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lovefernHave you seen that film where the adorable Kate Hudson plays Andie Anderson, a writer for Composure magazine? In the flick, Andie is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” As any other good journalist would do, she dives into her research head on and begins “dating” a guy, only to strategically commit all the silly dating faux pas that drive men crazy. Her goal: to push the poor bloke away. And it works. She’s clingy, overly emotional, invasive of his “man time” — basically bipolar. I’ve seen the movie an inordinate number of times and still crack up every time Andie cries, “Our love fern! You let it die!

I’ve been thinking about this film a lot lately because: a) it was on TV a few days ago; and b) it’s basically the story of my life right now… in reverse. As you may recall from a recent blog post, a friend set me up with The Baker. After a few emails back and forth, we finally had our first phone conversation. And that is precisely when things started going downhill at an alarmingly fast rate. It was like one of those cheese rolling competitions where Brits throw themselves down an incredibly steep hill in Gloucestershire, England, chasing after a rolling ball of cheese. (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, folks. YouTube it.)

Speaking of cheese, let’s get back to my “dating” life. Here goes nothing. Take notes, gentlemen.

“How to Lose a Girl in 10 Hours”

1. Be kinda racist (or really racist, for that matter). What? Yep, this happened during our first phone conversation. While talking about his heritage, The Baker, in more words or less, revealed that he basically can’t stand Russians. [Crickets.] He rambled about it for a very unsettling length of time. [Crickets.] Gave a few quite specific and unfounded examples why. [Crickets.] Finally, he asked me what my heritage is. And I finally broke my silence.

“Oh me?” I said. “I’m Ukrainian… and Russian.”

2. Get caught in a lie. The Baker originally said he was born in one city, but then doubled back and said he was born in another country altogether. What? If he’s lying about something as mundane as where he was born, what else was he lying about? Not cool, The Baker. Not cool. My senses were suddenly on high alert.

3. Talk about how women “make babies.” Usually it’s the girl that brings up children first. And during an initial phone conversation, even that’s creepy. Calm down, ladies! But in this instance, The Baker was the one to commit this dating blunder. You see, he’s hitting 40 and wanted to point out that he’s glad I’m “young” because he “wants babies.” After I fought my natural inclination to thank him for calling me young, I succumbed to the creep factor. It’s no secret that I want kids, but I refuse to be your baby factory!

4. Release your inner Rico Suave too soon, or at all. Getting too intimate too quickly is a turn off. Not only are we not dating, we’ve never even met face to face. Calling me sweetie or honey is not endearing. It makes me uncomfortable. Those sweet nothings are meant to grow naturally over time, not be manufactured on some relationship assembly line. Just as my head hit the pillow, I heard my phone vibrate and reached over to find a text from The Baker: “Sweet dreams.” Ugh.

Text5. Call me handsome. Well, this is a weird one that I don’t think any of you men out there would do. But it bears repeating because I also never thought it would happen to me. The morning after our incredibly awkward phone conversation, I received the text you see here. I can only assume that The Baker Googled me to see what I look like. (It’s 2013, buddy. You should’ve done that to begin with.) I was utterly confused. All my co-workers and friends were, too. Is this a compliment? Is he calling me ugly? What’s with the “lol,” anyway? I was seriously debating wearing a suit and tie on our date. I’m so handsome after all.

At this point, I was completely over it. But what I failed to mention above is that before we ended our horrific phone conversation, I somehow agreed to have dinner with The Baker on Saturday night. We didn’t agree on a time, but agreed that we’d talk before then. So as much as I was hesitant to see this guy again, one date never killed anybody. Well, apart from all those girls on Dateline.

I never texted The Baker back after the “handsome” text. It was just too weird. And then I suppose he gave me a taste of my own medicine because I never heard from him again. Not even on Friday or Saturday to confirm our date. Needless to say, we never went out. Perhaps The Baker wasn’t feeling the phone conversation just as much as I didn’t feel it. Perhaps he heard I had Russian blood in me and ran as fast as he could. Perhaps he saw my photo online and cringed at how manly I am. There are lots of factors I can’t control. But what I do know is that red flags were popping up left and right and I do believe I dodged a bullet.

Men, it’s not too complicated to keep a girl. Along with the very specific “do nots” listed above, here a just a few “dos” that will work every time:

  1. Be kind
  2. Listen
  3. Laugh

Follow this guidance and you’ll not only not lose a girl in 10 hours, you may just keep her for a lifetime. As for me? Staying strong and moving on. Also seriously considering feminizing my look a bit more. (Googling pink and glitter as I type.) And to The Baker, I say goodbye. After all, “I don’t think I can be with someone who doesn’t like animals and thinks I’m a mental person.”