This is Part II in a short series that came from personal, client, and friend experience in relationships. Part I, Is It Good For You?, can be read here . It details meeting someone and being enamored early on.
You’ve just met someone and you’ve been the coolest version of yourself: very laid-back and easy-going. It’s been fun and you’ve nearly fallen in love. Maybe it’s been fast and furious, something you’d normally not fall for. But this situation is different.
Now, you’re debating asking him if he’s dating anyone else, if he’s ready for a relationship with you, if he is open to commitment. You’ve also considered speaking up about your needs and where you are… But you’re scared because he might not be in the same place.
That Fateful Day
And then, one day, you and he have just had an amazing morning getting smoothies, walking by the beach and visiting the farmer’s market. You sprawl out in your living room because your roommate is out of town for the weekend. It’s so cozy, so quiet and comfortable. You put on some tunes and doze off together. When you wake up, it feels so dreamy, so couple-y. You forget to hold your ground and not ask… As the words fall out of your mouth, you know it’s not what you want to say. And you start beating yourself up right then, mid conversation.
You tell him you’re falling for him, that you’ve never felt this way, that you’ve never met anyone like him or had this much fun and felt so safe before.
Then there’s a shift in his posture. He sits up. He clears his throat and looks around. He walks to the kitchen for a glass of water. Your eyes take in the situation and it’s burned into your memory. He comes back to the couch and sits at the other end. He says he’s been wanting to talk to you about this. He reveals what you’ve thought all along: he’s not ready. He thinks you’re beautiful, amazing, unique, special and so sexy. He loves spending time with you. He’s just not ready to commit right now. You feel sick. He leaves and there’s a gap forming between the two of you. You’re not sure if you should reach out during the week, so you don’t. He doesn’t either. He tweets strange, cryptic memes and one liners, which you should ignore. By Thursday, you’d expected him to say hi, and you’re ready to gauge your stomach with your stapler at work. He writes to you in the late afternoon and says he misses you, can you get together this weekend? Too quickly, you reply, again beating yourself up. You try to maintain a boundary, but you say you have some time.
You meet up and it’s not the same. He’s awkward. You’re solicitous and agreeable. After drinking more than intended, it’s fun again. This is what it’s come to, you realize. The best (only?) way to tolerate this is with cocktails and too-small plates of tapas that leave you hungry.
You continue along this fun path, forgetting everything that came up for you. You figure, “why not? It’s just fun for now. I definitely won’t develop strong(er) feelings for him. He’s much better than all the other fools out there, so I might as well spend my time here rather than dating randoms.” For another few months, you both somehow dismiss that you want a boyfriend and he can’t be a boyfriend.
The Next Part
But again, a need of yours pops up. This need for a discussion. This need for clarity because you’re still falling for him. Wait, you think: “I don’t need to have a talk. I need action. The action isn’t sex, it’s commitment.”
One day, you’re driving to work and you see an elderly couple walking together and latching arms. It’s very tender and sweet. It gets you thinking. And like that, you decide it’s over. You’re sad, you’re angry, you’re vague and distant over text. You’re busy.
You question why it happened this way, you ponder your connection. You realize he’s not for you because the right person will be with you, for you. You wish it could have been another way, but then you’re transported back to reality and remember that wishing it could have been is counterproductive. You have to think about how it is.
And you return to your strong self by getting back to the gym and paying more attention at work. You remember that these guys are the ones you always fall for. The aloof, handsome, fun, whirlwind guys. You vow to stop with him. You call your best friends and beg them to prod you after a month if your next guy is like this. You’re serious about attracting the right one. The one who will be good for you long term, even if in the moment it’s tough and tricky. You decide you’re done with the guys who are aloof and non-committal. You make a list of the signs, so you can easily remember who to avoid. You’re doing well and you nearly go down this road again, but you catch yourself after a couple of weeks. The sting is barely felt. You’re proud of yourself.
So why do we fall for aloof (or flaky) people? Why do we often go for people who aren’t good for us?
Speaking from personal experience, I was intrigued by these people who were mysterious. I’m pretty open so meeting someone who was more reserved seemed interesting. These types are ephemeral, unique. They showed me a different side of myself. They were special and attractive–until they were trite and predictable.
When the intrigue stopped, I was relieved. I started valuing myself more and realizing that attention from an aloof man was counter-productive. It’s challenging to even write about this period in my life because it was so vague.
I’ve noticed that so many of my clients, friends, and my old self have had tendencies to date the wrong people. I believe it’s part of the growing process. We need these people in our lives to show us the way to the better partners.
To learn more about my work or to hire me, please visit Coaching By Nina Rubin. You might also like these other posts: How His Moodiness Pushed Me Away, G-Spots and Women’s Pleasure and Conversation: From the Beginning to the End.