I decided to give OkCupid a try. I am notoriously picking out terrible men for myself and figured I needed a little experience in the dating world in hopes of eventually being able to identify a decent husband at some point. So, this past Saturday I had my first date from the site.
The guy, who I will refer to as Mr. Red Flag (you will see why as you continue to read) messaged me a few weeks ago. He told me I had a nice
smile we chatted about the beach and how we had a lot in common. He is 35, recently moved to the D.C. area from the west coast, but is originally from New England like myself. Mr. Red Flag was wearing a red sox base ball cap in one of his pictures (LOVE that), and in another
picture he was fishing, so I thought that he must be a red sox loving, outdoorsy New Englander like myself, right?
We eventually exchanged numbers and planned to meet up this past Friday at 7pm for drinks. Due to a happy hour that turned into me staying out until last call on Thursday night (oops), I ended up working from home the next day, so I began to get ready for the big date around 5:30. I
was puttering around my room when Mr. Red Flag texted me.
“Hey, do you mind if we re-schedule? I had a really bad day at work, and I won’t be good company.”
I understood because we have all been there but hindsight tells me that this should have been my first red flag. Also, I was a little annoyed that I had spent time getting ready to go out, but I was still slightly hung over from the night before so I just decided to throw on my pjs and curl up on the couch with my roommates.
Mr.Red Flag explained that he needed to work the next day (a Saturday) and so he suggested a late lunch at 4pm at a chain restaurant (second red flag) in Annandale, halfway between where we both live. I agreed. So the date was officially rescheduled for the next day.
The next day Mr. Red Flag texted me to see if we were still on for 4pm. Twice. “Wow, he must be anxious” I thought. (possible 3rd red flag?)
During one of our text conversations about the location, I joked and told him that I hoped I did not get lost.
He responded back,” no GPS?”
I said, “I am not a GPS kind of girl.”
Then I got this from him: “Old School. Cute. Or you could just come here and kiss me.”
Excuse me, what? Kiss you??? What? I don’t even know you!! This was obviously my 4th very huge red flag and probably where I should have
aborted the mission but no, I kept on with the plan. What can I say; I’m naive in the dating world. Plus, he seemed so normal otherwise.
3:30pm rolled around and I was googling directions (no GPS, remember). I received yet another text from… guess who? He wanted to know if we could push our date to 4:30pm because…wait for it…waaait for it… he would like to take an afternoon nap!!!
Now, I pride myself on being very understanding and flexible, but in the dating world, maybe I shouldn’t be quite so relaxed? What grown man texts a woman to tell her that he needs to change the time of their date (that he has already cancelled once) because he needs to nap?
This was obviously the 5th red flag that I failed to acknowledge. But, I agreed to 4:30pm. By this point I was starving because I was holding off on eating, we were supposed to have a late lunch.
I have a question: What the heck are you supposed to do when you have that gut feeling you are heading for disaster but it’s kind of too late?
I got lost on the way, as suspected (those Virginia roads!). When I did arrive about 10 minutes late, (I made Mr. Red Flag aware that I was lost
as soon as I knew I was, and got no response from him) I texted him that I found the place and asked if he is there yet. He wrote back, “Hold on a sec.. I’m finishing up a conversation with my mom.” Wow.
Let me rewind for a second. When Mr. Red Flag and I had been texting earlier in the day, he asked me if we could meet outside the restaurant
because he wanted to avoid an awkward situation meeting inside the restaurant’s lobby or inside somewhere, said he “felt like he was on stage.” Congratulations buddy, you just successfully made an awkward situation even more awkward.
So, when I arrived I waited in front of the restaurant (outside) so he could finish up his conversation… with his mom.
My phone started ringing at the same time I saw him walking from the other side of the parking lot towards me. He was calling me. As soon as I got a good look the red flags start to go off like crazy, in neon, with fireworks and sparklers everywhere. ABORT, ABORT, ABORT!! But there was no way out. I was trapped.
I do have to say he was definitely the same person who was in his profile pictures… about 10 years ago. To give you a rough idea, he was wearing acid washed jeans (no, I am not joking), miss-matched polo and undershirt, had a pot belly, and was slightly balding and grey (which is totally fine most of the time, but not this time). He completely miss-represented himself in his pictures online.
Mr.Red Flag approached me and I extended my hand to shake his hand (I did not want to touch my body to his). Instead of shaking my hand, he made fun of me for trying to shake his hand by talking down to me as though I was a child and insisted on a hug. Awkward. Fantastic start.
We went inside. I already knew there was absolutely no way I would ever see this man again, at least not on my own accord. But, I was trapped. He asked the hostess if we could sit in the bar. She started to seat us in one of the two person booths in the bar (chain restaurant) and Mr. Red Flag insisted that she seat us at a different table. A table that was EXACTLY like the one she was about to seat us at but right next to it. I used to work in restaurants so I know what a huge pain in the ass it is when people do this. And there was no point to his request,
other than to be pushy.
We both sat down and he immediately asked me, “are you hungry?” Before I could answer him and tell him that was FUCKING STARVING he said, “I’m not hungry, I had a big lunch.” That’s funny, I thought we were meeting for lunch. So, we ordered drinks. I got carded, he did not. Because he looks like a 50 year old man (I’m 30, btw).
As I sat there, knowing this was a pointless venture, I figured… I’ve got to just get through this next hour or so, I might as well at least try
to make the best of the situation while we are here together. We agreed to share one appetizer. I scarfed it down. On most dates, I am like most girls. I do not stuff my face. I act dainty. But this date? Nope. Definitely shoved food in my face because I was so hungry. As
our conversation unfolded there in our two seated booth I learned many things about Mr. Red Flag.
I asked him how work was, since he had to work earlier that day. He said, “oh I didn’t end up going. I was going to get up and work from home, but I just didn’t get around to it.” Hmmm… ok. Isn’t that why we waited until 4pm to meet (Er, sorry, 4:30 so that he could nap)?
I asked what he did for work and he got all sketchy. He did not really answer. He danced around the question for a bit until I finally asked, “are you not allowed to tell me or something?”
No joke, he literally looked around as though someone could be watching us and shook his head no. But, after a while, Mr. Red Flag
eventually told me that he basically he has security clearance and works on contracts for the federal government.
Ok buddy, not impressed, you and half the city have security clearance.
It might be somewhat impressive if he made a lot of money, but when I asked about his family, his siblings, he told me that he owes his brother money that he pays off when he can and really doesn’t talk to the rest of them. Casually said that he just doesn’t have time or
really get along with them. Except for his mom….. but we already know that.
In between complaining about his co-workers and work environment (the same work environment he is not supposed to talk about), he then asked me about my family.
I told him I was the youngest of three.
He said, “well that explains a lot.”
I said, “what do you mean?”
“Oh how you have that it’s all about me mentality” he replied.
UM WHAT? Excuse me? I quickly changed the subject and asked about fishing (remember he was fishing in one of his profile pictures). Mr. Red Flag said he doesn’t fish and is not much of an outdoors person. Hesaid that he is more of a home body. I pushed further and asked him
about the fishing photograph on his OkCupid profile and and he said, “oh yeah that was one time a long time ago.”
Mr. Red Flag told me several different times through our date about how he wanted to buy a house in South America because he loves it down there, the warm weather and the beaches. I told him about an upcoming trip I am planning abroad, and he told me he doesn’t have his passport yet… Um, didn’t you just say that you wanted to buy a house in South American, Belize to be precise? Maybe you should visit first, just a thought…
Minutes later he was telling me that he might just end up moving back to the west coast and buy a house, actually one house in Montana so he can enjoy the rugged outdoors (remember that he told me earlier in the date that he is not an outdoorsy guy) and one house in California for the beaches and great weather. Why am I not surprised? A walking contradiction.
Finally after 2 drinks each (I had to have a second glass of wine because at that point the date was just entertaining) he asked for the bill. As
you can imagine we went Dutch. I was more than fine with that because I did not want to owe this guy anything.
As far as I’m concerned Mr. Red Flag and I were strangers who happened to sit next to each other at the bar. We parted ways with an awkward one arm hug and “take care”. I think the feeling was mutual, I hope it was anyway.
I sincerely hope I learned my lessons on this one… I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around what happened here.
1.) Get on the phone before you meet up.
2.) Read the red flags. They are there in plain sight.
3.) Get out while you can! There will be a time when there is no turning back.