Anna Goldsmith debunks five cherished male myths about dating.

Hate to tell you guys, but when it comes to dating, you’re getting off easy. Don’t think so? Let’s take a look at some commonly held myths to see just how unfair dating can be for the fairer sex.

Myth #1: Guys have to do all the date planning—from picking out the restaurant to picking her up.

Reality: You hang up the phone and ask that dude from your office who seems to get a lot of action for a recommendation. He gives you one. You email us the place. Done and done. Total time spent? 20 minutes, tops. While you were out back blowing up plastic army-men with your little friends, we were tirelessly preparing for our future dates with you.

You know how long we’ve been planning? Our whole lives! Okay, well, maybe not our whole lives, but definitely since we got our first issue of “Seventeen” magazine—which, by the way, was long before our 17th birthday. See, while you were out back blowing up plastic army-men with your little friends, we were tirelessly preparing for our future dates with you. Poring over articles like, “Are you a dating dream or a dating disaster?” “Ten dating commandments you should never break!” and “What to do if your date decides to take you birthday-gift shopping for his ex-girlfriend.”

So, let’s calculate… Twenty minutes versus… Hold on, I’m a girl, so I’m not very good at math… If I’m 28 now and got my first issue of Seventeen at age 12, that’s um… sixteen years. Sixteen years! Plus, we have to worry that you may be an axe murderer.

Myth #2: All women care about is size—height, wallet, ego.

Reality: You’re right. Women do care about size: Our own size. In fact, we’re so obsessed we don’t even have a moment to think about any of your relative sizes. We’re too busy worrying that our butts aren’t small enough, our stomachs aren’t flat enough, and our legs aren’t long enough.

Where does all this insecurity come from? Surely the aforementioned women’s magazines don’t help. But, then again, neither do you. I think “Tom” sums it up best in the “Who I’m Looking For” section of his profile:

“While I would prefer to date a size 4, I’d consider dating a size 6 if she had a really beautiful face.”

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that Tom’s photos suggest he’s more Tom Arnold than Tom Brady. I could go on about the injustice of this but, quite frankly, I don’t have time. I’m late for my Pilates class.

Myth #3: The discomfort of control-top pantyhose can’t compare to the palm sweating, heart palpitating anxiety of asking a woman out.

Reality: I know sidling down three bar stools to ask her if she was made in heaven must be hard. You know what’s harder? Fielding those questions. See, our self-help culture has instilled in us a deep fear of destroying your Fragile Male Ego. So, instead of turning you down, we endure long, tedious evenings while your Fragile Male Ego stares at our chests. Then you know what we do? We take our own Fragile Female Egos (see Myth #2) home and wait for you to call.

And let me tell you, there is nothing worse than waiting. Sure we could pick up the phone and call you, but where would that get us? As much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, deep down we know that if you like us, you’ll call, and if you don’t… you won’t. So if we like you, we wait. And wait. And wait. And when we get tired of waiting, we call our friends to talk about how we’re tired of waiting—on the other line, of course, in case you call.

Myth #4: Dating is so much more expensive for men!

Reality: Coughing up $9 for our cocktail—or $5 for our light beer, if we’re trying to appear low maintenance—is nothing. Do you have any idea how much money your date spends? Personal grooming alone can run into the hundreds of dollars. For example:

  • $150 for a cut and highlight to hide the fact that she’s not a natural blonde.
  • $40 for a pedicure so she can kick off her very expensive strappy sandals with confidence—just in case you go for a romantic moonlit walk on the beach.
  • $125 strappy sandals for aforementioned potential moonlit walk on the beach.
  • $4.50 for a soy latte to give her the shopping fuel she needs to find…
  • $80 matching bra and panty set from Victoria’s Secret, in case she kicks off more than the sandals…
  • $30 for a bikini wax… in case, you know, she goes swimming or something.
  • You, my friend, just have to pick up the check. And you don’t always do that, either.

Myth #5: Okay, so it’s not a myth. Women have biological clocks, men don’t, which is why any debate about who has a tougher time dating is moot. The defense rests, your honor.

Reality: See, once we hit our thirty-sixth birthday, we are officially labeled as “Advanced Maternal Age.” This means that regardless of whether we feel more like a kid than able to take care of one, we need to get serious. Biology forces us to view every man as “the future father of our child” or else we’re just “wasting our time,” since we’re “not getting any younger.” But we better not bring up marriage or children with any of the men we date because that might “scare them off.” Bottom line? Biology has not advanced as quickly as society has, and unlike men, women don’t have the luxury of the “indefinite snooze.” Biology has not advanced as quickly as society has, and unlike men, women don’t have the luxury of the ‘indefinite snooze.’


The next time we fight you for the check, then get mad when you let us win; the next time we wear a tight shirt, then get annoyed by all your panting; the next time we insist we don’t want dessert, only to eat all of yours… just smile and be glad you’re a man.

Anna Goldsmith is a partner at the Boston-based writing firm, The Hired Pens. She frequently eats French fries off her date’s plate without apologies. You can reach her at
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