8 June 2010
Revealed: His five biggest dating fears
As a woman in the world of dating, knowing what men fear when looking for love can be very insightful. Here are our top five picks for what men fear when they're looking for love.
Dating can be great fun, but it can also be wrapped up in fear – fear of getting a date, of having a bad date, of putting a date off…the list goes on. Even once you’ve got that first date under your belt it can still be tough to know how someone feels about you – and how you feel about them.
While we can all fear dating, men and women often fear different things. Stereotypes come about for a reason – because they are character types and scenarios that come up time and again. They might not be entirely universal, but they often have some truth to them. Here are five things (in no particular order) that men fear when they’re trying to find love:
Fear 1: He’ll lose his free time
When dating, some people need lots of time and attention to feel wanted; they require evenings on the sofa, kisses, cuddles, and texts throughout the day. Others are perfectly happy with a couple of dates a week and maybe the odd phone call. This distinction isn’t necessarily gender specific, but many men often fear that a relationship will tie them down and they’ll lose their freedom to do their own thing.
Fear 2: She’ll come between him and his friends
Men know that their partner isn’t going to flat out tell them they can’t see their friends when the relationship gets into full swing. It’s more that they fear the slow erosion of the relationship with their guy mates. It might start off with the odd comment like ‘You’re going to the pub with your mates again are you?’ graduating to, ‘I really don’t like John, he’s a bit of a show off isn’t he?’ This then comes to a head with something like, ‘I really don’t like you when you’re around your friends’. Suddenly the woman in his life has taken over and going to see a match with the lads is a distant memory.
This fear might stem from something that’s happened in a previous relationship, or seeing guy mates who don’t seem to make the effort anymore because of new partners. Either way, a girlfriend coming between him and his mates is a huge no-no.
Fear 3: She’ll turn out to be crazy
At the start of a relationship, people are on their best behaviour – checking how often they text the other person, watching their language, all the things they think they need to do to keep someone interested. Then slowly the mask slips. Nothing wrong with that, it’s when we get to know the real person.
But this is the thing men fear; that once the niceties are done with their new love will turn out to be a crazy lady. By no means are we saying all women are unhinged, nor are we saying that all men fear dating someone who’s crazy, but men don’t pick up as well on those subtler signals that someone might be a little unhinged. It’s not that women are amazingly intuitive either – often they read too much into things (a whole different issue we’ll tackle elsewhere).
Men fear the crazy woman because (as we touched on above) they’ve witnessed it themselves. They’ve seen good friends fall in love with wonderful sounding women, only to be dealing with a needy, screeching tyrant a few months later. Enough to make anyone swear off the opposite sex for life.
Fear 4: She won’t respect him
This might sound somewhat Victorian but the fact is that men desire respect in a relationship. Women do too, of course – everyone deserves respect – but men need it on a primal level. Lack of respect has many guises; maybe it’s that she mocks him in front of his friends, or she belittles his career choices. Whatever form it comes in, no man wants to be disrespected and most men fear it in a new relationship.
Fear 5: She’ll be high-maintenance
Probably one of the biggest fears for a man when dating is that his new beau will be high-maintenance. You know the type – she expects constant attention, to be showered with gifts and compliments and has very high standards. She gets taken to a lovely French restaurant and announces she’s cutting out all dairy products, or she refuses to go for a walk in the country in case she gets mud on her designer wellies.
There are various problems with this scenario but, apart from the fact that having a high maintenance girlfriend is exhausting, the main issue is that she’ll never be happy. If he asks the high-maintenance girlfriend ‘Are you ok?’ she’ll always have a complaint like ‘Well, I’m a bit cold’ or ‘Hmm, my drink isn’t quite what I asked for’. When in reality, there’s nothing nicer than being with someone, and saying ‘Are you ok?’ only to have them go ‘Yeah, I’m great thanks!’
By knowing what men fear you can make sure you don’t fall into one of the categories above. You can also interpret his behaviour – if he drops into conversation that he likes a woman who’s really chilled out, you can probably guess that he fears the high-maintenance girlfriend. Then you can make sure you don’t become her, or if you already know you are her then you’ll at least know that you’re probably not very compatible.
> Now check out what women fear when looking for love