06/02/2014 04:17 pm ET Updated Aug 02, 2014

6 Dating Tips Every Man Should Know

Betsie Van der Meer via Getty Images

By Kezia Noble for

If you've been dishing with your friends about how the guy you're dating "just doesn't get it," here's your chance to school him on what women really want. Whether you're irritated that his eyes are glued to his phone instead of paying attention to you, or because he's too clingy and doesn't seem to have a life of his own, it's time to politely explain that these aren't traits that you want from someone who should be trying to woo you. So instead of sighing, rolling your eyes and assuming that he'll never change, try suggesting these six tips that will surely make courting a lot more rewarding.

1. Listen, don't just head nod.

Men have often been told to "listen more," which of course is something we should all do if we want to have meaningful interactions and develop healthy relationships with other people. However, many guys have taken this advice TOO FAR. As a result, they often think that if they simply nod their head and agree with everything you say, they'll somehow possess the power to attract you!

Suggest that he offer a thoughtful or provoking opinion -- or challenge a statement in response to what you're saying. Let him know that this kind of feedback will make you want to find out more about him, rather than trying to speak to a bland "head nodder."

2. Be a man with a plan.

Tell your guy that he should be bolder and take charge in certain situations rather than just going along with whatever you want to do. A man with a plan is far more attractive than a guy who succumbs to your every whim. We all love the element of surprise and uncertainty, and women respect a man a lot more when he has the confidence to take the lead.

For example, he can say "Thursday night, I'm taking you to my favorite restaurant," instead of "So... what would you like us to do?" Guys sometimes need to exercise their alpha dominance, which doesn't mean that they need to act like some sort of Neanderthal or become loud and obnoxious. It just means having the insight to know when and how we need to just 'let go' sometimes.

3. Demonstrate high standards.

There's a fine line between arrogance and being a man of high standards. Arrogance usually conveys insecurities, and to be honest, we don't want to see a man's flaws and weaknesses too soon in a relationship. However, being a man who has high standards and a high sense of value is an extremely attractive asset. Explain that we don't want to feel that we're dating someone who's happy with whatever he can get.

You want him to know what he wants and who has a strong belief in himself. It can even go further than that; a man with boxes that need to be ticked can be extremely potent. We want to feel like we're making a good impression, and often subconsciously like the idea that we're winning over someone with incredibly high standards. It means so much more to have to work a bit for his affections rather than making zero effort because you'll know he'll be happy with whatever he can get. Women like a challenge!

4. Flirt!

Flirting is a dying art. Men often get this part totally wrong, and unfortunately a lot of them believe that flirting is somehow sleazy or creepy. An artful flirt will be a master of timing, expressions and diction. Give your guy a heads up that if he looks at you for a second longer than you expected, and then says something cheeky or seductive -- and then knows the EXACT moment to change the whole conversation to something completely platonic -- he'll create an important hairline shift in your interaction.

Taking the conversation from a friendly stage to something sexier is incredibly difficult for a guy who doesn't know how to flirt (or for some reason thinks it's kind of sleazy), but let him know that if it's done correctly, flirting can tantalize your imagination and mood. PLUS it's the most effective way to help heat up your relationship!

5. Have other interests and options.

While you might dislike his varying interests and commitments at first (since it takes time away from your relationship), explain that ultimately, it's something you'll respect in the long run. He might mistakenly believe that you need to be reassured that no other women are interested in dating him, or that he doesn't have a life outside of you, because you'll think that his happiness somehow depends on you.

Clear this up by reminding him that women like putting in a certain amount of effort in order to keep their man. And we always appreciate something or someone that other people desire. It will increase his value, and as a result you'll appreciate him more since you'll have to work harder to keep him for yourself. The guy you're dating needs to make sure that he doesn't take that healthy level of appreciation for you to the point where he's dependent on you for his happiness. If he does, then he'll come across as too needy and weak. Men always need to convey the message that no matter what happens in your relationship, he'll ultimately live a happy life because he's a fulfilled person -- with or without you.

6. Convey that your time is precious.

A man who makes himself too available will unknowingly decrease his level of net worth. Let him know that you're more attracted to a guy who has priorities in his life and who considers his "available time" to be precious so you won't take advantage of him. Having a man who answers the phone every time you call, responds to your text messages instantly and who makes you feel that he has an endless amount of time to see you at the snap of your fingers will ultimately come across as needy (and probably encourage you to flake out on a lot of dates).

Tell him this makes you wonder where his friends are and why he's always free to see you. You want him to have a life outside of your relationship and be somewhat elusive, at least in the early stages of your relationship. The dating game isn't fun if he gives you too much of his time too soon. By making time for you, you'll appreciate the time you have with him more.

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