Can't Help Falling...

Girls fall harder, guys fall faster.  Or so they say, anyway.

I can't completely speak for the first part, but the second half the adage is definitely true, and a corollary of it is that if a guy doesn't fall for you pretty damned quickly, he never will.  In other words, he's just not into you.  You can smother him with affection and favors or whatever wiles you think might work, but guess what?  They won't.  Incentives might keep him coming around (and you know what I'm talking about), but there's just no anchoring his heart.

A few weeks ago I was at an outdoor concert with my partner Dani and some friends.  I don't know anyone who loves to people watch more than me (and if you do, let's hit the food court at the mall sometime), and there were plenty choice material to be had in our vicinity.  Of particular not was one couple who were transparently not coupled at all.  The female half of the pair certainly thought they were, but even though we weren't close enough to hear a single word, his body language was louder than the band.

She laid around on the blanket with him, stroking his face, petting him, etc.  He was okay with the sensation, but clearly not the affection that motivated it.  There was no reciprocation, and he seemed to be distancing himself from it.  Later in the evening, the two of them were in folding chairs like most of the concert-goers had brought, and she moved to turn her chair to face his head-on.  He tried to dissuade her.  It wasn't just that he was worried about having his view blocked.  Lovers tend to lock gazes, and there’s probably a good, in-born reason for it: to see if the affection they're giving is returned.  In this case, he knew she'd see it wasn't there.

I've only been in love twice in my life, and both times the phenomenon was almost immediate, like on the order of a few hours at most.  This is all the more remarkable considering the distance between the presumed naturally detached state that characterizes males and the strength of bonding that defines love.  It's an infection that takes over your everything like in any number of zombie movies.  You're "you" in one second, then you're completely consumed with the other from that point on.

Of course, I have also been in relationships in which I wished I was in love, and it just doesn't work like that.  For example, before I met Dani, I found myself dating someone who seemed on the surface to be perfect for me.  She was intelligent, really into science, internet savvy, etc.  On paper (or her internet dating profile anyway), she seemed like exactly who I would have written up for myself.  Well, we went out for a short while, and I kept waiting to feel it.  Where was love?  I thought it would happen.  I mean, I liked her, didn't I?  I liked her a lot even.  I just never felt love.  Maybe there was some from her, but it was always on the outside beaming in.  Nothing came from me.

When we went out together, she tended to be physically affectionate with me.  There was always an arm snaking around mine or a hand sliding into my own.  Don't get me wrong; I am definitely not opposed to public displays of affection.  In fact, I'm usually accused of smothering my partner, but not in this case.  It felt awkward to be put in a position where I felt tacitly expected to reciprocate, and yet I couldn't just push her away.  I was in orbit; a circling pattern in which I was held in check by competing forces that didn't allow me drift away even though I certainly wasn't falling for her.

That was who that guy was at the concert.  He didn't want to get any closer, but for whatever reason, he didn't drift away.  The poor girl he was with was blind to this, as are many women.  They'll go on dating a prospect in the hopes he'll finally turn around and realize he's in love with her.  Here's a spoiler for you: He won't.  Women have abilities men don't have, and apparently one of these is the ability to be attached to someone.  They can do this without experiencing the all-or-nothing lightning-flash event men are pretty much required to have somewhere in the first few weeks that bonds them to a partner indefinitely.  The mistake is assuming men are capable of falling in love six months into a relationship they're just not that into.  And then they make their girlfriends look like fools in front of everyone sitting near them at every concert they go to.

Copyright 2007 Alexplorer.
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