Dating Advice: Six Ways to Be the Guy

I know you single straight guys get mixed messages about 21st-century dating rules. As a single straight girl, I’m here to offer you some help.

When I talk to other women about their dating woes, one complaint rises to the top: the guys they’re dating refuse to “be the guy” as the relationship kicks off.

So what does it mean to “be the guy”? It means being brave enough to take on certain responsibilities. It’s similar to gallantry. But being the guy takes more guts.

If you can step up and be the guy, you’ll win big dividends. You’ll impress the woman you’ve started seeing, and you’ll have a better sense of how she feels about you, too.

Here’s how to do it.

1. If you’re interested in a woman, ask her out. Now that it’s acceptable for women to do the asking, a lot of guys avoid this awkward and embarrassing task. Don’t be one of them. Having the confidence to ask a woman for her email or phone number will gain you her respect. And it’s exciting for us when a guy is clear about his interest.

Bonus for you: if you ask her for her number, and she says, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend,” “Sorry, I date women,” or makes a lame excuse, you’ll know for sure that she’s either not interested, or unavailable. This lets you get on with your life.

DON’T send her a friend request on Facebook, and hope that this will inspire her to do YOUR job and ask you out.

2. Drop the chemistry bomb. You know how annoying it is when a woman won’t be upfront with you about her feelings? We ladies find it irritating too. More importantly, lack of clarity can lead to wasted time and emotional confusion.

Attraction, or lack thereof, isn’t a value judgment. It’s just about chemistry, which neither of you can control. So if you’re not attracted to a woman, just say, “You seem awesome. But to be honest, I don’t think we have much chemistry.” Is this comfortable to say or to hear? Of course not. But it’s way better than dragging things out.

Speaking of which–

3. Reply to emails and texts in a timely manner. In the age of the smartphone, there’s no excuse for going a week before replying to a message. If you’ve gone out a couple times, and you’re not feelin’ it, and she emails you to ask you out again–review Step 2 above. Don’t leave her hanging. It’s not manly, and it’s not classy.

So what is this “timely manner” that I speak of? Emails and texts should receive a clear response within 24 to 48 hours.

4. Pay for the first two dinner dates. No, it isn’t the 1950s, and yes, she has her own income. Later, you can start splitting the check or alternating who pays.

But we’re talking about the first two dates here. During those dates, she’s watching closely to see if you’re a gentleman, and if you can take care of her–even if it’s just for the length of an evening. She may offer to split the check with you, especially if it’s an expensive dinner. By no means let her do this! You will lose all credibility as a viable man if you do so.

Six magic words: “Let me take care of this.” Don’t make a big deal of it–just pay quickly and unobtrusively. If she INSISTS that she pay for coffee afterwards, that’s cool. But dinner is your manly duty.

5. Go in for the kiss. If you want to kiss her at the end of the first or second date, make it happen. But do it carefully. Again, remember, you’re winning her trust.

So I’m not talking about shoving your tongue down her throat. The proper kiss to end a first date can be on the cheek (your safest option), or a brief one on the lips. It shows interest without getting aggressive.

I know this can be nerve-racking. But again, this is part of your job if you like her. And her reaction will give you so much valuable information! It’s worth the risk of rejection to KNOW, for sure, what it feels like to kiss her and how into it she seems to be.

6. After the first two dates, let her know where she stands. This might be by asking her out again, if you like her, or by doing the “thanks, but no chemistry” thing (see Step #2). This is your job–not hers.

See how easy it is? These simple acts of clarity and generosity will save you time, and preserve your reputation as a datable fellow–after all, you know we ladies talk. By following these rules, women will see you as the man you are…and won’t mistake you for the boy you used to be.