I am a pretty open-minded dater, and I am not one to turn down a date. So if I’m turned off by odd dating behavior, I figure it must be a really dire situation. There are five dating instances that stick out in my mind as red flag moments in the most literal sense — where I visualized red flags sticking out my date’s ears. “HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE YOU TO GET OUT OF THIS ONE?” They had printed on them. Those guys could have been wonderful guys, who acted in these ways for reasons I didn’t give them a chance to explain. But I do think if my dates had only avoided these unattractive dating behaviors, I would have given them another chance. But as it turns out, I did not want another date with them. So I’d advise against…
Acting Like You Already Know Everything About Your Date
I like to believe that I am a delightful, surprising, fresh breath of air — a burst of energy! An adventure, a puzzle. Because — isn’t everyone, sort of? It’s a huge turn-off to be sitting across the table from someone and immediately sense that they are thinking, “I’ve seen your kind before. NEXT.” Immediate signs are: predicting the other’s behavior in certain situations (“Oh, we can meet in Brooklyn since you never leave”), starting sentences with “I bet” (“I bet you hate bull fighting”), and making basic generalizations (“you work in fashion, so you probably spend all your time shopping.”) PS. I f*cking do not hate bull fighting. We can get into that later.
Pressuring Your Date To Stay Out Late
Sometimes I really want to leave the date because I’m having a miserable time, but often I am having an okay time — until the guy starts pressuring me to go to just one more bar or come over to his place. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether I have to get up early or how drunk or tired I am, if a guy is being too aggressive here, it makes me think he doesn’t give two shits about me. If I’m letting someone into my life — allowing someone to touch my butt and/or put their tongue in my mouth, it needs to be made clear right away that I do what I want to do, what is best for me. I’m all I have. I have to watch my ass out for myself. So I’m not going to listen to you, just because you’re cute and I just met you and you’re telling me what to do. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Acting Like You Don’t Want To Be There
This kills me. Maybe this means I’m insecure, but if I get the feeling that a guy doesn’t want to be there with me, my stomach starts knotting up and my date performance gets exponentially worse and worse. Then I start basically — to borrow a phrase from my 9th grade Latin teacher — “standing on my head and spitting wooden nickels” to keep things interesting. I’m not shutting up. I’m starting to talk about my crazy grandma too much. I’m laughing too much. I’m singing? I’m getting really drunk. See? This is what happens when you act bored on the date with me! You did this! Please just be polite and act engaged so that the date is pleasant enough. We don’t have to go out again.
Promising To Cuddle and Make Waffles The Next Morning
I know that technically, the idea of a guy making you waffles the next morning is supposed to be sexy. But when this was actually offered to me (“Let me come over — all I want to do is cuddle and make waffles for you tomorrow morning”), it came from a guy who literally would not unclench my hand from his, had invited me on his family vacation on our first meeting, and aggressively made out with me in public. I remember staring into his desperate eyes, my hand in his, thinking, “Oh my god. You are going to come over to my apartment with this promise of magic waffles and you’re never going to leave.” I actually felt like I was in some sort of psychological-thriller murder movie. I pried my hand back and politely escorted myself home. Lying in bed the next morning I thought, “maybe I should make myself waffles right now, just to humor myself.” And I realized I didn’t have a waffle maker, which made the entire exchange even weirder. How could he assume that everyone has waffle makers? Nobody has waffle makers! The waffles were a lie and a trick! And I am telling you — they always will be. The promise of “cuddling” probably would have been a lie, too.
Being Condescending/Distributing Gold Stars
A guy was asking for a second date, which was fine for my ego, but my schedule was really full so I kept having to turn down all of his ideas. I felt bad — he was a kind of nice guy. So finally I said, “I’ll just reschedule with my friend so we can go to that show you were talking about.” I know, terrible, right? Even as I was saying it, I thought, “your mother said never to do this — this will not end welllllllllll….” (the voice reverberated/echoed.) But I thought I was being awfully cool and accomodating. My date replied, “Gold star, Lauren.” Like he was rewarding me for agreeing with him. Eww. Not only is that saying icky, but… does it sound familiar to you? That’s right! It’s what Rosemary’s husband Guy said to her in Rosemary’s Baby before he poisons her and has sex with her in her sleep so that he can seed her with the spawn of Satan! Once again I feel like I’m in a murder movie. And once again, I’m going home alone.