Dating Potpourri: Why Don’t Men……?

At our He Said/She Said event the other night, we got a ton f interesting questions. I’m going to post a few of them here.

Why don’t men try to learn an activity that would impress a woman like ballroom dancing or salsa so they could enjoy them together?

My answer was: Men don’t take classes in things that they will never apply or use in day to day life just to meet women. They will take classes (and pay money) for something that will produce a return on investment. This isn’t due to laziness. This is due to common sense. If they are going to invest a few hundred dollars, there needs to be some form of a guarantee or high likelihood that they will be getting laid out of it.

Why are some men not concerned with being well groomed when they go out unless they are sure they are getting laid? Like clean shaven, wearing a suit, wear cologne?

See answer above. You answered your own question. Men will dress this way for work because…say it with me…they are getting paid for it and because how they dress is related to how they are perceived by superiors and peers. They do not dress this way for women by choice. They do it because they believe it is expected of them. Kind of like why they pay the tab on dates.  If a button down shirt and jeans isn’t good enough for you, then I suggest getting familiar with it. Because no man is putting on a suit just for a first or second date. You’re just not that important to him a that point. The other reason they might not make an effort? They don’t have to. They’re either good looking or charismatic enough OR their grungy/starving artist look scores them sex. The only other reason they don’t make a noticeable effort is because they are socially clueless and haven’t had much experience with women and therefore have never been educated on what is more likely to get them laid.

Do guys really like the Damsel in Distress act? For example, do guys really want a woman who is dependent on their significant other?

I think you’re conflating two different issues. The Damsel in Distress act usually refers to a woman who is in well, distress. She frequently has issues or problems that require the man to swoop in and “save” her. That’s not the same thing as wanting a woman to be somewhat dependent on him. It’s not that they want us to be dependent on them. They want us to need them. They want us to be emotionally available. They don’t want us to be shutting them out or keeping them at arm’s length or judging them. They want to know that our lives are made better for having them in it and that we appreciate them.

Why do men think they could sustain a relationship when the only activity they both share is sex and dining out?

We’ve discussed this before. What else are you supposed to do? I mean, sure, it’s good to throw in an activity date here and there, but what do you think a “real relationship” looks like?  How often do you think couples go rock climbing together or to an art gallery or a movie? I’d say those dates are the minority. And let’s face it, the longer you’re together, the less common they become. It’s one thing if the dinner/drink is more of an obligation a la the Dignity Date. That’s done to avoid making the hook up feel like a hooker/john dynamic or because the guy knows the woman needs “more” in order to have sex. But if there’s a genuine connection between you and the other person and you enjoy each other and you use the pre-sex time to connect and get to know each other, then who cares what you’re doing? I can assure you that if you said to a man that you’d like to do something other than dinner one night, and he was interested in you beyond sex, he’d do it. He might not plan it, but he’d do it. If it bothers you, speak up. If you don’t, he’s just going to keep doing what he’s doing because he thinks it is working. Now, if he balks at it or doesn’t want to do anything else, then you have your answer about what sort of “relationship” you have. I think that’s the real issue. They assume that the less effort he makes to plan creative dates, the less interested he is or the more likely he is just interested in sex. It’s the path of least resistance/common sense thing again. You can’t go wrong with dinner. Ever.

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71 Responses to “Dating Potpourri: Why Don’t Men……?”

  1. LaLa Says:

    “Do guys really like the Damsel in Distress act? For example, do guys really want a woman who is dependent on their significant other?”

    I agree with Moxie on this one. Most guys don’t want a woman who doesn’t have her life together that he needs to rescue. However, I think most guys need a woman to be vulnerable to them. Guys like to feel needed and wanted. There is a difference between a woman who can’t manage to pay her bills on time and someone who asks a guy his opinion or advice, lets him help her with carrying heavy things, and just shows that his help is wanted and appreciated. Be independent but not so much that you’re in the “I don’t need a man!” camp.

    “Why do men think they could sustain a relationship when the only activity they both share is sex and dining out?”

    After the courting phase, where you’re both exclusive, dates are going to cut down a lot. I think it’s a combination of trying to save money, and the fact that your both comfortable enough to be at home snuggling up and watching a movie, or cooking dinner together. I think it really depends on the couple as well. Some like to do adventurous stuff together, others like to relax together, others mix it up. As long as the man is committed to you, treats you well, and you have a good relationship, who cares what you do in your free time together? If you want dates to things your man isn’t interested in, go with your girlfriends. You guys don’t have to share every hobby together.

    • DC Phil Says:

      The “being needed” thing is indeed very important to men — and something that women often have no understanding of. In certain situations (e.g., raising a child) women are already needed because of the baby’s helplessness. Also, there are the societal expectations of the woman being there for her friends regardless of if those friends are deserving of the help or not because their own actions are causing their distress. “Being needed,” for women, is often just “being there” for support, etc. This usually isn’t the case for men. “Being needed,” for men, is being around to help fix something.

      For the past few decades, men have grown resentful because they feel that they aren’t needed anymore — least of all by women. Men are confused, and then hurt when women criticize them for things that the women want and the men can’t provide, like commitment. But, where’s the incentive for men to provide that? That and other things. We have the mancession to thank for men really feeling like they’re not needed.

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        There’s a bit of a conflict here. Feminism has taught a generation ( myself included ) that women should be independent and self-sufficient. It’s not surprising that many modern women cringe at the notion of needing a man.

        I’m not blaming women, men or Feminism. Things change, it’s up to all of us to work out a solution.

      • Kay Says:

        I kinda agree with you. Making my guy feel ‘needed’ has always been an issue in my relationships. I happen to be of the ‘do it or learn how to do it’ mindset; my boyfriends dont appreciate me rendering them helpless. But its because I genuinely want to learn how to build my dream closet, reupholster my chair and install crown molding throughout my apt. There’s a how-to video for everything now; there’s really no reason to not know how to do something, and I wanna know how.

        It’s isnt impossible for an independent woman to be dependent on her other half, it’s just hard, men have to understand that. When we’re used to doing (or paying someone to do) things for ourselves, it isn’t easy to give up some of that control.

        And guys, we don’t want to become so dependent on you that we render ourselves helpless; relationships don’t always last.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “there’s really no reason to not know how to do something, and I wanna know how.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but rather than pick up a how-to video, why not ask your man to teach you? We live for that kind of stuff–though you’ll have to fight our natural inclination to just do it for you.

          “we don’t want to become so dependent on you that we render ourselves helpless; relationships don’t always last.” Of course; being helpless isn’t attractive unless the guy is a control freak or abuser, who will use your helplessness as a weapon to keep you in line. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t each focus on what you do best (or enjoy most) and depend on the other person to do stuff you don’t do as well (or don’t enjoy).

    • Roxy Says:

      This was a huge deal with my fiance. He struggled with my independence initially. I had to constantly remind him that I did need him emotionally and physically. He is a huge support for me.

      It was annoying at first, but once I made it clear once and for all, he learned that my independence is NOT independence from him.

      • LaLa Says:

        Why would it be so hard to make your man feel a little bit needed? Just like most women want to be told they are beautiful and/or made to feel special, men like to be appreciated and needed. What if your fiance told you he couldn’t tell you you were pretty or smart or nice because he was “emotionally independent”. Not trying to start a fight, just bringing up a point that men and women have different needs.

        • LaLa Says:

          Oh sorry, I think I read that wrong as in “I didn’t need him emotionally and physically” My mistake.

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        Roxy, my ex said the same thing many times. Trouble was, she didn’t act like she needed me. She was very protective of her emotions, which led me to feel she didn’t trust me. Eventually I grew tired of rejection and stopped trying to be supportive, which made things worse.

        The Feminist force was strong with her. Susan Faludi and so forth.

        Legal and economic equality is one thing ( a good thing, IMO. ) But this business of trying to equate our roles in a sexual relationship is for the birds. ( and even birds are smarter then to try it :) )

        • LaLa Says:

          A lot of women equate being vulnerable and feminine with weak without realizing that feminine power is just as strong as masculine, but in different ways. Hence why they think a vulnerable woman who needs a man is a “damsel in distress”. When both partners are acting in a masculine sense, it’s more than likely that they are going to bump heads or one partner will get frustrated. The feminist movement did a lot of great things for women, but I don’t think it did much for romantic relationships.

          • DC Phil Says:

            A female friend of mine is going through a divorce, about to be finalized before this year is out. She has been married for nine years and was the one to initiate it. She admits fault in the breakup and isn’t foisting all the blame on her soon-to-be ex.

            However, when I asked her in the beginning what she thought was wrong with the relationship, she mentioned (other than her soon-to-be-ex having a temper) that he chose to abdicate a lot of responsibility and let her take it over. This included lots of planning, scheduling, paying bills, etc. She learned and was competent enough to do it. But, over time, she became resentful. The interesting things was that she complained that she felt too “masculine” when doing these things. She seldom ever had the opportunity to feel “feminine” and just go with the flow. Whether her soon-to-be-ex abdicated this role either consciously out of laziness or spite, or uintentionally because of immaturity, seems immaterial. I just found it intriguing that she mentioned how she didn’t like being “masculine” all the time. She did that enough at her job.

            If nothing else, the main damage that feminism wrought was in teaching women that they were like men, when this clearly isn’t the case. Women might be better at some things than men, and are equal in the eyes of the law, but they’re not the same being. Female-centric laws and institutions make things worse by elevating the female over the male. Unfairness ensues.

            • BruceWayne Says:

              It’s interesting that you say that. In my experience, men simply don’t *want* to do the traditionally masculine duties, for some (or all) of the reasons you stated. Consciously or unconsciously, they just don’t want to schedule events / dates ahead of time, much less plan the actual activities of the dates or outings.

              And I think in that case women feel like they need to step up and make their relationships more in line with what they envision for themselves. So they plan the dates, they take care of preparations, etc. I don’t think these women are actively choosing to be the more aggressive / masculine member of their relationship, but they don’t see any other way to have the kind of romantic life they want with their chosen hubby. But eventually they do become resentful of their man’s laziness.

              So are these cases of men just not really wanting to be in a relationship? I understand that, especially when two people are just first dating, the man is not solely responsible for planning/paying for dates, but what about further down the line? How can men be so comfortable taking a back seat in a relationship, but still need/want to be appreciated and patted on the back?

              People can keep on blaming feminism for all the relationship problems in the U.S., but instead of complaining about it, I think men should understand it, embrace it, and be comfortable enough in their masculinity to sustain the kind of romantic relationships they want.

              • LaLa Says:

                The masculine partner is the leader, the protector, and the one who cherishes the other partner’s feelings. The feminine partner in turn should be able to respect their partner, let him/her lead, be able to receive (thoughts, ideas, opinions, support), and be in the more nurturing and supportive role. If a woman wants a more masculine man, she either needs to work on becoming more feminine because she’s not letting the man step up, or find a man who is capable of taking on that masculine role (some aren’t and that’s totally cool too). If your partner is not doing any of the work in the relationship, it’s your responsibility to either try to fix it, or move on. Why stay with a lazy partner?

                Some relationships work well when the woman is more masculine and the man is more feminine. You just have to figure out which way is best for you.

                I don’t really think planning out dates is more masculine really. Even during the courtship phase, the man usually asks the woman what she likes doing and “plans” out the date accordingly. I think most women step up to do the social planning, especially once they are in a relationship. Masculine/Feminine is more about personality (leading vs being led, commanding respect vs. giving it, cherishing her feelings vs. appreciating him, protecting vs. needing protection).

              • Chester Says:

                I’m confused here…
                I see a masculine role in planning romantic dates with the women. ..which also include getaway vacations.

                However, in a relationship, many of the social plannings are managed by women traditionally. You always see the mothers planning the social events…. I think the distinction is between romanic outings and social outings….where the latter is traditionally managed by women. I can’t remember the number of times where I’m talking to the guy regarding a social event, and he refers me to his wife/girlfriend. Thoughts?

                • BruceWayne Says:

                  That sounds about right.

                  But let’s say a a lady is just starting to see a certain gentleman. He expresses interest in getting together, maybe even asks her out. But when she asks him what they’re doing, where they’re going, or when they’re going to do it, he just shrugs and says “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

                  If one was wedded to the idea of the masculine, aggressor man, this would disqualify this gentleman as not manly enough. One could argue that if he wants to date the woman, he can take ten minutes and think of an activity, a date, and a time.

                  But the whole point of this blog is to remind people that men don’t “owe” women these niceties just because they are women. Men aren’t solely responsible for pushing the relationship forward or showing more interest than the woman.

                  If a woman continuously disqualifies men early on because they don’t pass certain masculinity tests, then nobody will be left, especially among younger guys who have much more modern views on dating, and who might not feel inclined to invest much into any and all relationships.

                • LaLa Says:

                  Yes, women usually handle more of the social calendar and men usually handle more of the romantic dates. A man doesn’t have to be good at it, or do it often, but it’s nice when a guy makes the effort. Why don’t women plan out romantic dates? Because I don’t’ think most guys really care for them. He’s doing it because it’s something he knows his partner would enjoy. It goes both ways of course. A woman should be showing effort to do things a man would enjoy as well. She can make the effort by taking the time to cook him a meal he really enjoys, or help him organize, or get tickets to a sporting event he likes as an example. When both partners take the time and effort to do special things for each other, it can only enhance the relationship.

                  • Crotch Rocket Says:

                    “I don’t’ think most guys really care for [romantic dates].” That seems to be the conventional wisdom, but I disagree. The most memorable date I’ve ever had was the one the gal brought me a rose–the only one I’ve ever been given in my life. And little romantic gestures, like that gal who somehow always managed to sneak a card and some cookies into my suitcase when I traveled, mean a lot. That’s the kind of stuff that gets me mushy and willing to open up. I try to do the same, as I’m good at the small everyday stuff like that, but most women seem to be looking for grand gestures that are, in practice, forced rather than genuine.

              • Crotch Rocket Says:

                “men simply don’t *want* to do the traditionally masculine duties” I don’t know where you get that idea, as I definitely do. However, I keep meeting women who think they should be the masculine ones, usurping my role and leaving me with nothing to do. It’s not a matter of laziness on my part.

                “How can men be so comfortable taking a back seat in a relationship, but still need/want to be appreciated and patted on the back?” It’s a matter of dividing responsibilities; it’s the man’s job to establish the relationship, but it’s the woman’s job to maintain it–and take care of the kids and home. In return, the man deals with the outside world: protecting her and the kids, supporting them financially, etc. That’s not to say every couple needs to divide responsibilities that way today, but there do need to be clearly defined roles, preferably based on each person’s aptitude for various tasks. A “shared” responsibility, as many have become in the post-feminist world, is a recipe for failure.

  2. Amy Says:

    I agree with the first two points, but differ on the third.
    In the early stages, I think the dinner/sex stuff is fine. As long as there’s lots of talking/sharing/getting to know one another before/during/after those activities.
    But as a relationship progresses, here is what I think it looks like:
    Dinner, sex, meeting one another’s friends and family, celebrating holidays together, taking trips/vacations together, working on home-type projects together (if applicable), handling problems together (sickness, etc.), relying on one another for support – either emotional (talking problems through, work stuff, etc.) or logistical (helping with car trouble/flat tire, rides to airport, etc.). I guess what I mean is that at the couple’s own pace, they begin to gradually, but steadily share the fabric of their lives together, piece by piece.

    When my husband and I were dating, we took it very slow. I was sure I would never get remarried. And I remember distinctly thinking about how if I were to have a flat tire or car breakdown, I would not call him, that we weren’t at that level. But as time passed, I realized that he was the one I would call first. We became each other’s go-to person. And trust gradually built over time.
    To me, that is what a relationship looks like.

    PS – I have a male friend who took ballroom dancing (alone) while single. He said it was a great place to meet women, or even just to get a lot of female attention during class, since there were so many less men than women.

    • DC Phil Says:

      My caveat about dancing is that it takes time and effort to achieve some level of skill in it so that one doesn’t look like a putz with two left feet (though he might be having fun doing it). Men who grew up in families that loved to dance, or where it was part of the culture, or where they just decided that they wanted to take up dancing as a hobby have the advantage in that they started young and developed their skills over the years. As with other social activities, I just don’t have the time nor the inclination to go out dancing and try to learn it successfully. There’s also no guaranteed that I’d get laid even if I did know how to dance well, despite there being more than a 2:1 ratio of women to men at dancing events. In short, the cost-benefit analysis isn’t in my favor.

      Also, I’ve heard it said that another good reason why many men don’t care to dance is because many of them aren’t good at it. Men are disinclined to get involved in something that makes them look like a fool, and so stay away from it.

      • D Says:

        +1. Also, for things like salsa the man has to learn not just the steps but how to lead.

        • DC Phil Says:

          That’s pretty much any dance that’s popular nowadays, that doesn’t involve just twisting and flailing your arms about on a dance floor. Or, twirling light sticks — if you’re into that sort of thing. :)

          Dancing = yet another thing where men are expected to do most of the work.

          • Joey Giraud Says:

            Of fer cryin out loud, of course we’re expected to do the work; the visible work. Women work at these things too, but they’re supposed to be surreptitious about it.

            It’s the difference between authority and power.

            • SB Says:

              As a dancer (swing, salsa, waltz, some ballroom and contra for partner dances), I have to giggle at these comments. Typically, men love dancing. It is an almost guaranteed lay (and if you are good? You will be beating women off; I have seen this many times with male acquaintances).
              Plus, it really doesn’t take that much time. A year, most likely, if you focus on just one dance at a time. It is good exercise so you will also be fitter (hotter), and will meet at least 20 women in one night with whom you will have personalized conversations for at least a song – about 4 minutes. Ask her to dance again, and you get another, then a chance to chat her up.
              Guys, don’t diss something you know not much about. Also, leading? I do both and can tell you, sometimes it is more difficult to follow; but in general, I think it is about equal. Leading is definitely more fun, though.

              • D Says:

                Oh I’m a big fan of dancing for all the reasons you list. I was just providing more explanation for the question of “Why don’t men…”

      • Chester Says:

        Dancing is at least three times as difficult for a man than a women. I got pretty good at swing dancing….A woman only has to learn the steps and then recognize them when a guy leads her. A man has to know the steps and recall them to lead the woman. (Recall is much more difficult than recognition) He also has to coregraph the dance.i.e. set up the next move and the next, etc. At least three times as difficult. I can take any beginner woman who took one swing lesson and we’ll both look good. With salsa, I took a dozen lessons and I am still a beginner. I can only lead three steps with a woman. If she tries to lead, it will look worse. Unless a guy invests much time in dancing, it is not that beneficial for him to pursue this avenue.

        • Joey Giraud Says:

          Maybe women want to go dancing because it’s a good way to find out if the man is a leader or not.

          Leaders being much sexier, you see.

          • DC Phil Says:

            And there are other ways to show leadership besides learning the foxtrot and the Lindy hop.

          • Cricri Says:

            I agree; I usually don’t date men who don’t dance. It shows that they are not creative, take themselves too seriously and don’t know how to let go. And above all, it gives me an idea of how sensual they are since it is about moving your body and enticing the other person. Plus, if he can lead, it’s a great way for me to surrender to his arms without it being awkward. Men who don’t dance don’t interest me; they sound very boring and sexy at all.

            • dimplz Says:

              My bf doesn’t like to dance because he doesn’t know how. That didn’t stop me from convincing him to get on the dance floor anyway (we went to 3 weddings last summer) and he was right. He can’t dance but he looked so damn cute anyway trying. So we danced all night and he actually enjoyed himself once I told him I didn’t care how he looked, as long as he was having a good time. He had a huge smile on his face. Sometimes you have to do things you’re not comfortable doing because it’s the right thing to do. I’ve certainly done it. It’s called growth.

              • Cricri Says:

                Exactly my point! It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not, you have to try. I have met some squares who didn’t like or want to dance. Maybe they were not happy in their lives or nervous or whatever, but they were giving some strange vibe so it wasn’t going to work.

                • dimplz Says:

                  Cricri, he did it purely for me, though, because he loves me. Had I not given him a chance, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to dance badly to make me happy. Do you understand what I mean?

                  • Cricri Says:

                    So he just did to indulge, otherwise he wouldn’t have, right? If that is the case, then I didn’t get it the first time. If he’s capable of not taking himself seriously and dance with you, then jackpot! If he dances just because he likes it, then that makes for even more fun for both of you.

                • Joey Giraud Says:

                  “you have to try..”

                  Good point. Guys who are too insecure to risk making a fool of themselves at something as inconsequential as dancing are… well, you know.

            • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

              This is ridiculous. All of these sweeping generalizations made based on the fact that he doesn’t dance? Most men don’t dance. How has anyone managed to have great sex without ever seeing their guy mambo?

              My God. I’ve heard some ridiculous reasons to disqualify a man but this takes the cake.

              • Cricri Says:

                By, I’m talking about my experience and about how I determine how sexy or cool a man is. You have to take in account where I live, my age and background info before calling people crazy. I’m African, dancing is a very social activity, it is not only a “thing women do” in my culture; people dance at births and funerals, it shows you know how to take part in the ritual. 2) I live in DC, the city of “overstuffed squares”, dancing is not a serious activity for them, but isn’t that the point? It doesn’t matter if you’re great at it, most people aren’t and don’t care to be but it informs them on your ability to have fun.3) I’m 28, people this age hang at clubs and mingle there; if you’re a man and don’t dance there, you just end up looking creepy.
                If a guy is 40+ and doesn’t dance, and only dates 40+ women, then it is fine as I doubt they would be hanging in places where noisy 20 something’s are. But if you’re young and cannot even show flexibility just for dancing, which to me is one of the most ridiculously simple thing to do, then it means we don’t feel each other energy and connect even on a physical level. Cultural differences can come out in the most mundane things so people might want to take them in account as well.

                • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                  You have to take in account where I live, my age and background info before calling people crazy. I’m African, dancing is a very social activity,

                  Super. Then move to Africa. You live in DC, so your point is moot. As far as your age, are we talking chronological age or emotional age? Because any woman who still goes by the “If he dances well then he’s good in bed” litmus test demonstrates both her limited experience in this area as well as her limited experience with men in general.

                  You use dancing as a barometer for a man’s creativity, personality and sexual ability. What’s next? if he has big hands he has a big penis?

                  • Cricri Says:

                    Hey what are you mad about again? I manage to find nice men to dance with so I think I’ll stay right where I’m, thank you Madame! And I wrote sensuality, not sexual ability, might want to read that one again. If you can’t seduce me while dancing, very unlikely we’ll get to bed together. It has worked for me so I’ll stick to it. I can’t really date like a white Italian woman from Boston, I could try but will probably fail. So you have to accept that different people use different filters, it’s ok. Regarding maturity, I’m not sure you are the best candidate yourself to lecture about it so I’ll leave it to that.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      Please don’t use that transparent attempt to discredit my opinion by calling me angry just because your argument fell flat.

                      And I wrote sensuality, not sexual ability, might want to read that one again.

                      I don’t have to. It means the same thing = good in bed.

                      I manage to find nice men to dance with so I think I’ll stay right where I’m, thank you Madame!

                      Neither the post not your comment was about finding men to dance with. It was about finding men to date. So you can back pedal all you like.

                      So you have to accept that different people use different filters, it’s ok.

                      It’s only ok if those filters aren’t arbitrarily used to dismiss people. What those filters are are just excuses and justifications for why certain people can never seem to find anybody to stick around.

                    • Cricri Says:

                      The way you wrote, your tone and all, “then move to Africa”, all that sounded very aggressive to me. Maybe that wasn’t your intention but this is how it came out. As a writer, you might want to pay attention to that.
                      Good if sensual and sexual are the same to you, they are not to me; knowing how to communicate desire and having great sex with someone are two different things. Sometimes they go together and sometimes they don’t.
                      And I date from the pool of guys I dance with, duh, wasn’t it self-explanatory? Of course, they can be great dancers and bankrupt on other aspects, but such is life. The principle is to find people you want to date and there’s no shortage of that at the moment.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      The way you wrote, your tone and all, “then move to Africa”, all that sounded very aggressive to me. Maybe that wasn’t your intention but this is how it came out. As a writer, you might want to pay attention to that.

                      No, that’s not how it came out. that’s how you interpreted it. It’s amazing how you constantly seem to deflect blame and are incapable of admitting when you’re wrong. As a single woman trying to date in a city full of extremely attractive, intelligent women who don’t need to see a man cha cha before they sleep with them, you might want to be aware of that.

                    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                      Debating this is so silly. Moxie and Cricri should resolve their differences with a good old fashioned dance off.

                      Or, least that’s what I WOULD advise but for the fact that dancing is prohibited in this town by local ordinance. Cue Loggins.

                  • Joey Giraud Says:

                    Geez Moxie, “move to Africa?” Dancing is universal. Besides, we all came from Africa ultimately.

                    I don’t know about aggressive, but it sure was dismissive.

                    Dancing may not be a prerequisite for sex, but I’m surprised a dating expert would dismiss the primal connection between the two.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      Please. If some woman blew you off because for something frivolous like you refused to dance, I highly doubt you’d be so accommodating of this discussion.

                      but I’m surprised a dating expert would dismiss the primal connection between the two.

                      I didn’t dismiss it. I dismissed the stupid notion that Cricri needs to see a guy dance in order to gauge his sexual abilities. There are other ways. Like actually having sex instead of standing around judging every guy for non-existent reasons.

                      It’s like that scene in Say Anything where Cysack runs in to the two guys in the parking lot of the store talking about how much they know about women and telling him how to manage his love life. Cusack counters with, “If you know so much, why are you sitting here alone on a Friday night?”

                      “By choice! We’re here by choice!”

                      No, They’re there because nobody will date them because they’re assholes.

                    • Cricri Says:

                      I really don’t know what happened there; to me, dancing with a man is letting our bodies do the flirting. The guy holds me in his arms and we twirl around until we’re out of breath; it’s fun and it breaks the awkward physical barrier. Really, it is actually a good deal for men: the woman is giving him authorization to touch in a no pressure environment. To me that’s sensual, NOT sexual. It is about communicating our desire, testing our playfulness and if someone can follow cues. I NEVER said it helped me know how good in bed a guy is, that’s what Moxie came up with on her own. If I want to know good in bed a guy is, I just take him to said bed. I’m the one that needs to dance, if a guy doesn’t want to, no fuss; I don’t think less of him. I’m a reserved person in general, don’t like PDA and such so dancing is another way to connect with other people, men and women. Some people have jokes, I have dancing.

                  • Saj Says:

                    Doesn’t DC have a large African Population?

                    And yes the responses are angry. This is the longest PMS stint I’ve ever seen unleashed verbally. For someone so introspective (though I’m starting to suspect by how off you end up on some of your psychoanalysis) you can’t tell that you’re pissy and it’s coming out in your writing? Or is arguing just so much fun that this blog uses it as a sport.

                • DC Phil Says:

                  First, you mentioned your culture. Refer to my original post above. If the guys in your culture are expected to dance, then they had an early head start. No one in my family ever liked to dance (except bad polkas at weddings — rare as those were). So, this was never stressed. I also never had the incentive to learn it.

                  Second, I was referring to more formal dancing like ballroom or salsa or swing. I’ve been to clubs (not the real noisy ones) and have danced. As you said, it’s expected. At least I try even though I just get out there and move my arms and feet the best I can. With the more formal dancing, it’s also usually implied that one has a partner. I remember when swing used to be very popular in DC about 10 + years ago, and knew couples who did it. Rarely did I ever speak with anyone (who wasn’t a woman, I should add, since they were much more common than single men) who was involved with formal dancing who wasn’t in a couple.

                  • Cricri Says:

                    I wassn’t talking about formal dancing so I won’t penalize a guy for that; I know salsa but did learn on my own and have lots of Latino friends who graciously invite me. And also in DC, you have plenty of people who have been overseas and are quite worldly so I guess we match more on that level. What it comes down to is being able be silly and try new stuff. I totally agree that culture is an important factor, if we are not connecting, it won’t be because our values are intrinsically different, just that the animal stuff from the beginning isn’t there. I mean, if you want to sleep with a woman within the month, to me you have to take her dancing at least once within that period. But that is just my opinion.

                    • Steve Says:

                      As much as others may disagree, there’s nothing wrong with this poster’s preference for men who dance. If she is finding enough suitable partners, then all the better she gets the type she is looking for. If however, she is finding difficulty meeting her type, she might want to be less stringent in this area.

                • Kurt Says:

                  You probably get away with being this superficial because you are 28, assuming you are otherwise physically attractive. However, I doubt that you’ll keep getting the type of men you want if you are still single in your mid-30s and remain this superficial.

              • SB Says:

                Cricri, as a fellow dancer, I get what you are saying. But people who don’t dance and love it as much as we do just can’t understand. It’s okay, but this subject is brought up every few months or so on swing boards.
                Date a dancer, what we all really want, and create potential awkward situations in the scene if it doesn’t work out? Or try to deal with dating a non-dancer (requires much sacrifice. I have done this, and it eventually could lead you to resent him), maybe converting them or just see them once in awhile when you aren’t dancing. Tough call, thus the debates.

                But here? To these people, it sounds ridiculous, and there really is now ay to explain so they will understand. It’s a personal preference that impacts our lives in a big way. So, don’t feel frustrated; this is an impossible argument to win because essentially, both people are “right.”

                Cheers. (btw, I wonder if I know you in real life.)

        • Howard Says:

          You obviuosly know little about dance. There are many stages dancers go through. Each stage is different. The early stages are generally more difficult for men. The intermediate stages and advanced stages can actually be more difficult for women.

          With salsa I am advanced, and if I go to a hardcore salsa social, maybe like 10% of the girls can handle anything I throw at them, if it’s a salsa club, maybe one or two gilrs in the whole club. With tango, swing or hustle, where I am just intermediate maybe half the girls can handle anything. Most male dancers have to tone their stuff down to make the dance a memorable and enjoyable experience, because if you don’t she will resent you trying to show off, because it’s really at her expense.

          • DC Phil Says:

            More difficult for men, obviously, since they’re learning how to lead in the beginning stages. Once they surmount that hurdle, and can lead effectively, then it’s about finding a partner who knows how to follow well. If she knows what she’s doing, then the woman can help to make up for missed steps, etc.

            It sounds like you take dancing as a very serious hobby — and maybe even semi-professional? What you said about the low percentage of women handling what you throw at them underscores what I’ve also thought about dancing: viz., that many women will get into it only to a point. For them, dancing is about moving their bodies and being seen. It’s not really about achieving advanced skill.

            She resents you for showing off? What . . . a woman gets miffed that a man is upstaging her? Say it ain’t so, Maynard!

            • SB Says:

              DC Phil, a woman will resent a man for “showing off” instead of dancing with her because a partner dance is not about showing off for the crowd. It is about making a memorable dance for your partner; there is no audience, you dance for your partner of that song.

              I am quite an experienced follow (have a performance later today, actually) and am usually much better than any lead I dance with in a night. However, I am not going to take over and start showing off just so I can dance at my level; no, my dance for that song is about my partner. If he is new or not very experienced, I tone it all down and help him look good. In no way is it appropriate for me to show off and make him feel bad. If I want to dance to show off, I go solo dancing at a club. That is the appropriate place, not the social dance floor.

              Same for experienced leads with less advanced follows. If she can’t follow a complicated move, you tone it down to her level and just play with it if she can handle that. Make it fun for you partner, and you will have fun in return.

              And yes, there is a huge difference between beginning following and advanced following. At no point is it any easier than leading (I found i t much harder than leading when I was starting out), but at some point, when you get good enough, muscle memory starts to take over and you start to use your brain to add fun things in.

              • Howard Says:

                Not sure I agree with you SB about following always being harder. On Wednesday night I went to a chicago stepping meetup, It was my first encouter with that dance. I guess I forgot how hard it is starting out. The musicality is very different with chicago step. The funny thing was that even with trying to help me there was only so much the ladies could do. I had to struggle and try to quickly hardwire my neuro-muscular system to the musicality.

                I did a little experiment. I asked an experienced female dancer to do the lead while I did the follow. I was actually able to benefit tremendously froim what she was doing and was quickly able to dance the follow. It actually helped me when I came back and did the lead. Also with Salsa, I can take a woman who never danced Salsa before who has a decent sense of rhythm and make her experience very enjoable because of all the extra cues I can give her with my hands and lead.

                The later stages of any dance is definitely harder for women, because they always have to pay so much attention while trying to do their own embellishments, and everything is happening so quickly. Of course advanced male dancers are also always coming up with too much insane stuff. In fact the dance gets so hard in the very advanced stages that only with rehersal an advanced female dancer will be able to get the routine that an advanced male dancer comes up with. It’s no indictment on women. It’s just the nature of none of us being mind readers. If one looks at a lot of performances very critically, one is more likely to see something the lady misses than the guy. The average person never sees it, but the other advanced dancers know.

    • Chester Says:

      I think this is one of the smartest things said so far:

      But as a relationship progresses, here is what I think it looks like:
      Dinner, sex, meeting one another’s friends and family, celebrating holidays together, taking trips/vacations together, working on home-type projects together (if applicable), handling problems together (sickness, etc.), relying on one another for support – either emotional (talking problems through, work stuff, etc.) or logistical (helping with car trouble/flat tire, rides to airport, etc.). I guess what I mean is that at the couple’s own pace, they begin to gradually, but steadily share the fabric of their lives together, piece by piece.

      It’s funny how some people put importance on a particular activity they want to share with someone, when they will probably not do it once they are in a committed relationship.

    • Steve From the City Next Door Says:

      I remember reading the response from a local dance studio apparently in regard to an article that had included them (I didn’t see it). It said that the studio only accepted students as partners. The had a list of people looking for partners which they had capped at 50 and in over a year none was taken off the list. And it asked guys to quit calling unless they were bringing a partner. Despite what all these articles had said, they were not a good place to meet single women.

      As such, it seems (at least there) that you already have to have partner.

      I dated a dance instructor while in college- and she was not able to teach me to do any of the formal dances even reasonably well. I always trailed the music just a bit…too much…and wasn’t smooth really either. .

  3. Erin Says:

    I loved this post Moxie!!!! I am laughing and I always like to laugh. Speaking as one of your happily married readers this is what I can tell you. EVERY SINGLE relationship/marriage is different. What works for two people may never work for you but hey if it works for them who are we to say what is the right way to be happily in love. We know couples who spend very little time together. That would never work for my husband and I. We were business partners spending all our time together, who were the best of friends first and fell in love truly knowing each other. We love spending the majority of our time together. This does not make us better or worse then people who spend little time together. it is just what works for us. I think people have a habit of judging what a relationship/marriage should be by what they think they want. The truth is most of us don’t really know exactly what it is that we want. When our life makes us pretty content and happy on a daily basis we realize hey this is what I wanted and it is wonderful.

    Everyone has that getting to know you period that is confusing and exasperating at times but ask any couple who is happy years later and they will tell you how fondly they look back on those times. NEVER rush those beginning stages as truly they are magical and no matter who you are I honestly believe you will lose something important if you rush through the getting to know you. Whatever you do for dates when it is right you find a way to make it special for the two of you. It doesn’t really matter what you are doing it matters that you are happy doing it together!!!!!

    • dimplz Says:

      “It doesn’t really matter what you are doing it matters that you are happy doing it together!!!!!” This is very true. You get to a point where if you take pleasure in doing the most mundane thing, because you’re with the one you love, you’re definitely with the right person.

  4. Badger Says:

    “Why don’t men try to learn an activity that would impress a woman like ballroom dancing or salsa so they could enjoy them together?”

    One thing nobody’s mentioned: it’s my experience that if a woman gets a whiff that a guy is doing something for the express purpose of impressing women, he becomes instantly very unattractive, a try-hard or a “pussy beggar” or just creepy. Somehow women want men to be competent and charming, but at the same time to look like they aren’t trying at all.

    • dimplz Says:

      I think the reason for that is they feel that there are more women than men, so a man doesn’t have to try so hard. It’s just one of those dating myths, like pretty women have a bunch of men asking them out all the time: not true. There is always someone prettier being asked out.

      • DC Phil Says:

        Indeed. Having a plethora of options is better than having none at all. But, that doesn’t mean that the man wouldn’t have to work in a dance hall, either.

        Again, my point about dance being yet another thing where the man has to do most of the work is apropos here. Either the guy loves to dance as a hobby (which is fine per se), in which case he’s outcome-independent, or he’s doing it to try to meet women, where, as Badger says, he’ll come off as trying too hard. What’s the ROI?

        Also, I’ve heard from others that most women who like to go ballroom dancing, etc. are older women, who might or might not be all that attractive. Line dancing? ‘Nuff said about what kinds of women like to go to that. Salsa? Could be a mixed bag. All of this dancing in Northeast Bumfuck? Lower quality, I’m sure.

        Lastly, women like to dance, period. It’s usually their thing. They like to move their bodies in tune with the music, and often go out dancing with their girlfriends if there are no men. But, of course, it’s socially acceptable for women to dance with each other. Not so for guys.

        • dimplz Says:

          Doesn’t seem like you’ve attended a class, so maybe it’s best not to make assumptions. The interest has to be there. Obviously, you’re not interested, don’t want to do the work, and dancing is supposed to be fun. If you have to dissect the hell out of it, it’s obviously not going to be fun or fulfilling. Enough said.

          • DC Phil Says:

            I’ve attended a class each in salsa, tango, mixed ballroom, and swing. Each were okay and I enjoyed them for that night. No incentives to return, however.

            Yes, as you said, I’m not interested and don’t want to do the work. I have other things where I have an interest and am willing to put in the work. Classical music or Chinese calligraphy, anyone?

            • SB Says:

              One class does not an expert make. You don’t know what you are talking about, and that is obvious. It is okay not to know about a particular hobby, but don’t try tell others all about it when you know nothing yourself.

              • DC Phil Says:

                Never said I was an expert. I don’t know all of the fine points about dancing, I admit. It’s just not my thing.

                And, my other comments were my attempt to explain the strong affinities that women have for dancing, where most men do not. Where have you seen me say anything that shows that I’m kind of expert on dancing when I’ve taken just one class in each?

                • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                  Holy balls. Seriously?

                  But people who don’t dance and love it as much as we do just can’t understand.

                  Understanding or appreciating someone’s passion for an activity isn’t difficult. It doesn’t take some higher level of evolution, as your rather pretentious comment implies. You’re not talking about your love of collecting rubber bands or something else obscure. People get why someone would be passionate about dancing. It’s hardly unique. Other than affording people an opportunity to talk about themselves, I’m baffled as to why this discussion is even still going on.

                  • SB Says:

                    I didn’t mean to offend anyone; you mentioned before that you couldn’t understand why it was so important to Cricri to find a man who dances. I can see that it wouldn’t make sense to someone who doesn’t have dancing as their hobby (we refer to it as an addiction sometimes), but this is a topic that is discussed and understood by those in the international dance community.

                    Rather than continue to discuss it here, where most will just take away that she is being ridiculous, I wanted to offer her support and point out that it is a topic of discussion where others have the exact preferences.

                    DC – your opinion on the subject is perfectly valid – and true – of you. Sweeping generalizations of men and women on something you know next to nothing about (aside from what is spouted from stand-up comics) is getting annoying. You are completely wrong, factually, when you make generalizations like that; and you keep reposting over and over the same stuff.

  5. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Men don’t take classes in things that they will never apply or use in day to day life just to meet women.” I disagree; men do all sorts of things just to meet women. However, our ideas of what types of things will be successful may not be perfect. I never thought of ballroom dancing lessons until my therapist suggested it, for instance.

    “Why are some men not concerned with [something] unless they are sure they are getting laid?” In response, I ask why should we care about something unless we are going to get some benefit out of it? I am only willing to tolerate the effort, expense and discomfort of dressing up in order to get paid or get laid. Otherwise, what is the point?

    “Do guys really like the Damsel in Distress act?” Many nice guys are afflicted with White Knight Syndrome. However, most of us eventually figure out that most women’s distress is of their own making, and you can’t save someone from themselves. If a dragon captures you and needs slaying? Sure. If you can’t manage your finances and are looking for someone to support you? Not so much.

    “For example, do guys really want a woman who is dependent on their significant other?” We want a woman to need us just as much as we need her. That doesn’t necessarily mean we want her to be “dependent”, though.

    “Why do men think they could sustain a relationship when the only activity they both share is sex and dining out?” Many guys don’t actually want a real relationship with the woman they’re with: they’re just going through the motions in order to get laid regularly. Even if they do want a relationship, what really sustains a (healthy) relationship is emotional intimacy, but where is a guy supposed to learn that–or how to do it? That’s not something we often see on TV, from our friends or even from our parents in many cases.

    “if you said to a man that you’d like to do something other than dinner one night, and he was interested in you beyond sex, he’d do it.” Heck, even if he wasn’t interested in more, he’d probably do it. He’s probably just as bored with the dinner routine as you are, but when we find something that works, we stick to it. As long as he’s still going to get laid, though, he’ll go along with just about anything you suggest.

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