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The One Mistake You Don't Want To Make With Your Woman
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The One Mistake You Don\'t Want To Make With Your Woman

When I think back to the relationship about which I question myself the most, I think of Emily.

She was an extraordinarily attractive young lady, like a tom-boy version of Barbie. She was sporty (better than me at many sports), intelligent, quirky and independently minded - an impressive mix.

However, she was also a mega handful.

I met her at University and had always had a soft spot for her; she was intriguing, there always seemed to be much more to know, and there was much more I wanted to find out. That said, she and I were never on the cards. She had a great boyfriend and after University we rarely saw each other. Time passed, and I moved around a bit before settling for a while in London, not too far from where she lived.

Having not seen her for sometime, I was unaware that she and her boyfriend had broken up months before as I entered a bar to meet her and some friends. The night passed by and the friends whittled away until there was me and her. Nothing happened, but something had definitely changed. Two weeks later, and we met again and an exciting romance had begun.

For months we tried to safeguard our friendship but clues that we could only ever have a boom or bust kind of relationship were hard to ignore. Soon I fell in to a trap that so many men seem to succumb to without even realising it. It always ends badly.

As I grappled with her whimsical behaviour in - spite of our long-standing friendship on the line - I let my frustrations slowly get the better of me. Gentle teasing took a turn towards passive aggression.

At first, innocent teasing was all part of the energy and flirtation that pulled us together. It created an intoxicating excitement, an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse. Later, playful teasing became my method of choice for expressing affection ‘under the radar’ and ‘taming’ (and protecting myself from) the wanton and whimsical excesses of Emily’s personality.

But finally it seems this channel of affection - allowing me to express real affection without actually saying or doing any of that gushy stuff like talking about feelings and stuff - had become subtly toxic.

I couldn’t keep tabs of any true coherence between what she said, what she really wanted and the way she acted. Not that she was aware of it, but she was shafting me with a smile on her face. Meanwhile, I was losing someone I cared about though they were right there next to me!

My playful ribs about her love of game shows, her two left feet, and even some of her friends were now laced with my frustration. I had turned well-established tokens of affection into pickaxes, chipping away at the bond between us. I had fallen into the trap that so many guys fall into, by mistaking passive aggression for the same playful teasing that had once brought us together. I failed to notice her heart sink, her spirit exalt with every quip. True recognition has only come about since, as I watch countless guys play-out my same mistake in their relationships.

It was not a sign of contempt, it was a sign of frustrated affection and a common mistake that guys make, but it was damaging and serves as a lesson well learned.


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