About a month ago I had dinner with a guy I used to see. We began exchanging dating stories, one of my favorite topics of conversation. I must admit, I am always fascinated by how other women behave with men. So when he told me about a woman he briefly dated who began acting, as he described, irrationally, I became all ears.
According to my friend, they had seen each other only twice and after the second meeting he didn’t follow up with her again. But instead of reaching out to him directly and saying, “Hey,” to see where they stood, this 40-something year old woman instead decided on a less direct and, let’s just say, more creative approach.
As my friend recalled the text that was “accidentally” forwarded to him, I immediately became suspicious. A text this woman wrote to someone else describing her irritation with my friend for not contacting her again was somehow sent to him.
“Did you respond?” I asked, trying to mask the smirk that was already forming around my mouth.
“No,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders. “I assumed it was sent to me by mistake.”
Yeah, there was a mistake, all right. But it wasn’t hers. It was his, though he had absolutely no idea how badly he had blundered.
“So, what happened next?” I perkily inquired, as if I didn’t know the answer, which, of course, I already did.
“She began sending me angry texts ranting about how ‘it’ must be over between us.”
Incredibly, he still had absolutely no idea why she was so upset.
“Don’t you get it?” I asked incredulously.
My friend, a successful, Ivy-League educated high level executive, stared at me quizzically. “No, I don’t.”
“Silly man,” I explained. “You failed her test. When she forwarded you that text, she was trying to goad you into reaching out to her. When you didn’t respond, that’s when she lost it.”
He stared at me in disbelief. “That’s sooo manipulative.”
No shit, Sherlock.
My friend obviously learned something new that evening, which was how some women use manipulative tactics to get what they want, in this case a call back. But I believe it’s really the women who pull this kind of crap (you know who you are) that have something to learn here.
As can be seen from this example, the forwarded text, though informative of her disappointment with the relationship’s progression, did absolutely nothing to inspire him to act in the manner she wanted. Instead, he took the text at face value (as men typically do because, well, they’re not women), assumed it wasn’t directed at him, and likely never gave it a second thought until our conversation that night. In other words, he still did what he wanted to do. Or not wanted to do, which was call her. When she became enraged, my friend received confirmation that, in fact, he had made the right decision to end things, which was exactly the opposite of what the woman was trying to achieve in the first place.
Uncommon behavior? Hardly. In fact, I hear stories like this all the time. And in each and every scenario the guy remains clueless to the mind games women play or the smoke signals they send, especially when there’s no fire.
Which reminds me of yet another smart and successful guy I know who, like my other friend, spent a few weeks last year receiving multiple texts from the same woman that were clearly intended for someone else. Or so he believed.
“She must be stupid,” he stated, knowing no other way to explain the frequent errors.
“What do the texts say?” I asked, already anticipating the inventive attention grabber I knew I was about to hear.
“Stop coming to my office,” and “Stop sending me gifts,’” he repeated with a straight face.
I smiled. The texts were clearly intended to make him jealous that another guy (likely one by the name of George Glass) was interested in her. Yet he remained clueless nonetheless.
You might be wondering right about now whether or not her efforts paid off. It seems not, since today he remains unattached.
But the most ridiculous story was told to me only the other morning. One of my friend’s female co-workers snapped a picture of flowers sent to someone else at work. The woman then texted the photo to her own boyfriend asking whether or not he had sent the flowers to her since they arrived without a card which, of course, they did not. His answer? A simple and resounding… NO. Suffice it to say that as of the writing of this article, she has yet to receive any “surprise” deliveries from her beau.
Indeed, this is a page right out of Cher Horowitz’s playbook in the 1995 hit movie, Clueless. In the film, Cher, who is portrayed by Alicia Silverstone, goes so far as to send herself flowers at school in order to attract the attention of Christian, her handsome gentleman classmate. True to form, Cher fared about as well as the woman above did, though for different reasons, and her ruse failed in the end.
But I wonder, if the efforts of these women were successful, would either of them have wanted those flowers anyway, under such questionable circumstances? I know I would not. In fact, I am hard pressed to understand why any woman would want a guy to send her flowers, ask her out, or shower her with gifts if she has to, however subtlety, twist his arm to do so. More likely than not, if a guy does do what a woman intimates, his attention will be short-lived regardless because the overtures are not genuine to begin with.
The man who will win your heart will win it because he wants to win it. He will make his affection known to you and, because of that, there will be no doubt in your mind as to his feelings. So, if you find yourself questioning your guy’s behavior and then scheming how best to call him to action because you believe he doesn’t know the way, understand it’s not he who is clueless. It’s you.
Has a date ever tried to manipulate you?