You know those “sponsored posts” that sometimes show up on your Facebook feed? I just got one, for a book that calls itself “the ultimate guide to dating emotionally unavailable men.”
What? Why would anybody, man OR woman, date somebody who is emotionally unavailable?
Apparently the idea is to reach out to women who are willing to part with $29.99 for an e-book, and who are dating men who say they love them, but that they aren’t “ready” for a relationship. I happen to believe that women who fit either description are perhaps not fully utilizing the brains God gave them. Apparently the promise of learning the “one key that unlocks the secret to a man’s heart” is just irresistible to women with money to burn. (Notice how nobody writes books about “the one key that unlocks the secret to a woman’s heart.” Call me crazy, but I think it’s because men as a rule don’t get sucked in to drivel like this.)
To me, this is just one more example of a clever entrepreneur looking to profit from the perpetual female “I’ll change him” fantasy. And, at this point, I believe that any woman who falls for it deserves what she gets. Which, in the best-case scenario is nothing, and in the worst-case scenario is a man whose commitment issues didn’t magically disappear in the face of the key that supposedly unlocked his heart.
But here’s what concerned me most: in the particular post that appeared on my wall, a reader was asking the author about how to handle her commitment-phobic boyfriend. One of her questions was whether she should insist on “sexual exclusivity.” Yes, you read it right. She’s dating a guy who openly says he isn’t “ready” for a relationship. She’s having sex with him — and he’s having sex with other women as well.
So, to me, the advice here would be simple: “What the H-E-Double-Toothpicks are you thinking here, woman? You’ve got a guy who has basically announced he’s not interested in being there for you, you’re giving him EVERYTHING and sharing with him the most intimate act possible between two human beings, and you’re wondering if you’re within your rights to ask him not to do the same thing with random other women? Salute the big red flag, Sister. Hop the next train to OuttaHereVille and find a grown up who respects you and — here’s a concept — actually wants to be with you without having to be manipulated by the “One Secret to a Man’s Heart.”
But no, our expert instead advised her to remove all expectations, and above all continue to date other men, because that’s the key to her sanity. (Personally, I think she dropped the key to her sanity down a sewer grate when she started turning to this particular guru for advice.) What did she advise about sexual exclusivity? Go ahead and bring it up only if it’s a deal-breaker.
What on earth has happened to us? How did we get to a place where women are afraid to demand sexual faithfulness from their men? Where entire books are written for women to help them convince men, who don’t want to be with them, that they really DO want to be with them?
So what do you do when you’re pursuing a relationship with someone who says (or behaves in a way that suggests) that he or she doesn’t want a relationship? Here’s what you don’t do — you don’t stay with them, reading books and researching “tricks” that will make them fall in love with you. And you certainly don’t sleep with them, while keeping your fingers crossed that he or she isn’t doing the same with who-knows-how-many-others.
No. Instead, you smile and say “Thanks for letting me know. Let me know when and if you ever are ready, and if I’m still available, we’ll talk. Until then, goodbye.” And you leave.
Good advice, if I do say so myself. And it didn’t even cost you $29.99.