Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mixed motives

Love Letters caught my eye today: 
"I'm a 30-something woman who has been dating a few men casually for the past several weeks. I've been honest about the fact that I'm not looking to get serious.

"One of the guys I've been seeing is a real standout, and in the past week or so I was starting to feel as though he could be a great boyfriend. We have a great time talking, have marvelous pajama parties, and seem to want the same things from life. At the same time, he's moving to another state in the late spring, so I wasn't sure if trying to make things more serious would be worth it. Some serious mental debate over the past several days.

"This past weekend, he tried to invite me over, and got VERY angry when I told him I was with someone else. His primary objection was that I'd choose someone else over him. I told him what I was thinking, including that I had debated us becoming exclusive, and he got even angrier. He stormed off and I'm not sure what to do at this point. Can I fix things?"
This letter epitomizes a common dilemma about, for lack of a better word, motive.  Do I have to have one? 

Like, what is the definition of being "serious"?  Do I have the time and/or money?  Am I beholden to tell a date if he's not the only one I'm seeing?  And if I do, does he have the right to be upset?  Why so uncouth to change one's mind about level of seriousness or commitment in the early stages?   Why so elusive to find the right time -- not too soon and yet soon enough -- to display cajones and say "I like you"? Why so impossible to discuss each other's motives without scaring each other off?  Why the fear?

I'm a bit there right now with Sunday-night Man.  After the great Sick-Off of 2010, he emerged last Friday to ask me over for takeout. I went and we had a great time on levels big and small  (date #3, y'all!), after which he said he'd talk to me soon. And on Sunday night I wrote him a follow-up thanks for the great time. And 2 days later, I'm still waiting for him to respond ... even though it isn't required, I'm finding I want him to ... in fact, I find myself wanting to propose another date .... while at the same time, fearful of coming on too strong if he doesn' t feel likewise ... while at the same time wondering what would happen if I just stayed chill ... but find I'm not really wanting to be chill .... because the clock is tick tick ticking away ...

Hooray for the endless dance.

Sunday-night and I have only briefly discussed motives and strategy either about ourselves or with each other.  But since he and I first went out in early November, other than moping over C-2 I've not pursued dating anyone else.  Partially cause I've been kinda in the dumps.  Mostly because I like him enough to want to see where it goes.  

Hell if I think I should say that to him, though.

(Should I?  Say that while I'm not exactly running through the Alps and singing like Maria von Trapp in love with the Captain, I like him enough to see him more?  To see if the running and singing might follow?)

The Love Letters Letter Writer took it on the chin for finding a guy she likes in the middle of trying to find out what she wants ... and then mucking it up without really trying to.  It's an unforgiving position to be in and somewhat impossible to navigate cleanly.

Where's the damn instruction manual for this dating thing?


Heidi said...

Dude, no kidding. There should be rules for dating that everyone follows, or they don't get to play.

singinflute said...

I somehow think that the manual would be quite different for men and women. Too bad.