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Excerpt from Sassy's Rules of Dating

Excerpt from forthcoming book...

Sassy’s Rules of Dating
2009©
SassyScribe (Saundra E. Harris)
Saphari Books, Inc.

The first rule of dating is to go on the date with no expectations. We as women set ourselves up when we go on a date with this mindset. Keep an open mind. Be charming and friendly. Do not send a representative in your stead, be your self, because any act or sham will come out later. Again this is something that took me four years to learn. When I date, I go on the date with one expectation, and that is to have fun. I enjoy the food, the conversation, the laughter, or whatever it is he has planned for the evening. Even if there is no love connection, I have opened up my life to a possible new acquaintance.

There are some tried and true questions that one should ask on a date, most especially a first date. Truth be told, some questions should’ve been asked in advance. I firmly believe that when you meet a person, you can find out some things in the first twenty minutes of meeting them. Here are some examples of first date questions:

•Are you married or involved? – This should be asked first because there is no need to waste unwanted and unnecessary time if you are seeking a companion, you most definitely do not want one that is currently involved and married people should be strictly off limits.

•Are you dating? How often? – This is important, for both men and women. I believe in healthy competition, but it also gives the other person the option as to whether or not they wish to see you knowing that they are not the only ones, besides that, it keeps you honest.

•Are you currently sexually active? If so, how many partners are you intimate with? – A potential partner that is having sex with four different individuals in five days is definitely not the type of person that I would want in my life. For some it’s okay, but if you are really trying to be with someone having too many sexual partners is definitely a red flag.

•Do you have children? – Children are a package deal, and it is important to know whom you would be allowing in your child(ren) lives were you to continue seeing one another. Another aspect is how many children and how many with different individuals nee parents are there. Do you have four children by three different men/women? It’s something to think about because at least one of them may bring some drama into your life.

•Do you have/like pets? If so, what kind? – For some, pets are a deal breaker, for others its okay, depending upon the pet. I ask what type, because I am not a lover of animals but if I had my druthers I’d accept a dog, cats are sneaky, but something like exotic like a boa constrictor, lizard, or a tarantula are not my cup of tea and would be a deciding factor in my continuing to date them.

•What types of movies do you enjoy? – Movies are a staple of American life and in my opinion, doesn’t make or break a relationship, because folks like what they like, but it does offer a chance at commonality.

•Are you active in sports? Have a hobby? – Having your own interests is great, but sometimes you may find that you share the same things. Although I am not one of them, my sister and cousin are avid football fans, and enjoy watching the games on Sunday, which is something they can do with their boyfriends/husband. If there is a hobby it enables you to share your love of something or gives you some time to be alone in your creative space.

•What is your favorite food? – Most dates happen over food, whether from a chain restaurant, to an intimate meal for two, dinner is how most dates begin or end.

•Have you read any good books lately? – Tell me you are an avid reader and I am your friend for life! I am a firm believer in it being not what you read, but the fact that you are reading which is important.

As the relationship progresses, you can get a little more intrusive with your questioning:•What are the qualities of your ideal relationship? – This is an opportunity to tell of your expectations of what you consider a good relationship and also to give a glimpse inside of you and your expectations of yourself.

•What scares you the most about opening your heart to a man/woman? – As most of us have at one point in time had our hearts broken, opening up a little about your fears also opens you up to the other person. It can bring a common ground or closeness that may be unexpected.

•Do you feel that you have ever had a truly successful relationship? – This questions forces an honesty that some may not wish to share. No one wants to admit that they messed up a good relationship, because if you are dating and it was a successful relationship, why then did it fail? There was obviously something wrong and it could be as simple as two people being at different stages in their life and only coming together for a reason or a season, as opposed to a lifetime.

•Why did your last relationship fail? – No one wants to lay the blame for the demise of a relationship at their own door, but being able to acknowledge that it takes two to break it, is one of the key stages of moving forward after a bad relationship. Being reflective of self and mindful of your roll is a hard process for some but it’s important in knowing how you affected its failure.

•What kind of relationship do you see yourself in? – Do you see yourself in a friendship, a relationship, or married? If so, how soon? What kind of friendship would you like to have? It is strictly platonic or will it be more intimate and sexual? Do you see yourself free and single or more settled and stable, not playing the field? All of these questions gives the other person insight into what your thoughts on relationships and also allows them to gauge where they may or may not fit into your life.

•Have you ever been arrested and/or incarcerated? – I feel that this is a vitally important question. People should want to know if this is a regular issue with individuals of authority, youthful stupidity, mistaken identity, or carelessness. This is a character issue. That is not to say that people cannot be rehabilitated, but it’s important to find out and if the relationship progresses this can help or hinder its growth.

•Do you/have you used illegal drugs? – We have all experimented in our youth. The question is, are they still experimenting, are they functioning alcoholics or drug addicts. Again, a character issue…drugs cost money and money is a fact of life and integral for survival.

•Have you ever have or currently have a sexual transmitted disease? – This is one of the most uncomfortable questions that women are truly afraid to touch on. Its as if they feel that if they ask this question it will turn him off, but this should be asked before any acts of intimacy. If the person becomes offended or affronted at this question then it should give you pause in moving forward. Offer to get tested together to show that you are not fearful of the answer. If you currently have a communicable disease, please inform that person upfront prior to any sexual activities at all. Being forthright about this does take courage, however in the end, that person should be thankful that you took the time and gave full disclosure.

Women tend to shy away from questions for fear of the answers, but, sometimes when we ask the right questions at the right time it forces individuals to disclose a little bit more about themselves. It will give you an insight to their thought processes and feelings.

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