Lessons from a bad date

dating wheelOnce 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.

champagneWhen 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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10 responses to “Lessons from a bad date”

  1. Kvetch Avatar

    I think you might like this account of one of my bad dates (the link is below)! I learned somewhere you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. I think you can insert *suit* there too in your case.

    Lesson learned, huh? I concur!!


  2. Rod Avatar

    I think I learned that someone who is ‘just fixing a drink’ while she chats with you on the phone at 2 in the afternoon one day is a drinker. I think I learned that someone who is ‘just fixing a drink’ while she chats with you on the phone EVERY afternoon, and morning, and evening, is an alcoholic. I think I learned that I dont think I want to date an alcoholic.

  3. sd Avatar


    I mean, for someone that you still thought was intelligent, this…LOSER!…sure showed incredibly poor judgement and verbal/social skills.

    Delete, delete, delete and block, block, block him before heading for bed, IMO.

    I live in terror that the bulk of the men that show interest at my age and post-two-kids+chocolate body will turn out to be just like this if I accept a meet.

    Not sure I would have been as patient as you- the sex talk would have caused me to channel my grandmother, and the man would have been publically humiliated in a very direct yet ladylike way- assuming he was aware enough to realize everyone else in the room was looking at him like he was low tide slime as I walked away.

  4. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    All I can say is UGH!!! It’s no wonder I’ve resigned myself to singledom. Unfortunately, I’m starting to believe that all the good ones really are taken or gay, and what we’re left with at midlife are the sludge monkeys, such as the one you described so well.

    I agree with sd, you’re far too kind in describing this man as intelligent. No matter what his IQ is, he’s clearly retarded when it comes to dealing with members of the opposite sex.

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  5. Lulu Avatar

    DG, I’ve made the mistake several times of mistaking intelligence for sincerity. Your experience with this date was a fine example of intelligence being no guide to personality. Have you noticed that even the most intelligent men are not very self-aware, and do not seem to self-censor when it comes to leering/ogling/sexist comments/sexual innuendo? How is this possible? I’ve made so many allowances and excuses for dates who made the most outrageous (I see with hindsight) comments, as if interviewing women as potential sexual partners was their occupation!

  6. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Yes, Lulu, IQ and EQ are vastly different. I love intelligent men, and know that not all have good social skills. But I was flabbergasted by the lack of these in Bad Date. I can usually weed out those who don’t have EQ through phone and email. But this one got by me!

    Apparently, Bad Date did feel his occupation was interviewing sexual partners! Someone said this must work or he wouldn’t keep doing it. I referred her to “Learning about male magnetism from … rats” where intermittent reinforcement was powerful. So if this guy tried this on 100 woman and got one lonely, low-self-esteemed woman to bite, he said “It works!” Ugh for the rest of the 99 who must endure his boorish behavior.

  7. nysharon Avatar

    God bless you, there is something to be said about going to the powder room and climbing out the window *smile*

  8. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi NYSharon:

    I walked out the front door with my head held high.No sneaking out the bathroom window for me. It might have soiled my cute datewear, and how would I climb out the window in heels? 🙂

    It was one of the few times I was appreciative that a guy didn’t want to walk me to my car! If he’d tried, I would have called security!

  9. […] with perhaps suggestive innuendo and downright explicit raunchiness. In fact, I had one guy (”Lessons from a bad date“) begin his “flirting” at […]

  10. hunter Avatar

    All right DG!…….