When the Shoe Drops

07
Sep
2011
shoe-drop

In every relationship of substance there comes a time when the rose-coloured glasses come off and we realize that the person we're dealing with is but a mere mortal. It has to happen, but still when the shoe drops it's jarring.


It stands to reason then that when a woman becomes involved with a new guy, she can never really bring herself to be fully excited. Yeah he’s great and yeah he’s sexy. Yes he’s smart and chivalrous and is saying all the right things, but she’s been there at least once before and she knows the hurt that looms on the horizon. So depending on how damaged she is she’ll try a little or a lot to forget the past and just take things day by day. But somewhere inside she’s waiting for the shoe to drop.

What exactly constitutes a dropped shoe is different for every girl, but essentially the shoe drops the first time the new guy does something….off. It might be something grimy like telling you he’s living with his ex but they’re not together anymore, or something questionable like telling you he has a child that was born two weeks before you started dating. It could be something par for the course like the first time he farts in your presence, or something reasonable but unexpected like him cancelling a date or showing up late to pick her up. However the dropped shoe manifests, it’s basically the first sign you get that the new guy is human and it’s not necessarily going to be blissful waters and smooth sailing ahead.

The shoe dropping is inevitable. In every relationship of substance there comes a time when the rose-coloured glasses come off and we realize that the person we’re dealing with is but a mere mortal. It has to happen, but still when the shoe drops it’s jarring.

When the shoe drops, a woman starts to wonder if she’s made yet another bad decision. She vacillates between telling herself it’s not that deep and cautioning herself that it’s a sign of trouble ahead. She’s hesitant about addressing her concerns with him; one minute she thinks it’s better that he knows how she feels, the next minute she wonders if they’re really at a point where she can call him on his behaviour. She tells herself to let it go and move on and nobody’s perfect and life is not a movie. Then she says to herself “fuck this. This is why I don’t get involved. I don’t need this shit”. She waffles between mentally vilifying him and blindly forgiving him; torn between wanting to prevent herself from worse hurts in the future and wanting the chance to see where things with him might go.

Almost every girl loses perspective when the shoe drops. It’s nearly impossible for a woman to look at the dropped shoe as a single incident; all at once it becomes wrapped in the cloak of every other egregious act she’s endured by every man she’s ever felt anything for and her reaction becomes wildly disproportionate to whatever happened. Either that or she’s so determined to make this one work, so disinclined to put herself out there, so afraid to have to tell her friends that another one bites the dust that she’ll endure that dropped shoe and the next and the next until she’s buried beneath a pile of loafers and she can’t remember how the fuck she got there.

I have to admit that I’ve had trouble in the past knowing what to do. When this happens to me I have two voices in my head. One urges me to be flexible, to be realistic about my expectations, to let people be who they are. The other whispers to me that this is how it always starts. That if I forgive him this time he’ll use it as license to do it again and it will be worse the next time. One voice reminds me how nice it is to have someone to be excited about; the other seduces me with the safety of the single life.

But no matter how a woman handles it, the shoe dropping is a good thing. And like I said, it has to happen. With the proper perspective you recognize it as either the red flag that is telling you to get while the getting is good, or the point at which you stop tiptoeing around each other and get down to the business of really getting to know each other.

But yeah. When the shoe drops it’s a motherfucker.

So what do you guys think? How do you handle the moment in a new relationship when the shoe drops? Tell me your stories in the comments.



21 Comments

  • nectar_imperial says:

    It all depends on if you’re irked or not by what happens when the shoe drops, and whether or not you choose to address it there and then.
    I always look out for behavior that I find annoying early on because most times I’d have to think a girl is amazingly hot/sexy/smart etc to date her in the first place, so if that irksome behavior is strong enough to pierce through the haze of her awesomeness then I have to pause and take stock.
    When the shoe drops I usually allow curiosity to take me over the hump.

  • Dewan Gibson says:

    Amen! Women tend to carry pain and disappointment from one relationship to another more so than men. Especially women that suffer from single mother syndrome. Ex: Sustained bitterness after CHOOSING to date a sorry ass, pay no child-support guy then taking it out on a new guy who might be better in a lot of ways. I somewhat understand the caution and suspicion, but if you are going to date give the guy a fair chance without making him walk on eggshells.

    Damn, I’m way off topic…

    • max says:

      You’re off topic and dead wrong in your assertion that women bring baggage to a relationship more than men. We do it differently, but we all do it.

      • OSHH says:

        Pretty much, and at least women are more apt to try again whole heartedly at some point sooner rather than later. The first heartbreak for a guy seems to scar them for life, and phcuk their ability to be vulnerable, even if it was a teenage thing.
        Like my first heartbreak as a teen didn’t deter me but this last one has been a beast still I am determined to move past it.

  • keisha brown says:

    lord.
    all i got to say is THIS POST….
    i might come back to share stories.
    *goes to dig self out from giant pile of shoes…

  • “It’s nearly impossible for a woman to look at the dropped shoe as a single incident; all at once it becomes wrapped in the cloak of every other egregious act she’s endured by every man she’s ever felt anything for and her reaction becomes wildly disproportionate to whatever happened.”

    unstable. something about this just doesn’t seem right.

    • max says:

      I don’t know buddy I think we all do that. The more bad experiences we have with the opposite sex, the more that affects our perception of them and the way we respond to them.

      The first time you date a woman with kids and encounter baby daddy drama, you’ll look at that incident singly; maybe even the second or third time. But by the fourth, sixth, twelfth time there’s no way your reaction isn’t at least a little bit clouded by the frustration of all the other times you’ve been through this. I think pretty much everybody does this.

      • Sam Sharpe says:

        “The first time you date a woman with kids and encounter baby daddy drama, you’ll look at that incident singly; maybe even the second or third time. But by the fourth, sixth, twelfth time there’s no way your reaction isn’t at least a little bit clouded by the frustration of all the other times you’ve been through this. I think pretty much everybody does this”

        This is the problem with (I’m not going to say women, but, ahhhhh, I mean women) people. Do something borderline once? Okay. Twice? Okay. But four, five, six times? I know or at least hope you’re being dramatic for effect but if you keep doing the same fucked up shit or finding yourself in the same fucked up situation you don’t need to wait for the shoe to drop you need someone to beat your stupid ass with the shoe.

        • my man sharpe. couldn’t have said it better myself. i dated a woman with a kid once. the situation wasn’t all bad but i learned that’s not for me. i tried it and now i know. would i do it again? probably not. i wouldn’t keep dating women with kids and become increasingly jaded towards them.

          like women find themselves in a fucked up situation and they continually put themselves back in that same situation. all that changes is the name and the face. then they get made that they don’t have a different outcome.

          • Phidelity15 says:

            I may be wrong, but in the context of the whole post are you saying then that women shouldn’t date at all?!? Because thats what we’re doing repeatedly.

            You say women keep putting themselves in the same situation, but unless she’s sitting in a prison and yelling “NEXT” I don’t think (most) women actively and knowingly look for the same type of effed up people to date. Just as I don’t suppose you are sitting in the L&D unit looking for your next date, since you now know that doesn’t work for you.

            Its the experience of dating, and sometimes dating people outside of your comfort zone, and finding out that they aren’t perfect or what/who you thought they were that creates this “uh oh” feeling (shoe dropping moment). Because in the beginning everything is butterflies and rainbows. The shoe is the rain cloud.

            I can’t guarantee that any of what I was trying to say makes sense because I’m all types of hungry so my mind is not working right, but essentially I just feel there’s nothing wrong with a little reservation and shoe dropping as long as there is knowledge that everyone and every situation isnt the same.

  • LaLaBakir says:

    “But somewhere inside she’s waiting for the shoe to drop.”

    I think this is the problem. If people go around expecting the shoe to drop, it most definitely will. Perhaps sooner and harder. Hell, you may even start subconsciously go looking for a shoe to drop and turn a non-dropping shoe situation into one. Self-sabotage of sorts.

    I know its easier said than done, but I think the best thing to do is take it one moment, one situation at a time. People also need to be real about their “non-negotiables”…that list of things that just aren’t going to fly no matter what.

    • OSHH says:

      I agree with this, you don’t have to go with the shoe dropping mindset, although you do realize that folks are not perfect and the newness of things will were off.
      At the same time not overlooking the things that are deal breakers if they are present. It’s not an easy thing to do but it can be done. Don’t expect the worst or bad things to happen period but don’t ignore red flags/warning signs either.

  • Melanie says:

    For some reason my thumbs up won’t work, but I agree with OSHH. It’s a tedious process, but necessary. Some people (men & women) are better at it than others.

    I also hear what some of the men are saying and it is a fact that a man’s ability compartmentalize is greater than most women’s ability to do the same, but compartmentalizing is only that. It doesn’t mean they dealt with the issues, it’s simply saying some men are more apt to one-off a situation and deal with the big picture which is dating.

    Dating is a process. I think many men don’t take it much deeper than that. It keeps things simple. Women, on the other hand, deal with more societal pressures when it comes to dating. We put more pressure on ourselves and the process, hence some of the backlash that the men encounter. It’s a by-product of the double-standards that exist in our society.

    But, I also think many men (usually at a wtf moment or when they are ready to settle down and find a wife) dig out all the one-off situations they encountered while dating and try to figure the isht out.

    And throughout this comment I say some/many men, and not all because there are no absolutes. There are just as many high-strung emo-men that do just the opposite and get on our effin nerves. Neither sex likes dealing with emotions that should have been dealt with before your ass decided to date…. but even with saying that sometimes you don’t know there was an ill emotion until you find yourself dating. So, wtf.

  • Reecie says:

    I remember a time in a new relationship when I was constantly waiting for the shoe to drop. like terrified. I’m sure I was hard to be with, but I was scarred from being with a cheater. scarred from being engulfed in drama that I didn’t introduce and I just did NOT want to endure that again. It never did “drop” in that way thankfully, but it did take some time for me to get over my fear that it would.

    now I don’t really care about shoes dropping, but I’m also not vested in anybody in that way right now. I really have to remind myself to take one day at a time. That doesn’t come natural for me.

  • ddddd says:

    im burried under a mountain of shoes. shaq-sized shoes.

  • “She vacillates between telling herself it’s not that deep and cautioning herself that it’s a sign of trouble ahead. She’s hesitant about addressing her concerns with him; one minute she thinks it’s better that he knows how she feels, the next minute she wonders if they’re really at a point where she can call him on his behaviour. She tells herself to let it go and move on and nobody’s perfect and life is not a movie.”

    THIS ^^^ I believe we (men/women) all do this. If someone’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop, they can never really be fully committed in the relationship. Just going through the motions. That’s no way to be in a relationship. The shoe dropping is part of being in the relationship. Nobody’s perfect. Even if it’s not that serious or significant, it may be something that you might not expect from that other person. So of course, being the humans we are, we will mull it over for a moment, at least before acting on it. Now if the shoe is so damn big and damn near reached 5 on the Richter scale, then you might run for cover. I see shoe dropping as positive. You can wear the shoe even if it’s not your style, as long as it doesn’t hurt. But you might have to change your accessories to match. Change your thinking, keep an open mind to fit your comfort zone.


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