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He Said-She Said: Ready to Date? Or Not
Most would rather spend time with fun, outgoing, happy people than depressed, cynical individuals, both at work and in relationships.
It Takes Two for a Conversation ... and a Relationship
Sometimes when you first talk to someone, as in a first date, it is not difficult to find things to discuss. However, it is important to be both a good talker and a great listener. This probably isn't something you hadn't heard before, but just a reminder to neither dominate a conversation nor be so quiet as to not share anything.
James gives us wise counsel for any relationship we enter into, whether it's a first date or a friendship.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
There is no formula or guideline for first dates. Each can be as diverse and complex as each of us. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your expectations of another person; it's a first date, not a serious relationship.
Sometimes we don't even understand our own actions, let alone trying to figure out someone else's. We can only speculate at the reason why this guy asked you out and later said he wasn't in a place to handle a dating or serious relationship.
In any case, don't allow this experience to deter you from going out again, jade your expectations of another date, nor have ill feelings towards the guy.
Learn what you can about yourself in order to grow closer to God and be complete in Him. The rest, including a relationship, will take care of itself.
SHE SAID: First of all, this type of scenario really does chap me. Not only have I heard it myself after a date that seemed to go well, but I have heard it plenty of times from other female friends who have had this happen to them and have probably done just as much head-scratching as you are doing right now. What just happened????? Or … how could I have missed the signs?????
Any way you slice it, it's a hard lesson to learn (for females) and it's just poor communication (however clueless or unintentional it was) from a man to a woman. I can see the back-story going a few different ways that may explain what happened here (although we'd have to ask the man in question [literally, the man in the question!] to see what he was or wasn't thinking). …
Scenario One: A man has recently experienced a breakup or hasn't dated in a great while or has been deeply hurt by a former girlfriend or is carrying around a load of unresolved, emotional issues. Yet, time has passed and he decides it is time for him to date again. And so he sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. You have (from what you can tell by his words and actions) an enjoyable time. You are then blindsided when he communicates otherwise at the end of the date. He really doesn't know that he's not ready to date someone yet until he goes out on a date with you. And then it hits him. Uh oh. He's still got some work to do. But it's his stuff, and it has nothing to do with you. He needs to take some time to heal and process and perhaps get some counseling before he gets back out into the dating world again. In this scenario, I say you have to give the man a break.
Scenario One and a Half: A man's been hurt before and so he already has done the work to process and heal (counseling, prayer, time, etc.). He really thinks he's ready to date again. He sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. The date goes "well," and then he delivers the bad news at the end of the evening. He really, truly, honestly didn't know that he wasn't ready yet. He thought he was (because he had already done some work to get himself ready to date again). So, again, in this scenario I say you have to give the man a break. He didn't know what he didn't know. But after a date, he then did. Again, it has nothing to do with you. Anyone could have pushed this button or triggered this kind of response in him. He just wasn't ready, and he thought he was.
Scenario Two: A man sees you, thinks you're cute and asks you out. During the course of the date, he decides that he's not interested (You know … "He's just not that into you" for one reason or another). To finesse his departure and hide behind the ugly truth, he puts the onus on his emotional state: "I'm not at a place right now emotionally where I can handle dating or having a serious relationship." Instead of telling you the whole truth—that he doesn't feel that there is chemistry between the two of you, that he doesn't think you have enough in common or that he doesn't see the two of you going out again on a date—you get a more broad and general excuse. So in this scenario, I say the man does not get a break. Yes, the truth does hurt. But men, let me say this: we women may be the weaker and more fragile sex, but we can handle it. In fact, we'd MUCH rather know the real reason why you don't want to go out with us again. If you didn't connect with us, just say it and release us. It will still sting, but believe me when I say it will save us many sleepless nights, hours of discussing and interpreting with our friends and pints upon pints of Ben & Jerry's (combined with counteractive hours of cardio at the gym). Bottom line: you're not doing us any favors by not telling us the truth. Please, be kind ... which means be honest.
Now, I'm sure there are other scenarios that could possibly be at play here, but for now I am weary of "Dating Scenario Creation 101" and am ready to move on in my studies with you.