I don't usually give dating advice to women, but recently two of my female friends have been asking me a lot about dating, so I figured I'd consolidate some of the stuff we've been talking about here. Some of this stuff will apply to men, too, but for once I wanted to focus on the female perspective.
There are two primary issues for women to deal with in dating: the first is sifting through the masses of men who will present themselves, and the second is keeping the man once they begin dating. The other parts, the parts that are hard for men, are easy. Most women have no problem getting attention from men or getting dates.
For the first part, my advice is to just get out there and go on as many dates as possible. Women are often attracted more by personality than appearance, so the initial screening process is more difficult. However, personality can be sized up reasonably accurately quickly.
Rather than leave it to chance, spend time in places where guys you like might be. You can also go approach guys, and guys tend to think this is amazing, but just showing up in places where guys you might be interested in are should be enough. When a guy approaches you, encourage him. It can be terrifying.
Once you're on a date, realize that you don't owe the guy anything other than to show up. If he's creepy or rude, leave immediately. It's rude to leave, but ruder to make someone feel uncomfortable. And if the date isn't great, don't go on another date. You don't owe him another date, even if he feels like you do.
Women are often afraid of upsetting the male ego, because it can be fragile and men are likely to say extraordinarily stupid things when they are rejected. It's not fair that you have to hear those things, but you can at least be kind to yourself and realize that they are entirely reflections of the man's inner world, and not of you.
Silence is often the best answer. If a guy says something stupid to you, just ignore it and block him. This will prevent you from hearing more nonsense and it will also starve him of the attention he's trying to get.
If you have a great date, make sure the guy knows. On average we are far worse at reading signals than women are, so signals that you think are clever and just subtle enough will go totally unnoticed.
When you start dating a guy and he likes you, he will generally advance the relationship. Make him do at least half of the work in terms of texting and setting up dates. If he's not willing to do that, he's not interested enough in you.
If you're looking for a serious relationship, don't allow yourself to be someone's second priority. He either puts in the effort and gets to spend time with you, or he doesn't.
On the other hand, it's critical not to rush his decision making process. While men tend to know sooner whether they're physically attracted to a woman, women tend to know sooner whether they're interested in a relationship.
And just as a guy moving too fast physically can scare off a woman, so too can a woman moving too quickly towards a relationship. Don't worry. If he likes you, he'll get there.
Never ask if he likes you. If he's seeing you, he does. Don't ask relationship questions to which you aren't very confident the answer is yes. That includes whether he wants to be exclusive, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.
There's a very common situation that happens where a guy is still trying to figure out if he wants to be in a relationship with a woman and she rushes the decision. It's very common to feel like you probably do eventually want that relationship, but if you have to commit now, you have to say no. It's much better to be a little bit patient than to rush him into a decision that will force him to say no. Every guy has been there.
Understand how important freedom is to a man. Maybe not all of us, but it's commonly an important value. A woman who tries to encroach upon our freedom will be seen as a threat. On the other hand, a woman who supports us having a lot of freedom will get a ton of credit for that, and the benefits of that freedom will actually get credited to you. Many guys complain about how their girlfriends or wives restrict their freedom, so a guy who isn't in that position is constantly reminded how lucky he is.
Your goal as a partner should not be to hold on to him no matter what. It should be to be irreplaceable. Rules, threats, ultimatums, and bargaining will never keep a good man. Being the best version of yourself and working with him to create an incredible relationship will.
Dating is tough for both men and women, and it can feel disheartening sometimes. The good news is that you only need to really succeed at it once.
Photo is a tree near Yosemite
You say that women are afraid "of upsetting the male ego" I actually think it's more that women are afraid of being stalked, verbally abused or physically threatened. Men are far far more likely to get violent, raise their voices or say awful things when women turn them down or end dates early. I've stayed on dates where I have no intention of ever going out with the guy again for long enough so that the he can "save face". I've seen other women at the bar who I know by their body language and demeanor that they're humoring the guy they're with so that they can get away safely. Silence is a useful tool, but so is calculated attention, not drinking too much, and finishing the date with an "I just didn't feel sparks between us".
As a married woman (btw, I am amazed that you finally stopped referring to women as "girls"!) I can completely agree with your dating advice.
However, I find the American dating process rather funny. In Germany, where I live, people basically meet as friends until... well, someone makes the first step. (Of course, some relationships start with intense flirting or with the use of dating apps, in which case it is more a dating thing.) At least in Germany, I personally got good results by being intimidatingly open from the first day of meeting a guy about what my personal plans in life are (having kids etc.) and also openly checking the other person out about their possible psychological problems with regards to my own personality. Some guys find women with such a communication style quite refreshing.
As a man, I really like the second last paragraph, totally agree with it.
What may also work is to hold off kissing and sex, while making clear that you like to get to know the guy. This will make him focus more on how much he likes you as a person and possibly for a relationship, rather then trying to get you into bed and create something like a FWB situation. When postponing sex you'll really see if spending time together is worth it.
The only web comic I read is XKCD. It's smart, funny, and often times educational. I'm a fan. The latest comic is a criticism of pickup. There ARE certainly valid criticisms of pickup, but Randall took a cheap and inaccurate shot at it. I've shrunken it below, but you can see the original here.
I'm one of the main characters of The Game, have been going out every night since February first (except the last week, where I got caught up on some work), and am friends with most of guys who contributed substantially to the pickup community. In other words, I know what I'm talking about.
All of those guys are either too busy to defend pickup, or just sick of having to do it yet again. But hey, it's Thursday night and I haven't written a blog post this week, so I'll take a crack at it.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians that it would be good if all men were like him and didn’t get married, and Solomon says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. –Take away. Married or not, you’re ok.
Let’s outline this thing. Part 1