By: Natalie Plumb
Let’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.