Things Your Friends Would Tell You
If You Promised Not To Get Mad
by Evan Marc Katz and Linda Holmes
The Desperation Tango
I have a friend who is a bit of a player, but deep down he wants to fall in love. Ironically, whenever he meets a woman he thinks could be a girlfriend, he completely loses his cool. Generally, that means downing an extra drink, confessing his kidlike excitement, and never hearing from her again. Is he a great guy? Yep. Is his heart in the right place? Uh-huh. Has he had any serious relationships recently? No way. The woman he doesn’t like all fall for him; the ones he falls for all disappear.
Clearly, desperation knows no gender boundaries. I know a screenwriter who wants to write a character based on the most desperate woman I’d ever met. Within three minutes of meeting him at a mutual friend’s Thanksgiving dinner; she told him that she was on a quest to be married and have lots of babies as soon as possible. She was twenty-two. As is often the case, truth is stranger than fiction.
Like a child trying to hold a balloon tightly and inadvertently popping it, trying too hard to catch and keep a man is the one thing that is sure to drive him away. Any man who allows himself to be landed by a woman on a mission is probably one not worth landing. I, for one, wouldn’t want to go out with a woman who wears her ticking clock around her neck like Flavor Flav.
As stated earlier, the whole man-sweeping-you-off-your-feet thing is impossible if you’re lodged on your couch with a stack of work under one arm and Chinese takeout in the other. And despite what all those anachronistic guides tell you about never introducing yourself to guys, they’re wrong. Not only that, but they’re dangerous. Are you going tell me that a confident woman can’t make eye contact with a guy, write him a quick note online, or start up a conversation at a bar? Puh-leeze. Men only get turned off when a woman’s outgoing nature looks more like desperation than it does like confidence. And what does desperation look like?
- Calling him four consecutive times before he calls you back.
- Dropping plans with your friends just to go out with him.
- Bringing up your ticking clock on a date before you even know if he likes you.
- Telling a guy at a Thanksgiving dinner that you will be married-although you don’t know the groom’s name yet-by the time you meet again next year.
Go out with a guy and tell him sincerely at the end of a fabulous date, “I’m so glad to have you in my life,” and he won’t be in your life. Show up at his house with a handwritten note explaining how excited you are that you met, and watch him flee. Push for a commitment before it seems organic just because you’re working on an accelerated baby-related timetable. You don’t need me to tell you what will happen. Sincere expressions of excitement are great when you’re on the same page, but until you’re sure that he’s just as excited as you are, it’s probably smart to put a lid on it.
Insecurity Kills More Relationships Than Infidelity
Whoever said “If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else” hit the nail on the head with a sledgehammer. Everything that goes wrong in a relationship can be attributed, in some form, to insecurity. Unfortunately, short of a scientific breakthrough that provides 100 mg of self-esteem in caplet, lozenge, or latte form, we’re left to lament the sorry state of affairs that leaves so many people unequipped to be equal partners in a healthy, stable relationship. The question is not why people are insecure; the reasons are myriad, and for the sake of this exercise, it doesn’t really matter. What I want to explore (is how these insecurities can sabotage your romance.)
- Do you hash out every argument until there is a winner?
- Do you make him apologize for having a different opinion, even if he has a reasonable justification for it?
- Do you talk badly about your boyfriend behind his back?
- Do you accuse everyone else of being insecure?
Score 100 points for every yes answer. Any score over 99 means you might be insecure.
Then again, we’re all insecure, so a better way to look at arguments of this sort is from his perspective. Put another way: Would you want your boyfriend to exhibit any of these behaviors toward you? Of course not!
Confident women aren’t hung up on how they look in the bedroom. They’re not trying to convince you that you voted for the wrong political party. They’re not losing sleep about your old sweater and how it reflects on them when you’re out with friends. This doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions or that they blindly support everything their boyfriends do; it just means that they’re comfortable in their own skin. Their focus is on themselves, not on railing on others to compensate for their own personal dissatisfaction.
Self-esteem is the greatest gift of all, and I think world peace could be achieved if people liked themselves enough to not be cruel to each other. As you know, dealing with insecure men is an awful task, but since there’s nothing you can do about that, turn your focus inward and try not to let all your crap end up on his plate.
Excerpted From The Book, Why You’re Still Single…Things Your Friends Would Tell You…