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When it comes to starting things off with a new guy, I have one piece of advice for gay men: Don’t do what I used to do.
What I mean, specifically, is this: Do not eat an entire cheesecake while watching “He’s Just Not That Into You” repeatedly and decide you’re going to adjust your entire approach to dating based on the concepts contained in the film.
I’ve learned the hard way that girl-boy dating rules don’t always apply to gay men.
No, I’m not inviting you to join a fraternity.
I’m talking about the whole “Who should contact whom and when and how often and WILL HE LOVE ME?” riddle we often end up trying to unsuccessfully solve after a promising first date or two.
According to the tour de force of the film (and bestselling book too, I guess) that is HJNTIY, if a guy wants to see you again, he will make it happen.
The woman’s role should simply be to sit back, focus on other things in her life and generally avoid looking like a desperate cat lady until he makes the first move and initiates further communication.
This concept is hardly exclusive to the film in question.
The advice of making yourself seem more unavailable and playing “hard to get” in order to lure a man into chasing after you has been around probably since the beginning of time.
Adam was probably like, “Wow, Eve is such an independent woman — eating apples and living her sinful life and shit. She doesn’t seem to be too interested in me. OK, I WANT HER!”
(I’m pretty sure I just got the Bible wrong, but whatever, we’re going to go with it for the purpose of this article.)
“Being straightforward will
save you time and energy.”
Well, things can get murky.
For a while, I believed I needed to never contact men ever — which ultimately meant I went on quite a few first dates and never followed up, especially when I was interested. (This is absurd, I know.)
And then when the guy wouldn’t follow up, I assumed he just wasn’t that into me and kept it moving — never considering he could have been trying to play on the same side of the ball as I was.
He was probably construing my silence as me being just not that into him — when really neither of us knew what the hell the other was thinking because there was absolutely no dialogue happening.
And now my head hurts from thinking about what a laborious game I used to turn dating into.
Ultimately, I’ve found putting little to no thought or effort behind post-date communication patterns is both the easiest and healthiest approach for gay men because in any given dating scenario you may find yourself in, you’re both men.
Why not apply that principle to all stages of the dating process?
If there is mutual interest, then the onus should be on both of you to initiate contact.
Sure, by openly reaching out to a guy you’re interested in, you’re running the risk of making yourself appear available.
But I mean — and this could be a totally radical concept — maybe appearing available isn’t such a bad thing when real love is the end goal.
So if you had a good time on a date last night and you want to see the dude again, go ahead and call him. Don’t even think twice about it.
Being straightforward in this way will save you time, energy and — if you’re anything like me — lots of stress eating.
If you guys click, you’ll know it sooner. If you don’t click, you’ll know that sooner, too.
And if he doesn’t respond at all, then he’s just not that into you. But at least you’ll know it with a relative amount of certainty this time.
How do you plan to rewrite the rules of “He’s Just Not That Into You”? Readers, I’m interested in hearing what you have to say!
Photo source: corbisimages.com.
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