I recently read an article about a man in New York who kept a detailed Excel Spreadsheet on the women he’d been out with. Stupidly, he showed it to one of his dates and she posted it all over the internet! Of course she did you silly man, I would have done too! http://deadspin.com/5902760/
While I wouldn’t advocate anyone creating anything like this to keep notes on dates, I have a traffic light system (red, amber, green) when I start dating someone. It remains in my head, not on a spreadsheet, and I don’t take a tick list with me or type up the details when I get home! It’s just a way of noting something to myself if something doesn’t feel right and reinforces my values.
Green Light = GO GO GO!
He looks exactly as he did on his profile.
I haven’t walked past him three times, looking for a 6’2” curly haired 45 year old only to be faced with a 5’3” wrinkly with no hair.
He has a good sense of humour.
He’s clean, polite, respectful and attentive.
His eyes never wander further down than my chin.
Nails and shoes are clean…a good indication of personal hygiene!
His aftershave isn’t masking something unsavoury.
He has good manners.
He doesn’t shovel his food or speak with his mouth full.
I feel comfortable in his company.
Nothing weird or wankery so far!
He’s trying to impress me…
but not in an “I can balance a dessert spoon on my nose” way.
I’m getting good vibes and feel really positive.
I like him! I may even fancy him! Things are looking up!
Amber Light = Uh-oh!
These are things about him that I need to store away for further clarification. There are probably perfectly reasonable explanations but I’ll watch and learn!
He’s fibbed about his age, weight or height on his profile.
If he’s prepared to fib about these, what else will he lie about? Age is tricky to gauge unless he’s taken 10 or more years off, but did he really think I wouldn’t notice his height, or that he’s 20 stone and not 12? Some men suffer from reverse anorexia, where they look in the mirror and think they’re thin!
The barman/waiter greets him like an old friend.
He could be a serial dater or he could be an old friend.
He keeps looking over his shoulder.
He’s an International Man of Mystery on a secret mission.
He’s scared one of his friends will see him and tease him.
He’s scared his wife/girlfriend will see him and kill him. (In the case of my ex serial-cheater boyfriend it was the latter).
His phone rings and he jumps out of his skin. He doesn’t answer it but takes it with him when he goes to the loo two minutes later.
He shouldn’t have it on when he’s on a date!
Something’s not quite right about him but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Proceed with caution.
He calls me “babe/baby/hun”.
I’m 53 and I have a nice name. Please use it.
He’s told me something that “doesn’t add up”.
I’ll store it away in my head for later regurgitation.
At the end of the evening he suggests going back to my place for coffee.
My definition of coffee=coffee. A man’s definition of coffee=sex.
I never tidy up before a date so that, even if I was tempted, the appalling squalor would stop me from taking anyone home!
Red Light = NO! NO! NO!
These are “deal-breakers” that compromise my “standards”. A red light isn’t always axe-murderer behaviour, but things that I’m absolutely NOT prepared to settle for.
He talks about his ex constantly on a first date.
He’s not over her. A first date is for us to get to know each other, not to talk about the past. “I’m divorced” is enough information. If he can’t stop talking about her, he’s not finding out about ME! If he starts to cry when he talks about her RUN!
He forgets my name, or calls me by someone else’s name.
He’s probably married or seeing someone else.
He’s 55, still lives with his mother and keeps a photo of her in his wallet.
These guys are difficult to spot on HeBay. They only reveal their true selves when you meet. They’re usually fastidious about their appearance and are very clean but remember that their mother chooses their clothing and tends to dress them head to toe in drip dry beige. As he left the house this evening she will have spat on the corner of her hankie to clean his face. Why is this a red light? Mummy’s getting on a bit and he’s looking for a replacement.
His pet, Tigger, is a reptile.
Unless you’re a 10 year old, dogs and cats are normal pets, anything in a cage or tank isn’t.
Behaviour that will make me run for it at the quickest opportunity!
There’s no eye contact because he’s staring at my boobs, he has wandering hands, he’s drunk, he’s rude to me or someone else, he expects sex in return for dinner, he makes sexual innuendos, he’s smelly, he’s disrespectful in any other way, he tells me he’s married, he tells me he loves me.
We women can be unbelievably forgiving of bad behaviour. We have extraordinary powers of intuition but don’t always trust our instincts. We often brush off this intuition as mild paranoia, but if your gut instincts are telling you that something is wrong, you’re probably right! I went out with someone once who shouted at the barman about two minutes into the date. This should have been a red light but I put it down to him being nervous and flustered because he was a bit late! His behaviour later on reinforced my instincts.
If someone is rude and disrespectful, you don’t have to be polite and accept their behaviour. If they don’t have the social skills or manners to behave, that’s their problem, but it’s absolutely right for you to leave if someone makes you feel threatened, uncomfortable or embarrassed.
I don’t always get it right of course, and I’ll be talking about dreadful dates in future posts.
Do you have your own Code of Behaviour?