How do you tell the difference between a man who wants you, and a man who wants to be with you?
A very attractive single mom recently told me this story: She had met a man and felt sure he was the man of her dreams. There was a synchronicity about their meeting she could not ignore; the chemistry was electric and the sex, she said, was the best she had ever had—in her life, I might add. It had to be love, she gushed!
But she had a question for me. “What do you think this means? The other day I emailed him after we made love to tell him I could still smell him, that my body was actually still shaking and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I told him that he had moved me so much, and I just wanted him to know how special he was, and how overjoyed my daughter and I are to have him in our lives. He never responded, and when we saw each other a few days later, after only one rather distant phone call in between, I asked him if he had received it. He said, ‘Look, I am not interested in your theatrics.’ and changed the subject.”
This woman looked at me, tears spilling over as she visibly held in her stomach, knowing the answer to her own question. That she got intimate before she knew who this man was and what he wanted—and more, she herself still believed that chemistry is love. Bottom line, his behavior was cruel, and she had made herself and her daughter vulnerable before they had taken care to find out if this man was capable of, or willing to, honor and respect her/them. When I asked her what the secret password for her sacred self was—you know, what a guy has to say to get you to have sex with him—she thought about it and said, “He didn’t say anything, I told myself I have never felt this way before!” and let her tears spill down her cheeks.
Listen up, ladies! We have top-secret codes and passwords for everything: our ATM and credit cards, our email, the alarms at our home and office, our lockers at the gym, for online banking, to get into our cars. I even had to know the secret password to get into my brothers’ silly club when I was a kid. We don’t have a password to get into our pants? And why not? Most of us spend more time trying to outsmart potential identity thieves than protecting our most private, sacred selves and hearts.
We’ll spend more time pecking at the computer trying to come up with a strong enough password to fend off identity thieves than we will interviewing a potential partner. Are we that desperate? What are we are going to get if we don’t take care to lock down our sacred selves until we identify a partner capable of mutual respect, care and a capacity for intimacy and love? Until we learn to hold out, respect ourselves and select someone who WANTS what we want and is available? We will likely get someone who will break our hearts, dispose of us if they become bored, take our retirement funds, give us a STD, beat us, emotionally abuse us, ignore or neglect us, or just be a poor choice overall.
At least considering having some kind of entry code for your private parts is in order, given all that is at stake! Okay you’re thinking, well then, you can’t be stupid and use your birthday or anyone’s birthday you know, your kid’s name, your pet’s name or your social security number, and no one would be so obtuse as to use the numbers of their address or zip code because we all know these are the easy marks for people who want to take advantage. All right, let’s focus, obviously that’s not the kind of password we are talking about. This is a metaphor. Keeping with the theme, here are some passwords you may want to avoid and some that are worth considering:
Here are some very low-strength passwords:
What’s your number?
You look like my future!
Can I buy you a drink?
You turn me on so much!
I can’t stop thinking about you…
I want you!
Can I come up?
Maybe I’ll call you sometime… (said after first date)
‘Night, darling…He calls you before he goes to bed (but are you the only one he’s calling?)
All of the above one-liners are designed to get you in the sack: for every genuine guy, 99.9% of millions of others want to break your code and see how fast they can do it. Especially a guy who doesn’t want a relationship. Which, by the way, should be your first question (given the statistics, the odds of him telling the truth are slim to none if he thinks you’ll hop in the sack sooner rather than later). Watch his feet and hands, what he does and what he says, and see if they match. Tough to do after the fact! Words like this are empty gestures, and almost always lead to you being dumped—or, at minimum, the relationship fizzles out. Do the math. Look at your history. You don’t respect your sacred self, guess what? Neither will he. If you have been down this road and are tired of the results, feeling bad about yourself…again, time to get some self-esteem going, ladies. Let them look but don’t touch. Plenty of time for that after you collect your facts. You deserve to be with a really great person!
I have never felt this way before!
We’ve been on three dates, come on!
You make me so hot, why would you deny yourself?
My friends all like you.
I am a great guy.
These are common and compelling scenarios, but none of them are real indicators of anything that takes much effort on his part. The three-date rule is ridiculous, and if you fall for it, you lose. For gals, collecting notches on your bedpost isn’t anything to feel good about unless you work at a dude ranch. Have some self-respect and don’t be an idiot. Know who you’re with. Slow down and get some more details and experience with this person. Plenty of time for all-nighters later!
“I love you!” Heck, how many times have you told someone you just met in the ladies room after a few cocktails that you love them? We throw that phrase around like a rag doll these days. Don’t confuse it for the real thing, if that’s what you really want; a genuine reflection of caring and respect. About shacking up: in today’s economy, maybe it will take a load off him emotionally and financially to have a live-in booty call who helps pay rent. I have interviewed many, many men, and let me say this: being a roomie doesn’t mean he will marry you or is committed to you. Likely it’s convenient, and he doesn’t want to be alone either, and NO, more time will not convince him otherwise; he will just become resentful of you (and of himself for not knowing himself better) and then feel guilty when he eventually bails. So what if his friends like you? Is this a personality contest, are they in relationships, are they happy? And FYI, heads up; his friends are almost always a reflection of the kind of guy he is! That he thinks he’s a great guy isn’t the best testimonial—likely a guy who’s tooting that horn is waving a red flag!
I don’t want to see anyone else but you. (and some time has proven this)
I know who I am and what I want.
I think we make a great team!
Move in with me. (no commitment other than this)
I want to share my life with you.
Spend your life with me.
Okay, Ideally these words would be a precursor for sexual intimacy. Why not? Because I am a religious fanatic? Uh uh. I am not. Because I have been witness to what happens when we don’t slow down and check out the goods, know who we are and what we want, interview well, master some relationship skills, and then pick a partner. Pain, pain, throw in some suffering (or a lot) and oh, yeah, usually more pain. What I am saying is, slow down. Wait. Take the relationship for a test drive. Gather all your information. Make sure the feet and hands match. History tells us that when we don’t, we are setting ourselves up for trouble. It’s not a theory, it’s a fact! Look at your relationship history and you will see that hindsight serves you. Take care to learn from those choices and have a plan so you are less inclined to make them again.
A man who knows he wants to be with you is different from a man who wants you—take note. A man who wants to shack up is different from a man who wants to share his life with you. Pay attention! A man who puts a ring on your finger is more likely to love, honor and respect you, as he believes in the sacred agreement of marriage (and you know his track record there because you’ve done your other homework), and so on. These distinctions often take time to make—again, you are worth the effort and time, and there is plenty of time for sex! Absolutely. In case you’ve forgotten, we have other senses; in the meantime, use and enjoy them. While you’re at it, take some time to decide what your secret code is, your password for love, and tattoo it on your body—or at least keep it in a safe place, one you can’t forget. You ARE SO WORTH IT!
This article was originally published at Maryanne Live . Reprinted with permission from the author.