We CAN Handle The Truth

Nothing strikes fear into a man’s heart more than hurting a woman’s feelings.

Being broke, the thought of his team losing the Superbowl, even running out of nachos- all very frightening thoughts for a man, but obstacles they’re sure to overcome. But the thought of having to face a woman and possibly break her heart? Well, that is something that seems to be impossible for many men to handle. Let me ‘splain…

I met a guy a few months back, and we hit it off immediately. True, our first “date” involved parading through the streets of Miami and getting escorted out of a bar for trying to sneak in through the bushes (long story), but it was an adventure. Very handsome man, owned his owned business, very sociable, oh and he luh God. A religious man who looked like Miguel? With an accent?!  Sign me up!

After our first whirlwind encounter, our next date was at a park. We pretended to be über fancy and walk around, having deep discussions about artwork and how we would return to said park with a picnic basket and bottle of pinot. I felt like I was in a rom-com about interracial love with my very own hip millennial (he had a mean beard and wore flannel). We even discussed not wanting to rush anything in the romantic department, because you know, we were trying to learn about each other’s SOULS. Our next date brought us back to the bar where it all started and hand-holding commenced, along with declarations of ” I like you a lot” and “I’m glad we’re getting to know each other more”. Stolen kisses happened here and there, it was just an all-around good feeling. But that night ended very abruptly, without a word or explanation. It was followed by a few weeks of non-contact, and I appeared to have been “ghosted”, as the kids say. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too surprised, because hey, ya’ll are the ones who know best that my love life is a hot mess. Of course I wouldn’t be so lucky as to find a man who would allow me to have babies that looked like Prince…

But because men are equipped with a radar that alerts them when women are close to moving on, I was contacted weeks later, and provided an apology for not being a good “friend” and keeping in touch. Where did this friend business coming from?  Since it was still early on, I didn’t think too much of it, but did inquire as to why he appeared to be giving me mixed signals, as I try not to kiss and cuddle with my friends. Oh wait, never mind…

Well after I said that, Casper the Friendly Ghost was back, and I didn’t hear from him for weeks. It wasn’t for me to figure out, as I was only in charge of how I reacted to the situation. But since fate wanted to keep me busy, homeboy decided to reach out to me again last week. He said that he was hoping we could meet up for drinks. Now, I’m either an idiot for giving people too many choices, or a sucker for the idea of love ( pretty sure it’s both), but I said yes. Before we could solidify any plans, he told me had a confession to make:

Miguel-Look-a-Like: Before we meet, I want to apologize for the last time we were together…

Me: (in my thoughts- oh that’s nice, he’s going to apologize for being weird)

Miguel-Look-a-Like: Um…I want to say that perhaps I told you things that I thought you wanted to hear from me but they were not true.

Me: Ummmm…

Miguel-Look-a-Like: I am looking for a friendship, a good quality friendship which is very rare in this city and for right now that’s all I can offer.

Me: Thanks Miguel. I’m elated that you decided to tell me you want to just be friends after our canoodle sessions and telling me you liked me. I’m so glad you’re being extremely clear and transparent.

Ok, so I didn’t say that, but I did  tell him that although I appreciated his apology, I asked that he never do that to anyone else. I went on to say that I was cool with being friends but  that he should try to refrain from making out with people he just wants to share a buddy pass with. I also stressed that he express his true feelings to women, because hey, it may hurt our feelings, but in the end, women want to know the truth, even if we don’t like the answer.

Let’s delve into this a little further. While he admitted his true intentions before things got even further, damage had already been done, and this happens ALL THE TIME. For whatever reason, leading someone on is much easier on people’s conscious than admitting that you don’t feel a connection. I can completely understand that you don’t want to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, but don’t you realize that pretending to like someone because that’s what you THOUGHT they wanted is much worse? I recently watched a very fascinating documentary on Netflix called “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On”, which highlighted stories that intertwined technology, sex, and the intimate relationships of today’s society. There was an episode entitled “Love Me Tinder” that followed the dating life of a former reality tv “star” and also showcased today’s current dating world that has been overtaken by social media and dating apps. The reality show guy, James, was a 40-year-old man who worked in Vegas nightlife. He constantly dated 20-year-olds and took full advantage of dating apps, including Tinder and Bumble. While musing over his dating conquests, James admitted to having a strategy that helped him with the ladies that seems to have gone away in this generation of “what’s next?”. He said that he was able to get women by opening doors for them, being chivalrous, and telling them “what they wanted to hear”, even though his actions weren’t really genuine. So that’s what we’re doing now?

Allow me to make a plea to all the men out there who think we have Cinderella slipper-delicate feelings- man up and say how you feel. If we go out a few times and you’re just not feeling it, please let me know this rather than pretending to be interested just because you want to spare my feelings. Don’t worry, I’m going to be okay- I CAN handle the truth. This goes for women too- put on your big-girl bra and be brave enough to honestly express yourself. Sure, we can all decide to ignore someone after a few dates, and at my age if someone doesn’t call me back I know the deal. Unfortunately, not everybody is that in tune with reality. Look, we all want love, which is the reason why people like myself continue to put themselves out there. Though dating nowadays is akin to trying to find a parking spot at Trader Joe’s on a Saturday afternoon, I’m going to continue driving around until I find a spot- that looks like Idris Elba.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

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