Saturday, April 23, 2011

Due Diligence

Have you noticed that "In a Relationship" status' (statuses, stati?) are popping up all over f@cebook?
I am happy for them, but I do wonder how it happens.  I was only on f@cebook the last year that Mr. Burns and I were together, and I was only comfortable enough to switch my status to "It's Complicated" which was rather apt!

A friend of mine in another state just changed his status.  He also shared his joy with me that he is in love with someone new. When I asked him what made her special to him, he said it was her casual, laid-back personality. The clincher: "In four months (of dating) she never asked once about our 'relationship'... Not once.  She simply relaxed and had fun."

It occurred to me that that's not so unusual.  To me, the first four months is about getting to know one another, to see if you're compatible and whether you ought to be in a relationship.
I know I don't squeak and fuss about "where our relationship is going" early on... I've learned that in all my years of dating.  Nothing is a bigger turnoff to a man than a woman bugging him to jump into something for which he's not ready.

I can't imagine many women would be nagging in the first four months... but then, I don't date women.  I told my friend that knowing him, he was open and communicative so as a result she didn't have to ask questions because she knew (at the very least) that they were on equal footing.

The four month mark is a reasonable time to know whether you are coming or going in a relationship... so the fact that he knew enough to 'define the relationship' at that point speaks to his decency and maturity.
Those men who don't do such due diligence, are the ones who get all irritated and annoyed when women then start asking questions.

I think that's the red flag.  If after four months, a man hems and haws and avoids "defining the relationship" - he's either not into her, he's using her for sex, or he simply lacks the maturity (or readiness) to have a relationship.

Quite frankly, that's what happened with McTwitchy.  Depending on where you started counting (from our first stint at dating or from our second go 'round) we'd been dating for either four or six months when I started asking questions. Not about marriage, just about the seriousness of his intent.  Based on past experience, I wasn't going to waste months on someone who wasn't into it - because I didn't want to miss meeting the man who would love me without reservation.  
(I still think McTwitchy had special considerations, and it's still quite frustrating to know how much he liked me, and I liked him, but it just couldn't move forward. So sad.)

It is in a man's best interest to make sure the woman he is dating both feels special, and knows that she is special to him.    A smart, kind and thoughtful man will make sure a woman knows where she stands.  Four months into a relationship is fair game for both parties to want some clarity.

To men, my advice is this; if at four months (six months maximum) you don't feel like this woman is really special and that you really want to get to know her better, let her go.  Make sure that you broach the topic before she has to.

Actually, men would do well to know that... if you really want to be successful in relationships, do what needs to be done before she has to ask.  Define the Relationship, tell her you love her, do the break-up if you have to.   If you wonder why women are always asking questions and never seem satisfied with what you do... it's probably because you are not doing these things.  (Now, if you have no interest in making a woman feel special - that's fine. Either don't date, or don't be surprised that you're with a frustrated woman.)

It's so funny, I hear talk of men complaining of their girlfriends whining about wanting to get married.... and my thought is, "You should have asked before she had to bring it up!"
That's a pretty clear sign that you're not on the same page.  A woman will wait a good three to six months after she thinks she's sure he's the right one, before she mentions it to him.  So if she has to bring it up, he's slacking off.

For example, I waited for three months after I was ready to tell Mr. Burns that I loved him --- to hear it from him first. Three months!   I finally went off when we were spending the day with my friend and her husband and Mr Burns said, "I love this guy!"  It took him another YEAR for him to tell me that maybe he felt like he did love me!  Ugh.  How on earth did I waste that much time with him?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Worth the Trip?

When I moved to this city, I left some close friends behind back home.  Initially, I thought I would only be here for six months.  It'll be nine years this summer.   When I knew I was staying, I mentioned to some of those friends how nice it would be if they came to visit. 

One of my guy friends has been out here three times now.  He is a traveler, so it's natural for him. 
Another girl friend came out for a weekend visit once... and another caught up with me when her parents brought her out here for a Rockies game.

But my best friend has never come.   I was her maid of honor.  I am Godmother to her oldest child. 
About eight years ago, she told me she would come out for my wedding.

Well guess what? There hasn't been a wedding.  There is no wedding on the horizon.

I moved here in my early 30s, so everyone thought Mr.Right was just about to show up.  It was reasonable that a friend would assume that a wedding would be just a year or two away.  

Then in 2007,  I started dating Mr. Burns and a lot of people thought a wedding was eminent.
As you know, that was a no-go.

Eight years later, isn't it time to get in the car and say hi?

Yeah, I admit I'm hurt by it... and if you don't understand why, let me put it this way...   I'm not important enough to visit just me.  I'm not worth visiting unless I can prove that someone else, someone whom she has never met, loves me and wants to spend his life with me. 

Is that how you want your friends to feel?
So if I never have a wedding - she'll never visit?

Part of this world tells me that I shouldn't feel pressured to be married.  But then some of the people closest to me can only justify a car trip if there's a big event to go along with seeing me.

(Let's face it, we've all been to friend's weddings... you don't even get to visit with the bride or groom... they're way too busy!)

Is anyone else out there sending a message like this to someone they love?   Did you even realize the message you're sending?

FYI: It's an eight hour car trip or a 2 hour flight. I drive a couple hours out of my way to visit her when I'm out that way to visit my parents.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forever or Never

I have a favorite afternoon radio show.  The guys are hilarious, silly and actually pretty smart.  They pose very intriguing questions and conundrums... and then they have great discussions with their call-in listeners.  It's a great venue to hear lots of different opinions.

More than once, they have tackled the question of the ultimatum.  Would it work, does it ever work... for a woman to throw down the gaunlet on her man, "Propose to me by ____  or I'm gone."?  Typically, they advise women to have the ultimatum in mind, but never speak of it.  Stick to your decision though, if he doesn't meet your needs, move on.   I agree.  Proposing an ultimatum puts the man in an uncomfortable position.  Would you really want to marry someone who came to the decision reluctantly?

One recent afternoon they addressed the situation from another angle.  Their question, "If you are with the man you want to spend the rest of your life with... what is the breaking point that makes you walk? If you love him and want to marry him, why end the relationship just because he doesn't want to get married? Do you suddenly not love him?"

Interesting.  Coming from two men, they theorized that a woman who does so never really loved the man.

For one thing, if it's a man who never intends to marry - he should state that upfront. That's only fair.

Callers offered several different thoughts.  While I didn't call in, I did roll the concept around in my head and concluded:  If he loves her... and we're talking about a scenario in which he would happily stay with her indefinitely... then the fact that he won't do this one thing to fulfill that desire for her speaks volumes.  Doesn't it?

I think it's clear that if one person wants to get married and the other doesn't... then their goals aren't the same to begin with.

I'll take it a step further and suggest that if life goals don't match up from the start, a couple may have no business getting involved.
A couple should establish 1) a common faith, or an acceptance of their differences 2) common activities 3) support of one another's life goals.... loooonnnngg before they sleep together, live together or otherwise commit to one another.   But in today's culture... most couples work the opposite direction, placing physical attraction and chemistry ahead of what they ever have in common.  
That's how someone finds oneself in a position of being in love with someone who never wants to marry them.  
How can one say forever, if the other is stuck on never?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Worth Waiting For!

I love my bloggy friends!

Miss Andi shared this spoken word poetry slam... very inspiring.
I Will Wait For You

Lots of beautiful lines... one in particular, "I will no longer get weighed down from so-called friends and family talks about the concern for my biological clock when I serve The Author of Time!"

The standards we all should wait for... and single men should work to live up to.
It's a lot to live up to... but the effort would go a long way.

Beautiful, thanks for sharing Andi!!

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Do you remember the little snarky chants your schoolmates came up with at school sporting events?
I recall our High School boy's basket ball team playing the well-known boy's only school in another city.  When their side chanted the familiar: "We've got spirit, Yes we do! We've got spirit, How 'bout you?"  The retort from the seniors on our side came: "We've got GIRLS, Yes we do! We've got GIRLS, How 'bout you?"

I'm told it wasn't the first time they heard that!

My favorite came during the Girl's State Basketball Tournament one year, when one of our girls put up a poorly executed shot and the fans on the other side bellowed: "Airball, airball." 
The quick retort from our side: "Scoreboard. Scoreboard!" seeing that we had a healthy lead with just a few minutes left... it didn't really matter that we put up an airball.  It's about perspective.

I'm not a sports fan - but this is what came to mind as I wanted to share tonight's dating report. 
I want to point to the scoreboard...
The guy who ticked me off on the phone the other night - 0.
The guy I met for coffee late this afternoon - 237 points!

He's not close to my type - if I have one... but he met most of my initial requirements and he's nice looking and he was so engaging on the phone that I had to meet him. 
I had the best time... with the benefit of a beautiful afternoon, basking in warm sun and a light breeze.  We had a great conversation... he's kind and thoughtful and sweet.  He held my hand, he thinks I'm funny.
All in all... just a great experience.

No idea what happens next but it's nice just to have a good, positive date!
Quite certain I'll see him again.  He's not at all who I would picture myself with - but I'm impressed nonetheless.

Just thought I'd share that happy!