A little while ago I met a guy that seemed to have a lot of potential; he "checked all the boxes"- he was attractive, articulate, intelligent, charming, polite, socially conscious, etc. As time went on and research was conducted (through the help of social media) it was discovered that he was very involved with another woman. Naturally, I don't expect to meet someone and be naive to the fact that everyone has their extent of baggage and history. It was more so the extent of his involvement with this woman and his simultaneous pursuit of me, that made me uncomfortable.
Luckily for me, I only spent all of 5 hours with him at the time of discovery; so it was easy to stop everything before it even began. But what came next (and serves as déjà vu to a lot of women) is what compelled me to write this blog entry.
When I was getting opinions from my friends, both men and women, on what I should do, the different perspectives that I got surprised me. To me, the situation was very black and white. He is heavily involved with someone else therefore I want no parts. But the perspectives I was getting made me realize that an alarming amount of people found a “grey area” in this situation. I heard things like:
"Well you don't exactly know their situation"
"They could have an on-again off-again relationship"
"Titles don't mean anything"
"Social media doesn't always define the reality"
“You should wait to see if he brings it up to you and let him explain”.
All very valid points. No, I do not know the specifics of their involvement. Yes, titles are just that, tiles- and actions speak louder than words. Yes, social media is often times exaggerated reality. But, what I do know is more than enough for me to pump the breaks. There are plenty of "warning signs" that this isn't a situation that I should even think to entertain. But, I was getting advice to continue to talk to him. The different vantage points on his position in all of this is what made me feel inclined to further examine dialogue surrounding this issue.
I think this is a perfect example of the warning signs in dating, that if properly evaluated could spare people time and heartbreak. This is how people get caught up, feelings hurt, and invested (emotionally and physically) into a person that they knew from the start cannot be as invested in them. If there is proof and by proof, I mean: claim language, clear love and romantic intimacy, and a vaguely defined status between them, why would you then ignore all of that? Why still involve yourself and entertain that person, waiting for them to explain their situation with this other person?
So now, after you’ve decided to put in time and energy, you cannot be mad at that person, the unavailable person. How can you be mad when things don't work out and they are still dealing with that same someone on the side? Because hey, you knew their situation from the beginning. You chose to ignore it, and still wanted them to yourself even though they were never fully yours to begin with. You allowed yourself to become available to someone that was unavailable to you.
Why do we ignore the warning signs and date unavailable men?
Is it because they check all the boxes? Is it because we don’t have enough proof of who they really are or their situation? Is it because we automatically give people a second chance to convince us otherwise of what we know to be the truth?
What signs would it take for you to realize that this situation had no chance of prosperity from the start? What is the point in even considering the dating potential of someone and wasting phone data and time on something that you know has no true promise?
**note I am not talking about when you find out down the line after a couples months in, and you already have developed feelings, the signs that cause you speculation (obviously it's much harder to let that person go). I am talking about the signs from the beginning. The signs when you aren't emotionally attached yet and all you've done is go on one date or one happy hour **
I've seen this countless times when people I knew ended up hurt, upset, and disappointed from a situation that they willingly put themselves into. They ignored the huge flashing red warning signs and went with the potential of a person.
People have a dangerous tendency to put an expectation on another person, while ignoring what that person is showing you as their reality. Do not ignore the reality of someone, and fall for the potential of what could be. Do not ignore the warning signs from the beginning...You can proceed with caution, but do not ignore the signs. If you choose to do that, then the only person you really have the right to blame is yourself.