When I was dating in my late teens and very early twenties, it never occurred to me to wonder what any guy was doing when he wasn’t with me. Perhaps it was because I had little interest in having a relationship so serious that I would have to care. With that said, during those years, with no intention, I somehow slipped and fell into a ten year long relationship and didn’t really look back.
Cut to almost 20 years and three “long term” relationships later and dating seems to be much more of a project than it ever was before. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that besides being older, I’ve picked up some habits and baggage. Most of all, I’ve begun consciously applying standards.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had standards. In the past I just happened to be fortunate enough to meet great Loves without trying. To this day those same people are still as amazing as I first believed. Just not right for me. For the first time in my life though, the next great person didn’t immediately, unexpectedly fall into my lap.
It’s been a few years since I’ve really been emotionally available enough to be relationship level intimate with anyone. In actuality though, there is a great deal of good fortune in being free enough to date a number of people. Perhaps it’s the fact that I haven’t done it in so many years, or the novelty of the attention, I’m not really sure.
However, one thing I do know, in this very complicated city of physically but not emotionally wanton non-committal free spirits there’s something that every single city girl needs to be aware of so that she can adjust her dating style accordingly.
Men tend to have a very small romantic clock. In other words, the idea of settling down doesn’t tend to loom over their heads and constantly remind them that time is fleeting. While many of us women are just trying to mate for life before we run out of eggs and get grey pubes, most men are taking it all in stride.
Ever feel like initial dating communication can be spotty and frustrating? Does it seem like more often than not they can’t make up their minds? What about the time that can sometimes pass between dates?
You manage to forget about him when he doesn’t call after a fantastic date and then Voila! two months later he’s confidently texting “Hey Beautiful, How’ve you been?”. I don’t know about you, but I used to be the type who would have deleted that number after a few weeks and no phone call. So many times I’ve had to respond with “Sorry, who is this?”
I’ve learned a few things about the best way to handle the major difference in timing and pace between the sexes here’s a list of tricks and tips to keep you casual and cavalier, while they’re trying to figure out ways to get and keep your attention (instead of the other way around).
1. Take a page from their book. The way men usually date is similar to picking produce. I know it sounds callous. But it’s actually really smart. If you’re choosing tomatoes you want to make sure that they are firm and ripe. You pick them up and give them a little squeeze test. Take the good ones with you.
Every date should be a moment of trial and error. You’re not going to go so far as to take a bite of each piece of fruit, you’re just going to weigh it in your hand inspect it and see if it’s desirable.
2. Keep a casual line up. Even if there’s one you want to devour, unless he’s professing his undying Love and offering what you specifically want (relationship, sex buddies, etc.) he should be in the pile of casual options just like everyone else.
When you have a few on deck it’s easier to keep the dating experience light and fun. Instead of going to our gotta-make-you-my-husband/boyfriend-now mode we can stay in our are-you-good-enough-to-be-my-husband/boyfriend mode.
3. Maintain your sense of humor. Dating, in essence, is one big improv comedy skit. Any of you who’ve ever been on a blind date can attest to the fact that anything can happen. What’s more entertaining than that?
The thing about men is that even the ones who do know how to behave with a woman will occasionally have socially awkward slip ups or clueless reactions. When we approach dating comically it keeps us from needlessly getting our feelings hurt. If we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we don’t take them too seriously.
4. Go with the flow. Even if you are able to force a guy to do exactly what you say, deep down is that really what you want? If he’s setting a slow pace, go with it, but just keep your options open. If he’s complacent and sending a text a day, consider him your text a day guy while you enjoy the rest of your life. Especially if the rest of your life includes career stuff, hobbies and yes, dating other dudes.
5. Don’t try to make his clock bigger. If a guy you really like is not at your same pace don’t try to change him. One thing you never want to be is that woman who’s trying to convince a man to commit to her. I’ve known women who were so good at being convincers that they actually emotionally forced men down the aisle. Afterwards, they began a life committed to convincing (read begging) their man to engage in the relationship, home life, etc.
If he’s undecided, slow-paced or complacent, focus your attentions on those who are focusing their attention on you. Today’s date may or may not be tomorrow’s mate, either way enjoy each moment and don’t waste your minutes trying to add them to someone else’s clock.