Men Who Don’t “Get” Women

Men Who Don’t “Get” Women

Guys might have a more interesting love life if they accepted the idea that when it comes to women, choosing to be happy works better than choosing to be right.

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Nicole Taionescu / 123RF Photo

I have a good friend, a guy in his 40s, well-traveled, spiritual, advanced degree, tall and attractive (in his own Bohemian way). He’s the kind of guy you would think is dating like crazy and enjoying a great romantic life. But au contraire, he tells me he hasn’t gotten laid in months – despite meeting and dating numerous women.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with the single women in Los Angeles,” he tells me. “It’s impossible to have a relationship in this town.”

When he told me this, I was incredulous because I can’t tell you how many times I hear the same lament from my single women friends. If single women are trying to have a relationship and so are single men, why can’t they connect? I figured I’d delve in deeper, and asked him to tell me what happened with the most recent date.

My friend said they connected on Match, met for coffee and got along fabulously. They made plans for dinner, which also went great until the check came. It sat on the table between them until finally he reached for it, dismayed she didn’t offer to share the tab.

“She seemed like a progressive woman,” he said. “We had a great conversation about all kinds of topics and it was clear to me she was an independent, self-supporting ‘liberated’ woman. But when it came to who pays, it was like she suddenly became a woman from the 1950s. She wasn’t what she presented herself to be,” he sighed, disappointed his dinner companion was disingenuous.

Then he told me about another date. It went great and they seemed to click. So he didn’t understand why this “modern” woman didn’t call him afterward to follow up so they could plan their next date. “She seemed like she was interested and we had a great time,” he said. “Why didn’t she call me?”

“Here’s the deal,” I said. “If you want to have a romantic relationship, heck, if you just want to get laid, you’ve got to park the 50/50 equal partners deal and start acting more like Don Draper in ‘Mad Men’ – at least when you’re interested in a woman. That’s the only way she, no matter how liberated and progressive, is going to see you as a candidate for her love life.”

Of course, some women will disagree with me. But from what I’ve seen, the women’s lib rules that changed the way the sexes are supposed to relate don’t apply in the game of love. When my friend didn’t swoop in to pick up the check and allowed that awkward moment between them, he sent the message that 1) he considered her to be friend material or 2) he’s stingy.

I told him when I’m on a first date and I’m not interested, I make a point of paying my part of the check. If we click, I’ll pay in the future, but never on a first date.

As for the women who didn’t call him after their date? I told him when she didn’t get a call from him, she understood that he wasn’t interested in her. In the mating ritual, women (like most females in the animal world) want to be courted. The old rule I learned from my mother still applies: let him chase you until you catch him.

I get that from a man’s point of view, this is a little like double dipping. Women want all the benefits of being treated like a peer with no gender bias or discrimination and then, when it suits them, want all the old-fashioned perks that we supposedly chucked overboard when we burned our bras. I tried to explain this to my friend, but I don’t think he believed me. “No, it’s something wrong with the women in Los Angeles,” he said. “They’re just impossible.”

“Why don’t you just try what I’m suggesting and see what happens?” I urged. “Pursue her, pick up the check, be generous, protective and chivalrous, and just see what happens. Think of it as an experiment,” I said, hoping to appeal to his scientific mind.

But no, he knew better. Women in Los Angeles are incapable of having a modern, contemporary relationship with a modern, contemporary man. In his mind, the last 50 years of social change trumped 10,000 years of cultural and biological programming. I think he might eventually meet a woman who will interact with him the same way she interacts with her co-workers. But if he does, my guess is that he’ll find himself with a whole new set of reasons to be unsatisfied with the single women in Los Angeles.

Copyright © Kim Calvert/2014 Singular Communications, LLC.

Kim CalvertKim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.


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13 thoughts on “Men Who Don’t “Get” Women

  1. I tried seeking romance on different dating sites. Sent nice messages to potentially compatible women. Strange but despite receiving letters, the women did nothing. I checked the site logs. Unbelievably I got no replies. Deadly silence. Looked at various dating blogs. It seems most women prefer expensive dinner dates and free nights out with attractive, successful guys. Fair enough. But sad to say paid online dating sites started looking more like big money-making scams where guys get dumped on by default.

  2. This guy obviously knows little of courtship and expected far too much as noted here. He is wasting his time. Most guys like that will never learn. I admit, the dating rules have certainly changed for men. I did try the Match dating web site for months but failed to meet anyone. I posted various profiles and spent hours searching online. I sent plenty of messages to people but got no replies despite hours of work. I really question why women bother to register, then fail to answer anyone? I was forced to give up and now dismiss online dating as a complete waste of time and money.

  3. Interesting comments, confirms my initial impression of how social roles at work and in general for men and women have changed so much that dating ‘rules’ and expectations have not kept up. The confusion and expectations have never been less clearly defined than today.

    In earlier years there were more defined roles that dictated some of the dating/courting rules. For example men worked and had a paycheck and women did not, therefore didn’t have disposable income. That’s not true today.

    What it tells me is that communication of what is expected matters more than ever. The anxiety of what’s expected actually seems to make it harder to discuss. It’s a life skill that is going to have to get better purely because social roles include so many choices for men and women.

    Most men who find the date intriguing and enjoyable don’t think much of paying the tab. If the date was horrible and therefore clearly not going anywhere it seems reasonable to split the tab.

    RE: Don Draper and Mad Men — I find the show incredibly accurate regarding the complexity of the roles of men and women and how they have changed over the years making it harder to know what is expected. I honestly thought Don Draper’s character was passive in many ways. Women came to him and he sort of had no ability to really sort out his own life for what he really wanted and needed. You can’t blame him for their behavior. In those days women were taught to expect to ‘catch’ a man who would take care of them. However, women weren’t happy with that either –reason for so much social change.

    We’re beyond the old roles and need to create new ones that are flexible, honest, and communicate caring to all involved. Using old biological rules is partly true, but only in the sense of attraction and the fact that both persons need to contribute to survive.

  4. This article claims to investigate both sides, but its is clearly one-sided. Which is fine, since your female dominated audience seems to agree. You should however call this article what it is, “things guys can do to increase their chances with a woman”. It is in no way an objective view of the two sexes courtship.

    If your male friend is still seeking advice, the only thing he needs to do is be himself! Eventually, the right girl will come around. As a guy, the one thing i would suggest is, If you liked her, call her yourself. (Which BTW would be the exact same advice I’d give a woman) all of these ‘courtship rules’ are simply games people play. Be yourself and reject anyone who doesn’t support it.

    As for paying the bill, and all of this courting business, if that’s his take on it, there’s nothing wrong with it. Any woman who pokes a hole in his logic of, “she seemed like a progressive woman, therefore she should volunteer to pay the bill” is advocating a Double-standard!

    1. You make a good point in that these are still games people are playing. He’s right to expect a girl to at least offer to pay. Most women today understand that we both make money, and expecting a guy to pay can appear like taking advantage.
      I have girlfriends who go out to bars and expect guys to buy them drinks all night. They love the attention and are the first to admit they arevtaking advantage of it and deserve to do so. So I kind of understand why guys want that even playing field. Because there are plenty of women who take advantage of it..

  5. In a perfect world, where men and women both “owned” that they’re equally interested in forging a romantic connection (and of course where there was no disparity between their earnings), both parties would take co-responsibility for the cost of the date. There would be no implicit assumption that the man pays. In parts of Europe, I’ve found, that’s not necessarily the case, but certainly in the US, that is the expectation. So I will always pick up the check on the first date. It’s just the silent burden that goes along with having a Y-chromosome! I try to view it in a Darwinian perspective–there seems to be an inherent instinct in most men (myself included) to want to protect/provide for a woman, and in women to want to be protected/provided for by a man. I’m not sure how paying for her Cobb salad became the modern-day equivalent of slaying a wildebeest and bringing it home as food, but it does seem to work that way. In both cases you are “providing” for her.
    What bothers me is the perfunctory nature of the whole dynamic. I know I feel much more inclined to for my lover, ONCE I KNOW HER AND LOVE HER.
    What bothers me is that the behavior has become so prescribed and the expectation so perfunctory that some women don’t even bother anymore to thank the man. (After all, he’s metaphorically “slain” a wildebeest, hoping it would please you! At least acknowledge that and thank him!) And by all means, if a woman KNOWS she’s not interested in a guy in the romantic way HE’S hoping, as long as she can afford it, she should try not to let him pay for her meal (or her drinks!) He’ll do it, of course. We all do. But unless he’s Don Draper (who exploits his power as a man of means and willingly makes that tradeoff), he’ll feel at least somewhat used. And in some cases, he’ll feel entitled to some “kissy/huggy/touchy-feely” as a result. (Wrongly, of course.) It sends a much clearer signal to the man: “I’m not interested in dating you, and I don’t want to be in any position where it could be misconstrued that I “owe” you anything. He may be disappointed that you weren’t interested, but at least he won’t resent you, like he might if you stick him with the full bill.

  6. Lots of good advice and solid comments from all. It all seems very simple – When you first meet someone, being gracious and generous with your time, energy, and some money to pay for dinner is the least you should do.

    Life’s too short to worry about what the other person “may” think… it’s better to observe what actually happens in the present. If you pick up the tab, be aware of her reaction – a nice smile says a lot. Open the door for her – if she likes that, great – if she makes a snide comment, that also is something to consider.

    If a guy does his best to express interest, it’s up to the woman to either accept that interest or not. If it doesn’t work out, look at what you can do better next time… it’s not constructive to blame someone else when things don’t “click.” You should learn from every experience – good or bad. Those you encounter in the future will thank you!

  7. It seems this man is not mature or secure enough. Or maybe a bit feminine, he may need a masculine woman who will be the pursuer instead.

  8. The man would be much happier if could learn to be MAGNANIMOUS and not blame his lack of understanding on “the women in Los Angeles” or NY. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the same nonsense from guys. It’s usually the guys who don’t have a clue. It’s much easier to blame a location then it is to look at the man in the mirror.
    If a man is truly interested in a woman he will go the extra mile, he should be kind and loving, giving, not petty. Go the extra mile, open the door, pick up the check for God’s sake, Invest some time and show that you are the caring person that everyone (man or woman) would love to spend time with. If you want the love of a good woman, you work for it.. xox

  9. Women want to be courted no matter how liberated they are. Men need to embrace their male energy as much as women need to embrace the female outside of a work environment, and that includes picking up the check when you invited someone to join you for a meal. If that seems burdensome, just invite them for coffee or whatever you can easily handle. Most women are fine with reciprocating once the relationship is more established, whether it is then paying their own way, picking up tickets to something or cooking a meal for you at home. These become points of discussion in the development of a real relationship based on respect and admiration for the other which is not tied to gender roles.

  10. To tell you the truth, as much as women did need and deserve equal rights with men, we did sort of throw the baby out with the bath water. Women have different ideas about how guys are supposed to “act” when they’re dating us and guys, of course, are clueless because we send so many mixed messages. With one woman they’ll be laughed at for opening the door, with the next one, they’ll get a snide remark because the they don’t open the door. They can’t win!

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