For a relationship to work long term, I believe it’s important that you are able to fit into each other’s world. Not that you have to live parallel lives with the same profession, income, hobbies, etc.
But is important that you can easily slip into each other’s activities, gracefully converse with the other’s counterparts and dress appropriately for the occasion.
This seems common sense, I know. And you’d think that if you are drawn to a man he would automatically fit into your world. However, I can tell you from experience that just because you get along well with him, it doesn’t mean he will meld with your friends and/or colleagues.
Years ago I took the crazy psychiatrist I was dating to my film group’s small potluck dinner and movie viewing. I was stunned at how loud and combative his comments were to the others. And his table manners were atrocious — he piled high the various dishes as if he were the only one to share the dish. He didn’t have great table manners when we ate at my house, but when we are among strangers we usually put on our best manners. Not him.
Another early beau accompanied me to a party. We mixed and mingled, but I noticed that he turned nearly every conversation back to himself, not asking others anything about what they were sharing. He didn’t do this with me, so I was surprised to witness this boorish behavior. At another small party, he took over the group conversation and “held court” with his comments, long past when others tried to have side conversations. He’d call them by name and say, “Listen to this…” and prattle on, relishing being the center of attention. I quickly decided it was time to go, although he protested.
Before I was married, I dated a man who was loving and sweet to me. But when we were around others, he would talk incessantly about things he knew little about but acted like he was an expert. If he learned someone scuba dove, he talked as if he also dove. He’d never donned a tank in his life. I found this too awkward and didn’t invite him to parties.
Other dates have showed up at events inappropriately attired, even though I informed them of the event’s level of dress. Either they didn’t care or thought their underdressed attire would be OK. They didn’t realize their inappropriateness would reflect on me. One came to a dressy cocktail party in a ill-fitting casual sport coat and sneakers.
When King Charming and I were again talking about why I didn’t respond to his first overture when his only picture posted was of him in sunglasses and a t-shirt. I explained that if he’d posted a picture in the cashmere polo shirt he wore to our first date I would have responded. Was I being shallow? Perhaps. But part of our decision of if we want to get to know someone or not is assessing if they will fit into our world or not. If there is too much disparity, it will be harder. It can work, but it is some effort on both your parts.
In an episode of “Sex and the City,” lawyer Miranda invites her new beau to her office party. As a bartender, the only suit he owns is corduroy. They realize this won’t work, but he can’t afford a new suit. She decides to buy him one. It’s awkward for him to accept this, but he knows he must if he is going to be integrated into her world.
One of the things I’ve liked about dating is being brought into a world I might not otherwise experience. I like trying new things, so if a man has different interests and hobbies, I’m generally willing to try his activities — at least once. However, if he only frequents biker bars or the opera, we’re not a good fit. Although I’d probably accompany him to either at least once to see if I liked it.
So when King Charming stated that he was going to buy a new suit to accompany me to some business social functions, I knew he wanted to fit into my world. He has the manners and social graces to fit easily — not that my pals are hoity-toity. But it is nice to know that he would look the part as well as engage others with an equal give and take.
What are ways you access if a new guy will fit into your world? How long do you wait to take a guy you’re dating to social events with friends or colleagues? Have you had a guy not invite you to events you know he attends that would be acceptable for a date (e.g., holiday or birthday parties).