When it comes to dating when I was younger, I think I have been a bit of a fool. It would have been great to have advice to counteract my foolishness. It could have saved me so many headaches. Even then, I do recognize the value of having learned this stuff on my own. Still, advice from a careful mentor goes a long way.

bad advice

I don’t remember much good advice when it comes to dating. Most advice that I’ve heard are: “Don’t worry, you are young! You have time.”, “Hurry up and date!”, and “Date her!”. Thinking about these phrases, they don’t seem to demonstrate a lot of investment. Another comment can be paraphrased as “you must not be doing something right”. That is one heck of a doubt to give someone who is actually doing just fine.

things that I wished I knew about dating

Little good advice has been given to me about behavoir and treatment towards a woman on a date. True, I want to be kind to everyone, but the treatment of woman while on a date needs to be scrutinized. I hope to show what I have been able to learn recently.

I participated in a couple conversations with girls about dating. One of the questions that I decided to ask a girl was “When is persistence in dating good, and when is persistence bad”? I pointed out that a successful marriage seemingly starts when the man is persistent. However, I do know that there are times when persistence is poor and unhealthy. That is why I asked the question.

The response ended up being profound to me. Here is what I got from the answer. Treat my date in such a way that she has no doubt that she is important to me. Treat her like the queen she is. A loyal demonstration to a woman will probably win her over and make her feel safe.

            I hope she likes this...

There was a follow up conversation with the same girl that answered my question. A man needs to be able to read social cues, recognize boundaries, and her choice. If a man doesn’t do that, then a man is going to have a very tough time with getting any dates. I think I’ve been fairly good at social cues, but once this was brought to my attention I think I could focus on this a bit more.

A girl taught, “Listening is a very admirable quality in a guy.” Jokingly, right after she said that I quipped, “what?”

I should understand the girl! Give effort to understanding her point of view and why she decides to do things!

Here is a quick story when I was younger. I would get so bent out of shape when a cute girl would avoid me. Eventually, I learned that when a girl avoids, she intends to be nice while trying to not advance a relationship. In my young mind, this angered me. I said that if girls were smarter, then they would just straight up tell the guy what’s up. Girls should be able to realize that by avoiding contact is actually causing a bigger problem in the guy’s mind.

        I am so bent out of shape...
   (_oo /
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   /   L

I decided to take a different perspective. It’s unrealistic to expect women to behave the I think they should, because the large majority of them do the same thing. It’s their choice to do so! So if I know that when a girl avoids my contact, she’s probably wanting to be nice. I should take that intention of being nice so that I can chill, relax, and move on. I shouldn’t get caught up in my own hurt pride, which a man seems susceptible to do.

For the sake of being a dude, I need to keep dating simple. I need to realize when I am losing concentration when I am thinking too much about a girl. Too many times have was I caught up in reading between the lines. Dudes really aren’t that good at it. Dudes, let’s admit it. We are dumb.

True, reading interest signs are going to be “between the lines”, so there is probably an acceptable amount. Just realize there’s a threshold. Once that threshold is passed is when reading between the lines isn’t going to help.

To keep dating simple, keep it linear and as far away from multi-dimensional. For example, one way on this line is “she likes me” and the other way is “she doesn’t like me”. Heck, pull up a flower and rip the petals off repeating those same words! The more she compliments you, touches you, or spends time with you, she likes you! If you like her, spend time with her! Ask her out on a date! Make her feel important. If she avoids you or insults you, she doesn’t like you. Just don’t spend time with her then. Simple!

If a girl is going in the way of “She likes me”, please understand her that she may not want to date you. To keep it simple, just make sure you understand her intentions quickly and hold to her intentions. And don’t be offended or confused when she likes you, but doesn’t want to date you. It’s confusing, I know, but understand her!

Trying to date a girl gets multi-dimensional when more factors get involved. When the girl you like is a friend with your ex is a factor. Or you are in constant presence with your ex. Or communication isn’t very solid. Or girls and guys just aren’t straightforward with each other. Or expectations and standards are not set or understood between partners. Or when someone doesn’t listen. Or you’re worried what a girl intended whens she says “Ok”. When less factors are involved while dating, things will stay simple.

As a young man, I was nice towards girls, but I think I was just indifferent. I know that isn’t bad, I just wasn’t doing the best thing that I could have done. I could have invested myself in a date a little bit more wisely.

an elderly gentleman

In a one-on-one opportunity with an elderly gentleman, I mentioned that I was interested in a girl but nothing was happening. He encouraged me to think about why I was thinking that. It’s called meta-cognitive thought processing. It seemed to me that I was getting obsessed and caught up. That elderly gentleman followed up saying that one way to think about dating is a “return on investment”. This seems like great advice. If a girl is returning attention for my attention, then there is a good return on investment. But if she isn’t, then there isn’t a good return. When there isn’t a good return, that’s most likely a good time to move on.

another elderly gentleman

I have been given one piece of noticable advice several months back. I was talking with another elderly gentleman at a volunteer event, and I let slip a doubt. “Sometimes I wonder if there’s just something I need to correct” I said. The elderly gentleman turned to me and proclaimed “Nothing is wrong with you! Your generation seems to beat yourselves too much.” And he went on to list some of my accomplishments. I’ll admit, I was kind of stunned that this elder was listing off stuff that I’ve done. He then pointed out that a girl will admire what I’ve been able to do.

He was right. This gentleman helped me realize that when it comes to personal value, you are responsible for yourself. If you know you have been putting yourself out there in many activities and you know that you are respectable and likeable, then there is no problem. The right cards just haven’t been played yet. And because all the right things are being done, that doesn’t mean that the right cards will be played immediately. One needs to wait that things will fall together when it happens!

Speaking of playing the right cards, dating is like shooting the moon in a game of hearts.

So in the end…

I’ve learned some things! As long as I am active with volunteer events and activities, I don’t need to worry if I think I mess something up. As well I need to treat a date like she’s the world to me and understand her by listening. Keep dating simple, just so that I won’t go crazy. Learning is definitely a way of life, and I hope I can take advantage of it to be more successful in life.