There is a super special bonus to being single and dating that no one tells you about. So, I’m going to tell you, because I care.
You, my friend, are about to be the center of attention at every family get-together until you get hitched again. No, not the entire get-together; but for a long, awkward, craptastic portion of it – all eyes will be on you. Because somebody there (Grandma) is gonna pop off with this gem,
“So, how’s it going with [insert name of the last person they saw you with on Facebook]?”
…and every head in the joint will snap your direction, as every member of your family anxiously awaits your response. Because they aaalllll want to know, but only Grandma (who sometimes doesn’t even remember she has grandchildren but somehow remembers that jackass you posted a pic with in front of the Lincoln Memorial) has the balls to ask.
And you will answer, to get it over with, and because they are your family (although you’ll briefly consider unfriending every one of the fuckers to avoid future post-breakup embarrassment). And you’ll be really glad you brought your own car and didn’t ride with your mom because now you can bail.
I had a moment in the spotlight last night at a family dinner when my uncle asked about The Narcissist. Of course, my uncle didn’t call him, “The Narcissist.” That’s my nickname for the most recent ex because he – for real – has narcissistic personality disorder. Also, he’s a lying assclown.
The nicknames are a fun little trend that Bestie accidentally started when I began dating. The guys were all so bad that she couldn’t keep track of them except by their flaws. She’d end up asking me stuff like, “So, how’s Stinky Face?” Or, “Are you seeing The Lisper this weekend?” And, “Did you kick Gina’s ass yet for setting you up with The Tranny?” Since then, the guy-quality has improved a little, but they all still get nicknames (“Dog Park Guy,” “Memphis”) until they become an actual boyfriend. Only then do we refer to them by name.
Last night, I had to tell my uncle (and aunt, and cousin, and her husband, and their two kids who are both under the age of three but were clearly dying to hear the story) about how I dumped The Narcissist the day before Valentine’s Day because he was batshit crazy.
We really overuse the term “crazy.” If a guy calls too much, he’s “crazy.” If a girl is moody, she’s “crazy.” This is unfortunate because it desensitizes us to the term and we neglect to appreciate the seriousness of the situation when we start dating someone who is mother fucking crazy.
In two years (on-and-off) of online dating, I’ve probably gone out with ten guys from the site I use. Of those ten, The Narcissist was the only truly crazy one. So while the crazies aren’t in the majority (if you’re picky…and be picky…be all of the picky), they are out there. So as you go skipping off on your online dating adventures (people really should skip more), here are some nuggets o’ wisdom to keep you safe.
Nugget #1. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, document the date like it’s going to be applying for citizenship the next day. Get his last name. Copy the guy’s pictures from the dating site and send the pics to your BFF with his name and telephone number. Let a couple of people know where you are meeting the guy. Drop pins or text your bestie if you change locations.
Do not agree to a house date on your first meeting. Yours or his. For safety AND because a house date is a gettin’ naked date. Fact. Unless you just want to get naked with the guy, and that doesn’t make you a bad girl. Still, drop a pin.
Nugget #2. Much like every family get-together you attend for the rest of your single days, I strongly urge you to take your own vehicle when first dating a guy you meet online. Yes, it’s kinda’ sweet having the guy pick you up at your house. But you know what else is sweet? The freedom to fucking flee. I have only abruptly ended one date – and, because I’d disregarded Nugget #2, I was riding in his car. Abruptly ending a date is awkward. Having to ride home with the guy afterward…I can’t even talk about it.
I’ve been on some terrible dates, and I was always relieved to get back into my own car and go back to my home, the location of which he did not know. Bonus!
Nugget #3. If you get a bad vibe about someone, chances are good that something is off. Maybe he steals cable…or maybe he wants to put you in a hole and rub the lotion on its skin. Trust your gut. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s off, but abort the mission anyway. There is no reason to stick around just to find out if it’s free Cinemax or free skin suits he’s into. This goes for the first date, or the twentieth. If you’re seeing red flags, get out of there.
Nugget #4. Adult beverages can make a bad first date much more tolerable. They can also drop your inhibitions to the point that “bad date” becomes “house date” and then you stop checking in and your bestie will freak because you haven’t dropped a pin in four hours so how are they gonna find the ditch you’ve been left in, probably with your panties around your neck?! Overindulging can have less-than-flattering effects on a date that’s going well, too. So whether you’re crazy about the guy, or you can’t wait to get out of there, don’t get sideways.
I once broke three of my own rules by having too much Merlot during a horrible date and letting the guy talk me into going by his house “to check on the dog.” I justified the rule-breaking because (a) the guy was a friend of a friend, and (b) he was awful and NO amount of wine was going to change my mind about his awfulness. Upon entering his domicile, I was almost knocked to the ground by the stench of dog urine. Apparently, the dog had peed on…everything. I stepped over dog pee on “the tour.” There were dog pee stains on the walls. I sat in dog pee on the couch. And because that wasn’t awkward enough, Merlot began hypothesizing that perhaps dog pee stench – once super concentrated – had the same effect as Rohypnol. Yes, she was certain she’d read that somewhere. In fact, we were feeling dizzy! We were having trouble breathing! And why else would a grown man let his home turn into a pee pit, then bring a woman there? Merlot was making valid points. Now convinced that I was being pee roofied, and because that awful dog had somehow managed to climb the back of the couch and was trying to hump my head, I quickly jumped up and yelled, “I gotta go!” whilst sprinting to his car…because I’d let him pick me up. I have literally blocked that car ride from my memory and couldn’t begin to tell you how it went. I imagine…poorly.
Really, just be the smart girl (or guy) you are and take care of yourself out there. There is never a good reason to go into a dark alley, the woods, a corn field, Pine Bluff, etc. You know this stuff, just make sure you do it.
And have fun. You’re out there, you’re dating, you’re meeting new people, and you’re taking chances. There will be horrible dates that you flee. There will be sparkless dates with guys that become dear friends. And there will be great dates that lead to relationships that are pretty awesome until you catch him on three dating sites (where he’s created three different identities) and now you have to figure out how to explain CougarLife.com to Grandma.
And there will eventually be that date that goes beautifully and leads to a relationship that goes exactly like it should. And that’s the one we are all looking for, and that’s why you’re gonna put yourself through all of this.
Just take your own damn car and you’re gonna’ be fine.