Once in a while, when you spin the dating wheel, it stops on “Bad Date.” Of course you don’t know this going into the date. And luckily, my experience is it only happens about 10% of the time. But tonight I landed smack dab in the middle of that slot. Since it doesn’t happen often, I wasn’t prepared for it, but still managed to eke out a few lessons. I’ll tell you those after I set the scene.
We’d sent a handful of short emails and talked briefly on the phone a few times. His cell service was so bad, it dropped every third word, so I explained I couldn’t hear him and we cut the calls short. Usually, I like to talk to a man a bit to know some about him before I agree to a meeting. Because of the bad phone coverage, I didn’t know a lot about him going into our drink date.
I met him at a bar after a dinner meeting with colleagues. He waved as I entered. I wouldn’t have recognized him from his picture, which I now saw was 10 years and 80 pounds ago. Still, I greeted him as I always do, with a brief hug. He didn’t stand from the bar stool, but managed to slide a hand down to my tush. As I promptly removed it, I thought “Strike One.”
This self-described “sophisticated, worldly and refined” man wore a well-worn suit jacket with an unpressed shirt. He told me several times how he is the sole heir to a local mega-business so was very wealthy. Funny, his tailor had yet to see any of this fortune.
When I sat down, his glass of champagne was half gone so I asked how long he’d been there. He’d just arrived. “And he’d already downed a half a glass?” I noted. I sipped mine as he began the interrogation.
When I tried to reply to his questions, he interrupted. Often he would tell me the same thing over and over and over again. He asked me to guess the answer to questions and when I did, of course it was wrong.
The conversation took a turn when he leaned toward me and said, “I want to take you out to your car and ravish you.” He then continued with specifics of what this would entail. When I didn’t respond by grabbing him by the hand and rushing to the car, he decided he should increase the frequency of sharing his intentions, respited only briefly by non-sexual comments.
For example, when he learned I was born in Kansas, he decided to enlighten me on his opinion of Kansans: slow, stupid, uneducated, uncouth, unsophisticated, cautious, boring. When I failed to take him up on his offer for car sex, he began telling me how I was “so Kansas.” Adding, “I mean no harm.” Right. So in essence, I epitomized the adjectives he just used to describe Kansans. Charming.
He downed another glass of champagne while I was half way through my one.
We’d discovered on the phone that we’d concurrently attended the same university for two years, in fact, eating in the same cafeteria. When I brought up the college’s name, he began to describe it as if I’d never been there.
He told me how he didn’t like American women, but loved European women. I wondered, “Then why don’t you go live in Europe?” Probably because the women there would be no more enamored with him than we are.
Since I believe generally people have some treasure inside them if you are patient and willing to look, I worked hard to find something I liked about him. He was intelligent. Unfortunately, that was all I could find.
As he gulped his third glass of champagne in less than an hour, I decided I had given him enough time to see if it was worth investing any more. As I knew within the first few seconds, no. This was worth no more time, and I could have said so within the first 10 minutes. But I don’t like it when someone cuts me off after so little time, so I wanted to see if it might improve. It didn’t.
After Strike One I lost count. With baseball players the ones who hit the most home runs also strike out a lot. I don’t think this man ever hit a home run, just had lots of strike outs.
What were my lessons?
- Stick with what has worked pretty well in the past — talk to the guy for more than a few minutes before agreeing to meet him.
- Continue with the “short first date” rule. In our phone calls, he’d asked more than once to have dinner with him. I can imagine how excruciating that would have been.
- If his picture is from a previous decade, he doesn’t understand that truth in advertising is key to dating ethically.
- If he does something egregious at the beginning, it’s not going to get any better. He’s clueless how to treat a woman respectfully.
- If he talks graphically about sex, leave.
- If he repeats himself frequently, he’s not present.
- If he downs three drinks within an hour, he’s probably an alcoholic. Leave when you notice two are downed in a half an hour.
- Appreciate the “normal”guys, who are gentlemanly, kind and can keep the conversation out of the gutter.
What have you learned when the dating wheel has landed on “Bad Date”?
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