When it comes to the dating game, who has it harder? Men? Women? Or both genders equally? If you ask a man, the majority will say it's men and if you ask a woman the same question, she's highly likely to say women. So why does each gender believe that they have it harder?
I hope you enjoyed reading part 1 of this article from a female perspective. And now for the male perspective...
In his late-30s Rishi believes that women have it easier than men because the onus is on the guy to make the first move. Women do not have this pressure, or have to take the lead in the same way. What Rishi finds challenging, is working out whether a woman is interested and should he make a move, or not. He is not afraid of rejection, in fact he prefers someone to 'say it, as it is' as he gets very frustrated when a woman parts with her number and subsequently avoids phone calls, text messages, or cancels dates at the last minute.
"Asian women often complain that Asian men are not chivalrous, they do not know how to treat a woman but they do not realise the pressures that are placed upon men". This is according to Suraj in his early 30s. He believes that women are more judgemental on a first date than men and they often analyse every single detail and perhaps make rash decisions without even giving the guy a real chance. Suraj is a successful professional, looking for a like-minded professional Gujarati lady. However, when it comes to setting up the first date, he knows that he is going to be judged on his choice of venue, his ability to understand his date’s views and opinions, what he can bring to the table, personality, attractiveness and the list goes on. The pressure is further exacerbated when he has to make a call on chivalrous acts like paying bill - will his date misconstrue this act as chauvinistic? Conversely, if he does not pay is he being respectful & mindful, or will this be interpreted as being miserly? With all this going through his mind, he still has to try and keep his nerves under control, so that he can come across as his natural self and give it his best possible shot!
In his mid-20s, City professional Kam believes that men have it harder as they have to make the first move, which puts women in a position of control. He believes that in a bar for example, a number of guys may approach the same woman. However, it will be the woman who ultimately decides, which of the guys she will entertain, thereby rendering her possible suitors as powerless unless she decides otherwise.
Ayush, is in his late 20s and believes that men have it harder than women, as in today’s day and age, women have a bigger check-list than men, which has to be fulfilled before they even consider going on a date. He believes that whilst men will probably look at attractiveness, intelligence and overall personality, women delve a lot dipper and look at the whole package from attractiveness to family background to financial stability. So as a guy in today's society, Ayush thinks that you really are under pressure to compete with the other men out there into to get the woman of your dreams.
"A man has to prove himself constantly throughout the dating game, in a way that women do not", that's according to Anil who is in his mid-30s. He feels that from the outset the 'dating pressure' is on and continues steadily until you are in a committed relationship. Anil believes it starts with making the first move and despite how nerve racking it might be for a man, he has to come across as confident to stand any chance. Assuming she says yes to a first date, the guy then has to arrange a suitable date. On a first date, most guys will base a decision on whether to ask for a second date, depending on whether they find the woman and her personality attractive. Whereas, women put men under pressure to demonstrate their levels of substance, intelligence, stability, financial security and so forth, failure to comply, a guy can kiss any chances of a second date goodbye. Assuming that further dates ensue, the guy needs to pull out his A-game to woo the woman and win her over. The more a guy likes a woman, the more pressure it becomes. Next up is meeting her friends’ circle, when a guy meets his girlfriend's social circle for the first time, he is under more pressure to impress and converse with them. For example, if a girlfriend is introduced to her boyfriend's friends and she comes across as slightly quiet or shy, this is generally considered acceptable, if not endearing. However, if a guy behaves in this manner, his manliness and suitability as a life partner come under scrutiny and criticism. For these reasons, Anil firmly holds that men definitely have it harder in the dating game.
Guys, can you relate to these men? Ladies did you find this insightful, or do you think these guys are making much ado about nothing?
So what's the answer to this question - who has it harder in the dating game? As men and women, we have different roles to fulfil within a relationship and with that come different expectations and pressures. So arguably the dating game is hard for both genders but in different ways. For example, Seema commented that men prefer younger women, so it's more challenging for older women but is this men's fault, or down to nature and the way that they are genetically wired? Anil remarked that women want men with financial stability, are these women being over judgemental and potentially displaying signs of being a gold digger? Or is this something that is inbred from the moment they are born as procreators and their maternal instincts crave this security. Chaya believes that men get emasculated and are not really as interested when a woman is forthcoming - do men consciously go out of their way to feel like this, or is this because despite evolving from cavemen, at their core men only feel comfortable when they are the ones in the 'hunting' role. Kam observed that despite men taking the lead and making the first move, women are the ones who remain in control. But is this really about women trying to render men powerless, or to do with their instinct of selecting a suitable partner to mate with?
I guess like many things in life, there are always two-sides to a story and no definitive right, or wrong answers. It all comes down to our individual perceptions and experiences, with a mix of biology. But one thing's for sure, the dating game would be a less complex place if men understood women and women understood men – anyone up for the challenge of creating an algorithm?
What are your thoughts and experiences? To comment, please fill in the box below, which you can do anonymously and let your opinions be heard - thank you.Alpa Saujani