Men have told me it isn’t fair when a women judges them based on behaviors of previous suitors. Ideally we all want to be assessed as individuals, not lumped into “men do this” or “women do that” stereotypes.
Yet it is difficult to not take into account past lessons from collective experiences with the opposite gender. After enough data points, you see patterns emerge. Of course there are always exceptions, but you begin to feel you can predict actions or at least be aware of common behaviors that are yellow or red flags.
A potential suitor and I were bantering recently and after he uttered a bawdy comment he added, “What can I say? I’m a guy and I’m horny.” To which I responded, “That’s redundant.”
Did I mean that all guys are horny? Of course not. But if a guy is in the dating world, my collective experience is that they are horny or lonely or a combination of both. Which is why they are dating!
With a new guy I am somewhat cautious as I don’t know much about his values, beliefs and behaviors. He could be a gem or a monster. So I’m a tad guarded. Is this fair to a man who has only honest intentions and is upfront about them? Is it right to be a bit suspicious even when there is no apparent need to be?
As women, we know it is better to be safe than sorry. We have learned that some men have only one agenda and it is not in alignment with getting to know you and having a meaningful relationship. There are charmers and sweet talkers that make you believe they care deeply about you and then take advantage of your open heart and vulnerability. “Burned once, shame on you. Burned twice, shame on me.” After being bamboozled once, our guard goes up to all successors.
So how do you balance being informed by common male dating behavior but still being open to a man not fitting the stereotype? How do you date with savvy and some caution yet still be open and receptive?