Two weeks ago, I wrote about a woman who wasn’t ready to meet up with a man yet, but was hoping to connect with other women for activities like hiking, wine tours and a basic friendship group.
I heard from several women who were open to that and they are now enjoying some girl time together.
What I did not expect was an email from a woman who detailed her frustrations with dating and the reasons she has decided to take an extended break and enjoy her independence.
She elaborated on specifics that have been an ongoing bone of contention with her male counterparts, so she has given me permission to share her exact words, which I think are pretty entertaining and can be read below. If there are any men out there who would like to counter this, contact me via email at at firstname.lastname@example.org and perhaps one of them can be a match for this lady.
“• Appearances are deceiving:
Being shorter is not the issue. Many of us have dated men shorter than us. Problems arise when the shorter man has insecurities that he won’t let go of. If we tell you that it’s not an issue, then let it go. Don’t keep asking us, or mentioning it: “If I was taller, I would have (whatever).” “My sons got all my height.” “Do you have to wear high heels?” “Hold my hand or I will lose you in this crowd.’
Short men may think they are laughing at themselves, but just like flat-chested/full-figured/statuesque women rarely call attention to their insecurities, short men shouldn’t, either. The same goes for baldness, beer bellies or any other physical insecurities. Women tend to be their own demanding critics. They don’t need/want to stroke your ego. They already are struggling to decide what to wear on a date.
• I love to travel:
This is another pet peeve. Really? You love to travel? Where have you been? Then, the next statement is, “Well, I am looking for a travel partner.” They don’t want a travel partner, they want to leave the town with “Hugo” — or “You go” decide where we should go. “You go” make the arrangements. “You go” present me with a budget. “You go” fix any problems. Because, really, it was “you go” that likes to travel. I am contented with coming along, except when it comes to foreign food, lumpy beds, lack of air conditioning or heat or being left alone for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
• Dress code:
“You look wonderful!”
Such relief washes over their face at the first date.They’ve taken the time to have a shower, have a shave, get their hair cut, maybe buy a new shirt or wear a clean one. Two weeks later, they are stumbling out of the bedroom in ripped sweats, with their belly fully exposed, bed head and bad breath, wondering if there’s any coffee. Gotta get to the know the “real me” — a woman who takes care of her appearance and wants a man who at least puts in the effort. Don’t complain about the time she spends in the bathroom or the cost of her hair products or salon. Tell her that her pedicure/manicure is wonderful. Compliment her every day because, like a gorgeous piece of silver, neglect will tarnish it more and more daily and, one day, you will resemble each other and wonder what happened.
• Be on time:
Being late for anything is disrespectful to everyone, but especially your date/wannabe partner.
More than all the “I’m sorry(s),” whatever the excuse, there are many, many, ways of contact these days. Leaving a woman waiting anywhere is the beginning of her leaving you one day — fair warning.
• Keep your past where you left it:
Trying to set the bar for your next relationship is an obstacle course we are often too tired to navigate. If you have finally arrived at a peaceful, fulfilled place in your life, then remember the old saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present.
• Really? You like everything I like to do? This is the bull charging at the red flag.
Yes, foreign films have subtitles. No, they don’t offer beer at a wine tasting. Yes, I have read all the books in my bookcases. No, you don’t get to wear your own shoes bowling. Yes, live theatre is more than an hour show. Shall I go on? We are relieved that men have their own interests. At this stage in our lives, we are no longer as willing to give up what makes us happy, just as we don’t expect you to, either. Be accommodating and maybe we will both learn something together.
• Be honest:
Your last marriage/relationship ended because of both of you.
If you’re not willing to accept that reality, then you are truly not ready to begin another one. An inordinate number of men that we’ve met proclaim that they were the “wounded party” and they stepped up and gave their ex “anything/ everything.”
All of us on our second, third, etc. relationship need to acknowledge that few of us are such victims.
“I keep picking the worst ones.”
Thanks,” we tell ourselves as they sit across from us, sipping on their drinks. Can’t wait to join your dating history.
When I hear a man admit to me that 1) they are blameless and 2) they gave her “everything,” I think 1) they are not ready for a relationship and 2) they have no financial security.
History has taught me to run as far and as fast away as I can from comments like this.
If you live in a mobile home, drive a beater car and want to split the cheque because you have financial responsibilities to your former wife and children, then that’s where you are and who you are.
Do you have a plan? Are you wealthy in other ways?
Or are you looking for a “nurse with a purse”? Women are, by nature, caregivers, yet at the later stages of our lives, we have slowly adapted to caring for ourselves.
After a lifetime of scheduling our lives to accommodate everyone else, we begin to review relationships in more objective and less emotional terms — risk vs. reward/investment vs. interest.
One matchmaker explained to me that men are looking for a woman who has enough room in their lives to “put their shoes under her bed.” I understand the metaphor. However, at this time in our lives, women have learned if his shoes are under her bed, then he’s probably raided your closet. The most successful partnerships are never 50/50, but 100/100.
Women understand this by nature, while men are open to constant negotiation.
Independence is a lifelong journey that meets its greatest satisfaction when appreciated by others who have made it there.”