It was a good opening. After a few minutes of flirty online banter, he had asked for my phone number (rather quickly by LavaLife standards, I thought, but I wasn't put-off enough to refuse him), and informed me that he would be calling me in 15 minutes. Very precise. I was hopeless to resist. Within a few minutes he had reduced me to Submissive Girl, strangely unfamiliar territory. Sure enough, within 15 minutes he was on the phone, calling from his car.
"I'm thinking Thursday after work," F.B. announced. No "I'm-just-calling-to-get-to-know-you" facade, this man meant business. "What time can you get off work? 6? Will you need to go home and shower first?" Now, this may seem all to be the over-eagerness of a desperate man, happy to have reached a real woman. But no. The whole overtone of the conversation was this odd mix of two overly witty people trying to outshine each other...him giving the distinct impression that I should be so lucky that he would want to meet, and me trying desperately to regain my strong, independent woman foothold after being knocked out of my high heels by his ultra-confident, alpha-male attitude. Grasping at straws, I said I'd have to check my office calendar and get back to him on Monday. "Fine, fine," he said. "I'll talk to you then." Click. So not interested in chatter.
About two hours later, he phoned back. "I wouldn't normally call again," he said. "But my night tonight has just cleared up-do you want to do a drink tonight? Let's do a drink tonight." I agreed (as much as I could agree as much as just accept), and we decided on a place in our neighbourhood, a somewhat trendy eurobar with sassy staff, and a comfortably cool vibe. I put on my slinky-yet-indie American Apparel pencil skirt, flatironed the hell out of my bangs, and put on a cool pair of grey leather open-toe heels with a distinctly retro vibe. F.B. had requested "No Uggs or Crocs, please." As if.
I arrived earlier than F.B. and sat at that bar, ordering a bottle of Pellegrino. "You look hot," said the bartender (a woman) admiringly. "You're on a date, aren't you?" I nodded. "How did you know?" "It's easy," she said. "You look hot, and you ordered Pellegrino. Dead giveaway." I laughed. At that point, F.B. came in and I got a chance to size him up in person.
I'm all for using whatever means possible to meet people in this stand-offish city, but the challenge of the online dating is that, much like buying a Jimmy Choo bag off Ebay, you don't know what you're buying until it shows up. F.B. was slightly older, balder and slightly shorter than I had expected, but well put-together, which, being a fashion whore, I always appreciate. Good pants, well fitting blazer, a pocket square, no less. A little quirky, a little trendy. Wire-rim glasses. It was all good. The bar was definitely his local, as the staff greeted him by name when he walked in the door. We moved to a table and had a few drinks, and a rather one-track conversation.
You see, F.B. has a consulting business that revolves around telling women why they don't succeed in dating men...a single-man to single-woman interpreter or translator if you will. And it was clear that dating, sex, men, and women are his passion (pardon the pun). There have been lecture tours, talk of a reality show. It became clear I was on a date with the Dating Doctor. And he saw right through me.
He caught on pretty quickly that I was the independent, strong woman who was dying to be put in her place-tired of being the dominant, bossy decision-maker in my professional life and needing someone else to take control every once in a while. And he was more than willing to play the gorilla, as he put it. He drew some of my previous dating war stories out of me, and quickly deconstructed all of them, poking holes in my logic when I dismissed miserable experiences under the guise of "the guy was obviously crazy," and basically pulling the rug out from underneath me, in all respects.
After a couple of drinks and a good but unsettling chat that bordered on suggestive but never seemed flirty, there was a pause in the conversation. F.B. reached for the bill, clearly drawing this portion of the evening to a close. "We'll split it," I said. "Good," said F.B., clearly in Gorilla mode. "I get tired of paying." Before I had time to digest this, he was looking at me intently.
"I think you should come home with me now," he said simply. Firmly. Silence. I didn't even really have time to think before I heard myself saying, "Okay." Up until that point, I hadn't even decided whether I found F.B. attractive. He certainly wasn't what I would normally be attracted to, but the Gorilla attitude was irresistible.
Needless to say, F.B. got the girl. And was definitely alpha-male all the way. There was no battle of the sexes going on here-he was clearly the boss and I was to obey (kinky!). But here's the lesson, guys: alpha-male doesn't mean rude, and it doesn't mean horndog. It means being assertive, being blunt, saying what you want, but being courteous, and being totally focused on your partner as much as on yourself. F.B. was totally respectful, considerate, and made the classy day-after "I had a wonderful time" call. Sure, he hasn't called again, and I don't expect him to-that's not what the night was about. But the man had game, and you need to have the game if you expect to play.