Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Flags Revealed

So Eff.  It’s almost Valentine’s Day and have absolutely no plans that involve any kind of romantic anything.  It's true.  Nothing like running your single flag up the flagpole for everyone to see.  And speaking of flags… I have a new friend/knowledge dropper I’d like you to meet. 

100 Red Flags LogoYou’ve already been introduced to my friend Tristan and his timely insights into men’s emotionally retarded tendencies was a good one… but I also have another source of wisdom on my dream team of dating advisors.  I am pleased (and thankful) to introduce you to one of my new friends and 1/2 the brain power of the site 100 Red Flags, Ryan Luedecke.  His site is dedicated to listing 100 red flags as to why women are single.  Their knowledge is vast, their insights are compelling, and their use of the eff bomb is always well-placed.  These guys are good, and thankfully I follow instructions well.  (I am also guilty of far too many of their red flags so I have my work cut out for me… I’ll let you guess which ones.  Hint: I did NOT go to Notre Dame.) 

For their first ruminations on love (or lack there of) I told them to take it easy on me and lay down some first date red flags… Ryan delivered in spades. 

Ryan Luedecke
My First, First Date: by Ryan Luedecke, Co-Founder 100 Red Flags
I went on my first date when I was 13 after Stephanie Farrise accepted my invitation to a school dance. Stephanie commanded a lot of attention, not only because she had matured physically, but also because she was one of the most sexually advanced girls in the eighth grade. In the gossip circles of West Memorial Junior High, it was well-known that she had given at least one guy in school an early start on oral sex. That was the only information I needed before deciding to ask her to the dance.

When I arrived at her house on date night, there was a white limo waiting in the driveway to chauffeur our group to the dance. While we had planned to leave promptly to maximize limo time, Stephanie was having a wardrobe crisis and apparently didn’t give a fuck.

She was over an hour late (red flag) by the time she finally made it downstairs to meet us. She came out wearing a thick coat of make up (red flag), high heels, and a revealing dress that made her look more eighteen, than eighth grade. She looked pretty damn good, but never did apologize for being late (red flag).
We said our hellos as her parents stood near and then it was time for the exchange. I slid a smaller-than-she-had-hoped corsage onto her wrist while she tried to hide her disappointment(red flag). She then haphazardly pinned a boutonniere to my coat (red flag), nearly giving me the nipple piercing that I would actually want four years later (red flag, on me).

Looking back on that experience, I’m a little ashamed that I didn’t red flag my date and plan an exit strategy. But, I was a horny eighth grader and the question for me at the time was not “how do I find a way out?” but “how do I find a way in?”

My advice to my thirteen-year-old self would have been the same as it is to the women who are reading this: men who are confident, ambitious, and in-demand, never overlook a red flag.

So, ladies, if you have a first date with a confident guy that you want to impress, here are a couple pointers that could help you come out of the first date red flag free:

1) Don’t tell us about your curfew…There’s no bigger buzz kill than sitting down for a first date and then being fed some pre-meditated speech that goes something like this: “Hey, it’s great to meet you. Just so you know, I have to get up like really early in the morning because I have to workout, and then walk my dog, and then get to work early, because I have like this super big meeting. So I’ll have to leave, like, no later than 10:15 or something. But I’m totally excited to meet you and this should be soooo fun.”Adding a time constraint to the first date, tells us that you’re not spontaneous. It also pretty much eliminates our hopes for a hook up. We’re not saying you have to hook up with a guy on the first date, but you at least need him to think that it’s a possibility.

2) Don’t order a salad… Unless it comes as a side to a greasy entrée, a salad is the wrong play on a first date. You might think that it says “hey, I’m healthy, and I watch what I eat, and I won’t ever get fat.” But what we think is, “uh-oh, she’s extremely weight conscious which means her figure has wildly fluctuated in the past, which means in three weeks she may look completely different than she does tonight.” Or even worse, she might be a vegetarian. The best play is to get something totally indulgent, like a cheeseburger and fries. Even if you have to run an extra two miles the next morning, the perception that it creates in our mind is well worth it. We want women who can maintain their figure without going too crazy on the dieting because if things ever get serious, your dieting will impact what we find in our fridge.

3) Stop talking about your job… We love that you have a REAL job. We just don’t want to hear about it all the time. If all you can talk about is your job, that means you lead a boring life and you won’t be much fun to hang around with. Instead of talking about work, here’s a simple game you can play when the conversation starts to lag. It’s called ‘3 Interesting Things.’ To play the game, just ask the guy, “Tell me three interesting things about yourself that have nothing to do with your LOOKS and nothing to do with your JOB.” This will rekindle the conversation and give you better insight into whether the guy meets your standards. He’ll usually turn the game around and ask you the same question, so be prepared.

4) Be nice to the waiter…If a waiter makes a mistake it’s OK to kindly let them know about it, but don’t start huffing and puffing if he forgets some obscure special request or if he’s a little slow to offer refills when the place is packed. Men are turned off by women who demand perfection from their waiters and especially turned off by women who are rude when a waiter isn’t perfect. The reason? Well, essentially, it’s because a man thinks that the way you treat a waiter is the way you’ll treat him after the honeymoon phase of the relationship has fizzled.

5) Leave your cell phone in your purse … When guys see your cell phone on the table, they are reminded of those empty dinner conversations filled with awkward silences with women who might seem like the full-package on the outside, but are actually empty on the inside. The most attractive and interesting women are too busy enjoying real life to be worried about constantly checking their phones.

[Editor’s Note: I read this post initially while eating a salad with my phone sitting out next to me on the table in Panera Bread.  Thankfully, I wasn’t on a first or any other form of date at the time.  Check out Ryan and Bill's site and guess which ones I am categorically guilty of harboring.]

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