Somebody asked me recently why dating advice is so inconsistent. I told them that it was because most dating advice lacks objectivity. I’ve said this before.
Today this popped up in my Twitter stream. Now, I’ve spoken of my regard for Evan in the past. He’s got more passion and authenticity than most folks in the dating advice niche. But this piece ruffled my feathers.
It affirms everything that I’ve ever written about sex and gender in a very logical, concrete manner. In short, women teach men how to treat them. And if, due to equality, birth-control, libido, societal acceptance, and insecurity, many women are willing to have sex with men who don’t call, pay, commit, or make an effort, then those women are essentially teaching men that they do not have to behave well to procure sex.
You want to find out if a man is serious about you? Wait to have sex with him. If you don’t – because you’re a liberated woman who can have sex whenever you damn well please – don’t be too surprised if a decent percentage of those men never call again. Again, I’m not remotely judgmental of those who have sex without commitment; I will only point out as a dating coach that it tends to lead to sub-optimal results from men because they didn’t have to do anything special to get into bed with you.
Note: there will be no comments about slut-shaming, since no one is shaming anyone, nor calling anyone a slut. Nor will there be comments about how you slept with your boyfriend on the first date and he became your husband. The many exceptions don’t disprove the rule that giving men sex without demanding better treatment is not the best idea.
Well, yeah. If a guy does absolutely nothing in the way of effort, he’s never going to commit and doesn’t value you in any capacity. But the signs that he isn’t going to stick around are there. The sex isn’t why he’s not committing. He was never going to commit.
Here’s the tricky part about this sort of instruction. The men who will commit without having sex are typically the men that women regularly reject. There’s another caveat to this advice and it never, ever gets included when people dole this particular wisdom out. That would be that women should plan on demonstrating interest in another way, including paying for dates, if they are going to hold off on having sex. The way most of this advice is structured, women are led to believe that they can do nothing and still get what she wants. The onus is put on the man to prove himself. This is why so many women take this advice and come up empty handed.
Dating advice panders to the audience. Often the message is, “You’re the prize, ladies. Make him earn it.” Rarely does it consider or offer both sides. Nobody tells women that they’ll probably have to lower their standards if they hold off having sex until commitment is offered. Nobody tells women they’ll probably have to extend themselves beyond their comfort zone in any way to get that more desirable guy to commit. All that is said to them is that there’s this unicorn of a man who will wait for them.
Maybe if these women are 25 or 30 they’ll have an easier time if they employ this approach. But 35, 40, 45 and older? Come on. Most of the men that women ages 35+ are pursuing have already been married or have their kids or have multiple options. Or they’ve never married by choice. They are in demand. These men need to see something really special in a woman to make them want to give all that up. Especially if sex isn’t on the table. Women don’t have to sleep with these men, but they do have to their own hoop jumping to do.
But nobody ever tells them that.