Now, for todays post:
A close family friend of ours has sadly gone through a divorce and now she’s back in the dating game. She came into the city to meet me for lunch and during our conversation about relationships she said something very interesting,
“I’ve spent the last few months dating like a wife.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I was doing too much for men who weren’t anything to me yet. There are allowances you make for your husband that you don’t make for someone you’re dating…”
She continued to give me examples of situations where she was supportive of her husband and how she did the same things with guys she was dating. She explained that there’s a big difference between supporting your husband when he gets laid off and supporting someone you’re dating when he gets laid off.
“It’s a no-brainer to support your spouse financially when they lose a job, but I was taking that same mentality into dating and that was a bad move on my part…”
I can’t imagine what its like to have to take yourself out of “wife mode” after being in that role for years. As I listened to her talk I started thinking about the times I gave a little too much.
I’ve given too much of my time. When I first started online dating, I spent hours on the phone with a guy named Ricky who lived 20 minutes away from me. I thought spending hours on the phone would help to see if we connected, and we did! He called me every night for long phone calls. But he never made the 20 minute trip to meet me, he never suggested a date and ultimately he had an on/off girlfriend. That situation, is why I keep phone calls with guys short in the beginning, its important to get to know someone in person and if a guy isn’t willing to make that effort then I know he’s not that interested anyway (or that he has a sometimes-girlfriend, augh)
I’ve given too much of my heart. In college I had a major crush on a guy who was very “emo”. As an oldest child and a Cancer, my instincts are super maternal, so I would sit with him in his dorm and talk through all of his problems. I’d listen to him lament about life and how bad things were. I thought that if I was there for him he’d see how much I cared and how that would make me a good girlfriend. Yeah… that never happened.
I’ve given too much money. I’ve only given money to a guy once. My parents taught me that you only lend out money if you can afford never to see it again. The amount he asked for was doable, but the moment I gave it to him our chemistry shifted in a way I can’t explain. Looking back, him asking me for money showed that he wasn’t really trying to put his best foot forward with me. I found myself becoming more irritable with him and of course when he was supposed to pay me back on the 15th… and I didn’t hear from him until I hit him up on the 25th, our whole relationship was dunzo.
Dating for girls in my generation can be so confusing. We’re being told to be “Miss. Independent” but also charged with proving to men that we can be “Wifey”. I swear there was a time when men had to prove themselves to us, but maybe I just read about that in a book.
If marriage is something you want, its tempting to show you’ve got the goods but sometimes I wonder if some things should really be reserved for people who are on track to be our spouses. Of course, that looks different for everyone and its up to us to decide what our dating style is. For example because I’m a Plus Size Princess, men always ask me to cook for them (read my rant on that here) *eye roll* Anyway, I decided that I only cook for guys I’m serious about. Because for me cooking is a “wifey” expression of care and not every guy deserves that. Its a silly rule, but it helps me keep relationships in perspective.
When we know the value of something, we’re prone to be selective about who gets to see/touch/experience it– why don’t we apply that same logic to ourselves?
We are valuable individuals with so much to offer, maybe we should be more selective about who gets access to every part of us…
Have you ever dated like a wife? How did it turn out?