Dating Tips for Men

August 22, 2008

I am extremely open-minded and flexible in terms of what I consider good-looking.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Kindness, empathy, and understanding can facilitate the growth of physical attraction.  Having said that, there are many great guys out there who aren’t successful at dating because they don’t realize the way they present themselves is a sexual turn-off for women.


I can’t speak for other women, but I prefer to date men my own age…or at least men with fashion sensibilities similar to my peers.  Regardless of your age, if the way you dress reminds me of a toddler, I will be turned off.  Similarly, if your style of dress reminds me of the way my dad dresses, I will be turned off.  In a way, I feel guilty about this, but in a way I don’t because this is something you have control over.


For the sake of all of the nice guys out there who have a hard time finding dates, I am offering advice.  If you lack fashion sense, get help!  If you haven’t gone shopping in 15 years, go shopping…and get help with it!  Ask a female friend or acquaintance to help you update your look.  Or ask a female salesperson to help.  Little changes can make a big difference. 


For your sake, I will share the unfortunately too-common turnoffs I see in men.


I like bald men.  I like men with hair too.  I grew up with a lot of bald male relatives, so baldness isn’t a big deal for me.  However, if you are going bald, please avoid the following:

  • combovers (yes, I’ve seen single men with these)
  • long hair
  • medium length hair
  • ponytails (as a friend reminded me to include)

If you’re going bald, embrace it.  Shave your head or keep your hair trimmed to 1/4″ or less as a general rule.  Letting your remaining hair grow any longer makes you look like you hit your prime in the 1970’s.  Particularly, if you think you are enough of a stud to attract a woman significantly younger than yourself, this is important.  No matter how rich, intelligent, and kind you are, having the same fashion sensibilities as her father is not a sexual turn-on for her.  If it is, I suggest therapy.  Likewise, if you find toddler shoes to be erotic, please seek professional help.


Men, please don’t wear fanny packs.  If you must, man purses are preferable.  Also, Never wear shoes with velcro closures.  I know I capitalized the word never, but this is for a good reason.  Wearing shoes that were originally designed for toddlers and preschoolers is NOT attractive to women. 


Last but not least, if you wear glasses, pick out some stylish ones.  I don’t care how old you are.  I dated an older man who had glasses very similar to my dad’s glasses.  This is the guy whose moves I rebuffed on the second date.  I was trying to be open minded and see if an attraction might develop over time, but he rushed the process and ended up completely turning me off.  If his wardrobe and glasses weren’t so similar to my father’s, he very well might have had better luck with me.

Date #2 Epilogue/Commentary

August 7, 2008

As I escape this second-date-turned-bad, I find myself imagining how I will deal with him should he ask me out again.  As I drive home, I imagine the polite possibility of offering to be friends, possibly meeting up for occasional bike rides.  Then I think, “Hey stupid-head, do what is right for you and stop putting how the other person feels before how you feel!”  Then I imagine saying something like, “I don’t think we’re compatible or looking for the same things.”  But, then I catch myself saying I don’t think we’re compatible (an attempt to soften the blow?) when really, I know we’re not compatible. 


And why am I thinking about how to let him down gently?  Why am I focused on how he feels?  That date was mildly traumatizing and here I am worried about his feelings.  Back to me and how I felt in response to his behavior.  Beyond feeling extremely uncomfortable, I felt offended and disrespected by him.  I felt disrespected because he was invading my physical space.  I was offended that he seemed to think I was ready to jump into bed with him on the second date.  I was offended that he hadn’t bothered to take the time to get to know me very well.  Not that I would know from personal experience (ok, maybe I do), but having sex with someone you barely know is pretty meaningless.  It doesn’t matter who the person is; it’s just sex. 


To sum up, I felt uncomfortable, disrespected, and offended by his behavior.  And I went out of my way to avoid behaving in a way that would ‘hurt his feelings’.  I finally gave into my flight response and still kept thinking about how he felt.  That’s stupid!  Why would I put some random guys feelings before my own?

Date #2 (A Second Date), Continued

August 7, 2008

I’m disappointed and a little ashamed to publicly admit I kissed him back.  I could have tolerated some light kissing, but now Bob is putting his tongue in my mouth.  Gross!  I am just not feeling it (i.e., any physical attraction)!  It wasn’t an altogether unpleasant experience – it was kind of neutral, kind of blah.  I maintain at least an ounce of personal respect and integrity and keep pulling away, but these subtle hints are lost on him.  Maybe he thinks I am trying to play coy.  I feel forsaken by the feminist movement.


He starts to touch my body with his hand.  Ugh!  This is so uncalled for.  I tell him I have to go.  He immediately backs off.  Relieved he still understands English, I relax for a moment and decide to go ahead and finish my glass of wine.  In an attempt to keep him at bay (i.e., his tongue out of my mouth), I suddenly find myself being Ms. Chatty.  For the first time on either of our dates, I am actually talking freely.  Not about anything important, but I am so uncomfortable (and determined to finish the glass of wine, because I could use it at this point!) I’m finally talking about whatever I feel like talking about to avoid having to make out with him. 


I make a point not to drink the rest of my wine like it’s a shot of liquor.  Once again, I’m trying to be reasonably polite.  I’m fighting my inborn ‘fight or flight’ instinct to run as fast as I possibly can and get the f^@% out of there.  I’m partially disgusted with myself for falling into the ‘polite’ crap because this is the kind of thing that women do.  And it takes a toll on your mental health. 

Date #2 (A Second Date)

August 7, 2008

Bob calls me two days later and asks me out again.  We agree to meet for dinner the following Friday night.  We have a nice dinner.  The food was good.  As we did on the bike ride, mostly we talked about his career and interests.  That’s okay, but it’s something I made a mental note of on the first date.  It’s okay if one person dominates the conversation on a date.  After all, people sometimes get nervous or are just naturally more talkative and a short-term imbalance results.  If this is something that becomes a pattern, it’s a problem. 


So, it’s date #2 and I’m still not overly concerned that we’re talking more about him than me.  He does make some effort to ask me questions, so I keep an open mind.  After we leave the restaurant, he invites me to his condo, which is two blocks down the street.  I remember from his profile he likes to drink wine, so I figure, what the hell, I’ll have a glass of wine.  I rarely drink these days, so I consider it a treat.  I already told him it would be an early night for me because I had to get up early the next morning to take my son to the airport.  I said I could come over for a bit.  We drank some good red wine and chatted some more.


By the time I’m halfway through my glass of wine, he starts moving in closer, physically.  He did this a couple times on the first date, but I just kind of ignored it.  I still try to ignore it, but he’s moving in for the kill.  He gives up on more subtle gestures, which I am trying to pretend aren’t happening, and grabs my hand.  I’m thinking, “oh, great, this is going to be really hard to ignore.”  I try to tune it out and continue with whatever conversation we were having.  Then he leans forward to kiss me.  I’m thinking, “okay, I really don’t feel like kissing this guy. 


I still haven’t gotten over the fact that he’s twenty years older than me.  I barely know him.  I’m not completely repulsed by him, which I guess is a perverse sort of relief.  Because, one of the stupid things women do is kiss men back because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.  The feminist in me is screaming, “don’t do this! Set boundaries for yourself!  Don’t do things you don’t want to do just to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings”. 


Question 1: Do men know we sometimes ‘romantically’ respond to them in order to avoid making them feel badly?  Or am I the only woman who does that?

Date # 1 (A First Date)

August 7, 2008

Date #1 (First Date)


The first person to send me an email was Bob.  He said he lived near a popular bike trail and asked if I’d like to go for a bike ride on Saturday.  He didn’t have a picture posted with his profile and he was in his late 50’s, but I figured what the hell, it’s just a bike ride.  It’s good to go into dating with low expectations.  I figure if I’m lucky enough to make a friend or find a cycling buddy during this process, I guess it was worth my time.


So, I meet Bob Saturday morning.  As I pull up to the public meeting place, I see two white men in their 50’s with bikes.  One is sitting there with no shirt on.  Hoping I’m right, I head to the other guy, who thankfully turns out to be Bob.  Bob really isn’t bad looking for his age.  I was afraid he’d be old and wrinkly, but he looks pretty good.  And dang, it turns out he’s in better shape than me.  Kudos to Bob!  We rode 45 miles.  We chatted and stopped to have lunch along the way. 


I made an effort to be open-minded about the age difference, because after all, I have a persistent history of dating alcoholics and losers, both younger and older than myself.  This guy is older, but he speaks and reads quite a few languages, has a PhD, has traveled the world, and makes a lot of money.  I assume he’s more mature than men my age.  And he seems like a genuinely nice guy.  When I was younger, I never gave these guys a chance.  Now that my priorities have changed, I promise myself to date nice guys.  Thanks to Greg Behrendt and his book He’s Just Not That Into You for helping me realize almost every guy I ever dated really wasn’t that into me.