under Date Night
I was with my ex-boyfriend for four years. Since breaking up, we’ve been able to remain good friends. In fact, I’m still friends with most of my exes and I thought guys would see this as a good thing – that I’m known as a good person and clearly don’t attract drama. But, when I mentioned hanging out with an ex to my most recent dates, the guys were not cool with it at all. One even straight-up asked if I was still having sex with an ex! (We are not.) Why do the guys have a problem with this? Is it their problem or mine?
Dear Friendly Femme
Theoretically, a man who is secure with himself, and your relationship with him, shouldn’t have a problem with you having a friendship with another man. It does become more complicated when you had a romantic relationship with that man in the past. Most men assume that a “guy-friend” – particularly one you had sex with in the past – is really only hanging around for (more) eventual sex. Being around an ex can make a new guy feel intimidated.
My advice is this: in order to find the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, you may need to put some distance between yourself and your exes. I personally don’t see a reason to be friends with every single one, but I do understand that you spent a good chunk of your life with someone and don’t want to lose that piece of your life. You need to ask yourself what an ex – or any friend for that matter – is contributing to your life? If you haven’t realized this yet, you will eventually: friendships are about quality, not quantity.
I suggest not mentioning your guy friends on a date, or the fact that those guy friends are exes. If things get serious and you begin introducing your new beau to your friends, then you will need to give a history ahead of time. But, you may also find you no longer want to be friends with an ex as things get more serious with someone else. Certain people from your past should stay in your past — even if the break-up was cordial and you get along now.
On a first or second date one will typically be asked when was the last time you were in a relationship. There are really only a few answers to give and ways to give said answers.
–if you got your heartbroken recently, then simply say “I had a not so fun break-up a few months ago but I learned so much from it and am ready to have fun again.”
–if you just got out of a long relationship, then reply “I was with someone for awhile but in the end we realized we wanted different things.”
–if you haven’t been in a relationship in more than a year, then say “it’s been a while and I’ve been meeting lots of nice people but no one that I’ve wanted to take it to the next level with.”
Leave it at one line, using some kind of variation of the above depending upon your circumstance. If and when this date becomes a relationship then you can exchange stories and delve deeper, but for the first few dates it’s not worth it. A longer explanation will only put a damper on the date. If you have to ask the question then at least preempt it with “I don’t want to know the details right now, but I was wondering when the last relationship you were in was?” and if you’re asked the question first then you will need to ask it in return whether you want to or not because it’s the polite thing to do. Then move on to another topic.
How do you answer JDate’s questions without sounding repetitive or cheesy or fake or boring? Let me help you craft personal and inticing answers to both the basic and intimate questions.
“My Past Relationships”
There’s no need to discuss why you were just dumped or why you broke up with your last significant other. Don’t get into the details here of what went wrong, rather talk about what you learned from the demise. This section’s answer shouldn’t be too lengthy, if you find that you’re writing a novel then take that to a journal and leave just the life lessons in your response.
Some examples to use:
I learned what kind of boy/girlfriend I want to be and what kind of girl/boyfriend I need and want
I learned not to sweat the small stuff
I learned that I need affection and that I need someone who enjoys affection in return
I learned how to communicate more effectively
I learned that it’s boring to always agree, but that we need to disagree in a healthy way
I learned not to let things fester but to calmly address issues as they arise
I learned that mutual respect is just as important as mutual attraction
Now that we’ve accomplished that (almost) everyone on JDate has already had sex, let’s talk about sex baby. You can probably make assumptions about the amount of sexual experience someone has had, but you know what they say what happens when you assume – you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Just because someone has all the right moves and knows what you like doesn’t mean that he or she was promiscuous before meeting you. Just because someone is an awful kisser and an awkward lover doesn’t mean that he or she was a prude before meeting you either. Don’t worry about what your partner did or didn’t do B.Y. (before you), concentrate on your chemistry together and on the experiences you will create together. If you spend your time pondering too much about where your date has been B.Y., it means you’re not spending enough time wondering about where the date could lead.
B.Y. is none of your business. It does not matter. Accept your date for who they are and move on. If you can’t, then that person isn’t right for you. You need to find that someone who you can accept without doubt because you want to be with them more than you want to know about their past.
JDate asks you a question: what have you learned from your past relationships, or, simply “My Past Relationships”? It’s a tricky question but you’ve got to answer it. For the most part, the Jewish community is small, so even though you may not personally know a JDater, you may know who they’re talking about in that paragraph.
Stating that you now know that you don’t want someone who is ‘a spoiled, trust fund brat’ or a ‘pompous, egomaniac, even if he is a doctor’ will actually make you look bad, not better. You’re talking badly about an ex rather than showing what you learned about yourself. Not only does it make you look immature, but it’s gossip and it’s ugly. Use this opportunity to talk about how you have grown and the person you want to be instead.