Relationships: What He Says and What You Should Hear.

3:35:00 PM

Girls have minds that play tricks on us, but that doesn't mean we don't have good reason to read into certain things. Women pick up on the most subtle arrangement of words and intentions that men have. Some men may not know that the things they say offhand can carry more weight than they intend. We all have read snippets, if not the book in entirety, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. If we have picked up anything at all from this book, it's that men and women have two completely different setups when it comes to brains. Men have twenty room condos that are lined with soundproof walls without windows or connecting hallways, and women have multi-level mansions with dumbwaiters, floor to ceiling windows, elevators and nine thousand rooms. Okay, that was a little over the top there. But you get my point.

Meeting anyone organically these days is tough, and when we do we tend to ignore those little red flags that warn us to head for the hills. I get it, we all just want to be loved. We all are and we all will love. Sometimes we ignore these small signs because we think that they can be fixed with little effort once the relationship gets rolling, and our significant other will allow us to butt into their business so that we can tailor them into the man or woman we think that they are. Whoa that was all one and a half breaths. The truth is, unless a person comes in that package that you want, then they are never going to be that way. Don't get me wrong, everyone has their faults. Everyone. But we must accept people for who they are, not what we wish them to be.

A person may get past this first stage in the dating game, but getting to know them is the next critical stage. I don't mean getting to know them superficially, but really getting to know their feelings about people and things, about their past. When a man or woman opens up to you about their values, the things that they care about and who is important to them, that's when you should be listening.

Ex: Recently I started dating two men, who was a bit older than me by a few years, and they were both complex gentlemen. They both had hangups about exes. The first guy was very sweet and would casually mention some idiotic thing or other that his ex girlfriend was doing, mainly the fact that they had been broken up for two years and she was dating a good friend of his. He was stuck on her like glue.

After our third date, moving onto the 4th, he opened up and said that he was still hooked on her and had a hard time dating because he thought that this girl was the one. I could feel a disconnect between us since the first date, but wasn't sure if he was just shy or delicate. Both. This guy wasn't even close to ready to date. The thing was, after we had gone out a couple of times and he hadn't kissed me I assumed there was something I was doing. But over and over again we were planning things and going out. I should have picked up on his body language, the way he talked about women and his inability to ease up.

Lesson from this one: When you start feeling strangely about the way a person makes you feel when you're together then think about that. There's usually a reason.

Man #2 seemed fantastic because he and I had that instant connection on the first date that was unbelievable. I had never felt that connection to a man on the first date like that. It felt magnetic and I wanted so badly to think that he was this awesome guy that got me. Problem was that before we went on this date, we talked quite a bit and he told me that he had just broken up with someone six months before and was still in contact with this person. When I heard that at first I thought, well if they're broken up shouldn't be a problem. There wasn't anything wrong with remaining friends with an ex. (Red flag: this was supposedly his first and only real love). He called me one night (after we had went out a couple of times) telling me that he was upset and had a bad day. When I asked him what happened he wasn't sure he wanted to tell me. When he finally did, he told me that his ex found out he was dating and was upset with him. I didn't understand why it would bother him if he moved on. Of course, he didn't move on and I only realized after this conversation that I shouldn't see him.

I avoided him for a week or so after this, telling him that I didn't want to get involved with a man who was hung up on another woman. He called and texted, wanting to see me, saying he had nothing to do with her, so I agreed to see him. After a couple of weeks, when he was supposed to come to a Christmas party that I invited him to, he said that he wasn't ready to date and that he was still in love with this woman--he just had to admit it to himself. I was upset, but what was I going to do but wish him well? Nothing. I had already known this was the case and that he was still attached.

Lesson: When your date mentions someone over and over again, they're absolutely not over them. Don't ignore it. Let them know that you're happy they feel comfortable enough to share their experiences with you but you want to concentrate on your relationship. If they continue to do this, then you know it's time to cut em loose.

The dating world is a crazy place. Men and women misinterpret each other all of the time, and some never bother to pay attention to signs. This doesn't mean that every little thing is important, but when a person is giving you signals that you feel are being presented over and over again, chances are that you should be listening. Pay attention! Of course, there's some fun to be had.

Have dating stories? Tweet me @ellohoneybee or comment below.

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