When Is The Right Time to Set Boundaries With Men?

Name: Mimi
State: NJ
Age: 35
Comment: I met this guy during the holidays. We’ve been on 1 date and we’re gearing up for the second. I like him. He’s attractive & I’m attracted to him. We made loose weekend plans for a second date but he never followed up. He called to apologize saying he had a personal matter early in the week and now we have plans for the weekend again. Was I stood up?

I’m definitely going to say something about it the next time I see him. I know to tread lightly but wanted an idea of how to approach it.

I’m not pissed or hurt because practically I can’t think of one man in my past that would’ve called to apologize. I don’t think it’s major but I want to make it clear it can’t happen again.

I just read a post about am I in a relationship. You’re saying waiting 4 mos to get down is too long?  How long are supposed to wait? Admittedly I have a very checkered pass when it comes to this but I’m determined to get it right. The next guy, i want him to be definitive marriage material if he’s not my husband. I say marriage material because the reality is I can’t wait that long.  The fella I’m seeing now, I’m good to go but I think we have to put in what 6 dates? What’s a good number?

 

Was I stood up?

Since the plans were, as you put it, loose then No you were not stood up. Had you two made clear plans and scheduled a time and day and he just never followed up then that would be considered being stood up.

I’m definitely going to say something about it the next time I see him. I know to tread lightly but wanted an idea of how to approach it.

The time to say something has passed. Not that I think you should even say anything. You didn’t have concrete plans and he did follow up with you and apologize even though you and he only had one date. You’re trying to set boundaries, which I understand. Boundaries are necessary. But you have to pick your battles. Now is not the time to be setting down ground rules. You’ve had one date.  Should he make tentative plans again, ask him if you and he can firm things up because you have some other things going on that week and you’d prefer to know so you can plan accordingly. That’s it. If he says he needs to get back to you about it, just respond and say , “Okay. Try to let me know by X day. If I don’t hear from you I’ll assume we aren’t meeting up.” Then, if he doesn’t follow up, write him off and be on your merry way. You are not going to change him. It’s not your job to look out for all womankind by setting him straight.

People who feel compelled to draw some imaginary line in the sand and warn others not to cross it set off warning bells amongst most people. They’re alerting people to the fact that they have, in their mind, been screwed over before and won’t stand for it. Nobody wants to be faced with that kind of proposition. Especially after one date.

I don’t think it’s major but I want to make it clear it can’t happen again.

You’re trying to assert yourself here but you’re not coming off strong or independent. You’re coming off like a hard ass. Not feminine. Not attractive.  It’s an aggressive trait, usually reserved for people with chips on their shoulders. I think this is another area where women erroneously try to emulate “male” behavior, thinking the man will respect them more for acting in this sort of domineering manner.  But they don’t. The only people who act this way are a) their parents or b) douchey guys who like to pick fights in bars. No man with a backbone enjoys or appreciates a woman who tries to bait him in to a pissing match. That’s what you would be doing by speaking up over something like this this early on.

It’s good to want to assert yourself. But you have to learn to read the room first. One date is not enough time to gauge how this man will react or respond. As adults, we know that making confirmed plans with someone and not contacting them to cancel is wrong. We know that. We don’t need some random person we shared a couple of cocktails with to give us a lesson in manners. If someone treats you that way, then you just cease contact and move along. Speaking up to someone who has no vested interest in your feelings is pointless. It will go in one ear and out the other. If they ditched you so rudely, they don’t care about your feelings.

You’re saying waiting 4 mos to get down is too long?  How long are supposed to wait? Admittedly I have a very checkered pass when it comes to this but I’m determined to get it right.

Let me tell you something that will blow your mind. How long you did or did not wait is not why the relationship didn’t work out. Everybody’s “right” time is different.

The fella I’m seeing now, I’m good to go but I think we have to put in what 6 dates? What’s a good number?

There is no “good” number. You don’t score more points by waiting just so you can say you waited. PS? Guys know when we’re doing this. If there’s one thing that will get you pumped and dumped faster it’s this.

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8 Responses to “When Is The Right Time to Set Boundaries With Men?”

  1. Nathan Says:

    It amazes that this is a big enough deal to the OP to write in about.
    Things come up. The guy apologized and rescheduled. What more could you want?
    It seems to me like you expect to become a central priority in a guy’s life
    right away and that anything which shows you aren’t an instant priority, can and
    will be used against a guy. You might want to try giving folks more of a chance before
    writing them off. Also, put a break on the race towards marriage. It’s really easy
    to miss the person in front of you when you’re so busy checking to see if someone
    matches your checklist.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  2. dimplz Says:

    “The next guy, i want him to be definitive marriage material if he’s not my husband. I say marriage material because the reality is I can’t wait that long.” This really is not up to you. I know dating is very tiring at times, but so is a relationship. It’s not like you can exhale and kick your proverbial feet up. At times, it’s more work than dating because the expectations are greater. As for dating, great expectations lead to frustration. This man doesn’t know you to know that this would irritate you. I’m sure several of us would have reacted the way you did, and several of us wouldn’t have even given it a second thought. My belief is that you are making it a bigger deal because you don’t want to waste your time, but the reality is that you will have to put time towards any relationship. Many will not pan out, and then hopefully one will, and you will marry as you wish. However, in the meantime, focus on what you can control, which is your reaction to disappointment, being tolerant, and being easy to be around. Nothing makes a man jet faster than a woman who’s acting more like a mom than a girlfriend.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

    • Howard Says:

      The mode you are in, has just narrowed your chances significantly. Get a grip of yourself. Imagine a man coming to you with a similar attitude. There is a word for this. It’s called high-strung.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. LaLa Says:

    I think if you say something to him, he’s most likely going to think you’re high-maintenance and too quick to get angry over little things. Not something most guys want. Next time just make concrete plans so you don’t run into this confusion again. He really didn’t do anything wrong and if you want future dates, don’t say anything. As far as sex, there isn’t a magic number. You need to figure out where your comfort level lies and go from there. If you can handle having sex early with a guy, then have it when you want. If you know you’re inclined to get more attached, then wait a while until you get to know him more. Just focus on looking your best, being good company, and seeing if you two would be a good match. The sex thing will happen at a good time if you let the dates and time getting to know him flow at a natural pace. This is the time to look at a man’s character, intentions, and how you guys match up. Figuring out if marriage is on the table will come at a later time. Just enjoy the time spent getting to know someone. He will feel that pressure if you are overly focused on marriage right away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. Ken Says:

    You will have to excuse me, however I can’t resist… She is from Jersey. I find myself asking what would Paulie D or The Situation advise her to do?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  5. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “We made loose weekend plans for a second date but he never followed up. … Was I stood up?” No. You didn’t agree to a specific when and where, so you were not stood up. Granted, this wasn’t a good sign, but he had the class to call and apologize, so blow it off unless it becomes a pattern. Shit happens.

    “I’m definitely going to say something about it the next time I see him.” That’s a good way to get rid of the guy if you don’t like him, but otherwise it’s a bad idea. He apologized and apparently you accepted if there’s another date planned, so the issue is now closed and needs to be left in the past. To bring it up again, especially when he’s trying to make up for it, will just show him you’re a harpy who will never let go of things–and no guy wants to be in a relationship with a woman like that.

    “I’m not pissed or hurt” Obviously, you are, if you felt the need to write in about it.

    “Admittedly I have a very checkered pass when it comes to [waiting to have sex] but I’m determined to get it right.” Sorry, but there is no “right” timing when it comes to sex. If you want to do it, do it; if not, don’t. Having sex will neither make him stick around nor make him leave. What will happen will happen, regardless of how long you wait, so just do what feels right for you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  6. kay Says:

    You do think it’s major, even though you say you don’t. Why else would you be asking the questions?
    You’re making a BIG deal out of this. You’ve had 1 date, you haven’t dated this guy long enough, and his actions haven’t been consistent enough, to set up boundaries.

    You were not stood up, you guys didn’t have plan. Unless there’s a day and time, tentative plans are just that, tentative.

    Next time, as Moxie suggested, get firm date and time. And if you don’t, go ahead and make plans without him. Putting your shaky foot down after the first date is sure to prevent a second. You will come off as high maintenance, hard-ass and controlling.

    Don’t rush a relationship or set these foolish boundaries early on to determine if he is marriage material. The next guy may be marriage material, but not right for you; don’t get blinded because you’re in a rush to get married.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. Bree Says:

    I think too many folks are looking for “pure perfection” and walking contradictions and that’s why they are single.
    Folks should start thinking for themselves instead of always asking for the advice of others.
    Nobody is you so nobody will necessarily always do what you would want to do in ever situation because we are all different. What works for some does not work for others. What doesn’t work for some folks works for other people. It just depends.
    To the OP at least the man called and apologized and gave you an explanation. It’s definitely possible he was telling the truth, it’s also possible he was lying…there is no way of you knowing unless your psychic.
    If he stood you up he would not have called you and you would never hear from him ever again.
    So you give him another chance and make sure you make concrete plans with him and get an idea of when he has free time so you can lock those plans in. I would reiterate that you appreciate him calling you and letting you know he had to cancel and to remind him to do that again if he cannot make this date.
    Then just wait and see what happens…..that’s about all you can do…..we are only human.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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