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.
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.