The dating deceptions single women invariable confront range from the annoying (online photos that turn out to be a decade old), to the aggravating ("I'll call you"), to the agonizing ("Oh, her? Just a friend"). But usually we don't remain in the dark forever - one way or another, the truth comes out. Far more insidious, however, are the lies we women tell ourselves. These myths may feel comfy, but by insulating us from sometimes unpleasant realities, they undermine our ability to make rational decisions based on complete information, thus sabotaging our long-term romantic goals.
In my practice as a Rules dating coach, here are the most common dating myths women fall for:
1) He's intimidated by you. I hear this one all the time. What's even more mortifying is I used to fall for it myself. Women with lots going for them - attractive professionals with their act pulled together - will tell themselves that the reason the object of their affection isn't responding to their flirtation is because he's just overawed by their credentials, looks, or financial standing. Ladies, it just isn't true. Wish it was true - so much more palatable than "he's just not that into you." And yes, there are plenty of mousy guys out there. But even the mousiest specimen will discover his inner manly man when he sees a woman he wants to be with. Let go of the fantasy relationships to open yourself up to a real one.
2) Women love men who treat them like crap. I recently came across a heinous example of this sort of misogynistic claptrap in a blog by a self-styled pick-up artist guru - Roissy in DC - claiming: "The men women want most" are "cads and ***holes." That may be true for a minority, but women with high self-esteem find adoring, persistent and respectful attention an incredible turn-on. Such women instinctively avoid wasting time on men who cultivate "low expectations," as Roissy recommends. That's the benefit of The Rules mantra: "Love only those who love you."
"Because you love yourself, you are no longer interested in men who ignore you, cheat on you, hurt you ...You have no desire to chase someone who hasn't noticed you, sought you out, or dialed your number to ask you out."
3) It's what's on the inside that counts. Before you have a heart attack, let me emphasize that it IS what's on the inside - your essence, your spirit, your intellect - that a man falls in love with, and that is all important when it comes to building a relationship and sustaining it over the long run, especially during hard times. But unfortunately, this "truth" can become a myth, when we use it to dismiss the importance of looking our best when it comes to attracting men. In addition to diet and exercise, this includes making an extra effort to look pulled together, feminine and sexy. If you have a favorite feature, show it off! Your long legs, dazzling décolletage, or silky tousled hair may be the lure that leads him to contemplate and fall in love with your amazing personality.
4) He's teasing you because he likes you. We've been fed this line ever since we came home crying about Johnny's spitballs in 3rd grade. While it may have been true for young boys, still developing emotionally and sexually, a grown man who tries to put you off balance with verbal sparring on the first few dates doesn't really care that much about you - or is playing games, which, in my book, amount to the same thing. Again, the players' guru, Roissy, explicitly encourages men to ask a date questions "designed to put her on the defensive," such as "Are you a good kisser?" or "Are you rich?" I've detailed your options for dealing with such questions elsewhere, but suffice it to say here that a man who really likes you will NOT risk offending you, and thus spoiling his chances of sleeping with you, by playing such games.
5) It doesn't matter what night he wants to see you -- Thursday, Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, whatever - only THAT he wants to see you. You may want to believe it's not important whether he asks you for Saturday or not - but he knows the importance, believe me. Remember the Beach Boys' lyric? "None of the guys go steady, 'cuz it wouldn't be right to leave your best girl home on a Saturday night." On the other end of the spectrum, Roissy tells men to "train women to have low expectations for seeing you on prime [EXPECTIVE] hunting nights." If he's not seeing you on Saturday, he's seeing someone else - or looking for someone he WOULD want to see on Saturdays, and every other day, in perpetuity.
If you think you may be falling for one or more of these myths - but aren't sure about whether it applies to your specific situation, then sign up for a free 10-minute consultation at www.maliburulesgirl.com. Next week I'll fill you in on the next five lies women tell themselves in dating, so you can break out of self-destructive delusions to realize your highest romantic goals.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more