Dating protocol : LUSENET : A Country Singletree : One Thread

I've been in communication with several forum members off the forum. One of which (no names) had a date over the weekend (not with a forum memeber). We were discussing her date and how it went. He brought flowers, cleaned the truck, and they had a really nice time. But he didn't ask for her number (this was a blind date). We both lamented about the dating thing. I for one never know what to do anymore. Who pays for what, who calls, even just what to say. I have a lot of single friedns who don't date just for this reason, they don't know what to do.

How do you all handle dating these days?


-- Susan in Minnesota (, February 06, 2002


I try going back for a small taste of the days from my late 20s , early 30s and a heavy helping of my present.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 06, 2002.

What does that mean? I don't mean to be rude but . . . . I think I'm looking for specifics. Can you elaborate more or have the lines gotten that fuzzy in the dating scene! YUCK!!!!!

Susan (again)

-- Susan in Minnesota (, February 06, 2002.

Susan, I think it depends on your age and what your mother taught you. I would never call a guy unless it was pretty well settled that neither was dating anyone else and it seemed a natural thing to do. If I had to think it over and wonder what he would think about it, then I wouldn't call. I wouldn't offer to pay for anything, ever! I am more or less a homebody, a good cook and if it is someone I feel comfortable inviting over for dinner, I will do more than my share of that. Course if he wants to contribute a steak here and again, that's fine too. I am low maintenance to start with, so I'm not about to add money to the pot. I always have a fully stocked bar that I am generous with and I send all the leftovers home with my current sweetie which he enjoys ( and I don't). I sort of live a double life and that may have a lot to do with it. I live in town during the week and do all the chi-chi restuarants, get invited for cocktails and finger foods and schmooz it up, but on the weekends I like low profile country living, walking creeks, wearing jeans, feeding the goats(at his place) and burning cedar brush(at my place). I like weekends best :) When you meet the right guy, there won't be any question of what to do. Just be close to the phone, he'll call ya :)

-- Carole (, February 06, 2002.

From my youth, going up to the overlook on the mountain ,a drive in to the rock quarry , a bonfire party , the riverside or the water tower to quitely hang out. From my present, homemade "dusty bottle" wine, aged "just right" in dixie cups instead of vodka in a Sonic slush. No wine at the watertower though.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 06, 2002.

"How do you handle dating" What is "dating"?

I'm not familiar with that! Please define!

-- Jim-mi (, February 06, 2002.

People still date? Cool, I need to look up and see what's out there! HELLO? Anybody there? Just me I guess, one great woman, likely to shock anyone who lives in a city, rides horses, spoils dogs, digs in the earth, puts up with spiders (never kills them-just takes them outside), appreciates snakes, builds/creates with her own hands and not machines, trys to cook (sometimes), keeps herself clean and trims her nails in private. I am going to post a seperate note about my last potential man friend. Be prepared.

-- Susan in Northern Michigan (, February 06, 2002.

"Last man-friend" post: Spent time with him at his home, on my land, in the laundrymat just getting to know each other before "commitment". Gee, he seemed awfully nice. I wasn't afraid of him, he knew how to fix things, he had farmed as a boy, he went to war and didn't come back too angry (apologies to those who did, I truely understand). Anyway, all was well until Martin Luther King day. I went to play cards at his house and the subject of what holiday it was came up. I could not believe what came out of his mouth. He used words I haven't heard since 1968. When he was done expounding on what he thought of Dr. King, he started in on those who's sexual orientation was different than ours. I stood up from the table, put on my coat and left. I was so disappointed, I almost, but not quite, cried. If you don't understand what my problem was, then don't even ask. Thanks for listening, I needed that. Blessings to ALL human beings (except maybe a few I can think of, but not because of their color, ancestory or sexual orientation).

-- Susan in Northern Michigan (, February 07, 2002.

I understand and I can tell you I don't think I would have been so calm as to just walk out. At times like that I can become a pitbull with lipstick!

Susan (trying to be meek and mild)

-- Susan in Minnesota (, February 07, 2002.

Dating...hummmm? What I'm about to write is in regards to what I'd label as "formal dating." That is, dating a women who I don't know all that well ye, but whom I'd like to get to know better. First off, I guess you could say that I'm the epitome of male chauvanistic pig. Not sure if that's acceptable in this day and age...but that's me. I would never let a date pay for anything. I pick her up at her door and open my truck door (and any other door) for her. I walk her to her door at the end of the evening. I do not expect anything in return. If she happened to ask me out on a date (which is completely acceptable in my book) I would still make an issue to pay for everything and I'd pick her up, etc. If you're thinking that I'm putting on aires, I'm not. I operate the same way when I bring my 20 and 23 year old daughters on "dates." I like/concur with what Carole wrote about when a relationship develops after the "formal" first stage. --Happy trails, Cabin Fever

-- Cabin Fever (, February 07, 2002.

At least you discovered what he was like before the year was up. Too many people in society, especially those to the extreme left and right , think they can change the world and all within it. Little do they realize that changes cannot be forced and differences must be tolerated until the environment mutates of its own accord. The only other option is to change environments ( which undoubtly lends itself to many ended relationships today). I found the old adage "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" very helpful in dating, prefering instead to rely on changing my environment to avoid conflicts and associate with dating interests more to my likings. It also reduces political arguments dramatically :>)

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 07, 2002.

Cabin, why do you think opening doors and paying for a date is chovanistic (sp?. I don't find it to be, just respectfull. I suppose it all depends on who you ask.

-- Sherry (, February 07, 2002.

I agree with Sherry. I think it is good manners to open a door for someone. I would do it for you! I'm a pretty androgonious (sp) person. I work on a level of respect regardless of gender or age. I'll hold a door open for a man just as I would for another woman, and also for a kid of any age. Cabin, I think the chauvinism comes in if you are doing it because you assume I can't do it for myself, and I don't believe you think that. I have bought flowers for a guy before and he were thrilled, no one had ever done that before. I believe in doing for other people things I would like done for me.

And yes, I am speaking of dating with the assumption or hope it may lead to a deeper relationship. But we have to get to the "getting to know you" stage, past the awkwardness of the dating and the sorting out of rules and roles before you can get comfortable and begin to know each other. Right?


-- Susan in Minnesota (, February 07, 2002.

I'm with Mr. Fever on this one. I treat any woman that way, a date, my daughters, my mom, a friend, whomever. It is more than just respectful to me. It's the way it should be. It's the way I was raised. My son got a kick out of me as I got ready for a date one time. I had cleaned myself and the truck inside and out, put together a little bouquet of flowers, had the schedule of 3 or 4 movies, and had made dinner reservations. He couldn't believe I went to all the trouble. I just told him that if I think the woman is important enough to spend time with, then it's worth all the trouble.

As far as who pays for what or who calls whom afterward, I think you have to be somewhat flexible. I have been out with women who were uncomfortable with me paying for everything. While I'd rather be the one, the bigger issue is how you're able to deal with one another. I have no problem with a woman calling me afterward to tell me that she'd like to do it again or whatever. I try to always call within 48 hours to say thanks or no thanks. And I think it's only right that if you are interested or not interested in someone, to let them know that. The worst thing you can do is to say you'll call and never do it, or on the receiving end, to never return a call from someone who might be interested. We're just talking simple good manners here.

And a note about my son. A couple of months after he laughed at me, I watched him as he got ready for a night with a new young lady. The hair was cut, the clothes looked "right" (for him anyway), and the car was shining. I just smiled at him as he left. It's nice to know they do learn something from us, and the traditions continue.

-- Fran (on MD's Eastern Shore) (, February 07, 2002.

Thanks folks for the off forum replys....Susan did get me to thinkin' with that question........

Some times I trip over my own sense of hummor.....and sometimes it'll come around and git ya in the backside..[PC way of saying buttocks]

Oh I just hate somebody with a sense of hummor!)))))

-- Jim-mi (, February 07, 2002.

Dating?! I swear I got married just to avoid having to date anymore! And "blind dates"? No thanks! Give me a maimed fig or a deaf avacodo or something, but NO BLIND DATES!! Here's a question to ask folks who want to set you up for a blind date - "Would you marry this person?" If they say no, then ask why they want YOU to date them. If they say yes, and they are married; take a look at their spouse and remember every bad thing you ever heard them say about said spouse (you don't have to say them out loud, however!) and then, once again, JUST SAY NO!

How to choose who to date: In the six years between my divorce and subsequent remarriage, I once went 9 months without a date - by choice. I got to the point that if I hadn't known the guy for at least 10 years, I wanted 3 references and a note from their Mama before I'd go out!! I was burned out, bummed out, and outa the market place. One night, after I broke my self-imposed fast and went out on a date once again, and came home depressed and dismayed and disgusted once again; I sat down at the computer and composed a "List of Qualifications". I ended up with 42 items on the list; it included such things as reasonably inteligent, certain of their sexual orientation, mechanically inclined, good parent if they have kids, no major police record, no addicts - booze, drugs or TV; plus a whole bunch of other stuff. I carried copies with me everywhere I went and when someone wanted to fix me up; or someone asked me out, I would hand them a copy. One fella looked at the list and said "Geez lady, you want a Boy Scout!" "Eagle Scout" I replied (and I ended up with one too!!) This was a way of helping to ensure that I didn't waste my time - or anyone elses - on a relationship that was doomed from the start. Oh - Susan NM; racism was on the list of no-nos.

Who calls who? Whoever. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If the person is otherwise occupied, at the very least, you've made their day by suggesting that you find them attractive. At best, they'll remember you later! Ladies, if you think it's tacky to call a guy, then just give him your phone number - if he isn't bright enough to figure out that you want him to call, he isn't bright enough for you to date. No call? His loss. Fellas, if you ask for the number; you had better call. Or else. (Does your Mama know you treat girls like that?) E-mailing? Meet in a public place first.

Once you've figured out what you're looking for in another person (or what you aren't! - which can be a lot easier!) Then you can worry about dating protocol. Let's start with "Who Pays?" Well, who invited who where? Ladies, if you invite a man over for dinner; you expect to pay for the groceries, right? Doesn't hurt if he shows up with a bottle of wine (if you've told him what you're serving) or even better - a bouquet of flowers. (I'm talking the $5 bunch from Wal-Mart, guys, not a dozen roses) And we don't even have to talk about how we feel about the man who shows up bearing cheesecake; do we, ladies?! Other than that; the person who invites the other person out, usually pays. It is polite to offer to split the check if the other person is paying, but if you really don't want to - don't. If they say, "No, I've got it", then don't argue. And if you make a lot more money than the person who is taking you out; don't try to one up them when it's your turn to treat - makes them feel pressured. If you're dating a person who is a homesteader at heart; there are a lot of inexpensive ways to have fun, so no one needs to worry too much about the cost.

Which leads us to...the date. Homesteader, or homestead minded dating is a lot different from city dating. In city dating, you can get away with dinner and drinks or dance club stuff. But if the person is country minded, you're going to have to be more inventive. Fishing (if you expect her to cook 'em, you gotta clean 'em), picnics, flea markets, farmers markets, the Garden Expos, botanical gardens, tag sales, historical demonstrations such as fiber arts (those things that one of the Susans does) - all of those things are a lot of fun, none of them are terribly expensive; well, depending on what you buy at the flea market, anyway!, and they all give you a chance to focus on something other than just each other. Plus, if the relationship happens to progress to the gift-giving stage; you've got a pretty good idea of their likes a dislikes already in mind. BTW - that door thing - yes, please do open the door for me; and for the little old lady or old man, and the lady with a full shopping cart and 3 little kids - Manners Matter!! And if you happen to drop a buck in the Sallies kettle or give a bum some spare change or offer to split a chocolate bar that you just bought from the Little League Fundraiser with me - I'm really going to be impressed!

The kids. This is a sticky one. Whose kids? His? Hers? Mine? Yours? Where's the ex and are they human or stinker? If you have kids, it's important to introduce the kids to the date; but they don't need to go on the first few dates - you need time to know if you want your kids to get to know this person. When you do start taking the kids with you, they don't need to go every time - adults need time together alone. Don't try to push the kids to like the person that you're dating; and don't try to push the date to like the kids. If one of them really hates the other one, the relationship isn't (or shouldn't be) going to go anywhere anyway. And, if you happen to be the date; don't try to buddy up to the kids right away - they need time to assess you, too. When you do want to get closer to the kids, find out from the parent what the kids like to do, and take it from there. I've done tons of homemade slice and bake cookies, played a lot of pitch and catch and kickball, colored, read books, gone horseback riding, looked at Prom magazines, dressed up for tea know, I never missed the guys much, but I really missed their kids!!

Once you think you'd like to hang around in this relationship a while, how do you show you care? These are the simple little things that keep a relationship going. The #1 thing - Pay attention to the other person. Don't get so wrapped up in whatever you are doing that you can't focus on the other person at least a little. But don't spend all of your time focusing on them and don't expect them to spend all of their time focusing on you either - that ain't healthy! Other things - unless the other person is a work-aholic, don't expect them to spend all their time with you doing things for you (even if you help.) That just makes people feel used. Some of the time, if they offer to help, is okay; but it's wrong to expect help just because you're in a relationship. If you feel like they "owe" it to you to help you, you need to figure out why you feel that way. More stuff - Do things together. Lay off the criticism. Focus on positives, not negatives. Surprize each other with little gifts that say "I thought about you today!"

Some suggestions for those little surprize gifts: a stringer of fish (clean 'em), scraping their car windows, a can of deicer, a six pack of pansies ('cause they got little smiling faces), a pie or their favorite dinner, worms (there ya go, Jay!), a dozen eggs for their Mom, a gallon of paint and an arm to wield the roller, a puzzle for the two of you (plus kids) to put together, fresh cookies and homemade hot cocoa mix, a big hug that says "I missed you" and a pat on the fanny that says "In more ways than one ;o)", six bags of leaves that you swiped out of the neighbors trash to put on thier compost pile or a truck load of manure, and let's not forget that cheesecake I mentioned up above!!

You all sound like a real nice bunch of folks, I hope that you all find what you're looking for - Good Luck!!

(PS - sometimes it's easier to find things when you really aren't looking for them...)

-- Polly >^..^< (, February 09, 2002.

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