2166. Dating in Mid-life — Part C4: Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail

Dating success follows certain principles that govern the interaction for a developing relationship. Many functions are key.

You’re the tick, he’s the tock. You specialize in showing interest in him and then listening. You respect and enable him to communicate directly and you respond as indirectly as polite. He’s selling himself, so let him. If necessary, you show interest in him and he responds. You enable him to lead and make your spirit of cooperation to shine in his favor.

Howsomeever, as I used to hear country folk declare an upcoming contrary thought, you compete directly and even get in his face if necessary to 1) defend your sexual standards and expectations against his insistence and persistence, or 2) terminate what’s happening and put an end to the date or relationship.

Forget these two things that mean so much to you.

  1. You can’t make him like you, especially if you try. Trying alone makes you do the wrong things. Example: Relying on three little words may help but it’s really insignificant; men judge on actions primarily and seldom on words. Be yourself. Make him win your affection, make himself worthy of you; he doesn’t appreciate unearned gifts.
  2. Don’t try to impress him and don’t even disclose whatever affection you may have for him, except to say you like him—somewhat, starting to, perhaps even teasingly, but never a helluva lot. Mystery, remember? To like him some and respect him a lot are enough for him. He believes it better anyway if he figures for himself that your actions signify your affection to be real.

Instead of affection, express your admiration. That’s what he’s after. The masculine counterpoint to the female’s determined affection for sharing affection is earning self-admiration and yours is appreciated. Admiration simply registers with men more deeply than affection.

He either likes you as you are—virtues and shortcomings—and wants to keep you by his side. Or he doesn’t. When you’re being your true self, you can’t do much more to keep him alongside. If he quits selling himself to you, it’s all over. If you try to sell yourself to him, you act like a pushover, and his objective shifts to sex, which makes you booty or disposable after conquest.

Don’t be phony. A marriage likely won’t succeed very long if the wife shows up as different from the bride he married. So, phoniness is destructive long-range although you may gain some benefits in the near term.

Be quick to defend yourself instinctively and intuitively against any offense to your sense of good order and self-discipline, his displeasing you, embarrassing you, and especially his disrespecting you. Those things you don’t want to live with need to be disclosed when they first appear. The more you stand up for yourself pleasantly but uncompromisingly, the more respect you will earn and a man’s love is based on respect for women generally and you specifically.

Two things hold a man’s attention long enough to impress him with your respectability: refusing sex and standing up strongly for your dignity, values, and standards as both person and woman. Your objections not only earn his respect but make him uncomfortable, and discomfort changes a man’s behavior to favor you.

Out of all the above, you focus, perhaps re-learn some things and unlearn others, and use your superior relationship expertise to guide and shape dates into progressive steps of relationship development. It’s easy for me to spout it on screen, but you get both the fun and anxiety.



Filed under courtship, How she wins, sex differences

10 responses to “2166. Dating in Mid-life — Part C4: Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail

  1. Shermy

    This is perfection and I wish I would have understood and learned this a decade ago. However, I totally get it now and have adjusted my behavior accordingly and am faring MUCH better overall. My deepest gratitude Sir Guy!

  2. Sharon


    Sir Guy, this statement leaped out at me. I especially thought of two younger women I have known. One, from long ago, told me that her husband had said to her, “You’ve robbed me of my masculinity.” With whatever was going on in the marriage (I only had glimpses, e.g. her shopping habit, hiding purchases in the car trunk for days, and then saying, “Oh, I’ve had this for a long time,” when he asked if she was wearing something new), he had turned to drugs and another woman, and a divorce followed. From early in her marriage, another young woman I know frequently yelled, used profanity, and berated her husband (even in front of their children and others) — a hard-working man who provided well and never asked her to work outside home — and a divorce is pending. In both instances, there are many layers, of course, but I think the men grew weary! The world’s feminist-washed atmosphere has wrought deep confusions, including the death-to-a-marriage idea that a man must placate, tiptoe around, or try to “soothe” a wife who lacks self-restraint, self-respect, or self-dignity, not to mention lack of admiration for him. My husband commented that “admiration” is much more than “respect” (which Eph. 5:22 teaches women to give); “It is love,” he went on to say. For love and joy in an enduring marriage, respect and admiration need to be mutual. Again, the teaching here regards women, who do indeed have the privilege of exercising relationship expertise.Dear women, let’s do it, and let’s teach it as far and wide as we have opportunity!

    Your Highness Sharon,

    You describe well how modern married life deteriorates in too many homes. I’m reminded of the saying, If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. It’s humor used to rationalize what ought not to be. The saying has the truth of marriage reversed. We’ll know that the institution of marriage has recovered when we hear, If my husband isn’t happy, nobody is happy. I say it for these reasons:

    • Husband has very little capability to make wife happy. A few things like flowers, displays of affection, etc. Plus, he doesn’t know how to read exactly what it is that makes her happy or unhappy. He’s limited by his nature. If she lacks respect for who he is and gratitude for what he does, shame on her. That’s the most and best he’s capable of giving. Enforced pleasing of her demolishes his options for pleasing her.

    • Wife, OTOH, has immense capability both for making herself and others happy. Her heart is full of love, affection, and sense of importance that urges her to satisfy others. Unless of course, she’s turned away from her heart and thus neutralized her love by ignoring it.

    • The wife who expects to constantly be pleased by others retains her childhood selfishness and carries adolescent values into adulthood. She avoids the giving that makes her feminine. To assuage her guilt, she seeks to take and thus become masculine-like. Absent her feminine nature, she floods her home with ever expanding self-centeredness that inevitably contaminates all family members.

    • The angrier, louder, and more critical wife/mother gets, the sooner she loses her husband and de-motivates her kids. She abdicates her home dominance by finding everything and everybody unsatisfactory, because it’s the dominator’s job to make everybody satisfactory for fitting into family life. That is, she shirks her responsibility for harmonizing all that transpires in the home she’s empowered to rule. She is the one to bring everyone together, or else they divide simply trying to please her in their own but different ways. Hence, her critical attitude forces everyone to compete with each other in self-defense and for protection from her ire. In the end only one (demoralizing teacher’s pet syndrome) or none (total disharmony) can please her.

    Otherwise, Sharon, most women know what they are doing when anointed to build and sustain a good family.


    • Beloved

      Guy,this may sound strange but would staring at (a lot) and simply smiling (shyly) at a guy make him feel admired? This happened during a class and I think that is how he felt; admired. P.s. there was hardly any talking (due to my shyness) and I basically ran away from him and gave signals not to talk to me.

      Your Highness Beloved,

      Were I that guy I would certainly feel admired after you ran off to avoid talking. I think your shyness is a huge blessing. You followed your heart from start to finish, and that holds much appeal to those around you. In this case, the guy.

      I’m interested to see if he begins to chase you. Especially whether he honors your shyness and goes slow or pursues a faster agenda than you can appreciate. The former indicates he saw admiration in your gaze.
      The latter indicates that you’re vulnerable to his taking advantage of your interest in him. Your shyness will guide you properly.


      • anonymous

        Sir Guy,
        Why is it that you find shyness a blessing? I am also shy and find it a hindrance.

        Your Highness Anonymous,
        A flushed face discloses you modesty and guides you toward doing what’s right for you. Shyness does the same; it’s an extra alarm bell that only a few fortunate women have. It helps guide when you need protection. It happened that way to Beloved.

  3. That Horse Is Dead


    Where on the blog can I find how to gently reject a man for a first date? He is in my Sunday school class and I have known him for several months. I enjoy his company in a group as a friend, but do not want to explore anything further with him other than friendship. There is no chemistry for me (and yes, I do need a certain element of chemistry whereas other ladies may not).

    Also, Sir Guy, regarding the comment above, “If pursuing you for more than just sex, he moves far slower and more casual for fear of screwing up, offending you, or otherwise losing your interest in him. He doesn’t try very hard to sell you on himself. He takes it for granted that he’s good enough for you, and he looks for you to make his effort easier by selling yourself. Don’t let him get away with it,” this sounds an awful lot like Mr. Vague and Unavailable. Am I missing something?

    Your Highness That Horse is Dead,

    Yes, good headwork, darling. I noticed that when writing but thought the context was clear in the sentence immediately preceding:

    “If pursuing you for more than just sex, he moves far slower and more casual for fear of screwing up, offending you, or otherwise losing your interest in him.”

    The player aka vague and unavailable isn’t bothered about screwing up, offending you, or otherwise losing interest in you. In fact, he plays on doing precisely that to trigger your guilt into seeing things his way without directly selling you on it.


    • That Horse Is Dead

      P.S. I would like to add this man asked me out via email and gave me his number to call him with an answer. Seems self-explanatory:)

      Your Highness That Horse is Dead,
      Don’t call. If he calls, don’t explain, don’t complain. Silence is the most courteous form of disinterest.

    • That Horse Is Dead

      But, doesn’t his slow pursuit potentially cause the woman to lose interest because the man is moving SO slowly? For example, he shows active interest when together but not asking for dates? This is where it gets confusing for me. If he’s too “casual” and is waiting for her to be the seller, then she may never really know his interest level, which seems vague and unavailable to me.

      Your Highness That Horse is Dead,

      Your right. It’s sloppy writing. I was thinking he slows because he’s comfortable and wants to befriend her, figuring that women like that. But it causes so much confusion, it’s better left unaddressed until I find a better way and do it more clearly in one spot. Therefore, let’s drop it, and I’m going back and delete it.

      Thanks. My eyes search for clarity, and you gave me a shot of mace. Two attempts to clear the same point is one too many.


      P.S. I’m proud of your absorption of the finer details of V&U, which is a tough subject to describe. It appears you have mastered it.

      • gonemaverick

        Sir Guy,

        i also thought he “slows because he’s comfortable and wants to befriend her”. no?

        Your Highness Gonemaverick,
        Yes, for guys truly interested in you but not players or users of vague and unavailable techniques.

      • That Horse Is Dead

        Only because a man of long time interest is Mr. V&U and your description is him to a “T”. I’ve accepted the reality of his extremely slow-moving behavior, abandoned wishful thinking even though he shows interest, and keep myself dating other men who are willing to step up to the challenge (preferably not asking me out in an email and giving me his phone number).

        Your Highness That Horse is Dead,

        You’re very astute, darling. Now, be prepared for when he takes a new tactic more to your liking. He won’t have changed, however, from playing you toward the bed. That is, his goal for self-satisfaction and confirmation of his significance. So, figure out how to make him uncomfortable and keep him there.

        How many ways can you find to say, No ring, no booty? You have the patience and composure to keep him there a long time, which he so richly deserves for treating you with such lack of respect.


        • Cinnamon

          That Horse is Dead,

          You are handling things exactly as you should because you know instinctively that Mr Goodenoughs don’t act like this!

          When you try to analyze the “whys” of wishy-washy/hot and cold behaviour which tries to shift you into the role of seller it just sends you down the rabbit hole (believe me, I’ve been there – lol).

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