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Dating Wake Up Calls

Every day I talk to men and women who are facing their fair share of the challenges that face nearly all of us at one time or another in the dating world. That's to be expected, and is part of the human experience?at least nowadays it is. But man?from time to time I encounter stories and/or situations that are definitely non-standard.

Particularly interesting are the brouhahas men and women get themselves into that involve clear passage into the realm of "cognitive dissonance", which is essentially the concept of continuing to believe that something is the case when the evidence is overwhelming that such is indeed NOT the case. And it's that great desire to have someone we are practically obsessed with "love and accept us for who we are" which leads us into this particular brand of turmoil when it comes to dating. Every time. Unfortunately, when we want so badly to believe that someone who is indifferent (or even flatly uninterested) is going to accept us and become romantically attracted to us we open the door to being manipulated, trifled with or flat-out USED.

Here are some specific scenarios that I have seen in real life. If you can personally relate to any of what follows it's time to WAKE UP and realize that someone you have the "hots" for is being at best opportunistic with you or-at worst-is going to milk his or her relationship with you for all you are worth. 1) Financial Appeals One time a few years ago I picked up a woman at her home to take her out. She informed me that she would need a few more minutes because she was IMing with a guy two thousand miles away. She said it was important because although she had no interest in ever really meeting this man he "sent her money all the time".

So she was essentially leveraging her "feminine wiles" for purely ulterior financial motives (which I referred to immediately as "Typing For Dollar$"). Inexplicably, the lonely guy on the other end of the conversation let this go on and actually sent her checks. Predictably, this same woman woke up a few days later to an empty driveway, her SUV having been repossessed. I'll never forget the phone call where she demurely purred a request that I "lend her $17,000". I may never forget that phone call, but I forgot her.

Fast. 2) Requests For Favors Unfortunately, situations like unto what I'm about to describe are not rare. Back in my early twenties I lived with several roommates, all of whom attracted women easily and often.

One day I came home and a pleasant young woman with a particularly sweet personality was nearly finished with what must have been a monumental task of having deep-cleaned our entire house from top to bottom. Speechless, I asked what prompted her to do such a thing. "Oh", she said, "Your roommate hired me to be your maid.

" It turns out he "forgot" to pay her the paltry five bucks (!?) agreed upon. Yet, she was back again the next week for more of the same. My roommate never so much as asked her out. Ever. And I bet you thought I was going to cite a woman doing this sort of thing to a guy, didn't you.

Wrong. This is not a gender-specific deal. 3) Invitations To Spend Time And Resources What if someone invites you to go somewhere or do something that's particularly expensive and/or far away? What if the same person who invited you casually expects you to foot the bill and/or do the driving? I believe the answers to these deep questions are rhetorical. Yet, it's amazing how many single people have a Blackberry full of willing minions. 4) "Coincidental" Timing This bullet point is particular appropriate to discuss with Valentine's Day rapidly approaching.

Old flames have a way of flaring up in early February. There's just something about Valentine's Day that "ignites" dread and frustration there, causing them to pick up the phone. "HEY?you've been on my mind lately for some reason and I kind of miss you?" Yeah, yeah. Next. The Valentine's Day factor here is readily transparent.

But question the intentions of anyone who disappeared off the planet only to suddenly resurface later with a new agenda. No matter what the calendar says. 5) Sexual Bargaining You would think, were stereotypes accurate, that men would bargain FOR sex and women would bargain WITH sex. Well, allow me to be the first to inform you that such thinking doesn't necessarily apply anymore.

Beware the particular danger of being blindsided by this brand of manipulation when the roles are reversed. That's what it is, too-manipulation. And let me tell you, this can creep up on you with such a quickness that when the realization of what is going on whacks you upside the head you don't know whether to stare wide-eyed in the mirror in disbelief or to just burst out in laughter. I hear at least one guy reading this muttering to himself that he should be so lucky to be "manipulated" as such.

To each his own. But once you get total control of your dating life like I've been talking about around here my guess is that you'll develop higher standards. Nice. 6) Pregnancy "False Alarms" One time I called things off with a woman who I had been spending some time with.

That arrangement apparently didn't meet her needs. Three days later she called me up claming that she was "pregnant with my child" and that she was "keeping the baby". I had never had sex with this woman. And no, I am not making this up. If you are left slack jawed at the reality that the above hijinks go on in the real world, count yourself fortunate to have the wherewithal to exercise common wisdom in your own dating life. If you can relate, however, get out of such a poisonous arrangement and do it NOW.

And a final thought, which I would be remiss if I excluded from this conversation. If you are looking in the mirror and realizing that you are in fact the perpetrator of such preposterous dealings with people in your own life, my only message to you is that today is the day to start deserving what you want. Users and manipulators will get used and manipulated in return along the path of a frustrating and fruitless journey to find a partner with whom he or she can enjoy a mutually respectful relationship.

Scot McKay's dating strategies for those who refuse to settle for anything less than the ULTIMATE relationship are found at: Stop by right now and grab a FREE e-book ($20 value) when you sign up for the X & Y Communications Newsletter, which is always packed with unique and practical dating tips.

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