Approaching the dating scene with an open-mind and open-heart is suggested by many relationship specialists in getting back out there. Do not be too picky or close-minded, be approachable, allow love to let in. Yes, that seems easy, right? Just flash my pearly whites and enjoy the moment. “Let Life Flow!” Pure bliss will happen.
Now the street smart metropolitan girl who has been in the New York dating scene for awhile will tell you otherwise. “Watch out for these jokers, they are all players….nothing but snakes….just greedy”. They will advise you to be cool, play hard-to-get, don’t appear too eager, keep your guard up. You have to play the game to get what you want. Hmmmm….play the game….so despite the fact that I may really like a guy I meet… I have to act like I don’t. Oh I was always great at theater when I was younger….this should be a piece of cake. Right? Or Not!
The single guy friend with a few dollars in his wallet will advise you of his dating experience….women are just no good they are just trying to get a free meal. I have not met too many genuine ones…they are just caught up in the hype trying to trap me in marriage or utilize my time when they have nothing better to do. “Can’t trust a big butt and a smile”….Ahhh the notorious line from the R&B group Bel Biv Devoe’s early 1990’s song “Poison”. Then they go on and on about how they have to deal with the battle scars…that the girl encountered from her last relationship. Got it! Say no more. So a woman really doesn’t have much of a chance of success with you. You are about to have them go through an obstacle course to test her authenticity and loyalty.
Then there are the various dating books such as “The Rules” by Ellen Fein; Steve Harvey’s “Think Like a Man, Act Like A Lady”; and “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Fuccillo that provide you with numerous dating tips and signs to look out for. Plus the advise from elders that state the obvious of how a gentleman should act and what they should do.
So combine all of the advise from your girlfriends, dating books, your best interest-at-heart dudes and family….you should be all set to meet someone nice. Sure….ok!
You step out and appear approachable. You see a gent that is attractive, you flash your winning smile, gaze at him with the “you can approach me look” or come up with a witty statement….which provides him the opportunity to cease the moment and engage in light conversation. You conquered! You went out and met a nice gent and managed to engage in further conversation over a drink or two and exchange numbers. The gent seems eager that he met you and you feel likewise. He wants you to text him to let him know you made it home safely. Not that you were tipsy or anything….well maybe you were slightly. He is putting his best foot forward and letting you know he is a gentleman and cares for your safety. Off to a great start!
Next day…someone has the cease the opportunity. The follow-up conversation. Both are eager to reach out….now who does? Most of us women are geared to wait for the man to follow-up. Like my experienced girlfriend said….you have to play the game…act like you are not interested. Ok got it! Well….not really. Now me, never been the waiting around type. Some men need a boost….if you ask me. They need to have that reassurance that you have some interest. (That is another blog topic). So, if you have somewhat of an aggressive and impatient personality like myself….you will reach out. But in a nonchalant way….like I have my own balls…so yeah I am reaching out cause your cool but not pressed sort of way. You reach out…or maybe in your case he does (varies by situation). Succeed again in connecting, and you both set up another time to meet. Good to go!
So you have the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth date together. You play the “aggressor, interested but not pressed” role throughout your dates. You both are enjoying each other’s company. He initiates most dates and conversations…as he is eager to get to know everything about you. His feelings are developing….your softening too…..but hey you are guarded. Remember what your girlfriend said right? Keep them feelings locked up. The gent is becoming vulnerable….and his ego becomes a bit more sensitive to your receptiveness towards him. The song “Poison” all of a sudden begins to replay in his mind. It seems like the record is stuck on the verse “Can’t trust a big booty and a smile”. He starts to reminisce over his last few relationships. His friends are starting to press him for his time. He has been hanging out with you a little too much. He cannot appear too soft right? The questions start to flow of each other’s past relationships, shifting to the reason for the downfall of your past relationships. Basically, he is trying to get the answer whether there was something wrong with you in your relationship demise. The obstacle course begins. Gradually that initial openness and genuine like for you transforms to doubt and the guard goes up.
Now, while all of this is occurring….you are starting to turn off that voice of your girlfriend in your head…about keeping your guard up and playing the game. You begin to think about what those dating books suggest. Just be open….give this guy a chance, be open to love. Your not going to get anywhere playing games, right? So, you start to show signs that you care….matter-of-fact….the word slips out a couple of times. Oh boy!
All of a sudden the roles are reversed…..you are now doing the initiating…and this guy who was once so eager to spend time with you is all of a sudden busy. He falls back. He is caught up with his boys. You became open and “caught feelings” for this guy…and now he is acting ignorant!!!
You are oblivious and wonder how all of this happened. Did I laugh too loud on the last date? Was there something in my teeth? If so, aren’t we past that? The truth is, there was nothing you did. There was nothing you could of done or should not have done. Maybe one can argue that you could of been a bit more receptive and less guarded in the beginning…..but then do you really want to do that? Look what just happened once you started to let your guard down now? You begin to think for now on I will be extra cautious of who you open your heart to next. The truth is the guy became insecure with his own developed feelings. He rather just blow off the relationship at hand than take a chance in love. He became uncomfortable in his own feelings and began to doubt if you were going to be his happy ending or beginning to his self destruction. To move forward with the two of you, he may needed you to reassure him. But his recent actions, just cause the woman to revert in guarding her heart again. So that is slim. Eventually through each other’s efforts, one will become frustrated and move on.
The dilemma! A missed opportunity for something potentially great. The misconceptions of each other’s interests. This is the adult dating game that keeps recycling. Why, because both women and men are scared to encounter the risk of heartbreak? Past the frustration and arguing, it seems less seldom in the metropolitan dating scene that a budding relationship will survive these seemingly small obstacles. There is always an easier lifestyle awaiting you by meeting someone fresh and anew with date #1….why continue to date and reach the complicated date #10?