hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Revisiting the Flight of Fight Syndrome

When somebody re-appears in your life after a hiatus of six months or so and your initial instincts tell you to ignore them, it's often best to listen to those instincts. This is not to say that my date last night was a complete and total failure, because it did have it's high points. But when you suspect you're being called upon not for your excellent conversational skills, wit or naturally good looks, but for your skills in other activities reserved for more um, private situations, it's probably best to *forget* to return the email.

Just as I suspected, the event was indeed a glorified booty call. Sure, there was dinner involved, and drinks following, and no, I didn't pay for anything, nor did I offer. He's loaded, I'm not. Then there was a walk to a front door, and a polite goodnight, followed by a claim to be too drunk to drive home (whatever), followed by HP caving a bit on her original policy for the evening. But proudly, not caving all the way. I simply didn't want to have sex with him.* I recall other times with other guys (and to be honest, with him too) where my ability to politely say "no" wasn't strong enough to stand up to a partner who only wanted to hear "yes", where I've convinced myself that I wanted it even when I didn't. To be clear, I don't believe that I've ever been sexually assaulted.** But, like many women, I haven't always known how to say no. On some occasions I have caved because I dreaded alienating or upsetting the other person, and even stupider, I've sometimes felt like I owed them something in return for drinks or dinner.*** Sad, isn't it?***

Luckily, I'm hip to a different game these days and it involves sticking up for myself in a more effective and assertive fashion. Sex is becoming a bigger deal to me than it used to be. Just another area of life where HP is growing up. shocking, I know. So last night I said no. I had to say it many times, in fact, and at one point I panicked a little under the thought that maybe he wouldn't listen. But he did, if only for a little while until I had to say it again. So, I said it around midnight when we got home. I said it around 2 when I first got up for a glass of water. I said it around 3:30 when I was huddled in the fetal position at the very edge of my bed due to the worst cramps in the history of human kind*****. I said it again around 7 when my alarm went off. And finally, I said it at 7:15 after we hit snooze a couple times, but had a few minutes left to sleep. Finally, I walked him downstairs and out the door at 7:30, and promptly indulged myself with a much needed shower.

So it depresses me a little to have experienced yet another date that served mostly to discount yet another man as a potential partner. But on the other hand, it was a much needed exercise is self-assertion. Someday my friends, all this will fall into place. I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it.

*Because although funny, he's something of a doofus. And while that's entertaining, it makes him seem really immature. Plus, being a doofus is never sexy. That, and I didn't like him enough. I used to, back when I was excited enough about the prospect of a boyfriend that I wasn't being objective in my assessment of his personality. I saw tall, rich and funny and thought I had hit the jackpot. But now I see an over-grown frat boy who never quite outgrew his high school dorkiness. That, and he wasn't very nice to me on our last date, hence the reason for the six month hiatus in the first place. Ah, clarity, such a gift.

**But I have a couple of close friend who have been, and I think that hearing about their stories and living parts of the recovery with them has certainly made me more protective of my body.

***Isn't my sparkling personality reward enough?

****What's especially sad is how often women give into sex for fear of the other person's response, yet even when we do, we often end up feeling dismissed and mistreated by the man after the fact. Sadly, sometimes I think we inadvertently set ourselves up for that kind of treatment simply by trying to please. Lesson here: sex isn't something to be employed to appease another person.

*****TMI, sorry about that.


Blogger Michael J. West said...

So it depresses me a little to have experienced yet another date that served mostly to discount yet another man as a potential partner.

Not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, you're looking for one partner out of a possible 3 billion, right? Shrinking the playing field, by however small a degree, can only help.

3:14 PM  

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