The Ride Home

Every Thursday, after class, Eve and I ride the METRO home together. It is so convenient because Eve's stop is just before mine, giving us plenty of time to chat during our journey. I anticipate these evening conversations because Eve is not only extremely intelligent, she is wise and quite funny.
This evening, the topic of conversation was relationships. Eve is married to an attorney who makes killer chapino. She always has wonderful advice for a woman like me, who is frustrated by the lack of dedicated, honest, intelligent, humorous men out there who are willing to commit to a relationship. What makes my situation more complicated than most is I am interested in dating LDS men only. I have dated non-LDS men in the past, and am almost to the point where I would consider doing so again, but I realize its futile for several reasons; reasons I will not discuss at this time.
While expressing my frustrations to Eve about my dating experiences, or lack thereof, a gentleman and he was that and oh, so much more. Meaning this man was F-INE. Not just fine. F-INE and Perfect!--that is perfectly married, supporting my theory that all the good ones are taken.
Excusing himself, he turned to Eve and I saying, "I have to apologize but I couldn't help listening to your conversation." I smiled and graciously pardoned him. Hell, I wanted him to listen. Any excuse to talk to him was fine with me. Sorry Rae.
Then he asked if he could offer some advice. Eve and I agreed that it would be interesting to hear a male's perspective and invited him to proceed.
He told me that I had to remember that all men struggle with commitment. I related that I had plenty of experience with men who were "commitment phobes" and was aware of that epidemic among men. He then said that I had to be patient. That I had to gently prod the man of my choice, delicately convincing him along the way that a relationship with me was what he really wanted. If that didn't work, I should give him an ultimatum.
At this point I interrupted and informed him that I am a "rules girl" and have been taught that it is never agreeable to push myself off on any man. That if a man was truly interested he would be happy to pursue me. I stated that I had been pursued in the past by interested men and I knew when a man was interested and when he was not. There would be no gentle prodding or ultimatums from me.
He then asked me how old the men were that I had an interest in or had dated. When I related they were in their thirties he smiled sadly and said, "there is something wrong with them. If they haven't committed by now they have issues." You think?
I returned by asking him how old he was when he finally committed to his wife. He smiled again and said, "26." My mouth dropped.
Here is this handsome, well-groomed, well-mannered, successful man who has been married for 12 years to one lucky woman, because, like I mentioned earlier, the man was F-INE and he was not LDS. Probably didn't have to get married. Could have waited until he was well into his thirties BUT NO! He was willing to commit at 26! Why? Because he is what we call NORMAL... HEALTHY and SELF-CONFIDENT.
I was not going to blog about this but Eve promised she would comment if I did. Tom, I was certain to get his name, exited the train just one stop before Eve's, leaving us little time to discuss his suggestions. Curious to know Eve's thoughts I decided to post this asap. I would love to hear other readers' opinions on this--so PLEASE comment!

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Anonymous said...

I agree with your take on Tom's contribution to our discussion on the METRO. However, there is a portion of the conversation that I believe bears remembering. At some point I mentioned that a deadline/ultimatum is effective, but that there is a timing issue. For example, if I had given Rob an ultimatum on our first date or on our first phone call, I think he would have felt pressured. I would also note that Tom's example of the successfully delivered ultimatum was in the context of a serious relationship--his then girlfriend had to talk him into marriage--with great success, apparently.

I don't think this means that you have to be in a serious relationship in order to deliver an ultimatum/deadline. Instead, I think it should be considered an effective tool when used in the right circumstances. IE, if before I dated Rob I knew that he liked me, I would ask him out.

I really enjoyed the ride home, and reading this post, especially the part about my husband's killer cioppino. But seriously, this is a family show.

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Stephanie said...

I think that divorced men are the answer! ;)

I have to disagree that all the good ones are taken. I don't think that's right. Rare? Yes. Preciously hard to locate? For sure. But totally worth the wait.

And! I believe that we have to prod me. Let's face it, even The Rules are prodding. By declaring to men that you don't call you're doing the same thing a "prodder" would do. You're stating an expectation for behavior and setting parameters for behavior. That's just how women have to work, I guess!

Stephanie said...


Tara said...

what i found so interesting was that he tried to sell the 'patience' bit. amber, i agree with you that men, when they are interested, tend to make it pretty clear. i don't feel like you should have to 'convince' a guy that he wants to be with you. he should be convincing you of that!

a co-worker of mine has always said that the man should be just a little more in love with the woman then the other way around. i think that is true, and the easiest relationships seem to be ones where the men are 'ahead' of the women.

now, if they are definitely interested and just dragging their feet, that might be a good time (assuming a 'natural' place in the relationship for progression) to issue an ultimatum.

i've never been ballsy enough to do it though, so i don't know personnally what the success/failure rate would look like.

Bunny said...

I think the beginning of a dating relationship and the end (ie, marriage or break up) are apples and oranages. A lot more is at stake at the end.

I think that for the beginning, a guy does need to put forth more effort because, well, he's most likely to be jerking you around than you are him. But at the end, unless you've had one of those real fairy tale love at first site romances, you do need to work him over a little to get married, because it's just not in his base nature to committ.

What really sucks is that guys in the church should KNOW better and BE better, but they embrace the worldly culture that women should be grateful for every moment with them more than any other guys I've met...

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