They say I date like a guy

I am 36, never been married. A former serial monogamist whose engagement ended eight years ago when I walked in on him and another woman at work. While I was scary calm at the time, there was a sense of “Now what?” that gradually came over me. I moved out, bought a condo, rescued a pup, advanced my career, and became closer to my family than I ever had in my life. I dipped my toe a few times back in the dating pool resulting in endless online app swiping, and while I now am the owner of a hilarious repertoire of stories, I remain single.

One thing that keeps resurfacing is this notion that I am the "guy" in the relationship. I wondered what this meant. Do I have a more logical pragmatic mind than one that's emotionally driven? I am a passionate, caring, loving woman seeking a strong, confident man, but what is this notion that a woman would "think like a man"? Does that mean I make it challenging to find a compatible match with a heterosexual male? And what does this say about gender roles and our expectations?

- Seeking emotionally stable lumberjack


"One thing that keeps resurfacing is this notion that I am the 'guy' in the relationship. I wondered what this meant."

It means nothing because it's not a thing. Having a pragmatic mind makes you someone ... with a pragmatic mind. That is all.

The people who tell you you're "the guy in the relationship" (I assume you're hearing this from friends, etc.?) don't really know what they're talking about. Steer clear of dating advice that involves platitudes and word like "always" and "never." Gender does not dictate whether someone is capable of having a feeling. You are a passionate and caring person who wants a lumberjack. No need for any more generalizations.

I should add that the people who say things like "you date like a guy" are probably not trying to confuse or upset you. (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here.) It's tough to see someone struggle as they look for love. Sometimes we want to give them an easy answer, but the most honest thing to say is that it often takes a long time to meet a real partner. That's the frustrating truth, and it has nothing to do with your passionate, caring, loving mind, which, for the record, sounds wonderful.

– Meredith

Readers? What dating advice have you had to delete from your brain?