Ok this is shocking. When you type ‘DATING’ into the amazon.com search engine, the three books that come up on the screen are:

• The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex — Joshua Piven.
• Women, Sex And Dating, For The Single Man — Perry Rose.
• 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And Other Tips from a
Beleaguered Father, (Not That Any of Them Work) — W. Bruce Cameron.

Joshua, Perry and Bruce. What do they have in common? They’re GUYS. And they wrote those books FOR men. Huh? Then there’s Dr. Harville “Getting-the-Love-You-Want” Hendrix, Oprah’s guru Dr. Phil
“I’m-so-famous-I-don’t-need-a-last-name” McGraw and of course John
“Men-are-from-Mars-Women-are-from-Venus” Gray. So how DO you go from being a Venutian xenophobe to a Martian xenophile anyway? I always knew it takes a village to date a man but I had NO idea it took a handbook to date a woman.

I became a delta force girl operative and peeked inside the boys’ handbook. Here’s what it taught:

“Learn how to remove stubborn articles of clothing and slip away from a
blind date. Discover the secrets of dealing with a bad kisser and of
surviving a meeting with your date’s parents. An appendix of great pickup
lines, breakup lines, and all-purpose excuses. What to do when you wake up next to someone whose name you can’t remember.”

Well really now! No wonder we need a village. We have to discuss all that crap with our girlfriends, gay male friends, ex-boyfriends and a few
strangers on an airplane. But what sayeth the bibles? Look at the difference between the cover of the girl’s bible, Cosmo: “LAND THAT MAN, ACE YOUR JOB, AND LOOK YOUR SEXIEST EVER!” and the boy’s bible, Maxim: “PRETZEL SEX, TYSON TALKS, GET THAT TEMPTRESS!”

Let’s look inside:
MAXIM’S CODE OF GUYHOOD:
Rule #2,738: Women who claim they “love to watch sports” must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to pick a Buffalo wing clean.

Rule #8,911: Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on
longer than you’re able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone; hang up if necessary.

Rule #9,076: When receiving oral sex while driving, always:

* Wear your seat belt.
* Close the sunroof.
* Smile.
* Make extended eye contact with as many women in other cars as possible.

INSIDE COSMO:
Dating Diary
Thursday
“Sebastien didn’t call until 8 p.m. What’s up with that?! Wound up having a major “boys suck” bitchfest dinner w/Olya. Friday Sebastien and I had another fabulous time talking over dinner. He dropped some zingers, though. He’s divorced!

Sunday
Well, the girls are divided when it comes to being with a divorcé. On one
hand, it shows that at some point in his life, he obviously wasn’t
commitment-phobic — but then again, maybe he is now after going through a bad marriage. And being the first woman he has dated since, is definitely an ego stroke, but there’s also the possibility that I could be Rebound Woman. Plus, it’s a lot of pressure! If things don’t work out between us, then I could potentially turn him off from dating for another year. And that sort of guilt is something I definitely don’t need.”

These are actual quotes from Cosmo and Maxim. OK they are for 20-something boys and girls, not for men and women. But here’s a secret. No matter WHAT age you are it’s the same damn thing. In the beginning you feel giddy. You say stuff like “I feel like I’m in high school again.” You have raging hormones. Later on you say stuff like “Quit it. We’re not in high school anymore.” The hormones have iced down.

So what takes it from that ‘hot-sexy-intense-focused-fancy-footwork-dipping-while-dancing-romantic-constant-arousal-haze’… to that ‘HE’S-IGNORING-ME-SHE’S-IN-MY-SPACE’ end run? Selfishness? Laziness? Fear? Bills? I dunno.

But here’s what I think. It’s really stupid that dating has become a “village” vs. “handbook” experience. The dictionary defines a date as: “an arrangement to be present at an event.” Ok. There it is. BE PRESENT. That’s all we should ask of each other. So women, just think of your man as your village and take a deep breath and let him know as simply and as honestly as you can, what’s on your mind and in your heart. And men, just think of your woman as a precious bit of software, that sometimes needs attention in a disk-first-aid-scan to de-fragment your relationship’s operating system. And if you’re both present for this event, and do it with unconditional love, maybe you won’t go to Defcon 1 when you look at your lover, and want to run him over in front of the village, or brain her in the head with the handbook!