Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I have been dating this guy for a month. He has a great personality, a good job, and isn’t scared of the idea of marriage. He’s met my daughter and she loves him. I see a long future with this man. Is it too soon to tell him I love him?
Yes. You can certainly believe you feel it, you might actually feel it, but what you define as “love” is merely your projections of who and what you think this man is. Often there is a big dose of lust rolled up into that ball as well. Your feelings of “love” are not based on reality because you haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience this man in enough different circumstances. You don’t know him well enough to love the REAL man, only what you fantasize that he is.
My dad and uncles always told me the best way to see who a man is: “piss a nigga off. Do something to intentionally make him angry and see what happens. You need to know what kind of MF you dealing with before you get too involved with his ass.”
I was 17 the first time I took that advice. The sweetie pie little boyfriend I had flew into a rage because I didn’t want to do what he wanted me to do. I said no, not doing it. He got so angry he punched a hole in the wall. Another guy I went out with twice got so upset that I disagreed with his analysis of a book that drove off and left me at a restaurant! Another guy I really liked at 19 hung up in my face after calling me some horrible names – simply because we had a difference of OPINION. I’d done nothing to physically or financially or emotionally hurt any of these dudes.
One guy I dated a few times one summer when home from school wanted to establish a long-distance relationship when I went back to school. I wasn’t interested. It was cool for a few dates, but I wasn’t trying to be tied down, especially to someone thousands of miles away. He wanted to talk about it. I had nothing new to add so I said no and hung up. Later he was seen by neighbors going under the hood of my car. Turns out he’d removed the distributor cap and spark plug wires so the car wouldn’t start.
The neighbor told my brother who in turn told my dad. Dad went looking for the fool and found him a few blocks away with spyglasses waiting for me to get in the car. So my father told him he was going to go down to the car and put it back just like it was and then leave me alone. And if he saw him around the house again he would have a big problem. So the fool did as he was told and that was the end of that.
But see, in all instances these guys were ANGRY because they didn’t get what they wanted from me. Once they got angry, their true natures were revealed.
In another case taking my time and asking the right questions got me some answers about a man that made me know we were NOT gonna work long-term. I liked him, we got along well. Old fashioned courting – no physical stuff involved. (I hold off on that because I find it often ties people to each other in unhealthy ways when they are not remotely compatible out of bed.) Holding off on physical activities allows you the space to really ask questions and find out about the person’s mind and heart, goals and history, attitudes and behaviors.
Come to find out this guy had a teenaged son that was diagnosed as schizophrenic. His problem was so severe that he’d attached his own sister with a baseball bat. When Mom tried to come to her rescue, the son locked the mother in the garage. She calls the dad on her cell to tell him what was going on and to ask what she should do. Dude is telling me about this. I’m waiting for the part where he says “baby I’m on my way! call 9-1-1”. But that isn’t what happened. Instead, he blew off his wife telling her “what do you think I’m going to do about it?” His only two children, and he didn’t see where he, as the husband and father, were needed by his family in a crisis situation.
Now since my daughter was 13 years old at the time, you can understand my concerns. I checked his morals, his values, his level of responsibility towards “loved ones” and the inherited nature of schizophrenia. I decided on the spot that was the end of that developing relationship and he had to go. I didn’t find this out until the second month of dating. My other concern was what would happen to his son if he were to come after MY child in a murderous rage. I’d be in prison, that’s what.
Anyway, I shared these stories of my past with you to give you real life examples of why it is important to take your time with men. Look for signs that he is controlling, manipulative, lazy, irresponsible, was abused as a child, has mental or emotional problems, etc. What you have to understand is that in the first 3-6 months of getting to know a guy, what you see is a man’s representative, not the real man.
Everyone can be on their good behavior for a short period of time, but after 6-9 months, folks relax their front and ish gets real. As time passes and you spend more time together, you get to see more of who he really is, how he handles conflicts and problems, levels of responsibility and accountability, you meet his family, you meet his friends, you see how he is living, you learn how he thinks and what his values and morals are.
All of those things are important, especially to a woman with a little girl. Though your daughter has already met him, that is not something I would have advised. Children get attached, and the emotional devastation of a string of men coming in and out of her life is going to cause her problems with men and relationships later on in life. Until you know a man is your all and he agrees with being in that position, your children should not be a part of your dating life.
Another factor to consider is what you expect to hear back from him once you profess your “love”. See, you telling him that is usually followed up by an expectation that the feelings will be returned. What you would do is put a lot of pressure on him to be something or say something that he may not feel yet. Your declaration could be construed as trying too hard, desperation, being “thirsty,” or not just chilling and letting the relationship unfold at a relaxed pace that leaves him wanting more of you instead of avoiding you. Old folks used to call it “scaring him off.”
It’s not that people are afraid of a committed dating relationship or marriage, it’s just that they don’t know if they want those things with YOU. Your job is to sit back, relax, and give him the time and space to make that decision all on his own.
Additionally, children are frequently sexually molested by the momma’s trusted “boyfriend”, so watch your step. If he starts trying to manufacture reasons to spent time with your child without you around, get rid of him. And do not have him babysit or leave him alone unsupervised with her under any circumstances.
Take your time, talk to him, find out what is going on with dude. Think, analyze, ask lots of questions, consider the answers and if they match up from story to story over time. Do all you can to protect your child, while at the same time protecting yourself.
Category: Dating Advice