First, let me say that you have changed the way I view men and dating! I can honestly say that I'm having fun dating and have a newfound confidence in myself. But I'm not sure what to do about Chris, a nice guy I met on Match.com. He's gone out of his way to make me laugh, he follows up via text after a date, and he's smart, secure, and successful. We've been seeing each other a month and will soon have our fourth date. He's a man with a plan, which I like.
Following your advice, I try to go with the flow and emanate receptive female energy. I like being the catch. However, Chris just texted me that I should meet him at his favorite restaurant for our next date, in his area of town, nearly a half hour drive away. I love the idea of mulligans and looking past our checklists, which I got from “Why He Disappeared” and your newest book, “Believe in Love”. This was a new concept for me. I looked past the sporty jersey Chris favors (I've always expected men to dress up for me), but I'm old-fashioned and want to be courted. I want to be picked up, not drive to a part of town I don't know to meet a man. Yet I'm afraid of coming off as a princess. I'm torn. I like this guy but don't want to ruin things by insisting he pick me up, yet I don't want to drive to meet him either. I don't want to overthink or overanalyze like I used to before I found your advice, yet I can't seem to shake this one or figure out the best next move. Any thoughts?
Brian is tall, cute, sane, stable, and relationship-oriented. Even though he’s relationship-oriented, he’s still a man. In other words, he is driven by attraction, likes sex, and tends to move faster because of this. On the third date, he expects you to sleep with him, because that’s what everybody else does and if you were really attracted to him, you would, too. When you refuse, because even though you are attracted to him, you don’t like sleeping with guys who are still active online, Brian tries to negotiate for sex. Eventually he gives up. He says good night. He never calls you again.
Is Brian “wrong”? Well, not in his version of the story. In his version, you seemed really into him, you fooled around a bit, but you were ultimately a tease who had major issues around sex.
In your version, Brian was the guy who didn’t respect your boundaries, who felt entitled to getting his way, even when it didn’t feel comfortable to you. His inability to understand and respect your very valid needs is the reason you’re not seeing him any longer.
Brian acted like a petulant child who didn’t get his way. Don’t be like Brian.
In this hypothetical situation, I’m much more sympathetic to you than I am to Brian. Brian had a vision of how things were “supposed to go” on the third date and when they didn’t go that way, instead of going with the flow, he decided to put bail, and make up some story about how you were a tease to justify his behavior. In fact, Brian acted like a petulant child who didn’t get his way.
Don’t be like Brian.
By the time this blog post comes out, this situation will have already resolved itself. You will have either decided to go with the flow, because it’s no big deal that he asked you to meet him out for your fourth date, or you will have pulled the princess act and decided that this was a dealbreaker.
The major problem most people have in dating – as we can see – is that they have a script in their head about how things are “supposed” to go, and when it doesn’t go according to this script, it becomes problematic. But really, that’s just a form of selfishness, or narcissism or social autism – as if every one in the world has to do things your way or they’re “wrong.”
Men would much rather be appreciated than taken for granted. You’re a modern woman, not a princess.
In successful relationships, 95% of things are no big deal and you let them go, so that when you do speak up on the 5%, he pays attention. Which is why – if he’s a great guy, nagging him about his jersey is pointless. This 4th date chivalry thing is in the same category. If Chris has done everything right for three dates – calling, planning, driving, paying - this is exactly when you should be OFFERING to pick up the check or cook him dinner.
If that’s hard to fathom when I talk so much about feminine energy, it’s really quite simple. Men would much rather be appreciated than taken for granted. You’re a modern woman, not a princess. He’s a man, not a manservant and not an ATM. So really, help a guy out, will ya?