So, for years now, I have been reading all kinds of versions on what kind of woman men want. The more I read them and the older I get, the more I am convinced that dating guides are like horoscopes. You know, if need to be, you can always find a rational reason as to how you messed up.
I have read dating guides which suggest you as a woman to be vulnerable and open with your feelings. Quite contrary the others warn against spilling your guts out to a man too early. Then there is the whole issue of pursuing. There are guides that tell you to not pursue at all and then there are guides that tell you that you should not make too difficult for men. Overall, the more you read, the more confused you get. At least that has been the case for me.
So the unintended consequence for me has been that every time some man is not interested in me, I start to question myself. Was I too forward or perhaps not forward enough. I mean, one would think that given the specific situation I should at least be able to assess if I was too forward or not forward enough. The fact that based on what I have read on dating, I cannot even make this assessment, makes me doubt a bit on the overall value of dating manuals.
Maybe it is my age, maybe it is my requirements, but I found it soo much easier to get into a relationship when I still did not know anything about some dating manuals and what they suggested. Somehow there was also less overthinking on the lines of – does he like me or not. In general there was way less overthinking. This however goes against the idea on manuals. I mean should manuals not give you specific guidelines how something is done? I mean, instead of making you more confused?
So to be honest, reality is much more complicated than dating manuals make it up to be, which I suspect is part of the reason why we have twenty different manuals with different ideas. Every one of them captures some part of reality, but one hardly gets everything right. Also, I think it is easier to write such manuals when you are in your twenties and still have somehow a bit naïve a bit exaggerated idea that you know how the world works. The older you get, the more you realize that actually you have no idea how the world works. Weird things happen around you. Things which you cannot really explain through manuals. Guys who should not fall for you, because your first date pretty much included you being really upset and then ending having a stomach flu at the end of the date fall in love with you. Guys who you thought you had a great connection and chemistry end up disappearing on you.
The problem is really, in my opinion, that people’s subconscious is so complicated that it is difficult to predict what works for each person. There could be perhaps certain archetypes which make it more easy to describe what works, but these archetypes are definitely men vs. women. Yes, there are culturally coded behaviors for genders, but to be honest, based on that, if you just followed these culturally coded behaviors, any member of the opposite sex should fall in love with you. However, somehow miraculously this is not the case.
I would love to say that in the end it is about connection. It is about people you think you connect to. However, I think this is cross oversimplification as well. See I have had guys disappearing on me with whom I had amazing connection which was felt by both sides. Then I have had guys falling for me with whom I thought I had nothing in common and I was entirely puzzled as to what they saw in me. So in the end it is about the complicated psychological makeup that we each have. However, if dating manuals would state something like this, no one would ever get rich.