I like to think that every experience has a purpose. I keep trying to figure out the point of all my twisted dead end journeys down romance lane. I think I've finally found it! The purpose my fellow damsels in-not-so-much distress is to share the journey with you! Hopefully to help you avoid some of my pitfalls but definitely to share some laughs and make sure that your headlights are on as you enjoy your travels.
One of my favorite quotes is "men are like buses, if you miss one the next one will be along soon" (adopted from Wendy Cope). Another is from Maya Angelou, "don't just be an aging female, be a real woman." The combination of the two makes for some really interesting social encounters. I spent a couple of years as a “serial dater” and came across some interesting and amusing “buses” along the way.
Bus # 1 is Mr. I'm Not Ready to Commit but I don't want you to see anyone else. He's the guy with whom you go out to romantic dinners, share luminous laughter, have tons in common, hold hands in the street, spend hours on the phone or staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. He involves you in most if not all of his decision making, constantly tells you how much he values you, but reminds you periodically that he's not ready to consider you his girlfriend. What's this dude's deal & what's the definition of girlfriend on his planet?
The remedy: Listen carefully. He'll tell you who he is and what he's about in the midst of sweeping you off your feet. The mistake that most of we female phenoms make is that we think all that stuff from his past doesn't apply to us in the present. But wasn't our most poignant lesson in social studies class that history repeats itself?
Then along comes Baby Baby Please aka Mr. Needy, Bus #2. "Hi, how are you?" Are you there? It's been 3 seconds and you haven't answered me yet. Are you there? I guess you don't want to speak to me (all while you're hard at work not paying a bit of attention to your vibrating phone of course). An hour later, "why don't you want to speak to me??" Umm maybe because I picked up my phone to find 22 text messages and 2 missed calls from you within an hour?? Might it occur to you that I’m busy rather than assuming that I’m attacking your character? Why am I already having visions of being stalked within a day of meeting you? Relax dude!
The remedy: End it early, make a clean break. Beware you'll probably have to block him from contacting you, otherwise he'll keep sending you messages at least once a day (cueing the violins), even if you don't respond.
Let's not forget the instant relationship guy, Bus #3. Shall we call him Microwave Man? This is the guy who thinks just because he pressed a few numbers to contact you that the two of you are instantly on the path to wedded bliss. Everything you casually say you have planned for yourself gets a "we" or "our" response from him DURING THE FIRST CONVERSATION!
The remedy: Be clear and direct, niceties and attempts to steer the conversation in a neutral vane will only be met with talk of tuxedo rentals & picket fences. Something along the lines of "Sorry sir, I don't even know you. Can we go to dinner & maybe learn each others’ last names before you try to change mine?" may work but be prepared to tuck & roll just in case.
Then along comes bus #4. This bus usually pulls up with its reverse lights on because he's a throwback from your past. He's the ex who just knows he has a shot because as far as he's concerned he's matured plus he managed to get you once right? Be wary of exes bearing gifts Ladies. He knows how to sweet talk you; he knows what buttons to push because once again, he's done it before!
He'll call or text just to "see how you are" read: if you're involved, to show you he was sweet enough to remember your birthday, mothers day, arbor day, Tuesday and see when the two of you can get together to "catch up" read: have mind blowing sex after a mediocre meal.
If that works for you, by all means enjoy the ride but remember roller coasters generally thrill you for a few minutes then its back to business as usual.
The remedy: Take it for what it is. If your squeaky wheel needs a quick lube job, go for it but don't walk into it with the assumption that it to lead to wedded bliss. It very rarely does, that's why you ended it with him in the first place.
Then along comes bus #5, the short bus aka Mr. Napoleon. Mr. Napoleon is the guy who reaches out to you even though your online profile clearly indicates that there's a height requirement for this ride. He starts out pleasant and friendly and after a few days of somewhat comical small talk, you decide that maybe you should forego the usual standard, don a cute pair of flats and break bread with him.
I don't know what it is about Mr. Napoleon, but for some reason he seems unable to make simple decisions or take the lead in many situations. Where would you like to eat? I don't know, wherever you want to go. What movie do you want to see? I don't know, whatever you want to see is fine. Now if you like being the boss of every situation, this is fine, I guess but I prefer partner participation. The absolute clincher for one Mr. Napoleon was after a dinner ripe with non-decisiveness where he ate like a small bird, we were going down an escalator at the movie theater and he wrapped both his skinny arms around one of mine like he was holding on for dear life. Really Mr. Napoleon?? Can I be the girl, please??
The remedy: calcium supplements?? Testosterone injections? I don't know, the jury’s still out on this one.
Bus #6, Mr. Insecure - he's the guy who's intimidated by your success even though it's never a topic of conversation until he brings it up. Rather than focusing his efforts in building his own empire, this dude's mission in life is to tear down yours or make you feel guilty about it. While you're more than willing to help him organize his efforts so you can move forward as a successful team, he's content to be a hater and make excuses about what he thinks the world owes him.
The remedy: recognize the warning signs early and let this dude commiserate on his own time. No one has the right to make you feel guilty about the results of your hard work and dedication.
Bus #7 Mr. Maybe - let's go out, maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe never. This is the guy who calls, texts and sends carrier pigeons telling you how much he wants to see you but makes more excuses than concrete plans or worse makes a plan and then is completely incognito on the day you’re supposed to get together. He'll do his best to string you along on his highway to nowhere for reasons unbeknownst to anyone but him and try to lay the blame at your feet for the missed meeting.
The remedy: end the nonsense early. Direct, concrete plans or no plans at all. What's with this tentative crap? You don't have time to wait around while he tries to play out his little cat and mouse game.
Bus #8 -The missed bus - the guy you almost met, made eye contact with, seemed to share a mutual attraction but for some unknown reason it went no further. The guy you wonder about occasionally, Mr. What if. The one who remains perfect in your mind because of course you've never had any meaningful interaction with him. He's the guy you have fleeting thoughts about while watching reruns of Sex & the City screaming "You don't deserve Aidan he's too good for you!' at the screen.
The remedy: let it go! What's that saying about crying over spilled milk? While you're preoccupied fantasizing about this guy, a real prospect may be passing you by.
Bus #9 - the wannabe player - he wants badly to appear smooth and nonchalant but he's just sloppy. He has no game but wants to be able to juggle women. Unfortunately for him, his motives are as transparent as the window pane behind him.
The remedy: remind him that game recognizes game (and lack thereof). Counteract his corny attempts at suaveness by slyly poking holes in his one liners like an old school game of battleship. All while you maintain your subtle sexy demeanor of course. You'll get a few laughs and within a few days he'll be worn out from trying to outsmart you and move on to shallower waters.
Bus #10 - Not in service- this guy has potential but no clue how or desire to put it into practice. Shortly after meeting him and enjoying several insightful conversations about life, love and the state of world events, you discover that he is for one reason or another "in between jobs". Somehow, there's always an interview or an opportunity set up right around the corner, so he'll be able to hold your attention for a bit taking you to free concerts and picnics in the park. After a while though you realize all the get up and go that he talks so fervently about is a thing of the past. He's found a way to be comfortable and get by without having steady employment or a place of his own. Ladies, there's just no way to pull a potato off a couch once its grown roots.
Bottom line why stay in a situation where you're not getting a return on your investment? Your time, your energy, your body & your listening ear are all precious commodities. If you are allowing someone who is not on the same page as you to usurp your energy, they will be replenished while you are left high and dry. Let's face it nobody's getting any younger. It's important to be both objective and reflective in romance as in any other area of your life.
The ultimate remedy is clarity. Get clear on what you want, what you're looking for. Imagine your life the way you want it to be. The way you want to feel when you walk into your home and when your partner looks at you. Imagine the person with whom you want to share this journey called Life. Not just his looks, but his demeanor, his personality, his goals, his sense of humor. Is marriage your goal? Are children in the plan? Do you want to focus on your career for the moment? What do success and happiness look like for you? Do you want to travel more? Do you want to spend more time with family? Need more me time? Is your ideal partner an artist, an executive, a carpenter or a philosopher? What are the things that really, genuinely make you smile? Those are the things that should consume your life and your time.
One way to get clear is to create a vision board that represents your true vision for your life. Post it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis. This will remind you what you want in your life. It will make you gravitate toward the things and people that will complement it without even outwardly thinking about it. It will also make it easier to walk away from the things that don't fit the bill. Happy vision boarding Ladies. Start living the dream!
Guest Blogger ©2013 Shavon C. Evelyn
Some tools to assist you on your vision boarding quest can be found @:
*Photo Credit* Microsoft Office Clip Art.