Having been in the dating trenches for a few years now, I’ve experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly out there. Along the way, I’ve met some great guys who have become my friends. Add to that, since splitting with my husband, I re-established the male friendships I had pre-marriage. All together, I’ve ended up with a pretty decent plethora of males with whom I can bounce ideas off of when it comes to dating, relationships, and women. So the question of the day for my Male Dating Panel: How to kill a promising relationship?
I gave my “panel” this scenario: You’ve met a girl online and you’ve already had that first meet-up for coffee. She’s attractive and seems to be fun. You asked her out again and now you’ve dated a few times. You like her and she obviously likes you (a lot). How can she ruin it? Here goes…
1. She is already too needy
“Ken” tells me of a woman he met for coffee. A few days later, they went out to dinner. After that, she started texting and calling him endlessly. When Ken didn’t respond within an hour, she texted or called again asking him if he was mad at her or if there was something wrong. A few days of that and Ken stopped calling or texting her back. “I can’t imagine being in a relationship with her. She was already annoying and we weren’t even dating,” Ken added.
Lesson: Texting or calling once is a nice gesture. Now sit back and wait for him to respond. If he doesn’t, it’ll tell you everything you need to know about his level of interest in you. If you keep reaching out to him despite his silence, you’ll just become Annoying Woman. And it certainly won’t make him want you more anyway.
2. She shows too much interest
My cousin once went out with a girl who wouldn’t leave him alone. She showed up at his work with cookies, offered to take his sons ice skating when he wasn’t feeling well, and even showed up at his house and started pulling weeds in his yard when he was at work. “She was really nice but it was just too much. If she was my girlfriend, it would have been great, but she wasn’t yet. We had only gone out maybe five times and I started dreading her phone calls. That wasn’t a good sign so I had to cut her off. If she had just backed off and been more normal, maybe we could have built something great.” My cousin went on to say that he couldn’t ever do something thoughtful for her because she beat him to the punch every single time. “Desperate” was a word he used. Eeek.
Lesson: Show interest in your new guy but make sure it’s not overboard. Cookies at work is seriously future stalker-ish behavior. Men like the chase, let him chase you. If he doesn’t, he’s just not that crazy about you (yet, anyway).
3. She talks about other men too much
“Ben” has stories about women he’s dated that are seriously disturbing to me. One woman told Ben that lots of men wanted to date her, including lawyers, doctors, and a high level politician. Was that a turn-on to Ben? Hell no. Interestingly enough, she started pursuing Ben with a vengeance but after envisioning this woman with other men, he had no interest in her. I think she was trying to create competition, but Ben wasn’t interested in winning this race. Another woman spent their entire two hour first date talking about her ex-husband non-stop. Not one question came Ben’s way. “I’m fine with a few funny dating stories,” says Ben. “And I want a summary on what went wrong with her marriage. But endlessly hearing about other men is gross.”
Lesson: Less is best when it comes to talking about other men. And never talk about other men you’re currently dating– unless you want to get rid of the guy permanently.
4. She jumped into bed with me too quickly
“James” says that a surprising number of women are willing to jump into bed with him on the first or second date. He’s surprised, however, how many expect a night of passion to lead to Relationship City. “It’s so easy,” says James. “If I want sex, I ask a girl over for a bottle of wine and some cuddling. If she says yes, I know I’m getting laid. A glass of wine or two and almost without exception, we’re having sex. But rarely am I going to see her again. Or, if I do, it’s for sex.” Ouch. I’m so happy I’ve never been one of James’ conquests! “If she’s screwing me, she’s screwing other men. No thanks,” he adds.
Another guy I know, “Harold,” told me about a girl who he started dating. They had sex on the third date and almost immediately afterwards, she asked for Girlfriend status. He thought she was desperate. Within a week, he was done with her. “Desperate is pathetic, and I’m not dating pathetic,” Harold said.
“John” tells me of a girl he had sex with. She found him “on-line” the next night and texted him that she was hurt and angry that he was still looking for other women. After all, the night prior, they were in the midst of making love. “Love?” said John. “It was just sex. I was exploring other options and I expected she was doing the same. After that text, I told her that we weren’t committed and that I didn’t know if I even wanted to see her again. Maybe I did, but after that text, I had my answer and it was a big no.”
Lesson: Sex does not equal a relationship. If you have sex with a guy too quickly, in his mind, you’re doing the same with other men. If you don’t care, go for it. But if you do, having sex after a few dates is a really bad idea.
5. She’s looking for a sugar-daddy
My friend, Chris, is a wealthy and handsome guy. He has crazy stories about how aggressive some women have become when they realize how much money he has. One woman told Chris that she didn’t have a lot of money and had children to raise. If he married her, she would be ok with an open relationship and she would make him very happy. But wild stories aside, most of his dates expected him to wine and dine them, and wanted lavish gifts and trips. Chris often felt like he was a walking ATM machine. Chris has a girlfriend these days. What set her apart from many of the others? “She is my partner. From the get-go, she offered to pay for some of our activities, never expected me to buy her expensive stuff, and became my best friend. I never felt pressure to impress, which made me want to do things for her even more. She’s amazing.”
Lesson: Offer to pay for some of your dates. Be thoughtful. Never expect anything you aren’t willing to do yourself. Yes, he notices even your subtle hints and behavior. If that’s your motive on dating, he’ll know it. And he’ll run far and fast.