If you follow me on Facebook, you will probably remember that I recently mentioned an attractive single, blonde, 38-year old nurse, I have nicknamed “The Nurse.” (So original, I know.) To recap, The Nurse and I had a candid conversation about how difficult it was to find a decent guy. Nobody wants to commit – everyone just wants to play the field and are only looking for a hook-up.
Like most of us, The Nurse had gone through a major break-up that left her world turned upside-down. And, even though she had been divorced for three years, she still talked about it like it was just yesterday. She had been married for 10 years, but she left him because he didn’t want children. So even though she left him, her ex-husband was able to start dating someone right after they divorced. Good for him, right? But that’s not the end of it. To add insult to injury, guess what she just found out? He’s expecting his first child.
When you’re dealing with the pain from your last relationship, there’s really nothing worse than finding out that while you’re in the midst of your pity party and depression, your ex is happily moving forward with his/her life with someone new. I should know, because I’ve been there myself. I left my boyfriend after three years, in hopes that he would eventually come to his senses and realize the mistakes he made that made me leave. Ha! Was that wishful thinking! Not only did I find out that he wasn’t coming back, but it didn’t take him long to fall in love with someone else. Within six months, they were engaged. That was definitely the worst day of my life. So yes, I can totally relate to The Nurse’s story. We watch our ex go on and be happy with someone else, while we are still sleeping all by ourselves, every single night, in that big, lonely bed of ours – feeling pathetic.
Yup, it totally sucks.
Curious as to how she was doing now, I asked if she was dating anyone. Did she have a boyfriend? Surely she was dating, because The Nurse that attractive, I thought surely she must be dating someone.
Oh, but she was… She told me that she had dated here and there, but it was this one guy who she really liked a lot and had been seeing for a few months now. The downside to this is that he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but that she was totally into him.
Say what? Didn’t she just say she left her husband because he didn’t want kids? I was confused, so I asked her what she liked about this guy so much. I noticed that as she described him, her whole demeanor changed. She became happy – almost giddy if you will. Her description of him included things like he was cute, fun, owned his own business and that they got along really well. So what was the problem? If he was so great, why didn’t he want a monogamous relationship? “Oh, no. He wouldn’t go for that. He’s too scared to be in another relationship, because he was really hurt from the last one.”
Then, she added that she could relate to not wanting another relationship because she still felt so hurt by her ex-husband.
And we all know what I said about that…
“Ya, I call bull shit. Of course you want another relationship! Don’t be silly,” I told her. “We all do. We all want someone we can wake up to every morning, share our hopes and dreams with – a best friend we can count on and have sex with. Deep down inside we all want someone we can love and who will love us in return.” That’s when she smiled at me and said I was right.
“Okay, so now that you know what you want, why are you wasting your time on this guy? He’s not right for you, especially if you want children and he’s not even willing to commit.”
“I know…” her voice trailed off as she looked down at her hands.
Then it dawned on me – she was stuck on “That Guy”!
We all know who That Guy is, right? If you don’t, I will describe him. He’s elusive, he comes across as being very mysterious and confident. He makes us feel frustrated and insecure, but because he keeps sending us text messages, even when we haven’t seen or heard from him in weeks, we somehow justify his actions in our head and give him the benefit-of–the doubt that he really was “busy.” We end up hanging on way too long, having ourselves convinced that he’ll eventually change and fall in love with us, but he won’t, because he’s That Guy who will never commit. His favorite past time (besides sleeping with us) is keeping us guessing. He’s desensitized to our feelings and if we call him out on his insensitivity or bad behavior, he’ll easily write us off and convince himself that we are just another crazy person. Most women know who That Guy is because these days he’s everywhere.
Why she was even giving this guy the time of day was beyond me, but I had been in her shoes before. I understood her addiction to this guy and why she felt he was so “great.” I didn’t want to come down too hard on her and make her feel bad, so instead I took a different approach. Instead of getting up on my soap box, I started asking her some thought-provoking questions.
“So, let me ask you this, if you had five other guys knocking down your door, wanting to date you, giving you attention, texting and calling you all the time and taking you out, would this guy still mean this much to you?”
“That’s a very good question – probably not.”
I sat there and let her think about what I had just said before I moved on to my next question. “Okay, here’s something else to think about. I know you mentioned earlier that you didn’t have a good relationship with your dad. Most of the time that leaves us feeling unwanted. Unfortunately, unless that feeling of rejection or abandonment is resolved somehow it usually carries over into our adult life. So when we go find a mate, we are still trying to fill that void. So let me ask you this, is it fair to say you attract men who make you feel like your father did, and somehow, if you win their love, it means that you are finally good enough?”
“Oh, my God, you’re right…you should really be a therapist.”
“It’s an emotional scar that a lot of women carry with them – and I blame the breakdown of the family. I don’t think people understand how important it is to have a mother and a father equally raising you. Both are important, but with so much divorce these days – what are the current divorce rate statistics? Fifty percent? That’s the problem right there. Father’s who abandon ship. And because we lack a father figure in our lives, we seek approval from other men…aka ‘Daddy issues.’ I mean, c’mon…how many strippers do you know who have a great relationship with their father?”
“I have no idea…”
“This is really about your perception of yourself. I think you’ve been focusing on the wrong thing with That Guy. Instead of questioning if he’s good enough for you, you’ve been waiting for some kind of validation from him to indicate that you’re good enough. You already know you’re a great person who is worthy of love. You don’t need to be validated by a guy who is clearly emotionally inept. Don’t you want better for yourself? Don’t you think you are better than someone’s afterthought or hook-up?”
“You’re absolutely right.”
“You deserve someone who will cherish you. If you really like him and you guys get along so well, why don’t you ask him to be exclusive with you? If he says ‘no,’ then there’s your answer: He’s just not that into you and then you will have a decision to make.”
It was at that time that I decided that she needed to read He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. So I let her borrow my own personal copy.
The next time I saw her, she said that not only did she love the book, but that she had even read excerpts out loud to her roommate.
This of course made my day.
So, I think I have found another passion besides writing, which is helping other women see their own self-worth. When I meet women like The Nurse I feel like I can totally relate to what they are going through.
Like so many of us, The Nurse had it all backwards. I get it. When we find ourselves being dumped after one or two dates, it takes a toll on our self-esteem and we think it has something to do with us. Maybe it does, or maybe that guy just wasn’t a good fit. Regardless, we have to stop taking it so personal. And why settle for a guy who is not into you, anyway? Why would we do that to ourselves? I’m a woman, I know how a woman’s mind works. We wait around to hear from that guy we just had a first date with,, hoping that we’ll get another date and wondering what they thought about us. Did he like me? Did I talk too much? Did he think I was pretty? When in reality, we really should be thinking, “Did I like him and do I want another date?”
As soon as The Nurse starts thinking differently about herself, she will start to change the energy she is projecting and then she will start attracting better people. Trust me when I say this, because this is exactly what I have done; I have attracted better men into my life and even if I do attract a bad one (it happens) at least I’m willing to recognize it, and vote him off the island as quickly as possible. Most importantly, I’m not chasing the wrong guy anymore and, instead, I’m giving the right guy a chance.
My hope is that I can help other women start making better decisions in this “hook-up” society that we live in – even if it’s one woman at a time, because, you know what? Of all of the conversations I have had with random people at The Shaskeen and even online when I was online dating, I have met so many really nice guys out there, who are waiting for a really great girl to give them a chance. But, apparently, their complaint is that there are no nice girls out there.
How ironic is that?!
Look, bottom line is, if we don’t treat ourselves with dignity and respect, why should men? It’s really that simple. How we treat ourselves and how we think about ourselves is the energy we will project. So, until or unless we stop hooking-up with “That Guy” who will never appreciate us, we’ll never attract, or even recognize, “Nice Guy” who will.
13 thoughts on “The Nurse – Don’t Date ‘That Guy’”
Now that I’m in a emotionally healthy, give-and-take, no-drama (at all!) relationship (four months + and going to meet her whole family in New England – MA, NH, VT for Thanksgiving), I can see so clearly what I used to do wrong — there were woman who were “That Girl” — THEY WERE NEVER GONNA FLIP — I was a passing novelty, good for an e-mail, text or movie or two, but that’s all they were interested in….you are right — they weren’t “busy” they were “not on board” and were never gonna be on board.
Amen! I’m so glad you found love! It takes an open heart and a calm spirit to do it. Congratulations! Four months! Whoo-hoo!
A lot of people date out of boredom, NOT because they are truly looking for a connection. I know TONS of women out there who are guilty of using men for dinner dates. I think that’s crap. But on the flip side of this, men use women for sex! Either way, it undermines what dating is supposed to be about and it puts a bad taste in the mouths of the people who get used.
This post really resonated with me. I have been ‘dating’ this guy for months and he still won’t call me his girlfriend. He constantly disappoints me. I know what I am doing is idiotic. I even own a copy of that book so am gonna re-read it and put myself and goals for a healthy relationship as a priority. Thanks!
Thank you for following me – I really appreciate it!
I know there are millions of women out there who are going through what you are and that’s why I wrote this. I’ve been through it too – it’s not fun. We convince ourselves that he’ll eventually change, but he never does. Why give ourselves to someone who doesn’t appreciate us? Is this what you would want for your daughter or your best friend?
Plus, I truly believe that if we are stuck on the wrong guy, we’ll never meet the right guy – or even recognize one when we see one. Too often we are caught up in the challenge of winning the love of a guy – we have it all backwards. THEY are supposed to court us. Men love the chase. And the chase represents respect. When they have to spend the time winning us over – it’s only then that men truly respect us and appreciate us. Ask any guy, because that is exactly what I have done in my many conversations I have had with men.
And if this guy doesn’t appreciate you, find someone who will! As my brother, Nathan, always says, “As soon as you close one door, another one will open.”
And as Greg Bernhardt always says, “Don’t waste the pretty!”
And as I would say, “NEXT!”
Men don’t need to be possessed anymore. What you call “commitment” we call slavery. The internet has done for men what the pill did for women in the sixties. It has revolutionized the nature of relationships. Women’s craven nature is on full display for all to see. Psssst the “Princes” you seek have better options than you….and now, so do the frogs. Want a serious relationship? Stop shopping for men like you do for a car. Stop entering your “man parameters” in an online dating site to cull out the weaklings. Be a good person, be thoughtful, and go about your life in a healthy confident way. Not only will men look at you in a different way, but you’ll start to look at men in a different light too. That’s called romance. Remember that? Shut down the laptop, because maybe that short guy you passed on the hiking trail was the smartest, funniest most wonderful man you ever met… and maybe, just maybe… he would have loved you all the days of your life.
I agree! Shut down the computer and start socializing. Get involved with a something – even if it’s hiking a dang mountain. You’d be surprised how easy it is to start a conversation with a complete stranger, when you ask a simple question, like “How much further is it to the top?” I’ve taken a few double-takes at some of the men I’ve seen coming down the mountain!
Again, I agree with you Shawn…we need to be a good person, thoughtful and confident. It’s amazing how many guys I have met since I got off those stupid, time-consuming dating websites and started going out more. The dating websites do not work. They are misleading and people false-advertise all the time.
(All. The. Time.) By socializing more, I discovered that I have been attracted to guys who I would have easily skipped over on a dating sight. You can’t read someone’s energy online. You can’t hear a man’s voice online. You can’t smell his cologne or hear his laugh online. You can’t see his facial expressions or how he carries himself online. If you want men to stop judging you – you have to stop judging men.
Thank you, Shawn!
whoa…whoa, whoa!!!!!…I disagree…. online dating DOES work (that’s like saying gyms don’t work because you don’t know how to use the machines or don’t spend enough time on them)… I met my lovely Rachel on Match.com (she was only on for 6 weeks in total — 3 weeks until I reached out to her) and actually my parents met on the earliest form of computer dating in 1968 called OPERATION MATCH (type that and “harvard” in Google) and still together (and two sons later)….since a break up in summer 2010, I went out with 4 women a month I primarily met online (match and e-harm) — I had coffee, drinks, dinner with about a 100 women in two years — some of it was great, some DREADFUL but I did the work (in addition to a lot of “work” on myself)…..
Dave, you are the exception and not the rule. How many women did you overlook because they didn’t meet your criteria? And, better yet, how many women overlooked YOU because you didn’t meet their criteria? Plus, doesn’t it feel like an interview once you meet someone in person after meeting online? But, when you meet someone in person for the first time by chance, then it just takes on a whole different feeling…a little flirt-flirt here, a little flirt-flirt there….”Can I give you my number?” *Butterflies* Etc…Etc. 🙂
But where I do agree with you is that you did a lot of work on yourself. Without taking a good, hard look at ourselves, and our short-comings, we’ll get nowhere fast. Good for you for coming to grips with the fact that it just might be your attitude or energy that needed to change. And look what you have for your reward!
Some of my best dates and conversations have been hiking that dang mountain. Relationships are more about owning who you are, what you enjoy and finding comfort in the people that you allow in your life. Allow, in the sense that you drop the gates, lower the walls and share the thoughts, feelings and life you only share with your best friends. It’s all trust. I did online dating, I wasn’t very good at it. Relationships can and do sometimes fall into place. Just smile and be nice to people. Sometimes it’s just the simple things. (You can quote me.) xo -J
Thank you, Jule! You are absolutely right. When we are dating, we can’t be afraid to be vulnerable. We have to open up without fear we are going to be judged or not good enough. It is our honesty and confidence that we will attract the right guy. THAT GUY will only be intimidated by real confidence and quickly move on to someone who he can fool with his fake confidence and BS. THAT GUY only date us to stroke his own ego or because he is lonely. Nice Guy will stick around because he can’t stop thinking of us.
I want to point out to everyone reading this that Julie has been single for a long time, like a lot of us, and met Mr. Wonderful in person, not online. They are now engaged to be married.
I met you briefly today and your friend gave me your business card…told you both I’d come home from work and check out your site….I’ve only viewed a couple blogs but as I’m reading, I’m in total agreement saying to myself “oh my god, I know how that feels..that is sooo me”…thank you for the laughs…and keep your friend in line or I’ll have to call security!!! 🙂
Oh my God, you are a howl. Thank you for taking out the time to read some of my stuff and glad you found the humor in it.