By now, you’ve probably all heard the phrase “predator versus prey.” It’s a concept that exists within the wilds of Mother Nature’s landscape – and it’s also a dynamic that exists in the wilds of the dating landscape.
Predators eat things; prey is devoured. The concept is simple enough.
So why is this a crucial concept for both men and women to understand when dating? Because each gender approaches dating from one of these two very different perspectives – you’re either the predator or you’re the prey. And guess which is which?
You guessed it, men are generally the hunters and women are generally the prey. And for this very reason, it seems many times as if men are able to enjoy dating much more than women tend to. Men generally seem to find dating enjoyable, much like a sport or competition, while women generally tend to find dating stressful, uncertain and risky.
When dating, it is very important – correct that – it is imperative that each gender form a proper understanding of the other. And in order to form this understanding of one another, you need to realize the reality of the perspective that each is approaching dating with.
It is crucial that each understand what the others “dating landscape” looks like.
Predator or Prey: What Does Your Dating Landscape Look Like?
To have a bit of fun and create a visual perspective of the landscape of each, I might imagine that the dating landscape for man would generally look somewhat like a football field with a big trophy calling their name and beckoning them forward.
For women, I might imagine that their dating landscape would generally look somewhat like the Black Forest, thick and dark, hard to navigate, fraught with danger and perils at every turn, with the only thing calling their name being the safe haven of a cave and warm fire.
Look at the image above – notice the vast difference of each landscape?
I believe it is this very dynamic, this misunderstanding of what the other is facing on their landscape, that causes a good deal of the relationship and dating heartaches we all experience at the hands of others. Men do not understand the risk that dating poses to women and women fail to recognize the fun and competition that dating poses to men.
When a woman is repeatedly devoured emotionally on her dating landscape, the very concept of dating can become associated with negativity and stress rather than enjoyment. And when men repeatedly successfully score wins out on their dating landscape, the very concept of dating can become associated with sport and gaming.
A man’s successful conquests can fuel a strong desire for more faster; while a woman’s unsuccessful losses can tend to fuel confusion and heightened anxiety.
Predator or Prey, Risk Versus Reward: Take a Walk on the Other’s Wild Side
I believe it helps to understand what the other is facing and to gain that understanding, you need to walk a mile in the others shoes. Men, you need to take a walk on the wild side and ladies, you need to sit back, relax and enjoy the competition.
I really don’t think that many men can fully grasp exactly what a woman faces when she steps out onto the dating landscape. But I think that’s only because many men probably don’t take the time to even consider the concept let alone grasp the reality of that environment. Let’s face it, men generally are not the prey in life, but rather are the hunter - and that causes a huge shift in perception. And it’s this lack of understanding that causes men to label women as “crazy” or to throw out the good old standbys, “you think too much” or “you worry too much.”
Women are not wired to be “crazy” guys - they are wired to be “cautious.” And that caution creates the need for questions that require answers - so she may weigh the “risk” involved because she’s the prey. This is primal wiring due to the fact that not only is she the prey, but the risk for her is three-fold:
1) She can be devoured (emotionally).
2) She can become pregnant (physically).
3) She risks catching or coming into contact with infectious diseases that men carry but do not always experience symptoms from, that can render a woman sterile (Chlamydia) or leave her with cancer (via HPV exposure) years later (please, please, please always wrap it up guys).
A woman risks a lot more than a man when mating – she literally puts her life in danger (cancer via HPV exposure) and she risks becoming pregnant, both of which require an increased need for caution. As a result, “women are better at judging risk while men are better at ignoring it.” A statement made and a topic discussed in the book, “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.
The closest thing I can compare it to, guys, would be to think of any experience you may have possibly had with a “crazy lady” for lack of a better term. She scared you, didn’t she? The feeling of someone watching you, watching your every move, someone wanting to swallow you up and devour you; the feeling of seeking a safe haven for solace; the feeling of uncertainty, “What is she going to do next?” The feeling of not knowing yourself what to do next, “Should I run, should I stay; should I give her a chance or just walk away before she eats me up or even worse yet – devours me?” “Is she going to hurt me physically?” (Think Lorena Bobbit or Jodi Arias guys.)
You see, in the above scenario – you’re the prey – and you’ve got this fleeting feeling that there’s a possibility you could be devoured and/or harmed. So now you’re confused, scared and possibly unsure of what to do next. That’s what dating in general can tend to be, and feel like, to women, guys.
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how uncomfortable, uncertain and scary that can be?
Just as I believe it’s difficult for men to fully grasp exactly what a woman faces when she steps onto her dating landscape, I equally feel that it’s difficult for women to grasp exactly what men face on theirs as well. And it’s this lack of understanding that causes a woman to ask questions like, “Why did he do this?” Or, “Is this a game, why would he be playing a game with me?” Or, “Why does he think this is funny?”
The reason for this, ladies, is that men tend to approach dating a bit like a sport or competition of some sort. And as we all know, sport and competition, many times, involves fun, good times, enjoyment, achievement – and adoration.
Men are not approaching dating this way out of malice, they’re primally wired to approach it this way, as a hunter and as a sport where something is to be gained and a potential prize awaits them as well as possibly glory and adoration – resulting in increased overall status.
This is the reason that men tend to not take every little thing quite as seriously as women. They do not face as much risk, but rather, they face more rewards – the rewards outweigh the risk. And since rewards outweigh risk, it becomes a bit more of an enjoyable experience, one that is able to be approached with much less caution and much more enthusiasm.
As a result, he doesn’t understand why what you’re questioning is even important in the first place. His brain deems the information as “useless” to the big picture and therefore, shrugs off the question as meaningless and unnecessary.
And when you push for that answer, he’s wired to minimize your need for a response because to him, it looks as if you’re taking something fun and turning it into something unenjoyable. He doesn’t realize that what you’re actually attempting to do is take something somewhat possibly unenjoyable and possibly uncomfortable for yourself and make it more fun – by asking him to reduce your risk via providing you with an answer.
This concept above of predator versus prey and risk versus reward is why it is so very important to be willing to prove yourself to a woman when dating.
A woman is risking a lot when dating you, so it would serve you well to do your best to be a gentleman and a leader that leads by providing strength, reassurance, support and open lines of communication to her. Anything short of that and you’re going to ultimately disappoint the woman you’re dating.
Once you’ve won your trophy guys, protect it by enclosing it into an airtight case for safe keeping.
This is why it is so very important to guard yourself by making a man prove himself to you when dating. You are risking the very fabric of your emotional being when making an investment, not to mention your very health when entering into a sexual relationship as well as your future, should a pregnancy occur.
If a man isn’t willing to prove himself to you when dating, then you need to be strong enough to walk away from that man. You need a leader that will protect you, safeguard you emotionally and have your best interests at heart. Anything short of that and you will ultimately find yourself disappointed and confused.
Once you’ve become the trophy, demand a safe cave and a warm fire for yourself.
Predator or Prey: Your Dating Landscape by Mirror of Aphrodite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. (No modifications/derivitives, no commercial use.)