Mudcat Café message #1894967 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96544   Message #1894967
Posted By: Rowan
28-Nov-06 - 04:42 PM
Thread Name: BS: Should a lady make the first move?
Subject: RE: BS: Should a lady make the first move?
I wish Pauline luck but both she and someone earlier made me think about a couple of occasions in my past. When my first marriage ended I was at a loss for a while, although I had some great times and it took me a few years to find someone with whom I thought I could settle down. Being one of those whose shyness was dealt with by overcompensating as an extrovert achiever I felt I wanted to avoid 'manipulating' or ' directing' this new relationship towards sexual consummation.

For six months we spent lots of time together and did a wide variety of things but never even so much as held hands. Even when we returned from a field trip and both had to stay at my place (being reconstructed and with only one bed) I gave her the bed and slept on the couch.   [After some years she told me she expected me to make a move on her on that occasion, but I'd been brought up in the old fashioned way.] Then, one evening after seeing a play, I took her to her place and she just turned on me and said, "Are you interested in sleeping with me or not?" I was gobsmacked but told her it was what I had been hoping for as part of a long term commitment.

Seventeen years (and two daughters) later we had to call it quits, although we still work in the same building and she has married again. It took me a while to recover and, while I was coming up for air, I was part of a group who knocked around together and played music. We were joined by a woman who took a shine to my daughters and, while never saying it in so many words, gave me the impression over the weeks that she would like to get closer to me. Before it came to a head (in my view) I let her know that I was still "damaged goods" and not interested in an emotional relationship with anyone until I'd got through recovering. That was six years ago and she's never spoken to me since. On every occasion when we (occasionally) pass in the supermarket or the street, it appears I'm invisible and inaudible. It's her loss, as far as I'm concerned, and I lost no sleep over it. And I've long since ceased to regard myself as damaged by all this experience.

But I do think that, to a large extent, we are creatures of our upbringing. As a reasonably ordinary male growing up in a relatively conservative society in the 40s and 50s I was acculturated in many ways, including taking the initiative when establishing relationships. I've spent a lot of effort over most of the time since the 50s weeding out the acculturations I think 'wrong' and developing ones I think 'right' and I recognise how difficult it can be for someone like the originator of this thread who, it seems, recognises similar acculturations.

Change always requires an effort and I wish her every success.

Cheers, Rowan