Monday, November 22, 2004

Obligatory Seasonal Relationship Post

...except this time, its not by me.

Just some thoughts I ran across. No hidden meanings and suggestions here. Been definitely hearing a whole bunch about marriage and etc though....he has some interesting things to say, and in a quite articulate manner.


So I've been thinking a lot lately ( I usually avoid that kinda thing, but I've been slipping up lately...). Being that I am who I am, my thoughts revolve around one of my favorite things usually... girls (big suprise, I know). The thing I've been thinking about most lately has been the whole "we want what we can't have" concept...

Y'know, there is a lot of truth packed into that little aphorism...

First off, I think that relationships are great, and that a guy that wants a relationship, and finds an exceptional woman to have a relationship with, is a very fortunate guy, and that relationship can be a very fulfilling part of life.

I believe that there's a search involved in finding all the right pieces to make that sort of a situation happen (I mean, c'mon now, God doesn't just leave your groceries on your doorstep every morning--you have to go get them). You can call it dating, courting... whatever, basically it comes down to a searching process.

I think most guys wonder if they should do something different when they'd like to pursue a relationship with a woman as opposed to the process of dating her as a way of determining compatibility and if it'll work.

I've also noticed a pattern: When a guy starts to "like" a girl and feel the "I'd like to be in a long-term relationship with this girl" feelings, this can be a powerful emotional influence. Guys often start acting differently without even realizing it, and then we justify our new behavior with the good reasoning of "I really like this one."

But what does this really do? I mean, should we really do anything different if we'd like this to turn into a relationship...?

I have an idea... let's look at this from a few different perspectives... Think about some of the related questions... Maybe by working through them, there's an answer...

Here are a few that come to mind for me:

"If I act like I'm not interested in a relationship, how does that effect a woman's interest in me?"

"Are women automatically deterred by guys who don't come across as being interested in relationships?"

"Are there clues or hints that women look for to see whether a guy is interested in a "short term" or "long term" relationship (maybe as a way of filtering out guys who are out for a one-night stand)?"

"Will a woman who thinks a guy is interested in a "relationship" act differently towards him if she doesn't know what his intentions are?"

"Is it "ok" to be not interested in a relationship, but still want to meet and date a woman?"

"How do women know when men are pursuing them for a relationship? And how do women typically respond to this?"

"What is the attitude towards this whole subject that not only works best, but is also the healthiest?"

The great thing about questions like this is that when you consider them and ask yourself these kinds of things on a regular basis, they make you think about things in a different way. The ability to think about things from different perspectives can help give you a much clearer understanding of what you're dealing with in a situation like this one.

Now, here's my wandering thoughts on those questions...

I personally think that there's something inside us... a basic program you might call it... that when it comes to someone who is a potential romantic interests this thing says "If he/she chases me, run. If he/she doesn't chase me, chase him/her."

Of course, this is a huge generalization, and it doesn't always hold true... but it's true enough in most situations

Consider, for example, if a guy calls a woman all the time, she'll probably not call him. If a guy takes a woman to dinner 4 times in a week, she probably won't be inviting him over for dinner anytime soon... if this keeps up, soon she'll actually be avoiding him.

On the other hand, if a guy goes out with a woman and she has a great time, then he doesn't call for a couple of days, or maybe he calls once for 3 minutes to tell her that he's busy but wants to make plans for a few days later, she ends up thinking about him all the time.

Essentially I think this comes down to communicating whether or not a person is insecure and needy/clingy, or if they are self-confident and have lives which they are active and responsible participants in... And I think these things are extensions of respect for a person's self and also the person they are interested in.

I also think that when it comes to relationships, women have little hints that they look for to determine what a guy's interests/intentions are.

Does he talk about having kids? Does he ask her about her family and relationships with them? Does he answer her questions about these things in a serious way, as if he's being interviewed? Is he acting stilted and nervous, as if something huge is depending on her
liking him? Does he call a lot and get her gifts? Does he check up to see how she's doing all the time, even though he doesn't know her that well?

All of these things are hints that women use to tell how "relationship minded" a guy is with her...

If a guy seems like he's after a significant relationship, then a woman has a much bigger decision to make, and will be taking all kinds of things into consideration... little gestures will suddenly take on new meaning...

If a guy's only looking for a "relationship", then this will come across in all his interactions with that girl. He'll be asking different questions, answering questions differently, and playing to the long term.

From experience, I think that this can create all kinds of problems when done "too much too soon."

My personal experience is that women will act much more "real" when you don't put unnecessary pressure on the situation. Acting like a friendship has to either end in "marriage or we're breaking up," right from the beginning is asking for big trouble.

Another perspective I have is that a LOT of relationship problems are the result of people who don't know each other getting involved too deeply and too quickly. This is another great thing to mention from the get-go...

Something else I've realized is that just because I really want or don't want a relationship at one moment, doesn't necessarily mean I'll feel that way the next.

I've had times in my life when I've been single and thinking "I'm not into a relationship right now", and then I met a fantastic woman that changed my mind.

I've also had times when I've wanted a relationship, but didn't pursue one.

Ok, after all that introspection, here's my conclusion: Approach the whole topic with the attitude of "I'm open to whatever great opportunities lie ahead."

When you're with an interest that you've just met, don't put the pressure on. Lean back, take it easy. (especially if they're unusually attractive... attractive people are used to having other people falling for them too quickly, and this is a quick turn-off)

If the topic comes up, say "Well, I'm single now, and if I meet a woman that I really like, then we'll see what happens." A lot of guys don't want to come across as being "afraid of commitment". But don't go overboard to prove that you're not... because you'll come across as needy and insecure if you try too hard. A woman won't run away from you if you're not calling her 10 times a day, rather, she'll probably run if you do call her too often...

Ok, too much thinking for today... that should last me til at least next February.

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