If I’m being honest, I knew at the beginning of the very first date. He walked in and smiled, and I thought, “Nice smile,” but I didn’t think, “Heyyyy.” That’s how I knew. It’s the “heyyyy” you gotta listen to. That’s your vagina talking. The former was just my dumb, rational brain, which, though usually to be trusted, is sometimes a surprising source of emotional error. As it was that night.
Guy With A Nice Smile (we’ll call him GWANS) and I chatted over drinks – three rounds – that rolled into dinner, more drinks, a street snack then one more drink (okay, a water). It was the longest date of my life, at least in actual time, but it felt like it went by in a flash, because the conversation was swell and he had, as established, a real nice smile. We also had a lot in common – both close to our families, both driven, creative types, both animal like-ers but not animal lovers (sorry, dogs), and ultimately both people. Also, we were drinking like fish. Of course we got along.
The many, many drinks rolled into a kiss around 1 a.m. And by that point, my brain and vagina were chatting it up, and both of them kind of slurred, “Well, sure, heyyyy!” and I forgot about anything rational I’d been thinking about this guy four hours earlier.
So of course there was a date #2.
I can claim the thing I thought I knew at the beginning of date #1 was gone by date #2. But then I’d be lying. On date #2, GWANS brought me a cupcake, offered to drive, opened every door, and there was still no “heyyyy.” So what I thought I knew at the start of date #1 only became clearer as the night went on.
I knew this was never going to be love. This wasn’t even deep like. It wasn’t a shout or a thrill; it was all just kind of nice. Less OK-Cupid, more OK-Friendship. And not even real friendship, but more like…you know that guy you talk to at a party who makes you go, “Wow, I’m glad to be talking to a guy right now,” but then you’re constantly scanning the room behind him with your eyes? And once one of your real friends comes up, you’re like, “HEYYYY, I’D RATHER TALK TO YOU, REAL FRIEND!!!”? It was that. And when I went to the bathroom towards the end of date #2 and stood in the stall for a second to post something dumb on Twitter, I knew. Despite the alcohol, I knew. Plain and simple: I didn’t like him. I had used this GWANS for free drinks and “there’s no one better at this party”-type mingling, but I just didn’t like him.
And so, even though I was lonely and single and desperate, I also knew I had to end it.
You might be thinking, “Who cares?” It was date #2, and we hadn’t even sideways banged; no one was going to get hurt here. But to that I say, look back: dating is hard – I think we all know that – and when you’ve been single for a while, you almost just want anyone who can consistently be there, present, with you, talking until your friends show up. And this guy seemed like that guy. He had all his parts. He had that nice smile. I mean, he’d brought me a cupcake on our second date, so if I was being real, it was almost blowjob-o’clock. But truth is, in dating, we beggars have to be choosers, because we’re not just dealing with desserts, we’re dealing with feelings and hearts and sweet, precious time. We don’t have time to be a girl who stays with a guy just to have a guy.
So this guy gave bad “heyyyy.” Great catch, not a match. I called him up, told him so, and that was that. Weirdly, it was such a weight off my shoulders. And it reminded me that in any relationship, the minute you know for sure that there’s no “heyyyy,” no matter at what time your brain finally gives you the real talk – be it midway through date #2, or tongue-deep in foreplay before sex #5, or be it on Christmas morning, or while his parents are in town, or the night before his birthday or even when he kneels to put a ring on it – the minute you KNOW, you really should end it. For your sake and for his. Because you can’t convince your lady bits to feel something your brain doesn’t either.
Thanks, redvers, for the image!
Amy Aniobi is a staff writer on a funny TV show and loves writing, dancing and baking cookies. She created the web series "The Slutty Years" and was a writer for "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl". Amy also knows far too much about online dating. For an assortment of non-sequiturs loosely based on New York, Los Angeles and her awkward love life, follow Amy on Twitter, @janiobi.
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