Monday, February 27, 2017

Mixed messages

Let's talk about mixed messages...

The past couple of weeks I've been drawing a blank on what to write about.  So I did what I always do when I get a mild case of writers' block.  I talked to some friends of mine.  I was talking with one of them and we got on the topic of mixed messages and how/why do men send them?

Her situation is typical.  Sad, but true.  Really sad...especially at our age.  But it really seems like the older men get, the more immature they can become. Her story is that she met a man and in the beginning, he really pursued her and paid lots of attention to her.  She held out for several weeks because she just wasn't so sure about him.  But he was different, she says.  He was different from the other men that she had dated in the past.  He was mature and was a devoted father to his child.  He had a good professional job and had a very bright future ahead of him.  On paper, he was a definite catch.  Her apprehension was that...well she didn't really have any apprehensions.  For the first time ever, she didn't have any apprehensions about a man.  (I kind of found that hard to believe, but hey, i'll go with it)

So after months of spending time together (in a public place), he finally "got up the courage" (his words, not hers) to tell her how he really felt about her.  And still, she didn't rush into anything.  She said that she wanted to take it slow with him because she knew in her heart that he could be someone very special to her at some point in the future.  Now I know my friend well, and I'll be the first person to tell you this isn't like her.  In 25+ years that I've known her, I've never known her to be digging a man like that.

So she had met a good man that she actually liked.  And after a few weeks, she finally told him that she had feelings for him too.  Now here's where things get tricky.  After she shared her feelings with him, it only took about 2-3 weeks for him to stop giving her any attention, stop asking her out, and to stop attempting to spend any time with him at either of their homes.  Of course I asked her if she slept with him?  She told me that she hadn't slept with him, let alone even kissed him.  So then I asked what did she do to him? lol  She laughed and told me that she didn't do anything to him that would make him just up and change his intentions so quickly.  And since I've known her for so long, I'm inclined to believe her.

After our conversation, I started thinking about her situation and wondered what would make a man just flip flop like that? Why do some men (a lot of them) pursue women and then when the woman finally reciprocates feelings back, the man suddenly gets cold feet?  I call it the "Road Runner Effect".  I have a name for it because, obviously I've been in this same situation before.  The Road Runner Effect is when a man or woman is being vigorously pursued by another man or woman and when that person decides to reciprocate mutual feelings, the pursuer bails suddenly.  I call this the Road Runner Effect because Wyle E. Coyote spent years chasing down the Road Runner on the Looney Tunes cartoons.   Legend has it that he actually did catch the Road Runner, but let him go because he didn't know what do with him. I don't know how true this is because I've never seen that episode, so we'll call it an  urban myth, just like Carrie Bradshaw's mary jane Manolo Blahnik shoes. But I remember the time that happened to me (lol) In my mind, I had every reason under the sun to NOT deal with this man in any way.  But after some prodding from my friends, because they felt that I always chose the wrong man, I accepted the challenge and said to myself "Ok I'll try this".  Big mistake! All that I can say about this situation is that I'm glad that I wasn't emotionally invested in this man in any form or fashion.  And I'm glad that I saw his true colors BEFORE I was emotionally or physically invested in that man. And unfortunately, I've been on the other side of this situation. I didn't really pursue the man, so to speak.  But I was interested in him for a long time and when I finally did have the opportunity to date him, I was completely uninterested in him. He didn't do anything wrong.  He just didn't have that spark to keep my interest.  

And although, I've been on both sides, I still can't fathom why men go so hard at women, then fall flat for no particular reason.  I can recall that I didn't go hard at this man.  He actually approached me first, but he knew that I had some interest in him.  Even still, I and countless other women on this planet will probably never know what makes a man send mixed messages like this?  I wish I had the exact answer, but we all know that when dealing with humans, nothing is ever black and white.  There's always a gray area where far too many people my age care to reside.  But at what point does a person move from that gray area and into the black and white?  Because I've been on both sides of this baffling relationship fence, I can honestly say that the only time a person can move out of the gray area is when they've finally grown up and is ready for a real relationship with future intentions.  

...I'm out of the gray area now.