Writing left handed

Hot and Cold and Oh-So-Predictable

For today’s post, I am indebted, once again, to Kate of Kate Ferguson Writes.  She’s an English teacher and even though we’ve never met, her comments always make me pause and say “Hmmm… I hadn’t thought of that!”

In responding to my post about this year’s Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree (for which I was dateless once again), Kate suggested “Perhaps The Wedding Date’s aloofness and contact with his ex lady friend will give him some of the hot and cold appeal possessed by Date #7?”

Katie PerryFor those of your just tuning in, I’m aware that this requires a bit of contextualization, so here’s the Reader’s Digest version: The Wedding Date is a man I met at a wedding back in July; he was the date of someone else (a friend of my former babysitter, to be exact) but that didn’t stop me from asking him to dance.  Nor did it stop him from eventually finding me on Facebook and asking me out.  Date #7, by contrast, is a man I met online just over a year ago; we finally met in the flesh back in June and since then it’s been a complete and utter roller coaster.

I’ve already discussed the allure of the “bad boy” but now I’m wondering about this “hot and cold appeal.”  What is it that makes aloofness so damn attractive?

I like to consider myself at least marginally intelligent; I have a Masters degree, I’ve travelled, I’m gainfully employed and I’m entrusted with the teaching of children ranging in age from 3 to 18.  Clearly I have a few brain cells still intact.

And yet I still put up with (and perhaps even prefer) the “hold and cold appeal” of men like Date #7, even when I’ve been fortunate enough to go out with men like The Wedding Date—men who have been  nothing but considerate, upfront and affectionate towards me.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my brother made some sort of inane comment that caused my mother to throw down whatever she was holding in despair (a dishtowel? A martini?  Who knows…) and exclaim, “He’s never going to get married.  Who would put up with him?”

I don’t remember what the comment was—my brother makes lot of inane comments so it’s hard to keep track— but I do remember my response:

Someone will put up with him, Mom.  Girls will put up with just about anything.  Look at me.

“I guess,” she shrugged.  “You’re still putting up with well, you know…”

I don’t come from a broken home.  I wasn’t abused as a child.  I have a reasonable amount of self esteem (for a dancer at least), I’m not suffering from any sort of major physical or emotional problems, and I know (from having spent several months watching daytime television when I first moved home from London and was too depressed to do anything else) that these are the reasons that most women fall into abusive relationships.

Not that my relationship (or lack thereof) with Date #7 is abusive—far from—but nor is it the sort of relationship that I have with The Wedding Date.

So what gives?  Is it the thrill of the chase?  The need for a little drama every now and then?  Or maybe it all boils down to the knowledge that what you desire is in fact desired by somebody else, just like a neglected chew toy that will lay forgotten under a couch for months collecting dust, until one dog decides he wants it— only then does the other decide she must snatch it away.

15 Responses to “Hot and Cold and Oh-So-Predictable”

  1. Zak

    Worth reiterating:
    and I’m sure there’s more.

    Here’s one final (for today) thought (okay, two…) that I have about this subject:
    1) You’re young (and arguably so am I), and not until we’ve been beaten and broken a few times do you or I learn to avoid something (you’ve touched a hot stove more than once, right?). We’re still making obvious mistakes because we keep telling ourselves we can manage better THIS time around.
    2) Add sarcasm liberally: if you start dating Date #7, how can I remain your blog boyfriend? (Let’s not mention anything about Ms. D, though!)

  2. Lost in France

    I have been following recent events. But I think this blog leaves me more confused than I was before.
    Definition of Suffering
    “Wanting what you can’t have, getting what you don’t want, and not knowing which”

  3. Kate Ferguson Writes

    Thanks for the shout-out, Kat 🙂 And let me tell you that I enjoy your blog so much, that when I was visiting my sister in Philadelphia recently my boyfriend (“LSB” as in “long suffering boyfriend” if you read my blog) would pass a vegan restauarant and cry jealously “oh, is that where the girl who writes the blog you love more than me once had a date?” re: hot and cold I would say, blame evolution. It’s the scarcity effect. If he’s evasive, he’s difficult to have which makes him likely to be an important resource. What conclusion can be drawn but for:
    “If only the nice men were nasty from time to time, we’d want them all the more..” And we complain about being called irrational 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      Too funny! A friend of mine from the UK who recently moved to the US just told me that her knowledge of Philadelphia and (where she currently resides) is based almost entirely on my blog… I must say this is a bit of an unexpected side effect but what the heck 🙂

  4. Philly Tap Teaser

    I think women chase ‘aloof’ men because they all think they will be THE ones who will change the standoffish male into this feeling, sensitive, wildly emotive being. They just haven’t figured out how yet..but they keep trying…

  5. lifeandothermisadventures

    Who knows, right? I did read this concept somewhere that falling in love, and reacting to dangerous situations, involve the same sorts of brain chemistry. They did an experiment where some men were given a survey by a woman while standing on a very narrow bridge over a very high chasm. The control group of men received the same survey by the same woman on a covered bridge. The adrenaline caused by their fear of heights caused many of the narrow bridge men to interpret their emotions (fear of heights) afterward as attraction for the interviewer.

    I know this and yet, I am right now being tortured by an on-off guy myself. He texts me sweet nothings, but hasn’t made plans with me since we slept together two weeks ago. I realize that this is stupid – I want a boyfriend, not a boy who texts me on occasion when he feels like it – but yet, I’m wondering what he’s doing, and when he’ll call… argh! And in the meantime, I fantasize about him…

    So, I can’t judge.

    • Kat Richter

      Wow- that’s one crazy experiment! As for the on/off, hot/cold types, rational behavior is always easier said than done! But if you WANT a boyfriend you should probably ditch sweet-nothings-man. (Like I said: easier said than done!)

  6. Jess Killmenow

    The nature of things is that when we chase them, they run away faster. Sometimes, too, deliberately ignoring a thing attracts it. Reality is funny that way. The mystery gained by remaining aloof is perhaps more attractive than the excitement of overt pursuit – or perhaps it has more to do with magnetic fields. I’m just not sure.

  7. Douglass Vespia

    Very nice post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks 🙂

  8. becky119

    Your comment about the dogs at the end made me laugh. I bought a box of treats for my dog, Ranger and he wouldn’t eat them. I was mad because it wasn’t like I could return them and that was just money down the drain. So Adam suggested giving one to the cats (we have three, Gir, Dib, and Zim) and lo and behold, the cats liked the treats. Ranger saw Gir eating them and decided that he was interested in the treats after all. LOL!!

    • Kat Richter

      Hah! Lately whenever I’ve accidentally dropped something on the floor like a slice or cucumber or lettuce or another foodstuff that dogs don’t usually like, I make them sit and then throw it to them and get all excited and think its something great. Maybe you should try that next time with Ranger, but is sounds like the cat-jealousy technique worked just as well 🙂


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