You wrote in your column, “Men, especially, are compelled to ditch what’s chasing them and chase what’s trying to ditch them.” It seems you’re advising that the simple desire to love a man must be approached without authenticity and personal integrity. Must a woman really scheme to get a man, using a painfully conscious strategy based on men’s psychological makeup, and wait and wait like Cinderella until he reaches out to her? –Truth-Teller
For a woman of character, honesty is the best policy – except when judicious honesty is a better policy, like on the second date, when you refrain from telling a guy that you and he should pick out side-by-side burial plots: “The moment I saw you, I just knew I wanted to decompose next to you!”
You think of employing restraint as “scheming.” Um, scheming is talking a guy into a $10 million insurance policy and then sending him skydiving with a busted parachute. The notion that it’s morally bankrupt to refrain from chasing a man is an idea out of some future gender-neutral utopia where everyone wears “Star Trek” uniforms, eats single little cubes of lunch, and grows babies in a Mason jar in their front room.
As I’ve written before, any sexual encounter had a hefty potential cost for a woman during the Stone Age – a particularly crappy time to be a single mother. Because of this, women evolved to be choosier about partners, and men coevolved to expect that of them. Times have changed, but our psychology really hasn’t. So, when a woman throws herself at a man like a big flopping flounder, he’s likely to duck – suspecting that she probably isn’t worth having (for anything beyond a quick romp) if she’s so easy to get. This is unfortunate, but whining endlessly about it is an ineffective strategy for getting what you want, unless what you want are polyps on your vocal cords.
What you’re really arguing for is, “Why shouldn’t I be able to throw all self-discipline out the window and have the man I want drop down my chimney like Santa?” In a similar vein, I often wonder why I’ve been unable to become incredibly wealthy by napping. (Welcome to real life. Please visit often in the future.)
The answer is neither throwing yourself at a man nor waiting for him to notice that you dropped your glass slipper. You flirt to indicate that you’d be interested in going out with him, if only he’d ask. Flirting takes patience and self-control, but it isn’t exactly a horrible chore. It’s playful and fun. Kind of like tag. You run a little, and if all goes well, the guy chases you. Men just love to chase things – women, animals, purse-snatchers. In the U.K., they even have a tradition of chasing a big wheel of cheese down a hill. Wait – don’t get ideas. You will need to flip your hair and make eye contact and teasing remarks. You can’t just throw yourself down a grassy incline.
©2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon