I borrowed the title from that funny movie with Mel Gibson where he was reading girls’ minds trying to figure out what it was they really wanted.
When I’ve started dating again, I wasn’t big on empathy at all. It was all about Me and a relationship, really. Do I like him? Does he like Me enough? Does the relationship develop fast enough or at all? Is it time to ask about the status? Is it time to do this or that? Those were the kind of questions that were going through my head back then.
I was obsessed with the idea of a relationship in general, not the particular one that was happening here and now. I seek some guidelines, some metrics I could measure my relationship against to establish if it was on the right track.
In all this obsession I missed a major success factor – the guy himself and his wishes, desires and preferences. I wasn’t paying attention to the subject, only to the object and my feelings about it all. Sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me which didn’t take long to take place either.
Now that I’ve realised that without shifting my focus big time to the guy, I couldn’t get a successful relationship, I am trying to do just that. And of course, the question from the title to this post came up.
Predictably, being a paranoid overthinker with anxiety disorder to top it up, I panicked at first. The thought process went in circles between “OMG! How would I know!” and “They must want so many things! I’ll never be able to deliver on them all!”. After the first wave of panic attack was over, I was able to think logically again.
We are all human beings (disregarding this anti-scientific BS of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus). Therefore, we must be pursuing similar goals in relationships. Or at least have some of them in common (or else, why bother!). Actually, I have yet to find one that would be sex specific. But I am a total newbie here. So here’s the list I came up with:
- Fun and Easygoingness
- Sense of security
- Chemistry, mutual attraction
- Shared core values and at least some interests
I am not claiming that this is a full list and surely those items aren’t ranked – I am not even sure one can rank them, I’d say they’re pillars with the roof of relationship on top of them all. Or even more, If you knock down a pillar or two, the roof will likely stay in place. But in this case, it hardly will. So whatever it is that where you take away one or two things, the whole structure collapses, that’s what we have here. Notice how I haven’t included love, but I think that love develops if these pillars are all in place. What some believe to be the love at first sight (or the emotion that develops shortly after the beginning of a relationship) is rather fondness, attraction, passion, but not the real love yet.
So now whenever I interact with a guy (currently the guy), I make sure in my mind that I hit those items here and there – and once I know where I am coming from, expressing them becomes very natural and easy. And fun too! Especially seeing the positive reaction you get in response.