Thursday, September 18, 2014

Even small red flags need to be taken seriously

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

If you can't deliver, then you shouldn't even bother to offer.

Marla met James at a club one night while she was out with her girls. Though she had been drinking, she recalls thinking he was attractive, so she gave him her number when he asked for it.

A couple days later, James asks Marla out to dinner. She tells me she couldn't exactly remember exactly what he looked like, but figured he must be OK since he got the number. Besides, Marla said, why does it matter if he is ugly? At least he followed through and actually called her for a date instead of passing over all the steps in between and heading for the love below. Good point, Marla ... good point.

James and Marla agree to meet up at Olive Garden. When she gets to the restaurant, she sees a cute guy standing at the bar. Thank the lucky stars, he turns around and calls out her name. "Whew!" she's thinking — at least she didn't have to try to figure out if that was him or not.

Because there's a wait for a table, they sit at the bar to chat for a bit. During the entire conversation, Marla notices that he never looks directly at her. It's almost as if he's looking behind her. So what do you do in that situation? Of course, you finally turn around and look behind you to see what's back there. And of course, there's nothing back there.

Marla tells me that while he was looking in her direction, his eyes were looking past her, as if he was blind. But the fact that he acknowledged her presence when she walked into the restaurant confirms that he was not, in fact, blind.

She should have just asked him WTF he was looking at. But she probably has manners, so she doesn't.

That in itself might not have raised a flag for me, but I'd be paying close attention.

Meanwhile, James' phone keeps going off every few minutes; each time he interrupts their conversation to take the call. Who is blowing up his phone?

"Sorry about that," James says as he hangs up. "It's my kids calling."

Kids ... as in more than one child. OK, I don't know about Marla, but that definitely raises a red flag for moi.

"Oh, it's OK," Marla responds. "So, how many kids do you have?"

"I have four kids, with four baby mamas."

Marla. Girl. RUN!!!

But Marla doesn't run — she just sits there. Their table is ready, so she has to make a decision: either make a run for it or continue on with dinner. I would have ended the date right then and there, but this isn't my story. Marla decides to stay and finish the date.

Oh, Marla — is this all for a free meal?! Girl, eat what you got at home!

The rest of the date is uneventful until the end, when the waitress brings the bill to the table. "Oh man," James laments, "you know what? I think I left my wallet at the house."

Ahhh. So it was James who was gearing for a free meal.

Marla flags the waitress down and tells her the bill needs to be separate. James just sits there, speechless, as Marla pays for her portion of dinner.

The waitress asks James if he's ready to pay, and he shakes his head while looking at Marla. She signs her credit card receipt, gathers her belongings and tells James to have a good night before walking out.

Needless to say, Marla and James did not go out again. She never found out what he was looking at, and she has no clue as to how he paid for his meal.

I'd say this was a win for ole Marla!

Lesson learned: Pay attention to those red flags — they are very revealing. If you can't pay for the date, then don't ask someone to go on a date, unless you plan to take them somewhere free.

Want to share your own dating story? Good, Bad, Ugly—Go ahead, shoot an email to We'll keep your identity a secret — just let us know what dating in the Queen City is really like!

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