Many women, while on a first date with a man, are often already picturing the wedding in their heads, before dessert even arrives. If they feel that illusive chemistry, they are so quick to open up before taking the much needed time to actually get to know someone.
You wouldn’t let a stranger into your house and give them carte blanche with all of your stuff and you wouldn’t give them total access to your bank account, just because you thought they were attractive. So why do so many of us not take the same precautions when it comes to dating and relationships?
Psychopaths, Narcissists and all other types of shady individuals are on their best behavior in the early stages of dating. And it’s usually these shady ones that are the most charming and try the hardest to impress. These types are excellent manipulators and con-men. If you’ve opened up to these sorts early on, they’ve gained a great advantage, because you’ve already taught them exactly what buttons to push.
Many women are stuck on their ‘type’ and if their date meets that criteria they give them license to say and do whatever shady behavior that suits them. It makes sense to proceed slowly and cautiously because once emotions get involved, it’s almost like all common sense goes out the window and we stop paying attention to those red flags that would’ve had us hitting the exits early on. The key is to let go of the fairy tales you were taught as a child and keep your feet permanently in reality.
People spend more time trying to figure out what kind of car to buy, then they do on the men they let into their lives. A car can’t screw with your mind, body and bank account. It can’t strip you of your sense of self-worth and self-esteem, or send you spiraling into a depression. Choosing a mate based on a ‘type,’ is like buying a car with a shiny exterior and a crappy engine.
A reader told me that a couple months into a relationship that she and her partner were having problems, so she decided to pick up and move away from her family and friends and to relocate her life and her job, all in the name of being closer to him and making it work. If you’re involved with someone who doesn’t have good intentions, you’ll get a lot of “if only’s.” If only I wasn’t so busy with work, if only you lived closer… that’s generally code for I’m creating distance and I’m too much of a coward to tell you the truth. It’s no surprise that her partner was of the shady variety and she was left all alone in a strange town with no family or friends. Reciprocity is a big part of a relationship and if you are the only one making grandiose sacrifices in the name of making it work you need to stop and ask yourself why?
“I’m just dating. That’s what single people do. They see how other people fit.” – Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle.
Real relationships develop slowly over time. Only, after repeatedly watching someone in different situations, over a long period of time, can you truly begin to know someone. Real intimacy begins after the initial phase of attraction wears off, when the relationship gets comfortable. It’s at this juncture that those of the shady variety, either start to blow cold, or they start to show you their true colours and if you’re already heavily emotionally invested you’re going to engage in ignoring the red flags and making excuses for their poor behavior.
If you are of the type that gives their heart away so easily, it’s like you are carrying around a sign that says pick me, pick me, I’m desperate and I don’t respect myself, so you don’t have to either.
Men with dubious intentions are very skilled at spinning tales and creating the fantasy. They know just what to say and how to act to draw you in and they have a whole arsenal of tricks they engage in, because they’ve practiced their routine over and over.
Some of the most successful relationship often start off with, “I really wasn’t that into him at first. He just kind of grew on me.” This kind of emotional distance allows you to take your time and be objective. When your judgment isn’t clouded by emotions, or your libido, you are more apt to listen to your instincts and pay attention to the warning signs.
When you are treating you in a loving and respectful manner, it sets the tone and shows others how you expect to be treated. You are representing you and only you are responsible for the choices that you make, so if someone’s behavior seems shady then you call them on it right away. Your feelings are at stake and it’s no one else’s job to protect your feelings but yours.
Stop being afraid to look like you’re high maintenance and stop being a people pleaser. You please you first – not everyone has to like you. You stick up for you and don’t rely on the good morals of other people and hope they do the right thing. You do the right thing for you. Because chances are the McShady’s of the world will see that you won’t put up with poor behaviour and they will realize early on, that they are not going to get the immediate gratification that they’re after, so they’ll leave you alone.
Never be afraid to walk away from a situation that doesn’t feel right. Being alone is a lot better than being with someone that messes with your mind and your emotions. Real men respect women that respect themselves and they’re not afraid to put in the necessary time and effort to prove it.
So slow down, stay objective and take your time getting to know who someone truly is, before leaping in emotions first and before you give your heart away, make sure that they are worthy of it.
I’m like an open book when getting to know someone. So eager and ready to connect and hate “playing games”. It’s taken me so long to get this, even though I always knew that it takes a long time to get to know someone, still, the excitement and exhilaration of meeting someone who also seems so open and willing to connect and not play games makes me think I’ve met “The One” and I just go with it…. Long talks sharing hopes and fears and dreams…to me that has always felt like such a relief, to find someone so “real” who “can go there” and talk about the stuff that matters. I never realized I was just being vetted by emotional vampires! But after being duped by more than one Narcissist, I get it. Taking it slow is not just about sex, but how your spend your time and open your heart and how fast the connection is formed, and it’s just as important as waiting for sex. How much you see and talk to a potential new partner is everything – I thought these guys being so available meant they were really into me, not that it was a red flag! Now I will be watching how quickly closeness forms and holding back, and not from a playing games perspective but from a codependent in recovery perspective, to protect my heart!
I’m not dating in a long time. Thanks to my ex Narc. She messed me up completely with ever trusting a human being. I don’t have to desire to love. I’m worn out.
Great blog post on dating, thank you for writing so well on a difficult subject. I googled ‘taking a new relationship slowly’ because I have met a very nice and kind man who is not my type as you describe, but – when I ask myself what I am looking for in a man then he is my type.
Thoughtful, generous, kind to his friends and family. A gentleman in all ways. It took me a few weeks to see who he really was and then – I really fell for him, because of his behavior and not necessarily for his looks.
Does he know how I feel? yes, I believe he does. Does he rush out to sweep me off my feet? no, he does not. We are friendly to each other, but we are always in large groups with other friends. I would like to – what, move fast but he will not.
So, now I realize just what a good thing it is to take things very slow and wait and see. I have never done this before and while I like it, it is hard for me to let go and trust that the right person will still be there if we go slow.
Again, thank you for writing this out so well. It definitely applies to both genders, for sure. We both need to take good care of ourselves and our precious hearts.
I am so glad to have read this. I’m dating someone who is not my “type” and we agreed to just keep dating and see what happens. Now this is first time I’ve done this, that I am so relaxed and that my approach is to really get to know him and THEN decide if this is something worth getting serious about. I am very proud of myself because in every previous instance I am that girl that acted a bit desperate/obsessive and ignored the red flags. Despite friends telling me what the relationship “should” be, I am happy keeping this relaxed attitude til we’ve gotten to know each other. Then we can talk about and decide whether this is serious or not.
I’d be a bit worried about the phrase to stop pretending that the woman being pursued ‘high maintenance’ sounds like ‘I’m expensive.’ |In that case doesn’t everyone i.e. men and woman have a value which is the same?
Can I pose a question; are there not also women who do exactly the same things and behave also in the same antisocial ways? The article even with the interesting and salient points sounds a bit like females have some kind of axe to grind with men.
Women are just as capable as men in being manipulative, destructive and cruel. The points you make are good but the man’s side also needs to be taken into account.
Overall though I really agree with the need to take things slow; often that comes with experience and the ‘battle scars’ both sides notch up in relationships.
Anonymous please notice in the section, about the author, that appears at the end of every post, I say that comments pertaining to gender will not be published. Yes of course women can be Narcissists.
THIS. This is what I find so alarming about my story:
In the last relationship I have before I met my N (which was a healthy one), we had dated for 6 months. Now within that 6 months, we saw each other a few times a week, did not talk on the phone every day and he only met one of my friends. It took me a while to spend the night at his place, and for him to invite him to mine. I was slow to tip my hand and vice versa.
With my N, know what happened within 6 months of us dating? I met his parents, brother and nephews. I spent Christmas with them. I was invited to his aunt’s funeral. I met numerous members of his extended family, several of his friends. He had moved into my apartment. He said “I love you.”
In all of my non-N relationships, it developed slowly, over time, at a normal pace. I used to have little “rules” that I wouldn’t agree to be exclusive with a man until I really got to know him, and would need to date him for about 6 months for that to happen. I had never lived with a man before and thought I’d be engaged first before I got that point.
With my N, I CANNOT believe how quickly I let him push through my boundaries and into my life. When I pushed back, he pushed harder.
All of my friends could not believe he moved in that quickly, that I moved that quickly.
I’m working on figuring out why, but something about my N made me chuck all of my personal principles and walls, and common sense!
Tell me about it. He told me “I love you” in the 2nd month. After 8 months dating he moved in to live with me. Eight months later, he moved out and that happened just one week ago. I think I have to consider myself lucky that was only 16 months in total and didn’t have kids with him.
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