Posts Tagged With: dating

DOVE NOTE #4: Emote Control


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

I have often been told by my women friends that when it comes to finding a suitable man, one priority is that he must possess leadership skills, while still allowing for the woman’s independence. What does this mean? Well, this is what I’ve learned…

Women (and men too, but for this I’ll say women) want to know that they are their own person. They never want to be defined by who they’re dating or to whom they’re married. They want people to know that they are capable of taking care of themselves and that they have their own opinions and preferences. It is important for others to know that they are not people who simply say yes or who blindly go along with everything their boyfriend/husband says or does. I believe this is absolutely necessary for a healthy relationship.

However, along with this, they want a man who can make decisions and take control. Someone who has purpose and vision. A man who can be a leader and make sound decisions without diminishing them. They appreciate a man who can take control of a situation, and in certain cases, take control of them (read between the lines). A good man is able to determine the appropriate time when he should compromise and when he should be firm. And even though they might make a fuss about it initially, these women admire a man who can take charge and get things done.

Never underestimate the allure of confidence and determination.

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Categories: Dove Note, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Dates


I’d told someone a while back that I’ve never really been on a “first date”. Here’s the back story…

Growing up, both of my parents were (and still are) staunch Christians. They weren’t the fire and brimstone bible thumpers. But they were against the use of profanity, girls wearing makeup or pants, and a slew of other non-cardinal religious traditions. Because of this, I was taught that your heart and body are gifts that should only be given to the right person at the right time (preferably in your 30’s according to my mom ). Being the overly analytical sort, I pondered this concept for weeks. This made me painfully aware of the time I spent with female friends and what it might lead to.

See, I started noticing girls as early as the 5th grade. I was very typical in doing “love taps” and other annoying things that young boys do when they think a girl is pretty.  And of course when I began to notice the developing assets that made them far more enjoyable to hang out with , my mind would go back to what my parents instilled in me and I’d apply the mental brakes. By the time I hit my early teens, I’d formulated an opinion (or justification for my timidness) that it was pointless to date someone unless I was planning to marry them. I was determined to save myself for marriage!* Partly because I was deathly afraid of getting some girl pregnant or contracting an STD. But mostly because I believed that the purpose of dating was to prepare for marriage. Otherwise, I’m just wasting time, right?

So before I’d get involved with a girl (before she even knew I was interested), I would automatically run her through my mental checklist of “potential wife qualities” and if she didn’t measure up, I didn’t pursue. Sounds kind of arrogant in retrospect. But remember, this was all in my head. It wasn’t like I was breaking hearts all across town. I started off being very intimidated by beautiful girls. Couple that with some serious self-esteem issues and it’s a recipe for loneliness. Meh.

I got over that quickly. Mostly because of my emerging sense of humor and musical ability. Those gave me much needed confidence. I eventually overcame my reservations and enjoyed hanging out with many female friends. I wouldn’t date any of them, but they all became the subjects of my research. I’d ask them endless questions about things like… what they considered attractive, their idea of a perfect date, what makes someone funny, how to impress them, etc, etc. It was priceless. (I would recommend this mode of action to every guy on the planet.) Understanding women is a challenge at best. But they love to talk. The key is talking to them outside the tangles and distraction of dating. That makes all the difference.

By the time I was 19 I’d only had two girlfriends.  The first one was this beautiful girl who was two years younger than me.  She was also taller than me whenever she wore heels, which she did often because she was an aspiring model. It was never really an issue when we were dating, but it’s funny how that kind of detail sticks out in your mind. The story of our breakup is probably best left for another blog post. The second girl was the younger sister of someone my oldest brother was dating (whom he eventually married). We never went on “dates” because I’d known her for a while through her sister and I’d see her often enough whenever we visited each others houses. It was all good because both sisters started attending our church and I had been convinced (by a minister at the time) I was going to marry her. Yeah, um… that didn’t happen. haha

Anyway, when I met the woman who would become my first wife, our initial “date” was actually attending a church service. And though I wasn’t thinking about it this way, it’s probably not the kind of event that transitions well to kissing. You can’t really go from “Praise God” to “Oh my God!” in a backseat. I actually don’t remember kissing her. But I may have just blocked that out.

After the demise of my first marriage, I was content being a single Dad. Dating was the furthest thing from my mind. All those feelings of insecurity crept back in and I figured I’d be single for the rest of my life. That is, until I became best friends with the woman who would eventually become my current wife. When we took the leap from “friends” to “more than friends”, we’d already known each other for years and had spent plenty of time together in a band, hanging out with groups of friends and just chatting on the phone. So our first kiss was during a night of emotional discovery that had nothing to do with dating and everything to do with realizing how important we’d become to each other. However, there were plenty of dates (and kissing) after that night.

* For the record, I lost my virginity at 16. Ah yes, the best laid plans… (no pun intended)

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, religion, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Limitations of Teasing


My captivating wife and I finally fell asleep in the wee hours one Sunday morning several months ago. This was after an impromptu trip down memory lane that last for hours after watching, of all things, the movie “Couples Retreat“. I won’t get into the movie plot in case you ever decide to see it, but suffice it to say that it made us very thankful for the kind of marriage we have, and deeply appreciative of one another.

When the movie ended, we started recounting the many things that led up to our initial friendship and eventual falling in love. It was interesting to compare the different perspectives of how certain events unfolded. For instance, she remembers the first song I wrote for her called “Happy” (I may upload it one day) that freaked her out because although it wasn’t a love song, she was certain that it was the closest thing to it. I, on the other hand, saw the song simply as my expression of how important she’d become in my life. I certainly loved her. But was I in love with her at that point? Who’s to say. In retrospect, I was definitely blurring the lines with that song. The heart can have a mind of it’s own at times.

Anyway, one of the most interesting things that we both noted was the drastic change that took place regarding playful teasing once our relationship changed from “friendly” to “romantic“. See, we were best friends in every since of the word. We were in a band together, hung out writing music, talked on the phone for hours, and shared opinions on everything from office supplies to long lost loves. As friends, we would take playful jabs at one another. It was the kind of verbal sparring that’s harmless in nature, but is usually good for a laugh in group settings. Such as the time we were rehearsing with the band and someone commented on the fact that I kept yawning. I jokingly said something like, “Well I wouldn’t be so tired if Dre hadn’t keep me on the phone til 4am.” 🙂  With all of the teasing, many people thought that we were crushing on each other. But nothing could’ve been farther from the truth. We were just close friends with no romantic interests whatsoever.

However, as time passed and we crossed a line in our relationship, the teasing came to a screeching halt. I think I made a passing joke about something to do with what she was wearing and everybody laughed. She came up to me later and told me that she didn’t want me to do that anymore.

 

I was surprised since we’d been teasing each other for years. So I asked her why she didn’t want me to joke around like that any more. And she said, with an honesty that hit me right in the heart, “Because before, the things you would say wouldn’t affect me. Now, everything you say matters.” Looking into the eyes of this beautiful woman who owned my heart, I melted… and never cracked a joke at her expense ever again.

Now this isn’t to say that we don’t have fun and joke on occasion, but I understand that my responsibility is to always present my wife in the best light. It’s a reflection of her value and importance to me. I realized that making fun of her, even jokingly, could come across as disrespectful. It might also give people the impression that they have license to do the same. And it’s never okay for anyone to make fun of my wife… most importantly me.

 

I think some people go overboard with making fun of their SO’s to the point of degrading them and traumatically affecting their self-esteem.

What do you think?
Is it okay to tease someone you love?
Or is it their responsibility to tell you to stop if they don’t like it?

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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