Inspired by Kim's Rules of Engagement, I have written my own set.
The following are the rules for behavior when you are dating me. In addition, I have a lot of qualifications that you must meet if I am to go on a date, or to continue to date you. Those are qualities, such as attractiveness, intelligence, etc., which I look for in a woman. This list doesn't include those items, because it's probably not likely that you can change them much. I have limited these mostly to behaviors. The other list is of things people mostly are and are a lot harder to change.
On to the list:
- Proceed slowly at all times.
- I'm somewhat self-conscious and shy. While that is changing, it means you will probably have to take some initiative yourself. I will not be totally passive, but I am not the most aggressive pursuer you have met.
- I desire to have my grandparents' life. I want to be 70+ and married for many years, with kids and grandkids. I am open to other kinds of relationships. But I will continue to look for something that will lead to that life while I am dating you, either with you or with someone else. Remember this always.
- Do not expect me to fill a hole in your psyche. I expect you to be a whole person.
- Do not blow me off, or do anything to save my feelings from the truth. Return my phone calls. Do not fib to hide your disinterest.
- Make a decision. Have a spine. Have ideas of your own. I will not do the thinking for two.
- Tell me what's on your mind. I am not a mind reader. It's pretty unlikely I'll be offended, and I am a pretty understanding person.
- Treat Guinevere, my cat, with respect. She has outlasted 4 girlfriends, and if you are mean to her, call her names, or behave anyway but nicely, she will outlast you.
- My friends are my friends. If you do not like them, do not assassinate their character.
- I have had sex with 7 women over 14 years of sexual activity. I go long and far between sexual partners. This means I will not likely have sex with you soon. If and when I do, I will use a condom until such time as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are not an issue.
- I need lots of alone time. Please give it to me when I ask. Sometimes I will need it and I won't ask for it. Please give it to me then also. I will do the same for you when you ask and when I recognize the need.
- I have a life apart from you. You should have a life away from me.
- Do not tempt me with things you aren't willing to share. I do not want to hear about things you aren't willing to share with me. Generally speaking I do not wanted to be excluded from areas of your life. I realize there is some conflict between this rule and having a life apart from me. For example, I am perfectly happy to see you go to a party without me. Or if you frequently attend them without me. I will be extremely unhappy if you go to parties all the time and I never or rarely accompany you. As long as I don't feel excluded, I am okay with it.
- Learn very quickly how to read my body language as well as listen to what I say. When my voice steels and I say enough, I mean enough. Do not continue to tickle me, or make fun of me, or continue to do whatever it is you are doing. It's probably a good idea to ask me at that point if what you are doing is allowable at all.
- Interrupt me when I am reading only if the reason is important, or the interruptions are infrequent. The fewer the better.
- I do not like my dating to be conducted publicly. It doesn't need to be hidden, but we are not PikaLogic, ChriLexia, or Darren & Cynthia.
- Surprise me occasionally. I love romance and romantic things, as long as they don't become extremely sappy.
- We make relationship decisions jointly, except possibly for the decision to break up.
- Be positive. I have many faults. Do not try to fix them all at once. Nor do I need them pointed out to me constantly.
- And lastly, no drama. If we are together for any length of time, we will disagree. We will fight on occasion most likely. If your feelings are hurt due to something I have done, please tell me. But no re-hashing. Exchange views and move on.
Well, that's a few more items than Kim. Most of these are in the list because I have made a mistake in the past. Over all it appears kind of negative and that I am a bitter man. I am gun-shy, and have made some mistakes. So I will let this list sit and attempt to revise it later, to switch the tone around so that it tells more the behavior I want, rather than lists the behavior I do not want. But for now, it'll do.