Flattery Will Get You Everywhere
QUESTION: This is probably a stupid question, but what harm could it do? I'm a black woman, early forties, single, educated and all that good stuff. I've come to some harsh realities lately and I need a sanity check.
First - I'd like a good man in my life, my arms, and my bed. But I don't date a lot because I don't trust my own judgement. After a brief string of good dates and bad choices, I've come to face the fact that when a man says what I want to hear, everything else goes out the window and suddenly I'm thinking this is it - HE LOVES ME! Next thing we'll be engaged and I'll be walking down the isle and we'll be having kids and life is perfect. Two days later he's not calling, or he's not responding to my E-Mails or pages and I'm left feeling the fool. The last guy made a fool of me six months ago and I've given up.
I just don't want to give up on my dreams of meeting that special man. I just have to keep my head right. I can't just jump at the first sign of something special, yet thats what I keep doing. What can I do to stop myself from being played and hurt by the men I meet?
CHUCK: Thanks a lot for visiting the site. And don't worry. Like my grandma used to say, "There's no such thing as a stupid question."
In response to your question, I could just say, "Work on your self-esteem." But if solving problems were as easy as that, Garland and I would just post that message and take the rest of the site down. So many questions we answer are relateable to self-esteem.
I don't know what type of romantic experiences you've had, and if they've all been bad. I hope not. But there must be a reason that you fly to the moon on the slightest positive remark or action from a guy you're dating. Let me tell you something about guys: When we're dating, especially in the early stages, we try to be as complimentary and positive towards you women as we can. IT'S OUR WAY OF GETTING WHAT WE WANT. Never forget that.
So while, in a pefect world, I would encourage you to be trusting and keep your heart open, I need to suggest you do the exact opposite, at least a little, for your own well-being. Until you can learn to tell the difference between an honest compliment and some bullshit smooth talk, you need to take your time with any man you date. When "That's a nice blouse," no longer sounds like "Live with me, and be my wife," then you'll know you've made some progress.
And please, work on your self-esteem. These guys didn't make you. And they can't break you.
GARLAND: I also want to thank you for checking our blog out!
I think you are working waaaay to hard at putting the cart before your horse, and I think you know that. To me, that is the very first thing you can do to stop letting yourself get played. Stop thinking about getting The Ring and running down the isle for at least the first 12 dates!
12 is a good number, so I'm going to push it on you! Give yourself at least 12 dates with a guy before you even think that he could be The One. One or two great dates does not a solid relationship make. Like Chuck said - most of us guys are "compliment" and "smooth game" heavy early on. It's not that we're bad or anything, but we want to see what is what with you and we'd prefer to see it sooner than later. What you need to do weed out the fly by night guys and see who's the real deal.
The key is PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE and looking deeply at what you have before you. And, by patience I don't mean wait some crazy amount of time - what I mean is give a guy a dozen or so dates and see where his head is at before you start thinking about serious relationships. If you don't make him stick around and show sort of dedication, you're going to continue to find men walking in and out of your heart.
The key is setting a "period of performance" for the guys you meet and date. You set a fixed number of dates [or weeks, etc.] where you will except nothing short of full respect and entertaining encounters before you will allow yourself to think of anything close to a long term relationship.