- Gender and Relationships
Should Men Come With Warning Labels?
Dating would be so much easier if a guy came with a Warning Label that listed all the major things that would push him away, drive him crazy or make him blissfully happy.
Yes, pathetic, but true, some guys need to have a Warning Label for what they consider to be blissfully happy. Especially, if it involves watching pornography several times a day, anal sex, threesomes (including an open relationship), or possibly all of these ridiculous demands.
A Warning Label would not be required to list everything about a guy. It should just list enough important "need to know" stuff, so that you become familiar with what you're getting involved with. This warning label should be written by either a close friend—preferably girl, his mother, an ex-girlfriend (who isn’t bitter), or a therapist.
By having this label, you would get a much more adequate sense of who he is, instead of who he is representing himself to be. As I've mentioned in previous articles, when you first meet a guy, he usually will lead with his best (slightly made up) self—his representative.
Most women end up being attracted to the representative, because this guy likes a lot of the same things they do. He is witty, funny, romantic, kindhearted, caring, attentive, and communicative—seems to be their perfect match!
The unfortunate reality is that "this guy" usually never lasts. Eventually, most great things come to an end. That is when you end up meeting his true character, which is usually very different from how he originally represented himself. Ugh! Having a Warning Label would help to modify this extreme change when he reveals what he is hiding under his mask. His character change would feel less abrupt and shocking.
I think it's very important to share sooner rather than later, the things that can make you easily freak out or upset you. This way the other person can determine if they are really a great match for you or if they are up for the challenge—knowing what could potentially be ahead.
Since most men find it difficult to communicate as to what actually makes them shut down and pull away, there should be another form used to communicate this—a Warning Label. Like I said, it doesn't need to be a long check list, but it should be very clear.
WARNING: I only communicate when I'm happy and things are going well. If you sense that things between us are not going well, I will Deny, Deny, Deny for weeks and try to convince you that it's about something else (even though I know it is about you). When you keep pushing and pressuring the subject, I won't open up because I don't want to validate that your instincts are correct. I would rather you feel insecure, unwanted and end the relationship, versus opening up and giving you constructive feedback. I will also be unsure or unwilling to give you an opportunity to work on salvaging our relationship. Other than that, I'm a great communicator, I enjoy sex, I like beer, afternoon naps and I love to watch football, constantly!
Access to these “warnings” may help to determine if you are up for the emotional challenge. It can also help aid you when a man who claims he is great at sharing his inner thoughts, all of a sudden shuts down communicating with you. A Warning Label could help you feel less in the dark when he crawls into his childish mode.
Should men be the only ones who have labels? No! There are plenty of women who also have an issue communicating what upsets them, or makes their emotional walls go up. For a woman like this, the same format for obtaining truthful information would be used—best girlfriend, mom or dad—whoever she feels closest to, and/or ex-boyfriend (who isn’t bitter) or therapist.
Since most women are more at ease in communicating, it makes it easier for men to know right off the bat what our Warning Labels would contain.
My Warning Labels are pretty clear when I meet a guy—mostly because I wear my labels like a big sign around my neck. I put myself out there, available and ready for a guy to read. Or maybe it's because I will directly tell him...
WARNING: Communication is very important to me. The best way to shut me down emotionally, make my walls go up or end things with me is to stop communication. Also, I have abandonment issues. If I feel a change in your behavior that's negative—calling, texting, seeing me frequently to not finding time, or if I feel any major emotional distance—it will make me jump ship (relationship) before it officially sinks.
What drives me crazy is when a guy who is not a great communicator in relationships, leads with the fact that he is! You don't have to be an expert, but when you lead with it, there is an expectation that when stuff comes up, doubts enter in, things go bad or questions arise....you will share your thoughts and feelings. When you do the complete opposite, you are viewed as a liar. Also, I get that some people need a few days before expressing how they feel and to find the most accurate words, but days should never turn into weeks or months.
Since communication is very important to me, as well as not feeling abandoned, I always ask right away how a guy feels about communication and how he deals with things when he's upset. I have been told many, many times (obviously the generic answer), "I believe that communication is so important for a relationship to work. I'm a great communicator and would never walk away and give a woman the silent treatment." Well, that sounds wonderful in theory.
I dated a guy who told me right off the bat that he is a “really good guy”—what you saw, is what you got—there was no representative, he doesn't play games and he is very open and honest. Hmmm...
So, how honest was this guy when I knew in my gut that his feelings towards me had changed—by his very apparent actions, but instead of being open and talking to me (when I tried several times), he strung me along for weeks (what a great guy). Being honest was not one of his strong attributes. He focused on convincing me that his distance towards me for many weeks had to do with other issues going on his life, even though this was not entirely the truth.
The interesting thing is, after weeks of dealing with his incapability to open up—as he created more and more distance, when I finally told him that I was done, (I didn't want to be in a relationship with a guy who can't communicate what he's really feeling) he jumped on the break-up train faster than the speed of light.
For a guy who claimed he didn't play games, he played a perfect game of denial with my heart for several weeks. He expected me to change the core and essence of who I am (a communicator), because he projected falsely who he was. He couldn't fathom that my reaction was solely based on what he was doing and how he was treating me. However, in his mind (based on the not so sweet text he sent me), I was in the wrong. It would have been so helpful if he had a Warning Label that I could have read prior to dating him.
He did not care, value or respect my Warning Label, which again, I was very upfront with. He also falsely presented his own so-called warning label, and then acted surprised and insulted that I not only tried to communicate, but also wanted to plan time to see one another. When he said he wasn't ready to open up, I respected that, although it left us very little to talk about. Don't get me wrong, he would share how stressed he was, but wouldn't tell me exactly why. What’s absurd, not only did our conversations change from meaningful—with substance, to basically talking about the weather (and his stress), he also expected me (who has abandonment issues) to wait around for weeks without seeing one another. His rationality (and my conclusion—again based on his actions), was that he could not possibly deal with our relationship alongside the "mysteries" of his life.
If this guy had a truthful Warning Label, I would have realized that he was a very poor communicator, not completely open and honest. As for being a "really good person"...well, not so much, judging by the way he handled the situation while fully being aware of my labels.
When a guy chooses to hide under the mask of who he really is, with such a strong hold, I don't think that anyone really knows his true self...including himself. If the label of the guy I dated would have been more honest and clear for me to see, I wouldn't have "pushed" so hard to talk to him about whatever he was going through (or tried to be there for him)—because I wouldn't have dated a guy who was that lousy at communicating.
Ladies, although Warning Labels would make dating, finding and keeping love so much easier...unfortunately they are a pipe dream. Even though Warning Labels don't exist in the real world, you can learn to ask the right questions, read the correct signs, and trust your intuition. In the end, all relationships are learning experiences, and I have determined that just because a guy tries to sell you "all the bells and whistles," it doesn't mean that you shouldn't approach with caution until you are convinced that he deserves your label for true love.
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