The Chicken Finger Days

I look back to when I first started dating seriously; back when I would go to the ATM, take out $60 and have a great night. That $60 was easily distributed, $10 to fill the gas tank, $14 for the movie, $8 for snack and the remaining $28 was for dinner. Ahh…the chicken finger days! Those were the days when no matter where you took your date, she ordered chicken fingers with honey mustard. What a difference a dozen years make, you’re not filling your gas tank for less than $40 and the movies is $12 per ticket, but some of you are still dating women who order chicken fingers or at least acting like it.
Once you’ve crossed 30, dating changes. Actually, it evolves. As a man, in your early 20’s you were hoping to make a return trip to the ATM for $40 (think about it), in those next few years, you thought you had someone that you could spend a few years with, see where it went and go from there. Once you headed towards the end of your third decade, you were making babies, thinking about marriage and hoping to keep the night from exceeding $200.

That’s what happened when you started defeating tax brackets, your date nights ascended to events, women aren’t accepting AMC & Applebees on a Saturday night anymore. Now it’s dinner, some live entertainment and drinks, leaving you $150 in the hole hoping her kid is sleep when you get back. The focus on the end of the night never changes, but the morning after thought has, now you’re looking for someone to have breakfast with for the rest of your days.

The fact that you’re thinking maybe she is matrimony trying to save you is causing you to step your game up, increasing the pressure to make the time you spend with a woman more precious, just a little more memorable. Back then you could substitute any ol’ young lady and just about every night would look the same, dinner, movie and those chicken fingers. The conversation has changed, been extended, holds more substance, at least it should.

Ladies, if he’s telling you that he could make you dress better; you are a candidate to be sending on one side of the bed telling him that you’ve got sorry greeting you at your front door.
Here’s where the gap is between men and women, we don’t have anything to talk about and ladies have too much to say, so finding that happy medium is essential. Let me back up, we do have things to talk about, but not what you’re really trying to hear over the course of a night out.  Just as we’re not trying to hear all you have to say that night either…but we listen.

The necessary stuff in building relationships doesn’t happen on dates, but between them, the conversations, the interactions, the gestures that show you care, you’re thinking about the person, that you have an active interest in their life away from you. That’s a fundamental difference from when you first began dating, when the only thing that married was those three to five hours that you spent in each other’s presence, now you should be spending time growing together into a relationship, not independently trying to find your way to one. Then again what do I know, I wouldn’t give a second date to anyone who ordered chicken fingers on the first date…

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