Advice from Debby and Jerry on Dating in a New World
May 24, 2013
Q-Dear Debby and Jerry,
I’ve met a man through one of the dating sites and we seem to have a lot in common: A love of books, travel, politics, and animals. Even our dogs get along! The only problem is that he’s a drinker and I am not. I try, but alcohol just does nothing for me. On more than one occasion he’s commented that he’ll “make a drinker out of me yet.” I get the sense he thinks it’s a character flaw, because more than once he’s made it known he finds it “weird”. Now that it’s become the elephant in the room, do I escalate the issue and draw some kind of line in the sand, this early in the relationship?
Dayna, Los Angeles, CA
It does seem strange that your new beau makes an issue of having a
drink or not. Sometimes men and women find drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is relaxing. Possibly, he wants you to experience this feeling often associated with imbibing. In fact, in our society there seems to be a negative connotation of being a “teetotaler”. However, if drinking is not your cup of tea (no pun intended), you have no reason to do something that you do not enjoy. On-line dating has the potential of meeting a variety of people for future relationships, but a courtship is a courtship after you meet someone. What you learn from those you meet on-line has to go through the sorting out of multiple issues, some acceptable and some non-acceptable. You might tell your new boyfriend that he needs to center more on the positive aspects of the relationship you have mentioned.
While moderate drinking can be relaxing, you are probably wondering if your new boyfriend might have a drinking problem. Because you don’t drink, it may be difficult for you to know. Does he drink all the time, or is it more social drinking? How important is this drinking issue? Telling you he’ll make a drinker out of you yet is a bit disconcerting and you really need to have a talk with him and tell him how you are feeling. If you two can’t communicate, the situation will only get worse and the relationship won’t have a chance.
Q-Dear Debby and Jerry,
I joined a popular dating site about 7 months ago and have had fairly good luck meeting some nice guys. However, lately I have seen a trend among men who let women know in their profiles exactly what they are looking for sexually and otherwise. They actually post a laundry list, oftentimes with bullet points, which I find a bit off-putting. Shouldn’t these listed items be things we talk about as we get to know each other? I almost feel like I am going for a job interview! Jerry, what do you think of this from a man’s perspective? Do you see this as a man who has had many disappointments in his relationships? And Debby, what do you think about this ”laundry list” method of dating?
Linda, Savannah, SC
Actually, Linda, a number of women use the “laundry list” method to convey clearly what they are looking for in a relationship when constructing their profiles, as well. So, I don’t think it is unique to men when this happens. All life’s experiences evolve in to what we like and do not like in personal relationships. Using “bullets” to express these points seems a bit sterile, but sometimes it is better to put it out there, regardless of the form. No, I do not think this more clinical approach of listing your preferences reflects that a man has been disappointed in previous relationships. One idea is to see if you match-up with the list and, if you decide to meet, ask Mr. Itemizer to elaborate on each of his preferences. This may be more telling than discounting his profile methods.
While I am a list maker in general, I am not fond of this profile method. I agree that it is a bit off-putting and share your frustration. Also, not everyone is able to effortlessly put their thoughts to paper, and sometimes it’s just easier to make points. Remember, on-line dating takes fortitude and perseverance, and there are many Mr. Itemizers out there and according to Jerry, Ms. Itemizers as well. You simply have to wade through the bullet points to see if he is worth the effort. I do like Jerry’s idea of asking him to elaborate on each of his preferences, though he’ll probably be thrilled to do so and come up with sub-bullet points! Don’t give up, the rewards are great!
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