A couple nights ago, I received this anonymous message on my blog. Needless to say, it made my blood boil in feminist rage. Who the hell is this guy? And more importantly, did he think his “advice” would be well received??
Let me back it up and give you all some context. Occasionally I write for JMag, the official online publication for JDate. One of my closest friends works for the company and reached out to see if I’d like another outlet for my writing. Sure, why not!? Clearly I love writing about love and relationship, so this seemed like a fun extracurricular activity. That’s where this man found me, on JMag. He read one of my articles, and liked it enough that he sought out my personal blog. However he was NOT pleased with how I choose to express myself on my own site.
In fact, he was SO mortified for me, that he felt the need to tell me what I need to be doing in order to be a better to find The One. His suggestions were to quit using swear words (in my personal writing), and stop getting all those damn tattoos (or tattooes, according to him). His reasoning behind the harsh recommendations?
Well, for one, he personally found it wildly unattractive when women cursed. And secondly, he pointed out that I should be more careful about my nasty little mouth and offensive body art (All my tattoos are of flowers, Shel Silverstein poetry, and family names.) because my dude’s parents might not approve of my out of control blog.
The guy is my parents’ age; he has a daughter my age. That said, I don’t effing care if you find my potty mouth attractive to you or not. I would never try to date you; so chillax homeboy.
Furthermore, my boyfriend’s mother is a regular reader of my blog and she loves it. In fact, every time I see her, she compliments my writing. She’s couldn’t be more supportive if she was my own mother, who by the way, also loves my blog. Both my parents read my dumb internet thoughts on a regular basis, and they’re just happy my overpriced creative writing degree is being put to some use.
Aside from inciting all kinds of negative thoughts, I was particularly struck by the idea that I would need to alter myself to fit into a potential in-law family. I’ve been really lucky to have dated some great families. Yeah, I said families.
When you engage in a serious relationship with someone, it’s pretty standard to have developed a decent relationship with their family. Unfortunately, I have left some pretty broken-hearted Jewish mothers in my youthful destructive wake. I hope to never do that again; it’s very painful for all parties.
The reason I date boys with great families is because they themselves are really great! Awesome dudes were usually raised by awesome families.
I could and would never seriously date a guy if I felt uncomfortable around his family. Who wants to walk on eggshells around people who could one day be your family? I couldn’t keep that up for 30+ years. A great family should fit YOU instead of YOU trying to fit in with you.
I think I would absolutely perish if I were to date someone with a picture perfect L.L. Bean family that summer in the Hamptons and shoves their feelings up their butts during cocktail hour. Also, I could never date the guy who was born into a life of weird old money and rules. If you don’t really get along with a dude’s family, you might want to ask yourself if you actually jive with him. Apple don’t usually fall too far from the tree in my experience.
My boyfriend’s family is amazing. I frequently remind him of how lucky he is to have such loving, intelligent, fun and open-minded people for parents. Heck, not only are they OK with him dating wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap Sally over here; they make me feel like I’m part of the family every time we’re together. I feel as comfortable around them as I do in my best sweats, which is evident because I have worn them often in their presence (another great sign).
So, to come back to this anonymous Dad character who decided that I needed a little extra parenting. I thank you for your concern, but I will not be needing your services at this time. I already have four parent figures in my life, and they like me just the way I am, floral tattoos, fucks, shits, hells, damns, and all.
Heather is a contributing editor at the-dah. She is a Los Angeles based writer, social media mistress, snacker, and aspiring adult. Heather writes about love, tech, and growing up. Read more of her stories at Terrible-Twenties.com
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