MEN WHOSE ASSES DESERVE TO BE KICKED

                  (AKA MIKE'S DATING TIPS FOR WOMEN)


Last year, I drafted a dozen-or-so dating tips for guys--  lower-pow-
ered pointers such as "act sweet," "have a sense of humor," and the
mind-numbingly complicated "get the girl alone and try to kiss her."
(Regarding that last one, isolation is *hardly* a requirement for
embarrassing one's self with a woman.  Hell, just show up!)  'Twas bre-
ezy advice that I wrote, nothing terribly serious, and, as I later
learned, even deemed *entertaining* by select members of the *Other*
Sex.  But did female readers find my tossed-off tips *useful*?  Probably
not.

The idea of "dating tips for girls" originated early *this* year, when
Yours Field Researching was evaluating a potential test-subject in a
local, tavernous environment.  Said femme was expressing dating
frustration in the form of questions.  "How do you date around, but
without getting sexual" asked the advice-seeker.  "Or sleep-around, but
without getting serious?"  Demographically, this person's my age, mid-
thirties (or so), and doesn't hide her less-than-entirely-pleasant
relationship history.  Her reticence and half-apprehension toward men
seeps, at times, from behind an otherwise wide, generous smile and an
enthusiastically reserved demeanor.

She's typical of "middle-daters"-- thirty- or forty-something females
who have been married at least once.  Or have had a couple Serious
Relationships(tm).  They're also the women most *wary* of new love,
methinks, eyeing potential prospects with a half-cynical, half-uncertain
eye.  (Their hearts, however, have yet to harden into hopeless, loveless,
armored shells.  That'll come later...)  The cause of this relentless non-
optimism is, of course, always the same:  some guy.  Some ill-mannered,
insincere, insensitive, or abusive man.  Some dick, and to whom I
congratulate.  Thanks, pal, for making it that much harder for us
"second acts."  Thanks a bunch.  And, just so you know, you're on the
list for a collective ass-kicking.  From us "nice guys."

Thus, for those "available" ladies with decidedly *less* than one-per-
cent positive attitudes, I present your own set of "tips."  Guy-get-
ters, from a decade-plus veteran of "the trenches."  Been there, seen
that, and understand regrettably well what's required to "drive in traffic"
*and* how our skills and confidence can wax and wane, resulting in a
"freeway" full of confusing, dangerous-seeming vehicles and the nagging
(though never true) feeling that the road really goes nowhere.  Maybe
these'll help...


Mike's Dating Tips For Women
============================

Warning: Broad gender stereotypes ahead!

The Basics
----------

  o WHY MEET MEN? - 'Cause they want to meet *you*.  And they can
    fix things.

  o WHERE TO MEET MEN - Wherever people are.

  o WHERE TO MEET MEN LIKE YOURSELF - Wherever people like yourself
    are.  Duh.

  o WHERE TO MEET MEN INTERESTED IN / LOOKING FOR X? - See last ques-
    tion.  Then, make it a "hang out."   You'll grow familiar with
    the surroundings, thus becoming more relaxed, thus becoming more
    approachable.

  o HOW TO MEET MEN

    - "Hi"
    - "Hello"
    - "Hello, my name is..."
    - "Hello, my name is... , what's yours?"

  o HOW TO MEET MEN (alternate)

    1. Place self in close proximity.
    2. Cross field of vision.
    3. Refrain from eye contact.
    4. Observe reaction or lack thereof.
    5. Rinse and repeat several times or until desired outcome.
    6. Optional: make eye contact
    7. Optional: smile
    8. Optional: say "Hello"

    If none of the above works, his attention is presently not
    available.

  o HOW TO LEARN ABOUT A MAN - Be yourself and let him be himself.
    Observe each other, each other's reactions, and each other's
    reactions to each other's reactions.

  o HOW TO CINCH THE DEAL - Touch him. Casually.  Anywhere.  He'll
    get the idea.  And probably relax.


The Very Simple Rules
---------------------

  o KNOW THYSELF - And then act on it.  Unconscious weeding-out-of-
    idiots will result.

  o BE FEMININE - No, not necessarily *Hollywood's* idea of same.
    Nor Playboy Magazine's.  Nor even Madison Avenue's.  Just accent-
    uate the obvious-- the "girl things," curves, colors, hair, smell,
    etc.

  o BE YOURSELF - You'll be more comfortable, you'll save time and
    trouble for *both* of you, and you'll stave off resentment for
    choosing to suppress the "real you."

  o HOW TO SAY NO

    - "No"
    - "No thanks"
    - "No thank you"
    - "I'll pass"
    - "I'd rather not"
    - "I choose not to"
    - "Because."

    No explanation necessary.  Ever.

  o WHEN TO SAY NO - Whenever you're uncomfortable.  You'll paint a
    more *accurate* picture of yourself, nip resentment in the bud
    on *both* sides, and maybe even gain more respect.

  o WHEN TO GO SOLO - Hang with your girlfriends and you'll meet
    *groups* of guys.  Or "performers."  Hang with your guy friends
    and you'll be attracting (or repelling) based on equal parts who
    you are and how high (or low) his male-versus-male testosterone
    levels are.

  o IT'S A NUMBERS GAME - Guys know this, why don't you?  The more
    you meet, the more that find you attractive.  The more that
    find you attractive, the more that are likely to ask you out.
    The more that are likely to ask you, the more you'll actually
    want to go out with.  Get the picture?

  o IT'S ALL ABOUT TIMING - Sometimes he's unavailable.  Sometimes
    *you're* unavailable.  That's life.  That's what all the people
    say.  That's also why "waiting" never works, 'cause what's at
    tractive about you (and what attracts you to him) is always
    evolving.

  o WHAT'S REASONABLE - Whatever you're comfortable with.  If he
    isn't interested in your comfort, then he really isn't interest-
    ed in you.

  o THE BASELINE - Provided your gray matter's in reasonable working
    order, the least you should feel during dating is neutral to
    mild exciting.  Anything less should be considered an emotional
    signal to "cut bait."  Your brain just doesn't know it yet.

  o FRIENDS AND FAMILY - Introduce him to your friends.  Observe
    his interactions with your friends.  Listen to your friends'
    observations afterward.  Rinse and repeat with family members,
    farther down the road.

  o ISSUES (OR HOW TO RUIN A PERFECTLY GOOD FANTASY OF THE PERSON
    YOU'RE SITTING ACROSS THE TABLE FROM) - Discuss one or more of
    the following subjects:

    - politics
    - religion
    - birth control
    - gender differences
    - money, notably who pays

  o POOR CHOICES FOR DATING PARTNERS

    - people on the rebound
    - people you work with
    - people you live near
    - people with vastly different goals, values, or lifestyles
    - people who are cousins

  o DON'T SETTLE - Feeling the trademark female urge to "make ev-
    erything better?"  To accommodate 110% and then some??  Co-de-
    pendency notwithstanding, save it for your marriage.  You know,
    until *after* you've picked a partner who doesn't need to be
    propped up, made excuses for, or taken care of.


Realty Checks
-------------

  o CHANGE - The only person you can change is yourself.

  o HAPPINESS - The only person you can make happy is yourself.

  o EXCEPTIONS - You always think you're the exception to the rule.
    Or, if reading a list of dating tips, the rules.  Plural.

  o WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TWO PEOPLE MEET AND START DATING? - They either
    stay together or stop dating.  Period.

  o SPACE/TIME CONTINUUM - Everyone needs space.  And, like sleep, it
    can't be stored for later use.  So, just 'cause he's out of town
    *next* week, doesn't mean you'll enjoy his constant company *this*
    week.  Everyone also needs time when entering an intimate rela-
    tionship.  Houses can be built in a day; emotional ties to new
    homes cannot.

  o TRUST 101 - Don't do anything you wouldn't enthusiastically tell
    your partner about.  Simple.

  o IT'S ALL ABOUT [ choose one: LOVE | LUST | COMPROMISE ] - If
    you're young, it's a "love thing."  If you're a young guy, it's
    a "lust thing."  If you're older, around my age, it's a "compro-
    mise thing."  And *neither* gender has an edge.

  o BE SAFE - Nice guys wear condoms.  Men don't get pregnant.  No
    one ever died from not having sex.

  o HIS TOUCH - Clueless on chemistry?  If he touches you, he wants
    to have sex with you.  Note: Also applies to male friends, co-
    workers, or total strangers.

  o GUY SEX IS DIFFERENT THAN GIRL SEX - Men have sex because they
    can.  Like, love, or physical attraction is not necessary.  Ergo,
    focus on behaviors *outside* the bedroom.

  o SEX ISN'T LOVE - But already know that.  It's just temporary amne-
    sia from all those endorphins et al.

  o TALKING ABOUT SEX - This one's real simple:  if you can't talk
    about it, you probably shouldn't be doing it.



How To
------

  o HOW TO

    - date around without getting serious?
    - sleep around without getting serious?
    - find a boyfriend?
    - find a husband?
    - find a father?

    Re-read above list.


Work-Arounds
------------

  o singles groups
  o sex buds
  o flings
  o ex's
  o blind dates
  o fix-ups
  o escort services
  o massage parlors
  o newspaper personal ads
  o online personal ads


Note: Though the latter, newspaper and online personal ads, are hardly
      as satisfying as real dates, at least you'll feel like you're
      "making the rounds."

Copyright 2000 or earlier Michael J. Legeros


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