Mars to Venus: How to charm your guy

SAN DIEGO (U-WIRE) — Cheryl Daen’s column on dating tips gave us guys some sound advice, but it omitted a key element of a successful date: the male perspective.
Yes, believe it or not, guys also have a list of unwritten rules for all you women to follow. Granted, it is a short list — I struggled to come up with seven rules against Cheryl’s 14 — but then, guys usually aren’t too complicated. Too many rules only confuse us, and besides, we don’t want to get bogged down with dos and don’ts when we are trying to catch the last few plays of the game before picking you up.
1. Do not expect us to pick you up on time.
Cheryl could not have been more wrong about the benefits of punctuality. There aren’t any. A man who shows up on time is perceived as a very needy man. Needy is not good. You might be in a serious drought and really be very needy, but that still doesn’t mean you have to look and act the part.
Besides, what girl is ever ready on time?
You show up for a movie date at the predetermined time, and she is in the middle of fixing her hair and trying on 18 different outfits. The guy ends up sitting on the couch like a schmuck, thumbing through her Cosmopolitan magazines while making small talk with her giggling roommates. Better yet, the girl still lives at home, and the guy ends up on the couch opposite her father who is giving one of those “touch-my-daughter-and-I-will-cut-your-balls-off-with-a-rusty-pair-of-scissors” glares the entire time.
Punctuality is suicide. Drive around the block. Hang out at the park with the guys from the North American Man/Boy Love Association if you have to, but do not show up on time.
2. Open his car door from the inside.
Nowadays, chivalry works both ways under the moniker of mutual respect. If he cares enough about you to open the door for you, then you should return the favor. A woman that doesn’t open the door for her date is a princess who wants to be pampered. Put down the fairy tale and step back into the real world.
3. Do not order the most expensive thing on the menu.
This isn’t your birthday, and I am not your grandpa. We are college students with tight budgets, for Christ’s sake. Most guys consider that adding on a few extra toppings constitutes an upscale meal.
4. Always reach for the check when it comes.
This is vital. Just as opening the door shows your date that you respect him, the reach shows him that you do not appear to be a gold-digger. Men also have certain wants during the date. If the woman wants to be complimented and given small tokens of appreciation, then the man wants to know the woman is at least willing to pay for her half of the expenses. Make the effort, ladies. You don’t ever really have to pay, and it makes the guy feel better. All we ask is that you go through the motions.
5. Do not talk to your date like he is a child.
Look, he is a man, and like all men, he is bound to have more than a fair share of defects, but it isn’t your job to point them out to him. That is what his mom is for. Yes, his table manners might be atrocious and his goatee has significant bald patches, but you should just let it go. Furthermore, there are some things we cannot change, so do not expect us to make the effort. What is the point of cleaning your car inside and out if the car itself is a piece of junk. I drive a 1976, dirty, burgundy Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that will not go in reverse. If I somehow manage to score a date, I know she already has a great sense of humor … or lost a bet. Jack in the Crack wrappers can only add to the full effect of the Oldsmobile experience, not detract from it.
6. Do not talk too much.
Cheryl is absolutely right about guys who play up their achievements only coming off as total turn-offs. Luckily, I don’t have that problem. After winning “Most Book Reports” in second grade, it was straight downhill. However, there is an important flip side to Cheryl’s rule; the ultimate turn-off for guys is a woman who will not shut up. Yes, we want to get to know you, but not all of you in one night. Men don’t grunt because they are primitive. They grunt because they are considerate. Grunting allows the girl to believe the guy is still paying attention to her endless stream of babble while his brain is literally screaming, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!” It had to be a man who came up with the aphorism “silence is golden.” Less really is more.
7. Let the guy know where he stands at the end of the date.
If the date didn’t work out, whether you didn’t get along or you just couldn’t get over his patchy goatee, handle it diplomatically, yet be firm. Do not tell him that you dug him and then bust out a fake phone number. Do not tell him he is a loser with bad breath. These are the sorts of things that have pushed many men over the edge. Men are far more fragile than women, and you women all know it. Next thing you know, you have a stalker on your hands.
I also agree with Cheryl that guys should not assume they deserve a good night kiss at the end of the date … unless, of course, their date ordered the lobster. Moreover, if the woman asks the man in for a drink, the man should assume a drink means only a drink. But if a drink does mean sex, please wear a condom, men. Remember, you want your next date to be with her and not the urologist.

Michael Graffman’s column originally appeared in San Diego State University’s Daily Aztec on Sept. 25. Send comments to [email protected]