When a Date is a Dud

A few nights ago I went on a date. This is not exactly an uncommon occurrence for me in the past months. I go on a fair number of dates, and I’m really good at being a date. I’m also wonderful and fabulous at being modest. Ask anyone. On the rare chance that a date doesn’t go well, there’s usually a specific reason that I don’t plan on seeing the person again. Normally I even tell the person I’ve just seen why I don’t plan on seeing them again. Did I mention that I don’t like to beat around the bush? I don’t like to beat around the bush.

What was unusual about tonight was that I left not quite knowing what it was that hadn’t been right. Xander didn’t do a single thing wrong. He was definitely attractive – frankly I think the man could probably go right to being a trophy pool boy if he decided that working wasn’t for him. It wasn’t that he reminded me of my ex-husband, Justin, or that he said something that made me cringe. So what exactly made this date one that ended in a brief hug and a silent question of where my hour and a half went?

I don’t have any kind of answer. What? You thought that I was going to give you an answer to everything and just solve dating for you? If I was that good it sure as hell wouldn’t be on a free blog just hiding on the internet. That would be locked behind about three layers of pyramid scheme or ten payments of just $9,999.99. That way only the people who really have earned love can get it. You know, the ones who have won some kind of lottery. Because fairness. Until then I’m just fumbling around with everyone.

So what is it that sets a date going on the right or wrong track? Part of me thinks that there is a very bored deity in the sky watching and poking at settings to see what happens or if they can get some kind of interesting new outcome. Since that is highly likely but not a very satisfying answer, let’s look for another answer. Hmm… well, I know that humor factors in, but it isn’t the only thing. I have plenty of hilarious people in my life that I don’t want to date. I don’t have an answer or a graceful lead in to the next part here, but I think it will help to look at some of the characters you can run into as a young woman venturing into the dating world. (Don’t worry men – I’m sure at some point I’ll end up making fun of myself in some way.)

So, who exactly is it you’re liable to run into when running around and trying to find an interesting date? Well let’s take a look at the lineup.

First up are those such as Johnny Bravo. They’re dashing, handsome, and ready to wash anything and everything on that rock hard stomach. You know they have a rock hard stomach because they can’t wear shirts – it’s a medical condition guys, have some compassion. If I’m being honest I really like most of the Johnny Bravo types that I meet. They tend to be very honest about what they want, which I respect. We tend to underestimate these handsome hunks because sometimes they appear to think of nothing beyond the next workout, hot date, or game of Ultimate Frisbee – please don’t. Johnny Bravo and all those like him have secret depth and are capable of enormous compassion. Still waters run deep and all of that incredibly trite crap.

Next up on the line we have guys like Aladdin. Look, I like Aladdin. He’s a loveable ruffian that gets to live life without responsibilities or commitment. We’d all love to be this guy from time to time and not have to be the one who argues about how to continue the family line with the Sultan, or fend off Jafar. It’s fun to run away with Aladdin and see how life is in his world, but it just doesn’t last. You end up paying for the apples at the stall to save his hand, fueling up the magic carpet, and in the end Aladdin and Abu are going to wander off in search of more excitement when you have to get back to running the kingdom.

What about Prince Charming, I hear you say, there have to be some Prince Charmings! Well let’s talk about the guys who are most like Prince Charming. A fair number of people won’t even be able to tell you what movie this guy is in. That’s what an impression he makes. Prince Charming is a cutout – the guy is purposefully vague so that you can impose whatever you want onto him. There’s nothing wrong with a Prince Charming, because we all need one every once and a while. What’s hard is that this Prince Charming isn’t anyone’s right prince. This is a great fantastic guy, but just don’t settle for him because he happens to be, ya know, a prince.

Then there’s another prince. Humperdinck. Just the word is enough to send shivers down the spine. A Humperdinck is only concerned with what appears to be. Do you look like a power couple? Will marrying you let him take the throne and win over the people? So long as the answer to that is yes, the rest doesn’t really matter. Best case you’re just there to make this guy look good. Worst case you are going to be kidnapped and murdered just before your wedding night to set off a war with Guilder. They have it coming. This guy not only will miss your jokes, he won’t even care that he doesn’t realize how hilarious you are.

Alright. This is getting depressing. Where’s the happy? Oh there he is! Doug. I like Doug – he meets you and immediately loves you. Anywhere you need to go, he is going to follow you. Doug is going to hide under your house because he loves you. Truth time? Doug is a golden retriever that everyone wants to have. It’s okay, I want him too and I already have one four-legged love of my love.

So far everyone has been fairly cheerful. That’s about to change. Meet Mr. Dark and Mysterious. He’s tortured. There’s tragic backstory. You’ll have to earn his trust bit by bit and be patient as he bolts at each hint of affection, commitment, or intimacy. Be ready to listen to his music, which is going to feature lyrics such as ‘Darkness! No Parents! Continued Darkness!’ (Okay, I stole that from Batman in Lego Movie. Still fits). If you once broke your leg, this guy broke three of his legs. You had chicken pox? He just got over smallpox. No big deal.

I think six is a good number to stop at for now. Not because I’ve come up with all of the various types of men who you can run into while dating – that’s just crazy, there’s always going to be more fun new people to figure out – but because six is a good number. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that none of what my date does should impact how my day goes. Good or bad, someone wanted to meet me because they figured out how great I am. I wanted to meet them because of how great they are. That’s pretty great. Here’s the word GREAT again (which looks really wrong to me now).

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