He Said-She Said: Ready to Date? Or Not
- Thursday, August 20, 2009
- Scenario One: A man has recently experienced a breakup or hasn't dated in a great while or has been deeply hurt by a former girlfriend or is carrying around a load of unresolved, emotional issues. Yet, time has passed and he decides it is time for him to date again. And so he sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. You have (from what you can tell by his words and actions) an enjoyable time. You are then blindsided when he communicates otherwise at the end of the date. He really doesn't know that he's not ready to date someone yet until he goes out on a date with you. And then it hits him. Uh oh. He's still got some work to do. But it's his stuff, and it has nothing to do with you. He needs to take some time to heal and process and perhaps get some counseling before he gets back out into the dating world again. In this scenario, I say you have to give the man a break.
- Scenario One and a Half: A man's been hurt before and so he already has done the work to process and heal (counseling, prayer, time, etc.). He really thinks he's ready to date again. He sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. The date goes "well," and then he delivers the bad news at the end of the evening. He really, truly, honestly didn't know that he wasn't ready yet. He thought he was (because he had already done some work to get himself ready to date again). So, again, in this scenario I say you have to give the man a break. He didn't know what he didn't know. But after a date, he then did. Again, it has nothing to do with you. Anyone could have pushed this button or triggered this kind of response in him. He just wasn't ready, and he thought he was.
- Scenario Two: A man sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. During the course of the date, he decides that he's not interested (You know … "He's just not that into you" for one reason or another). To finesse his departure and hide behind the ugly truth, he puts the onus on his emotional state: "I'm not at a place right now emotionally where I can handle dating or having a serious relationship." Instead of telling you the whole truth—that he doesn't feel that there is chemistry between the two of you, that he doesn't think you have enough in common or that he doesn't see the two of you going out again on a date—you get a more broad and general excuse. So in this scenario, I say the man does not get a break. Yes, the truth does hurt. But men, let me say this: we women may be the weaker and more fragile sex, but we can handle it. In fact, we'd MUCH rather know the real reason why you don't want to go out with us again. If you didn't connect with us, just say it and release us. It will still sting, but believe me when I say it will save us many sleepless nights, hours of discussing and interpreting with our friends and pints upon pints of Ben & Jerry's (combined with counteractive hours of cardio at the gym). Bottom line: you're not doing us any favors by not telling us the truth. Please, be kind ... which means be honest.
Now, I'm sure there are other scenarios that could possibly be at play here, but for now I am weary of "Dating Scenario Creation 101" and am ready to move on in my studies with you.
When a woman like you encounters a situation such as you did, I believe it will only strengthen your character, increase your discernment and fine-tune your dating "Spidey senses." By that, I mean that you are now aware that when someone asks you out what you see may not be what you're going to get. It may end up that he's not interested at all and he may or may not be ready to handle what is required when it comes to pursuing someone for more than friendship (spending time together, getting to know one another, dipping your toes in emotional waters, revealing feelings, etc.). Are you able to handle this type of preliminary rejection? Can you take it if a date seems to go well to you and then you are told that it really didn't go as well as you thought it did once it's over?
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