Dear Mysterious Reader,
First of all, Thank You for your passionate and insightful view of my blog. It's always interesting to read comments, or hear what people say about my writing, but I'd dare to wager that 95% of those reading and / or commenting are of the female persuasion. You can understand why these stories are geared towards them? That being said, I value a man's take on dating and would love to hear more feedback! What else have you read from my blog? What (if anything) have you learned about us curious creatures? What advice can you offer me from a guy's perspective? I'm infinitely interested in how the male mind works, as I'm starting to think that we women have been getting it wrong all these years.
In exchange, I come bearing a bit of insider trading. Are you ready? We don't expect you all to be Prince Charming. Not on the first date, or any date thereafter. What we do expect is that you treat us with respect, honesty, loyalty, faithfulness and a fair amount of chivalry. You would be shocked by the amount of men for whom those qualities are asking too much. I can of course only speak for myself here, but I've been lied to, insulted, disrespected, talked down to, sexually harassed and embarrassed...all on a first date.
Guys expect us to be one of two things: A virgin or a whore. If we are "good girls" they think they can get away with murder. They can introduce us to their mothers, take us to their work parties, let us bake cookies for them, meanwhile they're screwing around behind our backs. If we're "bad girls" then they'll use us for sex and forget our names before the next date, if there ever is one. Guys want us to sleep with them in five minutes or less, then judge us when we do and drop us like a hot potato. If we don't sleep with them right off the bat, we're uptight or old fashioned or too demanding and they leave anyway. Damned if we do. Damned if we don't. What's a girl supposed to do?
When I say I'm looking for a Prince (Charming or otherwise) I mean a guy who will take the time to talk to me, to get to know me, to ask me out on a real date. It doesn't have to be fancy. We can meet for coffee or dinner or go play SkeeBall at Dave & Buster's. I don't care if we grab gelato and go for a walk on the beach...in fact, that sounds kinda perfect. The point is, a gentleman would CALL me to ask for said date. He might even make an effort to pay for it. Again, I don't mean Daniel Boulud's restaurant followed by a Broadway show --- I'm talking about going to Rita's for a $4 Italian ice, or to Starbucks for a cup of chai! I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself. This is not a gold digging mission by any means. It's just nice when a guy shows that he *wants* to provide for me in some small way, even if it's a silly game of mini golf.
Perhaps this is where men and women differ? Our expectations are lower than you'd presume. I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I met someone for dinner on a first date. Actually, considering all 100 Cups of Coffee, I'm not sure that I EVER have. That's ok with me, especially if it's someone I met online or am just getting to know. Why do guys think that we are asking for the moon or a marriage proposal after an hour? We aren't, I promise you. What we are asking for is that you listen to our stories, that you laugh when we make a joke, that you find something interesting to talk to us about. Also, we're not a deck of cards, so please don't try to play us. We're not stupid. If you're dating other people or heaven help you - married - we *will* find out about it and we will be pissed off. We will be hurt and angry when you lie to us about your car / job / living situation because you think we need you to drive something flashier, make more money, or have a bigger apartment than we do. We don't judge you for those outside things that make up your life. If we like you, it's for who you are as a person, not for anything you own.
I want someone who makes me laugh, someone who holds my hand when we're walking, someone who opens a door for me. I want someone who treats me with kindness and patience and gentleness, and appreciates that I do the same for him. I want someone who remembers the little things about me like that I am allergic to peppers and I love country music. I want someone who finds me irresistible, who cannot stop kissing me, who is affectionate and sweet and makes me feel beautiful. You don't need to serenade me but it's refreshing and reassuring to get a compliment. Notice the little touches --- a pretty necklace or a pair of heels or that little dab of fragrance behind my ear. You wanna know the difference between a regular guy and Prince Charming? A regular guy will say "You look nice tonight." Prince Charming will hold my hand, kiss my cheek, and whisper into my ear "You look beautiful." It's about effort. It's about making me feel special, important, gorgeous. That small extra step ensures that I know he's with me. I feel comfortable and confident that the man I'm with is mine. He made me feel like the most incredible woman in the room and in return, I will bend over backwards doing anything I can to make him equally happy.
That wasn't learned in a Hollywood film or Disney movie. That was learned from real life dating. A few extra seconds hugging hello. Looking in my eyes when we're talking and not at my chest or at the ground or out the window. Connecting with me, listening to me, really seeing if you and I have something together --- that's what makes a man Charming. He doesn't need to sweep in on a white horse and slay a dragon to win my heart. All he has to do is ask for it honestly and I'm already halfway won over.
The guy I'm dating now doesn't have the fanciest car. He doesn't have the largest apartment or the cushiest bank account or a royal family. He's flawed and nerdy and sarcastic. He's super into SciFi and video games and he's incredibly tall. I have no idea if we'll work out or not but I do know that he's crazy about me. He never looks at his phone when we're on a date because I am the person he wants to focus on and everyone else can wait. He kisses me and I know he means it. We talk and I trust that he's really listening. He remembers that I hate red roses and adore Frank Sinatra. He treats me like a princess and I could cry, I'm so happy. I don't know how I got lucky enough to meet someone as generous and considerate as he is to me and yes I am TERRIFIED that the other shoe is going to drop any moment and this castle we are building will come crashing down on my head. I'm not looking for the fairy tale but I do want my happily ever after. I'm willing to wait for it. I'm willing to work for it. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to find the right partner, and more importantly, to be the right partner. Because in the end, love is always worth whatever battles you have to fight to get there. Always.
Yours Very Truly,