Why Critical Thinking Is Your Greatest Dating Weapon

Name: Caitlin
State: Colorado
Age: 26
Comment: After almost a year of dating I broke up with my boyfriend a month ago. Right after I lost my grandfather and my emotional state was terrible.  A few days after he passed I got a call from a guy I worked with a couple years ago.  He explained how he moved back to town and wanted to see me.  I told him my situation with the break-up and my loss and he understood.  However, I needed to get out so I met him for drinks.  During the course of our night we laughed and talked about what had been going on in our lives since we last saw each other, etc.  He then told me how he was crazy about me and how he wanted to ask me out for so long.  I confessed I had a crush on him but since he always seemed to be unavailable I never told him.  Well after that he called me every day and then he stopped.  So as a gesture I invited him out with my friends and I to the bars assuming I wouldn’t hear from him.  He drove 2 hours from where he was to hang out, told me friends how much he liked me and was excited to see me. After enough of the loud bar scene we went to his place, talked and I fell asleep on the couch.  Before leaving in the morning I made another offer to hang out and he said he wanted to so to call him during the week.  So I called him about 3 days before I planned on having him over and no answer.  Because I am am planner by nature I called him the day before and he gave me a rain check.  I have not heard from him now for about 3 days and although I really like him, I am considering just letting him go.  Is it fair for me to do that or should I hold him to the rain check?

 

I’m going to say let him go. Here’s why:

First, these expressions of longing and crushes that so many women seem to fall for almost always ring false to me. They feel disingenuous. That’s a huge risk for someone to take on a first date. Most people don’t typically play their hand that way. They know better than to give it all away up front.

Then there’s the fact that he a) drove two hours to b) meet your friends and went on to c) announce to these friends how into you he was. Again we have atypical behavior. Sorry if I’m not typing while wearing my rose colored glasses here, but this whole situation felt off to me before I even got to the ending.

I really hate to say this, but this feels like a “I just wanted to get laid and didn’t so I’m no longer interested” scenario. The only reason a man would travel two hours and hang with some girl’s friends on Date 2 was if he was trying to get laid. Or if he just had no other options, which could also be a possibility. Whether his lack of options was merely a dry spell or an ongoing thing we don’t know. Either way, you don’t want that guy. You don’t want to pursue the guy with an abundance of options, but you also don’t want the guy with few to none.

The guy with few to no options is so for a reason. There is something about him that turns women off. A weakness.  It’s kind of like how animals tend to avoid the members of their species that have some kind of physical defect. We may not see the imperfection, but we sense it. If we’re reasonably stable or together, we approach with caution. If we’re equally damaged, we run towards these people.

I truly believe that these people have a tendency to find each other. Now, in the interim, these couplings work. But in the long run, the unhealthy foundation on which the relationship is built comes to light. Why would a man so eagerly sacrifice having sex with other women? Why would he wait around several dates/weeks/months* for sex?  Answer: Because he wasn’t getting any anyway, so there’s nothing too miss. Or he’s not giving up sex with other women but says or implies that he is.

The only people who don’t question when things stray from the norm are people who don’t want to know the answer because they want the fairytale ending. They want something to talk about or want to have a relationship to trot out at holidays, on the internet, or when out with friends. they want to belong to The Club. They’re so used to A type behavior, so when they encounter Z type behavior they rejoice. What they don’t realize is that neither extreme bodes well. They should want M type behavior. Something in the middle.

This is where critical thinking comes in to play. Many of us avoid this particular tool because it has a tendency to get in the way of what we want. This is why experience is your friend. The more experience you have, the more information you have to use for comparison purposes. That’s where critical thinking comes in.

OP, move on. This guy isn’t for you.

 

*Edited

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21 Responses to “Why Critical Thinking Is Your Greatest Dating Weapon”

  1. DC Phil Says:

    1. My caveat to the guy with few options includes (1) he might seem to have few options because he consciously chooses not to have that many options (read: possibly too picky) and (2) he might be undergoing a string of really bad luck to include being in an area where the options are quite disheartening. Instantly blaming the guy seems to be the norm with some women, and vice-versa. Remember that both sexes play all sorts of games and the guy or the gal might be making a good-faith effort to get somewhere, only to be met with flaking and other bad behavior, logistical nightmares, etc.

    2. It still fascinates me how lovey-dovey some of these guys out there are with these women. My female friends tell me of stories where the guys they date are so effusive with praise, “I’m thinking of you” comments, promises to call back, etc. Some friends don’t see how odd this is, while others can see through the patent bullshit. I know that I never am like this with women, preferring instead to be a bit more aboveboard and direct in my dealings with them. Yeah, that might get me branded as being cold and distant, but I sleep better at night knowing that I’m being honest with them.

    Now, in person, I can be a different person, but still reserved.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

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    • Howard Says:

      I am a little amused about Moixie putting this like the woman still has the upper hand when this guy is so past her from what has transpired. I am also tired of “the guy wanting sex hence he is a bad guy” line that I hear all the time. Let’s circle back here through this story.

      Date one: He said he had a crush, She said she had a crush. Sounds like they are both on the same excessive effusive emotional trip.

      Follow-up: “He called me every day then stopped” Obviously all his efforts didn’t result in a second date but he sure tried. She turns around and invites him out after he stops. Sounds like she was playing games. If she wasn’t, she would not have responded that way after he called her bluff.

      The Invite: “as a gesture I invited him out with my friends and I to the bars assuming I wouldn’t hear from him.” That’s her idea of a second date? Asking someone to pass muster with your friends this early never is the best idea. If you notice, she did it expecting him not to show. Of course she knew it was a bullshit idea, so that’s why she never expected him to show.

      Date 2: “After enough of the loud bar scene we went to his place, talked and I fell asleep on the couch.” This is a date where you really can’t get to communicate, too much noise and too much other poeople; it’s not a date really. Now what exactly transpired that led to her sleeping on the couch, we will never know, so don’t let us assume anything. It may even have been his idea. Maybe after talking with her a bit, he definitely realized that the pedestal he put her on was exactly that.

      Post Date 2: He seems to have lost interest, but she still likes him. And worse yet she was stupid to put him in front of her friends, so she now has to explain to them what happened about him now being MIA. She kinda knows she is not in the best position, so she writes into Moxie to justify her calling him.

      Of course Moxie tells her to forget about it, which is actually good advice. But it’s for the wrong reasons. I will tell you where things went wrong. When he was constantly calling and that didn’t result in a second date. And that is entirely her fault. The terrible choice of a second date, is also entirely her fault. People are often more conflicted than we think. They are not sure about a person. So he gave her the benefit of the doubt.

      Does this guy want sex? Hell yes; all guys do. Is this one of the guys that wants sex only? I don’t think so. Those guys don’t try to pass muster in front of your friends, and are definitely not too inclined to drive two hours to do so. What do I think of him? Definitely laying it too thick; not something I would do. Does this make him a bad guy. Maybe, maybe not, more like poor dating skills, more like a little desperate because he may be in a dry spell.

      What do I think of her? Not much better than him, and that’s why we are here. There is enough blame to go around for us to leave this one alone and write it off. But an analysis of both parties, not just “the bad guy” is always a good learning tool for her and us.

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      • Howard Says:

        The other bit too is that most guys know, if a girl comes back to his place and sleeps on the couch overnight, she likes him a lot and feels safe to come back to his place. Regarding sex, it’s just a matter of time. So given that, I question the idea of him just wanting sex only. Guys who want sex only tend to kep the door open when all the right signs are there. They have the investment and return approach.

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  2. Arbee Says:

    There’s more than one norm. There are plenty of men out there – maybe not the ones on this column or part of these Meetups – who have more traditional values and DO wait to have sex with one particular woman who they like because their way of dating is to date one person over time and add more sexual activity over time – and in the meantime, they are not dating around. They date one person at a time – that’s just how they are. They are not losers who can’t get any, they are not weird – they are just more conservative in how they date. You can say negative things if you want, but the ones I know tend to have healthy long-term relationships with no game-playing and guesswork.

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    • Danielle Says:

      I’d have to agree with Arbee on this one. There are definitely guys who can see potential with a woman or really like her; therefore, they will wait to see what happens over a few dates. This probably has a lot to do with where the men are in their life. Are they open for a long-term commitment or not? If so, then they are more willing to wait with a woman who seems worth it. The real question is, what do they love more: women or sex? Those that love sex more will jump from person to person and want sex earlier in dating. If a man loves women more than he loves sex, he’s more willing to take the time to get to know someone and do things on her time table (though I’m sure for every man/person there is a time where in they will no longer wait).

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        I agree that there are plenty of men who will wait “a few dates.” I should have qualified that statement in the post. I will edit it now. But I don’t believe that these men who wait 6, 7, 8 dates and not pursuing other options comprise any kind of norm. Out of that group, some might be totally healthy and stable and fairly issue free. But I think they are exceptions to the rule and not the rule.

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        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          Define “wait.”

          That movie, Vanilla Sky illustrates what happens. Remember the scene where Tom Cruise meets the love of his life, Penelope Cruz. They spend a glorious evening together, then head back to her apartment where they do not have sex. They barely even kiss. He gets up and leaves at some point and, as soon as the door closes, she leaps up and down. Oh Em Gee, I’m Soooo excited, that’s the MAN of my dreams, I will never date another.

          What does Tom Cruise do? He’s pretty psyched. He just met the woman of his dreams and we know that’s true in the movie because of how the story unfolds. Does he go home and fantasize about a life together with Penelope? No. He skips down the street a a bit. And, while Penelope is jumping and down with excitement over the best date of her life, Tom Cruise is getting into a car with his fuck-buddy (no offense Julie Gianni) Cameron Diaz. In the movie, he’s punished for that decision of course. Because it’s a movie. In real life, he would have spent that night with Cameron while anticipating his second date with Penelope. At some point, he may stop seeing Cameron if things turn out with Penelope or, more likely, he decides that maybe Penelope isn’t as great as he initially thought, or maybe Penelope develops some doubts about him. So, they move on. That is the reality.

          Real life motivations are compliacted and usually hidden in ordinary social situations. Guys who claim to be “traditionalists,” in my opinion, are covering for sexual insecurities or homosexuality. (That last group is a huge but silent contingency) Or, guys could be flat out lying or pandering because they think women want a guy to say and do things a certain way. They don’t necessarily lack options – there are many complicated motivations at play. And, there are always exceptions.

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          • DC Phil Says:

            Not so fast . . .

            It could be that the “traditionalists” out there are still naive when it comes to Dating 2.0. That is, they (like me) were brought up to respect women more and then wait until having sex with her because “good girls” aren’t like that. Then they wait and wait and wait . . . until the woman thinks that there’s something “wrong” with the guy and either FriendZone him or drop him altogether, leaving the guy wondering what happened when he was doing everything “right.”

            That being said, however, I do agree that “traditionalism” could be a smokescreen to cover up insecurities or unsavory motives. But, I’m sure there are still lots of guys out there who were given good advice (at the time) that turned out to be bad advice for today’s dating and mating realities.

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      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        guys who … see potential with a woman … will wait to see what happens over a few dates.
        Yes, we will wait for “a few” dates to see what happens.

        they are more willing to wait with a woman who seems worth it.
        Of course; the more potential we see with a woman, the more time, money and effort we’ll be willing to invest in her before we give up and move on. It’s never an infinite supply, though.

        The real question is, what do they love more: women or sex?
        That question shows a fundamental lack of understanding of men by wrongly assuming we either want sex or we want a relationship. All men want sex, and all men want a relationship–whether they realize it or not. However, we may not want either or both with you. If you are looking for a relationship, do not try to screen out men who want sex, because we all do; screen out the men who don’t also want a relationship with you. And that’s a lot harder.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      There are plenty of men out there … who have more traditional values
      Yes, closeted woman-hating assholes like Rick Santorum. Is that who you want to marry? If so, you’ll find plenty of them in fundamentalist churches–but what are you doing on this blog, then?

      [plenty of men out there] DO wait to have sex with one particular woman who they like
      Yes, we’ll wait for you, but not forever. However, many of us will be dating other women until you show you’re just as interested in us as we are in you–and of course you run the risk we’ll decide to focus on one of those other women who does show her interest.

      their way of dating is to … add more sexual activity over time
      I would say most couples move gradually in that area rather than jumping directly from a goodnight kiss on one date to intercourse on the next date. What matters is that there is progress.

      They date one person at a time – that’s just how they are. They are not losers who can’t get any
      They may not be “losers”, but show me a guy who is only dating one woman without any physical progress and I’ll show you a guy who has no other options.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

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    • Craig Says:

      “The norm” is a relative term when it comes to men. It depends on where you live and what your type of guy is. Are there men that fit Arbee’s description? I’m sure there are – but I’ve never met any of them in my circle. In my social circle – the alpha male, big city professional – her description is certainly not the norm. Perhaps Arbee’s type of man can be found in small town midwest or southern locales – or in conservative religious circles. But he’s more likely not going to be the attractive professional most big city women seem to want. Such men tend to have unlimited access to pussy, and they tend to indulge themselves until they’re ready to settle down. I know I did – until I hit my late 30s and met my now wife. That’s when I suddenly became more like what Arbee describes.

      Arbee appears to conclude that only her “traditional values” type have healthy long-term relationships with no game-playing and guesswork. This is simply not true. Most any man can provide that – when the right women comes along. The thing is there are certain men who are in a position in life where they can make a woman work a little and compete with others to earn that place in his world – and I don’t think women such as Arbee like that. Such women advise avoiding men who turn the tables and play the same “earn my affection” game women have played since the beginning of time. That’s fine. Stick to the “traditional values” type if that’s your thing – and if you can find them in abundance where you are.

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        There are plenty of men out there – maybe not the ones on this column or part of these Meetups – who have more traditional values and DO wait to have sex with one particular woman

        Many of these alleged exceptions to the rules aren’t really exceptions at all. That’s how women hear the story, and that’s because many women want other women to believe that they managed to get that unicorn of a guy. Unless someone has multiple first hand experiences of these supposed exceptions, it’s dangerous to think that they are common and therefore worth holding out for. We might as well also believe that there’s a high likelihood that there are alligators in the sewer or that that person you meet online who asks you back to their place is going to knock you out, remove your kidney and put you in a tub of ice.

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  3. nathan Says:

    I think there are regional differences in these responses. From what I have seen on blogs writing about New Yorkers, DC folks, and a few others, everyone seems to move quicker in general. Perhaps it appears abnormal to some readers, and Moxie, that guys would wait to sleep with women because it is – where they live. However, in other parts of the country, waiting and focusing on a single woman is more common. In fact, sometimes it’s almost expected.

    As for the OP’s guy, I don’t know what his story is.Perhaps he was just looking for sex. But if I were the guy, I would wonder if her crush confession was coming out of grief and wanting to be comforted. As opposed to genuinely feeling the same as I did. Maybe he was concerned about getting involved with her, given how recent her break up was.

    I don’t know what the OP should do, but don’t loose too much sleep over it, whatever you choose to do.

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    • LaLa Says:

      I definitely think it has to do with regional differences. I grew up in NY and have lived in Texas for two years. The difference in dating in NY and the south/west is very different. Men down here are much more commitment focused, more traditional, and are willing to wait for sex and court one girl at a time.

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  4. joe-f Says:

    I agree with Moxie. Any guy who goes from hot to cold in so short a time is looking for sex. He saw you slept on the coach and decided to cut his losses.

    there are a lot of reasons why guys might have no options. They might be shy and don’t know how to approach women. Three of the best husbands I know are quiet and if their wives didn’t approach them, they would have probably stayed single. I know how to approach women but I spent my time building my career but I am also a good husband. =)

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    • Kurt Says:

      I agree completely. I know men who are otherwise successful in life, but are a little shy around women and they don’t want to simply sleep around. I suppose that Moxie would consider someone like that to be weird, but there are many men out there like that and those men would be loyal companions to a woman. A lot of women really do miss out on some good guys by being overly critical about these types of things.

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  5. LaLa Says:

    Why are you chasing him? If he was really into you, he would have answered your phone call about hanging out again. You calling him again after he didn’t answer comes off as desperate. The fact that he basically professed how much he was into you one night, yet didn’t bother to ask you out again (and you had to end up doing the asking), shows that he really wasn’t into you. I agree that he was probably looking to get laid. You just broke up with your boyfriend and are dealing with a death in the family. Maybe you should take a little time before you try to start dating again. Just my opinion of course, but you seem like your in rebound mode. We’ve all been there, just tread lightly.

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  6. Nathan Says:

    Although I would probably be wary given the OP’s situation, I would have still responded to her call to hang out. I might try to keep things slow, but if I were really into her, I would find a way to keep seeing her. So, La La’s point makes sense. Unless something serious has happened in his life, he should be responding in some manner by now.

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  7. VJ Says:

    All good thoughts as usual. My take is that it’s perhaps too early to tell. Sure the guy’s looking to get laid. So are most/all guys. Even the married ones! (Go figure…) And of course this is held against them, coming & going. If they immediately act on the impulse, they’re ‘too eager’ or ‘just want one thing’ or ‘not really interested in a serious relationship’. If they Don’t? Then it’s ‘well he’s gay/bisexual’, or ‘he’s got some other action’ or ‘he’s just not that into you’.

    Fine. Double standards abound. Look to a tale of the tape. If he’s not contacting you soon after you tried (2 times) to contact him again? Then there’s some mismatch someplace. He ‘got busy’/forgot/lost your number. Or he’s no longer interested.

    So perhaps that ‘normative expectation’ on/in the East Coast/NYC environs might be operational here, but maybe not in CO. Who knows? If you don’t ‘move fast’ or make a move soon you’ll be left for dead in the dust applies to the bar culture scene for sure, but out in the ‘cowboy West’, plenty of things are a bit different. I know a few marriages & ‘common law arrangements’ that started just that way past or Beyond the 100th Meridian.

    Critical thinking is always important everywhere. Which is why some of this just fails on that score from Moxie:

    “The only reason a man would travel two hours and hang with some girl’s friends on Date 2 was if he was trying to get laid. Or if he just had no other options, which could also be a possibility. Whether his lack of options was merely a dry spell or an ongoing thing we don’t know. Either way, you don’t want that guy. You don’t want to pursue the guy with an abundance of options, but you also don’t want the guy with few to none.
    The guy with few to no options is so for a reason. There is something about him that turns women off. A weakness. It’s kind of like how animals tend to avoid the members of their species that have some kind of physical defect. We may not see the imperfection, but we sense it. If we’re reasonably stable or together, we approach with caution. If we’re equally damaged, we run towards these people”.

    Past a certain point? Everyone has certain ‘weaknesses’. Relatively very few guys ‘have an abundance of options’, and plenty of them ‘turn women off’. And yet many of these same guys can be and are married. Much of the time why an ‘otherwise normal guy’ has demonstrably ‘few options’ has to do with bad timing and finances. He was working too hard when he was younger perhaps, and just did not prioritize ‘relationships’ with women that might have turned romantic or ‘serious’. This is why any sort of serious interest might engender the same from someone else. Which is also why it ‘works’ as a ‘decoy’ sometimes too.

    So perhaps the better part of wisdom is to just wait, and not to write anyone off just yet. You never know. Now that’s not the cynical easy answer many might desire here or elsewhere but it may have more utility. In the long run the question will resolve itself most likely. If he does not contact you again, you’ve got your answer. But you should not be chasing him. If he was that genuinely effusive and in his affections? He’ll find a way to find you & get with you again. All the rest is just commentary. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  8. Single in NC Says:

    I’m feeling the OP’s problem here. I went out with a guy once recently and he kept saying I will call you tonight or tomorrow morning and then I would end up wondering what happened to him. I think it is a bum deal to have to wait for a man to make up his mind if he wants to pursue you or not. However the other end of that is, I don’t think it is a good idea for women to chase men for attention. Rather what most men seem to be saying is just the truth which is if they really want you they will find a way to spend time with you. I would be leery of a man whom I only hear from once a week or every few weeks. I guess the rule here is consistency and if it seems genuine every time you are together. We keep these silly expectations of what we think should happen or what we want to happen with each man. Perhaps the key is to let those go and just enjoy the moment for what it is. If something more comes of it great! If not, don’t sweat it, something better is bound to come along!

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      I think it is a bum deal to have to wait for a man to make up his mind if he wants to pursue you or not.
      If you have to wait for a man to “make up his mind” about whether he’s interested, you already have your answer–you just haven’t accepted it yet. If he’s interested, you’ll know; if you don’t know, he’s not interested.

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