There is only one question women need answered other than “What’s the meaning of life?” Its end all be all of questions. The question every woman asks herself when she meets a man she really likes and wants to be wtih. Its simple, easy, and yet so complex.
“Does he really like me and want to be with me?”
There are several variations of this question – “Does he love me?” “How does he feel about me?” “Is he thinking about me?” “Does he want to be in a relationship with me?” They are all pretty much the same and lead to two answers: “Yes” or “No”. Unfortunately, women tend to overanalyze. A simple question with a simple answer leads to more hours of anxiety, tears, ice cream binges, and cocktails with girlfriends.
I’ve always been told (thanks mom) that if a man is interested in me, he will do anything to be wtih me. It doesn’t matter how busy or stressed he is, he will make time for me. I learned so many hard lessons after trying to disprove this theory, yet her words always rang true. “If he isn’t calling you, he doesn’t want to be with you.”
An episode of Sex and The City brought this topic to the forefront. “He’s Just Not That Into You” spawned not only a book by the same name, but a movie as well. Carrie’s boyfriend at the time Jack Berger educates both Miranda and Charlotte about the thoughts of men when they start dating a woman. If the isn’t taking up an invitation to come upstairs after the date, he just isn’t that into you. For some women, this was a complete revelation. For me, it just reiterated what my mom had told me so long ago.
There are so many flags we choose to ignore.We make excuses and hope if we just be patient he will suddenly wake up and appreciate us. Here are some red flags I believe you should watch for when dating someone.
1) He calls and texts inconsistently. Like my mom says, no matter how busy or stressed a man is, he will always find time to call you or at least text you to see how your day went or to “have a good day.” When a week or two passes and you haven’t heard from him, this is a huge red flag.
2) He never asks you to do anything. Even when you’ve been dating for a few weeks, he never seems to make plans in advance. He could be a last minute, spontaneous person and that is fine once in awhile, but he should be man enough to know you’re a busy girl and he needs to get on your calendar sooner rather than later or you will have made other plans. Even if he makes plans with you and then has to break them because of a child situation or emergency or something–that is way better than not making plans at all. To take it one heartbreaking step further, if you’ve asked him to do something and he can’t (because of kids events or whatever) but never proposes an alternate day and time, he doesn’t want to see you that badly.You shouldn’t be left with just a “no, I can’t.”
3) You haven’t met any of his friends or family. Not to say the first couple of months you should have met everyone, but it would be nice to know a little bit about his social circle and who he hangs out with. Not knowing the children is like not knowing half of who he is as a person. But again, not meeting the kids right away isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Its better to be cautious. But after six months of dating…if he hasn’t asked you to meet his children, he probably is never planning on it happening.
4) You’re happy with him but miserable without him. Patience only goes so far. It’s one thing to be patient about only seeing him a couple times a week when he doesn’t have the kids, but after a few months it gets tedious. It opens that can of worms called insecurity. You’re happy and laughing with him when you are together, but when two weeks goes by and you haven’t heard from him, it’s jarring. It makes you miserable and wonder if you should forget him and date other people. You shed tears thinking you really like this person and want to be with him, but he isn’t interested in you the same way. You’re too afraid to call him for fear of being clingy, but unless you text or call first, you feel he isn’t even thinking about you. Then your brain goes into overdrive thinking he is probably dating someone else anyway. Here you are thinking so much about him and he is probably out there thinking about someone else and spending time with her. A man who was interested in you and wants to be with you, wouldn’t leave you hanging like that. You would have the security of knowing he is thinking about you because he lets you know he is thinking about you. He also wants to spend a good portion of his free time with you. You would never have to question it.
5) Intimacy. As Jack Berger said in the SATC episode, if a man refuses your invite upstairs after a nice date, if he is into you, it won’t matter that he has an early meeting or he needs to get home to let the dog out. He will come upstairs. No man who is into you will refuse. This goes for other situations as well (ahem). Sometimes he may very well be tired or drank too much, but a man who loves you won’t refuse you completely. He will at least kiss you and put his arm around you.
6) He doesn’t know the real you. We all seem to make assumptions or draw conclusions about people we meet. Sometimes they are accurate and other times, we can be way off. I’ve been mistaken for some silly fluffy blonde city girl who only likes to shop and go to the beach. However, if he really knew me, he would understand how I love camping, sports (playing and watching), roadtripping, traveling, assimilating into cultures where I get to know locals, hiking, playing with my niece and nephew, gardening, painting walls and fixing things in my house, volunteering, and generally being adventurous. I love my friends and family and would do anything for them and I have depth and integrity. I’m very honest, loyal and kind. I introduce him to my friends and family because I’m proud of him and want to show him off. I want to meet his children because I think I might be a good influence on his oldest. And I can get very lonely. Despite my social and outgoing tendencies, my job requires me to talk to so many people, I often feel lonely…especially when I’m at family events. I’m not desperate by any means, but I would like to have my own family and not feel so alone knowing my brothers have each other and now have wives and families of their own and my parents have each other. I get left out. I want him to know I’m a good person who would love him and never hurt him. Its not in my nature.
Regardless, if it’s the right relationship, it should never be that hard to get it off the ground. It shouldn’t be all angsty and sad. It should uplift you and make you feel happy. A man who is into you, even with his baggage and issues, will call you and make plans with you. Patience is good, especially with single dads, but you should also be a priority to him–someone he wants to say good night or good morning to no matter how busy or tired he is.
He should appreciate you and know he shouldn’t let you go. You’re a needle in the haystack. You’re a catch. You deserve respect and love and he should know to make you feel loved and respected. If he has taken even an ounce of your confidence, he isn’t the right person. You ARE a catch and deserve someone who knows, understands and wants to prove it to you.