Shop Around, Test Drive, Or Buy?

Bet you think I’m going to be talking about vehicles, don’t you? Well I’m not, because the whole shopping, trying, and buying cycle works for most everything in our lives.

blue car - Morguefile

Take books, for example. You wander around brick and mortar -or online – bookstores. When you find something that looks interesting, you thumb through it (manually or digitally). If it seems interesting, you fork over the purchase price and voila, you own it.

Same with clothes, furniture, houses, cars, etc… We even do it with the people in our lives. It’s called dating. Something I witnessed recently brought to mind some of my early dating experiences, and lessons learned, before I smartened up a little.

Because I’m a girl who likes guys, I’m going to use men as my examples here…however…these profiles fit women, too. Maybe in slightly different ways, but basically we’re all the same.

Date Number One:  One is the guy who wants a home and family. He won’t ask you out unless he thinks you have potential to be his one and only. He might do a little comparison shopping, but he’s seriously looking to buy. He knows what he wants and is totally focused in his quest to find it. One is every mother’s dream come true for her baby girl.

Date Number Two:  Two is our window shopper and he is never going to buy. He wanders onto a lot when something bright and shiny snags his attention, and he’s good at taking advantage of test drives, but this guy is just out for kicks. This is the guy your mama warned you about, but you’re a savvy gal. You know that what you see is what you get…and it’s not going to be much beyond a good time before he moves to the next girl who lands on his radar. Maybe you’re one of a harem, but Two is honest enough to let you know that you’re not the only one.

Date Number Three:  Three is one who likes to lease everything that catches his eye. He craves the illusion of owning things. He’s basically date number two pretending to be date number one. Three is the one your mama should have been most worried about.  He knows the right things to say and do, all the ways to reel you in, but in reality, you’re just a prop. Someone he can use for a while before discarding you for something better.

The only way to tell the difference between One and Three is to pay close attention. One will never give you a reason to wonder. Three, on the other hand, will.

Three will often forget things you’ve talked about, while One will never forget anything you say. If you mentioned on the first date that your favorite flower is a daisy, guess what he’s going to be buying you forever? Three will have a hard time remembering the details because this is a temporary relationship. He might remember the flowers, but he’s not invested enough in you to file what should be special memories and information away.

Another clue is that One will always make time for you. If he’s busy, he’ll get back to you as quickly as he can. He invests in the relationship. Three will pretend to invest in the relationship – until he thinks he’s got you hooked, but then things change and everything is on his terms. You quickly become an option rather than his priority.

Moving back to Two… You don’t ever need to worry about him. He’s so obvious that if you wind up with a broken heart over him, it may be that you chose to close your eyes to all of the signs. Or maybe you thought you were that special someone who could change him. Trust me, Two won’t change unless he wants to change. But he’s usually the confirmed bachelor who will never settle down, so unless you’re just looking for a little fun, you might want to set your sights elsewhere.

The best thing anyone can do in the dating game is to pay attention for red flags…and listen to your gut instead of your heart. If there are warning signs, you won’t see them clearly through rose colored glasses.

So if you’re looking for your Prince Charming, make sure you weed out Two and Three.

And remember this, Cinderella’s dream man might have looked perfect, but I’ll just bet his morning breath bowled her over every day for the rest of her life. And they probably needed his and hers mirrors to avoid arguments.

To go back to the vehicle-shopping analogy, the body and bells and whistles can blind you to what’s under the hood. All the pretty paint and awesome accessories won’t mean anything if the important part – the engine (aka heart) – is a piece of junk.

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