My friend Michael called me to ask my opinion on his dating predicament. I don't know why my friends still insist on seeking advice from a single, clueless on love matters person like myself, but I listened intently and tried to sound convincing in my answer just the same.
His side of the story is that his girlfriend of one month wants desperately for him to take her to some fancy eatery for her up-coming birthday to celebrate in fine style — flowers and a gift and dancing afterwards.
Sounds easy enough, but this is where the 'predicament' part drops in. Although he thinks it's a reasonable request and sees potential in making this kind of investment, financially he is not even close to able to take her to a Tastee and treat her to a patty combo.
I was unable to ascertain from the sob story whether or not she had been initially introduced to the real Mike, or his dating representative when they hooked up, to help me make an informed decision. Your dating representative is you at your best when first meeting a love interest — charming, witty, cordial etc. willing to do anything to get that number or a smile.
So I told him to sit Alice in Wonderland down and be honest. He truthfully admitted before ending our brief conversation that his ego would not allow him to do it. Sounds like the dating representative sold him as this willing and cashy suitor and he didn't take the time to correct that view when they decided to move forward in real life.
I'm afraid to call him for a follow up consultation, but I am hoping for the best for them. He has inspired this week's question: What constitutes a good date?
I did an informal Blackberry Messenger survey, and as was expected, I was inundated with a myriad of responses varying depending on age, sex, income and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Most men didn't really care. As long as it resulted in a peaceful event concluded by some lovemaking, they were cool.
The ladies however, chimed in without hesitation. Some dating requests were simple: a walk in Emancipation Park sharing quiet time, while others got elaborate and involved flights to Miami for a weekend of romance. As a young girl, I was encouraged to read books about princesses and happily ever after, and I know this experience is not unique to me. Young girls become women dreaming that one day her prince will ride up on a white horse. He will be dashing and handsome, rich beyond riches and will cater to her every wish.
Fast forward to the 21st century ladies!
You'll be lucky to find this kind of catch in today's world. I'm not saying such a man does not exist, but he will more than likely be an average Joe, driving an average car, trying to make something of his life and hopes you can share that dream. So realistically, asking for flowers and candy on every date and going to fine restaurants may be a stretch. Let us not even mention the castle, chances are you will have to chip in and rent somewhere together at first and then work towards buying an average home.
I will be the last one to suggest that you settle for less than you think you deserve, don't lower your standards, but work within the parameters of what your man can afford or is willing to spend.
Someone once asked me what my ideal date would be like. I have not been in a dating situation for a while, so I thought about it and then responded. A nice jovial man with a bottle of inexpensive wine, two glasses (or plastic cups) a towel, twilight at Hellshire or some beach, barefoot, chuckling and cuddling until we see the sun peeping up. Now that's romance for me.
Keep the flowers and the posh restaurants; if I really like you, we keep it simple. Have a great weekend folks and remember not all that glitters is gold. firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @ElvaJamaica.