What Men Want

Excerpted from:
What Men Want - Three Professional Single Men Reveal to Women What it Takes to Make a Man Yours
By Bradley Gerstman, Christopher Pizzo, Rich Seldes

What keeps men away

First of all, the scale does not start out balanced. Fear of rejections weighs so heavily that, from the outset, the scale leans in favor of not risking an introduction. We can't tell you how many times we've thought, "Better not risk it." A man hates to be rejected by a woman. And, by nature, men are insecure. It is amazing how insecurity can turn a school ring into a wedding ring from only two feet away. No matter how rich or famous or good-looking or brilliant, a man will always wonder: Does she have a boyfriend? Will she blow me off? Does she hate men? Is she in a bad mood? The most common reason men give for not approaching women we want to meet is fear of rejection.

Men also feel the need to impress a woman, so we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We want to say something that sets us apart from the other hundred guys who are trying achieve the same goal. Even if we convince ourselves that we won't say something stupid, then we are afraid that whatever we do will not be well received.

The dating game

If you have made it past the first date with that potential "Mr. Right," hold on; the ride only gets bumpier. Getting to know someone new can definitely be exhilarating, but negotiating the terrain of casual dating can also be confusing and difficult. This is the time when a relationship accelerates or comes to a standstill. This is also the time when women tend to get stuck in relationships going nowhere. The truth is, men often know right away when a relationship with a woman will never be more than casual, that he will never fall in love with her. At other times he may believe she has potential and so takes a "wait and see" attitude. How can a woman tell the difference?

In a guy's mind, the distinction between a woman who is "good for now" and a woman with "wife potential" is as clear as day. It is clear to him, but it may not be clear to you. He is certainly not going to break his neck making any effort to let you know in which category you fit. Since it is the rare man who will come out and say, "I like you, but I'll never love you," a woman, assuming she cares, needs to take the measure of his seriousness.

How serious is he?

You can read how serious a man is about you by the frequency and timing of your dates together. If a guy wants to keep it casual, he will always find an excuse to not go out with you on weekends, and he will not date you more than once a week, if that. Believe us, a man will conjure up the best excuses to keep his dates with a particular woman to a minimum. You may be dating a very busy professional man, but if he wanted to see you more often, he would. Date this guy if you like, but realize it probably won't go very far. Get out and see other people because we can guarantee you that he is. If you enjoy being with him, follow his lead and keep him on your "wait until something better comes along" list. Use this as a chance to have fun and go out, but don't think of this guy as anything more than someone with whom to have fun.

We have all dated women who we knew were not Ms. Right. We liked them, had fun with them, and dated them once a week, tops. When they asked why we couldn't see them more often, we gave one excuse after another. We thought it was apparent that the relationship would never get serious. Some women would fail to see the writing on the wall, allow themselves to get too attached, and wind up getting hurt.

Copyright © 1998 Bradely Gerstman, Esq., Christopher Pizzo, CPA, and Rich Seldes, M.D.

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