I don’t think I should ever be the go-to for dating and relationship advice, but I like to share my opinions anyways and sometimes my girlfriends benefit from applying it.
A lot of my friends think my ‘rules’ in dating are extreme, but I’m just a fan of not wasting my fucking time by investing into something I shouldn’t be. My ‘rules’ (that do have some exceptions) are also a natural response to bullshit I’ve dealt with along the way, so as I learned, I grew, and I changed my approach for better results.
I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I’ve learned that a man’s actions show you all you need to know about his level of investment. I’m talking specifically about the very beginning stages here so you can weed out the ones who won’t ultimately offer what you’re after (if you care about that kinda thing).
Personally, I don’t give more than is given. A lot of my friends do. They message way more than he does. Fill in the gaps when there’s space and they start feeling anxious. Resort to playing games to try to get what they want. They initiate the plans because he isn’t doing it. They ask if anything’s wrong when they don’t hear back etc.
That’s a lot of unnecessary work and a waste of your precious time and energy. You shouldn’t be investing more than he invests in you no matter how much you like him. Why would you even like a guy who isn’t showing up properly in the first place?
Guys aren’t that hard to figure out, ladies. They go after what they want. They want to spend time with the woman they like. They want to progress things with someone they’re into so they keep the emotional momentum up by engaging with her regularly.
I like the man to lead and most men like to lead. I like to match what’s being offered and if I like the offer, I say yes. And if he doesn’t follow through and do what he says he’ll do, or he doesn’t pursue me beyond a first encounter, I move on.
If you can’t get a text or a call back, if you’re getting one word responses to being real, if he’s late or doesn’t show up or just drops off completely, why ask him about it? Do you really want to date a flake? Do you really think you can build something with someone who can’t even show up in the smallest ways?
So one of my ‘rules’ is that I don’t fill in the gaps. It needs to be an equal exchange. I don’t do the man’s work for him. I let him show me who he is and if he’s not showing up properly, it’s not a problem because I know I don’t need to bother investing there.
Sure there are exceptions. Things really do come up. But there’s a cool way to deal with that. It’s called checking in with the person to tell them what’s going on and that you’ll be late or need to reschedule. It’s normal human engagement.
And keep in mind that people show you who they are right away. Red flags don’t show up all of a sudden a year in. They were there at the start but lots of times our attraction, or desperation, or lack of experience, or even low self-esteem, makes us temporarily blind and dumb.
Ladies, if he drops off, let him drop off. If days go by without hearing from him, DO NOTHING. Live your wonderful life. If you two had plans already and you wanted to check in about that the day of, do it, but otherwise let that ball drop. No need to distract yourself with half-assing when there are plenty of men who’d be happy to have a chance to show up fully for a woman like you.
(Art by Sara Shakeel)
“I think these are precious advices to be honest. Sometimes you want it so much to work then you just forget all the rest. Like the balance of efforts part, the anxiety, filling in the gaps etc. I think these are wise words.” Sabina Bibor-Fontaine
“Louder for those in the back!!! Spot on! sent this to my daughters. Sometimes it helps to hear it worded differently, and not from Mom.” Celina Moniz
“Yes. Clap louder for those in the back.” Karen Benedict
“I completely agree, Mandy!” Jenni