This is my first post for the “Here’s To Women!” category.
You may be asking yourself why I would dedicate an entire post category to saluting and encouraging women. But if you know me well, you’ve had the chance to pick up on the fact that I’m a big advocate for them.
So, for anyone who visits the blog and is a woman, I hope the posts in this category will amuse and inspire you somehow.
All The Single Ladies: Five Ill-advised Dating Behaviors For Women
Let me begin with a confession: for basically my entire life, I have been on the sidelines of dating rather than in the game. That said, another truth about me is I learn a lot by observing things other people go through.
Over the years, I have noted certain dating/relationship behaviors in some females – behaviors that seem unlikely to make a woman successful in relationships.
I know these behaviors may stem from myths that have been widely accepted and unfortunately perpetuated. And I’m sure there are women who will have a difficult time letting go of those myths. Still, for your consideration, I’ll discuss here five dating behaviors that are understandable but not recommended.
Behavior #1: Failing to directly decline an undesirable invitation.
You probably know what it’s like to be approached by a guy you’re not interested in at all. He asks for your phone number or asks if he can take you to lunch sometime, but you want no part of it. Life would be a lot easier if no one ever had to experience that situation.
To reject someone face to face is hard. Then there’s the fact that, as a female, you’ve probably been socialized to be polite and not direct.
Even though these things are working against you, it’s important to rise above them. It’s time to learn to say, “I don’t mean to disregard your feelings, but no thank you.” This response is much better than pretending you’d like to get together or giving your phone number only to never answer or return calls. Besides, in your dealings with men, do you really want to reinforce the idea that women say the opposite of what they mean?
Behavior #2: Flirting/spending time with a guy’s male friend in hopes of provoking the guy to approach you.
A guy either is interested in you and will be making his way to you (whether smoothly or clumsily), or he is not interested in you and won’t be coming your way. Or perhaps he’s one of those guys who likes you but lacks the initiative or courage to approach you – and let’s face it: this type of guy isn’t ready to be what you deserve anyway.
Whatever the case, toying with a man’s male friend is not only misleading and confusing for the friend, but also it makes you seem insecure, immature, and manipulative. You’re probably none of those things. But if you are, you have the ability to change.
As tempting as it may be, using a guy’s male friend as a way to get the guy’s attention is a silly game. And since we’re not kids anymore, why not skip the game, and let “Romeo” prove his confidence and your worth by finding a way to engage you? I mean think about it – guys figure out ways to put themselves in other situations they’re interested in, don’t they? Just watch how they go after material possessions, career advancement, or other opportunities that catch their eye! Don’t sell yourself short, ladies.
Behavior #3: Directly pursuing a guy or initiating with him instead of allowing him to be the one exhibiting that kind of leadership.
See note about Behavior #2.
Behavior #4: Hinting.
You’ve heard it before – “Subtle hints don’t work with men; strong hints don’t work with men; OBVIOUS HINTS don’t work with men.” Guys can be oblivious, in case you didn’t notice yet. I don’t think it’s a matter of not caring; I believe it’s a matter of literally not being aware of what a woman is wishing for inside. So, save some frustration for you and for him, and make a clear communication.
Generally, the purpose of any communication is to establish understanding between parties. Hints often fall short as a vehicle for facilitating that goal. In other words, between men and women, hints simply do not promote effective communication.
Something I actually tell my female friends is this: with your male relatives, friends, and dating partners alike, you will increase your chances of getting what you want if you plainly ask for it. I said those words to my good friend from college recently, and she responded by promptly putting a request to me in a very plain fashion! Did it work out for her? Absolutely.
Now keep in mind I haven’t told you this is a foolproof approach (there’s probably no such thing). But I did say it will make you much more likely to get whatever it is you hoped for in the first place.
Not only is this applicable when it comes to asking for something you want, but also it applies to letting a man know what you’re feeling or thinking. Forget about dropping hints; plainly (and calmly) state what you really mean. Then, if he still doesn’t grasp what you’re feeling or thinking, at least it’s not because you didn’t lay it out for him.
Behavior #5: Ignoring clear statements a man makes about not wanting a relationship.
As much as you may not want to hear or believe it, you will do well to listen when a man tells you he’s not ready to commit (or when he tells you he just wants to be your friend). I know the hard thing with this is that his behavior towards you may not be consistent with that message. He’s a guy, and yes, he may be inclined to give in to selfish gratification if the two of you have made a habit of playing tonsil hockey in his car at night.
If he says you are only a friend but behaves like you’re more than just a friend, he is guilty of sending conflicting messages. It isn’t right or mature, but it does not necessarily mean what you may want it to mean – that deep down he really wants more than friendship but is scared of getting hurt or jeopardizing the wonderful friendship the two of you share.
And it’s a bad day for everyone when he finally cuts off the relationship he allowed to go further than he believed it should.
Also, remember that if a guy calls you “friend” but treats you like more, it’s not to be taken as a sign that you’ll be able to change his mind or wear him down through flattery or physical affection. Whoever originated this quote was right: there is a degree of power in seduction, but it is short-lived and false. Another quote also comes to mind here and seems fitting: your body is not bait.
If a man tells you he’s not ready or not interested, don’t fool yourself by thinking he’s wrong or that you can convince him otherwise. You stand to lose too much in that kind of gamble.
(If any women feel I should write about ill-advised dating behaviors for men, feel free to contact me – I welcome suggestions for behaviors to discuss.)