The Love Guru: My Terribly Unglamorous Moment Of Clarity

As I got ready to go on my second date with Party Boy, the be-dimpled guy I had shared witty banter and a cigarette with at my friend’s birthday party, I was hopeful, grateful in fact, that going to see one of our favorite bands together would be an awesome way to spend a Wednesday evening. Dr. Diana’s call to gratitude had kicked my negative dating booty in gear. This dating thing was actually becoming, dare I say it, kind of FUN.

Why was I crying? Not because Party Boy turned out to be an a**hole. Or that I felt like I had humiliated myself. I was crying because this kind of thing used to be acceptable to me.

Party Boy and I had a great first date. We went out for Ethiopian food, laughed a lot, got messy, flirted. He walked me to the subway and gave me a hug and attempted a kiss on the lips. Unfortunately, it was ill-timed and I was expecting just a hug, so I turned my cheek to him just as he went in for the kill. He caught the side of my mouth. Awkward!

Party Boy didn’t let the embarrassment of the moment deter him. He went right back in for two more soft pecks on the lips. Ah, how refreshingly sweet, I thought. Now that is a man with confidence and class.

As I walked into the venue for our second date, I saw Party Boy waiting for me at the bar. It was on, until he dropped a bomb.

“My friends are meeting us here. Hope you don’t mind.”

“Oh no, that’s cool,” I said.

I was lying. I did mind. Not that he had friends or that he felt comfortable enough to introduce me to them, but that he was trying to do a friend hangout/date combo. I interpreted this as either A) a sign of disinterest in me romantically, B) a sign that his friends were more of a priority in his life than finding love (I’m not knocking that, I’m just in a different place), or C) an indication that he was too cowardly to be alone with me and see where this thing might go.

All options turned me off. But still deeply entrenched in my “gratitude” kick, I decided to shine it on. I was grateful that we were seeing a band I loved. And I was grateful for Party Boy’s biceps, which I noticed were making a cameo this evening. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and let him show me a good time.

Four gin and tonics later, I was sloshed. Party Boy was talking to his friends. I was making uncomfortable chit chat with a stranger at the bar and trying my best to appear stone cold sober. I stumbled off to find a bathroom and figure out an exit strategy. I heard footsteps behind me. It was Party Boy.

He pushed open the bathroom door and led me inside. Not even 60 seconds later he was pulling my hair. He unzipped his pants and put my hand on his … well you know. His hand was plunging down the front of my jeans.

My alcohol addled brain caught up with my body.

“Whoa! No! Stop,” I slurred.

I couldn’t believe this was the same guy who gave me that innocent peck on the lips just last week. What a creep!

“You are drunk, we should put you in a cab,” he said coldly.

A familiar panic surged up inside of me. I was angry at Party Boy, ashamed of myself.

“I can get my own cab,” I said, pushing past him.

I didn’t cry until I was safely in the taxi.

Why was I crying? Not because Party Boy turned out to be an a**hole. Or that I felt like I had humiliated myself. I was crying because this kind of thing used to be acceptable to me.

Party Boy was the kind of guy I used to date. But not anymore.

My tears turned to happiness. Tonight’s episode with Party Boy was not anything to be ashamed of. It was something to be grateful for. It was proof that that phase of my dating life was over for good. There was not even the tiniest part of me that wanted to see Party Boy or anyone like him ever again. I could live the rest of my life without getting drunk on a date and having a degrading makeout session in a bar bathroom. I felt liberated by this realization, gleeful. I wanted to jump up and down and cheer. I needed to share the good news but with whom?

The first person who popped into my mind was Spontaneous Guy. This was not the kind of thing I could share with him. No, definitely not. Still, it was a good sign that I thought of sharing good news with him while intoxicated, right?

Just then, as if he heard my thoughts, I got a text from Spontaneous Guy.

“Hey there, Beautiful. Hope you’re having a good night. Sweet dreams.”

Maybe it was time to stop dating other guys.