Yesterday I was talking to a male friend of mine about my most recent dating mishap. He listened patiently and then said, very matter-of-factly, “You need to go back to dating like a guy. It’s that simple.” Sure it is….. huh???
When I explained that I wasn’t sure what he meant, he sighed, and in that voice you use when you’re talking to either a toddler or a slightly demented senior, he said (and I am going to quote him as directly as I can):
“Men and women are different, and they approach dating really differently. Most guys don’t date to find a relationship. They date to get laid. If it ends up as more, then great. That’s why it’s called ‘falling in love’ and not ‘planning on love.’ When we fall in love, we just kind of wake up one morning and realize that — damn! — we’re crazy in love with this girl. We don’t see it coming or anticipate it. Guys are much better at dating without expectation. They just see where it goes and when it doesn’t work out, they tend to write it off as being good while it lasted, without having to label it as a ‘mistake’ or a ‘waste of time.’ Women spend a lot of time regretting men, but we don’t usually spend much time regretting you. We just move on. ”
Hmmmm… I had to admit that he had just possibly provided the most succinct and accurate summary of the male/female dating divide that I’d ever heard. But what was I to do with this information?
And again, in the overly patient, slightly bemused voice he explained:
“A year ago, you were great at dating. You dated lots of different people and you just did it for fun. And you didn’t put up with any shit. As soon as some guy stepped out of line, you got rid of him. You weren’t a bitch about it, but you didn’t grant a lot of second chances. You weren’t looking for anything, and — if I remember correctly — you’ve told me that you weren’t in a position emotionally to offer a guy anything real even if he had wanted more. You were dating without expectation. You were dating like a guy. So your chances of getting hurt were pretty slim. Pretty hard to get hurt when you’re not invested in the outcome. I think you need to go back to that. I think it’s healthier. Quit giving away the best parts of you — and I don’t mean sex, either — to any guy you like. They haven’t earned the right to be your friend or know your secrets or get under your skin. Just have fun and quit thinking about what they need and focus on yourself and what feels good to you. We don’t spend much time wondering what you need, at least in the beginning. It’s okay to be a little selfish. If they’re really worth it, they’ll stick around and then you’ll know.”
So, the moral of the story is that I should start dating like a guy again?
“Yeah,” he said. “Or maybe you should just stop dating dickheads. That would do it, too.”