You're Gonna Get Hurt, Dude: An Opinion on an Anonymous Confession
Reconsider, reconsider again, and probably don't do that thing to your date.
[Disclaimer:I am in no shape, way, or form a dating guru. I cannot find you a match, catch you a catch, or hook you up with that fine piece of work at your job. I am but a lowly, wannabe blogger who aspires to eat all the fries before I get home with dinner. Take heed, take caution, and feel free to disagree with me. Don't shoot the messenger, please. I still haven't tasted the sweetness of the entire dessert menu at the Marietta Diner.]
Whenever I see posts like these, I cringe. Is it true? Has the truth been embellished for attention, or are men really pulling stunts like these? My issue is that so many men rant and rave about women and their lack of accountability for situations. For black women, there's the addition of having an attitude, being war-like, stuck-up, and placing ourselves on a pedestal. The list goes on and on, yet some men (put down the torches, I said some) have the tendency to do things like this post, then get mad at the woman when she does not act accordingly. Is that fair?
What kind of cautionary tale is he trying to rub in our faces? My "I'm a good guy and she done me wrong" senses are tingling, and a judgmental ending is not too far away. Well dude, you set yourself up to get hurt, and there's a lesson here. While you're telling us ladies why we're still single, we're looking back at you with one eyebrow up. It's not the soup kitchen/community center, it's the fact that he lied about it and put his date on the spot.
All race points aside, I don't think it's fair to spring surprises like these on people, and assume they're going to behave or act in a way that would be seen as acceptable by their date. It isn't fair, because most people don't like half-truths, blind item surprises, and people who aren't fully transparent about situations. If I'm going to be perfectly honest, perhaps someone who isn't having the best financial time should be dating. If they choose to date, they should be honest with the other person. This at least gives the other person a chance to decide whether or not they want to go on the date. If they say no, you can feel any kind of way you want. At least you were honest about it. Move on from that point, go on to the next one, and life goes on.
When a person "gets in their feelings" and makes statements like "this is the reason why so many of you are single," and "your standards are too high and too unrealistic," it's time to hit the brakes. Dishonesty tends to bring out the worst in people. Especially those of us who're trying to date and find love. It's not exactly a good start for a relationship. I'm not saying that I fully condone her behavior, but to expect her to be calm and cool when she thought she was going to a restaurant is ridiculous. I would be just as upset. It sounds like she attempted to maintain herself in public, and he had an attitude because she was unhappy with the true plans. Free dinner be damned, he still lied.
I don't have a problem doing a low-profile, low-budget date. Other women may, and that's their issue to deal with/maintain. I've dated men who were not financially able, and we still had a good time. I've been on dates at Border's, the local parks of Chicago, and even Lake Michigan. I've devoured buffalo wings at the local greasy spoon for $6.99 and chugged Tahitian Treat in my own home with video games and Graffiti Bridge as entertainment. I definitely got my Jill Scott on with some long walks and silence. This isn't a "pick-me" moment, because my dates were honest with me, and I chose to go on the dates.
If expecting a man to be honest is having standards that are "too high," then all the single ladies are doomed. If going on only what he has told me thus far is "being unrealistic," and assuming we're going out to eat is "doing the most," well shoot—shut 'er down now, folks. Ain't no more babies to be had this decade. No more weddings, no more romance. Love is over.
It takes all kinds of people to keep the world turning, and you'll definitely find women who've got incredibly high and ridiculous standards. Their single status is their business, yet people write grouchy commentary on why some of us are single. Or how all women are superficial, and why some choose jerks. Some women choose to keep it that way, seeking only to play the field. That's their business, not mine. Get over it. We're expected to when we're rejected.
When a dude says "humble yourselves or you just might miss out," I hear white noise. Yes, ksssssssh kind of white noise. If I realize I'm not interested in you, what am I humbling myself for? How do you know I'm not humble already, but you've put me on the spot? This dude put this young lady in a crunchy spot, and she didn't behave in a way that he saw fit. Instead of being honest with himself and looking at the whole situation, he chose to take the low road. He chose to put it all on her, not realizing that maybe a hint of honesty could have created a different situation.
(I don't, by the way, see the harm in humbling oneself when it's appropriate. That's called growth, and people do change when they're in the right or wrong relationships. It's maturity to have a sense of humility about you. Not all people have it, and again—growth! For the better, humbling yourself to be another person can be great. It has to be organic, though. There's a difference between actually humbling yourself and muting yourself because somebody thinks your light is too bright...)
He can get mad and be judgmental if he wants to, but the facts are all there in the anonymous confession: He wasn't honest about his situation, he expected his date to immediately adjust, then refused accountability when things fell apart. He set himself up for a world of hurt. He expected her to be understanding and impressed, when in fact she ended up acting closed off. I would have left then and there. It's not about how much he could have spent, it was all about what he failed to tell her about himself and the situation, and if she was okay with that. He hid, he assumed. Don't bring me to the soup kitchen trying to test my humility, and I think we're going out on a date. This is not a feel-good made-for-TV special. This is real life, and not all people roll with the punches like you think they should.
Let's get to the meat: Yes, our society is full of lady gold-diggers. Yes, there are women with sky-high standards. You either avoid them or make an effort to meet their level. That's optional. You're welcome to have an opinion about them, but it seems to do nothing but make men angrier than anything else. The names they call these women makes it worse. You can just as easily make an effort to find the so-called humble women you'd like to date.
Dating isn't a straight line for most of us, anyway. You probably aren't going to find the person of your dreams right away. You might even end up discovering that your crush, your app match, or your friend isn't that great after a date or two. Once you've found a person you like, do you really think dishonesty is the way to go? I live with somebody who's incredibly honest, and it's part refreshing part Chappelle's Show (When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong!). But at least I know where I stand with him. At least he won't lie to me. (Save for who ate my damn ice cream...)
I hate to sound like some wise(-ish) old thing, but you definitely get what you put out. If you start out on a lie, you'll discover a harsh truth on the other side. For this dude, it was meeting some lady he thought was cool, who later ended up being somebody he wasn't that fond of. For his date, it was somebody who seemed to have everything together but failed to tell her he was having hard times. It takes way too much effort to fake the funk. Be honest and face what happens next. You might not like it, but you aren't bound to this person. Everyone has an opinion on everyone else. That's life!
I think he could have avoided this all by just telling the young lady that his situation changed after a certain point. He could have told her where they were going and asked if it was ok. She should have been given a choice. Simple. Be honest. Didn't we learn that watching PBS? Did Stevie Wonder write Skeletons for nothing? We won't even discuss parents.
Now, if you're still here and think I hate men, think again. If you think I'm a wacky feminist here to stomp balls in my size 13 wide boots, lay off the coffee. I don't like dishonesty, period. I tend to feel uncomfortable around men who harshly judge women. Men who jump to major conclusions, men who test women on purpose get on my nerves. I don't just wake up barking at men and screaming "PATRIARCHY!!" butt naked on Cobb Parkway. I'm mellow yellow, baby.
So much in this world is a varying shade of gray/grey. You might not get your humble girl who can roll with it, and your assumptions could be set on fire before the dessert tray comes. We can very well see things playing out in our heads one way, then have to readjust when black becomes slate, and white becomes coal.
My final words: Don't test women to see what they'll do in blind situations. Make sure your own standards aren't so high that her failures become more disappointing than they should be. Start relationships on points of honesty and transparency. This helps you weed out those who are not a match. Stop getting hung up on people who don't want you. I learned that truth way before 17, and I wish I had been able to value friendships over wanting what wasn't mine, to begin with.
It's not that hard to be a decent person. It takes way too much energy to pretend and end up having to reveal, anyway.
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