The 10 commandments of dating
You went on a date over a week ago and she hasn't returned your call. What went wrong? We asked single Herald writer Katie Byrne, a self-confesses expert on dating useless men, to rally her girlfriends and find out the major mistakes men make
1 They text too much
In the first stages of a relationship, there is no more delightful sound than a text message alert from your lover; but the sweet symphony can quickly become a cacophony when the SMS missives just keep coming. Redundant, mindless text messages that describe the minutiae of your boring life (think "just getting a bagel for my lunch") are utterly off-putting.
They suggest neediness, which is as unattractive to women as it is to men. Worse, they prompt a response. I'll never forgive the man whose incessant questions by text forced me into delivering a running commentary on a DVD I was watching. The moment I typed out the words "it's not Coppola's best moment", I knew it was over.
2 They text too little
Mr Cool was fed on a diet of lads' magazines from a young age. He comes from the 'treat her mean; keep her keen' school of thought. He tentatively suggests a date on Friday and doesn't text until 10pm on Thursday, giving scant regard for the object of his affection's appointment with the hairdresser, fake tanning regime and analysis of aforementioned text with her friends.
Mr Cool thinks the bare minimum of communication will leave her wanting more. And it does -- for about 48 hours. After that, she realises that he is fundamentally weak. Game-playing highlights underlying insecurities.
3 They text, full stop
Don't hide behind a text message. Pick up the phone, dial her number and catch her off guard. Calling rather than texting exhibits strength of character and a disregard for convention. There may be some awkward silences and moments when you actually want to lodge your own fist into your mouth, but she will appreciate your backbone and tenacity.
4 They take no for an amswer
Sometimes a woman simply isn't physically attracted to a man. She's just not that into you, and all that. But you ain't got a thing if you ain't got that swing. I know countless women -- myself included -- who have been swung by a man's brazen, unashamed canvassing.
There is quite simply nothing more attractive than a man who cajoles a woman into a date. Channel your 'man the hunter' and relentlessly pursue her. A dazzling personality will always triumph over physical beauty -- if she's worth it. For a date, no doesn't always mean no.
5 They are indecisive
Don't be fooled by the forward march of feminism; women still want a man who leads. If you are asking a woman out, suggest a day, time and place. Putting the decision into a woman's hands proves that you are incapable of taking control of a situation.
If you can't even decide on a restaurant, how are you going to fare when she encounters adversity and she needs you to save the day? Poorly, we reckon.
6 They embrace metrosexuality
The biggest turn-off is not a man who wears a manbag, rather it's the idea of him losing it in a nightclub and spending the night looking for it. Oh dear. If you have ever worn a manbag, mantyhose or guyliner, you may as well start wearing a tampon. The most unsettling phenomenon of the modern age is that men are becoming the new women. If you are an advocate of any of these accessories you will only find a lady who is as confused about her sexuality as you are.
7 They are terrified of their mother
The Irish Mammy is an omnipotent force in all of our lives. Most men are terrified of their mums, but it's best to disguise your terror until you have a woman comfortably in your clutches. My friend ended a relationship with a man who went all Norman Bates and referred to his mum as "Mother". When Mother called -- at least six times a night -- he would sit bolt upright and talk to her in clipped tones for at least 20 minutes, after which he would make his excuses and leave-- like my friend did two months later.
8 They quote second-hand humour
Humour is the greatest aphrodisiac. Second-hand humour is the greatest turn-off. Don't quote soundbites from television commercials or comedy films. If you are wondering why she didn't return your call, ask yourself if you quoted lines such as "how you doing?"; "groooooovy, baby" or "WASUUUUUP?" Regurgitating other people's funny is lazy and uninspired.
9 They split the bill on the first date
Gender equality means women should pay their fair share, only women suffering from Cinderella syndrome have decided to cherrypick the aspects of equality that appeal to them and still expect to be wined and dined. By the same token, if a person suggests dinner -- man or woman -- the onus is on them to pay. If you split the bill on the first date, the likelihood is that there won't be a second one.
10 They declare their undying love too early
Treat a fledgling relationship like a poker game: you don't want to show your hand too early. If you fall in love at first sight, trust me, she'll feel it. Declaring it too early, however, takes away the magic and can feel suffocating.
The subtext of "I think I'm falling in love with you" is "I'm looking for commitment/children/Sunday trips to IKEA", which is all a bit much when you've only known her for 36 hours.