January 28, 2010 | 5:12 pm
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
I have been dating this guy a few times and he has an obnoxiously loud voice. Every time he speaks when we are at dinner I want to crawl under the table because everybody is staring at him. When is it too soon to tell a guy you have been seeing that he talks too loud?
To make matters worse, when he wants more water he waves his glass and shouts “hello, hello” to the waiter. Last night we went out for sushi and he demanded a spoon and started shoveling the sushi in his mouth. I am totally embarrassed. What do I do?
- Desperately Seeking a Normal Boyfriend in the Big Apple
Well, for this one I summoned the powers of my mother, who said flatly, “Get rid of him.”
My own first question would be to ask why you are dating him, what are his redeeming qualities? Do you like him for him, or are you sitting and enduring these dates simply because he likes you? Is there something fantastic about this rude boy that makes you want to overlook his flaws? Or, are they what take the cake?
My mother says that you can’t tell him what’s wrong with him. She says you need to find another man, or learn to love this one’s weirdness, you can’t change him.
I think it is important to look closely at the ticks that are bothersome about another person. Why does his loudness agitate you? His yelling at the waitress like a slave? Is it something in you, or something in him that needs to be changed? The insensitive details you listed lead me to believe that this man’s flaw is a basic lack of self-awareness and lack of respect for those around him. Why would you want to keep dating someone like that? What does he give you? Also, what kind of bozo eats sushi with a spoon?
There is, though, the possibility that he has something valid wrong with him, in which case choosing patience would be up to you. Again, a decision based on what he does that is positive and enriching in your life.
Only you know what kind of man you are looking for, what kind of things turn you on and off, and only you know if there is more to this story or if the buck stops here, table manners reflective of his general personhood.
Step one in finding New York’s finest dating prospects, in your case, would be drastically raising your standards and believing you deserve the very best in table manners, respect and general enjoyment. Also, knowing what you are looking for in a man makes dating less torturous. This way, if he doesn’t have what it takes you don’t have to agonize over it, you just know. Patience is key when searching for a worthy match. That, and remembering that you should have the very best.
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