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 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!


24 responses to “Three Reasons Women Should Give Men a Break”

  1. Patti Ducharme says:

    Great information and advice Bobbi! I agree with you – I believe guys do have the rejection woes much more than us women.

  2. Anon says:

    This is quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read on the internet, and that includes YouTube comments.

  3. jACQUALINE says:

    I feel it is hard for both sexes. I just started dating after 30 years and really didn’t date a lot back than. Things were a lot safer and simpler. We both have to respect each other and become friends first. Talking is another thing to do and treat each other the way you want to be treated. I try to live one day at a time and it seems to work for me. I will never have my husband back but I’ am sure their are a lot of great men out there. I just put back smiling on my 2 do list. Have a glorious day. Jacqualine

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Jacqualine. What a wonderful comment…thank you. I couldn’t agree more: have compassion for one another, be in the moment and smile.

  4. Suzanne says:

    I’m on board with allowing men to be men. Being feminine and allowiong for gentlemenly gestures is fine by me. I feel like i have ot be tough all day and I want to just relax after work, and enjoy the moment.
    I think its great to get help on understanding each other because thigs have gotten so mixed up over the last 30 years. Thx for your comments Bobbi!

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re welcome Suzanne! Thanks for your comment. It is lovely to have a man to relax with. No need for intensity or having to be “on.”

  5. Nance says:

    I always find it hard to reconcile that men are aggrieved because they are “expected to pay for dates,” but they want women to appreciate their “gentlemanly side.” Huh? How about we just treat each other kindly, respectfully, and enjoy each other – rather than playing roles and games? I am happy to be in a relationship with a big, strong business man who is considerate and loving. I’m a hard charging entrepreneur who loves him and making a home. We just try to be our best and accept each other for whom we really are.

  6. Robin says:

    I think it is a great post! I mean there are both male and female bad apples- but nice guys really do finish last in the dating world. I finally gave up on bad boys and know I have a nice boy and I have never been happier!

  7. Skincaring says:

    I like the quote: Change the way I look at things and the things I look at will change. I say this in relation to bullet point number 3 and the statement that men are jerks. If that’s how I’m thinking men are, then this is what I will see. Perspective changes everything. It must be very confusing for men and how they should treat us. I am very honored when a man wants to treat me like a lady and I will very graciously accept. This seems to be a turn on for the man, also. I like a man to be a man and be a gentleman, also ( like and Officer and a Gentleman). It once was explained to me this way, as far as equality goes: We are both vessels, like a vessel to drink from, for example. The man is like a travel mug, and a woman is like a crystal goblet…. you get the point. Thanks, Bobbi for your insights!

  8. Pas92649 says:

    Great tips for breaking long-held beliefs that may keep you in a dating slump!
    I agree that women should give men a break – at least on an individual basis. Set your expectations high but be flexible and that goes for both sexes. Why not banish some stereotypes? What do you have to lose?

  9. Innocent Bystander says:

    I always thought women had it the hardest when it comes to dating, but this really made me rethink that stance.

  10. Kendra says:

    Men do have it harder!!! However, I strongly believe most men and women face problems with communication. Men are direct so smiling and saying, “Thanks for asking, but I just don’t see us as a match,” isn’t harsh. From a woman’s standpoint, this line is extremely crude. I find this line difficult to say because I am a female; I would take this personally if anyone said this to me. However, this is my problem. I need to understand men more. Thanks for sharing Bobbi 🙂

  11. Jay says:

    Women should give advice to men on how to improve and be more attractive. It doesn’t help at all for a man to be told “I don’t see us as a match”. It’s very vague and doesn’t communicate to a man what he did wrong.

  12. Justin Roohparvar says:


    She’s right! I’m a man, and trust me, this is the best thing you can do! Mixed signals are annoying. I would also say that you should offer to split the bill, on a date. Since, we live in a backward ass culture, that still holds on to the idea that the man should pay on at least the first date, he might take this as a sign that you don’t think the date is going well. Therefore, call or text him after the date, to tell him that you had a wonderful time, and you would like to go out again. I can’t speak for all men, but I know that I like a woman who’s not afraid to tell a guy that she likes him.

    If the date didn’t go well, and he asks for another one, simply tell them that you don’t see a future there. Be tactful, but unambiguous.

    Complaining more about the paying the bill thing, women should stop acting like the man should offer to pick up the tab on a first date. It’s really annoying, to me. Why the hell should we, even if we asked? It’s the tradition, right? Well, fuck the tradition. I hate that I have to take the risk of her using me for a free meal, especially for someone that I don’t know that well(BEING THE FIRST DATE). Let’s kill that tradition, as a society. Someone should pick up the tab, if they specifically say that they’re going to, in my opinion. Let’s make that the new tradition! Women, expect to pay for yourselves, unless he says he’s going to, and don’t hold it against him, if he doesn’t!

    Men, you cannot stop picking up the tab on a first date, just because we find it to be a financial burden. If you want a second date, that is lol. Hopefully, we can raise our daughters to be more open-minded.

    • Liz Glazier says:

      You are absolutely totally insane and a cheap skate on top of it

      • Anonymous says:

        Liz, It is interesting that you think Justin is insane, however he does bring up some good points. In this gender equality generation, why is going dutch a dirty word? I find it refreshing when my date offers to pay half, not that I am expecting it but it tells me she values the chance to meet just as much as I did….regardless of whether the date went well or not; she is still willing to put her money on the line….If you want equality then act like it…

      • Shaun Kahler says:

        and *you* deserve to be single for the rest of your life.

  13. Shaun Kahler says:

    I would agree. And on top of that, many women in this day and age just don’t get what guys have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, or even care for that matter. I would assume it’s because they’re trying to figure out what the best course of action is in a world filled with mixed signals. We’ve got a whole generation of women who are confused as to whether or not they should be independents and give men lots of shit while fighting for their place in a job, or to let their hearts open up and relax and treat men well. Girls have told me all kinds of stuff, and it’s just from people spreading word of mouth garbage as women try to find themselves in a world which is mixed between glorifying independence and glorifying relationships.

    I sure hope that our world does eventually come to a balance when it comes to this whole ordeal, cause there’s a huge push going on when it comes to women’s rights, and many women are using it as a means to irrationally treat good men like shit.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Women are absolutely vicious. I swear to you even the most good looking guys get totally shut down by most women. As a guy who has been told I’m attractive my entire life, I still probably get rejected 20x for every 1 truly interested girl. Women do not have to go through this. They are used to success nearly every time. They get placed on pedestals, it goes to their heads, and they think they are just too good for most men. On the other hand, us guys get rejected so many times, yet we just have to suck it up, swallow our pride, and keep on trying. It definitely wears on you after a while and can get to your self-confidence after so much. Men have to have thick leather skin with women today.

    I was at a bar with some friends one time and 2 girls walked over and approached us. They introduced themselves, made small talk, you know. I was honestly shocked because why would 2 girls approach us? But ok, we aren’t the worst looking guys and we are both successful men…he had a good job and I was in grad school en route to a great career. Anyway, after about 5 minutes of small talk they asked if we all wanted to do shots together. We agreed and things were clicking. They just kind of stood there after suggesting that we all do shots, so to end the awkwardness my friend went to buy the round. We each took our shots, put the glasses down and the girls said “We will be right back! Just going to the bathroom”. They go in the bathroom, and come out 2 minutes later with their heads down, walk quickly past me and my friend, and leave. This is the kind of BS guys have to deal with. You do something nice, they take advantage, then they leave and it’s on to the next guys they can fool for free stuff. This is common practice for girls today. Girls nowadays are mostly sloppy in classless outfits throwing up on themselves in bars, peeing in the streets, and gold digging trash bags. So girls, trust me…you have NO idea how hard it is to be a guy. Try being called a creeper 100x every night just for walking up to a girl. Try buying shots for people then having them walk out using you for free alcohol. Try finding a girl to take home to mom as she pees in the middle of the street falling into her own puddle then throwing up as her friend holds her hair back.