|Q: I am 26, attractive and have a great job andcareer. I find howeverthat men in my age group don't ask women out. "Dating" seems to havegone by the wayside. Do youthink that women's attitudes and the feminist movement have confusedmen?|
Dating Doctor:Women are perplexed all across America because the answerto your question is yes--men are confused (and so are women) as to what they perceive aspolitically correct dating practices.
Although the feminist movement has seen more active days (since most ofwhat they espoused is nowan accepted mindset), men have excellent long-term memories and arestill attempting to sort outwhere they stand socially with women.
Certain men may be intimidated by the fact that you are attractive andare anticipating that theywill be rejected as not good enough to approach you. Others may behesitant because you haveestablished such a successful career or may live by the motto, "I can'tget rejected if I don'task!" If they refrain from asking you out on a date, they can't get"dissed."
Men are confused. Should they sincerely compliment women at work, atlunch, at the gym orbookstore or will their advances be perceived as harassment? Shouldthey be the aggressor andapproach women about a social opportunity or wait for the perfectmoment to suggest a jointventure where they can go "Dutch" (as not to offend her sense ofindependence)? Should they make aconcerted effort to "pick up the tab" (an expected behavior learned fromtheir parents andgrandparents over decades) or quickly concede so that real or perceivedexpectations do notsurface? This, men claim, makes them appear cheap, uncaring andnon-committal.
This confusion among men has spawned the "brother, not lover"mentality. Straight, single men whoprefer simple platonic partnerships (and a peck on the cheek) tophysical and emotionalinterpersonal intimacy. There is less opportunity for misunderstandingand disappointment.
What's the answer? Communication, assertiveness and flexibility by bothmen and women. Don't behesitant to ask men out. Simply make eye contact, smile and say"Hello." You will only have to doit once. They'll take it from there. Be clear about your expectationsand desires up front. Menfollow directions quite well, it is trial and error that we're not verycomfortable with.
Let him know that you appreciate being treated like a lady (as long asit is his nature to do so),but still desire the freedom to live independently. In short, men andwomen need to stop playinggames and end the madness. Life is far too short.