There's kicking it for laughs, there's cuddling for cocoa, there's dating and there's Dating While Grown. Dating While Grown is serious business and it starts with the tenuous premise that both people in the DWG situation are really and truly grown. But I'll leave that debate ("How do you define GROWN?") for another day.
This thing about Dating While Grown is that there are certain challenges one has to anticipate from jump beyond the regular challenges of dating. The one I'd like to speak on today involves control. And of course, I must use the car metaphor to do it.
I've been chatting with some of the grown and dating and this particular set of growing pains seem to pop up regularly. The conundrum lies in one party (usually the man, sorry fellas) wanting a together, responsible, pays-her-own-bills, got-her-own-stuff, knows-her-own-mind woman to immediately allow them to take the relationship lead.
I have, on more occasions than I can count, been accused of not allowing a man to "drive the car" if you will. On some occasions that is most assuredly true. But here's my issue (staying with the car theme) - if you want a partner who not only picked out her own car, but takes care of it, drives it, knows how to navigate it, get where she's going and get back home safely... do you really think it to be easy for her to hand over the keys and say, "Here you go. Take us wherever you want."
You have got to give someone a minute to ascertain that you know how to drive this particular vehicle. You have to reassure them that you know how to navigate. No one wants to get into the car and drive in circles for hours. Ya'll don't hear me though. Ask. For. Directions. Fellas. I'm begging you. In real life and in this analogy, quit pretending that you know where you're going when you're as lost as Frosty the Snowman in Hell.
Even more irksome than driving in circles and not having a clue where you are heading is to climb into a care where someone is reckless as all the damns. Speeding on icy roads, swerving unnecessarily, spastic breaking, you know what I'm talking about. Starts out find and then you're fishtailing towards a cliff. No. Thank. You.
My last DWG relationship was deceptively easy. We climbed into the car, drove it arond the block a few times and I offered some side-seat advice every now and then. When we got comfortable, we headed out onto the highway and opened it up. Our bad, neither of us discussed what the destination was going to be. I assumed we both wanted to head in the same direction, he assumed we'd just stop somewhere and decide if we both like it when we got there. Oops. This caused him to slam on the brakes (in the middle of the road) and flee down the highway on foot only to later realize he kinda liked the ride. Umm-hmm. Different topic. Moving on...
I was talking to another girl of mine whose new man had an opinion on everything. What she should wear, eat, take for a cold, listen to in the car, and so forth. When she assured him that she was able to dress, feed, medicate and entertain herself, he felt insulted. She felt crowded. One of my brethren indicated that he felt his woman didn't trust him to make a simple decision and therefore they could never get their
relationship car out of the garage.
I get it. I do. Grown men like to run things. That's awesome. Grown women are used to running their own things. Awesome as well. But at some point, only one person needs to steer at a time. I say talk about it. Discuss it. Who drives better, who navigates better, lay out a clear destination plan before you get in the car. Now that I've worn this analogy out, I turn it over to you, BnB..
What to do when everyone wants to drive and your GPS is broken? How do you all work out the navigation of relationships? Do share...