9 Unrealistic Women’s Dating Expectations for Men


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I always hated dating. It was a lot of work for a lot of poor matches, wasted time and money. But one of the biggest challenges was in dealing with women’s unrealistic dating expectations.

Here’s what I mean:

Some women expect the man to pay for everything but to also know when she wants her independence. Others ask for vulnerability in men, but then see them as weak for showing it. Still, others expect men to know exactly what they want and need but without being told.

But that’s only the beginning. 

In this article, we are diving deep into the world of dating. We’ll define it, answer all the top questions, and review some of the basic assumptions both men and women tend to make.

Ultimately, though, we’ll be examing women’s unrealistic dating expectations.

Let’s get going!

What is Dating? Really?

If you think about it, dating is just like job hunting and going through the interview process, where the ultimate goal is to find someone (a job) you can grow old with (grow with the company)… but to do that, you have to go through the interviewing process.

Essentially, with dating, you’re interviewing someone who is also interviewing you for the same exact position!

Crazy, right?

But even with all of that, once you “hire” someone and you, in turn, get hired, that’s when all the “work-related Issues” come into play.

Assumptions Vs. Expectations

In the world of dating, you have assumptions and then you have expectations.

The dictionary defines assumptions as something that is assumed to be true. It’s normal for anyone to make assumptions about certain things.

But when you’re making assumptions about a person’s actions, intentions, and even their understanding about certain situations or scenarios, it can lead to major misunderstandings about their actions, intentions, and understandings.

Also with dating, you have expectations.

The dictionary defines expectations as a belief that something is going to/will happen or that something is the case. As with assumptions, it’s perfectly normal for people to have expectations.

People have expectations on a job, as a parent, as a coach… you name it, there is probably an expectation that comes with it.

Once those expectations aren’t met, this can bring about feelings of frustration and even, disrespect.

In the world of dating, when you experience your expectations not being met, you first want to ask yourself a few questions before flying off the handle:

  • Did you make your expectations known upfront?
  • Were your expectations of the other person beneficial to them?
  • Did the other person share their expectations with you when you shared yours?

These assumptions and expectations shared while dating doesn’t necessarily have to make or break a possible relationship but it can definitely set the tone for one.

In exploring the expectations and assumptions, there does seem to be a pattern between men and women.

Men tend to lean towards the assumption side of things while women gravitate towards the expectation side. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

Men and Their Assumptions…

Assumptions are where men go wrong.

Men tend to think that they know all there is to know about women and are completely off the majority of the time! Here are some common assumptions about women that some men tend to have:

  • Women are single because they’re crazy.
  • If a woman is angry or irritable, it must be her “time of the month.”
  • You can’t put too many women in a room together because it will lead to a catfight.

Women and Their Expectations…

It’s completely normal for women to have expectations of men… where women tend to go wrong is having unrealistic expectations of men.

Some of the expectations women have for men are so ridiculous that they’ll never meet any man that will make them truly happy if they’re basing their relationship standards on silly expectations that would be impossible for men to meet.

One thing women who have struggled with finding the right partner should consider is dating older men.

In a recent article, I break down all the pros and cons of dating older men, including the 1 key ingredient that makes my wife and I’s 17-year age-difference work.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

But for now, let’s review the . . . 

9 Unrealistic dating expectations women have for Men

1. He’s supposed to be good at “manly” tasks

This expectation is by far one of the silliest.

It’s is not what a man does for a living that makes him a man… it’s what’s in him. That expectation will keep women from many wonderful men.

Let’s say the man didn’t have the most toned chest or arms but graduated from medical school and is preparing to be a doctor.

A woman with the assumption he wasn’t manly enough might never even get past the 1st date and might miss a great catch. But, honestly, he probably dodged a bullet there.

This is an expectation that women have at all different ages too.

It’s not just a “thing” for young men and women. Men and women of all ages experience this. Whether you want to be a doctor or lawyer, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. If you meet someone and her expectations are unrealistic like this one, don’t waste your time.

2. A man is supposed to know exactly what women want and need

How on Earth is a man “supposed” to know exactly what a woman wants and needs when a woman doesn’t know what they want and need half of the time!

If I had a dime for every time I’ve told my wife “I’m not a mind reader”, I’d be a wealthy man!

Now that’s not the case for all women… a lot of women know exactly what they want out of life and out of a man very early in life. But a lot of women have this expectation for men and can’t even give a clear-cut answer on where they want to have dinner!

The only way this can be achieved is by communicating, and even with that, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight… it will take time. The dating (interview process) is when a lot of the “getting to know you” happens but it’s an on-going process that never really ends.

Some people have been married for years and still learn new things about their spouses.

3. As a man, he’s supposed to take care of everything, but still allow me independence

Gender roles have changed a lot since the TV couples of the 60s and 70s.

So don’t be surprised if even young guys today are a little confused. Should we guys pay for everything? If yes, does the woman tell us that? (hint: no). If we aren’t supposed to pay for everything, how do we know when we should?

Women today have an unparalleled world compared to previous generations; more freedom & independence, closer pay equality, and the option do just about anything a man can do.

But for us guys, it’s just not as clear cut as it was for our grandfathers. So help the guy out and just be clear about what you want from him and what you need.

Most guys are just fine paying for everything or letting you get the check sometimes. But don’t expect us to know what you prefer. You have to tell us.

4. He’s supposed to be both masculine and sensitive

Many women want “manly men”, but they also want him to be sensitive.

Granted, this is not an impossible task or feat but it is just a little contradictory to the request of being “manly.” Not to make the stereotypical assumption men make but women want a man who they can share their feelings with.

But they also want a man they feel can protect them if they’re in danger.

As mentioned earlier, it’s not impossible to do but the woman will have to find a man who can cater to those needs of hers. And she will definitely need to make that expectation known upfront.

It’s not an expectation that will necessarily run a man off but it is a question where he’d be able to let her know if he’s that type of person for her.

5. Expecting his place to have a lot of feminine touches

Unless he’s recently divorced or his old girlfriend just moved out, don’t expect his house or apartment to look like he just finished his episode of Queer Eye.

And if he did just get divorced or his girlfriend just moved out, you have bigger problems anyway.

Now, the above being said, it IS a red flag if his place looks like a college dorm room neon beer signs and foam furniture. No, a real man who’s in his late 20’s or beyond should have his act more together than that.

But don’t necessarily expect matching sheets & pillowcases, tasteful art perfectly hung, or pristine living room furniture perfectly coordinated with accent pillows and throws.

He’s a guy. He may well just use his apartment to watch sports with his buddies, drink beer, or binge out on Netflix after a long day at work.

Not having a perfect sense of home decor doesn’t make him a deal-breaker.

6. That he’s not for me if he doesn’t want to do everything I do

I’ll be honest. My wife LOVES to watch Downton Abbey. 

I’ve never really tried to watch it, but it’s not really my cup of tea (pun intended). I’d much rather rewatch a Star Wars movie. But does that make us incompatible? No.

Now, if we had nothing in common for activities, music, and movies, that would be different. But it’s totally OK to have some different likes and dislikes along with areas where you overlap.

Who knows, you might discover new things along the way you didn’t know you liked!

7. Expecting the guy to be 100% confident on the first date

Let’s be honest. First dates are awkward.

Whether you got matched up by friends or a dating app, either way, it’s still an uncomfortable thing. After all, no matter how much you read about them on a profile or social stalking you did, you have no idea what the chemistry will be like.

So if it’s awkward for you, it’s going to be awkward for him too.

That’s OK, as long as the awkwardness slowly melts away throughout the date. I get that confidence in a guy is an attractive quality. But you can’t expect him to be 100% confident upon first meeting you. You may be the catch of the century. But he doesn’t know that yet!

So do and say things to ease tension. Crack a joke, bring up the elephant in the room. His confidence will come through loud and clear.

8. Expecting the guy to call/text after the 1st date

I wish it were painfully obvious to both people as to whether or not a date went well.

But let’s face it, it’s not always.

But if you had a great time, don’t sit around for days waiting/expecting him to call or text. Let him know! He may be unsure. He could have also misread a signal. Or he may just have gotten busy at work. 

Plus this is the modern age. Women can do anything men can do; including being the first one to call or text after a date. Or arrange a 2nd one.

9. Asking him to be comfortable showing vulnerability but think of him as weak when he shows it

More and more these days, guys are asked to show vulnerability. 

We’re told that it’s OK to cry (and not just watching Titanic). We get asked to share our feelings. But some women, sometimes, secretly judge us when we do these things.

We can be seen as weak, or less manly if we let our guard down. 

Honestly, it can be very confusing as a guy in today’s world as we get a lot of mixed messages. I get in an ideal world, guys would know when to be vulnerable and how far to let that go.

But it’s not a perfect world and navigating relationships is forever tricky. So don’t judge us for it and if you need something different from us, don’t be afraid to ask.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about some of the unrealistic expectations women have for men, especially in the dating stages?

In this article, we took a look at the world of dating.

The dating world isn’t always a fun place, and many find it lonely and tedious trying to find our ideal partner or soulmate. 

After all, while all of us dream of finding our soulmate, it’s hard to be certain when we’re meeting and dating people. If you think you’ve met your soulmate, but aren’t sure, check out a recent article where I break down the most common signs to look for.

What’s really surprising is the 1 key difference between a soulmate and a twin flame. But that 1 difference makes all the difference. Just click the link to read that on my site.

Ultimately, today, we looked at women’s unrealistic dating expectations and how they often hold women back from finding their dream relationship.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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