Great Expectations: The Importance Of Honesty In Dating
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Dating these days is a challenge. Anyone who is single can relate to that. We are filtering through an entire world full of potential partners and gradually narrowing it down as we go. Who lives close enough to us, who are we attracted to, who shares interests with us, who do we feel the chemistry with?
But even further than that, when we really start to know someone – who is going to want the same things as us? Who is going to be up front, honest, and not betray our trust by talking one way and acting another?
I find that making our desires and expectations clear in today’s dating world is becoming more difficult, and definitely more rare. Perhaps it is because people are too caught up in getting what they want for themselves that they forget to clue the other person in. Perhaps it is carelessness. Perhaps it is an innocent mistake. Or perhaps it is just being selfish.
Regardless, it seems as though while the communication of expectations is decreasing, the actual expectations themselves are becoming more and more serious.
There has been more than one occasion when I have been told by a woman that she has been taken on a (first) date by a man who acted like a perfect gentleman all night, up until he transformed from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde when she told him she wasn’t going to sleep with him.
When something like this happens, a man’s true colors show. If he is truly interested in you and something intimate happens, great. If he is truly interested in you and something intimate doesn’t happen, great. He will still want to continue seeing you either way.
If he changes his demeanor drastically, it telegraphs his true intentions. When someone has an ulterior motive for kindness, it will show clearly when they don’t get their way. Something that could have so easily been avoided with open and honest communication. Maybe she wanted what you wanted, too – if only you didn’t try to trick her into giving it to you.
I have a personal friend who was just invited to a beautiful wedding overseas by a man she had been friends with for a few years now. She was invited as his date, and naturally she went. Who would turn down a trip overseas with friends? Where could there be a problem here?
The problem lied in his expectations, which became clear a couple of days into the trip.
The way he acted began to look something like this: “I invited you here. I took care of your hotel. You are my date. So, you sleep with me.”
Women are not vending machines where you insert acts of kindness and then sex falls out. You cannot just expect the most intimate physical experience two people can share together to just happen because you did something for them, no matter how grand the gesture. This sounds to me like a transactional sort of relationship which is often frowned upon in most countries…
Had he been up front and honest, perhaps asked her on a real date before inviting her to the wedding, or expressed that she was suddenly an extra layer to their friendship that had never been discussed before, he would have had a much different experience.
For one, he would have known where he stood with her beforehand and perhaps invited someone else if that’s what he wanted from the trip. Secondly, he would have avoided the embarrassment and rejection he experienced. And thirdly, he would have not destroyed a friendship which is now eternally tainted with awkwardness.
Women appreciate honesty. They appreciate a man who is mature enough to not play games and be up front with them. They appreciate a man who is secure enough to be himself and not put on a facade in order to get something from them and then walk away. This does not only show respect for yourself, but for her as well.
They appreciate a man who understands that kindness for the sake of a reward is not really kindness.
A word of advice for the women: Pay close attention to how you truly think a man feels about you. If he hints at attraction, is flirty with you, or even jokes about what it would be like if you two were together; these are likely his ways of expressing interest while trying to stay casual about it. He may not be overly skilled at letting you know how he feels – but if you ignore his subtle signs you may be facing a much larger dilemma when he finally makes a move.
As for the gentlemen: If you like her, tell her. If you don’t like her, tell her. You will eliminate a lot of heartache from your life as well as gain a lot more respect and peace of mind if you are just up front and honest. Not to mention you will learn where you stand with someone early on, and not spend any more time driving down the wrong road.
Just be up front, honest, and consistent. You don’t need to bet he perfect man to make her happy, just be the man you said you were when you first met her.
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