The winks, likes and favorites have been surging on my Match.com account since the New Year and while the optimist in me wants to believe that there are some good dates with interesting, smart, considerate men on my horizon, the realist in me knows the truth.
The truth is, dating sucks.
And I am a very reliable source.
Not only do I have a full year of post-divorce dating under my belt, but dating was my second job in my 30s. I said yes to every set up and every blind date; I did speed dating; I was in a matchmaking service; and when online dating started to become a thing, I jumped on that, too. I have spent more years dating than being married. So you see, I’m a bit of an expert.
And now, being a full-time, working mother in my 40s, I have less free time, less energy, and less free time and energy for bullshit. We’re all struggling with a ridiculous amount of stress from work and our kids and our exes, but you know what? It’s really nice to get dressed and go out for an adult beverage and put away your phones and engage with a human being in a real conversation that isn’t about how awful your divorce was.
So, based on my extensive experience, I present the Top Eight Things to Never Do or Say On A Date After Your Divorce:
1. Do not talk about the extravagant holiday gifts you just gave to your soon-to-be ex-wife.
2. Do not say, “Maybe I should just go out and get laid” when talking about your post-divorce socializing strategy.
3. Do not ask your date if her boobs “looked different” after nursing; in fact, do not mention nursing or boobs or any private parts or weight AT ALL.
4. Do not share the anecdote of how you recently punched your ex-wife’s new husband in the face when he came on your property and that you are now charged with assault.
5. At the table, do not take phone calls from your divorce lawyer or your best friend who wants to say hi.
6. In the first five minutes of the date, do not talk about key parties that happen in the upstairs lounge of the bar that you are currently in.
7. When your date realizes how late it is and says she needs to get home quickly to her sitter, do not shove your tongue down her throat while she is trying to get into her car.
8. Do not ask her to text a photo of herself because you “forgot what she looks like.”
Please, gentlemen, learn from these others’ mistakes. Women, if you have trouble recognizing a crappy date, you now have eight warning signs. Heed them. I’ve taken more than my share of bullets for the worst dates ever, so maybe you don’t have to.
For all of the optimists who are going out on a first date tonight or any time in 2017, I really and truly hope it does not suck.