Column: It takes two to tango

By Lovette Ajayi

Last week, I wrote about women having unrealistic expectations for men when they are dating or in relationships. However, I felt that men should get to know some things that we expect that are practical. For guys who are just dating, and not in relationships (yet), certain things should be remembered.

1. The three-day rule is counterproductive. If you go on a date, have a good time with a girl and would like to see her again, waiting three days might lose you that chance. Three days without any contact may show disinterest to her, and she may move on to someone else. You don’t have to call the next day, but you can definitely text or call sooner than three days.

2. On the other hand, don’t stalk. If you blow your date’s phone up, calling an obscene number of times a day and texting every five minutes, then you might seem a little bit like a stalker. Maintain that steady balance between calling and stalking, please.

3. Chivalry should not be dead. When you go on dates, and even in your relationships, recognize that a little chivalry goes a long way. Men’s argument for not opening doors is because they feel that we, as independent women, might be offended by those nice gestures, and some women are. BUT, if the person getting offended is a woman that was picked up for the date, and her date paid, then it’s hypocritical to be offended by this – if you want to be so hard-core about it, then you can pay your own way. And since few people are willing to do so, using the “independent woman” label as a reason to not pull out chairs for me is null and void.

Now, when you do get the girl, there are certain things important in the upkeep of a relationship.

1. Anniversaries do not have to be dreaded. Guys may get nervous come anniversary time because the day is expected to be special. A nice date does not have to be expensive; it can be very simple, and it truly is the thought that counts. It isn’t the money spent on the date that will guarantee her liking it but the thought put into planning it. You could stay home and cook for her (for those without culinary skills, consult the Food Network or a detailed recipe book). The money issue also goes for the gift giving. Expensive does not equal great, so when you go out looking for a gift for that special girl, please refrain from electronics (unless it is an iPod with all of your mutual favorite songs programmed on there – hint hint). There needs to be some sentimental value to the gift, so if you do get a seemingly random gift, find a way to tie it into your relationship.

2. Listen. Guys have got to listen to us more, because then you can find out what is wrong without us having to tell you “I’m angry.” We give out context clues, but they often go unnoticed because you just think we feel like being extra silent that day. Besides, if you listen hard enough, you may even be able to figure out what gifts we want, so you won’t have to rack your brain too hard when anniversary time rolls around.

3. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, it’s easy to take her for granted. Keep the romance going and keep her feeling special. Use the word “beautiful,” not just “hot” or “sexy” when complimenting her. It also won’t hurt to occasionally tell her how much she means to you.

It takes two to tango, and for a relationship to be successful, both sides have to work at it. Nevertheless, it is beneficial to know what to do better, in order to keep your girl happy. Coming next week … how women can do their part in a relationship. Stay cool (Is it me or did we totally skip spring?)!