By: Twitter Buttons

Monday, 8 November 2010

What Rule Book? Ladies, Go Get Your Man!

I'm just going to go straight into it. I've been staying in New York for a little bit now and when it comes to the topic of dating...they seem to do things a little differently over here. Now I'm not talking personally (disclaimer alert!), but from speaking with my friends who have been here for a while through to my own observations on the street and on the subway, there are clear (and hilarious) differences between the way women and men act on opposite sides of the pond. New York especially is known for its 'go get em' attitude; everyone has a business card, everyone is constantly networking, the city never sleeps, people are here to pursue their dreams and go for what they want; including the man they want. Now I'm not saying that in the UK there is a complete absence of this approach to life but when it comes to women being the power players in the whole dating game, I think New York can teach us a few lessons.

Let me start at the beginning: before I came out here I was completing my masters and for my research paper I conducted focus group sessions which touched on the topic of relationships and dating. When discussing whether it was appropriate for a woman to pursue a guy, with the all-female group there were cries of "no that's not how a woman should act, why should she make it easy for the guy, she's going to give the impression that she's sexually loose, if the guy didn't have to work for it then he's never going to make an effort, no guy would respect a woman like that" - etc etc you get the message right? On the flip side, the guys seemed to think that there was nothing wrong with this (yeah I bet!). Instead they found it attractive that the female was going for what she wanted, they said that it showed she was confident and it would not necessarily lead to them having less respect for her. Now you could say that maybe I picked a conservative group of girls here or maybe the boys' opinions are not truly reflective of the male population, however even over the years speaking with females in particular it seems that most of us have picked up these dating rules and codes of conduct that we are encouraged to live by. Take a flight to NY and these rules are basically redundant - there's a new sheriff in town and he's called "Purlease...You Better Go Get Your Man!" But why the difference in attitude?
There seems to be two types of men I have come across in NY - I hate to generalise but in the interest of time and my wish to avoid repetitive strain injury from typing so much I'm going to get out my boxes and throw you all into one or the other, ok guys? First type is the super-fast dude who doesn't beat around the bush, let's you know exactly what they want from you - and its not usually a nice 'respectable' date - and if you're not on the same page, after trying to entice you with a few camera phone pics (that's another post altogether, I think I'll let Miss X take care of that one), they usually get the message and move on. Then you have the nice guy, cool personality, open to taking you out for some frozen yogurt but one problem - he is super sloooooooooooooow: one word BBM conversations, constant text messaging that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, goes missing for a few days then reappears as keen as ever. I have come to the conclusion that these guys that feature so heavily in the stories I hear on a daily basis are not playing some twisted game of hard to get - they are just lazy! Put it down to the statistics (or the heavily publicised myth) that in the US women heavily outnumber the amount of available men and there you go: you have a sought after guy with so many options he can just sit back and chill while the women fight it out. Some might say that perhaps we need to go back and watch the film 'He's Just Not That Into You' but I think this might just explain why the women I see over here throw two fingers up to the rule book: if they see something they like, they go get it because it sure isn't going to chase them! Just today, I saw a guy get on the subway carriage, he was looking at a girl in a way that I assumed he was attracted to her but he didn't say one word, just stared. She was looking at him too, so she SUMMONED him over, started talking to him, laughing and joking (it was so sweet!) then SHE took his number while he walked off smiling like he just scored a touchdown. How times have changed and I'm not necessarily knocking it. Some of you are probably shouting at the computer screen saying 'well it's the 21st century, who says a woman can't do that, why are you so shocked, women can be powerful and in control, so what?' Others might be questioning this idea of power; if a man can now sit back while the woman makes all the moves, then in actuality who is the one in control? Either way, I've found it interesting seeing the differences in attitudes...not entirely sure that I'm up for this new game though, let's hope for beginners luck eh?

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