How Not to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet

To say that John didn’t sweep me off my feet is an understatement…but, maybe that was a good thing?

Today’s post is from My John. I hope you enjoy it.

How Not to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet

Do you remember when the original Star Wars came out back in the 70’s?

To us kids it was amazing – we’d never seen anything like it. It was a seminal moment in our young lives that left a lasting impression. We talked about Obi Wan Kanobi, Luke, and Han Solo for years afterward.

So, Imagine my delight when the new batch of Star Wars films came out.  

That was the late 90’s – by which time I had a couple of kids of my own. Charlie was still too young to sit through a movie that didn’t feature a purple dinosaur or talking toys.  But, his older brother Connor had just started grade school, and I relished the thought of taking him to see the new Star Wars.

When the day came to see it, I was so excited to be sharing the experience with my son… until the show started. Holy cow was that movie a hot mess. It had no discernible plot or leading man, and the racial stereotypes were so obvious I spent the movie hoping my boy was too young to notice.

Has that ever happened to you?

Have you ever expected something to be great and it fell flat? It’s what happens when someone over-promises but under-delivers. And it happens in relationships too.

Have you ever seen a couple start strong, then come undone?

It happened recently to a friend of mine. He met a woman that he was very attracted to, so they dated a few times and his feelings for her grew – fast. I don’t think a month had passed before he started dropping the “L word”.

My buddy came on very strong with this woman at first, but I think that was before he knew who she really was, and before he knew she would probably not fit his life. But we guys do that sometimes – and I know it makes women a little crazy, and we’re sorry about that, really we are – but we do it anyway.

And that can be a hard thing to explain.

I could tell you it’s because of those Hollywood movies where the guy sweeps the girl off her feet — though that wouldn’t be right, because we don’t go to those movies. But women do. As a result when the guy does come on strong women can be flattered and go with it. They don’t always use their better judgment and ask the question: “Wait a minute, we’ve only been dating a short while – so how can he already know I’m the one?”

The only trouble is that after coming on so strong we guys often spook ourselves and slow way down, leaving the woman sort of out ahead on her own, wondering what just happened.

At coffee this morning Loretta and I were discussing that paradox when she reminded me that I didn’t exactly sweep her off her feet. We actually started out as friends who grew close and fell in love. We started talking about previous relationships and discovered that the ones which did start strong – both hers and mine – were not the ones that lasted.

As a younger man I used to be in a big hurry with women. I knew what I wanted and when I wanted it. I was not the enlightened Obi Wan I am now, but pretty much in a hurry and self-centered – think Han Solo with a motorcycle.

Han Solo with a Motorcycle

As such, I used to come on pretty strong. And you know what? It never worked out – not once. I think that’s because too strong an opening play just can’t be sustained. And now, in retrospect, I think my strong opening plays had everything to do with me and little to do with the women.

I wanted what I wanted – and I wanted it now.

Loretta confided to me that, as she got a little older, if a guy came on too strong that behavior sent up red flags. I think she was saying if a guy took his time, and got to know her, it made her more comfortable with the thought of maybe going the distance with him.

In my own case I think I came to a similar conclusion – if from the other side of the equation. I figured out, at some level, that if I got to know the woman to see if she’d fit my life before charging in with my light saber, things would go better – for both of is.

So Loretta and I have worked out, at least in part, because we have entered a stage in life where our concern for another has ended up making our own life a better place. And that’s a really cool thing.

Obi Wan would be proud.

By John Gavin

2012 Hiking together

Reader Comments

      • John Gavin

        I’m a pretty deep and complex guy, takes a long time to figure out my many levels and layers. Truth is I wanted her right from the start… she had this smile that just made me feel important, you know? But I definitely coulda handled the courtship with a little more finesse. So instead we hung out, learned each other, became friends – and then became more. Best move I ever made. I love you Loretta Gavin…

  1. Joe

    I feel like the force is finally with me in my current relationship. We didn’t even move in together until five years in.
    Oh and the “ charging in with my light saber” is a memorable quote.

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