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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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