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Dating Advice for Women: What you Need to Know About The Men You Date in Your 20's…

I was 16 when my mother gave me my first dating advice. She told me once I started dating my goal was to "do me." In hindsight that advice makes sense because dating is about creating your path, being uncompromising about your vision, and having someone support you on that journey. That is what she meant by “doing me” but the advice simply did not register. I had no dating experience, no healthy examples of romantic love, and no one willing to provide me with situational advice. To say the least, this was a disservice. The broad and general advice others provided never REALLY helped women prepare for the mind games that men were taught by their community. Instead, it left many of us exposed to their wiles. When it comes to teaching cisheteronormative girls and boys about dating, we offer so much advice for men and leave out so much info for women. We teach men how to accept rejection, how to pursue the partners they want, how to look for a spouse for their children, how to protect their hearts, and the beauty of being single. Then, we teach women to stay virgins, get married or if you are going to have sex, do not get pregnant. However, anything outside of those two warnings (get married or stay single and don’t get pregnant) is left for society to fill in. Women start to look towards magazines, the internet, friends, and trial and error, to fill in the dating advice that their community refuses to give and it ends up creating an imbalance in power between men and women. Dating starts to look like women who solely protect their virginity and potential for marriage, and men who get exactly what they want out of women. To provide women with more dating skills, I've outlined several categories of men that women in their 20s often run into, what to know, and what to avoid.

Four categories of men stand out: ·      Men who lean in ·      Men who have no desire to be committed, but convince themselves and you that they are open to dating aka “looking for the right one.” ·      Folks who are solely interested in being single. ·      Folks who want to mesh with you because their lives are hopeless and believe that your magic will make their lives more magical.  Men who lean in look and feel at ease. They aren’t empty vessels looking to be filled. They do not require you to help them build. Instead, they are whole people who incorporate you into their life.  They reach out to you throughout the week. Most importantly, they call or Facetime because they want to hear or see you. They plan dates because they want to see you. They ask substantial questions about your life and are extremely patient with you. They want you and will do what is needed to get your attention and to be in their life. You are not required to do anything but accept their love and make sure you are healthy/have dealt with relationship PTSD. Men who have no desire to be committed but convince themselves that they are open to dating aka “looking for the right one”, position themselves as an object to be gained. When you date them, there is always a high level of anxiety. You aren't quite sure why but you know there is always more to the picture.  The reality of these types is that they aren’t looking for the right one. They are looking to fill their time and fulfill their bodies, but are unimpressed, uninspired, or tired of women. They are typically dating more than one girl, which is fine. However, they only settle when they get tired and not because you are the one.

 If you are intrigued by a man who acts like this, your best bet is to know the game. Don’t water yourself down, talk shit, know that everything you are doing is to make him feel inadequate and that he is replaceable. That is the typical way to the heart of these types but be advised that you won't always capture their heart and that timing is extremely important. I like these types as friends because they are charming and alluring but as lovers, they are often indecisive. Folks who are solely interested in being single, are really easy to figure out because the fast dating culture has created a space for them to voice exactly what they want. So, you don't have to do as much interrogation because men are now more willing to say they are not looking for anything serious. The only thing you need to do is listen to see his angle. If you truly aren't looking for anything (sexual partners who don’t do boyfriend things but provide you with mutual respect ) then build a respectful non-monogamous relationship with this person.  You don’t have to be romantically monogamous to enjoy someone’s company. Folks who want to mesh with you because their lives are hopeless and believe that your magic will make their lives more magical. These men are love bombers. They meet you and decide immediately that they love you and think you are the one. They show you they are the ones for you by doing grand gestures, but ask yourself would a healthy person give their hearts to a stranger? Or would they date you and figure out who you are before they give away something so precious as their heart? These men feel great initially because they know that women want them to demonstrate their worth. So, they will buy you gifts, help you out in a bind, and be there for you emotionally. However, their true colors will come out after three months. You will see that they are failing big time in an area in their lives, getting over an ex, or having unresolved childhood trauma. They will require you to build them and love them unconditionally like a mother. I don’t recommend dating these types as they are needy, and codependent, and will be detrimental to your mental health.             Of course, these are not all of the men out there in the world, but these are categories that you will frequently run into so test them, vet them, and ask them challenging questions because you aren't afraid they will leave or be disinterested. Learn what you are getting into so that you won't be exploited by yet another man who has been taught by the whole community how to be a wolf and prey on you. Charlie Toolbox


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