Ask For What You Need
We never know what we're going to get in life. This is true because G-D runs the world and also because a lot of people don't follow logic or rules and make things maddening to those of us who live for rules.
Enter Boy #19. I'm going to call him Burnt because he was one of my worst burn out dates. Suggested by a shadchan who is very enthusiastic about setting me up. Picture looks cute. He gives me a call to set up the date and asks me where I want to go. (This is not him being polite. This is him literally needing someone to hold his hand through every situation he encounters.)
I'm not giving in to that nonsense. I'm looking for a partner in my life and my life is filled to the brim with commitments and things I have added to bring me joy and allow me to bring joy to others so at the very least my husband needs to be able to plan a first date.
I respond to him "Hmm, I don't know where we should go but I'll warn you that I don't drink coffee!"
He responds: "Oh me too. It's annoying right?"
Me: "Oh my gosh yes. It makes dating torture."
You can see where this is going.
We decide on a date an time and I prepare, knowing that since this is a 7 pm date and we are obviously not getting coffee, I should be ready for dinner.
You can see where this is going.
He picks me up and drives exactly 18 blocks (less than a mile) to a....
Random coffee shop and cafe (not Kosher).
Not even a Starbucks where at least I feel safe because I spent all of high school in Starbucks because there was literally no where else to go.
Just a random coffee shop and cafe where people are having their sandwiches.
I consider getting a sandwich just to get revenge on Hashem for making me still be dating but I hold back.
We both get water. So, including the gas, the total this guy spent on our date is under $10. Sexy.
Then we sit down and nurse our...waters. He is completely burnt out and answering me in monosyllables. I have to do all the talking and I burn out quickly and go to use the bathroom for 15 minutes, after which he takes me home. Door to door in under two hours.
I don't mind when guys take me to coffee shops. It isn't their responsibility to know that I don't drink coffee. And Starbucks's are usually nice: plush seats, warm lights, soft emo/indie music. And before you ask-no I do not drink tea or hot chocolate. If it's hot it should be soup. But a coffee shop is a nice place to connect with someone you have just met.
Except when you prefaced the date by stating that you don't like coffee-and you found out that both of you don't like coffee. At that point Burnt literally had the entire world (or at least Tri-State) of dates to choose from. It was 7 PM WHY WASN'T I BEING FED?
I had entered the period in my life where boys were generally burnt out. And I was getting fed up with it. No amount of clues or opportunities were giving these boys the clue that they needed to plan the dates and that doing so might take some actual thought.
So, I began to help out. Thanks to Burnt I got burnt from the contact and no longer gave guys an opportunity to fail. When guys asked me where I wanted to go I named a restaurant, date and time.
And this worked for awhile for getting me food.
But it didn't get me married.
After a while of doing that I had to pull back and readjust myself and my goals. My goal isn't food or a not-miserable date. My goal is to find someone I love. And that might mean miserable dates with burnout guys but I have to keep staying open to someone who is more than a one time meal ticket.
Friends ask me all the time "He asked what we should do, what should I say?" At this point my response is "I'd love it if you planned the first date, I'm looking forward to whatever you've come up with. Please let me know before so I can plan accordingly."
This helps and hurts. Helps because I have stated what I need and there is no more mystery. Hurts because now I have told guys what I need to feel comfortable-and a lot of them still don't do it. I often have to text them again to ask what we will be doing, either because they haven't planned it (a lot of them think that's what the ride over is for) or because they just forget to text me.
All I can do is what I can do. I try to make myself comfortable while trying to stay open to a relationship.
There's a lot of burn out (which I've written about before) and a lot of inconsiderate people out there. All I can ask of myself is to stay fresh and ask for the things I need to do that.