As you may or may not know, I’m still dating. The first date is rarely followed by a second date, simply because I see too many flags that I know will lead to problems down the road. Instead of giving a list of things to look for, I thought it would be better to recount a recent example.

I met Julian online, and we spoke on the phone a handful of times before the first date. The conversations were OK, but I wasn’t overly excited to meet him. I didn’t want to be too quick to judge, so I was willing to meet him.

We decided to get together at 9:30 p.m. At 9:35 he called to say he’d just finished a business meeting and would be leaving in 10 minutes. He was in Hollywood, which is 15 minutes away from me, so I figured he’d arrive around 10 p.m.

By 10:15 he still hadn’t arrived, and I was ready to pick up the phone and cancel. That’s when he called to get my exact address.

When I asked how far away he was, I knew he hadn’t left Hollywood within 10 minutes of his first call. I sighed into the phone.

Julian: Did you just sigh?

Me: Yes. You get one free pass, and you’ve just used yours up.

He was very apologetic. He said he was four miles away, but he still didn’t get to my place ’til 10:30. (STRIKE ONE)

I was not very happy when I stepped into his car. We drove to a nearby restaurant, parked and had to cross a busy street.

What do you think Prince Charming did? He proceeded to walk a few paces ahead of me, leaving me to follow in my high heels. I actually said, “Sure. Just leave me alone in the middle of the street.” (STRIKE TWO)

I don’t remember much about the conversation at dinner, I just know he didn’t ask me much, if anything, about myself. (STRIKE THREE). We talked about him a bit, and the rest of the conversation was forgettable.

As soon as we finished eating he asked for the check, and as soon as the check was paid, he said, “Let’s go.”

When we pulled up to my place, he actually had the nerve to say, “Do you want me to come upstairs?” (STRIKE FOUR)

I said, “You’re joking, right?” He didn’t say anything. He put his hand out for me to shake.

I also didn’t say another word. I shook his hand and got out of the car. Total time for the date: approximately 1 hour.

Now, how many of you reading this account were able to pick out the “strikes?” Would you have considered canceling a date with someone that was 45 minutes late (at the time I was considering canceling)?

You should. It shows a total lack of respect for your time.

How about when you cross the street? I don’t know about you, but men always walk beside me when we’re crossing a street, some even taking my hand or putting their hand on the small of my back.

Would you have seen a guy walking ahead without you as a cautionary flag? You should.

Ultimately, all women want a gentleman, and that’s not how a gentleman behaves. I’ve heard that if Jon Bon Jovi and his wife are out for dinner and she gets up to go to the restroom, he gets up and accompanies her. If Bon Jovi can be a gentleman, then all men can be gentlemen.

What about the conversation at dinner? Would you have noticed that the talk was all focused on the guy, and he wasn’t asking anything about you?

When a guy is interested in you, he asks you questions about yourself. He’s interested in who you are and what you’re all about.

If he’s not doing that, he’s not interested in getting to know you. He’s just interested in “getting you.”

Finally, a guy that wants to “come upstairs” at the end of the first date, is not looking for anything long term. He’s just looking to “hit it and quit it.”

If that’s OK with you, go for it. If not, then you may want to consider not seeing him again.

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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