Managing Expectations

Recently, I had the chance to chat up some girl friends over dinner. One was married, the other, single. Similar to most women, we swapped stories on what’s new with each other’s lives.

A good friend of mine opened up that she may have become too close for comfort with this particular fellow that it was not healthy anymore. One thing led to another and eventually, the guy said “I am not the best person to have a relationship with” (all this after bedding her, of course).

My friend could not comprehend the fellow. He did not come from a tumultuous relationship, nor did he have a traumatic childhood. So what was his excuse?

To put it delicately, he just wanted to sleep with her. That was it. All that bonding time and effort he put in was a strategy to get to know her emotionally and eventually “prey” on that vulnerability.

Admittedly, my friend agreed that because they spent so much time together, the sexual tension was too much. Hence, the “mistake”.

I asked my married friend what advise she would give us single gals given my friend’s dilemma.

Ladies, brace yourselves. Don’t take the following items as gospel but there is some truth to it given we are in the day and age where women are making themselves too available these days or fall in love too eagerly (and for all the wrong reasons):

1. When you pay for the meal, it means you put your foot down that you are only friends. This is best used if you want to clear the hazy waters of “just being friends”. This strategy will set the stage. It not only a.) Saves the embarrassment of fighting over the tab but it’s also a good test to see if he is b.) A gentleman, c.) A tight-wad, d.) if he’s that into you to actually pay for your meal. (Personally, I have used this strategy so many times and it has not failed me yet.) If he insists to pay for your meal, then that’s good. However, this does not answer letter D. So this is the best time to ask him about it. Be honest and clear from the very beginning.

2. If he wants to get to know you, he will ask you out directly. It should come straight from his mouth. Let him make that move. You are colleagues not chums. There should be no grey areas. This can only be achieved if you clear everything from the start. Besides, direct, old fashioned “Would you like to have dinner with me?” is a good thing.

My friend shared that the guy mentioned he didn’t like the term ‘Ligaw’ because it put too much pressure on the guy to put their best foot forward. Instead he wanted to treat his lady-like to things that were more casual. I was irked by this line. Reason is, if he can’t put in the effort, he never will. Translation: “She’s not worth it”. This lack of effort scream laziness and seriously a huge turn off in character. Would you want to be with someone who thinks like that? Something to chew on, ladies.

3. Dating is supposed to be fun! If you’re playing the field, see as much people as you can. The good, decent and working kind of course. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (no pun intended).

4. If you are indeed seeing other people, do let him know. Reason: it will keep him on his toes. Let the best man win, I say!

5. Learn to manage expectations. You can’t expect things from him, when from the very beginning, as the woman, you failed to establish boundaries and set expectations yourself.

My friend is an accomplished woman, intelligent, beautiful and kind. Yet there are so many women like her making the same mistakes with the same old farts.

If you feel that the above suggestions don’t work for you, just keep in mind to always “guard your heart with all vigilance for out of it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23.) Now that verse is dating in a nutshell 🙂

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