Dating Advice: When The Experts Are Wrong

Posted on October 29th, 2009

42-23470632Your significant other has abandoned ship and you don’t know what to do, so you grab the latest magazine as you load up on sugary foods at the grocery store. Maybe the article on “How to Keep Your Man” will help. After all, if it’s written in print in a magazine it is expert advice, right?


Not all dating advice is good advice just because a top magazine printed it. I can give you a good example of this. My friend Mark is interested in dating my friend Sasha but she isn’t interested in him that way. But Mark is determined to figure out what it is that makes him unattractive to Sasha as a romantic interest; only he won’t come right out and ask her.

Instead, Mark—a big fan of magazines that carry “How to” romance articles—thinks the answer to his dilemma can be found between glossy high-dollar pages: “If he reads it (and does it) she will come” kind of mentality. So it was no surprise when I overhead their conversation recently and he was referring to one of the articles he had read.

He was trying to get Sasha to weigh-in about whether she found hair on a man’s chest attractive or a turn off. He had read in a magazine that women wanted men with clean-shaven chests now and he is as hairy as they come in that area (I’m basing this on sight here, since Mark is big about wearing unbuttoned shirts).

After reading the magazine article he surmised that Sasha’s rejection was related to his being too “hairy” for her taste. But he didn’t come right out and ask her (as he should have). Instead, he asked if she liked hairy-chested men or not.

Sasha was clueless about what Mark was really trying to communicate (if I shave my hairy chest or get it waxed off will you then go out with me?), but was finally able to get him to admit that he wanted to know so he could decide whether he needed a wax job or not.

Thankfully, Sasha, educated Mark on the need to have open communication and not rely on magazines to predict what another person likes/dislikes. Mark could have followed the magazines dating advice—that he needed to rid himself of body hair to get the woman he wanted—only to learn (painfully) later that the advice was useless for his particular woman.

Sasha and Mark are a good example of how outside influences (like magazines) attempt to change our culture and dating habits. That isn’t always a bad thing, of course, but it can be if a person is already insecure, like Mark.

Mark’s inability to be himself and accept who he really is (hair and all) may be why Sasha isn’t dating him, since it doesn’t have anything to do with his hairy chest (Sasha likes men with hairy chests).

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Posted in Dating Tips


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