Signs of a bad first date:
1- Feeling like I am talking to a coworker I am forced to have dinner with because we are traveling together on a business trip.
2 – Wondering how many drinks this guy is going to have before it’s time for him to drive me home.

Admittedly, I was lukewarm even about accepting this date, because it was my third meeting with this guy. First, we met for one drink and he seemed nice and normal. At the second meeting, which was for about an hour, over breakfast, I was pretty sure we didn’t have any chemistry, or any interests in common. But, he kept saying that he was getting over a cold that morning, and not his usual entertaining self. Now, I should have clued into the fact that if he felt he had to apologize for not being entertaining, something was not quite right – he was probably somewhat insecure and maybe overly nervous.

Anyway, after consulting with various people, I decided to give this one more chance. As an objective observer, I think the guy was relatively attractive, met basic intelligence levels, and we could maintain steady conversation. And given that I am completely inexperienced in the dating world, what did I know? Maybe it took several dates to figure out whether there was potential?

So, Saturday night dinner date: he was no longer getting over a cold, but conversation was still dull. I could complain about the inane things he said, but I realized at some point in the evening, that if this were a man I was attracted to, I would probably would have found the conversation more interesting. (Here, I will admit briefly, that I thought about the Boy and that I would be happy to talk about pretty much anything with him if he were here. But that is not the point of this.) Please don’t think that I behaved like one of those entitled women who simply expects the man to entertain her. I tried, too. And I have to say that part of the blame was mine. I could not get myself out of the box of the way I approach talking to new business associates – stick to safe topics, ask him factual questions, nothing too personal. After an hour and half at dinner, I was tired of how painful the effort was.

Maybe I could have given it more time, more effort, but the second point I listed above distracted me and put me on edge throughout the date. I am not used to driving around the city to go out for dinner. He said he’d pick me up. Fine. At dinner, he first ordered a high alcohol beer. Then had a second regular beer. After dinner, he was on the hunt for dessert, so we stopped at another bar. Where he proceeded to have another beer with dessert. (It was a recommended dark porter to go with the bread pudding we ordered. I am a big fan of bread pudding, and the bartender’s recommendation was quite a genius pairing. In fact, the bartender was also quite cute; I plan to go back to that bar.) He then suggested we go to a movie. At a theater where he could potentially order more drinks. I’m sure he was still below the legal limit. But is this normal behavior? I know there are plenty of people who, out of necessity because they live in areas where there isn’t public transportation or readily available taxi service, become more comfortable with driving after a few drinks. But why in the world did he even drive anyway? The place we went to was probably a $20 cab ride and there were plenty of cabs around the restaurant to grab to go home.

So, two hours into the date, I told him I’d better go home to walk my dog. I thanked him as he dropped me off and silently hoped he wouldn’t call. He hasn’t.