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This is long....sorry!

 

 

I'm not sure if I'm really asking a question. I just feel the need to express the emotions I'm having right now. I've been dating this guy for about a month maybe. We met through an online dating service and seemed to hit it off really well. We've been on a bunch of dates, but tonight I'm feeling a little down and I'm not sure if I even have a good reason for that.

 

Here's some background information. During my last relationship I felt like I did all of the work. I was the one who drove to see him, I made friends with his friends(even though he didn't get along with many of mine) and it got to a point where I felt tired. He wasn't very nice to me either, which didn't help. Since ending that relationship, it's been really nice to have a break from all that. When I started dating this new guy, we didn't talk on the phone much (which was really nice for me) and I don't hear from him everyday which is fine since it's still fairly new. Now, however, I feel like I'm starting to really like him and tonight I was really disappointed that I didn't hear from him. He's been really sweet, and he's always up for doing something if I suggest it. It's just that the past week or so it seems like I'm the one who has been making plans. Then last night we were supposed to meet up at this bar/club and he was about 45 minutes later than he said he would be. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because when he showed up he was surprised and he had thought I was going to be out with a bunch of people, and he seemed to feel bad that he had been that late.

 

Tonight I'm just sitting here wondering what he's doing and if he's out with friends or what. I decided not to call him because I don't want to seem desperate and figure I should let him make the next move. Now I'm sitting here in my pajamas on a Saturday night wondering if he's even that interested in me. I don't want to be the one doing all the work this time and I'm afraid that a lot of this is just me being paranoid after my last relationship.

 

I don't want to get emotional and scare him off, but at the same time I don't want to waste time if it's not the right person.

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On behalf of all the guys who always show up 45 minutes late, thank you for giving him the benefit of the doubt.

 

I don't see any real red flags in your post; in fact the situation sounds pretty normal to me. I wouldn't worry too much, as things will shake out soon enough and you'll know whether or not this guy is truly your cup of tea.

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A couple of things here:

 

1) Like IFM said, thanks for giving him a break for being late! I am late for everything!

 

2) It sounds like doubt and insecurity is creeping in because your feelings for him are getting deeper and there is a perceived imbalance between your emotions and his. This is sooooo normal. So normal.

 

3) Now, you should keep an eye on his level of initiation in the relationship. If you continually find yourself taking the initiative in this, something is probably wrong. But we aren't there yet, it might be paranoia, it might be a lack of interest in his part, too early to call. Give it more time, another 3-4 weeks or so and if you still feel this way, like he isn't taking initiative, come talk to us again...

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Be careful in using that "whatever happens, happens" statement. I think a lot of people tend to hide behind that, shun responsibility thinking that way. You still have to put in effort and make some sacrifices to set the situation properly so it can "happen if it happens".

 

But for now, enjoy what you have, keep doing what you're doing, and try not to think so much.

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I think you should make sure that you show a level of interest as well. Don't be afraid to do that. Trying to work to some set of rules can backfire. Don't forget the two women who wrote 'The Rules' both ended up married. And then divorced. A relationship requires balance even at the very early stages.

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I think you should make sure that you show a level of interest as well. Don't be afraid to do that. Trying to work to some set of rules can backfire. Don't forget the two women who wrote 'The Rules' both ended up married. And then divorced. A relationship requires balance even at the very early stages.

 

I totally agree with this and believe that the interest should not be expressed as the woman asking the man out on dates early on in the relationship before it is clear that they are going to spend certain evenings together - and even then let him do more of the pursuing. I do think that showing interest by returning calls promptly, being appreciative about the effort he puts into planning, maybe after several dates baking him cookies, etc. I don't think the Rules' authors' personal lives have much to do with the effectiveness of the Rules.

 

I for one have been using the Rules since over ten years before the book was published. It's a great way for me to stay positive about men and relationships because when you treat yourself with self-respect and don't waste time with men who are not that interested in a relationship, you have far more rewarding relationships and friendships with men - and that positively impacts future relationships too.

 

When I hear stories like this about women feeling weird/insecure because they may have been pursuing a man in the beginning I don't think they're being too insecure - I think they sense that in those cases, the man is the type to do more of the pursuing when he is really interested, and they are wondering in that case, since they've been doing more of the pursuing or accepting last minute dates, what the story is.

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I am glad The Rules work for you. Athough I understood the book was designed to get a man to commit and marry - I question if that was meant to take ten years.

 

In my opinion it is an outdated concept that the man should do the pursuing and think many potentially great relationships have been missed because of it.

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I am glad The Rules work for you. Athough I understood the book was designed to get a man to commit and marry - I question if that was meant to take ten years.

 

In my opinion it is an outdated concept that the man should do the pursuing and think many potentially great relationships have been missed because of it.

 

Not sure what you mean by the ten years. I meant that I was following the rules for ten years prior to the book being published - not with the same guy, lol. I do not think the man should do the pursuing. I think he should do most of the pursuing in the beginning - typically the first month or so - until there is something more steady and it is more of a given - such that there is less "asking out" and more of an assumption that you'll be seeing each other Saturday nights. It may be outdated but right now I know of no happy healthy long term relationships where the woman did most of the pursuing in the beginning.

 

I do think that if the woman is attracted to a more passive/non-assertive man and likes being the pursuer then by all means that could result in a very happy situation. I have never been attracted to men like that or been interested in being friends with men or women like that. I don't know any women who are really turned on/attracted by that but that doesn't mean they do not exist.

 

It may be outdated for teenagers and women in their early 20's. In my experience, and I know many women in their mid-late 20's and up, nothing has changed.

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That's awesome! Not what I am saying at all though. Sorry to repeat but it seems like there's a misunderstanding. My view is - as I mentioned in previous posts - that women should not do most of the pursuing in the beginning. That is, most of the asking out, planning etc for the first month or so. I also wouldn't advise being the first to ask out either but I think it's fine to ask a man out - but after that I would let him do most of the pursuing in the early stages.

 

I do know of happy healthy relationships where the woman asked the man out on a date. I do not know of any where the woman did most of the pursuing in the beginning.

 

And as with any rules there are exceptions.

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I think the misconception is in the word 'pursuing'. It implies the idea of a chase - that old saying 'he chased her until she caught him 'springs to mind. That was fine a generation or two back when the woman would expect to be wooed, married and bedded, have 2.4 children and rely on her husband to provide for her needs, wants and happiness while behaving as a dutiful wife and mother.

 

Times have changed. Women have become more independent, stronger and able to form relationships and marriages as equal partners. And that can only be a good thing for everyone.

 

But if the old style way of forming those relationships is adhered to in the beginning - where the man is expected to initiate the first date, do the planning, pay for the date while the woman is expected to play the game in the same way - you are establishing a pattern for a relationship that may be hard for one or both partners to break.

 

Modern relationships require balance - an equal amount of attention from each partner. For one to be the initiator and the other to be passive rarely works anymore. And it is better to establish that pattern from the beginning.

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"Times have changed. Women have become more independent, stronger and able to form relationships and marriages as equal partners. And that can only be a good thing for everyone"

 

I agree with all that particularly in the work place. When it comes to relationships I still think for the most part it is works out best for both men and women if in the beginning the man does most of (not all!) of the initiating of calls, asking and planning for dates. I don't mean chase or that the woman should play hard to get or that anyone should play games.

 

When I was dating I would rarely accept a date if the man called after Wednesday for a weekend night. I wouldn't criticize him or tell him that he should have called sooner - I would just say I was busy - 99% of the time I was busy with friends or on another date, and 1% of the time I decided that to be good to me, I should be busy with myself and not with someone who called last minute. I made some rare exceptions of course depending on the reason for the last minute call. The men who weren't great advance planners miraculously became great planners after the first or second time I graciously declined a weekend date if they called after Wednesday. Funny how that happens.

 

Most of the men I know would be flattered to be asked out and most of those same men would not choose for marriage a woman who did most of the asking out, calling and planning in the first month or so. They may gripe a bit about being in that role but it feels comfortable for them and mostly, they like it.

 

I do think there is a flawed presumption that just because women are more equal in the work place they should be equally initiating dates and calls in the beginning of a relationship.

 

I think as a relationship forms and becomes serious, things should and do become balanced. In my relationship (like all of my serious relationships) I am a busy professional dating a busy professional - we've both been in the work place for many years (i.e. about 12-15).

 

He did most of the pursuing in the beginning (and when we dated many years ago, he was very shy! now, not so much this time around, 8 years later). He loves the traditional courting and so do I - I put a lot of effort into the relationship both in terms of communication, doing things for him, taking care of him. He insists on paying most of the time, I always offer (with full sincerity) and if he won't let me I make sure that I do things for him as in buy theater tickets, buy him little gifts, prepare meals, etc. I have no interest in the "free meal" aspects of dating him (or anyone else in my past) - but he says he gets a lot of enjoyment out of planning dates and treating me.

 

In short, I like being "the woman" in certain respects - for example, he carries my heavy packages -- and he likes being the man. This is how it works best and is most healthy for most of the women I know and most of the women I know are educated professionals who are treated as equals in the work place. To us, work place and romantic relationships can't be compared as to "equality" - apples and oranges.

 

I have asked out men in the beginning - several times - a few times on first dates, a few times on second or third dates. Never turned into a relationship, likely because if they had been that into me, they would have asked me out first.

 

Again, I am sure there are exceptions even though I don't know of any. And yes it would have been easier for me at times not to be sitting around waiting for a call from Mr. Wonderful and I am sure it would have been easier for the men who were nervous to make the first call or initiate plans -- some of it just doesn't seem very fair or balanced. More power to the people who want to change things and who refuse to follow this tradition. Maybe there will be change in this whole dating scene - who knows. It's not a battle I choose to fight and it's worked out fairly well for me.

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In short, I like being "the woman" in certain respects - for example, he carries my heavy packages -- and he likes being the man. This is how it works best and is most healthy for most of the women I know and most of the women I know are educated professionals who are treated as equals in the work place. To us, work place and romantic relationships can't be compared as to "equality" - apples and oranges.

So essentially that means "I am equal when I choose to be equal because it is to my advantage but other than that you can carry my heavy packages.' Convenient but not exactly equitable.

 

Well, it may work for you and for some men. But I suspect there are going to be a lot of lonely people if that perspective doesn't change fairly soon.

 

It certainly doesn't seem to be working for the OP.

Now I'm sitting here in my pajamas on a Saturday night wondering if he's even that interested in me.

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So essentially that means "I am equal when I choose to be equal because it is to my advantage but other than that you can carry my heavy packages.' Convenient but not exactly equitable.

 

Well, it may work for you and for some men. But I suspect there are going to be a lot of lonely people if that perspective doesn't change fairly soon.

 

It certainly doesn't seem to be working for the OP.

 

 

No, actually. It is to his advantage to carry my packages - he enjoys it and it makes him feel like a man - more power to him. I don't think relationships should be equitable as in 50/50 as to every aspect or issue - rather, the responsibilities should be divided in a way that makes each person feel comfortable. My boyfriend would be very uncomfortable if I carried his packages (I have offered, believe me!). I don't look at relationships as what is "to my advantage" - I look at what makes each person comfortable.

 

I think my scenario works for most men and women quite well - at least in my 20 plus years experience of knowing hundreds of men and women in their 20's 30's and 40's and beyond.

 

As far as the OP - she should be out with her friends, dating, or out doing something on her own (volunteer work? working on a theatrical production? getting coffee at a book store??) if she would prefer not to be sitting in her pajamas at home waiting for him to call. I never would be doing that because, if he hadn't called me in advance for weekend plans and we were first dating, he would be off my radar by Thursday and I would have made plans with myself (whether that meant staying home or otherwise), or with friends, or I would have had another date who called in advance. No reason for her or anyone else to be lonely.

 

On the other hand I can think of nothing lonelier than being out on a date with someone who asked you out last minute and clearly is not that into you or with someone who accepted your invitation because he had nothing better to do, but was flattered to be asked and didn't mind the free entertainment.

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Actually....I think a lot of the reason I was thinking about it so much was because I didn't have other plans. It's not that I couldn't have done anything or that I spent my night waiting around for him, but once it gets to be late at night or early in the morning I start thinking about it. It's just that after spending time with him, I had started to like him and was disappointed not to have heard from him.

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Actually....I think a lot of the reason I was thinking about it so much was because I didn't have other plans. It's not that I couldn't have done anything or that I spent my night waiting around for him, but once it gets to be late at night or early in the morning I start thinking about it. It's just that after spending time with him, I had started to like him and was disappointed not to have heard from him.

 

One of my best friends told me a few years ago to make sure to make plans with yourself - and call it a "date" - to have the mindset that you do indeed have plans - even if the plan is to read a book, watch a movie or call some friends. And, if I were you, if he does call you last minute and you are still in the non-exclusive stage I would not accept the plan unless there's a really good reason - i.e. an emergency situation or he just won tickets to something - don't be the afterthought, the "last minute girl" - you might have fun that night but he will know he doesn't have to put in effort for the privilege of your company.

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Hey thanks! That thought actually helps a lot. The past couple days I have definitely felt more relaxed. I haven't called in the past few days and he seems to be taking more notice. I think I've realized that I shouldn't have to feel as though I'm working so hard to make him like me. Whether he is into me or not, I'll know soon enough.

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