Men Like Women Who Show Affection. Seriously.

Men like women who show affection. Seriously.

I love this. New study confirms what we’ve already observed.

Men respond to women who show their physical interest in them on a first date.
Women are turned off by men who show their physical interest on a first date.

The short version of this is that women like men who play it cool and that men like women who make them feel good – interesting, masculine, sexy, trusted (which is the central premise of my book Why He Disappeared.)

Men are simple, ego-driven creatures. If you think he’s cute, funny, and fascinating, chances are he’s going to want to spend more time with you.

Which is why the key for women – although you may not want to believe it – is to ACT INTERESTED in a man if you’re interested in him.

“Men who perceive women to be interested in them rated the women as more feminine and sexually attractive. They also showed more interest in having long-term relationships with the responsive women than with the nonresponsive women.”

No duh!!

I’ve never understood the “women playing hard to get” thing. Men are simple, ego-driven creatures. If you think he’s cute, funny, and fascinating, chances are he’s going to want to spend more time with you.

As to why women are turned off by men who are interested? “Women may think the men are trying too hard to win their affection and get them into bed. Or, women may see responsive men as eager to please, or even desperate,” Birnbaum said. Perhaps, the researchers noted, women may view a responsive man as vulnerable and less dominant.”

So there you have it, guys. You can be thoughtful and chivalrous, but don’t kiss her ass. And there you have it, ladies: scientific proof of everything I’ve always suggested.  Ask him questions. Laugh at his jokes. Touch him on the hand. Touch him on the knee. Reciprocate when he kisses you at the end of the night.

Men respond to women based on how we feel around you.

Make us feel good and we ain’t going anywhere.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    starthrower68

    I absolutely agree a woman does best to be warm and receptive.  I am not sure that will necessarily keep a guy around. 

    1. 1.1
      Joe

      Whether or not it keeps a guy around isn’t really the point.  Men like women who are warm and receptive more than they like those who aren’t.  Being warm and receptive gets your foot in the door.  What you do once you’re inside it is up to you.

      1. 1.1.1
        starthrower68

        To a certain extent.  We can do everything perfectly, but if someone sees no future with us, there isn’t much else we can do.  Obviously we should do our best by that person.  Nobody is arguing otherwise.

        1. Lisa

          Agreed.

      2. 1.1.2
        Selena

        Read EMK’s last sentence Joe.  That’s what Star and I are addressing.

        1. starthrower68

          Exactly, Selena.  Evan might scold me for being too not-picky but I know the ways of the world well enough to know that while I should certainly take Evan’s advice to heart, I know that no matter how good a job I do of carrying that out – because I’ve been there done that – in all likelihood I probably still won’t end up with the guy because these things are short-lived more often than not.  I don’t see that as being negative, it’s being pragmatic. I have only ever dated within my “league” and I am most realistic with where I land on the desirability scale; still I’m not a low life loser.  I think I am at least a pretty cool person to be in relationship with even though I know your mileage may vary.  I’m going to treat a man well because I want to treat all people well.  

        2. Sunflower

          Met a guy a few years ago and played it exactly like indicated in EMK’s last sentence.  He never would ask me out.  All he did was try to get physical with me when he seen me.  I stopped hanging out at the same place he did.  It made me feel cheap.

      3. 1.1.3
        T-Cat

        Hi Joe! 🙂

        How about in the courting phase? A woman shouldn’t put a man first, until he courts her… After that, it’s a different story? How do YOU feel about the courting phase?

        I would like to hear men’s opinions on this. Thank you 🙂

      4. 1.1.4
        KL

        Actually, it depends on the TYPE of guy she (or many) women are seeking.

    2. 1.2
      Selena

      Agree Star thrower.  A woman can be warm, receptive, physically affectionate, even sexual….do whatever to make the guy feel good and desired. Not a guantee of him sticking around though, if he feels she’s just not the one for him.

    3. 1.3
      Selena

      Yeah,  I think looking into most people’s dating history would reveal quite a few brief and short term situations despite how good they tried to make each other feel at the time.
      And who wants to be with someone who DOESN’T make them feel good?  LOL!:-)  

      1. 1.3.1
        JoeK

        Ahh, star my friend… I agree that “Make us feel good and we ain’t going anywhere” on it’s own, out of context, isn’t the whole apple. But it’s a closing statement in a post about how men perceive (and respond to) women.
         
        Let’s assume for the moment that when a guy asks out a gal, he’s interested and finds her attractive. (Why else would he ask her out, right?)
         
        Now lets’ use the opposite of that closing statement: “Don’t make us feel good and see how long we stick around“. See how Evan’s original closing statement is just the positive, actionable version?
         
        I take what Evan’s saying as a repeat/reinforcement of “men generally (continue to) date based on how a woman makes them feel“. Heck, you could expand this to “people are more likely to hang out with people who make them feel good rather than people who make them feel bad or nothing“. I know I don’t continue to hang out with/make friends of people who seem indifferent (or worse) to my presence.
         
        Saying “I am not sure that will necessarily keep a guy around.” seems to presume a sort of black-box, input-expected-output approach. Just because you did X, doesn’t guarantee all guys will do Y…just that doing Z has less likely hood of achieving Y than doing X. (I guess that simplistically this is the old “catch more bees with honey” advice).
         
        This was actually a lesson I had to learn as a guy – pay attention to her reactions, don’t be the guy that makes her feel stupid or unappreciated (insert head-slapping Homer Simpson “DOH!” here). What woman wanted to date me when I was showing I wasn’t interested in how she feels. Seems to me it’s the same situation, just roles/perceptions reversed.

    4. 1.4
      alex

      Ok but…whats that got to do with the price of fish?

      I’m noticing a lot of these style of comments – Evan makes a good post and then the comments are all about a different topic, while vaguely blaming Evan for not addressing a topic that isn’t being discussed. It’s very strange. I blame the internet.

       

  2. 2
    NASHWC

    Thanks for putting this out, Evan. Let’s hope the ladies take this to heart. It’s the #1 complaint I had when dating, and was a prime reason I ‘faded’ on those who didn’t bother to learn what men really like. 

  3. 3
    Kay

    Men like to us to show more affection on a first date.  That’s cool.  I get it.  Here’s the flip side of that argument that some men seem to have a hard time digesting.  If you don’t really know a man, (let’s say you met him over the internet, or he asked you out at the grocery store), a level-headed woman is prone to be cautious. Particularly physically/sexually cautious.  For me, touching, kissing, strong hugging or even heavy petting, is just a no-no.  I like to stay in my physical lane so that I can have fun, no-pressure conversation and asses you without the blinders of hormones or leading you on.  First date physicality is just too much too soon. It makes me nervous and spill my wine.  I have had 1001 first dates and am asked on second dates about 85% of the time b/c I can be sweet, receptive and interesting, laugh at stories and listen well. I think those are more important qualities than getting “affectionate”.  Men: The most important things a woman needs to feel is SAFE, protected, chased – but not hunted or stalked. Some men get it and are very nice, but chill with the physical  for the first couple dates.  (Thank you!)
    If we didn’t like you, we wouldn’t accept a date. You being eager to please is endearing and welcomed. If I like you it will only make me want you more.  You being too physical or “affectionate” in the first couple dates, makes my guard go up b/c I’ve been in sticky “situations” I’ve had to get out of.  Every woman has dealt with this.  Very few men know what that’s like.  Which is why there is a disconnect between the two sexes on this topic.  The poised, confident and good intentioned guy let’s a woman lead in the physical arena. Because we are the most vulnerable sex in this regard.  Unfortunately, lot’s of women have been hurt physically by men (from the extreme to the daily cat-calling) and we have to either stuff this down emotionally or pretend it didn’t happen, or go the opposite extreme and become hypersexualized in our actions. This is not the type of woman that most men would want to build a long-term with.  This is the type of woman that men sense very quickly he can sex and then split.  Leaving her further broken.
    So while, men are looking for signs of “is she into me sexually”, women are looking for “is he into me emotionally” or at least cherish my being as a woman.  I will laugh at your jokes and allow you to take the lead in every way.   But physically, I will keep control of that and allow myself to show affection when I feel it and as it is comfortable to me.  It is your job as a man, on a first date to make it clear you are genuine, honest, awesome, and a cut above the other neanderthals out there just trying to get me in the sack.   Sexy is the man who waits.

    1. 3.1
      Joanne

      Well said!  Thank you!

    2. 3.2
      Julia

      Thank God I am off the market. I hope men don’t listen to all of that. Not all of us are scared of affection, many of us love it. So, maybe not speak on behalf of all women.

      1. 3.2.1
        Kay

        Hi Julia,
        Congratulations for being off the market.  I’m right behind you!.  I’m not speaking for all women, but maybe 80%. Please acknowledge that even if you personally have not had sticky physical situations with men, that many women have and that informs their ability to be totally comfy with physical affection on 1st, 2nd and 3rd dates.  I love affection and playfulness and being flirtatious – Once I’ve decided I desire you, it’s on and crackin’. But history has taught me to be cool because getting physically affectionate can be misconstrued by men.  Since it takes me a minute (couple dates) to decide if I want to proceed with a man, it’s in my best interest to leave the physicality out of it.  There is a cautiousness that women usually have until she’s satisfied that her potential suitor is in his right mind and knows not to push things beyond her boundaries.  “Scared” is your word. Not mine.  I would , level-headed and cautious when it comes to showing affection because for women, there is more at stake. Hope I made myself clear.

        1. Julia

          Hey Kay. I was raped in college, I lived in the inner city where men street harassed me daily, going as far as following me to my door and I was assaulted just this past year in daylight while holding hands with my fiance. So, please don’t make assumptions on my history. Despite all of that I trust my instincts and the men I went out with. If I weren’t so open I probably wouldn’t have had a second date with the amazing man I’m marrying. He said what immediately distinguished me from all the other women was that I greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. Most women have massive walls around them and that it’s painfully obvious that they are afraid of men and being hurt. So your defense mechanism might be working too well. I suggest that if you’ve had a traumatic event that prevents you from trusting men you should seek help for that.

    3. 3.3
      EmeraldDust

      I hear you and understand what you are saying, but “getting physical” does not have to mean heavy making out or petting.  It can be sitting close enough together so as to be touching each other.  It can be holding hands or walking arm in arm.  And long gone are the days when kissing on a first date was frowned upon.  A good night kiss in the car, or standing up on the porch doesn’t have to lead into a heavy necking and petting situation. 
      If I’m not into a man on a first date, he doesn’t get a kiss.  If a man doesn’t try to kiss me on a first date (on the lips, not the dreaded forehead kiss) then I assume he’s not into me.
      I think a kiss on the lips (tongue optional) is a fairly good litmus test of mutual attraction.  The absence of such a kiss, usually winds up being the kiss of death for a potential relationship.
       
      JM2C, YMMV.

      1. 3.3.1
        EmeraldDust

        Hi fione – glad you liked my pun.
        Mouth condoms ? I think it is estimated that 65% of the population has mouth cold sores.  Until genital herpes came along, having oral herpes (cold sores) was about as stigmatic as having chapped lips or a hangnail.  Chicken pox is a form of herpes too, and so is it’s re-activated form, shingles.
        Mouth cold sores are rather a minor nuisance.  There are tons of minor (annoying but minor) illnesses one can get just doing ordinary mundane things in life.  Unless you want to live in a bubble, you are very likely going to experience, colds, flu’s, headaches, sore throats.  Then there’s mishaps, like stubbing your toes, slamming a finger in the car door, car accidents (which can be major or minor), kitchen accidents, etc.
         
        Since the mundane activities of life are fraught with the perils of accidents and illness, why give up the not so mundane activities, such as dating and kissing ?
        Unless we are going to live in a bubble or invent some sort of head to toe body condom for dating, I’m not worried about what I could catch kissing.  (not just a cold sore, but flu, sore throat, etc)  
        Stress is big trigger of many illnesses.  So I try not stress out about kissing.  Kissing is fun.  It’s worth the risk of catching a cold or a cold sore.
         
         

      2. 3.3.2
        EmeraldDust

        Flonie – Is this excessive fear of kissing serving you well ?  I don’t think there is any answer I could give you, that would satisfy you. 
         
        You have 3 choices here:
        1.) Stop worrying and start kissing.
        2.) Keep worrying and never kiss again.
        3.) If never kissing again isn’t satisfying to you, consider seeking professional help.  I’m not a licensed therapist, but this germ phobia of yours almost sounds OCD.
         
        Good luck to you.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Seriously. I’ve kissed hundreds of people and managed to stay clean.

          Maybe I’m just lucky, but methinks that my liberal stance towards snogging resulted in more fun dates for all parties involved.

      3. 3.3.3
        EmeraldDust

        Flonie – I’m not just talking about myself, but say if you had a child or someone that you were caring for. 
        Would you be ok if say you got a coldsore (which is a virus for life) and passed it onto a loved one when you peck them on the cheek? 
         
        I read that 90% of the population gets a cold sore as child, but it’s not always re-curring but that about 65% of the population  has recurring cold sores.  You are more likely to catch something gooey from kissing a baby, and passing it on to a date, than the other way around.
        Think about it, if you are caring for a baby, you are coming into contact with their spit, snot, poop & pee on a regular basis.  Most people are hygenic enough to wash their hands after changing a diaper or wiping a really messy nose, but kids tend to be like velcro, and are very cuddly (and ooze a lot of snot & spit).  They will stick a cheerio in their mouth, pull it out and try and put that soggy stuff into your mouth.  They stick their little fingers up their nose, down their pants, up the dogs butt, and then they’ll climb up on your lap for some huggin’s and love. Everything goes in their mouth.    Most of your household items are covered in toddler bodily fluids. When they cry real hard, they blow snot bubbles out their nose.
        Most school teachers of young children get sick alot their first year of teaching until their immune system gets used to that germ colony called the student body.
         
        So rather than worrying that you are going to kiss a date, catch something, and give it to the baby when you give it a peck on the cheek, your date should be more worried if YOU care for babies or toddlers, ‘cuz you could pass their icky little cooties on to HIM. 
         
        When my son was about 8, he wasn’t feeling well, and said, “Mommy, can we cuddle”  I held out my arms to him for a cuddle, then he said. “Maybe we better not, I feel sick, and I don’t want you to get sick”.  I just said that was silly, and that I’m his mom, and I’ll always give him a cuddle when he needs it.  So we snuggled on the couch and I read to him.  That was 2 days before the “mother-son spinal tap weekend”.  We both had viral mennengitis. Most likely, we both got it from the same source, we had been working on a trail project in the desert, so we got it from the dirt.  (viral menengitis is supposedly not person to person contagious, but is dirt born)  But even if I did catch viral menningitus from him, so what ?  Should I with hold affection from my child to avoid “catching” anything ?
        Are you going to with hold affection the whole world for fear of “catching something”.  Are you never going to hold, kiss or cuddle a baby or toddler again because of all the germs they are harboring ?  Didn’t think so.
         
        If you are still worried about it, alcohol is a great disinfectant. Have a glass of wine prior to snogging.
         

      4. 3.3.4
        Julia

        I estimate that I’ve kissed a few hundred men in my life and at 33, still no mouth herpes. I wouldn’t worry about it. Also do you ask men you might kiss if they have it? Yeesh, I reckon I would reconsider kissing anyone who asked me such a thing.

      5. 3.3.5
        Adrian

        So julia and Emerald, how would you broach the Std test subject in a way that wouldn’t offend your new partner? I was causally talking to a older female friend in her late 30’s who said that even if getting tested from STD’s before you have sex with some is a good idea, she would be offended if a guy asked her… Though Julia I understand thinking kissing is a little too much to be tested for. 

    4. 3.4
      JGW

      I could not possibly agree with this more!  In every language possible!  A gentleman will be invited to be ungentlemanly when the time is right.  Until that time, I am reeeeeeeally tired of hearing (in online messaging on sites), “Are you affectionate?”

      If I had a quarter for every time I’ve been asked this in the last few years online, I’d be a gazillionaire. Because we all know what this is code for.  I finally responded today with the following: “I’m naturally affectionate on a regular basis with the guy whom I’ve deemed worthy of my affections.  But unless you get to know me, it’s rather a pointless question (especially before we’ve even met).  I totally get that every man on the planet thinks he’s the most sexual one ever created and has some sort of fear that a woman will withhold her favors.  But the point is moot unless we meet and have chemistry.  I, as well as a wide range of women friends  are all in agreement that we love affection and sex and aren’t interested in being nuns.  Seriously, you can’t even imagine how often I’ve been asked that question.”  He then was gentleman enough to change the subject.

      1. 3.4.1
        JGW

        I should also say that when I’m on a date, if I’m really into a guy, he’ll know it.  I’ll touch him and allow him to touch me. I’ll even hug someone I’ve just met; that’s no big deal.  I’m far from a prude, but the internet has really changed dating to the point where, what happened to just being a gentleman??  If I’m into you, you’ll know it within the first date by my body language alone.  I rarely have to turn away an unwanted kiss because I send out the body language and actually state at the end of the date that I think we’d make great friends.  On a similar note, if I’m into the guy, I will send the eye signals and expect him to read my body language and make haste in kissing me. It’s really not rocket science. lol

    5. 3.5
      TK

      @Kay Thank you for your insight. I couldn’t agree with you more. As a man, I need to show to a woman I’m not a dush. In the physical arena, women have total control. I only do as the woman allows. If she wants hot crazy sex, I will gladly participate in the hot crazy sex. If she just wants kisses and no sex for now, I will gladly wait. The only negative with this (although its totally spot on) is when you meet a woman who attaches her actions with her emotions so much that when she is a bit upset, the physical part of the relationship is affected negatively e.g. She feels negative and then withdraws sex and this becomes a regular occurence. Otherwise, well said. Thank you for your insight.

    6. 3.6
      alex

      This is just a crippling level of overthinking.

    7. 3.7
      Janechi

      Really well said, thanks. Men need to understand this as well & we’ll be good.

  4. 4
    Dave

    As a guy, this seems so obvious.  Just as women at times seem so mystified by the simple things that guys just don’t get, this just happens to be the opposite.  Not too long ago I got into a discussion with one of my best friends, an extremely bright woman named Laurie (name not changed to protect the not-so-innocent).  When she asked me what I wanted in a woman, I simple said someone who makes me feel good.  She went on this rant about “why it is a woman’s job to make you feel good?!?!?…yadda… yadda…”  I simply replied “It’s not her job, but is surely beats someone who doesn’t make you feel good” – and there are lots of women out there who don’t.  All one can ask for is someone who cares enough to at least try as much as I do in return.  Not always an easy find.  Too many games.  Too many old axioms people stick with that rarely work.  Simple and straight forward is usually the best way.  So Evan is right on here.  If you are interested in someone, show it a little.  You will stack the deck in your favor this way.

    1. 4.1
      Lily

      Totally agree.

  5. 5
    Sunflower

    Don’t know of any other way to be.

  6. 6
    Julia

    The advice I’d give ladies is to learn to love early affection too. As an affectionate person, I was always touchy and flirty on first dates, almost always ended making out with a guy at the end of the night. Unless I was repulsed by the guy (and why would I go out with guys who repulse me?) I flirted, kissed and touched. I’d rather think about wether I like them after than being cold and brushing off advances during a date. Plus who doesn’t like kissing?

    1. 6.1
      starthrower68

      While I understand where you are coming from with that advice, some people, male and female, are just naturally more reserved, introverted, or shy.  It doesn’t mean that person is a cold fish.  They might just take more time to warm up to new people.  I’m not saying that a woman should not out in the amount of effort she’s comfortable with.  I don’t think that Evan is saying to do anything reasonable, obviously.   

    2. 6.2
      Skaramouche

      I respectfully disagree with this.  It’s not for everyone.  If you are the touchy sort and so is your date, it is a lucky situation and both people should take advantage of it.  Often, that is not the case and advising the person who is less “touchy” to learn to like it is not constructive.  For me, affection is a measure of the amount of warmth I feel for the person and my comfort level with him or her.  On a first date, I would have little of both.  I would never be cold or uninterested but an attempt at excessive touching would put me off.  At that early stage, I feel that sexual attraction can be conveyed through flirting and does not have to include kissing or what-have-you.  I could probably learn to be more “touchy” but I don’t really want to and I suspect many are in the same boat as me.

      After reading the article, I interpreted it differently, perhaps, than Evan.  I took “responsive” to mean “interested” but not necessarily physically.  I read it carefully to see if I could find any links between “responsive” and “physical” but I couldn’t.  Rather, the link seemed to be with “nice”.  So the lesson I took from the article was that in order to hold a guy’s attention, a girl has to make him feel good about himself and show signs that she is interested in him for future snoo snoo :).  That may include listening, sympathizing, flirting, hugging, and can include kissing or other touching but does not have to.  In other words, the key is to show clear interest but it doesn’t have to be physical.

      I know it was meant in a light hearted way but asking “who doesn’t like kissing” is like asking “who doesn’t like sex”? :P.  Even though the answer may be “no one”, it doesn’t mean you would do either on a first date.  Then again, you might do both.  It’s a matter of where you draw your personal line.

      1. 6.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Put it this way: if he shows physical interest in you and you show him the cold shoulder, there’s not gonna be a second date most of the time. You can SAY you found him attractive after you turn your cheek to him but the feeling of rejection he’ll feel will probably not inspire him to want to come back for more. Do a quick role reversal and you’ll see it clearly: you are really attracted to a guy, lean in to kiss him, and he says “No, I’m not ready for that.” How does that make you feel? Well, that’s how it makes him feel. Easy to understand, no?

        1. Skaramouche

          Yes, absolutely agreed.  I haven’t turned my head away from an attempted kiss unless I found the idea repulsive.  However, I have preferred men who have not attempted to kiss me on the first date.  Heck, the man I married didn’t kiss me on our first “date”, such as it was, even though at that point we had known each other for 2 years and I love him for it.  I was a bit impatient and I kept wishing he would but looking back, it’s one of the things I treasure most about him.  I was not at all uncertain about his interest and when the kiss did come, it was that much more passionate and erotic.  By no means am I suggesting that everyone should do it this way or that this would even work for everyone.  Sometimes it’s a question of circumstance.  All I am saying is that increased or early touching doesn’t automatically translate into more interest or a better date.  It really depends on the person.

          In general, I find that it’s quite easy to tell whether a kiss is not forthcoming because he is not interested in me or because he is interested but takes his time.  In any case, an invitation to a second date is a clear indication of his interest as an acceptance is of mine.

        2. Lily

          I am 55 and have been online dating for a year and a half after my last relationship ended. The man I am currently dating held my hand on our meet’n’greet. We are both very touchy-feely, highly sexual creatures.  We also kissed on the meet’n’greet.  To me, it’s part of checking out who they really are.

          You have to be yourself and kiss/not kiss a bunch of frogs before you find your prince!

          And, Evan, this man is overweight (I try to date very fit men but I flexed on this, and I am so glad I did.) He is absolutely adoring of me, kind, sweet, loving, and the BEST lover I have ever had. Three hours this morning before work! OMG!

          And, for all the skeptics out there, he is in love with me and wants to see me every day and I can tell he is very serious about a long-term commitment with me.

      2. 6.2.2
        Julia

        I could probably learn to be more “touchy” but I don’t really want to and I suspect many are in the same boat as me.

         If you are looking for a good, life long relationship, why wouldn’t you want to learn more skills to attract men? At a certain point, you need to ask yourself what you are doing that isn’t working. I suspect if you learned the art of being warm and friendly, to everyone, things would go much smoother. I kissed every man on the cheek as soon as I met them. I also kiss friend’s mothers on the cheek when I meet them, warm and friendly to everyone. I touched a man on his hand if he was expressing something potentially vulnerable or he was being very flirtatious and if a man tried to kiss me (and 90% of them did) I kissed them back. After the date I took the time to assess the date. Many times a man was really physically into me and I was not interested, I told him “no thanks” to a second date. This isn’t throwing yourself at men or seeming desperate as some of the other commenters have alluded (or outright said) it’s showing interest. I’d prefer to know if a man is interested in me, I think its safe to assume that men want the same.

        1. Skaramouche

          I think you are confusing warm and friendly with physical.  I have a “happy personality” and I’m generally smiling but I’m not a “toucher”.  I’m very affectionate with my husband but that’s about it.  I’m definitely selective with my kisses, cheek and others, and I like it that way.  I’m a bit freer with hugs.  I have not yet been accused of being cold so I’ll take that as a good sign.

          I’m uncertain if you meant this advice to apply specifically to me or to women in general.  I’ve been happily married for two years so I’ll assume it was for women at large :).  If I were still single, I would definitely want to learn skills to attract men but I’m not sure that becoming more physical is exactly a skill.  I’m not against learning new things and improving myself but I’m less open to changing my personality, especially when it’s not a damaging trait.

          >> I’d prefer to know if a man is interested in me, I think its safe to assume that men want the same. 

          I completely agree.  All I am saying is that physical gestures are not the only ones that indicate interest.  I am not disagreeing with your way of doing things and I’m glad it has worked so well for you but I hope you can accept that it’s not the only way to be.

    3. 6.3
      Skaramouche

      To be clear, I was only speaking of the first couple of dates.  I am definitely not suggesting that anyone should continue to flirt indefinitely without progressing. 

    4. 6.4
      Anne

      Julia, as I said its easy to get physically affectionate early on if the man youre dating is very good looking and hot. And from what you’ve said I assume that you usually date men who are very good looking hence you are so easily able to flirt, kiss and make out with them.

      But you should realize that many women (including myself) need to consider average to merely decent looking men too, for their other redeeming qualities required for long term relationships.  Believe me, its no big deal for most women to get a hot guy in bed by the end of first date.

      1. 6.4.1
        Julia

        No I wouldn’t say that. Looks are a lot less important to me. My fiance is quite attractive but lots of other guys were in the average to a bit above average range, no JCrew models to speak of. I’m really turned on by stimulating conversation, more apt to fall for the intellectual. Plus I really like touch.

    5. 6.5
      Lau_ra

      Exactly. If I like a guy, I will do the same without deliberately planning to touch, kiss and whatnot. If I have to think whether I want to kiss him, its a sign that something is wrong (for me it either means that I don’t like the guy so its a no-brainer then, or I’m not ready to date in general (which only happened once I tried dating after a very painful break-up)).

  7. 7
    Selena

    I’m a naturally physically affectionate person also and am happy to show that to someone I’m interested in. I  wouldn’t put my hand on a guy’s knee during our first meeting though.  That strikes me as more of a sexual invitation than affection.

    1. 7.1
      Joe

      Why does it have to be his knee?  Why not his arm or shoulder?  That’s not overtly sexual (although I suppose there are always ways of making it so), but still touching.

      1. 7.1.1
        Selena

        Touching a guy on the knee was one of Evan’s suggestions Joe. Did you actually read his article?

        I have no problem showing affection with a light touch to the hand or arm.  It’s something I do frequently without any thought at all. The knee though…just think it may be a leetle too sexually suggestive.  Especially when one doesn’t want to be suggestive in that way. 

        1. Joe

          Evan’s suggestion wasn’t to put your hand on his knee in a sexual manner, it was just to touch his knee.

  8. 8
    Henriette

    I am, by nature, an affectionate person, to the point where people often think I’m interested when I’m actually just being my unaffected bubbly, warm, touchy-feely self. 
    Two points: 
    1.  Am I the only woman who has no idea if she likes a guy until she’s had SEVERAL dates with him?  Sure, I can feel a “click” on the first date but I’ve learned to discount this insta-chemistry as having nothing to do with long-term potential.  It’s only around date 3 or 4 that I start getting a sense of who this person really is and how we might fit together.  So, I go out of my way to tone down my cuddly side in early days so as not to confuse matters ’til I get a clearer picture who I’m dealing with and by then, he’s often decided I’m not “into” him and has moved on.  I wonder if this happens to anyone else…
     
    2.  I’m embarrassed to show affection to a guy I like before I know how he feels about me.  I worry that he doesn’t like me in return and will think I’m pathetic and desperate for touching him and being playful & warm.  I can be my affectionate self with a guy I know I don’t like because, hey, who cares what he thinks of me?   But the stakes are high with someone I dig and so I become nervous and wooden. 
     
    So, men who’re reading this, just know that ~ perhaps ~ some of the women who are affectionate with you are so bc they don’t give a hoot about you and some of the women who seem a bit chilly are probably nervous bc they think you’re great and aren’t sure how you feel about them.

    1. 8.1
      Kay

      Henriette,
      Nope, you are not the only woman who needs several dates to assess whether you want to kiss (or hold or whatever) a man or not.  Men usually ask the woman out and it’s because he’s already figured out he’s physically into her.  She’s raised his flag from her online pictures or standing in the mall.  On the other hand, a woman may not be bowled over about the physicality of a man, but will go out with him because he’s nice and kind, funny and has a lot going for him on the surface.  So dating is a way to get to know him so that you can get on the same page.  But men shouldn’t expect us to be there right away just because they are.  We date you b/c there is potential for us to get there. 
       

      1. 8.1.1
        starthrower68

        I heard a good phrase once: men are like blowtorches and women are like ovens.

        1. Anne

          starthrower68I heard a good phrase once: men are like blowtorches and women are like ovens.”

          That’s a myth about women. We are just as visual as men and have the same ability to be quickly attracted to men based on their appearance alone. Most of us can desire sex with a really handsome, sexy man within an hour of meeting him.

          The only difference is that we are a lot more harsh and unforgiving to men on their looks than vice versa. Whereas men can be easily attracted to ordinary looking women based on their looks and bodies alone; us women are only physically interested in the men who are great looking. The rest of men have to make up for their lack of physical perfection with time, effort and other qualities.   
             

        2. EmeraldDust

          Anne said  – “us women are only physically interested in the men who are great looking. The rest of men have to make up for their lack of physical perfection with time, effort and other qualities. ”  
           
          Not true for THIS woman.  I have been very attracted to men who physically speaking weren’t great looking.  They had some sort of charisma about them or a certain “je ne sais qua”  (I know I misspelled that, I don’t know how to spell it)  that I was attracted to. Or a certain countenance about them.  Of course, I am attracted to very good looking men as well, but I have been very attracted to men who are just averagely cute.  In fact, I want to end up with a man who is averagely cute (like me)  I feel comfort and attraction to men who are averagely cute, but with men who are very handsome I only feel attraction, and I need the feeling of comfort as well.
          The way a man moves, talks, his facial expressions, all play a role in how attracted I feel towards him, not just his looks alone.  And if he acts dis-interested, I move on, no matter how gorgeous he is, or how I attracted I feel. 
          But just because I feel instantly attracted to a man, doesn’t mean instant sex.  (but it could be near instant making out)  I like to establish comfort and emotional connection as well.

        3. starthrower68

          Anne one thing I have learned is if I respond to a man like the blowtorch, I need to run away as fast and as far as I can.  God bless you gals who can do it. Makes my life much easier.

      2. 8.1.2
        Henriette

        Thanks, Kay.  Glad to know I’m not the only one who needs a bit of time to know how I feel about a man.
         
        And, I guess I’ve heard too many guys laugh about women who they ask out on a casual date and “ugh, she was ALL.  OVER.  ME.”  Like she’s some desperate, pathetic spinster just dying to make contact with any male.  Yes, i realise a guy who speaks like that must be an a&&hole but it also makes me cringe and not want to so much as touch a fellow’s arm on a first/second/third date bc I refuse to be that over-eager woman he jokes about with his buddies…
         
        I’m also now leery because I’ve often read here, on this site, that guys will sleep with women whom they don’t find remotely attractive if they seem “down for it”.  So even if a man doesn’t find me appealing, will he take my affection as a go-ahead to pursue me for casual sex? 

        1. Joe

          Whether or not you’re affectionate with them, nobody’s saying you have to sleep with them.  If he pursues sex, and you’re not ready, just pump the brakes.  If he loses interest, then you know he was just looking for a roll in the hay.

        2. Adrian

          Joe, I’m not sure if age has anything to do with it, but I’ve noticed that most of Evan’s female readers -who are older than me on average- think that all male strangers from online a potential rapist, if you don’t believe me, go re-read the blog about men picking women up for the first date and read the female commenters replys.

          Though again, to all the women, I’m curious… On the first date a guy is suppose to impress you, how can he feel comfortable if you already have him pegged as a rapist, gulity until proven innocent. Touching his knee, will make him won’t sex then and now, and he won’t take no for an answer! A guy picking you up… now he knows where you live… you had better move.

          Don’t get me wrong, I know rape is real, as Julia said happened to her, all I’m saying is how can you give a new guy a chance if he is guilty before you even have a chance to know him. Now if, touching and flirting isn’t a part of who you are naturally, that, I can understand. But if you are having a good time and you want to show him, a little playful tap (not a lingering stroke) won’t make him rip your clothes off 

        3. Henriette

          @Joe – yes, I agree with you.  I certainly know that I don’t owe anybody sex and that I can put on the brakes if it’s all he’s after. 
          On the other hand, in the past I have been accused of misleading men because of my naturally cozy demeanour.  In spite of what many guys on this site seem to imagine, nice women do not try to trick men.  So now I go out of my way to avoid exhibiting behaviour that could lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings/ego.  If he wants casual sex, he should get it… but he’ll be wasting both of our time if he is pursuing me with these hopes.
           
          @Adrian: I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that I think a guy will rip my clothes off bc I touch his arm.  Rather, men on this site have made it clear that they’ll happily nail women they don’t like / aren’t attracted to and out of fairness to everyone, I try to not give false hope of casual sex.  C’est tout!

        4. Adrian

          Henriette, I was referring to Selena’s comment in post # 7, I just chose to answer Joe here instead of there. I actually agree with what you said in 8.1.2 because I’ve witnessed it countless times, so I understand where you are coming from, as long as a woman shows enthusiasm and excitement (if she is really enjoying the date and the guy of course), and not just being “warm & receptive” I don’t see a problem.

        5. Henriette

          Ah, thanks for the clarification, Adrian; I appreciate it.
           
          By the way, I’m not suggesting that my way of doing things is ideal.  I write about my experiences in part bc I think it’s helpful for both men & women to read about each others’ fears/ insecurities in dating.  Let’s remember that maybe the woman who seems stand-offish is in fact just self-conscious and maybe the guy who seems overly-complimentary on the first date is in fact simply trying to show warmth and hasn’t quite learned how to hit the right balance. 
           
          I feel a surge of compassion as I read this thread; it’s so clear that everyone wants love and yet so many of us are worried about misunderstandings and screw-ups.   Evan has his work cut out for him 🙂

        6. EmeraldDust

          Adrian @ . . . Though again, to all the women, I’m curious… On the first date a guy is suppose to impress you, how can he feel comfortable if you already have him pegged as a rapist, gulity until proven innocent. Touching his knee, will make him won’t sex then and now, and he won’t take no for an answer!

          Hi Adrian – No, not pegging guys as rapists, just trying to assess if a guy wants JUST sex (all guys want sex) or if a guy wants sex within the context of a REAL RELATIONSHIP (with us)  Henriette did a pretty good job of explaining it, and I was going to add in my 2 cents, but I think I will let another GUY explain it himself . . .
           

          Guy Talk: The Real Reason Women Shouldn’t Make The First Move


           
          This article has been posted on here several times, but it’s a good article, that I think is worth re-posting. 


           

      3. 8.1.3
        Tim

        Kay

        So how do average looking women get asked out on dates? 

        1. kay

          Tim, not sure I understand your question.  Looks are so subjective. So one man’s “5” is another man’s “10”.  I don’t judge whether some one is good looking enough to be asked out.  Every guy knows what he can “catch”.  I assume he makes that decision for himself, goes what he likes and c’est la vie.  I would image that not all men go for the hottest chick they see b/c he may not be confident enough to go for her.  But may feel more at ease talking to a woman more average looking.  But, again, I have very little idea what goes on in the mind of a man ultimately when choosing a woman to ask out.

        2. twinkle

          Tim, it sounds from your comments that u really don’t like women in general. Is that a fair statement? Just saying that’s the impression I get from having seen many of your comments. Curious why u’re on a dating blog if u feel that way.

        3. EmeraldDust

          Tim @ 8.1.3 – I’m not sure if you mean “how” or “why”.  I guess you are asking how do “average” looking women get asked out if men only ask out women they are physcially attracted to ? In the case of OLD, he might be attracted to her 2D profile, and then be disappointed IRL.  This could be caused by very old and misleading photos, or it could be  that a subtle change on a recent accurate pictures has occured.  (slight change in hair style, different make up, etc) or it could be that there are differences between the 2D picture and the 3D person that just can’t be discerned online.
           
          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s “average” might be another man’s “dream girl”.
           
          It has been widely reported here by both men and women that men will “slum it” for some easy nookie.  So when an average girl gets asked out by a super hottie, he could just be “dating down” for easy sex.
           
          In OLD, someone who has been hitting a dry spell with the women that have been making him go “WOW” and getting no where, might start asking out the “meh” girls just to be getting out there, to relieve boredom, and again, he at least might get easy sex out of it.  Or he might think it’s time to give those “meh” girls a chance in hopes that the online “meh” is better IRL.
           
          Twinkle asked “Tim, it sounds from your comments that u really don’t like women in general. Is that a fair statement? Just saying that’s the impression I get from having seen many of your comments. Curious why u’re on a dating blog if u feel that way.”
           
          I won’t speak for Tim, but I have been accused of thinking men are scum, and not liking men myself, & I can understand how some would think that, but it doesn’t make it true.  I wouldn’t be on a dating blog if I didn’t like men.  I wouldn’t date men if I didn’t like men.  I also wouldn’t be on a dating blog if I was in a r’ship.  (well if I do get in one in the future I might stay here as an “alumni”)  I’m not a man hater.  Just a frustrated dater.  And since this is a dating blog, this is where I communicate my frustrations.  That’s all there is to that.  

           

        4. twinkle

          @Emerald Dust: U don’t generally sound like u dislike men, Emerald Dust (although there was a short time that ur posts did sound a little pissed off, haha). But Tim’s posts on the other hand…Anyway I was just curious, that’s all. Even if he dislikes women, he has a right to be here as long as his posts are fine with EMK.

        5. EmeraldDust

          Twinke said — U don’t generally sound like u dislike men, Emerald Dust (although there was a short time that ur posts did sound a little pissed off, haha).
           
          Thanks twinkle.  Well, I do get pissed off when commenters mis-represent what I say.  “I want to be attracted to someone” turns into a totally false accusation that I am holding out for a 6 foot rock star or “I won’t have sex with a man outside of a relationship”  (which EMK recommends) turns into “You are manipulating men, you are needy, you are clingy, ” or ignites a general festival of prude shaming.
           
          Oh yes, and dating pisses me off sometimes !  Show me someone who is dating for a RELATIONSHIP for over a year who has never felt frustrated and I’ll show you liar 🙂   Heck, guys who are dating for SEX ONLY and aren’t getting sex get pissed off too.  Yeah, so I get pissed off at the flakes and  the sexual users, and I feel guilt over the men who want a relationship with me, and I don’t feel the same.  But I’m not a female Elliott Rodgers in the  making.
           
          I think it’s just has a lot to with perception.  I am perceived as a “prude” by some because I don’t go for 2nd date sex.  One of my dear friends thinks that I am moving to fast if I make out on a first or second date.  (Not a good night kiss, but a wrap around hot & heavy make out session) 
           
          Most guys just think I’m average looking, but a handful think I am gorgeous. 
           
          Some people think I’m a failure as a woman, because I am not currently with a man.
           
          Some of my (never married ) GFs ask me for advice because they think I do well with men.  They don’t look at me as someone who has been divorced twice, they think I do well with men because I have been MARRIED twice.  I usually give them almost verbatim EMK advice.  (and even before EMK was a date coach, I gave the same advice when asked)  And when I tell them to ditch a guy who has stated “I am not looking for anything serious” they usually don’t take it, but cry to me about how unsatisfying the non-relationship is.
           
          Some commenters say that they enjoy my posts, find wisdom in my posts, etc.  Other posters question my intelligence and think I’m a failure as a woman and a human being. 
          So there you go, I am the same person, but I am perceived as strong & independent or weak and clingy.  Wise or stupid.  Too prudent or too fast.  Manipulative or not. 
           
           
           

        6. Adrian

          I just read this, and I must say that Emerald I completely agree with what you said on both post. I just noticed something about myself today, that I have gained a better understanding in how women think, feel, act, and their motivating goals based on age group; I have to give all the credit to the many female comments I’ve read over the many years on this blog.

          Emerald, I’ve noticed that you seem to have also learned much about men from this blog comments. To be honest, at first I was on the bandwagon for Evan shutting down the comments section when he was considering doing it a while back, but now I see all I’ve gained, I’m happy I was wrong. I’ve even learned a lot about us men and myself as while, things that Evan just can’t cover in one short post on a subject.

    2. 8.2
      tim

      Absolutely!

      Only men should be dealing with coming across as pathetic desperate. 

      1. 8.2.1
        starthrower68

        Just because So is it now not proper to put one’s best foot forward on a date now?  I mean I know a bit of decorum isn’t hot but do you really want a woman not to behave with at least a modicum of self-respect and good manners?

        1. starthrower68

          Ugh stupid phone! 

      2. 8.2.2
        Henriette

        @Tim7.2  Would you mind pls expanding on your comment; are you suggesting that only mean should be concerned with appearing too eager?  I’m not “harshing” on you… just genuinely curious about your point of view.  Thx.

  9. 9
    Anne

    Not all guys I date are so good looking that I could be attracted to them on 1st date. Some are merely decent/ above average looking and as you know us women cant be naturally attracted to that. We need a long time to try and build attraction with a guy who is anything below awesome looking. Its up to the man to try hard and build attraction thru his actions, effort, humor, etc.
    This process can take weeks or months.

    I dont understand how i can show these men  my supposed physical interest in them. Not all men look like models and movie stars

     

    1. 9.1
      Joe

      Neither do all women…

      1. 9.1.1
        Anee

        Women don’t have to.

        I consider myself average looking yet all the men I date are physically attracted to me on 1st date. Its different for us.

        1. Joe

          all the men I date are physically attracted to me on 1st date.

          It doesn’t matter if you’re average looking.  You’ve already been selected as “attractive to me” by the men you date–men (generally) don’t ask women out that they’re not attracted to.

        2. Anne

          Women do ask men out if the men are very attractive.  In the end the only reason why you see less men being asked out comes down to women finding fewer men naturally attractive.  There was a survey by a dating site that concluded that the average woman finds 80% of young men physically unattractive/ugly while the average man finds around 75-85% of young women atleast somewhat appealing. Just tells you that we are very different beings when it comes to sexuality and attraction.

          I must also add here that every time I have asked men out I could get physically intimate with them if I wanted to.    Im sure the same goes for most women who’ve asked men out.

           

        3. EmeraldDust

          Anne – There was a survey by a dating site that concluded that the average woman finds 80% of young men physically unattractive/ugly while the average man finds around 75-85% of young women atleast somewhat appealing.



          That was a BS survey on OKC that only proved that a handful of women who were surveyed on OKC aggregately found 80% of the  men unattractive.  I wonder  how many INDIVIDUAL women found 80% of the men unattractive.  Men have been clinging to this study like a security blanket, and have never ONCE questioned the scientific validity of this survey.  And they have taken this handful of women on OKC and extrapolated that to the ENTIRE female population.  If the study had said that about MEN, they would be parsing and analyzing the study from one end of the earth to the other, and would conclude that the study is not credible.  Men only find this study “credible”  (and don’t question the methodogy of the study at all) because it re-inforces their world view.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          That was not a BS survey. It’s classic big data. 80% of men were discovered to be below average, according to the women on OkCupid, whereas men had a normal distribution of women – an equal number of 4s and 7s and 9s. You don’t like what the study reported so you’re attacking the study.

        5. Anne

          Emarald

          I didn’t know if there was so much controversy surrounding that survey. I really don’t see the big deal with it. Im not a man and I think it makes a lot of sense. Me and my friends discussed it way back and we agreed. We thought about the guys in our college campus / workplace and realized that based on looks alone we find around 8/10 ‘doable’ or sometimes even less. When I asked some of my male friends about how many girls in their campus they I usually got a very high number.

          As other posters (Kay) have said before. Us women need time to grow into a man and one of the major reason is that we aren’t blown away by the physicality of most men we date. We cannot only date out of the 20%.

        6. Anne

          Correction : We found 8/10 to be undoable in our little experiment.

        7. EmeraldDust

          This OKC survey also showed the results of who message who.  More than 20% of the guys were messaged by women, but men, even tho’ more “fair” in their assessment still sent more messages to the top 20%.  But that part of the survey is rarely talked about.  People say one thing, and do another. 
          And were 80% of the  men ranked “below average by 100% of the women ?  Accept for super models and movie starts, I would be very surprised if anyone was considered attractive by much more than 20 or 30% of population.  However, just because someone doesn’t “make the cut” in my assessment, doesn’t mean they don’t make the cut in anyone’s assesment.  I have a very good friend who has opposite taste in men than I do.  She might only find 20% of the  men attractive TO HER and I would find a COMPLETELY different 20% attractive.  So between the 2 of us, we are finding 40% of the men attractive.  If you get 5 women together who each have a different 20% of what they consider attractive, you would have 100% of the men covered, IOW, they would all be considered attractive by someone.
          And I am curious as to how the question was worded.  There are men that I would objectively say  are attractive, but not my type.  If the question was “would go out with this person” I might answer “no”.   If the question was, “is the person attractive” I might answer yes. 
           
           

        8. Shaukat

          @Anne
           
          The fact that all the men you go out with are attracted to you on the 1st date doesn’t necessarily mean very much. As has been stated here numerous times, in certain contexts guys will sleep with women who we find only marginally attractive with no intention of following up or pursuing something long-term. It doesn’t mean anything. Now, if you’re saying that the men you date are willing to court you for weeks and months without any physical affection or intimacy, simply in order to help build your physical interest level, then you’re either dating some real losers with very few options or you’re being very modest when you characterize yourself as “average looking.” No quality man would grovel like this. Furthermore, men do harshly judge women’s physical appearances, and overweight women, based on my observations, have a very dificult time in the dating world. In general though, it is true that women have the upper hand in dating, and I thimk this reality can be explained by the fact that socially men have been conditioned to be the approachers, and because men are very looks driven.

  10. 10
    Karin

    While I agree with the recommendation for the lady to show affection early on, I recently had this back-fire on me.  I met a man about a year ago and made out with him on our second date.  I am naturally very affectionate, and I was really into him and thought we might have a future.  During the entire next year, he constantly threw the make-out session in my face, implying that I’m “easy”, “loose”, and do that with every date, which I do not.  I could never live it down, even though he was part of the equation.  Showing affection early has served me well in the past with other men, but after this situation, I am a bit confused and cautious.  I would love feedback on this. 

    1. 10.1
      Skaramouche

      The dude is an ass :P.  As you mentioned, HE was part of the equation so it’s a little bit rich of him to accuse you of being “loose”.  Who initiated the make-out session?  If he did, then he’s even more of a jackass.  If you did, well, he still participated and liked it enough to stick around for a year.  So what if you do it with every single date?  If that’s not his cup of tea, the correct thing would have been to move on.

      If showing affection has served you well and it’s who you are, I say continue to do it.  Perhaps the only thing I’d be worried about is sending the wrong signals.  If this has never happened to you then, er…I say “keep on keeping on”! 

    2. 10.2
      EmeraldDust

      To borrow a phrase from Evan the guy is a “douche canoe”.  Good riddance.

  11. 11
    starthrower68

    While we certainly don’t want to judge a man unfairly, it would be irresponsible not to exercise some caution.  That doesn’t mean being stand-offish but a woman needs to use wisdom and discernment not because we automatically need to fear a man, but precisely because we don’t know him.  Maybe I’m too old-fashioned, but I think being wise never stops being a good idea.

  12. 12
    Selena

    Karin,  my guess would be the guy had some insecurities/trust issues before he met you.  

  13. 13
    Kay

    I’m experienced enough to know now that instant physical chemistry is just smoke and mirrors and I will pump my breaks until the “real you” shows up on the third or fourth date. 
    Maybe this is one reason why men go for really young women.  I was not this cautious in my 20s and early 30s, but I also got into some unsavory situations (and like Karin, things have backfired on me).  At times I was trying too hard to be nice and respond to a guy’s overtures, instead of standing in my truth and not getting physical until I was 100% ready.
    I am also naturally affectionate, but have learned that Confidence is allowing a man to show you a good time without believing that you have to repay him with some form of physical affection.  To sit back and soak it in for a minute or two.
    I think it’s important to be engaging, fun, attentive, receptive and charming.  That’s just common sense and being a decent human being.  I do want to make a man feel special, and I do this by looking good for him, smelling good, paying attention to him, being enthusiastic about his plans, ect.  It has been my experience that if that is not enough for the first couple dates for a man to keep pursuing me, then he is not really interested in ME.  Just my boobs.

  14. 14
    karin

    @Selena . . . Yes he did!!! He was going through a divorce at the time, and I went against my better judgment and dated him.  Never again!  My bad!!  He was so insecure that he imagined scenarios where I flirted with men or gave them a look to pick up on me.  I never did that and I was totally in love with him, completely.  I tend to be civil to all people, and I never throw myself at men.  The last thing I would do is do it in front of him!  The last incident he accused me of giving some “kid” (as he called him) “the look.”  OMG!!  I was totally in love with this guy but his insecurities ate away at him.  Instead of looking at our second date as a really great connection, he made it something negative.  He did that the whole time with everything.  Turned every situation into something suspicious and negative.  In the end, I realized he had been cheating on me the entire time with a matchmaker, online, with his X, breaking dates with me to go on others.  So, I conclude he was very insecure, but he was also probably worried that I was doing what he was doing!  My friends observed that I was completely out of his league and he had not the looks or status that I typically date, so I surmised that he was insecure from that too.  He knew I could do better!  But, I can’t change who I am!  I still believe showing affection early is the right thing to do if you are selective.  A confident, secure man would have viewed it as such, and not made it into something ugly.  He would have seen it as it was intended, that I made out with him because I really liked him and had a great connection!  Good people see good in others!  He was a lost cause.  I have so many men interested in me and I know the right one will appreciate my affections at the right time.  Thank you, Evan!

    1. 14.1
      starthrower68

      And the more you try to assuage the fears of the highly insecure person, the more they will fight you.  

  15. 15
    Miss Z

    I would love to hear from Evan on how to accomplish this without coming across as desperate. As an overweight woman, I am just horrified at showing interest unless I am CERTAIN that the guy isn’t just kidding around. What kind of affection and how much? This is scary!
     

    1. 15.1
      starthrower68

      I don’t think we overweight gals are supposed to look at men. I think we’re supposed to stay in our bubbles and leave men alone.  Oh relax out there. I am kidding! 😝

    2. 15.2
      Adrian

      Being over weight has nothing to do with it, as noted in Henriette’s post # 8, all women of all shapes have that fear of being played with emotionally… men don’t want that either

    3. 15.3
      Anne

      Women don’t need to be thin and fit. Only men need to conform to a conventional standard of body shape and size (tall, lean, broad, strong)

      Women can be of any shape and size and still attract men easily.
      Even obese women are known to attract men.

      remember: Men are a lot more forgiving to us on our bodies than the other way round.

      1. 15.3.1
        Mizz Z

        Hi Anne,
        You said: “…..Men are a lot more forgiving to us on our bodies than the other way around..”
         
        You stated this as if it was a fact rather than your opinion. Regardless, my experince has not your statement. As a woman weighing between 250-300 pound my entire life, I simply cannot dialouge with someone who refuses to see that this is a major disability in the word of men/women relations.
        A very short man should be able to relate to the struggles of a very big woman. And while technically they may be in each other leauge, it isn’t practical.
         
        No sex has a monopoly on suffering related to dating.

      2. 15.3.2
        Adrian

        Anne, I agree with what you are saying -though I  think age plays a large role in this-, you can also throw in old men/women, short men/women, minority men/women, etc… Everyone can find someone, but I think most people realize that it’s not so easy to find someone that you actually want, who wants you back.

        I agree with you that a man will sleep with any shape, size, beauty -or lack of beauty- woman, and women will gave most men a try as well.

        But when it comes to dating, I think as you said men have to bring more to the table
        > Looks
        > Body (women aren’t attracted to overweight men either)
        > Height
        > Wealth (or at least make more than her)
        > Personality
        > Humor
        > Confidence

        It’s not politically correct, but all a woman really needs are at least a average body & face and treat him well. The high her level is in one or all of these area this, the more men will over look her lack of other traits. 

    4. 15.4
      Tim

      Hey Miss Z . Just curious, are you interested in overweight men? 

      1. 15.4.1
        Mizz Z

        My first love had the body type of the Rapper Notorious BIG (google if you dont know who he is).
        Strong Masculine energy is what pulls me in and ANY man can have that. I have found myself attracted to the masculine vibes of short men, fat men and “hot” men.
        You don’t seem obese by your photo, though- why do you ask? 🙂

        1. starthrower68

          He is probably checking to see if you are being hypocritical, would be my guess.

        2. Tim

          I was asking because most overweight/obese women don’t want overweight men. When they bemoan their failure at finding love/relationships they are usually referring to lean, tall, fit looking men (with whom they can easily have sexual relationships with but cant get to commit)

          http://www.xojane.com/sex/hi-there-im-fat-forty-single-and-slutty     

          Overweight/ obese women seem to do way better than overweight/obese men in the dating scene.

        3. Julia

          @Tim

          In my experience, fat men think they can land thin/fit women as well. 

      2. 15.4.2
        Tim

        Some women are after security and stability and give fat men a chance.  Some women overlook physical attraction and look for other things. For the most part fat men are non sexual/romantic entities.

        I was referring to physical attraction in a free state of mind. I was talking about dating/sex/relationship opportunities. My bad. I forgot that I should be looking at who some women, somehow, end up with.

        Men actually do have the ability to find fat women sexually appealing. There is this whole BBW/chubby chaser phenomenon these days. I don’t think women could ever objectify/sexualize the bodies of men other than those that belong to greek gods.

        1. starthrower68

          Not exactly.  I have found all sorts of men attractive, all different body types.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  At the radio station I work at, the pm drive host is prolly around 400 lbs.  He has a hot,thin wife.  He prolly is the exception and not the rule. But *all* women are no more this than *all* men are that.

      3. 15.4.3
        Mizz Z

        Hi Tim
        Women don’t want weak men, and most likely the fat dudes have low self esteem about thier bodies, which causes them to act in ways that they can’t attract the women they want.  I would know how this works. It’s so disgustingly cliche to say “its all about confidence”- but its true. There is no hyprocrite, or going out of your league as far as looks go. You all always  attract what you believe you deserve. This girl gets harrassed all the time, but she is confident and loves herself. She ONLY dates body builders and shes like 400 pounds.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPesxAdng8Y
         
         
         
         
         

      4. 15.4.4
        EmeraldDust

        Tim – I am curious about your remarks about fat people.  My observation is that fat people generally don’t want each other.  (OK, talking about extremely overweight)  My last mandatory health assessment at work said I was one pound over weight.  (yes it did, it is just a computerized print out, and I was just one pound over the max “acceptable” weight)  I would say that most of the men I have dated had a few extra pounds that they carried in their bellies, but had fairly nice toned legs and arms.  So we slightly over weight people can usually find someone to date, but the seriously overweight have their challenges.
        However, there are two EXTREMELY overweight men I hear carrying on about how women only want Greek Gods, nice guys finish last  and they complain that only fat women are interested in them, and they both drool & slobber over super models like they are entitled to land one.  To tell you the truth, they both sound like Elliott Rodgers in the making. 2 big 2 ton Elliott Rodger wanna-be-s.  I can’t speak for really overweight women, because most of my friends are either very slim, a few extra pounds, or if they are more so than a few extra, they are already married, so they aren’t telling me what they want in a man.  The unattached, seriously overweight women that I have met, I have never discussed dating and desire with them, so I really have no idea how they feel. 
         
        But you do not appear to be overweight at all, so I am curious.   And judging by your looks, I don’t think there is anything about your looks that should prevent you from dating success.  OK, I’m not some cougar trying to hit on a random blog poster, but I think judging from the pic, you are pretty cute.  So why all the angst over women wanting Greek Gods ?  You are young, you are cute.  Even if only 20% of the women find you cute (20% of age appropriate women) it only takes ONE.  If you can find a handful in that 20% (could be more, I’m just using the OKC data) that YOU find cute, and you can find comfort and compatibility, why not just go for it.  You are young, you have time on your side.   I just hope you decide to go for it now, while you are young, because let me tell you, at 30, 40, 50, 60, etc., it just gets more & more difficult.  Oh, and please, I am not trying to imply that there must be something about your personality that is keeping you from being in a relationship.  (are you in a r’ship ? if you are on this blog, I am kind of assuming no, but I could be wrong)  I am just trying to understand why you seem to think all women all want Greek Gods.  Look at the marriage landscape, more than 20% of the men are married, and they aren’t all Greek Gods and 6 feet tall.

        1. Tim

          EmeraldDust

          You and I are both adults. Not idiots. We both know what true attraction is, right? Give me a good reason why should I look at the marriage landscape to come to the conclusion that ‘hey, look. men and women have about the same since most people are getting married to someone”

          Why shouldnt I look at who pursues and desires whom?  
          why should I look at who ENDS UP with whom? 

        2. EmeraldDust

          Tim asked “Why shouldnt I look at who pursues and desires whom?   why should I look at who ENDS UP with whom?
          Because in the end, that is all that matters.
           

  16. 16
    Adrian

    The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara Pease, Allan Pease. The best book on body language that I’ve ever read, plus this married couple has written a few relationship books that I really helped me understand the whole male/female dating thing. One thing that they say in the book of body language is that women are so much better at reading body language and subtle clues than men. Will the women, here at least agree with this?

    From what I’ve noticed, heard and experienced, most women think they are showing the man that they are into him and enjoying the date, but it’s so subtle that he doesn’t notice it. You think you are showing him that you are into him, and he thinks you aren’t into him and starts looking else where, then you wonder why he disappeared? He must have been just using you until someone he really wanted came along or he was only interested in sex… Nope   

  17. 17
    Maddy

    Great advice. For any woman looking to fall victim to a manipulator. And to any man looking to find his favorite victim. 
    Here’s a little social experiment for you: if there’s one man around right now at your house, walk up to him/behind him/next to him and give him a little affection, physical or verbal or both. Than leave it at that. Within the next three seconds he will have asked you for a favor. Can you, would you do xyz for me?. Guaranteed. Never fails. 
    Men see affection as an invitation to get something out of you, unlike women they can’t simply reciprocate affection altruistically like us women. 
    I’d rather play it cool and avoid attracting emotional predators. 

     

    1. 17.1
      Mitch

      What? This is seriously whack!

      Look, I am very affectionate by nature, and I want the same in a woman. If I am on a first date that is an ongoing date, and it is going well, I will hold her hand while we walk from one place to another. I don’t apologize for this at all. It is who I am and if she has a problem with who I am, she’s not the right one for me.

      Frankly, I think back on so many budding relationships that I was in, an ended, I seriously feel that they weren’t going well because the woman was over-thinking everything, which causes drama. Instead of just going with the flow, they analyze everything and get most of that wrong. Often they are seeking advice on some blog somewhere and getting horrible advice from the commenters there.

      I think many of them could have been good relationships had she just relaxed and enjoyed the process of getting to know each other. You women have to learn that men are very diverse and different in what they want and how they act. You can’t go into every relationship with some “lessons learned” playbook guiding your actions and reactions.

      Figure out what you want and stick to that. In other words, if you are very affectionate by nature, be very affectionate. If one guy abuses that, or doesn’t like it, and it causes the relationship to end, so be it. Move one to the next guy. Learn to spot the types that don’t work and learn to spot those who do. In short, if the guy takes advantage of your affection, drop him, and if he seems not to like it, drop him. But keep being affectionate so that the right guy can recognize you as his type. Also, grow a backbone, you strong independent ladies. Learn what that actually means. It means that if he misinterprets to mean you want sex, but you don’t, just let him know that being affectionate is how you express romantic interest or love, but does not mean you are ready for sex yet. That’s what being strong is about.

      1. 17.1.1
        Kathy

        I have been on first dates with men from a dating site who met me at a nice restaurant, but didn’t offer to pick me up at my home. At the end of the evening when you re waiting for a valet to bring your car round, they decide they want to hug and  sometimes act like they want to kiss you.. All the while the valet is waiting for you to come get in your car.. I have hugged these men, but don’t feel like kissing is appropriate because there are always quite a few people looking and waiting for their cars also.. And then the man looks hurt. Geesh.. he didn’t pick you up at your house where you might have felt more comfortable giving him a good nite kiss because other people aren’t looking.. I have had this happen more than once.. They are waving goodbye and seem hurt that you don’t turn around, when what you have to do is get in your car and drive off. Everyone seems to want to meet you in case you are atilla? the hun, but seem hurt that there is no possibility of a makeout session in front of everyone??!

    2. 17.2
      EmeraldDust

      Maddy @ 17 –  If I had a man in the house to do this ridiculous experiment with, it would mean we were in some sort of close relationship (could be my son, a sweetheart, perhaps my brother visiting from out of town, etc) and as such, doing each other favors would be part and parcel of our relationship.
      Heck, I have a room mate, we get along fine, but we don’t hug each other (except maybe on special occasions, like to congratulate the other on some achievement, birthdays, etc.)  and we ask each other favors all the time.  And offer to do each other favors all the time. Favors are what friends, lovers, spouses, sibling, etc. do for each other.  As well as shows of affection.
       
      Since showing physical affection and asking each other favors is such an every day occurence in a relationship, that one happens to follow the other, doesn’t signal manipulation. It most likely signals that a couple is a team.
      When I was married, we hugged a lot, and asked each other for favors.  Was it only HE who was being a “manipulator” ?  If I was in the kitchen making dinner and he came up and gave me a hug, and then I said, “Sweetie, can you get that big serving platter off the top shelf for me” am I being “manipulative” ? No ?  Then why can’t HE ask me for a favor, within a short time frame of a display of affection ?
      So next time I am out with a guy, and we are walking hand in hand to where ever, and he asks me to hold his sun glasses in my purse, am I supposed to be OUTRAGED ?  Am I supposed to view him as some sort of vile manipulator ?
      Do you expect men to pay for you on dates, pick you up, open doors for you, fix things for you around the house ?  And get NO affection from you, and never ask you for a favor ?
      Heck, my divorce has been final for almost a year now, my ex and I are hardly ever hug, but he still OFFERS to do favors for me.  He contacts me after a storm to see if everything is OK.  He chopped up the tree and hauled it out to the curb after the last storm blew it down.  He’s giving me a ride to the airport when I go out of town next week.  (I have done favors for him since the divorce also)
      Sheesh, if you are lucky enough to have a huggable male living under your roof, go on over, rub his shoulders after he has been working hard on some household project.  And if he asks you to get him a cold one out of the fridge within 3 seconds, quit your b—-ing and just do it.
      Commenters like you are the reason women get a rep as spoiled entitled little princesses.
       

      1. 17.2.1
        Selena

        CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

        1. EmeraldDust

          Thank you, thank you, thank you.  (Takes a bow 🙂 )

    3. 17.3
      starthrower68

      Maddy like many of us, I’m sure you have been hurt before.  That’s very difficult to deal with, I know.  I have found the best way to overcome that is to focus on healing and not what the other person did.  I don’t mean to trivialize any experience you may have had, but just to say it does get better.

    4. 17.4
      Tim

      Maddy

      By favor do you mean something of ‘physically intimate’ nature ? I can only imagine the horrors of it. 

  18. 18
    Karl R

    There seem to be a number of misconceptions expressed in the thread.

    The study did not measure physical intimacy.
    “The students described a difficult experience, such as failing an exam, and the other listened and responded.”
    “Men may find women more attractive if they fit the female stereotype of showing care and concern, she added. Or, men may think that responsive women are sexually interested in them.”

    You don’t have to kiss, touch or grab a man to show interest. Making eye-contact with a stranger and smiling is a great place to start. 

    Disinterest hurts you before the first date, not just during the first few dates.
    With the exception of online dating (where you can’t read body language before the first date), I only asked women out if they appeared to be physically interested in me.

    I had the option to ask many women out. Why would I choose one who isn’t interested? 

    Women conceal their interest to avoid looking foolish. So do men.
    The net result is fewer people dating. If both the man and the woman are waiting for the other person to show interest first, they never date each other.

    I became a much better dater because I decided to get over that. I ended up expressing interest in some women who didn’t reciprocate, but I ended up with a lot more dates.

    Making us feel great doesn’t guarantee we’ll stay …
    … but making us feel lousy/unappreciated guarantees that we’ll eventually leave.

    The more options we have, the quicker we’ll bail. 

  19. 19
    Adrian

    Henriette, Kay, and Anne, I’m curious, why would you or any woman agree to go out with a guy if you aren’t sure you are attracted to him? 

    And why should a man keep trying to “court” a woman who though she may be warm and receptive, she isn’t enthusiastic about being with him, which doesn’t make him feel that she really wants him… which of course as you’ve stated, you don’t, you’re not sure yet.

    Finally I’m curious about your views on Evan’s method of if she keeps saying yes to your date offers, she’s into you… that can’t be completely true if as all three of you noted and other women have noted on other post, you are still judging him, deciding if you want to be date him or not. 

    1. 19.1
      Henriette

      Those are fair questions, @Adrian19.  Of course I can’t answer for the other posters you’ve asked, but here are my truths:
      1.  I go out with men I’m not sure I’m attracted to because initial attraction has no correlation with happy long-term relationships, for me, and never has.  I’ve been in love 3x.  On first meeting:  one I thought was cute & funny (but no “attraction” per se ’til 3rd date); another, I found odd-looking and dorky (but also sweet & interesting); the third, seemed wooden & homely (but he’d written me some exceptionally thoughtful, sweet & articulate emails before we’d met in person).  So, all 3 had intriguing traits that made me think it was worth exploring further and, sure enough, in those cases I ended up deeply in love and wildly attracted.  
      Contrast these three with with my college boyfriend: someone to whom I’d been madly attracted for months before our first date.  We ended up together for a few years and he was a good boyfriend, but our relationship was nothing compared to the three mentioned above… and my attraction to those 3 become far higher than it ever was to this stunning guy, who I’d “crushed on” from the get-go.
       
      2.  I don’t think a man “should” court an unenthusiastic woman if he doesn’t wish to.  No doubt I’ve lost many guys’ interest by not “wanting them” sooner but that’s just the way I am; I can’t force myself to be attracted faster than I am, naturally.  I don’t blame/ resent those men for walking away.  On the other hand, I’m truly grateful that quite a few fellows have stuck around awhile so that we could get to know each other over the course of several weeks.  I guess I manage to convey to enough of them that I’m simply more oven than blowtorch (see 8.1.1, above) and they think I’m worth the wait.  Some of them became boyfriends and, as mentioned above, 3 of them became my “great loves.” 
       
      3.  If I say yes to date requests, it doesn’t mean that I’m “into” a guy but it does mean that I haven’t ruled him out as a possibility.  The moment I know a man ISN’T a potential boyfriend, I “cut him loose.”  If I have any influence in those early dates, I try to keep them inexpensive so if it takes, say, 4 dates before I realise I won’t fall for him him (or him for me), the fellow has spent time but not a significant sum of money.
       
      —————
      This might be a good place to mention a study cited on another blog, which showed that most people today who are on a date don’t even know whether or not it’s actually A Date, or just “hanging out.”  I usually have no idea if the guy I’m out with wants a girlfriend, FWB or buddy.  So guys: please make your intentions crystal clear!  
       
      Elsewhere on this thread, a poster notes that women often THINK that they’re showing affection but guys can be obtuse about picking up on our signals so we have to be a bit more obvious to make sure men understand.  Well, I’d say that you fellows could THINK you’re letting a woman know you’re interested in her as a potential girlfriend but might have to be more direct about it so we aren’t nervous about misinterpreting your signs.
       

      1. 19.1.1
        Adrian

        I agree with the not being sure if it’s a date or not, I attribute it to fear or rejection, but like you I have also read were women like guys who are direct, then I’ve read were women like guys who strike up some kind of conversation first, develop a little rapport, then he ask for her number, which is it?

         

        1. Lau_ra

          I would vote for the conversation, cause I prefer to see at least little something about a person who is asking for my number – how he interacts with people, etc. It would be plain odd if a guy just approached me and asked me for my tel.no.

        2. Henriette

          @Adrian: I definitely prefer some rapport, first.  In fact, because I can be a bit self-conscious, I actually prefer if the first outing is just a friendly, non-romantic one.
           
          This might not work for many (or even most) women but I loved the progression I had with I guy I met on Match a few years back.  We first met for casual drinks: we laughed and talked for 2 hours but there was no flirting and no touching so I just relaxed and enjoyed getting to know him without feeling pressure (I acknowledge that the pressure I often feel on dates is not, in fact, from the guys but from myself; feeling as though I have to decide quickly if I’m “into him” or not… that he’ll think I’ve led him on if I don’t figure out ’til date 4 that I’m not attracted, or that he’ll have lost interest in me by the time I realise that I am attracted to him). 
          When I arrived home that evening, I had a message from him stating that he’d had a great time and would love to go on a “proper date”: pick me up on Friday or Saturday night and take me out to dinner.  I was flattered; I felt as though after our “meet & greet” he now knew me well enough to get a sense of who I was and he liked that enough to want to now proceed to get to know me in a more romantic sense.  And I had enough of a sense of who he was to be intrigued and want at least explore this option.  By being clear about his intentions, he both let me know that I hadn’t been “friend-zoned” in spite of the platonic tone of our first meeting and ensured that in accepting the second invitation, I was knew I was accepting his romantic interest and hadn’t friend-zoned him, either.

        3. John

          Selena, maybe I’m not understanding you completely. How can a woman who just by the fact that I asked her out, she knows that I’m attracted to her, so now on dates she is judging me, like some contestant on “American Idol” to decide if I win the chance to date her. Week after week, date after date, e-mail after e-mail, phone conversation after phone conversation, I’m doing all the work (notice I didn’t say anything about money) and all she is doing is sitting back judging or as it’s called mirroring…

          V.S.

          My going out on a few dates with a woman, then after realizing that even though the physical attraction is there, the mental or emotional compatibility isn’t. 

          How can these be the same? I’m not attacking it, I’m just curious how are they the same to women? As Anne, said we guys will ask out all attraction levels of women, but it appears that regardless of if she is a 9 or 6, we still have to do all the entertaining for the audience on stage (while women feel they just have to show up, smile and look pretty) and still we face all the rejection with low scores from the judge.

          This site is starting to make me realize that if the outcome is going to be the same (I mean having to do all the courting, being judged and risking all the rejection), then I think guys should only chase after women who are as high on the SMV as he can get. If men have to jump through hoops for a woman she at least should be worth it facially and physically.

           

      2. 19.1.2
        Stacy

        Henriette,

        I enjoyed your post.  However, I do not understand how being on a date is confusing with other situations.  It has always been clear to me that we are dating.  Then again, I must admit that I have never been out with a man who wasn’t clearly attracted to me.  If a guy asks you out, do you assume he wants to just hang out with no ulterior motives? I find that most men would not ask if that was at least their basic intention.

        Now if he is turned off during the date, that’s another story.     

        1. Henriette

          Thanks, Stacy.  Here are 3 real-life examples of mixed signals when it comes to “dates”:
          1.  I have a brother.  Sometimes, if he doesn’t have a girlfriend or anyone he’s interested in, he’ll ask a girl to a movie or for a hike bc he wants some female company and he’s bored.  He doesn’t consider it a “date” but, alas, the woman generally does and gets hurt once she understands he’s not attracted to her.  My brother’s point is that if he’s attracted/ interested in a woman, he’ll be sure to let her know but most of his guy friends are coupled up so he’ll invite a woman to do something bc he’s a social guy who like company when he does stuff.
           
          2.  Just this morning ~ no lie ~ a girlfriend called to tell me a male co-worker asked her, “When are we going for happy hour?”  They agreed to have drinks on Monday after work.  She asked me if that’s a date or just a co-worker wanting to hang out (talk about office politics, discuss what’s happening with all the lay-offs, blow off some steam, etc.)  and, honestly, neither of us know.  I remembered Evan’s “Always Assume Yes” so told her that I believe it’s a date but that he wants to keep stakes low for now and so is being super-casual about it… but I can’t be sure.
          3.  I met a guy on Match a few years back.  He was new to my city and his profile said he was looking for “romance, friendship, people to help him explore his new town.”  We met for lunch and he explained, in person, that he didn’t think he’d find love through the internet but he thought it was one way to “make new acquaintances.”  Then he asked me for dinner on a Tuesday night.  I had no idea if he was “interested” in me or not; too many mixed signals.

        2. EmeraldDust

          Henriette said  “I met a guy on Match a few years back.  He was new to my city and his profile said he was looking for “romance, friendship, people to help him explore his new town.”  We met for lunch and he explained, in person, that he didn’t think he’d find love through the internet but he thought it was one way to “make new acquaintances.”  Then he asked me for dinner on a Tuesday night.  I had no idea if he was “interested” in me or not; too many mixed signals.
           
          Hi Henriette – I read on another dating blog that “new friends” “friends first” etc. are code for casual sex.  Of course “casual sex” is an option on some sites.  I used to think that “lovers” meant two people who loved each other (silly me) but from common usage that I have observed it just means two people who have sex with each other.  When I see someone who says they are looking for “a friend and a lover” I interpret that to mean “friends with benefits”.
          I might be passing up good guys because I am misinterpreting their intent, but maybe we wouldn’t be good communicaters with each other anyway, if I am misunderstanding his profile from the get go. 
           
          If someone’s profile indicates that they are looking for a girlfriend, or a long term relationship, or their last first date, or to fall in love, then I at least assume we are on the same page as far our relationship goals go and are using similar language to describe our relationship goals.   (unless he is being disingenuous to find more booty calls)  Doesn’t guarantee that a relationship will develop (duh), but at least I’m not wasting time on a booty caller.  (if he’s being honest) 

        3. Henriette

          Thanks for your insights @Emerald. 🙂  I think you help me demonstrate to Stacy ~ as well as to some men here who claim that a woman should just Know that a guy is “into” her if he invites her on a date ~ that a man’s intention is not always clear-cut when he asks out a lady. 
           
          Nothing would make me happier than imagining that every time a man takes me to dinner, it’s because he’s attracted to me and would like to explore me as a potential girlfriend.   But I don’t believe that to be true.

        4. Adrian

          Yes I agree, and Thank you Henriette; I see your perspective now. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but thanks to your illustration of how a woman can also go out with a man and once she starts developing feelings for him, he could say, “we were just hanging out”, is the female version of my fear: taking a woman out on 3 or 4 dates and talking to her on the phone for weeks,  just for her to tell me , she isn’t into me.

          Like Emerald & Starthrower always say, neither gender has a monopoly on getting hurt. It will be hard for me, but I’ll work on not being indignant about the things I have to do to “court” a woman. She doesn’t want to be hurt, used, or mislead just like I don’t. So even though I don’t like the idea of being evaluated (judged) by a date and expected to impress (entertain) her, woman have their reasons and aren’t wrong for them.

          I think I finally understand Evan’s point: until she says “No” assume she’s into you, so keep trying with her and asking her out. With some woman it just takes longer to get them to trust you with their heart/be comfortable opening up to you. The onus is on me to determine if she is worth the work, and the wait. And to control and fight my own insecurities. 

        5. Henriette

          @Adrian: what a lovely response.  I think you’re absolutely right – nice men and women are truly doing our best to figure out what’s going on with the other person and how we truly feel.  We will of course stumble across scads of users and losers but we can’t let them make us so bitter that we don’t allow ourselves to find love with someone great.
          Posting in this thread has helped me see how much my behaviour on early dates has been shaped by fear of being hurt/ looking a fool.  When my Dating Hiatus ends, I’m going to do my best to make changes based on what I learned here.

        6. Henriette

          Update on something I posted above:   I wrote that a girlfriend of mine was asked by a male co-worker, “When’re we going to Happy Hour?”  He texted her several times ’til she settled on a time and day.  She didn’t know if this were meant to be a date or two colleagues having a friendly glass of wine after work.  ANYWAY, before the evening transpired she did some Googling and discovered that he is married with a baby (and she promptly cancelled their plans).  I speculate that her co-worker was hitting on her but purposely kept things sufficiently nebulous that, were he ever to be “called on it,” he could pretend that it was all a purely innocent mis-understanding.
           
          I wonder if, often, when one person is unsure of whether or not time together is a “DATE,” it’s bc the other person has something to gain by keeping things un-defined.  In the case I just wrote about, it’s bc the colleague is married and trying to cover his a$$ but sometimes it’s something as harmless as the fellow doesn’t want to scare away the object of his interest so just says, “let’s hang out.”   (Women do it, too.  I had an evil college roommie who’d try to make her boyfriend jealous by accepting dinners invitations with other guys and when they’d learn that she was in a relationship and confront her, she’d bat her lashes and ask, “You thought that was a date?!?  Gosh, I figured we were friends spending time together.”)
           
          I only bring up all of this bc I used to think that defined and clear-cut courting was lame.  Now I think it’s a great way to avoid hurt feelings, honest and down-right sexy.
           

    2. 19.2
      kay

      Adrian,
      I think Henriette hit the nail on the head in her answer #2 and #3.  I’ve gone out with all types of men, because 1) Dr. Pat Allen says you should duty date! 2)If I waited to date only men I was crazy physically attracted to, and they actually asked me out, I would be dust in a coffin before that happened.  3) He asked me to do some activity that I’ve always wanted to do and so why not enjoy it with someone else?  I’m also not shallow.  So I know that there is more to a man’s worth, value and sex appeal beyond his looks. Do men understand this too?  So if a guy doesn’t repulse me, and he approaches me in a interesting, nice or intriguing way, I’ll give him a “shot”.  Ultimately, if I give a man a third date, and didn’t find myself physically attracted to him upon first meeting him, and we are getting along fabulously, he suddenly becomes beautiful on the third date.  I don’t know if this happens to men, but it happens a LOT for women.  That’s why you’ll hear the comment “how’d he get her”, when a not so gorgeous man is with a woman people consider hotter, cuter, or too pretty to be with him.   Men: be willing to court, slow down and let a woman get to know your inner beauty, character.  That’s how she falls in love/like/lust.
      Also, I find it curious, that when I turn down offers online to date, more often than not get the comment from guys – “how do you know you don’t like me if you don’t meet me or go out with me.”  It’s a fair question and kinda supports my argument that even men know that they can actually persuade a woman into liking him if they are willing to give them a shot and see what’s under the hood.
      Additionally, I’m a student of Allison Armstrong, both she and Evan have cautioned against going out with men who make your heart palpitate.  That kind of appeal is deadly.  Leads down the wrong path and doesn’t allow you to just be yourself.  They have both advised dating men who treat you right, show up, do what they say they will do. Being good looking has nothing to do with that. Though you may not be gaga for his looks because they make better companions, you can keep control of your emotions and more likely to be a match. 
      This is why you date men you may not be attracted to at first.

      1. 19.2.1
        Adrian

        Kay, I completely understand what you and Henriette are saying so thanks for answering.

        I guess my problem with it (not saying it’s wrong just saying it’s my problem) is, how would you feel if one day maybe 9 months after you have fallen for this person, you over hear them telling their friend:

        Friend: “Wow, you and Kay/Henriette, you two seem like a good couple”

        Guy: “Yeah, I really didn’t find Kay/Henriette attractive when she first ask me out, but I decided to give her a “shot”, I can’t always just wait for the hot girls to walk into my life. It took about 3 or 4 dates but “eventually” I started to feel attraction for her.

        Friend: “Don’t we all wish we could have the hot sexy girl who treats us good”

         

        1. Adrian

          I guess that is why it is so important for both genders to make the other feel desired -if you desire them- on dates, you shouldn’t let him know you don’t think he is really attractive and he shouldn’t let you know…? Though, I guess by the fact that he asked you out you know he finds you attractive. Oh well all is fair in love and war as they say

        2. Henriette

          @Adrian: I see your point but I think if you wanted a conversation that more accurately reflected how many women actually feel in these situations, it would go something like this:
           
          Friend:  You two & Henriette seem like a great couple.
          Guy:  Thanks.  You know, when we first met, I didn’t have that instant “wow.”  But there was just something about her… so I gave it a shot and the more I know her, the sexier she’s become to me.   Now I’m really attracted to her AND she’s a sweet, cool person, too.  I feel like I hit the jackpot;  I’ll do everything I can to keep this one.
          Friend:  But, don’t you wish we could all find Megan Fox clones with butts like Jessica Alba who could f*ck like Nina Hartley, be feminine like a Thai mail-order bride and cook like Julia Child?
          Guy: *laughing*  Sure, dude.  But until then, I think I’ll stick with Henriette.  She makes me super-happy.

        3. Stacy

          Adrian,

          I intentionally do not date super hot men anymore. My ex husband used to model – just gorgeous, and his ‘gorgeousness’ is what landed him in a lot of trouble.  And while I don’t think a really good  looking man is automatically a prick, I do think that men more often than not tend to be as faithful as their options. When you have a lottttt of options….well, you know the rest.

          So yeah, I find that dating men average to slightly below is more suitable for me, especially now that I am in my mid 30s.  I always date men below my league in looks. However, I do not compromise when it comes to intelligence, character, kindness, consistency.  I find that this works better for me.  However, the guy would HAVE to be attractive enough in order for me to want to have sex with him some day.

          The current guy I am about to go out with is extremely successful, talented, kind hearted, helps the needy, funny…his personality is top notch.  However, he is not my physical type while I am his.  I am also aware that I am considered ‘hot’ by many men.  I find that when a woman is pretty damn good looking and she dates ‘below’ her level in looks (gosh, I hate that this comes off so arrogant but I needed to make my point), the man tries harder.          

        4. twinkle

          @Stacy: “I intentionally do not date super hot men anymore… I find that when a woman is pretty damn good looking and she dates ‘below’ her level in looks (gosh, I hate that this comes off so arrogant but I needed to make my point), the man tries harder.”

          Stacy, I think your policy is a smart one. I used to follow that policy too–until I met this seemingly Mr Perfect type who really courted me; he’s v hot, charming and sweet, brainy, successful, charismatic etc. We went out and he seemed to be nice and really liked me.

          But after our 6th date where we went a bit far physically–although not actual sex, but we did do oral (sorry if TMI, lol), he seems to be slightly cooler in attitude towards me. I really think I gotta go back to  my policy of not dating hot guys because when the guy is hot and has lots of other good qualities, sometimes these guys just aren’t as keen on rships, esp once they’ve gotten a bit physical with the woman…I’m SO SO SO grateful that Evan taught me not to have sex till we ladies get into serious rships, because if this doesn’t work out, I’m so relieved to walk away without having bonded with him thru sex! If I’d slept with him and he cooled towards me (even slightly) afterward, I think I’d be in tears right now. 

          To link back to the topic, it was fun to date a guy who I was instantly attracted to and with whom I enjoyed having physically affectionate dates from the 2rd date onwards. But it may be a better bet to develop relationships with guys who aren’t so hot that u want makeout sessions so fast, there are guys who are less instantly-appealing who may treat us better and be better partners in the long-run…Hope my post wasn’t too messy and incoherent. 🙂

           

        5. twinkle

          Anyway, he’s the 1st guy I’ve ever met on OL dating, and I guess by those standards, I already got pretty lucky with my experiences–even if this doesn’t work out. It would’ve been ridiculously lucky if he turned out to be so-called Mr Right; Evan and quite a few of the readers here dated lotsa lotsa people online before meeting the right one. So I guess I gotta persevere! 🙂

      2. 19.2.2
        Selena

        If I waited to date only men I was crazy physically attracted to, and they actually asked me out, I would be dust in a coffin before that happened.  

         That made me smile Kay.  

        Just want to add, that for some of us instant Mega Attraction is pretty rare.  It just doesn’t happen very often.  Not much point in trying to hold out for it.

        Adrian,
        it is commonly accepted that men only ask out women to whom they are attracted.  However, they don’t always STAY attracted. After a few dates/weeks they may conclude she’s just not the one for him. Or, that he’s simply not that into her.  There is no way he could have predicted how  he was going to feel about her down the line when he asked for that first date.  In essence, he gave her chance.

        I don’t see this as being much different from a woman giving a guy she wasn’t wildly attracted to initially a chance to see what will happen. For many of us, the more we LIKE a man, the more attractive he becomes in our eyes. But just like men, we have no way of knowing how much we are going to like a man in the future based on the first look.

         

      3. 19.2.3
        Henriette

        Oh, I read that Amy Poehler (comedian) was recently on Howard Stern (talk show).  She recounted a story of working on a project and hanging out with her co-workers afterwards.  One, actor John Stamos, suggested that she & he grab dinner and it was only during the meal that it struck her that she might be on a date. She had no clue at the time and even when telling Howard about it, she wasn’t sure.  

        Of course I laughed when I read this.  Apparently, even multi-millionaire wildly-successful Hollywood types don’t know if they’re on a date or not.  Celebrities: they’re just like us! 😉

      4. 19.2.4
        BUck25

        Kay,

        That absolutely does NOT happen to most men, and it has NEVER happened with this man. I know what I’m attracted to, and what I’m not. For me, it’s pretty much off, or on, not much in between. Especially with an online meet up. I know within 15 minutes or less that I’m either attracted…or completely not interested. Now u yes, I’m heavily looks-driven (no apologies, since most woman are equally so) and don’t apologize for my initial dating intent being primarily (and also unapologetically) sexual (especially in online dating- in that scenario, there’s no way I know enough to be looking for relationship qualities at that stage, and I NEVER date looking for a friendship; I already have women friends).  I make that clear, starting with my profile. At least, I’m not deceiving anyone. That would run off most of the older women on this board, but then most of them are not what Im looking for. I’m perfectly willing to trade the train wreck at the end, for moments the fearful will never experience in their scared-rabbit lifetimes. Worth it? To me, absolutely! YMMV, and if you’d rather settle for calmer, knock yourselves out.

        As for women finding a relationship to be the Holy Grail worth compromising almost anything to obtain, I couldn’t disagree more. I am what Evan calls a Maximizer. I have had three marriages; I have finished raising kids. I am done with compromised relationships that amount to nothing but roommates with occasional bedroom privileges. Those of you who want that, can have a lifetime of those. To me, they are not worth a bucket of warm spit. I would rather have two weeks of real passion, than twenty years of so-so, and you, Evan, and anyone else who wants to flame that, can do so, to your heart’s content.  I don’t f.***in’  give a damn! Fortunately, there’s a lid for every pot, and there are some women as wild, reckless, daring and unafraid, as I am. True, I may never have another LTR. Can’t say I care too much. Ever since I reverted to my go for broke, alpha-leaning ways, let’s just say I started attracting (finally), a different class of women, online, and in real life. Got rid of the timid, fearful, over-cautious ones. I’ve had fun with taking on some real drama queens and letting ’em be the star of their own soap opera. Works for me! Current GF shows signs of maybe lasting through this process. Will she? Who knows, but so far it’s turning into one helluva ride… and if it doesn’t work out, there’s always another…

  20. 20
    Noquay

    I am, by nature, a touchy, huggy sort. I will show an appropriate level of affection to a man I am attracted to (hugging at the end of a date, sitting close, touching his arm). However, it does take time for a person to unfold and there’s always the sticky issue of what to do if you were initially attracted to the dude and now all sorts of red flags pop up. Or if the dude is desperate and takes a friendly hug for something much more. Was stalked this year by one of these. Obviously one should cut contact with a polite “no thanks” in either case but living in a very small town and being well known makes it easy for me to be found by someone who doesn’t take no for an answer, hence the 100 pound protective dog by my back door. So my modus operandi is to show my normal level of affection tailored to the situation but also understand that things could get icky. Meeting new folk has risks.

  21. 21
    Noemi

    I couldn’t agree more, Evan! Every time I was genuine with a guy, it almost always led to positive results. Guys need a green light. It’s simple: if I were a guy, I’d MUCH rather pursue the flirty, genuine girl who shows her interest in me by just being herself and asking questions about me than the girl who gives me mixed signals or looks like she’d bite my head off if I approached. 

    With my current boyfriend, he was incredibly nervous and later told me he never thought a girl like me would be interested. When he suggested we get together, I said yes. When we spent time together, I told him I liked him. I was genuine with him, and he attributes that to my “colorful” personality and willingness to be open with him. Had I been afraid of showing my interest in him, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Guys like girls who are approachable, I.e. those who are nice, smiley, approachable, and genuine in their interest.

  22. 22
    Paula

    I definitely treat my men well and am affectionate but that doesn’t guarantee they stick around. There are other factors that enable a relationship to last. Posts like this are useful, but more so useful to people who have low EQs or have difficulty opening up to people. If you are emotionally available, it’s natural for you to behave in loving and affectionate ways.

  23. 23
    kay

    Usually, if I like a guy by the end of the first date, I’ll look him in the eye, smile warmly and say “I really like you.” or  “This was fun and you are great”.  Is that so hard to do? I don’t usually like to kiss right away (herpes, ebola and other stuff you know…).  But I will give a peck on the cheek, a warm clasp on the hand, or let him breathe in my perfume on my neck with lots of close conversation and laughter.
    Can’t a girl just say “hey I think you’re fantastic! Let’s do this again.” Then seductively disappear behind her apartment door? Does a girl have to slob down a dude, or touch his man-parts in the car after a first date to convey that she digs him?  Are men this dense?  I think not.
    I think the point is that affection, warmth and making a man feel good are about more than physical gestures.  You have to let things “breathe” and evolve naturally between dates.
    Men please hear me on this: here are the signs a grown woman (who doesn’t play games) is interested in you enough to sleep with you: She shows up looking good and being enthusiastic.  She lets you hold her hand, or cup the small of her back to lead her through the door, allows you to pay the bill for several dates, and she takes your calls between dates. Wears dresses, heels and lip gloss on your dates.  Eagerly laughs at your stories and can recall some details.  Let’s you plant a kiss on her at least by the end of the third date and melts into you when you do.
    Hope this helps you.  You don’t need to guess at it.  If you keep giving and she keeps receiving, trust that she likes you.  After all, you want us to trust that you won’t hurt us physically or emotionally. So extend some trust that she’ll reciprocate physically as soon as she’s comfy to do so.
     
     

    1. 23.1
      GreatGal

      YES! AGREE!
      Men, please heed this advice, that’s how decent women show their interest in you! 

  24. 24
    EmeraldDust

    Kay @ 23 . . .She lets you hold her hand, or cup the small of her back to lead her through the door, allows you to pay the bill for several dates, and she takes your calls between dates. Wears dresses, heels and lip gloss on your dates.  Eagerly laughs at your stories and can recall some details.  Let’s you plant a kiss on her at least by the end of the third date and melts into you when you do.

    Very good list, I would also like to add this to “allows you to pay . . .” and that is, will go with you on a low cost or no cost date.  A girl will allow a man “to pay” if she’s not into him the same as a man will sleep with a woman he doesn’t like. 
    To weed out the gold diggers, I suggest a man keep his wallet shut on the first few dates.  (if a girl really likes you, she’ll be thrilled to walk that scenic nature hike with you) 

    1. 24.1
      EmeraldDust

      PS – If I really like a guy, there will none of this waiting for a 3rd date to kiss !

      1. 24.1.1
        Kay

        Emerald Dust (great moniker!)
        Agreed.  Obviously if she’s into the guy a kiss will prob come sooner, but at least give it until 3rd date.  And don’t expect that the kiss will immediately to lead to touching a boob or hands down pants next.  Slow burn fellas, slow burn! lol.
        And if she likes you and knows you are cash strapped, she will go on the low-cost but inventive types of dates. What you lack in cashola, make up for in imagination. That’s what’s impressive and opens up a girl’s heart.  But I can tell when a man is being lazy and cheap.  That’s a turn off.  Pick a cool spot with atmosphere, $2 artisan tacos and an indie band playing and then conversation and I’m good.  😉

        1. Henriette

          I’m not sure “obviously” applies to all women.  If I am starting to like a guy, I probably won’t kiss a guy before the 3rd date, in part bc I could be a bit nervous and tongue-tied.  I’m more likely to kiss a guy on the 1st or 2nd date if I’m NOT developing any attraction to him bc a. the stakes are low b. I might be torn as to whether I like him enough for another date and figure a kiss will help me make up my mind.  

  25. 25
    soulsister

    I read this thread with interest….it seems all the women who kiss on the first day think it is the way everyone should be, and the ones who don’t kiss on the first date think THEY are right.  Hey, how about we all have different personalities, different experiences, and different backgrounds.  I have kissed on the first date, not kissed on the first date, sometimes the first scenario became my bf, sometimes the second scenario.  People are unique, interactions between unique humans (not robots) can be messy and unpredictable…isn’t that what life is all about?

    I have one other comment about the kissing a stranger and getting herpes (cold sores or type 2).  For the ones who say they have kissed a million times and never gotten it, good for you.  Some cancers are extremely rare, and you have .01 percent chance of ever getting it, but if you are the one who got it, you 100% got it. Same for cold sores. And is someone does not know you, they may or may not tell you when they are getting one and you can’t tell. If they know you, they will MOST LIKELY tell you.  But it is an embarrassing thing to admit sometimes. How do I know?  Because I get them.  And they are not a little annoyance. They are horrible. They hurt, they spread and one becomes two, they can give me a fever and a headache if it is a bad one, they can last for up to 10 days and be unsightly. We poor inflicted dread the tingling feeling and start popping the Cyclovir like crazy hoping to stop it from coming out.  I can’t eat nuts, cantaloupe, no orange juice, NO MARGARITAS! (too much acid), no lemonade, the list goes on.  And those foods are banned from me FOR LIFE because they do kick off sores. Have to watch my stress levels, get enough sleep…so don’t act like getting a “little cold sore” is no big deal.  When I have an outbreak, I can’t kiss anyone at all for 10 days!, not my bf, not my children….and to top it all off, they have linked cold sores to Alzheimer’s…..so is it as bad as having cancer? No. But do I wish I never got the damn things in the first place EVER?  Hell yes!

    And I am a kind person.  I do not want to “share my disease”.  If I even thought I was getting one, I was adult enough to tell others so they weren’t exposed if I could tell they were about to kiss me, as they are highly contagious.  But sometimes, I would be out on a date, or in bar, and some idiot guy would decide to just kiss me with no warning…and guess what, I had a cold sore he couldn’t see.  And if he was stupid enough to kiss me with no warning, then he was stupid enough to get it, and I didn’t tell him unless I KNEW HIM.  So enough about that, I was just annoyed by those on here who think it is no big deal. It is, it sucks, and I wish I had never gotten them 30 years ago from the asshole who thought it was “no big deal”…..  

    1. 25.1
      Gabri'el

      So, soulsister, what do you  recommend people like Flonie and I who are scared of catching something from a new person? As you mentioned, if you ask a person, there is no guarantee that they will tell you the truth because it’s embarrassing and around date 4, you are still a stranger, plus like Julia, said it could make the person not talk to you again if you say you want to wait to kiss because you are afraid of kissing someone you don’t know until they are tested.

      I don’t have them, but I see a lot of guys with them and they look nasty and painful. And like your story, I have heard so many stories from people who have caught something from someone who lied and said that they are clean 

      1. 25.1.1
        soulsister

        Gabri’el, I just ask. Most people will give you an honest answer if you ask them directly, in a pleasant, non-aggressive way.  If others want to take the chance and kiss (or exchange body fluids) with strangers, fine for them. My body and my health are my responsibility. If someone doesn’t like me asking or they get offended, that is their problem, not mine. My job is to be an adult and take care of myself to the best of my ability, even if it means asking hard questions sometimes.  The only guys who ever got offended by me asking were guys I wouldn’t have stayed with anyway, so they weren’t worth the risk.  Every friend I know who has gotten herpes I or II, got it from a casual encounter. They never got it from someone who cared for them and took responsibility so they didn’t pass it on.  If I get something from someone I care for, and I take a calculated risk with all the information, then we were careful and so be it. If I get it and have to deal with it for the rest of my life from some guy I was too worried about offending but he was just a passing ship, then I didn’t do my job of taking care of myself and it is on me.  And no, I didn’t end up a spinster, I have a steady bf I met on match.  And yes, I asked before he kissed me on our third date, and I told him my status.  No one got offended….because we are both ADULTS. 

      2. 25.1.2
        Karl R

        Gabri’el asked:
        “what do you  recommend people like Flonie and I who are scared of catching something from a new person?”

        If you’re worried about catching cold sores (primarily caused by HSV-1, but they can be caused by HSV-2), I have one simple piece of advice … stop dating altogether.

        According to a couple journal articles:
        “for HSV-1, estimates of prevalence should include the age under consideration. For instance, the prevalence in young adults is 20% to 40%. Each year beyond age 29, another 1.5% of patients reportedly contract the infection, up to age 50. By age 70, the prevalence approaches 90%.
        http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/557162

        About 20% of people who have HSV-1 exhibit symptoms (cold sores). When I went in to get tested for STDs, the doctor wasn’t going to run a test for herpes (including genital herpes, HSV-2) until I specifically requested it. I could have gotten tested and still not known.

        My wife and I both have HSV-1. We’re asymptomatic (she’s had one cold sore in her life, I’ve had zero). I wasn’t surprised that we tested positive, because we’re old enough that the odds of us having been exposed were high, and I suspect we both had been exposed before we met. (Since her father gets cold sores regularly, she was likely exposed through him.)

        Gabri’el said:
        “I have heard so many stories from people who have caught something from someone who lied and said that they are clean”

        Heck, they don’t have to lie. They just need to get tested by a doctor who thinks HSV isn’t worth testing for. (Since it can’t be cured and it doesn’t impact duration of life, that doctor recommended against testing for it unless someone is symptomatic.)

        Depending on the test used, an asymptomatic person won’t test positive for the presence of antibodies until 21 to 120 days after exposure. Therefore, in order to be sure a person tests negative, you have to wait 120 days after the last time he/she has kissed someone. (Testing someone with symptoms can be done far more quickly.)

        Does your family tend to give each other pecks on the lips? If so, you could catch HSV-1 from your grandparents, kids, etc. (and given the number of kids in my elementary school who had cold sores, I know that’s a common way it’s transmitted).

        The only practical way to avoid exposure is to avoid kissing anyone on the lips. Ever. Even if a man tests negative, he could be exposed later on when he gives his mother a peck on the lips, then pass that on to you.

        My (personal) solution was much simpler. I assumed that I would eventually be exposed, and then I stopped worrying about it. If I ever get cold sores, I’ll treat them and go on with life.

      3. 25.1.3
        DL

        Your standard std test doesn’t screen for herpes.  You could have the virus and not know until you have an outbreak.  I got type I from my SO even though he never had a visible outbreak while I’ve known him.  He did tell me he had it.  It was several years before I contracted it.  

  26. 26
    ScottH

    Too much affection too early equals seduction which is a sign of insecurity.  Yes, if you are interested you must show it but too much is not good either.  How much is too much?  Good question.  

  27. 27
    Stacy

    For crying out loud, showing interest physically does not mean you have to be all over the guy nor does it mean that you have to do anything that you are uncomfortable doing.
    A little bit of leaning in here and there, a little brush on the hand if he tells a joke, etc.  Totally harmless.  You will know what is too much based on your level of comfort.  But of course men like women to show affection.  But it could be just the little, simple things.

  28. 28
    Mary H

    Hi, Evan! I have a question for you!

    I recently read  Mars and Venus on a Date by John Gray, and I’m sort of confused because I wonder how what you’re saying interacts with what he’s saying.

    Gray says that masculine interest is active, whereas feminine interest is receptive — that is, that the man during courtship is asking questions like, “How can I make her happy? Does she like me?” and she’s asking questions like, “Does he make me happy? Do I like him?” He says that if you reverse this order, the man starts saying to himself, “Wow, she really likes me. I wonder if I like her,” and the woman is saying to herself, “I really like him — how can I win him over?” The dynamic is reversed.

    Basically, men are the pursuers, and women are the pursued. Do you think that if a woman shows interest and demonstrates that she likes the guy, he’ll get complacent, put his feet up and say, “Well, she already likes me, guess I don’t have to do anything”? 

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Gray (and I) tell women not to pursue, but to be pursued. But guess what? If he’s taking you out, he IS pursuing you. You’re just letting him know it’s WORKING. There’s no contradiction.

      1. 28.1.1
        Mary H

        Thank you!! So, in an instance where he’s taken me out on a date, and (on the date) I’ve given him a sincere compliment or told him something I like about him, that’s affection and not pursuit?

        1. Adrian

          Mary it’s all in the context of the action. You know he is attracted to you, your job (according to Evan and Mr. Gray) is to let him know if you are giving him permission to continue trying to court you and win your affection by subtly encouraging him. According to my understanding of the women on this site, your job is to judge the consistency of his actions and goals, -does he want a relationship with you or is he just faking it to get sex-. 

          You pursuing him would be you calling him and asking him out, if he doesn’t call you in the beginning of the relationship to ask you for a date, always saying how attracted to him you are, etc… in the beginning of the courtship, at least that’s my understanding that I’ve gained from reading this blog 

  29. 29
    dc

    Hi Adrian (post 3.3.5),

    Your question was not for me, but as it wasn’t addressed and since STD tests are something I’ve requested from lovers all of my life I thought I’d share my approach.

    First, I only have intercourse with boyfriends as per Evan’s definition and my first time was at 20. I’m also a serial monogamist and my relationships have all lasted a year or more, so my number of lovers is on the smaller side. I had a lot of fun getting creative and being intimate as we build to *that* point and I would say my boyfriends did, too. When interest in going all the way was communicated by either party, I’d basically say something like: “I’d really like for us both to get STD tests before we have intercourse. And, in the meantime, I’m happy to continue getting creative.” I think it’s important for the requester to include him/herself. I even got an STD test when I was a virgin, because I didn’t want my bf to feel awkward.

    Of course, the first tests I had were free because we were in college and the student health service provided them. As adults with varied health insurance, the tests can be quite expensive! I paid $250 for a full panel in 2013, as did my current bf. But then, our respective insurance stinks. So, if cost may be a factor, it might be nice to call around to clinics for prices or offer to help pay for it.

    All of the men I’ve had this conversation with responded positively and it opened up a great opportunity for discussion about past partners, etc. They seemed relieved by an open conversation and got the test immediately! Grin. Maybe I was just lucky, but maybe open and honest is what most people appreciate. I think it also communicated to men that I was very selective about my sexual partners and they were one of the lucky ones.

    To this day (I’m in my fourth decade), every one of my panels has come back perfectly clean. I’ve never asked about health issues before kissing, and I’ve kissed dates that were not yet boyfriends. It’s fun.

    Best of luck to you however you decide to navigate your love life.

    -d. 

    1. 29.1
      Adrian

      Thanks

    2. 29.2
      JGW

      Keep in mind they don’t test for herpes UNLESS YOU specifically request it.  Go check your testing results.  If it’s not there, ask for it next time.

  30. 30
    Karl S

    I had a couple of experiences in the last few days that made me think of this article.

    I went on a date with a girl, let’s call her R and it went quite well. She was smart, attractive, interesting to chat to. We had a great coffee, but when we said goodbye there was no hug or kiss (nor on the hello I realized). That’s OK for a first date I suppose. We scheduled a second soon after.

    But then i met another girl, let’s call her S. She was also smart, attractive and interesting to talk to. But when we met she gave me a big hug. When I made her laugh as we walked she grabbed my arm. After coffee we went to the park and she sat down right beside me. We were kissing immediately.

    I wasn’t sure whether to have that second date with R now, but I figured it was worth seeing her again to sort of out my feelings. When I met R again I went to kiss her on the cheek but she moved her head and I kissed the air. “Oops, it seems I missed you there” I joked and tried again, but she actively recoiled, saying “I don’t really do hugs or kisses. Sorry”. Right then. When we walked to the park and sat down on the bench she placed herself on the far end away from me. Half an hour into date 2 I made an excuse to leave, admitting that there wasn’t much there between us. She seemed surprised. Taken aback even.

    Now I don’t know whether R would ultimately be a better match for me in the long run, but I can sure as hell tell you I lost interest in her the moment she recoiled from me on date 2. Not even a kiss on the cheek! I’d rather take my chances with S, even if I’m blinded by chemistry right now.

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