Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.


Earlier today I was casually lurking on , yes I lurk sometimes.  Usually when I’m drinking my coffee/reading the morning paper or watching something I like on TV (or stuff like that).  I’ll have my laptop open with Tweetdeck open and I’ll occasionally take a look at it to see if anything catches my eye.  Well, I noticed an interesting exchange between @singlemom75 and @SingleGal.  Singlemom75 tweeted in frustration about what she considered and inappropriate question that she was asked via email from a guy she met on OkCupid.  Here’s the tweet: “OkC guy asked why the split…problems in bed? Um…really? That’s a top-3 thing to talk about on dating chat? I am SO not cut out for this!”

As I said, this caught my attention.  I consider this a completely inappropriate question.  Completely.  Inappropriate.  I probably would delete the message and stop communication with any guy who asked me why my last relationship failed and was it because the guy was bad in bed.

As far as I’m concerned, those emails, after you decide you like each other’s profiles, are for some low key flirting and minimal info gathering.   It’s to give me a sense of someone’s boundaries (do they have any) and sense of humor.   I don’t want to hear someone’s life story, not do I want to share mine.

Anyway, SingleGal had a very different take on the situation.  Her reply – “interestingly I have been asked that a couple times on dates. I consider it an OK question. I’d probably ask it …”

Now, I freely admit that I suck at the question asking thing, and so maybe I just don’t have a good sense of what is and isn’t off limits.  But I would think that that’s not a first date question.  In fact, I’m 99% sure of it.   Maybe after you’ve been out a couple of times and established some trust, but not until then.  Right?

Or have I been drawing lines in the wrong places again?

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12 to “Lines”

  1. starangel82 says:

    I’m with you on this one. I consider that a completely inappropriate question on the first date. In depth questions about my sex life and previous relationships are ignored if asked in online communication or on a first date. Asking me when my last long term relationship was is a perfectly okay question. Asking me if that relationship ended because of bad sex? Wrong window… try across the hall.

  2. RVASarah says:

    I agree with both you and starangel82. It’s a trust thing to me. If some guy asked me online or on a first date about why my last relationship ended, I would be appalled. Those kinds of questions should come later in the dating continuum, after some trust is established.

  3. Tokyo Cowgirl says:

    Um. Yeah. Couldn’t agree more.

    I can’t decide whether SingleGirl’s retort makes me want to throw up all over myself or throw a self-help book at her (you know, in hopes that she will educate herself and stop littering the internet with her inane wisdom).

    Sure, I’m being brutal here, but only a piteously insecure creature would have responded in that manner. And guess what, piteously insecure people do not need to be giving their friends piteous, insecure advice. It’s like one blind person leading another blind person off of a cliff – really freaking devastating for those of us that aren’t suffering from myopia to watch.

    And yes, this definitely relates to your prior post (the one that references the Smart Brothas “How To Answer Questions” blog) about each of us getting what we deserve out of relationships.

    Here, SingleMom didn’t need to ask whether or not Dude is a total Youkknowwhat that will continue to ignore boundaries and polite, responsible behavior in the future- it was answered for her. Any girl that would continue to show interest in anyone after the above meteor-sized red flag was raised is either infuriatingly naive or painfully dumb. Period.

  4. Singlegal says:

    Well, I’ll preface this with the fact that I’ll ask just about anything, so I’ve come to expect the same in return. I don’t think it’s an appropriate question for a first meeting (I missed that context with @singlemom75) but I have found in my dating life that it inevitably comes up. Truthfully? I think it says a lot about a person. I guess you want to hear what they’ve learned from their experience, and cue in for answers like “well, she was just completely crazy” and stuff like that because those send up big red flags to me. I guess it’s almost a point of commiseration. I’m not so much looking to place any blame or find fault. And in truth, it’s not a question I normally ask. But I’m OK with being asked and you’ll get an honest answer from me in return.

  5. Singlegal says:

    Hello there Tokyo Cowgirl! Nice to meet you. Please don’t throw books at me. I value them too much.

  6. browolf says:

    asking what happened in someones last relationship seems fair to me but adding the bed thing seems to indicate a somewhat shallow view of women in relationships.

  7. Singlegal says:

    Interesting that someone would discuss politeness and appropriateness about a question and chooses to be crude and attacking in response to a blog comment. Just an observation.

  8. Tokyo Cowgirl says:

    SingleGal, I apologize if I offended you, it seems like I might have.

    The thing is, this post touched a raw nerve for me. I’m sick to death of women, otherwise intelligent, well-spoken ladies (something you appear to be as I have read your blog before), will excuse any and all warning signs just because they are so, so desperate to couple-up.

    I think that man’s question was very telling and, likewise, so was your response. And not in a good way. The kind of woman that will put up with that sort of immature behavior is not the kind of woman that will find the healthy, successful relationship she is looking for. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

  9. Singlegal says:

    I agree that accepting rude or intrusive behaviors just for the sake of “coupling” is a bad trend to get into. The key point is that I DON’T find this question rude or intrusive. I find it acceptable. Therefore, I am not allowing a negative behavior into this encounter. Now, granted, I write a blog about my divorce, so I am probably more “Out there” with this information than others. If a question is asked of me that I feel is “rude”, I will address it accordingly. But I don’t think it’s always possible to know what ones boundaries are for questions, especially in an online dating situation. I know I have asked questions that have touched a “nerve” meaning no harm from them, and that have adjusted accordingly. I’m not intending to be “rude”. I can tell the difference with the intent of a question (sometimes, even if it’s the same question) and don’t answer when I don’t think it’s in the spirit of progress.
    I find you have to be open-minded to these online dating situations and that being “unforgiving” toward someone’s potential oversight isn’t the best frame of mind to enter into this situation with. I don’t equate my boundaries as a hinderence to a healthy, successful relationship. Rather, I consider my understanding of myself to be plus.

  10. SINgleGIRL says:

    I love it, “wrong window…try across the hall”. One day I’m actually going to say that.
    Exactly, it’s about timing. And like you said, some questions should come later in the dating continuum.
    -Tokyo Cowgirl
    I think I understand where your frustration and exasperation comes from, although your assumption was/is that Singlegal and other women with accept inappropriate behavior because they are desperate for a man. I am coming at this from a completely different (and perhaps more confused) place. That different people have very different ideas as to what is and is not appropriate. I mean, I shy away from asking all but the most innocuous things about a guy (not even feeling comfortable with – how long since your divorce until just these past few months – I finally got over that one). Whereas, I know women who will ask all kinds of superpersonal things about past relationships on a first date.
    I think this is the one way where you an I are completely different. You are open and all about asking deep and probing question up front. I am closed and well.. You know the rest of that sentence. I don’t think one way is better than the other. I think.

  11. chicago63 says:

    “Why the split…problems in bed?..” sounds like an insecure man that has issues with his own performance. I agree that it is totally inappropriate to ask regardless.

  12. SINgleGIRL says:

    Welcome to the blog. And yes, he does sound like a really insecure guy.