Here is the #1 thing you can do for understanding men and getting them invested in dating you.
Need Help Understanding Men?
Right now I have an awesome single guy as a client. In his early 50’s, Rick has shared with me the ups and downs of his romantic life. He felt ready to date again, but wanted to avoid some of the painful mistakes he has made in past relationships. I have been very excited to guide him on this journey as he is a great catch.
On his very first date after starting with me as his dating coach, he was a bit nervous and as a result, Rick let the woman lead the conversation. She went down the unfortunate road of discussing past relationships and he followed her there. Then Rick noticed the energy between them diminished immediately following this conversation.
They talked about getting together again and his date said she’d let him know what was good. He told me he left the ball in her court. (I thought, oh no!)
Who Should Lead on the 1st Few Dates?
Talking about past relationships on a first date aside which is not advised, let’s talk about who should lead on the first 4-8 dates. I explained to Rick about my “Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating” In ballroom dancing, there is only one leader – the man, and one follower – the woman. This strategy works best for the first 4-8 dates, (8 is better) depending on the couple, for so many reasons.
When you let a man lead, you can observe what he will do to win you over without your prompts. This is essential to judge his interest level. Does he take three weeks for a second date and more than a week between calls? Or does he ask you for a second date within three days? Obviously the quicker he gets in touch with you and asks you out, the greater interest he is showing. In this case, texting does NOT count.
But, as the woman, if you can’t handle waiting or think it’s unnecessary to let him lead, you might make the mistake of calling and asking when you can see him again. “Are you busy this weekend?” might slip out of your anxious lips. This is not a good dating strategy.
You Can’t Take the DNA Out of Dating
Now that women and men have achieved greater equality in the work place, women often think its perfectly fine to chase men. They want to be direct and say what is on their minds, ask a guy out, call him if they want to talk. Unfortunately dating has not caught up with business. Dating is still an archaic mating ritual based in biology. And you can’t take the DNA out of dating.
What does that mean about DNA? See a man has hunter instincts coded into his DNA. The hunter wants to win. He enjoys setting his sights on a woman and then doing what it takes to win her over. Dating you needs to be his idea. Once you are into relationship (after 8 dates approximately) then the chase is mostly over and the dance balances out. But as the woman, if you don’t wait, you can lose big time.
Men Don’t Like to Be Chased or Pursued
Instinctively, most men (at least men over 40) know this is their role in dating. So when you step in, it’s often a turn off. There is no resistance, no wondering if you like him or not and no striving to win you over. When you call him or ask him out early on, you take all the guess work, sexual tension and mystery out of the situation and a man loses interest.
What Makes Him Get Interested in You?
Letting the man do the work to see you gets him invested in winning you over! Making yourself too available by initiating contact or asking him out ruins the magic and eliminates the mystery. Instead of appearing independent and confident, usually you end up looking aggressive, needy or desperate! These are not traits men seek in a woman.
That’s why my steadfast dating advice is:
DON’T CALL MEN!
I hope you are catching on to why calling a man, asking him out and being direct with him are all bad initial dating strategies. To make this even more clear, I want to share Rick’s email with me after I talked about the “Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating” with him.
Rick understood that leaving the “ball in her court” was far too passive. This was how he tried to ward off rejection so he could say it was up to her rather than potentially hearing her say, “No” to his next invitation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ballroom Dance Analogy and wow, that’s really powerful.
Here was my experience when I took Ballroom Dance lessons: At first, I was really nervous and awkward and didn’t know what to do, but gradually, I became more confident at it and knew what I was doing. As my confidence grew and I had more lessons, my instructor taught me that my job as the man was:
1) To Lead – never, ever let the woman take the lead. Never. Ever. Period. This was drilled into me.
2) Always make the woman feel that she is the center of attention and the most beautiful, graceful being on the planet.
3) Have a plan on the dance floor and know where you’re going – the woman usually can’t see where we are going because she’s facing backwards. It’s the man’s job to keep a woman out of trouble and on the right path in dancing.
4) Past mistakes are in the past and you can’t do anything about them. If you don’t focus on the here and now and the immediate future, you will make more mistakes.
When I learned and put these concepts into place, my dance card was always full and I never sat down at a dance party. In fact, the Dance Studio I went to stopped charging me for coming to the dances because they wanted me to keep coming.
So now, I’ll compare this with dating. I am a past dance master just getting back into dancing, but I’m talking about and thinking about all my past dance partners and the fun dances we had, instead of putting these four concepts into place. I’m not leading or making the woman feel special, I don’t have a well defined plan, and I’m not letting go of my mistakes.
If I don’t get this under control, I’ll be sitting down for most of the dances (figuratively speaking) and ruin my dating chances to find a new partner. I know what to do and how to do it. Time to get off my duff and start leading again!”
You can only imagine how excited I was when I got this email from Rick! He had forgotten what his role was in dating and dancing. Rick must step up to be the leader and if he wants to find the right woman, he better take charge.
When you meet a guy who is too nice, usually he has forgotten he is the leader. And guess what, you find him unattractive!
Promise Me You Will Not Take the Lead
Sit back and follow the man’s lead. If he calls, call him back. When you have fun, tell him at the end of the date! But do not call him, ask when you can see him again, ask if he’s busy this weekend, or ask him out for eight dates in a row.
Give yourself the chance to see how much a man is genuinely interested in you and what he will do on his own to win you over. This is the best process for the start of dating and for understanding men. Let him do the work and allow the sexual tension to grow so he gets invested in starting a lasting, loving relationship with you.
Find out if you might be making any other major midlife dating mistakes with my book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes that Keep You Single