The New Realist joined the blog last week and her first post addresses Family Expectations when it comes to dating. Interestingly, as someone who once dated boys, and now dates girls, I don’t think her experience of Expectations will be what you expect it to be!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
After deliberating for quite some time over which experiment would be my first, I found myself reminiscing about my dating years. Plenty of Fish nightmares, long-distance adventures and even those terrifying first dates of adolescence came flooding back.
Then I had a thought. What made me chose that individual? Why did that particular person catch my eye?
There was a time, although I would rather forget about it, that I dated men (actually boys) but the dating process is still relevant. Both the men and women I have dated went through the same mental checklist before being approved. A checklist which I believe has been decided upon not only by my own preferences but by the opinions of my family.
How many of us can say that it makes no difference who we date? That our family, parents especially, will have no opinion on who we bring home? I would guess very few.
My parents more than anyone have always had an opinion on who I date or who I should date. A long list of attributes developed at quite a young age.
Polite, good looking, good job, drives, wants a family……the list is endless.
If we’re honest the majority of the list is probably very similar for everyone but those little changes make the people we date very different.
When my parents found out I was a lesbian and they had overcome the stereotypical parental issues…..there will be no traditional wedding, I’m never going to have grandchildren (really my parents are amazing, I promise!) their opinions remained the same although the direction they were aimed in changed.
Suddenly my family’s traditional views were blown out of the water and I wasn’t going to have the stereotypical life they thought I would.
I was now going to have to look after myself. I was now suddenly the one that had to drive, get a good job and earn a decent wage. The tables had turned.
Being brought up in a very traditional family where the man was the breadwinner, there was no other option but to be able to do this myself.
We now live in a new era where women can earn more than men and can quite easily be authority figures.
Does this affect the way that we date or do people still use these stone-age stereotypes for who we should be partnered with?
From the moment I came out, it was as if a cloud had lifted and I could go out and be myself.
I could date who I wanted, when I wanted.
But the reality was very different.
Over the years I have experienced a number of relationships and many dates but out of those I have taken home I could have put money on the ones my family would like.
Does the link stem from having the same wants and needs as our parents? Or from us trying to please them? Is it drilled into us from an early age who would be an acceptable partner? Or is it in our genes?
Or is it just me?!
It’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of issues with my family where dates were concerned…. Too many tattoos, too many piercings, no job…..she’s a woman!!
But should we really let them get in the way?
Should we seriously consider rule out a potential partner just because of this?
If you do, is your other half better suited to you or your family?
Maybe it’s worth taking a second thought when choosing who you go on a date with. Or more importantly don’t go on a date with. And working out whether it’s a decision you’ve truly made for yourself!
Personally, thinking back over where I’ve been and where I am now, my life screams one message. Make sure whatever choices you make are for you and nobody else.
In the end its your life. Be happy and most importantly have fun!
- Experimental Dater Number Thirteen – The New Realist (30blinddates.wordpress.com)