Monthly Archives: October 2012

Men to Avoid: Those in Favor of Legalizing Prostitution

Standard
Below is the second definition of “dating” found on Urban Dictionary (for more click here):
dating
socially acceptable form of prostitution.example
I spent a $30 for a movie, before the first base. A $50 for lunch, for the second base, and a $70 on a romantic dinner before we cut to the chase.
If you have been following my blog you probably already know that I am enough of a prude to be offended by this definition although I have a wicked sense of humor so it also makes me laugh.  I will restrain myself from the obvious rant that men may shell out some dough for dates but women spend a lot of time and money preparing for those dates.  In fact, I recall that my Match.com date #2 felt that I owed him “something” for taking me out to dinner when in actuality taking into account that I had my hair colored ($85.00 – I know that is cheap but I have a secret stylist) and paid for a baby sitter ($50.00) I spent about the same amount preparing and facilitating the date as he did on dinner. (to read that story click here).
But really?  A man who pays for coffee or a meal for you and thinks that this entitles him to some nookie is a man to avoid.  He is a womanizer to the Nth degree.  He thinks of women as objects or playthings not people – items to be purchased.  Just get up and walk out on him (or better yet, you can secretly record the conversation and replay it later for your friend’s amusement).
Understanding how I feel, you can imagine the side-splitting, eardrum- busting laughter that ensued when my friend whom I shall refer to as, Polly Purebred, related a dating story concerning a man who took her out for lunch on a first date and proceeded to wax poetic for an hour-and-a-half on why prostitution should be legalized in the United States.
What sort of message do you suppose this man was attempting to convey?
At any rate…
Ms. Purebred emailed me recently with a conundrum.  How should she respond to this same man’s email inviting her on a second date?
She wrote something like this (I removed specifics to protect identities):

Hi – Mary – this is the guy I was telling you about who spent our first date lunch going on and on about why can’t prostitution be legal in the U.S. – he must have sensed I was talking about him because he emailed me.

I would love to come up with something pithy in reply but I’m tired and have run out of ideas for how to respond to a**holes – would love your input 🙂

The following is my suggested response:

Wow, AH! *
Great to hear from you!  
Before I agree to see you, I want you to know that I was truly inspired by our last conversation and have decided to start a small business.  If you would like to get together it will now cost you $200.00 per hour with a minimum of two hours.  If you are interested in any “extras” it is $50.00 per activity.  You must pay for the first two hours of my time up front. You can give me cash tucked inside a nice greeting card within the first 5 minutes of meeting at a mutually agreed upon place or I can take your credit card number over the phone.  Any charges for accommodations are on you.
 
I can’t thank you enough for the idea for my new small business!  It has changed my financial position dramatically.
 
I am currently taking appointments, I mean arranging for dates, for the first week of November (things have been crazy busy) so get back to me quickly if you are interested.
 
Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
Best,
PP

8{), M

*AH stands for a**hole.

PS: 8{) means “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” It is a symbol for Teddy Roosevelt as per “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”.

Advertisements

How is it Beneficial to F*#% With Your Friends?

Standard

A few weeks ago I saw a play at Four County Players called I Love You Because, a cute modern day romantic musical comedy and got a good giggle from a song titled, ”Just Friends.” The song summarizes the rather contemporary notion of having friendships in which you engage in regular sexual activity. Here are a few lyrics:

Diana: Friends are like an old shirt, that always makes you smile.
Jeff: It makes you feel all fuzzy inside, but it gets dirty once in a while.
Diana: A friends does to you what you do onto them, like Jesus recommends.
Both: And we want to be good boys and girls, and that’s why we’re just friends… with benefits.
Diana: We each do our own thing, cause we’re not dating and that’s fine.
Jeff: But every couple of evenings, our things will intertwine.

As a divorced by choice, single mother, who couldn’t afford a gigolo if I wanted one, I certainly understand the advantages of this concept. In fact, an acquaintance summed it up rather nicely once when she described the type of dating website she wished existed—one where you could pick a man from a lineup of hotties to come over on weekends while the kids are away, have him fix things around the house, engage in great sex, then leave so you can have time to read the latest best selling romance novel undisturbed. All the good stuff without the dirty socks on the floor and the fights over housework.

But even Hollywood recognizes that regular sexual activity between people who like each other often yields an emotional response. There are no less than two films and one television series titled “Friends With Benefits,” all with the premiss that the couples in question start out as friends who begin a no-strings-attached physical relationship then fall in love. Remember Monica and Chandler and what happened to them? Even the two characters that sang the aforementioned song in the play fell in love in the end. Is the entertainment world saying that it is just knee-slapping funny that these people can’t keep a lid on their feelings  or is the message more aligned with the concept that people are just stupid to think that they can have sex without getting emotionally involved?

I am not judging here. I believe that two mutually consenting adults should behave in any manner they agree upon concerning their bodies. As for me, I like to have an emotional connection to go along with the physical one—otherwise I feel like something is missing. Sort of like having icing without the cupcake or fries without the steak.

It also seems a bit awkward if one is seeking a long-term committed relationship outside of one’s friends-with-benefits relationship. If the sexual space is already filled in your life, then how does a new person fit in? (Excuse the pun). Which begs the question, how to bring up your f#$% buddy with potential date material. On the third date or so, does one casually mention between the main course and dessert, “Oh by the way, I am sexually active right now but the person in question is just a friend. So when we are ready to take our relationship to the next level, I would appreciate you letting me know a few days in advance so I can give them notice that their services are no longer needed”?

Too bad there isn’t a play that includes that moment set to music.

 

Making Time

Standard

 

In the age of instant communication, everyone is busy.  I get that.  I am busy too.  As a single mom who works two jobs, exercises regularly, has an active social life, attends many cultural events, pursues a few hobbies (salsa dancing, hiking, cooking, Downton Abbey), is heading up a major fundraising event and a child who lives at home with many interests and friends sometimes I feel like I barely have time to breath. In spite of all that, if I am interested in someone, I make time to spend with them and I expect that in reverse.

However, I have noticed in my pursuit of romance, that there is a brand of single person who claims a desire to have a mate but lacks the room in his schedule to accommodate one.  You know the person, you meet them and then it takes weeks to get together because they have so much going on.  Then between their demanding full-time job, work travel, Marathon training schedule, night classes, volunteer and civic obligations, band practice, guys/girls night out and season tickets (and perhaps spending time with their kids from a previous relationship) they can pencil you in for a 30 minute coffee here or a quick dinner there.  After three dates over two months, you fail to determine how you will ever fit into their life – or he into yours.

The most amusing thing about these people is how emphatic they are about wanting someone with whom to spend time yet they have organized their life in a way as to prohibit any real connection.  It takes personal time to get to know someone- not just texts and emails.  It also takes time to get to know yourself so that you will be worthy of a relationship with someone else.  If you run across someone like this in your relationship search my advice is to explain your expectations up front.  If they give you an answer like, “Once I am done with night school in six weeks, I will have more time to pursue a relationship.” Then you can ask them to call you in six weeks.  If the interest is really there, they will remember.  In the mean time you can be meeting other people who are actually have the time.

 

 

 

The Definition of Dating

Standard

 

 

 

Gigantic News Flash:  I have met someone I really like and they like me back!  Yep.  After  three years of agonizing outings and close-but-no-cigar adventures, a man has come along who piques my interest enough to pursue  a relationship that is more than just friends. I promise not to make you ill with all the cutesy details of why I like him or how wonderfully he treats me but I will share my latest relationship conundrum.

We have been seeing each other for a couple of months and there has been a lot of internal (me) and external (friends and family) pressure to define our relationship.  I fail to recall this happening when I was younger but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.  Perhaps now that I have children to consider it seems more important to people that I know what I am doing or what someone’s intentions are towards me- the stakes are higher when there is the emotional interest of children to consider or property in question.  Anyway, this gentleman and I have come to a place where we might be ready to define our relationship as “dating”.  But before I put him on my favorites list on my phone or change my FB status, I wanted to fully understand the what I was getting into.

What does “dating” mean exactly.  I know what it means to me but the concept is open to interpretation and I want to make sure that I, we (the man in question and myself) and the collective world around us are on the same page.  So I looked it up and found some surprisingly consistent definitions.  Bonny Albo from About.com defines dating as, “an activity two people share together with the intention of getting to know each other better on a potentially romantic level.”  Simple enough and pretty much what I thought.  Wikipedia takes that concept a little further adding a tad more seriousness to the activity: “Dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse.”  Ok, I can get behind that.  I am in this game to find someone to share my life with for the long haul.

But my favorite definition is this from Urban Dictionary:

Dating- somewhere between fuck buddy and boyfriend.

Example:

Ashley: So is he your FB or BF?

Lisa: No we’re dating…

 

Fabulous!  I think I will go update my media now. 🙂

 

In defense of compatibility

Standard

 

In my study of what makes a relationship work, I read an article in Psychology Today last December called The Right Stuff.  The primary theory behind it is that the important things to look for when choosing a mate are certain traits and the absence of addictive or abusive behaviors.  I have adapted this list of traits to the following:

  1. A good sense of humor
  2. An even temper and positive attitude
  3. A willingness to overlook my flaws
  4. A sensitivity to me and what I care about
  5. An ability to express caring in a way I understand
  6. Addiction free (this includes but is not limited to cigarettes, alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, work, sports, sex)

I have posted these before so to you regulars out there (thank you for reading), this is nothing new but I bring it up again because I think that there is a level of compatibility that must be present to facilitate pleasant daily co-habitation (if that is one’s goal in a relationship).  Over the last year, I have been out with two men who, on paper, would be a mother’s ideal pick for their daughter.  Both successful, wealthy, physically fit and good-looking with out any obvious signs of addiction.  Both seemed fairly interested in pleasing me and learning ways to express caring that I understand and keen to discover what I care about.  What’s not to like?

Problem: The basis of compatible core values was missing.

Though we shared some things in common and there was enough different to at first glance keep things interesting, there was a miss-match in terms of priority of those things and a basic incompatibility of core values.

An example of what I am talking about would be:

Say you and a potential mate both like performing arts and sports.  Great!  That is something in common.  But you are passionate about opera and on a scale of one to ten opera is on a negative 5 for him. In terms of sports, he has season tickets to every sport imaginable (including away games) and your passion for sports manifests itself by way of active participation rather than being an observer. The difference is too great for compatibility in terms of these two areas of you lives.  Although sports and performing arts are surface issues (for most people) you get the idea.

Take that disparity of what is valued deeper to things like how others should be treated, level of respect for the planet and people’s rights to choose the healthcare they personally see fit.  Those deeper beliefs don’t all have to match up but there has to be enough in common  on which to build a foundation of respect which is often the glue in a relationship when times get tough.  And eventually times will get tough.

I had the opportunity, recently to examine my core values in relationship to someone else’s and decided not to date them.  Although there were several issues that prevented me from pursuing a relationship one that scared the hell out of me was a difference of opinion concerning quality of life.  I pictured a scenario in which I had been in some horrible accident and could not communicate what I wanted in terms of medical treatment and having this person have the ability to decide that for me based on their belief system rather than mine. That right there was a deal breaker.

The good news is that in talking with that man, I came to realize some of my core values which are:

  • Every person has the right to decide what is best for their own body
  • The pursuit of material wealth is a piss poor way to spend one’s life
  • Everyone has a right to express their opinion in a peaceful way
  • Creative expression is a basic human need
  • Drugs (legal or illegal) are bad and legal one’s should be used as a last resort
  • Spending time staying healthy is a priority -this includes spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health
  • You can only change yourself so it is foolish to waste time trying to change other people (or whining)
  • Each human has a responsibility to treat the planet respectfully (supply and demand dictates this course of action)

As I said,  a significant other may differ with me on a couple of these but there must be several in common in order to make things work for the long-term.

🙂