By Traci Butterfield
I needed to get myself back out there after a break-up with my boyfriend so I decided to jump in with both feet and resume dating new guys.
Bachelor #1 seemed like a nice enough guy - laid back, a little on the shy side, artistic. I met him on an online dating service, which I guess was my first mistake. Not exactly my type, but my type hadn't been working out for me lately. I loaded my pepper spray into my purse and met him at Chickie & Pete's. When I got there, he had already arrived and had seats at the bar. And he was drunk.
He told me he was nervous about meeting me, so he stopped at a local bar on his way and had a few shots to loosen up. I've done the same thing in the past before meeting a blind date, but I would never tell the guy that I had to get a buzz on before I could convince myself to leave the house!
We sat there sipping our beers and getting to know each other. Correction - I was getting to know him. He didn't let me get a word in edgewise. He would ask me a question about myself and before I could finish answering, he would interject with some story of his own. I'm actually used to this - having several friends who like to dominate the conversation - but this was supposed to be a date and he was supposed to at least pretend to be interested in what I had to say.
He never did get anything to eat. Instead, as the night progressed, he started ordering shots.
Finally, he suggested we call it a night...because he wanted to go to his friend's house to "get trashed". He could have kept that to himself.
But I was glad the date was over. He asked me to text him when I got home, so he would know I made it safely. So I did. I heard from him once after that. That was enough for me.
Bachelor #2 was someone I went to high school with. I considered him an acquaintance and ran into him several times in the 10 years since I graduated, but we were never close friends. I knew he had always had a thing for me, so when he asked me to go out for a beer, I figured this one would be better.
He picked me up and we went to a small local bar and I had a really good time.
Two days later my power went out, so he invited me to his house for a movie. This was fine until halfway through the movie when he referred to me as his girlfriend. I'm sorry...what? First of all, don't you think the second date is a little soon to be referring to me as your girlfriend? And second, shouldn't you have maybe discussed this with me before you proclaim that we're a couple?
At this point, I was starting to feel a little weirded out and I thought maybe some distance would be needed. This guy had taken to texting me 30 times a day, yelling at me when I didn't respond quickly enough, and telling me how I was "the best thing to ever happen to him".
Whoa - slow down.
I had already committed to going to a baseball game with him later that weekend. But the day before the game, I decided I couldn't put up with this. Space is a very important thing to me and this guy had turned into a cling-on. So I called him and told him I wasn't ready for this, he was moving too fast and I didn't want to see him anymore...but that we could still be friends. Isn't that what everyone says when they're trying to let someone down gently?
He took me at my word and asked if we could still go to the game. Hesitantly, I agreed.
He asked if he could come by a little early because he had a present for me. I told him I didn't want any presents from him. He insisted and assured me that he wasn't trying to impress me and he didn't expect anything in return. He showed up at my house with an e-reader - a very expensive, top-of-the-line e-reader -- and toys for my dog.
Now I'm really uncomfortable.
But as I stood there, he open the packaging, plugged in the reader and told me: "Now it can't be returned because it's been opened." I told him again and again that I couldn't accept this gift. But he insisted. And finally I just stop arguing about it.
We went to the ball game and to my surprise, his parents were there. If we were dating, the third date is definitely not an appropriate time to meet the parents. But since we aren't dating, the least he could have done was told me ahead of time that this was a family affair. I could not wait to get out of there.
Once I was safely home and the e-reader was hidden away on a shelf, I vowed no more dating. Not for a while anyway. Shortly thereafter, my old boyfriend came back and wooed me all over again.
It wasn't hard, considering the guys who tried to win me over in his absence.