Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dating Advice: Boys Need Love Too


"The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers."
- Deepak Chopra

Why does everybody assume that it's just women who want to get married? That all men fear commitment?

Let me tell you about Tom. He's a tall, good-looking, blond, masculine, well-employed man. Like a lot of guys, he wants to get married but has trouble finding the right girl.

Here's what happened on his last date:

"At dinner, the woman kept probing me about my 11-year relationship with my former girlfriend," he said. "'Why did you keep her on a string for so long?' she wanted to know.

'I didn't keep anybody on a string.' I told her. 'I wanted to get married, but my girlfriend didn't.'

'You're full of it," she responded. "You wouldn't commit. Men never want to commit.'

At this point I started to feel like I was in front of a firing squad. 'Trust me, I said. I wanted to commit, but my girlfriend didn't. She wanted an exclusive relationship, but she isn't sure she ever wants to get married.'

'Right,' my date replied. 'How old is she?'

'Thirty-nine,' I said.

'And you're 35? You're full of it. You dumped her because she was too old.'

'Actually," I said. 'My girlfriend is better-looking than most 19-year-olds. I definitely didn't break up with her because she was too old. I broke up with her because she didn't want to commit.'

Finally, we changed the subject," he continued, "and she spent the rest of the night talking about her ex-boyfriend. Then, if you can believe it, she wanted to come home with me. At that point, I was so turned off I told her absolutely not."

(Which shatters another myth: That all guys will take sex wherever they can get it, whether they like the woman or not.)

Okay, let's talk about you.

Tom's date sounds like she might be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, but do you tend to find fault with your dates? Do you see all the men you date through grimy lenses?

If you do, cut yourself a break. After all, the media insist that no man in his right mind wants to commit, they all want younger women, and they are congenitally unfaithful! So, you may have serious brainwashing to overcome.

Sure, there are a lot of creeps out there (I dated an encyclopedia of them), but genuinely great guys exist, too. The truth is, they want to settle down. Unfortunately, dating for a lot of them has become akin to being on trial.

So, lighten up.

Look your date in the eye. Decide to get to know him, rather than assume he's a composite of all the bad men you've dated or read about in magazines. If you see a red flag (he's rude to waiters, he closes elevator doors on old people), by all means hit the highway.

But if you don't, give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

Have fun.

Say goodnight.

See him again.

Repeat.

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