I like flirting. Actually, I love flirting, even if it leads to nothing, it is still great. People who flirt have a great quality, they enjoy (at least) this part of life. They talk, smile, and are generally playful and respond to your (and my) presence in a very positive way. I think that these people are also generally more attractive too. I also think that flirting should also continue within a relationship, and this should be required by law! Now. This post isn’t about these people 🙂 I do recognise that not all people are like that. This one is about what happens after someone attracted, or is attracted to, someone but for all the wrong reasons, there is no playfulness. As before, the working example will be between a woman and a man, but all other configurations work, I think. Here is the significant point I am making. If you are the one attracted to the other person and s/he doesn’t seem to be so ‘into you’ but appears to be a bit more sceptical about it, beware of the danger. Paraphrasing Casablanca, this is the beginning of a very imbalanced relationship. If s/he is not saying to you “please leave me alone, can’t you see I am not making efforts to be with you?” s/he is saying: “I don’t unconditionally like you as you are, you need to change for me to like you enough”. In these words? No, this would be very honest and come to an end quickly. This is usually hidden under a variety of blankets of hypocrisy/diplomacy. They will range from “I’m not sure I am ready for this”, to “I’m still getting over my ex”, to “I am going through a strange phase now” and other such original and hugely imaginative b****cks. This version of ‘attraction deficit’ is problematic. It is not easy to say “I don’t like the fact that you (have this particular bad habit or belief, fill in accordingly: smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, self-abuse, feminism, promiscuity, whatever) and unless you are prepared to change radically, you won’t be attractive enough for me”. You just say “I’ll call you” and skip the “not, you miserable egotistical, rude, self-destructive b**ch/w***er” and never call them. Otherwise, you are in for a ride that will revolve around these beautiful traits of character of your not-so-loving partner.
Women (mainly, but also men) sometimes get this bit quite wrong. Because both men and women (often the vulnerable kind), in the very beginning, seem quite willing to change their ways, mainly in order to ‘get’ sex, attention, tenderness, the wrong signal is out. The signal is, “attraction to you […]* can make me happy to change”. The problem is that this is only the ‘received’ message. The confusing bit is what I have omitted and what most people, men and women, often omit sometimes because they don’t even realise it themselves. It reads *“[of this level, under these circumstances and at this particular moment in time – exclusively]” (put the bit in bold in the […] above and see). Instead, it often comes with completely idiotic interpretations and attachments, attached by the receiver, like “and this will always be like that”. Put in the equation some time, some other people, some difficulties, some children, some unforeseen developments and there you have it. A relationship where one party is assumed to have agreed that they’ll be forever, within all sorts of difficulties, changing according to the wishes of the other party, but not vice versa.
I think that saying “I don’t unconditionally like you as you are, you need to change for me to like you enough and a) I am not sure this will happen b) I don’t think it is fair to put you in this position” is probably more honest. Even though in the Oxford English dictionary it is gradually becoming the definition/explanation of the phrase “I’ll call you”. Not. Probably because I’ll call someone more playful.
The point I am making, once removed, is this: Relationships are great but only where Barbie lives. A great place but …properties are very very expensive there, and usually only available to rent. Where you live, there are several inherent problems. You will probably never move to a “great place” from a relationship that started with one side going “I am not sure, I am going through a strange phase in my life”. Be playful with someone who really seems to like you back right away instead, it is more likely to lead to good things. Be fun, and fun comes to you.
P.S. This post is a follow-up to this