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Picture1Today’s dating saga hails from the beautiful state of North Carolina, where my childhood friend Christine graces the Interwebs in search of the perfect man for her. Most recently it was Match.com that was responsible for setting her up with Ryan, a seemingly nice man who works in the medical field. It started out per usual with Match.com-guided communication, soon transitioning to texts. Christine immediately got the feeling that this guy might be a tad bit needy, based on the sheer amount of texts received. But with my annoying voice in the back of her head, she trudged on. (Being friends with me has its perks.)

The string of texts was followed by a two-hour phone conversation. I know what you’re thinking: Two hours? They must have really clicked! Not so fast. I’ve known Christine a long time and I know she’s really bad at cutting off conversations. She’d rather just fall asleep, like she does during basically every movie she ever watches. And that’s essentially what she did during this conversation.

Somewhere between her snoring, they set up a date at a local brewery and grill for that week. The morning of the date he texted:

[R] Are we still on for tonight?

She responded yes, and mentioned that she woke up ridiculously early that morning for work and was hoping to fit a nap in before the meet-up. To which he replied (get ready for this one):

[R] Don’t forget to brush your teeth because you don’t know what you’ll be doing with your lips tonight.

I imagine my friend stared at her phone screen for a long, long time with her mouth wide open in disbelief. She finally mustered up the courage for this:

[C] Whoa, buddy. I haven’t even met you yet.

Christine arrived at the restaurant before her date and decided to sit at the bar to keep things casual. Plus, she’s got a slight phobia of prolonged direct eye contact. Please pray for her. She was armed with her cell phone to employ her back-up plan should anything go wrong. You see, like any responsible dater, Christine set up a back-up plan with our friend Matt to ensure her safety and gauge the success of the date. As agreed upon beforehand, Christine would text Matt two numbers.

    • The first number is the (pardon the vulgarity) “Rape-ability Factor” on a scale of one to ten, where one is “This guy is harmless,” and ten is “Hurry! Come pick me up immediately!”
    • The second number is the “First Impression Rose” on a scale of one to ten, where one is “I’d definitely go out with him again,” and ten is “I don’t ever want to see this guy again.”

Ryan arrived and, despite his earlier text shenanigans, was a complete gentleman on the date. The conversation was light and enjoyable, the cheeseburgers were delicious, and the drinks were refreshing. About 30 minutes into the date, Christine discretely texted Matt:

[C] 1, 5

(Translation: Ryan wouldn’t hurt a fly and there was a 50-percent chance she’d be up to seeing him again.)

The date ended with Ryan moving in for what might have been a kiss, though Christine quickly turned it into a slightly awkward hug. All in all, Christine walked away from the date pleasantly surprised.

Later that night:

[R] I was going to kiss you tonight but you went on the defense.

[C] Sorry, I don’t kiss on the first date.

(Side note: I’m friends with a liar. Moving on…)

The next morning, Ryan’s turnaround was made even more complete. He texted to say he’d be in her area that day and was hoping to stop by her office to say hello. She obliged. Not only did he stop by, but he brought a dozen doughnuts for her and her co-workers. Now Ryan! You really are turning the corner here!

doughnuts

To recap, the moral of the story so far is that first impressions can sometimes be misleading. At first, Ryan was a needy textaholic with a penchant for saying inappropriate things. But after a couple meet-ups, his creep factor significantly dropped and his nice-guy factor went up. Lesson learned: Give your date a chance.

But the story isn’t over yet.

As her co-workers ravaged the doughnuts, Christine and Ryan had a short conversation. You know, the usual “How’s your day going?” and “What are you doing the rest of the day?” questions. Ryan’s plans caused Christine to pause.

[R] “I’m gonna catch a movie… and then I’m gonna go look for some bullets.”

[C] “Some what?

[R] “Have you ever shot a gun?”

She actually had. Her cousin was an LAPD officer and took her shooting once. This made Ryan’s ears perk up like the Easter Bunny.

[R] “What kind of gun?”

[C] “I don’t know. What kind of guns do cops use?”

And that’s when the conversation took a turn down a dark alley that Christine never knew existed in her neck of the woods (namely Raleigh-Durham).

[R] “I actually own assault rifles.”

[C] “Why?”

[R] “For protection.”

[C] “From what?”

[R] “Don’t worry. I’ll teach you how to use them.”

[C] “No, you won’t.”

assault-rifle

The subject was quickly changed, Ryan left the office, and Christine proceeded to let him down gently via text. Very, very gently. I mean, he has assault rifles, people!

Second amendment rights and gun control debates aside, the moral of this story has quickly changed. Ryan, Ryan, Ryan: You were doing so well! You had turned the tide from creep to nice-guy. You were on the right track. And then you brought up something so polarizing, so violent — so soon. Why did you think this would impress your date?

Christine doesn’t regret going out with Ryan. As a friend of mine, you can imagine I’ve indoctrinated her to appreciate first dates as new opportunities, whether or not they work out. I am Mr. Miyagi. She is Daniel Larusso. (Except in this tale, she has a lot more karate matches than I do. What’s up with that?) This particular date has taught her, however, to perhaps screen dates a little differently, though I don’t think she could have predicted this.

Doling out advice for Ryan may prove to be a little more difficult. Let’s just keep it simple:

      • Doughnuts: YES
      • Assault rifles: NO

In closing, I think we can all agree Christine dodged a bullet.

What do you think?

~Ruth