Dating Skills 202 for MSM: Getting To A Relationship, Part 2 by Kyle Phoenix

Ok. you've gotten to the point where not only are you going out on regular dates (once a week at least) but you're really starting to like him and vice versa.  Maybe you've even wisely put off sex for the moment deciding to experiment and try something radical---getting to know a man first before being sexual.  There's been some casual bumps, maybe a goodnight kiss or two but you're playing it real cool, but you think you might have a Good Man here.  First, how did you get here?

1. You spent time listening to him  
That's what non-sexual dating allows you to do, simply listen.  You've been able to hear his short term goals, long term goals, about his school/job/career, some stuff about his finances, seen his level of manners towards you and others in public and been able to hear about his family relationships.  A couple of years ago I was out on a date with a guy who spent half the meal on his IPhone "waiting for an important email" and the other half dodging someone he knew in the restaurant---dodging them when he wasn't trying to get them to pay attention to him---even to the point of calling out their name(which they ignored).  By simply being present and listening I was able to see him clearly and not go further.  Another dude talked about women in really debasing ways---bitches this, cunts that---women we were both in contact with often at work and I realized that not only was he a misogynist but he was really angry.  Another jettison.  

But if I'd glossed over that stuff and been sexual with either of them I'd probably have a full blown emotional drama story to relay.  Instead it's like driving a car where you spot a pothole ahead and either swerve to avoid it or slow down enough to gently glide through it with no damage or jarring to you.  

2. You've watched him

This isn't the time to take care of someone else's emotions.  Now you can of course be courteous but you're really paying attention to his personality and his character.  What's the difference?  Personality is if someone is playful or goofy or nerdy or feminine or masculine or teasing or cautious.  Character is what they truly are: generous, thoughtful, considerate, loving---all the things that matter in the long run.  If you (or he) are concerned with short run personality traits it's probably why you're constantly disappointed.  Everyone is a little clumsy or silly or nerdy or even feminine---but you're in it to win the prize and be happy with someone, not to be "Aha!  I got you pinned down!" right about measuring a man's masculinity.  Right?

And you're able to be this mature because you know that you're not exactly rocking out every high scale yourself in all areas too.  Right?

If you don't and you have these invisible bars of measuring men by such redundant values as masculinity and femininity it's why you get used and dogged out because all someone has to do is play up hyper-masculine and because that's all you've set your standard at---he dogs you out.  And then you're bitter and upset and hurt and alone at night wishing, wishing, wishing or pulling a Lauryn Hill doo wop and "...still defending him now..."

3. You've internally checked out what you really want.

Nothing will elucidate yourself to yourself like dating.  Which is why weak men avoid it like the plague.  One, it does put you on stage to another human being's examination.  Comfortable, secure, confident men recognize and can manage their own neuroses and are cool with doing this because they know the reward outweighs the uncomfortability.  Weak men who know their shit will be blasted, found out, challenged and walked away from, abhor dating. They hate it.  Now they'll give you all kinds of reasons that have to do with OTHER people.  But truly, it's about them.

(In fact as just a psychological tip: If someone tells you how wrong other men, women, children, waiters, people, friends, you, are---RUN!  That's a sign of low self esteem and abusiveness tendencies.)  

Now if he says others make mistakes and he jokes about it or jokes about his own errors, that's balance.  We all get irritated at others, but it says a lot about us if we gently forgive fools, chuckle at children, dismiss silliness or demand summary execution for anyone who does it anyway other than ours.

Sitting across from someone who is asking you questions, sometimes from a diametrically new directions about your career, your schooling, your past can be unnerving.  One, you're trying to maintain your in public composure; two, you're trying to manage yourself to hint at but not gush your attraction to him; three, you might even be trying to really measure if you're feeling a spark, a flame, an explosion or a nuclear bomb.  

(Mature men know that it's the atom that sets off the nuclear bomb so sometimes you're not immediately in full blown lusting chemistry laden devotion but it's simmering and getting there as you hear and observe more and more.)

But he's asking all these damn questions!  And if you just deflect and ask him some damn questions, he either looks like Joe Cool by having good, cogent answers or he pushes back for you to answer first.  What to do?

Breathe, baby.  He's interested in you.  And that's what you want, right?  Right?  The first level of self introspection might be am I comfortable with this?---which is him extending and looking to bond with you to create intimacy.  Do you feel safe and secure with him or intruded upon?  You can politely deflect things you feel are too deep, like, when was the last time you had sex?  But, where do you work? shouldn't illicit---"Men ask too many damn questions!"

You signed up for this and to some degree he's genuinely interested in getting to know you so calm down and answer like you were on a talk show.  Don't look crazy, don't talk about your crazy uncle but do answer clearly, politely and honestly.  You're sharing your inner self with him and he wants to know about it, in fact he's probably been thinking of different things to ask you about because you are and always have been a fascinating human being.

4. When should we talk about our Exes?
Smart dating would say never.  Truth says eventually.  But real truth says don't push it.  You're not a spectator to his past nor he to yours.  First date, no.  Second date, no.  Third date, no but maybe an acknowledgement to the past.  Aim for the seventh or the tenth.  Look at that now you have to be sharing some level of intimacy over time before you have a discussion about Big Earl.  

What if he brings up his ex?  Gently, lovingly, with a dazzling smile say, "Oh, we can talk about our pasts later.  I'm more interested in hearing about you.  Tell me more about your____________<<

He has a past.  You have a past.  But you're on the date to create a future.  If he asks you then you gently deflect with, "Yes, I've dated and been in relationships, currently I'm single.  However, I'd really like to focus on the present and the handsome man across from me."  And then SMILE.

Nice, polite, deflection, honest but still answered, stated your position and even slipped in a compliment.

Men have messed up more dates telling about the crazy convict/whore/manic depressive/narcissist/violent/thieving/effeminate/fool/thief/liar they were with---on the first date.  The signal this inadvertently sends is that either his radar about you is off (because you were crazy enough to be in a relationship with crazy) or that his (hopefully low level) craziness is going to soon be on blast before he's seen as a full person who's had some problems and drama in life, the way we all have.  When you give it some space and LISTEN and WATCH you'll know if his comic book collection is just a carry over from his childhood that you can deal with or worse level of crazy---that he's planning on bringing his momma to be part of the second date.

Dating is a lot like job interviewing in the sense that yes, you are presenting yourself.  But the good news is that it's the job interview where it's your job to lose.  He likes you enough to make an effort and that means that you have time to build, bond and see if this works for you.

Remember heterosexuals get practice at this from grade school on up so they get into relationships that are deeper and last longer faster because they have been studying this process and are coached in it from infancy by parents, siblings, tv and movies, and then friends.  You're just working it out for yourself even if you were one of the rare ones who was out and dating as far back as high school.  He might not have as much experience.  The biggest plea I try to leave men with in workshops is: BE PATIENT with him (and yourself); he's overcome his momma, his daddy, his community, his church, society, presidential candidates  the internet and his cray cray gay friends to get to the table with you---cut him (and yourself) some slack!

Next: Part 3: Getting Boomtastic!  Sex, Sex, Sex---When Dating Involves The Rubber Parts!

Thank you!
Kyle Phoenix
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