Since I moved into Manhattan, my social life has exploded. I am reconnecting with old friends and meeting dozens of new people. Even the dating scene has been hotter than it’s ever been for me, including when I was single and in my twenties – mostly because back then, I had little experience and didn’t know what to do.
But last week, I met a guy at a black tie event. He was smart, cocky and confident and pretty much had me at Hello. The banter between us rubbed together like two sticks which ignited into flames and about two-thirds of the way into the evening, we were making-out at the table, like two teenagers.
Mind you, I never do things like this. I consider myself a professional women and he too has professional career as well as a political one, with even greater political ambitions [although this type of behavior might be a prerequisite for politicians, who knows].
As the evening unfolded we laughed and drank and danced and when the band switched to rock-n-roll we slow danced to Skynard’s Freebird – hands all over each other, taking me straight back to my highschool prom. It was great fun. And then of course he posed the question, asking me to spend the night with him, which I graciously, yet reluctantly declined; mostly because I thought the relationship might have greater promise than just a one night stand.
The next day we spoke on the phone for over an hour and by the end, I still wanted more. Each day we continued with phone conversations that chewed off hours at a clip, yet time flew by in what seemed like five minutes. We covered more ground in the 5 days than most people do in a month and combined with the intensity and the chemistry, it felt like we had been dating each other for weeks.
When I got off the phone, I felt starry-eyed and couldn’t help myself but to wonder where this was heading. But reality brought me down from the clouds, as I reminded myself to not only slow down but more importantly, to look before I leap – although who wants to do that when it’s way more fun to just dive in.
So in my very real state, I tried to tell him what I was all about. I laid out my intentions and expectations and although I didn’t hold back in telling him how I felt about him, I also told him that I wasn’t a slam dunk. I set a high bar and told him that he was going to have to work for it. But he insisted that he was up for this challenge.
On Thursday he left for Chicago and was going to be out of town all weekend – and it would be another week before we saw each other again. We spoke each day and then again when he landed. This now brings us to Saturday, Valentine’s Day.
Saturday came and went and all I got was a text wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day – but no flowers. I was a bit surprised given the game of cat and mouse that we had been playing all along and given the high bar that was set on our courtship.
But what shocked me even more, was not his behavior, but the reaction that I got from my female friends. Saturday night I had a Valentine’s Day dinner party, and threw it out there as dinner fodder. The reaction that I got was almost hostile – but not against him, but towards me. Friends had told me that my expectations were WAY too high and that my standard would keep me alone forever. They then defended men in general and exonerated them of any romantic responsibly, deeming them romantically incompetent to even pull off any meaningful Valentine’s Day gift at all. WOW.
I woke up on Sunday hung-over from a conversation that left me feeling bad about myself. But the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t believe the low self-esteem that women have. Many women don’t feel that they are worthy enough to expect a man’s devotion and show of affection. They even mock Valentine’s Day and dismiss it as an insignificant Hallmark holiday as a way to mask their own wants and needs.
But I have a very different view. Valentine’s Day should be the absolute minimum that a man does for a woman. I believe the day even exists for those men who don’t know how a woman should be treated and therefore require an official holiday that prompts them into showing appreciation and affection and designating some time for romance. And in my mind a woman deserves far more than that and certainly with much greater frequency than once a year.
But what I found to be even more interesting is that most of my guy friends agreed with me. They thought that I was absolutely right to expect flowers and they wouldn’t have dreamed of not sending them especially to a woman they were courting. And only one of these men was gay, all others were straight.
So there it is. A world of difference in opinion, but in this case it seemed that the women were from Mars and the men were from Venus.