ABCs of Dating – J K and L (Part 3 of 8)

This is the third installment in my 8-part ABCs of Dating series.  Enjoy!

J for Jesus

You know what they say, you can take the girl out of church, but you can’t take church out of the girl.  I was raised going to church and went to Christian schools from pre-school through college.  So J is for Jesus.  I am open to dating men with other beliefs, but I seem to get along better with traditional Christians.  It’s important to disclose my faith early on, since at minimum I need someone who can respect my faith, and not tell me it’s okay for me to have Jesus or God as my imaginary friend or some other disrespectful opinion.

 

K for Knowledge

This is more of a wish list item, or maybe even the holy grail of dating and finding a man.  K encompasses more than just knowledge, it also includes maturity and wisdom.    A good partner’s strengths and weaknesses counter-balance the other’s, like a yin-yang or balancing effect.

Another comparison is hinges on a door, where each half of the hinge interlocks into the other half so the door can swing open or closed, as is its purpose.  As a couple, both members complement and support the other so each can pursue his/her goals and purpose in life.

A good example of this is ABC’s Castle, where the two main characters, Beckett, a police officer, and Castle, a mystery writer, work together to solve cases.  Beckett is logical and follows police procedures, while Castle brings his imagination and sometimes crazy notions.  Being a scripted show, it works, and eventually, the successful mixture was taken into their personal lives and after the typical seasons of drama, they married.

 

L for Lying

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but lying is a big no-no for relationships!  This story is a few years old, but I was so upset by this that I have told the story a few times (maybe a dozen … or more).  I met a guy who was in the IT industry – since the current letter is L, let’s call him Larry.  I assumed Larry made a certain amount of money – that he was very much stable and middle-class.  At some point, he came out and told me he made x amount, which was considerably less and definitely insufficient for his lifestyle.  He told me about his bills and financial responsibilities (his own and the support for his kids and baby mama), and adding them up in my head, I decided he must have a lot of credit card debt, since I did not think he was lying to me when he told me how much money he made.

Not wanting to add to Larry’s debt, I found reasons for him to not take me out to dinner and instead did at-home dates watching television.  Within weeks, I realized he was adding nothing of value to my life – I can sit at home and watch television by myself without needing his help with that.

While I was figuring out how much longer I should continue in the relationship before ending it, Larry brought that to a head by telling me he wanted to take our relationship to the next level.  I told him that I wasn’t willing to take on his credit card debt and support his lifestyle (and his kids and baby mama).  Evidently that threatened his manhood and things got heated.

Larry took pride in his ability to pay all his bills and couldn’t understand where I got the idea that wasn’t the case.  I mentioned some of his bills and the fact that he made x amount.  Larry was like, oh, yeah, that.  And then he confessed to lying.

Larry had gotten the idea from someone else who made more money than he and lied about how much he made by subtracting the same amount.  However, this “someone else” was extremely comfortable and able to pay his bills, and dishonestly reducing his income made it appear he was merely comfortable and able to pay his bills.

When Larry applied that trick to himself though, he went from able to pay his bills down to it being impossible for him to maintain his lifestyle without severe debt.  I’m calmly explaining this to you, but he was actually yelling his explanation at me, even though he was the evil liar.

Now, the yelling definitely brought things to an end for me.  I had already made my mind up that it wouldn’t go much longer.  The fact that he yelled at me like a crazy man when he LIED only made me decide then and there that we were over.  I told him it was over, but he wouldn’t leave until he had his say.

So I had to stand there and allow him to talk to me, even as I wished I had a bouncer or self-defense skills of my own.  I found myself agreeing to another date just to get him out of my house.  When that next date arrived on the calendar, I was busy elsewhere.

The end finally occurred via phone and e-mail, especially after the lying jerk screamed at me over the phone for dodging the date.  Somehow, we managed to part as “friends” and I have not seen him since.

The moral of this story is, don’t lie to me, and especially, do not yell at me.

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ABCs of Dating, E F G H and I (Part 2 of 8)

E for Erection

So here we have another true story.  E for Erection, as felt when he walks by you and brushes himself against you.  Do you know the correct urban dictionary term for this?  I don’t.  (Frottage, maybe?)

You want the rest of the story?  A married man at, believe it or not, small group Bible study with mostly nice church people, liked to brush up against me around the refreshments.  There was normally plenty of room and he really didn’t need to be that close to me.  It was kind of a compliment that he liked me and wanted to share that with me, except for the fact that it’s really not, since nothing good would come from proceeding further.  And it never proceeded further.

If this kind of thing ever happens to you, tread carefully.  It is wise to befriend the ladies of the group and not get too close to the men.  In my situation, it was difficult as I was single and jobhunting.  The women of the group were stay-at-home Moms who did not have to worry about paying the bills.  Their husbands were the breadwinners and were knowledgeable and comfortable discussing resumes, networking and interviewing.

 

F for First date

So now and then, I find a single, divorced or widowed man with whom to have a date, as in F for First date.  First dates get progressively harder as you get older – both to set a date and to move beyond that first date.  When I was in high school and college, I was surrounded by people of similar age and backgrounds.  As an adult in the real world, it’s quite tricky to find someone of compatible age, income level, history, and religious and political beliefs. And you still have to find each other attractive enough to be willing to spend any time together.

 

G for Ghosts

A significant issue is the emotional baggage of previous relationships.  Good or bad, these ghosts affect the relationship.  That’s G for Ghosts.  A couple years ago, I dated a man who treasured every relationship he had.  I very quickly learned about the mother of his two children, with whom he shared financial responsibilities.  And because they shared parenting of their children, who were in grade school, they were very present in each other’s lives.  What took me by surprise was another woman who left her mark in his heart.  Even though they had broken up, and it was her idea, he had planned to marry her, had bought her a ring, and if she texted him at any time, day or night, he dropped everything to attend to her communications.  I thought it was weird.  He said he still loved her and would always respond.  That, among other things, was a deal breaker for me.

 

H for Husband

I don’t have a husband.  That’s how I have all of this pent-up craziness to share.

One surprise of the 21st century is being rejoined in singleness by a couple of my friends.  They are both “straight spouses” of men who decided, after marrying and raising children, to divorce their wives and pursue homosexual relationships.  Sadly, despite being good women and probably awesome wives who simply lack a certain organ, these women also lack husbands and have rejoined the dating pool.

A handful of friends, in their late 30s or early 40s, have experienced marital troubles and are in various stages (separation, counseling, newly filed divorce) of ending their marriages.  While the dating pool can be sparse, one positive aspect is that many stinkers are currently married and not in the dating pool.  From what I have heard about some marriages, the potential ex-husbands are men I would rather not date.

 

I for Instinct

I watched a lot of Lifetime television network movies as a teenager and young adult, so I have seen my share of women in peril movies.  I still remember The Tracy Thurman Story, with Nancy McKeon in the title role, where Tracy met a man, engaged in sexual relations three hours after they met (as I recall, they met at a bar), they fell in love, got married, and had a family.  However, her man was not only charming but also an abuser, so the majority of the movie was about Tracy coming to her senses, making a plan, and leaving her abusive spouse, at the same time rescuing her children from the same fate.  Many Lifetime network movies had similar plots, and a couple major movies did as well – Enough with Jennifer Lopez and Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts.  My takeaways from these movies were:  1) don’t sleep with someone right away; and 2) be careful since there’s evidently a lot of charming abusers out there.

For a while, I worried I would need a complete background check and maybe even a private investigator tailing a potential suitor.  I have noticed though that I have good instincts when it comes to discerning sleazoids and also guessing which marriages among friends and family will end in divorce.  Thanks to the 50% divorce rate, the odds have been in my favor of calling them correctly – but if I had made bets, I would be much better off now.  One good friend, who is actually very intelligent, married two men she didn’t take a lot of time to get to know.  I called the first one correctly, but I was out of the loop for the second marriage and hoped for the best. The second one also did not last.  You’ve probably caught on to this one:  I is for Instinct.

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