Levels To This Ish: Dating versus Hanging Out

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Over the last couple weeks a whole lot has been made about the subject of dating.  Last week Ms. Keita Wheats wrote a great discussion piece. It dealt with the blurred lines in respect to what a first date really was. It was evident that there has to be clearer discourse between men and women. There was a lot I agreed with in the article. What I think matters most though is that men make intentions crystal clear.

This is what this post is about today. I think the biggest disconnect right now is that today’s men don’t enjoy dating. Men don’t enjoy the process of getting to know someone. I have to disagree with that idea. I think there are droves of men of quality who have the patience most women long for.

Many times you can chalk up the vague definitions of a date to a man’s intentions with you.

Issues of money being spent with no “reciprocity” were mentioned in the aforementioned article. It’s a valid issue, and I think it happens more with men who want a more casual relationship. Dr. J made a point to say that sometimes hanging out is a precursor to an an actual date. Some guys want to feel a woman out before he decides to invest more. But if you as a woman find yourself constantly “hanging out” with a guy then it’s time to do the math. That guy may like to kick it with you but he might just want to casually sleep with you. It might be a foregone conclusion that I have no qualms with that; and you’re right.

What I do have a problem with is stringing people along.

I’m a huge advocate of putting everything out there and seeing how things flow. If I’m attracted to you but I don’t want to date you, I will let that be known. If I am attracted to you and think we can possibly be compatible beyond the physical, then I will let that be known too.  As real as everyone seems to claim they are these days not enough men keep it funky. I always believed a woman would respect a man for not leading her on. If for no other reason than because most men would lead her on, and that’s a bumpy road.

I don’t think it takes a man long to figure out if  you’re the homegirl or a woman he really wants to wow. A man’s mentality is predicated on the “levels” theory. To some degree, we’re all wired that way because of society. The ambiguity of what first dates are would be more defined if men put it out there in conversation. I challenge men to just keep it a buck with the ladies. If they’re not receptive it is okay. I always say that it’s never worth the headache.

For the ladies, it’s important that you listen to what someone is not saying. Feel out the vibe of the conversations. If need be, make sure you ask questions. You don’t deserve to be led on the same way a man doesn’t deserve such treatment. Make sure you know the situation you’re about to get into to avoid possible disappointment. If you want to have a date, make sure you know that’s what you’re getting because there’s levels to this sh*t.

These are my words and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM. His bio: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS 

“Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) http://viralstatus.com/category/kahlilhaywood/

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  • 12 Point Buck

    The idea that men should know what they want from a girl and let her know up front is unrealistic. Its like saying "fast food restaurants should never get your order wrong." Sure maybe it would be ideal if they always got it right, but thats not reality at all.

    Some people are wishy washy– it really might be the case that he doesnt know whether he wants to just smash or whether he wants to wife her up or whether he wants to do one for a little bit, then switch to the other.

    Just like some people are hoarders– we don't say "oh, people should know when their house is too junky and at that point they'll stop hoarding or start throwing stuff out." We don't say that because we know for a fact that a small subset of people can't be that decisive without being forced to.

    Whenever I hear chicks talk about "guys shouldnt lead girls on" or "men know within 5 minutes whether they want to wife you", i call BS. People are different, and some people honestly can't decide what they want out of a relationship. And for lack of a better option, sometimes those people just try to maintain the status quo until they can make a decision.

    We're all imperfect humans, and it's not compassionate to criticize people for not acting in some idealized way. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

    • sierra

      I agree to a certain extinct. Myself would like to get to know they guy before I decide if I want more. However don't expect and bf benefits.

    • Bree

      This – "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" is a great WOW quote. Words Of Wisdom.
      However I call bs on not knowing what u want. Even when we don't know what we want, we almost always know what we Do want. So u may not know if a person is what u want, but u know if they're not fairly quickly.
      Hoarding is similar to an addiction or a mental thing in which people are addicted to the stuff they are hoarding and/or they have a problem with letting go of things. This actually many times can carry over into other facets of the persons life. People know good and hell well when their house is too junky.
      But they don't care and the addiction or them not being able to let go supercedes common sense and everything else. Hoarding is a borderline mental illness.

      • Bree

        Even if men don't know in the first 5 minutes or the first date or the first month what role they want a woman to play in their lives; or if they start out wanting to be with a woman and as they get to know her, situations and circumstances happen that make them change their mind, most times they know as soon as they are no longer feeling a woman and if she will never be a future "wifey" or girlfriend for that matter.

        • Bree

          Lets "call a spade a spade." Many men have said the real reason they don't tell a woman how they really feel about her and are not forth-coming with pertinent information is because; if there is a physical attraction there, they want sex. They know the "truth" can cause them to not get any. Men are very sensible and logical thinkers in that they will do whatever they have to do, and say whatever they have to say to get what they want. So if they want sex and they have to lie by ommission and bs a little bit and act like they like a woman more than they really do and allow her to think what she wants to think about him to get sex from her, then thats what they will do. Especially, if its fairly easy to do so.
          This thinking is actually what makes men such great business people imo, but on the flipside makes them suck in relationships and dating.

      • http://twitter.com/DamnPOPS @DamnPOPS

        Great point here as well.

  • Santana

    Lol good post so many thoughts on this.. I think the woman sets the tone on how a man treats her…some women are not patient they settle and often accept the “lets hang out” expecting that it will turn out into a date in the future ..i rather be clear and upfront and clear rather than waste time…

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      respectfully disagree, the man decides what goal he has for you and pursues it. Agreeing to chill doesnt mean he wont take you out, holding out for an actual date doesnt mean he will say shes not settling let me wife her now

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    All of this.

    Women (and men) get caught up in things for what they arent instead of what they are. Granted i have a problem with assuming everyone just *gets* me that sometimes i dont explain what to me is painstakingly obvious that i would be patronizing to do so.. Its convenient ignorance, im not sure its a date or not because u didnt say if its a day or not, stop it. you know better.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    All of this.

    Women (and men) get caught up in things for what they arent instead of what they are. Granted i have a problem with assuming everyone just *gets* me that sometimes i dont explain what to me is painstakingly obvious that i would be patronizing to do so.. Its convenient ignorance, “im not sure its a date or not because u didnt say if its a date or not”, stop it. You know better. This mixup only seems to happen when one wants it to be more than what it is, they’re lying to themselves.

  • Ana

    Men and women are both afraid to admit that they simply don’t know what it is they want. I agree with 12 Point Buck, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. I believe it teeters a bit more into the overused “my type” phrase. The reason why most are afraid to admit that they aren't sure, regardless of the “vibes” they get, is because there’s something daunting about saying that “you don’t know” – does it mean that you lack self awareness, that you aren’t confident enough in your ability to decipher? Not woman enough, or man enough? What? So what do we do? We make up guidelines, rules even. Aha! Titles! My boo, the homie, and my all time favorite that the ladies love to say (I’m guilty myself) “just my friend”. The only point that I completely disagree with is, folks who just simply want to connect physically – I've never understood this, cop out, anyone? I digress. Bottom line is, the only way to know is to explore the individual. Sometimes the person you think doesn't deserve a second look actually deserves a third and a fourth.

  • Bree

    DamnPops – Great points and great post. The best advice my dad, uncles, grand-daddies, and male friends gave me is – "Pay more attention to what a man Does or Doesn't Do, as opposed to what he says." True indeed Actions can speak much louder than words many times.
    If more women did this and acted on it accordingly, there would be much less heartache, headache, and male-bashing. jmo.
    Ladies stop being so caught up in wanting to hear the words come out of his mouth to give you confirmation of what your gut/instincts are telling you. "Listen with more than just your ears, and watch with more than just your eyes."

  • slimmycakez

    Well, this was my logic:

    If I was attracted and interested in a guy, we were on a date. If I was neither attracted nor interested, we were just hanging out. And the irony of it all is that when I actually was attracted and interested in a guy, we were actually just hanging out. And when I wasn't attracted or interested in a guy, we were on a date…but I'm still in denial about that though.

    So glad that I'm out the dating game — it's clearly not for me lol

  • Bree

    I feel u on that Slimmy….

  • Black Northerner

    Men have to ask women straight up what they are looking for…. ask what they act like when the like a man, what they DO consider a date…and many other questions.

    There can be no room left to string the man along. If the man does not like how he is being treated… or the answers to questions are wishy-washy…. time to bounce.

    I HATE the dating world with a passion. Unfortunately I am not of a culture where arranged marriage is a custom so I gotta put up with the cards I am dealt. I am taking a very direct approach and wasting no time with those who act like they are not interested.

    Anyways…this is a good discussion for the community…the more both sides understand each other… the less opportunity for horrible people on both sides to use unsuspecting people on the other. Knowledge is power.

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