Man Law #87 – Five Days Together is Two Days Too Many…
K.I.S.S. Keep. It. Short. Stupid. Never spend more than three days together (at first).
::Names and Dates Have been Changed To Protect The Innocent. ::
A few weeks ago, possibly years, or maybe yesterday, I invited someone to stay with me for a few days, lets call her Lena. This wasn’t just anyone but someone who I “might” start dating. I say “might” because sometimes you don’t know you two dated until you see a Facebook status update stating how some “douchebag” hasn’t talked to her in months and by “douchebag” she means you…
Through e-mails and Facebook, we got along great. The attraction was there. A few exchanges of pictures and it was clear…
When we finally decided to meet for the first time, I made the mistake that anyone who was thinking clearly would have seen from the next country over. She lived a short plane flight away and so when I invited her down, I thought “Who knows when the next time we’d see each other would be? 3-5 Days sounds good. What difference could two extra days make?”
A HUGE Difference.
For what its worth, a serious family issue arose the very next day after she arrived. So serious in fact, that Lena was debating leaving that same night. Luckily, everyone turned out ok and everything went alright. No one can control these things but when you barely know the person, this leaves some understandable awkwardness. If it was just a single night out, rescheduling would be the obvious choice, but there was nowhere for either of us to go! And this left us to an area of co-habitation..
When you live with roomates, no matter how great you got along before, they will find a way to piss you off. One person likes the temperature to read TROPICAL while the other prefers it slightly above freezing. (Editorial Note: If the other residents of the household have a year-round fur coat and walk on all fours, you might be able to tell which type you are dealing with.) One person will leave the kitchen light on at night, while another never puts the dishes away since everyone else was unknowingly hired as a maid service when the lease was signed. These aren’t things you can REALLY tell about a person until you start living with them…
And then you find out.
So when you start seeing someone, as much as you might like them, make sure you schedule some down time apart. Too much time together can exhaust anyone. The funny thing is – I know this, I knew this, and the second I was face-to-face in that exact same situation, forgot it.
The Unbreakable Man Laws (n) – an online mental reminder list of all the mistakes I never want to make again!
If the two of you connected quickly in one form or another, Its too much and you don’t have the history of previous experience to give you the necessary “oomph” that is needed. A lot of women (and some men) will say, “Hey, if he can’t remember to put the toilet seat down, maybe he won’t remember to show up for the wedding either…NEXT” It sounds funny at first, but guys have been thrown to the curb for much less. (i.e. “He said he was on a diet and he just ordered a cheeseburger. I guess he’s not the one.” True story).
I’ll take it one step further to say that unless you’ve gotten into a solid argument with the other person (and for one, I don’t believe people can have a real relationship if you never argue), don’t spend more than three days of uninterrupted time with her. Wait until that first REAL argument. If she has thrown objects at you, DING DING DING, thats an even better indicator that you are ready to go for that fourth day.
With this past instance, because we had gone through several weeks of talking solely through e-mail and Facebook (luckily for me, we both hate the phone), when we finally met in person, I think we became too comfortable. After the third day of spending every waking moment together, you may inadvertently start slipping into behavior of a past relationship and unconsciously start acting in a way that isn’t appropriate for whom you are with right now. And that is exactly what happened.
In retrospect, I learned a lot from the experience. Sometimes you have to lose to win. While I have no regrets and despite how things turned out in the end, I had a fantastic time. I pretty much always have a good time. While I made a lot of mistakes with her mostly within the 72 hour mark, I think most of them would have been overlooked had there been some down time and space between us. Will we meet again sometime in the future, no one knows, but I’ll be sure not to make this same mistake again. You live, you learn… I’ll be sure to take different steps with the next person.
Who knows, maybe I should have shown up at the airport with flowers?
So Gentlemen, next time you invite that lady friend down to stay with you, or if she lives only fifteen minutes away, make sure you don’t rush into things and spend too much time together. As much as you want to connect, that time apart is just as important to have, as the time together.
This is a Public Service Announcement from Ethan Bishop.
Making mistakes right around the clock, so you don’t have to…
And Lena, if you happen to stumble upon this post many years in the future, know this:
“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” - Jack Kerouac
Inviting any and all to comment.