Recently I found myself in a—let’s call it a relationship for lack of a better term—with my Tinder match!
I was well chuffed with my ability to apply my insightful dating methodologies to our first meeting—questioning him on the tough stuff, not generally fit for a first encounter. ‘Why did your marriage fail? Are you a cheater? What kind of women do you like? Are you looking for just a hook up?’ And, if that wasn’t enough, adding further fuel to the fire, ‘Tell me about your sexual experiences?’.
The questioning was relentless. I know that I am not alone in the sisterhood in exclaiming defensively, ‘It wasn’t my fault, the champagne made me say it’. Surprisingly, he, the brave chap, didn’t shy away from any of the tough questions. On the contrary. He was honest and transparent about who he was. A refreshing scenario in this age of dating.
Armed with these insights, and a list of red flags a little too long for any self-respecting woman, we started dating! He—the perfect gentleman on all our dates—increasingly intrigued me. Who was this red-flag man?
We continued dating with the intention to keep it casual and light, he not looking for a ‘serious relationship’ and me not prepared for another broken heart. I liked it. I even managed to twist my thinking into believing that by being well-informed about all issues up front, I would have the power to keep it light.
As we transitioned into our tenth date we had nothing but fun under our belts. Our shared sense of humour, many giggles and fun nights, open and honest conversation were drawing us closer all the time. Then it happened. He had the ‘chat’. You know, that serious ‘we need to talk about us’ chat—the one generally raised by the woman! He stomped all over our agreement to keep it light with a suggestion that ‘maybe we no longer exchange bodily fluids with other people’.
A little surprised—what had changed? what happened to casual?—I was quick to say, ‘Sure, lets press delete on the online dating world’.
We were ‘going steady’ for a week before the male-panic-syndrome set in. He had changed the game and now didn’t know the rules or how to play.
I watched from the sidelines, waiting patiently for his next move. He seemed to be doubting himself and had taken five steps back. ‘I don’t want to hurt you,’ came his comment. me questioning if declaring your future intentions justifies that its ok.
I was slow on the uptake; his actions had been driven by ego. I had been ticked off of his to-do-list. He remained emotionally unengaged—making the daily call, going through the motions, still not stepping back in. It was way too early for the monotony of life to be seeping in.
Action Always Beats Intention!
The game changed back when he momentarily appeared back on the field, yet he still lacked the depth of honesty that had been the building block of our initial connection. It was evident that this less-than-fun connection should no longer be sustained.
Who was I to have expected more? For a moment we got caught up in the emotion and the possibility of creating a deeper connection. How quickly we had forgotten that the fundamental components of a relationship were never there—wanting similar things in life. He had been transparent from the beginning yet we both believed for a moment that we could change in just a few weeks.
Some men have the ability to remain emotionally detached, but most of us mere women are designed differently. Our wee hearts do not have the inclination or desire to remain unemotional or detached. There is something glorious within women that creates attachment, it softens us and drives our desire to want to let another in. I, like many other women, want to feel it all. I want to know that he is falling for me as I fall for him. I want to know that we are walking the same path and though one may be a little further down the track than the other, the leader pauses and looks back, waiting for the other to catch up.
How do you understand men? Their actions, thoughts and words are aligned. If you sense they are not, then you are safe to assume something is not quiet right. Words are unfortunately disposable, authentic action is what matters.
We need to listen when a man tells us who they are; they are doing it all the time, from our very first meeting. But how often do we not listen? We get swept up in the illusion or the thought of who they could be.
Trust a man when he says he is not emotionally available, trust a man when he says he doesn’t want a relationship, trust him when he says he is not committed to you, because he is telling you who he is and what he wants. And that is all we’ve got!
Image credit: Nicholas Green