Dating 101: Men, Please Don’t Do These Three Things

By: Natalie Plumb

554970_10101332264054045_1554597618_nLet’s face it: If everyone were raised by a perfect father and mother figure, I wouldn’t have to write stuff like this. But most of us are not. And most of us have to learn along the way.

There have been one too many instances in my life when men have just been off the mark, not on target, way past redemption, out of play — call it whatever you like. I’d like to help you. Really. Because I’m afraid you’ll do the same things twice.

1. Don’t tell me about your ex-girlfriend. This is a big one. If I want to
date you, I don’t want to know why Lindsey was a terrible girlfriend. I want to know why you make a wonderful boyfriend, even husband! No matter how hard you try to convince me that you’re “actually over her,” I will not believe you if you keep talking about her. Your energy — albeit negative — is still focused on her, not on our date or your present character or situation. I appreciate knowing certain things about your past relationships because this is important—but not yet! Tell me later. In fact: Tell me when I ask.

2. Don’t ask me if I want you to pay for me. If you really like me: You either think I’m worth paying for or not. Your choice. Just keep in mind that I might not come out with you again if you don’t think I’m worth slapping down what you make in an hour at your day job. If we’re friends, we’re friends and you shouldn’t pay unless you really feel compelled to for some reason. And sometimes that is beautiful and nice and makes a woman feel like a princess. But just be clear about your intentions, men and women. Don’t be mushy. No one likes oatmeal for dinner.

3. Don’t get up to get yourself more food or beverage without asking me if I would like more, too. This is just, like, common sense, guys. Just don’t do it. It has faux pas written all over it. Get in the habit of respecting every woman as if she is an elderly, decrepit version of your mother: a lady. Open doors, offer her more wine when her glass is empty, carry her heavy bags — if a woman is truly happy, and not trying to deny her nature, she will accept your gift. If she rejects your gift, just make a mental note of it. More on this later…someday…for the women who do that.

Expect more intermittent “Dating 101” blogs. I hope to give advice and support while covering lighthearted and heavy topics. Abuse, dating advice and experiences, etiquette, divorce, transgender issues, marriage, egg freezing, Natural Family Planning, seduction — all of these topics and more are relevant. Let the games begin.

Natalie writes on Thursdays about faith, dating, relationships, and the in between. May her non-fiction stories and scenarios challenge you. May they help you laugh, cry, think and wonder.

4 thoughts on “Dating 101: Men, Please Don’t Do These Three Things

  1. Definitely don’t agree with #2 (the first bit). Sometimes paying for me is nice, but in this day and age, as well as in this current economy, a man shouldn’t be expected to do such all the time. If it’s a first date, I never expect a guy to pay it all- you never know how the date will end up and you don’t want someone paying a bundle on your meal if this is the only time you’ll see him. If we’re dating a while, split the bill- easier on the pocketbook over all and more considerate to the person you’re with. Birthdays and holidays, sure, he can treat me or I can treat him.

    Maybe we should focus less on feeling like princesses and more on feeling like partners. Maybe the focus should be less on what a man is “slapping down” or if he thinks we’re worth what he makes in an hour and more on real indicators of character.

  2. Here’s some advice —

    Lighten up. Cut the guy some slack. Show a little patience and understanding. You really think that you are all that?

    And, here’s some more advice — NEVER say things like “way past redemption” on a Catholic website.

  3. Talitha – Thank you for commenting! I wanted to emphasize the “ask” bit of that #2 “don’t.” It’s really awkward if the guy says, “Do you expect me to pay for you?” Maybe you’ve never experienced that, in which case you’re lucky 🙂 In terms of whether the woman can decide to pay for herself – of course! That goes without saying. Each of us is different. But being paid for every once in a while, especially (in my opinion) on the first date, is nice.

    Bender – Thanks for your comment. I have lots of patience and understanding, which in the past has gotten me into – and staying in – a lot of relationships that I shouldn’t have been in. I have found that the guys I date who don’t do these three things are ones that I can respect and potentially build a family with. That is my opinion! That’s what blogging’s all about. “Way past redemption” can be misinterpreted – those words were merely to add humor.

    Thanks again for writing; you both provided some food for thought!

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