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.
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.