You may feel right now that women have sky-high expectations of dating. From my work coaching thousands of men and women as a London dating coach, I’m not going to disagree. Yes, I regularly meet women who -
- Believe men should intuitively `know’ how to treat her, with no other communication of that beyond telepathy.
- That is he was the `right man for her he would be confident enough to...’ come swashbuckling up to her with no care for a social convention or the #metoo movement.
- Think if there’s no immediate spark that the date is DOA. It’s interesting to know I hear far more men wanting to `give things a chance’.
However, I know that it’s not just women struggling with the gap between her high expectations of dating (generated probably from the fairytale PR love gets), and it’s 2019 reality.
And rather than consternating over whose `fault’ it is that modern dating sometimes feels sucky, I think it’s far more powerful to not think of dating divisively and come back to HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND ONE ANOTHER AS PEOPLE BETTER.
So for a second, I want to turn this around and look at how sometimes men’s expectations of dating can also collide with reality - and ultimately (just like their female counterparts) hold them back from getting the relationship that they want. A lot of the time I want men to have higher expectations of dating.
Yes, I regularly meet men who -
1. Tell me that they’ve met a woman who is `just sweet’.
This is usually the point I start to worry on the guy’s behalf. I am a big believer that people are by nature multi-faceted; and whilst some women may indeed appear very sweet if you stop at this level of engagement with her, you’ll never establish a true connection.
To the men out there I would encourage you to listen to her, and encourage her to speak when she says something `out of character’. For example, if she seems stressed, makes a rude joke, or says something unexpected don’t withdraw, enquire, `...now I didn’t expect you to say that I’m liking getting to know this other side of you...’
This will encourage her to open up more to you and truly invest in you emotionally rather than just projecting an image of herself.
She is also likely to appreciate a compliment or comment that is directed at something unique to her and non-generic even if it doesn't sound as flattering. Saying, 'I like how you always manage to make it to the front of the queue...' or 'I like how you're always telling me you're shy but then you say something like that' is more impactful than 'you look pretty today.'
She wants to feel chosen for what is unique to her, not that you're just a guy who would be happy to have any woman in his life as long as he's physically attracted to her.
How I want you to have a high expectation of dating is to believe everyone has a rich and complex personality, and to not settle until she allows you insight into hers.
2. Think women are `playing games’.
Now I can understand when she enthusiastically agrees to a date and then cancels an hour before meeting you might assume that she’s messing with you. The truth is likely more complex and less malicious.
Remember in the early stages of dating she might not be feeling wholeheartedly attracted to you, so she’s ironically often not giving you the best of her. Now I’m not trying to just cover for flakey women (or people) - there’s not much excuse for this. However, if you can exit the `she’s playing games with me’ mindset you’re much more likely to be able to tackle the actual issue (she doesn’t know you well enough yet to be attracted to you enough) and not take it too personally.
You can choose to handle this in a few ways -
A. You might want to communicate 'just so you know that's the last time I'm asking..'
B. Only invite her out last minute, but make the invite good. This can sub-communicate back WE NEED TO SET A PLAN OR WE BOTH MISS OUT.
C. Find a woman who is open enough to date you and a clear enough communicator that you don't need to do this (this is my preferred option).
How I want you to have a high expectation of dating here is whilst I emphatically DO NOT want you to keep chasing women for dates who think nothing of flaking on you; I do want you to not get embittered by this process and lose perspective. This woman who cancelled may not have valued you enough. Okay, how do you meet more women who will and communicate that value better?
3. Think you’d be quite happy to just have a girlfriend.
If you’re thinking that a girlfriend will solve any feelings you have, to be blunt she won’t. Relationships require work, yes, but they also require you to have existing standards before you begin. Loneliness is up there in terms of the toughest feelings you can experience BUT its solution doesn’t lie in another person who is going to come to you with their own set of insecurities, problems and anxieties.
And speaking quite frankly as a girlfriend, there are times when you're not always fun. When you're unwell, you have work issues, you have something in your family that needs support etc.
As a dating coach I also consistently see the people getting into relationships fastest that are the most secure are those who already have a strong pre-existing social infrastructure of friends and colleagues/ business partners.
How I want you to have higher standards, in this case, is to make your girlfriend-free life as awesome as possible. Build friendships and other supportive and fun social relationships so that when you meet a woman you’re not immediately reliant on her.
All this being said about having higher standards for dating - the highest standard you can hold is to lead your own life truly and happily; whether this happens to involve someone else or not.
Want to understand her better? Attend Hayley's next workshop