Setting personal boundaries is a constant. Having your “must-haves” honored should be expected of any relationship. There is no reason to make exceptions because he’s a guy and you’re afraid you’ll scare him off. If it’s something important enough to ask a girlfriend to do differently, then you probably want to address it with him.
So . . . what can she do? If she goes with the side of her that wants to find a partner, she can simply accept his behavior. If she chooses the side that never wants to act like a desperate dater, she can dump him.
Or . . . she can realize there is another choice. Do what you would do with your girlfriend: tell him it’s not okay.
Here is the simple phrase I suggested Christine use to tell him what she would like: “Joe, I like you and I’m interested in getting to know you…but I work early so I don’t take calls after 9 pm. If you want to get in touch, please call before that. I hope that works for you.” Direct, yet kind and non-demanding, right?
Whether we admit it or not, wanting to be liked is a huge part of the dating process. I think it’s important to clarify, though, that you want to be liked by the right men. When you politely tell Joe to please not call after 9, he can honor it or not. But you have honored yourself.
This really is pretty simple: take care of yourself with men the same way you do with your friends. A man doesn’t get a pass just because he’s hot and you really want to hook up. By the same token, there is no need to be demanding or critical; just ask and let him decide what he’s willing to do.
Men are most definitely special, but don’t be fooled into thinking they don’t have to live up to your reasonable expectations. And like your friends, the good guys will respect you when you take care of yourself.
Bobbi Palmer writer for Divine Caroline.