Here’s a question I received from a reader:
"Recently I joined an online dating service. Almost every man states in his profile that he does not want drama! What do guys REALLY mean when they say this?
I think of drama as starting fights, stalking, etc. I think the men are talking about just normal discussions about what is or isn't working, and showing emotion. What's the deal???" - Mary
Great question, Mary. While starting fights and stalking definitely falls under the umbrella of “dating drama,” most men have a broader definition of the term. Unfortunately, your guess that many guys consider “normal discussions about what is or isn’t working, and showing emotion” to be drama is right on… at least in the beginning stages of dating.
Women are emotional beings. It's our nature. We shouldn't feel the need to judge, qualify, or change that fact. It's what makes us wonderful friends, supportive partners, and nurturing mothers. It is a very desirable trait in long-term, committed relationships. HOWEVER... it is also a trait that can scare the bejeezus out of men in the first few months of dating.
Well, men, by their nature, are logical, rational beings. They're focused on decision-making, problem-solving and getting to the point, not talking through things, sharing their feelings, or acting on their emotions. For a guy, dating can be confusing and scary enough... and when a woman says “we need to talk,” “where is this relationship going,” “what are you feeling right now,” or, God forbid, starts to cry, it can send him running for the hills.
Is it fair? Probably not. But the good news is, once you've reached the stage where you're in a committed relationship, most men are capable of having conversations about what is and isn’t working, as well as dealing with - and expressing - emotions.
Once he gets over his fear and confusion and feels secure, you won't have to focus so much on “mindful dating.” In the meantime, however, here are my tips to keep things drama-free in the beginning of a new relationship:
4 Tips for a Drama-Free Courtship:
1. ACCEPT THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN.
One of the biggest sources of dating drama is ignoring the fact that men and women think, act, and communicate differently. Without realizing it, women speak their own language and expect a man to understand. No wonder why new relationships can be so confusing and frustrating!
2. LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
Men love to enjoy the here and now. There will come a time, usually after several months of dating someone special, when most guys will start to evaluate their feelings and think about a possible future together.
Most women would prefer them to hurry up and make up their mind.
After all, we want some assurance that the time we’re spending with a new guy is worth our while. From the first date, we’re usually wondering, “does this guy have long-term potential?” And after a few weeks we’re most likely thinking, “Where is this going? Is he planning on getting serious or is he just having fun? Because if we’re not on the same page I need to move on…”
It’s at this point when many women make one of the biggest dating mistakes: ASKING HIM WHAT HE’S THINKING OR PRESSURING HIM TO DEFINE THE STATUS OF THE RELATIONSHIP.
When a guy is in the beginning stages of dating you (the first 3 months – at minimum), he’s living in the moment.