Mailvox: where’s Poirot when you need him?

RT laments:

I am very feminine. I never have any luck with guys. I wear pink a lot. I wear skirts a lot. I wear heels a lot. I never say I don’t like fishing or camping, but I actually have guys say I’m “high-maintenance” and they are sure I would never go fishing or camping or something. Well, they never asked me. I don’t have a problem with either. They are always going out with women who ask them out or asking out women who put out so much they could make a fortune if they charged. I am always careful never to say ANYTHING negative around a guy now ABOUT ANYTHING, especially about him. I never hardly even get asked out. And I’m definitely not ugly or fat. Definitely not. However, I am told I don’t talk enough. I talk to my friends. I just don’t go up to guys and ask them out. I was told by one guy I’m not confident enough to date him. Well, I never spend any time thinking about what other people think about me anymore, and I’m confident enought that I’ve delivered Shakespeare on stage and gotten after show compliments. Men ought to work on keeping their pants zipped and being interested in quiet, nice women. Because they’re not. They’re just not. They act like jackasses, like Scott Peterson.

Let’s see. In the course of a single paragraph – okay, in fairness it really should be two – RT manages to expose that she’s a high-maintenance women and thinks that men act like jackasses, are unfaithful and probably murderers to boot. Men may not be complex, but neither are we stupid, and we’re surprisingly good at picking up on this sort of hatred bubbling under the surface.

It is true that many young men without much experience of women think that they want a confident, independent woman who doesn’t need them, but these are mostly younger guys who just want to make sure a girlfriend won’t interfere with playing Doom 3 for six hours a night. That sort of guy usually isn’t looking for a long-term relationship, he’s looking for someone to provide friendship with favors and will otherwise stay out of his life.

One thing women who don’t get asked out might want to consider is to try to be more responsive. If a man looks at you, then don’t immediately look away if you want him to approach you. You don’t have to ask him out or run up to him and start humping his leg like a dog – although I’ve seen that work with a guy who’s got a sense of humor – but the usual routine is this:

1. Man looks.

2. Woman looks back.

3. Man smiles.

4. Woman smiles back.

This informs the man that he has the woman’s approval to approach her. Non-verbal communication is often more important than verbal communication at this stage. And whatever you do, don’t pull your friends into the conversation, as men know that women use their friends as a shield against those they aren’t interested in. If you start doing that, a man might easily conclude you’ve got no interest and that he might as well look elsewhere.

A very good friend of mine had a philosophy to go out once with everyone who asked her out. She doesn’t do that anymore, now being married with child – but some of her good male friends are men that she knew from the beginning weren’t terribly interesting to her from a romantic point of view, but that she took the time to get to know anyhow. She met some real losers too, but that’s the risk you take, because no one can always tell the difference between a winner and a loser at first glance.