DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going out with a nice guy for a few weeks now. I live in Manhattan, and he lives in Queens.
On several occasions, we have hung out late. The way I was taught, the man is supposed to make sure that the woman gets home safely. I know that’s old-school, but that’s who I am.
I asked him to drop me at my door or to send me home in a car. He looked at me like I was nuts. He said we live in a city with subways that make it possible for everybody to get home easily.
He said he would take me home only if I was inviting him to spend the night. We aren’t even close to there yet.
I’m not quite sure how to react now. I have my values, but am I being too rigid? I asked my friends, and they said they rarely meet a man who is willing to take them home. They said it’s usually not even a conversation.
See Me Home
DEAR SEE ME HOME: If home delivery is that important to you, make it part of your early dating conversation.
Let your potential dates know that if they intend to hang out with you past a particular time, you ask for them to see you home safely — either in person or in a car service. Know that you may be eliminating a sizeable group of men who do not have the same values as you.
You can also make a similar decision that says your dates typically need to end at a particular time, after which you do not feel comfortable taking the subway alone. You may want to decide that you will pay for your car service sometimes so that it doesn’t seem too old-fashioned and you maintain some control over yourself.
DEAR HARRIETTE: Some friends invited my husband and me to dinner at their house. We like them a lot, but we do not like their cooking.
Each time we have eaten with them, I have gotten sick, either because the food was too milky — I am lactose-intolerant and they know it, but they cook with cream anyway — or it was just too rich for our systems.
How do we bow out of the home-cooked meal but still spend time with them?
Not for Dinner
DEAR NOT FOR DINNER: You can try a few things. Ask them if you can come for dessert instead and offer to bring a special treat yourself. If they agree, remind them that you are lactose-intolerant so you can’t eat every type of dessert. Give ideas on what you can eat.
If they press for you to come for dinner, tell them that you really want to hang out with them, but your dietary restrictions are so severe that you are afraid that you will not be able to eat the delicious food they prepare.
You can pivot and ask if they would like to meet at a restaurant that serves food that each of you can eat. Acknowledge that you know how hard it is to cook for you due to your dietary limitations.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.