This is advice for American woman on how to “clean up” in dating by cleaning up dating. No gimmicks are involved. It’s a straightforward approach. Return his calls? Admit that you like him? Demand respect from him? Yes, it can be that simple.
Many early video games were wars of attrition against an increasingly unforgiving machine, with no clear ending. You could achieve a high score, but you never finished the game. The original NES version of Tetris, becoming increasingly difficult as the game progressed, was literally impossible (without hacks or cheats) to play at level 29. The pieces fell faster than the game could receive input from the controller. It killed you off. Before that was the original Pac-Man, which simply crashed after 255 levels– considered an irrelevant bug, as the designers expected no player to get that far. Both games were phenomenally successful; that they were never “completed” did not reduce their appeal.
Many other 1980s video games, as well, were unforgivably difficult, but surprisingly engrossing nonetheless. They had to be hard, as the game required repetition if one were to pack 100+ hours of gameplay into such a small space as was available at the time (on the order of 32-256 KB). Important to note, in the study of game addiction, is that the losses contribute as much to addiction as the high scores and successes. Yet enough about video games; let’s move our ludic focus to a different type of “game”: dating.
The goal of dating is the happy ending, a thrilling and lifelong partnership. It should be “winnable”. What happens when is you “beat the game” is that you find a lifelong partnership that never loses its luster, as is the case for a small set of couples. Many obstacles block people from achieving this successful outcome, and one among them is an addictive but losing approach, that has infected the urban dating scene to such an extent that virtually everyone is familiar with it: combat dating.
Combat dating is a dating process wherein asserting one’s own, and assessing the other’s person’s, social status is of primary importance, and treated as much more crucial than the “traditional” purpose of dating– getting to know, understand, and eventually love another person. In combat dating, the display and judgment of social status are achieved through subtle put-downs, displays of dominance, and bad behaviors (“shit tests”) designed to provoke strong, and potentially revealing, reactions. So-called “pick-up artistry” is the male facet of combat dating, but it has an equally ugly female component, in the form of not-returned calls, last-minute cancels, and inappropriate, rude shit tests.
Combat dating has the illusion of being a future-oriented activity. The Rules, while advocating combat dating (“never return his calls”), claims to be a road map to marriage. I’m sure some women have gotten “a ring on it” by behaving this way, but it’s not the foundation of a respectful relationship, and it’s only going to make everyone lose in the long run. People can marry despite fatal resentments created very early in the relationship, and the woman who refuses to return calls, or transparently pretends to be more busy than she actually is, is planting some very destructive seeds.
There isn’t the space to get into this, but aloof behavior by women doesn’t stoke the “hunter” or “chaser” instinct. It inspires the rape instinct, one that decent men have evolved so far from that they’ve extinguished it. In modern society, a woman is extremely unlikely to be raped for refusing to return calls, but when she ends up dating a string of overbearing assholes, she shouldn’t be surprised, because she’s stoking male resentment. An aloof, cold woman inspires a man to want to destroy or dismantle her, and this is why such women invariably find the most unhealthy relationships.
Winning combat dating is like winning a war, which, as a friend of mine says, is like winning an earthquake. The “game” is designed to feel winnable, but each success is utterly empty. So you’re a man who’s slept with his first HB9, even though she was terrible in bed? Or you’re a woman who has five men attempting to contact her, each leaving minute-long messages despite your refusal to return calls? Great job, Sisyphus. Now, those of us who aren’t interested in the pointless loss of time can discuss a different accomplishment: how to escape the hell of combat dating.
On this matter, it’s women who will lead our culture out of this mess. This is because there are already men who eschew such practices, but they are generally too naive and “gameless” to enjoy significant success. Men cannot re-civilize dating unless a significant proportion of women are on board with this change. In order to abolish combat dating once and for all, a “critical mass” of women will be required to step up. Here are four (out of many) ways a woman can remove herself from the combat-dating hell, making herself a highly desirable girlfriend.
1. Never sleep around. Casual sex begat combat dating. When such an emotionally loaded decision is expected to be made so soon, a hostile environment ensues. The “three-date rule”? That’s idiotic; you often know nothing about a person after 3 dates. If sex were expected to happen after the establishment of a love relationship, and therefore months off in the distance, we’d have a much more genteel and respectful dating environment. A woman who wishes to maximize her desirability to the best men is advised never to have sex outside of a committed and loving relationship. Then, dating can take a more relaxed pace. As for the men who’ll vanish if a woman doesn’t sleep with him after 3 dates? No loss; they weren’t worth dating in the first place.
2. Be enthusiastic. Return his calls. Women are afraid to be “too assertive” with men, as if to show genuine enthusiasm makes a girl seem “easy”. Often, they’re afraid it will make them seem slutty. Obviously, this is ridiculous. This aversion might have made sense in the 1890s, but in 2009, there are so many actual sluts out there that no one’s going to pass judgment on a woman for (gasp!) asking a man out to coffee. Men respect assertive women.
Also, it’s crucial that a woman make time for a man. Many women mistakenly believe that for a woman to be constantly busy is a sign of high social desirability. Wrong. To a man, it’s a sign of disheveledness and stupidity. A woman who forces a man to “apply for time” is not casting herself as desirable, but leading him to think of her as flighty and disposable.
The woman who refuses to return calls is going to be tossed out of bed as soon as she “gives it up”, and forgotten after a month if she never does. Once conquered or written off as a loss, she’s discarded. By contrast, the gal who returns (or even initiates) calls is communicating, I’m a great girlfriend. She’s much more likely to get a good man to stick around, regardless of when she has sex with him.
3. Demand respect. Although a great girlfriend is enthusiastic about and admiring of her boyfriend, she should never be a doormat, but an equal partner. Admire and grow to love him, but also love yourself. “You’re awesome, but so am I” is the best attitude. It’s not just women who value confidence in a prospective mate. In the long term, confident and assertive women are considered the most attractive. It’s much more meaningful to be admired by someone who holds herself in high regard than by someone who doesn’t.
4. Be very sexual– with him. Once in a sexual relationship, initiate sex. Know what you like, and demand it. (You masturbate, right? If not, start.) Don’t hold back. Express pleasure when he kisses you. Breathe heavily during foreplay. A reasonable man never loses respect for a woman because she’s sexual with him.
These four suggestions come from a list that could be miles long, but indicate the general shift in womens’ attitudes and behavior that needs to take place. None of these suggestions involve any deception; all of them call for above-board assertiveness and a degree of honesty that qualifies as “extreme” by the standards of modern dating. This is because, in truth, the single most important aspect of being a great girlfriend is being a great friend, and more important to being a great friend is being a great person. In this light, the combat dater’s quest for romantic success by being a horrible person should seem absurd and foolish. I hope I’ve convinced my readers that it is.