I tried online dating, years ago. I should have written a book based on the experience. After dating essentially the same type of guy over the years, I decided to go outside of the box. Online dating was only just starting to lose the stigma of seeming desperate. It wasn’t yet Tinder, but some people were looking for simple hookups. That wasn’t my jam. So when I would get messages asking solely for my phone number or telling me I was hot, I passed. I wanted someone stimulating, capable of engaging in conversation, etc. Ultimately, I went on several dates with guys of varying professions; economists, architects, professors, writers, engineers, etc… Professions aren’t important, but it was nice to date someone with a steady job for a change in lieu of guys who were in the midst of trying to find themselves or starving artists or the type of guy who loves a working woman so he can take advantage of her later by quitting his job and putting the onus on her to pay for everything. Nope. I was so over not having an equal; needing someone ambitious and hardworking. More often, they were meetups for coffee in the late afternoon. Some hits, some misses.

I can recall one date where it had been so bad I wanted to tuck and roll out of my own car while driving him back to his. We’d met at a coffee shop whereupon he insisted he wanted to sit out on the patio. It was freezing, but I obliged for a while. Things were going ok; good conversation, etc. Later, we ventured a few blocks away for some food and more conversation. I drove, letting him leave his car behind near the coffee shop. The restaurant/bar we ended up dining at was having live music. Normally, I love live music, but on a first date I want the chance to talk and get to know the other person. Plus, he wanted to sit as close to the damn speakers as possible instead of sitting on the outskirts where we could still enjoy it but not get blasted by the performance. He also had a nasty habit of glaring down other women as they walked by. There had been a post wedding party of lovely bridesmaids and the like and he would ask me a question and proceed to eye F every young woman who dared to stroll by our table. After the 5th or 6th time, I was done and ready to go. He had the gall to be surprised when I said I was ready to leave. I wish now Uber had been a thing back then. I would have insisted he take one back to his car. And I was still too polite to tell him to get a cab. I’ve had worse dates, but I found it rude to have me sit in the cold, or against a loud speaker, as my “date” scoped out other women.

On the way back to his car, he told me how much he’d enjoyed the evening and asked if I wanted to go back to his place to “hang out.” I abruptly declined and didn’t say much else. The sheer awkwardness of it made me want to ditch and roll out of my own car. Wasn’t worth the effort to explain why I had a terrible time, though I did elucidate two weeks later when he called to ask me out again (TWO weeks later). 1. We didn’t have a connection and 2. You waiting two weeks to follow up?

So my advice to guys going on first dates: 1. Please do not ask a question and then proceed to look over our shoulder at say the television to see the game score, or eyeball another woman. 2. If it is cold or raining outside, don’t suggest we sit outside. 3. If there is live music, suggest sitting far away enough to where you can still chitchat at a normal level. I don’t want to yell over it in order to talk. It is rude to the performers as well as to me. And lastly, if you are still interested, do not wait 2 weeks to follow up. It screams booty-call. I know after that much time has passed you are not interested in anything else from me.

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Technophobe Who Codes | UX Generalist | Freelance Writer | Egalitarian-Feminist | True-Crime/Forensics Enthusiast

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