17 Jun 09

Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel: Part 6 – Chapter 6

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See below for parts 1-5…

Date Like a Man by Myreah Moore and Jodie Gould contained some good information. I appreciated the fact it went straight to the point, especially in the chapter, “How to Have Sex Like a Man: Sex Tips from Men That You Can’t Live/Date Without,” where they go from the difference between love and lust to frank advice about deep-throating and masturbation. But it is still very rules-based: more planning what to say and when to say it. That feels controlling and unnatural, and doesn’t leave enough room to be yourself.

Finally, I turned to the granddaddy (or grandmother) of them all. I spent about 20 minutes skimming through The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, before I became completely overwhelmed. Laying it aside, I remembered that The Weekender had called and left a message. I decided to call him back, breaking Rule 5: “Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls.” According to the book, if I am “following The Rules religiously, there is no reason to call him.” Being the feisty sort of gal I am, I decided to take my chances and take a walk on the wild side.

I could almost hear the Helen Reddy song “I Am Woman” playing in the background. As I dialed his number there was no heart racing, no butterflies in my stomach and after a few rings he answered, happy to hear my voice. I mentioned that I was breaking “Rule 5” and asked him what he thought about that. “It is absurd. If you never call a guy back he will think I you are not interested and not call you.” Interesting. That’s what I was thinking, too, especially in this age of internet dating and the like.

Hanging up with The Weekender, I realized what I really needed was the Man-O-Pinion. While I have clear ideas, I needed to go straight to the source. I enlisted 8 of my male friends, some of the men I have dated, and a few strangers, for a total of 16 men, to get a wide array of opinions.

As with all of my studies, the sample included men of varying age, race and relationship status. From a variety of dating books, I assembled these “rules” women are told to follow. I presented each man with 10 survey questions, derived from several dating book scenarios, and asked for their frank, honest opinions.

First I gave them a sample from Date Like a Man:
Step #1: Date Him. Do you like the guy? Do you think that you have a lot in common? Go out with him two or three times to see if you click. Let him woo you.

Step #2: Disappear. Make yourself totally unavailable. He’ll call you and get your answering machine. If he drops by your house the blinds will be drawn. Keep him in a state of deprivation for about a week.

Step #3: Reestablish Contact. After a week’s hiatus pick up the phone and pop back into his life. Don’t apologize for your absence or make excuses. Just tell him you’ve been very busy. Then ask him,” What is new with you?”

This goes back to the age-old question: who calls who and when? In my thinking, a whole week is out and out wrong. In my experience, a guy worth being a mate would think it was weird and scary, almost mean. If you went out with someone a few times, had a really good time, and he disappeared, how would you feel? If a man did that to me, I would not want to see him again. A man who is attracted by this kind of manipulative behavior is not a “keeper”. The authors of Date Like a Man say they “learned these steps from men,” but who are these men? The men I surveyed had other ideas.

Sixty-three percent of the test group feel there should be “no rules on how many days to wait,” and agree that the burden of calling rests equally with both the man and the woman, although, as Man #1 responded, “It’s nice to have a girl make the move once in a while. “ Almost all the men surveyed expressed dislike of “playing games, or sending and receiving false messages, like the whole disappearance thing. Either you are interested or not, simple,” Man #13 stated. But there were a few diehard traditionalists in the group: “The man must be the one to make the call two to three days later. If you really like the girl, four days is the best.”

To be continued..

  • What do you think?

About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”
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