How to Maneuver Through Dating Landmines

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Lives of Style’s DatingSpeak ™ ©2015 addresses questions about dating, relationships and communication.

Our Lives of Style authority–Laura Pugliese, shares must-know dating “Do’s and Don’ts” that will help you find success in your relationships.

Lives of Style: My husband and I went to a party over the weekend with his friends. They are all friends from high school so they are very chummy.  One of his friend’s wives grabbed my husband’s face and pecked him on the lips. I almost lost my drink. He pulled his face away afterwards but kept joking with her. I didn’t know what to say to him and basically pouted on the way home. What can I say?  And do I say it now or wait until another party?

Laura: It is understandable that you didn’t enjoy witnessing that woman grab your husband’s face and kiss him on the lips. I am sorry to hear you experienced that. It was inappropriate in my opinion, however it sounds like it was in fact awkward for your husband. Hopefully she got the message when he pulled his face away. He may have thought that it would have caused more drama by her if he also walked away abruptly. Please remember that the action that upset you was her action and not your husband’s. Unfortunately not everyone thinks the same way or has the same boundaries. I suspect that you had more continual thoughts in your mind about it than your husband did.  After he pulled his face away he most likely moved on from it. I suggest letting this go. If your husband was the one that initiated an inappropriate action towards another woman, or reciprocates to her in kind, then that would be a completely different story. 

Lives of Style: I was dating a man for three months. We had a very serious discussion about what we wanted and I thought we were on the same page but then I never heard from him. It’s been two months and he just resurfaced. He made a comment on my Facebook picture and wrote, “Nice Pic.” I didn’t respond. So he texted me, “I thought we were on good terms but I guess now I know we aren’t.  I wish you let me know that you had bad feelings about me.” I don’t want to respond to him because he just disappeared.  Of course I don’t have the warmest feelings about him. What can I say to him?

Laura: He is not currently asking to come back, so you do not need to make a decision or address that. He complimented your picture and made a statement suggesting that he now knows you two are not on good terms. It sounds like an immature way to find out what you are thinking. At any rate I don’t think it is in your best interest to carry and hold any negative energy towards him. His reaching out gives you an opportunity to clear it from your side, so you can let it go and move forward. You can say, “Thank you for the compliment on my picture. I want to respond and let you know that I am not holding any ill feelings towards you, and I wish you all the best.”

The sudden ending at the three month mark is so common, and there is so much to consider that I want to dive deeper with this. Here are some other things to consider while you reflect on this relationship and move forward.

The three month mark is the estimated time for the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship. It is not uncommon for one of the parties to suddenly end the relationship at that juncture. Separately, often times there are warning signs and conflicts with that person prior to them leaving that are sometimes overlooked because you have a lot of chemistry that overrides your logic until that person vanishes. What you stated to me excludes any information about what occurred during the three months you two dated leading up to the serious discussion, and you have not been specific with the details of what each of you actually said during that talk.

Also, his perception may be very different from yours. He may have experienced that discussion differently and believed that what you wanted was different from what he wanted in some significant ways, and therefore there was no reason for him to continue to court you. I do believe it would have been best for him to be upfront, honest, and tell you his reasons for not continuing to date you, however it takes a lot of guts and maturity to do that. Not everyone is so forthcoming, and although it does not feel good to you , he had the right to choose to just walk away. Everyone has the right to think, feel , do and want whatever they want.  That is the reason why it is best to remember that it is ALWAYS A RISK when you open up to date and share your thoughts, wants and feelings with another human being. You also have a right to say what you want, and to want what you want. The other person has the right to accept or reject your thoughts, feelings, wants and YOU! You can and SHOULD only control YOUR SIDE of  every transaction with another person. Handle yourself with integrity and understand that although you can hope that the other person does the same, you can not depend on it.

Sometimes a person just walks away like this and then shows up months later wanting another chance. It is not determined yet whether this man is thinking to ask you to get together and talk at some point. If that occurs it will be up to you to determine if you are in the space to be open to that, or state your reasons respectfully as to the wishes why you want to decline.  It would be your choice, and I am not suggesting for you to accept or reject the possibility if he comes forward and asks for another chance. I simply don’t hold negative judgement or condemn someone when I hear that because sometimes people have to have other experiences to learn and evolve. In some cases it actually does work out when the other person’s experience stimulated necessary growth that led him to reflect and see the possibility with you in a different light and be willing to come reach out, express himself, and step up and fully commit and do his part.

Lives of Style: I have been seeing a man for two months and I just decided that I don’t think we have enough compatibility to move forward. I’m 63 and I want to get married and I don’t want to waste time with someone who I don’t feel like I want to be with long-term. The last couple of dates I have been getting home afterward and not feeling good about him. What can I say to him or do I just ignore him?

Laura: You have a right to ignore him if that is what you want to do, but I do not recommend it. It is unkind to suddenly ignore a person who has been kind to you and taking you out on dates for two months. You are both grown ups. I would imagine this man ultimately wants a woman who also wants him. If you are 100% certain that you are not that woman for him, then the most respectful thing you can do is tell him.

You can say, “I have something that feels sensitive and uncomfortable to tell you. Is now a good time?” Wait for him to say, “Yes.” Then you can say, “I want you to know that I respect you and I have appreciated all of the lovely dates you have taken me on.  I want to be honest and tell you that I have come to the realization that although I do respect you as a man and like you as a person, I do not have the romantic chemistry for you necessary to continue to date you.  I do not want to be unfair and lead you on or waste your time. You deserve someone who wants you romantically as much as you want them. What are your thoughts about what I am telling you?”

Lives of Style: I went out on a first date and my date kept mentioning his late wife — about half an hour or longer out of a three hour date. It didn’t feel good to me to hear about it but I didn’t want to be insensitive.  Is it a good idea to mention something in the future or just try to get over it?

Laura: The tricky part is that it is difficult to know what prompted him to talk about his late wife. He could have been rambling out of nervousness, be very open and comfortable talking about her, or he could still be grieving and not fully ready to move forward. Wait for now. If you two go out again and he brings her up, then you may want to speak up.
You could say, “I have noticed you are talking a lot about your late wife, and I don’t think you are deliberately wanting me to feel uncomfortable, but I want to be honest and tell you that it feels uncomfortable to me to be hearing so much about her on our dates. What are your thoughts about what I am saying?”

Lives of Style: I am five months pregnant and am just starting to show. I have some family members who haven’t acknowledged the baby yet and it hurts my feelings.  I don’t even want to mention anything about the baby because I think it puts salt in a wound.  Is there anything I should say or not say?

Laura: You have every right to be happy and proud about your baby. Perhaps with these family members it would be  best if you are the one that leads and openly brings up the baby to them. You could put your hand on your baby bump and say, “It’s hard to believe that this time next year this little one will be here in the world with all of us, isn’t it?”

Lives of Style and Lives of Style’s DatingSpeak ™ ©2015 want to facilitate answers to questions.  While authorities such as Laura may not be able to email each of you individually, select questions will be answered. 

Remember, log onto http://www.livesofstyle.com/the_last_word/ and email Laura at Laura@livesofstyle.com.

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