Amanda regularly takes “advice” columns directed toward women and their hetero dating habits to task. If you’re not following these (particularly if you’re a guy), you should.

With advice like this, it’s no wonder a lot of guys keep telling me that they find women really confusing (I’ve never found myself very confusing) and women feel so confused. Look at all these mixed messages about women’s “proper” social behavior and then tell me how anybody connects with anyone else anymore:

To sum up: To make a man love you, come on strong and then ignore him so he wonders if he did something wrong. When you do consent to go out on a date with him, wait with an expectant look on your face for favors while declining to do anything nice for him yourself. Then stare at him lovingly like he was the last man on Earth. What kind of man could resist? Well, besides the ones who are too smart to hang out with crazy people.

Shit, throw out that Cosmo. Don’t read dating advice at MSN. You’ll become one of those people hovering over the telephone every night. I was channel flipping last week and found the authors of He’s Just Not That Into You fielding questions from Oprah’s audience. One woman stood up and said she was a lawyer, and that for the first couple of dates she had with a guy, she tried really hard not to mention it, and if she was online dating, her friends told her not to put that she had any post graduate work, “Just put college or some college,” her friends told her. “Otherwise, no guy is going to go out with you.”

I wanted to throw something at the TV. All the time and money and hard work and cramming sessions, and we’re reduced to this: lying about how smart we can get some lame underachiever into bed. As if that were really difficult. Can’t we all just act like nice people, and hang out with other nice people, and be nice and respectful and have fun learning from each other and spending time together?

Ah, yes. But “we’re all just looking for respectful affection from a healthy, intelligent partner(s) who isn’t boring” doesn’t sell magazines. I keep forgetting.

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