Beat Back your inner B*tch and Jettison your inner Jerk… please

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I find myself handing out relationship advice. While I find it amusing to be in this role, I must agree that I have been in the game long enough to offer up a few tidbits of wisdom. So yes, I know the title of this post is a little crazy but I wanted chit and chat at you about a serious epidemic sweeping the nation. Folks who think being b*tchy and rude is a way of life. So much so that they impose their negativity on the rest of us.

I know Southern Hospitality and The Golden Rule are become antiquated reminders of times gone by but wow… is it just me or are folks a lot more rude than they used to be? I understand people today have no afterschool specials or School House Rock or upstanding moral role models on television or film. I get that. If you are learning your dating behavior from tabloid TV and music videos, I guess I shouldn't expect any better. But by the time your parents are no longer driving you to school and back, shouldn't you have learned some common courtesy?

Dating is just that much harder when people are walking around salty, sour and discourteous to begin with. I can't see how stepping into the dating game with a scowl up on your face helps your cause. A couple of quick stories to illustrate my point:

Confession: I went through an extremely b*tchy phase. Back in my mid-20s after my boyfriend called to tell me that instead of coming to visit for Thanksgiving, he was marrying someone else. Um-hmm, happy holidays to me. So yeah, I was bitter and tart and more likely to snap a man's head off for just saying hello. Shocking – I did not date much for a minute. Seems that the mean mug coupled with the 'back-the-eff-up-off-me' vibe that was radiating off me in thick heated waves was a bit of a barrier. I spent about two months straight in sweats and a ponytail. Yup, I was bringing the sexy from inside out.

One day, while standing in the grocery store eating ice cream in the freezer aisle (no, I didn't want to wait to get home) a brother rolled up and started talking. Just chatting away. What flavor was the ice cream, how was my day, did I always wear my hair up, could he call me sometime? Huh? I literally had to beat back my inner b*tch and decide whether it was more important to hold onto my anger or get to know the piece of chocolate goodness standing in front of me. I chose the chocolate.

Next BougieTale: There was a gentleman I was trying to date and I couldn't figure out where the relationship kept stalling. We seemed to get along but something was just slightly off. Turned out, he was testing me on everything. How many times could he make snipey comments before I called him out? How much would I let him get away with? How many times could he make a suggestion sound more like a command before I caught on? Answer to all those questions: not so very many. I believe the last straw came when we were sitting on the couch watching football. I was eating some pretzels when he reached over, took the bag and said, "No more snacks." My mouth fell open, "Beg pardon?" He said, "I don't want you to have to go to a Belly-Buster boot camp because you got too big."

I called bullshiggity and asked what his general problem was. He said his ex-girlfriend had been a control freak and he was determined not to get caught in that situation again. Ooo-kay, what does that have to do with me? He said he wanted to set boundaries early. I told him his need to be in control of every (single) thing made him come off like a total jerk. He said, "If you don't like it, you can walk." Deuces, dude… I left skidmarks on the way out of that one. (And of course you know that just infuriated him and he wanted to chase harder – brother wanted to control the break-up too). His inner jerk cost him any chance with me. And we all know what a terrible loss that is J.

All of this to say, we've all been through some tough times and none of us walks around in a state of euphoric bliss 24/7 but foisting that on someone else just won't take you very far in Relationship Roulette. Alright Bougienistas – comments, thoughts? Any b*tchy, jerky tales to share?