Hadley Freeman’s ‘Every Dating Guide You’ll Ever Need’ (taken – and edited – from Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies)
‘With the help of this little guide, you’ll see that you won’t have to change anything about yourself to get your man, other than your behaviour, personality, natural desires and looks. Once you do all that, you can have ANY man eating out of your hand. Yes, I said ANY man. The only stress you’re going to have in your life now is … which guy to choose!
First of all, how to meet this special someone? You need to break out of your usual social circle as that pond is too small for you to fish in – aim for the ocean! Give internet dating a go – honestly, EVERYONE’S doing it these days (except anyone who ever advocates that you try it) and how about joining an evening class? Not a girly one like ‘vegetarian cooking’ or ‘beginners French’ because you’ll only meet girls and gays there, which would be a total waste of your time and money. Be ruthless and choose ones that don’t interest you at all but sound hot and hetero, like ‘car maintenance’ and ‘how to make your own app’. But also bear in mind that when you meet someone that way there is a risk that you’ll have nothing at all in common, especially if you met him in an evening class that doesn’t interest you at all or on some internet site where decisions are based purely on aesthetics.
Now you’ve got someone in your sights – what next? Well, guys can be incredibly slow, so you pretty much have to hit him over the head with a stick to make him take the hint. A guy won’t ask a girl out if he thinks there’s a chance he might get rejected, so make it super obvious that you’re into him: smile all the time, hang out where he hangs out (but not in a stalker way, natch!) and touch his arm as often as possible. That’s code for ‘I give amazing blow jobs’, just as twirling your hair means ‘My breasts are perfection’ and touching your neck means ‘I love threesomes!’ Everyone knows that!
Also, remember that nothing turns a guy on more than a girl who is hard to get. They’re programmed that way, it’s biological – you know, the whole hunter-gatherer thing? Make him have to hunt you (in a non-rapist way, obvs). So be aloof, ignore him, pretend you don’t even know his name – it will intrigue him. You know what they say about treating a guy mean – it keeps him (or in this case, makes him!) keen! This is – to paraphrase the title of this chapter’s favourite book – Why Men Marry Bitches! As everyone knows, if the title of a dating manual says it, it must be true.
Now he’s asking you out on a hot date. A lot of women make the simple mistake of expecting the guy to make all the arrangements. Guys HATE this! The truth is – and I hope this doesn’t sound too creepy! – the ideal woman for most men is, and always will be, their mother. So take charge and make suggestions about where you guys should have your hot first date, such as that cool retro bowling alley you read about in a Sunday supplement magazine, or maybe a trip to the zoo, which is an adorably quirky suggestion. Being with a capable woman makes a man feel protected and he’ll LOVE the sense that he’s with a girl who knows about the latest hot things. No guy wants a helpless woman! Except those who do. Guys love to feel manly and don’t want to feel mothered so let him take charge. When he asks what you want to do on a date, tell him whatever he wants to do. This is always the right answer in all contexts, from social to sexual. Any other answer will – guaranteed – make him think you’re a bossy, high-maintenance shrew.
Similarly, there is a lot of confusion over whether on a first date the bill should be split or whether traditional is still best and the guy should pay. Easy. It should be both. No guy wants to be with a gold-digger so make it clear from the beginning that you are soooo not that by paying your share. He will, though, probably think you’re a grandstanding feminist who is financially emasculating him. Seriously, your wallet is almost the least sexy accessory you can bring on a date, second only to a chastity belt! It’s his primal instinct to be the provider: thwart him in that goal and he will lope back off to his cave like an injured animal and feast on carcasses, i.e. masturbate to internet porn.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. You haven’t even had the date yet!’
For more of Hadley’s dating advice – which finds hilarity (and exasperation) in the biggest gender clichés in the book – read her fantastic book Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies, now out in paperback. That’s if you can tear yourself away from shopping for, oooo, that really sexy skirt to impress that new guy…