Dating Games: A Good Girl’s Response to Rob Mills

Musical theatre singer/actor Rob Mills recently posted on Mia Freedman’s Mamamia site about the dating games that girls are playing on the “good guys of Australia”.

Well…I had a little something to say about that, so I wrote a response letter. The site couldn’t publish it (they don’t publish responses), so here it is instead.

PLEASE NOTE: My letter will only make sense if you read Rob’s blog first. Otherwise, you may as well watch the last Harry Potter film and none of the others…

 

“Dearest Robert,

Would you sit with me in a darkened room while we listen to sad Klezmer clarinet?

Because I share the pain of which you write. Honestly, I do. The game-playing dating world is brutal.

BUT…I’m a little offended.

Actually, when I read your article, I felt anger. I was ready to put rage to the page. Then I remembered something. Can you think of a group of people who attract more hate mail than angry female journalists? Aside from Facebook’s privacy department?

No? So Rob, I address you with compassion.

I’m sorry to hear about your friend John Smith whose girlfriend wants to hold hands on weekend IKEA expeditions yet dismisses him at work. Firstly, is he sure her hand-holding is a romantic gesture, not a survival tactic? Because it’s easy to get lost in that place, Rob. I don’t care HOW big the floor arrows are.

But seriously, poor John. Here he is, making himself vulnerable to this girl he adores (let’s call her Pocahontas) and she’s running hot and cold.

A psychologist once described this scenario to me as “Push-Pull”. Pocahontas is handing out tidbits of affection and attention, then when John responds in kind, Pocahontas pulls away. It’s not an equal partnership. She’s controlling the situation. And it’s likely to leave John in a heightened state of anxiety.

So good on you Rob for defending John in your cape and undies.

However, you write about the games girls play as though it’s ALL of us manipulating your humble male heads and not the other way around.

Well, Rob, I’m standing up for the good girls who ARE honest about their feelings and DO want to stay calm and DO want to talk ON THE PHONE LIKE MATURE ADULTS!

Except some guys are TURNED OFF BY THIS!

*Breathe in, breathe out*

You mention contradictions. Let’s talk about contradictions, shall we?! It’s nearly 2013, and humans have come a long way. Heck, we can now surf the internet while flying! As for women – our lives look very different even from the lives of our mothers. We’re in the workplace together with men and are expected to show just as much courage, ambition and initiative. This “seize the day” philosophy isn’t just present at work – it’s also thrust upon us by advertising and anyone wearing lycra.

But as I’m discovering, “carpe diem” doesn’t seem apply to dating. I thought that when a guy contacted me, he would appreciate my zippy response and my tech-savvy on all Macs, PCs and mobile devices.

Not so. It’s caveman days here. Society is telling me that guys still prefer to be able to chase girls. To call her when HE is ready. So we must wait.

The book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus teaches us that men fear being controlled by women and we must let them disappear to their “man caves” so they can restore their strength to be able to talk to us again.

Female friends have told me I need to wait two days before responding to a guy so that I don’t freak him out.

Even a male friend’s admitted to dumping a girl for being too clingy and ringing him too often.

Yes Rob, remember that bit where you said “I am imploring you ladies to pick up the phone and talk to the person you like”? We’ve done that. It makes things worse!

Take for example, a guy I’d love to circumnavigate IKEA with. A game player.

He was the initiator – admitting he liked me, asking me out – and he probably got to feel like the chaser because I started out so painfully shy. But as I opened up, he became less communicative.

I’d heartbreakingly accept that he was “just not that into me”. Then he’d magically pop up again. Then disappear. Rinse and repeat.

But he encouraged phone calls. “Call me anytime you want!” he’d say. “Call me so that it becomes too much!”

Well, Rob, do you know what happened when I tried to have an honest, mature phone conversation with this guy? He found ways to avoid it for THREE WEEKS. When he finally decided HE was ready to talk, his reasoning was, “I’m busy at work and don’t always feel like having a heavy conversation afterwards”. This has happened again and again.

I told him I respected his work and said if he needed space, sure! He just needed to tell me. But no. I’d always get “Let’s talk tomorrow!”.

To quote you, Rob: “Could. Not. Be. More. Frustrating.”

So please, tell me what us good girls are meant to do. Because we don’t like games either.

And frankly, I couldn’t be more confused and emotionally exhausted than if I’d gotten lost in IKEA.”

IKEA floor arrow

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