Where do you stand in the Dating and Keeping Game?

  1. If my man asked me to go Dutch, I’d ditch him.
  2. I’m the princess, and he is my king.
  3. If I don’t get flowers, I’m not happy.

Goody! You’ve landed yourself a man. You want to keep him. But what do you do? It goes without saying that the rules of the “Dating and Keeping Game” have changed. During our mothers’ time, men did the courting and the showering of gifts, and the women did the receiving. Well, it’s 2018, and those norms have jumped out the window! Or have they?

You all know I’m recently (re)married. I’ve got a keeper this time, y’all. The best man EVAH. What’s different about this relationship is that we respect each other … with our time, with our communication, with our showering of love. I’m pretty traditional. I do love getting flowers. (Tulips, anyone?) I love having the door held open for me, and sometimes, I like my love to order for me when we’re at a restaurant. That’s ME. My man likes to feel that he is taking care of me, and I love it! But this traditional girl also sends him flowers, still picks up the check every now and then, and surprises him with an unexpected act of service from time to time. (That’s his love language.)

Now for you all, you’ve gotta navigate if it is okay to go Dutch, or buy him flowers, or heck, even change his oil. (I’ve got some girlfriends who know a car inside and out, and are happy to get dirty. Me? Uh-uh!) The root of this thing is R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  What does your man need to feel respected in the relationship?

Let’s take going Dutch (or splitting the bill in half for those of you unfamiliar with the term). Ladies, listen up. If you are all about five-star restaurants and filet mignon, but your man’s wallet is about Red Lobster, then you need to meet him where he’s at and not stress his wallet to the point where it’s easier for him to say “Adios” then to say “Si” to you! Please. You deserve the filet. You should have the filet. For the love of Pete, if your man starts acting strange or acting out when you bring up a nice dinner, listen to him! He’s giving clear warning signals that something ain’t right. TALK to him. If he can’t afford the dinner (maybe he can afford it next week or next month, or when he gets that promotion he just asked for), then offer to pay if you really want the butterflied filet that badly. But, please at least ask him! Discuss it with him. Get some understanding between the two of you, especially in a new-ish relationship.

Oftentimes, we are so quick to dismiss, to solve, to DO, that we’ve lost the art to DON’T. If you want to keep him, don’t be insensitive to what makes him able to care for and love you. And if you just aren’t into going Dutch, then get comfortable with going solo because you just may be kissing this guy goodbye. And if the size of his wallet is the only thing that’s turning you off, at least be honest with yourself before you shove him out the door. If he’s got earning potential he hasn’t yet tapped into, you just might want to cut the poor guy some slack.

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