Taking L’s the Right Way

31 01 2011

“Dating is about taking calculated L’s.. you have to do that sometimes… if you do it the right way, it can give you the upper hand.” – P Dawg

“The only way to not take L’s in dating is to be single.” – S_Lyphe

Editor’s note: Taking the L means taking the loss.

The other day, because of the stupid snow in DC, I spent 25 hours without power in my apartment and probably the only thing that kept me sane was that my friend, P Dawg, spent like 13 of those hours with me (as his power was out as well, because he lives in my apartment complex). You can imagine that in a span of 13 hours, we had the chance to talk about a lot of things… one of those being the guys I’m dating right now.

What was casual conversation, of course, turned into me getting slightly chastised, but while I typically disagree with most of his assessments, this time I was actually able to see his point and thus, it inspired me to write this post. It began with me mentioning how I’m going to see one of the guys I’m dating when I go home this week for my dental procedure, and how he’d asked me to stay through Monday after I’d already booked my ticket to leave and come back to DC on Sunday.

I eventually decided to change my flight and stay through Monday, but only after I’d hemmed and hawed, asked my mom what I should do, and finally decided I would stay but that my reason would be more about my family than about him. After all, I did want to watch the Superbowl with my family, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I left on Sunday. Of course I said this to P Dawg and watched him as he looked at me like I was stupid. “So, what, you were actually thinking about not staying the extra day,” he asked.

Well yeah. As I explained to P Dawg, my first thought was that I didn’t want the guy to think he had me because I’d decided to stay longer after he asked me to.  I mean, I didn’t want him to think he had the upper hand, right? Wrong. P Dawg looked me dead in my face and said, “you played this thing completely wrong.” And this is when he made the statement at the beginning of this post. “Dating is about taking calculated L’s… What you should have done is changed the flight, let him think that the decision was all about him, and then you actually have the upper hand. In that way, yeah, technically you’re taking the L, but even if you don’t say it – he knows that now if you ask him to do something, he’s gotta do it. You would have the upper hand. You played this thing completely wrong.”

Well, damn. But I changed the flight, I argued. I mean, I should get kudos for that (y’all know I like a good relationship kudo lol)… the old D-Magic would have completely stood her ground; and that’s not a hypothetical. I’ve been asked a few times to stay longer when visiting a guy and decided to stick to my original plans. To which P Dawg so eloquently pointed out to me, “and how has that worked out for you?”

Grrrrrrrrrrr. I hate when he’s right about these kinds of things.

Anyway, the conversation got me to thinking. One, it showed me just how much men and women don’t see interactions the same sometimes, but more importantly it showed me just how guarded I’ve been in my past. The truth is that it cost me nothing to change my flight (yay Southwest and their no change fee policy!), and the flight leaving on Monday was actually cheaper than the original one. So why would I have chosen not to stay? To prove a point? P Dawg, and subsequently S_Lyphe, was right… that mentality hadn’t gotten me very far in the past. And even though I’ve been saying that this year I’m doing things differently… there was clearly something that made me uneasy about staying for him.

Maybe it was the fact that I’m always concerned that I’m going to find myself in a position where I’m giving too much of myself to a guy again, or maybe it was just that it’s a change from my dating norm to be this flexible and open and change is always uncomfortable. Either way, I got what P Dawg meant and I’m hoping that I can remember it when the situation calls for me to take a calculated L again.

What do you all think, though? Are P Dawg and S_Lyphe right in asserting that you have to take calculated Ls if you’re dating someone or you won’t progress it further? More importantly, do you think I should still get kudos for changing the flight, even if I presented the change in the wrong way? Let’s discuss…

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