I could really do with some advice on controlling my emotions and improving my technique with the opposite sex. My tactlessness has caused me to lose out on two promising dates and potential relationships. A few years ago I lost two girls I really liked. On the first occasion there were rumours that one of them was sleeping around at work, and I questioned her about it. As you can guess, the relationship went no further. More recently I had another date lined up, and after chatting online, getting her number and becoming friends on Facebook, I saw her post to a guy using the term 'babe'. It just so happened that I knew this guy, and I questioned the lady about the post. Of course, she lost interest immediately. Do you think I am being too jumpy? Anxious? Judgemental? Paranoid? Or do I get jealous too easily? Did I question these women in the wrong way? If I did, it has cost me two potential relationships.
If you are interested in dating someone, it is always a good idea to find out as much as you can about the person even before you make your first move. This may mean checking with friends, co-workers and/or associates just to get a general impression of the person. Of course, you will have to sift carefully through what you hear, as some information could be erroneous or downright malicious.
The truth is that people do enter dating relationships with past and current behaviours that might be shady. Some are prepared to disclose, while others are not. So it's really the disposition of the person you are dating that would determine what the likely reaction would be to a sensitive question like the one you posed to the first girl.
The challenge you may have is not the 'what' of the question, but the 'how' and the 'when. So there is nothing wrong with asking the young lady about the allegation, but you shouldn't treat it as an accusation or a fact until she admits same.
Before the dating experience, it is always wise to know what the expectations are. If the relationship is casual with no obligation on either side, then the other woman referring to a guy as “babe” should not be an issue. If, however, there is a mutual understanding that an exclusive relationship exists, then your concern would be justified.
If you know that you have a tendency to be overly jealous and suspicious of women, then you will always find yourself interrogating them rather than enjoying their company.
So in the future, take it slow, do your homework, establish the ground rules of the relationship, and just enjoy the ride. If during the experience you have reason to doubt or question anything, then choose the right time and place to pose your questions. Remember, though, that you must also be willing to answer any questions for which your date may need an explanation.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org; check out his work overseas on www.seekingshalom.org, e-mail email@example.com.