The Scarlett Letters: Dating Behaviour
Ever heard of the term ‘Love Bombing’? I hadn’t until a day ago; then a girlfriend casually dropped the term into conversation whilst waiting in line at Café Nero. Whilst Love Bombing may sound like a sadistic sexual fetish, it merely describes a type of dating behaviour; when a man inflicts considerably loving attention, or a surge of romantic gestures, on to a girl he has recently started seeing.
One of my dear male friends is the definition of a Love Bomber. He meets fantastic women who fall for him instantly because, not only is he smart, funny and gorgeous, but because he treats his girlfriends like celebrities; showering them with attention and praise, telling everyone he knows how wonderful she is and taking notice of no one but her. He brought a girl as his plus one to my birthday dinner last year for their second date. Then he decided two weeks later, after seeing her every day, that he wasn’t interested after all. She then phoned me in flood of tears demanding what she’d done wrong to make him dump her. It happens a lot. A few years ago I was Love Bombed, big time. From pretty much the moment I met James he was affectionate and committed. I was a bit young, naïve and flattered that someone so cool and charismatic was plying me with attention, even professing the L Word. The fact he was so keen, made me like him more. Fast forward three months and he’d grown bored and called it off. Naturally, I was devastated.
The problem with Love Bombing, you see, is it can give a false impression of how serious you are about the woman you’re dating. What I think happens when guy really likes someone, is they want to spend as much time with her as possible. This includes calling every day, talking in ‘we’ and generally acting as a boyfriend would. It might not work out – OK, fine – but from the girl’s perspective, all this attention and praise means you’re serious. So, when it ends abruptly, she’s understandably, confused, angry and upset. Women analyse everything down to the last text message, even more so if we really like you. Your random acts of kindness and generosity actually, to us, mean something bigger. Texting, calling or emailing every day, being affectionate in public and bringing us out with your closest friends are signs that you’re not only interested, but super keen. Meeting the family – parents especially – is a huge deal to us, whether or not it is to you.
There are two reactions women will have to the invitation to meet the parents:
1) ‘Woah, this is moving fast. I’m feeling pressured and a bit freaked out.’
2) ‘He really does want me to be his long-term girlfriend, yes!’
See where I’m coming from?
It is absolutely fine to be only partially into a girl. All I’m saying is, consider the implications of your dating behaviour. Unless you’re serious about her, keep family at a distance. Leave it a few days between having contact. Call me crazy but I reckon the healthiest relationships are ones that grow slowly and organically and take time to blossom. Much like a shrubbery. Or home brew.
Basically, the more you call, the more interested we think you are. Remember, women think more about this relationship stuff then you do.