In my newsletter this week I talked about how I discovered I was a “Jaded Dater. If you haven’t subscribed and haven’t read it, please let me know in the comments and I will send you the link.
That being said, I have continued to look at my “stuff” about dating.
I remember in my single 20’s and 30’s when everyone (mother, sister, friends, relatives) was trying to fix me up with people. They would all give me advice for “how I should act” to the point that I was literally frozen. I didn’t know WHAT to do anymore. All the fun had been squeezed out of me.
“Don’t tell dirty jokes,” they would advise.
“Not everyone thinks you’re funny,” my aunt told me after she had fixed me up with her friend’s son. “Not everyone enjoys your jokes.”
“Really,” I wanted to reply. “Your friend’s son was awfully chummy with the waitress. How is that ok and my jokes weren’t?”
I didn’t ask that because I knew why he was chummy. It was because I was late. It’s a long story, but an entertaining one so I will tell it.
He was my second blind date of the evening. On the first, I had gotten stuck with my mother’s neighbor’s nephew. He wouldn’t let me leave until he figured out whether to break up with his girlfriend or not. It was based on if WE had a future together. (We had just met). I was so frazzled that night that I left my bank card in the machine in between dates and someone withdrew $400 from my account. Luckily, the guy’s girlfriend was honest and they returned the money with a scolding the next day.
“You are lucky my girlfriend is honest. I didn’t want to return it,” the guy said. “I wanted to teach you a lesson.”
Anyway, by the time I got to the second date, the guy I was meeting was laughing with the waitress. They had their own inside jokes and obviously didn’t appreciate my humor.
Other things I remember being told about dating that has me not be myself, nervous and JADED:
My mother: Don’t let a guy know you like him because then he won’t like you anymore!!
My mother: Eat like a bird when you go out so they don’t think you eat too much. (And I remember one guy did comment on how much I ate. That was our first and only date. One of my friends ended up marrying him. I guess she didn’t eat much).
The Dating Game: I think I learned to try to figure out the “right” answer so they would like you. So much for being your real self.
My Uncle: Be whoever you have to be to get them to marry you. Then afterwards you can be yourself. (Seriously, dude, that is some messed up advice in my opinion).
A Friend Learned from Her Mother: Don’t date at all because if you have sex you are spoiled.
This is all fascinating to me. No wonder there is no freedom to date.
That’s why I’m now calling it “getting to know someone.” There’s no getting stuck, getting it right, or anxiety. (Well, ok, not as much anxiety.)
Stay tuned for more excitement on the jaded dating journey to freedom.
PS I ran into the first date years later. I asked him what happened to his girlfriend. Guess what he said?
“I married her.”