In early 2012, I came up with a mantra I like to call ‘Replace faith reality’... It’s been a line I’ve used when dating men for the past few years. It’s a theory that is based on truth; as a woman, being truthful to yourself on the types of men you allow to enter your life.
For those who know me, they know my ability to show affection and feelings towards men are near to none. I’ve been described by men in my past as being ‘cold, distant, aggressive and unaffectionate at times’ just a name of few. Why is this, probably due to the fact that I have the ability to read men well, a skill in which I have gained over the years of bad luck with men I have met. These days, I couldn’t care less, I don’t care about playing any games, about easing off and playing it cool, playing by the ‘dating rules’, or not showing enough affection... The thing about me is that I’m just that; me... I am cold, I am heartless at times, I can be aggressive, and I am unaffectionate, until you know me that is. The thing I find though is that no one ever sticks around long enough anymore to go deeper than the surface stuff with people of the opposite sex.
Commitment is something that is hard for many people to come to terms with, me especially. Other people find it easy and can fall in love at the drop of a hat and commit themselves to a person solely based on the way they feel. I on the other hand have a fear of committing to one person or task. I’ve been living in the city for a year now and still haven’t even unpacked my boxes. I don’t like to make a choice on anything, movies, what I’m going to eat, what I’m wearing today; I hate committing to plans and even friendships. Why? It may be the fact that I am a gypsy and love my freedom too much. I love the recluse life and love my own company. With my commitment issues in life in general, it’s no surprise that I would then have commitment issues when it comes to dating men.
As each year goes on, I can be honest and say I lose faith in more and more men; the good ones, the bad ones and even the ones I would never go for. I am sick of friends telling me ‘Go for the good guys, stop choosing the bad guys’. I have tried dating the good guys, tried to date the bad guys and I can honestly say that all men have the same complexities and issues that a lot of woman have when it comes to dating and a bit part of that is commitment fears. I’ve worked it out that it’s not about me chasing a different kind of man, or not having faith in men, it’s about me being brutally realistic with myself and the types of men I let into my life and it’s about my inability to trust and take men seriously.
Not all men are the same, I know this, just as we women aren’t all the same but one thing that a lot of men I have met share is their inability to commit to a good woman... Note I said good woman. The type of real woman who holds her own, treats him well, shows him that she’s different from the others he’s met in the past. So what happens when someone like me meets someone with equal amounts of fear to commitment like I have? Nothing of course. Instead we ignore the feelings we have for each other and run away, to the point that we push the other person away, all because we can’t commit and settle with the fact that we might have found ourselves in that other person.
Some people in life get to a certain time in their relationship of getting to know each other and have the dreaded ‘where are we going with our relationship’ conversation and some work out fine and then others crumble and end up as nothing. The nothing outcome is where I usually end up, hence why I am single I guess. Commitment issues are usually the reason behind it for both parties involved.
Here is where commitment issues affect two people who are dating... There’s one line I can almost guarantee that every man or woman has had said to them or they have said it to another person at least once in their life and that is ‘let’s just be friends’... You know that conversation after you’ve been getting to know someone for a while, dating and hooked up with. It goes a little something along these lines, ‘I really like you, I think you’re great, I like hanging out, but I think we should just be friends’...
I’m not gonna lie, I have said this to a few men in the past all because I was too afraid to tell them that I wasn’t interested in them and didn’t want to commit and equally I have had men pull the friendship card on me too, but in terms of ‘remaining friends’ with that person, this is where it gets complex...
Now ladies, men are pretty simple creatures, they will tell you as much as they think you can handle and believe it or not, they don’t always tell you the truth. When a guy says ‘I like you, but I think we’re better as friends’, here’s what you can pretty much break it down as; I like you but I have commitment issues and I feel like I am getting to close to you and I don’t wanna get to close to you because then I might have to commit and actually grow up and stop playing this single game. ‘I like you but I also wanna keep sleeping with other women and have a few on the go at the same time, you included, let’s remain friends while I make up my mind and play around for a bit, if my other options don’t come through, then you have yourself a deal’. Straight up, a lot of men like to start something they never intend on finishing with a woman and when it all becomes too much, they run away or push the woman away with excuses...
Here is how most men will word a text to a women they are trying to run from: ‘You’re great, you’re smart and nice and I love hanging out, I just want your friendship for now’ (even after they’ve gone out on dates with you, hooked up with you, told you things about themselves and invested time getting to know you)...
Most women who aren’t aware of men and their game playing will usually have their hearts crushed at this moment and will usually reply with, ‘Yeah sure, I will hang out with you still, I will be your friend, let’s be friends, no worries’.... They do this because they are afraid to be alone, afraid to lose this man out of their lives and will tell themselves this line, ‘I’d rather be his friend than nothing at all’ all the while knowing damn well he’s not ‘just a friend’ to her. Women reacting this way to a man’s request for friendship after they’ve already been dating usually equates to them getting strung along by the male who really just has commitment issues.
The downfall of women is that we let our emotions get the better of us, we agree to be his friend and keep him around; it’ll go on for weeks and months and even years if we let it. A loyal woman plays ‘the friend card’ for the man’s benefit, all the while, that same dude who said he feels nothing but friendship for her, will still send her mixed messages, will still give her false signals and act like her boyfriend without the commitment, because women allow them too and simply because he can. An emotional woman can’t always separate feelings from friendship from a guy she’s already previously dated, but she will pretend she can all because she doesn’t have the strength to do the right thing by herself at the time by cutting him off. Instead she will wait around for him to change.
Personally when I am thrown the ‘let’s just be friends card’, it’s at this stage that I will usually feed men a bit of truth. I like to see myself as a realist and my theory of ‘Replacing faith with reality’ kicks in when someone tries to ‘Friend zone’ me after we’ve clearly made progress with our emotions well into dating each other. I won’t go into it word for word what I usually say to these men, but what I usually tell them is that I’m not a pretender, we’re not ‘just friends’, we didn’t get to know each other as ‘friends’, from the beginning we got to know each other based on the fact that we went on dates, that we sent sweet text messages, that we’ve gotten to know each other, told each other things, kissed or shared a bed; alas, we are not friends, because friends do not do these kinds of things with each other and we got to know each other from the start with the intention of being something more than just friends.
The thing is, you can lie to yourself and say ‘oh yeah, let’s just be friends until he’s ready and he gets to know me more and then he’ll come round’, or you can face reality and realise that he will never change and once you’re friend zoned, that’s it, nothing else will come of it. You can stay in it and continue to let the feelings grow, all the while he treats you like his buddy and sleeps with other girls and plays out his single life in front of you, or you can say to yourself,’ well no, in fact I already have a lot of friends and I prefer not to fake a ‘friendship’ all because you don’t want to fully commit.
In my experience, it’s at this stage that you should cut all ties with this person and wish them well because in reality, you’re both ultimately on different levels and aren’t matched up at this moment in time. Stop faking it, you’re not friends, you’re two people who have reached the point in their dealings with each other that requires questions about the direction you’re both going in. Don’t sling the ‘Friendship card’ into it, just be honest and say what you want, all or nothing, there is no middle ground, and that’s not being unreasonable, that’s being realistic. Let me make it clear, you aren’t real friends, you’re a little bit beyond that so again stop pretending, cut them clean or risk a lengthy process of dragging yourself through an emotional rollercoaster. Only you can stop that process, and if you allow yourself to do that, you only have yourself to blame after this stage, not the man.
My ‘cut them clean’ option is the option I have found to be the most successful for me. I have been able to move on quickly from men and have experienced less heart ache that way. Even though I may not be in love with that person, the friend zone card is still rejection but you can either face it and accept their decision and deal with it and move on by cutting them and wishing them well, or you can play their game and drag yourself through the mud for weeks, months and years if you want too? It’s your choice at the end of the day.... Replace faith with reality!
99.9% of the time, when I cut men off, months later, they always seem to try and make their way back into my life. It’s like the act of cutting them cold sends them wild and all of a sudden, you’re the one that got away and they need you in some capacity, even if it’s a text saying ‘hey’. Well here’s the truth, I didn’t get away, you just pushed me away, instead of you telling me the absolute truth about your commitment issues and reading too much into a situation that was uncomplicated up until you started feeling things for me and then wanted out when you couldn’t face it like a man.
It’s all about who holds the last bit of power at the end of the day. Remaining friends with someone who you’ve been dating and it hasn’t gone in the direction you both thought it would, barely ever works. I am not a pretender and deep within myself, I can never bring myself to play that game. This usually results in me becoming colder and colder as I cut off more and more men who tend to have these commitment issues and pull the same old lines and games on me.
My dating life in this past year alone feels like I have been going to the Royal Easter Show and been playing the shooting ducks game in the arcade. I feel like I’ve been holding the gun and shooting one duck after another trying to win that big prize, but instead all I end up with is the shitty novelty prize in the form of another brick added to my ever growing wall I put up in front of me.
My ability to move on from men as quick as I do these days is probably not healthy. I missed out on the female gene where I should cry for weeks and months and never want to date again. Instead, I cut men, move on quickly and meet other people and do my own thing.
Despite all the emotional crap I cop from men who walk in and out of my life, I still manage to keep an open heart and know that a lot of the time it comes down to just bad timing. All you can do in life is be yourself 100%, be honest, be straight forward and wear your heart on your sleeve. Have no regrets and when it doesn’t work out with a member of the opposite sex, at least you know you tried and you can walk away with your head held high. The thing about life is, when one door closes, another always opens.
As I always say, too many jokers out there, not enough kings. Until next time, staying single till I know it’s real...