Mothers & Money (Part 2)

ATMThis week I share some afterthoughts to my comments last week on #9 of the TOP10 Signs You’re on a Bad First Date: After picking you up, your date stops by their mom’s place for cash to pay for dinner.

Bottom line, you don’t – as in “absolutely positively do NOT” – want to enter into a potential relationship with someone who suffers from CIS (chronic irresponsibility syndrome). It’s too painful. Every important ball they drop will erode trust, every significant date they forget will hurt feelings and every reasonable expectation they fail to meet will bring frustration. You may already be close to someone with CIS – perhaps a parent, sibling, roommate or co-worker – so you know I’m talking truth here.

However, we can fall for the lie that if someone is particularly charming, funny, or just plain hot we can overlook the fact that they need their mom’s help to pay for dinner. And that will be true for a period of time, but not forever. This is one of the reasons why people break up with charming, funny, hot people.

And to reiterate, from last week, managing finances well enough to cover one date without the help of a family member is the MINIMUM economic responsibility to be expected of someone ready to consider a serious relationship. Of course you can’t ask for a budget, balance sheet and financial portfolio on first date (second date – maybe – OK, I’m kidding), but here are several other ways to measure the incredibly important character quality of responsibility:

Time management – Are they always late? Or do they forget commitments altogether? Are you ok with that? Would you be ok with that after an entire year? Two years? Five? Ten?

Work ethic – Do they like their job? Do they have a job? Do they work hard? Do they work smart? Do they find purpose and fulfillment in work or do they constantly seek escape? It’s FUN to hang out with someone fun, but fun often requires funds. Are you ready to be the fund raiser for their fun?

Appearance – I know I just finished criticizing our culture’s preoccupation with physical appearance when I addressed the second part of #10, but again I remind you that if a person is healthy on the inside it will generally reflect in how they present themselves. Do they look healthy? And is it just a look?

Stewardship – Everything we “own” is really entrusted to us by the creator. How does your date care for their clothes, car, home? Imagine you were their car. Would you want them driving you? (Guys – please don’t take that in the wrong way.) Granted, some people care meticulously for their “things” while they treat people like doo doo, but if someone is chronically irresponsible, it will show up in how they care for everything… including you.

Education – No. Your date doesn’t need a master’s degree. They don’t even need a high school diploma. But you do want to date a life-long learner, someone who views education as something valuable and worth investing in. After all, if you’re going to grow any kind of meaningful relationship, your date will need to learn a lot about you (and you them). Indeed, most marriages implode because one or both partners are unwilling to grow in their understanding of relationships and what makes them work. Many believe the relational skills with which they sustained temporary, casual, non-committed relationships will work just fine with long-term, intimate, committed relationships. Hmmmm… Does that make sense to you?

Priorities –Urgent things only appear to be important. Important things really are, but without proper prioritization, the urgent naturally takes precedence over the important, over and over again. How many relationships do you know where one or both partners let the urgent win out over the important? Is that the kind of relationship you want?

That’s all for this weekend’s Date Night Advice. Did you find any of the above questions particularly helpful? How do YOU measure up, when you consider all these various aspects of responsibility? Got CIS? If so, take comfort. We all have some growing up to do. And growing is what responsible adults do.

Next week we address #8 – Your date takes a call from their ex, and after cussing them out right in front of you, hangs up and says sweetly, “I’m sorry, where were we?”

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Categories: DATING, First Date Horror Stories, First Date: FAIL, Mothers and Money, TOP10 Signs You're on a Bad First Date