In our desire to make a connection with another person, we can sometimes behave in a way which is counter- productive to making that happen.
It’s tough in dating land. I think we can all agree on that. I would argue it’s tougher in your 40’s with a divorce behind you and two kids right there by your side but I am sure my younger friends might have a word to say about that.
A couple of weeks ago I went on a date with a man who I thought was quite nice. I found him physically attractive, we got along well and I said yes when he asked to see me again. But somewhere between the time we said “give me a call”, and just before our second date, things went awry. We were texting back and forth, checking in every couple of days and then the texts just started coming at a rate which made me feel uncomfortable, one after the other without me replying in between. The content didn’t sit well with me either. It started with a compliment about my eyes, and then my face and then my body. A little bit inappropriate after one coffee date. Then there was the offer of a massage (word to the wise fellas, this is right up at the pointy end of the creep-o-meter when you’re not in a relationship with someone) and then quite a bit of talk about how much he liked me. We had met just once.
After checking in with some girlfriends, whose collective advise was “run”, I sent a polite text saying that I didn’t think we would be suitable, and wished him all the best. His response was also polite and stated he was disappointed we wouldn’t be getting to know each other. Which should have been the end of it. But then he texted again. And again. And then I had to block his number.
I completely understand what was happening. He saw something in me that he was interested in and he wanted to take things further. This happens to the best of us. More than once I’ve been out on a date with someone who I thought would be right-ish for me. And I’ve never heard from them again. I’ve lamented to my friends that if only he would take the time to get to know me, surely he’d see how great I am. But that is information I share with my friends (and you dear reader) and not something I incessantly text to the man. Because there is a fine line between keen and crazy. And to my knowledge, no one ever got bombarded with texts after one date and said oh, well you seem like a nice sane person, of course I will give you a chance.
People get lonely, I absolutely do. We seek out another to quell that loneliness and that can make us believe that something is there, when it isn’t. I am sure that the man I met was nice enough. But his insistence that he be given a chance, even when I said I wasn’t interested, made him seem like someone who I definitely did not want to see again.
Have I sent ill-advised texts? Yes. We all have. But it’s always a good idea to consider the evidence before you. Is the person you’re very keen on really giving off interested signals or do you want it so badly that you’re seeing something which just isn’t there?
By all means reach out. Not to go all Barbra Streisand on you but people need people. That’s a fact of life. Just do it in a way, which doesn’t send the other person screaming into the night.