Ladies, when you first imagined your love life, I am sure you thought something along the lines of this:
A handsome, perfect man sees the wonderfulness that is an early-20-something you. You have great dates, your friends like him, your parents love him, he loves you, proposes and you marry with a wedding that is the perfect mix of fun and make-your-friends-jealous. Happily Ever After.
And so now when the cold, harsh reality of being a mid-30-something sets in, you realize that you’d be elated to find a decent guy who’s faithful and employed, who your friends don’t ridicule and your parents can share a meal with without incident. A shotgun wedding could be great because it means that you beat those 50/50 odds of fertility after 35. Happily Ever After.
With those adjusted standards in mind, you set out to find your tardy suitor. And you do pretty well. You are confident in your ability to screen your potential suitors – asking all the smart questions like: Are you married? Any kids? What do you do for a living? Are you close with your family? Ever been listed in The Blotter? With the right answers checked off, you swap pictures, have a great initial phone call and set up a time to meet.
As you anxiously await your potential Mr. Right at the nice local wine bar, you play with the possibilities in your mind and look forward to continuing the chemistry you built during your emails and phone conversation. And in he walks.
As he approaches the table, he smiles at you and your heart falls into your shoes. He is missing most of his teeth and the ones he does have are a patchwork quilt of yellow and brown.
How did you miss this little detail? He had been smiling in his photos but you realize now that he smiled with his lips closed. Could this be a genetic thing? Was he raised on well water? Is his secret to a perky morning a bowl full of meth flakes?
Being a polite, experienced dater, you take it in stride and casually work the subject in between the initial hellos and your drinks arriving. “So, I see you are in process of having some major dental work done…”
His response: “I’m not. I figure that it won’t bother the right girl.”
After 30 minutes of awkward small talk, you thank your date for meeting you, offer to pay for your drink and walk (run) to your car confident that you are a lot of things – but being his right girl isn’t one of them.
Ladies, when dating online, you are sometimes going to be thrown for a loop and no amount of smart screening can save you from a man who wants to hide something from you. So take it in stride, figure out where the boundaries of your standards lie and always adhere to three simple rules for online-generated first dates:
1) Limit the first meeting to a drink or a cup of coffee and have the cash in had to pay your own tab quickly
2) Meet in a place you are familiar with and park your car as close as you can
3) Always ask your mandatory questions and see a picture with his pearly whites showing (fool me once, right?)