When You Should Treat the Man You Are Dating Like a Girlfriend
Yes he’s a guy you want to date, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with everything.
-Bobbi Palmer, Divine Caroline
Are you an independent, smart, and single woman who is dating and looking for love? If so, you’ve likely been challenged with how to respond when a man does something that ticks you off. What are realistic expectations? What should you tolerate? I get asked this question in many forms.
It can be confusing. On the one hand, you have a strong desire to be liked and finally find “The One.” On the other hand, you are a confident woman who doesn’t want to put up with nonsense or be a pushover.
Here is how that conflict can look in real life: The part of you that wants to be liked accepts all sorts of silliness and disrespect, while the other part of you judges quickly and bails out at the first sign of trouble.
Consider the situation of my client, Christine. During her coaching session she complained that a man she connected with online has been calling her after 10 pm. She thought that was rude. (So do I.) She wakes up at 5 am, and it was affecting her sleep. She asked me if I thought she should say something to him. She was hesitant because she didn’t want to scare him away.
So I asked her: How would you deal with a girlfriend who kept calling at that hour? Her instant response was, “I’d talk to her and let her know that it wasn’t okay!”
There you go. It seems so clear if it’s a girlfriend, right? So why wouldn’t you respond the same way with a man you’re dating? This is a reasonable boundary. It’s intrusive behavior that affects your quality of life—not to mention it screams booty call.
When we date we tend to make our experiences all about him instead of ourselves. Does he like me? Did I say the right thing to him? What will he do next? Christine’s dilemma had very little to do with him; he was going to do what he was going to do. Rather, it was about her personal needs and whether she was going to take care of herself; even if it meant he left.