September 2007

He Says, She Says: DATING

Author: Keith Kelson & Jean Wharton

He Says…by Keith Kelson

I ran into a very confused young man the other day, and like most confused young men, the source of his confusion was the fairer sex. He was at his wits’ end. He was failing at the dating game, and the advice he was getting from his female friends wasn’t working at all.

I shook my head. Another modern day, “sensitive” male taking dating advice from women. My good friend, Joseph Brown, says all modern day, sensitive men need to be sent to a boot camp and whacked upside the head with a large phone book.

While I’m sure his female friends had good intentions, he should have known better than to be taking dating advice from a woman. Don’t do it, man. It’s not a good idea. It would be like asking soccer star David Beckham to give advice to kids about hitting a curve ball or letting The Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick, walk your dog.

Now, before the women reading this cry foul, hear me out. As the movie Rounders showed us, there is a circle of life and we all have our roles to play. Maybe that was The Lion King. At any rate, in the dating game, men and women have very distinct roles. The man’s job is approaching the woman. The woman’s job is accepting or rejecting the man’s advances. To do otherwise is to upset the balance of the universe.

Yes, I know that this is the 21st century, and women are CEOs and smoking cigars and asking men out all the time nowadays. But are they really?

If you break down dating into percentages, the vast majority of the time, say 85 percent, the man will have to approach the woman. The other 15 percent of the time, the man will either be introduced to a woman by his friends or some other third party (that’s 10 percent right there) or he’ll get approached by a woman who is interested in him a paltry 5 percent of the time.

Those numbers hold up even if the guy is Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington or George Clooney. A woman may see a guy that she thinks is tall, dark and handsome, but odds are she won’t make the first move, and no love connection will happen.

So, when it comes to giving dating advice to men, the women who can actually relate to what a man will have to do 85 percent of the time and give him good, solid advice is about the same as the number of women who are avid videogame freaks. Eliminate G4 Television’s Morgan Webb, and that would bring the number to about twenty. Women simply don’t get enough practice approaching or getting rejected by men to be able to relate to what a man goes through in the dating game.

In fact, unless a woman is offering to introduce you to some of her cute single friends or is willing to be your “wingman,” you should not take any dating advice from her. If, after suggesting the two options I just mentioned, the look on a woman’s face says “ewwww,” you not only have a clue to how she really feels about you as a friend, you also have your first lesson in reading the many subtle and not so subtle signals women send men.

Once a man realizes that he’s gonna have to do the heavy lifting 85 percent of the time, a Zen-like aura of calm envelopes him. He is at peace. The world seems to be moving in slow motion as he can anticipate his opponent’s every move in that room filled with mirrors. Wait, that’s a scene from Enter the Dragon, but it holds true when you’re dating as well.

Any man who’s ever gotten a come hither glance from a woman knows what I’m talking about. Who has time to fear rejection? Not me and not you, if you’re smart. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you’re that guy whose ego is still smarting from being turned down by two cheerleaders during the homecoming dance in high school, Dude, let it go.

She Says…by Jean Wharton

It is very fitting that I am writing this month’s “He Says, She Says” rebuttal from my sofa in front of a Sex and the City rerun. The show’s popular protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, and I share the same predilection for fancy high-heeled shoes, de-frizzing hair serum and tall men. Sadly that is where our similarities end. Ms. Bradshaw easily and constantly sorted through various relationships with a vast array of gentlemen, many of whom seemed disposable to her and her gaggle of gal pals. On Hilton Head Island, dating is slightly different.

I agree with my counterpart that asking someone out is a lot more challenging than it looks on television. It’s no wonder more women don’t make the first move. However, I think Keith’s math may be off just a smidge. Men do not ask women out 85 percent of the time; they only think they do. Buying a lady a drink at a bar or inviting her to watch you play rugby is not a date. A date is calling ahead of time—days ahead—having a plan for an activity and executing it with a grace and style. That being said, the cold call in any kind of sales is a difficult thing to do. And let’s face it: dating is simply sales and marketing. The product you’re selling is yourself, and marketing it takes some effort, no matter who you are.

I’ve tried to convince Celebrate Hilton Head that it is time for a Bachelorette of the Year contest in order to showcase some of the stellar single ladies of the island. Since the magazine asks for only male submissions to the competition, I wonder: What else do we have to do for the poor, poor fellas to help them find women? I love the competition as much as the next gal and truly enjoyed watching Jimmy Leppert’s reign as the first Bachelor winner; but the odds are stacked in the guys’ favor. We set them up for success.

Single women have practically flooded this island and yet, I know too many who are date-less. What is wrong with you boys?

Women read Maxim and GQ, watch The Sopranos and are working on their golf game. We’ve abandoned the traditional, sit-back-and-wait-for-him-to-come-to-you thing. We smile at grocery stores, get dressed cute to go to the gym and buy the band a round of drinks…all of this and more. Sure, we can take care of ourselves, and frankly are doing a pretty good job of it (cigar smoking aside). But now that we can have it all, we want someone with whom to share it. We keep our friends close and our dateable friends closer.

Single men and women can not be just friends. I agree with Harry. The movie itself proved the point. Harry and Sally got married in the end. There are two ways for men and women to remain friends. One is when a woman is not attracted to her friend. The guy would ruin the friendship; toss it out the window, if taking it to the next level were on the menu with his “friend.” But very often it’s not. Second, we backburner potential loves until the time presents itself to ask the man if he wants to be more than friends.

Women have the best of intentions when it comes to their male friends. We want them to be happy and find love, so we dish out the advice we wish someone was giving our own crush. Is the advice always as aggressive as man’s natural inclination? Maybe not. Nevertheless, we mean well.

Although Carrie Bradshaw and I live on very different islands, she did end the show with the truest statement of the series: “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you that you love, well that’s just fabulous.”

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