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.