We women have it all wrong when it comes to dating. As, women, we tend to be quite compliant with the traditional rules of dating. You know the rules: You meet a guy. Things are going well after the second or third date. You have sex with him. He wants you to be exclusive with him. You take yourself out of the dating scene and Boom! Just like that you are now committed to one person as you venture through years (gasp!) of auditioning for the desired role as your new boyfriend’s eventual wife.

Now, I know he is auditioning for you as well, and somewhere in the foreseeable future, he may get the boot from you, but what if you really like this guy? What if you think, “He’s the One?” Well then, as tradition has it, you will continue to be his girlfriend, keep interviewing for the position of “Wife,” provide him with plenty of free sex and then wait. And wait. And wait. I’m sure you get my point. You wait until he is damn good and ready (if ever) to get on bended knee and pop the question.

But what if we women were to switch things up just a bit? What if women took back control of the direction their life is going to go? What if we women put our lives on our own timeline so that our partner does not decide our life calendar for us?

Let me introduce you to the, “Date like a Dude” phenomenon. The birth of this sensation began several years ago when my friend watched in amazement as I dove head first into each new relationship. With each new boyfriend, I immediately took myself out of the dating pool and gave each dude precious years of my life. I might add each long-term dude had no intention of ever making a marriage commitment to me. Fed up, my friend finally demanded that I start to “Date like a dude.”

The date like a dude philosophy is a game changer. It is a beautiful mindset to have when you enter the world of dating. Dating like a dude allows you to keep your options open and play the field, so to speak. I mean, dudes play the field all the time. Why should we women not be doing the same thing? Dating like a dude also keeps you moving forward in the dating world instead of giving your entire being to one guy who may not be your future spouse and who has no intention of settling down with you.

The most important things to remember when dating like a dude are your life goals: marriage and motherhood. I do not want your goals of marriage and motherhood to be at the mercy of some dude. You need to pay meticulous attention as to the length of time you are willing to audition for the role of wife. It is imperative you have a reasonable timeline in your mind if you commit yourself to one dude. Once the timeline passes, you must muster the strength to move on.

(Note:  Dating like a dude does not mean you should sleep with each and every guy you date. That is where our “Dude Factor” may differ from a true dude. Like it or not, there is a double standard between men and women as far as having sex early on with multiple partners in the dating process.)

Here is the problem: If you have sex right away, he will get possessive and you could get needy and emotionally attached. If you are emotionally attached, you are not going to be dating smart. If you do decide to have sex with one of the men you are dating, keep the sex to one man only and then keep your options open until you have a very clear idea of what direction any exclusive relationship might be headed.

My Date Like a Dude Story

After spending three years of my life on a couple of dead-end relationships, I decided to try out my friend’s theory. I mean, why not right?  I activated my online dating profile and I was ready to roll. As I scrolled through my emails and “winks,” I felt liberated. I felt free. I was excited for my future because I was going to date like a dude and leave my female emotions at the curb.

I realized that by dating like a dude, I did not have to commit to the first guy who asked to me date him exclusively. Instead, I could have fun along my dating path by meeting many men, committing to no one and being smart about my future relationship choices. I was ready to go have fun and if true love happened along the way, then great.

My first week of dating like a dude was quite incredible actually. I had lined up ten, yes, ten dates for week one. (Don’t hate…this girl had to do what a girl had to do.)  I had a coffee date each morning and a wine date each evening. I met a few fabulous men and a few, eh, not so fabulous. But, hey, that’s why they call it dating, right?  And guess what? The first guy I “dated like a dude,” turned out to be the love of my life and is now my husband.

I promise you, dating like a dude, is a mindset that is empowering and radiates positive energy from you. It is the mindset of independence and a beautiful attitude that attracts men to you like a magnet. But, remember, unless you announce your single status to the world, dudes will have no clue that their potential life partner (you) exists.