Friday, February 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Don't let a speed dating failure get to you

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Failing speed dating doesn't mean much it's all artificial anyway

Q: A friend and I just attended a speed-dating event. She glowed. She wound up with something like 20 "very interesteds" on her contact card. She already has several dates lined up. I will add that she is only single because her last relationship ended due to distance.

Meanwhile, I was excited to participate, but somehow wound up feeling like a draggy frump and a bad conversationalist. Zero "very interesteds" and only a handful of "interesteds," meaning close to 90 percent of the people I met have no desire to see me ever again.

With the disclaimer that I understand these things are forced and don't mean anything in the scheme of things, I am feeling really, really down about myself. I feel like the night was a snapshot explanation for why I am unhappily single. Please knock some sense into me. Thanks.

D.C.

A: You had an off night. Any reason it has to be more than that?

Why, yes, there is a reason, she said, answering her own rhetorical question: Maybe history says you're not one to glow in circumstances like these. But even that's a narrow band of significance.

Please take it from someone whose own parents called her an acquired taste: Not acing the two-minute-conversation test means little besides "don't seek happiness in someone you know for two minutes."

Judge yourself on the quality of your friendships. Artificial constructs can be useful in a limited way, absolutely — as long as you also regard any failures in them in just as limited a way.

Your crying boyfriend should feel secure with you, not ridiculed

Q: Last night I was watching a movie with my boyfriend. During one scene, he started to tear up, and by the end, he was pretty much crying. I was flabbergasted at first — my boyfriend is pretty "manly" (to his credit, the scene was sports-related) and doesn't get emotional easily. While the scene was moving, I would not say it was a tear-jerker. I made the mistake of laughing. Well, that made him angry and now he is not speaking to me. Was I wrong or is he being oversensitive?

Crying Boyfriend?

A: Both, but, to borrow some insight from my 8-year-old, you started it. And wow, you were so much more wrong than he was. His silent treatment is juvenile, yes. But it pains me to think of someone who doesn't normally show vulnerability getting a ridicule beat-down for it. Maybe the scene wasn't all that moving to you, but who knows what he has buried inside him that this scene dredged up?

Tell him you were totally out of line and have some biases you need to root out.

Your happiness — apart or together — is directly proportional to how safe you feel with the people you love. So, think for a moment how important it is for you to feel safe with a boyfriend, then do whatever you can to be that safe place for him. His willingness to trust you will depend largely on your sincerity, but also on his courage.

That's what it will take for him to show his heart around you again.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

spring eventsFlamingo FestivalHelp celebrate the young flock of flamingos that recently arrived at Sunken Gardens at a colorful festival with live music, kids activities, and beer and wine for sale. Wear pink for $1 off admission. $10, $8 seniors, $4...
Published: 02/21/18
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1 Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor fest...
Published: 02/21/18
SeaWorld uses food, concerts as bait for Seven Seas Food Festival

SeaWorld uses food, concerts as bait for Seven Seas Food Festival

Seaworld Seven Seas Food Festival at the Orlando park with an expanded menu celebrating two of Florida’s most popular types of food: barbecue and Latin-inspired dishes.DateSWeekends now through April 15.EntertainmentLike its sister park Busch Gardens...
Published: 02/21/18
What to expect at Universal’s Mardi Gras party of parades, food and pop concerts

What to expect at Universal’s Mardi Gras party of parades, food and pop concerts

Universal studios MaThe annual Mardi Gras celebration is up and running at Universal Studios, bringing the Big Easy’s charm and food out every night, and this year it tosses in new floats and music.Six new constellation-themed Mardi Gras floats have ...
Published: 02/21/18