PART I---THE DUDE DIET: COULD GIVING LESS OF YOUR SWEETNESS LEAD TO RESULTS WITH MEN?
Recently, over a sinful dish of "scattered, covered and smothered" hash browns at Waffle House, I got caught up in a debate about dating with a close friend who was recently in "love" with a man she'd known for a few months--yet it went south. The major topic we argued about was just how much each person should be willing to give emotionally in a romantic relationship and when. She, a consummate optimist and romantic at heart, felt that you should feel free to emotionally love someone as soon as you feel it. You shouldn't "play games" and pretend you're not feeling what you're feeling. Be an adult; allow the person into your heart. Call him/her when you wish. See him/her everyday if you want to. In fact, you should see one another everyday. And if you don't want to date anyone else, don't do it. All this FROM DAY ONE!
FROM DAY ONE? We kept going back and forth across the table as she expressed her impassioned opinion and I kept asking, "FROM DAY ONE?" While I don't like playing games with people's emotions (it's been done to me and it sucks), and I am an adult, I think a bit of due-diligence is needed when one is deciding whether or not to involve herself in a romantic affair beyond casual dates. I have always felt that people allowed others into their lives without so much as a whim, when the entire universe teaches us that time is the only way to tell what tomorrow might bring. There's an age-old African proverb that says in order to know where you're going, you must know your past.
Moreover, there needs to be a track record, inventory, proof of provision in any situation before you can predict the rate of success or failure. Further, most "good jobs" place employees on probation for 30-90 days before they become full time employees, stores have a period of time when you can return something if it doesn't "work out," banks giving away loans require a detail of your financial history and they take lots of time to get back to approving or denying you, even a baby takes nine months before he or she meets the world. The world is about processing and taking time to make important decisions, so why do we run like track stars toward romantic relationships with people we hardly even know? Why do we open up so quickly, allowing Tom, Deshawn, and Hakeem inside the walls of our hearts without due diligence? Shoot, even a true diva knows that she must wear the fierce pair of stilettos she just bought around the house a few times before she wears them to the big ball--to avoid major foot pain. Like those shoes pinching your pinky toes, the man allowed into her heart too soon, could sting her to the core and leave her sitting alone at a table saying, "I can't walk."
I argued that we need to slow it down a bit in the romance department, perhaps employing a few of the techniques of the 30-90 day probation period before we fully and totally give away our hearts to someone. Then I begged at the question: Could giving a little bit less of yourself to the men in your life actually work not only to give you a better understanding of who he is before you commit, but also get you better results in the love department? This is because it seems that in all of this being "open"," not playing games", "being adult," and "feeling the emotions," many WOMEN ARE DRIVING MEN AWAY. They smother the brothers with sweetness in the sake of love, only to find that the man's fire has hampered long before they even hit the sheets. Could giving less get us more?
Few of my male friends argue against that summation. They say that (within reason and void of childish games--men hate games) a woman who is a challenge (confident, goal oriented, and NOT ALL ABOUT HIM) can usually win their hearts. HUM… I then came up with the "DUDE DIET," a theoretical period of probation similar to the 30-90 work probation period where love meets intelligence and PERHAPS skillful thought and contemplation could lead to better results in love and male company. Surely, matters of the heart seldom work within reason, but perhaps it is our lack of reason that leads to love bust-ups. YOU WEREN'T THINKING! In an effort to protect my emotions (you'd better believe brothers do this--it's nature), I've been subconsciously, and sometimes falsely, employing these tactics in many of the relationships in my life--sometimes leading to success and other times I was left in bed alone--but at least I was alone and not with someone who couldn't care less about the morning.