Granted, it’s not as cut and dry as some list of qualities I am seeking. I think, I hope, we can all agree, the days of “must make $400K a year, have at least two homes, no more than one ex-wife, and 2.3 kids” are long gone. I’m seeking a person, flesh and blood, and hopefully just as flawed as I know myself to be. Of course, he must recognize some of his flaws, present them unabashedly, and know he deserves love anyway, just as I do.
“Maybe I’m just too demanding…” The sweet-smelling strands of Prince cloud my keyboard, as I am writing this.
I do have some hard and fast rules, both for my expectations of men, and for myself. (like Prince said….demanding….)
So, for anyone wondering, let me lay them out there. When you read these, you are going to laugh and say, “Come on, this stuff is common sense, no one would ever…..”, to which I say, “In a relationship for a pretty long time, huh? Never tried online dating, right? Or, damnable option, you’re the person I am trying to avoid, or avoid becoming.”
Rules for Myself:
If he seems truly interesting, make the first move. There is no set of rules anywhere, saying men are solely responsible for striking up conversation or asking about lunch sometime. Better to step up, than miss out. (this rule applies online, as well. If I’m interested, I send a short email, usually a little bit of wit and a little explanation of what caught my interest.)
Don’t begin to justify other people’s actions, or romanticize out of boredom or loneliness.
If you want to sleep with him, sleep with him. There is no magic number, no set time, no mythical song will play when it is time. We are all adults and sex is one of life’s pleasures. Truth be told, I am not going to long term date someone who the sex is atrocious with anyway. If he thinks you’re a whore for sleeping with him so soon, then he’s a whore too, so you’re still on equal footing.
Speak up! If he’s tanking a date because he can’t stop talking about his ‘mom, kids, ex, job, hobby’, etc. make three gentle attempts to ease him out of it. He could just be super nervous. I am fucking amazing and men get nervous in my presence. LOL If you try to ease him out of it, but it continues, do him the favor of telling him. Be honest, a simple, “I’m trying to keep up, but wow! We have been talking about your ex for 30 minutes straight now.” If this doesn’t end the diatribe, it is now acceptable to smile, get your purse, stand, leave.
Do not spend extended periods of time on any of the previously mentioned subjects when with anyone you have not been on numerous dates with and they are asking questions about the topic. Lots of questions. These are not date topics. (okay, hobbies are great date topics, but moderation is key)
Be honest with them. If the spark just wasn’t there, but they are still blowing up your phone……no stringing along!
Rules for Men I Date:
Disrespect of my time is not acceptable. I deserve to know if you tell me you are going to be somewhere, I can count on you to be there, or tell me, in advance, you will not.
Infringement of my personal space is not to be forced. I’m not shy, if I want you to hold my hand, you will know. If you just had to reach a full arms length and take a step sideways to grasp my hand, I didn’t want you to have it. Don’t act all shell-shocked when I withdraw it (from your grubby little claws).
I identify myself as a grammar nazi, self-promoting writer……why are you surprised I didn’t respond to your email reading, “hey girl i like you’re stile” I don’t care if you look like Ryan Gosling, WE are not going to work. And…you should be glad I deleted my initial response.
If you are Ryan Gosling, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE spell correctly and use proper punctuation. I would hate to miss out on you!
Don’t ask me, while in the first 15 minutes of our first date, if I’m feeling the connection, too. If you ask, I will be forced to tell you the asking of the question just left me feeling a little frightened and concerned about your future stalking potential.
Don’t be angry. Angry, bitter, unhappy…it may be masked initially, at times, but the minute I pick up on it, I’m out. I am seeking someone to enjoy life’s moments with, not to listen to how the world just keeps beating you down.
Don’t think you have me all figured out, and for fuck’s sake, don’t tell me you do. I don’t even know all the many wonderful facets of myself at this point in life. You definitely do not either. On the flip side, please seek them out with me, and try to appreciate them for what they are…….tiny pieces of me.
Do be exuberant about something. I don’t care what it is, have some passion for something in your life!
Do have interests in more than NASCAR and baseball. 🙂 (it’s okay, she’s out there somewhere. I’m just not her.)
Do understand that just because I don’t think you are right for me, doesn’t mean I am judging you as unfit. We just aren’t suitable for one another.
Whew! I’m sure the list will grow, the longer we do this. I don’t feel like I’m being all crazed with expectations. I had a situation with a guy who I went out with twice, then he just didn’t show for our third date. I sent him one text, when it was clear he wasn’t going to show.
“Not waiting here any longer, going on home. Hope you’re okay.”
We had actually really hit it off. Great chemistry, great times when we had gotten together. Then that. It seemed strange. No matter who you are, something like that makes you question your judgement.
The next day, I received a text from him.
“I’m so sorry baby girl! I totally forgot and went out with a few friends after I dropped the kids off.”
I’m sorry, did I read that wrong? He “totally forgot” he had a date with me?!?! I’m so much better than that. I replied;
“Well, I hate to hear that. I’m sure we would have had a good time. Good luck on your search for someone ______. It was a pleasure meeting you.”
Within 5 seconds, he was responding to the brush off.
“Whoa! You’re seriously overreacting. Calm down. I missed one date, not like I skipped out on your birthday.”
This made me pause, and truly evaluate my reaction, verses my possible reactions. I know people who would have instantly forgiven him, then complained down the road because he repeats the behavior. I know people who would have blown up his phone the night he didn’t show up and made a huge fight of it. I know people who would have just blocked him from their phone and all social media and pretended it never happened.
I sent one last message to him:
“_______, There were many ways I could have reacted to being stood up. My reaction is the one I am comfortable with right now. I place a higher value on myself than to date someone who forgets our plans. I’m not angry, just know my own worth.”
He has randomly called, texted and even suggested we try getting together again since then. I’m not saying I will never go out with him again, the attraction to him was strong. What I can say is, I felt good about my decision. Still do.
Deciding what is acceptable to you is a valuable dating tool. Know your lines, limits, and personal limitations. Don’t start out the process compromising.