You all know how much I love dating and relationship experts. I love them. I especially love the way they give completely contradictory advice, with a straight face, and then expect people to take them seriously. And sadly, people do. Take them seriously. Because so many of us are so freaking desperate to find love that we’re willing to listen to people peddle whatever nonsense.
Anyway, there is a target to today’s tantrum (I’ve been saving this one up, so watch out). YourTango (a site I actually like) has partnered with Rachel Greenwald, the author of Why He Didn’t Call Back to do a series of videos based on her book (the whole series is available on YourTango, and yeah, I forced myself to sit through the whole thing). I was actually supposed to go to the launch party for this book way back in April, but got caught up with something else. Now that I’ve seen the series, I’m extra, double glad that I didn’t make it.
In video number one, titled The Number One Reason Why He Didn’t Call Back, we’re told that over the course of a decade Rachel interviewed 1000 guys about why they didn’t call women back for second dates (although I’m guessing it wasn’t so much a “not call back” thing as just not calling).
Now here is where I get pissed off, because she insists that this number one reason is “surprising” whereas any woman with a brain probably figured it out a long time ago. Her exhaustive research led her to the startling conclusive that men don’t like the “boss lady” type of woman. The type who will challenge their opinions or be argumentative. She says that men come away from a date with these “fabulous” women thinking that they’d “rather hire her than date her”.
Her suggestion is that if a woman sees herself as a potential boss lady that she soften her image. That she use qualifying terms when she speaks, like “I think” rather than “I know” and inserting “maybe” into her statements (thereby not challenging the guy). Oh and that if she arrives first to a destination that she not use her blackberry or phone while waiting, as his first impression of her should not be one of her busy with business. God forbid. She says that this will allow the man to eventually “get to know the real you”.
First, am I the only person who thinks that this surprising number 1 reason is not a surprise? Seriously.
I am queen of the boss ladies. I am. I know I am. And guess what Rachel, I don’t do too much to hide it. Because, and here’s the kicker, that doesn’t go away when I’m in a relationship. I am who I am. I could hide it for the first date, sure. And the second. But sooner or later the guy is going to realize that I am strong and confident and capable of taking care of myself. And that’s either going to threaten him or it’s not (Because really, that’s what we’re talking about here, men being threatened by strong women – pretty it up any way you want. If we were talking about argumentative/nasty then he wouldn’t want to hire her. We’re talking about men wanting to “feel needed”.).
And her assertion that she wants women to be themselves, but to just show the softer side of themselves first so that the men will like them more – what a load of crap. We are all multi-faceted. Everyone has a softer side. Sure. But what she is telling women to do is to pretend to be someone they’re not, pure and simple (and if you have the stomach for the rest of the series she repeats over and over that she’s not telling women to pretend to be someone they’re not). She is advocating a dating bait and switch – get through the first date as the soft and fuzzy version of you (the one who says maybe every 3rd or 4th sentence) and then bring out the real you.
I am not a dating and relationship expert. Nope. But I do know that when I pretend to be someone I’m not I end up with men who like that other type of woman. Not me. And why the hell would I want that? I’m not desperate for a guy. I want a guy who likes me just the way I am.
Oh wait. Maybe that’s the answer. She’s peddling insecurity and fear. She’s part of the machine that says, you’re single and so you should be insecure and desperate. You should be willing to do anything and everything to meet a guy. You’re past your prime goddammit, what are you waiting for. Start softening your image and saying “I think” all the time and put away your blackberry BEFORE the guy gets to the restaurant because you don’t want him to see you with it (it’s not enough to put it away as soon as he gets to the table) and start practicing your giggle, too. Men like it when you giggle at all of their jokes. Tee-hee.
Tags: dating, expert, research, single, YourTango