Guest Writer: First Encounters -- Not a Time for Fairytales
By Simon Oaks,Author of Will Marry for Food, Sex, and Laundry: How to Get Him -- and How to Keep Him

Everyone puts on a show to impress someone at the beginning of a relationship.  You meet a guy, you feel a connection, and you want the connection to develop into something stronger.  You don't want him losing interest in you and moving on, so you exaggerate a bit to keep him interested. Guys get that.  It's only natural. 

But first impressions count with guys.  You shouldn't come with fine print that he's going to miss and regret later.  This is a key area where women shoot themselves in the foot, and it's so unnecessary.  The balance of power in the world of dating belongs to women. You hold the power of veto.  You are always the one who can say, "Thanks, but no thanks." However, he might walk away if he finds out your first meeting happened behind a facade.  So don't give him a reason not to trust you.

Statistics say men lie five times more often than women. (Now ask yourself, is that true, or did I just make it up?)  Despite human progress and enlightened times, we're still slaves to our genes.  Males are hardwired to impress women.  Watch the elaborate dances some birds go through to win over a female -- puffing up their chests and using their feathers to exaggerate how big they are. Human males are no different.  They're going to tell you they're richer, stronger, taller and more important than the next guy to win your affections. 

The problem is that our equal opportunity world has skewed the curve somewhat.  The days of women sitting back, waiting to be picked up are over.  Women can now go on the offensive and pick up guys if they desire.  With these turned tables, it has become more important for women to impress men.

This new need for women to be proactive when picking up guys increases the chance that you might exaggerate, or fudge certain details to land your man.  Don't try to be like us, ladies.  Stay true to who you are and don't let the game turn you into an ugly player.

Don't false advertise.  Make yourself interesting, but please don't invent stuff.  Wild exaggerations backfire for two reasons. First, he feels pretty dumb for believing you.  Second, you're not the person he's looking for.  He wanted the person you pretended to be, not the real you. 
So don't tell him that you're up for threesomes with another girl if you don't mean it, or he's going to be mightily disappointed. Trust me, he is.  Don't portray yourself as a hard-drinking, party girl who likes to play fast and loose like Samantha from Sex in the City if that's not you.  No man likes to discover his sex kitten is in fact a quiet cat that likes to sleep eighteen hours a day. 

The problem kicks in when the exaggerations go beyond shaving a few pounds off your usual weight and using a pushup bra.  A minor exaggeration shouldn't develop into a full-blown lie and you want to avoid the Cinderella syndrome.  Sure, she ended up with Prince Charming at the end, but do you really think the Prince bought the whole glass slipper-thing hook, line, and sinker? Think again.
The Prince's Version

After the clock chimes twelve and he's left holding nothing but a glass slipper, he checks in with his boys to report on the night.

"Dude, did you see the hottie I was with?"

"Yeah, man.  Who is she?"

"Calls herself Cinderella.  She's got a real nice ride.  Doesn't go anywhere without her entourage in tow.  And she sports these tiny glass slippers.  Where the hell do you buy glass slippers?"

"Don't know, bro.  Did you get her number?"



"No way, man.  She was in a rush.  I did get one of her glass slippers though.  She'll be back for that bad boy."

After waiting around for the three-day no-call period, the Prince figures his glass-footed beauty must've forgot where she left her shoe, so he launches a full-scale search to show off his power.

It takes him a while, but he tracks down Cinderella. Only a whole lot's changed from the night of the ball.  Her carriage has turned back into a pumpkin, her entourage is a pack of rodents, and her knockout designer number is just a bunch of rags.

He knows these are just superficial things, but he can't shake the fact that she lied.  If she lied about all that, what else is she hiding?
Despite what the fairytale says, Prince Charming isn't going to be as easily forgiving.  The issue here is that no guy likes to be deceived.  He feels stupid.  And regardless of what he previously thought about you, you just turned real unattractive real fast.

Now it sounds like I'm making guys out to be angels.  They aren't. Just like you, when they first encounter someone who catches their eye, they're likely to exaggerate just as much, if not more.  The key difference between you and him exaggerating is that you expect it.  You have a heightened sense for bullshit.  Your bullshit detector is NASA quality in comparison to his.

Just remember, be yourself.  I know this sounds dumb, but it's not.  If you're a quiet girl, then be a quiet girl.  If you're a sassy lass, then be a sassy lass.  Different men will be attracted to different kinds of women.  There are men out there who prefer a quiet girl as much as there are guys who dig dangerous ladies. By not being yourself, you're not only attracting guys you won't like, but you're turning off the guys who would like you for being you.

Excerpt adapted from Will Marry for Food, Sex, and Laundry: How to Get Him -- and How to Keep Him 2009 Simon Oaks

Author Bio
Simon Oaks, author of Will Marry for Food, Sex, and Laundry: How to Get Him -- and How to Keep Him, is a California transplant from England, who swore he'd remain single for life. But now this former racecar driver turned writer is a bachelor turned husband, and is letting the women out there know the secrets behind making a man commit. He's been happily married now for ten years to his American wife, Julie. The two live together in Richmond, CA.