By: Shawn Davis
Disclaimer: Anything written in this piece is the truth because I said so. Some of my female friends may be offended…but that was my intent. Relax…enjoy.
As a single man who dates, a lot, I get mounds of grief from my friends (both male and female) who label me as being “picky” because I’ve chosen to refrain from commitment. Uh, that’s not entirely the case. I’ve been single for over a year now and I’m getting to the point where I’d entertain the thought of taking on more than a casual fling but I won’t compromise on my standards (I think that’s what I mean); I expect a woman to blow me away because I have a great deal to offer…for the most part.
I’ll be frank; she has to be HOTT (two t’s are definitely needed here), from there it’s all about personality because that’s what keeps you engaged in another person. Addressing the former, I get called shallow often (and I am) but follow me: You walk into an exclusive steakhouse – that took weeks to reserve – and you’ve been thinking about the renowned rib-eye cut for just as long. You place your order and then imagine the heat coming from the steak, the aroma hitting your nose, working up to your brain as it’s placed on the table. Ready to eat, right? Yeah. Now take the same experience BUT instead of being served on a fine piece of eatery, your steak is placed on a filthy garbage can lid; still ready to pounce? I thought not; there’s a method to my madness, well, I think. I want the next woman who I enter a relationship with to be one of the most beautiful women in the world (God, I hope Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, Roselyn Sanchez or recording artist Cassie are reading this). Looks aren’t everything but they bring you to the table, so to speak.
Secondly, personality is all the seasonings used to make that entrée worthwhile. A bland cut isn’t desirable, nor is one that isn’t cooked to your specifications. Personality is akin to the perfect seasoning mix because that is what makes you finish the meal, but also yearn for more. Presentation brings you to the table but the ingredients keep you there. Not so shallow now, huh?
She has to be gorgeous, smart, focused on her career and/or achieving her professional goals, a sense of fashion and how to dress, be funny, have the ability to be goofy at times and express a proficiency at being able to center a conversation on subjects not concerning shoes, primarily (I’ve found this to be difficult), and be totally single without children (I don’t have any and I’m not being mean to single-mothers, I was raised by one) and be 23, at the least. That’s it! Those are the things that I want a woman to have so friends…take the checklist and go out there since I seem to be the outcast because I’m 30 and single, I don’t mind. I’d be involved if I was meant to be.
Women are confusing, believe me. I’ve been through Italy, the Netherlands, England and several states here and we (men) just want to know, What the HELL do you want from us?
Both men and women pose this question so this is nothing new but I aim to enlighten with my experiences (because I’m fantastic; I hope my brainwashing techniques are working). The common responses I get are as follows: Be single, have a job/career, don’t live at home (dodged that one), be kind and funny, responsible, show kindness and sensitivity (as she may want you to be her baby-daddy), love your mother, be attractive, have the ability to make her feel secure and be trustworthy.
Before I fall into the deep end, stop for a second. The divide that exists between men and women can be traced to the hierarchy of what we want from one another. Look above at the traits that garner my attention and the one’s from the group of women that knowingly (and some with the help of alcohol…wait am I typing this?) participated in this project.
Men are visual creatures and a woman’s physical stature drives our attention, at least for me it does. Whereas women tend to list other characteristics that point to a man’s direction in life before they even list physical traits. I think that women make a list of all the other points, add them up, and then the sum becomes attractive; whether he’s Joe from-the-bar or a movie star doesn’t matter in the calculation, I believe. “If he’s handsome, it’s a plus, but it doesn’t necessarily earn him my number or a date with me or more for that matter,” Jen says. “He has to be more because there are many (physically) attractive men that don’t bring enough to the table to earn my interest.”
I will now fall into the hole and italics will represent questions or comments from women – sober and/or drunk – I’m joking; my answers (from the guy frame of mind) will be in normal type. Here goes:
I hate when men stare! Just because I have on form-fitting clothes doesn’t mean I want to be fondled and drooled over or followed around the street. Why can’t you guys behave? – Dana, Amsterdam
Sure Dana, I get that you don’t want to be followed, touched without your consent, or have men leave puddles of saliva on you, but really? Isn’t this quibbling? I mean women want the attention that men give; they just want it to be expressed in a dignified manner. That’s fair. Listen ladies, you get noticed whether you’re in tight clothes or a trash bag because men cannot behave…we get excited when we see attractive women and reason seeps right out of us once we attempt to get somewhere with you. If no one is taking notice of you, believe me, you’ll be complaining about that too. You have to cut us some slack, ok?
Side note: Dana is voluptuous – as in curvy and breathtaking – and can only be described as a complete knockout. If she lived in New York City, it would be impossible for her to make it to work with all the attention she garners. Take my word for it, I met her at a lounge and five or six men gawked at her from afar, which enticed me to see what the fuss was about. It was well deserved! Also, she’s a hell of a dancer.
Why can’t I be comfortable once I get him? Why do I have to impress him for the lifetime of the relationship, why can’t we just be comfortable together? – Keya, NYC
I shouldn’t have to answer this one, ugh. Men meet a woman and want her to stay the way she was when we met her. As time passes – of course things change – and if you begin to, let’s say…expand, we will have some sort of issue with it. We aren’t really that complicated. If your expansion includes your bust line, butt and (maybe) thighs, we can applaud that. If it’s your face, stomach, neck or arms, then – and I might be wrong – it will be a topic. Don’t be mad at me!
Women date men looking at what type of person they can become (or maybe what she can help him mature to), whereas men date women with the thought that we want them to remain the woman they were upon first encounter. For instance, I once dated a woman who thought she was “fat” and anyone who knows me is well aware that I’m shallow and overweight women aren’t my type. We went through this back and forth dance where she was consumed with losing weight because of her personal feelings and I realized it wasn’t just about her appearance, it was about her lack of self-esteem (her words). Add that to my list of things I want for my woman; ladies please have a healthy dose of confidence. I won’t ever date a woman with low self-esteem again. In my opinion guys, we can’t ever give her enough compliments or love to fill the void, at least I couldn’t. I felt she was perfect the way she was but she felt otherwise…enough with that.
Ladies! We take a mental snapshot of you and burn it into our brains as the relationship progresses. No matter what you think of yourself, we generally think you’re perfect the way you are. Your dress size may change with time but if you’re relatively close to what that picture is…everything is fine with us. Comfort in a relationship can mark the beginning of the end, in some cases. No partner should feel pressured to join a gym to keep their partner around but some physical maintenance isn’t a bad thing; it’s great for your heart and your ability to be around to absorb my knowledge. You want to keep your partner interested and not longing for something else (or someone). It’s no more difficult than that, I feel.
Why can’t he understand what I need? Why do I have to tell him all the time? He should know what’s wrong. – A few women, all over the globe
I wasn’t going to use that quote above because I found it to be, um, well…my mother said, “If you cannot say something nice, young man…” you know the rest. You see I had to tackle it as I heard it too often to brush it off. Ok we are not Jedi, mind-readers or magicians so OPEN YOUR MOUTHS WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG! If it’s obvious ladies, then I am in your corner. Like if we insulted your outfit, said you gained weight, made a pass at your friend, hated your cooking (I’m playing), etc. But there are times when we do something hurtful and instead of telling us about the transgression, you want us to figure it out. When left without direction, men soil the carpet because we can’t hold it. Show us the tree or the restroom. In trying to figure where we went awry we begin doing multiple things which can give you more reasons to be upset with us.
We know something is wrong and we’re aware we did it, so meet us halfway by letting us know so we can fix it and go back to the guy you tell your friends about. You gals say we don’t open up enough, and we can be guilty of that, but we at least we’ll talk to you about how we can fix whatever we broke, provided it’s not too complicated.
My boyfriend won’t open up when I know something is bothering him; why won’t he just let me in? – Barbara, Brooklyn
It’s the same reason we don’t like asking for directions when we’re clearly lost. We want to figure things out on our own, Barbara. Your boyfriend is no different from most men in that we internalize over subjects that we cannot resolve swiftly. As a species we aim to resolve and move on to the next thing (after a good burger and drink…I’m hungry so I have to end this soon) so that we can focus on having fun with our woman. It’s not a big deal; we just go through our process like you deliberate over shoes…no real difference. Good? Great.
So what do you want ladies?
I want a man to be honest with me; is honesty dead? – Multiple women
Don’t fall for it guys! I have and that’s part of the reason I won’t settle – and why I’m single. Women only want the truth they can handle, too much and you’ll be vilified for being mean. This is from personal experience as I’ve always been brutally honest and it resurfaced to be used against me at one time or another. No one wants to be lied to and choosing to deceive will bring unwanted strife so just tread lightly and be careful about what you ask for, ladies.
I want a man that’s focused on his career, wants me in his life, and is honest and respectful. He has to cherish me, make me feel wanted and wants the responsibility of being a future husband and father. – Leah, London
Leah is a woman I spent some time with while I was overseas back in May. We met at a bar and she was telling me about her current situation. She just ended a 3-year relationship (on fairly good terms) and was still in contact with her ex. She also had a guy who entered her life six months prior to her breakup and she came clean over the fact that she did get close to this man. Also, there was a third man who wanted to be with her and actively pursued her for over eight years but Leah kept him at arm’s length.
Now the ex-boyfriend wasn’t ready for the next phase of the relationship: getting an apartment, getting engaged, etc. Leah told me she wasn’t ready to plan a wedding but she wanted to get the security of knowing the three years were leading somewhere; can’t blame anyone for that. In any case they had their issues (too many, really), things snowballed, he didn’t want to move in because of previous relationships and she decided it was time to part.
Guy #2 met her through a friend and things grew to be intimate. Although she was wrong for it, Leah expressed little regret because her ex wasn’t there – she said – for roughly the last eight months they dated. He’s kind, considerate, extremely attentive and has no problem giving her the security the ex wants to avoid. Also, Leah said she’s sure he’s going to tell her that he’s in love.
Guy # 3 is 37, Leah is 28, and she met him at a concert a few years back and they never did anything besides kiss but Leah is intrigued by him. He has a career, owns a home, has never been married, has no children and his focus has been on her since they met.
Three men, 1 woman; two want to give her anything she wants while the ex drags his feet. Her phone rings a few times that might, she ignores all but one. Who, you might ask? You already know right? I drank and conversed with five of her friends while she went out to answer the call. She returned visibly upset and cursed most of the time that I was present. Ignoring the other two prospects while allowing herself to be emotionally spent during a conversation with the ex? Makes no sense to me, at all, but I get it…women want drama.
She loves the ex, cares for the second guy and hasn’t given guy # 3 a fair shot. Although she admitted she probably won’t get the things she wants from him, she cannot stay away because of how she feels and how she knows he can be better. See, she wants to help him become a better man (nothing wrong with that) while a man (or her ex) would just be happy with the way the relationship was, without moving in and being emotionally absent at times. Remember that’s why she got close to #2.
With that said I feel the ex is being spineless because he should give her what she needs or let her go; simple as that. It’s not fair to string her along by being indecisive. At time of this posting, she’s holding out hope the ex will change. I hope she gets what she needs, not necessarily what she wants.
Women complain we don’t make up our minds or say we’re tough to read. I have to disagree because – like I said much earlier – we try to resolve problems as quickly as possible and then proceed to eating, playing video games or more importantly being with our woman. We want things as simple as they can possibly be; we don’t want clutter, maybe in our apartments but not in our lives.
Relationships aren’t easy to navigate. I’ve failed at every one I’ve ever entered and that’s fine because I believe you are with a person for a certain amount of time before the end comes, one way or another.
What do you want, ladies? It can’t be a mystery – but it’s not obvious – and I feel you enjoy the confusion. Do you even know?