Okay, here’s the deal: I’m a woman. I’m not sure how it happened (likely through some combination of witchcraft … and cookies) but from my unfortunately-chosen soapbox here at the Good Men Project Magazine, I swear this to all mankind: I am not trying to chain, snag, capture, kidnap, bear trap, or crane kick you into committing to me or any other member of my man-nabbing gender.
Which is why I’m continually baffled when “dating experts” like Rory Raye delineate for me how to do just that. In a recent article titled “Top 10 Surprising Ways to Get a Guy to Commit,” Raye spends 10 talking points explaining how to act in order to get a guy to settle down. Her “counter-intuitive” advice includes anything from practical tips like “date more than one man at once” to pseudo psycho-babble like “don’t try to win him over” (lest I come off as a mommy).
But at the end, it’s not the points themselves that bother me—there’s clear merit to advice like “be in touch with your feelings”— it’s the reason for writing at all. It’s borne of the tired, exhausted, (already unconscious) assumption that A.) all women want is to make a guy commit and, B.) men naturally don’t want to commit.
Take a stroll around GMPM and you’ll see hoards of evidence to the contrary (and even some evidence that supports it). The point is that lists like these may be the prime editorial meat for magazines like Cosmopolitan but they overlook an entire menu of humanity in order to proclaim: “Love him but don’t be his girlfriend.” It does a disservice to women and it does a disservice to men. (Personally, I’m left feeling like I’m being bombarded by free samples of how-to-be-a-lady cakes when all I really want is to cook for myself.)
With all that said, advice can be useful. And YourTango, the publication that ran this list, also runs plenty of other articles that celebrate the diversity of male and female behavior. Here are some great examples of both: Keeping An Erection During Oral Sex and Women Do Like Casual Sex.