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