Is It Hot Or Cold in Here Or Is It Me?

Dating to find the right person, i.e. kind, mentally healthy,and moderately good-looking, can be real challenge. So many nicely wrapped packages end up holding a lump of coal. Or a big pile of poo.

I thought I’d share several types to watch out for in the dating lottery game. Warning: not all bad ‘uns come stamped with “Loser” across their forehead. Too bad for us little girls getting our hearts broke. Again.

We’ll start with some lightweights (revealed in less than three dates) and work our way up to the big stinker (can suck up years of your life). More Baggage than the TSA. This one presents himself well. He’s handsome, clean-cut, probably gainfully employed. But there’s a hurt, almost baffled look lurking in his big old peepers. He’s been dumped or divorced. Maybe it’s been a week, maybe a year or even two. She was hell on wheels, of course. A four-star you-know-what. She cheated on him. Took all his money. Ran away with his dog.

Good, you think. Surely I shine in comparison. I know how to be a loving, considerate girlfriend. I know just how to soothe his troubled brow and make him forget all about HER. Not so fast, missy. If he talks about his ex on the first date, and the second date, and the third date—guess what? He ain’t over her! And until he is, he can’t be the boyfriend you want. Unless you like comforting hurt little boys ad nauseam. Buy a lot of tissues. And a set of ear plugs.

Let’s Be Friends. This one is a real puzzler. He starts off great. He takes you out to a really nice restaurant. He throws that plastic out there like a champ before you can say “dutch treat.”

The best thing about him is he listens when you talk. He laughs at your jokes. Once in a while he gives you the eye but he’s not pushy. Maybe you play footsie under the table. Isn’t that fun?

At the end of the night he gives you a sweet kiss. “Let’s do it again.” So you do. Finally, after the tension is so high it’s twanging (and so are you), you make the big move. You muckle onto him and give him your best melt your knickers kiss. He likes it. But then, dum dum dum! He pulls back and says, “I’d like things to remain platonic.”

You’re stunned. You think WTF? Did I read things wrong or what? It can be pretty humiliating. Usually you’re fighting them off, not being told to cool your jets.

He takes you home. You think about it. No, you weren’t reading the signals wrong. You’ve been decoding them since you were twelve. So you wonder—is he impotent? Latently gay? Or a total a-hole? Forget him. You deserve, and will find a man, who thinks you are a total sex goddess.

Speed-dial Sweetie. This one can sneak up on you, too. He’s really fun. Outgoing, witty, a total riot to hang out with. You talk all night. Drink a lot. Sleep over. Then you do it again. He likes you. It’s obvious. The two of you would light up the room anywhere you went.

Trouble is, you’re not going anywhere. No, you basically see the inside of his place or yours. Mostly his because he’s more comfortable there. Plus you like his record collection and his skuzzy but charming bachelor pad. The motorcycle parked in the living room is a great touch.

Finally, one day you realize what’s happened. You’re just a booty call. He’ll never take you out to a fabulous restaurant like Platonic Man. Whatever the reason—another woman, die-hard loner, self-centered d–head, Speed Dial Sweetie will never be relationship material. If you’re in the market for an occasional roll in the hay, that’s cool. Otherwise, move on. And delete his number from your cell.

A variation on the theme: the jerk who warns you, “Don’t fall in love with me.” Best response, “No problem,” accompanied by a full belly laugh.

Now for the big guns.

Is it Hot or Cold in Here or is it Me? Women of all ages and experience levels have been hooked by an ambivalent boyfriend. These suckers are dangerous. They can absorb years of your life as you try to make sense of his bizarre and hurtful behavior. And just like any good fisherman, he knows how to keep you on the hook.

These relationships start off with a bang. You meet and the next thing you know, you’re in love. The problem is, many good relationships start off that way. Strong, long-lasting connections can happen quickly.

Ambivalent man is a master of romance. He adores you. He wines and dines you. You’re all he thinks about. Finally, someone who treats you like a precious, beautiful jewel. You let your guard down and reciprocate. And then—faster than you can say Jekyll and Hyde, he disappears.

He often does this after a milestone event, something most people would feel indicates a step toward a deeper commitment.

And there in lies the problem. As soon as he hooks you, he panics. So you go through hell wondering what happened. What you did wrong. Are you crazy to think you had something?

No, you’re not crazy. He initiated it all, remember? To further confuse things, “experts” like the Mars-Venus guy say that men commonly pull back. So you wonder is this normal or have you been dumped? All your senses are on red alert, screaming out contradictory messages.

The only way to sanity, IMHO, is to stop and think about what you want. Meditate on the good, healthy loving relationship you deserve and want. Would that include torture and disappearing acts? I doubt it. Resolve that if this isn’t it, you will move on. Don’t chase him. He needs to come to you. One thing I have learned is, in good relationships, the man does pursue. Because he values you and doesn’t want to lose you.

Think back to your early interaction. Were there red flags, little clues that he was leery about commitment? Sometimes you just sense something’s off and feel more insecure than usual. That’s your intuition warning you. Did he blow hot and cold before the big run? Sometimes he was into you, sometimes you had the feeling he was bored or indifferent or even angry? Warning! Warning!

A healthy relationship will leave you feeling better about yourself, not worse. You should be smug and satisfied like a kitty drinking cream. So when he comes back—as he will—pay attention. If his not calling or breaking dates was unacceptable, tell him that. See how he reacts. Let him know that you weren’t exactly sitting around pining. Then watch the full court press come into play as he tries to woo you back. If you take him back and he disappears again, pull the plug. It may be the hardest thing you ever did. When he was good, he was very very good! But remember, you’ve already had the best of him. It will never be any better than the first few weeks. In contrast, a good relationship improves with time as it deepens and grows.

By LizzieP. Want to read more like this? Visit DivineCaroline.com or check out these related links:

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