This is my second post for today, but the first one didn’t encompass this aspect of my life, which I am currently obsessed with: dating. A few days ago I posted about this guy I met online and who I went on one date with. I had a blast and I think he’s amazing. We were supposed to meet up again yesterday and it didn’t happen. We hadn’t set concrete plans which was fine because I had all intentions of staying in otherwise, but when Saturday came and went without an invite anywhere, I was getting a bit frustrated. We were still talking all day, so why not set the plans? Every self-help, dating advice, or the like that I’ve come across (which I have to admit isn’t many) all say the same thing: wait for him to make the first move. Because if I, as a woman, invite him out, I’m making myself too available and even though it may work, I will never know how he feels, etc., etc. … ugh, that’s so annoying! And it left me wondering why he’s not planning anything when we were meant to meet the next day?
By this point, we’d been talking for three weeks so I felt fairly comfortable just asking him what’s happening so, on Sunday morning, when I woke to a text that said ‘morning’, I just asked him straight up, what we were doing that day, thus breaking Rule #1 apparently. He evaded, saying he was with his dad and a bit more, so I just finally said that I was going to the beach and he was welcome to join me, breaking Rule #2. He doesn’t respond to this for hours and at about 4pm I get a message from him and he starts a conversation. I politely said that I expected to see him and asked why I hadn’t heard from him (maybe breaking another rule here by talking about it?) and he asked if I wanted to catch up that night still. I said no. I said I would’ve but that he’d waited too long and I could no longer meet up. I said that I need plans and that although I can appreciate spontaneity, I’m a busy person who likes it that way and I’m going to make plans to fill my time so waiting until that day is not going to work with me. I then asked him what his end goal was, since he kept messaging me and via text sounded very keen, but then doesn’t seem fussed to actually meet up again.
I’m pretty sure I broke all the rules at that point, but didn’t care because to me, no matter how amazing our first date was, this man was disrespecting me by thinking I’d wait around for him to contact me last minute – as if I’m a second option if nothing better came around. So who the hell wrote these rules? Why can’t I just know what I want and not enter into the mind games of who likes who and playing it cool and whatnot? I didn’t intend to go straight into ‘the talk’ of asking where this could be headed, nor did I mean it that way when I asked; I thought I was just checking to see if we were on the same page with what we wanted hypothetically… after some thought, it turns out these are pretty much the same thing. But whatever, I’d sent it and it was too late to take back so, after I’d broken likely all of them, I started to wonder, AGAIN, who wrote these rules?
What I got back surprised me. He not only agreed to make solid plans with me, but he went into detail about what he wanted, what he expected and stated flat-out that he wants to see me again. He explained that he’d met two other people since online dating, that there was no connection with them and it didn’t go any further, but that I was different. Thinking himself to be a very direct person, he was surprised when I told him that he was hard to read and when I apologised for any insult I may have caused being so direct in my questioning, he said he appreciated it, stating ‘no one likes games’.
I continued being bold and told him I wanted to see him again as well. He said for me to name the time and place and he would meet me wherever… so we have our second date tomorrow, where I want to go and when it suits me best. So, in the end of this conversation, by unintentially breaking all the rules, I managed to lay all my cards on the table and express how I felt and what I expected, learn how he feels both about me and his expectations, and managed to secure a second date in the process.
I told my friend Marie this, laughing and saying that the second date was actually a miracle given my stereotypical too-pushy/needy/clingy/whatever girly behaviour, and she said that while she doesn’t typically condone acting crazy (which is how we were defining my actions), what I did was great. Marie has been single for years, and recently found out (thanks facebook) that her ex, who she left because he had no ambition or desire for a future, is now managing some big international company and just got married on a beautiful, Pacific Island beach. It’s been three years since they separated and while he is now married, she has yet to find another boyfriend, or even another decent shot at a boyfriend. All the men she’s met, mostly online, have led her on or just used her for a few weeks. It’s awful. Marie is one of the most incredible people I know. She’s beautiful, intelligent, successful, well-traveled and she has the biggest heart. She’s that friend I ask for advice/ideas and she not only listens and responds, but will research further and send links after the fact. She’s the one who calls to check in when she gets the feeling I might just need a chat, and she’s the one, guaranteed, that would give the shirt off her back to anyone who needed it more than her. She’s what I think most women would/should aspire to be. How is this woman single?
We talked a bit about it and we think it’s because she’s too lenient. The experiences that she’s had with men of late have been so bad, that when I asked what she thinks about someone she responded with ‘well, there’s nothing else out there’. That’s so sad that this amazing woman is being overlooked, and has been for years. The last guy she was talking to said he’d skype her on a trip… that was three weeks ago. He got back and told Marie that he’d let her know when he was free to catch up with her… that was a week ago and he hasn’t messaged her since. I asked her if he called today, would she go out with him still? She said yes, because there’s nothing else out there. Not because she likes him or is excited about dating him, and she also stated that she knows how disrespectful he’s being, but again, she would say yes because there’s nothing else out there. We talked about that a bit and she does agree that it’s better to be single than to be with someone so disrespectful, but I can see that these experiences are wearing on her. She’s read so many of the books/articles/etc. of what a woman should/shouldn’t do when dating, that I think she’s blinded by trying to follow the rules and trying to not scare any potential partner off that she likely does it unintentionally.
While I thought I had screwed things up by asking my date so many direct questions, it worked out in my favour. When Marie followed all the rules and did whatever the books said to do, she didn’t even get a date. So again I ask, who wrote these rules? In my opinion, there are no golden rules to follow. Just be true to yourself and the right person will love you for it. Until then, good luck to all of us who remain single, kissing frogs while hoping to find Prince Charming. Above all else, respect yourselves ladies! We are in control of our worth!