I was with my Russian bear of a friend this week after receiving a message telling me had broken up with “his favourite”. I put that in inverted commas because this is a man who has a list of women that shuffle, unbeknown to them, up and down his top ten.
He tells me, as we sip perfectly made whiskey sours in short tumblers, what transpired with this woman. I love his stories. I will digress to tell you how we met and became friends as a meaningful insight into the differences between men and women, my topic here.
Pavel approached me in a bar with the confidence of a man who is used to getting what he wants, with the opening gambit “I think you are my perfect woman.”
His eyes were unashamedly roaming over my dress, down my bare legs to my platform heels and slowly back up to meet my eyes as he held his hand out to try and seal our meeting with a more customary approach.
As a female, several things flashed at lightening pace through my mind. I was flattered, intrigued, insulted and mostly on high alert as my antenna picked up that I was being circled by a shark as certainly as if I was swimming in a pool of bloody water.
I smiled and shook his large mitt. He moved quickly, pushing his business card into my other hand. It proclaimed that he was CEO of a trading business. His crisp white shirt and tailored suit confirmed his status. I wasn’t as obvious as he was to check his shoes but I was certain that they would be polished and hand made. He took his phone out to enter my number and flashed called me, insisting that I correct the mistake I had made [sic] on entering it when the first number didn’t connect. He knew all the tricks.
The next day his pursuit began. He sent me a message to say I needed to send my office address, as he wanted to instruct his driver where to collect me from for the lunch plans he had made for us. I did not wish to participate but the offer was pitched in such a way that I felt honoured to at least reply. I politely declined. Not deterred, he switched to dinner arrangements. I ignored him.
The messages kept coming until I decided that two weeks into a living in a new city and devoid of any friends beyond the colleagues from my new job, it was probably worth making some connections. I sent a clear message to say I would meet him again strictly as friends and that I would leave at the mere inkling of him trying anything different. He readily agreed and we roll forward to the Japanese restaurant we met up in this week, having cultivated a rare male/female friendship. Enjoying each others company, laughing together, getting to know each other and also knowing we would never see each other naked in spite of an evolving intimacy as we grew closer.
This closeness has allowed me to hear all of his tales and to learn his MO. And be glad of the decision I had made to not allow my ego to allow his smooth salesman tactics and penchant to throw cash around to lure me into anything more than being buddies.
So, he had flown his favourite into the city, across the Atlantic, and ensconced her in his apartment. He had no intention of letting down any of the other local lady friends occupying lower rankings on his list while #1 was in town. This meant a juggling act worthy of any circus. He would send her out to the mall with his credit card while he met up with one of the middling contenders.
Now, most women have enough intuition to know when they are being handled, and I guess the gold medal holder was no exception. She decided that being only given some of his time while she was forced to be at his beck and call was a breach of their unspoken agreement and action was required.
She decided to go out in this city that was new to her and make some friends. He was indignant and tried to force her to be waiting for him when he was ready to see her. The very fact that she wasn’t led to her fall from grace. She may have felt like she enjoyed the upper hand when she told him about the amazing night out she had enjoyed and showed him photos of herself amongst good looking younger men. That feeling would have been short lived.
The one who pays says. His coupe de grace was to change her end-of-the-week flight home to that very day and evict her with her belongings and little more than enough for the cab fare to the airport. Checkmate.
I stared wide-eyed as he told me, wondering how he could go from infatuated to infuriated in less time than it takes for a hat to drop. Here is the rub. A woman will think she is exclusively chosen over all others in a scenario like this. To try and play the game is being clever and using sex (or withholding it) will ensure a path to love. A man however, will give love to get sex. And sometimes, as in this case, that love may come disguised as a trip, money, grand gestures and the illusion of being the one.
I am not suggesting that men and women can’t be monogamous and happily in a relationship but that requires two people secure in their individuality and in the heart-state and mind frame to come together as a couple (not two halves making a whole). Anything else, as in the fact pattern here, is a hunt, the thrill of the chase and there is a point where the hunter will tire or be bored once the objection of his pursuit is captured.
Ladies, my advice, through the lyrics of Taylor Swift, is not to hate the player, hate the game. Don’t engage. If he is worth it he will prove it. If not, enjoy it for what it is and let it go as soon as you realise you are not having fun anymore. Persisting will not fix the situation and will only prolong any hurt. Like a band-aid rip it off. The cruel twist of life is that this is a position that comes from thinking with your head, not a trait that women consciously lead with in the same way that men can do in their sleep.
This is what makes life interesting. Viva la difference.