I have three regular beer buddies in the office. Not that I am a heavy drinker. Heck, I could hardly even finish two bottles. But for my friends and I, drinking is a form of camaraderie and socialization. It’s part of our brotherhood.
The first beer buddy is Paul. He’s a twenty-something guy who loves to party at the most prestigious bars (read: Republiq, URBN Bar, Privé) and he happens to be half-Swiss, half-Filipino.
The second is Robert, a guy whose hobby is matchmaking his single friends and seeing if he can turn it into a revenue-generating business someday and eventually quit his day job. Think about a living and walking Match.com
The third is a guy named James. He is quite a stocky guy and very ordinary-looking, but mind you, he has a Korean-looking girlfriend who is incredibly gorgeous. We all envy him.
Now one Friday evening, during one of our regular boys’ nights out and inuman sessions, we began talking about the usual stuff – work, sports, jokes and girls. Paul and I are the only guys single in the group but unfortunately, I was the one in the hot seat. Robert, as you would expect started thinking if he has single female friends that he could match up with me.
Robert: Chris, you’ve been single for about a year now. How’s it going?
Chris (Me): Never been better. I’m concentrating on work now and my blogging stuff. It’s my passion. I meet a lot of girls in events and even when I commute.
Paul: I wouldn’t be surprised. Chris here gets a lot of phone numbers from girls.
James: I know right. So Robert, you said you are going to introduce Chris to a friend of yours?
Robert: That’s right. I have a friend. Her name is Melevie. She’s a college blockmate from DLSU. Want me to match you up?
Chris (Me): Let’s give it a shot.
The next day, I was surprised to get a Facebook friend request from Melevie. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. She’s not that – wait how do I say this in a humane way? She’s not pretty. “Shit Robert”, I said at the back of my head.
You see, I’m a good guy and don’t get me wrong: I am NOT mean. I don’t judge friends and acquaintances by looks but let’s face it: when it comes to the dating arena, things are very different. We guys can get very superficial especially if we are going on blind dates. We judge women we meet by looks more than anything else. And that’s the way it is and will always be.
The next Monday, Robert was asking me if I approved Melevie’s Facebook friend request and what I thought about her. I said yes, I added her but I did not give any further comment. Robert laughed. So why don’t you guys go out on a date. I’ll introduce you both to each other.
“F*ck” I said to myself.
So, did I push through on the date?
Melevie, despite not being that pretty had a special talent. She bakes cakes. Very good cakes. One time on Facebook, I saw her buy a new mixer for her baking hobby. She was making a blueberry cheesecake.
I commented on her Facebook photo saying “Wow. Patikim ng Cheesecake mo”.
Robert liked my comment and laughed “Taena. Bastos mo pare! hahahaha”
I wondered why he said that. After reading between the lines, I understood it. Apparently, if you are as green-minded as Robert is, you’d laugh at my comment too. “Patikim ng Cheesecake mo” sounded so green. I laughed too at my own comment and somewhat felt embarrassed about it.
The following week, I saw Melevie again posting a status update with a small photo on Facebook. “Robert, here’s a special Revel Bar. Want some for yourself and to give to your buddies?”
Now Robert insisted that I’d be the one to get the Revel Bars from Melevie and finally meet her in person. She works just two blocks away from our office so I gave in. I said to myself: what do I have to lose? Less expectations, the better it would be. It’s just a new friend after all. Plus, I’d get a taste of her Revel Bar. Wait did that sound green too?
So it happened. At around 3 PM on a Tuesday afternoon, I asked Melevie out for coffee. There were two things that I had to accomplish. First, I needed to get the Revel Bars. Second, I needed to meet her in person so that I could finally see what Melevie’s character is like, beyond all the superficial pictures I get to see on Facebook.
We met at a coffee shop somewhere near Buendia in Makati City. I arrived there first. I lowered my expectations and thought of good openers and clever things to say as if I’m dating the woman of my dreams.
Melevie arrived at the coffee shop after about 15 minutes. She is average-looking (6 out of 10). She was wearing braces and had shoulder-length straight hair. I discovered she has two assets: One is her baking prowess and two is that she has a sexy body. She was wearing a black sleeveless dress that time and had a Tupperware full of Revel Bars in her hands.
I stood up, approached her and shook her hands. I was taller so she was looking up to me. I was wearing my favorite bomber jacket that time and a black pair of jeans.
Chris (Me): Melevie?
Melevie: Hi Chris, she said shyly.
Chris (Me): It’s good to finally meet you. Are you getting me free drinks?
Melevie: No! Haha. You’re the one who’s getting me coffee. I baked you and your friends a box of Revel Bars so you owe me one.
Chris (Me): *Laughs* Right, right. By the way, I’m getting a Coffee Jelly Frappe. How about you? My treat.
Melevie: Coffee Jelly, Tall size is a good idea.
Chris (Me): Okay then. I’ll be back in a minute with your coffee.
As I sat back to the table where she was seated, we began to sip our coffees and talk about what we do at work. I found out that she is a software engineer at a large Australian bank that has its IT department here in the Philippines. We chatted about our work, our common friends and our hobbies.
However, during the next 20 minutes, there was something peculiar that I noticed. I was the one who kept starting topics and I was running out of things to say. The conversation was going to a dead end because she rarely started any topic. She seemed to enjoy my company and my jokes but I have this feeling that she lacked social skills. She was too shy and was not helping me drive the conversation at all. I noticed that my cup of coffee was almost empty and I am almost halfway through the Tupperware of Revel Bars she gave me (it’s crazy delicious by the way).
With all these things going on, I had to end all this and exit my way in a nice and manly manner without looking like a jerk who just grabbed her Revel Bars and ran away.
Chris (Me): Hey Melevie, thanks for the free and yummy Revel Bars. It is nice to see you in person. I need to go because I got a meeting at 4.30 and I might be taking a lot of your time too.
Melevie: Sure. No, it’s okay. If you want I can teach you how to bake next time.
Chris (Me): Really? Sure, we’ll do it. Let’s catch up next time whenever we are both free. Once I learn how to make Revel Bars, I’ll put up my own business and compete with you. hahaha!
Melevie: What the? hahaha.
Chris (Me): I’m kidding. I’ll catch up with you next time.
I left the coffee shop right away and walked as fast as I could back to the office.
As I walked back, I reflected on how the date went.
In the past, I once had a girlfriend like her who is just average looking but unlike Melevie, my then-girlfriend compensated for other things. Things like talent, sweetness, sexiness, fashion sense and being a good conversationalist. Those things made my ex-girlfriend and I “click”.
But in Melevie’s case, I agreed to meet up with her because I tried to see the deeper nature of her as a person and see if there is any chance of us becoming an item. Sadly, there was nothing else I could see. She is a good person but there was no chemistry. The attraction too is just not there. I did not want to pretend so I had to leave. The only thing good was the Revel Bars.
Back in the office, my beer pals Robert, Paul and James kept interrogating me how my date went while they were chewing on the remaining Revel Bars. I just said it went fine. I didn’t spill anything. It’s how a gentleman should be after all. They kept asking me for details and if ever there was a chance for a second date but I just kept mum about it.
Although Melevie is still my friend on Facebook, and would chat with me from time to time, I did not go any farther than the first date. I don’t want to give false hopes. As I’m writing this, I realized that I wasn’t even able to return the Tupperware back to Melevie. Good thing it’s not really expensive. I guess she should get the idea. But we’re still good friends. No more than that.
The date was not fruitful (sorry Robert, your matchmaking failed). It’s not my fault. Neither was it Melevie’s. It’s just that some people don’t “click”. But I learned something from this experience that is useful for me and for all you guys reading this.
Based from experience, here are some tips on how to handle yourself (and even escape honorably) when your date goes wrong:
1. Don’t set your expectations too high
I once read a book which said that the formula for satisfaction is:
Happiness = Reality / Expectations
I guess it’s true. In order to be more happy or satisfied, you need to lower your expectations. Reality is usually beyond our control so the lower your expectations, the higher is your happiness quotient no matter what reality throws into your life.
Now let me explain this further. Say for example, I want to find out my happiness or satisfaction quotient for the new iPhone. If my expectation for that phone is low (say Expectation = 6), and that phone turns out to be quite good in actual (say Reality = 7); Then using the formula above, 7 (Reality) divided by 6 (Expectations) = 1.17 or in percent terms, I would be 117% happy with the phone.
But say for example that I expected too much about the iPhone. Say my Expectation = 10 and then the Reality is still a 7; Then using the formula, 7 (Reality) divided by 10 (Expecations) = 0.70. In short, I’ll just be 70% satisfied with the phone. I know it’s nerdy to talk about this, but I think you get the concept.
Why am I saying this? It’s because the same applies to the women you date. The higher the expectations you set, the lower are the chances of you being satisfied.
So when meeting someone new, try not to set many expectations. Expect less and you’ll be surprised how things will go. If it turns out nice, good for you. If it turns out to be a bad date, then go out and meet someone new. There’s plenty of fish in the ocean.
2. Try to flirt as if you’re flirting with the woman of your dreams
So let’s say you were paired-up with someone like Melevie who is not exactly your type. Maybe you’d say there’s no need to try or make an effort to flirt because after all she’s not your type right?
Hot or not, you should always practice your flirting skills with women you meet. It will benefit you in the long run because even if you and your current not-so-pretty date do not work out, you can learn and build upon the same flirting skills so that when the time comes that you meet your dream girl, you are equipped with all the necessary witty pick-up lines you can use to flirt with her and make her become attracted to you.
And even if your current date is not your type, you should still try to discover her qualities as a person. I have a friend who said that he was not initially attracted to his girlfriend when they were first introduced to each other, but as soon as he started to discover her beautiful character and her sense of humor, they became attracted to each other and it worked. Who knows? Maybe the same thing might happen to you.
3. Make sure to set a time limit by going to coffee shops on first dates, instead of restaurants
Some guys often make the mistake of not setting a time limit on first dates. You should and it is useful for two reasons:
One is that if your date is attracted to you and you are attracted to her and you have set a time limit and have to leave soon, you will make her want more of you and look forward to a second date.
Two is the opposite of the above. If you are on a first date with some weird girl you are not attracted to, a time limit will allow you to escape and run away.
So how do you set a time limit?
First, is to choose to meet up in coffee shops on first dates instead of restaurants. Going to coffee shops will take significantly lesser time as compared to eating at a restaurant. As a matter of fact, drinking coffee will take you at most half an hour so you have just the right amount of time to flirt if you like your date or run away if she freaks you out.
Second, is to set the time limit by telling your date in advance that you need to go by this time because you have a meeting or an errand. In my experience with Melevie, you have seen that I told her that I have to leave by 4.30 PM because I’m running late for a fake meeting.
4. Don’t Kiss and Tell, Don’t Spit and Tell
In a similar way that we do not kiss and tell. You should not spit and tell too.
What does that mean? It means that you shouldn’t tell your friends that you did not like your date. Imagine if I told Robert that I did not like Melevie. It will create an awkward situation between the three of us because Robert is our common friend.
Also, who knows that you might bump into your forgettable date in the future? You don’t want past dates to hold secret grudges against you so it would be best to be silent and completely neutral on how your not-so-good date went. The mere fact that you are no longer interested (or keep postponing) a second date means that they should get the idea. Do not give the girl false hopes.
And here’s another thing. What if some time after a year or so, that geeky girl you once dated (and hated) undergoes a makeover and becomes totally gorgeous Taylor Swift-style? You wouldn’t want to totally burn the bridges and break connections. You might regret it later.
So do what I did. I kept mum about how my date with Melevie went and I’m still chatting with her every once in a while on Facebook.
*Note: Since PGG is a public blog, I used pseudonyms in this post and changed very minor details so that I do not contradict myself with the “Don’t Spit and Tell everyone” tip. Thanks to Johnny, the first one to comment on this post about it.
5. Be a gentleman no matter what
Need I say more?
Having a date who is not your type is not an excuse to act like a jerk. Become a gentleman, as always. It will payoff soon, trust me. What goes around will always come around.
How about you? Any bad dating experiences? How did you handle it?