Navigating Arguments: She Broke My Nose!

Dating Advice, Dating Horror

Navigating Arguments: She Broke My Nose!

67 Comments 30 September 2009

She will annoy you, irritate you, and possibly stir violence in your heart. At some point, you are going to wish her ill of all kinds. This does not mean anybody has done anything wrong. In fact, this is par for the course when it comes to love. Angry Couple

In my college days, I dated Helen, a pre-med student with an angry streak. I had seen her angry while on the phone with her parents, but she’d never blown up at me. That changed one October afternoon. Helen had just mentioned her ex-boyfriend again. She was trying to convince me to skip some classes and drive to a club with her and some friends.

Bringing up her ex and his willingness to jump at her every wish wasn’t a good way of winning me over. I told her such and suddenly met the Helen I’d only wondered about before.

In one admirably smooth motion, she swung from the hip with her right fist. I caught it with one hand. She swung with her left and got the strike. I shouldn’t have tried to dodge her because it only served to put my nose in the way.

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Knowing Your Limits: Fat Cats & Blueberry Pie

Dating Horror

Knowing Your Limits: Fat Cats & Blueberry Pie

48 Comments 03 December 2008

Devious GrinOne of my cardinal rules of effective dating is “Do not offer options when asking a prospective date about preferences. Get the information and make a plan.” I did not follow this rule when I asked Marianna out for the evening. Essentially, I let her plan the date and added my own twist as we went along.

Marianna had not visited the treasured sandwich shop of her childhood memories in years. She decided that making the 2.5hr drive would be worth the pleasure of eating a sandwich at a rickety wooden table. I hold this trip up as an example whenever I’m asked why I try to keep first dates limited to brief afternoon encounters. But how could I argue? Marianna was beautiful, determined, and insistent that she couldn’t think of a better person to make the trip with.

Spontaneous chap that I am, I gladly embraced the idea of also visiting Marianna’s grandfather “since we would be in the neighborhood anyway.”

It was a warm summer afternoon and we took the jeep. Top down, wind blowing in our faces, I drove the seacoast route to her grandfather’s neighborhood. We liked the same music. We both greeted the toll booth attendant (no quick-pay on the jeep) and simultaneously noticed the live Canada Goose sitting quietly in the passenger seat of a late-model Mercedes that passed us.

Have you ever ridden around a store in a grocery cart as an adult? It’s a rite of passage in finding a sense of humor as an adult that I highly recommend. Marianna had not yet had such an experience and I pushed her around as we gathered ice cream and her grandfather’s favorite kind of pie (see where this is heading?).

Bring on the 87 year-old grandfather with a fondness for petting his obese pet cat. Fat cats are fine by me. Petting them when they seem to have a late-stage oozing skin infection doesn’t help me swallow pie and ice cream. But I did. I sat on a bench covered with afghans, having spent nearly 5 hours on a date with a brand new person, watching a very old man rubbing his fingers in cat ooze.

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When he asked me how I felt about the Cubs? I told him that I didn’t think they’d ever win the World Series. I don’t watch a lot of baseball and I’m typically not out to hurt the feelings of others, but I knew I hated the cubs right then.

I’m fairly certain he didn’t hear what I said because he continued the conversation as usual. I know Marianna didn’t hear me because her smile didn’t disappear. But I knew what I’d done and that’s why I classify that date as a failure.

  • I’d entered into a situation with a person I knew very little about without setting any sort of time restrictions on our meeting. I’m not saying to set beginning and ending times for your dates, but have an idea about how long things are going to take and plan accordingly.
  • I’d allowed myself to remain in a situation that I knew would turn negative in the long run. Now when I see a situation on par with non-lucid guy+infected cat, I remove myself from that environ.
  • I had already spent so much time with Marianna on our ride down that I’d depleted much of my raw inquisitive energy and left myself open to social blindsiding. Allowing myself to use up so much of that energy also meant that I lost out on the opportunity to make a lonely person’s day by gladly participating in a conversation that interested them. He didn’t know I wasn’t involved. But I do and I still feel badly about it.

Do not allow yourself to get so caught up in how well you’re getting along with somebody that you lose sight of the goal: leave them wanting more. More time with you, more knowledge about you, more ways to smile. Marianna was a lovely person but I set us up for failure by committing to more than I had resources for that day. Had we met up for coffee and an afternoon chat, who knows where we’d be. I still have trouble eating blueberry pie without wincing.


Photo credit, em


5 Ways I’ve Ruined Dates

Knowing When To Run Vs. Masochistic Dating

Dating Horror

Knowing When To Run Vs. Masochistic Dating

15 Comments 02 November 2008

I found myself strolling down a lamp-lit street sipping hot greasy dishwater topped with whipped cream.

She was a perfectly built and initially charming redhead named Clarissa. I was back in my hometown for a few days and met her while picking up some groceries at the only grocery store in town.

We had met years earlier at a friend’s party. She had been interesting and funny. She had been with a fiancé who stuck to her like glue.

But now, arms filled with groceries, green eyes bright with conversation, she was available and very willing to join me for dinner that evening.

Red and flaggyAs I was getting ready, my mother asked me why I wouldn’t be there for dinner that evening. When I told her what I was doing, she was so happy. Apparently the respective mothers had recently had a conversation about Clarissa’s need for a guy like myself. I normally shy away from meddlesome people and should have taken the new information as a bad omen, but I didn’t. I had nothing else to do and some part of me was fascinated with the idea of finally going out with the girl of my adolescent dreams.

Red Flags:

  1. My fuel-efficient rental car wasn’t classy enough for Clarissa. She insisted that we borrow her father’s car for the evening. On pressuring her for a reason, she admitted that she didn’t want her friends to see her out in a small car. I should have run. Instead, I traded keys with her father and headed out in his entry-level Mercedes sedan.
  2. My chosen dinner spot was vetoed because Clarissa wanted nachos. I am all about adventure and trying new things. I just have trouble passing up a nice dinner at a great spot for nachos that I’ve had before and know are terrible.
  3. My lovely and fantastic creature of a date decided to spend most of our dinner talking about how easy it had been to get a high GPA in her extremely difficult Master’s program. I was interested, then depressed, then annoyed at her insistence that she, unlike many others, was a brilliant woman. I suppose I’ve always wanted the option to build faith in a person and their intellect without requiring an academic transcript.

Clarissa confirmed her status in the neighborhood by ordering hot cocoa. She told me the restaurant made delicious cocoa and promising mugs of steaming chocolate were brought to our table. The server rolled his eyes when she asked him to make the hot chocolate to go…I should have taken this as another warning.

I had driven past every red flag and hit the broken patch of road when I sipped from that large Styrofoam cup. It was whipped cream followed by extremely hot greasy dishwater with a distinct soap flavor with hints of beef and ketchup with a watery finish. I couldn’t have been happier that I had borrowed her father’s car. I watched her sip her dishwater, fervently believing that it was actually hot chocolate. She seemed a little bewildered when I pressed the keys to her father’s car into her hands and thanked her for an eventful night. My taxi ride to pick up my rental was expensive, but worth every moment of silence. When you have a gut instinct early on, do not waste the time it may take to prove your instincts correct!

My pain, your gain.


photo: rvw

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