ABCs of Date-ing – W X Y and Z (Part 8 of 8)

Humorous cartoon of a couple on a date W for Whatever (on a date)

If you are imagining a teenager shrugging and saying “whatever” in that special teen monotone, you’re on the same wavelength as me.  “Whatever” implies flexibility – the ability to adapt.  It’s a good quality to have in the dating world.

When you’re sitting in a restaurant with a new date, comparisons are inevitable.  This date has better/worse table manners, or is more positive/negative about work/life/anything.  It’s best to let the comparisons go and enjoy your dinner.  The date has potential and comparisons don’t help.  If the previous relationship was so great, you’d be together.  So don’t dwell on your past relationship(s), but realize the new date is fresh and different from your past.

It’s good to know yourself and what you can tolerate.  You can’t just shrug and say “whatever” to everything!  Make a list of things you want your partner to have and what qualities and traits you do not want in your partner.  Keep those in mind when you’re enjoying your date and accessing compatibility.  So relax, adapt and enjoy whatever!

X for Xenophobia

Over the years, I have tried to branch out a little and get to know people from other cultures.  I have dated only two men from different countries, one from the Middle East and the other from Asia.  Both were well-educated and employed by universities.  There were cultural gaps when developing a camaraderie with each.

As discussed previously in N for Naked, Norton had this belief that American women were immoral.  In addition to his naked attempt, he was forthright in asking if I would have a non-relationship with him and just agree to no-strings-attached sex once a month, because that was all he needed.  I didn’t agree to it, but if I had, I think he would have upped his end of negotiations by asking for greater frequency.  Men get very creative when their salacious interests are at issue – they become salesmen fond of the upsell for sexual negotiations.

The man from Asia is discussed in Y for Yo-yo (below).  Like Norton, he was also an atheist, so it is not likely a long-term relationship would have been successful.  He invited me to come to his home to watch movies, and when I agreed, he began negotiations for sexual favors.  He had lost his wife a year earlier, he wasn’t interested in the getting-to-know-you process, and he just wanted to fill the void his wife left.  As you’ll read, nothing came of that.

There were also communication issues with both men.  They both were well-educated and had a functional and professional understanding of the American English language, but they didn’t understand everything in casual dating conversations and sometimes things required lengthy explanations.  One thing I found amusing is when one of them got all twitchy when I used the word “fine” because he had been trained that women use that word only when they are mad.

I am comfortable with people from other countries.  I recommend going with your instinct when assessing if one is trustworthy or not.  Be aware that you will encounter a lot of cultural and communication misunderstandings and be prepared to navigate through them.

(Psst!  One upside of dating men from other cultures is they have different ideas about a healthy body’s shape and weight, so that is something to keep in mind!)

Y for Yo-yo

Inconsistency is an annoyance for me, both generally and in so-called romantic relationships.  I am one who thinks things through and then sticks with decisions.  I also control myself and my words when I am angry so I do not say things I will regret.  (I’m not perfect, I say the wrong things plenty of times with various social missteps.)  Many others do not have this kind of control and tend to do or say things they later have to change, which is annoying and makes them seem unreliable.  It’s hard to trust someone who is all over the place.

In a romantic relationship, and I may be using that term loosely, this appears as a yo-yo relationship.  This is how it goes:  we’re in a relationship, we’re over, no, I love you, now we’re over, oh but I have reconsidered, we’re back together … and so on and so forth.  It’s dizzying to keep up with it.

This particular relationship did not last long.  The yo-yoing started after we scheduled the first date, when he cancelled after I asked him if he was an axe murderer.  I’m still not sure if he was really offended or playing with me, but we talked and the date was uncancelled.

We met at a restaurant for the date.  It went well, and since he lived an hour away, I invited him to my home to talk.  Initially, I sat down on one end of the couch, and he sat right next to me, practically in my lap.  I shooed him further away, and we spent a couple hours talking.  The next day, he told me that I offended him because I made him sit “six feet away” (his words, not reality) so I obviously didn’t like him.  Wow.  Really?  I invited him into my home and spent a couple hours talking to him and I didn’t like him?  Ugh.

Anyway, we got things back on track when I agreed to visit him the following weekend to watch movies.  Things fell apart when he began negotiating sexual favors and it was clear that he didn’t want a meaningful relationship.  We wished each other all the best and moved on.

If I have to work hard and fight against my alleged partner’s inconsistency to establish the relationship, get it on track and steer it forward, then it’s going to be really tough when there are problems that need to be worked through and the yo-yo man continues his usual yo-yoing in addition to reacting to real problems.  So it is really good to move forward and away from that situation.

Z for Zen

Zen is slang for feeling peaceful and relaxed.  That is how I feel as a single person, since I am not in a bad relationship.  I have seen and heard many things throughout my life, and I am grateful I have not chosen people and situations that would give me a miserable married life.  I want to love my life, and I just need to figure out how to create it.

That completes my ABCs of Dating, which allowed me to share 97% or so of my dating experience.  Frankly, I don’t know which I am more tired of – dating or thinking and talking about dating.

Good luck, reader – I hope you find what you’re looking for.


ABCs of Dating – T U and V (Part 7 of 8)

Humorous cartoon of a dating couple This is the seventh installment of my 8-part ABCs of Dating series.  Don’t be shocked, and enjoy!

T for Thirty-One (aka Proverbs 31)

A common theme when trying to find Christian dates is that every Christian man wants a Proverbs 31 wife, or so their dating profiles claim.  Proverbs 31 is a highlights montage of all the items that have appeared on the to-do list of the perfect wife – over a period of many years, not in one day.  (I used Bible Gateway as my reference for writing this piece.)

The verses of Proverbs 31 describe an amazing woman.  The passage was written by King Lemuel, relaying his mother’s teachings.  She evidently had plenty to say about choosing a queen and may have come from the upper echelons of society.

The message of this Bible section is to convey the advice of a king regarding looking for a bride.  In those days, a king was expected to hear individually from his subjects, lead the military, and make laws and decrees.  He didn’t lay around on the couch while his wife did all the work.

Proverbs 31 boasts of a woman whose value is more than jewels.  She knits, crochets and sews, and she loves doing those activities!  (In those days, these activities were not hobbies, but work activities that produced useful goods – there were no factories!)  She goes grocery shopping at multiple stores, to get the best ingredients at the best prices.  She awakens early in the morning, while it is still dark, to provide food for her household – including her servants.  Everyone also has appropriate clothing for winter weather, and she helps the poor and needy.

She makes her own clothing with the best fabric and dyes.  This woman also sells clothing as well as appropriate wares for the tradesmen.

She is not only an excellent homemaker (with servants), she is also a savvy business woman.  She purchases land and plants a vineyard to create revenue and is confident in her business’ revenue.  This successful woman works hard and is physically strong.  She does not go to bed early, and she has ample resources to pay for electricity to keep the household light at night if necessary.  (Oil was costly in biblical times and was necessary for keeping lamps burning after dark.)

Her husband, a king, is well known as a man of wisdom.  He trusts his wife and knows that her work benefits their family.  She only does good and not evil, and this reflects well on their family.  As an individual, she is dignified, she has hope and positive plans for the future.  She is wise and demonstrates kindness.  She is not lazy.  Her children adore her and think she is amazing.  Her husband also openly praises her and thinks she is amazing.

It would be great if all women could be so amazing.  It would also be great if we could all marry kings, be at least as wealthy as Oprah, and have innumerable resources.  In the meantime, while all these single men are searching for their Proverbs 31 women, perhaps they should evaluate themselves and figure out how to be the kind of man that such an amazing woman is looking for and how to cultivate his woman to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Thirty-One is also the name of a company that sells bags, thermals, totes and purses.  I am a consultant with Thirty-One and earn a commission on products sold through my link – at no extra cost to you.  Check them out here.


U for Upsides and Underwear

I am keenly aware of the loneliness and yearning feelings while single.  But there are upsides to a single lifestyle.

You don’t have to share a remote control or engage in any kind of negotiations regarding what movies or television shows you want to watch.

You have all the alone time you need.  No one will bother you in the bathroom, and you don’t have to share the bathroom space when you’re getting ready to go to work.

You only have to clean up after yourself.  You don’t have to clean up after anyone else’s mess.  There is no one to remind you or nag you if something is out of place.  You don’t have to ignore messes made by your partner because you’re not supposed to move things that are “his domain.”

When you’re sick, you don’t have to worry about spreading your germs to others, i.e., a whiny husband, and you don’t have to worry about keeping him up all night because you can’t breathe, fall asleep or stop coughing.

Sleep.  If you want to go to bed early or stay up late, you can, and you can sleep as long as you want.  And you still don’t have to worry about anyone interrupting your slumber.

You can dress to impress yourself.  You don’t have to keep in mind how Mr. Wonderful prefers your hair, make-up, or clothing.  The same goes for under your clothing too.  No one has to know if you forget to shave or miss a spot.

One perk of marriage I have always looked forward to is getting pretty, lacy undergarments and nightwear.  While I don’t have a man to entice, no one needs to know the details of my clothing inventory.  If I like wearing pretty undergarments, that is only my business, and I am allowed to own them even without a husband to please.

That reminds me – ladies, if you are considered “pluz size,” the bras by Cacique at Lane Bryant are very supportive and the staff is willing to assist you in finding the right fit.

Another upside – you don’t have to explain your shopping habits and expenses to anyone!  You don’t have to lie about how much was spent and on what.  (I’ve heard stories about women who do that.)  And you don’t have to get permission to spend money.

Despite the fact that being single can get really lonely, I have absolute freedom.  There are so many women in seemingly perfect marriages who don’t have the luxuries I mentioned due to various issues in their marriage (or who simply have controlling, jerky husbands).  Freedom and having a life with little drama or strife helps balance out the loneliness of the single life.


V for Veto

There are definitely deal breakers that cause immediate veto.  Lying and yelling are very obvious deal breakers.  There is also a lot of room for miscommunication and misunderstandings, colored by your own and your date’s past relationships.

Communication is the biggest issue in any relationship, or so they say.  On a first and only date, my dinner companion asked my advice about things and then immediately shot down my answers.  It was weird.  Why did he ask for my opinion if he was only going to rip it to shreds?  He did that a few times, and I finally responded that I didn’t have enough details to give a good answer.  That didn’t end the date, but between that and some other issues, neither of us pursued anything further.

There are many things that contribute to awkwardness.  Just meeting someone new makes most people nervous.  It’s really easy to say the wrong thing and be misunderstood, or to simply express an opinion the other doesn’t like.  If you decide the issues are more than first date jitters and obvious incompatibility,  it is okay to not go further.  Often, someone will say the superficial “I’ll call/message you,” and simply never follow through.  A good friend responds to her “not gonna happen” date requests (after the awkward first date) that she meets online with an indirect “let’s talk about the details later.  See you online!”

While it is a good idea to give someone a chance, if you feel you can’t make a relationship work because of various incompatibilities – whether they are simple pet peeves or alarming red flags, don’t be afraid to exercise your veto and move on.