Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't stroke his ego or his back.

Derek and I didn’t have the most fantastic of online dating email dialogues. I wouldn’t say that our conversations had evoked in me feelings of chemistry or even excitement to meet him. But our chats were stimulating in the way that a history textbook is stimulating—the material is interesting, the delivery is dry, and you feel as though you ought to learn more.

I met Derek at one of my favorite restaurants in LA and I immediately realized that the restaurant was going to be forever tainted for me by this date. Derek was about 15 pounds heavier than his pictures would have indicated. Derek was doofy. Derek was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. Derek was the kind of man you found yourself talking as though he was a child.

Everything improves after half a bottle of wine though and by the end of dinner Derek was seeming entirely tolerable and slightly charming.

Derek asked me to continue the night with another drink elsewhere. I was tipsy and couldn’t think of any reason not to. By the time I finished drink number one at the following establishment, I was finding it harder to aim for my mouth with the straw and my hand was playfully grazing Derek’s shoulder. Bad. Move. Even tipsy, I knew this. You never want to give a wrong signal to a guy like Derek. It was time to go home.

I had one drink too many that night and came within too few inches of Derek’s personal space. He was hooked.

Now, when I go out with men I meet online I go in with an assumption that he is seeing just as many other chicks as I am dudes. I mean, that’s why we go online right? To check out as many fish in the sea as possible? Well, either Derek prefers fishing in small ponds or I am just that good of a catch. Because Derek has called or texted me or both every day for the last week and a half. And while I would have considered a second date with Derek—we both have a shared interest in art and eating after all—I am now afeared that he might ask me to move in or propose were I to get too drunk and hold his hand.

A word to the ladies: if you don’t think a fellow’s up your alley, don’t stroke his ego or his back on the first date. Men are easily mislead by such advances. Not unlike lab mice by blocks of cheese.

Hey guys: even if a girl gives you what you think might be a good sign on the first date, stay attuned to other signs after—like unreturned calls.

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