One of my very favorite bloggers recently posted an article titled, “The Craigslist Creep.” Her experience inspired me to write this new series of articles about some of my favorite dating experiences, cleverly (or not) titled, “The Dating Game”. The Dating Game series chronicle my stories of dates gone awry in some form or fashion. Sometimes they’re more subtle and sometimes they’re quite crash-and-burn style. Either way, they’re always a learning experience and usually make for good stories.
This is the second installment in The Dating Game series. This is the story of The Career Woman. It would be an understatement to say that I was not prepared for the people, personalities and situations that I would be presented with in the past few years of dating. The good news? I learned something each time – about others and often about myself as well.
These memoirs serve as a reminder for me and as a narrative for you. Perhaps in some small way you will be able to relate to my experiences and share in the emotions I went through. I noticed after a number of dates I was experiencing the same basic emotions repeatedly. Those emotions are presented before each dating story in the form of a ‘score’.
“The Career Woman” – Dental Assistant by Day, Stripper by Night
Fear Factor: 3
What-the-hell-just-happened? Factor: 9
Good Riddance Factor: 5
Crazy Factor: 5
The Date Setup
“Anna” was one of my first dates back out in the scene. At first glance, she was definitely a head-turner. Pretty smile, attractive features, physically fit. Physical beauty was definitely her best feature, as I would come to find out.
The Date Plan
She and I met at a local restaurant/bar one night and hit it off pretty well – the chemistry was almost instant…or was it? We talked, had drinks, ate some dinner and made plans for a 2nd date. Maybe this dating thing isn’t so bad, after all, I thought. My background until this point was pretty typical. I had just exited a failed marriage of 5 years and was basically starting my social life from square one. I had the rest of my life pretty much set – the only thing missing now was someone to share it with.
For the second date, I stepped it up a notch – dinner and a really great concert at the House of Blues. Another hit! And how could it not be, right? The first few dates are almost always the best, as I would come to find out. There’s the newness of each other. It’s also a time when you’re ok with splurging on your expenses a bit. First, second and third dates are fun! On to the 3rd date. My phone rings a few hours before our 3rd date. It’s Anna. I’m assuming she had something come up… Not a big deal. I was wrong. She had something to tell me; this couldn’t wait. She doesn’t really work for a dentist’s office. She is a stripper. “Ok” I say. “You could have told me sooner” was my first reaction. I’m not the type to seek out exotic dancers to date like some men might. Even so, if I felt like I had a connection with someone, their profession wouldn’t matter much to me. For me, it wasn’t so much what she did for a living, but that she wasn’t up-front about it early on. Welcome to the dating game.
The Date Aftermath
We went on our 3rd date, but it wasn’t quite the same. A few days later, she called me saying she didn’t think we should see each other anymore. “You’re too nice for me” she says, which in all actuality, was probably true. She was used to guys degrading her and generally treating her like crap (part of our conversations). Seems her attraction to that type of guy got the better of her, again. Her past relationships lacked substance, for sure. But I doubt there was a lot of substance in her world. She wasn’t sure what to do with a guy like me. I was a bit shocked. Like I said, she was one of the first people I dated, so I wasn’t familiar with the whole ‘game’ thing. She never really scared me like others you’ll come to know (and cherish) did, and while part of me felt bad for her (the perceived need to keep her profession a secret & her prior ‘luck’ with men), the rest of me knows she will continue to repeat her dating experiences of the past. Oh well, it makes for an interesting story for you and a good lesson for me.
Lesson of the Day
Lesson number one was my indoctrination by fire into the dating game. The game takes many forms, but generally includes half-truths, misrepresentation (think Jekyll and Hyde) and general lack of respect. Sure, the game is perpetuated by both sexes, that’s difficult to dispute. I myself may have even accidentally participated a time or two – I may write new memoirs for those as well. Unfortunately, it would take me quite a number of dates to fully appreciate the nuances of the dating game. I’m not entirely sure I fully understand it now after being on the market for 4 years.