Yesterday, I was contacted at my job by a student in Michigan. She’s working on a project about human relationships, and wanted my take on female dating habits. For those of you who don’t know, I carved out a reputation for myself last year as a dating expert. Unfortunately, my answers were too long to answer back in my guide, so I decided to repost them here. Hope this helps calligi!
1. What drives men to pursue women?
Biologically speaking, men pursue women because – for hetero dudes – it’s in our nature. We just do it. I can remember being attracted to girls as early as four or five years old. Philosophically speaking, there’s a multitude of reasons that the poets have gotten hyperbolical about for a millennia. Lastly speaking, it’s because women have this weird, innate tendency to deal with our fragile, prom queen egos.
2. What are some questions you get from women a lot?
Hmm. Honestly, when I tell people I’ve done internet dating four or five times, every women wants to know what my experience has been. I guess to compare notes, or to try to see if I’m just as much of an insecure douche as every other guy doing internet dating. When I tell them that the experiences have always been fine, and I’ve learned to have no expectations, eyebrows get raised.
3. What do you think women are doing wrong when it comes to dating?
Easy – they buy into the fantasy too quickly. Even Greg Behrendt, co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You, admits that, when he wanted to get serious about a relationship, it took a while to meet his wife. So many women I know want to meet Prince Charming (and – to be fair – a good amount of us nerds are waiting to meet Mary Jane Watson). Then, I watch them get extremely upset when things don’t work out with a guy they barely know. Stop building high expectations after one date! Or, one e-mail! Or, one quirky conversation on line at Starbucks! People are people. If we all learned to relax and get to know somebody – versus making quick assumptions – things would be a lot easier.
4. What do you think is the best way for women to be successful?
Honestly, just be yourself. Here’s what I like when I meet someone: confidence, a sense of humor, and a conversation starter. I’m a talker, so I’m always looking for a woman to take initiative on the first date – it takes the pressure off of me. If you’re not trying to sound interesting or different, then I know I’m going to at least enjoy getting to know you. If you’re going to sit there and name-drop, or just stare at me, then I’m looking to leave first chance I get.
5. Where did the “dating double standard ” originate?
Which “dating double standard” exactly? There’s a good four or five hundred.
6. Do you think it will change? [see number 5]
Hit me back with a specific example to #5, and I’ll let you know.
7. What are some situations that are red flags?
Ah, red flag situations; fun. Here’re a few things I’ve encountered that’re turn offs:
1. When all she does is talk about how she hates her job, her apartment, her life.
2. When she asks me “to be funny” (doing comedy, I’ve gotten that one a lot).
3. When she feels the need to be confrontational on the first date.
4. When we’re out with a group of people, and she needs to be the center of attention – always.
5. When forty-minutes have gone by, and we haven’t reached a comfortable point in conversation.
6. When she “just decides to say ‘Hi.'” after I haven’t heard from her in weeks.
8. How do you tell if you are going to be the girlfriend or the hook up?
Well, I’ve been single for almost three years, so there’s been way more hook ups than girlfriends. I was with somebody for about a month back in the fall, and we just clicked really nicely. We could talk endlessly about anything, we liked exploring New York, and because of the timing of the World Series and the election (she was also a Phillies/Obama fan), we got to share some cool stuff together. However, we were both busy and we realized we wanted different things from a relationship – so we parted amicably, which was actually very cool. As for hook-ups, it really doesn’t matter. I meet a lot of women who I can instantly tell it’s purely physical; it’s become instinct. It’s not a slight against either one of us, we all do it. Being super-aggressive or super-interested in anything I’m saying is usually a sign – “This is only going to last one night.”
9. Is there even a way to tell?
Ways to tell the difference? Yup, but it depends on context. In college, it’s different because when you’re 19 and can miss your 8:00 a.m. class, hooking up is way easier. In adult life, it’s different – nobody’s going home with you on a Tuesday night (and if they do, that might be a BIG red flag right there). Honestly, I still hook up with a lot of women, but I know – by doing so – that’s pretty much the extent of it. However, when I meet someone and I think “I want to get to know this girl.” (which I’ve noticed is happening a lot to me right now), I take my time. I’ve found it’s always worth it.
10. How long have you been a dating expert?
I’ve been writing about dating in New York for a year. It started with one of the first guides I wrote for Guidespot. I was getting over somebody, and writing it was highly cathartic. The guide got an insane amount of response, so I thought “Why not write more of this stuff?” It led to a lot of attention and my present involvement with a “dating in New York” documentary.