Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guest Post: Men are from mars, and women are from...somewhere entirely different.

Hey lambchops.  Happy Hump Day.  

As you know, I love to talk and blog and complain and philosophize and ruminate on the magical worlds of dating and romance.  My stories, however, are usually one-sided, in that I don't get a post-mortem/explanation/evaluation from the dude.  In an effort to present you with a broader perspective, I've recruited my lovely friend and colleague Julia Mayer to share a tale with the wolfpack.  

Although I ordered Julia's first book, I confess that I haven't read it yet; my mom stole it and won't give it back.  Once I do, I'll let you know the 411 on the Eyes in the Mirror.  In the meantime, Julia is here to chat you up and give you a little he said/she said dating action.  Enjoy!

I can’t, in good faith to my publicist, write a blog post these days without plugging my book, Eyes in the Mirror, published by Sourcebooks August 1. You can find it at your local bookstore here: or on Amazon: I will say that the book is not about dating advice, though it does involve showing two sides of the same story, which is what I’ll do below.

As an author, I have the wonderful benefit of being able to make up my own truth and have the characters interpret it however I want them to. In real life, it’s not so simple. I have a small group of guy friends, who I’ll dub Clueless Boys. Despite being sweet, and well meaning, and having big hearts, they’re completely mystified by the girls they want to date.

At a bar one night, a friend of mine told me this story. Names have been changed for everyone’s benefit.

“I met this girl, Sarah, at a party at a friend’s house. I thought she was cute right away, so I started talking to her. Turned out we had some shared interests in education so asked for her number in order to set up a lunch to talk about what she’s up to in schools, etc. She gave it to me and I called her and we set up a lunch.

“We had a great time at lunch; we talked for hours. We wound up spending most of the day together. Then I called her and suggested we go out for a drink to continue the conversation. We did. Then she called and suggested we go dancing. That sounded like a certain date, but there were two problems. First, I already had plans at the time she suggested with a male friend. Second, I was nervous since I’m not a very good dancer. Not wanting to turn her down, I accepted and invited my friend to come with us.

“At the bar, she was really flirtatious, we danced, we talked, we had fun. At some point I wanted a smoke and she doesn’t smoke, so me and my friend went outside to have a cigarette then came back in. We only stayed for a little while after that, then my friend left and I walked her home. I wanted to kiss her at the end of the night but I was too nervous so I just said goodnight and left. Now she’s not returning my calls- to be expected, I guess, I never really had a chance wit her.”

I twitched violently through most of this story at the obvious mistakes made. Not only had he once had a chance with her, he had blown it too. So I asked if it would help him to hear the story told again, as she was telling it to her friends at brunch on Sunday.

Here’s what happened from her perspective:

I met a guy at a party at my friend’s house. He started talking to me and seemed sweet. Turned out we had some similar interests in education and stuff, so when he asked for my number and suggested we get lunch. Lunch is a good pre-date. We totally hit it off. Then a few days later, I met him after work to “finish the conversation” over drinks. We had a great time again, but now I felt like, you know, this was a date. So it was pretty weird that he didn’t really make a move. I think he liked me, but it was a little hard to tell.

Thinking I would give him another chance…maybe he was nervous? I called and asked him to come dancing with me. CLEARLY a date. So I get there and he’s brought a friend with him. A guy friend, so not another girl, but come on. You don’t bring your guy friends on a date with a girl you actually like. Now on top of that, we’re dancing and flirting and he interrupts it to go outside with his friend and smoke. Leaving me alone in the bar. He knew I didn’t smoke, like, could he not have waited for a couple of hours.

So finally, I think I get a sign that he likes me: he walks me home. [Here all of her friends say: awwww, that’s so cute…] I think so too at first, really sweet, right? Like how cute, we weren’t even that close to my house. But we get all the way home and he doesn’t hold my hand. He doesn’t put his arm around me. He most certainly doesn’t kiss me goodnight. So I figured, ok, that’s it. He’s just not interested. And then, only after all of that, does he start calling me on a regular basis. If he was interested, he would’ve already made the move. And I know I shouldn’t be pissed, but I’m kinda pissed. Why go through all of this if he just wants another friend?

These are the questions he asked after hearing the story:
Was it so wrong to bring my friend?
Yes. Just yes. You had two options here: cancel with your guy friend (who would’ve been totally fine with it) or suggest an alternate date. Bringing a friend is clear “just friends” territory.

Why can’t I leave her alone in a bar?
If she’s as hot as you say she is, she’s going home with someone else. Other guys are going to see that you’re not interested and move in.

What else could I have done?
Use the word “date.” Seriously. You have no idea how much this helps. Half the time I go on a date, I have no idea whether we’re on a date or just getting dinner until you offer to pick up the check (we can leave the who-should-pay argument for another day, but ladies, cut the guy some slack on this. It’s really a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation).

Little gestures like holding hands or putting your arm around her are also really good signals- I know they seem small, but they’re the things that make the friends swoon at brunch, and that’s part of what keeps the chick interested.

So here’s the take away from this sad story: Gentlemen, be clear and open about what you want and your intentions. And if you’re interested, go the extra mile to show it. You really do confuse us. Ladies, cut they guy some slack. He’s doing a lot of the hard work here and you’re pretty baffling to him, too.


  1. It wouldn't hurt us girls to be more direct, too. If something bothers you or is unclear, just ask. I was once in one of those is-this-a-date-or-not limbo situations, so I asked him, "Just to be clear - is this a date?" Works wonders. (Rule of my life: it's only awkward if you let it be awkward.)

    And there are no rules against girls making the first move, either.

    Great post. Communication and lack thereof are the bane of the human existence.

  2. Awesome post! Miscommunication and mixed signals have killed many a date and potential relationship. I don't think guys are aware of the messages they give out. Which is so frustrating! When in doubt? Be honest, use your words (including the word date) and leave your friends at home!

    The Millionaire Matchmaker show on Bravo may be a hot mess, but her show is entertaining and actually helpful. I have actually, dare I say it? Learned some helpful tips from watching her show and following her on Twitter.