Attend to me young one, and learn from my wisdom and experience…
If you aren’t currently entranced by a woman, then you have no business dating her. Finding her interesting is good, but then just hang around and see what develops.
I have twice officially dated someone basically because she was available, and I was so shocked that she would be interested. Here’s the point: I wasn’t really attracted myself. I didn’t catch myself staring, thinking, “Oh yeahhhhhh”. I didn’t miss her when away. I didn’t start having little fantasies in my head about our life together. I didn’t have warm feelings about her signing her name as Mrs. Cardinal.
What happened? I broke up with both of them. The first one was smarter, and figured it out for herself, and I couldn’t come up with the energy to keep the relationship together. I just didn’t care enough.
The second one ran on for about a year and a half, and was brought to a head by our sort-or-engagement. That day though, we went to a movie, and during it I really got ahold of the idea of marrying her, and my skin temp went up about ten degrees. It was like I was having a menopausal hot flash that you hear about. We put it on hold, but every time I got ahold of the idea again, I got the same gnawing feeling and hot flash. These were not good signs.
So, what’s the outcome? I wasted a year and a half, I wasted her time for her, I got a family out there to mostly hate me, and I feel like such an idiot that I can hardly stand to talk to her, just because it makes a tape play a loop in my head that says, “I’m such an ass.”
There are stages I think that appropriate for relationships.
You’re a friend: We go around in the same crowd.
You’re a good friend: We make a point occaisionally to do things together.
I’m interested: I’m making a point to do things with you often.
We’re dating: I have little fantasies about this working out well, and as it stands now, I could see this going all the way, maybe. We kiss and snuggle, etc.
We’re engaged: I’m really ready to make the move and decide that you’re what I’ve been looking for.
My main point here is that when you do something that implies something, you’re essentially lying if you don’t mean the thing. Granted, you can break up while dating, that’s why they don’t call it “married”, but if you’re going to be dating someone, doesn’t she have the right to expect that you mean it? Wouldn’t you be hurt if you found out that she was dating you just as a place-holder until someone else better came along?
I agree with that speech by Cameran Diaz in “Vanilla Sky”, about how Tom Cruise had been saying a lot with his body and actions that he should have been willing to back up with his further actions. Don’t be that guy.