Gender Bend: Dating Like a Man

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Well, it's high time to make like a Martian.

Part of my job covering the love and sex beat is to scour the internet and eavesdrop on dude-oriented conversations at, Men’s Health, Maxim and other testosterone-infused watering holes where men dish out often laughable love advice to one another. Mostly, these venues offer a bunch of boorish, misogynist crap, but every once in awhile, you get some enlightening insight into the goings on of the male mind.

Call me Samantha Jones, but I can’t help but think women should learn how to date like a man. Here are the standouts that I’ve personally road tested:
Lesson 1: Learn to juggle
“My goal is to have a committed relationship with the woman of my dreams. However, I recognize that to get to that point, I’ll have to meet many women. So I plan on dating many Mrs. Right Nows. A side benefit”you’re not so hung up on any one woman.” -The Dating Guy
You’re female, so you know how to multi-task. Why not apply your skills to dating? It baffles me why women are often afraid to go there. I suspect that it has a lot to do with that tired (yet persistent) double standard that a man who dates lots of women is a stud, while a woman who does so is a not-so-kind four-letter word that starts with an “s.” We have to get over it. The key is to remember that you decide which of them, if any, you want to sleep with. There’s no rule that says you have to put everyone on speed-dial. Eventually, one or two guys will emerge to the forefront. And always having a date at the ready is fabulous for boosting your self-esteem. 
Lesson 2: Recover from a breakup quickly 
“One of the things that keeps men from moving on after a relationship is holding on to false hope. Some men are stuck in limbo with the idea that there might be a chance of getting back together with their exes.”
Let’s get this straight: Contrary to some schools of thought, men actually do suffer when it comes to a breakup. The difference is that men seem to move on more quickly. This doesn’t mean that unprocessed emotions don’t bite them in the ass eventually, but we can learn a little something from nipping extended wallowing in the bud. The sweetest revenge is to funnel all your energy into improving your work, family and friend relationships. A casual fling here and there can’t hurt. And instead of hunkering down with your new boyfriends, Ben & Jerry, hit the gym so that next time you run into your ex, you look great while you brag about the promotion.  
Lesson 3: Don’t call to chitchat every five minutes 
“Only call to plan a date, and have the game plan already in mind. Keep the phone call under five minutes. You’ll have plenty to talk about when you meet again in person.” -See So Suave
The author of the ridiculous M.A.C.K. Tactics website may be silly, but his phone advice is solid: Get the digits in the most natural way possible, clearly state when you are going to call (a couple of days in the future doesn’t sound too stalkerish), and when you do call, get right to the point. I’ve saved many extra minutes, plus, it makes you seem more mysterious.
Lesson 4: Know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em
“You think your new girl’s a keeper. We think sex may be impairing your judgment. Start backing away slowly.” -Maxim
Imagine this scenario: You’ve been single for ages, you finally meet a guy who’s cute, funny, you have a good time with, but he also happens to still be in love with his ex. Don’t get me wrong, no one is perfect, but sometimes we women folk can be a tad too forgiving. Men are notoriously picky when it comes to choosing a mate, and we should probably err on the cautious side as well. Again, some tics can’t be helped (and may even be endearing), but it’s important to set deal breakers, and act on them accordingly. 
Lesson 5: Don’t take things too seriously
“There is a time for being serious. But ever notice how Presidents’ speeches almost always have humor in the beginning? Not only does this help relax the audience, it shows you are confident enough to not have to show the world how serious your life is to get respect.” -The Dating Wizard
Repeat after me: “It’s all good.” Guess what? All that analyzing emails and text messages, fretting over whether he’ll call, and agonizing over what to wear is unnecessary. The sun will still come up in the morning. There is a strange golden rule about men: the less invested you are, the more intrigued they become. I am not talking about some “ever call him” rule, but if you think cool, you’ll be cool, and he’ll wonder why you’re not obsessed with him. The hotter the guy, the more this plays on his ego. Bonus points if you really like him and convey your sexual interest, yet don’t call him three times a day or any of the usual trappings that some women fall into when they connect with a new dude. Take it slow, and because you are busy with work, friends, and three guys in rotation, you’re guaranteed not to come on too strong. 
That sounded dangerously close to the cheesy advice these love/dating sites cram down people’s throats. All I mean to say is, like a dog can smell fear, both women and men can sense desperation a mile away, and obviously, it’s a huge turn off. Caring too much (or waaay too little), can ruin good chemistry. Try to keep your love life in balance, because moderation yields the best (READ: healthiest) results. And never be afraid to gender bend a little here and there.
Erin Flaherty has written and edited for Jane, Allure, Elle, Marie Claire, Details, Men’s Fitness, In Design, New Mexico Magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal, in addition to making television and radio appearances on VH1, E!, Full Frontal Fashion, Martha Stewart Living Radio and a variety of local and national news programs. She firmly believes that women should refer to one another as “sisters” and never as “sluts,” unless they insist on the latter moniker. 



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