This man saw my online profile and managed to schedule a date without getting my number. This is never ideal, but it's not a total red flag. It does, however, indicate a lack of commitment to something simple like a first drinks date. Or that he is married. From experience, I prefer to never agree to this kind of date, because it means that if he intends to cancel, he will send a message via internet. Thankfully, modernity makes this easy to check, but you should not be on pins and needles before a date because it's terrible for the skin.
I am very vain about my skin.
He also did not send a follow up message to confirm the date. This, together, with the no phone number IS a red flag. It's not that he is married - married men tend to be catches because another woman has already trained him in good manners- it's that he was a commitment-phobe... And before I knew it, I was on a "Buddy Date". *cue the Gilligan's Island theme music*
The Rules details are as follows; He got in touch with me, and selected the date and time, then - since he was coming to see me and not the other way around- he asked where I would like to meet. I suggested a place very close and convenient to me (because I am a Rules Girl) and he agreed. He was sitting in the bar early, he complemented the location (men love it because it is at the corner of 2 highways- Eat that Date#50!) and already had a beer going. These are great starts to any date, right?
This man was a territory rep for a home installation firm. He lived in Hamilton and he drove ...a lot. As a result, he was not physically fit. He leaned back in his chair and looked at the football game on TV and I realized that whoever did share his life better not hope for much better. He asked a lot of questions. This is great. Our conversation really flowed and he kept finding things we had in common. He told me about his hobbies: gardening, cooking, that he should really work as a chef but that his experience was in home improvement. He kept mentioning a future us, as in "I'll remember that for the next time I see you" and - like any normal Canadian woman - I began to imagine a Mike Holmes-esque future with my new ...buddy.
Then he said something that made me stop. He said that he was new in his job but that he hoped to open his own PR company, and that he was a big fan of social media.
What? You are forty, you deal in home improvement ...
and you want to be covering parties at the film festival?
Well, yes. He said that we all had a personal brand and that he would like to help people develop their "brand". I briefly shuddered. I said that I used to go to the TIFF movies but my friend got married and did not have time to do it with me anymore. But before I had the words out of my mouth, he said "I NEVER WANT TO BE LIKE THAT".
What? (for the second time) Now I am really stumped, l'il buddy-ol' pal o' mine
The waitress arrived and asked if we needed another drink. I ordered some water because I was only staying for one drink. But the Buddy Date does not operate like that, and he ordered a second beer - thus locking me into waiting for him to finish it, or allowing him an excuse to not walk me to my car. What an asshole.
He said that he never wanted his marriage to prevent him from going to a movie.
What? (for the third and final time. Follow up question: What's the point of dating?)
He scoffed at people that change after they got married. I gently reminded him that marriage is a lifestyle change and that nothing can come before building the foundation of your marriage, especially in the early years. He looked at me blankly. Then he began to argue with me, using the most reductionist arguments.
(I guess he was surprised that his ol' buddy did not agree with him).
"So you're saying that I can't go to a movie if I'm married?!?"
"Well, you are not being fair, that is not exactly what I said." We both knew he was deliberately trying to misunderstand me.
Me: "Did you not hear what I said?"
Him: "No, I heard you."
Me: "But you don't believe me..."
And he didn't have to say anything because I saw it in his eyes. His beady little eyes.
You see, I said, this is why you are not married
(Buddies are supposed to be honest, right?)
and the hard look in his fat face got even harder.
I told him I was "gonna wind it up" and got up and left.
Thanks L'il Buddy for sabotaging this date.
Full Disclosure: There may be larger forces at work here. There was a point early in the date where he mentioned his hobbies and then said that "[his] friends must think [he's] gay". This is a major red flag on a first date. When people mention things like a hypothetical, it's to convey a deeper truth that they themselves can not face. Dear Reader, if a first date ever mentions a deal breaker like this (i.e. I'm looking for a man, he's also looking for a man) then immediately make your excuses and leave. Do not ask any questions, just go. Straight men to not make this comment on first dates with women they are trying to score.