An Interview With Dating Advice Columnist Christan Marashio
Christan Marashio runs a popular dating advice blog called “……And THAT’S Why You’re Single.” After reading her blog, I’ve found her writing to be superb and her advice to be generally spot-on. So, I managed to run down Christan for an interview. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:
…What misconceptions do you think that men and women have about each other in dating? What do the men think the women are thinking that they’re not and what do the women think the men are thinking that they’re not?
I think that men assume that when women say we’re looking for somebody financially stable, that we mean, I’m looking for somebody who’s going to keep me in the lifestyle to which I have been accustomed.
And what we mean by financially stable and settled is, we’re talking emotionally — we’re talking secure — we’re talking together. It’s not so much about how much you make, but are you in a place where you pay your bills, take care of yourself, and your life isn’t in constant upheaval?
That’s more what women mean when we say we want somebody financially stable, settled, and secure. Men hear that and they think “gold digger” and that’s not the case.
What about the reverse? What do you think women are misperceiving that men say?
You know, I’m going to have to go for the age, one. …Women assume that because they think they look younger, that means that they should be just as attractive as a woman who actually is younger. I have a lot of women who write in and say, “I’m forty, but all my friends tell me I look thirty,” and I always say, “Well, that is doable, but your vagina is still forty.”
At the end of the day, I don’t want to say men only care about a vagina — they don’t obviously. But, men are looking to reproduce…I think men, when they consider youth, they don’t just consider beauty, they consider less baggage, you know, it’s not going to be as difficult, and there’s not going to be as many hoops to jump through. Women assume that men choose younger women or are attracted to younger women because they’re sexist or ageist in some way. But, it’s not just a reproductive thing.
Again, it goes back to wanting a woman who makes them feel good about themselves — and it’s not just because she’s younger. That’s not what makes him feel good about himself. He doesn’t think that he’s some prize because he was able to get some young woman. It’s more like the younger woman comes to the table with less baggage and less prejudices. So the relationship in the guy’s mind is going to be a little bit easier.
You’re very kind to the fellows here, I have to tell you, because I would have gone pretty much with the general interpretation there. So you’re actually nicer than I am and I am a guy.
What do you mean?
Well, I mean, I would have said the men who like younger women like them because they’re younger and they feel better about themselves because they’re dating a younger woman. I mean, what does an 18 year old have to offer a 35 year old except for the fact that she’s 18? Then he can tell all his friends, “Hey look, I’m dating an 18 year old.”
Yes, but conversely, what does a 40 year old woman provide a 25 year old guy, other than the experience of saying, “I’m dating an older woman?”
Well, that’s true.
…There are a lot of guys like that out there, but I choose not to consider them quote, unquote, typical, or the norm.
Can you describe the worst date you’ve ever personally been on?
…You know, I had one online date probably about a year ago, where the picture was clearly a good ten to fifteen years old, but looked very recent. I just sat at my table stirring my margarita the whole time because I’m looking at the face and thinking this isn’t my date, this is his dad.
Did you ever bring it up to him? Did you say anything?
No, I left. I just said…here’s money for my drink, it was nice to meet you, and I left. There’s no point in bringing it up. What is he going to say? I mean really, there’s just no point and you don’t want to shame anybody…
What’s the worst piece of conventional wisdom about dating that’s floating around out there?
I don’t like when people tell women they have to…make a guy earn it. Because I think a lot of women take that to mean he’s got to either spend a considerable amount of money on me or I need to make him jump through hoops to earn my affection or attention. What men and women both need to understand is it’s not just the man or the woman in the relationship that’s the “catch.” You’re both the “catch.”
…There was an article in the New York Post where they were talking to singles. They had a single guy and a single girl and the man very freely admitted…”I really want to meet somebody. I need somebody to kind of keep me in line, and I really want somebody in my life”… whereas the woman was saying, “Oh, I’m enjoying my freedom, and I love being single in this city.” I put this out there to my audience and said, “Is it possible that women have been telling themselves for so long, ‘I don’t need a man to complete me, and oh, I love being single’, that’s it has almost become sort of a coping mechanism?”
…As we grow older, once you hit 35, 36, 37, you do get rejected a lot more often. Men aren’t as receptive to women over 35 or 36. They don’t tend to pay us the attention that they did when we were 28. So I wonder, if you think we’re telling…ourselves that as a coping mechanism…so that we don’t feel the sting of rejection. …Have we been saying that to our detriment? Because when we do find somebody that we like, we’ve been telling ourselves that we’re so happy being single, that we struggle to incorporate somebody else into our life.
I think that’s something that goes on with both men and women. I think men and women both thought, “Oh, I love being single and this is my playground and it’s like a kid in a candy store.” Then guys get to a certain age and they want to settle down.
We just had this call the other day. He was 41 years old and said, you know, “I’m hoping to have, you know, 3 to 4 kids, and I don’t think I’m going to have any problems with getting a woman in her 20s” and you could tell by what he expected that this guy just had not factored in anything about the woman.
I think when you get to be single for so long and thinking of just yourself for so long, I think when it becomes time to let someone in, it becomes a real struggle. I think there are a lot of hurdles come up that they have to overcome.
There’s a common perception with a lot of men that nice guys finish last with women. What do you think about that? True? False?
I think that, it depends on what you mean by “nice.” Do I think women aren’t attracted to nice men? No, I don’t think that. I think that’s preposterous. I think they love nice guys.
I know personally I love a man who holds the door for me, calls when he says he’s going to, and who doesn’t play games. Do I think that we like somebody who is more of a challenge? I think men and women both do.
I think more so when we’re younger, we dismiss the quote unquote nice guys because we’re chasing after guys that maybe are out of our league or aren’t good for us. But I think as we grow older, we learn to appreciate the nice guy. I just don’t agree with this idea that women are, “Oh, who wants a nice guy? I want a bad guy. I want a guy who’s not nice.” That’s ridiculous…
Now, last question. There’s a How to Attract and Understand Men e-guide at your website. I assume you wrote that, is that correct?
One of the things it says it can tell you is “how to determine his true intentions.” So how do you do that?
Two things: you listen to what he says and you listen to your gut. Our instinct is the most important tool that we have. At the base of it all, we are animals. I can watch my cat, when he hears a noise outside, sees a bird, or even hears a bird flutter — and he reacts. There are no filters. It’s not clouded, his instincts.
When a guy is on a date with you, or even in his online dating profile and says things like, “I work a lot and I travel a lot, and I’d really like to have someone to hang out with.” What’s he’s basically saying is, “I’m not going to be around, I’m looking for something casual.” If you say to him, “Do me a favor — try to give me like 48 hours notice because I have other plans,” or whatever, and he doesn’t do it, he’s not listening to your needs. He’s not even trying to meet your needs.
Even when you email somebody at an online dating site and you say, “Here’s my number, why don’t we talk on the phone?” and he emails you back, almost as if you didn’t even say, “Let’s talk on the phone,” he’s not listening to you. That’s a bad sign.
So, that’s how you can tell what his intentions are. Those little signs, those little statements, but more than anything, when you’re on that date and something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably because it’s not.
Christan, outstanding. Thank you for your time.
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While I was at RightOnline, I caught a screening of Not Evil Just Wrong, which is billed as a response