Talking with Her About Dating

Posted: February 24, 2010 in dating, Life, romance

“I can’t understand how someone has beautiful as you doesn’t already have a boyfriend.” 

It was an honest question, not intended to flatter.  Those who know me, know that I refuse to flatter.  Flattering feels too phony and seems to be indicative of an opportunistic mindset. 

Fortunately she took the question at face value.   “Oh I don’t know.  I’m kind of private, I guess.  I listen well to others but they don’t get to see who I am very often. ”

I was still processing that when she turned the question back to me.  “What about you?  Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”  

I looked at her.   She had such clear gorgeous blue eyes.  (Yeah, Ok so I was distracted.  Time to get back to the point)

“Well, ” I began, “I’m very picky.”  Wait, that sounded resoundingly cliché.   “I mean, you know, when you’re a young guy and you see a hot girl, all you want to do is get with her.”  I thought about that, and how this encounter was so different.  She was beautiful too, obviously.   “If you’re lucky, and you grow up a bit, and you understand yourself better, you get to realize that beauty is only a small part of the puzzle.  Some guys never grow up and they continue to date women solely because they’re pretty.”

And then, waxing even more cliché, I added “beauty will get you in the door but you’d better have something more if you want to stay.”   I winced.   Fortunately for me, English wasn’t her first language so maybe she didn’t realize the seemingly ostentatious use of that phrase.   Anyway, she nodded.

I barreled through.  “I tend to look for a sparkle in a woman’s eyes.  I think that’s key.”

She glanced at me. “Always?  You have to see that sparkle?”

I grinned.  “Yeah.  Like I did with you.”    She smiled.

“Seriously though – that sparkle isn’t always there.  Sometimes it can be buried.  I suppose we all hold something of ourselves back, don’t we?”

She nodded.  “I do.  For sure.”

“Right”, I went on.  “So sometimes I’ve gone on dates, not knowing if this woman would do it for me. ”  I thought a moment.  “In fact, maybe a month ago I went out with a woman who seemed perfectly fine.  Our interests were in sync, and she had the same life outlook that I did.   Oh, and she was great looking too. ”

I thought some more.  “We set up a second date–”

“Wait – you had a second date with her?”

I smiled.  “No.  We first dated on Wednesday and we were set to go out for the second date on Saturday night but we never did.”

“Don’t you think you should have given her a second chance?”   I could tell she was putting herself in this women’s shoes.  Obviously, this blond beautiful creature beside me had a heart for others.  There must be something wrong with her.  But what?  Maybe she had bodies buried in the basement.

“No, not really.   You see – in that between time before the second date, I kept thinking about excuses I could make not to meet her.   It was all subconscious though.  When my conscious mind finally figured out what was going on, I realized I didn’t really want to see her.”

She looked at me, one delicate eyebrow raised.

“Right.  I know this sounds hokey but you know what?  That’s how it happened.  I finally decided it was better to tell her straight out that I didn’t think we should go out.  And I did.”

“Wow.  That’s a bit cold.”

I shrugged.  “Well, there’s a way of handling information like that.  I told her I didn’t think we had chemistry.”

“Was this on the second date you told her that?”

“No, I phoned her the day before.  She seemed ok with it at first but I think it hurt her a little bit.”

She nodded in agreement. 

I continued.  “She phoned me up a second time, asking if she did anything wrong. I said ‘no no NO!  You did nothing wrong!  Not at all.’   I told her about all the things that I found attractive about her but ended with ‘ but we just don’t have chemistry’ and left it at that.  She told me she appreciated my honesty.”

She digested this.   “Well that’s a ballsy move but yes – honesty is better.”   Then: “do you prefer it when women are honest with you?”

What a question.  “YES.  I absolutely prefer honesty.  In fact, in the last serious relationship I had – five years ago – one of the things I said right from the start was that I preferred that she be honest with me, and if she didn’t like how things were going or wanted out for any reason, that she let me know as soon as possible.  I don’t like the games couples sometimes play with each other.”

We walked on in silence for a bit.   Then, for no reason I can think of, she looked at me and smiled, playing with the corners of her long scarf.  I smiled back, suddenly a little giddy.  This girl was a bit of an enigma.  Secrecy, wrapped in a smile.

“You know” I said, “when I first saw you a year ago, I was pretty sure I saw that ‘spark’ in your eyes.”

“You did?”  

(That’s another thing:  she seems completely oblivious to the effect she has on me)

“Yes, I did.  And then when I saw you a month ago, I said to myself  ‘there it is’.”  

What I didn’t tell her was that the look we gave each other at that time left my heart pounding like crazy.   Just as it was doing  just now – now, after our hours-long talk which only served to put an exclamation mark on my first impressions of her.

She laughed.   

We continued to walk in comfortable silence, each absorbed in our own thoughts.

  1. Jessica says:

    Wow. You are so honest and real. I’m grateful to have found your blog and to be able to “hear your thoughts,” which is really what reading your blog feels like sometimes. It’s heartwarming to know that there are men like you out there, men who have real integrity with themselves and others.


  2. Well thank you! Bearing in mind that I don’t flatter ever – I feel the same way about your blogs: they’re real and what you have to say is compelling. So compelling actually that it’s difficult not to comment.

    I’m a little surprised guys aren’t more honest about what we think. Seems more logical to me, and you avoid the angst that comes with leaving someone just hanging out there. We don’t like it when it’s done to us – so why would we do it to others? Have you seen “He’s Just Not Into You”? That film hits the nail on the head when it comes to the games we sometimes play. Dumb, dumb, dumb. :)


  3. Chemistry is the great intangible, isn’t it?


  4. Nadia Chyme says:

    Oh my… I like the chemistry idea, but….well, does chemistry always last or is it an initial thing that then flutters away taken over by something else more solid? I don’t know. I’m curious. I think I’m confused by what chemistry is and it’s relation to what love becomes…. hmmm… see, now you have me thinking…AGAIN!



    • I have this belief that chemistry remains, but you get so used to it that you can almost take it for granted. Eventually, you stop realiziing it’s there – except that you might notice it more when your partner goes away for a while. Like that saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” – I don’t think it grows fonder; I think it remembers that chemistry with greater clarity. “Oh. THERE you are.”

      In my experience, chemistry is indefinable, except in a subjective sense: you know it when you experience it. I think there’s a difference between those flutters you talk about and true chemistry. The former is fleeting and leaves you breathless; the latter has the impact of a mack truck and it’s kind of like every church bell in the world suddenly sounded with a giant “BONG”. Like the last puzzle piece just snapped in. (Look at me, trying to define the indefinable). It just feels…right. Not “emotionally right” (or perhaps not *just* emotionally right) but logically right. Just …right. Period.

      Every so often I’ll see an older couple (I know of one couple who are in their eighties now) who still hold hands. That to me is chemistry. Absence of chemistry is that you grow tired of each other. Absence of chemistry often springs from the heart of someone who is not self-aware and doesn’t himself or herself at all. Absence of chemistry in those cases isn’t really missed because how can you miss something you’ve never experienced?

      I was sure there was such a thing as chemistry for She came along, but in theory only.

      Thank you for such a provocative comment!


      • Nadia Chyme says:

        Well I’m hopeful then… if chemistry is as you express it to be (and yes, I have now dubbed you the ‘chemistry-swami’) then I look forward to experiencing it again soon (if I’m lucky enough to experience it twice) …or maybe if I’m wrong about it, I’ll be experiencing it for the first time? I guess chemistry could always happen between two people but not necessarily mean they’d be together, right? Two people could FEEL that bond, that certainty, but not be together because of timing or other circumstances — but that “BONG” feeling is still there when they meet? So much so that they both run from it….


        • Chemistry-swami, huh? I was sort of shooting for “chemistry-whisperer” but yours will do. :)

          You hear people talking about searching for TheOne, and I’ll admit – that’s what kept me going too. You have this idea of what TheOne is all about, and some of us even build little lists. It seems our idea of TheOne is partially built on ideals, both of what we want, and what we want to avoid, and as time goes on, and we experience more of the latter, we just don’t want to settle for anything less than what we feel is right for us.

          I don’t know. Much of this is guesswork for me, because I know that I know I don’t have any of the answers. Just suspicions, really. The whole process is kind of exciting though, and I have to admit: as scary as it is, it’s also a lot of fun.


  5. Sheila says:

    I believe part of the charm is opening those doors, letting the other person have a glimpse, but not throwing open the walls. Walls are important, too.

    I think that in this modern era, it is women who have learned to hide their feelings- find out the bank balance, ex-wives, kids, etc., before you take down the shield. Men, in my experience, have been much less apt at hiding their true nature than women have.

    But of course, I haven’t read “The Rules” either. ;)


    • I always operate on the basis of your first sentence, and most of my dates have gone that way – with me withholding a lot of myself and being very controlled and cool.

      There comes a time though when someone comes along and methodically destroys the carefully built walls without intent or malice, simply by her presence. It’s scary when you suddenly find yourself open and vulnerable. Not the intent at all, but it happens. I see ultimately as a Good Thing, even if things don’t eventually work out.

      For me, it kind of reinforces the fact that I’m alive.


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