Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Dating Game...Less Devastation, More Motivation

I had promised a while back that I had a premonition for a blog, here it is......

The past couple of months I have had a few friends with guy problems. I have been blessed enough to have been able to be there for them and talk them through their confusion, heartbreak and concerns. Even though each of them are in a different situation with different "guy problems" I find that there are so many similarities in each case. Now I am in no way an expert on relationships, but I find myself comparing their problems to some that I have had in the past when I was dating, I guess that is why they calling it learning from your mistakes. Of course I am still making them and definitely still learning.  ;-) Really who isnt? And I am not sure why my friends come to me. Maybe it is because I am the only one who isnt single or maybe because I am always good to throw my opinion out there whether its a worthy one or not. Either way, I have been able to listen and evaluate a handful of issues that they have recently experienced with a guy.

Every conversation, regardless of the situation, has been about how their guys have screwed up some way or another. Let me clarify that these guys are not being labeled "screw ups" and they are not the only ones who have created a problem in  these relationships, and I think all of my friends would agree to this. After all it takes two to create a relationship and in most cases two to mess it up. For every cause there is an effect and sometimes that effect isnt a positive one. I have thought alot about each scenario, and I have seen the frustration and heartbreak my friends have been through. They all have alot of questions and unfortunately though I try to give them good advice or help them see the situation in a different light, the only true answers to most of the questions they have are the ones that only their guy can give them. This got me to thinking about something else and I began to wonder maybe these guys could eliminate alot of the issues that are at hand if they knew what women really want to know. Maybe they dont know that a simple answer or resolution can mean so much to us. Well....maybe I should just give you some examples....If you are a guy--married or not--listen up...this could help you!

I base alot of this on past situations that have happened to me. Its easier for me to tell those stories because I personally know all the details. I could go on into an essay on this, but for easier reference and comedic relief as well as to protect the innocent , we will just list them in  a sectional type format :)

What women think when this happens: "What is wrong with me?What did I do wrong?"

Oh my. This is the worst possible thing that I think a guy could ever do to a girl. This would be "falling off the face of the earth". So maybe you aren't into her or maybe you have found someone better. Instead of telling her outright (either because you think that she will figure it out alone or by word of mouth, or by just being too coward to confront the situation) you just try to make yourself disappear. You dont call her anymore, you dont text her to let her know whats up and you avoid her at all costs. This is very damaging to a womans ego and if you really ever cared about this person, you would let her know what's up--even if it is something she doesn't want to hear. In my mind I think guys just feel like crap for having to tell the truth and are afraid of dealing with the repercussions of how she may react. That doesnt have to just apply to dating either, it can apply to any situation--work, family, friendships, etc.

First- hand example:
I dated a guy once in college after I got out of a long term relationship with my high school sweetheart. I was nervous about the situation to begin with because I had never dated a guy I didn't already known through friends or family--remember I came from a tiny school. This guy was great! He was smart, funny, handsome and we had a great time together. We went on a few dates and talked for a few weeks. It was almost too good to be true and turned out it was. One day, i called him like usual and he didnt return my call. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions so I sent him an email (this was before texting), but didnt hear back from him. Finally, to ease my mind I put a note on his truck one day that said I hoped everything was ok and call me when he got a chance. Never heard from this guys again. I was crushed. Not because he obviously didnt like me, but because I had no idea what I had done wrong--why he didnt call me and tell me it wasnt working out. I saw him on campus a couple of times after that but I never talked to him because I was afraid to. What had I done? Was I too pushy? Did he decide I wasnt pretty enough? Did I have a booger the last time he saw me? What?!?

All these years I never stopped wondering what I did wrong. As a result I was awkward in any other relationship I tried to have. I always had my guard up. I lost alot of confidence and my ego took a huge hit. All over this guy who I really didnt have any kind of relationship with aside from a few chats and a milkshake at Malone's. A few years ago I found him on facebook and added him just to see if he remembered who I was. He did. One night he sent me a message asking how I was doing and after catching up over the last few years I finally got the nerve to ask him why he never called me back all those years ago. What had I done? He told me there was nothing at all that I had done--that it was he who had the problem. It would turn out that he actually liked me alot and had just gotten out of a long term relationship and he didnt want to be in another one since he was just starting college. He knew that could possibly happen if continued to see me. He told me he was too scared to tell me and he felt awful for it and he regretted doing that. In fact, he wanted to ask me out again later but was ashamed to ask and was afraid I hated him. He apologized and I told him what it did to me, which made him apologize even more. He is married now with a beautiful daughter and is doing great. It all worked out like it was supposed to. And now I can put that question I had to rest....after nearly a decade. Bottom line is, had he just told me that to begin with, I may have been disappointed, but I could have moved on with my life knowing that it wasnt my fault that it didnt work out. Even if it were, I at least would not have had to deal with the unknown which is way worse than knowing the truth.

What women think when this happens: "What a lying bastard. He has probably lied since day 1."

 I cant speak for all women on this, but when I suspect someone is lying to me, I  C.S.I. the situation until I find out the truth. Yes, sometimes I come out looking like an idiot, but to me its worth that hit to put my inquiring mind at ease. Now I am not talking about lying about changing the litter box or saying you returned the Redbox movie when its still in your passenger seat. Those lies are annoying but not threatening to a relationship. I am talking about when you have clearly decided 100% without a doubt this is not the relationship for you, but instead of letting her know you continue to lie because you are too afraid to tell the truth--either to spare her feelings or to save face. In some cases you find someone else and don't tell her, but continue to lie when she asks you if you are seeing someone else. Most women have a way of finding out, so if you think you are doing it to save face, think again. It will be a way worse outcome for you in the end of she presents hard core evidence.  As far as sparing her feelings, it hurts worse to know you are lying. There is a trust lost that is so hard to regain if you decide to work on the relationship. Personally I would rather someone tell me that they have moved on instead of saying they havent and giving me the false hope that things might be able to be repaired. No doubt it will hurt, but the truth always trumps a lie. And yes I have learned this from experience. I have been on both sides of the fence and there were bridges burned that even a decent friendship couldnt come out of. The sad thing about finding out someone is a liar is that no matter how long you have known them or what you have been through together, you always wonder if everything they ever told you is a lie. You doubt who they are as a person and realize you may not have ever known them at all.

I have a friend who caught her man first hand with another woman. She was devastated--of course-- but when she confronted him on the whys about it, he continued to swear to her that he was not seeing anyone. Really?!?! Come on! She saw you together!!! After that, every other thing he said contradicted itself and he in turn looked like the worlds biggest liar.

What women think when this happens: "Why did he waste my time? or What's wrong with me?"

Sometimes things happen and most women are usually understanding to that. Sometimes, however, you have a guy who sets up a date and then you dont hear from them again or they "had something come up".  Sometimes they call the next day with an excuse and at that point the girl doesnt even care what they have to say. Unless there is a death--more specifically your own-- or an extreme emergency, there is no reason with all the technology available today why you cant let your date know that you are not going to be able to make it. Is it disappointing to the date? probably, but it is better than standing her up all together. I dont think alot of men understand what a woman goes through for a date. Sometimes, when they know it is going to be a big occasion, they plan every detail--buying a special outfit, deciding what make-up to wear, what perfume smells the best, etc..They want everything to be just right. And then they anticipate the date only to be let down. Not only have they probably been out more money than you would have spent on her that night, but now she feels like crap. In a case like this, if something comes up send a text telling them you are sorry but you wont be able to make it. you might get a second chance. If it looks like something might come if you might have to go to work because someone called in sick...give her a heads up and let her know. In the end she wont be sitting there waiting for a guy that is not going to show.

A friend of mine had looked forward to a group date with a guy she had been seeing off and on for a while who lived out of town. It was planned a month in advance so a group of her friends could make it and she and this guy had talked about it several times over the month. She spared no expense to make sure that she had every detail just right--even down to how she would style her hair. She wanted everything to be flawless so she could make a great impression. When it came down to the day she didnt hear from him at all. She sent him a text and confirmed the times and meeting place and still no answer. Ultimately she ended up watching the door all night for a date that would never show. Of course Im sure she felt completely stupid, and the next day, as she half-expected, he sent her a message with an excuse why he didnt contact her to let her know he wouldnt be there. Something came up, he was busy, yada yada. The thing is, one text saying "I may not be able to make it, it's been a crazy day" could have saved her a lot of heart break and frustration. If he would have showed it would have been a great surprise and and if not, then at least she had a heads up and he would have had a second chance at another date in the future.

Another friend had looked forward to a double date for a while and actually showed up at the guys house to get him and he wouldnt even answer the door, had the lights turned off and later claimed he had fallen asleep.  Yes, I know this can happen, but women cant help but wonder--if we had 50 yard line front row tickets to a football game he wanted to see, would he have made sure he would have been awake then? My guess is yes.

What women think: "What a jerk."
Do not act as if you are interested in someone and then post pictures of you on Facebook with another woman or post on your status that you have found the love of your life without telling the other girl you have been seeing first. Especially if any of her friends are linked to your face book. You are setting yourself up for disaster and it is completely tacky. Just tell her that you have been dating someone that you feel like you have a real connection with. is it going to take balls on your part? Yes. But is it going to keep you from getting in trouble with the new "love of your life"? Yes. Remember that even though a girl you like may be hurt over the truth, the lie will always hurt her more and may end up hurting you worse.

It happened just like that for a friend of mine and it won't be happening again.

What women think: "Why won't he just tell me to go on so I can live my life?"

Sometimes women need help moving on when a relationship is over. In the back of our minds, we keep  that hope that maybe you will come back, or that we can change.  In some cases a guy will"string-along" a girl just in case he changes his mind. Not only is that completely unfair but you just dont do it to someone you respect and care about. Being up front and honest with her is the best thing you can do. Severing the tie completely (for those that don't have kids or property tied up in the mess) is even better. It hurts worse but it heals faster. Then both of you can move on.

There are so many more things I could add to this list, but I just don't have that kind of time. Though these are directed towards men (because again it is based off the experiences of my female friends), they can also be used to guide women. Again, in no way am I a relationship advice expert. Its not easy managing my own relationship and there are alot of new issues that I come across all the time that I have to get advice for from my friends. No one is perfect, but trying to see behind of the eyes of another or walking in their shoes can help make a difference in how you treat someone else. Its not always the easiest path, but often times it is the right path to take. In the end it is about respect and being a better person, no matter if you have been with someone for ten years or ten days.

Thanks for reading and to my friends....I love you all and remember there is someone out there that is perfect for you. Never settle for less than what you deserve :)

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