Answering for someone has always struck me as a little strange. Even when I am certain I know exactly what my date wants, I still think it is better to wait for her before making a choice. We're at dinner, she leaves to use her phone, the waiter asks what we would like to drink, and I am now at the table just looking at him like this drink thing he is talking about is some kind of radical new concept so we wind up in a staring contest which ends when one of us says 'a few more minutes...' Rushing and making choices for the other person seems pretty risky and can be extremely risky early on. It's a first date and only one of the two people on the date is making all decisions. On the one hand, yes, you can put your brain in a jar and just kind of flow along with things and it may work out. One the other, you are now at a restaurant you hate, eating food you are allergic to, and after dinner you get to go bar hopping with your date's friends in the Viagra Triangle. The other downside is the person you are with never really gets to know you and even worse, the person is given the wrong impression you: they think you like everything they like. I would never want to date myself. That relationship would last maybe a month (generous) before I dumped myself. People are allowed to make their own decisions and these choices are what make them who they are. Whether you like them or not is a decision that you have to make which is always pretty fun. What isn't fun is making someone feel like they are in a corner or being in a corner yourself. You're enjoying company not seeing what kind of interesting and bad reactions you can pull from someone. Those are things you really want to avoid. Good rule is although dating is an experiment, you are not in a lab trying to make something explode. (A date in a science lab might be fun now that I think about it.) You probably don't want to rearrange your life for someone or ask them to do the same. Compromise and space in a relationship are good and can go a long way. You can actually step back and see the person and then you get to do the decision making part that I mentioned earlier. The two in this story didn't even get to the main course let alone get to know too much about each other but what she did learn was all she really needed...
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A Story About Bad Moves:
When I was younger, every time I would whine for something or huffed and puffed until I thought my mother would give in, she would always look at me and say, “Use your words.” So, from that day forward, I think it’s safe to say, that whenever I wanted something I would just ask for it, but I always made sure to say 'please' and 'thank you' as well because my mom also said, “You catch more bees with honey." Let’s be honest, if you know me, I like to get my way so that lesson has definitely stuck with me.
I met Mr. Manners online. There weren’t too many sparks flying during our conversations on the phone, but I thought that maybe he was just nervous, so I decided to give it a shot. We went to some nondescript restaurant (so much so that I can’t even remember the name) for dinner. From the minute we sat down, I was bored out of my mind and grossed out by his patchy facial hair. I had to get out of there…and fast! But how? We had just gotten our drinks! A million things were running through my head; should I fake a stomach bug? Should I send an S.O.S. text to a friend? Should I sneak out the bathroom window and stick him with the tab? The waitress came up to us and asked if we are ready to order, interrupting my plots of escape. I looked at the waitress, a little bit dazed and said, “Yeah, umm, I’ll take the quesadillas.” Mr. Manners looked at me and in front of the waitress said, “What do you say Gena? Please?” I was stunned, shocked, stupefied and any other “S” word that you can think of! I turned to him and shot him a look that said you better back off buddy because when cornered (or embarrassed) I attack and you did not just talk to me like I am a five year old because if I heard you correctly, and I'm pretty sure that I did, I will give you a five second head start before I come after you to kick you in the shins. Without missing a beat, I snapped my head back to the waitress and said, “You know what? I’m sorry, I changed my mind. I won’t be eating dinner tonight. Could you disregard my order...please?” I threw down my napkin and stormed out of the restaurant and never looked back.