Have you been in one of those relationships before where you’re worried if you say something it might push him away? Where if you were honest with him about who you really were, he wouldn’t want you? The relationships where you feel the least authentic and the most fretful. It may seem obvious, except for when you’re knee deep in them, but if you have to constantly worry about a guy’s reaction, it’s pretty safe to say it’s probably not a healthy relationship.
For a relationship to be good and healthy it seems it needs one of two things – (1) a good guy who’s respectful and decent or (2) a guy that’s really into you. Obviously both combined are the best. Though it’s important to note, that the guy that’s really into you, if he’s not a good respectful guy, it’s very possible the “into you” may fade and his true colors come out. These bad guys will try to make you win over their respect or kindness, being as rude as dirt to you until you’ve jumped thru their millions of impossible hoops, tossing you carrots of affection to keep you motivated. There’s no winning a guy like that, he’s a bad apple and you can likely expect that kind of disrespect for life – is that really what you dreamed of? Is that the kind of behavior you want your kids to learn?
As a few of my readers have expressed being in this situation, it’s made me reflect on a few things…
Starting with the first date – how many times did you feel pressured to kiss a guy because you didn’t want to hurt his feelings? My modo – if you don’t want to kiss someone then don’t kiss them. It’s super easy to turn your head and make the event a hug instead. If the guy is into you or respectful it’s a non-issue, he’ll respect your wishes to wait. If he’s neither, sure he may get annoyed but that’s good to know now than find out later you’re dating a disrespectful guy. Your worth is not defined by some guy you don’t like thinking you’re awesome, so please don’t sacrifice your value for external validation.
Now let’s move into date 2 or 3 – how many times have you had that guy who revolves everything around him, why don’t you come to his neighborhood, why don’t you attend a play he finds funny, etc. As women we’re often pressured into going along for the ride, being supportive, but if we’re seeing a trend that this guy seems a bit selfish, wouldn’t that be good to know early on? Can you imagine raising babies with a selfish man? That would be insanely hard. So don’t feel pressured to do everything his way, it’s ok to ask to meet in the middle or do something that works for both of you. If he’s a good guy, he’ll adjust. If he doesn’t, aren’t you glad you asked so now you know?
Ok let’s move even further in like 4 or 5 months down the road – how many times do you not bring up being exclusive because you’re afraid he’ll leave you? Or how many times do you sacrifice your boundaries in sex and do things you’re not comfortable because he might leave you (positions, unprotected, etc.)? At this stage in the relationship, if you can’t tell your guy you have a need or a boundary there’s a problem. Chances are you’ve told him stuff before and he exploded or got annoyed – is this how you want to spend your life, with an emotional disaster who requires you walking on egg shells? Or maybe it’s just that you see him as the catch – but really, don’t you want a guy that finds you the catch, that is into you, that thinks you are awesome? In every case, it’s pretty safe to say, something is broken and it’s probably time to reevaluate your self worth and if you’re being treated with respect and consideration. Imagine spending your life with someone who can’t even show you respect and consideration in the beginning, try raising kids with him, you’ve just signed up for a difficult life.
Now I’m not saying to be super picky and end up alone forever. What I’m saying is there are so many amazingly good guys out there, guys that are true gentlemen. They may not share your same hobbies or other superficial attributes you may think are important, but they’ll treat you with love, consideration and respect. Strong men, real men, capable, protecting, and considerate. And when we’re thinking about the long haul, someone we’ll be making shared decisions with for life, someone who’ll be there when we need them, it’s those attributes that create the foundation needed to manage the bumps in life – when your child has autism, when one of you gets cancer, when your parent dies, when one of you loses their job, etc. Try going through those with a selfish guy or a disrespectful guy, it’s lonely soul eating stuff.
So how do you determine the good guys in the first 1-2 dates – it’s actually fairly easy when you know what to look for:
- He considers you in making dates – choosing the time, the date, the location – if he directs it all, he poses it as a question to make sure it works for you, with options
- He cares about your safety – he walks you to the subway station, to your car, to your house, etc. after the date – maybe even texts you to make sure you got home ok
- He asks questions about you – he doesn’t talk about himself non-stop and you have to initiate things about yourself, he genuinely wants to know you
- He respects your boundaries – if you’re not ready to kiss or to have sex, he doesn’t call you names or bully you into it, he doesn’t get aggressive, he respects your needs
- He’s respectful – at dinner he doesn’t order without making sure you know what you want first, he treats you as a team, not each person out for themselves
The hard part comes in when there’s that guy that you’re super attracted too, have amazing chemistry with, but he doesn’t do any/most of these (maybe he’s even doing some of the not that into you things). I’ve been there, I know, it’s super crazy hard, but I can tell you staying with a guy that’s either not into you or doesn’t respect you just because he’s hot or fun or both, can destroy your self-esteem and self-worth the longer you stay. You deserve a guy that knows how to treat a lady. There’s tons out there – if you haven’t met them, consider looking in different places. Hint – they aren’t usually the super fun hot player looking guy with the swarm of women. They’re the guy sitting off to the side, looks more normal, acting more normal, not drawing attention to himself. Now go get him and enjoy an amazing relationship!!