Alright… if you’re just now joining us, we’re returning once again to the real-life chronicles of Sarah’s dating life. In this episode of our “THAT Guy” series, we’re exploring the world of those men who feel the strong need to preach to you.
(Let the record show that I actually already have a lot of preachers in my life, thanks… my dad, both my bosses, and the pastor of my church – all excellent at their jobs).
But these are men who, without having even had ONE date or ONE meeting with me, take it upon themselves to wax eloquent about deep life issues and then take issue with me when I either
a. disagree, or
b. ask them to ease up off the heavy stuff
The first of these happened after we had texted a little bit here and there about likes/dislikes, music, etc. Then, we had a lovely phone conversation one night on my way home from a dinner.
The next morning, he texted: “So…are you dating a lot of guys right now?” And, since we hadn’t yet met and I wasn’t sure I wanted to tip my hand just yet (though, I wasn’t, in fact, dating ANYone), I texted back, “I don’t date and tell…” He freaked.
Next thing you know he was giving me an enormous diatribe (all via text) about how he’s a one-woman kind of guy and not interested at all in people who “play games” and that he didn’t want to talk any more with me since I was acting like an immature child. Me. I was the one being immature.
You know…it would be one thing if we had had a couple in-person interactions and I could size up whether I thought this was going somewhere… but… dude – we’d only texted and chatted! Did he want a friggin’ promise ring? Sheesh…
Next guy…oh – this gets rich. I’m gonna have to copy and paste some of this because otherwise you’d think I was making it up.
I met him on the eHarm. We exchanged those first few steps they walk you through – questions, etc. and then he sent an eHarmony eMail… and oh how he waxed… He went right into his views on the “end times.” (Always an excellent choice in making a woman swoon).
Ok – first of all – I’m assuming (hoping!) that my readers aren’t homogenous when it comes to matters of spirituality, and most certainly we hold differing ideas on the “end of the world” or what happens when you die. But…is that really what you jump into before you’ve even met someone?? He wasn’t just declaring himself to be a Christian. Oh no… he was goin’ all kinds of post-millenial rapture and tribulation-talk on me. (Let me just say that I don’t really feel like starting a discussion on all of these views/theologies…they concern me a LOT less than the way I live my life NOW).
But the thing is, this “discussion” was entirely unbidden. It just appeared in my inbox one morning. Here’s a snippet (and believe me when I say this is a TINY portion of the whole thing…it was, apparentley, his magnum opus on all things eschatalogical):
“Clearly you can talk to any preacher today and realize we are living in the end times… In my honest opinion we are merely waiting for the revealing of the anti-christ. I don’t believe in the rapture plainly for the reason that it is typically not God’s signature to “rescue” you but to bring you thru the trials and tribulations. …
In addition to that the supposed Rapture is in direct competition with the Tribulation Saints in Revelation. The Tribulation Saints take part in the first Resurrection. There is no way a rapture can take place because of this. The Rapture is built on the notion that they (the church) skip the tribulation all together.”
On and on it went. My eyes got wider and wider. Here is how I responded:
Wow…do you send this level of eschatalogical
pontification to all the girls who pique your
interest? I gotta say, while it sparks a desire for
conversation, it’s also a little heavy and …well….
dogmatically off-putting… I’m just being honest over
He wasn’t pleased. He came back with:
“It does a good job of weeding out the herd.
Because if you can’t handle this aspect of my character, you can’t handle me.
I’m ok with that. Go big or go home is what I always say”
Fair enough. I mean…if he needs someone who’s going to stroke his theologically eager ego, I’m not that girl. I dig that he’s thought it through…I like a thinker. But, baby steps, rapture-man!
Wow…this blog post is getting long…I’ve apparently run into a lot of these guys. Am I alone? Am I a magnet for dogma bullies?
The next guy wanted to talk about my philosophies on disciplining my children and…how I would feel about him disciplining my children. Yup. You read that correctly. A man I hadn’t yet met – wanting to talk about my children and how he would or wouldn’t be allowed to “correct” them. Yikes. If you ever want a sure-fire way to turn-OFF this single mama… talk in a creepy way that makes me think you can’t wait to get your closed-minded hands on my children. You think I’m exaggerating? Nay. Read on:
• What are your views about punishing a child for misbehaving? How do you enforce rules and boundaries? What would you allow a significant other to do to enforce these boundaries?
Spare the rod spoil the child. [Oh goodness… never a good way to BEGIN this discussion…]
A child should be disciplined so they learn and understand right from wrong. However, there are many ways to accomplish this and not just spanking. Spanking is a tool just like anything else.
Timeout only policy will not accomplish much when the child gets older. The man is the head of the household. [Hi, non sequitor… how are you today?]
Psychology: Use timeouts more effectively. The punishment must fit the crime. [“Psychology,” huh? Did he read that I actually have a Master’s Degree in this? Not that it takes “psychology” to know this one. Every parent worth his/her salt knows you fit the punishment to the crime. C’mon, dude…parenting 101.]
Put child in timeout to make them think and you regain a level head. The threat of an additional punishment more than the timeout can really put a cap on bad behavior. If a spanking is the most logical form of action then you have to follow thru with it. A threat with no follow thru and the child will learn what buttons to push and you will lose the authority you have.
Getting them to think about the wrong they did… a younger child could be punished by making them write by hand what they did wrong and they won’t do it any more 500 times or whatever.
[Or whatever? A small child can hardly write her name, let alone transcribe the transgression 500 times. 500?!? Is this guy for real?? ]
Obviously this would have a less effect on an older child. Repetition can be a good teacher for the behavior you want. It can also help with penmanship, punctuation etc.
Mix it up. The psychology to punishment is the dread of what you’re going to have to do to get out of it. The waiting for the actual punishment can be the actual punishment itself, but you never let on to this up front.
In our latter years many of these things will become points of jokes and laughter. Kids never forget these things even though you might.
A. I don’t think you and I will ‘laugh’ about any of this…not only is it not particularly funny, but there won’t BE an “our.”
B. I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but… this guy doesn’t even HAVE children!! (Insert discouraged sigh…)
When I responded to him:
this is way TOO MUCH.
I mean…dude – we haven’t even met for a drink
and some light laughter yet!? Technically speaking,
I agree with you on probably 85% of what you’re saying,
but something about having you wax knowledgeable about
child-rearing, presents a red-flag to me about you.
I enjoyed your profile, but… this isn’t the way I want to get
to know someone…over talk of childrens’ punishments?
He wrote back:
First off, a relationship starting out with kids involved is a red flag to me. I mean what’s fair is fair right?
Clearly if this is too much, you’re not serious about it and that’s ok for you, but not for me ok? I didn’t come here to meet someone for a drink. If I wanted to bar hop I could do that on my own, I don’t need a service for that.
So, that brings me to the last and final (for now) gem in this category. The guy who “broke up” with me by text …even though we’d never met.
He got us spinning our wheels talking about church (what’s wrong with it, what’s great about it, etc.), and at one point, he actually texted: “Are you saying I let the devil tell me how to live my life?” Um…. como? I didn’t even know what he meant!! I’ll spare you the explanations of who believed what (though, the quick gist of my stance is this: the church is majorly flawed and full of hypocrites, but nevertheless, God loves it…just the same way he loves us in our messy-ness).
I tried to backpedal and assure him that I hadn’t been talking about the devil at ALL! But, he was done – angry that I didn’t agree with him and then texted a whole break-up paragraph! For rizzle, y’all. All about how we had a good run, but that he couldn’t “deal” with me anymore and…”best of luck.”
Ha! What?? I texted back, “Fine… I want my stuff.” He didn’t get it.
Of course he didn’t. They never do!
All the energy that could be spent on a decent sense of humor was being allocated to his self-righteousness.