Little Red Jeep
I first spotted my Grown-Up-Boy-Scout Chuck when he was driving a little red jeep back in high school. I bothered my friends (about how cute he was) so they bothered his friends (about how cute I was). Together they convinced Chuck to ask me out. We dated a bit and went to his senior prom. Yippee.I wore a hand-made dress (not the courtier type) and he donned a light blue tux with tails. Yes, like the one in the movie, “Big.” After the prom, Chuck waited a courteous two weeks to break up with me. He took me out for an ice-cream in his little red jeep and said the dreaded words, “I just want to be friends.” After a long pause, I found some self-respect and replied, (while slowly moving my head back and forth and scrunching my face) “Hum, no thanks. I have enough friends. But thanks anyway. Bye.”
Just like the book says (referenced below), if he or she isn’t into you, then find someone who is. This sound advice doesn’t only apply to a significant other but to any relationship: Friend, neighbor, boss, coach, dean of admissions, merchant, doctor or client. Don’t do desperate; it’s not becoming to any of us and is least likely to get us what we want.
It took Chuck and I a year to get the timing right and be “Into one another.” More than thirty years later, we’re still tooling around in a little red jeep and eating ice cream. We learned the steps of the distancer-pursuer dance and finally, take turns leading. (See The Distancer and the Pursuer written by Tom Fogarty: http://www.lartin-drake.com/distancer.pdf.) While it’s important to find a balance in all aspects of our lives, it’s particularly important to find a healthy distribution of power in our primary relationships. With the healthiest couples I know, each partner considers herself (or himself) to be the, “Lucky one.” My friends and I tell our daughters, “Marry someone who adores you slightly more than you adore him.” We’re half-kidding but want to drive the point home that at the very least, he must be into you! I consider He’s Just Not That Into You, written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, to be the dating bible because it convinces readers: Don’t do desperate because groveling won’t get you what you want: Him or Her. (Though I think the movie lost the argument.)
Our boundaries define how others will treat us.
One for the Road:
When my mother was living with us, Lucy bounced through the guest room doorway and announced, “Mom-Mom, I came in first at the middle school track meet. I beat the boys and the girls.” My mother leaned forward with this grandmotherly advice, “Oh honey, that’s no way to get a date!”