For many women, the struggle to find a good, single and straight man is very real. Especially during this time of the year when singles are reminded of their status and a bunch of corporations make you feel bad about NOT tying your self-worth to receiving flowers and chocolates from a special someone.

This past weekend, one of my best friends went out on a blind date arranged by her cousin, because “don’t you think it’s time you found someone to settle down with dear?” We are not big on blind dates but we were excited anyway. I say “we” because I live vicariously through her. On paper, the guy was great – SINGLE, childless, good job, avid traveller. Yaay! If this was ‘Come Dine With Me’, I would have given him a strong 7. In reality though, he presented many red flags. And some lessons learnt.

Red flag #1: Control freak

My friend, let’s call her B, ordered a creamy pasta dish. That apparently didn’t sit well with her date, who was very critical of B’s meal choice. In a condescending tone, he “suggested” a salad instead; insisting that is was the right choice for her. According to who?

Lesson: Maybe the guy is super health conscious but INSISTING she changes her lifestyle habits on the first date? He might have some control issues.

Red flag #2: Unkind

The food order arrived and there was something he was not happy about. Sure, the customer is always right but that right does not warrant a shouting match. The guy screamed at the poor waiter without even giving him a chance to explain or rectify the situation. Worse still, he attacked the waiter’s character and not the issue at hand, attracting unnecessary attention. Mama always warned me about these Know-It-All types who put others down in order to feel better about themselves, giving them a false sense of control. They love having an audience because it makes them feel important.

Lesson: 1. if someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are NOT a nice person and 2. NEVER ever mess with the people who handle your food.

Red flag #3: Narcissist

Ok pasta dishes aside, the wine began to flow and the conversation was seemingly going well. Until he started talking continually about himself. He failed to show any interest in her by asking questions about her. Everything she said was simply a launching pad for him to bring up something else about himself. That was the third and final strike – a deal breaker.

D.O.N.E!!!

D.O.N.E!!!

Lesson: Conversation is like a tennis match – it’s back and forth and it takes two people to take a game to the next level. And in B’s words “If he is so intent on proving to me how great he is by excluding me from the conversation, then I don’t want to know. On to the next.”

Another one bites the dust!

So B did what we do when on a bad date: SOS text. This is where you have a friend call during the date with a fake an emergency so she could make a swift exit. She drove straight to my house, raided my wine stash and we binge-watched Second Wives Club. I need new friends.