7 Dating Stereotypes
The ladies say all guys want is action but swear they’re just looking for Mr. Wonderful, whether he’s a teacher, a banker or the guy riding on the back of the garbage truck.
The most common complaint hurled at the opposite sex? Shallow.
So, I gathered up the stack of emails cluttering up my desk and set out to challenge the top seven dating stereotypes.
And, wanting to be fair and not just take the ladies’ side, I asked Michael Alvear, TV personality, dating blogger at Urge & Merge and author of Men Are Pigs, But We Love Bacon to weigh in as well.
So here you have it: The seven biggest dating stereotypes. Busted (sort of).
Myth # 1: Men Only Want to Date Beautiful Women
OK, it helps. Men are visual, and we are all, you know, biologically programmed to seek out the healthiest, most fertile, genetically sound mate we can snag. But for many men, beauty, at least in the supermodel-y way we women tend to imagine it, is not the be all and end all.
Thom, a dater from Toronto says, “It’s important for me to be attracted to the women I date, for certain. But I’ve dated and been attracted to a number of women who have some great feature that drove me crazy, like amazing lips or fantastic legs, who might not be considered beautiful in the traditional sense.
Micheal Alvear says, “Yes. It’s not that we don’t want the rest of the goodies — personality, kindness, humor, etc. It’s that we want all those gifts wrapped in a beautiful box!”
Myth # 2: Women Only Want to Date Rich Men
Sure, a fat bank account is appealing for a lot of women, but many just want to date someone who is responsible and practical. Sometimes, looking at how a guy handles his finances is a way to determine how he’s running the rest of his life.
Patrice, a dater from Washington D.C. says the money myth is just that — a myth. While there are high maintenance daters out there, “that is a lie perpetuated by unsuccessful men (financially or in dating.)
There are plenty of wealthy women who go after broke/less financially stable men in the name of love. Look at Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.
It is true though that many women seek some financial stability when they start to look for a potential spouse, but not all women. And finances are usually not the only factor.”
This brings to mind a quote from my favorite Marilyn Monroe movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: “Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?”
Michael Alvear says: “No. They want to date men who have a car but don’t live in it.”
Myth # 3: Men Want Sex, not Commitment
Yes, men want sex. But many of them also harbor the same desires we tend to attribute to women — commitment, love, a family. When we assume that men are only dating for sex, we do them a disservice. Plus, the us-versus-them mentality isn’t doing us any favors.
This is, I’m afraid, the thing we women tell ourselves when a relationship we had hoped for doesn’t get any traction. (Guys, before you start working yourself into a lather of righteous indignation, remember you do the same thing with the whole “all women are gold diggers” mantra.)
It takes two to get married, and while the males of the species may have executed the greatest marketing campaign in history by convincing the ladies that they’re doing them a huge favor by walking down the aisle, many men actually do want to be in a committed, happy relationship… although sex will do in a pinch if that’s not available.
Michael Alvear says: “We like to think about relationships like a bacon and eggs breakfast: The chicken was involved; the pig was committed. We’d rather be the chicken.”
Myth # 4: The Nice Guy Doesn’t Get the Girl
Most stable women actually do want to date a nice guy. The problem happens not when a guy is “too nice” but when he’s not masculine enough. Think doormat or weenie.
You can be the nicest guy in the world and still be a guy. That’s what we’re looking for. Don’t let us walk all over you. Don’t “yes dear” us into a catatonic state. And don’t be afraid to take that testosterone out for a spin once in a while.
Michael Alvear says: “Bull. Nice guys eventually get the girl.”
Myth # 5: The Longer You’ve Been Dating, the More Likely the Chances You’ll get Married
This tends to be an issue for women more than men. They believe that the more time they have invested in a relationship, the higher the chances it will eventually result in a trip down the aisle.
But in interviewing several hundred men in the research stage for my book Stop Getting Dumped!, I found that men know whether or not they want to marry a woman within the first one to two years, and if they don’t feel it by then, the chances that they’ll feel it later begin to decline quickly.
In other words, after a couple of years, he knows enough about you to make the decision. So why do guys stay in a relationship for years (and years and years) when they know they don’t want to marry a woman? Because they’re comfortable, and maybe even happy in the relationship, and nothing better has come along.
As one anonymous dater put it, “My girlfriend and I dated for six years, and the whole time she put the pressure on for a ring. We ended up breaking up and I met my fiancée a few months later. The difference was I knew right away that she was the one I wanted to spend my life with.”
Michael Alvear says: “Once you’ve passed the three-to-five-year phase, the chances slope down like a bent-necked pack mule.”
Myth # 6: Men are Intimidated by Powerful Women
An online dating study quoted in the best-seller Freakonomics found that once a woman hit $100,000 in income, her appeal as an online dating candidate went down dramatically.
But the truth is only insecure men are intimidated by powerful women. Secure men are not. So instead of thinking of your kick-butt-in-the-boardroom ways as a liability, look at it as a way to weed out the needy masses. And remember that for lots of guys, there’s nothing sexier than a confident woman.
Ben, a dater from San Diego sums it up: “I love powerful women. Bring it on.”
Michael Alvear says: “Yes [men are intimidated by powerful women] but less and less so.”
Myth # 7: Love Conquers all
Love, like spackle, can smooth the cracks of life’s ups and downs but it’s not a cure-all for addictive behavior, abuse, mother issues, a compulsion to speed or shoplift, or your inability to keep a job.
Sometimes, in fact, a relationship can exacerbate a problem. And some problems are just too big to overcome without some sort of professional intervention.
Michael Alvear says: “PPFFFT! (the sound of coffee spraying out onto my
screen). Love ain’t enough.”
The heart of the matter is that love looks different to everyone. And the good news in all of this, dating stereotypes aside, is that there is at least one universal truth: There is someone for everyone. For those relationships that don’t quite work out, make sure to leave the situation with lessons learned.
By Lisa Daily