s a turn on. If you are checking your cell phone and yawning and refusing to talk, that’s terrible.
- There’s a trend right now with a lot of men (particularly where I live in Toronto) where we have gotten so many different messages about how to approach women that we are totally clueless. We don’t want to talk to random women because we don’t want to be creeps or jerks. We don’t want to ask out co-workers or friends for the same reason. At the same time, we keep hearing from women that guys never ask them out, and men need to step up, and they never meet eligible, single fellas. All this is to say…you might find that when you first meet a guy you like, or first start dating a guy, he will not be great at talking about what he wants and will be confused and dumb. It helps tremendously to set the precedent and clearly talk about what you want. Some men are good communicators and know exactly what they want…but a lot of men are not.
- It is great to want to get married, but there’s something about that conversation that can be really terrifying to a lot of men. I don’t know why, exactly. Fear of commitment, bla bla bla. I don’t think men are afraid of committing, necessarily. I think a lot of men want to be in love. I think there is a lot of sub-conscious anxiety about the wedding itself, and what it represents. My girlfriend explained to me once why engagements and weddings represent a feeling of security for a lot of women. I never thought much about having a wedding (though I have always wanted to have kids), and always saw it as an expensive hassle. I always perceived women who talked about marriage early on in a relationship as just being in love with the idea of marriage, regardless of who the partner is, and that was a huge turn-off. All of this is to say that marriage is an important conversation, but one which is generally had later on in the relationship, and must be handled with some finesse.
- Happy men can be deeply depressed. Handsome men can be self-conscious. Strong men can be emotionally volatile or fragile. Quiet men can get angry. There is a lot that might be hidden during the first few dates. Be receptive and open, but know your deal-breakers. If he trusts you, he will let you in.
- Dirty jokes are always appreciated.