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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

The Dating Habits of Men

Quick Access:
Male Dating Habits

This is part 2 of the three part series, "Dating Habits of Men". To read part 1, click here. To read part 2, click here.

Men, you’re free to email me if you disagree with anything I say, or if you want to elaborate or clarify something. Women, you’re free to send your comments and experiences as well. We’ll explore your responses in later installments.

Dating Habits of Men – Part 3

If a guy seemed to like you and called afterward, but didn’t try to kiss you on the date, what’s that say?

That usually says he’s a polite person who doesn’t want to come across as too forward or intrusive. Guys are usually not shy about being physical with women they see as casual dates, but they’re more reserved when they actually sense there could be potential there for something more. Guys don’t want to scare away real love prospects. Also, the guy may have wanted to kiss the woman but he didn’t sense enough “go” signals to make the move. Ladies, if you want the guy to kiss you on the date, then give him the “kiss me look” and maintain eye contact for as long as possible. He’ll get the message!

When a guy doesn’t want to see you again but you have plans, why do they sometimes postpone a date—and leave you hanging on—instead of just canceling it?

Contrary to what some people say, guys have souls and they can be made to feel guilty. Men hate to hurt women feelings. And they really hate strong shows of what they perceive as “negative” emotions. Men like to be problem solvers, not problem creators. So sometimes men try to do what they see as the honorable thing and keep a date. Here again, it’s up to the woman to take the lead and give the guy a clear out without being made to feel guilty or bad.

Following up with a text instead of a phone call—what’s that say about a guy?

Women text as much as men, but men are usually neither hardwired biologically nor raised to be verbally expressive. Women are. Men like communication tools that are direct, efficient and almost business like. “Texting” is simply short hand version of email. It also removes a guy emotionally from an interaction – no awkward pauses, body language or chances to make a fool of oneself. It would seem often to be an expression of insecurity. Women can handle this simply by texting back, “Call me, I miss your voice” or “Call me, I want to hear your sexy voice.” That sends the message that you want a call and it does it by playing to the guy’s ego. Men love that.

Do any other behaviors come to mind that guys consider normal but women sometimes interpret as “gamey”?

I would add that sometimes women feel men act differently when they are alone versus with their guy friends. And this change in attitude and behavior can be quite dramatic, obnoxious and confusing to women. Guys can act irrationally when they’re around their friends – male bonding can involve grandstanding and posturing and certainly not strong displays of certain emotions. However, when a guy is with you privately, his sensitive side shows itself. Women need to know that men are not always acting; they’re showing different sides of themselves. Men have different sides to them – at work, at play and on a date. Each side emphasizes a different aspect of their personality, so they can appear to be chameleons.

That's it for the three part series on Dating Habits of Men. Feel free to send me your comments or questions and we'll explore them in a future column.

Related Links
Dating Habits of Men (Part 1)
Dating Habits of Men (Part 2)

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