Lately, I’ve been contacted by a number of men with formal names: Patrick not Pat, Charles not Charlie or Chuck, Richard not Dick or Rick or Rich. I’ve also noticed that people who use the formal version of their name are different than those who offer the informal version.
Since I use the formal version of my name and loathe the informal version, I am sensitive to how people call themselves. I notice how someone introduces him/herself and I make a point to call them by that name. Many people automatically assume the informal. If you introduce yourself as Patricia and someone says, “Nice to meet you Patty” it says a lot about them. They are insensitive to how others prefer to be addressed.
It can backfire, too. I have a friend whose business cards say “Frederick.” People who don’t know him shorten it to “Fred.” But he goes by “Rick.” So he knows immediately if someone is trying to seem too palsy too soon.
My ex used his formal name, too. It astounded us to introduce ourselves at a party and hear someone immediately call us the informal versions. With few exceptions, those people did not seem to be astute about other things as well.
I’m not sure I can articulate what it is about people who use the formal versions of their name. They are not better — I don’t mean to imply that. They can be down-to-earth, funny, and warm. But there is something different about Bob than Robert, Richard from Dick, Charlie from Chuck.
If I’m in doubt — a man introduces himself as Robert, but then someone calls him Rob — I ask which he prefers. Once I asked a man if he’d like me to call him Mike or Michael. He paused, thinking, then said, “My mother calls me Michael. I’d like you to call me Michael.” I was hoping that was a good sign!
If you use the formal version of your name — say, Suzanne or Susan — but a date calls you Suzi or Sue, what do you think that says about him? And if he introduces himself with the formal version, have you noticed a trend with others who also use their formal name?
Technorati Tags: dating Internet, dating online, senior dating, bbw dating, mature dating, dating over 50, dating over 40, online dating advice, dating after 40, dating after 50, over 40 dating, 40+ dating, dating after forty