If you’re a heterosexual woman who dates cis-gendered guys, I’m sure you’ve entered the phrase “I hate men!” more times than you can count. I feel you. I’m not a misandrist and I don’t literally hate anyone, obviously, but I do find that a huge portion of straight dudes drive me (and most other women I know) absolutely nuts. Maybe it’s better to say that I hate the things a lot of men do. That being said, I do enjoy penises and am undeniably attracted to guys who look like they could have auditioned to be Jason Momoa’s understudy in Aquaman, so I have to find a way around it. Here’s how I date men even though I “hate” them.
- I’ve learned to love being single so I don’t need a relationship. This is probably the best way to deal with the frustration of dating men who are always doing sh-t you hate. I don’t need to freak out when things go wrong with a guy because I’m totally fine being on my own. I have a great life full of a solid group of amazing girlfriends, a job I love, a supportive family, hobbies and interests… any guy I add to the mix should be so lucky.
- I set out my standards and expectations early on. I know what I want from a guy and from a relationship and I make that clear from the beginning. I’m not interested in playing games like pretending to be hard to get, flirting with other men to stoke jealousy, or being hot and cold because I can’t decide how I feel. I won’t put up with a guy who does these things either. I hate men who treat me as if I’m disposable or a second option, simple as that.
- I ice guys out if they’re not showing up for me/the relationship. This is basically a follow-on from the above. If a guy I’m dating is being inconsistent, treating me like an option, or leaving me on read for days on end, I’m out. There’s nothing I hate more than when men act like I’m so desperate for a relationship that I’ll put up with pretty much anything just to avoid being alone. Wrong!
- I commiserate with my friends about our dating disasters. As I say, I’ve lost count of the number of times my friends and I have lamented “I swear to God, I hate men!” after another terrible experience. While there’s always a risk of becoming too negative, I do feel like commiserating with my girls about our shared frustrations and disappointments with guys goes a long way toward reminding me that I’m not alone. Then again, that makes me feel kinda depressed that this is the reality for most single women…
- I don’t let my feelings get too deep too quickly. I’m only human and I do want to find love, but I’ve trained myself not to get my hopes up and my feelings involved too soon. Until a guy proves he’s worth it, I’m good with keeping my expectations and hope in check so that I don’t end up feeling devastated when it all goes wrong. I’ve been there too often.
More ways I deal with dating men even though I kinda hate them
- I correct them when they say something f–ked up or inaccurate. I hate when men say clearly misogynistic things and women just sit there and laugh in response like it’s totally normal and okay. Not me! If a guy I’m dating (or even one I’m not dating) makes misogynistic, homophobic, racist, or any other kind of terrible comment, I call him out on it. He may not respond all that well and that may put an end to any romantic prospects right away, but oh well! He’s obviously not the type of guy I’d want to be with anyway.
- I focus on fostering a sense of self-love. It can be so demoralizing when one date after another ends in disaster. After all, the whole purpose of dating is to find a partner to share my life with, so I do tend to take it personally when things go wrong. That’s why it’s been so vital for me to really make sure my self-love game is on point. I treat myself the way I want a guy to treat me and I remind myself every day that I’m worthy and deserving of the best kind of love.
- I believe deep down that there are good guys out there. Saying “I hate men” is all fun and games but deep down, I clearly love men — I just want them to be and do better. And there are some great guys out there. I know because I’m friends with a lot of them and have also dated a few over the years. I know that there are a lot of kind, mature, considerate, forward-thinking men who want the same things I do in a relationship and a partner.
- I enjoy the fun of having crushes. I used to feel guilty when I started crushing over a guy, especially because so many men are so problematic. I don’t feel that way anymore. I obsess (within reason!) with glee. Why shouldn’t I? “We live in a patriarchal society where, for the past many many centuries, it was an economic necessity for women to structure their lives around men,” says writer Blythe Roberson, author of the aptly-titled How To Date Men When You Hate Men. “Because of all that, women are super socialized to think about dating all the time! So much of the entertainment that is aimed at women is about men, finding men, appealing to men, etc.” In other words, I recognize that it’s totally normal to think about men you like and I don’t hate on myself for it.
- I try and be the kind of person I want to attract. At the end of the day, being a good partner isn’t all on men. I recognize that I need to be just as much of a catch as I want my dream guy to be. That’s why I make sure I’m bringing plenty to the table and that I’m treating the guys I date the way I want them to treat me. I’m kind, considerate, open, honest, and respectful. How could I expect that in return otherwise?
- I remind myself that I don’t actually hate men. At the end of the day, it’s not men I hate, it’s the patriarchy which has created so many of their problematic thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. “Since women didn’t have access to education, employment, birth control, ‘the franchise,’ they literally had to get married in order to enjoy luxuries like ‘food’ and ‘shelter,'” Roberson explains. “A lot of our pop culture, or culture as a whole, hasn’t caught up to the idea that women don’t need to structure their lives around dudes and romance. Not that romance isn’t lovely, it just shouldn’t be every woman’s job.” That doesn’t excuse their bad behavior, but it does offer a bit more understanding and hopefully, an inspiration for change.