Ask Wendy: Dating, Sex & Relationship Advice for the Bold
Where we live came up on a first date recently. My date said that he could never live anywhere other than a big city.
Now, he was aware that I live in a small town one hour from the city.
His comment really got me off on the wrong foot and I must say it bothered me for the rest of the date. I felt he was basically saying “I’m not prepared to move anywhere, so you would have to be the one to move”.
Living in the city away from my family and friends is not what I really want, but it’s not a deal-breaker and I would definitely do it for love. I guess what bothered me is that it felt like he didn’t have the same attitude and I wondered whether maybe he’s stubborn and uncompromising.
Or maybe it’s a deal-breaker for him and he just wanted to get it out there. Or alternatively, it was an off-the-cuff comment that maybe could change down the track if he fell in love. Regardless, this comment so early on in our first date has stuck with me.
I’m not even sure how I feel about this guy, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts on his comment.
Yours is geography, but people everywhere get tripped by some version of this question because we’re trained to think, “if they love me, they’ll change.”
When we fall in love, they will magically:
- move to my regional town because my family is there.
- stop riding centuries with their pals every weekend.
- stop playing in bands – weekends are spent with me.
- quit traveling for work.
- become more ambitious and get a high-paying career.
- change their mind about never wanting to be married.
- want to have children with me.
- decide they don’t want children because I don’t want children.
- cave and buy me that house that’s a hundred grand more than what is comfortable for them.
The list goes on and on.
Must We Compromise?
Do we all need to compromise in a partnership?
But when I say “compromise” I mean more along the lines of eating at their favorite taqueria when your preference is barbeque.
Or spending an extra fifteen minutes in that shoe store so you can try on those sexy boots in two different sizes.
Bigger compromises might be something like having to carry the financial or emotional load for a minute during an unexpected emergency or job loss.
But the big life and lifestyle stuff? Yeah, best to just wait it out for a partner who wants what you want.
“I Could Never Live Anywhere But a Big City”
His statement doesn’t indicate that he’s stubborn or uncompromising. This is a man who knows who he is and isn’t afraid to show you.
What if we all brought that kind of clarity to our dating interactions?
Leaving his city is a deal-breaker for him, and he was providing you with quality information by sharing that. Good on him!
I Went On 121 First Dates (For Reals)
It took me 121 first dates to meet my partner because…
1) I was unwilling to compromise on my minimum requirements and deal-breakers (my list was four pages long).
2) I only continued dating guys that I didn’t need to change in any way.
If I had to change him, or there was something I’d hope would change once he was in love with me, I was out. Tough, right?
Understand Your Deal-Breakers
It shouldn’t take you as long as it took me — seriously, I’m demanding — but I do hope you at least look at your own deal-breakers moving forward.
Learn about where you’re malleable and where you are not, and be brave enough to say it straight out just like he did.
“I only live in big cities” is definitely a fair statement to make. Even though we humans are adaptable, it’s still okay to say “no.”
So, should you keep dating him? Well, you could say “yes” to that next date if you’re willing to move to his city. If not, then pass.
Discover what your real deal-breakers are — as in write them down and keep them somewhere visible. Then look at areas where you have preferences, but you’re willing to adapt. In other words, what must you have, and what would be nice to have?
If you need inspiration around figuring these things out, I can help. Check out my Finding Your Love self-guided workshop, and spend a few hours doing the exercises I guide you through to sort this out for yourself.
Good luck, and happy dating!
Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.
Need one-on-one help from Wendy? You can hire her by the hour.
Single? Take her 5-Day Love Breakthrough Course (for free — you’re welcome!)
You can send a question to the column via email: [email protected]
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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