Part II in the series of dating rules of engagement for responsible adults brings us to the dating rules targeted at men. More specifically, targeted at gentlemen. First, a couple reminders: this is by no means a comprehensive list of ‘rules’ for men. That would likely be a mile long. These, in my opinion, are among the most important rules. Also, no set of rules can apply to everyone so let’s have a reminder about whom I’m targeting with my example set of rules:
Generally speaking, you are…
- an adult male approaching or over the age of 30,
- relatively intelligent and educated,
- seeking a long-term relationship as the goal,
- and, most importantly, mentally stable.
If you read part I in the series then you know why I try to be specific about my target audience. If you didn’t, let’s review that as well. These ‘rules’ for dating won’t apply to those seeking only to hook up (whether they are honest about it or not), spouses cheating on their husbands, ‘professional’ daters that have been in the game for years, casual daters not really seeking a partner (although, I could argue they should apply) and other socially deviant daters that gravitate to sites like AdultFriendFinder.com and AshleyMadison.com. To put it gently, ‘fringe’ daters have their own set of rules entirely.
And now, the rules for the dating gentleman.
Dating Rules For Men Number 1: Entitlement
Modern day man is afforded many luxuries. Western society has provided well for the majority of us (relatively speaking at least), but to some of the less appreciative this has translated to a sense of entitlement. I think more than a few men drag this sense of entitlement around with them when dating. It’s not a rugged rucksack on their back, but rather, it’s a sense of being owed something. Ladies – how many dates have you been on where the man (not gentleman) either hinted at the prospects of sex or flat out asked to be “compensated” with sex for the date? Yeah, that’s wrong, but in the stories I’ve heard it’s all too plentiful. Add insult to injury when there clearly isn’t going to be a second date but the guy still has the gall to ask. Gall, not to be confused with balls here; asking for sex on a failed date is desperate not daring. Gentlemen, understand that you are being accompanied for the evening by a lady (I’m surmising) and she should be treated as such. Wine her, dine her, woo her and ask for a second date. Don’t expect “payment” for your date and don’t expect sex before she’s ready to offer it up.
Dating Rules For Men Number 2: Chivalry
Chivalry is not dead. At least I hope not entirely. Many traditional gender roles are tired and out-dated, but some are not. I’d argue that those that pertain to dating are those that should be kept alive, with assistance if necessary. What are some examples of how a gentleman displays he is chivalrous? Let’s start with opening doors for your date. Let there be no hesitation whatsoever. Make a bit of a break for the door as you approach so she knows you’ll be opening it for her. Open every door that night, too starting with the car door. I’d open it every time you get INTO the car, but it may not be necessary when getting out of the car. Continue to display your level of chivalry by offering to pay on the first date with no expectation of repayment other than the lady’s gratitude. The vast majority of women, at a minimum, won’t mind you offering to pay. If she (really) stands her ground and insists on splitting there’s no need to make an issue of it, but I would make it perfectly clear you’re more than happy to cover the tab. After the date is over, offer to walk her to her car for her safety and as a nice gesture. It’ll show you’re thinking about her and her well-being even on the first date. Finally, offer to place your overcoat on the puddle so her feet don’t get wet. Ok, maybe the last one is over the top. Disregard that one.
Dating Rules For Men Number 3: Honesty
I debated about this ‘rule’ for quite some time; easily ten to fifteen minutes. Ok, so while I didn’t have to debate the merit of the rule I did have to debate whether I thought readers would be able to ‘swallow’ it or not. Honesty in dating is a bit of an oxymoron of sorts. You’re often damned if you do and damned if you don’t. My theory is you may as well if you’re damned either way! I would argue that men should be honest with their dates – throughout the process, of course – but especially at the end of the date when it comes time to exclaim interest in subsequent dates. A huge source of consternation for women in dating is trying to guess if the man is actually interested in another date and if she is reading his verbal and non-verbal queues correctly or not. I say, as a gentleman, we should take away much of the guess work and let her know – gently, of course. If you’re interested, say so! And be sincere about it, will ya? If you’re not interested in seeing her romantically then let her know that as well, but do it with kid gloves (to an extent). Of course, the fine line here is balancing those kid glove sensitive feeling let downs without appearing to be condescending, patronizing or sarcastic. Part of being a gentleman is owning your opinions and a good start is owning and expressing your feelings about another date.