Part of creating my blog was to address issues/topics that didn’t make it into my book. This is my first post of that nature.
There is a fine line between being polite and using politeness as an excuse to deal with people fairly when it comes to dating and sex.
Often, when people are dating, they feel a bit of a need to put on a show by presenting themselves in the best light. While it is totally fine to show off your best qualities and to be polite, the latter often turns out to be counterproductive and ultimately does more damage than good.
For instance, Apps like Tinder are supposedly for hookups only, and yet, people often misrepresent themselves by pretending to look for something more when in reality they only want to get laid. There are people on these websites/apps that do look for someone to date, but more often than not, they’re just pretending to do so.
Another issue that occurs often in dating is the tendency to hold on to someone for the wrong reasons. To clarify what I mean and how exactly this often plays out, I’m going to give you two different scenarios:
The lack of chemistry:
A girl and a guy go out on a date. She doesn’t really like him all that much, but she likes to be wined and dined and currently there’s no better option out there to date. In the following weeks, she keeps going out with him despite the fact that she’s not into him at all. Her reasoning for that is based on the hope that she might change her mind about him. He in turn believes he’ll have a shot with her if he only keeps it going. However, every time he’s trying to get closer to her physically, she acts coy as a way to keep him at a distance. Deep down she knows clearly that her feelings towards him will never change while it is pretty obvious that he has a thing for her. At this point she’s just stringing him along, feeding him hope with every further outing.
So why is she doing this? Because she convinced herself that in time, her feelings towards him will change? Is there anything he could do to change her mind?
No! If there is no chemistry from the beginning there never will be. She thought by trying she’s doing a good thing when in reality she’s just leading him on, whether it’s intentionally or not.
The misguided hookup:
Guy meets girl. They spontaneously hook up and it’s pretty obvious that isn’t really about dating at all. However, since he wants to appear as a nice guy he displays an interest in more than just a hookup after they had sex. In the following weeks he stays in touch, writes her nice texts, they meet frequently, hang out and have more sex. He even tells her that he loves her and then, all of a sudden, he starts stalling and finds ways to avoid seeing her. She doesn’t understand why, tries to make an effort to see him and while he keeps responding nicely to her texts, it won’t come to another meeting.
Now, what happened here? Did he initially like her and then grew tired of her? Did she do something to turn him off?
No! He wanted to come across like a nice guy, and thought it’s the way to handle a situation that was never meant to be more than casual sex.
What do these two examples have in common?
There are ways to deal with these kinds of situations that don’t involve deliberately hurting someone. As the saying goes, it’s the tone makes the music.
The girl could have just gone on that first date and once she knew that she isn’t into him, she could have let him go. When he asked her on a second date, she could have responded with something like, “I had a great time with you but right now I’m not ready to date someone.” That way she didn’t hurt him by saying, “I’m not into you,” and he can let go off his hope that someday she’ll change her mind. If there’s no chemistry from the beginning there never will be. That doesn’t mean one has to act on chemistry, but it doesn’t grow. You can grow to love someone but not to be infatuated with somebody.
As for the guy in the second example, he should have taken a different path as well. There was no need to pretend to go down a potential relationship path if it’s clear from the beginning that it’s just casual sex. His behavior just created a lot of confusion. He should have just said, “Thank you for the beautiful night, or “I had a great time,” and never contact her again. That way she wouldn’t have gotten emotional attached to him.
I’m not suggesting that the girl from example one and the guy from example two acted the way they did because they had bad intentions. While in some cases people do these things for selfish reasons, often it’s simply done to appear nice.
It is exactly this kind of politeness that leads people to the wrong conclusions. It might even make them bitter in the future. The guy from example one might now think that all women just like to take advantage of guys (like getting free dinners) and in turn, he will become stingy and develop trust issues. The girl from example two might choose to not ever give a guy she had a hookup with a chance to get to know her, even if she would meet someone who genuinely likes her.
There is definitely a place for politeness, however I think in the dating scene it’s often misused for the wrong purpose.