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Fifty First (J)Dates: The Rules of Engagement Part I

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Enough about chicks. Well, from a chick's point of view. This is the first in a series from a dude. A real, certified, FFJD male. With a flair for the dramatic. Like a giant, roadside flair that is being lighted in my Volvo trunk.

Many of us liken courtship and sex to warfare. Granted, they do have decidedly different outcomes and realities (note: getting blown up has very different interpretations depending upon its context), but it's the language and metaphors we so readily use. Will you be my wingman? Are they part of our crew? Why do I have to jump on the grenade? 1

The similarities abound.

So it's not at all out of place that I would expect the rules of engagement to be well known and agreed upon.

And while I seldom gravitate towards gender-specific arguments, ladies, since in our heterosexual world we do much of the upfront work, you owe it to us to follow the rules of engagement. Here, as I lay beside the spoils of war and agony of defeat, 2 is the first rule of engagement.

Be Honest. 3

Yes, it's obvious, it's clichéd, it's elementary, yet it is almost never humored.

Ladies, here's a primer on what we mean by honesty within the confines of getting to know you: Tell us if you have a boyfriend.

Before we even begin talking to you, you need to know that we're interested in you.

That's why you're holding the stereotypically pink martini or "check yes or no" love note (So what if my style predates the legal drinking age?).

It's incredibly depressing and pride-swallowing to hear after a wonderful hour+ conversation "So, just so you know, I have a boyfriend." 4

I recently went on the most magnificent series of dates, replete with mid-day champagne breaks, Saturday morning breakfasts in bed 5 and walks in the dog park, only for her to come to the date no. 7 revelation that since she is "just not ready to get serious".

If you're not interested, don't be interested.

Beware of the nuance; this is not the same thing taking the time (and dates) to figure out how you feel about someone. Don't entertain our hopes and your ego if you're not DTF (you know, metaphorically DTF.)

If you already know you do not want to be anything more that friends, or aren't even interested in that, just say it. There's plenty of other men who will want to play argue over who pays for dinner.

(1) Yes, even The Situation has managed to liken the second oldest sport, next to greco-roman wrestling -- female hunting -- with weaponry. Grenades = ugly chicks.

Then again, I might call the Situation a "Grenade" himself. I guess his abs are OK, they're more amorphous than one would expect, but really honey, I have a better waxer for your brows. Whoever's doing them is leaving them too light. And that's awkward, because nobody is going to tell you. You know you have that friend, Becca, the one whose arches are nonexistent. Help a sistah out and let her know. She and her now Hilary Rhoda brows will thank you one day.

(2) It is very important that I employ someone who is as overtly dramatic as I am in this series. It would not be fun otherwise. I am sort of imagining him writhing after a girl turned him down at U Street Music Hall, twisting in pain, Android shattered. Just a metaphor for his shattered heart.

(3) Definitely chose a small subject matter, one that has never been written about by anyone ever. Easy to tackle.

(4) O rly Kelly? Thanks so much for telling me. I just bought you four drinks and commented that I thought you were hilarious and brilliant just so that we could be friendz4eva and bounce around town together. Yeah, that Kelly, I don't know about her sexually, man, but she'd make an awesome gal pal. Hey Kels -- does this shirt make me look fat?

Uh, no.

(5) Again, traffic flares for the dramatic, but that is cute, just let me remove the puke that I regurgitated because of this date scenario. I admire, in theory, the breakfast in bed date. In reality - there are crumbs in my sheets, I have eye makeup on one eye, and I think I just got some jam on my eyemask. Crap.

Got a great story? Dating, awkwardness, or Intermix guffaw otherwise? Email it to fiftyfirstjdates@gmail.com. Just FFJD-it.

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