First, let me just say that I would think that most (if not all) of these would fall under the category of “common sense” and “good manners”. Apparently the fella I’ve been dating lately missed this chapter of Miss Manners. I can’t say I’m upset about this one—those friends who live close have heard a lot of this saga already, and I’ve been trying to dump this guy for almost 2 weeks but haven’t been able to catch him, so when I didn’t hear from him for the last week, I thought I was off the hook and he’d blown me off. Apparently not, but on to the list. In no particular order:
Rule 1: Do not ask me after 2 dates if our relationship is exclusive. And don’t get upset when I look at you like you’re nuts and say “not yet”. I’ve known you for a week. Right.
Exceptions to Rule 1:
We’ve known each other at least relatively well for more than a year
My parents give me to you in exchange for 2 cows
Rule 2: Do not maul me or stick your tongue down my throat in public.
Exceptions to Rule 2:
Both of us are drunk
Stolen kisses can be appropriate in public. Porn-level kisses and pawing are never acceptable (except in cases of the previous exception—then there are no rules). And they certainly aren’t acceptable in the middle of my neighborhood coffee shop, or walking down the street.
Rule 3: Even if you firmly believe it, don’t ever tell me that you “really don’t like spending any time alone and want to spend ALL of your time with” me. Especially after 3 dates. (By the way, this was the deal-breaker).
There are no exceptions to this rule. Anyone who knows me, knows that 1) I value the time I spend alone; 2) I absolutely require it or I turn into Super-Bitch (minus the fun costume); and 3) I don’t, under any circumstances, like needy or clingy men. If I really like you, I’ll spend a lot of time with you, but I’m still going to regularly have times that I want to spend with just my friends or by myself. I will never willingly be your 24/7 entertainment.
Rule 4: Do not saddle me with your problems with your ex or your child custody issues
Exceptions: While I’m happy to hear about your day (and even interested), I don’t want to hear about what a bitch your ex is, or how “her only mission in life is to make things as difficult as possible” for you. The same is true for your custody issues. Kids are not deal-breakers. Hearing endlessly about what a bitch your kid’s mom is, is a deal-breaker.
Rule 5: Do not ask me on our 2nd date if I want to meet your kid. The answer will be a long awkward pause before “um, no”.
Exceptions: See exceptions to Rule 1
Rule 6: Do not call me at work and expect that I can talk to you. While it’s OK on occasion (see exceptions), it is not the proper time to regularly call me and 90% of the time you aren’t going to reach me and I’m not going to call you back until I get home, so you might as well just wait to call me until after work.
Exceptions: If you fall into the “close friends and family” category, you can call me if 1) you don’t really expect me to answer and it’s fine if I call you back later; 2) you’re a very specific friend (“B”) and we have a previous arrangement about calls at work; 3) someone has died or been seriously injured; 4) you just won the lottery or got a promotion; 5) you’re another specific friend (BD) and you’re calling to tell me you are or might be moving to Colorado; 6) you gave birth to me and/or raised me, or 7) I’ve specifically asked you to call me.
Rule 7: Do not call me in the middle of the work day and leave me a voicemail breaking up with me. This one gets bitch-slapped for 2 reasons: 1) while I can appreciate a few instances in which a phone breakup is acceptable, a voicemail breakup is rude and tasteless, whether I like you or not; and 2) if the last time I called you was a week ago, you haven’t bothered to call me since then, and I haven’t made any effort to call you either—a middle of the work day voicemail really wasn’t necessary and you just pissed me off because you called me at work (see Rule 6)
Exceptions to Rule 7: there are none. And if you think that there are, you need to get your head checked.
High maintenance? Maybe. But I think first and second and third and….impresssions make a huge impact. And if you irritate me early, you aren’t going to make it to Round 2. I suddenly remember why I’ve happily spent the last 2 years in long distance relationships.