In the early getting-to-know you stage of dating, it’s not unusual for there to be some miscommunication. However, how one handles these hiccups tells you a lot about the person’s thinking. This is a good thing, as if their thinking is 180-degrees off from yours, you learn early that you aren’t a match.
Today I received a call from a nice potential suitor, with whom I’d exchanged a few emails and had a good, lengthy first call last week. He is intelligent, a good conversationalist, articulate, and clear on what he’s looking for. At the end of that first conversation, he said he liked our conversation very much and wanted to meet me in the next few weeks when he visits some clients in my area, a 2-hour drive from him.
I said that was a great idea. We agreed that if one of us had the itch to call the other in the interim, to feel free to dial the other’s digits.
Clear, right? Transparent, right? We both thought so.
His call today was prompted by another women from the same site “chewing him out.” After an initial conversation with her, he also left it that he’d call when he arranged his calendar to be in her area. In the second call, however, she chastised him for not calling sooner nor arranging to meet her immediately. He was taken aback.
He was concerned that he might not be meeting my expectations either and didn’t want to blow it with me. I explained that I was fine with how we left it. Had he pressed for an immediate meeting, he might have appeared a bit desperate. I assured him that if he was as clear with her as he was with me, she was being needy, not him being neglectful.
After the initial shock when I’ve received calls similar to the one he received, I’ve been grateful that the man showed his true colors so early on. I consider it ducking a big bullet as we know how much time and emotional energy we can invest in someone who seems like they might be a good match for us. By seeing the mismatch early on it saved us a lot of energy.
I was impressed at this man’s taking responsibility for ensuring he and I had the same understanding. I think it takes a strong person to broach what could be an awkward conversation.
When I was beginning to date five years ago, I now see how my neediness and loneliness could have prompted expectations like the woman who’d chewed out my new friend. I didn’t know how relationships evolved and thought that if a man was interested in me, he should be pursuing me, damnit! And fast! And if we didn’t quickly go to talking every day, I thought he was a player or just not that into me.
Now I realize that relationships take time to build. If a man starts calling me every day and we haven’t even met — that’s a red flag. Whenever that’s happened, it’s spelled trouble. And if I expect him to call every day and then chew him out for not doing so, something’s wrong — and generally it’s with my expectations.
Have you had someone chastise you for not meeting their expectations early in dating? If so, did you continue to see them or call it quits? Have you ever chewed out someone for not behaving like a sweetie when you’re really just getting to know each other?
Want to know more about the ins and outs of getting to know multiple people simultaneously? Get your copy of Multidating Responsibly: Play the Field Without Being A Player.