Wednesday, March 19, 2008

12 Dating Rules For Men--UPDATED Scroll Down

At the request of a reader, I'm going to make a list of dating rules for men. Now, here's the thing, guys are, by this guy's own admission, simple creatures. They are straight forward, generally speaking. Women, on the other hand, are all unique. Each woman rules her own home her own way. There's a reason that the Chinese symbol for the word "trouble" has the symbol of two women under one roof. So, when I write the rules for men, I'm writing what I would like from a man. Another woman might want something different. If you're that into her, Romeo, you will find out what makes her tick and do what makes her tick and continue to do what makes her tick after you've "conquered". And if she's smart, she'll never let you completely conquer her, but that's a topic for another day.

So, how does a guy do dating?

1. Ask correctly. Huge pet peeve: When a guy asks, "Do you have anything going on tomorrow?" it is completely frustrating. It is lame. It is weak. It puts the woman in a bad position. She might or she might not be busy, it depends upon what you're asking her for and she doesn't know what you're asking her for, because you're feeling her out instead of just plain asking what you want. Instead say,"I have tickets to the ballgame tomorrow night at 7, would you like to join me?" This gives her more information to make a decision. She might hate basketball. She might have other plans that's she willing to change. If you ask the first question, she could legitimately say,"I'm busy". You'll feel defeated, but it's your own damn fault. She didn't have the opportunity to make it work. Now, if you ask her directly, you'll get the following responses: "Oh, I love basketball! Thank you! Yes!" or "I'm sorry, I have other plans, but if you ever get tickets again, please ask." or "I'm not a huge basketball fan because I don't understand the game, you might want to ask another person, but I would like to go out with you", etc. Give her the opportunity to say yes by asking correctly.

2. Compliment politely and often. A friend of mine wrongly believes that hot women hear comments about their beauty all the time. He is wrong. I remember this absolutely stunning girl who was in our youth group. She was breathtaking. She wasn't asked out once in High School. No prom invitation. No nothing. She was painfully shy which guys mistook as stuck up. All she wanted was a date. And she would have loved a complement on her beauty. She hadn't heard one. So, when your date or the girl you want to date, looks gorgeous, tell her. Make the compliment even more memorable by saying something specific--"that color makes your eyes look beautiful" or "your smile just lights up your whole face, you look so pretty". She might blush or demure, but she'll remember. And it will make her day. In addition, notice other things, too. Compliment her work ethic or her accomplishments or whatever you admire about her. Tell her. Tell her. Tell her. We know you guys think these things, at least we hope you do, but hearing it is like rain on parched ground.

3. Be chivalrous. I know we're in a post-modern feminist world. Screw it! Be a man and treat her like a woman and if she doesn't like it, dump her sorry ass. Open the door for her. Open her car door. Pay for the bill. Give her your jacket if it's cold. Hold out your arm when she's in heels and it's bumpy terrain. Walk her to her door. Make sure she's safe. One of the great things about being a man is being a strength for a woman. I told you people before that I'm old fashioned and this confirms it. But men, women love being cared for and you love caring, so it all works out. So, do it!

4. Make a plan. If you care for the woman, have some clue about what you want to do. Don't pick her up and then ask her what she wants to do or where she wants to eat. First, it puts pressure on her again. She doesn't know your budget, likes or intention. Second, it just shows a complete lack of concern. You like her enough to ask her out but not enough to plan the date? She takes it as you don't like her that much. If you're not sure what she likes, here's the plan: Have two choices for the meal and two choices for the activity and let her choose. She might not have any inclination either way. Fine. She might be nervous still. Then, you choose. Oh, and don't make this some sort of test. Will she pick the expensive place? That kind of bullshit set-up is childish. You'll find out soon enough what kind of girl she is. Give her choices that you can live with.

5. Don't push for sex on the first, second or third date. Don't. How desperate are you anyway? If you click on all cylinders, tell her she's hot, you lust her and ask her out for tomorrow. Still like her the next day? Ask her out again. Reinforce that you dig her. NO sex. Continue on long enough with this routine until you guys have had the big discussions. Is she religious? Will she feel like she's violating her code by having sex? Will you? Did you just have a fluky good first date, but now that you know her better she's a little scary? Bonus! You didn't have sex with her so you won't feel so bad telling her that you don't see this going anywhere. Here's the thing: Do you want to get laid once or twice or do you like her enough to make it permanent? I know your answer is "Duh! I want to get laid now and forever!" Uh huh. She sleeps with you on night one, what is your question, "Does she do this with all her dates? Have I just entered Slutsville?" You like a girl to wait. Well, take the lead and show some restraint. You only feel like an animal, but there is a frontal lobe in there somewhere, use it.

6. Say what you mean. If you say you're going to call, call. If you say you'll text her tomorrow, text her tomorrow. If you say you like her, do things that reinforce that you like her like emailing, texting, calling, sending flowers, whatever. Women can be dishonest and lead a guy on. Well, guys do the same thing. For fear that they'll hurt a girl, they'll act indifferent, cold, distant, cruel, but won't say, "Listen I like you, but I'm not feeling it." Now, if you say that or you don't like her, don't send her mixed messages. That's just shitty. Lots of guys will send double messages mostly in the form of taking sex where they can get it, but then getting annoyed when she acts attached or starts insinuating herself into his life. Hey, Asshole! Yeah, you! When you don't like her enough to stay with her, but you know she likes you that way and you fuck her anyway even with this knowledge because well, she's a good lay or at least a willing lay (desperate women give good sex), you've just lowered yourself to completely lame status. Don't use her for sex and then treat her like dirt. That makes you an asshole and you're the guy who gives other guys a bad name.

7. Over-communicate. It may seem self-evident to you that you dig her because well you're calling her, texting her, dating her, and generally being around her a lot, but she needs to hear the words. Where does she stand? What is your plan? Face it, you already know on some level how you feel. Do you really like her? Tell her. Do you enjoy her company? Say, "I enjoy being with you." Do you think she's funny say, "It's great being with someone who makes me laugh." Women are wired different than men. I know, stating the obvious here. But many women have been burned by hanging around a guy who really wasn't into her but he called or he dated or he acted somewhat like he liked her, but it turned out he really didn't and she felt unsure all the time. Now, with you, she wonders. So, tell her. (By the way, this will be probably feel weird, since you're not used to stating what seems to be obvious. Humor me here.)

8. Don't bitch about your job, your mother, your exes, your sports team, your whatever. I know, you're nervous. Babbling on and on about fill-in-the-blank topic comes off as self-involved. Maybe you're not nervous, maybe you are self-involved. Well, don't be surprised to see her eyes glaze over. You know how when you go to a job interview and, if you're smart, you read up about the company? Well, do a little ground work. What does she like? Ask her about that. If you're talking 80% of the time, something is wrong. If you're talking 10% of the time, something is wrong. If you're talking about how your mother, who lives upstairs, doesn't do your laundry the way you like it, something is wrong. Dude, give and take. A good date has give and take. And a good date doesn't focus on the bitterness of how life has wronged you, either. Stuff it. We all have our stories. Save the sobbing for when you know her better, a lot better.

9. Don't work at impressing her by bragging or generally acting weird. Dropping how much you make, mentioning your Lamborghini, talking about your buddy Charles Barkley and whatever else you associate with impressing a woman and inserting it into the conversation just feels strange. Come on. A worthy girl will like you for the best you. Girls get a bad rap for being only moved by money and status and looks. Not all girls. And do you want a superficial girl in your life? Maybe you do. Well then, blab about things that you think will impress her. Otherwise, be sincere in your conversation. Oh! And don't condescend. Don't act she's like an idiot and talk down to her.

10. Have fun. Drop a drink in your lap because of nerves? Laugh. Stay loose, relax and just enjoy. I told the girls this, too, by the way. Dating might feel high-pressured, but that's no fun. Does dating have to be a zero-sum game? Are you willing to have a less than sex or marriage resolution to this date? You can't have too many friends. It expands your life to meet more people. Keep it fun and real and even if it turns into nothing, you've enjoyed the process.

11. Use your manners. Shower. Personal hygiene conveys that you care. Shave. Dress appropriately for the situation. Don't burp, spit, fart or otherwise engage bodily functions. Chew with your mouth closed. Don't get wasted. Treat the waitress respectfully. Tip well. I remember one date like it was yesterday and it was mortifying. The guy didn't tip after we had taken a table on a Friday night for a long time. He also informed me after we got there (this was in college) that he could only afford an hors d'oeurve and dessert. Well, like an idiot, I had left my purse at home because it was a spur of the moment thing. The next day, I went back to the restaurant and found the server and paid her. How a guy treats the server matters. Going to a place too rich and then putting on the restraints is lame, too. Good manners, use them. If you were never taught them, buy a book on etiquette and learn. A grown man should know how to handle himself in any situation high or low.

12. A note about kisses. Should you or shouldn't you? Not sure? You can always say, at the end of the night, "May I kiss you?" Or maybe the vibe is going so strong, it's not even a question. Just a word of advice: err on the of restraint. Before you stick your tongue down her throat, you might want to see how she responds to a respectful cheek peck. She might just turn toward you. I don't think you need to be told that this is a good sign. If you don't want to kiss her, don't, but please still walk her to the door. Finish strong.

Again, the same principle holds. Treat your date the way you'd like to be treated. Be respectful and honest and communicative. The thing is, you might not end up with her. But I've heard more than one story of a guy ending up with a sister or friend of a girl he dated. A respectful interaction can create opportunities even if the date doesn't work for you two. Girls do talk. Your behavior will be noted by other women, too. And it's always good advice to imagine this woman as your mother or your sister or your daughter. Would you want a man to treat a woman you love the way you're treating this woman? If not, straighten up.

Another aside: I think men are more romantic than women, not less. A man will fall in love and be in love and stay in love with a woman and he just knows. It's often very cut and dried for him. Women are often more needing of proof and evidence. Now, I realize this is a generalization, but I believe it to be true. I find the romance in a man so interesting. A man's courage to approach a woman who may or may not accept him also is impressive. It's not easy being a guy. It's even less easy and hardly reinforced to be a respectful guy. So what? Do the right thing anyway. You'll meet your honorable match. Honor attracts honor. Like attracts like.

I feel less sure about this list because I'm coming from the woman's perspective. Did I hit the things guys think about? I don't know. If you think I'm missing something, let me know.

One of you dudes asked me where to find quality women. Well, I've had women ask me the same thing. So, of course, I created a list for you! Yes indeed, I aim to please. That's me! A people pleaser.


Anonymous said...

Good job, Melissa.

The only one I have a problem with is: "Compliment politely and often". I find this can be a bit superficial and condescending. Like giving praise to your dog or child. I usually go with something sincere, specific, and not over-the-top at the beginning of the date. Start off on the right foot. During conversation, a soft compliment (not on her looks) based on the subject at hand, is a nice touch too I think. But not "wow - your ass look so hot int hose jeans!". heheh.

So I'll agree with the politely - but not with the "often".

My biggest problem is that I have yet to meet a woman who appreciates teh qualities that you obviously do. I know they're out there, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Not to brag, but I do well i teh looks department, so I seem to attract women who consider me a "catch" (i.e. want to impress their friends). But those aren't the ones I like. lol.

One last thing: any advice for a slightly introveted guy looking to find an introverted woman? It seems there are no thoughtful, quiet types left. Loudly yapping on the cellphone and/or obnoxious girl-talk is such a turnoff to me.

Anonymous said...

If you met the girl while she was giving you a lap dance at a gentlemens club, do all these rules still apply?

Anonymous said...

After reading this list, I am reminded why it was that I never dated. It is soooooooooooo complicated and scary!!!

Raving Lunatic said...

Just a word of Advise, Dr. Melissa; don't tell a guy to treat his date the way he wants to be treated.

The date is liable to end in attempted rape charges...

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anon 3:17,

I'm not saying a guy should say something he doesn't feel, only that if he feels it, he should say it if the time is right. A guy will tend to feel like he's expressing himself more than he is.

Anon 6:58,

What a nice euphemism "Gentleman's" club. Please. When you date a stripper does it give you permission to be disrespectful? The person you decide to screw reflects your view of yourself. When you disrespect a person because of their worldly status, you're revealing your character. If a stripper is good enough to date and screw, she is good enough for respect.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Raving Lunatic,

You know, it's interesting. Many men have double standards. They SAY they want sexy women. They SAY they want sex on the first date. But their actions say otherwise.

A slutty male friend of mine insisted that he respected women who slept with him on the first date. Right. What about your wife? Well, his wife wouldn't give him the time of day until he got some personal things cleared up. She didn't put out right away either. She respected herself. And so, he respected her. And he married her.

I think guys send mixed signals when it comes to sex, respect and relationship.

Anonymous said...

I call it a gentlemens club and you call it "strippers". who is it that is being disrespectful again?

Melissa Clouthier said...


Would you feel better if I call her "exotic dancer" or "adult male entertainer"? Using the politically correct terminology doesn't change the reality of what she does for a living--which is to strip her clothes off to titillate and excite men. And what is more disrespectful? Using an un-PC word or treating her badly because as an "exotic dancer" she is unworthy of the respect and kindness shown to other women.

But ladies, take note. This is the male mind in action. You act like a slut, he'll treat you like a slut and feel entitled to do so.

SMP said...

After reading some of the comments, I'm almost sorry I suggested you create this list.


Guys posting anonymously about "gentlemen's clubs" just re-inforces what I said about men being simple creatures. However, I do agree that, on a whole, men are more romantic than they get credit for sometimes.

This list is something a father could go over with his son before the big first date. The son would be embarrassed about the sex and marriage talk, but I still be he would remember.

Now, the real question is: where do we simple creatures find more women who appreciate us like you do?

Anonymous said...

Good follow-up to the woman's list. My only suggestion is concerning the sex advice - save sex for marriage, then she will really know that you love and respect her.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anonymous 9:55,

Saving sex for marriage is the ideal and one 90% of married people don't attain. I'm not saying it's impossible. For 10% of people, it's obviously not. My post was more aimed at the social realities extant today.

Anonymous said...

"Will you still respect me in he morning?"

"What do you mean? I don't respect you now."

Anonymous said...

What does it mean when a woman tells you that she doesn't want a long term relationship and wants to see "whats out there" and then spends the next two hours cuddling with you on a couch and then engages you in very aggresive and intimate kissing only to tell you that "we should stop?" BTW, I respectfully did, for which I was told that "most guys wouldn't take disappointment as well as you" and "you're a real gentlman." I'm getting mixed signals, could this actually be going somewhere?

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staghounds said...

1. Dave- yes, it's going somewhere- to taking you to Chumpsville, via months or years of wasted time. You're dating Heather Blake. Read Ladder Theory.

2."If a stripper is good enough to date and screw, she is good enough for respect." SO TRUE.

3. Here's rule for both sexes- LEAVE THE CELL PHONE TURNED OFF. It SO RUDE to take a call in the middle of a date. If you have to call out, go to the bathroom. If you have to take calls because you're a crime scene tech or your father is in the hospital, say so at the start of the date, apologise if the phone rings, and do your telephonic business as briskly and openly as you reasonably can.

(And don't text, pretending you're not. I promise your date will see your thumb moving.)

Once I was on a third date and she answered the telephone, and at one point said "Oh, I'd like to have dinner, Mark, but I'm out with a friend".

At which point I said, "No, Mark, she'll be home in twenty minutes". And she was.

Rosie said...

Hi Melissa, Your first rule spoke to me. I recently had a guy that I only met a day ago keep asking me out in the same day! And he would ask "What are you doing today?" As If I was going to say "Nothing"??? Or he would ask me at 5pm if we could go to dinner that night. Ummm... No.. I already have plans if you ask me out in the same day. I just think it's so LAME when a guy thinks a girl has nothing better to do then drop what she's doing and go out with a guy she just met. I mean come on!!! We just met. Can I get a 'planned' date??? If I've already went out on a date with you and determined that I've liked you... THEN... you can ask me what I am doing today... Otherwise... PLEASE PLAN OUT A DATE!!!

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Jade Graham said...

Marcotte does her best to talk you out of all of those criteria for a woman you drew up in the last listicle, First Date Advice for Men