8.19.2014

Drone-Speak in the Dating World

So Amaya was recently talking to this dude who said a few things which stuck out to me.  At first, I was going to do a post on the phrase he used to describe himself - "picky and judgmental" which, in my humble experience, is generally code for, "I like women with 'perfect' bodies" - but I changed my mind.  He said something else which stuck out to me even more:

"Don't treat me like someone from your past."

Okay, so rewind...a long, long time ago, when Sex and the City was still airing new eps, there was an episode in which Carrie Bradshaw examined how women seek the "lesson" in failed relationships.  I think she was implying that women simply look for those lessons as a way to feel better about ourselves when things go south.  You know...that whole everything-happens-for-a-reason philosophy.

First of all, let me say that I am a firm believer that shit really does happen for a reason...if the person in question is smart enough to see it.  The saying "hindsight is 20/20" exists for a reason.  Some of you have looked over the past 10-20 years of your lives, wiped your brow and said, "Whew; so glad I dodged that bullet."  I do that almost every day these days.  There is a reason why we weren't meant to be with that guy or that girl we met in high school or that study buddy in college, at the bar, at our last job, on vacation - whatever.  There's a reason the timing never seemed right and circumstances kept pushing us apart.

So for that ex who liked to get a little rough (physically and/or verbally), or that broke-ass crush who had bit of a stealing problem, or that lover who liked to give it away to anything with a pulse, or that friend who proclaimed their ideal woman was skinny yet constantly dated fat chicks they would then health-troll...there were very real lessons for us to learn there

That's why when someone - man or woman - starts chanting that "Don't treat me like someone from your past" mantra, I have to call bullshit to an extent.  If my ex was a cheater, then that experience would make me more vigilant.  If my ex was a hitter, then that experience should make me more assertive ("Call me a bitch and see what happens.  Say it one mo' gin").  If my ex was a financial train wreck, then that experience will mostly likely make me more financially discerning when choosing a replacement.

To suggest that I shouldn't employ what I've learned from experience is a red flag.  You might as well come right out and tell me to turn a blind eye to all the same behaviors which drove me to stop seeing the last person.

Let me put it another way.  For years I've advised friends not to fear breakups.  Being dumped or having to dump someone else when things aren't working out is not a bad thing.  If one or neither of you is happy, it needs to end, and no, it doesn't matter who ends it.  Because if you weren't the asshole in that situation, your breakup story will make a great "training" story for the next person you date: "So-and-So did such-and-such, and now we're not together anymore."  It's a nice, simple way to let the new person know upfront that you will not tolerate such-and-such, and that at the very first sign of such-and-such behavior, you will issue a termination notice.

Now, not only is your breakup story a great training story, it's also a great screening story.  And by that, I mean this: during a date, if you explain that you dumped your ex for, say, constantly borrowing money, and your new date seems uncomfortable with this revelation, that should set off alarms.  It may not be a red flag per se, but it should be enough to raise an eyebrow.  Address the fact that they are uncomfortable, and then probe gently to find out why.

'Cause it's one thing for a couple that has time in to borrow money from each other.  It's another if you've been dating for a few months and they expect your help with shit like rent.

4 comments:

  1. Girl, you know I'm sitting up here, sipping iced lemon kumquat tea and nodding.

    I will NEVER forget a dude who was trying to push up on me...trying HARD...and let slip that he needed to borrow $100 to get his truck fixed so he could take me out. This was over a decade ago, not the situation in discussion.

    The most EPIC of the #BYEFELECIAs occurred at that moment. Not that I was even remotely interested in said dude, but that he even thought it was chill to ask me for a yard let me know he wasn't the one...

    Kneegrows these days, and I'm using the term "kneegrow" very loosely here...

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  2. I agree to some of what you are saying. One if I'm on a date with a guy I have no desire to hear about his ex or exes and that relationship. That tells me he isn't over whoever it is. So yeah I would feel uncomfortable cause I'm thinking why the heck are you sitting here with me. I think you can use lessons learned from your past without bringing up your dirty dog boyfriend Bob who stole your car. You can easily lay out what you will not tolerate. Point. Blank. Period. Unless I ask about an ex I have no desire to hear anything about them. Now it is useful cause I know in advance that this guy is still caught up on his ex and I can keep walking/running in the other direction.

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    1. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of opening up the Ex Files, but in certain cases, it's necessary, regardless of how annoying/uncomfortable it makes us. And it's good to know upfront the kind of things you or your date will break up with someone over. Where there's honesty, there's less room for "surprise" later on.

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  3. Oh I believe in opening up, but I never bring up exes. You can just as easy say what you will and will not tolerate. They don't need to know that Bobby from the tenth grade stole your money! :)

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