As we get older, and move from relationship to relationship it is unavoidable that we will see some patterns repeating themselves. Most of us found ourselves (probably in every relationship we ever had) being disappointed in our guy for the same things over and over again. As if wondering what goes on in our minds and what we feel goes wrong with our guys wasn’t enough, there comes a time when we have to learn the awful truth: there’s always two sides to every story; we don’t just get disappointed in our guys, they get disappointed in us as well.
As women, we are, by nature, designed to obsess about every little thing. We are well known for overanalyzing each and every detail, creating imaginary scenarios in our minds and then overreacting to them as well. So there comes a point in every relationship when we feel like something is off – even if everything is perfectly normal. Maybe he doesn’t call often enough, maybe he seems like he doesn’t care, maybe we think he doesn’t want us enough…. and maybe, just maybe this is all in our head. Just like most women out there, I tend to overthink every little detail: “Why hasn’t he called in the past few hours?”, “He doesn’t seem to be pretty into me lately”, “Maybe he’s losing interest, am I doing something wrong?”. Most of the times these are things we wonder, or obsess about to our friends but usually never tell the guy what goes on in our head – primarily because everything is a creation of our imagination; and we knew this all along! But even if this is the case, we all know perfectly well that our insecurities have their own way to manifest themselves, and these little obsessions are the most common one. But I just didn’t know how much until I got a guy’s point of view on this. One morning, over coffee at Serge’s place, he opened his ex-files. As much as this is completely unnecessary in a new relationship, there is something intriguing about finding out about your guy’s past relationships, and what went wrong – the very least, this could help you figure out a dating pattern. But, I wasn’t prepared at all for what I found out.
Apparently, our dating behaviour changes from bad to worst as we get older, and as soon as we hit early to mid 30s and our biological clock starts ticking, it gets the worst it can get. Here I was, placing all on my hopes on the illusion that I will learn from my dating mistakes as I get older and possibly be able to balance a proper relationship in 10 years time … when it all came tumbling down. Apparently not only do we not learn anything from our past dating failures, but we get impatient… and start believing that emotional manipulation is the way to go when it comes to keeping a guy. As soon as Serge said that to me, I dismissed it as an overgeneralization of his past dating failures. But even when I got home, I still kept over obsessing about that topic (as a woman naturally would do), so I figured I’ll use my good old friend google to look into it. And I couldn’t believe it… there it was, my worst dating fear coming to life: all sorts of blog posts, comments and even famous magazine articles, all talking about the exact same thing – emotionally manipulating the men we are in a relationship with through the use of drama, dominating them, making them wait, withholding sex, underestimating them, making them jealous, instructing them on how to do things, and the lists went on and on. As I stared in horror at the countless webpages, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this going to be me in ten years time, is there any way to avoid it, or horror of horrors …. is that me already? Yes, we do like to play little games, make our men jealous from time to time, just to get some more attention or make them chase us a little, and maybe even subtly suggesting how they should change a few things we don’t like … but is this taking a whole new dimension and overwhelming all the men we are dating? And as if this wasn’t bad enough, Serge gave me yet another reason why women in their 30s have more dating failures than successes: most of them start dating with an ultimate goal in their mind – to get married and start a family. Of course this is reasonable, but apparently, the pursuit of that goal, makes women rush into things, and forgetting to actually enjoy the relationship. At least that’s one thing that we girls in our 20s have over women in their 30s: we just enjoy the relationship for what it is and not for what it can turn into in the near future. But the more I got to think about it, the more infuriated I got: not only did I get personally offended after this conversation, but it seems like most guys out there blame us for whatever goes wrong in the relationship.
And just when I thought it wouldn’t get any worse, Serge gave me the old time classic reason that women find themselves single in their mid-30s: they are waiting for Prince Charming. I recall him saying:”About 3-4 months into the relationship, they realize that the guy is not Prince Charming, he can’t be there whenever she needs him, he has his own life, his own job and his own responsibilities… and that’s about the time they break up with him”. Now that’s an argument I actually couldn’t refute; that’s something that does happen and I have seen it; it’s something I even wrote about before in my blog (see Why are we still single?). But even so, standing there, completely shocked and losing all faith in a normal stable relationship, I couldn’t find any answers to all the questions that kept going through my mind: Why are you dating me? Why are you even dating in general? And even worse, Are you expecting me to turn into one of those women in a few months time? Are you expecting me to explode in a couple of months because you are not Prince Charming or maybe start manipulating you to get what I want? And by now I know I won’t find any answers to those questions; even Kate was shocked when she heard all this, asking me the exact same questions to which I have no idea how to answer.
Despite all this, I decided to stick around; not so much to prove him wrong and confirm that all womankind is not mentally imbalanced and psychotic, but mostly because I have to prove myself right. I may not even make a difference to him, but I’m not going to back down just because he thinks that we are all crazy women looking to get married with Prince Charming (or turn any guy into Prince Charming), have his babies and settle down in a fairytale-like relationship. Afterall, as naive as I sound saying this, who wouldn’t get bored of Prince Charming? Every woman wants a guy who has flaws; they are the best part and you just learn to love them. As for the emotional manipulation – I guess some women must do that, and some guys can’t put up with this, but honestly at this point, the only thing that counts is to be honest, respect the guy you are with and show him that you are his, not make him doubt it and keep him in a constant fear that you might run away … and everything else will eventually fall into place. At least that’s what we have to keep believing, otherwise we might just give up on dating right here and now, because we are all doomed.
Ever had that kind of experience with your man or heard of similar stories? Comment and let me know