A short time ago, someone with whom I was involved spent about an hour ranting on Twitter about an incident that happened between us. I, as well as a number of other people, found it to be amusing, but looking back on it now, I kind of feel sorry for her. Not because of what happened (which I’ll mention shortly), but because of the mistakes she made as we were just casually dating. Since I’m such a good guy, I’m sharing this experience hoping other women won’t make the same mistakes. The references below denote mistakes and will correlate to the lessons that follow.
About five years ago, I worked at an elementary summer school program with several of my peers from college. It was a relatively small program with about 15 people working alongside me. There were two girls working there who caught my eye. One of them (the same one referenced above) immediately made it known the feeling was mutual, so we began spending time together outside of work; nothing too serious. A few weeks later, I decided to make a pass at the second girl and learned she took an interest in me as well. To make a long story short, I talked to both girls for the remainder of the summer. However, neither of them knew I was talking to the other until shortly after the fall semester began.
When the two girls found out about each other, they got upset, with which I sympathized and apologized for it. The second one moved on and we never spoke again. The first one eventually forgave me and decided to give it another shot . In my defense, I NEVER lied to either of them about who I was seeing. I also never led either of them to believe I wasn’t seeing anyone else. The first girl asked very few questions about who I was seeing , which I interpreted as a lack of concern with knowing whether she was the only one. But instead, she just assumed she was .
In addition to her assumptions, her attitude was somewhat carefree which led me to think she was content not knowing about my dating life. Again, I never lied about who I was or wasn’t seeing. In fact, I even told her a couple of times when I was going to see the second girl and she chose to disregard it . I know how easily excited we get when we first meet someone. We sometimes act against our better judgment, overlooking certain behaviors and giving more than we should in an effort to keep their interest. What we forget is it’s more important to act in our own best interest .
If something happens between you and someone you’re dating and you feel you were wronged, you’re free to decide whether you want to give them a second chance. If you don’t, then so be it. But if you do, harping on it and continuing to play the victim doesn’t bode well for either of you. You don’t have to forget what happened, but it is best to move on – with or without that person.
Lesson 2: Ask Questions
If you want or need to know something, ask a question. Questions are your best friends. It is your own responsibility to look out for yourself. Yes, there some people who will lie and there isn’t much you can do when that happens. But if you think you know something and fail to inquire, then you only have yourself to blame if you find out otherwise.
Lesson 3: Never Make Assumptions
This goes along with Lesson 2. The one thing you never do, especially in dating, is make assumptions. Unless you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, never assume you’re the only one someone is dating. In fact, it’s best to air on the side of caution and assume you’re NOT the only one. That way, you don’t set your expectations too high, minimizing the potential to be disappointed.
Following up on Lesson 3, don’t be unmindful to the world. There are warning signs everywhere to help you; don’t ignore them. When you notice something that looks iffy, make a point to address it – in a mature manner of course. If his phone consistently rings during the non-Christian hours of the night, chances are it isn’t his mother. If he seldom makes time for you and frequently has an excuse for it, well…let’s just say people will make time for what/who they please. I’m not saying such behavior is never excusable; I’m saying don’t let it go unnoticed.
Lesson 5: Keep Some for Yourself
A mistake some women tend to make is being too available to a man. Men are users; plain and simple. If he wants it, he will accept anything you offer, be it quality time, sex, food or just overall convenience. But remember, a man can only get away with what you allow.
As a single man or woman, you’re free to date whomever. Is dating more than one person wrong? In and of itself, no it isn’t. Was it wrong for me to date two people within such close quarters? Some say yes; I say no but I can agree it’s debatable. At any rate, that’s not where the issue lies; the issue was how she carried herself; carefree and presumptuous. If you choose to date and live like that, so be it. Just remember to hold yourself accountable for your actions or inactions. It’s your life and your choices, meaning you suffer the consequences.
Today, I want to play a little game. I’m going to tell you three short stories (don’t worry, they will be brief) pertaining to women I’ve dated and your job will be to determine the running theme throughout each of them. Sounds like fun right? I know….let’s play!
Scenario 1: I was at a party with someone I was dating. Everything was going well until I stepped outside to take a call, leading her to believe I was being deceitful. I had nothing to hide, so I allowed her to peruse my text messages. She found one I sent to a friend (months prior, mind you), referring to her as “sexy” and lost it. “You don’t talk to other girls like that when you have a GIRLFRIEND.” I thought to myself: “since when have we become official? Hmmm…”
Scenario 2: I returned to school from Christmas break one year. My girlfriend and I spoke prior to my return and we were excited to see each other…or so I thought. She happened to be in her friend’s room at the time. The friend greets me, asking me how my break was and what not, making pleasant conversation. My girlfriend just laid there on the bed; no real greeting. I thought “did I do something?” Nope, it was quite the opposite. We didn’t speak for about two more days when she broke up with me. She exclaimed when I returned from home, she wanted me to come over to the bed and give her a special embrace. “But wait, you didn’t budge or bat an eye when I arrived….how was I supposed to know this?!”
Scenario 3: One summer, a friend of mine and I decided to take things to the next level. We talked for a bit, went on a few dates and started liking each other. The summer ended as the school year began and things were OK for the first two weeks or so. All of a sudden, the communication ceases. No calls, no text messages, no instant messages. I figured she lost interest; no big deal. Two weeks go by and I move on….of course I hear from her then. Apparently, I wasn’t reaching out to her enough. Too bad for her she waited until her tenure expired to express this to me.
OK, now it’s your turn. What do you see as the common denominator here? And yes, there is one.
Give up? Well what I wanted you to notice in each scenario was where the female had an issue but failed to verbalize it to me. Each time, they expected me to just know what was going through their heads. Men are placed in these predicaments all too often. It’s pretty extreme for women to expect men to read their minds and act accordingly. Similarly, it’s unfair to men as we’re labeled as “the bad guy” for such ignorance. The majority of arguments and conflicts amongst couples could be avoided if women verbally communicated more of what they wanted versus expecting men to act without the slightest insinuation. I say this because in my experiences, most arguments arise after the man “screws up”. The funny thing is the moment women develop any serious feelings and become attached, the first thing they ask is “what do you want from me?” but then expect us to be mind-readers. None of us are related to Nostradamus. As much as you want us to communicate our desires, we would appreciate much of the same in return.
I know what you’re thinking: “why not just ask her what she wants?” Well, even that fails on occasion. I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked a woman to tell me what she wants and her response was “nothing.” I’ve gotten the same response even when I’ve inquired about an apparent problem. What’s up with that anyway? If you want something, why not just say so? It’s even more frustrating for me because here I am making an effort to rectify things, but you hinder me from doing so. Guess what, now we’re both annoyed while the issue lingers.
Ladies, at the end of the day, we’re human too; we make mistakes; we don’t know it all. Every man can and will admit to his mistakes, because if he cannot, he’s still in an adolescent frame of mind and you may need to reevaluate your relationship with him anyway. Here’s something that may help: think of us as playground swings; we have the potential to reach very, high points, but we just need someone behind us to give us that little push.
So you just started seeing a new guy. It’s early and you’re still getting a feel for him; trying to figure out what his motives and intentions are with you, but it’s clear you do like him. A few outings and couple weeks later, you start meeting his friends and immediately you notice many of them are female. Now you feel mildly threatened because you don’t know the details of these “friendships”. But, should this even be a concern?
I’ve never understood why a guy who has “a lot” of female friends is usually labeled as promiscuous. It wouldn’t be an issue if his dating life wasn’t impacted as a result. But in my experiences, it is affected quite often. Prime example: I was in a relationship and my girlfriend was out of town one weekend. One of my boys was in town with his girlfriend and they begged me to go out with them, but who likes being a dreaded third-wheel? Certainly not I, so I found a friend (female, platonic) to accompany us. My girlfriend called later that evening, asking where I was and with whom. I told her the truth, but the problem was she knew nothing of my friend and that was when the fight began.
The argument ensued and she insisted I was out on a “double date”. If anytime two guys are out with two women, regardless of their relationship, is considered a double date, then I was guilty as charged. In reality, interactions between the two sexes and each person’s intentions should determine if a “date” is actually taking place. I explained how the outing was innocent; neither I nor my friend intended to do anything other than enjoy each other’s company. Of course she wasn’t hearing that, though. She referenced my “many females” and then is when I knew the issue she had stemmed deeper than just one girl she didn’t know.
I’ve found at times people emphasize irrelevant points and lose sight of the relevant ones. Rather than obsessing over how many friends a guy has, why not get to know his friends? Sometimes, friends reveal the best information; things your mate wouldn’t otherwise disclose. Things that may allow you to see him from a different perspective. Things that will help you to better determine whether or not he is the one for you.
Question: Why do women constantly ask questions to which they don’t really want an answer? Before I continue, let me be more specific: why do women constantly ask questions to which they don’t want an honest answer? Whether it’s regarding their appearance, or a question about their companion’s whereabouts, women are almost never satisfied with the answers they’re given.
Think back to a time when one of your home girls asked for your opinion. She’s going out on a date and has spent the last hour and half doing her hair, deciding on the perfect outfit and applying her makeup. When finished, she presents herself to you and poses the infamous question: “how do I look?” At first glance, you see her and think to yourself her hairstyle is weak, her outfit is tacky and too revealing, and her makeup simply looks messy. But of course, you can’t verbalize ANY of this without getting into her feelings. Even when you find a pleasant way to express how you feel, she takes offense to it. Why bother asking if you aren’t willing to accept a bit of constructive criticism? I don’t get it…
What about a time when she came to you to vent and seek advice about a guy she was seeing. She begins to tell you how he has changed. You notice how his behavior has become erratic as she cites examples of how he’s withdrawn from her. Suddenly, he doesn’t have much time to spend with her, he receives phone calls and text messages after hours from his newly found female “friends”, he ignores his phone when she calls, and has just become increasingly cold and inconsiderate towards her. You suggest he may be seeing someone else, and to no surprise, she immediately gets on the defense. Obviously, no one wants to hear about someone cheating on them, but it’s apparent she already considered this to be the case. As you draw connections from his behavioral patterns to the possibility that he’s cheating, she challenges you by making lame excuses for his conduct. Again, if you didn’t want the advice or a second opinion, why ask for it?
I have a friend who’s notorious for creating these “no-win” types of scenarios; posing questions and expecting certain answers. She knows me well enough to know if you ask me a question, I’ll always give you MY opinion. The minute she begins probing me for her desired response, I simply shut down and allow her to think to herself for a moment. I’ve realized most women don’t enjoy talking so much as they enjoy conversing. The moment a woman realizes the dialogue has ended will be the moment she’s able to think openly and take your words seriously. Granted, she may not like or agree with you, but underneath it all, she will appreciate your honesty.
Welcome to A Bachelor’s Pad! A place where a man can be expressive; a place where he is gratified and uninhibited; a place of serenity; a place where he can be what no one else could be or forbade him from being….a place where he can be himself.
Now, if you will, walk with me….