Hello, all you people out in Blog World! I would like to take a few words to thank those readers in countries outside the US, namely Israel, Russia, China, Ireland, Ukraine, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Vietnam. Thanks y'all! I hope that you enjoy it.
Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead is, as a reminder, written for those who are 40+ and find themselves navigating the dating world; some after a long time of not dating, some who date regularly. Things have changed since you were 20, and some things are exactly the same. So thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.
Q: "I have been dating this guy for awhile and he wants to put our relationship on Facebook, but I would like to keep my private life just that -- private. How should I tell him I like my privacy without making him feel like I don't want people to know we're dating?"
A: This is a relationship minefield, because this is super important to some and not so much to others. Feelings are involved, so you have to tread carefully, keeping in mind how you would feel if you were the other person, without losing yourself.
To begin with, it's likely some very close friends that already know that you are dating, just as a part of friend conversation. What is more close to your heart than dating? So the relationship is probably not a complete unknown, unless you are sneaking around on the low-down and using fake names. If this is the case, then maybe you should not even be dating at all! (Side note: If you discover that the "perfect" person you are dating is already married, this person is NOT going to leave his or her spouse for you and if he/she is "going to get a divorce," then wait for that event to occur. I mean, you're dealing with someone that is already deceitful, why would he (or she) be honest with you? Walk away from this.)
But I digress. If you want to guard your privacy and NOT tell the world you're dating, you may need to consider that people will want to share in your joy. It may not be a bad idea to let them! Here's the thing to do: Start posting with this person tagged. Then post some pics of you two together. People that see your posts in their feed will figure it out without the giant "In A Relationship" status that occurs when you change your relationship status on Facebook. This is also a good way to placate the person you are dating.
If you are the one wanting to shout it to the world that you have found the one person who makes your life happy: We celebrate with you, but it's key to respect your person and keep their needs and wants in mind. Reach an agreement as a couple as to how much social media you will have in your lives. Maybe you will have an Instagram account that documents all your amazing dates and times together, and you can even give it a cute name like "Made4EachOther" or "JoanieLuvsChachi." As always, communicate and respect. And if you are the reserved one, give it up a little and let people share in your joy, because relationships are about compromise.
Q: "How do you know when it's okay to go to each other's homes?"
A: Great question that is actually multi-faceted.
If you have already known this person as a friend or acquaintance prior to dating, then it's probably pretty safe to enter his or her home alone after you have had time to feel comfortable with them. Is that a month? two days? It's a tough call. Go with your gut instinct. If you have no gut instinct, wait and have him or her to your place first.
If you have just met this person, it's probably a good idea to plan or attend a group function in his or her home so you can check it out without compromising your safety. When you go to his or her home, does it look like a normal home with normal home stuff? Or is there bizarre art hanging in the living room, books about weird topics laying around, and two forks in the silverware drawer? Are there too many knives in the kitchen for even a professional chef? Does the bathroom have normal bathroom stuff in it, like shampoo, soap, etc.? And yes, open up the medicine cabinet. I know I am going to get flack on this, but you need to know if he or she is taking 14 different meds to control psychotic tendencies! (And don't act like you have never, ever looked at someone's personal stuff in their bathroom.)
On another level, if you feel comfortable being alone with this person and feel like you can be together and alone without too much physical temptation, then go to this person's house. But be forewarned that this is not a situation that encourages chastity and purity. It actually leaves lots of opportunity for exactly the opposite.
Now, if you go to his or her house and you get a surprise, like "Oh, you have a child," or "Oh, I didn't know you cared for your aging parent," or "Oh, I didn't know you had a portrait gallery of Elvis painted on black velvet," then be as cool as possible and take time later to assess the situation and see how this will affect your relationship, if at all.
Get out there and date! I've got your back.
Love me, hate me, but send me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.