Do you believe there's such a thing as a soulmate?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Want to Be Wanted

(The following is a reprint of an article on the blog My Life As A Serial Dater.)

James asked me a good question on our date.  He asked if there are guys that want to be "The One."  Are there guys that want to conquer or tame me.  It was actually something I had been thinking about a lot lately.  My mind had been asking the same question in different forms: "Why do men (that don't want you) want you to want them?"

When I initially posed this question to myself, it wasn't so clear.  It was muddled with specifics.  Men were giving me lines and asking if I wanted more from them faster than I could process any of it.  I was spinning around wondering why having an interest in seeing someone more than once meant that you wanted a relationship and why so many guys refused to believe me when I said I did not want to be monogamous.  Are people really such commitment-phobes that the shear possibility that someone wants to see them more than once sends them running for the hills?  Or, are they too afraid to admit that, occasionally, they just want a single serving sexual encounter?

If the former is the case, that's absurd.  You should be able to enjoy a persons company more than once without falling into a relationship.  And, everyone controls their own relationship status.  You can't be coaxed, coerced or forced into anything you don't want.  If you want to be single, just be honest and if the person says they want the same thing, then it's on them if they change their mind and step out on a limb to see if you might have had a change of heart.  And, if you haven't, all is fair in love and war.  It doesn't make you the bad guy to say that you haven't changed your mind.  Being ready for a relationship is a very personal thing.  If you don't want one, you just don't want one.  If you aren't ready, you aren't ready.  And, if you just don't want one with that particular person, that is okay too.  I don't mind hearing that a man doesn't want a relationship or monogamy.  I just wish they would believe me when I tell them the same thing.

If the latter is the case, this is bullshit too.  Sometimes I just want to hit and quit.  So, I either tell the guy, or I stop returning texts and phone calls.  I do it immediately after the encounter.  They just don't hear from me again.  If they ask if I want to chill again, I say no.  It's not nice.  It's not sugar coated.  But, it's honest.  I might tell them that I am sure they are great, but I am not interested. The rejection might be tough, but everyone isn't right for everyone.  I don't always want to see a guy again after the first date or after we have hooked up.  It's just the way things are.  So, I don't mind if a guy tells me that he just wanted to hook up or that he didn't really dig me.

However, this is generally not the case.  Men will continue to text you and say "Wassup" every now and then, knowing good and well they aren't trying to see you again.  Why is this?   Maybe they are just being nice, but I see this as a waste of time and energy.  We are dating here.  Rejection is part of it.  If you don't get rejected and you don't ever reject anyone, then no one is special.  You find yourself floating in a pool of mediocrity.  So, I have no problem telling a man that I am not interested.  If he keeps texting, I will ignore him.  We don't have to be friends after one date.  I don't think it's nice to keep a guy thinking I am interested in seeing him again if I have no interest.

There is one other possibility that just occurred to me.  The Reserves List.  A guy might keep talking to you just in case he needs to call on you in a pinch at a later date.  This is kind of a cop out, but it is valid. The thing is, I have a reserve list too.  The trouble with this list is that it requires impeccable timing, a prearrangement or one party has to be a bit more desperate.  Impeccable timing: One party hits the other up and it just so happens to be a time when the other person is in need of a quick fix, as well.  Desperation: One party has been waiting on reserve for that call.  This is a lopsided situation.  Prearrangement is just that.  You have both agreed to be "on-call" for the other in times of need.

Then there is the final possibility.  Everyone wants to be wanted.  We all want someone to pine for us.  We want to feel cherished and adored.  Some are even willing to accept such adoration from someone they don't particularly want to be with.  So, some people keep you on a string even though they don't want you.  They just want you to want them.  If they do want to spend time with you, then they want you to want them and want time with them a little more than they want it with you and some want you to fall in love with them, knowing good and well, they won't be falling in love with you.

So again, I end with the one golden rule that I have been screaming since jump street.  Honesty is the best policy.  If you want it, give it.  If a person isn't being honest about what they want, that's their bad.  But don't think a possibility of dishonesty gives you the right to a preemptive lie.  If everyone keeps trying to beat each other to the lie, then honesty is lost.  If I tell you I liked you and want to see you again, but I don't want a boyfriend, just believe me.  I promise I don't have a boyfriend dungeon I am waiting to toss you into.  I just liked your company.

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