Friday, July 20, 2007
Never date the needy
I date men who fall in love with me.
There have been three this year and I am starting to understand why that might be a problem. It is not fun. It is not a privilege. There is nothing especially remarkable about me that makes me irresistible. The answer is simpler: These are the men I choose.
I am self-aware enough to know that it is healthy to identify negative patterns in my life, address them and move ahead a little lighter, knowing that I'll "never make that mistake again". BUT. And, I also know there is always a "but", but how do I distinguish between sensitive men who treat me well and needy men who get angry when their sentiments aren't reciprocated?
During the most recent 4-month stint with an educated, well-read professional who was slightly older with tell-tale sprigs of ear hair, I reasoned that he was mature enough to no longer need coddling or constant reassurance. Uh-uh.
What complicates neediness in men is that often they do not know how to communicate their emotional needs to their partner. Women are often accused of the same, but not me. I am blunt, I am direct, I am honest. This, for many men, is confusing. They assume my words and actions are cryptic clues to be deciphered, as they may have been with past girlfriends; these men always get me wrong.
When I say, "I am not looking for anything serious." My date hears, "I haven't met the right guy yet, but I am pretty sure it might be you."
When I say, "Can we take this a little slower?" My date hears, "I am scared of letting myself fall in love with you."
When I say, "My independence is really important to me, I can't spend all my time with you." My date hears, "Please call me every night before bedtime to make sure I don't accidentally sleep with someone else."
Love is organic; it grows and withers and festers and flowers, and it probably even defecates. No one has the authority to punish anyone for losing love. Sometimes love behaves badly. Sometimes it moves away.
There are so many unspoken promises to be broken with the more deluded of the emotional men I date. I break them all, essentially because I didn't make them in the first place, but that's a moot point. According to my dates, I did, and now they somehow justify verbal and written assaults. Surprise emails, nasty phone calls. Honesty is lost on these men. I'd embargoed the one thing they thought they needed, and it was something I never promised them.
Last night, I received another angry email from the hairy-eared gentleman, a man who technically broke up with me. Apparently, one of the unspoken dating/un-dating rules was buffer time before new conquests, post-separation, and no "hunks" allowed.
I'm still considering what sort of response his words warrant, if any. It's futile to argue with someone's pride. When pride talks, everything it says is projection. It doesn't have a heart, ears, pulse, or the capacity for reason. All I can hope, is that this ill-equipped character trait will breed out quickly. Survival of the fittest.