I'm going to save you a shitload of time in your dating adventures. In order to benefit from this sage advice, you must really listen-- to me, to the other person you're dating, and most importantly to yourself.
Let me introduce you to what I affectionately call the "Future Predictive Moment" (aka FPM). It will change your life, I promise.
I truly believe that people tell you exactly who they are in their very first conversations with you. You just need to really listen. The FPM is the thing that someone says during your first conversation that kind of shocks you in a subtle way, but tht you quickly dismiss, thinking "Well, I guess SOME PEOPLE are like that." The thing about the FPM is that it's the thing that always leads either to the demise of the "relationship" (I use that term loosely) or to something you will have to contend with during your tenure with the person.
Let me give you my favorite real-life examples. See if you can figure out the FPM.
Image: Beatrice Murch via Flickr
Scenario #1: Mr. Dutch
We had not yet met in person or talked in real time. He told me he would call me at 7pm, but he ended up calling me at 8. "I'm so sorry I'm late calling you,"he said, "they were having a sale on milk at the market and it is 10 miles from my house." Um...okaaaay.
We scheduled a date for a blistery November lunch time. He said, "We will sit outside." It was COLD! He told me how I should like my chips and hot sauce. Uh, NO. I knew this was a no-go, and I ordered water and a $3 quesadilla.
After the wretched date, I sent him an email saying something to the effect of, "Hey, great meeting you, but I'm opting to go on my merry way." He replied, "Oh, that's too bad because I really enjoyed meeting you. You're fun and you like to travel. But it's ok, send me your half of the lunch bill."
"Whaaaaat?!" I replied.
"Yeah, it was a lunch meet, not a date."
Hmmmm, lunch meet...lunch meat? I'm lunchmeat? (Side note: I decided to title my book on dating Lunchmeet so thanks asshole!)
FPM: Sale on milk 10 miles away+asking for his $3 back=cheap bastard.
You see how this works?
Scenario #2: Mr. Harley
We met for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant. He rode up on his Harley, all hot, sexy and muscular (think Terry Crews). Once we were seated, he asked to be excused because he forgot something at his bike. He left, came back, and I asked what he was going to eat. Nothing, because he was on some particular protein/carb ratio diet bullshit plan. Why ask me out for dinner then?
I decided I was going to order when all of the sudden, he had to go back to his bike for something. I stared (glared) at him and he said, "It's just that I have a protein shake at my bike and I need to finish it."
"You're a 6'3" muscle guy! I don't think these 20 year old girls are going to stop you if you bring in your protein shake."
He appeared antsy and couldn't stop himself. "I'm sorry, I just need to go finish it. I'm not going to get another date am I?" My reply, "At this rate, no."
But I gave him several more dates (he was hot and muscular, come on!). Fast-forward to Christmas Eve. I went to his house and he was fidgety and flighty. He greeted me, "I just feel like baking a cake! Why don't you find something to do to keep yourself busy?"
"Uh, I don't live here! What am I supposed to do?"
"I don't care. I just have to make this cake!"
FPM: Protein shakes + Christmas cakes = some kind of mania/ impulse control issue
Try my theory out. It's free to you. I guarantee you will be more in tune to FPMs even if you don't cut it off on the spot. Notice how much time you save by being in tune with the thing that makes you go "Hmmmmmm." Carefully place it in your back pocket and keep your eye on it and see if it festers. You're welcome.