Among the many benefits of having genuine, platonic female friends (PFF) is the ability to be, almost literally, a fly on the wall. Well, if not exactly a fly, I do occasionally get insights from the fairer gender I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten. (You should have heard some of the sh*t that I've heard. Wow.) I like to think it’s a two-way street. My PFF’s can also get it straight from me about what’s really happening from the guy’s perspective.
Recently, one of my PFFs, an accomplished and attractive professional woman, started using an on-line dating service. She told me she’d met a guy and he’d asked her for a date. She accepted.
You can learn a lot about a person when you listen.
The day after the date, my PFF told me about her evening. Her date took her to one of the nicer local restaurants, which she appreciated. She described him as a very interesting guy who works a fascinating job and millions of people regularly see his work.
“That’s pretty cool,” I said.
“Yeah, sort of cool, I guess. The guy could not stop talking about himself. He talked about his Harley-Davidson. He talked about his house and swimming pool. He talked about his BMW. He talked about Bayliner. He did 80% of the talking!”
I’ve always believed people who have to boast about the brands they’ve bought are often not comfortable with their own personal brand, but I digress.
If you haven’t learned this by now, this is as good a time as any; women like to communicate. According to the author of the book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building of an Affair Proof Marriage, Willard Harley suggests, for most women, communication is the most important part of a romantic relationship. Ladies like to be heard. It’s difficult to hear, gentlemen, if your mouth is moving. Always, but particularly on a first date, listen to the lady sitting across the table from you. Look into her eyes. Acknowledge that you hear her and understand. Often, she doesn’t want your opinion or your "fix." If she knows you care and knows you hear her, that’s enough for her. Instead of doing 80% of the talking, you should be listening 80% of the time.
. . . people who have to boast about the brands they’ve bought are often not comfortable with their own personal brand . . .
Of course, she’ll want to know about you. She may ask. Then, obviously, respond, but she’ll welcome and value the fact that you listen to her. There is another motive; it’s a great time to learn about her and whether she might be right for you. You can learn a lot about a person when you listen.
Then, there’s the other thing. You know, about all that crowing about your bike or zip code or your car or your boat. Two observations. First, if these are the things that impress her, then you’re probably with the wrong gal. If a new BMW is what she’s looking for, she’ll probably want a new one every year and she doesn’t care a rat’s ass about the man buying it. Or, second, she’ll wonder, “He has to brag about his stuff? What is he compensating for?” Either way, brother, you lose.
So, guys, you know about empty barrels, right? STFU and listen. Even a fly knows that much.