Rules of Engagement Part 2

1) You’ve been on two good dates: Yes, darling, you are officially dating. And no, no, no, you need not ask him. Please, don’t make the mistake. You know you’ve at least somewhat won him over — why do you find it necessary to ask him, in that annoying, whiny voice, “So are we together? Or….. (insert sad smile).” Stop it. Why are you so insecure? You have an intense need to “define” the relationship? You need to get a life. Get. A. Life. You know, from movies, from books, from friends, from experience…You know not to ask that question, to assert that demand to define. You know, but you want to ask it anyway. Self-edit? You want this to last, then again — don’t be the psycho girl. Just let it be. Enjoy.*

2) First date at home. This is big. No, you’re not wrong to think its big. Believe it, and act accordingly. This is a new step, unchartered territory, takes the whole shebang (wait, did I really just type “shebang?”) to a new level. Here’s where you can make something lasting, or ensure he’ll never call your crazy ass again. You act like a retard, and you’ve just lost a potentially decent guy. Alright, so you or he suggests a movie and pizza, or chess and sushi, or Yahtzee and Indian at home. This is good and you’re right to believe it. This is good. And here’s how to not make a bollocks of it:

  • A) It’s at your house. Great. But more pressure. Clean your fucking house. Clean. Don’t just straighten up. Clean it. There shouldn’t be leftover spaghettios on the stove, pee (or worse) under the toilet seat or strange stains on the carpet. Scrub, girl. Make it pretty. Does your house smell? You don’t know if your house smells — ask a friend you trust and ask for the truth. You need Oust, you need candles, you need plug-ins in every bathroom. And I swear to God, if you have a cat, that little box needs to be immaculate and in a closed laundry room. So clean, order a pizza and rent a movie you can both enjoy (better yet, let him pick the film).
  • B) Its at his house. This is ideal, and you can relax. For now. Your cleaning binge can wait til the next time when yes, you’re obliged to invite him over. When you arrive at his hopefully-charming abode, do not criticize, at all. No matter what. You’ll take notice, of course, as you well should. He has Star Wars posters on his glaringly white apartment bedroom wall? Run, do not walk, away. Does he have the matching sheet set or comforter? This man is insane and potentially dangerous and you need to high-tail it the fuck outta there. We are in our twenties, love, and yes, you have a right (and indeed, a duty) to make a judgment on that shite. Nothing horrid but it still looks a mess? That’s alright. Be nice, above all, be cordial. Carpets dirty? Well, there’s a difference between normal “guy” dirty and filth. You cannot expect him to clean like you. He won’t. Ever. Marry him and I promise you, he still won’t. But you know the difference between mess, filth and scary. And it’s huge — seeing his living quarters, seeing what his mother taught him, or didn’t, about basic personal hygiene. What you’ll live with, well, that’s up to you. But you have to remain silent, because if you choose to live with it, a super slobby boyfriend, well that’s your issue. Not his. You will not change him.*

3) The second (and real) Interim: You’ve seen him out, twice. You’ve been to his home, or he to yours. You go home from a hopefully pleasant evening of movie, pizza and more, and you expect a call the next day. It doesn’t come. Three options: He’s playing with you (which is ok, in moderation), he’s not sure how to proceed or if he wants to (which means he simply needs to grow up and you need to move on), or he’s decided against further dating. You should know this. You NEED to know the possibilities and be realistic about your expectations. My best guess is that he’s not uninterested — but taking it slowly, perhaps gauging his next move. And this is entirely within his rights and should be expected (and if you disagree, just close your Mozilla window, and grow old alone). You hereby have my blessing to call. Once. Have appropriate restraint, which means: do not ask for definition, do not overstay your phone welcome and do not call twice. He doesn’t answer? Not a great sign, but leave a concise, sweet and noncommittal message and hang up the phone. My permission to call him is not permission to be an asshole.*

4) Third Real Date: You’re on your happy way to girlfriend status. Congratulate yourself. If he wants to plan, let him plan. If he asks you what you wanna do, for the love of Buddha, come up with something interesting. At this stage in the game – two real dates out and a house date — you should be doing something truly fun, and awkwardness should have at least abated. Go to a ballgame, kick a soccer ball around at Furman, take a brief road trip to Asheville for a concert. Know this, little chickens: If you haven’t already, this date is indeed the time to, er, get it on. It becomes tiresome, for any guy, to get the feeling that he’s not going to touch boob for the next six months. Stop with the purity act. And if it’s not an act, then God help you — this blog isn’t your cup of tea.

Synopsis of Part 2:

-Do not try to define, or force him to define, anything.

-Beware of a creepy, overly clean or filthy home (yours too, lady)

-Resist the smacktarded instinct to think that, because you’re dating, you have the right to track his every move or call persistently.

*What blows my mind, friend and stupid friend again, is that you do know this. You know how not to sabotage yourself. But you do it. Over and over. You simply cannot keep your mouth shut. How’s about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results? Ok, crazy, so why not try something new? Do NOT ask him to define your new relationship.

*Also beware of the uber-clean. American Psycho, anyone? He will axe you.

*Asshole Behavior can be avoided with these simple steps: Do not ask where he was. Where he is. Where he’s going. You’re not married. You do not have that right.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Rules of Engagement Part 2

  1. FLJ

    if “matching bedding” is a sign of insanity, then I’m of the charts
    “nuts” …

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