I will likely go on my fourth date with L this week. We matched nearly two months ago.
I am trying to keep in mind that right now he is looking to make meaningful connections and friends and that if it leads to a relationship, that’s great. In other words, I’m trying to keep my feelings in check.
Many years ago, when I was working with my best therapist, he recommended the book Intellectual Foreplay: Questions for Lovers and Lovers to Be.
I should note that the subtitle already raises my Liz Lemon eyebrows. Like Liz, I only like that word when it falls between “meat” and “pizza.”
Basically it is a book full of questions to help you know yourself and your potential or current partner better. Some chapters, like on “Household Responsibilities and Habits,” would be good for finding roommates.
Here is a list of the chapters:
- Appearance and Attraction
- Entertainment, Sports, and Hobbies
- Morals, Values, Ethics, and Beliefs
- Commitment and Trust
- Religion and Spirituality
- Education and Intelligence
- Household Responsibilities and Habits
- Food and Cooking
- Plants and Garden
In the beginning of the book, they make it sound so easy and fun to approach a person with. “Look at this book I found!” you could proclaim. Make it light, they say. Don’t make it like an assignment or an exam. Choose a category at random. Answer the question yourself before having them answer.
One of the arguments made for the book overall is that people tend to spend a shit ton of time asking questions before buying a house or a car, but not before choosing a romantic partner. There’s no CarFax equivalent for dudes. Think of all the information you read about items to buy or places to eat before you settle on one.
Still, you are presenting a book with the word “lover” on it (sans “meat” and sans “pizza”). The first sentence on the back is “Do you want to find out whether a romantic partner is ‘the one’?” 😳
The message you may intend to send is “I would like to get to know you better.” The message you may end up sending is “Answer all of these to see if I can start ordering the monogrammed towels and wedding cutlery now or later.”
As you may have guessed by now, I would like to use this book. Preferably with L, but if that doesn’t work out, some guy in the future.
To that end, I have questions:
- Do you think using such a book is a good idea?
- When do you think the book should be introduced?
- How should such a book be introduced? (Would you give him a copy? Would you just bring the questions separately from the book?)
- If you are a man, would you think ohmygod this woman is nutso or would you be a good sport about it?
- As a follow up to question 4, would you actually use the book or would you take it to be nice and then never look at it again? Would you be insulted at all?
- If you are not a man, but are in a relationship or married to one, how do you think your partner would interpret your presenting such a book at this stage of dating?
- As a follow up to question 6, do you think he would have used the book or do you think he would have taken it to be nice, then never look at it again? Do you think he would be insulted at all?
I have asked Same Dude Different Day about the prospect of bringing up this book and he encouraged me to proceed with caution and to basically read the temperature.
Here are my reasons why I think I should bring it up:
- It has intellectual in the title. L likes that I am “an intellectual superior/equal” to him. He’s actually used that phrase.
- L brought up love languages at one point which is also tied to a book.
- We’ve played Would You Rather using a book of questions.
- Ultimately the book is useful, even if romance isn’t in the cards for us.
- I’d sort of like to know some of these things sooner than later.
- We’ve been fairly mature about these sorts of issues already. Like, we’ve talked about money already… not like “Here’s how much money I owe the federal government for school” *cough* me *cough*, but how much money we make.
- I think he enjoys the sort of information hunt I associate with purchase of items. The man is going back and forth about needing snow tires.
- We spend a lot of time apart. He lives an hour away. Next week he’ll be back in Florida for Thanksgiving. The book is something to do.
Here’s why I think I shouldn’t bring it up:
- It could be too early to bring in something like this.
- It could be coming on far too strong at this point.
- There is a potential that he accepts the book, tosses it in the corner and never looks at it again
- In the event that the bullet point above happens, I will likely get very grumpy and/or resentful (that’s my personal issue); but it would be a good thing to know in terms of overall. Like, I want a guy who would at least be open to trying the book with me beyond the first introduction of it.
My pros and cons are doing nothing for me right now in terms of helping me decide what to do.
That is why I am seeking input from those who are more wizened in the ways of the world. Or those who aren’t and just think this is a brilliant/dumb idea.