Monday, January 24, 2011

bad advice from good friends

When I started online dating in Summer 2009, I received a variety of advice from co-workers to whom I was perhaps a little too close.

The first guy I spoke with was Derrick. We met on okcupid. We seemed to have a good rapport online. I had some reservations about him, but because he seemed to be an overall good guy, I overlooked the issues. He definitely boosted my ego a bit with all the compliments (though those got a little annoying after awhile, but anyway). I found him funny and a bit quirky.

My coworkers noticed my lighter, happier demeanor and one asked, “Is it a guy?” When I answered in the affirmative, my other two coworkers of course wanted the deets.

The questions began...

“Does he got a job? Apartment? Car? Where does he live?”
“He a mama's boy?”
“Was he in a relationship before? Why did it end?”
“How much money does he make?”
“What's wrong with him? You need to know to see if you can deal with his flaws!”
“What's his social security number?”

Alright. They were joking with the last one.

Now, despite my lack of experience, I figured that early in a relationship, it is best to keep things light. My mother learned in cosmetology school to never talk about politics or religion with her clients. I figured politics, religion and sex were probably no-no's early in the dating process too. I was not about to jump into a philosophical discussion when we knew each other for only one week.

A lot of their questions, I couldn't answer. I knew he had a job, car, and lived with his mother. I was troubled by them telling me to ask about his past relationships and finding out what was “wrong” with him. I did not think his most recent relationship was any of my business. And trying to find out his “bad habits,” his flaws already? After one week?

Well I did eventually ask about his most recent relationship in the nicest, least nosy way I could. He did not say much. I did not press it.

I think my coworkers just wanted to help. Maybe they were living vicariously through me. Maybe these forty-somethings saw me like a daughter and were trying to protect me, or something. But I think my instincts were right all along. I am open to advice, but I now realize that “advice” that works for some might not work for me.

By the way, Derrick and I stopped talking after about three weeks. I was bored with him, honestly. I used my childfreedom as a “get-out-of-jail-free card.” It was not clear in his profile if he wanted kids. When I asked him directly, he said he did and I said I can only be friends with someone who wanted kids. He logged off and did not message me again until 4 months later. C'est la vie.

I am talking to a guy on okcupid again, now. We hit the one week mark and the conversation is still flowing. Hopefully this will not be another Derrick!

1 comment:

  1. Ugh my friends are terrible at advice- that's why I never tell them anything. I've heard them give advice to each other and it's absolutely painful to hear.