Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fools rush in

I am starting to notice a pattern when it comes to the men I meet: They want to rush into a relationship.

One guy suggested we would go right from casually dating to a full-blown relationship in which we lived together. No middle-ground; no exclusive dating; no time to get to know each other.

In his case, this is how he has historically solved his living situation. He goes from one "relationship" to the next, always living with the woman. When a relationship ends, he finds a friend's sofa to crash on until he can get the next relationship up and going.

Rest assured he and I never made it to "relationship" status.

He seemed unwilling to accept that there was anything in between - like going on actual dates, getting to know each other, meeting friends and family. He just wants someone he finds attractive, who he likes as a person, and with whom he can get along. Then he wants to move in with her.

I guess he just figured the rest would fall into place. If he found out the person couldn't be trusted, then I guess he'd find a new sofa and start the process all over again.

He was the most extreme case, but not the only guy I've met with that attitude. Several have said things like, "So we need to meet so we can get this relationship underway" without even knowing who I am or what I'm about. Again, it seems they put the cart before the horse - they get the relationship going, then figure out if the person makes them happy, is trustworthy, wants the same things, etc.

With the one guy, it seemed to be a matter of trust. Unless a woman agreed to be in a relationship with him, he didn't feel he could trust her enough to show the real him. So he wanted to rush right into the relationship.

But how is that honest trust? Just because someone says sure, I'll be "in a relationship" with you - what does that mean? Eventually, you're going to have to drop any pretense and let this person see the real you - and that's when you'll know if you can trust her, or if the two of you are going to work as a couple. Wouldn't it make more sense to know that before you've moved all your stuff in together?

Then I started to wonder if it's a confidence thing. Most of the time when you first meet someone, you know they could be dating others. Or at the very least, they're not fully committed to you yet. It takes a lot of confidence to feel you can "compete" with others, and stand out as someone s/he might want to keep seeing - maybe eventually the only person.

I suppose if you don't have that confidence, skipping ahead to the commitment feels like a way to outsmart the competition.

But what have you really secured? A relationship based on half-truths and ignorance, where no one knows if s/he is happy?

Wouldn't it make more sense to take your time, get to know each other, learn to trust, and then enter into a committed relationship with a solid foundation?

Or is that just foolish talk?

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