As much as I loathe f*ck boys who start a conversation with, “Your place or mine?” even before knowing my last name, I respect them for their clarity. It’s the ones who get to know you, take you out, and enjoy all the boyfriend privileges without committing to you, that get’s on my last nerve. It’s all fun and games until you ask them, “what are we?” (watch them run faster than Usain Bolt.)
When I started dating seriously, and someone would ask me the question about the qualities I am looking for in a guy, my list would include ambitious words like intellectual, caring, and understanding. Today, I limit my answer to a boring two-word phrase, mirroring intention. As a part of a serious lunch table conversation, I asked my work wives about their dating experience lately, and they unanimously shrieked about the similar hot and cold treatment they’ve been on the receiving end of. Here are the different kinds of confused men we encountered, and the lessons we learnt.
“I Can’t Let You Go, But I Can’t Commit Either” – Zoha Castellino
At first, it’s annoying, then maddening, until finally, you break. It’s cruel and cowardly at the same time. Why is it so hard to tell the truth?! Say your piece and let both parties move on. I do not comprehend the “I can’t let you go, but I can’t commit either”. They don’t seem to understand that they lose either way. The worst is when you confront a situation, they just up and vanish, only to show up 72 hours and carry on like nothing even happened. The saddest part of the “I don’t know” man, I’ve come to realize is that he probably doesn’t even know himself.
My Takeaway: DO NOT allow this person to take control of your emotions and self-worth. DO NOT second guess yourself or your needs. You deserve to be treated with the same kindness and love you give.
“I Like You But I Am Scared I Will Screw It Up” – Nishtha Bhalla
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I met him on Tinder, and we went on a few dates before I sprung the ‘What are we?’ on him. He stuttered for a bit, and finally admitted to seeing other girls. (There should be a rule about no more dates after the 4th if you’re not into someone.) Anyway, I thought that was fine since I was young and wanted to be a cool girl who doesn’t really care about labels. Four months, we were caught in this weird dalliance where nothing was certain except the sheer uncertainty of it all. He told me he loved me, and I told him I loved him. He told me he had five months to live (um, it was a lie), and I was upset, understandably so. He ghosted me and resurfaced a month later – all this while, stringing me along with this “I love you, but I don’t wanna screw this up, so I’m going to sleep with other girls. But I LOVE you” excuse. Finally got rid of him, a month after being ghosted.
My Takeaway: I think the bottom line here is – don’t change yourself to fit in with the expectations of a man. If you don’t feel easy-breezy, don’t pretend like you’re easy-breezy – that’s only going to cause trouble for you later. Also, if someone’s stringing you along and lets you believe that they’re eventually going to loyal up, newsflash: It’s not going to happen. Cut the cord while you’re ahead, and move onto better things, because believe me, you’ll find them.
“Let’s Be Friends Who Like Each Other” – Ashlesha Sanjiva
They will chase you to the end of the earth and lose interest as soon as you reciprocate. Here’s what the guy I dated suggested, “Let’s be friends who like each other!” This routine, over time, became toxic, and it affected my mental health. The uncertainties of your personal life will also affect everything around you. This boy taught me that no matter how good a woman you are, you’ll never be enough for a guy who isn’t ready.
My Takeaway: It took me countless miserable nights and days to understand how to break out of this toxic pattern. If you’re in a similar situation, cut them out, cold-turkey. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment and undermine your needs to accommodate them. Take up the space, and demand what you want. It’s never too much.
” I Like You, But I Am Not Good At Relationships” – Ruman Baig
Two years ago, I met a guy on a popular dating app, a 6’1 lawyer who was witty and woke, need I say more? The conversation was an instant banter; there were memes, gifs, voice notes, and constant sarcastic one-liners fuelling the chemistry. The first time I met him, we ended up sitting in a café until midnight; the perfect first date as you call it. It was followed by many such wonderful evenings on the beach, at the movies, and dimly lit romantic dinners. In a period of six months, we fell into a pattern of talking every day and meeting on alternate weekends, but nobody addressed the elephant in the room. Until one day, after a Pg-13 kiss under a building I decided to ask him, “where is this going?” and he said, “I don’t know,” I doubled it down with a, “Do you like even like me?” the reply to this was, “Of course I do, but I am not good with relationships.” This cleared up two things for me, his indecisiveness shouldn’t be the cause of my insecurity, and that a politically sound man isn’t necessarily good with relationships!
My Takeaway: Always lay your cards on the table from day one. Before he asks you about your favourite colour and movie, you interrogate him about his intentions. If it scares him, too bad, he wasn’t the one. Don’t let a guy play the hot and cold game with you, nip it in the bud and then thank you, next