01/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

What I Have Learned in a Year of Dating

It is surprising with all the romance manuals and tips for women floating around on the web--and glaring on my Yahoo home page--that so few actually give any tips that women really care about, or intuit themselves. They seem so conventional, on the level of nail polish color and how to ask for the check.

Why don't women communicate to fellow women what they really have learned about the dating game?

For example: tips about how to figure out what kind of lover a man is--within ten minutes of a first dinner date?

I have done some serious investigation myself, and have learned that there is a distinct correlation--indeed a one to one parallel--between dinner manners and love-making technique.

You see the man grabbing lots of nuts and chips, one after another, over the cocktail--but then having no time for the main course? He will be ravenous (orally of course), and yet perhaps a bit soft in other areas.

And beware of the man who barely touches the olives, and only--on insistence--tries the special twisted cheese cracker. He will be flat on his back, waiting for you to suggest possibilities of how to turn the prone position into anything more pretzel-like.

How about the man who on repeated dinner dates demonstrates a repeatedly similar use of fork and knife? Always commencing the meal with a brightly stabbed fork in the steak, and then finishing with fork and knife neatly stacked by the side, and the plate pushed--with a neat hand--back away from the edge?

The same repetition (breast one, breast two, right leg, left leg--and then a tour-de-force push-back of the proverbial plate) will make itself apparent in every love-making session, without variety, without exception.

How about the man who does not share his food--but reluctantly saws off a piece of steak for you to try?

The same diffidence in sharing will be glaring in more intimate areas.

A good sign: a plate that is easily shared.

A bad sign: if he ordered it for you. He will order everything else too.

Of course, there are always plus and minuses. The messy eater will naturally be more playful in the sheets, and the neat eater will be more mysterious and removed. The man who is patient between courses will take his time shifting gears; the man who likes to sample all at once, more surprising and creative.

Of course, this is common knowledge: the way a baby responds to the mother's body is its imprint for both food and sex, so the two are bound to be approached with the same manners, skills, desire and appetite.

Yet still it would be good if we women could really share what we all know, rather than buy into marketers' ideas of what we are "supposed" to care about! We all watch those manners!