Men with Accents Have Better Stories

Photo Credit: Instagram @mariustroy

Men from other countries have always had a certain appeal for me. There’s something mysterious and sexy about a man who comes from a different culture. It’s as though a foreign man opens up a whole new undiscovered world.

A couple weeks ago, I volunteered to work a charity event at a hotel in Santa Monica. As I stepped out of my Uber, I was approached by a tall, intriguing Israeli man on the street. The attraction was instantaneous. Even though I was supposed to be working, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to have a quick vodka-soda with my new friend before heading to the party.

My Israeli friend texted me that very night, thanking me for taking the time to have a drink with him. A couple days later, he called (yes, a good old-fashioned phone call). We talked for a while–I listened as he made me laugh and told me all kinds of fascinating stories. After I expressed how interesting I thought he was, he joked, “Men with accents have better stories.” I can vouch for this theory myself.

When we went to dinner, my Israeli friend discussed how different dating in the Middle East is from dating in the United States. He confessed that he doesn’t really like to date and usually has a girlfriend. He explained that in Israel, if you go on three dates with someone, you are considered boyfriend and girlfriend. (We’ve already been on two.) He told me how in his experience, Americans will try to casualize a relationship by saying, “we’re just talking” or “we’re hanging out,” even if they’ve been sleeping together or seeing each other for months. In his opinion, he feels that Americans are afraid of commitment, and although I realize this is an overgeneralization, there definitely is some truth to the statement.

While I’ve never dated an Israeli man, I have had a couple European boyfriends: one from Germany and another from Denmark. I appreciated how there was never any uncertainty or any vague terms to describe the relationship; both men let me know almost immediately that they wanted to be with me. From my understanding, the European way is to focus on person at a time and see where the relationship goes versus the American way, which is to keep our “options open” and date multiple people at a time until someone stands out.

As a romantic, I tend I prefer the European approach to dating. I feel when you’re seeing too many people at once, it’s hard to really go deep with someone; and I want to go deep. Besides, I’ve never read a fairy tale where Prince Charming needed to keep his options open, and as far as I know, neither did any Disney princesses either.

However, not always, but I do think that in some cases more than three dates are necessary in order to determine whether or not you want to be exclusive with someone; but then again, I am an American girl, which is maybe why I got heart palpitations when a Turkish guy I had been on three dates with this summer asked me if I was his girlfriend. It seems as though men with accents have their own form of the “three-date rule.”

One year ago, I met a handsome Frenchman on my birthday. We went on a couple dates last year before I started seeing someone, and he moved to Miami. As fate would have it, my French friend recently moved back to L.A., and we’ve seen each other several times in the last month.

We had a similar conversation over dinner about how dating in France is different from dating in America. Like my Israeli friend, the Frenchman explained that people don’t really “date” in France. He went on to say that dating an American girl is like dating a computer in that you must strategize every move, including when to call. Although he texted me the day after I met him and was attentive from the start, his American friends had told him it is customary to wait three days to call. To him, it didn’t make sense to wait.

Apparently, it is not easy to get a French woman’s phone number; but if she does give a man her number, she expects him to call the very next day. If a man doesn’t call by the next day, she will be upset. When the food arrives to our table, the Frenchman explains that food is like religion to him. He adds that in France, sex comes before dinner, unlike in America where you go out to dinner, and then go home to make love. I guess it makes sense to get down before your tummy is full…isn’t it true that the French eat the entree before the salad as well?

Maybe I’m European at heart because I always preferred to eat my salad last. I must say that although I do consider myself a feminist, I think that having a Latin father has given me a bit of an old world perspective when it comes to courtship. I’ve always been one to prefer a masculine type of man who takes the lead. Plus, I wouldn’t want to be with a man who chooses to “keep his options open” and date other women when he could have been with me.

So, yes, my Israeli friend is right–men with accents do have better stories. But what is even sexier to me is that men with accents, at least the ones I’ve met, tend to know what they want and aren’t afraid to claim a woman as their own♥

You Don’t Call, You Don’t Write

Claudia Telephone

So, there’s this friend of mine…he’s dark, intense, and has that edge I like. He’s also incredibly charming, knows how to make me laugh, and has a good heart…but there’s one thing that holds me back, and it’s a big thing–this guy just does not strike me as boyfriend material.

For this reason, whenever he would ask me out, I would jokingly tell him he’s dangerous or that I was scared to go out with him (both of which are true). He reassured me that I don’t have to be afraid to have dinner with him, but that I should be scared to go back to his apartment.

Now, I’ve known this guy for about two years, and I have to walk by his place of business at least a couple times a week. He’ll come out to say hi, give me a hug, and chat for a bit. Back in the beginning of the summer, when he found out I was single, he started to come on stronger than ever. I would always make excuses why I couldn’t go out with him or tell him, “Maybe next week.” He joked that I would keep telling him “next week” forever. I stopped making excuses the day he looked me in the eyes and told me he would never give up on me. I think every girl wants to hear a man say that to her.

Our date was pretty tame—dinner and a movie; and, surprisingly, he was a perfect gentleman. However, after that night, he never asked me on a proper date again. He did continue to text and invite me to his apartment, an invitation I knew better not to accept (especially after he threatened to lock me in for a few days!) Knowing from the start that this guy was a bit of a wild card, I simply wrote him off as a player and a much better friend than boyfriend for me.

A couple months after our date, my friend took me by surprise as he stopped me on the street telling me that he really wanted to be in a relationship with me. I giggled, highly doubting he was serious. He looked at me a little wounded, and in a very sincere manner, told me to just let him know if I didn’t like him, that he could handle the truth. That’s when I realized that he genuinely didn’t know how I felt about him. To be honest, I didn’t know how I felt about him either.

I explained that it wasn’t that I didn’t like him, I did; but I felt if he really wanted to be in a relationship with me, he would have put in more effort, and he would have asked me to dinner and not simply to his apartment.

He responded by telling me that I never call or text him, adding that he wants to feel like the girl likes him just as much as he likes her. He said that some guys don’t care, but to him, this is important.

At that point, I confessed that I like to be chased. He jokingly said, “You bitch!” and we both laughed.

Although I believe my instincts were right that this guy was a better friend than boyfriend for me, what he said really got me thinking, especially since I had a similar complaint earlier that day.

Interestingly enough, a guy I had only been on one date with had texted me that very morning saying he felt I was indifferent to him because I never texted first or asked to see him. To him, it seemed as though I was merely being polite by responding to his texts, but that deep down, I wasn’t interested. I mean, I liked him enough to go out with him again, but it’s just not my style to be blowing up a guy’s phone after a first date.

And these guys weren’t the only two with this complaint. “You don’t write, you don’t call” seemed to be a common theme of the summer. So let me explain:

No, I’m not a bitch. What I am is reserved, maybe even a bit shy. If I’ve just met a guy, I’m not the type to put myself on the line like that. I don’t know his schedule, whether he’s working, whether he’s seeing other girls, or whether he even likes me. In fact, the only way I know he’s really interested is if he keeps calling and asking to see me. Apparently, there are some guys who need this kind of validation as well.

I don’t play any games or have any set rules when it comes to texting or calling. I simply wait until I reach a level of closeness with someone before I start opening up and feeling comfortable initiating texts. At that point, there’s usually a rolling dialogue where no one is keeping score. Even before that stage, if I have something to say or something makes me think of the other person, I won’t hesitate to text first; but for the most part, I let the man take the lead.

While I don’t initiate texts or calls in the beginning, I am always very responsive if someone calls or texts me. I once read a dating book that advised women to wait a certain length of time to respond to texts from men. Personally, I think that’s silly—I always believe in being authentic. If a guy I like texts me and I’m able to text him back immediately, I will. However, if he texts while I’m with clients or out with the girls, of course, my response time is naturally going to be slower.

I can’t tell you how many girls will contact me when the guy they’ve been waiting to call just texted them asking how long they should wait to answer back. I’ll always tell them to text back right away because if he’s texting, it’s most likely a good time for him to talk. If you play a game and wait, you don’t know what he’ll be doing by the time you respond. And why sit around chatting with me when you could be talking to the guy you like?

Now that’s my line of thought. Relationship expert Dr. Pat Allen, whom I love and admire, has her own reasons why a woman should not initiate calls or texts in the beginning of a relationship. Dr. Pat believes that in every relationship one partner needs to be the masculine-energy and the other partner the feminine-energy. The masculine role is to give, protect, and cherish. The feminine energy appreciates, respects, and provides the sensuality and fun in the relationship. Since it is the masculine-energy that initiates and the feminine-energy that receives, a woman who initiates calls takes on the masculine role. That being said, it is perfectly fine for a woman to be the masculine energy in the relationship–that is, if she doesn’t mind a feminine-energy man. However, as un-feminist as this sounds, most women want to be the one who not only receives, but also is cherished and protected by her man.

I always laugh when Dr. Pat says, “There are a lot of women with penises and men with vaginas.” Most masculine men know they’re supposed to call. Therefore, a truly masculine man will never say, “You never call me.” If a masculine man wants you, he won’t whine, he’ll just come get you. It is more of a feminine-energy man who wants to be pursued by the woman.

Here I’ve identified three types of men who are more likely to be feminine-energy:

  • Younger men that date older women—Many successful, powerful women feel more comfortable being the masculine energy and prefer to date younger feminine-energy men. These women don’t mind being the aggressor and like calling the shots. The younger boyfriend likes to receive and feel cherished and protected. He might even be looking for a mother figure or someone to take care of him. (I must point out that this isn’t always the case. I dated someone significantly younger than me a couple years ago. He pursued me, called me every day, always picked up the tab, bought me flowers, took me shopping, and made me feel cherished. This man was super masculine and a great catch for a girl closer to his age.)
  • Men over 50—As men reach 50, their testosterone decreases while their estrogen increases. This makes them become nicer and more easily bondable, and more feminine-energy. (Once again, there are always exceptions. Just as I’ve met very mature, masculine men in their 20’s, I’ve also met some senior citizens who are still playing the field. The other exception is the man over fifty who has retained his masculine-energy, but with age and experience, has learned exactly how to treat a woman. This kind of man is a man worth dating!)
  • Extremely Handsome Men—Handsome men not only have women chasing them all the time, some women will cook and clean (even though we associate housework with women, in this case, it’s masculine because it is giving) and do just about anything for a man they are attracted to. These men are typically used to being pursued by women, so they are less likely to initiate calls and texts. Take my friend, for example—he exudes a powerful masculine-energy in person, but he’s also very handsome, so he’s used to women calling him all the time. (A handsome man can still be masculine-energy and pursue you even if he’s a bit spoiled. If your handsome man is indeed masculine, you will stand out in a sea of aggressive women if you stay in your feminine. Men have to do, women simply have to be.)

The truth is, there are no rules when it comes to love, so follow your heart. Masculine and feminine energy aside, if you miss the other person, just call–especially if you’re a man reading this; you wouldn’t want Dr. Pat to accuse you of having a vagina♥

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Don’t Let Me Down

Brigitte Bardot Color

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been one to handle disappointment well. I think most people would agree that I’m a pretty easygoing person and I don’t ask for much; however, if someone tells me they’re going to do something and doesn’t follow through or lets me down in any way, the pain runs deep.

Being man of your word and being reliable are everything to me.

My first recollection of the pain of disappointment happened back in high school, when my crush cancelled a trip to Six Flags because it was snowing outside. These days, you couldn’t pay me to go Six Flags in Chicago’s sub-arctic winter temperatures, but at the time, this was not only a huge letdown—it hurt me to my core.

This memory was triggered on my most recent trip to Chicago; now a grown woman, I’m still not any better at handling disappointment.

On a previous trip, back in July, while I was visiting my family in Chicago, I decided to take a peek on Tinder. I was only in town for three days and didn’t have time to meet anyone in person, but since I write dating columns, I was curious to see what the app was about; and at the time, I hadn’t wanted to use Tinder where I live in Los Angeles, because my calendar was already pretty full back at home. So, as one of my matches joked, I was basically a tease, but I did keep in touch with some of the guys I was talking to that weekend.

One guy in particular, let’s call him Jake, was disappointed that we weren’t able to meet in person that weekend, so he offered to buy me a plane ticket to Chicago so we would get to spend some time together. I wasn’t sure at first–it seemed a little weird to fly halfway across the country for a Tinder date. However, since I was able to stay with my parents, I decided I was up for the adventure and planned the trip so I would be in town to party with my niece on her seventh birthday.

While we were looking at flights, I asked Jake to get me a ticket to fly into Midway Airport, which is just minutes away from my parents’ house on the Southwest side of Chicago, explaining that my mom doesn’t like to drive on the freeway. However, like a true gent, Jake told me that he wanted to be the one to pick me up and ended up buying me a ticket to O’Hare Airport, which is north of the city.

The day of my flight, as I was boarding the plane in Los Angeles, Jake texted me telling me he wouldn’t be able to pick me up but was kind enough to give me the login and password to his Uber account to use when I landed in Chicago. I felt a wave of disappointment rush over me, like a little girl whose parents forgot to pick her up at school (although I had parents who were ALWAYS there to pick me up). I understand that things come up, and I do appreciate Jake taking care of the Uber, but this just did not sound like the guy I had been talking to for the past two months—the guy who couldn’t wait to breathe the same air as me.

In case I sound like a total diva, I do want to mention that had the plan been for me to Uber from the beginning, I wouldn’t have minded. Or had he bought me a ticket to Midway, where my parents would have picked me up, I wouldn’t have minded that either. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have minded the change of plans if I had even met him before, but there had been such a build-up to this moment; so for him to tell me he would pick me up and then not follow through, not only made a poor first impression, it made my heart sink.

As I would find out the next evening, after he kept me waiting for our dinner date longer than I care to admit, Jake suffered from extreme anxiety (and uncontrollable sweating) and was stalling because he was petrified to meet me in person. He also had a leg injury that he was extremely self-conscious about. So instead of judging him as thoughtless and inconsiderate, I actually felt compassion for the guy and tried to make the most of the night, even though I knew immediately that he wasn’t the one for me.

What Jake didn’t know is that I’m not the kind of girl who would have liked him any less because he had a bad leg. I’d honestly rather date a guy with no legs who showed up to get me at the airport on time. Then I could brag to all my girlfriends, “My date was so sweet. He didn’t even have legs, but he came to the airport to pick me up—holding roses!”

As I arrived at O’Hare, feeling let down, not knowing my way around and not knowing whether Uber even comes to the airport, I couldn’t help but think of my long-term ex-boyfriend and how every time he picked me up at the airport, he went above and beyond. He didn’t drive around in circles and have me jump in the car like most people do. Always a class act and never one to disappoint, my ex would actually park his car and stand at the bottom of the escalator at LAX—that’s as close as TSA would allow him to get! And, yes, he was always holding roses.

There’s a lot to be said about having someone you know you can count on, someone who will never let you down.

My heart hadn’t felt the pitter-patter of uncertainty since last April, when I had invited the guy I was seeing (who lived in another state) on a family vacation to meet my family. He and I had gone over dates and flight times, so I assumed he had gotten his plane ticket. However, a couple days before the trip, he called, stressed out, telling me that tickets were now over a thousand dollars. Although I was shocked he hadn’t bought his ticket a month earlier when it was more reasonably priced, I told him I was disappointed but understood if the tickets were too expensive. We hung up with him sounding like he wasn’t going to come, which would have been completely embarrassing for me, seeing as I hadn’t introduced anyone to my family in years. To my surprise, he quickly called back saying, “I must love you because I just bought a $1200 plane ticket.” And I loved him for coming through for me.

But the reality is, I don’t ever want that sinking feeling or my heart racing, wondering, “Will he or won’t he?” I want the kind of guy who I know will be standing at the bottom of the airport escalator with roses.

So guys, it may be snowing outside, your legs might not work, and the plane tickets might cost thousands of dollars, but take it from me, you don’t want to let your girl down♥