Got this great letter from Kristi in Portland, Oregon, and thought I’d share it with the group. It’s great advice for our good man Justin from Rochester (for whom being legally blind presented a challenge in his love life) and I agree with it.
Here’s the thing: at the outset of a relationship, we’re all in ‘maximum rejection’ mode. We’re looking for bits of information to simplify our decision-making. We’re seeking deal-breakers more than we’re looking for points of commonality.
That’s why it’s important to titrate the information you reveal to one another so it’s all in context. The normal course of a friendship is to get to know someone gradually, not to dump a whole bunch of information on ’em at once. That way you come to appreciate the person first, and subsequent information is seen in that favorable halo.
Now on to the letter from Kristi:
First of all I want to thank you for writing The Tao of Dating for Women. It’s been very helpful for me in recent months and I feel positive about the changes I’ve been making to improve my dating life.
This brings me to why I wrote you today—your blog post about Justin from Rochester and the whole no car situation. In the last year, I have been on dates with eight different men. (Don’t laugh. This is a huge improvement.) Only two of them owned cars, and one of guy’s cars wasn’t running. I only went out with the other guy because we owned the same classic car. I don’t have any issues with a guy not owning a car. If he wants to ride a bike or the bus because he can’t afford it, has a physical condition, or wants to help the environment—fine. What I can’t stand is a guy who asks me to pick him up because he doesn’t have a car or will only meet me in his neighborhood.
Here’s my advice to Justin and other car-less guys: Be a man. Be independent. Figure out a way to get to the date on your own. If you do that and you’re not a jerk, I’ll most likely give you a ride home. If you’re expecting a ride, this may be the problem—not that you don’t have a car. (Besides, I think meeting someone in a neutral place on the first couple of dates is a good choice so that you can leave if it’s not going well.)
Yes, taking the bus takes extra time and a cab, extra money. But show this woman she is worth the effort. That fact is you have a condition that makes it impossible for you to drive; any woman that can’t understand that is not worth your time. But asking her to pick you up is not cool. If you get to the date on time via your own means and show her that you’re a great guy, you will probably have a second date. If you get more dates with her and she’s really into you, then she will most likely offer you a ride.
If she senses that she would have to be your caretaker if she got involved with you, then you probably won’t get a second date. It is only a problem if you present it to her that way.
In sales you learn “talk-offs”—these are prepared concise responses to potential customers’ questions or objections about whatever it is you’re trying to sell. Anyone can sell a product when they really believe it’s great. If you believe you’re really great and you present that to her, this should not be an issue. Develop your own talk-offs. Come up with some really witty responses for when she asks you about why you don’t drive. Make her laugh. If you have a sense of humor about it, this will put her at ease.
Alex, the advice you gave Justin is really great. I just thought I’d give you a woman’s perspective. Again, thanks so much for writing this book. You’ll probably hear from me again.