Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Yesterday, we talked about the complexities of exchanging gifts with a newly acquired BF.

But lavish presents aren’t the only pitfalls when you’re stuck in that gray area between dating and committed relationship.

There are plenty of other nonsexual favors that might seem like better ideas than they really are.

When you start dating a new guy, it’s natural to want to prove your worth. You want your guy to know that you can cook and clean, and if you keep bringing small presents over to his apartment, he’ll want to keep you around to keep the treats coming. Right?

Maybe not.

Favors are like anything else. If a guy’s not really working for them, he’s going to wonder why he’s getting them. And he’s probably going to conclude that you’re so desperate to date him, you’ll do anything to be with him.

But these things sometimes appear to be fairly innocuous.

Take, for example, our friend Julie.

Julie dated her boyfriend all through college. They broke up after graduation, but they now live in the same city. After a period of not talking, they became “friends,” and now Julie thinks they’re heading back towards rekindling their relationship.

But Julie’s also worried that there might be other girls in the picture. She’s particularly concerned about one Facebook wall-to-wall with a younger girl.

Julie wanted to send her ex a Valentine’s Day card, because she thought if she didn’t send him one and the other girl did, she’d have no chance of getting back together with him.

But if she sends him a Valentine’s Day card, she might as well make her Facebook status, “Robbie, will you take me back?”

If there’s one thing you never want to be, it’s a sure thing. And when you offer to clean his apartment and make him dinner, you might not think that’s the message you’re sending.

But think about it from a guy’s perspective. Guys, more than anyone, know how much cooking and cleaning sucks. While they might think it’s awesome that they’re getting a cook, maid, and sex slave for nothing, they’re not going to want to go out of their way to date you. If they’re getting all they want and you’re not even in a “real” relationship, why should they bother taking you out for Valentine’s Day?

And when you send your ex a Valentine’s Day card, you might think you’re sending a message you can’t afford for him to miss. After all, if his Facebook friend sends him a card and you don’t, he might think that she’s interested and you’re not. And he might ask her out instead of you.

Except he won’t. Guys aren’t looking to date girls who seem like sure things. They want to date the ones who seem out of their league, the ones who they’re not sure they can get. Yes, we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but it’s worth repeating.

If you go out of your way to do things for him and show him how much you care too soon, he might think “Hm, this is convenient,” but he’s not going to think, “Wow, I don’t know what I’d do without the fresh cookies and handmade cards and cleaning service—I better keep this one around.”

Guys don’t need an impeccably clean house. When they’re in college, the puke on the frat-house walls isn’t enough to make them move out, and when they settle into the 20-something routine, they rarely invest in vacuum cleaners.

If you want to impress him, act like you’re so cool and desirable that you don’t need to put on a housekeeper’s uniform to attract a boyfriend.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Making the first move in this situation is a sign of weakness and makes the guy think that he has a "back-up" in case the other younger girl falls through. Assuming he actually has a thing for the other girl, and that Julie isn't paranoid.