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Jan 11, 2012

Men Should _______ on a Date...

I've heard one too many things about what a guy should do on a date.

From car doors to eye contact and compliments, from planning protocol to asking if she'd like to go to the bathroom. From initial contact to engagement... and even how to ask out and dump a gal he's not into. Even reading minds.

CHILL OUT. STOP PROJECTING. STOP EXPECTING. STOP DECIDING WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO FOR YOU IN ADVANCE. 

Just take a guy as he is. With all those expectations and protocols imposed on us (that's right, imposed), a guy can't just be himself and be a date-worthy, marriageable, good guy.

Did he text you to come out and meet him? Did he open the car door? Did he forget to ask if you need to use the ladies' room?

IS THAT REALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR MARRIAGE? 

Perhaps it's more important that he's caring and respectful. But somehow it's all about the little details. You can nitpick, but even a guy like me won't fit into it. And heaven forbid he just doesn't spontaneously read your mind and figure out what you expect him to do next... of course that just means he's not good enough. Or a jerk.

There are great guys who don't fit into that. Really. Ask me how I know. 

A great guy might not keep track of how much you've been drinking and how likely you are to need the bathroom. He may not realize that your toes are freezing off. He could forget that you like it when someone opens a door for you. He might think that walking up to your front door and having to greet and chat with your parents for ten minutes before taking you out is too formal, or perhaps assume it's too early on.

But a great guy will respond when you let him know your needs and expectations clearly and respectfully. He will listen when you let him know what you need him to do. He will stop giving advice when you let him know you really just want empathy. He will respect your boundaries, when they are clearly laid out.

No man, however great he is, can know and fulfill everything in your mind. No human being is designed to serve you based on your own expectations.

For a man, a woman's heart and mind is unknown, foreign, confusing and doesn't follow our conventional logical process. But a great man -he will listen, respond and show respect and care when you let him know what's going on in there.

Of all the women who know me well, most of them are shocked when I tell them that I routinely hear from women -after a couple dates -that they're not interested in dating me anymore. But this is precisely the reason why. The little, ridiculous things that I couldn't possibly do. Unrealistic expectations and snap judgments based on the tiniest of "mistakes."

I have news for all you wonderful women out there looking for Mr. Right. This is how we are as men. The best of us will respond well when we're clued in. The worst of us won't care. The best of us want to know. The worst of us really don't care. But none of us can read minds.

We don't know how you -as a woman and individual -see the world, and the only way we'll find out is if it's communicated in a way that we can process it.


13 comments:

  1. Realize, you quoted just TWO girls on what they expect of a guy on a date. Two girls who both happen to be single. Has the thought occurred to you that they may both just be slightly insane / deranged when it comes to their expectations of guys on dates? Chew on that.

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  2. Are you saying girls said no to you because you aren't a mind reader? I gotta tell you, most girls are not like that. I don't think any realistic person will say no to a guy because of a car door.

    And not always are people honest. I know I'm not; when I say no, I say it "He's very nice but not for me," not getting into details that he actually wasn't nice or proper or menschlach, which has nothing to do with being a mind reader.

    At this point you are sounding very angry and hurt, but it certainly is not because all of female-kind is being unreasonable.

    Girls know they have to kiss a lot of frogs before they get their "Prince." Pucker up. Soon the aggravation will end.

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  3. arb - I don't detect any sarcasm here, but I don't really like what you are trying to say here. Plenty of single female bloggers who write about this type of stuff have gotten engaged in the last 2 years, so I wouldn't jump to judge others.

    Overall, as a guy, I do tend to agree with some of what you are saying. In marriage it's the same thing, most of the frustrations that come up or lead to arguments are because of miscommunication. Both ASoG and I tend to forget we think and express ourselves differently - she's far more intuitive, reading into body language, looking for what's between the lines, etc, whereas I really need to explicitly say what I mean or be told in exact words what I am being asked to do.

    When one of us doesn't address the other in the fashion we're accustomed to - call it male/female minds or how we were raised, whatever - something gets missed. We usually figure this out afterward, and have begun working on communicating in ways to make sure the other understand what is being said by the other.

    Nevertheless, this "natural" difference of communication does NOT excuse both the guy from trying to be more sensitive and aware of a girl's subtle clues, nor does it excuse a girl from realizing she is not imposing by politely asking about something.

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  4. @ SOG. What Im saying is simple, this post is based off of the rantings of (at least one) jaded individual. The views which the ibid females express are often based on extreme feminist views. The man is always to blame for any issue and can never be given any leeway. Therefore, problems will be found with every guy and no man is ever good enough. That simple.

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  5. @arb:

    I can imagine if I'd heard it from just one or two women I'd think it through and decide it's not a normal way of thinking.

    But I hear it all the time. From many, many women, and some men too. My own experience in dating goes along with what I've heard, and what these women express.

    @Princess Lea:

    I appreciate your perspective. Both generally -I see you as having a very balanced, cool head when it comes to dating -and in particular with this issue.

    Unfortunately, my own experience (as I've said above) tells me women like you are in the minority and I'm frustrated with that aspect of my experience.

    I also see that lots of people agree when women talk about these issues and lay blame on the guy's shoulders (a la "men should ____ on a date...") and I feel angry when it goes unchecked. Very few people present a different perspective and it seems to me fewer people are looking for one. As a guy hearing that message, I can feel exasperated at times.

    @SOG:

    Thank you for giving an example from your own wonderful relationship, it sounds like you are both working very hard and learning tremendously. I hope to have that kind of relationship myself, and that's what I'm working towards.

    Mostly, I'm tired of hearing the message that I've got to do more and pick up on everything and read minds (before dating instead of learning through the relationship), particularly when not doing so would make me less than worthy as a marriage partner; it's an unreasonably high standard. That's the message I'm getting and I think it's ridiculous.

    Of course (as you've noted) in a relationship each person works to understand and relate to each other the way the other relates to the world, that's the fundamental point in building intimacy. I believe working on it and learning through the relationship ultimately gives us a deeper connection, a better understanding of each other and of the world Hashem created and can elevate our relationship with Hashem as well.

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  6. @ Princess Lea:

    I disagree with you. As a fellow girl, I think MOST girls are like that. All of my friends are. All the way from secular to Orthodox.
    I've had girlfriends who have dumped men because they haven't asked the girl out using the "proper terminology," or haven't opened doors, or other petty, minor things.

    And it's really sad and ridiculous, because at the end of the day both sides just end up alone. Which incidentally just make the woman more intent on marking every box in her floor-lenght checklist.
    I don't condone this type of behavior btw . . .

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  7. We females (I hope) are not so shallow as to reject someone because they don't open the car door. Yes, these are the kind of things that are mentioned after a date, but it's usually after the girl has made up her mind that she's not interested in going out again. The little details are just our way of nitpicking and justifying our decisions to ourselves and other people. But it doesn't hurt for the guy to try and be considerate, because in the long run in will earn you bonus points. When I think back on all the guys I've dated, the few that stand out are the ones that were either complete gentleman or total jerks.

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    1. If women nitpick post-facto as a justification, I'm super curious as to how they make the decision in the first place.

      Please, enlighten me.

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    2. You mean how women initially make the decision to break up with a man on the second or 5th date?

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    3. I'm assuming women are not so different from men in that aspect- why would you reject someone? Personalities don't mesh, you have different goals in life, etc. The little details that annoy us are usually not the dealbreaker- if the important things match up, then they are easier to overlook. But if everything else is working against you, we will point out all of your flaws. Otherwise we would have nothing to gripe about, and there would be fewer blogs complaining about shidduchim :-)

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    4. Ehhh, I don't get the nitpicking. None of those things really make a difference, according to you. They only tear down the other person. Seems kind of petty.

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  8. When I think of a guy being menschlach, I don't think it because he opened doors. It's when he was proper, he didn't make a big deal about my height, when he was pleasant and didn't sneer.

    It should be easy to pick up on who is being proper and who isn't.

    If I have gone out with a jerk, than nothing he did can I consider right. It wasn't one thing; it was many things, and I'll harp on each and every one, though if you walked in the middle of my rant you would think I was being unreasonable.

    I don't like to lump myself together with all female-kind, nor do I think all men are the same. We are all individuals.

    So if you said specifically this or that girl, then I would feel a little less persecuted as a female. :)

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