It’s another perfect night in West Hollywood, it’s about 70 degrees and the sun is setting and painting the sky with a beautiful purple and gold haze.
Tonight, for the first time, I am gathering with a few friends, clients and fans to dish about their adventures in love and dating. I have always been fond of gathering a small group of people and just talking. It’s a rarity in our tech. driven world to just sit and talk one on one and face to face.
Tonight we gather at Tortilla Republic, a fabulous “Modern Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar” in the heart of West Hollywood. This is the perfect place to gather my friends and see what’s new in the world of dating, as well as help dish some solid advice to my friends in need.
But first, margaritas for everyone at the table!
The menu is drizzled with mouth-watering selections. My guests make their choices as if they are choosing a red carpet ensemble for the Met Gala! But I get it. When it comes to the perfect drink, one must choose with discretion!
Up first Lisa, my New York transplant, who’s in her mid twenties and fresh into a month long relationship with a sexy drummer. She chooses the Jalepeno Margarita! Next we have Ryan, a handsome gay man in his early thirties who is newly single. He opts for a margarita called the “Dangerous.” Steven, my straight best friend, opts for the classic margarita, on the rocks with salt. I am last to order and I am immediately drawn to the “Cucumber Lavender” – it sounded so perfect on this beautiful LA night. It also reminds me of a spa day, which I am desperate for, but I digress.
When the drinks arrive, we spare not a single moment to toast and begin with the sorting through of everyone’s dating dilemmas. Normally, I like to go around the table and see what’s on everyone’s mind, but tonight nobody was shy as they stumbled over each other to start the conversation.
It’s ladies first tonight, so Lisa happily starts things off.
“How do you know when you should ask about exclusivity?”
“I have been dating this guy for a little over a month now, and I am constantly over at his house. Should I ask to make things official?”
I take a giant sip of my drink and look her straight in the eyes and say to her
“Are you already thinking about marriage? Babies? Moving in together?
“Yes” she answers as she slaps herself on the forehead
“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?” I reply.
I get it. Your a woman, sometimes you can’t help but think with your biological clock and how to get every man to settle down and marry. But, seriously- calm down and take things slow!
Relationships take time, even if things are going well. It’s not out of the question to ask for monogamy in a relationship that is blossoming quickly. But don’t get that confused with renting a U-Haul to move your self in and start naming kids. You will scare this man away!
Take time to enjoy the process and learn more about each other. There is still so much about him you don’t know. Do the research and make smart informed decisions that are good for both of you.
Take dinner tonight for example. Each of us ordered margaritas and food to our individual specifications. We asked the waiter for suggestions and took our time to decide. We ordered an appetizer and had a few drinks before our dinner came. We took our time and enjoyed ourselves.
Relationships are just like ordering at a five star restaurant. If you rush your order, you may not get exactly what you want and you will certainly compromise the integrity of a gourmet meal and the experience that accompanies it. Take your time to make sure you are getting exactly what you want. There is no such thing as five-minute meal at a five star restaurant.
“I don’t know if I’m hungry or I want to get married” Ryan jokes. He and the entire table laugh along. “It’s my turn now!” he demands
“Here is my dilemma. I keep falling for guys who are unavailable. The guy I was dating previously was in a relationship and the current guy I am dating doesn’t want a serious relationship. How do keep making the same mistakes?”
“What was the name of your margarita?” I ask
“Dangerous” Ryan replies. He rolls his eyes as he assumes my next response.
“Yes Ryan, Dangerous! Very, very dangerous!”
I never understand why people insist on dating people who are unavailable. It’s like buying a car with no engine. Sure you can sit inside it and honk its horn, but it’s not taking you anywhere anytime soon.
“But…” Ryan starts to interject half serious and joking.
“No buts!” I say just as quick.
If you are going to invest your time, energy and money into anything, you better make sure it’s a functioning and capable person before you ever pass go!
Additionally, look at your history. If you are telling me that each of your past relationships have all been with men who are unavailable. Then you need to start looking at your qualifiers and re-evaluate what each of those mean to you.
Having a heartbeat doesn’t qualify a healthy long-term relationship.
You need to start dating guys who are single, dating and looking for a commitment. Anything less than those should not even get a phone call!
The sunset is now long gone and it’s officially evening. We are each two margaritas deep into our conversation when our food arrives.
The sizzle of chicken fajitas has ignited our hunger as it is delivered to the table. Then with each plate, our eyes glow with anticipation of tasting everything.
Duck confit tacos, short rib chile verde and a tequila coriander steak now bring everyone at the table to full salivation mode!
As each of us hurry to taste our food, Steven in his own shy way interrupts with
“What if a guy is too nice? How do nice guys survive dating?”
His interruption and obvious gentlemanly way of waiting till last, almost has me caught off guard.
I laugh at first and raise my drink to him. We toast our glasses, as he looks to me, still confused and eager for an answer.
“Cheers to all the nice people” I say.
“If there is anyone out there who understands this journey, it’s me.”
Dating is a difficult journey for everyone out there. Even more so, if you are a genuinely nice person, you can get taken advantage of. A lot of my friends seem to be tougher and more matter of fact when it comes to dating. I’m just not built that way.
So when it comes to being a “nice guy or girl,” how does one protect themselves while still being true to who they are?
The answer is simple. Don’t put yourself at risk!
If you find you are paying for too many dinners and not getting a suitable follow up date, then go for coffee instead. Also, saying (no) is okay. If you can’t make a date happen last minute, that’s okay. No need to rearrange your whole life just to fit a dinner in. There will always be a next time and if there isn’t, she wasn’t worth your time anyway.
What it comes down to is this, pace yourself Mr. Nice Guy! Every first date doesn’t need to be Disney Magic! Once your date proves they are in for the long haul, then surprise them with a something special. Remember, its not gifts that win a woman’s heart it’s love and devotion.
A collective “aweeee….” fills the air.
That’s either the signal that everyone is high on my sappy love stories or drunk on margaritas! I think It may be a little of both.
As we finish dinner, I feel a bit tickled by the happy smiles and the gathering of new and familiar faces. It’s such a wonderful feeling to bring people together to bond over food and conversation. It’s also a very wonderful realization to see that no matter if it’s a gay or straight relationship, we all have the same needs, desires and concerns when it comes to matters of the heart.
We all just want to find love.