It can be a jungle in the dating world. But never fear, RESCU’s Lady Friday is here to warn you of the predators. This week, she warns us about a ‘wham bam thank you mam’ dating experience that caught her friend completely off guard. Listen and learn …
Something happened a little while ago to remind me of the perilousness of those lists of dating ‘rules and regulations’ the modern world seems to produce like plagues. A friend of mine – let’s call her K – began dating a slightly older man a short time ago. K is one of those wise, wary types who wear their cynicism as a charming accessory, like a Miu Miu bag. She’s less sweep-me-off-my-feet than if-you-can-survive-my-sarcasm-then-we’ll-talk.
So, the gentleman in question wined and dined her. He introduced her to his friends, sent her messages every day telling her he missed her, pushed to meet her parents, and offered her help and support when a family crisis hit. For him, it seemed, this was a Grand Affair In The Making.
After several weeks of this, K, who’d initially been slightly put off by this all-systems-go romancing, was starting to warm to it. She was flattered, and interested, and in spite of herself beginning to take down her barriers.
And then – bam – he ended it. Without warning. Over the phone. By saying ‘It’s more about what I’m NOT feeling’.
Over cocktails and commiseration, K expressed her confusion. Everything women have ever been told interested, committed men would do, he did. Every behaviour, every cute gesture, every sign of lasting affection was there – even to a critical eye like K’s. And when it suddenly went belly-up, she was, quite rightly, thrown.
So – aside from wanting to set fire to this guy’s house – what’s the lesson, here?
I think there are a few. One is that (if you take the dude’s excuse seriously) sometimes people create romantic situations to try and foster feelings, rather than to express ones that are already there. Say enough sweet nothings and you’ll start to mean them! Only, of course, that doesn’t work, and, to be honest, is very stupid.
The bigger one, though, is that women forget one huge thing about the He’s Just Not That Into You’s and the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and the dating columns in newspapers. Men can read them too. In fact, I know one group of blokes who spent an entire weekend watching the Sex & The City series, to help them figure girls out.
All those signs and signals, all those behaviours and expectations, all that endless man-talk women churn out in an attempt to codify the rules of this weird jungle-game – men have access to them. Particularly if they’re older, and have been playing the field for a long time. And they can turn them to their advantage to get what they want.
K got caught out, by somebody who took her understanding of ‘the rules’ and used them. The only rule, it seems, is that there are no rules.
Lady Friday xx
Taking pillow talk out of the bedroom…
Next week, Lady Friday will return (same place, same time) with her ‘sexpert’ advice. See you there.