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Getting Back into Dating©
After experiencing a divorce, I found that I did not know the types of situations I would soon find myself in as I explored the world of dating. I did not understand the formal and informal dating etiquettes. I soon learned that each woman had additional expectations that were applied to her dating life.
Do I ask the lady to go on a date with me was a specific situation I faced when meeting a new lady? Of course I did not want to be turned down. The lady and I both had a decision to make. I had to decide if I would ask her to go on a date with me. She had to decide if she would go on a date with me. It is more personal when I am being rejected that when I am rejecting a woman.
My little world was turned upside down when ladies started asking me to go on a date. I liked the idea when my answer was Yes. I did struggle with saying, No. I found I liked the situation better when I was doing the asking.
After two attempts, I made a rule that I would not go on a blind date. I found there was a reason for the lady needing a blind date so she could go on a date. I do not know if my experiences were typical. Not all of my first dates that I initiated were winners. At least I did not have the third party in the blind date asking me at work what I thought about my date, and when would I ask her to go on another date?
A challenge I faced on a date was what to do to keep a conversation going. I found that asking a leading question about her work, divorce, or kids were good for a thirty minute monologue. During the monologues I heard, I made sure I acted like I was very interested in most of them. I found that an innocent question such as, “What do you miss about your husband?” would generate some interesting comments and colorful words. It seems that some women that are not inclined to cuss did not mind cussing when describing their ex-husband. I found a way to get to hear descriptive words directed to me or make the date my last date with her. I do not recommend nodding off while she is talking.
I soon found that the best thing I could do was to listen more than I talked. Of course most people will not admit it, but they like to talk about themselves. I learned to ask questions that indicated I wanted them to tell me about their experiences or give me advice. This turned on the talk button. I would sit back and let her talk. If a woman got to talk a lot on a date, she seemed to think she had a wonderful time. I got credit for being a good date.
I finally stopped fighting a couple of facts that I could not change. Often what a single woman says and what she means may not be the same thing. I learned to exercise patience and respond slowly. Also, a favorite “woman thing” was to apply her perspective to what a man said. This means she would think he said something that he had no idea he was saying. I found the “thing” could be applied to answers such as No and Yes. I became guarded about what I said. I tried to not make a statement that would seem like a commitment such as, “I would like to have another piece of cake.”
I learned about the power of a compliment. It was wise to give my date a compliment early in the date. The compliment must be a true and sincere statement. The compliment can be as simple as mentioning that you liked the color of something she was wearing. Saying something like “I am looking forward to spending time with her is an effective compliment.“
I liked experiencing the personalities and values of the different women. Most women were reserved on the first date, and their personality would start to surface in phone conversations before the second date. The women that liked to be in charge were the most interesting to me for about five dates. I would let her dictate things for the first couple of dates. Then I would start being a little resistant to something about what she wanted. It did not have to be a major thing she wanted to do. The fact that I was resisting was what would bug her. It was entertaining to see what she would do to get me to follow her lead.
One lady I dated placed a lot of value on her fingernails. They ranged from one-half to three-fourth of an inch long. On our first date we were on the way to the restaurant. We were talking when she started loudly cussing with a sound of anger in her voice. From what she was saying, I knew something bad had happened. I looked at her and saw nothing that seemed to be out of order. I asked her what was wrong. With the words of a drunk sailor, she told me. She had broken a fingernail while she was rolling up the window. She held up the broken piece of her fake nail. She said, “Look at this.” I did not know what I was to say or do. I let her talk, and I kept quiet. I found out that her fingernails were fake and were applied and decorated at a nail salon.
When a lady with children found out that I had a mortgage on my house, I automatically became an active potential husband. I liked to cook. After dating a lady for a few times, I would invite her over for a meal. I enjoyed watching the ladies that had children work the conversation around so she could take a tour of the house. If she liked the house and me, she would mentally start planning our wedding.
Over the years, I found that I dated ladies that were in the age range of eleven years younger to about eleven years older. This twenty-two-year age range caused me to realize that I did not understand the expectations of the women that were in this age range. The younger women had different perspectives than the older ones. The younger ones were more interested in having a good time while the older ones were interested in building a nest.
I liked to date a variety of women. When a woman would ask about my dating life, I was straight forward with my answers. I would tell them that I enjoyed meeting and dating a variety of women, and I was not interesting in having a serious relationship or getting married in the foreseeable future. I shared that I did not talk about whom I dated, because I viewed my relationship with a lady was to not be public knowledge. Some women liked this attitude and others didn’t.
One of the oddest things a woman ever said to me occurred one night when I took her home after a date. She asked me if I wanted to come in as I walked her to her front door. I accepted her offer. She had me sit on the couch while she got us something to drink. She suggested that I take off my shoes and put my feet on the coffee table. I had not had a date ask me to put my feet on her coffee table or even the dining table. I could not remember if my socks had any extra holes. I hesitated in taking off my shoes so she would have the opportunity to volunteer to take off my shoes. The only hole in each sock was the one where I inserted my foot. I placed my feet on the table and leaned back into the couch. She sat next to me and cuddled with me. I was glad I accepted her invitation and had not gone home. As she snuggled against my arm, she said, “Your feet don’t smell.” I knew I was getting lost in the sensation of being next to her, and I was not sure if I correctly heard her. Was this a new style of snuggling sweet talk I had not heard? She then explained that her ex-husband had very smelly feet, and she was glad my feet did not smell.
I had more to learn about dating. I did not realize I was being auditioned for the position of her next husband when she asked me to take off my shoes.
A former resident of Pot Neck, Tennessee
Date last modified, September 8, 2010
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