I wish it weren’t so, but I’ve found that there are some questions I would have never thought to ask, that in retrospect, I would have been better off asking.
I’m not sure I’d have the guts to really ask them, as who would have ever thought it would be necessary? But I’ve found that even midlife men with good jobs sometimes have forgotten (or never learned?) some basics.
Here’s what I wish I had asked:
- Are you married or living with someone?
While I have no proof that anyone I’ve gone out with was either, I became suspicious of one who wouldn’t allow me to visit his home, even after seeing each other for 6 months. There were no other indicators that he had another woman, but it would probably be best to ask. Some women make this a standard practice on the first date when they’d like there to be a second.
- Do you live with one or both parents? Grandparent(s)?
I’ve gone out with two men over 40 who I later learned lived at home. It would be one thing if they took in their parent who needed assistance. But both these men were still living in their able-bodied parent’s home.
- Do you generally think people are good?
I went out with a guy who I discovered made racist, ageist, weightist comments constantly. He continually called people idiots and morons and got testy with waiters and retail staff. This was so off-putting, I quickly ended our seeing each other.
- Do you have a car?
While in some metropolitan areas it is folly to have a car, where I live it is nearly a requirement. I don’t envision myself taking the bus on a date or always taking my car. I’m not fussy about what kind of car he drives, but unless he has a medical condition that prevents him from driving, a car shows responsibility.
- Are you taking medication for emotional issues? Physical issues?
I am surprised that this has come up more often than I would have thought, especially the medications for emotional issues. I want to know what is going on with someone so I can better understand their behaviors. It’s fine that someone is taking medication for whatever reason, I just want to have the full picture.
Now we come to personal grooming and cleanliness habits. Again, you couldn’t really ask these, but it is sad when you discover their habits so radically different than yours.
- Do you clean out and wash your car at least once a month?
Spent fast food containers littering the car are smelly and ugly. And washing the outside every so often shows pride in ownership.
- Do you clean your house more than once a year?
I went out with a lovely man for a while and was taken aback when I visited his home. The cobwebs in every corner were as thick as ropes. Going barefoot was uncomfortable because of all the debris on the floor.
- Do you bathe more than once every 3 days?
Yep, I went out with a highly educated man who I discovered only showered once every three days. Yuck!
- Do you brush your teeth more than once a day?
I brush after every meal, which I realize is a bit fastidious and most people don’t. But when working, I interact closely with people and want to have fresh breath. A guy who only brushes once a day doesn’t.
- Do you wear clean underwear every day?
The non-daily showerer also didn’t believe one needed to put on fresh undies each day.
- Do you wear ironed clothes?
The rumpled look has no appeal.
- Do you buy your clothes anywhere other than Goodwill and thrift stores?
Occasional thrift store treasures can be fun. But if that is the only place you buy your clothes when you can afford more, there is a problem.
If you are able to figure out how to ask these last questions without it sounding insulting, let me know!
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