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I love cats, too, but… will be a lil sore if this woman’s dating life is better than mine.

I have been thinking about doing a blog like this for a while. Then the other day , I came across this big blog (which will remain nameless), that is specifically written from a man’s perspective. This blog has several authors, some of them single, often offering dating advice. Mostly, what I read on their site I think is total bullshit. Especially when it came to reading their dating mistakes. Did they even talk to women to get their opinion on the subject? What makes you think you know what a woman wants? You. Are. A. Man. You are worse than cosmo which consistently and relentlessly tells a woman that the key to any good relationship is a bikini wax and this new level five kama sutra move.

So here is (the beginning of) my take on guy’s dating mistakes. Taken from empirical evidence. Feel free to add to the list, I know I will.

1. “I don’t dance.”

Scene: Bar. Music. People slightly buzzed. Girl approaches boy. Touches his arm. Playfully asks him to dance while (most likely) smiling and, at least attempting to give him “the look.” Boy, hesitates, begins thinking about touching her hip and getting close to her on the dance floor. Gets a little excited about the possibility of a close proximity of body bumping. Responds: “Uh… I don’t dance.”

Reality: Boy tells girl he doesn’t dance because he is afraid of how he will look. (Duh.)

Flash forward to same girl. Same guy. Same attraction and flirty innuendos. Girl sees you dancing with another girl.

Yes, maybe you are embarrassed by your moves on the dance floor. And maybe now you have had a sufficient number of drinks to be brave. Maybe she will understand that you need to be drunk to dance, but it’s still kinda offensive to turn down a girl to dance when you are interested in her. In fact, this just makes me think a guy is not interested in me whatsoever. Also, I can’t think of any girl who has ever stopped being interested in a guy because of his moves on the floor. In all honestly, it might be bad, but I’m sure it’s not that bad. And often times when you already like a guy, anything dorky he does, like dancing, is just endearing and not embarrassing.

Tip: Instead of turning the girl down, why don’t you be playful and admit you don’t know how to dance than say, “I’ll only dance with you if you teach me how.” If she’s interested in you, she will take you up on this challenge.

2. Waiting 15-20 minutes to respond to EVERY text. EVER.

Really? Swingers was literally over a decade ago. Get over the three-day-rule; 15-minute-texting rule. If you are like most guys of this up-and-coming generation, than you prefer to peruse relationships through text messages. (I disagree with this and wonder all the time, why can’t a guy just pick up the damn phone.) Fine. I will give you whatever level of comfortableness you need in order to get to know a girl better. (But I don’t have to love it.) However, if this is your chosen route, it is really hard to get into a good grove of texting conversation when you only respond every 15-20 minutes. Sure, maybe you legitimately have something going on. Well then, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to all the seemingly too-cool guys out there. Stop. If you can’t even give me consistently a few minutes of texting time, then you are not worth my time.

3. Who taught you that move? =dealbreaker

When I was in college I didn’t really pay attention to the lack of creativity or lack of a man’s balls to just make a move. But the next time a guy uses the move of a) asserting his manliness and showing me how big and strong he is; and b) needing an excuse to touch me and hope that it will lead to something, I am going to call dealbreaker. What move am I talking about, you ask? The good ol’ “let me show her some self-defense move.” Reaallly. Because I need you to show me, the damsel in distress, how to take care of myself. Did I ask for you karate-self-defense moves? No. Do I want you to show me how easy it is for you to hold me down or choke me? Hell no.

4. Phone calls.

When a guy says he will call and doesn’t. Too easy? Of course there is a point in every relationship where a boyfriend doesn’t always have to call back or call right when he says so. This is about relationships that are just beginning to form. No this isn’t about being that girl waiting by the phone, hoping a guy will call or about being a perfectionist and bitching about every little slip up. This is about being important enough for a guy to call you when he says he will call. Bottom line. In this particular day and age with texting and chatting being so much of the social interaction, which isn’t face-to-face or even voice-to-voice, a phone call seems to mean more than it once did. Which can lead to an even greater disappointment for a girl when they guy decides he won’t call. Key word: decide. Because that’s what it comes off as. What made him change his mind? What made him decide not to call? I hate to get all ‘He’s just not that into you’ but, if you were on his mind, wouldn’t he remember to call? So that’s how it’s viewed. That’s where disappointment stems from: the thought that it was a conscious decision not to call.

5. You know what I want in bed.

You don’t. Don’t assume. Ask. And pay attention to where I’m moving your hands. Or how my body shakes when you do something right. Body Language! Also, you don’t know anything about vibrators. It’s not just the vibration that makes it more intense. It’s the fact that I can play out my own fantasy, it’s about the fact that I’m with someone who knows exactly what I want–me. Listen to my body, and when in doubt ASK. There is something very attractive about a man who is open to learning what exactly it is that will bring me pleasure.

6. Confusing “I’m busy” with “I’m not interested.”

You either hit on a girl because you think she is interested or because you are interested in her. If it’s the former, listen to your instincts. Maybe she really is busy. People do things and have busy lives, it’s very plausible. Don’t act so butt-hurt because she can’t/refuses to change her life around you for some guy she doesn’t know. Be patient. Ask her to make you an offer; if she’s interested she will.

7. Don’t call me babe.

No this is not just a great line from an awesome blast from the past. Now I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never called a guy ‘babe’ or dropped him when he called me ‘babe.’ I’m saying that I’m not in my early 20s anymore and a guy I barely know calling me ‘babe’ doesn’t make me feel special, it makes me feel generic. Sure, if the relationship progresses and there are actual feelings involved, but don’t think that you calling me ‘babe’ is going to score points and get you acquainted with my goods any faster.

8. Thinking it’s too late to apologize.

Reminder, this list of dating mistakes – not in relationships. If you just begin to date a girl and fuck up APOLOGIZE. And don’t wait for her to bring up whatever fuckup it is you did. BE A MAN. GROW A PAIR. Take responsibility for your actions.

But here’s the dirty secret: girls want to believe in fairy tale endings, and girls usually know (thank you romantic comedies) that part of that fairy tale may be the man screwing up and realizing how he almost missed a good thing. Okay, think of some of the romantic comedies you’ve seen….these guys aren’t perfect, but they do man up and ask for forgiveness.

Sure she may no longer think you’re dating material, but maybe she’ll be willing to be friends. At the very least she probably won’t go around telling her friends what an ass you are. And really, do you want a girl(s) going around telling people what a horrible person you are? Seriously. It’s not gonna get you more girls.

If she’s still interested in you than you’ve got a chance to make up for your fuck up (and by make up I mean do something nice for her). If she’s no longer interested, at least you can feel better about yourself on the type of man your father raised.

Fact: Sunk costs are any resources that have been expended and are sunk because they cannot be regained, no matter what.

Fact: Economists believe that sunk costs should not play a role in our decision making.

My Public Finance/Micro Professor suggests we don’t consider sunk costs in any of our decision making. The example he gave was, I believe, intel or was it Steve jobs? Anyways, one of those companies, the CEO was getting rid of a project like two weeks before it was to launch. Now this was a new product that they had invested a lot of time money and resources in. But the CEO believed it to no longer be useful and beneficial to the market or the company, and instead of justifying going forward because all that has been spent, he shut it down.

Economisits, and some sociologists, argue that people are (mostly) rational individuals. Economists believe that we want to maximize our happiness. Therefore, if we consider sunk costs in our decisions, it can hold us back from obtaining our maximum utility.

We need to start thinking about sunk costs in our lives.

It wasn’t until this past week when I was reading five models of behavior for another class that I realized how applicable the self-justificaton model is to relationships and why we need to start forgetting about sunk costs.

Sunk costs in relationships would include: time and money. Examples: justifying staying together because of how long you have been together, or the fact that you have kids (but are not happy), that you spent money on an engagement, and lastly, because you do not want to admit you made an error in choosing this mate.

“The commitment of self-justification version of the rationalizing model is also at odds with economic conceptions of rational decision making…..Not demonstrating continued commitment to a previously chosen course of action to some extent acknowledges that one has made a decision error. Better to persists and hope that things will turn out all right or that one will be rewarded for the positive attribute of perseverance.”

…. Sound like anyone in a relationship you know? I think we’ve all been there. Maybe if you just imagine it being great, like it might have been in the beginning, maybe if you just picture fairy tales, maybe if you believe in him so that he’ll change….these are self-justification rationalizations about why we are in a relationship with someone.

I think we can all agree that the only reason you should be with someone is because you love them! (and sometimes, that’s not even enough)

I’m guilty of it. We’re all guilty of it. Maybe we justify getting back together with an ex because it’s comfortable, because you can skip the first moments of awkardness and cling to the belief that this person knows you. Or maybe in a weak moment we just want to feel loved (and we believe that an ex has the best potential of making us feel loved).

Except the relationship didn’t work the first time. And the fact that you were already together once does not mean that the relationship has a better chance the second time around (first round relationship = sunk cost).

I’m not saying forget about all ex’s in your life and never talk to them ever again or that the second time around is never better. I’m just saying that you should really examine your sunk costs. Are you still in love with this person?

Or are you embarrassed about admitting to friends and family that you made an error?

The heart knows what it wants. But I don’t think it’s rational to stay with someone you don’t love because you don’t want to be lonely.

All I know for myself is that I don’t want to settle. I shouldn’t have to. No one should. I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone where I am rationalizing to myself why I am with this person. Love is love. It grows differently for different people and can take many shapes and forms, but it’s always love. And no one knows more than your own head and heart if you love someone. But if your head is the only one in the relationship, than maybe your relationship is a sunk cost in the general picture of your life happiness.

This model also says we rationalize more when we are getting a perceived loss out of something. For example, in the beginning you thought maybe this will be great and had expectations. But now your expectations have been disappointed. Because you are not getting out of the relationship what you originally thought you would, you begin justifying your commitment.

Of course, love is not rational. But if we, as women, applied these theories to our relationship choices and stopped putting up with shit (because that is NOT rational) than maybe we will finally find a man that deserves us.

We all deserve a chance to be happy and to be loved.

The model also suggests “that people escalate commitment when they do not set a budget and when incremental costs and benefits are difficult to track,”

Now if we take budget= clear standards and expectations/ deal-breakers

Incremental costs= lying, cheating, not treating you how you want to be treated.

The model is telling you to start tracking these things so you will know how much shit you are really putting up with.

As individuals we all need to be very clear what we expect and want out of a partner. Once we have been honest with ourselves it is easier to communicate this with a partner. Now over time you may find yourself in a relationship where you are increasingly unhappy. Where he is not the man you thought or want. Where his little white lies are increasing and he may have been unfaithful. This is where we really need to implement the no sunk cost. As time goes by all these things he has done are building up, but it’s hard to see because it’s gradual—these incremental costs to ourselves are difficult to track.

Of course, “commitment to decisions may make sense and demonstrate persistence in the face of adversity.” None of us are perfect. And we cannot expect our partner to always be perfect, either. And yes, sometimes you just have to wait the tough times out to see the rainbow.

Ask yourself: Am I sticking it out because I want to prove to people that I didn’t make an error and show them all that we have the rainbow still? Or, am I sticking it out because I know I love this person and they are the one I want to be with?

Life is hard. Relationships are hard. I’m not trying to make relationship decisions for everyone out there…I just want people to examine their utility. Is there potential for maximized utility?

Okay, enough with all the econ talk. But really, I see so many young girls out there letting men treat them like shit.

What. The. Fuck. Stopping putting up with it! Do not justify being in a relationship with someone just to prove something (yes this includes proving things to yourself). We all deserve to be treated well. Come up with your bottom line and stick to it, because you deserve better.

No more sunk costs.


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July 2020
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