Gambling with money is one thing. All we lose is money. We might feel a little ashamed of ourselves later. Gambling with our bodies and our hearts is another thing. We lose our self-respect, our innocence, our belief that our dreams can come true, our dignity, sometimes our health, and often our youth. He hasn’t given us what we want yet, usually in the form of love or commitment, but we think if we prove our love he’ll give us what we want. This is like letting him have the cow and the milk with an I.O.U..
I have done this in several forms.
A guy has told me he wanted to marry me in the future and given me grand visions of children and growing old together and I bought it completely. I took back my vow of waiting until I got married, because I thought we were going to, so I thought why wait? Because he can turn back any old time he feels like it, that’s why. You could find out he’s not someone you want to marry, that’s why. Simply, it was too soon. It was a mistake and now it is causing me a lot of worry, disappointment, and shame.
I also once fell in love with a man who showed no signs of having any kind of relationship with me. Simply, my plan was to “love him good enough on the outside he feels it on the inside”. I believed “my love” would help him and it’d be all romantic and wonderful. Outcome: he ended up seeming to hate me and treated me nightmarishly.
I feel like most of my relationships have involved this gambling on less story-worthy levels. I wanted love and/or commitment but instead of waiting for any proof of those things, I invested everything. It is the investment that screws us up.
In order to date someone, we’re always taking a risk. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I can’t imagine how else it could work. You date someone, you both enjoy each other’s company, you discuss things, and eventually decide you both want to invest more to get more out of your relationship. The key is to both be investing the same amount at the same time. Somehow or another women seem to think it’s on us to give, give, give in order to get him to give back. I think maybe because it’s not happening as fast as we’d like, we assume if we keep throwing more into the pot, we’ll make it happen. I’m not sure that’s not what they’re holding out for, to make us think that. All that is happening is you’re selling yourself short and both of you know it. He sees you are willing to do it, which means he knows he can get what he wants for this “price”, and you are growing ever more resentful because he’s not giving back as much as you’re giving out. As much as this sounds like a business transaction, I don’t mean it that way. It just explains a point. All this investing, pricing and selling is about our emotions. For women, even the monetary and practical issues we have usually boil back down to what it “means”. Many men are willing to throw money around, it’s everything else they don’t want to do. This is another trap.
Men will convince you they do want to “invest” because they will spend money on you. Sometimes impressive amounts of money. If money is all you get and money isn’t really what you want, you can be still be frighteningly dissatisfied. If you complain, then you’re greedy because he just hasn’t spent enough money. How to handle this situation… Don’t accept anymore money, for starters. Try to explain to him what you do want from him and give him some time to see if he can give you that.
Harder things for men to do than spend money… be faithful, think of your feelings, make you a priority, trust you, be responsible, make future plans, and make a commitment. They seem to think that being willing to spend money or do an occasional favor will mask everything else that’s wrong. Then if we’re not happy, we just don’t appreciate what they’ve done.
I’m not sure how to protect ourselves from this. So far my history seems to have been all the wrong things to do. What I think I will try from now on…
- Feel free to wait (to give love, sex, favors, anything) as long as I want and if he doesn’t like it, that’s tough. No matter what excuses or reasons he comes up with. I set the “price” and it isn’t going to be lowered. If he doesn’t want to pay it, then that should tell me what I want to know right there.
- If he isn’t making the next move, don’t assume I haven’t done something right or I haven’t done enough to make it happen.
- Try to see dating as a getting to know each other, just having fun process. This should help us to get to know each other better and make it less likely that either person sees it as a business transaction. We’re just having a good time. If we both decide later that we want to start “investing” then that’s great, but there should be no pressure.