I am constantly writing articles on love and dating using my own female point of view. So, I thought for this next one I’d highlight a different perspective – a male’s perspective. As college girls, we are professionals at overanalyzing male motives. But if there’s one lesson my Mama taught me, it’s that if you want to know something, you have to ASK!
I asked my friends David, 24, and Erin, 22, to answer some of the most common questions out there pertaining to dating, relationships and sex. Let’s see what these twenty-somethings came up with, shall we?
Who should make the first move?
SHE SAYS: The guy without fail. And if he’s nervous, he shouldn’t be afraid to ask, “Is it okay if I hold your hand, etc.” It’s cute.
HE SAYS: It’s traditional for men to make the first move, but really, the two main factors that decide who makes it are who has the personality and confidence. If you’re attracted to someone, all you need to do is muster up some courage (sometimes accommodated by the liquid form of courage) and introduce yourself. Over-confident men usually will say something very crude or use a cheesy pick-up line. On the other end of the spectrum are your very quiet, shy guys that only might (and I do underscore might) come up and introduce themselves with a simple “hi.” Don’t let your overall perception of a guy be based off how aggressive or timid he comes off in a first move. A lot of times that aggressive, overconfident guy tends to be a real jerk and have a one track mind; and that quiet guy might end up being exactly what you were looking for. Plus, he’ll probably warm up to you later.
Foolproof first date idea?
SHE SAYS: I think it’s better to go somewhere where you can hear each other and talk. Concerts are always fun, but doing a dinner or picnic beforehand is a better way to get to know one another while still enjoying your surroundings!
HE SAYS: No such thing as a foolproof first date! But if you at least know something about your date’s interests (thank you pre-Facebook and Twitter stalking), you should already have an idea of what you have in common. If the girl really likes movies, then a movie it shall be! Spicing it up and doing something out of the norm like a sporting event or dinner with friends is my personal favorite.
What makes a girl/boy stand out from a crowd?
SHE SAYS: Personally, I appreciate a guy who you meet and doesn’t act like a fool or flaunt his ego. In other words, someone who can have fun and not take themselves seriously, but is confident enough to do it without being wasted or talking themselves up to people.
HE SAYS: A genuine smile and the way you look at a guy speaks non-verbal volumes. Body language is a great form of communication, though sometimes guys will mistake your polite non-verbals for extreme interest. You could be constantly gazing downward at your watch wondering, “WHEN is he going to stop talking about himself?” and he might actually take your courteous smile and eye rolling as curiosity, so beware!
SHE SAYS: Someone who isn’t able to laugh at themselves and is just worried how others may perceive of them. Be yourself!
HE SAYS: Too much makeup and an overly risque dress. Unless it’s prom night and you’re trying to get lucky, I would avoid those two things. What you’re ‘advertising’ will determine what kinds of guys you attract. Also, don’t be a sloppy drunk. Calm down there, Skippy! The party only started an hour ago and you’re five beers deep? Next!
Really, how important are looks?
SHE SAYS: In order to make a relationship work, you need to be attracted to them. This doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily the hottest person, but you need that chemistry. Plus, someone who takes pride in how they look is more likely to be confident in all aspects of life.
HE SAYS: Looks aren’t everything, but they are a huge part of the decision to pursue a relationship. No guy wants to be in a relationship where he isn’t physically attracted to his partner. Men, being visually stimulated, need something about you to stimulate their um… visualness.
What are some ways you can tell she/he’s “boyfriend/girlfriend material”?
SHE SAYS: Respect. In order to date someone and have a healthy relationship, they need to show you respect and understanding. For many girls we call this “chivalry” because they take time to show us they respect us.
HE SAYS: Well, I was born and raised in the Deep South and we like to dote on our women there. But the most profound thing any woman has ever done for me was actually by a co-worker. We weren’t romantically involved or even dating, but as a gentleman should, I opened her car door for her one day we were going for a drive. As I was walking around the other side to get in and drive, I saw her leaning over and opening my door for me. I about blew a circuit! What a nice gesture. She could see the surprised look on my face and before I could ask why she responded, “My dad taught me that if a man ever opens the door for you, you lean over and open the door for him.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that guys like to feel wanted and appreciated, too. Trust me we’re well aware you can open your own door. But there is a certain amount of individuality and independence in a girl that we just find attractive. Those are the girls we want to call our girlfriends.
When is a good time to meet the parents?
SHE SAYS: This is a tough one, since there is no right or wrong answer! Every situation depends on when you are both comfortable. I will disclose, however, that if they seem to be hesitant to do the ‘meet the parents’ thing and you’ve talked about it in your relationship but they won’t do it, don’t waste your time. If there’s a future, the parents are crucial and, as much as it sucks, many times your own parents are right about someone.
HE SAYS: Never! (Just kidding.) I guess once you’re comfortable and you’ve both decided you want to take the next step in creating your relationship. While meeting the parents might not seem like a huge deal to girls, guys usually feel sick to their stomach because to them, the world could end! Most men can play it off like they don’t care but the truth is they do; and they really want your parents to like or at least accept them. Guys in general have the preconceived notion that a girl’s dad is going to beat the crap out of him and her mother is going to make things awkward. Ah, how true that can be sometimes.
How important is it to change your Facebook status?
SHE SAYS: I think this causes too many insecurities in relationships. If you want to put that status up, you have to accept you may have to take it down and have people in your business.
HE SAYS: Facebook is all about status. That’s why they have a “status” box. If you want the world to know you’re dating someone, go ahead. Most guys would be OK with you putting “in a relationship with …” on your profile. Personally, I would raise an eyebrow if my partner didn’t put something like that up. If she never changed it and when confronted would just skate around it I would become flooded with doubt and questions. Does she really like me? Is there something she’s not telling me? Does she even know how to spell my name?! We slap labels on everything. And while I might not agree with Facebook or other (un)social medias, I still believe if you’re playing the game, at least play by the rules and change the relationship status!
Can you be friends with an ex?
SHE SAYS: My initial reaction from experience is no. Just because feelings will always be there and I think many people can’t handle going from dating to simply seeing who they are dating; it creates jealousy issues. Clearly that boy you dated short term may be an exception.
HE SAYS: After a serious or even semi-serious relationship, the answer is NO! What is acceptable (and only this!) is texting or saying happy birthday once a year. No “happy birthday, I still love you!” nonsense though. If you are still friends with your ex, it puts your current partner in a very odd predicament. How can they feel comfortable knowing you have a coffee date every week with the guy you used to sleep with and for all they know might still have feelings for? For the love of geography, don’t keep exes around in the picture. And especially don’t keep around any pictures of your ex.
After how many dates do you wait to first have sex?
SHE SAYS: Once again, there is no magic number. Obviously, sex is important in a relationship but you need that trust with the person first. And you don’t want to give it up too soon and seem easy. I think a good rule of thumb is when you are able to have a mature conversation about it, you can do it.
HE SAYS: If you’re talking about long-term relationship potential, I’d wait at least two dates. If you give it up on the first date you’re not going to be his boyfriend, you’re going to be his squeeze. Though minor exceptions can be made… I am still a believer in love at first sight!
How important is your “number”?
SHE SAYS: Not important. If someone is judging or being condescending about it, they’re not worth your time. But that doesn’t mean sleeping around with everyone will solve your problems either.
HE SAYS: Never ask questions you don’t want answers to. While it’s mildly important, he’s more interested in whether or not you know your way around the bedroom. Besides, just because you’ve only been with two guys doesn’t mean you’re not as good, if not better, than a girl who’s been with 20. Usually, people in relationships that explore things with each other over time make better future lovers than those who opt for countless one-night stands.
Sexting: flirty or skanky?
SHE SAYS: I see nothing wrong with it, but if you get raunchy, just know someone else could read it on yours or his phone, so don’t send it unless you’re okay with that!
HE SAYS: If you’re comfortable doing that with the person you are with then it seems completely fine, healthy even. Think of it as a strip tease but the image is burned into our brains and makes us want you that much more when we see you again.
Pretty predictable or were you surprised by what the opposite sex had to say? Tell us in the comments section below!
Alexa is a twenty-something student at James Madison University. She is majoring in Media Arts & Design and minoring in both Creative Writing and Anthropology. She aspires a career at a magazine.
Alexa Johnson has 10 post(s) on Love Twenty