For all you single ladies, we know it’s a wildly unpredictable dating frontier out there these days — and we empathize. With a plethora of mixed signals, bad fish, misleading dating apps, and contradictory love advice, it’s hard to wrap your head around the modern dating game.

Woman using Tinder on her phone

One of the earliest confusions with dating is analyzing the opposite sex through your own lens (it doesn’t work). In case you haven’t heard, men really are from Mars and women really are from Venus, and for as much as we are all evolving into something broader, sometimes, going back to the basics is the best dating advice you can get. Especially in this era of overload, getting simple and clear advice can help to quickly weed the good fish from the bad (much sooner).

Here are 3 simple dating differences between men and women that will change your dating game.

1. Men love and date like rubber bands. They’ll bounce back if you let them.

A couple smiling and happily riding bikes together
Although all humans have their own unique intimacy cycle, according to John Gray author of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus, men, just like a rubber band, will stretch away after a long period of deep connecting with a women in order to get their sense of autonomy, or sense of self, back. This sense of independence and freedom is important to a man, and once they have regained that feeling, just like a rubber band, they will usually spring right back to their source of love (you). The more they pull away from you, the deeper their desire for you actually grows. If you don’t interrupt this process – and instead, remain focused on yourself and your own great life – he will inevitably bounce back, and the “stretch” will get shorter every time.

2. Men are not like your girlfriend, so don’t try to get them to behave like that. Remember, you’re looking for the man of your dreams.

A man sitting down deep in thought

Although men, too, are beautifully sensitive, deep-feeling creatures, unlike women, most men don’t have the need to communicate every detail of their innermost experience. In fact, most of them feel the need to do their deeper processing in the “man cave.” When they are trying to understand how they feel about something, they typically choose to do it on their own. At the beginning of dating, men may be experiencing large emotions of attraction and connection and, yes, even fantasy future-thinking (could this be my wife?); but it doesn’t mean they’re ready to share it with you. Don’t worry if the man isn’t initially professing his love, men come to things a bit slower. What does matter are the actions he’s taking in relation to you. Is he acting like someone that has your best interest in mind, not by what he’s saying, but by what he’s doing? If yes, an “I Love You” is most likely deep down inside, slowly making its way to the surface.

3. Playing hard to get will only get you men that aren’t looking for something real.

A happy couple enjoying a beautify sunny day

Now that you understand that men are like rubber bands, it’s important to break the notion that playing hard to get is the way to go. If you’re critical, challenging, or avoidant as a way of running game on a guy – and it’s working – you’re most likely involved with someone that is stuck in that boyish phase of chasing girls on the playground just to see how many he can catch. When a man is truly ready for an adult relationship, he responds positively to feeling needed and appreciated. John Gray writes: “If you want the relationship to blossom, be sure to let the man know that he is capable of pleasing you. Success brings men back. If he gets the impression that he cannot please you, he’ll continue to look for a woman who he can.”