I recently went on a few dates with a guy. He seemed nice at first, and we really got on well. We went for meals and drinks and things seemed to be going well. Until he wanted to spend every waking moment with me. I can’t be dealing with a needy guy, so I casually put the brakes on. I made myself unavailable a few nights a week, made commitments with friends and family that I told him I couldn’t cancel (a little white lie, but it doesn’t hurt every now and again). But this only made him want to see me more!
In one week he had tried to see me 4 evenings, a lunch time and an afternoon. I still kept myself busy, but did make time to see him twice that week. I didn’t want to push the poor guy away too quickly!
The following week was a complete turn of events, he didn’t try to make plans to see me at all, and he was uncharacteristically distant. I tried a few times to initiate a conversation, but promptly gave up when he didn’t match my efforts. It’s no skin off my nose if a guy I’ve known a few weeks suddenly drops me.
However, as quickly as the lovely British weather changes, so did his personality. He wanted to see me all the time again. This was too much for me, so, again, I made myself unavailable, even more so this time, hoping he’d get the message that I have a life. Don’t get me wrong, he was a lovely guy, but he needed to understand that I have other priorities in my life, not just him.
Soon, this led to an argument. Now from my point of view, the first few months that you’re seeing someone should be bliss, no arguments, no stress, so having a stand up row in the first few weeks just screams alarm bells to me. All of a sudden, I’m ‘leading him on’ and ‘not interested’ purely because I have friends that I see during the week and make plans on the weekends without including him.
We called it a day.
I thought that would be the last I heard from him, and it was, for about a month. Then he sent a text. ‘Hi How are you?’ I wasn’t sure it was meant for me? He had no reason to contact me, we’d had a clean break, no need to get in touch at all. I replied, ‘Was this meant for me?’ as strange as the guy was, if he was waiting for a reply from someone else, its only polite I let him know he’s sent a text to the wrong person. But no, it was meant for me, and he asked again how I was, and what I was doing. I thought it very odd that he would strike up a conversation out of the blue but I humoured him, only to be polite. In hindsight this was a mistake. I did realise it was a mistake after the 3rd text, at which point I ended the conversation. But this did, in his eyes, clearly indicate an opening for another text a few days later, to which I didn’t respond, and then another text a few days after that. He has now escalated to drop calls to get my attention. It’s like he’s back in school, ringing a girl once or twice to get her to look at her phone, hoping she’ll return your call or text you. He obviously doesn’t know me very well. I will not be returning any of his calls or initiating any form of conversation with him.
This ‘I want you, I don’t want you, I want you, I don’t want you’ mentality exhibited by this guy, got me thinking, is this behaviour of blowing hot and cold a type of dating bipolar disorder? Has the desperation to be accepted driven us to flick between needy and distant? It seems that when I was available to him, he got a surge of confidence, that told him that I would still want to be with him if he pushed me away, he doesn’t need to graft for my affection. It’s the ‘treat them mean to keep them keen’ theory, but as soon as I wasn’t available, he took a giant step back into his ‘child’ personality, and longed for my attention, to the point where he needed my constant positive affirmation that he was good enough, I wanted to spend my valuable time in his company.
If two people with this ‘dating bipolar’ trait start dating, will they enter into an infinite loop where they never both want each other at the same time? One person will be distant, with the thought that they are too good of a catch to need to graft, while the other one needs this persons affection and becomes more needy, only to switch sides when the distant party makes time to see the needy party.
Its definitely something to look out for on future dating expeditions. I don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with sudden unprovoked mood swings, so it’s a simple way for me to rule out any potential relationships fairly early on!
Single in South Essex