Tuesday, August 08, 2006

10 Men That Make Dating Mistakes

I came across this piece about guys and their lame behaviors - 10 Men That Make Dating Mistakes . Reading this and seeing a rerun of the movie "Someone Like You" made me think about something else men (and women) do that I don't understand.

In a scene during the movie, Ray tries to talk with Jane while she types busily on her computer. The increasing pressure with which she hits the keys and speed of her typing reflect the inverse relationship between her anger and his distance from her. He approaches apprehensively, as if she will pounce and claw him like a feline hunter. He extends out his arm offering a little white paper bag that holds a perfectly toasted bagel (which I presume was her favorite breakfast) and speaks in the gentlest voice.

Without looking at him, she takes the bag, swing her arm out to the side, and immediately drops the bagel bag into the trash. She rejects every attempt Ray makes to engage her in friendly conversation. Jane is all business. The viewer knows that she is angry and hurt because he abandon her just before they were to move in together.

This scene caused me to flashback to a moment with Ryan. We had just broken up the prior weekend. He came by to talk and return some of my kitchen containers. In an attempt to lighten the mood, he handed me one container at a time with a tentative smile, pretending his backpack was a magic sack or something. On the fourth reach into his backpack, he pulled out a miniature set of bowling pins and bowling ball. (I had always wanted us to go bowling down the street but we never did.) I unemotionally thanked him and set the gift aside. I was so hurt and confused by his behavior. That last thing I need is another object that reminds me of you. What was he thinking trying to give me a small gift when the damage was done?

I know women do this too, but I don't think we do it for the same reasons. Women may do it as a last attempt to win guys back (which rarely works right?). What are guys thinking when they make these gestures? Unexpected gifts and loving little gestures are the sweetest things a guy can do when you're dating. It shows they're thinking of you and remember things you've said. But once the guy has broken your heart, why still make the effort? Is this a cowardly way of saying "I'm sorry" or is it some desperate attempt to make you like them even though you both know it's over? Does accepting the gift somehow help them with their guilt? Don't they realize these gestures are like adding salt to the wound?

I still have the bowling set. It sits on a bookshelf, collecting dust, next to some CDs I rarely listen to. I don't have the heart to throw away a perfectly good, unopened toy. I just keep forgetting to donate it away.

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