I see often where women write of their past “love” experiences and I see the line “he was only looking for sex” so often and it makes me wonder how “true” that statement is. I wonder if the men they are meeting are “only” interested in sex OR if that is the woman’s overall perception of what happened. That is not to say that some men are not only looking for sex and that they play on women’s emotions to get what they want. I am just saying that I think that men and women have somewhat different perceptions of the “dating game” especially in how they keep score.
I have never tried to develop a relationship with a woman specifically based on sex; therefore I have never been only looking for sex. Every time I had met a woman and there was mutual attraction, it was always my intent to see if we could grow a relationship. Having a long term relationship was always my overall goal…IF she turned out to have the right stuff to make that happen.
I always did my best to communicate this to the woman. I wasn’t interested in a fling, wasn’t just having fun and wasn’t just looking for sex. This information was conveyed to the woman via words, via actions so that she would be aware of my intent. I made sure that she knew that “I was into her” and that “hopefully” in the long run, our relationship would grow and endure. I felt that this approach was far more romantic than writing out a “Notice of Intent”.
There is a problem with communicating my attraction to a woman in my chosen way. Typically a written contract would have done a better job and caused less confusion. The problem is that even if a man has ulterior motives, that are that he IS only looking for sex, he will use the same approach. It is called seduction. Basically, it is trickery designed to get the woman to fall for him and sleep with him. For the sake of my story we will leave seduction out of the equation.
My story here is about the mixed messages that men give out. I know that I have given out mixed messages myself, yet question if they could have been avoided short of writing a contract. I know that I have said things that I felt were true at that particular time. Over time my opinion changed while she tended to take my original statement as being cast in stone.
If I really like someone, I WILL tell them and they WILL know it through my actions. I can be very endearing. However IF I tell someone that I like them, that does not mean that my attraction will last over time. Why? Since I am looking at this relationship as having potential for the long run, I am looking for and need certain attributes to be in place for the long term survival of the relationship.
One thing that I have always done is continually worked at making sure that the woman is comfortable with me and I keep asking her to be herself. I am not interested in the opening act. Everyone is on their best behaviour in the beginning; I want to know what she is really like. The more comfortable she becomes with me and our relationship, the more I get to see how she would act in “reality”. What I have found many times is that my original perception changes over time, sometimes it improves, yet far more often it wanes.
Typically what I have found is that once she feels that he has enough interest in her, she feels a sense of security and sex is a viable option at this point. All of her necessary check boxes have been ticked and there is no reason not to engage in the physical part of this “ongoing” and “upwardly mobile” relationship.
After sex is introduced into the relationship, we are a couple in her books. There is an unwritten agreement that we should be monogamous as of this point in time and I agree that this should be the case. I agree with the couple part but we are not married yet it is at this point that I really see her starting to act as if we are; it is at this point that she starts being herself. This is NOT the case with every woman and every situation, yet IS what I have encountered in some of my personal experiences.
I will give you one example of a relationship that I had that didn’t make the grade:
I met a woman with whom we shared mutual attraction for one another, reasonable synergy in thought and great similarity in taste, and social activities. For me, all of the necessary attributes for a good start.
I tell her that I really like her and the way that we fit together. I date her, I romance her, and I make her feel special because she IS special to me, so why not tell her the “truth”.
We get physically intimate within a month of our first date.
She starts to tell her friends, family…people on the street…that we are a couple. She starts talking about our future, her dreams and aspirations…and our wedding. I am not turned off by any of this but I know in my heart it is too soon to be thinking of these things because…I haven’t DECIDED that I want to spend my entire life with this person. I don’t know her well enough yet.
Six months has gone by. She asks if I will move in with her. I refuse.
By now she has a comfort level with me, in and out of bed. She starts showing her true personality. She has no reason not to…WE are a couple now!
What I see, is that she is flaky and has no drive, quits 2 jobs in 3 months and waits for a new job to find her while she sits at home watching TV. Her apparent great parenting skills with her daughter were in fact a paid for attempt to coerce her daughter into acting a certain way for mom’s new boyfriend. I guess she couldn’t afford to keep bribing her daughter and now I got to see what I would consider to be a postcard perfect picture of a dysfunctional family. She is racist, snobby, and jealous and has something negative to say about almost anyone she knows or meets. The last straw was her seemingly endless use of expletives that infiltrated every sentence that came out of her mouth.
One year has gone by. We share a mutual (physical) attraction for one another, reasonable synergy in thought and great similarity in taste, and social activities. What we don’t share is my poor perception of her personal conduct in her life. I see her lack of drive when it comes to a career, her inability to parent effectively, her previously hidden racism, snootiness and general meanness towards others and her constant swearing as being serious deal-breakers.
She said to me once, right around our one year anniversary that she hoped I would never leave her because “I was the first person that she really got to be herself with and it was a very comforting feeling” and “She hoped I would never leave her because if I did it meant that our relationship was only about sex” Huh?
My point in all of this is, it takes me about a year to determine if the real person I met has the right stuff for a long term relationship. In the big picture I would be happy if sex were not part of the equation until I was more “sure” of our personalities melding. In the year I do tell her that I like her, I do try and make her feel special…not to get into her pants…but because “at the time” I truly feel that way about her.
There is a serious difference in the “pivot” points in relationships through the eyes of the different genders. Certain landmarks in the relationship have different meanings to the sexes. The fact that these points are perceived differently suggest there is a greater need for straight talk between the persons involved…prior to coming to those points in time. The truth is, that rarely happens as it would take away from the romantic spontaneity of the relationship on the whole. If we sat down and worked out a game plan ahead of time or asked our potential partner to read the small print and sign on the dotted line…we would NEVER get together.
With my current partner I had the opportunity to see her true personality over a number of years while working with her. I got to see her overall work ethic, hear about her life, how she handled problems, how she dealt with people. I just had to wait for the opportunity to tell her that I liked her.
5 comments on “Sign on the dotted line”
I think the problem may be in your definition of a long term relationship. Once you have been with someone for a year, in my opinion and the opinion of most women, you are already there. A few months, even up to 6 or so, could just be fun and casual. Once we have given you an entire YEAR of our lives, though, we have already put a lot of effort, energy, and emotion into the relationship and passed up numerous other potential partners to commit to you.
Additionally, if you have been showering us with affection and sweet words, agreeing that we are a couple, and professing your desire for us (while continuing a sexual relationship the entire time, even as your feelings for us are changing), then we have no reason to believe you are having a change of heart. At the year point in most relationships the woman has invested so much of her heart and time that she is planning for the rest of her life with you and expecting a ring. Like I said, for us, a one year relationship IS a long-term commitment. Not to sound horrible, but for a woman in that amount of time she could have absolutely found another viable partner and be well on her way to forever. That year with you feels like wasted, stolen time. Of course she would be bitter and wonder if a year to you is nothing (committment-wise) then it mist have just been about sex.
Not that you are in the dating game anymore, bit my advice to any guy who thinks like you is to be clear from the start that you move slloooow. Tell her that for you the entire first year is just about seeing if you fit together well. Let her know that you genuinely like her, but forever isn’t on the table for a long time. Don’t just go along with the talk of marriage and weddings and babies if that isn’t where your head is at yet. THAT part was very misleading. Don’t let her start picturing forever if you aren’t doing the same.
Oh, and from how you made it sound, months 6 through one year kinda were you stringing her along and using her. Just saying… if you already knew in 6 months that she had traits you couldn’t accept then why did you stick around another 6 months?
I know what you are saying…and I agree in principal. I just want to reiterate that I also gave the same entire YEAR of my life, along with effort, energy, emotion and typically money and passed up numerous other potential partners to commit to her. It was not as if I was a scientist observing the development of this relationship in a test-tube. I was there…and an active and integral part of the relationship.
To be honest, I don’t have different levels of affection…The old adage, “Love like you have never loved before comes to mind”. That is exactly what I do. I don’t have the Bronze package for one night stands and the Platinum all-inclusive package for potential wives.
I agree with you in regards to a year being a long time to “string someone along” when there was a definitive change of heart on my behalf. Truthfully I should have walked away at the first sign of her unacceptable behaviour, which would have been around 6 months. Thinking back, her change from the “opening act” like I call it to reality was so contrasting that I had a hard time believing that this new person was real. Quite honestly I felt completely duped. I thought the act was wonderful, but the real person…not so much.
I did voice my opinion…I didn’t just sit back and observe. My opening act was over by now as well and there was an increase in communication. I expressed my concerns regarding her ease in quitting jobs and asked if she saw how such instability could threaten a household budget. I was far more vocal about the way in which she dealt with (didn’t deal with) her child’s attitude…to no avail.
If I look back now, the first six months was fun and casual…for both of us. The next six months could have been the beginning of a committed relationship, marriage…but I am of the opinion that she HID her negative side very well in the beginning…I honestly never saw a bit of it. It was not until she became REALLY comfortable that it started to come out. I admit that I waited to see if this was a “phase” or if this was the real deal…I am talking Jekyll/Hyde here…I really didn’t believe it.
I as well felt that the year was wasted, stolen time…the emotional response to these situations are no different for me…yes she COULD have found another viable partner…but so could have I. Keep in mind my intention was not to play a game with this woman…my intention (just like her) was to have a relationship…hopefully a long one. The issue was that she lied to me…she lied about her true self and the lie was a big one. I had no way of knowing until the six month point..and it was like dating a COMPLETELY different person…so the clock reset and I effectively dated another personality for the next six months…a personality that I decided was the “real” deal and not one I could envision committing to…for life. By my going along with her vision…was I lying to her? Yes…indirectly and without specific intent…whereas I still see her presented “fake” persona being a direct and calculated lie on her part. Both were misleading in their own way…so we are even.
I learned…and 100% agree with you about the going slow part…and in the future I was far more clear and was very open about how I look at things…so there were no (less) problems down the road.
In a nutshell could I have handled this better…yes. Have I handled these situations better since…yes.
I get what you are saying now. In your original post I suppose I didn’t understand the drastic nature of the change you were talking about. Knowing that now, I do wonder a little more why you would stick around the extra 6 months. However, I was married to an asshole sex addict who lied as his main form of interacting with others, so I get it more than I want to admit.
The theory here is that men date to get laid and women date to get a mate so if-and when she sees you ain’t feeling her like that, you are guilty of only wanting sex even though that’s not the whole reason why you were dating her…