Men do it better

February 28, 2008


Women give women complicated advice about men, how to play games and trick a guy into dating them. Men give dating advice that is based on common sense and a more simplistic approach: smile, go after guys you have something in common with and don’t be hung up on how you look. Siri Agrell reports

When Jakki Chrysler wants to know why a guy hasn’t called her, she does not consult her girlfriends.

The 21-year-old knows they will be concerned, and would eagerly sit down to hash over the possible reasons why her love interest is not acting interested in return.

But she usually opts to approach her male roommate, seeking out a perspective her female friends cannot provide.

“My girlfriends will stay positive for me. They’re more likely to say don’t worry about it, he’s probably really busy,” said the currently single fashion student.

“Whereas my guy friend will say you should just date other people and not be hung up on it.”

The notion that men give women more honest dating advice was famously introduced in an episode of Sex and the City, in which Miranda was informed by a male friend that a guy was “just not that into you.”

The line spawned a bestselling book called He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo that was then turned into a film, set for release this summer, starring Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore.

But the concept has also kick-started a subsection of the self-help industry: Dating Advice for Dames Written by Dudes.

From David Coleman, “America’s Real-Life Hitch,” to Dr. Phil, more men are stepping in to tell women how they should approach relationships, claiming to bring a more honest, straightforward message to the dating advice game.

“I’m bringing the good news from the male side of the trenches,” said J. M. Kearns, the Canadian-born author of Why Mr. Right Can’t Find You, a newly released dating guide.

“I’m trying in a way to set the record straight and defend the much-maligned male gender, who I think have been distorted in the self-help literature for years.”

Mr. Kearns said he is tired of men being presented in female-authored dating literature as a homogeneous block to be tricked, decoded and subdued by women.

“If you worry about what most men are looking for, you’ll go wrong,” he said. These books tell women they must act in accordance with a prescribed set of rules that has nothing to do with how men actually think.

“The No. 1 myth is that of destiny, of Sleeping Beauty,” he said. “Women think what they should do is get their makeup just right and then fall asleep for 100 years. That’s the way to find the perfect guy.”

In his book, Mr. Kearns tells women to stop overlooking compatibility and to seek out men who share similar interests and passions.

Mr. Kearns has two sisters and said he wrote the book from a “brotherly point of view” that does not preach or try to rush women into bed.

“I’m trying to paint a picture of the sincere guy, the worthy male,” he said. “And in general, the effect has been that women suddenly get very intrepid about romance. They become way more optimistic.”

David Wygant, a Los Angeles-based dating coach, believes that women should only take dating advice from men.

“I think most women who give dating advice stink,” he said. “It’s based totally on clichés and marketing advice: how to judge a man by his shoes, how to choose a mate by looking at his watch. It’s catchy advice, but I’m telling women exactly how men think.”

Mr. Wygant said the biggest fallacy women perpetuate about men is that any forward female behaviour will be interpreted as a sexual invitation. “Smiling

at us does not mean we’ll think we’re going to get it on in the bathroom,” he said. “Really, all the man’s thinking is, ‘How was I lucky enough this morning that a woman is making it easy for me for the very first time?’ ”

Both men believe their advice is more upbeat and encouraging than dating tips from women.

“I wanted to write a book to tell women that we’re out there, we’re good guys and we’re looking for ya,” Mr. Kearns said. “I was trying to bring good news from the male side.”

The popularity of male-authored dating tips for women shows a hunger for “a more sane point of view that isn’t so demeaning to both genders,” he said. But that doesn’t mean he wants more men to start dishing out advice.

“I hope not,” he said. “I don’t want the competition.”

What men want

In his book, Why Mr. Right Can’t Find You, J. M. Kearns says men aren’t concerned about outfits or eye colour, but are simply looking for a woman who is open to being approached.

It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed

If a guy who does look like a contender is showing obvious interest in you, then it doesn’t matter that you had no time to plan your outfit for him: He already likes you. All you have to do is not reject him.

Send signals

Even Mr. Right needs encouragement. If you encounter a man who looks like a good prospect to you, smile at him.

Go to bars alone

For the average guy in what we call a desirable bar, a one-night stand is the last thing on his mind. If the totally improbable happens and a nice woman sits down beside him, the last thing he wants to do is blow this unheard-of chance encounter by coming on too strong.

Think compatibility,

not destiny

Don’t look for a good man. Look for a man who is good for you. We have to find someone who has something in common with us, besides the mere desire for a nice relationship.