It can be very difficult for people to actually see themselves the way other people see them.  We build our esteem in part of the level of respect that we receive from people.  And knowing that we are respected to a high degree is important.  No one wants to be the person that is the butt of all the jokes and the perpetual whipping post to take the blame for everything.  We all want to envision ourselves that the superstar , life of the party that everyone wants to be around.  But that simply is not the case.  And more times than not people understand that about themselves.  We know our limitations and we know our strengths.  And as we grow we settle into certain positions……or we work incessantly to improve our status.  And in dating that is a very prevalent dynamic.  And one that hurts women more than it hurts men because often times we have very different goals.  And when women do not have a good sense of how men see them, they can be caught in a cycle of being “that girl”.  When they really want to be “the girl”.

How do you tell a woman that she is cool enough to be the jump off but not cool enough to be wifey?  It is a difficult thing.  A conversation that you cannot really have with a woman directly.  (At least not without the sort of adverse response that men abhor)  It is a devastating piece of information to digest.   I can only call it tantamount to a woman telling a man who she has absolutely no respect for him on any level.  Once a woman says those words in any form to a man, she has done some irreparable damage.  Telling a man that you have no respect for him as a provider, as a scholar, as a lover, as a decision maker or anything pretty much tells him that you can never truly be happy with him.  It tells him that you do not find him to be credible or worth your time to deal with.  And sadly I hear many women carelessly throw that statement around.  Men aren’t like women.  Women can question each other in that way a lot more freely than men can.  Respect is part of our manhood.  And if that is stripped of us we are nothing.  But women seem to balance their esteem on different things.  Things that feed what is most to many women.  Being desired.

Now I am not a woman!  Just in case that did not go without saying.  And I am not proclaiming to have the definitive representation of what validates a woman or what womanhood is.  Men and women often times speak recklessly about what validates, the true essence of what the opposite sex is.  And it mostly sounds ridiculous.  It is always steeped in some disrespectful language that is slanted to make the other sex look foolish or inferior.  So as I say that women like to be desired I say it out of respect.  And say that it is only a piece of a woman’s essence and not the total sum  I think it is a natural dynamic for a woman to want to be desired.  Just like it is natural for a man to yearn to be respected.  And to take those things from either sex is to strip them of a piece of what they base their worth and value on.  So when you meet women who are having a difficult time understanding why they do not have luck with men, it is very difficult to tell them they are not as desirable as they think to all men.  It is hard to tell a woman that she is not that cute.  That she has bad skin or that she is overweight.  It is very difficult to tell a woman things about herself that are possibly to cumbersome for her to fix.  And it gets to be a little disingenuous for me to just tell people,  “someone will like you the way that you are“.  Because while I definitely believe that, I also believe that you could be waiting a very long time for someone to like you for you.  And that maybe your pool of “likers” would increase if you just tried to “improve” you.  But what I have a hard time getting a lot of the women I know to understand is that while you are waiting for some guy to “like” you, that won’t stop another guy from “using” you.

People use each other all the time in this world.  And the dating dynamic is no different.  And in my experience it has become increasingly more difficult for ladies to see when they are being used.  And while I hate to use this term I think I have to because it is a part of pop culture that is easily understandable.  A lot of women in today’s dating pool are habitual jumpoffs.  And the saddest part about that is that they don’t know it.  They do not see themselves in that light and do not believe that the men they deal with are looking at them that way.  Now any woman can be a jump off.  And so can any guy for that matter.  We all know that in the pop culture world jump offs are defined and sexual partners with no strings attached.  A person who you are into physically to some degree but not someone who you have decided to give your full attention to as is customary in a relationship.  Jump offs are also somewhat defined by what they lack.  A man will consider a woman a jumpoff for a plethora of reasons.  She may have kids and he is not into ready-made families.  She might not be cute enough to his standards but she is sexually available and “good enough” to sleep with.  She maybe to annoying to spend all of his time with but OK to come over late at night when there is only enough time for sex then sleep.  She might not be what he wants in the mother of his children.  And all of these things are legitimate reasons as to why someone may have a cap on the longevity of a relationship.  The problem arises for women when they are always falling into the jumpoff bucket.

Halle Berry, your beautiful cousin who you get to see during Christmas holidays and the prettiest girl in your high school all probably have one thing in common.  No matter how desirable they seem to you, they were jumpoff material for some guy somewhere.  The saving grace for most beautiful women though is that they are not habitually in that bucket.  But if you are just a regular looking person who does not have rose petals thrown at your feet you might want to raise some questions if you feel like you are continuously piling up sexual partners and very few serious boyfriends.  But how do you identify what you may or may not being doing to keep falling into this bucket?  There doesn’t seem to be any sort of concrete way to tell for sure.  But it has to start with being introspective.  Honest about what is happening with you in your dating life.  And where you consistently seem to be landing.  Resist the urge to take some lame excuse from a guy who only likes you enough to have you over when the sun sets.  And stop immediately saying that a man is too immature to take on a serious relationship with you, when in actuality he just doesn’t like you like that.

While there is no automatic system that will calculate your possible jump off status with a guy here are a few tips for you to follow that may help you along the way.

1)  Make a man know who you are.  Don’t jump straight to the sex.  Engage him in dialogue about who he is and let him engage you about who you are.  A lot of people will just shut up and not engage in any REAL dialogue because they don’t want to rock the boat or seem pushy.  But the truth is that people don’t care to know much about a Jump-off outside of when you are coming over and how soon are you leaving.  If a guy cares to know very little about you that could be a bad sign.

2)  Stop equating the sort of attention that you get from a guy who you are sleeping with to the sort of attention that a man gives to his special lady.  Just because a guy sleeps with you and shares a little pillow talk about his last relationship doesn’t mean that he is into you.  It is typically an opportunity for him to sell you some sob story about how he has been hurt before and not ready to get into another relationship.  (How many ladies have heard that line and felt like it is legitimate?)

3)  Unless a man says he is into you and that he wants you to be his lady, then stop assuming that is where your friendship is going.  You have to make people match their actions with their words.  Not just one or the other.  Don’t leave any room for speculation about what is going on.  No amount of time spent together, phone calls made, sleepovers or polite gestures is worth a damn if he somehow does not back that up with direct and clear words to support how they are feeling.  I know we like to assume the best of what is going on because we are subconsciously projecting what we want to see happen.  Like that time Dominique Dawes smiled at me on the street.  I just knew she was totally in love with me!  Shamefully I was mistaken.  But I was wishing for the best!

4)  You don’t have to drive the communication for a guy that is really into you.  What I mean when I say this is that if you have to be the one who is always reaching out to connect with someone then that is not a great sign.  Most guys will have no problem initiating contact with a woman who they are interested once the initial contact is made.  I throw that point in, because a lot of guys are not the best on the approach but once they have overcome that obstacle they should have no reservation about calling.  But don’t be that girl who is always driving the interaction between the two of you.  I have seen a lot of women who drive that interaction right into a late night of accidental sex with a failed expectation that it really meant something after it was all over.

Unfortunately there is no exact science for men or women to really know if someone else likes you the way that you want them to.  But the key is to stop and ask the question of yourself.  Is this person showing me the type of attention that you give a significant other or just a casual friend.  And even more importantly, don’t ever be afraid to ask someone directly how they feel about you.  Because in most cases they will either tell you directly or they will waiver away from giving you the definitive answer that you are looking for.  And that wishy washy stance is enough to tell you all that you need to know.

 

Have you ever considered yourself a jump-off in a situation or are you always trying to be the wifey?

@jacksonbracey

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

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