In this wonderful world that is called dating and relationships, I’ve found at least 2 things that will always happen: (1) at some point, there will always be a heartbreaker and a heart broken and (2) there will always be some kind of contradiction with the woman. A social media friend of mine once wrote, regarding the actions of the respective sexes, that “most men are black and white, women are often grey”. I’ve found that to be real spit…none more than when women claim they want this and they want that. And it brings me to this 4th contribution in The Single Guy’s Perspective series: who and what does she really want?
It happens all the time, whether it’s online dating or the more organic approach, women will oftentimes list out all of these requirements and preferences that they have for the man that they want. Historically, I’ve heard everything from the simple, typical stuff like “I want a guy who will open my door and respect me as a woman” to the rare lines like “I want a guy that has a lifetime of those old-fashioned qualities of manhood instilled within him that he can one day pass on to the son we’ll have together” and everything in between. The more popular lines I hear are “I want a man that’s different from all these other guys out here” and “I want a man that knows what he wants in his life”. I could go on and on longer than the Energizer bunny on the things women have told me that they wanted in men but I’ll just leave you to your own Google search for that. Though these women often voice what it is they want in men, whether it’s spoken in dialogue or conveyed in correspondence, the percentages—at least in the way I’ve seen them personally and in speaking with other men—heavily suggest that these same women often turn away from the very men they say they want in these descriptions of their ideal guy. I call it the wishy-washy disease.
Almost every relationship and dating situation I’ve gotten myself involved in has, at some point, suffered from the wishy-washy disease. I have a number of examples that I could draw from but I’m thinking back to the Fall of 2010, when I was living in the shadows of Washington, DC. After spending the previous 3 years in Tokyo, where my focus was exclusively on advancing my career to new heights and building a financial foundation that could withstand the Category 5 hurricanes of life, I decided that I’d be more proactive in finding someone to spend serious time with during my time in the NCR…and possibly longer. That was when I joined Match.com for the first of what would be 3 different stints over a 4-year period. After filling out all the required profile stuff, I searched through scores of profiles of the women in Chocolate City and the surrounding areas. The vast majority of them didn’t appeal to me, a select few were decent but only one intrigued me. According to what I wrote in Triumphs & Tribulations X, it was what she wrote in her profile that drew my ire to at least know more about her. She wrote:
Originally from Minneapolis, MN. I moved here in 2006 looking for a new lease on life. I consider myself outgoing and I’m very much a free spirit. I’m looking for something different in love. Something I haven’t experienced before. I want a man that can think outside of the box and independent of the norm while still remaining true to who he really is. I want a man that knows what he wants and doesn’t play any of these childish games that most do. I want a man that I can get dolled up for on ballet occasions or bedroom occasions and everything in between without either of us feeling uncomfortable with the setting. I want a man that I can travel the world with and develop inside jokes on our experiences. There’s more but you’ll have to contact me to find out. I’m pretty serious about this, not looking for games and not really looking for friends. So only inquire if you’re serious.
Like I wrote, I was intrigued. I kinda felt the words she wrote and it didn’t hurt that was very pretty. So I initiated communication and from there, we exchanged a series of emails which led to phone conversations which led to a series of dates. It was in those early emails and phone conversations and dates that I learned more about the type of men she dated previously and the type of man she envisioned as her ideal guy. She told me all of the things that interested her and quite a number of them lined up with things I like to do…like attending live performances (spoken word, concerts, dance competitions, etc.) or indulging in various forms of the arts or traveling to different places. She mentioned her previous suitor was a professional clubber and went as far as to say that was his 2nd job for “104 days out of the year”. She spoke about how she wanted a guy who wasn’t about that type of life, someone who was a lot more settled in life and working towards strengthening their future. She mentioned wanting someone who spoke well and was educated and could mingle comfortably with different crowds. All the while she was telling me about what she wanted, I didn’t reveal much about who I was or what I wanted. I’ve always felt that my actions speak volumes and that my years of consistently being me would give a person a clear picture of just who I was. And that’s exactly what happened. We went out for about 2 months and she learned quite a bit about me, my patterns, and the spectrum in which I live life. But it was a week or so before we were supposed to travel up from Washington to New York City to see The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that she decided to end the dating situation. In rare form, she actually met me face-to-face to tell me why. She spoke a lot about the fantastic qualities I had as a young man (I was 26 at the time, she was 29) and how I seemed so well put together…pretty much everything I could expect when a woman is about to drop “the lethal injection of rejections” on me. While she spoke highly of my “great” qualities, she said that we couldn’t go any further because I was “too different”. She brought up the fact that I didn’t drink and how I maintained a strict adherence to my celibacy as examples. She mentioned how structured and regimented my life was. She said a lot of things that had me like this but it was one specific line out of that conglomeration of words she spoke that left me shocked and ended up being the only words in a December 2010 Triumphs & Tribulations XI entry. She said…
“I feel like you’re too safe. I don’t have to chase you into clubs or ask around about you and other women. I need to feel threatened to lose you to somebody else and you’re just not that type of guy”
Even looking at that entry today still gives me the chills that a woman—an older woman to be more specific—actually thinks that way. She left and went on with her life as did I. Ironically, we crossed paths about 1 ½ years later when I was playing wingman for a colleague who wanted to go out and party like a rock star responsibly. I saw her in this nightclub we were in and as fate would have it, she was all on some dude’s coattails, pretty much chasing him around the spot…fought off a couple of other women in the process.
LESSON LEARNED. It’s tough to say that I’ve learned a lesson in dealing with women who say they want one thing but often end up turning away from it when it’s presented to them in live form. I write that because it could literally take years upon years to really break down a woman’s most genuine desires. That’s part of their mystique but it’s also one of their greatest downfalls. The benefit of hindsight in regards to my dating and relationship experiences has taught me that a vast majority of women don’t know what they want: they only envision an idea of what they want based on what they see on television, in movies, or from other women. Then you have that whole “it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind” deal and you got all these chicks out here thinking it’s no big deal to advocate for one thing and actually have it presented to you but really want something else. It’s quite disturbing to me, actually. While I can’t say that I’ve learned a lesson, I can say that I’ve slightly changed the way I go about dating. In times past, I stayed mysterious to women as long as I possibly could because I was told that “he who shows his hand first will always be at disadvantage”. Today, I’m usually very upfront with the women I meet. I tell them who I am, what my character is about, and what they may expect from me. I do that so that they can have a choice: to walk out of the exit door early in the game or to stay on and see what the story is about. I don’t think there will ever be a cure for the wishy-washy disease but I consider my modern approach to it as the equivalent of a pain reducer.