One of the most important revelations we as humans will go through in life is the day when we realize who we are and who we are not — when we stop pretending to be someone else to appease others; when we accept our character flaws and quirks; and when we live confidently in our own skin and as our true selves.
There are many flaws in my genetic makeup, but self-awareness is not one of them. There may be flaws that come with who I am, but there is no doubt or denial in regards to what those potential flaws may be.
A quirk that has become noticeable by friends and acquaintances of mine is that I’m liable to ask a girl or a group of girls a question at some point in the night, just to get their perspective. It doesn’t matter if they are my volleyball teammates, my date for the night, my cousins, or a group of girls at a bar I’ve never met before.
Part of me can’t help it, while another part of me doesn’t necessarily want to restrain it. I’m a curious being, and the inner workings of the female mind are utterly fascinating to me. That’s how I am, and I’ve been that way for a number of years.
So when I drove my friend and her friends to Hoboken this weekend, she gave them all a disclaimer before we left the house: “He’s going to ask you something about dating at some point.”
I gave her a look that said, “Gee, thanks for that,” but she was right. Sure enough, questions started coming out five hours later on the way back home.
One of the dating conundrums I’ve never been able to wrap my head around is when two people go on a great date (or multiple dates), communication is great, chemistry seems to be there, and then *poof* — they’re gone.
The easy answer: “(They’re) just not that into you,” one girl said. When I pressed for a little more analysis, she reciprocated.
“How soon after the first date did you text her?” she asked. “Was it the same night?”
“No,” I said, before quickly correcting myself. “Actually yes — she told me to let her know when I got home, so I texted her when I made it back.”
“See, there you go,” she said.
“What?” I inquired.
“When a girl tells you to let her know you got home safely, she doesn’t want you to tell her,” she said. “She wants to hear from you the next morning, or later.”
Dumbfounded, I snapped with my knee-jerk response.
“In what parallel universe does that make any sense?” I asked. “When I tell a girl to let me know she got home safely, I mean it. I’d get worried if I didn’t hear from her.”
“That’s because you’re a guy,” she explained. “When guys say it, they mean it.”
Sparing the details of the cringeworthy 10 minutes that followed, I drove most of the remaining ride in silence. Part of me was trying to process everything, while part of me was speechless.
That car ride had confirmed what I’ve long suspected: I have no idea what the hell goes on inside the mind of a woman.
My view of dating is overly simplistic: be honest, be open, and communicate. It’s really not difficult. If you’re into them, tell them; if you’re not, tell them and don’t continue to string them along.
Fortunately, I’m wise enough to know that the view of one woman does not speak for the entire female congregation. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I also believed that this particular view was shared the minority of women out there.
In any case, the conversation was productive. It showed me that there really are vastly different views of the world out there. My way of living and thinking may not be shared with the girl I’m seeing, and that will present a problem.
I can’t be with someone who is into the games and bullshit of dating. It’s not a game to me. It’s not a task, either, by any means, but I don’t believe that people’s feelings are something to be trifled with. My partner doesn’t have to be an exact replica of myself, but we have to share the same views when it comes to what role trust, honesty, and communication plays in a relationship.
Women are an endless maze of mystique, of which I’ve come to accept. I don’t ever intend to reach a destination on the journey to figuring them out, which is fine, but this weekend made me realize that I’m likely only a few steps out of the starting gate.