Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Keeper Checklist

There are more single adults in the United States than married adults. It should be simple to find the special someone with so many choices. Right? If you’re reading this blog, it might mean you’re finding the search difficult. It’s not just you. Probably one of the nicest women I know has similar problems. She’s even written a blog about her most recent dating experiences.

Another friend always has a new romantic development whenever I visit. Usually, she’s thinking aloud if she should continue to see the guy she’s currently seeing. I’m quick to point out if she’s wondering then she already knows the answer. How do you really know if a man is worth keeping? Here’s my perfect 21 ways.

(For my male readers, I think this list can work for women too. Reverse the pronouns and you're good.)

1.       He doesn’t borrow money from you even if he pays it back. Boys can’t manage their finances. Adult men can.
2.       He pays attention to you all the time. You never wonder if he’s listening to you. He’s able to get you the perfect gift because he notices what you like.
3.       He not only can carry on a conversation, but also can raise thought-provoking points.
4.       He reads something other than the TV Guide.
5.       Good surprises include him cooking dinner, watching your pet when you’re gone, or love notes hidden in unexpected places.
6.       He’d rather be beside you than anywhere else.
7.        He doesn’t make plans without consulting you since you’ll be a part of them.
8.       Even if you’re wearing sweats and no makeup, he still thinks you’re beautiful.
9.       He doesn’t have the need to flirt with the server, the hostess, or any other women.
10.   Not too surprising, he has no need to lie because he’s not a cheater.
11.   He not only asks about your day, but also is supportive in your ventures.
12.   He gets along with your friends and family. This is a dedicated effort because a few of them are very nosy and abrupt. Another couple are just weird, but they’re your family.
13.   There is a feeling of comfort and safety with him. No ‘I wanna be a racecar driver driving’ that has your heart racing along with the speedometer imaging certain death. He never threatens your stability physically or emotionally.
14.   He has a sense of humor, can laugh at himself, and is able to make you laugh.
15.   He’s not into game playing and never makes you cry.
16.   He’ll eat the broken cookie, leaving the whole one for you. It’s the same thing you did for previous boyfriends who never even noticed. He’s all about the little thoughtful things.
17.   He has wonderful manners. (Disclaimer: Opening the car door is followed by a request for rent money because he’s short this month doesn’t count. This is textbook example of being played.)
18.   You truly like him and being around him. It seems somehow easier to love people than like them. Consider how many past relationships, you loved the guy, but in the end didn’t like being around him. There is some truth about being friends first. It’s also the reason you are never really friends after you break up because you never were to begin with.
19.   He has no issue saying he loves you, but you already knew that.
20.    You can trust him. He never makes promises he can’t keep.
21.   He makes you feel like a woman, as opposed to his mother, or one of the guys.

You noticed I didn’t mention being 6’ tall or thick, luxurious hair. Often six-pack abs don’t come with excellent conversation. My sister believes that movie-star handsome men don’t have to be faithful because there’s always another woman waiting. 

 Is your fellow not a keeper? Then stop wasting time your time trying to transform him into what he’s not.

My second friend who kept dating good looking ‘boys’ finally met an excellent man. Ironically, people kept trying to match them up for the last year. She kept refusing the fix-ups because she thought he wasn’t her type. Her surprise came when she discovered what she thought was her type wasn’t what she really needed.

Normally, I’d say with a checklist that it’s not possible to have all these traits, but this time it is possible. The list is the traits of a stable man who has his act together. It is also the sign of a man in love. You may not see all these characteristics immediately because the relationship has to progress before you notice them.

If you already have a man who exemplifies these, then you are blessed. Don’t make the mistake so many do thinking there’s someone even better around the corner. They take off chasing an attractive shadow only to find it gone along with the man they left behind.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beware of the Whiner Date

The other evening my Sweetie took me out to an upscale restaurant to celebrate my birthday. The hosts were all dressed in formal black as were the waiters. White tablecloths bedecked the table while votive lanterns gave out dim circles of illumination. The clientele spoke in hushed voices, well aware of the expected behavior in such an environment. There was one exception though, the woman in the booth next to us.

  Apparently, she was on a date with an older gentleman. A very patient man who listened to her complaints about the weather, the restaurant, and almost everything else. The man managed to keep an upbeat attitude, trying to be solicitous of the woman’s wants.

We shared the same waiter and were pleased with the service and the food. It was the best seafood and steak we’ve ever eaten. Not so, for the woman next to us. She told the waiter the food was inedible and she could cook better. I can imagine her date shrinking into his seat. Even though we ate in the same restaurant, had the same or at least similar food, we had two vastly different experiences because of the attitude of our dining companions.

Would the beleaguered man go out with the cranky woman again? Many would consider that he wouldn’t, but I wonder since they were an older couple probably in their late sixties. Unfortunately, many senior citizens excel in the art of complaining. It might be hard for the congenial fellow to find a less whiny person, but if he did, he’d certainly be appreciative of her.

This brings me to the topic of this blog, The Whiner Date, which comes in many forms. This date can take the form of the ridiculer, who questions your every decision with a raised eyebrow or even a joking comment about it. The unsubtle message is you’re not okay the way you are.

While some people may chuckle about people donning rose-colored glasses, a few people sport negative glasses. Nothing pleases them from traffic, other diners, the wait, preparation of a drink, and the list goes on. It is emotionally draining to be around such a person.

Whininess is irritating. The date undergoes emotional equivalent of nails on the chalkboard when his or her companion whines. A whiny date undermines the companion with complaints. All the date knows is that it is an uncomfortable experience.

An episode on Dr. Phil profiled an attractive professional woman who couldn’t develop a relationship. The show spied on her after arranging a date with an attractive professional man. Snippets of the clips showed her date trying hard to be engaging, but she had a downer comment for everything. It’s surprising her date didn’t bail.

Dating is nerve-wracking enough with many daters second-guessing their every move. A companion who criticizes everything only ratchets up the tension, which contributes to an unpleasant experience. Most people can’t put into words what was wrong with a whiny date besides not feeling it.

Remember when on a date, it’s not a gripe session. Traffic could be bad or your food might arrive cold, but there’s no reason to comment on it. By complaining, the inference is your date could change it. Somehow, the date bares the responsibility for your unhappiness, which is not a good place to be.

When the date ends, what might have seemed like a great date to the whiner is an eventual close for the person who paid for everything the date found fault with, which means it wasn’t a good investment. I think back to the man dealing with the whiny woman seated next to us. My Sweetie and I enjoyed a leisurely dinner with dessert and coffee, but the couple still sat at their booth as we left. It takes a great deal longer when you have to whine about everything.

My grandmother always reminded me not every thought that passed through my head needed to fall out of my mouth. Too bad the woman next to us didn’t have a similar granny.