Most dating women have at least one thing in common -- they often ask themselves why their date didn’t call back after such a great time together.
I'm not going to answer that question, but I know just the man who can.
I'll call him Owen. Owen loves to date and has no intention of settling down. He tells every woman that his life is complicated and is only interested in casual relationships. He says his dates don't listen and then they blame him when he won't commit.
However, his opening lines include the fact that he’s not opposed to finding love -- he just hasn’t met anyone who has captured his heart yet.
Owen is single, generous, successful, great-looking, seductive, smart, and funny. He loves making new connections and fictitious plans for future adventures. He holds your hand, freely shares information about himself, and listens when you talk. He is a romantic. He thoroughly enjoys the date but has absolutely no intention of becoming your boyfriend. If you sleep with him right away, he'll give you an after-sex courtesy call then you won't hear from him again. If you call him, he'll chat and even get together and sleep with you again, if that's what you want. Why wouldn't he?
Owen is dangerous to women who want a relationship because every action negates his first date disclaimer. Even his statement that he hasn’t met the right woman to capture his heart yet invites you to try.
You can tell yourself you are smart enough to know the difference between being played and making a real connection, but that's not the issue. Owen makes a connection with the 20-30 new women he sleeps with every year. The issue boils down to differing agendas.
Sexual chemistry and first date compatibility have nothing to do with relationship objectives, interest, or availability. Owen's intentions are to stay single. If you are on the same page, all is well. If not, dating him can be emotionally treacherous.
Owen isn't the only unavailable man. Here's another scenario.
Let’s say you’ve been chatting with someone for a couple of weeks. You meet and are physically attracted. Unbeknownst to you, the feeling isn’t mutual. He sees no need to make a hasty exit. Instead, he stays and enjoys your company. As the evening winds down he is more than happy to have sex with you if you are willing. Afterwards you feel hopeful about the future, however you don't hear from him again. He had fun, and you were left wondering what went wrong?
Here's what went wrong. You thought you were going to a brunch and you ended up at a bar-b-que. Each person had a different end game in mind.
You can save yourself from potential heartache without closing yourself off to love. You just have to approach dating a little differently. Try this:
- Get to know someone before you hang your hopes on him.
- Listen when your date tells you what he is looking for. He'll usually tell you upfront.
- Don't confuse sexual chemistry with relationship potential. They are different.
- Ignore talk about the future on a first date. That is usually conversational entertainment.
- Beware if someone is overly romantic and complimentary while coaxing intimacy.
- Don't offer sex to secure a relationship. That usually backfires. Plus, studies show women release oxytocin, the attachment hormone, during sex. It clouds judgment and may make you feel you are in love even if you are not. When the person initiating the hormone release leaves, many become more heartbroken than the relationship justifies. (See my article on Beware the Cuddle Drug.)
- Take your time. If the relationship is a good one, it will still be there tomorrow.
I interviewed Owen for this article to gather a little more information. Here is a small segment which might further clarify his perspective:
Owen: I'm not the only one with an agenda. There are plenty of women looking for a husband or financier. They take one look at me and think I’m a good fit. They don't know me at all. We all do the same thing.
Shira: I'm not saying you're the bad guy. But, do you get why women become angry with you?
Owen: I give them a good time.
Shira: That doesn't answer the question.
Owen: True. I suppose they're mad because I don't want what they want.
Shira: Maybe that's part of it. Couldn't they also be angry because you let them believe you might want something more than a one-night stand?
Owen: No. I tell them up front I only date.
Shira: You've been using the same line for 20 years and just about every woman gets upset. Have you thought of finding a clearer way of saying your intentions are purely sexual?
Owen: (Really long pause and no answer.)
Shira: How about this: "I'm out to have a good time and to have sex with you. Don't expect a call later no matter how much fun we have, or how many compliments I pay you, or how charming you might be. I love playing the field and being single." (I snicker.)
Owen: (He laughs.) I see your point.
Owen and I spoke for an hour and it was a great conversation. (I felt we really connected - ha ha.) He wants what he wants and lives his life that way. He offers a nice time today with no guarantees for tomorrow. That's perfectly fine. Not everyone must be coupled to be fulfilled. It's your job to identify your goals and to make sure your actions give you the best possible chance of achieving them.
We've all heard about the exceptions -- the very special woman who conquers the diehard bachelor and wins his heart. Don't clutter your life with unavailable partners hoping for the fairy tale ending. It isn't always easy to find Mr. Right but it is within your control to avoid Mr. Wrong.