Saturday, September 13, 2008

She Says: When you're dating... But not really.

Admittedly, when it comes to dating, I've decided that I'm something of an extremist: I either care and want something, or I'm indifferent and well... I've got one thing on the agenda. However, I realized that line got a little hazy when I entered a mixed bag issue: a pseudo-dating situation (can mirror the "Friends with Benefits", or FWB). Although they're typically considered minimal by way of investment and maximum by way of pleasure (See Exhibit A), I've found that they may not always allow for a sense of control.

What do I mean? Well, see it like this: I met a guy about a year ago and we hit it off right away. He'd made it clear that he was interested in seeing me past that night, and while I was still licking the wounds of a break-up, I thought this guy would be a great chance for me to really just have fun - and not worry about a relationship in any way.  So, we start hanging out, having nice evening dates, where he was even holding my hand and not afraid to cuddle in public. It was just what I wanted. 

As time and circumstances would have it, we slowed down for a while. Our jobs picked up speed and our schedules didn't mesh during most of the winter. But before I knew it, spring was here, and we were back in full swing. And, as we started spending time together again, it became much more infrequent than in the beginning - a nice night here and there more than anything.

Now, take this how you will, but that is not the part I was wound up about. Unlike in the beginning, there were less options as to when I got to see him. And suddenly, because there was no telling if and/or when I would see him, I wasn't having as much fun - mainly because I wanted to feel like I could call some of the shots about when we hung out. And after standing me up once or twice of our "dates" (which in most cases he found me), I decided I'd let it play out one last time before I took any measures.

He'd reached out to me initially via texts, sounding excited to see me after work one day to get food and drinks -- after all "it's been forever," he'd said when he called the night before our date. Giving him the benefit of the doubt from past behavior, I agreed to meet him. However, when he didn't call at our scheduled time that night, I raised an eyebrow. When a half hour passed with no call, I got annoyed. And when I didn't hear from him for the rest of the night, I got pissed.

So, when he sent a text message the next NIGHT, I promptly deleted it -- and his number from my phone book. After all, I'm sure there are several more he's already calling.

And that is how I called checkmate. By taking a LARGE dose of "He's just not that into you." Simple AND effective (Thanks Sex and the City, Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo)

It's not much of a situation if he gets to call the shots, now is it? It's not much of anything if he can't wait to see more of me, period. 

Now that's my proud side talking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She Says: "Relationship Status: Texting"

In this day and age, it is SO easy to communicate. The advent of cell phones make it possible for us to be later more often ( I mean, how often have YOU heard: "Hey honey, just leaving right now. Hopping into a cab. I'll be there in 20."), or talk to people no matter WHERE you are (bus, bathroom, on line in a restaurant). AND, phones these days let us supplement personal relationships through meaningful exchanges without actually talking through the power of text messages:

You: It was gr8t to c u! 
Me: U 2! Let's do that more often.
You: 4 Sure.

I had a great talk this evening with one of my closest girls since moving to Chicago. Like many of my amazing female friends, she's a walking powerhouse: great career, independent, sharp, witty and pretty. We'll call her Sassy.

Anyway, in trading stories on our twisted romantic lives, she told me that she's been in touch with a guy she met for the past two months which was great - but it's all by text messaging. He sends her a message each morning, with some flowery compliment, and he's even sent her photos (Man he's hot). But that's all it's been. No plans to meet or anything. Just sweet texting.

Now, I give Sassy credit. She's been rolling with the punches, and responding, not expecting anything, but instead, going with the flow of the situation. She's never been the clingy type, so why start now? Still, it's strange to maintain a conversation with someone by text alone. What in the heck could this mean?

Her own story had me reflect on my own situations. I mean, how many times have I met a guy and let most of the exchanges lie with texting? I certainly haven't taken myself off the market, but I have grown to maintain some semblance of a "relationship" in the form of digital characters on my BlackBerry.

This is one that stumps me, but the only thing I come back to is that it's all about the guy -- it's a new way to get involved without getting committal -- while he tests the waters, he can keep someone in his back pocket. Yeah, that starts to make sense, but then why put the effort? To me, if you're not into it, then just don't be. It's not like any lady is waiting (I know Sassy's not).

But then, if you are interested, what's the big deal in picking up the phone? Skip the text. I don't know about you, but the in person meeting could be just as fun, or MORE so. After two months, there will be plenty to say face to face! :-) 

Help me understand this one (especially the men). What's the kicker?