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Archive for December, 2012

About A Woman’s Right to Choose to Break Up With a Perfectly Good Man

December 11th, 2012 17 comments

For once, I didn’t want to be right. My gut was telling me something was wrong, she was acting distant and cold, but I didn’t want to think it had anything to do with me. Certainly I didn’t deserve the treatment, as many times as I asked her what was wrong, she came up with gibberish.

When I broke down the way my girlfriend was treating me to a friend of mine, someone who didn’t know her well, but with whom I felt comfortable confiding, she set me straight. “She’s treating you the way you guys treat girls you don’t like or don’t want to be with.” Her diagnosis was a wake up call.

I called my girlfriend, attempted small talk before delving into the bigger issue. But she wasn’t even up for chit-chat and tried to get off the phone as quickly as she got on it. That’s when I said, “Okay, this is ridiculous. What’s your problem? Why are you treating me like this?” She was caught off guard by my bluntness. There was silence, then I could hear a crack in her voice. She admitted she didn’t know exactly what was wrong, whether it was her or me, but something between us didn’t sit well with her and she wanted some time to herself to think about it.

A week later, in a park not far from her apartment, we sat down on a bench. There, she broke up with me.

I was a full grown man and the news made me cry like a baby. I was shocked, hurt, and upset. Here I thought this was the woman for me, and I treated her as such. I don’t know if I did everything right, but I damn sure didn’t shoot myself in the foot. The self-destructive tendencies I fell victim to in most relationships were off the table. I wanted to be this woman’s man and I didn’t want to mess it up.

I pressed in search for concrete, tangible things I did or said that made her look at me and us and say, “No, he’s not the one I thought he would be.” She didn’t have any. She certainly didn’t find any evidence that led her to believe I was being unfaithful or dishonest, because I wasn’t. So as you can imagine, I was quite confused.

It took me a while to realize there didn’t need to be a definitive reason for her not wanting to be with me. And I’m ashamed to admit, part of that had to do with me underestimating a woman’s ability to choose to be single and her need for more time before she settles down.

I needed to be broken up with to remind myself women don’t always want what we think they want. A part of my pain was induced by the blow my pride took. I could not believe after loving this woman to the best of my ability she still did not want to be with me. But when I stopped searching for things I did wrong and started replaying the things she said to me, I began to better understand, she was treating me the way guys treat girls they don’t like or with whom they no longer want.

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Categories: Break ups Tags:

The 50 Most Important Questions To Ask A Date

December 6th, 2012 5 comments

One of the steps people have to complete in order to participate in my blind date column at The New York Post is a questionnaire. The original questionnaire I inherited when I took this over was 40-questions and eople always told me the same thing: “Forty questions is a lot.”

I know. But it’s not more than sites like OkCupid. If the person didn’t over-think their answers, they would see it’s a fun way to get to know themselves. Sometimes I suggested people fill it out with a friend, just to make it more exciting.

But alas, whenever people reach out to express their interest in participating, I always lose them at the questionnaire. They either take a long time to fill it out and send it back or I just never hear back for them. So like most people who are always giving out their number or contact information only to not be getting any responses, I decided the problem was me and the questionnaire.

Forty questions does seem daunting, but not if the questions are fun, lighthearted, and interesting. On the old questionnaire, one of the first questions was simply, “Describe yourself…” Most people who get that question will be stuck, not because it’s a difficult question to answer, but it’s complicated. People don’t want to come off as too simple nor do they want to present themselves as complicated, so a question like that (which I know, it isn’t really a question) only begs for more questions.

So yeah, I changed up the phrasing and I moved it down to near the end of the questionnaire. Near the top of the questionnaire, after all the basic contact information is asked, we get into some easy but revealing questions. I thought this was also important because as we all know, sometimes one essay question can feel like 40 short questions. The ones I added were intended to make the questionnaire not feel as mountainous of a task as I got the sense it did for those who signed up. This is why the new questionnaire is 50 questions, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Below is the questionnaire annotated so you all can understand why I’ve included each question. Also, so you know, the purpose of the questionnaire is not only for the people picking to get to know who they’re picking, we also consolidate each one to craft the profile we run in the paper. For those interested in participating in Meet Market, you should know the rules by now, but just in case, here it goes:

Must be over 21
Must be single
Must live in NYC area
Must not be shy and willing to be photographed for the paper
Must be willing to go on a completely blind date and not be worried about what their date looks like, but just hope they’re as fun as them.

At the end of the questionnaire, serious applicants can download a copy and email me at jcummings@nypost.com. But even if you don’t live in NYC, pass it on to someone who does and might be interested in participating or just answer some of the questions in the comments section.

Remember, these are the important questions we must all ask someone we’re dating. ENJOY!

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Categories: Work Tags:

In Defense of Men Who Care Their Way

December 5th, 2012 5 comments

When I write posts like the one I published on Monday, the chorus of responses are immediate.

Women love it.

I speak to all the wonderful things women have done for me, and how I may not have always deserved such gestures or how I’m dumbstruck by love given to me regardless of our relationship status. The women reach out and say, “Thank you for writing this, I needed to hear it.” They also say, “I hope more guys read what you wrote.” Posts like “The Maddening, Frustrating Love of A Woman” get passed around by women with proclamations like, “FINALLY!” attached to them.

I’m not expecting a similar response today, and it certainly won’t be because this one isn’t as spot-on as the other.

As flawed as I am, as flawed as most men are, women are too. Every single woman I mentioned in the last post has something wrong with them. There is some reason we’re not together, and that’s not entirely my fault. My mother remains the greatest woman in the world, but in the battle of right and wrong, she too does not have a perfect record.

There are two perceptions I am trying to avoid when I write posts like the previous one:

1) The idea that I’m putting women up on a pedestal.
2) The idea that men don’t deserve the good treatement they get.

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Categories: guys Tags:

The Maddening, Frustrating Love of A Woman

December 3rd, 2012 9 comments

The plan at first was to not go home for the holidays. There was too much work to do; home would be nice, but the rush to catch up when I came back would have me dizzy. Also, the cost of tickets felt like they were at all-time highs. Then, a woman who was once more than a friend, gave me her miles. My work schedule seemed more flexible, and though it is the shortest amount of time I will be home for Christmas, I was able to purchase a ticket for less than the cost me of a cab ride from Harlem to Times Square.

A couple of weeks ago, I started MMA training, for which I get the first month free. These classes are courtesy of a gift certificate given to me for Christmas last year by a woman who was once more than a friend.

Every week, someone will mention how good I smell and ask me what I’m wearing. I tell them it’s Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot, a gift given to me by a woman who was once more than a friend.

There are more women who have done more nice things for me, but I will spare you, the reader, a lengthy humblebrag because I’m not just talking about goods and services here. There is also the friend who allowed me to sleep in her bed for four nights in a row when I was going through the types of things that makes people want to never be alone. And it wasn’t just the giving of that side of her bed, but the way she would stay up with me, throughout the night, and let me go on and on about everything I was feeling.

These random acts of kindness have been on my mind a lot lately, leaving me in a state of wonderment as I think about them in full. Sometimes we like to talk about women within the vacuum of relationships; how they are as lovers, as mothers, wives, and girlfriends. As I get older, I realize a woman does not need any of these titles to be good to a man. Of course she would like them (and no one act of kindness does not a title make) but I have thought a lot about how women act independent of those titles. What I have been in awe of lately is the way a woman acts on the strength of love alone.

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Categories: women Tags: