*This post is the second in a two-part series. Click here to read “Part One: If a Guy Likes You, He Will (Probably) Call.”
Over the weekend, I sat down for a quick lunch interview with Brian*, a successful, Christian, handsome businessman in his mid-thirties… who happens to be happily married with a kid on the way. But don’t worry! Brian isn’t one of those married fuddy-duddies that can’t relate to single people anymore. He remembers what it was like, and empathizes to boot.
I initially met with Brian to gain his insight on a particular dating dilemma I was having with a serial texter and procrastinator. What I soon learned is that — if he would let me — I could sit for hours and listen to a man’s perspective on the broader subject of dating. Here are some bits of our conversation.
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Ruth: In his bestselling book He’s Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt writes: “Men, for the most part, like to pursue women. We like not knowing if we can catch you. We feel rewarded when we do.” Do you have this same feeling?
Brian: I believe there are men out there that seek to “catch” women for the chase or conquest or game. These are not men I suggest any woman go for. They are proud, immature and selfish—seeking to please their ego, not seeking a healthy relationship. But don’t let the few bad apples spoil the bunch. There are many good, honest men that pursue women to establish solid relationships.
Brian: I think what may have been the norm many years ago isn’t necessarily true today. I wouldn’t recommend a girl asking out a complete stranger (that might be taken differently by different people). But if he’s a man you know and like, then by all means ask him out for some coffee. I’d leave it at asking for one date though. After that, he’d better step up.
Ruth: Can you normally tell from first noticing a woman whether or not you would want to pursue her?
Brian: Yes. Scanning a room filled with girls, I can easily pick out my top picks. I know what I like and what I don’t like. But my “top picks list” quickly changes once we meet. Intelligent, funny, charming girls move up the list, and not-so-intelligent, not-so-funny, not-so-charming girls quickly fall.
Ruth: I’ve learned both girls and guys can ruin their own chances by doing stupid things on first dates. (Myself included!) What are some big first date turnoffs that you’ve experienced?
Brian: Once, after parking at the theater for a date, I got out of the car and started walking, not realizing that my date was still in the car waiting for me to open her door. I awkwardly made the walk back, always wondering what she was thinking about while sitting there in the car watching me walk away. Or another time, after taking a girl back home after a first date, we drove by a house. She mentioned that she had already imagined us together on the patio in rocking chairs watching our three kids playing in the yard. That was weird. But, to her credit, it was a really nice house that I would love, just not yet.
Ruth: We all hate rejection. If you’re not interested in a girl, what do you normally do?
Brian: I’ve ignored them. I’ve told them I was too busy. I’ve made up any number of other excuses. But then I grew up and grew a pair. I learned to gently let them know we’re not a good match. I think the honest approach is best, though not always easiest.
Ruth: Time for a selfish question. What do you think is the best way for a good girl to meet a good guy?
Brian: This is a tough one. I’d say wait for the next men’s retreat at your church and volunteer to help, or at least wait outside the door after it’s done. If he’s going to a men’s retreat or prayer event outside of typical church hours, he might be a good one.
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As a single gal in my thirties, sometimes it’s good to hear things from a man’s point-of-view. I find it enlightening. I know not all men are the same, and every situation is completely different. But I also know the kind of man I want to marry: a kind, Christian, intelligent, funny man who knows how to treat a woman. Brian, albeit married, is one of those guys. Thank you to his lovely wife for lending him to me for a quick lunch, and letting me pick his brain on the topic of dating.
Do any of Brian’s opinions strike a chord with you today?
*Name changed only to protect this guy’s really cool wife from any potential embarrassment.