For the first time, I met a guy through a friend. Let me give you some more details on that. He’s 34 years old. African American… And although told me he was 5’11, I’m pretty sure he’s closer to 5’7 because we were about the same height with my heels on (I’m 5’3)! I know for some of you, that’s neither here nor there – but I can admit (at the risk of seeming vain) that number one – tall guys tend to catch my eye (deep sigh), and number two – why lie?
So anyway – we exchanged photos and chatted via text and phone for about two weeks. During our first conversation he said, “I can tell I have to take a woman of your caliber someplace nice. I wanna take you to this nice restaurant I heard about in the city called The Lion.” Apparently a well-known chef opened the restaurant in the East Village of New York City, and he had seen the chef on the Food Network (or a similar channel) and took note of his cooking style.
I canceled on him a couple of times due to competing obligations – and declined to go on a last minute date to a sports bar in my area. I was concerned. You live an hour away from me and just happen to be coming to a bar near me on a Saturday night? Yea ok. I couldn’t go because I was “out” with my daughter (at Wal-Mart, until we decided to go to the movies).
Fast forward to the date. A Tuesday evening in the city after work on a gorgeous Manhattan night. Temperatures in the 80’s. Sunny with a chance of thunderstorms. We’re meeting at this famed restaurant called The Lion. I wear a cute orange, lacy dress. Buttoned up to the neck, cinched at the waist, and flared at the hips – with beaded, open-toe high-heeled sandals. Lashes – check. Hair – check. Makeup – check. Before heading to the restaurant, I stop at a nail salon and get a manicure. (Okay.)
I walk up on him on the corner of 9th Street and Avenue of the Americas. He doesn’t recognize me because in the photos I sent I had short, cropped hair – now I have shoulder length, big, brown, layered hair. He almost tries to flirt with me – his mouth wide open, but I say with a coy grin, “Are you looking for me?” I could tell by the grin on his face that he was pleased.
I ordered ORGANIC CHICKEN red pepper piperade, paprika, and confit potatoes. (Pretty tasty.) He ordered: SCOTTISH SALMON fingerling potato, green cabbage, bacon, and whole grain mustard. Wait, he substituted everything after the salmon for steamed broccoli.
During dinner, he talked a lot about HIMSELF. (Bad move guys! You’re supposed to ask leading questions to get her to open up to you!) He asked me about past relationships, and I respectfully answered, “I don’t want to talk about the past.” (Ladies!!! That’s a big NO-NO.)
He had a lot to say about his personal preferences and his disdain for fat women. “I just vibe better with women who are from urban areas. So the fact that you’re from Brooklyn really peaked my interest. My best relationship was with a girl from Brooklyn.”
“Country and suburban women just don’t do it for me. The way they act and dress is all wrong. I can’t walk around with a woman who doesn’t look good because then we’re just gonna have an in-the-house-relationship. I can tell you that now. And I can’t be with a woman I’m not attracted to.”
He continues, “I don’t do big women. If a woman is fat, I automatically know she’s in the “friend” category and all my messages and conversations will be geared toward “friendship,” because I know what I like and that’s not it. I have to be able to say to my friends “Yo, she bad, right?”
Listening to him babble on – about how we may wind up writing out own wedding vows (he’ll write want he wants me to say about him so I can get it just right), and how we’ll write love poems to one another – oh, and how we’ll spend my upcoming August birthday having dinner overlooking a skyline, I assess him as small. Small-framed. (He doesn’t work out. Red Flag to me.) Short. 5’7 or so. I like that he has an ability to communicate, and apparently he’s ambitious because he tells me he owns his own business – something related to computer technology. He’s saying we’ll have dinner again soon, and I’m saying I’m open to that.
He was a bit rushed to get back to work. After dinner, he walked me to the corner, hailed a yellow cab, and paid in advance for my ride to New York Penn Station. That’s when I noticed his shoes. He was wearing designer denim jeans, a lavender, grey and white plaid button-down shirt, and brown leather loafers. Oh, and he was clean-shaven and bald-headed, with invisible-rimmed glasses.
As I stooped to get in the cab, he closed the door behind me. I was thinking “hmmmm… that was nice.”
He’s not the one for me though.
It’s two weeks after our initial outing. He’s written me love poems, planned my birthday outing and told me in no uncertain terms that I should “stop looking.” OKAY. But he’s sporadic and inconsistent. He’s also into playing games, which I have very little tolerance for. Case in point. He’ll say “I’ll call you at 9pm tomorrow.” I’m like “Okay.” 9pm passes. A day passes. And then I’ll get a love note. Really? You’re supposed to make sure I even like you first, before attempting to play games. LOL. Because I really don’t care – knowing from the initial meeting that our personalities probably wouldn’t gel well.
He did try to arrange dinner this week, but I had other obligations (tonight, I have a kickboxing session).
My practice has been to just tell the person before the second date that I don’t think we’re on the same page, especially when they start talking long-term (game or not), and especially when I’m annoyed early on.
But I’ve been told by male friends that I “look” for things that eliminate guys as potential relationship candidates, and that I’m too quick to cut people off. On the other hand, a female friend offered, “everyone deserves a second date – unless the first one was just horrible.” I won’t speak on whether or not I think their perspectives are correct — but I will say that while I don’t believe in wasting time, I could work on my patience. (So there!)
I know first encounters are awkward and although we try hard to put our best feet forward, it may not always work out that way.
So, what has been your experience with first dates – and deciding whether or not to go out with someone a second time? What do you take away from this post? What do you make of Alim?
- 10 Reasons I Love Being Single In New York (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Visit the Diverse Museums in Brooklyn (local.answers.com)
- Dating in NYC: Sorry stranger, I’m Not Meeting you for Breakfast (julietjeskeblog.com)