Can I Close My Tab?
(Excerpt from Happy Hour Stories: The Dating Misadventures of a Girl Between Her Cocktails Book)
There is always that moment in the night while at a bar when I realize it’s time to leave. Sometimes it is because I am having so much fun that I lose track of time and realize I have to close my tab as the bouncer is “wedding-night carrying” me out of the bar. On other occasions it is due to the fact that I got a little too excited and had too many adult beverages. And then there are the times when you know the evening is going to be a bust from the start and you just want to close your tab and leave as quickly as possible. I have had all three scenarios happen to me when it comes to dating, but it is the last scenario that has happened quite often with my online men.
Some of my dates were with great guys that were just so socially awkward that they had a hard time with online dating. Some were ridiculous, but the good ones – and all men for that matter (right, ladies?) – could benefit from some advice on what not to do on a first date.
Here are my Top 10 Dating Tips (take them for what they’re worth) for men to follow when meeting for the first time so the date isn’t asking “Can I Close My Tab?” after the first round of drinks.
1. Don’t reference the site on the date. Ever.
We both know how we met – online. We get it; it’s fine. We don’t need to have this fact be brought up in every single conversation. Seeing that we have finally met in person and are physically looking at each other instead of the pictures on the profile, let’s get past this and have a conversation like we would normally do had we not met through an IP address.
And please don’t ask “how my luck is going on the site.” Obviously, if I am still going on dates, then I probably have been SOL. I am not sure what response these men are looking for. To be quite honest, I feel like I have had a lot of luck in getting dates on the site, just not finding a man that has enough in common with me to have a long-term relationship. Is that the response a man wants to hear? I don’t think so.
2. Don’t ask to check your daily matches from that day together on your date.
A date might think that is funny, but I just think that is rude and unnecessary. If a man does this, he is basically saying one of two things – either (1) I am not that into you and want to see who else I can find while you are still sitting in front of me or (2) come see how many other girls want me and how I judge women. Neither is attractive nor will lead to a second date.
3. Don’t ask me the same questions I just prepped for a job interview.
Dates are supposed to be carefree and fun. It is a great chance to get to know someone, but that does not mean you have to come with a list of questions. I love the “where do you see yourself in the next five years?” question. Buddy, I don’t know if I will like you in the next five minutes, so why don’t we live in the present for the first five drinks. I left one date second guessing my answers as if it was a company that was going to call me for a second interview. I pondered whether my “life plan” was what he was looking for. Then I realized if he wanted to know my life plan before the appetizer came, it probably wouldn’t involve him in it.
4. Don’t bring up statistics from my profile.
I look at numbers all day. I don’t need to be thinking about statistics on our date – particularly when they are about me. I am flattered that the man has paid attention to my profile, but if he knows more about my profile than I do, it turns into an interrogation instead of a date. Please don’t repeat verbatim what you enjoyed from my profile. I understand you think it is a compliment, but guess what? I already know a hell of a lot about myself. What I don’t know about is you and what makes you special – that is what I would like to hear.
After my date goes through this portion of the date, I kind of want to date myself instead of him.
5. Be careful what drink(s) you order on the date.
I like to drink (I think you all have gotten that vibe). Having said that, I know what drinks I can and cannot handle. If you put Red Bull and vodka or a Long Island Iced Tea in front of me, then the date might as well not even begin. The same should go for men. Know what you can handle on a first date – and when I say handle, I am not talking about how much you can drink without getting sick or drinking a handle of liquor. No, this should have been discovered after freshman year of college. I am referring to knowing what you should drink so you are not one of the following: (1) not able to drive home and/or blacked out, (2) not telling me your life story which you will most likely regret the next day, (3) not slurring your words so my response is “what” to every statement, and (4) not giving me every single embarrassing fact about yourself before the third drink comes.
I have gotten drunk on the first date by accident, but it truly was an accident. If you are ripping shots and ordering doubles, then I am pretty sure you are not getting drunk by “accident”. And just so we are all on the same page, my couch is not an appropriate place to crash after a first date (especially if it is a weekday). I love me some alcohol; if I can handle it, then I am sure as hell you can, too.
6. Let’s save some details for the second date. Or the second year of marriage.
A lot of men make the mistake of putting it all out there up front. I don’t like to play games, but I do like a little mystery in a date. There are some things that should be held for a more appropriate time when we both know each other better. The mystery also leaves me guessing what interests you and it adds to the excitement.
Truly though, some topics of conversation should just never be brought up (until maybe after we are married and one night you inform me of these things when you are drunk and we can both laugh it off while I Google the keyword “annulment”). Some of these details include:
- The fact that you live with your parents and have no desire to move out anytime soon
- Your past eight relationships and why they have failed
- Your astrological sign and how you have already researched how it would match to my Gemini
- That you want four children and you want them within the first few months of getting married
- That you have already put my first name and your last name together to “see how it sounded”
7. Women don’t go “goo goo” for baby talk. Or pet names.
There is nothing worse than a man that does baby talk. Unless he is talking to a rescued puppy that can only hear eight octaves above the normal ear, I don’t want to hear it. I want a man – a real man. So act like one.
And the pet names after a date or two are just not appropriate. Actually, I take that back; if you are reading “50 Shades of Grey” and taking lessons from Christian Grey on how to please a woman, then, you can say “Laters, Baby” all you want.
8. Please don’t fight me when I request to meet in a public place.
There are some dangers to meeting strangers from an online dating site. Women, in particular, need to be cautious when doing so. That is why I recommend always choosing a public place with an easy escape route to meet a gentleman for the first time. I think this is pretty standard behavior and should be a respected decision.
I have had multiple men bring up the fact that they were disappointed that I wouldn’t give them my address and let them pick me up for our date. They always use the excuse, “chivalry is not dead,” Well, here is a news flash. I don’t want to be dead either. I am not going to get into a car with you before ever meeting you and give you my address just like that. I prefer watching the news stories rather than being in one. I am sorry, but no excuse should have to be given for that decision.
9. Don’t lie in your profile.
I get that most men think there is this “stereotype” that all women are looking for so they might exaggerate a few inches in height, body image, or put up pictures from a few years ago to fit that stereotype. We will find out you are lying the second we meet you, so just don’t put yourself in that situation.
Sure, my ideal match is a gorgeous 6’5″ athletic and toned manly man with a master’s degree, sense of humor, and a dog. But if you are a 5’7″ man with a beer belly, we could still have a connection and I am more interested in a man’s character than his physical characteristics – lying is not a good character trait.
But like I said before, my deal breaker is a cat.
10. It is called Match.com, not Desperate.com.
I think men believe there is a 1,000 pound gorilla in the room because we met online. Think about it – our generation does everything else online – we find our clothes, our music, our information, and our dish on friends. Why not a man?
I may not be King Kong declaring my love for you from the top of the Empire State Building and we might not be stuck together like gorilla glue after the first date, but guess what? That’s normal. If I enjoyed your company and we enjoyed a glass of wine and good conversation together on a Wednesday evening, then I would declare that a victory.
I think some men think the women on the dating sites are so desperate for a boyfriend that if there is chemistry on the first date, they are meeting the parents on the second and planning a wedding on the third. I am sure there are women out there like this, but that is the minority.
If we met at a bar or a tailgate or basically anywhere else but online, and I asked you to become my boyfriend after the first two or three dates, I would be declared “Stage 5” clinger status while you would change your number and discuss with your friends what a stalker I was. However, I have had men do this to me quite often and I have to think it is the online gorilla, pumping his chest telling these poor decision makers that this is what I want since I was online.
From the Gorilla to The Eagles; Oh Desperado, Why Don’t You Come To Your Senses?
I have not met a man that has done all ten of these at the same time, but I have met some that have committed several offenses.
If you don’t want your date to ask to close her tab after the first few drinks, I highly recommend you take this advice. If you really want to impress your date, I recommend her not having a tab in the first place.