When you talk to a potential suitor regularly for more than a few weeks before meeting, a false sense of intimacy can develop. In flirty or soul-baring emails and/or phone conversations, you can begin to feel a budding emotional connection to the other.
Then when you do meet, there is an odd closeness. You feel you know someone who you’ve not met — essentially a stranger. There is a tendency to fast-forward to physical affection that would have taken longer (usually) to develop if you’d had less pre-meeting phone time.
You may have developed a fondness for the person through what and how he shared. So when he takes your hand in his, it seems an abnormal mix of comfort and newness. You both are more comfortable touching during this first meeting than you would be on a first date with someone you hadn’t talked to a lot before meeting.
Unfortunately, I’ve found this unnatural familiarity leads to behaviors that assume privileges too soon. Strong relationships are forged over time, not jumped into quickly.
It’s like cooking a thick, juicy chicken breast. If you just flash sear the outside without proper cooking time, the inside is raw. Not only is that unappealing, it’s unhealthy. However, if the chicken is poached, roasted or grilled longer the result is a succulent, tender, delicious dish.
I guess I’m hungry! But the metaphor is apt.
I’ve been taken aback by men who I’ve talked to for a few weeks before meeting who’ve assumed we’d sleep together on our first date. Some of my pals say that this is an assumption many dating men have, even if you’ve only talked once! But even men who talk about the importance of respecting a woman, and wanting to get to know me, can act this way. It certainly doesn’t feel respectful when a man assumes intimacy that is many steps beyond your current comfort level — and you have to repeatedly tell him to slow down.
When sharing this observation with a sage gal pal she said that all some men need to feel the gauge is reading “full speed ahead” is a woman who shows some interest. If a man is not adept at reading a woman’s signs — which can be either blatant or subtle — he moves forward at the pace he wants, misinterpreting — or ignoring — the woman’s words and body language. This can be true for men who may be astute at reading people in other settings, so I’m not sure if it’s obtuseness or self-focusedness.
No matter what the cause, it is disappointing to learn that someone you became fond of over the phone can be an oaf in person. Which is why I try to meet a new man within a week or so of a first email or phone call. There is less time to build up false intimacy and overblown expectations.