My mother is a wise woman; she is a caring woman; she is a woman who — and I’m already regretting typing this — is funny (at times) and, above all, wants the best for her two sons. Through the years, we’ve had many heart-to-heart talks and she’s given me her advice — for better or worse — on how to handle situations. While there are times when her advice is helpful and sound, there are other times when I think she is flat-out wrong. For instance, when she thinks I make myself “too available” for women.
What she sees as “making myself too available,” I see as “willing to make time for,” and I think that there’s a massive difference between the two. If you’re willing to drop everything in a moment’s notice, then yes, maybe you are making yourself too available; but if you’re simply persistent and motivated enough to spend time with someone, I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.
I work a lot. As a sports reporter by trade, I work crazy hours on the clock and am essentially always on call for whenever news breaks or something needs to get done. When I have down time during the day, I’m usually writing something for here. I’m not able to drop everything at a moment’s notice for most things, much less a date with a young woman. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t try to find the time.
The one thing about being a journalist in my professional life that I think helps in my love life is that I am relentless, in a good way. I like concrete answers and I won’t be satisfied with grey area. I’ve also learned that when someone leaves grey area, it leaves room for misinterpretation. So, to avoid confusion, I try to cut through the grey area and find an actual answer.
If you think you’re being playful by doing to “hard to get” thing, you’re not. Maybe it was cute in high school, when a guy’s reproductive organs do the majority of the thinking. As we — men, that is — get older, we just want an answer. If you would like to go out, let’s set a date; if not, a simple, “No, thank you,” will do just fine. It’s that simple.
If I ask a girl out and she agrees with something to the effect of, “Let’s find a time/date to get together,” I’m going to try and find a time/date to get together, preferably sooner rather than later. I work in a world with tight deadlines and quick turnaround, so I don’t see “three weeks from now” being an acceptable timeframe.
I also give people the benefit of the doubt, so if you have to cancel due to work or some other last-minute obligation, I trust that you are not just giving me the runaround and that something really came up. I’m also going to try and find another time for us to get together. If things keep coming up at the last minute, coincidental or not, I may cut my losses, but until I feel that you are just blowing me off, I’m going to try and set a date. After all, why would you agree in the first place if you weren’t interested?
My job consists of me constantly working around other people’s schedules — When can the coach or player be there? Do we need a photographer? If so, when can they be there? The list goes on. It’s part of my everyday life to make metaphorical Venn diagrams out of schedules and find the overlapping space, and I apply that to dating.
People’s schedules usually tend to be more consistent than mine, so it’s easier for me to be the one working around their schedule. If I know that a girl is off on Tuesdays and Saturdays and I see that I am scheduled to work Tuesday and be in the office on Wednesday, then I’ll probably ask a co-worker to switch. To me, that’s making an effort, not “making myself too available.”
There are times when we, as working human beings, can’t get out of things; that’s just the way life is. One person in the equation (if not both) should take charge and be the one to try and make things happen. I’m fine with being that person; hell, I’m even fine if it appears to others that I’m making myself too available. I know the difference and hopefully she will, as well.
The fact is, I would rather be the guy who tries too hard than the guy who doesn’t try hard enough.