Tag Archives: dating

A Good Gym is Difficult to Find. Just Like a Good Man.

Please make sure to check out my staff writer post (it is going live this afternoon) at Beating Broke, Don’t Take Abuse. Know Your Rights.

I like to observe people in restaurants, movie theaters, malls and gyms. After some careful and, hopefully, not nosy staring at people at my gym, I figured that people go to work out for several reasons:

– some want to lose weight;
– some want to stay healthy and live longer;
– some want to find a date.

It seems to me that gyms are becoming a new hot spot. Maybe they already are, and I am just a little bit late with my conclusions. While pounding endless miles on a treadmill, I watch people work out and interact with each other. What else is there to do besides listening to music and hoping that time and miles fly away?

I would never dare to even attempt to hit on a guy at the gym because I don’t think that being sweaty is really a “now” moment to introduce yourself to someone. Have you ever noticed that there are women and guys who do not look sweaty at all? Because they like me don’t think that sweaty is a “now” moment too! The only difference is that I go to the gym to sweat. They… for a whole different reason.

I saw it all: men who pump iron and look at their muscles with adoration; women with full make up and made up hair strolling between treadmills and elliptical in hopes of being noticed by those men who pump iron and adore their muscles; guys slowly walking the  gym’s perimeter with a subtle romantic smile and not looking at anyone in particular.

Then there are tanned, buffed up guys checking out every single woman in the gym. I noticed him a while ago. In fact, I think all girls at the gym noticed him – buffed up, tanned, short work out shorts, huge muscles, strong thighs and with a constant smile on his face. He circled the machines, choosing to work out on those that were close to women.

He loved budgeting his time and form time to time he would ask a girl to switch off turns on the machine. I guess it was a conversation starter. Sometimes he picked up a dropped towel, offered his turn by the drinking fountain… you know… random acts of kindness that looked so thoughtful.

Then she came into the gym. I swear I saw her wearing a wedding ring the first time she was there. A few days later the ring was gone, and she was chatting away with him by the drinking fountain. I ran into them in a juice bar couple of times. After a while, they started to work out together. Later, I noticed they would come in together, leave together. Once I saw them kissing in the parking lot. (A disclaimer: I was not stalking them, I just observed.)

As a fiction writer I immediately made up a story of a married woman falling in love with someone very strong and attractive… and well… beautiful. That core of inner strength that she presumably always could locate before she met him was gone. She probably even thought he was created for her: tall, strong, powerfully muscled and charming. Maybe she even believed that he knew what she felt, thought, wanted. I also think she grew restless, expectant and maybe even demanding because, suddenly, they started coming to the gym separately.

It was sad to see that he started checking out other girls at the gym while still working out with her. It didn’t take too long for her to stop coming to the gym. He is still there, back to his old routine of smiling, switching off turns on the machine with someone else, picking up a dropped towel, offering his turn by the drinking fountain.

There is no morale to this story. At least, everyone should think for himself/herself and get out of this story whatever you think appropriate. The only thing I want to say, use your left or right brain and treat a gym as your office or your home. Don’t have love affairs at your office, your gym or with your neighbor. Otherwise… you might end up changing a lot in your life. good gym is difficult to find. Just like a good man.

Beware of Men Counting Pennies

This is my third and last installment (so far) of the horror dating stories that either my friends or I have encountered. Let’s talk about men I call Penny Pinchers.

Situation 1

Years ago I was asked out by a guy in my class. He asked if I would like to go out and have dinner with him. I thought it sounded nice, so I agreed. He told me that we will “go dutch.” Dutch for me back then meant someone from Holland. I was clueless what he meant. Was he talking about the name of the restaurant? I looked at him not knowing what to say. He explained to me that in America “going dutch” means splitting the bill. I did not like it because I was not accustomed to it. In my culture if a man asks you out, there is no question who pays for a date. Nevertheless, I agreed. It turned out to be a huge mistake that cost me at least a couple of my paychecks.

I was a full-time foreign student paying my way through the school with scholarships and credit cards. I was working only part-time because foreign students were not allowed to work full-time for the first few years in the US. The guy who asked me out was living with his parents, working full time and taking one class at a time.

We went to a fancy restaurant and our bill was pretty hefty. Of course at the end of the dinner he expected me to pay my half. When I saw the amount of my half of the bill, I wished I would have known that in advance. I would have chosen a different place. He at least should have asked me if the restaurant he chose for us was affordable for me. I paid my half of the bill, and after that night I was “too busy” to go out with this guy again.

Dating takes effort. It also takes money. I am not saying that men have to spend a fortune, or “going dutch” is not an option. But they have to put some effort (emotional and finaicial) into dating. It should not be all about convenience.Don’t you think that there is a huge difference between being cheap and wanting to share financial responsibility?

Situation 2

My friend was dating her rich neighbor for a while. He had a luxurious Porsche, a nice big house and took long and expensive vacations. Alone. He never asked her to “go dutch” but he never took her to any fine place either. He liked to cook dinners at home, rent DVDs, and shop in TJMaxx.

One day my friend got the flu and asked him to get Theraflu for her from the store. He gladly ran to a store, got the Theraflu, and gave my friend a receipt asking her to pay him back at her earliest convenience. My friend was shocked. She told me that he constantly asked her to pick up his clothes from the dry cleaner. She paid his dry cleaning bills and never asked him to repay her back. After the Theraflu incident, I told her that maybe she needed to tell him to start picking up his clothes from the dry cleaners himself.

It is much harder to have a good time with a cheap man. I am not talking about frugal and responsible man who knows and understands the value of money. I am talking about a man who doesn’t pick up tabs, who chooses the cheapest eats in town and refuses to go out to movies because The Red Box costs only $1.

Is a man who won’t part with his pennies one you should avoid? Or is he the one to learn money management skills from? Decide for yourself.

Edit: This article was included in Carnival of Personal Finance #284.  Make sure to visit it and read some great articles!