Sometimes it’s about you; sometimes it’s not

In dating, it’s easy to take things personally if there are problems or hiccups. Sometimes the guy you’re seeing does or says something that is a reflection of his attitude toward you, and you take offense.

But often his behavior has nothing to do with you. It’s harder to realize this when he attributes positive feelings to you that would be impossible to come by after only a meeting or two.

I learned this when a man I went out with once told me he loved me at the end of the date. It happened again yesterday.

This man and I went out twice four months ago. There wasn’t the spark I needed to see each other romantically, so we decided to be just friends. We kept in touch periodically via phone and text, but I haven’t heard from him in a month.

Yesterday he called and was flirtatious. When I said it didn’t sound like how friends talked to each other, he asked what I meant. I reminded him of our conversation and said I was seeing someone else. He said he has no memory of that conversation and was crushed. He said he envisioned us being together for a long time, that I was so much of what he’d been looking for, that he loved me. He started to cry, saying he can’t believe how he screwed this up. I told him I had no idea he felt that way and tried to console him.

On one hand, I could be flattered that he felt this way about me after so little contact. On the other, I’m realistic enough to know that no one could fall in love with another after only a few encounters, especially if there was no clear mutual attraction.

I realized that this scenario really had little if anything to do with me. It was really about a lonely man feeling he’d made a connection and idealizing me without really knowing me. It can happen to any of us, as we see through the lens of what we want to see.

The lesson is to ask yourself, “Is this really about me? Or is it about some need he has that he attributes to me?” It will keep you saner in dating if you understand not all that we see is based on the other, but more through the filter of our own needs.

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4 responses to “Sometimes it’s about you; sometimes it’s not”

  1. W. Lotus Avatar

    While I tend to naturally doubt others’ professions of undying love when not much time has passed, I have fallen prey to my own wishful thinking more times than I can count. I have just gotten to the point where I am able to recognize the difference between reality and my imagination. Better late than never!

  2. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    IMHO, you are spot on with this one. In my admittedly limited relational experience, any guy or gal who comes on too strong at the beginning of an acquaintance is generally lonely, insecure or possibly even projecting his/her fantasy image of the perfect partner onto the acquaintance (as you so wisely suggested) as it would be almost impossible to know a potential love interest is perfect for you in a very short time without background information, mutual friends or the like.

    Lust at first sight on the other hand is very possible for both genders; it’s my opinion that a good number of otherwise intelligent, thinking people get these two mixed up and presume the heart is speaking when the loins are titillated by a new and attractive acquaintance.

    Good luck and BIG hugs from bookyone 🙂

  3. Glenda Avatar

    You had not heard from him in a month? And he is in love with you? And he didn’t remember your conversation? He’s got a few screws loose.

  4. Nigma Avatar

    Thank you to both the author and to those who posted responses to this and other posts. I’m in my early twenties and very new to the dating game. There must be 100’s of years of collective female (and possibly male) dating wisdom on this site and it’s really helping me understand this very bizarre social ritual we call dating. I hope that I take this advice and knowledge to heart and avoid the pitfalls, mistakes and heartache that those before me had to suffer through. Thank god for the internet and for all those willing to share their experiences with newbies like me!!!