The Dos and Don'ts of Dating
Steve Harvey’s new movie “Think Like a Man,” sparks debate about the do’s and don’ts of dating
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Communication is key
Darnell Glover, owner of Salon on the Park, says he hosts Saturday night discussions about relationships to help men and women communicate about romantic issues that get overlooked and cause problems.
“You have to find the courage to ask important questions on the first date,” says Glover, who says he’s heard all kinds of drama during his 25-year career as a hair stylist. So he’s compiled 275 questions in a book that he hopes to publish called, "Relationships: A Two-Way Street."
For his discussions, he prints the questions on strips of paper, then invites participants to draw one from a bag, read it, and spark high-decibel debates.
Among his questions: At what point should a man stop using condoms? Should a man or a woman give an ultimatum of marriage in a relationship? What is the real purpose for sex?
“Good communication is the secret to having a successful relationship,” says Glover. “If you’re scared to talk about your feelings and expectations, the relationship is doomed from the first date.”
Couples therapist Rayford says statistics show that 80 percent of divorced couples blame poor communication for their failed marriages.
Communication early in the relationship is imperative, Rayford says, to diffuse the fantasies that men and women create about romance and marriage.
The soon-to-be-married Willis says she gets to know a man by asking a lot of questions, such as, “What is your five-year plan? What was your history growing up? Do you have kids?”
A hostess at an upscale restaurant, she adds, “I don’t want a shocker later on. We need to lay it all out on the table from the beginning. And if he’s uncomfortable with simple questions, and doesn’t call, he did me a favor.”
Relationships work, Rayford says, when men and women really listen to each other and validate each other with the two most important rules of romance: respect and love.
Others say rules cheapen relationships because they make romance feel like a game.
“The 90-day rule and the five-date rule sound like we are going to start out playing games. Not interested,” says former Detroit radio talk show host John Arnold, Ph.D, now a professor of mass communication at Lane College, an HBCU in Jackson, Tenn.
Says the 50-something divorcé, who summers in Detroit: “I just don’t think women should ever lower their standards, because men will do whatever it takes to get the cookies.”
Alex Vuai, 27, a Detroiter who works in customer service, says “This is the 21st century, not the 1920s. Some men and females get their freak on the first date. But there’s nothing wrong with waiting; maybe in an older generation you can.”