I recently connected with a guy online who’s profile requested women to “not be crazy.” I know what you’re thinking—“Why would I swipe right on a guy who’s asking for the impossible?!”
Full disclosure: It’s come to my attention that perhaps I’m a bit too picky when it comes to men. (If you think I was serious about the “impossible” comment, calm yourselves—Sarcasm is my second language.) I liked everything else this guy had to say, he seemed cute, and we had a mutual friend in common, allowing me to investigate my “what-if-he’s-an-axe-murderer” fear so I thought, “what the hell?”
After we “BOOM, made a connection!” I unenthusiastically reached out with: “Hi Chris:) I should let you know now that all women have a little bit of “cray” in them. I realize you asked us not to be, but felt it best to share this with you upfront.” (Insert winky face emoji. You’re welcome.)
Chris on the other hand actually seemed enthusiastic with his prompt response of, “I’m learning!”
Aaaaand that was it. Don’t get me wrong--I liked his witty reply, but Mama just turned 35 and after years of prying and pulling teeth to keep a good conversation going, my lack of enthusiasm reached its max. NEXT.
For the sake of this post title, let’s just table analyzing my high maintenance and pickiness issues for a rainy day or “Claire Your Wine Wednesdays” (possibly coming soon), going over how I could have then said, “Great. So ya wanna have my babies?” to really have a field day with Chris, let’s focus on how I celebrated my ability to take the “cray” out of crazy.
I realized that two-sentence exchanges with a farfetched dreamer like Chris would have really ruffled my feathers not too long ago. I’d bitch to friends saying, “WTF?! My reach-out was funny and creative, while his response was two measly words! Dating sucks. Men suck. Why would he even swipe right if that’s all he had to say?!”
And this my friends, is an example of how women manage to put the “cray” in crazy when here's the reality of the situation:
Chris doesn’t know me--therefore Chris owes me zilch.
Maybe he connected with someone else who tickled his fancy more--this is the name of the game with online dating!
Perhaps Chris felt his response was more than enough and didn’t like how I didn’t respond back to him.
Maybe he has a real prob with my shortening words which essentially would never allow us to work because I’m totes not changing my vernack any time soon.
I’m bringing his fear to fruition by overanalyzing a two-sentence exchange with a stranger, so Chris just dodged the major bullet he was looking to avoid.
But while I’m at it, I’ll throw in a final F) for the poor guy who has no idea that a whole freakin’ blog is inspired by our non-existent relationship, which is that I DIDN’T CARE FOR CHRIS IN THE FREAKIN’ FIRST PLACE.
Yes, this is much easier said and done when you’re not exactly thrilled by the prospect because the real challenge to stay sane arises when the dude actually does thrill you pre the date, during the date, or post the hundreth. So how do you take the cray out of crazy when he disappoints you then?
Not too long ago it occurred to me that if I got clear with my values on what it means to be a friend instead of a romantic partner who inevitably triggers all kinds of emotional shite, then perhaps I’d find more clarity on who I want to be with in a relationship, as well as who I want to be, with him.
As a friend, 99% of the time I’ll show up when I say I will--if I don’t, there’ll be a damn good reason why. If you ask to make plans, you’ll get a prompt response--I’ll never ignore you. I’ll always ask you questions because I genuinely want to know about the good and the bad, beyond the mundane small talk about the weather and play by play of your day. If I’m disappointing you, I hope you’ll tell me so that I can make it right, but I won’t compromise who I am if I feel your gripe is irrational. If you want my thoughts on a sensitive issue, I’ll say things you may not want to hear but it will always come from a place of love and honesty. Furthermore, I’ll only invest my precious time and energy into those who will reciprocate the same.
I know, I know--cue the “High Maintenance Life Coaches” post but here’s the thing—I LOVE being this kind of friend, making it easy for me to not only deliver, but also attract the same kind of friend.
And that’s when it hit me—I wasn’t loving on who I was as a partner in past relationships, compared to the way I prided myself as a friend. I’d get carried away with the chemistry, his charm, his supposed desire to want the same things I want, and then before I knew it I was hooked and blinded to the fact that my values were far from matching with his.
Cue the cray-town reactions like flying off the handle, reading the riot act, giving the silent treatment, slamming doors, and delivering the good ole passive aggressive classic, “I’m fine,” line which so beautifully never worked.
Don’t get me wrong--I’m all about feeling the feelings when you’re let down, but how you react towards your triggering mirror reflection is key, whether you try to make it work or peacefully put an end to it.
If you’re like me and want to quit over reactions that make me cringe when I reflect back on things I’ve said or done, here’s what I suggest:
First, go to town on the dude behind his back in a safe environment. Vent in a journal or to a trusted friend or life coach:) Get clear on what the issue is really about—is this something that's more to do with you than him?
After getting calm and clear about how you’d like to proceed, you have two options:
As vulnerable and uncomfortable as it can be to calmly address disappointment and ask if it’s something he’s willing to work on, it’s the only way to know if there’s potential for sustenance and growth in the relationship. (Please note this may not apply on the first date where it's a bit too soon to ask a man to work on something!)
If you know you don’t want to teach him how to follow through on his word or whatever the deal breaker is, politely yet firmly explain you’re looking for something different and it’s time to part ways.
I hear angels singing “aahhhhhh!” up above, thinking about a movement where more women get clear on who they are and what they stand for without apology in their romantic relationships, giving them the ability to recognize that a man’s lack of desire or inability to meet them where they’re at doesn’t make him an ass or her not enough. It’s simply because two out of the six billion people on the planet just so happened to not be the right fit--nothing to put the cray in crazy about. "Oh you're not interested in showing up and following through on your word? Thank you so much for showing me now because this will never work." Polite, clear, and empowering, only leading you that much closer to Mr. Right or further strengthening your current relationship. When you respect and love yourself first, he's only going to respect and love you more for it.
What are your core values as a friend? Do you find you compromise these values when engaging with your love interest, making you say and do things you’re not so proud of? Are there behaviors you tolerate from a potential partner that you’d never put up with from a friend?
Reflect on past experiences and see what comes up, but don’t be too hard on yourself--like Chris, we’re all “learning!”