Where I talk about the crazy idea of men and women being open and honest with each other instead of playing games.
So I haven’t been dating much since the break up. I mean gees it was only 4 months ago and it was quite an emotional post-breakup (not at first but after a seemingly great 3 month time it all went to shit).
Then there was other drama with other people that I’m not presently at liberty to go into. But trust me it was not pleasant and filled with plenty of care taking on my part and also getting swallowed up by other people’s drama that I unnecessarily got myself into because I foolishly thought I could handle it. And then finally extricating myself before too late but not before the hives!
I have gone on exactly one OKCupid date and I even postponed the follow up date for a month later. (Though now I’m thinking maybe one month isn’t long enough.) I don’t need more men or drama in my life. I do need more fun girlfriend dates to Argo tea or Governor’s Island venting about dates with jerky, hot men or plotting our dream to go long-term traveling. I need to prioritize things like my blog and figuring out my winter plans (Surfing in Hawaii? Taiwan? Mexico? All of the above?) But back to my original point:
Why do men and women like playing games?
Dating is such a complex ritual we human beings play and what I wonder is does it really need to be all that intricate or indirect or inefficient? (The latter being one of my big pet peeves.)
I understand it’s fun to have ‘mystery’ and sometimes you don’t know what you want in the beginning. That’s totally understandable. But the whole overlapping of and moving around of acquaintance-friends-dating circles I believe really needs to be clarified better.
If we’re friends, great.
If we’re friends and you want to be friends-with-benefits and you directly ask me, great. Fine. Then at least I can answer you and we can move on. We won’t be in this limbo state of not-sure-what -the-other-person-is-thinking-and-it’s-kind-of-awkward-or-uncomfortable because one person really wants or is thinking something they’re not sharing with their supposed good friend. And people can sense something’s off even if they don’t know exactly what it is.
OR if we are co-workers or teammates or roommates or neighbors and/or some other situation where I have to see you whether I like it or not and you want to change it from coworker-roommate-neighbor situation to a date situation you really need to respect my original decision because I can’t simply stop seeing you if things get weird. Which is probably why I didn’t want it to change to ‘date’ in the first place.
And this is the point I’ve been making in my posts all along with relationship/love issues is that:
One should treat potentially starting a relationship like one does any other issue: Directly, openly with good, clear communication. And respecting the other’s decision.
So if you’re in one of those circles and want to move into another one— whether it’s friends to dating or dating to friends or acquaintance to dating — let’s have a sit-down talk about it. Why do people only have talks when they break up? We deserve to have a talk when we decide to get together just as much. And not fall into a relationship just because we went out to dinner a bunch of times over a certain period and then kissed. Or worse, had sex. That does not a relationship make.
What does a sit-down talk entail?
It doesn’t have to be drawn out, torturous, or complicated.
Here’s one scenario:
Male Acquaintance: “Hey I know we’ve been writing buddies for quite some time and we make a great team but I’ve been thinking for a while now and I’d really like to take you out on a real date. I realize it’s taking a risk and it may change our current friendship but I really like you and I definitely feel it’s worth it. I’m not sure how you feel or if you’d want to risk changing this great writing thing we have going or if you even feel the same way. So I wanted to ask. But most importantly, I want to be sure you know that your friendship means the world to me and whatever you choose is OK by me. Having your close friendship and trust is most important to me.”
Ta da. That’s it. Clear, direct. He expresses his intentions, his wants, but also states clearly he will respect whatever she decides no matter what. And also that her friendship and trust is most important to him. But he is also clear that he’s thought about it and he likes her that much that he’s willing to change their current great writing friendship to potentially try for a dating relationship.
The other great thing about being open and communicative is that if things don’t work out smoothly or perfectly (which they often don’t) then you two will have the foundation to work through it and get to the other side and still be close friends. Even after the rocky changes of roles and relationships.
Questions: If you could be completely honest with the person you’re dating right now what would you say to them? What do you wish people were honest about when you first go out with them?