So you're a guy, and newly single, and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the new rules to dating? Things were so much better when you were in your early twenties and no one had kids or exes. You met a girl and your liked her and her career didn't figure into anything. Well, those days are over. If you are a widowed or divorced or even never married man trying to learn what women want here is some advice for a single female.

Women want all sorts of things. Women are individuals. Women are different. If you are willing to zero in on the person you are with, and get to know that person you will be more successful than if you keep trying to find the Holy Grail of dating. Plenty of women over the age of 50 still find it charming and delightful if a man will open the car door for them. Younger women may find that pushy, rude, or just plain mysterious. Pretty much any person, male or female, likes it if you open the door when their arms are full. It's about basic consideration.

Be interested in getting to know the other person. If you ask a question, take the time to listen to the answer. I've had men ask me what I like to do, and then ask me again barely ten minutes later in the conversation. I can only assume they weren't listening, although it's possible my answers were unacceptable. Which gets me to point number two, women don't like to feel like they are being interviewed, rated, and found wanting. If you must do this, at least own up to it. Saying, "I couldn't date anyone who doesn't share my love of flying," is more fair than, "Do you like to fly?" Also, don't be too quick to make snap judgments, a woman with a sense of adventure might learn to love flying, while one who likes to fly already and has a nasty attitude might be a bad fit.

Visuals: all men like pretty women, believe it or not, good looking men have the best chance of snagging one, rich men second best chance. You may not look like Fabio, yet you can always do the best with what God gave you. Bathe regularly and use a nice smelling soap. Don't douse yourself with cheap cologne. If you want to smell well buy expensive cologne. You can get it in small amounts. IF you don't know what brand to buy ask the sales woman in an better department store. Don't rely on advertising. They are paid big bucks to get your sale, and the stuff may not smell nice at all. Wear clean clothes, keep your body healthy and at a reasonable weight.

Maturity: you are free to enjoy dancing with your air guitar and watching cartoon shows with your nephew (or with a beer) but if you want to make a good first impression, don't bring that stuff up until you know a woman. Stupid guy talk is enormously entertaining to a room full of guys, and less interesting to a woman you are meeting for the first time. While women know guys do all sorts of silly stuff, "hey baby watch this. . . ." when a woman goes on a first date she's trying to ascertain if you can possibly man up. Are you capable of making intelligent conversation? Do you hold down a full time job? How about able to order and pay for a nice dinner for two?

Transparency: If you aren't really interested in a woman's kids from a previous relationship, her job, or her religion, don't pretend you are just because she's pretty. You will be very sorry later. The last thing you want to do is settle for 20 per cent of what you want only to break up after producing two kids with a person. If good looks is the only thing a woman has to recommend herself to you, you may be accepting even less than 20 per cent, you might be at 10. Consider your whole lifestyle. If you are a night person, don't try to make it work with a morning person. If you are not religious at all, don't mess with someone who is very religious. If kids aren't your thing, meet only when the kids are with their other parent.

Golden moment: comes a time on date two or three when you hear a sentence that begins with "You wouldn't dump me if. . . ." believe it or not something awful and manipulative is about to follow. It doesn't matter if you feel like a real heel for breaking up with the woman at that moment, because you are being set up anyway. If the information that follows is something crazy like they are ten grand in debt because of divorce number two or fighting with a convicted rapist over sole custody of their child, you need to run before you are any deeper enmeshed. Women know when they are asking something really unreasonable, that's why they create the "golden moment." Ten out of ten guys will stay, mumbling something about how the poor kid was crying, and they felt so "sorry" for the poor gal. Yikes. That's all I can say. You get what you get if you don't bail when you receive important information.

Lots of nice girls are available who do NOT have a past career as a pole dancer, did NOT get molested by their stepfather, or are otherwise emotionally healthy individuals, and guess what? You will never meet them as long as you are sidetracked with crazy ladies. If you want to have a lasting relationship, you need to be able to give up "demented." As dull as it sounds, normal women are available, and they are in fact not always so bad. Some women like to go to concerts, go hiking, take your kids to the movies, cook up a healthy meal. And guess what? Plenty of them want to meet a nice man like you!