I was on a dinner date with this guy I've been seeing and he revealed a rather ugly side. He was extremely demanding, condescending, and demeaning to our waiter. I wanted to crawl under the table. This is a deal breaker to me. I think it says a lot about a person. I mean what's stopping him from treating me that way someday. But I really like him. I'm not sure this is enough of a reason to break it off. What do you think?
Signed, My Date Was Rude To The Waiter
Dear My Date Was Rude To The Waiter,
I agree with you that his behavior in the restaurant toward the waiter was rude and can be a real turn off. In terms of what that means for your relationship, I think it would be important to determine if it was it a one time thing (everyone has a bad day now and then or occasionally clashes with someone) or if you notice a pattern.
In any case, communication is the key to any relationship. So the best thing to do is to tell him how you feel. Try to be as specific as possible and non-attacking. Speak for yourself. For instance, "I like you and there's something I want to talk to you about. I noticed the way you treated the waiter the other night. I consider that behavior impolite and I was embarrassed. That makes it hard for me to want to dine out with you. I worry if that's the 'real' you coming out and wonder what that means for us?" That's very different than saying, "You acted like a jerk and I don't think I want to date you anymore."
Hopefully the former approach will lessen his defensiveness and open a healthy dialogue between you, showing his true colors. Then you can decide what to do about the "us" from there.
All The Best, Angelo.
Angelo Pezzote is a gay psychotherapist, columnist, and author (Straight Acting - Gay Men, Masculinity, And Finding True Love). He has appeared on Montel, Logo, SIRIUS radio, in print, and online. Lessen your troubles by visiting www.askangelo.com for more. Look good inside and out. Life...who's helping with yours?