Sarah is a 36-year-old marketing co-ordinator. She says “I like to dress fashionably, often in the style of designers like Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford.” Sarah says, “I live life to the fullest. I love to make people laugh, and I’m always cracking jokes.” Sarah loves to hang out with her friends “at their local haunt, or at each other’s homes for dinner and wine.” She adds “I have a lot of really good guy friends: platonic, of course. When I date someone, it is because I’m really into them. I don’t date for the sake of dating.”
I believe that more time, rather than less, should be spent chatting online before plunging into a date. I figure that by doing so, you can weed out the undesirables better. So, Kunle and I chatted online intermittently over the course of a few weeks, and actually engaged in a telephone conversation, which is rare for this day and age. None of it seemed contrived, and Kunle seemed adventurous and interesting. We decided on dinner.
I arrived early to grab a table because the restaurant didn’t take reservations and they were always busy. Kunle arrived, and we shared polite pleasantries. I have to admit I wasn’t as attracted to him as I’d anticipated. All was well for the first few minutes, until Kunle decided to break out his life’s curriculum vitae in a way that seemed almost closer to a rant than first-date conversation. From his upbringing to his various skills, Kunle left no stone unturned. At first, I thought it was simply nervous chatter, but no, it wasn’t. He kept going.
I sat back, paralyzed by his monologue. As he continued with his pitch, my eyes began to wander over his outfit, which was not good. I had a cold or flu starting, and I contemplated using that as an excuse to get out of the date. At one point, Kunle said something that I think he meant to be profound or affecting, and I couldn’t help it — I burst into laughter. He didn’t appreciate my response. It was this moment that made me realize that this guy takes himself much too seriously.
After that, Kunle asked me, oddly, if I was attracted to him, and if I felt like the date was a mistake. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him how annoying it was that he had failed to invite me into the conversation at any point. Luckily, the waitress interrupted the train wreck and took our orders. We decided on a few appetizers, which I really hoped would slow down Kunle’s stream-of-autobiography, or at least give us something to talk about other than him.
Unfortunately, his bizarre ranting continued when the food arrived. I could not ask a question, make a statement, or cut in in any way — he was going non-stop. I was getting his full, unedited life story, including the minute details of his latest real-estate transaction. I couldn’t understand why he was doing this — he had been great to talk to online and on the phone. I was indicating to him I was bored in my gestures and body language, but he clearly didn’t pick up on any of that. At this point I just started to marvel at his bad dating technique.
I’m not interested in being an attention-hungry narcissist’s pawn, so soon after this I told him that I was done eating, and that I was ready to leave. The date ended rather abruptly, with a short hug. I felt bad for Kunle, but I was also offended. Dating never seemed this difficult in my 20s.