I had Chinese for lunch today, and this is what I know for sure: fortune cookies are designed to be appetizers, not dessert.
I try to turn my back on instant gratification whenever feasible, but when there is a fortune cookie sitting right there in front of a person’s face – well, how is that possible? To me, the value of this crackly, dry, bland cookie is in the fortune – and that fortune could hold the key to the rest of my life. So, I did. I ate my cookie first, and then I read my fortune. And then I lamented on how fortunes are just not what they used to be – simple platitudes rather than authentic wisdom from the ‘wise people.’
My fortune read – ‘Turn off your cell phone before a romantic evening.’ Another disappointing, useless missive.
Then I stepped into Relationship Coach mode…
Cell phone intrusion is often a topic in my relationship coaching, as it is an irritant for many - often judged as just plain rude - and is becoming more and more prevalent in this age of technology.
Men: What your female partner wants from you on a date, more than anything, is your undivided attention. She wants you to be fully present, and she wants to feel as though she is the most important person in your life, right then and there. She wants to feel ‘courted.’ You get to be alone with your cell phone every other night of the week. Get the picture? (If this ‘parting’ just doesn’t work for you, how about being upfront and asking, ‘Do you mind if I answer my cell during our date?’)
Women: What your male partner wants from you on a date, *more than anything, is the feeling of being respected. When you are talking on your cell phone, take a good look at him. Is he staring into space with his face a frozen mask? Or is he glaring at you hoping you will take the hint? Is he mostly through his dinner and you haven’t even started? Hopefully, he is not turning purple with exasperation. Clearly, respect is nowhere to be seen.
A date is a container for two people to further their relationship, their intimacy, and their enjoyment of each other – by mutual agreement. The world, as you knew it, will be there waiting when you and your cell phone are reunited.
*I know what you’re thinking.