It may take two to tango but sometimes it takes a squadron of pros to help build healthy romantic relationships. That is why each month Chemistry.com invites top notch dating experts and writers to share their tactics and opinions on matters of the heart. Today’s guest post is by dating expert Bobbi Palmer. She is THE dating and relationship coach for women over 40 and founder of the site, Date Like A Grown Up.
Recently Happen magazine ran a poll asking “Who has a harder time with dating: men or women?” Here were the results:
- 18.07% said women do, because men seem to date more often and have their pick of the ladies.
- 28.55% said both genders can send mixed signals, so dating is equally hard for everyone.
- A whopping 53.38% said men have it harder because they do most of the pursuing, face more rejection and are expected to pay for dates.
I say this at the risk of a rebellion from my sisters: I agree. I think men have it harder than women when it comes to dating.
I ought to know. I’m a happily married woman but became a first-time bride at age 47; so I dated for about 30 years. Now, as a Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40, it’s my job to help men and women connect and find love. I have watched hundreds of couples date and relate – or at least try to.
Ladies, in an effort to help you understand this point of view, here are 3 reasons why you should give men a break when you’re dating.
1. Take your rejections and multiply by 50.
Most women tell me their biggest fear around dating is rejection. Consider this: from the time a man is in his teens, he is expected to initiate contact with women. That means that for every time you have felt rejection, he has felt it 50-fold. Ouch!
TIP: If a man risks asking you out and you’re not interested, let him down with an unambiguous, yet kind, response. Smile and say “Thanks for asking, but I just don’t see us as a match.” It may seem difficult to be this direct, but it lets him know you appreciate him enough to take him seriously, yet he should move on. This also applies online. If he emails and you’re not interested, don’t just delete his note; let him know.
2. Women’s lib has men coming and going.
This is especially true of men who are dating later in life. It used to be clear that gentlemanly acts impressed women. Nowadays, when a man tries to help a woman, he doesn’t know whether he is going to get a delightful “thank you” or a look that could kill.
Men have told me tales of women cussing them out when they try to open their doors. You can see why men may be confused about this aspect of dating. They don’t know whether they’ll impress you or tick you off.
TIP: First and foremost, be open to receiving a man’s kind gestures. But don’t expect him to read your mind. If you like your doors opened and he’s not doing it, just pause by the door. If he enjoys being a gentleman, he will get the message.
3. Women can be complicated.
On Valentine’s Day I coached at a singles event. Throughout the night, here is what I heard:
From the women: The men are all jerks and only want [skinny women, tall women, rich women…]…not me. Why do I bother coming to these things? What a waste of makeup/a good dress/time.
From the men: I wish the women would just chill and have a good time.
Men are better able to stay in the moment and have fun until Ms. Right comes along. Us women, on the other hand, carry previous experiences with us wherever we go. I know women do this as self-protection, but it’s difficult for men to figure out.
TIP: If you are open-minded and looking for a few, fresh experience, you will be more likely to get positive attention from a man. Work on being present, managing your “stuff” and appreciating the men who are there in front of you…and have a good time!
There you go: three of many more reasons to give men a break when dating. Let’s hear from you! Guys: here’s your chance to help educate women. Gals: I think I know what’s coming. Bring it on.
Want to learn a little more about yourself and men? Take Bobbi Palmer’s Man-O-Meter test. Answer 10 questions and get real-life tips and advice!