Dating Advice: Gentleman, mind your manners!

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I met a nice guy. Funny, easy-going, smart. Good looking and athletic.

Before you start cheering or thinking to yourself: “Oh thank goodness, now we won’t have to read her lovelorn laments!” — there are some reasons for concern:

We went out for cocktails, talked for a long time and had an easy and funny conversation. So far so good. Then he asked if I’d like to get something to eat. I said sure and asked where he’d like to eat. He had a small but chic nearby restaurant in mind, which sounded fine with me. He walked ahead of me through the doors as if I wasn’t even behind him, then he did the same thing as we were walking into the restaurant.  OK, I thought, this is casual, it’s not like we’re an item, though I am used to my date letting me go first. But here’s the thing: when I am walking into a building and there is someone right behind me, I often hold the door and let that person in ahead of me, or I hold the door open a bit or nudge it to stay open for the person who is following. It just seems considerate.

In an odd coincidentally-timed contrast, a group of young men passed us on the sidewalk as we were walking, and thinking we were going to the same place as they, one stood holding the door of their establishment open for me. He actually stood aside holding the door and waited as I walked toward him. I thanked him anyway. It was a sweet thing to do. Manners and courtesy make me feel that thoughtfulness and even a tich of gallantry are still here with us. That’s a good thing, guys. At least in my book.

So, meh, that was a little thing.

In the restaurant, our entrees did not come at the same time. His was served first. The waiter said a curt, “I’m sorry, yours will be right out.” I honestly don’t remember this happening to me before, at a full-service restaurant. So that was strange. Stranger still, my date immediately started eating. I think I’d at least wait a couple of minutes, thinking surely the other entree would immediately follow, or at least give me a moment to say, “Oh please go ahead so that your food doesn’t get cold.” As it was, I said I hoped he’d not be finished before I’d even gotten my dinner, since that was the pace he was on.

Yes, it is an awkward thing to have happen but I think that if I were the one who’d gotten the food, I might ask the waiter to at least bring another bread plate so that my date could sample my food while he waited for his… or ask the server to keep my food warm and then bring both plates together. Or maybe I would be too startled, who knows; it is a bit disconcerting. But at least: if you’re the guy who gets the food, don’t start chowing down while your bemused date watches you eat!

My entree was delicious, when it finally came, in case you are wondering.

When the check came, my date immediately excused himself and went to the men’s room.

I had asked beforehand if he wanted to split the bill, even get separate checks (I’ve never actually done that, but thought I should ask, just to be clear how the check would be handled). He laughed and said oh no of course not, he’d get it, and yes he was sure, so I said I’d get the next then. But, in his long absence, the waiter returned to the table three times and the restaurant was busy–even I was getting tired of waiting– so I decided to pay the bill. My date returned as I was taking my wallet out of my purse. He stood aside and watched as I paid the bill and tip. There was not even a thank you, not then nor afterward. Gratitude is a good quality, in short supply these days. I know that. But a simple thank you… I think that should not have been too difficult to manage.

He did say, and later also texted, what a wonderful time he’d had and how he is looking forward to seeing me again very soon. As far as he is concerned, everything is fine and dandy. He has even been talking/writing about our next date.

Only, there isn’t going to be a next one.

Do you think I am being too picky or too harsh with this guy? I’m not Emily Post or Miss Manners.What would you have done?

~  Lily

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31 Comments on “Dating Advice: Gentleman, mind your manners!”

  1. beachmama777 says:

    Ergggh..I got righteously pissed off when I read your blog. Hindsight is always 20/20, though, isn’t it/ What you “should” have done was to leave after he first dropped the door on you. If you stuck with him after that, then seeing him eat without his even having the decency to ASK you if you’d mind, should’ve been the next time you made a quick exit. When he did that bail out on the bill, what you “should” have done was to tell the waiter to wait until you date came out of the restroom to present the bill. You could have informed him, while smiling sweetly at the waiter, that your date had some stomach problems and needed more time in the restroom. Could he simply wait until your date came out before presenting you with the bill? You could’ve told the waiter that your date INSISTED on paying.
    Here’s the deal: Your gut probably screamed at you right at the start of the date that this guy was NOT for you. You risked it, made all sorts of excuses for him, and then found out your gut was right. He was “smart” alright, smart enough to get you to pay the bill. “Funny” enough to pork out while you waited for your entry. “Athletic” enough to drop the door in your face. What a guy!
    I’m not criticizing you. I do it all the time, still. What we ladies need to do is to TEACH these guys how to treat us. When they do something totally unacceptable, we end the date. I wished I’d taken my own advice with that guy who I let put me through a tailspin by spending four hours with me, asking me out again on another date, and then informing me he felt no chemistry. I actually knew it, in my gut, when we first hugged. We ladies must support one another in listening to our guts!
    This guy is/was a total jerk. Lose him…fast.

    • lily says:

      I know. I think I was In Shock that he seemed to have No Idea that what he was doing was ill-mannered. I actually thought: he’s younger than I am, is there enough of an age difference that etiquette lessons were not so important in his youth?? But really, it’s basic courtesy, not etiquette. It’s thoughtfulness.
      It just threw me because for the most part it didn’t seem intentional, especially as he goes on and on about how much he likes talking with me, etc., and wonders what I think of the next restaurant he thinks we’ll try… on what he thinks will be the next date!

      Alright, you’ve actually made me feel a lot better. Thank you. I’m not being too picky or expecting too much, I need to find a well-mannered and–more important–a thoughtful guy.
      Happy weekend! : )
      ~ Lily

  2. DM says:

    Not little stuff. “Selfish” is the word that kept coming to my mind as you described him.

    • lily says:

      Yes, I seem to have a knack for dating and marrying selfish, self-absorbed, or narcissistic and manipulative men. My friends tell me to stop being so nice… but I am nice, I shouldn’t have to be other than I am. I just have to find a nice thoughtful unselfish guy. It doesn’t seem that it should be such a difficult thing. : /
      Ah well. Onward!
      Thank you, DM. How are things down on the farm? Everything battened down for the winter?

      ~ Lily

      • DM says:

        Things are busy. I feel like a squirrel trying to get ready for winter…not enough days in the week to get my “pre-winter” work done. Your friends are wrong. do not stop being nice!~ The niceness is hard wired into you. anybody that spends any time reading your blog can feel it. My daughter has the same problem. She has a natural, kind, bubbly personality and seems to attract the losers like flies to honey.

        • lily says:

          I hope that your lovely daughter finds a man who is worthy of her. Think how much less worry you will have when that happens.
          The weird thing, in my case, is that these guys are not losers in the conventional sense; they are successful career-wise, so much so that I sometimes wonder if there is a correlation between such success and selfishness. Of course, they aren’t married, so they may be “losers” with women, or maybe their focus is too far away from relationships so that while some areas are successful, maybe the personal sides of their lives are lacking. (Just speculating.)
          Good luck with your scurrying, DM, and thank you. Be sure to sleep enough, for rejuvenation purposes, as we head into winter. At least you will get an extra hour this weekend!

          ~ Lily

  3. Jennifer K says:

    Holding up the door – acceptable flaw in a guy(even if very ungentlemanly.)
    Eating without waiting – rude, but maybe he hadn’t had a decent meal all day and was starving….maybe. Still rude.
    Letting you pay and not even thanking you – not okay. Really. Really. Not. Okay.

    • lily says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! My thoughts were, and are, pretty much the same as yours. It just seemed so strange… I kind of wondered if dating had really changed That much while I was married. Thanks for confirming that rudeness is still rude, and thoughtfulness is still thoughtful.

      Have a great weekend!
      ~ Lily

  4. Lily…oh, Lily. Drop him like a hot rock and do NOT look back. This guy is single for a reason. While he seems to hold no ill intentions, being that self-absorbed can and will cause great pain to others. If this is his best behavior, I shudder to think what subsequent dates would look like. Trust your gut, and expect the same (or better!) kindnesses and thoughtfulness that you give.

    • lily says:

      Whew, I am glad to hear that I wasn’t expecting too much and that courtesy has not gone by the wayside while I was out of the dating game, at least amongst readers here. It is kind of puzzling when there seems to be no ill intention, but then thoughtfulness is not lack of thought, is it? Maybe that’s what it comes down to.
      I can hear your emphatic response–and I very much appreciate it! Thank you so much.

      Hope your Halloween was happy with the little pumpkins, and the truckload too!

      ~ Lily

  5. NOT picky or harsh at all, Lily!!! That type of arrogant, egotistic animal is NOT your “cup of tea’!

  6. q says:

    The first two were merely thoughtless and probably correctable. The third thing was deliberate, and therefore unforgivable. Of course you were in shock, but what a lady should do, if her “missing in action” date stays missing, is to leave the money for her half of the meal on the table, then quietly leave and don’t look back. (explain to the waiter that you’ve paid your half.

    • lily says:

      Thank you, q. I did think that I might not have a choice but to do as you say, though I would have left the whole tab and gratuity in case he did not reappear. I really did not want to walk back by myself, in the dark. I like your backbone; sometimes I need more of it!
      Thank you for stopping by my little place here. Come again, and enjoy your weekend!

      ~ Lily

  7. You were so right about this guy. If he is like that now how would he treat you if you began a serious relationship or were married? Better to find a loving, caring friend who respects you and wants to please you. Just be patient.
    Joy

    • lily says:

      Thank you for your support, Joy! I will try to do as you say. It’s a big world out there. : )
      Hope your weekend is happy and cozy,

      ~ Lily

  8. janinevasta says:

    Lily sweetheart. How you even stayed put after he started eating without you I don’t know!!!!! I mean to say…. I wouldn’t even give him the benefit of feedback or explanations why. He is so far beneath you it’s not funny. I’m bristling over the bill paying scene as I write! You’re not being the tiniest bit harsh. Just smart. x

    • lily says:

      Janine, I think he honestly didn’t know better, for the most part. But, there is someone for each of us and he is definitely not the one for me. Onward!

      You keep your chin up, too. Spring is the time of new beginnings. I may have to wait awhile for mine, but maybe you do not. I wish that for you.

      ~ Lily

  9. free penny press says:

    Manners are something most of us are taught as children. Respect for others is also something we learn as children. If a person (man or woman) were to start eating dinner without me, and then hide in the bathroom while the check is being presented, those are two really loud warning bells. Personally, i can see this type of person trying to take advantage of the other in many scenarios to come.
    My opinion, Next please!!

  10. The fact he did not hold the door for you when he was ahead of you was an immediate indication that he not thinking of you first. At that point, you know you have a “taker” and not a “giver,” ie, he is probably selfish. Red flag!

    Your second objection is a bit picky, unless you waited for an unreasonable amount of time. If I were your date in that situation, I would feel very uncomfortable, and would have pestered- nicely- the waitress about your order.

    Your date sounds like he has done this many times before- ie, he is a loser, don’t have anything to do with him. My simple advice to you would be to stop focusing so much on how the guy looks first. If you do that, and focus on what really matters, maybe then you won’t have shallow, selfish men asking you out.

    • lily says:

      Dear D., Why do you think I was focusing on his looks first? The first thing I said about him (and liked about him) was that he seemed like a nice guy. Then, funny and smart. Nice, funny, and smart–those are good. Those are much more important to me than good looking. Even when I do think someone is good looking, my notion of “attractive” might not be the same as anyone else’s anyway. I liked his smile, because it was a warm smile, and I liked his easy-going happy countenance but that comes under “nice” I suppose, though it is attractive to me. Also, I am a healthy and active person so it was attractive to me that he had a healthy and athletic lifestyle, too. Part of the reason why I was so baffled was that he did not seem like a shallow, selfish man (to use your terms) at first. Not sure that he is actually shallow anyway, just not very courteous or considerate. I am not shallow either, by the way, as would be implied if I did in fact focus on a man’s looks first and foremost. : /

      ~ Lily

      • Thank you for explaining yourself. I would usually not comment on something like this, but the truth is that while you are finding people like this guy to date, I have had zero luck finding a decent woman to date…because they are all dating selfish jerks! So…it made me wonder just what you saw in this guy. I should have just shut up and read it and not commented though. I am sorry, I did not mean to insinuate that you were shallow…just too many women out there today are looking, looking, and not thinking!

        • lily says:

          It’s OK, I’m glad you commented and I empathize with your frustration. It’s best just to stay busy and happy, and come here and vent one’s angst, sorrow, and loneliness, when they creep in. Or so I find. : )

          ~ Lily

  11. Sloan says:

    Lily, let me say first that I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with a lady expecting a man to behave in a gentlemanly manner and to extend what should be common courtesy. It is a matter of chivalry, true; but it is also a matter of demonstrating a level of respect and adoration I believe we’d all like to have in a romantic relationship. It has been my experience and observation that these “little things” that warn us off in the beginning turn out to be signs of the “big things” that make the relationship difficult once the fairy dust settles.

    Being single these days is difficult, and I believe that it is prudent of us to pay attention to what matters to us and not ignore behaviors that might point to incompatibility. On the other hand, however, my male friends have told me that they’ve actually been “chewed out” for opening doors for women on dates. We are in confusing times, no doubt. But, at the end of the day, I hope that the kind hearted, caring men out there do see your post and remember that these things still matter to some of us.

    Thanks for sharing, Blessings, love & light, Sloan

    • lily says:

      The door thing–yes, I have friends who’ve said they have told guys, “Oh you don’t have to do that” to standing aside and opening the door, but in my book it is never good manners to let the door close on the person behind you, if aware of them and they are not minutes away. At least, I always am mindful of either holding the door or nudging it open for whomever is behind me. It just seems common courtesy, as you say.
      It is being “kind hearted and caring” that truly matters, and if that is there, we ought to See it demonstrated, somehow. Maybe in my spare time I will work on developing non-settling fairy dust, what do you think? I could live with that : )

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and blessings, Sloan!
      Hope your weekend is happy,

      ~ Lily

  12. Michele says:

    Lily, I was rooting for this guy’s imperfections until the paying the dinner bill part. Way uncool. Especially since you addressed the issue in advance. We have to keep believing that we are deserving of a person’s best. An apology or an acknowledgment of what had just happened would have been nice. Avoidance in the little things is not a good reflection of how he may act in future situations. Xoxo
    Michele

  13. lily says:

    You’re right Michele, any little acknowledgement or gratitude is appreciated in this world. As I so often note, there is just not enough gratitude these days and yet we have so much for which to be grateful. I think (or at least hope) I’m past this little incident, which goes to show that it does help to write vexations out and send them on their way.
    I hope all’s well with you. It’s always nice to see your smiling face and to have your thoughtful words.
    Hope your week is happy!

    ~ Lily


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