by Vincent Wong
Tuesday, 12th April 2011
If you're having trouble finding your first date mojo, read Mr Wong's essential guide on female danger signs. In fact read it twice - he's had more experience than most.
Once, and you’re buying the “Claire’s boyfriend blew her out, and she’s got nowhere to go tonight” excuse. Twice in a row, and you’ve frankly got more chance with Claire. If her mate ends up sitting in between you at any point, it means Claire has been recruited, quite possibly bribed, to be a human shield.
You go in for the big event, and she executes a swift turn away for the kiss in the cheek or, worse, the awkward hug. Occasionally there’s the muttered “Sorry! I’ve been eating raw onions,” in an attempt to let you down lightly. Who’s she kidding? You both know you’d have happily snogged her if she’d been eating raw brains.
Aren’t we? We really get on well, we really understand each other, we really know what the other one’s thinking. Any sentence with the word “really” in it, in this context, means “not very much”. You know what she’s thinking: “we are really great friends, but given half a chance I’d love to shag your mate at the bar”.
When she tells you that she “likes” you, especially when delivered after a lot of thought, means that pleasant indifference is about as much as you’re going to get, until both of you find something better to do. Maybe the word just slipped out? I don’t think so. There are no accidental words in this situation. If she “really likes” you, it might sound better, but it’s worse (see above).
You’re going round to her place, her flatmate’s away for the weekend, you brought a bottle of wine, a chick flick and your toothbrush, and she comes to the door in her coat with the vague idea of going to the crappy pub on the corner.
It’s really cool conversation when she asks you which one of her mates is the most attractive, and you tell her, and she doesn’t go all weird. It means she’s the perfect girlfriend! Imagine the possibilities. Then she tells you that the friend isn’t seeing anyone at the moment, and if you wanted, she could put in a word. Still, as refusals go, this one’s about as good as it gets.
She’s not ready for a relationship right now, she just wants to concentrate on her work/her studies/the television, she’s had a difficult couple of months, she’s not in a good place, she doesn’t feel she could give you what you want. Translation: she’s already mentally running down the street towards the taxi rank and wondering if she’ll need to change her mobile number. Don’t say, “it’s ok, I don’t want a relationship either, but just because you’re upset about things doesn’t mean we can’t have sex, I won’t hang around afterwards if you’ve got work to do.” This misses the point.
Intellectual, humanitarian, therapist, daredevil: our relationship expert Vincent Wong is none of these. He is, however, a person who friends can trust with their innermost fears, aspirations, desires and wishes, secure in the knowledge that he'll put them into articles and publish them on the internet. If you have a relationship issue that needs Vincent's special brand of care, just ask firstname.lastname@example.org.
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