Monday, 23 April 2012

What I Would Tell Men If They Asked

Women are busily signing up for the Majowka dla Kobiet (May retreat for women), as I boastfully informed a young Polish man yesterday. He seemed vaguely impressed, as I meant him to be.

“Are there going to be any men there?” he asked.

“Noooooooo,” I said. “Well, the priest.”

Then I went into a small lecture on how men and women are totally different and approach single life in different ways and have different responsibilities in courtship, and therefore not very much of my advice applies to men, exactly.

Then a Scotsman volunteered that he had found a very funny “How to” video on Spotify on how to win women, and he should look it up again.

One piece of amusing advice was to stare into a woman’s eyes while talking to her and never look anywhere else. This struck me as unwise, although in light of day, there is something to be said for showing paying strict attention to what a woman is saying. I, for one, am always flattered when I feel eyes, light or dark, boring into me when I am holding forth on some speech or other. Even if the stare is aggressive, which sadly it so often is, I feel flattered.

“But it’s so easy for men,” I wailed.

Both Pole and Scot looked as though they might disagree with this remark. However, lots of things are much, much easier for men than for women, like gaining muscle mass. The fact that more men aren’t in the gym busily building muscle mass used to drive me crazy in my sporty days when I was building muscle mass myself. It seemed like a waste of the gift of testosterone.

So having declared that courtship is so easy for men, I should elucidate. I will elucidate because there are lots of excellent guys going around thinking it is SO HARD to court women, when legions of women are complaining that there are no excellent guys left. Part of the problem, by the way, is that the excellent guys do not know that they are excellent guys. They had absolutely no luck with girls when they were 15, tiny and pimpled, and so they assume they will have no luck with girls even now when they are 30, tall (or taller) and as beautiful as the day.

What such men should do is talk to a happily married female pal and ask, “Do you think girls would like to go out with me?” She will either say, “A really special woman would appreciate your gifts”—which means you are a niche interest (and so many of us are)—or “Of course they would, you IDIOT!”—which is encouraging.

Okay, so having said that, I will tell you how I think men can court women. Keep in mind that this is advice for men, not for women, and this is a blog for women, so men probably won’t read it. However, I think it is worthwhile putting out on the blog so you girls can correct me where you think I am wrong, and we can take the assembled knowledge to our male friends when/if they humbly ask us what we think.

1. If you are male, Single and REALLY are tired of being Single and would prefer a noisier life of constantly having to get along with a woman, then you are going to have to go out and find your own woman. Don’t assume she will come up to you. That’s not her job.

2. To find your own woman, you have to go where women are. This is generally easy because women are just about everywhere these days, including the guesthouses of monasteries. By the way, if you are an acting-out priest or monk stop reading now. I’m not going to be complicit in your psychodramas.

3. Ask yourself the follow questions: “Who do I know is really pretty?”* “Who do I think is really nice?” If you can think of a girl whose name could appear under both headings, call her up on the phone and say, “Hey, [pretty and nice girl], I wonder if you would have tea with me at the [elegant] hotel on Saturday afternoon.”
Hotel teas are very classy and comfortable and generally free of the sexual associations of “a drink” and “dinner” and the job-interview quality of “coffee.”

4. Do not be completely alarmed if she blurts “Just as friends, right?” Despite what you have heard, many pretty, nice girls have a thick streak of awkward and are so shocked at the fact that they/we are being asked out on a Real Date that their/our brains seize up and they/we say the first thing that comes to mind. Also, our reptile brains hear “Tea with me?” and register “Marry me?” and so of course scream “Eeek! Viking rapist! Oh nooooooo! ”

So if the nice and pretty girl says, “Just as friends, right?” say, “Well, of course. But I will be paying all the same.” Fight for the right to pay. Point out it was your idea.

5. Have the lovely tea and then pay. Enjoy sitting in an elegant room with a nice and pretty girl for its own sake. It is one of the joys of bachelor living. Once you are married you no longer have a choice of girls; you can take only your wife to elegant teas or you will be in serious trouble.

6. Call the pretty, nice girl two days later and say, “I was wondering if you would come with me to X.” I don’t know what X is. X could be dinner at a specific restaurant. Or it could be to the opera. Or to a jazz bar. You’re paying, so you choose. If she really enjoyed the last date, she will say yes, and if she didn’t, she will probably say she is busy. Say you’re sorry about that, wait for two weeks, and if she doesn’t text you or call you or make an excuse to talk to you in her panic that she might have discouraged you, think of another nice, pretty girl to ask out for tea. Enjoy the fact that you can still go out to tea with a VARIETY of girls, because once you’re married…. Forget it.

7. If whichever pretty, nice girl starts telling you all kinds of personal stuff, this is a very good sign. If, however, it is about her ex-boyfriend, this is a bad sign, and it would be a good idea to tell her that you don’t want to hear about other men. This will help to keep you out of the Friendzone.

Girl (to friend on phone): And then he said, “I don’t want to hear about other men.”
Friend: Ooooooh. Respect.
Girl: Do you think so? I was kind of mad, actually.
Friend: No, it means he really likes you.
Girl: Really?
Friend: Yes.

By the way, be nice to any of her friends you meet, to the extent of buying their coffees when you are all out together, because she will be discussing you with her friends, and you will want them on your side.

8. Now, if you are lucky, one of the pretty, nice girls you’ve been taking to tea will start to show how much she likes you by emailing, texting, etc. Do not answer such messages right away. For some reason I have never been able to fathom, this makes women like men more. Maybe it is because we spend a lot of time wondering when you will text/email back and if we made asses of ourselves writing in the first place. I am sorry to say it, but it is true. And men who are too quick to answer emails and texts make women like them less, possibly because there is no suspense. This does not apply to married couples, however. Married men should get back to their wives ASAP or there will be trouble.

9. In general, don’t bring up the subject of commitment for three months. After three months or maybe two, you could delicately inquire as to whether she has been going to tea, opera, jazz, etc., with any other man and, if so, would she kindly stop so you can tell your friends you have a girlfriend. And if she agrees, you have to think hard for the next nine months if you want to marry this girl. Before the year is up, either propose or break up. Don’t waste her life, capisce?

10. If a woman asks you out and you don’t think she is either particularly pretty or nice, don’t go out with her just because you are lonely. She will complicate your life. So just say No, you’re busy/No, your heart belongs to another. Yes, she will be mad. Tough. Pre-empt such women by asking out girls on your Pretty & Nice list. And don’t forget what I said about waiting at least 2 weeks between asking out THIS pretty & nice girl (and her saying “no, I’m busy”) and THAT pretty & nice girl and, if you can, you might want to think about alternating between groups of friends.

Yes, you will probably be shot down in your dating career. Big fat deal. There are men your age and younger taking actual bullets in Afghanistan, so don’t come crying to me. If you think you are called to marriage (and most men are) it is your job to get a wife, so go and get one.

And that would be my advice to any man who asked me. They tend not to, however.

*By the way, ladies, "pretty" is in the eye of the beholder. No man should marry a woman he doesn't think is pretty. Thankfully, men are a lot more open-minded than women about what "pretty" is. They don't read our bloody awful fashion magazines. Unfortunately, a lot do look at porn, which totally messes up them and their own unique sense of "pretty", but that is not a problem I can solve.

20 comments:

Eowyn said...

Here, here!

Evelyn said...

Please clarify #6!! I thought we women were not supposed to text or email he gent, but wait for him to do so. Does this no longer apply after two dates?

berenike said...

Hwey! Ned Stark!

Elizabeth said...

That was lovely. May I suggest that the ladies who have read this, send copies to their brothers, nephews, and other single male relatives?

I am outside of your normal demographic and have two teenage sons who will get copies when they are in a position to start looking for a wife.

Rosa Machado said...

With respect, in #8 the advice to men that they shouldn’t write or reply to a woman who is interested in them right away because it makes the woman like them more is a bit unflattering because when we reply to a man, he should feel special and not in a position to play games. I think WE ladies shouldn’t write back to them right away because men like suspense and they expect us to be mysterious – and not to be desperate or anxious as we would appear if we reply right away.

Seraphic said...

@ Evelyn. This isn't to girls saying what you SHOULD do, but to boys saying what you are most LIKELY to do.

Keep in mind, ladies, that I am--for once--writing with men in mind, and as much as we hate it when men do not answer our emails right away, it does help their case. Drat it! It's not a mind game as much as it is prudence. Waiting two days before calling us after a date is also not a mind game but prudence.

Men should be prudent. We should all be prudent!

Johannes Faber said...

Pow pow! Well done Auntie!

Jen D said...

If a young man takes a lady on a few dates and then decides that she is not for him, should he tell her that before moving on to the next lady?

Seraphic said...

Hmm. Jury's out on that one. I could argue it either way. It almost always hurts to be dropped, so does it make much of a difference to be given a speech or simply to face the unringing phone?

Hmm. On the one hand, it sucks not to know for sure that he won't be calling. On the other hand, when does a guy owe a girl an explanation for taking her out one Friday night but not this next Friday night?

Unless you and a guy agree that neither of you can see anyone else, neither has any right to complain if either sees anyone else. You might not like it, but one or two dates doesn't make a guy your personal property, and it doesn't make you his. Wishful thinking does not a commitment make.

I think if kissing is ever involved, either party deserves at least a "I feel so badly about that, because I respect you so much, and you are definitely cute, but I don't think this is working because" email/phone call/speech.

healthily sanguine said...

"[A] noisier life of constantly having to get along with a woman"--haha! :)

Miss Phil said...

I suppose it wouldn't be ladylike to post this article on my Facebook page, would it?

Seraphic said...

Jury's out on that, too, but I do know others have! Tons of hits coming my way via Facebook, including Facebook in Poland.

Have I mentioned recently that I love Poland? Poland is sooo nice to me.

sciencegirl said...

THANK YOU! The advice doesn't apply to me since I am not a man, but I greatly enjoyed it, and I especially like today's Swashbuckler Protector. The toothy Pole was adorable, but so young and beardless that I just wanted to buy him ice cream and edit his college application essays. If they were in English. The current Protector is truly Swashbuckling and very hot! His essays would need no proofreading; the son of Gondor's steward leaves dangling no participle. More bearded Protectors, please!

MaryJane said...

Excellent piece! I would only add the caveat that a man should be certain that he is tired of being single. As in, please, please, discern a vocation to religious life before dating. (As much as possible, of course. Sometimes dating can really point one towards a vocation one way or the other, but men who date women very seriously and then string them along while simultaneously considering priesthood are annoying, to say the least.)

Seraphic said...

MaryJane, I do agree. Despite what some vocation directors might think, young women do not appreciate being used to make seminarians more well-rounded or whatever it was vocation directors were saying in the 1970s.

Nowadays boys and young men seem to have a lot of female friends--certainly they usually have female classmates in school, high school and university, so they hopefully they will be able to figure out how to sympathize with women that way instead of through dating. If not, they should befriend elderly ladies and happily married middle-aged ladies. We can certainly set them straight on any misunderstandings about women they may have.

JOEtheGUY said...

As a man, I have to say there is not much to disagree with here, but I'll add in a few pieces.

While I do accept that women have difficulty rejecting men(I am not sure why, because they are not the ones being rejected), I do think that women need to go against their first impulse when it comes to rejecting guys. What I mean by this is that it would be better for women to deliver a rejection that seems emotionally devastating but really is not. So, for instance these are good rejections:
"I am sorry, I don't have feelings for you."
"I am sorry, I am not attracted to you."
"I am sorry, I don't want to go out on a date with you."
This is a bad rejection(there are numerous variations of course):
"I am busy."
The reason the good rejections are good, is because they are honest and true. The reason the bad rejections are bad is because they are dishonest and untrue.
I must say I initially feared the first type of rejections when I was younger so my early rejections were all of the second type. But based on my own experience and observing my friends in similar situations, I must say that the first type is much better and less painful and the second type is much more emotionally devastating for men. I also want to add that after experiencing the first type of rejection, the second type became much easier to deal with and it made me recognize that not all woman are capable of giving good rejections

The second point I would like to respectfully disagree with is the one about "Just as friends, right?". To me, that's a clear-cut rejection. I won't withdraw my invitation, however, for the sake of decorum and therefore will still go out with the woman - but only one time. I am sympathetic to awkward women who can't get their words right. However, in my experience and observation of my friends, the reason I am inclined not to pursue it further is because the vast majority of women do use these words as a rejection, and men who attempt to pursue further are often made to look undesirable to other women as socially awkward.

JOEtheGUY said...

As a man, I have to say there is not much to disagree with here, but I'll add in a few pieces.

While I do accept that women have difficulty rejecting men(I am not sure why, because they are not the ones being rejected), I do think that women need to go against their first impulse when it comes to rejecting guys. What I mean by this is that it would be better for women to deliver a rejection that seems emotionally devastating but really is not. So, for instance these are good rejections:
"I am sorry, I don't have feelings for you."
"I am sorry, I am not attracted to you."
"I am sorry, I don't want to go out on a date with you."
This is a bad rejection(there are numerous variations of course):
"I am busy."
The reason the good rejections are good, is because they are honest and true. The reason the bad rejections are bad is because they are dishonest and untrue.
I must say I initially feared the first type of rejections when I was younger so my early rejections were all of the second type. But based on my own experience and observing my friends in similar situations, I must say that the first type is much better and less painful and the second type is much more emotionally devastating for men. I also want to add that after experiencing the first type of rejection, the second type became much easier to deal with and it made me recognize that not all woman are capable of giving good rejections

The second point I would like to respectfully disagree with is the one about "Just as friends, right?". To me, that's a clear-cut rejection. I won't withdraw my invitation, however, for the sake of decorum and therefore will still go out with the woman - but only one time. I am sympathetic to awkward women who can't get their words right. However, in my experience and observation of my friends, the reason I am inclined not to pursue it further is because the vast majority of women do use these words as a rejection, and men who attempt to pursue further are often made to look undesirable to other women as socially awkward.

n.panchancha said...

These are so great [if perhaps of limited use, since they are posted on a blog designed to scare off men...]. I admit that the "not replying immediately" thing does help a man's case, but it seems so cynical when written out that way... Shoot. Oh, well; it's not attractive in either sex if it seems like you spend every minute staring at your phone and not having a wonderful, mysterious, interesting life of your own. I just think that interesting life should be ACTUALLY HAPPENING instead of a man just making calculated moves to give the impression that it's happening.

The above comment about discussing things if a man doesn't plan to ask a woman out again after a few dates is a good one, I think. Do you guys talk about the "Define The Relationship" talk (the DTR, affectionately)? It is agonizing, as a woman, to have to be the one to broach this subject if the man has been the one doing the asking-out. ("Does he just really need a friend?? Is it a case of SSA??" Arrgh.) Then again, it's hard not to get your hopes up if a lovely single man has made multiple lovely dates with you at a FANCY TEA SPOT and CULTURAL VENUES. Never calling again afterwards seems like a way to get quasi-blacklisted by a group of allied females. I think there's space for a man to find a gentle way of saying he wants to be "just friends" (if that). Blech. It hurts to hear that, but at least it doesn't lead to weeks of confusion and second-guessing. (In my opinion, anyway.)

Lena said...

I am confused about the woman calling/texting thing and waiting a certain amount of time before replying. But I certainly like the rest of the article.

Seraphic said...

Once again, I am revealing a sad secret of female psychology to help the boys out. Normally I would never do that. Mind games are bad. But it really is more prudent for a man to wait a little bit (e.g. a day or two) at the beginning of a relationship before texting or calling, not only because it minimizes the jumping-forward-one-year "Eeek, Viking rapist!" tendency of many female minds, but because it creates a healthy suspense.