Married for nearly ten years. Divorced for fifteen years.
The first few years after the divorce I had no plans to remarry. As a matter of fact, all I was interested in was fun times, girl trips, enjoying single life with no commitments. After the fanfare had subsided, I came to my senses and became interested in a committed relationship. Dating with a purpose began.
The past decade of dating has been an adventure of a lifetime. I was married so long; I hadn’t realized that the dating game and platform had changed drastically. The rules of engagement were “old school.” Online dating. Hiring a professional matchmaker. Working with a dating coach. Personal ads. Asking all your friends; married and single, if they had any available prospects. The list goes on.
I’ve enlisted every single course of action mentioned. Although the relationships didn’t end in marriage, I did meet some great men. We were not a good fit regarding a marriage relationship, but I’ve maintained friendships with a few. I’ve even attended their weddings and the baptism of their children.
Admittedly, at different points in time, I retreated from the dating scene due to competing life priorities. However, I have enough personal experience and that shared by other single women, friends, and clients to draw some conclusions. I’m regretfully well versed in dating in the twenty-first century. I’ve been on more first dates than I care to admit.
Most resulted in multiple dates.
That is until, in the process of getting to know one another better, the following two questions from men inevitably come up:
1. Can you cook? After a long day at work, I want to be with some one who will cook for me. Have a good meal waiting for me when I get home.
2. Sex is vital to me, are you like most women and use sex as a tool? Most women, when they get angry, withhold sex. My ex-wife or girlfriend did that, and I went outside the marriage or relationship.
These two questions are as grinding for women as asking men “What do you do for a living? or “How much money to you make?” From what I’ve gleaned from the men I’ve encountered, those two questions are offensive in that it leads them to believe the primary interest of the woman is his income and her stability because of his income.
So, it should come as no surprise that I recently lost my lunch when during a discussion with a man I had met recently, I was asked the two magic questions. I lost it figuratively. I went on a tangent expressing my disdain for the questioning and pointed to the fact that I had not asked about his work or income.
I asked if I had on a t-shirt that said “Cook & Sex” on it? And then I realized it wasn’t me that had on the t-shirt. It reminded me of The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. Some of the single men I’ve encountered—the ones that asked those questions—were wearing the t-shirt, I apparently could not see it. Hence, the questions.
It goes without saying that the gentleman that had the unfortunate pleasure of hearing my rant is no longer pursuing a relationship with me. That option is off the table. However, the experience did open the door for me to have this honest conversation with you to spare you the same experience.
For the record, women bring much more value to any healthy relationship than cooking skills and sexual prowess. Just as a man’s total worth is not predicated on his career choice or income. Let’s be more concerned about each other’s moral character, integrity, value, and belief systems. No more offensive questions. No more lost lunches.
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