From Cosmo to Marie Claire, columnists are happy to inform us straight women what men really want. And how to sculpt our behavior and personality to be more that. And less ourselves.
As if that isn’t bad enough.
But it gets worse.
What most men want, these sites assure us, is the ditzy date.
I said it.
Men want your boobs to pop out of your shirt. Beyond the quality of your character or intellect. It’s boobs.
They want you to get drunk and stagger into their arms. So that your boobs pop out of your shirt.
They want you to titter and flip your hair and drop something and pout, kissy-faced, and say “Oops” like you’re Betty Boop and then bend over. So that your boobs nearly pop out of your shirt.
Perhaps I exaggerate. Perchance, being built like a 13-year-old boy, I’m a little sensitive on the subject of boobs. But even when the columns give the bimbo-in-lingerie ploy a rest, most dating advice riffs on the ditzy-date archetype. The more sophisticated version? Play games.
Be someone other than yourself. Wait so many days or hours before you reply to his texts or calls. Mirror his behaviors, regardless of your actual reactions. Suggestively finger your throat or handbag. Toy with your hair. Ensure breasts are angled for optimal viewing. Flirt, but not so much that he’ll feel sure of your attraction. Smile—but not too big, or he’ll think you’re easy. Keep him guessing, they say.
Your early interactions set the tone for everything that follows. So, best-case scenario, you’re either setting up decades of poker face stare-downs or you’re building a sandcastle that will collapse under the weight of life’s inevitable tragedies. Those times when you have no energy for the Sex Kitten pretense.
Don’t do it.
It’s one thing to try to impress somebody—to flirt and iron your best shirt and use breath freshener and try to be witty and enjoy him looking at you.
Go for it.
But don’t play down who you are for a guy. You’re worth so much more than that. You deserve better than a guy who wants human relationships to be poker games.
If he wants games, he can check into the local casino. People there will be more than happy to sidestep connection and con him out of the pot.
But if you want someone to be there for you when you need them, be willing to bleed. Which means human. Which means real. Love requires that you be real. Even the Velveteen Rabbit knew this stuff.
So cut the crap. Don’t encourage guys who want an act, a chase.
The less time you spend catering to porn fantasies, the less time you waste trying to convince sleazy men that really, they want you. And the more time you spend around people who actually like you for you. And the more energy you have for other things. A real relationship. Marathon training. Sculpting garden statuary.
Hey, whatever floats your boat.
So next time you’re looking to hit it off with someone, try it. Take that leap and be real.
And by the way, since this is the season for online dating, there’s a whole week ahead of posts on modern dating. So stay tuned.