yay: new columns.
"Part of me thinks that if I remain patient, he’ll snap out of it, get his life together, and then we’ll have a real go of it. But I also am scared to stupidly risking heartbreak again. It hurt so much the first time."
1. TEXT BACK: I’m hardly a text message stalker, though after IM, it is my favorite method of communication. I expect a man to text me back, regardless of whether he is busy with work or watching a sports game. I don’t need an epic novel in reply, because chances are I was just sayin’ hi, but acknowledging my outreach is only fair. It’s rude not to. Exceptions are always made for dead batteries and emergencies, of course. Bad moods? You only get one or two passes for that. Don’t be a baby. Be a man. I’ll care about your bad mood when it isn’t affecting your gentlemanly treatment of me.
2. GIVE ADVANCE NOTICE: Not to steal a page from The Rules, but I like dates to be scheduled in advance. I’m a busy lady—I will make plans if I don’t hear from you. And if I don’t hear from a dude until the last minute, it makes me think that he thinks I’m sitting around, always ready to meet up with him. That pisses me off. The spur of the moment date is awesome in ADDITION, but it should not replace the practice of calling many days in advance and suggesting a day to hang out. I’m no sexist, however—I think women should instigate dates as well, as often, and with the same respect.
3. HAVE A PLAN: Whoever is “in charge” of that planned-in-advance-date, should actually MAKE a plan. Take charge, show you’ve thought about what might make a good time for the two of you. Hanging out and watching crap TV is fun sometimes, but it should not replace actually, you know, dating. That is not to say dates must be expensive. My last relationship (the ex-fiance) was great with the super pricey dinner dates, but was utterly uncreative when it came to anything else. Frankly, I’d much rather a fully-planned date of free or cheap activities than a $300 meal devoid of ingenuity, but I’m not getting either right now from ol’ Chicken Parm and it is getting OLD.
4. WEEKS AND WEEKENDS: Both are important. So are nights and days. Mix it up. If a guy only wants to hang out after 10pm at night on Wednesdays, you gotta wonder what the hell he’s doing during the day and evening (is he a vampire?) or on the weekends (dating someone who’s graduated to the next level of dating?).
5. LATENESS & RUDENESS, UNACCEPTABLE, ALMOST ALWAYS: Usually lateness can be prevented. Think about it. You wake up 30 minutes after your alarm went off. You hustle to get to work on time anyway don’t you? People you’re dating deserve the same respect and commitment. The occasional bit of lateness I can excuse and I’m always happy to hear an explanation, but reoccurring lateness is a sign that your kindness is being taken advantage of, that he is being lazy in the courtesy department, and is counting on your inclination to forgive and his charm to get him out of hot water. Forget that. If he’s usually late NOW, imagine how late he’ll be in six months, or in three years when you’re having a baby and have to drive yourself to the hospital because he forgot to check his watch.
Likewise, a chivalrous gentleman should always think about how his tone and his attitude might be taken, whether or not it reflects his intentions. When I’m busy at work, and someone IMs me or calls me to chat, I might be a little irritated that I’m being bothered, but I’m always courteous and polite in my response. “I’d love to chat with you about this, but I’m in the middle of something important at work. Can I call you later?” takes only about three more seconds to type than just, “Busy.”
At the end of the day, chivalry is about one thing—pulling your head out of your own “busy,” “over-worked, “moody” hiney for just a second to think about how your actions might be interpreted by the other person. If you care about them, tweaking your actions just the slightest bit so that it takes their feelings into account, is easy, worth the effort, and will pay off BIG TIME.