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The Different Kinds of Men We Date

Updated on February 7, 2020
Santi Salinas profile image

Santiago Salinas is a student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a degree in Public Health, Psychology and Social Justice.

The Guy Who Plays with Your Emotions Like Toys

We all were interested in that one guy who loved to play with our emotions. Even though we said we would cut him off, we always end up back with him because of the things he said and did. But what we fail to realize is that the guy who makes us these promises is a master manipulator and toys with our emotions in order to get what they want. In the summer of 2019, I met this guy, we’ll call him Juan. Juan was around my age, only a year and a half older than me and we matched on the dating app Grindr. At first I did not think much of the meeting with us because I was honestly not interested in dating at the time, but there was something about him that just made me want to try to pursue something more than a friendship with him. I continued talking to him, but I was unaware of the game that he was playing, and I was especially unaware of what tools he was using to play with. Through the time that we have spent talking, he was able to push all the right buttons in my heart and manipulate my actions from the inside. He said that he's never felt the way he felt when he was with me and that he's never met anyone like me. Naturally, I was immediately drawn to him romantically because the things he said to me made my heart melt. When we found out that we would be attending the same school, I was instantly excited and he promised that we would be very close and potentially be something even more. However, his promises did not match his attitudes. As the weeks went on, Juan started to become less charming and more aggressive. I remember this one day when I was at a volunteer event with my friends and we planned on going out to eat afterwards. Juan suggested that he could pick me up from the restaurant we were eating at and take me back to his house to hang out. I told him I couldn't because I didn't let my parents know I planned on staying out days in advanced and they were expecting me home in an hour. He ended up getting very upset and started to insult me by saying very hurtful things and I started to wonder if I was going to be able to put up with his behavior. The right thing for me to have done was to tell him off and leave it at that, but for some reason I was begging him for forgiveness, and even then I was met with snarky remarks and hurtful comments.

I wish I could say the emotional abuse ended then and there, but it didn't. When we started college, Juan had made it a habit to bounce me up and down like a yo-yo wrapped around his finger and I couldn't escape. The days would pass by in two different ways. There would be days where he would be head over heels for me, and then there would be other days where he would be insulting me if something didn't go his way. After about two months of enduring this kind of abuse, we eventually stopped talking to each other after he told me he did not want to be in a relationship with me because of the circumstances that we found ourselves in.

This emotional roller coaster is not uncommon in the dating world. We find ourselves trying to please men who find joy in keeping us on our toes to have ways for us to please them. My relationship with Juan had a very toxic dynamic with it and it became very unhealthy for me to continue to entertain the idea of Juan and I dating. It was emotionally draining for me to continue to have him constantly on my mind, but it was also very detrimental to my mental well-being. There would be some days where I could not get him off my mind because of the effect he had on my emotional state. However, through therapy and friends giving me relationship advice, I was able to dig myself out of the hole that I allowed myself to be put in and I was also able to recognize the ways that men would play with my emotions from that point on. For anyone out there having their emotions played with, just remember that you are worth more than the guy who's taking advantage of you is making it seem.

The One Who was Interested but Didn't Act on it

The one thing that everyone needs when it comes to dating is communication. Communication is essential for any relationship whether it be romantic or non-romantic. When communication is lost, the relationship will inevitably fail and leave both parties disappointed. One of my romantic interests, we’ll call him Ken, was the one who found it difficult to communicate properly with how he was feeling. We met back in September and he was charming, funny, kind, and very attractive. I spent the night at his house when his mother wasn't home and we had a great time together. I felt an instant attraction to him, partially because of his looks but more so on his personality. He started to follow me on Instagram and on Snapchat and I then proceeded to give him my number. In doing so, I would start to text him regularly throughout the day, the only problem was though is that he would take a very long time to respond, sometimes even days at a time. It was confusing to me because I could understand if he was busy, but by not responding for days on end sent me the signs that he wasn't very interested in me. However, the other signs that confused me about his interest in me was whenever we would hang out in person, he would give me his full-undivided attention and generally enjoy the time we spent together. It wasn't until later in mid-October when I posted in my snap story with me and another guy, Ken saw this and was devastated.

He reached out to me in the morning with a text saying that he understood that he found someone else, and that he didn't hold it against me at all. He said though that was not the first time that this had happened to him and I could understand why. Ken is a very nice man. He is motivated, self-sufficient, has a job, and treats everyone with respect. He also has a lot of love for someone but the problem is he has trouble trying to express how he feels about someone. He says that he trouble opening up to different men because of the fact that he has had his heart-broken more than once in his life. While I can understand the struggle of what he is saying, I don't think that it is a viable excuse for him not to be able to open up to anyone. If he really wants to make a connection with someone, than he should have no problem being open about what he wants. Communication is the best thing in any relationship or even a potential relationship. If the man who's interested in you can't say it than don't bother waiting for him because chances are he probably won't say a word.


The One Who Thought He Was Ready

It is never a good idea for us to rush into a relationship, yet we can't help ourselves when it happens. I am no stranger to rushing into a relationship, and neither is Henry. Henry and I met on the dating app Grindr. We had been planning to meet but never really had the time due to our busy schedules. One cold night in October, however, we ended up meeting and going to the movies together. We were talking about ourselves and what we want to do in the future. Then the talking turned to kissing and I was able to open up to him about some very personal things in my life. I knew at the time that it was the first day that we had met but I just felt that it was right and that I could trust him.

The same week, I went back home from school and we proceeded to text each other on a regular basis. We were texting very normal things such as our daily affairs and I spoke about my hometown. But then Henry did something I didn't see coming. He started to talk about how he missed me and how he wanted to "run his fingers through my soft hair". He then proceeded to tell me how he's never met anyone like me and that he had very strong feelings for me, even though we had only known each other for a day. But at the time, I didn't care. I felt the same way about him too and this felt like the kind of romance you only read about in fairy tales. When I got back to campus, he came straight to visit me and he embraced me with all the love he could give. From that point on, we had started to see each other exclusively and were committed to one another. Little did I know, this was not the right way to go about things.

After that day, Henry and I gradually started to lose the romantic connection. There would be times where he wouldn't text me back for hours, our dates felt more routine than exciting, and we were having trouble being intimate with each other. I wanted to bring it up to him, but I didn't want to lose him because he was a great boyfriend to me and treated me with the utmost respect. He also tried to be there for me as much as possible, but for me it wasn't enough. Another factor was the fact that he was with his parents due to unfortunate circumstances that caused him to leave college for a while. Finally came the day where Henry and I had to talk about where we are going. He admitted to me that he looked up online, "Rushing Into a Relationship", and I had to be honest with him that I did too. We than decided it was best that we just remained really close friends, which we still are to this day, and not do anything romantic or intimate from this point forward, only because he's not ready.

When you are ready to commit to someone, you'll know because it will feel right. Rushing the process is going to be an inevitable failure within the relationship in the first few months. Rushing into a relationship with Henry in hindsight was not a good idea and I still wonder to this day what could have been if we had just waited. If you are interested in a man and want to date him, make sure that you've been friends with him for a reasonable amount of time and make sure that he's ready to date as well.

The Older Man Who's Ready To Settle

Dating someone older seems like a good idea because they are more mature and are not interested in playing games, but are you sure that you are right for them? Being with someone who's ready to settle and it a few years older than you seems like a good idea, but in reality, you're getting yourself into something you're probably not ready for. I dated a man who is six years older than I am and I thought that I was a good idea, but I was wrong in the end because he was at a point in his life where he was ready to settle and I was there yet not matter how I many times I told myself.

The older man, who we’ll call Mike, is a successful entrepreneur and an outstanding makeup artist. We met on Grindr and I was instantly attracted to him. Even though he was older than me, I felt as is I was ready to date him. We had been hanging out for a while after the first night that we met. It only took a week for us to fall for each other and I decided to make it official between us. I had gotten off Grindr and I demonstrated to him that I was ready to commit to being in a relationship with him. We had our first official date when he took me out to dinner in New York City at a Cuban Restaurant and then for dessert, he took me out for Asian-styled ice cream. Our dates were amazing, he treated me right and he did not have me second guessing my decision to date him, however, that was not the same case for him. One night when we were at the movies together, I get a text message from a guy who lives in my hometown that I used to entertain. He only had texted, "Hey", and Mike became immediately skeptical. Unfortunately instead of being honest with him, I lied and said that it was a friend of my family's and not to think much of it. I went on later to delete his number and block him to make sure he wouldn't bother me again. But Mike’s trust in me started to dwindle after that night.

After months of dating, we had our highs and lows. I had an amazing time with him, but the issue of trust constantly was popping its ugly head and trying to get Mike to trust me again was easier said than done because he was older than I was and understood that he deserved better. We ended up breaking up over text because I was home for the holidays and he lives in my college's general area. I'll be honest, it was one of the saddest days of my life and it took me a little over two weeks to recover from that. I mostly had my three friends to help me through the process and they helped me to realize one thing. They helped me realize that even though Mike and I tried to not let the age difference come between us, we could not ignore the fact that we were at two very different points in our lives. Mike is has a career, is able to afford the luxuries of life, and is self-sufficient. I had just started college, relied on my parents to pay for my life necessities and I was looking for a job to increase my very low bank account balance. Even though I still love Mike to this day, I was not ready to date someone older than me.

If you are considering dating an older man, it is important to ask yourself if you are ready for it. Being in college and having a career are two very different points in life and you have to be sure that you are ready to deal with it. If you are like me, a college student, it is probably best to not date someone older and to also consider where you are in your life.

Am I Bad at Dating?

No one is a true expert on dating. Some have more experience while others have a better idea about what they want. This shouldn't defer you from dating, however. It's all just a process that we go through to eventually find that someone special to spend the rest of our life with. But just make sure that the person you are dating is worth your time and not turn into something you'll regret.

© 2020 Santiago Salinas


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