“A lady should never have sex before marriage, and if she must then wait at least until he has proposed”
This enduring nugget of wisdom passed from my grandmother to my mother and from my mother to my sisters is recognizable to all who aren’t religiously bound, to be old fashioned by modern standards. Of course it was pretty good advice once upon a time when contraception was almost non-existent and pre-marital sex would likely result in pre-marital babies which of course puts a huge strain on a woman in a world in which women couldn’t really get respectable paying jobs.
Now however the question of when is it okay for a woman to sleep with a man she’s interested in is left mired by confusion with pressures from friends, pressures from family, pressures from women’s mags, and of course the ever present pressures from the men themselves.
When I first set foot in the world of learned attraction, there was a once famous pickup line that men were being taught to use as a way to get the women they adored talking. That question was;
“Who cheats more, men or women?”
Naturally most women will jump up and say “men of course”, then the man would smile a knowing smile and say “I think women cheat just as much at men, but they are better at hiding it”, this would in turn spur a hopefully interesting conversation which might lure the woman into spending more time with her budding suitor.
The statistical reality as far as we can tell is quite close with 60% of infidelities being made by the man, and 40% of infidelities being committed by the woman. However a only 37% of men and 22% of women admit to having had an extra-marital affair, many more (closer to 80%) of men and women admit to having ‘entertained’ the thought of an affair.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine who just broke up with her boyfriend. My friend is a beautiful, intelligent, motivated woman who will no doubt become a raging success at whatever she sets her mind to. Her boyfriend is unemployed and a part time criminal who actually hit her on multiple occasions. It's a situation that I'm sorry to say I've seen far too many times. Amazing woman with a far less than amazing man.
I asked her out of exasperation what she was thinking dating a man like this to which she looked at me with pity as though I was in fact a little bit 'special' and she said "Damien, you don't get to CHOOSE who you fall in love with". I knew she was in pain so I let the moment pass without further debate.
There was once a time when many romantic young lovers believed that there is one true love out there for each and every one of us. With a population of 7 billion then sung young lovers often failed to acknowledge the amazing odds of their one true love living next door as opposed to any one of the other roughly 2 billion houses on the planet.
While many may still decide to fly in the face of logic and remain romantic (I applaud you for your commitment), I personally look at the world and realise that there must be many potential mates out there for every woman, many men who possess the personality and characteristics that you as a woman could fall in love with.
Men can be bastards. Let's face it... I'm a man, and I'll be the first to admit it.
We don't do it on purpose, and the one thing that I've learned over the years as a dating coach is that when men behave like bastards it's invariably tied to their own low self-esteems, sexual identity crises, lacks of parental hugging, and identity. What it is almost never a product of is something a woman has done wrong.
Why then, I remember asking myself as a younger man, do some women seem to consistently end up with men who treat them badly? While those same men can move into other relationships and suddenly become respectful male partners?
I've been working in the men's dating scene for over 5 years, and for most of those years the first and most important question I ask every man is "What do you want exactly?".
Surprisingly for me, perhaps not so much for you ladies, most men are taken quite off guard by this question. They mumble something non de script to me about girlfriends, then in the same breath they mumble something about casual sex, then they go back to something about finding one truly amazing woman. This is quite an amazing thing when you think about it, men around Australia are meeting women left right and center without any real idea what they actually want from her. No wonder I hear so many women complaining about 'mixed messages' when they first meet and start dating a guy.