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10 Things Men Think Are A Good Idea – But Aren’t

FREE E-BOOK: 15 WAYS TO KNOW YOU'RE DATING A GENTLEMAN

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I remember hearing something from Jerry Seinfeld a long time ago that talked about the differences between what men read and what women read. Women’s magazines are all full of how-to’s, especially when it comes to dating – and men’s magazines are full of pictures of pretty girls because they think they already know everything.

Unfortunately, we don’t. Nobody does. I learned this through experience and I’m sure that I’m not alone.

So, what are some things we might be mistaking for “good game” that we should really tie to a concrete block and drop into the river?

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Holding your standards too high.

We all want the woman (or man) who we’ve drawn a photo of in our mind. The “perfect” partner. We are in a society of replacement. Phone screen broken? Get a new one. Computer running slow? Get a new one. You’ve had that iPad for 6 months? Here’s the next version.

It’s always more, and better. But the reality is, people aren’t consistently updated pieces of equipment, we are real life humans with real life feelings, and nobody is perfect (not even you).

No, you shouldn’t take this as a hint to settle for less than you deserve or enter into a relationship with someone you don’t truly have feelings for – but don’t spend so much energy searching for the “perfect” person, that you miss the person who is perfect for you. Because that’s what really counts.

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Overthinking things.

Yes, it’s true – both genders overanalyze. We might think it’s a good idea because it gives us a deeper insight into the situation at hand. Men are naturally problem solvers, and we think if we mull over something long enough we’ll be able to get to the bottom of it.

This is not always the case, and nobody expects you to be a mind-reader. Try not to dig too far into something and create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.

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Trying to solve her problems for her.

Speaking of men naturally being problem solvers, this gives us the instinct to want to step in when a woman discusses a challenge she’s having, and offer up solutions.

Guys, women don’t want you to solve their problems for them – just to make it so they don’t have to face them alone. Listen, understand, and give her the support she needs to find a solution herself. If she asks for your help, then go ahead and do your thing.

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Sending in your representative. 

During the courting phase or the first few dates of a relationship, people (both men and women) have a tendency to…for lack of a better word…put on a show. They are smooth and charming and always say the right things. They make romantic gestures that they wouldn’t normally. We might think this is a good idea because our date will run home and text all of her friends about how great we are.

This is only a good idea if you are being genuine. If this the way you plan on continuing should a longer term relationship sprout, then by all means have at it, Casanova. But if you are all smoke and mirrors, it will never end well in the long run when she finds out what you’re really like. In fact, it will only make you look worse (and all of her friends will find out about that, too).

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Buying her too many gifts.

You might think you’re being thoughtful or sweet by picking up little things that remind you of her, or maybe something she mentioned that she really wanted – but if you’re not yet in an established, long term relationship – you might be sending the wrong message.

It’s entirely possible for these well-intentioned gestures to be taken the wrong way. She might feel like you’re trying to buy her love or even “mark your territory” by buying her things. Not to mention it could put pressure on her to do the same for you when she’s not ready for it.

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You want to split the bill.

This one doesn’t really fit as well because I don’t understand why anyone actually thinks this is a good idea…but I’ve even heard such ridiculousness as men planning an extravagant, rather expensive night out – and then telling the woman what “her share” of the cost is at the end. Are you kidding me?!

Call me old-fashioned, and I know I will get some flack for this – but the man should always pay for dates during the courting phase. Can’t afford nice dinners? Be more creative and make fun plans that are less expensive. Regardless, a gentleman never asks to go dutch.

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Waiting for her to make the first move.

Some men think because of how progressive society has gotten, they can sit back and wait for a woman to approach them. What we don’t often realize, is that she is probably even more afraid of rejection than you are. Women still enjoy being pursued and desired, and as men, we have the responsibility to step up and make the approach.

Now, it is entirely possible that you might get lucky and have a conversation started by she who caught your eye – but after that my belief is that the man still takes the reigns of courtship and does the inviting from that point on.

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Selling yourself (too much).

Women can smell desperation a mile away. We might think the right approach is to convince her of our value and accomplishments, but she is more interested in the type of man you really are, and how well you will treat her. It’s fantastic if you climbed Everest, but what’s even better if you’ll show her the love and respect that she will show you.

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Keeping tabs on her.

Is it a good idea to send texts and ask what she’s up to? Where she is? Who she’s with? It might feel like you’re being genuine, caring, and interested – but that’s not how it feels to her.

Especially in the beginning of a relationship when we are completely infatuated with someone, there is an overwhelming desire to always be connected to them in some way. We always want to be talking, texting, or hanging out. But this is where logic must overcome emotion and we as men have to realize we will come across far too clingy or needy if we do this – and it will push her away.

Ironically, sometimes the best way to bring someone closer to us is to loosen our grip.

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Assuming you know how she feels and backing off.

Ah, the dreaded “friend zone.” To women it sounds like a myth or a fable, something that doesn’t really exist and is in reality, all of the men they don’t feel attracted to. But to men, it’s very real, and very disappointing.

What many men don’t realize is that we often put ourselves in the friend zone by being too nervous to actually make a move. If we assume we know how a woman feels or that she’s not interested in us (maybe because she hasn’t made a move), we might wait too long to say something, or never say anything at all.

Dating and relationships are like gambling – you might have to lose a lot before you win, but you’ll never win if you don’t play.

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This is not to say that you should change who you are, gentlemen. But life is all about learning, improving, and growing from mistakes. The beautiful part about this is that many people (myself included) have made their own mistakes along the way that others can learn from.

Growth sometimes equals discomfort and unfamiliar situations, but, staying in a comfort zone prevents progress. Never stop growing.

Click here to connect with me on Twitter -> [twitter-follow screen_name=’JamesMSama’]

Click here to join the discussion on Facebook.

Click here for the New Chivalry Movement.

 

17 Comments

  1. MarkP on May 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I always enjoy checking out lists like this and usually agree, but the one item that I consistently have to disagree with is that the man should always pay for dates early on. The only reason men were expected to pay in the past is because women were looked down upon, shunned from education and the workforce, and didn’t have any money of their own. That time is long gone. Most women I meet are not just financially independent but often earn more than I do. And it’s not just me. Most women I know within my age group are seeing more financial success than most men I know within my age group.

    Expecting the man to pay for dates (regardless of cost) is the one aspect of chivalry that is completely outdated and needs to go away. And in my experience, most women will not hold it against the man so long as he is courteous about it and mentions it somewhat in advance instead of springing it on them right when it’s time to pay.

    • Destiny on May 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I’ve gotta agree. I hated when I didn’t get to pay for my dates in the begining. I always wanted to split the tab but in the end I just got shut down because “I’m the woman. I don’t get to pay.” This actually became a make it or break it deal for me.

      • Skite on May 22, 2014 at 3:53 am

        I believe a good, modern evolution of this rule would be: “The one who asks, pays.” The asker is the host/ess, meaning they are responsible for the event’s planning, as well as the costs. It is crude to plan something extravagant (read expensive) and then expect the invited to cough up cash for their own surprise.

        The awkwardness many women feel with not splitting the tab for the first date or two likely comes with their discomfort at the implied obligation of reciprocity. Accepting an invitation or a gift obligates the receiver to return the favor at a later time. This is socially engrained to the degree that can be very uncomfortable in dating situations, where the receiver of the gift/invitation may like to remain free to refuse further interactions, but feels as if they’re being pressured into providing reciprocation, even when they don’t want to, in the form of such things as second dates or goodnight kisses. Give-and-take may be the cornerstone of human relationships, but it’s unwelcome when the relationship is not wanted.

        This is solved by “The one who asks, pays,” because, as frequently happens in modern dating, if both parties discuss and agree mutually upon the date details, this means both are “asking” and therefore it’s alright to split the bill without insult, or obligation.



    • Sarah on June 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

      A gentleman should pay early on. If you can’t afford dinner, a coffee date is fine. Same with a walk, a round of mini golf, an hour on the lake with a rented canoe. All inexpensive ways of getting to know someone. A woman looses something … her femininity perhaps, when she is not treated with this simple act of respect early on. I don’t care so much about the dollar amount, but the fact that you are trying to make me comfortable, look out for my enjoyment and comfort, earns my respect for you. It sets up how I am going to view you in the future. Most woman are nurturers and givers by nature, and you will receive back many times over for the wonderful feelings it creates in most women for the simple acts men show in the beginning by providing and caring for a woman.

      • Irina on June 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        Completely agree!



      • dave on July 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm

        Sarah and Irina both seem to agree… women are worth a LOT more than men!



  2. Danz Social Blog on May 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Reblogged this on Danz Social Blog and commented:
    A must read!! Check it out, men will learn a lot from it.

  3. questforahusband on May 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I so enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for making an attempt to bring chivalry back. I can’t disagree with any of the points. I have often been told that I am too old fashioned and that I will be single forever if I wait for a man who does all of these things, but I disagree. I want to be courted, cared for, pampered, and valued. I don’t think a man has to spend a lot of money to do these things. I get a little uncomfortable when a man shells out a lot of money and always does extravagant things. I love creativity and fun without a lot of spending.

    Keep up your Chivalry Movement! It is awesome! I love how you break it down for both men and women!

  4. Hannibal on May 22, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Great post, Mister Sama. And as far as the age-old “who pays” question, here’s my answer…The person who picks the venue for the date pays the bill.

    Guys; you want to take your lady to a fancy restaurant? Great. Be prepared to sign the check with a smile, whatever she might choose to order. Ladies; want your man to go to the theater with you? Awesome. Buy the tickets and deal with the cab fare.

    If you are the one planning the excursion, you are taking responsibility for it. Part of that means picking up the monetary cost. Any gentleman (or lady) wishing to assume this role ought not to balk at the bylaws of that responsibility.

    Sama is right; going dutch on a date is BS, especially if the person requesting that is the person who asked for the date. However, we HAVE entered an age where the male is not always the breadwinner. Again I say; the person who plans is the person who should foot the bill.

  5. Anna on May 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Great post and even greater comments. I always ask a guy at the beginning if he wants to split the bill and if he agreed, I pay and leave and don’t even bother to explain. Why bother? He is looking for buddy and not for romance. I am looking for romance.

    • dave on July 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      …and romance means that the guy has to pay!

  6. Nikki Babie on May 26, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Reblogged this on THE OFFICIAL NIKKI BABIE BLOG.

  7. Rocky on June 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Good list.

    Regarding first moves, I don’t think that men have the responsibility of making the move, or that women are necessarily “more afraid of rejection” than men are. I am a woman and I have chosen to make the first move on a few occasions. I personally almost prefer it that way because I choose to do so based on my own certainty about my feelings for the person I’m with, and my own certainty about the pace. I also feel like I am pretty good at reading other people, so I feel confident that most of the time my move with come at a time that it will be welcomed because the feeling is mutual. This also saves me the burden of having to awkwardly turn away, while not causing my date to lose face.

    That said, I will admit that I think men are better at making first moves, for the simple reason that they have been pondering and planning how to do it since early adolescence; whereas, I have only been doing so since my early 20s. Also, it’s harder to break gender roles than to follow them. I’ve been conditioned to be on the receiving end of first moves all my life and am trying to act contrary to that training. Similarly, men have not been conditioned in the same way to accept a first move from a woman, so there are more opportunities for awkwardness when the roles are reversed. Practice, practice, practice.

  8. David on June 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Obviously you left the fact that you wrote this article off that list. What a bad idea.

    • James Michael Sama on June 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Ah, I knew I’d forgotten something! Can you elaborate more on why it wad a bad idea so I know what to add for the 11th point? Thanks!

      – JMS

  9. shalynn hobelsberger on June 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    men ask a woman out on a date and so should pay. i find it a HUGE turn off if he asks to spilt the bill. Actually before a man asks i always offer.. but its actually a test.

    • dave on July 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      yes, I am worth a lot more than the guy! How dare he treat me like an equal! Is he nuts?

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