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.


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