One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my journalism career is that there are three sides to every story: his, hers, and the truth falls somewhere in the middle. There have no doubt been times when I have come on too strong towards a woman I’m interested in, but I also think the varying descriptions of “too strong” from person to person can make it seem like it happens more often than it actually does.
Many of us lose sight of the fact that we all go about dating differently. Some prefer a game of cat and mouse (either as the cat or the mouse), others go at it in a much more casual way, and others — like myself — would rather jump in with our legs curled up and arms wrapped around them.
Just because someone dates differently than you do doesn’t mean what they’re doing is wrong; it’s just different from what you’re used to or what you would prefer.
That, in my opinion, is how the labels start — from “stalker,” to “crazy,” to “clingy,” to “obsessed,” to every other presumptuous insinuation we make about one another.
I think it’s important that we all come to learn what our dating virtues and pitfalls are, as well as how to utilize the pros and fine-tune the cons. Unfortunately for me (and others like me), I feel that my attitude towards women I’m interested in falls under both categories. It’s easy to see how this conundrum can leave one in a dating hell of paralysis by over-analysis, but I’ve come to embrace it.
For all the theories out there about the person we end up spending the rest of our lives with, one I unequivocally believe in is that they will accept and love us for who we are — including, no, especially, our character quirks.
That is the main reason why I’ve learned to let go easier and move on from certain situations now better than I did years ago: Instead of trying to mold myself into what someone wanted me to be, I accepted that I don’t want to have to become someone’s idea of a partner; I want to be their ideal partner.
I have little patience when it comes to dating, in that I don’t sugarcoat what my intentions or feelings are. All this means is, “Hey, I like you, and I want to see you, so let’s set a date,” but I’ve come to realize that this may be a bit too forward for some women.
I don’t follow the two- or three-day rule when it comes to calling or texting a girl, I don’t act like I’m less interested than I am, and those are morals that are part of the foundation of what makes up the man I am.
I will not compromise those beliefs to appease anyone because the woman I want to end up with will admire and desire those qualities.
Part of what leads to confusion and misinterpretation in dating is that many people think that by sending signals or dropping hints — either good or bad — will be a way for them to get their message across without coming out and saying it. All this does is create mixed signals.
If you’re in your 20’s and are not mature or comfortable enough to be honest with someone — whether it’s delivering good news or bad news — then you probably should not be dating.
There will eventually come a time when you realize you want more or less with someone, and coming to that crossroad means you will have to have a conversation with them. You can ghost them and hope they take the hint, but you shouldn’t be agitated if they keep reaching out to you over the next week or two when you gave them no explanation as to why you do not want to pursue the relationship together.
I’ve done some bold and brash things in the name of romance. I’ve left the bar, walked to the end of the street, then ran back in to ask for a girl’s number; I’ve penned hand-written notes and letters; and I’ve written several articles — and the majority of my first book — about one girl and then told her she was the muse behind it; every single one of them blew up in my face, but I regret nothing.
Some would say these are acts of “coming on too strong,” whereas I see them as bold, brash, and yes, a bit ballsy. None of the aforementioned girls had a mutual interest in me (or did, and lost it after the acts), and I’m perfectly okay with that.
The girl I end up with will probably admire that I didn’t want to go home without asking for her number; she’ll probably appreciate that I took the time to write something by hand instead of crafting out a text message; and she’ll probably be flattered that she was the inspiration behind something so meaningful to me.
Most importantly, she won’t think any of these were an act of “coming on too strong.”
We should all find the person we’re destined to be with, and we shouldn’t have to settle — be it with them or ourselves — to do so.