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“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”― Norman Vincent Peale

I was unsure about G, but on Wednesday night he helped me make up my mind. 

We were having dinner at Patsy’s Pizzeria. We had a nice table looking out to the marina.  Right at the start, before we had even ordered drinks, he said: “You are coming over to my apartment after”.

I said: “What? No I am not!”

We went back and forth like that for awhile.  I ultimately said that if he insisted I would call an Uber at the end of the evening.  He finally said: “ok, I know you asked me to slow down”.

With that put to bed, no pun intended 😉 the conversation eventually made its way to work and finances.  At some point he said to me: “You make good money”.  I never told him how much I make so he was just assuming.  

I replied: “Good is relative.  I probably should be making more for all that I do and the industry I am in, but I am not complaining.  I believe that, often, is not how much one makes but how much one spends.” 

I have always lived below my means.  It affords me the peace of mind of having enough savings to deal with emergencies, such as my tenant not paying the rent for months as it is happening now.   

I had started noticing by some of his comments on prior dates that he likes to compare the two of us.  He always seems to want to “one up” me in the financial area.  That is one game that he can play alone as I have no interest in competing with anyone in any area, specially financially.

I think that he feels threatened by thinking that I am more successful than he is.  For the record, I never measure anyone in material terms.  I have noticed that he does.  He likes to say that he is making a lot money and that he drives a nice car and that his mortgage is paid up months ahead.  

All of a sudden he turns to me and says: “I noticed that you make some English mistakes.  Can I correct you?’

It came out of nowhere.  I said nothing for a few seconds while I tried to digest that statement and recover from the shock.  Eventually I said: “Do you mean my pronunciation or my grammar?” 

He answered: “grammar”.  I expected him to say pronunciation. I will always have an accent.  At one point I was trying to get rid of it, but grew to accept it as just another thing that makes me special.

I told him that I don’t mind being corrected and asked him to tell me what was the mistake I had just made.  He said he didn’t remember at the moment but there were several here and there.  I pressed him and he still couldn’t come up with anything.

The issue for me is not if I make grammar mistakes or not.  You read my blog so you know I do make mistakes.  But who says that on a date with someone that they are supposedly trying to impress and get to know better?  I didn’t ask him for feedback on my English skills.  

“Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. – Norman Vincent Peale

I think that he only said that to make me feel self-conscious because English is not my first language.  Perhaps I am wrong, but I think he is intimidated by me.  I think his perception of my “success” hurts his ego.  

Or perhaps he was hurt because I turned down his offer to go to his apartment.   While I have no issues going to his apartment just to have a drink and talk, I do know that he would be all over me and I would have to be fending off his advances the whole time.  There is nothing I hate more than feeling pressured to do something.  The more someone insists the more I don’t want to do it and will not do it. 

I am fine being corrected by someone doing it with the right intention.  I welcome it. That is not what  I felt in his words.  His comment only served to annoy me and show me that he is not the person for me.

While not wanting to go out with someone because they mention “grammar mistakes” seems petty and lame,  that is my reason.  I perceived his comment as a futile attempt to put me down and hurt my ego. I don’t want to be someone that would act in such a way.

Perhaps I am being extra sensitive but I have my reasons. He reminded me of someone I dated many many years ago.  He would criticize everything I said, did, wore, etc.  While I was in the middle of it I didn’t see what he was doing.  I thought he was trying to make me a better person.  He was not.  I am glad that I finally wised up. 

To this day when I look back I can’t believe I put up with any of that.  I will never again.  I want someone that will lift me up and not try to create insecurities where none exist.   

For the unnecessary comment and the pressure to get more intimate G is history once again.  I should have left him where he belongs: in the past!

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.” ― Norman Vincent Peale