Your Momma Wouldn’t Approve

by admin on June 25, 2012

My wife of 20 years died and after it was time to re-enter life, I found that almost everyone now uses dating-on-line sites instead of the old fashioned way of meeting first.

I read through the profiles and found someone who appeared, on paper, to be perfect. She was a flight attendant, cultured, with several talented children, well-spoken and attractive. We starting writing then calling and things seemed marvelous, except she lived in a different city, but she seemed such a winner, I chose to fly to meet her.

I was new to internet dating, so had previously met in coffee shops, which was quite awkward and a terrible way to actually get to know someone. She insisted our first meeting to be at a fancy restaurant of her choice, which I accepted gladly, as I had missed the fun of having someone with whom to share a nice restaurant.

Somewhat to my surprise she was 40-60 minutes late, but it worked out well for me, as I was able to get to be friends with the bartender, the owner and his wife, even the violin player. Everyone was holding their breath to see how it worked out for us, and if she would actually come. She did finally arrive and was stunning. The owner gave us the finest table, with rose petals strewn, and the violinist really made it a special, wonderful evening.

She was flirty but said she was rather shy and not to expect intimacy until we knew each other well, which was fine with me, as it was the way I was raised, too.

I was surprised when I saw her apartment. (I didn’t realize that divorced women usually lost the nice house they lived in, but retained their beautiful furniture, now housed in a shabby apartment.) The inside of the apartment was elegantly decorated, the outside was somewhat grim, but she explained that’s what a divorced woman with two kids could afford, which made sense to me.

Several weeks later she flew to see me, and I was truly excited, wondering if she would become my next wife. I took her to My favorite spots, my restaurants where I was known, but was horrified at the way she treated the wait staff and even the owners of the places I took her….snapping her fingers to the owner and saying things like, “Boy, bring me some ice water.” This red flag confused me, and I literally went to each of the places the next day, alone, to apologize for her behavior. It got too much to take her out in public, so I told her I would cook her a nice dinner, as I like to cook. I cooked a fine meal, then she insisted we eat outside, which made no sense, as it was over 100 degrees outside and muggy as could be, but I had given up trying to reason with her, so sat sweating in the hot sun with the food going bad.

I was very surprised when she got a phone call from her similarly financially-distressed best girlfriend, who wanted to make plans to go on vacation for a week with her the next week. I became more surprised when they decided on Vegas and the most expensive resort in Vegas. When she got off the phone, I asked, confused, how she could afford such a lavish vacation when she was having troubles even paying her utility bills. She smiled and said, “Well, you see how beautiful I am, right? I get all dressed up, then go stand in the lobby of the Resort next to the VIP check-in desk. It doesn’t take long before a checking-in man will ask me if I’m with anyone, then I end up spending the week with him, meaning I get free room, fancy meals, entertainment, and I try to push them into taking me to the finest stores and jewelry shops. Why, last month I was able to pawn the jewelry I got for over $10,000.00”

My jaw dropped. I was literally dating one of the girls your Mom always told me about. Though I had said nothing, she saw my face and got livid. She disappeared into the house and came out somewhat slurred. I spent an anxious night awake on the sofa, awaiting her plane in the morning, for fear in her out-of-control state she might do harm to my pets. In the morning I tried to be as cheerful as possible as I sped to the airport, and let her out at the curb, saying it was fun. I trembled as I drove home and didn’t date again for a long time.   0619-12

 

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

josie June 25, 2012 at 5:35 am

These kind show up on tv shows every so often and seem quite proud of how much they can bleed a man for. I’d be very thankful that you found out when you did and did not lose a huge amount of money, your pet’s life or more importantly, your own life.

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MuleWagon June 25, 2012 at 6:24 am

Dear God! Coffee shops look great in comparison, don’t they? And I think the ol’ volunteer/church/social group ways of meeting people are looking better, too.

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Barb June 25, 2012 at 7:25 am

She would have lost me after the rudeness to waitstaff. Can’t get past that. A deal breaker.

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Cat June 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

I would have counted the silverware and jewelry before she left. There are names for women like these,and you were fortunate that you learned that the facade she put on was just that and not the woman she truly was.. Be glad she was honest with you and let you know what she was before you invested any more time or money in her.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 25, 2012 at 8:50 am

Wow! Two words- reference check. (Credit, criminal and employment. Personal if it can be obtained.) It might not screen out the crazies in all cases, but by the time you are hopping on a plane to meet someone, you are placing yourself at some risk. Best luck to OP next time!

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MamaToreen June 25, 2012 at 8:50 am

So shyness wasn’t her problem, apparently. Consider yourself lucky you found out this before you got into the relationship too deeply. You deserve better

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Warholette June 25, 2012 at 8:51 am

Wow. Just wow. This story not only deserves to be in etiquette hell, but in moral hell as well…

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AthenaC June 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

Oh wow. Clearly I’ve been doing this life thing all wrong. Instead of paying my bills with the money I get from my job (and paying for my own vacations), I should be trying to take advantage of wealthy people and try to get them to pay for all my stuff.

Side note: I totally believe this story. I have a male friend who has money (and looks the part). Every time we go to a bar he gets marked by quite a few women who try to score some free drinks off of him. He just laughs them off. Not very nice of him, but I suppose if you had that problem, after a while you might lose patience.

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Hemi June 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

The dangers of internet dating… I’m surprised you would see her again after the way she treated the wait staff and others at your favorite places in your city.
She sounds like a “grifter”. Be glad you got out unscathed.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn June 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

Manners are a very good indicator of character. Good for you, getting out before she turned you into her sugar daddy!

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jess June 25, 2012 at 9:04 am

I felt so awful for you reading this. It must have been very hard to be around such a rude person so early on in your dating life. I hope you found someone to make you happy, or at least have a few better dating experiences, you sound like a lovely man. All the best.

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Chocobo June 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

The poor man, how awful! I hope he realizes that such people do not represent the rest of us. What a dreadful, dreadful woman.

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Drawberry June 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

I clearly remember a woman that lived in the same very lovely apartment complex my mother and I did. While she was cheerful and appeared nice enough, it didn’t take long for my mother to have been shared a boatload of this woman’s very..particular dating habits. Namely that she has one boyfriend for each bill she has to pay, yes at once.So that her cable,cell phone, and utilities are paid for by different lads. Her ‘favorite’ story was of the one night she was getting ready to go on a date with one boyfriend while another boyfriend was suspicious of her not being faithful, he broke into her apartment while she was getting ready to go out and she quickly shoved all of her makeup away and dove into bed and pretended to be sleeping and sick for this man to pacify him and them promptly went out on her date with the other boyfriend.

She once asked my mother if her breasts where ‘real’, and discussed at length how proud she was of her own fake breasts.All while standing with my mother in the open apartment parking lot.

Charming.

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2browneyes4 June 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

I know this type. I know someone who sounds exactly like this woman. What I wonder is, if this woman got to stay in luxury hotels for free just by hanging out near the VIP desk and waiting for someone to make a move, why didn’t she have any concern for her own safety?? If she meets a man for the first time as he is checking in, and she winds up spending that same night with him (and the rest of the week), why isn’t she afraid that he may be a maniac, rapist, serial murderer or worse?? (I don’t know if it gets worse). Obviously her own virtue is not a concern if she is spending the night with any new acquaintance willing to foot the bill. I also think that a lot of these well-to-do men that would take a woman up on this type of thing are probably married and just want a whirlwind fling for the week.

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Lisa June 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

Wow. Consider yourself lucky. This woman should turn in her womanhood card.

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Annie June 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

Eeargh. I work in a high tech field, and one of my colleagues fell in “love” with a woman like this. It seems she assumed anyone in high tech was wealthy. Among other things, she gave him a large photograph of herself in a bikini, which he brought to work and carried around in a folder with him, showing it to anyone who he thought might be impressed. Needless to say, no one was impressed, and everyone was just embarrassed for him.

As a matter of fact, his out-of-control spending meant that rather than being wealthy, he was actually quite in debt, and eventually she moved on. It was rather sad, because I felt that those two deserved each other. I hope she didn’t try to prey on a nice guy like the OP.

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Brockwest June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

(OP)
Josie, you’re correct I was lucky to escape with my safety, but she took something as valuable to me, my trust. It’s hard enough in the dating world if you lose trust.
2MULE, you’re correct that the old-fashioned way of meeting is better, and I remember fondly the days before internet took over, going to single’s places, joining groups, but that has pretty much died out with the exception of Megachurches with Single’s groups.
Barb, She DID lose me with the rudeness to the wait staff. I was just stuck until her return flight having to entertain her. I’ve learned how important it is to treat everyone as peers and people. Nicely, I’ve gotten some incredibly wonderful experiences from this. As when she was late to the restaurant, I was best friends with the restaurant by the time she arrived, so got treated like royalty.
Cat, I have no idea what may have disappeared. Like anyone, I go, hey, I wonder what happened to those silver cufflinks. Who knows what may have disappeared. She wasn’t actually honest with me, more stunned that I would think it wrong to use guys to get freebies.
Stacy, I did finally learn to google names and have found some amazing stuff. I have not done the reference-check route, but it would be a good idea for people to do that once they’ve started into the path of a good relationship.
Mama, it was nice of you to say I deserved better. She was about the first person I had dated in 20 years, so was totally unprepared and totally open. I learned, with time, to be more guarded, and not to let people hurt me so easily. Times have changed and it’s not the innocent world I remember from my youth. You’ll be disappointed to hear that about a year later, out of the blue, she called as she had been invited to a major social event and needed a refined gentleman to fit into the event. She invited me to fly to go. I had spent many hours wondering where I had missed all the red flags and how I’d gotten almost caught in the spider web, and felt that now that I had dated others and become stronger, that it would be a idea for me to accept the invitation, to prove to myself I could handle it and not get hurt or surprised, as now it was an open book about who and what I was dating. We went to the event in her town, and she “again” started yelling and cursing at the waitstaff that she wanted another drink. Mind you, this was in front of the extremely successful, well-known host of the event.
We then went to one of his restaurants for an elegant meal. She started screaming from the table to the bar about where are the (#**#( drinks. When our host went to the men’s room, I excused myself from the table and joined him, and apologized for her behavior. He looked at me and said, (still remember the words, “O.P. you’re a nice guy and a gentleman. Why are you even here with her…you deserve better.” I felt ashamed.
Warholette, I was very very confused by the situation as I had never before met one of those women your Mama warns you about. I asked a friend of mine, a Vegas regular, and he instantly recognized her type and said they are common in Vegas. They are educated and make the sugar-daddies look nice, so the Resorts look the other way. I asked him what would happen behind closed doors and he gave the interesting answer, “As little as she could get away with.” I asked what if the man wouldn’t give freebies for free, and my friend answered, “then she would do what was requested.” He explained the only difference in this type and a street girl was that the street girl negotiated a price in advance. Ouch.
Athena…yes, it’s true, there are the takers out there. She was not the first, but the most outrageous of some of the people I dated UNTIL I finally realized these supermodels, gorgeous women and NOT smitten by my wonderfulness, but by my bank account. I was irrelevant to them. I learned to screen more carefully, to get a tad suspicious if someone who would not have dreamed of talking to me in high school, now was acting as if I were the greatest guy in the world. I had to realize my place on the ladder and be suspicious if a jet-setter came on to me hard. I changed my OWN profile from bait with accomplishments, to bait with the simple joys of life. I explained I was looking for someone to sit on the front swing and watch fire flies at night. My in-box suddenly got sort of cob-webby, but I found I was now using better bait.
Hemi…didn’t get away unscathed. It took a very long time until I was willing to venture out into that cold, cruel world again.
Girl….yes, manners, the way someone treats wait staff, pets, children, remarks made in private are all big clues and big red flags.
Jess…I was absolutely devastated that I was so blind to faults and had chosen so poorly, so I stopped for a long time to consider where I had gone wrong. I became much more cautious. At signs of red flags, I learned to leave. The hardest part was it was so early in my re-dating life. The good news, I found a wonderful, sweet woman with a darling young child who Adores sitting on the porch watching fire flies. We’ve been married 3 years now. The same restaurant that the other woman had been so boorish too?….my wife and I got married there, and the owner’s proudly have our pictures on the wall of the restaurant.
Chocobo….no, in NO way did I felt she represented the rest of the world. I had never met someone from that side of life, so was totally naive to the dark side. I’ve met so Many very nice, sweet people in life. I dated a number of very sweet women, who, though we weren’t a match, became friends. In a sad way, it was a teaching lesson for me…..after 20 years of a wonderful marriage with SO much implicit trust, I had to harden my heart. To be honest after a long time, when I met my present wife, I realized I had to re-open my heart or lose her, so I did.

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FelisD June 25, 2012 at 11:20 am

Funnily enough, my first red flag reading this story was her saying “this [shabby apartment] is all a divorced woman with two kids can afford”. That would have been my cue to get out of there.

Anyone who says something like that to a person they’ve just met and is seeing their home for the first time just smacks of manipulation and borderline narcissistic self-involvement to me. She’s playing the “I’m a woman who is DIVORCED with TWO KIDS and LOOK how he took advantage of me” card which triggers a man’s protective instinct.

I’ve met mature, divorced people, including divorced people who got taken for everything they owned in contentious split-up, and none of them have ever dwelt on it in conversation outside of a support group or well-deserved rant about the ex to close friends. They live, and they make do with what they have. The only ones that ever play the “divorced and destitute oh poor me” card are the ones who are manipulative beyond imagination.

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David June 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

I dated a woman like this for quite some time before she showed her true colors, I regret it to this day.

I am glad she let you know fairly early in the relationship what type of person she was.

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jennifergeek June 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

Yes, clearly I am doing something wrong by having a job and paying my own way… Count yourself lucky you found out about this before getting involved further!

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--Lia June 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

I agree with Warholette. This one crosses the line from etiquette to morality.

I suppose a lot of people do meet people through internet dating these days, but that doesn’t mean the old fashioned way doesn’t exist. I’d go the tried and true route: Ask friends to make introductions. Join affinity groups like book groups, bridge, or the local ping pong team. Take a class at the community night school, or audit at a college. Volunteer. Work on a political campaign.

An unrelated question. I understand all the red flags except one. How does insisting on eating outside in the hot sun figure in? Is that to set the scene, or is there something about it I would recognize if I had more experience? (Like the way I wouldn’t know what a gorgeous woman hanging out by the V.I.P. check-in meant unless I had someone explain it to me.)

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Psyche June 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

OP, this is why you agree to meet at a coffee shop the first time you meet someone online. That’s the good thing about women looking for a sugar daddy-most of them can be easily spotted a mile away.

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Library Diva June 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I must be really naive, because that would never in a million years occur to me as an activity that anyone might engage in. Aside from the lack of morals it shows and the safety considerations, what if it just plain doesn’t work? What if she goes out there, sits in the lobby for three hours, and gets kicked out while waiting for someone to approach her? What an example she’s setting for her children, too. OP, you definitely dodged a bullet. I’m guessing that in the initial dates and conversations, she was trying to see if you might be her next source of income, then when she came to see you, it somehow became apparent that you weren’t. Whether your home wasn’t fancy enough for her, or you revealed tastes that were more meat-and-potatoes than lobster-and-champagne through your favorite places, or whether she even just figured out she wouldn’t be able to run this scam on you, then her true, rude-to-waiters, grifting self showed through. I hope that by now, you’ve found happiness.

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Gee June 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

When she says she “spends the weekend” with the guy in exchange for stuff, I assume that means she’s going to sleep with him. There’s a word for that. It’s called prostitution!

OP, you’re lucky you got out of this when you did. Although I would have ended it after the incident of the rudeness in the restaurant. Anyone who is not nice to a waiter is not a nice person. Sure, waiting on people is that person’s job, but they are still a person, and should be treated with dignity.

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Cat Whisperer June 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’m sorry, but in reading this account, I couldn’t help but think of the OP: “What an idiot!”

If I read his account correctly, after two dates and some correspondence, he’s wondering if this woman could be his next wife?!? Sorry, OP, but you didn’t have enough “face time” with this lady to even know if she could be a friend.

The truth is, getting to know people and to develop a meaningful relationship on any level means spending time with them and not handing them your heart and soul on a silver platter until they’ve established their authenticity. That means taking the time to get to know them and their history– and not just what they choose to tell you, either; it means getting to know people who know them. It means observing the person and how they interact with people in all kinds of situations: especially when things aren’t going well with them, because that’s when people really tend to show their true colors.

Getting to know people also means knowing what your “dealbreakers” are in a relationship, and sticking to them. For me, there were red flags/dealbreakers thrown up by this person on that first date. She chooses a fancy restaurant for a first date? Sorry, but for me that’s a red flag. There are lots of places where you can go to have good food and a quiet, intimate environment to get to know each other that aren’t expensive. And then she’s an hour late and doesn’t call to tell her date she’s running late? That’s just plain rude and thoughtless. There is no excuse for it.

…And then she starts talking about when her date can expect intimacy (read: sex)???? Honey, at that point you don’t know each other well enough to be deciding if you’re handshake material, never mind jumping into bed together. Discussion of sex on a first date is a huge red flag to me, it shouldn’t even be on the radar at that point!

And then there’s that second date, where this dishy woman is treating people at the restaurant like dirt. Wow. OP, forgive me for saying so, but you need to set your standards higher. Someone who behaves in a way that has you actually having to apologize to people for the way she treated them– good grief, why on earth would you do anything other than bid her a cold farewell and delete her number from your cell phone?

If you set the bar low for standards of behavior you expect from people you associate with, and you ignore bad behavior and red flags about a person’s character right from the get-go, then I don’t think you can claim too much righteous indignation when– surprise! (NOT!)– they reveal themselves to be a genuine card-carrying jerk in all their brassy glory. The signs were there. They weren’t subtle or obscure. You shouldn’t have been surprised how things turned out.

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Roslyn June 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

It’s nice to know this story has a happy ending!
Thank you for the update, it really choked me up.

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AthenaC June 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Cat, your post was harsh, and more than a little unfair.

1) Many, many people have not developed the skill of good judgment when it comes to romantic relationships, particularly those who has been happily and faithfully married and has not had to develop those skills. I have two aunts who have displayed questionable judgment after being widowed following 20+ years of marriage. I am a bit younger, and a few years ago I would have prided myself on my excellent judge of character on the dating scene; however, if (Heaven forbid) something should happen to my husband after a handful of years of marriage, the idea of trying to tread water in the dating pool scares the living daylights out of me. Such skills must be honed, and one loses them very quickly through lack of practice.

2) It’s not uncommon for people to make snap judgments about individuals after only some brief correspondence. How wise this is depends on: a) how well one judges another’s character; and b) whether or not one individual is just telling the other person what they want to hear. I knew my husband was the one for me after a few phone conversations and one in-person meeting for only a few hours. Conversely, I knew my first husband was the one for me after dating for three months and being best friends for a year; he turned out to be the husband from hell.

3) Your points about red flags are very wise, but it seems clear to me that your red flag about treating waitstaff like dirt was also a red flag to the OP.

4) Some people do actually want to get the “sex talk” out of the way sooner rather than later, usually to make sure that no one is disappointed later when sex doesn’t happen. To use your analogy, such a comment is “taking sex off the radar” on a first date. In fact, when I was in middle school in a “wait for sex till marriage” class, that was something that was specifically recommended to us girls to do on a first date with a guy. Not my style personally (I won’t go into why), but I see nothing inherently wrong with it.

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justme June 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Wow, I feel sorry for this woman’s kids! If they’re even real.

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Calliope June 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Men didn’t give Holly Golightly money for the powder room so she could tip the toilet attendant.

Most of the commenters here seem to be focusing their shock and moral outrage on the woman who will “take advantage” of a wealthy man, but I don’t see it that way at all. It’s one thing if she’s scamming innocent people, but if all she’s doing is offering companionship in exchange for gifts, she’s certainly no worse than the man who’s buying her the gifts. A man doesn’t spend $10,00 on jewelry for a woman he just met because he’s lovestruck and naive; he does it because he expects something in return. I can see that the OP wasn’t looking for that kind of “relationship,” so it’s a good thing he got out when he did, but really, since there are men out there willing to fall all over themselves offering jewelry and handbags and money to women they barely know, it should come as no surprise that there are women who are willing to accept.

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Din June 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Unfortunately, you ventured into the world of dating after many years without knowing the rules have changed. Certainly part of this was due to the circumstances of internet dating, which come with their own set of rules. While none of this was *your fault*, it perhaps could have been avoided if you’d had a bit of advice from someone more internet/dating savvy then yourself. Accept your losses, learn your lessons and move on! You met a bad egg – there are plenty of good eggs out there. There’s no need to hide yourself away. Best wishes.

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Maureen June 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

OP, you sound sweet. I hope and pray that you meet *the one*. I like you very much.

-Mo-

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Marna June 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm

OP, if it weren’t for the part about your new wife having a young child, I’d be wondering if you weren’t my second (and current) husband. Both he and I lost our first spouses to cancer within two years of each other. We met online in a chat for widows and widowers, but we only talked for the first year (his loss was much more recent than mine) and only met in person after the first year was up (coincidence, not by design). I will say by the time we finally did meet, though, we had talked nearly every day and IMO that was plenty of time for any “false notes” to have popped up. I would hardly call you an idiot–you had been married a long while and, as you say, things have changed markedly since you had been out in the dating world; naive, perhaps. I maintain that there is little diffefence in meeting someone online as opposed to tripping over them in the local supermarket–no matter where you meet someone, liars can lie wherever they are and caution must be taken. I saw many couples formed in those chats; I’d say about 50% worked, 30% didn’t–and 20% were ballistic disasters of epic proporations.

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Beth Erickson June 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I’m sorry that this happened to you, but I am pleased that you didn’t get hurt – also that you took the time to respond to the messages left for you. You will be a blessing to the special lady I’m sure you will find. Best of luck!

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Cat Whisperer June 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

AthenaC, to respond to your points:

1. Regarding judgement when it comes to “romantic relationships”: this is no different than the judgement you apply when deciding if you want to associate with someone as a friend. Maybe my standards are different, but I wouldn’t choose someone as a romantic partner if I wouldn’t also choose them as a friend first. JMO, it’s insane to think of someone as a “romantic partner” if you don’t think of them as a friend first and foremost. So it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been out of the “dating scene.” If you have the social skills to make friends throughout your life, you can deal with dating: your judgements should involve the same elements. To wit, Is this person someone whose company I enjoy? Is this someone who I can respect as a human being, and who respects me as a human being? Do we have ethical and moral values that we can each understand and live with when we’re together? Does this person treat other people as equals in courtesy, or do they treat some people like they don’t count? Do I ever feel like I have to “walk on eggshells” when I’m around this person for any reason? Do they make me feel valued when I’m around them?

Aren’t those the kinds things we factor into deciding if a person can be a friend? And if you can do that, why would it be different/harder to advance the relationship a step further to an exclusive intimate relationship, even if you haven’t done that with someone for a while?

2. Snap judgements aren’t necessarily a bad thing, if they involve rejection of a person for dealbreaker behavior. I’ve made snap judgements that I didn’t want someone in my life in any way, shape or form, based on a single derogatory sexist or racist comment. I’ve made snap judgements to not work with someone because they boasted in my presence of committing an act of fraud. I made a snap judgement to refuse to ever be alone with one of my older brother’s friends when he tried repeatedly to get me into isolated situations…and I found out years later that he molested a number of girls my age on our street. Snap judgements that involve rejection of a person who engages in “dealbreaker” behavior or that simply make you feel creepy is survival behavior.

But the converse, deciding to trust someone and be vulnerable, either emotionally or physically, to someone who hasn’t authenticated themselves to you be a process of acquaintanceship that involves spending time together, can be disastrous. Again, this is JMO, but I’ve never known a situation where it was wrong to take your time to get to know someone. If there’s mutual affinity between two people, taking time together to know each other isn’t a problem. On the contrary, it’s when someone tries to rush you to extend trust to them and get deeply involved with them that you’re likely to find problems. There’s truth to the saying that “Love is patient, love is kind.” Why hand your trust to someone who hasn’t had time to earn it in a relationship?

4. Talking about sex on the first date: I just don’t get that. On a first date, I don’t even know for sure if there’s going to be a second date! Why on earth would the subject of sex even come up if I don’t know if this is a person I’m going to want to spend time with as a friend, that this person is someone I can trust, that I like, that I respect? I don’t have sex with people I don’t like, don’t trust, don’t respect. If the person I’m with has expectations that I’m going to have sex with them before I know if I can even think of them as a friend, then there isn’t going to be second date. It’s that simple. If someone is thinking sex before they even know what kind of person I am, I don’t want that person in my life.

Maybe my judgement of the OP was harsh, but in reading his account of this woman, I kept asking myself: why on earth, in the face of some really awful behavior on her part, did he continue to see her?

…And to find he went back for a “second helping” after she contacted him again– wow. All I can say is that life is too short to spend in the company of someone who has proven themselves to be a brass-plated, card-carrying, self-avowed jerk. That’s just crazy.

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waitress wonderwoman June 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

First things first: If someone is rude to waitstaff, DEALBREAKER! No questions asked. End of date. No second date. People like that are never good people. Ever. Trust me on that one.
As for this particular lady, what is she going to do when those looks fade (and they will!)? As for the men who fall for her game, well, my guess is that most of them know exactly what her game is and don’t mind. So whatever. My mother is one of the most stunning women ever to walk this earth and she taught me to never think you can get by on your looks. I was taught there is always someone who is younger and prettier, so you better have a brain in your head, no matter how pretty it is! OP, you sound like a peach and I am so happy you found someone you love. All the best to you!

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm

OP, one final thought- there is no reason to return to the scene of such a crime. Why “go there”? Save yourself from exposure to these elements and you’ll save yourself some pain and aggravation. Seeing this person again defies good judgement and bodes ill for your future happiness. As you saw, different encounter, same person, same result.

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Echo June 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Calliope,

For me, the problem is not so much that she’s… Holly Golightly-ing herself, it’s more that she shared/bragged about it to a man she’d just met. This is an etiquette site and as far as I’m concerned, that’s an etiquette faux pas.

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Becky June 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

OP/Brockwest,

Have a look at meetup.com which is a website for people who are looking to, well, meetup with a like-minded group in your area. There are all sorts of groups. Some are specifically for singles, some aren’t. You can find groups of people wanting to practice French / go kayaking / crochet dishclothes / learn about wine etc. Could be an alternative to the church groups and internet dating as far as getting to know someone in a more natural kind of way, with a shared interest.

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--Lia June 26, 2012 at 5:14 am

I don’t expect anyone to be able to answer this since it’s a question about why the woman in question does what she does, but why would she be rude to the waitstaff? Her intention is to bilk expensive gifts from gullible men, right? She wants to get fancy dinners out of them. So what’s the point of yelling at the servers? How does that help her meet her (crass, manipulative) goals?

I wonder if the rules really have changed that much since a generation ago before the internet. It seems that there were men and women back then too who were only out to take advantage of the unsuspecting. I can think of one friend (term used lightly) who spoke quite plainly about asking to be taken out to the most expensive restaurant in town on a first date that she knew wasn’t going anywhere. She thought that if he wanted her company that much, why not? That was 30 years ago. She thought it was a matter of valuing herself and would argue when I said that it had the whiff of prostitution about it. (I was the crazy deep-end feminist. We would joke about that.)

This is why I suggest that going back to meeting people through friends and affinity groups is the way to go. I suppose one could volunteer at a dog training club for 2 years in an effort to find a sugar daddy who will buy her expensive gifts, but it seems unlikely.

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Brockwest June 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

(OP)
FelishD, I had never thought of it before, but part of your statement is correct, bringing up one’s financial straits on a first date can be a red Flag, and come to think of it, until I got my act together I did find myself helping people financially at times (they couldn’t pay their child support, their kid had been promised a graduation trip.) I must say, though, I repeatedly found the situation that many divorced women had been reduced in their style of living and repeatedly I found beautiful furniture in a shabby apartment. In divorce, some people are so desperate to get out, they run and leave without support. I’ve seen guys who lost everything, women who lost everything. I don’t remotely fault the person who becomes poor after a divorce, sometimes the hell of a bad marriage makes it sound so wonderful to surrender y0ur fair share just to get out.
David, thank heavens she let on early who she was. Had she played her acting role longer, I could have been in trouble. In her cases the red flag of rudeness to waitstaff was the deal breaker. I found everything else out later, but I had already shut myself off from her by then.
Jennifer geek, I am lucky. I got out, I got taught a valuable lesson, and I learned not to be so naive.
Lia, unfortunately the old ways just don’t work as well as they used to, coffee shop, volunteering. I tried that first. I was stunned that the old reliable places had become abandoned. The vast majority do on-line now, so the old haunts are dying out. MANY times I wished for the good old days, going to a singles group, singles dance, meeting 15 people, liking 5, have 2 of them like me back, then doing simple dates until things progressed. I found that on-line profiles are no better randomly selecting a name out of the phone book, BUT…..if that’s where everyone is, than that is where one ends up going. The great majority of men and women I know who have done on-line dating have found it to be their time in purgatory, but many, many people have found their new spouses there these days. I remember when my wife was dying begging her please not to throw me back into that dating world again. My new wife and I tease each other when we do something wrong that on-line dating is available, and we shudder and hold on closer.
Psyche, yes, most “bad” people can be spotted early on, but some have refined their act to read you and tell you what you want to hear. The gigantic problem I found with coffee shop firsts dates, there was no way to get ANY idea about the person, and as importantly, no way for them to get to know the real me. I’m shy. I’m reserved. One hour in a coffee shop doesn’t reveal me. Though I was surprised when the date demanded a fine restaurant (I did realize the red flag), I wanted to see how that would work, and found it worked very well. If you weren’t a match, at least you got a nice meal. At the end, I got the advice that instead of going for a meal, go to a nice restaurant that had an attached bar, and make the invitation to have a drink at the bar, with no mention of a meal. If things went well, then you could suggest taking a table for something to eat. If things weren’t a match, then you could be polite and sweet, but after drinks walk them to their car and be on your way. No harm, no foul. You have to remember, I MISSED being able to have someone to join me for dinner, to share dinner.
Diva, you are spot-on. She Was gauging me as to an income source. I DID make the mistake of champagne and caviar, instead of waiting until we had both earned that stage. She taught me the error of my ways.
Gee, apparently I was a tad unclear about our dates. We only had two. The first at her town went very well (except for the missed red flags.) The second was horrid and we stopped seeing each other. Over a year later, with no further communication, she had invited the third, but there was no way it was a date, more an escorting. I was wrong to do the third, but I wanted to see, with open eyes, what all I had missed on the first date.
Cat whisperer: ouch? At first…but then I realized for the most part you are correct. I was an Idiot. You missed I was also a moron, nerd, dummy, but you also missed the most important one…I was Lonely. I had 20 wonderful years that were taken from me, and wanted to regain that happiness, so, yes I was an idiot. For judgement of a potential partner, the only way you can judge them is to meet them. I left her after the second date, as her behavior was unacceptable. You are correct about some of the red flags I missed. The fancy restaurant demand is a red flag, but darn it, I Wanted to go too. The unexcused lateness…red flag, but I took the bad situation and turned it to a good situation by getting friendly with the bartender, owner, owner’s wife, violin player, so by the time she arrived, the entire restaurant was rooting for me. In my loneliness, I was only too happy to have the first meal go so well ultimately. You have to remember also, that I was unsure of how desirable I was after twenty years….I was no longer that 6-pack abs guy in the mirror, for some reason there was a guy with graying hair looking back at me in the mirror. I was therefore a lot more forgiving.
Please forgive me, but things have changed from my early days. I was taught that IF you were nice and polite that on the third date you would get your first kiss. I found that in today’s society, there has been a vast liberation of the dating world, particularly for formerly-marrieds. Sex is frequently a first date discussion (to my embarrassment, as I wasn’t raised that way.) I literally had to try to politely turn down offers on first dates with other dates. (Gosh, I feel for women from my day so much more now, I found myself saying, ummm, can’t we talk first, snuggle? Hold hands?) I made some furious at being turned down. I don’t like it, my momma wouldn’t hear of it, my grandmomma would have beaten me for it, but today’s previously-married dating group have different concepts then we used to. That doesn’t mean everyone of course, but I would say more than half accept sex early on. Having had the love of a wonderful wife, it was a turn off for me. I prefer that any intimacy take place because of caring. (Where WERE these women when I was 17??) Umm, again, apparently I was unclear, I only had two dates, and stopped seeing when she was rude to the wait staff on the second. Over a year later I threw myself back into hell with her unexpected invite as I wanted to see if I was now made of sterner stuff, hardened, crusted enough to survive an absolutely platonic date with her. (I wasn’t.) ok, back to your I’m a idiot line, yep. I am. I do NOT set low standards for myself, never have, never will. If anything, finding women like her made me RAISE the bar so high it became unrealistic.
Roslyn, that was sweet. I love my new wife and daughter.
Athena c, first. HUG! You are so right that people can be very clueless when thrown back into the dating pool after years of marriage. In some ways it’s harder after a good marriage, as you’ve lost your crusty exterior and have learned to trust too easily. USUALLY I am able to judge a person very quickly in person, on the phone, by e-mail. There are so many clues. Grammar, spelling, appropriate remarks, vocabulary. In THIS case, I had basically found myself with a professional escort, who have been Trained, to listen for clues to what the man wants to hear and say them. They have college educations. They use grammar appropriately and understand vocabulary. Their make-up and dress is impeccable. There is a Reason so many rich men willingly take escorts to fancy functions, as they look and act nice. She tripped when she was rude to the waitstaff.
Justme, wow! I have always felt sorry for her kids, but for the first time ever, your letter has made me wonder…..we they real? I never met them. I saw one picture of them. She never talked about them. She was available to fly around to date or go to Vegas. Were those her nieces in the picture? Were the part of the “act?”
Calliope, you are correct, if a man is giving a woman in Vegas $10,000 in jewelry that he met in the lobby, he is assuming something. The harshness here was she pushed and prodded the men into the jewelry and dress shops, cooing and complimenting, but then in the bedroom, would become aloof. From what I gathered Most of the men didn’t get far. From what my Vegas friend said however, some did.
Din, absolutely correct, internet dating has a MAZE of rules that our mamas would be horrified by. I don’t know of any internet expert, just internet casualties and survivors. I had to withdraw, to regroup and figure out what the rules were. I eventually re-entered, with loins girded.
Maureen, thank you for you sweet words. I did.
Marna, at first I sought out fellow widows, but I found the double pain, made it difficult. Eventually I made a longer and longer list of people to avoid…those who hadn’t had time to get over their past relationship, those who were still angry at men, and perhaps surprisingly, those had not been married before. Marriage is WORK, and those who haven’t tried it are very naive about how much work is involved. I also preferred to date women with children, as that is another WORK (and love) situation, that is better with someone who has experienced it.
Beth, that was sweet, I did find my “one.”
Waitress, a good friend of mine years ago taught me the importance of being nice to the waitstaff and the bread I cast upon those waters has been returned to me multi-fold. Our favorite waitstaff, and stadium ushers are invited to our Christmas parties and come willingly. We invite them to share our tickets to shows. In return we get superb service and great stories of bad customers. Though it may not be politically correct, I’ve found servers can read an entering customer or group and usually know that they’re are going to get a good tip, or a bad tip with a complaint….before they even speak.
Stacey, you are correct, I should not have returned to the scene of the crime, but I was upset that I had been so naive. Sort of like being a nerd in High School and wanting to return to show you have become cool, I wanted to show that she couldn’t deceive or hurt me and I could “handle” the situation without such naivity. I was wrong.

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elizabeth June 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

Cat- she was visiting for the weekend. So even while the comments to the rude waitstaff were a dealbreaker to him (he said so), he couldn’t exactly just kick her to the curb and never see her again. It sounds as though she may have been staying with him. He much too considerate of a man to just tell a woman who flew to visit, “sorry get out of my face now, fend for yourself for the next 24 hrs). I have no doubt that if she had lived in the same city, he never would have seen her again after the dinner date.

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The Elf June 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

Totally with you, Barb. Rudeness to waitstaff or salespeople (or other people who are in a position of service) would be a dealbreaker for me. When it happens once, I might give the benefit of the doubt. But multiple times? Oh hell no. Since their job is to be nice to customers, leaving them with few options other than taking the rudeness, it speaks volumes of a person’s inner character when they strike at those that cannot strike back.

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Emmy June 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

I once went out to a club with a group of my girl friends. One of them brought a long a girl we’d never met before that she knew from work. Great, the more the marrier! We went in, paid our covers, bought our drinks, and had a lovely night. I thought.

On the way home the new girl started to complain. She couldn’t believe we had to pay cover! And buy our own drinks! When I asked why she actually said “We’re pretty! We shouldn’t have to pay!”, really? I couldn’t believe she walked through life with the idea that because she was pretty someone would paid her way. We didn’t hang out again. According to one of my friends she was quite rude to a bartender who had the nerve to charge her full price for her drink.

Rest assured OP, there are women out there who aren’t after your wallet. But uh, stick with coffee shops for first dates. Much easier to run out of there if need be.

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Andie June 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

Good to see that you got out of a bad situation. I know a man who was taken for quite the ride by a woman less than half his age. His ‘fiancee’ got a lot of stuff out of him and he followed her around to clubs like a puppy (you can imagine how ridiculous a man his age looked, bopping around with a bunch of twenty-year-olds) before claiming that she had a sick relative and disappearing into the wind. He was so ashamed that I know his current wife doesn’t know about her.

I did notice that you were prepared to kick her to the curb after she embarrassed you with the waitstaff in your town (so much so that you had to apologize!) But I don’t get wanting to meet this woman again. You said you wanted to ‘test yourself’? That sounds like something addicts say. “I’ve been dry a few weeks, I’ve totally got this alcoholism solved so I’m going to hang out in this bar. You know, to test myself.” I don’t know what a successful “test” would’ve looked like. Were you hoping to get as much out of her by giving as little in return? You don’t come across as that kind of guy in your letter, so I could imagine that this was more about reclaiming your sense of power– she spooked you so much that you stopped dating for awhile. Glad things worked out for you.

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Laura June 26, 2012 at 11:19 am

I am reading this post on my 19th anniversary. OP, I appreciated my husband before this, but I do even more so now. I have no idea how I would navigate today’s dating world…I met my husband in high school English for pete’s sake! I loved your clarifications, and admire your honesty and how you shared your story. I am SO happy that you found someone who was right for you. I hope you enjoy a long life together, sounds like you deserve it.

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The Elf June 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Lia, mistreating the waitstaff is a power trip. That’s all it is. It doesn’t help her towards her goals, or likely hinder them, it’s just a “fun” little game to play on the side.

Calliope, I agree that the Vegas scenario isn’t at all “taking advantage” of either party. It’s a mutually-agreed upon arrangement, just one that’s more open ended than your usual prostitute/john scenario. Honestly, I have no problem with it as both parties are usually going into it knowingly. She gets a fun weekend and expensive gifts, he gets laid. Whatever floats your boat, you know? I don’t want any part of it, but that’s because it doesn’t float my boat. The problem is when the manipulative tactics are applied to those who aren’t playing by the same set of rules.

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Brockwest June 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

OP
Elizabeth, you are totally correct. She was visiting for the week-end and her flight was the next day. I was staying on the couch.
Elf, agree, rudeness to those who can’t fight back is unforgivable.
Emmy, agree, leave an exit route for the first date. I found that the bar at a restaurant idea was good…exit route and get to really meet them if things were working out all in one.
Andie…EEEK. Ok, I didn’t make myself clear. (I did say platonic.) I went the following year because I was upset that I had missed the clues and let myself get hurt. I wanted to go as an outside observer to watch what she did and said, to understand what I had missed. I had no intention of ANY physical contact whatsoever. It IS like returning to the scene of the crime. Turned out to be a horrible idea. I was polite and gracious to her, and did not want her to know in any way that it was more an observation on my part than a date. I believe she never knew. I would never try to return unkindness for unkindness.

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kingsrings June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Sadly, I’ve known people on both sides of this. There was a woman whom I was friends with through a Christian singles organization. She had multiple marriages and five kids as a result of those marriages. She was nearly dirt poor and really didn’t hide the fact that she was co-dependent on men and whatever she could get out of them to help her and her kids. To her, there was nothing wrong with this at all, because she was doing it for her kids. She took advantage of some very nice men in our group and it ended badly, causing them to drop out of the group. I don’t keep much in contact with her anymore except through social networking, and last I knew, she was getting re-married to her 4th or 5th husband, whom she had just married and divorced 2 years ago. I’m thankful that’s our only contact with each other.

I also had two guy friends who fell for the overseas-dating thing. They were both very lonely and desperate, and although very nice, pretty socially awkward and inappropriate and not the type of guys most ladies would go for as a result. They thus turned to overseas dating sites when they couldn’t find success locally. One guy “dated” an overseas gal for a while and flew to her country to meet her, only to find that she never existed, and it was just people scamming him out of money. The other guy’s overseas lady moved to the States to be with him, but it became very clear, after he spent a great deal of money on her, that money and citizenship was all she was about.

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Namárië June 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I’m confused, OP/Brockwest, you say you “didn’t date again for a long time,” but had time to “date others and become stronger” before she called again a year later? We must have different definitions of a lont time. :) I’m also confused, did you fly out to this woman’s city to get married to someone else in the restaurant where you met her? I can’t blame you, since they seem to go above and beyond (rose petals for a first date? Wow!)

I do hope you were kidding/exagerrating when you asked your dying wife not to throw you back into that dating world again.

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justme June 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm

@Andie: I can understand the OP wanting to test himself by meeting her again. I’ve been there myself. It’s less of a power thing, and more of a self-reassurance thing. You’ve put yourself in a situation where you were deeply hurt, and you’re still kicking yourself over not seeing the warning signs. After giving yourself some time to “build up your defenses”, so to speak, you wonder if the Current You would fall for the same trap as the Past You. You hope that you’ve learned from the mistake, but you’re never really sure. And that uncertainty bothers you until you finally decide that it’s a good to idea to revisit that situation and see how you respond now, see whether you recognize the cues you should have caught the first time around. OP, I’m not sure if this is exactly what you were feeling, but that’s the impression I got. Then again, my viewpoint is skewed by personal experience–I once traveled across the country to visit an ex-boyfriend who I was certain I’d never want to date again–but that’s a story for another day, kids!
At any rate, it’s not always a good idea to revisit a bad experience in that manner (sometimes all you do is rehash the hurt and frustration), but it’s a very tempting move: not only to reassure yourself that you’ll never be put in that situation again, but also to give yourself an opportunity to be presented with the same circumstances, and to say “no” this time (sort of a mental do-over, if you will).

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